Sunday, December 21, 2014

                             Blog#34: Chiropractic and Rib Subluxations

Many people have not heard of a rib subluxation, or any other kind of subluxation, for that matter.  Subluxation means that a bone or joint is somewhat out of alignment but not fully dislocated.  Usually a person with a subluxated rib or some other type of subluxation can still function.   However, some discomfort persists until the subluxation is resolved or until the body adapts to the misalignment by allowing other bones and/or joints to misalign.   A person with a subluxated rib may change the position of one shoulder blade, contract the upper trapezius muscle on one side of their body, or even shift their pelvis to accommodate this rib imbalance and thus alleviate some of their pain.  Although this shift may reduce pain initially, in the long run more problems usually will arise.  Since musculoskeletal stability and balance are no longer optimal, problems such as shoulder, neck, and pelvic misalignments will eventually develop and injuries will become more likely.  Subluxations, pain, and injuries give rise to compromised blood and lymph circulation and sub-optimal neurological function, thus giving rise to further problems. 

We typically have twelve ribs.  The top seven are attached to the first through seventh thoracic vertebrae in back and to the sternum (breast bone) in front.  The eighth through tenth ribs connect to thoracic vertebrae eight through ten in the back.  In the front, these three ribs connect to the costal cartilages of the ribs just above them.  The bottom two ribs, sometimes referred to as “floating ribs” are only connected to the bottom two thoracic vertebrae in the back. 

Ribs can become misaligned for many reasons, including falls or other traumas, inappropriate exercise such as an incorrect yoga posture, or by using a shovel, spade or other tool inappropriately.  Rib subluxations can be extremely painful.  Several times in my career, patients have come to my office after spending hours in the ER because of extreme pain.   Sometimes they thought they were having a heart attack.  Chiropractic appeared magical in these situations, since it usually is fairly easy to move a rib back into place.  Instantaneous pain relief often results.  Usually no more than two or three follow-up treatments are necessary to stabilize the rib or ribs into their correct position.  Occasionally one side of the rib-cage is misaligned.  Even though this sounds much more daunting, it usually is also fairly easy to remedy.   

There are many ways to adjust subluxated ribs.  My favorite method is a gentle, subtle technique called Ortho-Bionomy.  Originally developed by an osteopath, Ortho-Bionomy includes moving the patient into a position that allows release of the tension holding the bone/joint in subluxation.  This technique also helps break up patterns of pain and stress without creating more pain, and allows the resurgence of normal blood and energy (qi) circulation as well as the return of healthy muscular and neurological function. 

This blog’s offer:  contact me for a free consultation if you have persistent back, side, or chest pain that does not respond significantly to stretching or other exercises or to over the counter muscle-relaxant or anti-inflammatory medication.  I will tell you if I think you are suffering from a rib subluxation and will let you know how I can help.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

           Blog#33: Chiropractic and the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)

Temporomandibular joint problems are common in the U. S.  Symptoms of TMJ dysfunction include jaw pain, aching in and around the ear, difficulty or discomfort while chewing, facial pain, headaches, locking of the jaw, difficulty opening or closing the mouth, clicking when opening the mouth or chewing.  Anyone can develop TMJ problems, but women between the ages of 20 and 40 are the most frequent sufferers.  Causes recognized by allopathic medicine include head trauma, arthritic changes in the joint, and wear and/or dislocation of the joint.  Chiropractic recognizes other causes, including malposition (subluxation) of the joint without dislocation, high levels of toxicity, malnutrition, substance abuse, and mental or emotional stress.
Allopathic medicine and dentistry primarily offers TMJ syndrome sufferers painkillers, surgery, mouth guards, and orthodontia.  For decades chiropractic physicians have used massage and manipulation of the TMJ, along with stretching and relaxation exercises.  Many chiropractors also approach TMJ dysfunction with nutritional guidance, acupuncture therapy, and suggestions for lifestyle changes.  Improved posture and breathing patterns, meditation, hypnosis and self-hypnosis, and biofeedback also often can help correct TMJ problems.  Depending on the cause of the problem, one approach or group of approaches may be more effective. 
One technique which can sometimes temporarily help alleviate TMJ pain, and which is safe to teach through this blog involves lightly and simultaneously touching the areas just above both mandibular angles with the index fingers. The fingers are held lightly in place until a faint pulsation is felt coming from both points of contact.  The contact is then held for 15 seconds and released. The mind must be completely quiet in order to detect the pulse in this technique, which is part of a much larger therapeutic approach I have used in my office for 35 years with great success.  Below is a link which shows pictures and the location of the angle of the mandible.

