Thursday, July 15, 2010

Physical Fitness Reduces Chronic Disease Risk

Come join Dr. West for Neckercize and Backercize held at the clinic under her direction. Sign up in the clinic, space is limited and insurance may cover the cost of the classes!

Staying in shape may bolster the metabolic profiles of college students. In an epidemiological study, researchers found an association between physical fitness, body fat percentage and metabolic risk factors that are precursors to cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Researchers tracked four biomarkers of metabolic risk -- high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), triglycerides and blood glucose levels.
According to Eurekalert:
“Physical fitness appeared to have a greater impact on certain metabolic risk factors than body fat. Being fit correlated with lower triglycerides and higher HDL ... healthy cholesterol in women and lower blood glucose levels in men.”
Even though more Americans are exercising, rates of obesity and smoking have not changed.  A survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that obesity rates remained at around 28 percent of adults, the same as in 2008.
However, 34.7 percent claimed that they engaged in regular leisure physical activity, up from 31.9 percent in 2008.
Reuters reports:
“Health experts and the U.S. government both recommend getting daily exercise -- about an hour a day of moderate exercise for most adults -- to keep weight off and prevent heart disease, diabetes and cancer.”
 Posted by: Dr. Mercola | July 08 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

You Are What You Eat

How to Tell Genetically-Modified Foods by the Label

For years I thought (and was told) that there is no way to tell if a piece of produce in a grocery store was genetically modified or not. In the U.S., there is no regulation specifying that food retailers disclose whether food DNA has been tampered with.

Well, I was wrong. You can tell if a piece of produce is GM by looking at the "product look-up" (PLU) code on the little label.

According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, physician and activist, you can determine the following by looking at the label:

  • Conventionally grown food (not GM, not organic): 4 digit PLU
  • Organic food: 5 digits starting with a nine
  • GM food: 5 digits starting with an eight

Of course, buying certified organic food means that it is, by definition, not GM. And these days, it's safe to say that if it's not organic, it is probably GM. Dr. Mercola says that 7 out of 10 items in a conventional produce department are GM.

NOTE: Whole Foods Market prides themselves on carrying *ZERO* GM foods in their entire store. They say that no ingredient in any product has a GM source. In Columbus, Ohio, we're lucky to have a Whole Foods Market very close to where we live. Yes, you could doubt Whole Foods claim, butmy previous posting on this blog explains what I think is the flaw in that logic.

If you're on the fence with GM foods, read this study or this one. Rats fed a diet of GM corn developed smaller kidneys and had blood abnormalities. The study was conducted by Monsanto, a GM food manufacturer, but when they saw the results they tried to hush the researchers. Unfortunately for Monsanto, fortunately for us, the information got out anyway.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

College Students At Risk For Back Pain

A recent survey involving 963 college students indicates the college lifestyle is strongly associated with back pain. Of those surveyed, 38 percent or almost 4 in 10 students reported having suffered from back pain within the previous school year. Interestingly, the strongest associations with back pain in college students were the students either feeling chronically fatigued or being in an emotionally abusive relationship. Thus, survey findings indicated psychosocial factors were highly associated with a student’s likelihood of suffering from back pain. Author:
Source: JMPT. Vol 33, Issue 2. February 2010.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Healthy Cooking

I was asked by a patient if I would give them some advice on healthy cooking, so here is a great recipe that not only is healthy, but easy and fun to do. I first saw this on a video blog for Straits Restaurant in San Francisco, but I am using a Martha Stewart recipe. Also, rather than using Sea Bass, I chose Pacific Halibut (according to Sea Food watch by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Pacific Halibut is a more sustainable fish. You guessed it, there is an app for that at the iTunes store.)

Origami Halibut

Serves 4
  • 24 dried longan
  • 24 goji berries
  • 4 pieces halibut (6 ounces each)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded, ribs and stems removed, and julienned
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded, ribs and stems removed, and julienned
  • 8 shittake mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, and julienned
  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and julienned
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Origami Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl mix together dried longan with 1 cup water; set aside until plump. In another small bowl, mix together goji berries with 1 cup water; set aside until plump.
  3. Place one half of each of the parchment paper boxes on a baking sheet; set aside. Place fish pieces on a cutting board with a long end facing you. Cut fish horizontally stopping about 1/2 inch before reaching the opposite side. Open cut fish like a book.
  4. Place one piece of fish in the center of each box. Divide peppers, mushrooms, ginger, dried longan, and wolfberries evenly between each box; season with pepper. Top each with 2 tablespoons of Origami Sauce. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon around each piece of sea bass.
  5. Cover boxes with remaining half of parchment paper boxes. Transfer baking sheet to oven and roast until fish is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve sea bass immediately in their boxes. 

Origami Sauce
Makes enough for 4 servings
  • 3 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar


  1. In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients with 1/4 cup water until well combined. 
How to make the Origami Box, (remember you will need to make two per serving.)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What gets your heart pumping on St. Valentine's Day?

