Dr. Gray's Straight Talk

Honest and blunt healthcare discussion and advice.

Posts Tagged ‘Headaches’

Supertonic – You Wanted It… You Got It

Posted by Dr. Gray on Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Many years ago, my good friend Dr. Page Crow taught me how to make a homemade tonic which he dubbed “Supertonic.” He assured me that it would cure everything, put hair on my chest, make me grow taller, and make me better looking.

Of course, I’m exaggerating, but I was amazed at the wonderful taste and energizing feeling received from the small dropper of liquid that he had asked me to sample. Such an interesting mix of flavors and an explosion of sensation on the tongue. Dr. Crow explained that he had used this concoction as his own immune booster and energy restorer for years, and that it was quite simple to make. I knew I had to give it a go.

Since then, I make at least one batch per year and it has become our family’s number one absolute that we run to as soon as any of us first begins to feel a little down. You know the feeling… that first sensation in your brain where you ask yourself, “I wonder if I’m getting sick?” Whether you’re “getting sick” or just showing a normal response is for another post, but you know what I’m getting at. The power of this simple combination of herbs is, frankly, incredible. We use it for illness, colds/flu, sinus congestion, fatigue, headache, anxiety, as an energy boost,… you name it!

Recently, I have discovered hundreds of recipes similar to Dr. Crow’s “Secret Supertonic.” It seems I had made some assumptions about the origin and secrecy of this recipe that weren’t entirely accurate. In fact, I guess he never really claimed any secrecy at all and encouraged me to share it with others.

Therefore… even though I’ve found (and tried) other similar recipes, Dr. Crow’s has been, by far, the most effective and tasty. Each batch is different. Don’t worry about exact amounts of the different ingredients. In fact, you’ll have to adjust a little up or down based on your taste preferences. Too hot?… back off on the peppers. Flames shoot out of your nose?… back off on the horseradish. You get the idea. Also, the alcohol is not an absolute necessity, it just preserves the tonic longer. So, without further ado, I present Dr. Crow’s Magic Supertonic:

Start with five plants (herbs) and two liquids for extraction and preservation:

  1. Cayenne Peppers – 6-8 peppers (habanero, hot red chili, jalapeno, etc.)
  2. White Onion – 2 bulbs
  3. Garlic – 6 whole bulbs (not cloves… the whole bulb!)
  4. Horseradish – 1 full stalk (or fresh jar of grated if you don’t have industrial blender… fresh root will kill a normal blender!)
  5. Ginger – 2 whole root stalks
  6. Apple Cider Vinegar – 1-2 quart jug(s)
  7. Vodka – 1 liter

Wash your produce and cut into thumb-sized chunks. You don’t have to peel the garlic, just bust the bulbs and separate the cloves. Put handfuls of produce in your blender then a 50-50 mix of the vinegar and vodka to cover the produce. Chop & blend this mixture into a mash then pour it off into a sun tea jar. Keep processing this way until all of your produce is chopped and blended. Pour it all into your sun tea jar. Store in a cool, dark place and shake this mixture up every day for 1-4 weeks (I usually go about two weeks). Then strain off the mash and plant material using cheesecloth, strainer, french press, etc. until you’re left with clear liquid with a little silt. Store your SuperTonic in glass jars and out of the sunlight (we’ve found it easiest to use glass dropper vials bought cheaply on Amazon). It does not need to be refrigerated (but can be if you like) and should stay good for a year or more. Keep out of the reach of children… but they love it, and it works just as well for them as it does for you!

Take a tablespoon of this herbal tonic, swish it around in your mouth, and swallow anytime you are feeling run down or just need a little “pick-me-up.” Or you can use it as a daily immune system booster by taking a tablespoon each morning. If you are getting that, “Uh oh, I’m getting sick feeling…,” you can take four or five tablespoons a day, or more. Remember it’s just food. SuperTonic works! Click Here for downloadable/printable pdf.

I’m still waiting for it to make me taller and better looking…

Dr. Gray

Posted in General Health, Nutrition | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Soldier’s Traumatic Brain Injury – Testimonial

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Gray Testimonial LogoFiled under “Absolute Humility” comes this fantastic testimonial I received from a man I truly admire. Enjoy:

     I was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from July, 2005 to November, 2006. During my deployment, I was involved in a few roadside bombs. One of these bombs knocked me unconscious and I was in and out of consciousness for 18 hours. This caused some slight brain damage known as “Traumatic Brain Injury,” or “TBI.” Upon returning to the United States, I was told that the condition was something I was going to have for the rest of my life. It was causing me debilitating headaches, to the extent that they would literally put me on my knees. Again, I was told this was a side effect of TBI and there was nothing that could be done.

