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Sunday
Jan102016

kinesiology taping

Since October I've been certified in kinesiology taping, also known as sports taping, by the only company teaching evidenced-based taping protocols for pain, edema, scar tissue, complaints during pregnancy and to improve functional movement. My patients call it "magic on tape".

How does it work? Two ways: It provides a microscopic lift to the skin which allows improved circulation of lymph and it's an irritant that demands the attention of the nervous system to that area. Some of the most powerful modalities are proving to be those that work with the skin--not only the largest organ but also the largest outcropping of the nervous system.

You may have seen this YouTube video of the cat who is taped and how it changes her movements (Yes, it went viral; it's a cat after all.):

Here's a video of Rupert the Papillon after being taped, proving that taping can't correct for aging (16.5 years) or  for viciousness.

**No animals were harmed in the making of these videos.**

 

Thursday
Jun192014

pH & exercise

I found an article in the December 2013 issue of Velo, the high-performance bicycling magazine, that piqued my interest because it gets into biochemistry. The article "Understading the Burn, Lactic Acid Myths Debunked" by Trevor Connor points out that lactic acid exists as a buffer with its conjugate base lactate. Our blood's pH is carefully kept near a constant somewhere between 7.35 and 7.46. If we wander even a bit out of this range, we face imminent danger and death. We never get systemically acidic. What can build up locally in those muscles is hydrons (H+). These are quickly removed by the lactate (the base).

Professor Matthew Hickey, head of the Human Performance Research Lab at Colorado State University, has been studying the physiology of this buffer system.

In reality "lactate serves many important roles. For example, "it is the principle fuel for the heart during vigorous exercise," Hickey said. And the liver can recycle it, "releasing a brand new glucose molecule as if you'd been drinking a sports drink."

Remember this formula for repiration from biology or physiology class?

C6H12O6 (s) + 6 O2 (g) → 6 CO2 (g) + 6 H2O (l) + heat

Professor Hickey says that humans have no problem acquiring enough oxygen. Our lungs are overly large; we only need 2/3 capacity to achieve optimal oxygen levels. It's the exhaling of carbon dioxide that moves us to fatigue, sore muscles and out of breath.

Our best immediate buffer is a molecule called bicarbonate. Bicarbonate binds to acid to produce harmless water and CO2. However, "that process is only as good as the last step, which is breathing off the carbon dioxide." If we don't breath it off fast enough, the CO2 is converted back to acid, and we lose the race. The takeaway? Concentrate on exhaling.

How to get the best exhale for your efforts? Improve your circulation! That means slow but long training hours, keeping warm, breathe deeply and effect long, deliberate exhales. You can also eat fewer carbs in order to train "fat reliance". Utilizing fats for energy rather than carbs reduces the fluctuations in pH and the concomitant activity of the buffer system. It makes you more efficient. Lastly, exercise at threshold.

"There are ways to train your heart, your less frequently used muscles, and your liver to better clear hydrogen ions," Hickey said. "And, not surprisingly one of the ways to do that is to bathe those tissues regularly in lactate." Start with short five-minute threshold efforts. Then as your clearance systems improve, build to 20 and even 30-minute efforts.

So no need to worry about or spend money on products promising to clear your lactic acid or lactate. You need it. It's working for you. Focus instead on your breathing and on promoting your circulation.

 

Sunday
May042014

Recipe for Cough Medicine 6

For cough suppression:

Fill a pint jar with 1/2 oz. cherry bark and 1/2 oz. licorice root, fill with boiling water and allow to steep for an hour. Add honey to taste.

Saturday
Apr192014

Recipe for Cough Medicine 5

For cough with mucous--expectorant:

Combine 1 oz Coltsfoot leaves with 1/2 oz chopped licorice root to a pint jar. Cover with boiling water, cover and steep for one hour. You may add honey to taste.

Saturday
Mar292014

Ionic Foot Bath

I've been getting questions from patients on the validity of ionic foot baths again. They are a scam and I'm embarrassed by practitioners charging money for these sessions. It amounts to a very expensive foot soak.

In 2011 they were all the craze, some of my colleagues purchased them and started offering them as a treatment and I was on the fence about their validity. So....I asked my chemistry professor at the University of Minnesota what he thought. He was unfamiliar with the device but he said it didn't make sense to him because molecules just don't travel through the body like that--they have to go through a transport system such as the lymph, blood, or into the urine. You simply don't get molecules travelling through your body to your feet and out your skin. Even sweat has to follow prescribed metabolic pathways.

I tried one out when a colleague offered me a session. There is a peice of metal in the water and one adds salt and an electric current. Of course the water changes color--it's called rust! That's what happens when you oxidize metal. That will happen regardless of anything else placed in the water. We did a similar experiment in chemistry lab (no feet involved).

The death knell on the subject was when I watched this series of videos on YouTube. A highlight is when an organic carrot produces a color change that indicates it is releasing liver toxins.

There are places where faith, belief and the concept of energy as a miasm are appropriate; the field of chemistry is not one of them.