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Textbook Altering Link Between Immune System & Brain

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Textbook Altering Link Between Immune System & Brain

Prior to 2015 the medical community had zero workable knowledge of lymphatic drainage from the central nervous system. In theory, it was thought to exist and function in some capacity but no physical structure was ever found. In the words of one of the researchers from the University of Virginia who was a part of this amazing discovery, Dr. Jonathan Kipnis stated,

“I really did not believe there are structures in the body that we are not aware of. I thought the body was mapped…and that these discoveries ended somewhere around the middle of the last century. But apparently they have not.”

The structures the researchers had discovered are tiny vessels that reside in the meninges. These structures line the dural sinuses and transport immune cells to and from the central nervous system. The full text for the study can be found following this link.

This discovery should have profound effects on how neurological conditions are treated, particularly those characterized by a neuro-inflammatory response. Whether it is the build-up of proteins in the brain with conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease (amyloid plaques) or Huntington’s Disease (huntingtin protein), or the waxing and waning response of multiple sclerosis, the mechanistic relationship adjoining the brain and immune system cannot be ignored.

As upper cervical chiropractors, we have a responsibility to our patients to make sure we are optimizing the bony structure that surrounds the brainstem. One study performed by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association found that secondary venous drainage from the skull was reduced in people suffering from migraine headaches and subsequently relieved symptomatically through the NUCCA correction process but also there was a greater percentage of venous blood flow from the skull post adjustment.

Another study that is currently still in the works is finding a plethora of evidence involving a stagnation of the cerebral spinal fluid and its inability to properly circulate around the brain and spinal cord due to a herniation of the cerebellum through the hole in the bottom of the skull that transmits the brainstem. (This often misdiagnosed as most MRI units view the structures in non-weight baring positions.) This has the effect of placing a cork in the opening of a bottle. Pressure can then build up inside the cranium and around the meninges that surround the brain and spinal cord. When restoration of the bony structure occurs through a specific correction to the misalignments between the skull and the top two vertebrae, the fluid can then begin circulating in a more normal pattern. When this occurs long term, neural tissue has displayed a remarkable ability to heal.

If venous drainage and cerebral spinal fluid can be altered to the extent that it causes disease based on the misalignment of spinal bones, it stands to reason that the same can be said of the proteins that build up in the brain with certain conditions. By restoring normal spinal biomechanics along with dietary changes to reduce systemic inflammation, a conservative approach to some of these conditions could drastically alter the outcome for many people suffering from neurological conditions. For those already under long term management for such conditions, co-managing with upper cervical providers could prove to be an essential missing piece of the puzzle in the patient’s journey back to health.

-In Health,

Dr. Andrew R. Burns

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The Lowdown on Supplements

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The Lowdown on Supplements

This is the 795th edition of the supplements blog. I cannot, for the life of me seem to make this topic interesting…no matter how hard I try and believe me I have tried for quite some time now. For some reason, phytonutrients and the direction of bending polarized light comes off to me as lame.  

So rather than attempting to be charismatic, witty, or charming I am simply going to give you the Joe Friday “just the facts, Ma’am,” version.

When I was growing up, taking my Flintstone’s vitamins became a routine part of my morning.

As a teenager playing multiple sports, creatine, protein powder, ephedrine and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory over the counter drugs took the place of Barney, Fred, Wilma, Betty and Dino.  

In addition to the crap I was putting into my body, my diet was sub par at best. Looking back on it all, it’s no wonder why I had recurrent upper respiratory infections and strep throat.

In my heart, I believed what I was doing was healthy for me (minus the suspect dietary choices), but I had no idea canned green beans and corn left much to be desired.

Now as I enter into my early 30’s, my thoughts and actions have, to put it mildly, reversed course.