     I decided to try a chiropractor and Dr. Gray had been highly recommended to me, so I decided to give him a try. Dr. Gray took the time to understand what I was going through and explained what he was going to do. In the matter of one adjustment, I could feel all of the pressure in my neck and head dissipate. Dr. Gray completely relieved me of the problem that was causing my severe headaches. Since I have started coming to him in 2007, I have not had a headache of the magnitude that I had before him. Thanks to Dr. Gray, I am finally able to get back to a normal routine without the use of prescription medicine.

– Name Withheld For Privacy

WOW!!! Talk about a humbling testimonial! I can’t begin to describe how much I wanted to be able to help this man when he was first referred to me. After hearing his story, I immediately thought, “Please, Lord, let my care be the treatment he needs. Let me help this hero who has sacrificed to protect my family and made it possible for so many of us to live care-free.”

It’s incredible, but this soldier not only fought off the nasty effects of TBI, but has gone on to become an elite member of one of the most feared law enforcement and security forces protecting our homeland on a daily basis. I’m proud to say that we remain friends today, and he still comes in for a treatment when he comes to town. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to work with and help so many people in this world.

To my friend… Oooooorahh!!!

– Dr. Gray

Posted in General Chiropractic, Headaches, Other Pain Conditions, Testimonials | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Can Chiropractors Help Stuff That Aren’t In the Back?… or, What Is “Chiropractic?”

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, September 16, 2013

Got a great call this morning that got me to thinking… Backstory: A friend of mine, whose wife has been a patient for a couple years, called and told me, “Ya know… my knee has been killing me for a long time and I never really thought that you might be able to do something about it.” Following this call, I have two conclusions.

First, I am grateful that he finally asked. The mere fact that he called meant that he had either been told by someone else that he should ask me, or he finally had a epiphany that he should ask if I could help.

Second, I am concerned that after 118 years, the general public still thinks that chiropractors are just back doctors. Seriously, this gentleman has been a good friend of mine for more than five years. And yet, facing a long-standing and significant condition that was extra-spinal, he hadn’t thought to ask me about it until now.

So, let’s get down to it. “Chiropractic” in it’s derivative form means “done by the hand.” It doesn’t mean done on the back, or done on the neck. Historically, Chiropractic has become known as a method of healing that values and encourages the natural healing ability of the body, and the optimization of the body’s ability to do so. Throughout the past century, our profession has proven time and again that we are capable of treating and improving the health of millions of patients with a myriad of conditions. Plantar Fascitis? Check. Achilles’ Tendinitis? Check. Chondromalacia Patella? Check. Sprained Meniscus? Check. Osgood-Schlatter’s? Check. Hip bursitis? Check. Herniated disk? Check. Menstrual Cramps? Check. Constipation? Check. Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Check. Kidney Stones? Check. Gall Bladder congestion? Check. Difficulty breathing? Check. High Blood Pressure? Check. High Cholesterol? Check. Overweight? Check. Thyroid Dysfunction? Check. Common Cold? Check. Rotator Cuff Tear? Check. Tennis Elbow? Check. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Check. Trigger Finger? Check. Torticollis? Check. Cluster Migraine? Check. Tension Headache? Check. …. Shall I go on?

Have all of these conditions been helped and treated by a chiropractic adjustment? Yes and no. If you subscribe to the “straight chiropractor’s” definition of chiropractic, then chiropractors are nothing more than technicians who pop joints. If you subscribe to the “mixer chiropractor’s” definition of chiropractic, then you define the adjustment as the only crucial element to the treatment plan that is assisted by complimenting, external, therapeutic procedures.

However, a realistic definition that complements the true and original derivative “done by the hand,” does not have to explicitly imply that the single most important factor of our care is a physical adjustment. I suggest that a more accurate correlation refers to our ability to take “a hands-on approach.” It is my opinion that, as with all doctors, it is not our actual “hands” or the service we provide that is our most important asset. Our most important asset, and what makes us worthy of being doctors, is our intellect. It is our ability to examine our patients, have a thorough consultation regarding current symptoms and history, and ultimately arrive at a working diagnosis.

