The Pain Paradox
A patient recently shared that he felt so much better after visiting the office that he was angry at himself for waiting so long in going. I call this the “pain paradox.” The pain paradox is when you hurt, you know you hurt, but you wait or delay calling the chiropractor for inexplicable reasons. Of course, once you go to your friendly, neighborhood chiropractor you feel so much better that as you are walking out the door you’re asking yourself why you waited so long to go in the first place. Makes no sense, does it?
Rational, educated, intelligent people do this all the time. I have a few theories on why patients do this:
- Reason #1: The pain is not really bad enough to warrant the trip.
- Reason #2: The pain will get better all on it’s own. This is a corollary to the “If I ignore it long enough it will go away” theory.
- Reason #3: Because the patient is a product of traditional medicine, the patient waits until conventional medicine has failed miserably before exploring alternative treatments, like chiropractic.
Whatever the reason, the key to beating this paradox is being aware of it and not letting yourself or other people in your life fall prey to this insidious thinking. Time is precious and the more time wasted in the pain paradox the longer takes before the patient can expect relief.
Eating Right Takes Balance
Choices Everywhere you go these days you can’t help but be tempted by tasty morsels. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every time you spied something that looked good you could have just a taste—a teaspoonful? The trick is balancing the temptations that come our way every day to insure that we are getting the right nutritional mix in our daily diets. The good news is that it’s not as hard as you might think.
Size counts You’ve read about controlling portion sizes on these pages before. So you already know how important not “super sizing” your meals can be to managing weight and nutrition. And I know you have not overlooked the nutritionally idle qualities of many prepared & fast foods.
Schedule yourself Recently I read a suggestion that makes a lot of sense. It’s involves balancing your calories and food choices over the course of a week. One author suggests allowing a few more calories for the weekends when temptation seems to be more plentiful as we all relax. After all weekends are when most people eat out, entertain and are most likely to “splurge” on treats.
The theory suggests you can take this one step further and “schedule” what you eat. For example, taking an apple every day to work for your mid-morning snack is a great way to insure that you’re getting the nutrition essentials contained in this powerhouse fruit. That way, when the weekend comes you can afford to indulge a little. Planning healthy menus and having a well-stocked pantry with everything you need is another way to reduce the natural tendency to eat what’s convenient. The key is scheduling and it’s not so difficult once you get in the habit.
October 1, 2011
Fast Facts for Life!
Food & Fat
Weight gain doesn’t just happen. It happens with every 3,500 unburned calories consumed. That is, the “energy in” is greater than the “energy out.” Quite simply, eating more than your body needs to fuel current operations. The magic solution: burn more calories or eat less—ideally a combo of the two.
Believe it or not the pillow you sleep on at night can affect not only how well you rest but how feel all day. The solution is to find a pillow that supports your head and keeps your back in proper alignment. NEVER snooze on your stomach; it tends to aggravate the muscles in the neck.
Keeping Back Pain at Bay
Did you know that your head weighs about 10 pounds? Think about that for a minute. That’s comparable to a bowling ball, a small frozen turkey and some of the lighter free weights at the gym. It should come as little wonder then that hauling around this much weight on our shoulders is often a contributor to back, neck and shoulder pain.
Keeping pain at bay isn’t that difficult if you follow these simple suggestions:
- Watch your posture. As we age it’s only natural that the shoulders tend to roll forward and the head tends to droop. This puts stress and strain on the muscles of the neck and shoulder. So, keep your head upright, your chest out and your shoulders back.
- Handle pressure. Stress in modern life is rampant. It’s everywhere and stress contributes to neck and shoulder pain. The solution: manage your stress. Look for ways to reduce stress at home and on the job. Do whatever it takes: Talk to a counselor, have some fun, exercise or take a vacation.
- Keep fit. You know that as you age you lose muscle tone and that includes the muscles that hold up our head and neck. Weaker muscles spell trouble for holding up the noggin. Talk to me the next time you are in the office about simple, painless stretches and strengthening exercises you can do at home or work that can help keep the muscles strong that hold up your head.
Massage therapy is another option that can do much to relieve muscle spasms, soothe aches and pains, and bring short-term relief.
When all else fails, there’s always ice or heat to relieve pain. I’d be happy to fill in the details at the time of your next visit. Just ask.
Living Well: Vitamin & Mineral Nutrition
The Art and Science of Aging Well
Antioxidants: Metabolic disease fighters that strengthen the body’s cells and prevent illnesses.
Aging is natural. It’s programmed into our genetics and there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s how the species ensures its continued existence on this planet. But what’s the secret to longevity? Some say antioxidants could be an important factor in determining how long each of us has on this earth.
Aging. As we age a couple of things happen. We experience a slow-down of energy, slight or severe compression of the bones in the spine, graying hair or hair loss, thickening of the abdominal area, slower repairing of wounds, lines, wrinkles and age spots. Hearing loss, circulatory, gastrointestinal, blood pressure and memory loss problems may occur also.
Absorption. Perhaps the most significant consequence of aging is that older people can no longer absorb vitamins as well as they could when they were younger. Translation: The aging body cannot get as much nutritional value from food—regardless of a healthy diet or not. Overcooked or starch-laden foods like white bread, mashed potatoes, fatty meats and sugary desserts or snacks, while satisfying, should be avoided.
Minimizing the damage. Antioxidants can help minimize “free radical” damage or destruction of the immune system commonly associated with aging. Free radicals are unstable byproducts of normal cellular processes that can cause bodily damage when combined with environmental and lifestyle toxins. A daily regimen of vitamins C, E, and A—plus beta-carotene and selenium can help heal damaged cells by eliminating free radicals.