Here are a few things you need to know:

  1. Cells become sick one of two ways: Toxicity or deficiency. A build-up of toxic chemicals without proper excretion is a recipe for disease. Likewise, the metabolic processes of healthy cells need the proper nutrients to perform the job they were created to do. Lack thereof means you’re well on your way to a diseased process.
  2. Food production today isn’t what it used to be. The soil isn’t as rich. Chemicals abound. GMO’s have taken over. Nutrient content is down. In some instances as much as 60% since the 1960’s creating a real need to ‘add’ or supplement your diet as well as detoxifying your cells.
  3. Your body can recognize food; it cannot recognize molecules that bend polarized light to the left, which is what 50% of synthetic (artificial) vitamins do (remember how I said I wouldn’t bore you with the whole light thing? If you want to know more, google “infrared spectroscopy”).
  4. Your body’s metabolism is beyond complex; therefore, in order to have actual health benefits, you cannot isolate a particular nutrient and expect it to have the same effect as a vitamin that has phytonutrients, cofactors and enzymes all in the proper ratio to allow your body to recognize, digest, absorb and then assimilate into the cells. So if your vitamins turn your pee into florescent yellow, all you have is expensive pee. Health benefits are minimal at best and at worst can even be harmful, which leads me into this…
  5. Numerous studies have shown synthetic vitamins to be harmful and actually deplete your body of nutrients. In particular, one research project where 29,000 male smokers were given synthetic beta carotene and vitamin E had to be halted early because of increased lung cancer, heart attacks and death. Another study involving pregnant women, 22,000 of them to be exact, were given synthetic vitamin A. After a 400% increase in birth defects the study was shut down. You might not want to skimp on the prenatal vitamins by choosing the cheap version, eh?
  6. There is a need for proper supplementation and the vast majority of what you find in the major retailers is essentially garbage. Please check out this study so I won’t have to point any fingers directly. There is a reason why we only recommend certain supplements and it is because they are the best of the best. Standard Process and Innate Choice is the cream of the crop, derived from organic whole foods and meticulously and minimally processed to ensure the highest nutrient content. They have set the industry standard. This is what you will find in our office and in our homes. So the next time you go out for supplements, be it protein powder, vitamins, herbs or minerals, remember that you are what you eat. Don't be cheap and fake!

In Health,

Dr. Andrew R. Burns

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Buy Local

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Buy Local

The demand for local is here. Business owners and consumers alike (at least the smart ones) are dealing as much as possible with local, non-corporate stores.

I read a sign a few weeks ago outside of a store that simply read, “Friends don’t let friends shop chain stores.” Well said amigo, I like your style.

Here at Living Well Spine Center, we do our best to serve our neighbors in the Dayton area by providing the best healthcare we know to be available. The same healthcare we treat our own families with.

We also feel strongly about buying local particularly that of locally produced goods that are considered necessities, such as food, clothing, soap etc.

Rather than going into great detail about the financial and communal ramifications of spending your money in a corporate setting or with an online giant, I will simply place a link here for your reading pleasure.

Below is a small list of some of the local resources we utilize along with links to their websites and contact information.

We strongly urge you to ask them about their products and find out for yourself why it is so important to support these types of businesses.