Arriving at a working diagnosis allows us to then use our intellect, education, and experience to suggest an appropriate treatment plan. With our knowledge of how the body works, we know the power and outcomes secondary to the chiropractic adjustment, therefore we often incorporate that in our treatment plan. However, we also recommend proper diet, exercise, diagnostic imaging, blood tests, appropriate supplementation, physiotherapy, and rehabilitative therapy. We apply supportive tape or bracing to damaged joints and muscles. We use kinesiotape to improve circulation and minimize further injury. AND, we refer to our health care counterparts when necessary for concurrent and/or more appropriate care.

There is a significant, country-wide push right now for an expanded role for chiropractors in the health care market. For those who wish to go through the additional training and certification, some wish to have the ability to incorporate more traditional Western treatments, such as pharmaceutical intervention. I, for one, don’t have a problem with that. By our very nature and philosophy, the natural and innate power of the human body to heal itself will still be respected. The chiropractic adjustment will still remain a critical therapeutic measure that we can provide to our patients. However, we must not ignore the benefits that can be achieved through the provision of non-traditional methods of treatment. The world is not flat, and sometimes antibiotics are necessary. The Earth is not the center of the Universe, and sometimes muscle relaxants assist in the healing process.

So, in conclusion, chiropractors are not “back doctors.” We are not “neck doctors.” If an individual chiropractor wants to limit his practice to a specialty practice dealing only with backs, or necks, or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, or headaches, or whatever… more power to ya! However, it is unfortunate that some would seek to pigeon-hole the entire profession to their own desires. It is time to expand our practice models, and provide for our patients regardless of historical traditions. It is time to join the 21st century and encourage the freedom to grow and offer more to our patients. It is time to inform the public that we can treat knees, ankles, ear infections, stomach problems, shoulder injuries, chronic pain conditions, and more. It is time to be the first doctor that comes to mind when ANY health condition presents itself.

– Dr. Gray

Posted in General Chiropractic, General Health, Other Pain Conditions, Political | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Back To School…

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August/September… Summer is winding down… We’re getting the kids back to school. We can learn a lot from our children…

They go through their summer, sleeping in until noon, only waking to grab the phone to see who’s text messages they’ve missed. Once they’ve replied and made potential plans for the coming evening of blissful lack of responsibility, they grab a bite to eat and flip on the tube or Facebook and “check in.” However, once school starts back up (perhaps with a little coaxing), they’re up at 6:00 AM fixing their hair, organizing the backpack, grabbing a bowl of cereal, and catching the bus or driving themselves to school. In short, once they recognize that it’s time to get the job done; once they are expected to be responsible; once they know there is no alternative… they just do it. They may not be happy about it. They may complain and rebel. They may resist… but, in large part, they do it. Decision made, this is what has to be done, let’s go.

Now… as an adult… who are you responsible to? Let’s put this in perspective.

How many of you know and acknowledge that “It’s time to quit smoking?” … “It’s time to start exercising?” … “It’s time to start taking care of myself?” But who is there to kick your lazy butt into gear? The answer is: YOU. We teach our kids that we all have responsibilities, and when it needs to be done, you just do it. We EXPECT them to honor their responsibilities and do their chores. There are consequences if they don’t… but, do we hold ourselves to the same level of accountability? If you demand that your student get up and go to school, but continue with habits that you KNOW you shouldn’t be doing, then you’re a hypocrite. How can you expect to hold their respect, if you won’t practice what you preach? What kind of lesson are you teaching them; or, example are you setting if you tell them one thing then do another?

Let’s take this time to show our children what it really means to be responsible. Let’s make the decision that the time is now to “get it done.” No more “New Year’s Resolutions…” no more, I’ll quit ____ once I turn 40… 50… etc.” Do it now.

We’re here to help. At Gray Chiropractic, we have three doctors and a massage therapist on staff to help you achieve your health care goals. Combined, all of our doctors have over 30 years of experience in dealing with sports injuries, addictions, painful conditions due to years of hard work, acute injuries, chronic pains, tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, lower back pain, etc. We have helped patients from the grandmother struggling with duties at church to the infant with a bad case of colic. We’ve helped people quit smoking. We’ve helped people lose weight. We’ve relieved years of pain. Traditional chiropractic care, acupuncture, supplementation, nutritional counseling, strength and conditioning, rehabilitation, … you name it, and we can help you achieve your goals.

So… get off your ass and make an appointment with us today. Whether it’s a simple, tune-up adjustment, or a full nutritional work-up, you know it’s time to start leading by example. If you want your children to make smart health decisions, then you must show them how it’s done. Lead by example. Hold yourself accountable. Make the decision that there is no alternative… there are consequences if you don’t… and, get it done. Do the right thing.