This blog’s offer:  call my office to schedule a free consultation to assess the condition of your temporomandibular joint.  I will test for and discuss with you the nature of the problem and let you know if I can help.  As part of my program of TMJ therapy, I teach people how to adjust their own TMJ’s and teach them how to address this dysfunction in other ways as well, such as maintaining proper posture and breathing, improving nutrition, and using self-hypnosis.  

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

                                Blog #32:  Chiropractic and Shoulder Health

The shoulder is the body’s most complex and vulnerable joint.  Chiropractic mobilization and massage of local tendons and muscles, as well as adjustment of the various bony structures comprising the shoulder joint can help prevent problems such as frozen shoulder, biceps tendonitis, and osteoarthritis.  Acupuncture can also be useful.  Additionally, specific stretching exercises can help maintain or increase range of motion, while specific strengthening exercises can increase shoulder stability and decrease the probability of injuries such as rotator cuff tear, shoulder dislocation, arthritis, and tendonitis.  Also helpful for maintaining shoulder health is the regular practice of disciplines such as yoga, tai qi, and qi gong.  An anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle will help prevent shoulder pain and injury as well as improve general health and comfort.  Blog #16: Cooling Chronic Inflammation supplies information about foods that will tend to increase or decrease the body’s level of inflammation.  You can find this blog by going to and scrolling down until you reach #16.  You may also need to click on the tab that directs you to previous blogs.

A problem that is often overlooked or misdiagnosed is frozen shoulder.  This condition usually can be differentiated from a rotator cuff injury with a simple exam.  In both cases, the extent to which the injured person can actively move the shoulder is limited.  However, the examiner can passively move the shoulder much further when the patient has a rotator cuff injury.  When a patient has a frozen shoulder, both active and passive ranges of motion are equally limited.  Frozen shoulder almost always responds well to chiropractic, physical therapy, and other similar therapies.  Most cases  resolve within one to three years.  Resolution is defined as a return of at least 80% of the previous range of motion, without discomfort. Specific qi gong exercises as well as more conventional stretching, and eventually, strengthening exercises will usually significantly shorten recovery time.  X-rays can rule out fractures or other injuries or pathologies.  MRI is often an appropriate diagnostic tool once an exam has ruled out frozen shoulder.  If a rotator cuff tear is severe, surgery may be the best option.  Rehabilitative stretching and strengthening exercises administered by a physical therapist or chiropractor will also be necessary for optimal recovery.  Mild rotator cuff tears are best addressed with exercises that increase shoulder strength and stability.  A chiropractor or physical therapist can help in these cases.

This month’s offer:  if you are having shoulder pain and limited range of motion, contact me for a complementary shoulder examination.  I will let you know if I can help. I may refer you to an orthopedist if necessary.