  1. Fulton Farms in Troy, OH has excellent produce for sale in their market and also have an expansive delivery reach with their weekly organic “happy box”. (937) 339-6983) http://fultonfarms.com/
  2. Full of Graze Farm in Xenia, OH raises animals the right way. No crowded feedlots. No GMO’s. Grassfed beef, pastured pork, non-GMO chickens, turkeys, and true free range eggs. (937) 352-6100 http://www.fullofgrazefarm.com/index.html
  3. Patchwork Gardens community supported agriculture (CSA) is an amazing place for Daytonians (I think that’s a word) to get their produce. They deliver to specific pick-up points and grow their food with the utmost care! No organic label from this crew means you aren’t paying for the label. They go above and beyond organic. Dayton, OH (937) 835-5807 http://www.patchworkgardens.net/
  4. Quiet Creek Bison Farm. My boys and I visited this place last week. A very nice family and their bison burgers are fantastic. Located near Springfield, OH. (937) 964-9879)
  5. Burns Furniture in Medway, OH is the place where I grew up and learned how to do business. My grandpa, Jim and my uncle Bob treat people with great respect and offer the highest quality furniture available for a fraction of the cost as their competitors (really). Grandpa only sells furniture made in the U.S.A. and most of it comes directly from Ohio. (937) 849-1754 http://burnsfurnitureohio.com/
  6. Hartman Heimstytte Farm. I have not visited this farm, though I have spoken with a few of the family members. Homemade soaps and raw goats milk is a huge upside for them where you can join in a herdshare. They are located in Brookville, OH. (937) 884-9451 Find them on Facebook at Hartman Heimstytte.
  7. Homestead Raw Milk Herdshares in New Carlisle, OH is a family owned and operated business. John and Cathy Baumgardner are awesome people and as honest as the day is long. They treat their cattle with the utmost respect. Grassfed longhorn and a raw jersey dairy herdshares are available. (937) 845-9394) You can also find them on Facebook.  
  8. Mirabella Boutique is infinitely better than any major department store (according to my wife). Barbi Dewitt is always pleasant and helpful! She carries plenty of trendy clothing, both casual and dressy, as well as shoes and accessories (again, this is according to my wife, who married me, so obviously has exquisite taste!) Located in downtown Fairborn, OH. (937) 312-4059 https://squareup.com/market/MirabellaBoutique
  9. J&L Butcher Shop in Medway, OH is a throwback to the old way. They have an actual smokehouse for their meat and they don’t do what is typically done by injecting the meat with a liquid smoke flavor. They process all kinds of meat and are currently in the process of being set-up for retail. This will quickly become one of my favorites. (937) 475-4584. http://jandlfarmbutchershop.ohag4u.com/
  10. ReU Juice bar specializes in 3 day juice cleanses! Organic juices delivered right to your door steps that taste amazing. I can personally vouch for these and Amber Sowers is an awesome lady. She also sells Vitamixes (which are fantastic for making your own at home). http://reujuicebar.com/
  11. Once a month meals. This a local blogger who took her game to a whole new level! She makes recipes for freezer meals no matter what kind of specialty diet you may be on, including paleo, vegan, vegetarian, traditional, etc! https://onceamonthmeals.com/

There are many many others. If you have any suggestions, please add them to the comment section with their contact info so we (along with the other readers) can check them out!

 

 

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Multiple Sclerosis

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Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) has long been thought to be an incurable disease of an autoimmune nature that directly affects the central nervous system (CNS). Another school of thought is that it is caused by a viral infection that simply lies dormant for a time and then attacks the CNS. I personally believe that new information coming out of the upper cervical chiropractic research world regarding a longitudinal study will soon change that way of thinking entirely, but until then, here’s what you need to know about MS.

MS is a disease of the central nervous system that affects the way information is passed along throughout the brain and spinal cord that collectively comprise the CNS. This system is made up by individual cells called neurons. These cells are then wrapped by an insulating layer called the myelin sheath. This layer not only separates the neurons from the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), but it also allows for rapid transmission of electrical signals (the method by which these cells communicate information).

The cerebrospinal fluid has two very important functions: 1.It supplies a nice medium to suspend the brain providing protection. 2. It helps remove metabolic wastes while delivering nutrients and energy to the brain.

The CSF has seen resurgence in the world of research due particularly to the advances in neuroimaging with the insinuation that it maybe vastly more important than once believed. Chiropractors have long believed that the CSF was pumped much like blood. With functional and upright MRI, we now know our assumptions were in fact correct.

Numerous ailments can occur when the flow of the CSF becomes altered. In my opinion, this is the beginning of the pathological process creating scar tissue as the CSF begins to damage surrounding neurons. When an individual has multiple areas of plaques (scarring) within their CNS they meet the criteria to receive the official diagnoses of MS (literally translated, multiple scars).

The Upper Cervical Difference

When an injury occurs, whether subtle or traumatic, distortions from normal anatomical positions can be observed. When this occurs in the cervical spine, a number of issues can arise, but for the purpose of this article, we'll be discussing some of the changes seen with MS.

First, the bones in the neck begin to straighten out and the normal secondary curvature is lost. Tiny ligaments called the dentate ligaments are attached to the spinal vertebrae and anchor the protective layer surrounding the brain and spinal cord called dura mater (meninges). Because the dura mater is one continuous membrane from the skull down through the spine, when the bones misalign and the normal curvature of the neck is lost, these ligaments place traction on the spinal cord and tug the brain downward.