Dr. Gray

Posted in Acupuncture, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, General Back Pain, General Chiropractic, General Health, Headaches, Low Back Pain, Neck Pain, Nutrition, Stretches & Exercises | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Headaches… Research Keeps Proving Chiropractic Right

Posted by Dr. Gray on Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cleopatra, Moses, and Hippocrates have all been associated with headaches. In fact, archaeological findings have shown evidence of trepanation (cutting a hole in the skull to relieve pressure) dating back to 7,000BC. Is seems as long as humans have been on this planet, there have been headaches. There are over 200 types of headache, and the causes range from harmless to life-threatening. Of the many types of headache, all can be classified into 13 groups as noted in ICDH-2(2004). 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.

Research shows that spinal manipulation – the primary form of care provided by doctors of chiropractic – is an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck. A report released 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 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.

Every day, chiropractors hear similar stories from hundreds of people who have been suffering for years with pain and are at their wits end because the only thing offered to them by their physicians and specialists are more drugs. Many people think headaches are normal and take over-the-counter or prescription drugs to relieve the pain. But these drugs only dull the pain, they don’t treat the cause, which is why the headache returns.

In addition to chronic headaches, chiropractic care is also effective in treating tension headaches. A recent study released by the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research finds that individuals undergoing chiropractic therapy showed sustained reduction in headache frequency and severity compared with patients who took the drug amitriptyline, a commonly prescribed medication for tension headaches. The conclusion of the study shows that chiropractic is not actually a therapy or treatment, but rather gets to the cause of the problem, thus allowing the body to effect a correction that lasts beyond actual care.

While many people associate chiropractic care as a treatment for bad backs, there is growing documentation that chiropractic is also effective in the treatment of cervicogenic headaches, migraines and cluster headaches. In fact, the American Chiropractic Association reports that 14 percent of the public who see chiropractors presently go for headaches. However, much of the general public continues to use the traditional medical practitioner route for headache treatment, with little success. The problem rests in the six misconceptions about headache relief. They are listed below, followed by an explanation:

  1. Over-The-Counter Medications Treat The Cause Of Your Headache. – Drugs primarily numb the pain. If these drugs treated the real cause, your headaches would go away permanently. None of us were born with too few Advil in our blood. A lack of drugs is not the cause.
  2. Headache Medication Can’t Harm You. – On the contrary, drugs can cause side effects that can be far worse than the headache pain you’re trying to relieve.
  3. Stress Causes Headaches. – Although stress is a part of life, it is not the cause of headaches. Rather, it’s how your body adapts to stress that affects your health. Chiropractic care can provide ways to help you increase your body’s ability to adapt to stress of any kind.
  4. Headaches Go Away On Their Own. – Without treating the cause, or root of the problem, they won’t.
  5. All Doctors Know How To Treat Headaches. – If this were true, no one would suffer from headaches. Chiropractors offer natural alternatives that do not involve drugs or invasive treatments.
  6. Your Problem Is Always Where Your Pain Is. – In fact, not all headaches originate in the head. For instance, a person who suffered a neck injury at some point in their life, whether from a car accident, playing sports, or a fall as a child, could suffer head pain later on. These are called cervicogenic headaches because they result from tension of the neck and head muscles.

Although headaches come in many shapes, forms, and causes, wouldn’t you prefer to address the underlying cause instead of masking the symptoms? Chiropractic care has proven a valuable and safe alternative to traditional medicine that should be a part of any treatment plan as one of the first lines of defense when addressing these conditions. Those of you who have read my blog and/or know me, understand that I’m NOT an anti-med guy. I readily admit and embrace my medical counterparts as we attempt to help our patients achieve better outcomes from their health care. All I’m asking is that you determine your priorities and goals… weigh your pros and cons. If there is a treatment option that has fewer side effects and risks, less overall cost, and better outcomes… why would you not explore that option?

If you or someone you know suffers with headaches, please tell them to choose chiropractic as one of their first options rather than their last.