Friday, September 26, 2014

                                 Blog#31: Benefits of Chiropractic Adjusting

Chiropractic adjusting can benefit you in many ways.  When gentle, or combined with at least a little massage, chiropractic adjustments help improve blood circulation locally and elsewhere in the body.  When spinal vertebrae and other joint articulations are mobilized appropriately, the resulting improved blood circulation brings more red blood cells to better oxygenate the area and more white blood cells to attend to the body’s defense.  With proper adjusting and improved circulation, muscles and also internal organs function more comfortably and effectively.  Since lymphatic circulation is also improved by chiropractic adjusting, local debris, such as the waste products of cellular metabolism, is more efficiently carried away from the area and brought to organs such as the spleen, kidneys, lungs and large intestine for elimination from the body.  Additionally, chiropractic adjustments help the nervous system function optimally.  When vertebrae or other joint articulations are subluxated (misaligned) due to injury, poor posture, muscle spasm, or other causes, the local nerves can sometimes be impinged upon and irritated. This impingement and/or irritation can compromise nerve function and result in muscle discomfort or weakness and even sometimes in diminished organ function.  Cranial adjustments, that is, adjustments of the skull, can improve sinus function, reduce headache severity and frequency, and greatly alleviate TMJ (jaw) problems.  And there’s more:  gentle chiropractic adjusting helps your body and mind relax.  All of the above benefits add up to a healthier immune system, with less colds and other ailments, especially if chiropractic treatment is received regularly.  And, of course, since chiropractic adjusting alleviates pain and accelerates the healing of injuries, it helps people function better and enjoy life more.

I first learned about chiropractic when I was in my mid-teens, after my mother injured her low back during a Grand Canyon mule tour.  The resulting pain forced her to resign from her secretarial job.  Neither orthopedic physicians nor physical therapists could help her.  After almost a year of suffering, a woman from her previous job told her about a man who had fixed her painful neck, which had been in spasm and turned toward one shoulder, in only a few visits. This woman had consulted M.D.’s and physical therapists to no avail for several months.  Dr. Klingenna, the chiropractor, worked out of the basement of his home.  The first time he saw my mother, he did a little massage on her back and tractioned her low back by pulling on her ankles.  The second visit, he repeated this procedure, but for a longer time, and added ultrasound therapy.  At the third appointment, he once again had my mother lay on his table and this time he followed the above procedures with chiropractic spinal adjustments.  After that treatment, she remained pain free for over two years.  Since her job had hired temporary employees to fill her spot, she was able to reclaim her position.  From then on, every two to three years my mother developed low back pain and returned to Dr. Klingenna for several treatments.  After I graduated from chiropractic school, I adjusted my mother at those times.

This month’s offer:  call me to set up an appointment for a chiropractic adjustment to reduce discomfort and improve your health.  Seasonal transitions, that is, the times around the equinoxes and solstices, are excellent opportunities for treatment.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

                                        Blog#30: Stand Tall and Breathe!

Two essentials for health and vitality are often overlooked:  posture and breath.  Humans have evolved to stand upright despite the fact that standing on only two limbs poses unique challenges to the musculoskeletal system, especially the spinal column.  Everything musculoskeletal is connected.  Feet are the foundation – if flat, deformed, injured, everted (turned outward) or inverted (turned inward) then legs, thighs, hips, pelvis, and spine will all be adversely affected.  Unstable, injured knees can lead to spinal problems, as can poor articulation in one or both hip joints.  The coccyx (tail bone) or sacrum (bony structure just above the coccyx and below the lumbar vertebrae) can also be tipped too far forward or backward or otherwise twisted and misaligned.  Any of these foundational problems can adversely affect the spinal column.  Spinal subluxations (minor, but sometimes persistent misalignments of the vertebrae) can also be problematic.  These subluxations can be due to injury, poor posture, birth defects and other problems.  All the above postural challenges can lead to discomfort, injuries, compromise of blood or lymph circulation, neurological dysfunction, and even sub-optimal health of internal organs, including the brain.  You might find it interesting to experiment with standing or sitting posture.  Notice how slouching compromises your breathing and energy level.  Diminished energy level can lead to rigidity or limitation when facing life’s challenges.  Depression can sometimes result from chronic poor posture.  Now notice how much better you feel when you sit or stand with spine straight, pelvis slightly tucked in (if standing).  Also beneficial to your spine and well-being while sitting is keeping your legs and feet flat on the floor and extended out in front of the chair, not tucked underneath the chair.