At the bottom of your brain sits the cerebellum. At the bottom of the cerebellum sit the tonsils of the cerebellum. As the brain is pulled downward, the cerebellar tonsils herniate through the foramen magnum (the hole in the bottom of the skull where the brain stem exits, literally translated “big hole”). This acts like a cork in a bottle, damming up the flow of the CSF.

The CSF continues to pulsate though now it has nowhere to go but inwards toward the brain, or outwards toward the skull. This is how the plaques are formed. The CSF continually bangs into the neurons causing damage. Think of it like a callus being rubbed on the skin of your hand. Whenever damage occurs to cells an inflammatory response is sure to follow and this is how MS patient's end up with the demyelination of neurons. This is also characteristic of a few types of neurodegenerative disorders, but particularly MS.

It is the upper cervical chiropractor’s job to realign these bones and allow the normal curvature to be restored in the neck. This allows the traction to be taken off of the spinal cord and brain, effectively uncorking the cerebellar tonsils and restoring the proper flow of the CSF, which, in turn, halts the progression of the plaques and in some instances, allows the neural tissue to heal.

This is not a new phenomenon. There are 20 cases that were documented over a 5 year span at the BJ Palmer Clinic in Iowa during the 1940’s and 50’s. [Killinger LZ, Azad A. Multiple Sclerosis Patients Under Chiropractic Care; A Retrospective Study, Palmer J Res, 1997;2(4):96-100]

Another 81 cases were analyzed in a retrospective study featuring both MS and Parkinson's Disease patients. 40 of the 44 with MS and 34 of the 37 with Parkinson's showed symptomatic improvement with no further progression of the disease while under care. Full text found here: http://www.chiro.org/research/ABSTRACTS/Eighty-One_Patients_With_MS.shtml

One study followed a particular lady who was diagnosed with chronic progressive MS at 47 years of age, 3 years following the diagnosis of MS. All MS symptoms were gone following 4 months of upper cervical chiropractic care and an MRI showed all plaques had stopped progressing, while some began to heal. This case study can be found here [Elster EL. Upper Cervical Chiropractic Management of a Multiple Sclerosis Patient: A Case Report. J Vertebral Subluxation Res, 2001; 4(2):22-30].

There are many more studies out there and I am confident many more to come! If someone you know has been diagnosed with MS, please take the time to share with them this article.

In Health,

Dr. Andrew R. Burns

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Meniere's Disease

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Meniere's Disease

Each year thousands of people are affected by a condition known as Meniere’s disease. This is considered an idiopathic condition, meaning modern science does not know what causes this to occur, though several hypotheses exist. The disease is characterized by tinnitus (ringing in the ear), hearing loss, and episodes of severe vertigo (often accompanied by nausea and vomiting).

Upper cervical chiropractors have been helping people with Meniere’s for quite some time. One doctor in Michigan estimates that roughly 90% of all cases respond favorably to this type of care.

In our office, through the use of the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) system of analysis, we have witnessed firsthand many individuals make a full recovery.

Medical doctors will typically treat this condition with some type of anti-nausea medication, steroid injections, and possibly diuretics to help lower the level of fluids retained by the body. Other methods of treatment include hearing aids, devices for ear pressure regulation, rehab and surgery.

Upper cervical chiropractors will take a much different approach, focusing on how the skull, along with the first and second vertebrae are aligned in relation to your neural canal (spinal cord). If a misalignment is present, we would perform a highly specific, painless adjustment, using about the same amount of pressure/force someone would use while taking a pulse.

When an individual begins care in our office with Meniere’s disease, there a few things they can typically expect to occur. The symptoms usually get worse before they get better. This can be a scary experience, especially if the vertigo leaves them unable to perform normal daily activities. Tinnitus levels become altered. Some have reported that the ringing becomes more of a reverberating sensation. In most cases, this would only last a few days, though for some it may take several weeks.

Though we cannot say for certain why many individuals with Meniere’s disease recover while undergoing upper cervical chiropractic care, what we can say is that often times they do. If you or someone you know is currently struggling with this disease, we highly encourage you to take a look into finding an upper cervical chiropractor in your area. A good place to begin your search would be at http://www.upcspine.com/.