– Dr. Gray

Posted in General Chiropractic, Headaches, Neck Pain | Tagged: , , , , | 14 Comments »

Acupuncture… Does It Work?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Found a great article in the Wall Street journal from March 2010. In it, the journalist gives an account of her experience with acupuncture, and details some of the new scientific evidence proving the effective results associated with this form of treatment. For me, this was a great and timely article. I am often asked, “How does acupuncture work?” Well, you all know that I am often honest to a fault, therefore, my answer usually begins with, “We don’t exactly know!” Wow… now if that doesn’t inspire confidence, I don’t know what will! (obvious sarcasm)

A technique that has been around for 5000 years or so has got to have some validity to it, right? So why are there so few scientific studies and such little research done on the subject? The answer to that question is two-fold:

First, I believe that we do not yet fully understand how to evaluate and quantify the effects of the biomagnetic and bioelectric fields that surround and travel through us. Physics can measure, predict, and detail very accurately the electric and magnetic fields created by the interaction of positive and negative charges when we pass electricity through a copper wire. On a very basic, simplified, and cellular level, the interaction between nerves, cells, and other tissues in our body is not that different from passing electrons through a wire. In nearly all functions of the body, there are positive and negative charges being exchanged, transferred, or retained in and between our cells. Individually, this interaction between two cells may be extremely small. However, collectively, these interactions could theoretically develop significantly large biomagnetic and bioelectric fields due to the interaction of positive and negative charges. This model could explain why many seemingly strange techniques work; such as: acupuncture, applied kinesiology, contact reflex analysis, muscle testing, etc. Many of these techniques involve weird and unexplained responses from the manipulation or interference with these fields; such as holding a particular food item causing the strengthening or weakening of a muscle. At this point in time, we just don’t know how to measure or evaluate these responses. Most of these techniques also suffer from interexaminer deficiencies… which means, different practitioners may do an examination on the same patient yet interpret the results differently. Here’s the strange part… even though different results are obtained from examination, and different acupoints may be chosen for treatment, positive outcomes from treatment are still realized… and outperform placebo!

The second reason that research and documentation is scant on acupuncture and energy-based medicine is… say it with me folks… Follow the money!!! That’s right, boys and girls. There’s no money in it for the pharmaceutical, insurance, or medical corporations. Acupuncture, chiropractic, kinesiology, and other energy-based techniques are largely practitioner-based. Face it; if they can’t bottle it and sell it, they’re not going to support it. Who do you think pays for all those research papers in JAMA, NEJM, or any other “peer-reviewed” research journal? And why do they pay for or support these research articles? Because they expect a return on their investment. I don’t have a problem with it… that’s the way the free market works, and I’d rather have it that way than have some moron in Washington deciding what’s good or not (besides… who do you think is paying that guy?). All I’m saying is that the lack of big-money research doesn’t necessarily mean that something doesn’t work. Like I’ve told you before, in anything you read or hear (including this blog!), consider the source and motivation behind what you’re hearing. The pharmaceutical industry is a trillion dollar per year industry… why would they finance, support, and publish any research that encourages a medical treatment option that renders their products unnecessary? Not gonna happen.

That said, there were a couple good videos included with the Wall Street Journal article linked above. Having trouble embedding them here, so follow the link and watch them there. I’ll update this page if I figure out how to embed the video here. If you want to go directly to the videos: here’s the first one… and, here’s the second one.

Dr. James C. Gray

Posted in Acupuncture, General Back Pain, General Health, Low Back Pain, Neck Pain, Other Pain Conditions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

What Type of Headache Do You Have?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Most often, when you experience a headache you don’t care what “type” of headache it is… you just want it to go away. Unfortunately, without knowing what type of headache you’re having, you can’t effectively treat it. Whether you are attempting to alleviate it on your own, or getting assistance from your doctor, it is imperative to determine what type of headache you are having in order to get to the underlying cause.

There are many types of headache, but the most frequently diagnosed with common characteristics are shown in the illustration to the right.

Americans spend billions of dollars every year on medications for the relief of headache pain, but these often just mask the pain. Although, this is sometimes necessary, it is only half the battle. You wouldn’t unplug the “Check Engine” light without afterward trying to find out why it came on in the first place, would you? If you must resort to pharmaceutical intervention for temporary relief of headache pain, at least take the steps to find out why you developed the headache in the first place.

Eyestrain Headaches are fairly simple to recognize… and relatively easy to correct. Usually, one just needs to get their prescription updated and wear the proper corrective lenses. However, these types of headache can also be caused by prolonged use of a computer even if your vision is fine. To correct this situation, you need to do three things: place an inexpensive anti-glare screen on your monitor (available at any office supply), change the height of your monitor so it places your head in a neutral position (not looking down to it), and force yourself to get up and stretch at least once every 60-90 minutes.