Optimal breathing is also essential for good health and high energy.  Many people hold abdomen, diaphragm and chest tight and tense when they breathe, and because of this, they barely manage to bring in enough oxygen to function.  Instead of breathing from the abdomen and then allowing the chest and lungs to fill, they only breathe with the chest, cutting off the lower torso as a center for activity and a reservoir for life energy.  Watch how professional singers breathe from the lower abdomen and then let the chest and lungs fill.  Abdominal and chest muscles, including the diaphragm, the large muscle that separates and also connects the chest and abdomen, can function as life and energy enhancers or suppressors, depending on whether they are relaxed and dynamic or tense and stuck.  These muscles help circulate blood and lymph and also massage the internal organs in the abdomen and chest as they move.  Virtually everyone can learn to breathe more efficiently with practice.  I recommend spending at least five to ten minutes every day breathing from the lower abdomen.  Often, it is easiest to breathe this way supine (lying face up) so that position can sometimes be the best way to begin.  Eventually, it will become natural to breathe with the abdomen while sitting standing, and walking. 

This month’s offer:  the same as last month’s:  contact me with questions about your posture and breathing and I will meet with you free of charge for fifteen minutes and give you some suggestions for improvement.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

             Blog #29:  Chiropractic is Adjusting the Spine and Much More

In each state in the U.S. chiropractors are licensed differently and allowed to offer different services to the public.  In Michigan, possibly the most restrictive state, chiropractors are only allowed to adjust the spine.  In Illinois, by contrast, chiropractors (DC’s) are included under the same physician license as osteopaths (DO’s) and allopaths (MD’s).  DC’s can provide almost any service the other two groups of physicians can, with the exception of writing prescriptions for drugs and performing surgery.  Some chiropractors in Illinois function as primary care physicians (PCP’s).  Others have nutritional practices.  Some manly help rehabilitate injured athletes, or practice solely as radiologists.  Chiropractors have been trained to use massage, mobilization and other adjustments to help optimize position and function of all the bones, as well as of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and more.  Many techniques are gentle and slow, others are faster and more forceful.   In order to enter chiropractic school, students must first complete a standard premed curriculum.  Once in chiropractic school, DC’s receive extensive training in radiology, pathology, microbiology, pathology, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, nutrition, spinal and extremity adjusting, pediatrics, geriatrics, and more. 

Since DC’s have been trained to recognize and diagnose disease, and to restore the body to health without the use of drugs or surgery, it is often wise to consult a chiropractor first with a problem, and therefore avoid unnecessary prescription medication or surgery.  After an initial history and examination, the DC may commence treatment, run some tests, or refer a patient out to an MD or DO, depending on the health issue. 

It is within the scope of a DC’s license to practice hypnosis, offer nutritional guidance, prescribe herbs, practice acupuncture, draw blood, use ultrasound and electrostim, teach therapeutic exercises, and more.  Several chiropractic schools offer excellent advanced curricula in acupuncture, homeopathy, hypnosis, massage, sports rehabilitation, radiology, and other aspects of health care. 

This Blog’s offer:  two things I always notice about patients that come to my office are posture and breathing.  Poor posture or breathing can perpetuate pain and prevent healing.  This means that excellent posture and breathing can greatly lessen or eliminate pain and speed healing.  Feel free to contact me for a five to ten minute appointment, free of charge, during which I will show you how to improve both posture and breathing.  

Sunday, June 15, 2014

                                       Blog # 28:  A Walk in the Woods

     As you no doubt have noticed by the seventh and last blog on flower essences, this remedy is a type of energy medicine, and is more subtle than medications or herbs.  You can begin to discover the mood-altering effectiveness of flowers and other entities in the natural world by simply taking a walk in a wooded, secluded area, such as a forest preserve.  Quiet your mind for a moment and check in on the mood or emotion you are currently holding.  You may also discover other, more hidden emotions during your quiet moment.  Then, as you walk, be open to colors, shapes, fragrances, and sounds that appeal to you.  Maybe you will be drawn to a large oak tree or a clump of violets.  Maybe you will see a feather, or rock with unusual colors or markings.  You might choose to pick up and hold the item or you might just observe it.  Whatever you choose to do, focus your entire attention on this discovery for a minute or even several minutes, and then check your emotion or mood.  Has there been a change?  If so, what kind of change?  You could do this several times during your walk.  This was probably how the first flower essence practitioners developed their repertoires and skills.