In Health,

Dr. Andrew R. Burns

 

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4 Steps To Not Being The 7 Out Of 10

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4 Steps To Not Being The 7 Out Of 10

Our bodies are designed in a wonderful and amazing way. We never have to tell our stomachs to digest food. If bacteria in our bodies get out of line, we do not need to consciously activate a fever. If we fall and scrape our elbow, we don’t grow an awkwardly placed third ear in its stead, but rather replace it with new skin. There is an innate wisdom in each and every one of us that works harmoniously with our environment.

So why then do we have so much disease? Why is obesity, heart disease, type II diabetes, and stroke killing so many Americans? The truth is lifestyle disease has far surpassed any type of communicable disease in every area of the earth except for sub-Saharan Africa. We literally do it to ourselves. We constantly ignore pain signals by covering them up with over-the-counter or prescription drugs. If we have high blood pressure, we artificially lower it with drugs. If we are obese, instead of eating properly and exercising, we staple our stomachs so it can’t hold as much food. We attempt in every way possible to short-cut and circumvent the natural symptoms of poor choices and all this leads to is an unsustainable “health care” system that is currently responsible for roughly 19% of our GDP as a country. Japan has gone so far to reduce obesity that they have developed a “fat tax,” knowing full well it will cost them as a nation in the long run, meanwhile most Americans are still content with eating food-like products synthesized in test tubes and chemically drowned to taste like it’s natural counterpart for the sake of saving ten dollars at the grocery store each visit. To say this is lacking any type of foresight to the impending medical bankruptcy (#1 cause of bankruptcy in the US), decreased quality of life for themselves and the family members who have to take care of them, and ultimately an early grave is a grandiose understatement. Right now, 7 out of every 10 Americans (70%) are dying from a lifestyle disease, mainly heart disease, cancer and stroke at which current science relates to only about a 5% genetic cause, leaving us room for only a 95% decrease if we just made a few changes!

So what changes can be made to help us strive to crack the 30% and not croak from a lifestyle disease? Here are 4 of them:

  1. Move: There are 3 types of people when it comes to exercise; 1) Those who can’t get enough of it (and frequently tell everyone they come into contact with just how much they love it). 2) Those who work out simply because they know its best for their health and they somehow muster the gumption to grind through it on a regular basis. 3) Those who actively proclaim they plan on working out in the near future but never (or once in a blue moon) get around to actually doing so. I (Dr. Burns) happen to fall into #3. My advice is this: You DO NOT have to do a traditional workout! Find something you enjoy doing that requires some level of movement. I personally enjoy many aspects of manual labor such as wood splitting, gardening, leather tanning etc. While I may not do crossfit or throw around free weights, I exercise by doing work. An added benefit to being outside is vitamin D exposure! How much time do you spend under artificial light? It’s no wonder Americans are across the board deficient in vitamin D.
  2. Sleep: This one is simple. When it’s dark out, sleep. When it’s light, wake up (preferably with a purpose). Your hormones and energy levels will thank you.
  3. Eat: When you’re hungry, eat. When you’re thirsty, drink water. Make sure the food you eat once had the capability to grow, such as a cow, a romaine lettuce leaf, or a blueberry. When was the last time you planted a Dorito and watched it grow? The water you drink should be as pure as possible. Reverse osmosis works well for me and my family.
  4. Empower your nervous system: Often times subtle injuries (all the way to severe traumas) cause insult to the spine leading to reduced functioning of the nervous system. By the way, this is the same system that processes every emotion you’ve ever felt, facilitates the digestion of every milk dud you’ve ever eaten, and caused your face to turn bright red when you accidentally broke wind in front of a less than accepting crowd. Have your nervous system tested through the non-invasive procedure of sEMG and if it’s not functioning optimally, find a chiropractor in your area who treats subluxation (bone misalignment causing less than optimal nerve function) and get it fixed. Every cell in your body will benefit! There you have it. 4 simple steps that will dramatically decrease the risk of you being the 7 out of 10!

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