By Jason Epeneter

For most of us, it's the love we share with that special someone in our lives.
I raise this question about one of the strongest, most important muscles in the body-beating roughly 2.5 billion times and pumping nearly 300 million liters of blood in an average lifetime-because we depend on its function every day of our existence for everything from oxygen and hormone delivery to tissues, as well as the removal of waste from the body.
There is nothing glamorous about this organ, except for the fact that it operates every second of every minute of every day of every month of every year for our entire life without our conscious control. Wow! How is this possible, you might ask?
The answer is in your NERVOUS SYSTEM. A division of this system called the autonomic nervous system, or ANS, is responsible for every heart rhythm in your life. I find it easiest to think of this group of nerves as those that are responsible for "automatic" functions in the body (i.e. heart rhythm, breathing, digestion, etc.)
These nerves automatically adjust to every demand placed upon the body as perceived by the brain, and they are always functioning whether you are awake or not. Isn't it great that when we exercise, for example, the heart automatically accelerates, our respirations automatically increase and waste removal of toxins in the body accelerates as well? It's truly amazing.
As chiropractors, we are naturally very concerned about the function and integrity of this group of nerves. Why? Because the largest network of nerves that feed signals to the heart are found cased inside the spine at the base of the neck. Acute or repetitive stress on the body can irritate these nerves and thus distort the signals sent to the heart, causing it to function abnormally.
The nerves at the base of the neck are subjected to tremendous pressure and irritation anytime the head drifts forward off of the shoulders.
This usually occurs while driving, reading or using the computer (it's a good thing this article is short!).
Imagine how long you could hold a 10 lb. weight by your side versus holding it straight out in front of you. Holding the weight out in front of you for a long period of time is similar to the strain that your joints and nerves experience when your head drifts forward off the shoulders.
It's easy to see when someone is experiencing chronic stress to the nerves in that part of the spine if they exhibit what is known as a Dowager's Hump, or what many refer to as a "buffalo hump."
Medical studies show that this not only has a detrimental effect on heart function, but that it will decrease the lifespan of the individual by as much as 30 percent.
If there is someone you care about that spends a substantial amount of time driving, reading and using the computer, please have them checked by a chiropractor. Their life will have more vitality, longevity and happiness because of it.
Jason Epeneter is a family chiropractor at Premier Chiropractic in SeaTac and recently returned to his roots here in South King County after practicing for 6 years in San Diego.

He loves spending time with his wife, daughter and other family and is passionate about empowering others with information for a healthier life. He can be reached at 206-878-8888 or at

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chiropractic and Headaches

Headaches & Chiropractic

If you have a headache, you’re not alone. Nine out of ten Americans suffer from headaches. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea.
What do you do when you suffer from a pounding headache? Do you grit your teeth and carry on? Lie down? Pop a pill and hope the pain goes away? There is a better alternative.
Research shows that spinal manipulation – the primary form of care provided by doctors of chiropractic – may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck.
A report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC, found that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication.
Also, a 1995 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that spinal manipulative therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches and that those who ceased chiropractic treatment after four weeks experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in contrast with those patients who received a commonly prescribed medication.
Headache Triggers
Headaches have many causes, or “triggers.” These may include foods, environmental stimuli (noises, lights, stress, etc.) and/or behaviors (insomnia, excessive exercise, blood sugar changes, etc.). About 5 percent of all headaches are warning signals caused by physical problems.
Ninety-five percent of headaches are primary headaches, such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches. These types of headaches are not caused by disease. The headache itself is the primary concern.
“The greatest majority of primary headaches are associated with muscle tension in the neck,” says Dr. George B. McClelland, a doctor of chiropractic from Christiansburg, VA. “Today, Americans engage in more sedentary activities than they used to, and more hours are spent in one fixed position or posture. This can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck, upper back and scalp, causing your head to ache.”
What Can You Do?
The ACA suggests the following:
  • If you spend a large amount of time in one fixed position, such as in front of a computer, on a sewing machine, typing or reading, take a break and stretch every 30 minutes to one hour. The stretches should take your head and neck through a comfortable range of motion.
  • Low-impact exercise may help relieve the pain associated with primary headaches. However, if you are prone to dull, throbbing headaches, avoid heavy exercise. Engage in such activities as walking and low-impact aerobics.
  • Avoid teeth clenching. The upper teeth should never touch the lowers, except when swallowing. This results in stress at the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) – the two joints that connect your jaw to your skull – leading to TMJ irritation and a form of tension headaches.
  • Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to help avoid dehydration, which can lead to headaches.
What Can a Doctor of Chiropractic Do?
Dr. McClelland says your doctor of chiropractic may do one or more of the following if you suffer from a primary headache:
  • Perform spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments to improve spinal function and alleviate the stress on your system.
  • Provide nutritional advice, recommending a change in diet and perhaps the addition of B complex vitamins.
  • Offer advice on posture, ergonomics (work postures), exercises and relaxation techniques. This advice should help to relieve the recurring joint irritation and tension in the muscles of the neck and upper back.
“Doctors of chiropractic undergo extensive training to help their patients in many ways – not just back pain,” says Dr. McClelland. “They know how tension in the spine relates to problems in other parts of the body, and they can take steps to relieve those problems.”