Next month, I will begin a new series of seven blogs, this time on chiropractic adjusting and health, particularly orthopedic health.  Chiropractic is a relatively down-to-earth, grounded topic, very different from these last seven blogs on flower essences.  In case you haven’t noticed, I alternate a series of seven blogs on grounded, down-to-earth topics with seven blogs covering more “new age” energetic approaches to health and wellness. 

This month’s offer:  in honor of the summer solstice and all the beautiful leafing, blooming plants, I will be at the North Park Village Nature Center on Sunday, June 22 at 1:00 pm to accompany anyone who shows up on a walk and demonstration of how we can tune in to plants and other aspects of the natural world in order to grow more calm, happy, focused, optimistic, or whatever else each of us might be seeking.  We will meet by the fireplace.  The walk will leave at 1:05 pm.  The Nature Center’s address is 5801 North Pulaski Road, in Chicago.  If you are driving, turn east at the traffic light at Ardmore, which is just south of Peterson Avenue.   Feel free to contact me with any questions at (773) 274-6827 if you intend to show up.  

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

       Blog#27: War Veterans, PTSD, and Flower Essences

In the last several decades, medication has been used to help returning veterans manage some of the worst PTSD symptoms.  For several years, acupuncture, especially auriculotherapy (needling points on the ear) has been used in clinics in many urban clinics to help with these symptoms. Very recently, companion dogs have been found to be effective in some cases of PTSD.  Flower essence therapy can also be effective. The Bach flower essence formula Rescue Remedy, as well as the individual components all can be helpful in dealing with trauma and stress.  Components are:

Impatiens:  For those who act and think quickly and have no patience for what they perceive as the slowness of others.  They often prefer to work alone.  Impatiens can help the individual learn empathy, understanding, and patience.  When appropriate, it can help quickly alleviate impatient attitudes and diminish stress.
Star of Bethlehem:  For trauma and shock, whether experienced recently or in the past.  It can help the individual recover from trauma and then integrate these experiences into present life.
Cherry Plum:  Can be effective for those who fear losing control of their thoughts and actions and doing things they know are bad for them or which they consider wrong.  This essence can help the individual trust in their spontaneous wisdom and do what is most suitable for them.
Rock Rose:  This essence can have a comforting, calming influence in situations when a person is overwhelmed by panic or terror.  It can help the individual let go of terror and build courage.
Clematis:  Can help those who find their lives unhappy and withdraw into fantasy worlds, becoming indifferent to details of everyday life.  This essence can help the individual establish a bridge between the physical world and the world of ideas, and can also help bring clarity and alertness to the present moment.

Rescue Remedy is designed to help with immediate problems.  For deeper, underlying problems other essences may be more appropriate.  Improved nutrition, regular exercise, counseling, and other approaches may also be helpful, and should often used in conjunction with flower essence therapy.

This month's offer:  contact me for more information about other flower essences which can be used to address stress and PTSD.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

                Blog# 26: Three Important Flower Essences for Spring

Dandelion.  This flower can help those who keep overwhelmingly busy schedules and suffer the consequences.  These people are so busy that they neglect their physical, emotional, and spiritual health, and consequently develop great tension in their bodies, especially in their upper back and neck.  Dandelion flower essence helps to release this tension and the associated blocked or suppressed emotions.  The essence can be taken orally, added to massage oil, and even lightly sprayed in a workplace or home.  Dandelion is well known as a detoxifying bitter tonic which cleanses the liver, increases bile flow, and restores normal bowel function.  The herb also helps release stagnant emotions, especially anger, which is the emotion associated with the liver and gall bladder in Asian Medicine.

Nettles.  Also called stinging nettles, this flower essence can help people who tend to be cold and angry, even spiteful, possibly because they feel cheated by others or by life in general.  It can help in the expression of these emotions, thus allowing more open and honest connection with others.  Nettles flower essence helps cleanse toxins from the body which are due to emotional stress.  The essence also helps the body relax.  It is especially effective in reducing or resolving conflict and cruelty within the home or workplace.  The herb is one of the world’s most nutritious greens, especially rich in vitamins A and C, as well as in iron, silica, and potassium.  It helps rid the body of toxins by stimulating kidney and liver function, and has long been used to support those convalescing from illness or suffering from anemia. 

Peppermint.  As a flower essence, peppermint helps people who suffer from mental sluggishness and digestive tract upset due to stress or an inappropriate diet.  It can help improve digestion and absorption of nutrients, and, as a result, can increase mental and physical energy.  Peppermint flower essence is sometimes used to help improve mental concentration and is an excellent remedy for students, especially around exam time, including spring final exams.  It can also help alleviate mild depression.   As an herbal remedy, it can improve blood circulation and warms the body.  It tends to relax tension and relieve pain, including menstrual cramps.  Peppermint herb acts as a mild muscle relaxant, and can help alleviate problems ranging from indigestion, mild asthmatic attacks, and insomnia.

This blog’s offer:  contact me for information about other herbs and flower essences that can help with detoxification and energy level.

Friday, March 28, 2014

    Blog #25: Flower Essences that Help With Spring Detox

Just as herbs, diet, exercise, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, short juice fasts, meditation, deep breathing, and time spent in nature can help us detoxify, so can flower essences.  Almost any flower essence can be helpful in detoxification, as long as the essence is appropriate at that particular time.  When stress, fear, pain, or confusion are minimized, the body is more easily detoxified and can more easily return to balance.  Ten of the essences that can be helpful in detoxification are:
1. Crab Apple:  Can help when a person feels contaminated and is overly concerned about being clean.  Feelings of contamination in these cases are sometimes rooted in exposure to toxic chemicals and their subsequent effect on the skin.  Rashes, which often arise due to toxic chemical exposure combined with stress, sometimes respond well to a combination of crab apple and pine flower essences.  This combination of essences also can be helpful for those who feel unclean due to guilt about past behavior, such as taking lives in wartime, or violence and abuse in the home. This essence and others, such as Star of Bethlehem, can help with detoxification after chemotherapy.                                          
 2. Iris:  Can support a person during a spring cleanse by helping them let go of outmoded possessions and beliefs and open to new experiences and creativity.                                                                                                                         3. Cayenne:  Can provide a spark of energy and motivation to change and move.  This energy can help a person stay on the detox program.  It also can help a reserved or somewhat depressed person express anger in a clear, constructive manner.                    
4. Hornbeam:  May help those who are exhausted, drained, or overwhelmed by life.  It can assist in the recovery of people who have endured long illness.  Hornbeam is usually most effective when combined with other essences, such as olive, for total exhaustion, gentian, for distrust and pessimism, or white chestnut, for unwanted thoughts and insomnia.                                                      
 5. Arnica:  Can help people detoxify and heal more rapidly after trauma, such as an automobile accident or a fall.  Helps sooth swelling, bruises, strains and sprains of the physical body and psyche.                                             6. Willow:  Can be extremely powerful for transforming bitterness, resentment, anger and hatred towards people or situations associated with a person’s disappointment or illness. It can also transform a negative outlook towards life in general.  It can be helpful to people undergoing chemotherapy, helping them detox more effectively during and after treatment, and helping them have a more positive and optimistic attitude in the face of challenges.
7. Dagger Hakea:  Can help resolve issues of resentment and bitterness towards loved ones and find the power to forgive.  Can help restore balance to body and mind and bring tranquility to the emotions.
8. Yarrow: Can help to detoxify the body after radiotherapy, as well as protect sensitive people from toxic elements in the environment and problematic people with whom they come into contact.                                                                                                      
9. Holly: Can help ease the subconsciously envious, angry feelings towards people or situations.                                                     
10. Stinging Nettle:  Can assist with the stress and the grief from separation, divorce, feelings of resentment, anger and hatred towards people or situations associated with a person’s disappointment or affliction. The essence can help alleviate tensions associated with feelings of being a victim, and of being unjustly treated.

This blog’s offer: Contact me to find the best essence to help support you during a spring detox, and I will find and essence for among the six excellent sets in my office.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

                     Blog #24: A Story for the Month of Valentines

     This may the only case study I ever share through these blogs.  I have changed information to protect this person’s confidentiality.  
      Some Buddhist and Taoist traditions view certain illnesses and conditions as karmic.  Patients’ headaches occasionally have complex, hidden roots that could be viewed in this way.  Certain sects of Taoism and Buddhism maintain that karmic conditions can sometimes be alleviated through a long course of treatment, including acupuncture and herbal medicine, through the discipline of meditation and physical exercises such as walking and medical qi gong, through ritual performed for the sufferer by someone with religious authority, and even through magic.  Western medicine might tend to view these types of conditions as deep psychological disturbances such as split personality, deep-seated guilt, or post-traumatic stress disorder and would probably treat the individual with counseling and medication.
     Sharon, a patient I treated about twenty years ago, had suffered from migraines for over a decade.  She used no medication, not even over-the-counter remedies, since they did not help.  As with all my patients, I did a thorough history and examination.  Since most patients are open and willing to share details about their lives and health in an effort to recover from an illness, I assumed that Sharon would also be this way.  Now in her mid-thirties, gradually worsening symptoms had kept her home from work at least half a day each week for the past year.  She told me she was concerned about losing her secretarial job, and was tired of suffering.  She was afraid of needles and insisted we avoid acupuncture. 
     I treated her with full-spine chiropractic adjusting for the first several visits.  Especially notable were subluxations of her low back, which took several adjusting sessions to resolve.  Her diet was heavy on sugar, dairy, corn, and wheat.  She also consumed red meat several times a week.  I recommended that she gradually switch to a more vegetable and fruit-based diet with little dairy, processed foods, or refined sugars, relying on fish and plain organic yoghurt as her only animal protein.  She also agreed to eliminate products made with flour from her diet, instead consuming organic grains that she cooked whole.   We identified several migraine triggers, such as watching television at night, which she said she would avoid.  After a few weeks, she experienced a modest diminution in headache severity but no change in frequency.  At this point, we spent three sessions working with hypnosis and self-hypnosis for stress reduction and pain relief. 
     Because no change occurred after these three sessions, we decided to explore flower essences as a therapy.  I prefer to select essences via muscle testing, and did so in this case, making sure, as always, that neither I nor the patient could read names of the essences for which we tested.  We found the flower essence, (blue) salvia, from the Perelandra garden essence set to be appropriate.  Salvia can help alleviate headaches, including migraines, and is also indicated when an individual has suffered severe early childhood trauma, usually physical or sexual in nature, which has lodged in the subconscious and in the body on a cellular level.  This kind of trauma is very difficult to release.  Sharon said that she had not suffered physical or sexual abuse during her childhood, but that her mother was a Nazi concentration camp survivor, and had been forced to service German officers in order to survive her two years at Auschwitz.  Sharon tested to use salvia for three months. 
     There was further improvement in her symptoms for two months; then her headaches increased in both severity and frequency.   After much questioning, Sharon told me that she had begun dating a man several weeks ago, and, as with each man she dated, if the relationship became sexual, she grew tense, fearful, and unresponsive.  She also became severely constipated during these times, and her headaches worsened.  She said, however, that this man was different from the others; he was both patient and sensitive.  During this time, we added dried fruit and flax seeds, and also ginger and dandelion root teas to help alleviate her constipation.   I treated Sharon weekly with chiropractic spinal adjusting, especially concentrating on her low back, which again had become subluxated.  By the time she had been taking the flower essence salvia for three months, she and her boyfriend had worked things out, and her migraines were gone.  She did not suffer another migraine headache during the approximately two years she kept in touch with me afterward. 
     We cannot know with complete certainty that the flower essence salvia was a major help for Sharon, but I believe that it was the key to her healing.  Flower essences are a type of energy medicine and can change the subconscious and emotional vibrations which people broadcast.  Sharon may have drawn a different kind of man to her, and also may have found herself attracted to a kinder, more sensitive kind of man than before.  Also, this may have been the first time that Sharon made the conscious connection between her mother’s experiences in Nazi Germany, Sharon’s relationship problems, and her migraine headaches. 

     This blog’s offer:  feel free to call or email me with questions about this particular blog.  Also, I teach people about the use of flower essences.  Mention the blog and I will give you a discount.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

       Blog#23:  Flower Essences Can Help with New Year’s Resolutions

Flower essences can make life run more smoothly and lend support to help reach many New Year’s resolutions.  Of course, most important are consistency and commitment in daily life to reaching a goal or making a change.  For best results, work with a professional flower essence practitioner.  Some of popular goals held for the New Year are smoking cessation, weight control, and stress management. 

Smoking cessation:  work on several different levels is usually necessary to achieve this goal.  Most important is the determination to free oneself from cigarettes (or cigars and pipes) no matter how difficult the task.  For one thing, it is necessary to weather the two or three weeks of physical discomfort as the body frees itself from addictive substances.  At the same time, it is important to substitute other activities for smoking.  Hopefully, these activities are neither addictive nor harmful.  One also needs to successfully cope with the stresses that smoking helped alleviate as well as stresses that arise from releasing an addiction and coping mechanism.  Finally, if cigarettes have been regarded as the smoker’s close friend, it is necessary to find support and pleasure in other avenues, such as artistic outlets, sports, new friendships, or volunteer work.  When these steps are in place, flower essences can make the change much smoother than it might be otherwise.  Two essences that are sometimes helpful for those who want to quit smoking are Nicotiana and Yarrow, both from the Flower Essence Society.  Nicotiana helps to alleviate irritability and cravings for cigarettes due to physical addiction.  Yarrow is most helpful when the cravings are mainly emotional, as when cigarettes are used as a shield from stressful situations. 

Weight control:  it is important to ascertain that weight problems are not from physical imbalances, such as thyroid dysfunction or fluid retention.  As with smoking cessation, it is essential to be committed to see the task through to the end, no matter how challenging it becomes.  Adhering to a healthy diet that will not give rise to cravings is important, as is engaging in activities that are fulfilling and energizing.  Regular exercise is helpful with weight loss, but a healthy, low-caloric diet is even more important.  Several Bach Flower Essences which are sometimes helpful with weight loss are Cherry Plum, which has a calming effect and increases self-control, Chestnut Bud, which helps break mindless eating habits, and Crab Apple, which helps enhance self-confidence and regulate mood swings.  Each individual is different, so other essences from the Bach set or from other essence sets may be more appropriate and effective. 

Stress management:  virtually everyone can benefit from stress reduction.  Simplifying one’s life and letting go of possessions and activities that are not essential is important. Also important are regular exercise, adequate sleep and rest, a healthy diet, sufficient water consumption, and both social contact and time alone.  The Australian Bush Flower Essences have several remedies which can help with stress management, including Black-eyed Susan, which addresses the need to be busy all the time and helps one slow down and feel more peaceful inside.  Also helpful in crisis situations and with injuries is Rescue Remedy, a combination of five essences from the Bach Flower Essences: Rock Rose, Clematis, Impatiens, Cherry Plum, and Star of Bethlehem.  Because there are many factors contributing to stress, it is best to work with a professional to find the most effective essences.

This blog’s offer:  schedule an appointment to help determine which essences will be most likely to help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions.  For $50.00 I will find and make up one or more essences for you, give you directions about how to use them, and provide you with free refills.