Hunger Headaches are also easily recognized and avoided. Make sure to have a light healthy snack (fruit, veggies, nuts, etc… make sure they are complex carbs) every couple of hours to help your body more easily balance blood sugar levels. Avoid simple sugars that lead to spikes in blood sugar levels followed by the crash that triggers these headaches.

Sinus Headaches should be evaluated to determine if there is an active infection. This does not mean rush out and get the latest antibiotic trendsetter! Most sinus infections are viral in origin, and antibiotics won’t be effective. Antibiotics are meant for and designed to treat bacterial infections. Your body’s immune system is designed to fight all forms of infection and can most often resolve these illnesses if we will just allow it to do its job. Are antibiotics necessary? Sometimes, yes. However, I would guess that our society utilizes antibiotics ten to twenty times more often than necessary. More often than not, if you’ll just exercise some healthy and smart lifestyle choices, your immune system will be up to the challenge of fighting whatever the world can throw at it.

Migraine Headache is a category that has many different forms and presentations. These are often severe and debilitating and have been attributed to a variety of causes. Ultimately, they develop because something is not working right. These can be related to blood pressure, brain chemical imbalance, exposure to toxins, and a ton of other triggers. The latest medical theories as to the pain associated with migraine refers to both nerve and vascular involvement. Either the nerves are triggering a reaction in the blood vessels, or the blood vessels are responding incorrectly to the signals the nerves are sending, or the brain is reacting improperly to the whole environment… whatever the underlying cause, it is a dysfunction of normal body processes. Nerve irritation or dysfunction alters the brain chemistry which leads to a chain reaction. The severe throbbing often associated with these headaches is thought to come from distention of the veins as chemicals cause the blood to bypass capillaries. Other nerves surrounding these distended veins begin an inflammatory process which also triggers pain signals. 70% of episodes are unilateral, and women are 3-4 times more likely to suffer with these than men.

Tension Headache is the most common form of headache. These also can present in a variety of ways, and can have a variety of causes. It is estimated that one in six people suffer from either episodic or chronic headache pain. Unfortunately, most medications used to treat these conditions have the potential to cause even more troubles. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), especially with repetitive use, have been associated with side effects ranging from stomach bleeding and ulcers to decreased kidney and liver function or failure. In fact, one of the most common side effects of these, and many other, medications is headaches! Medications may mask the pain, but rarely address the cause.

Research suggests that chiropractic is a very effective and natural answer to headaches. A major research study in 1995 compared several weeks of drug therapy to several weeks of chiropractic care. 82 percent of patients given drug therapy reported side effects including drowsiness, weight gain and dry mouth. Heart-related problems and glaucoma also were associated with the drug therapy. On the other hand, chiropractic patients reported no side effects. And after four weeks of treatment, patients who used drugs began having headaches again, while members of the chiropractic group continued to express headache relief, as well as higher levels of energy as compared to the drug therapy group.

In the past 15-20 years, more and more research is documenting the benefits of chiropractic care in headache treatment. Chiropractors are trained to thoroughly diagnose your complaints and are well-equipped to determine the probable underlying cause of your headache pain. Although rare, there are a few more serious causes of headache that your chiropractor can help rule out. After determining if yours is a chiropractic case, he can then help you plan an effective plan of attack that includes dietary/nutritional recommendations, stress relief techniques, ergonomic recommendations, chiropractic care, and sometimes acupuncture. Don’t delay. Contact your chiropractor and start treating the underlying cause of your headaches instead of just hiding the symptoms.

Posted in Headaches | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Headache Relief With Regular Chiropractic Care?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nobody likes headaches. They can strike with little warning and cause debilitating pain — especially cervicogenic headaches (HA), which are defined as pain that originates in the cervical spine, or neck area, and refers up to the head.

Researchers investigated the effect of chiropractic treatment on HA in 20 randomized patients, specifically focusing on the relationship between the number of chiropractic treatments and pain relief. Participants were assigned to one of three treatment groups for comparison: Group one received a total of three office visits, one visit per week, for chiropractic manipulation; group two received a total of nine office visits, three visits per week, for chiropractic manipulation; and group three received 12 total visits, four visits per week.

Researchers discovered a correlation between the number of chiropractic visits and positive outcome in headache patients. “For HA pain, substantial differences were found between participants receiving 1 treatment per week and those receiving either 3 or 4 treatments per week,” the researchers wrote. The researchers indicated that a larger clinical trial testing the relationship of HA and chiropractic treatment is warranted, and concluded that there are benefits to “9 to 12 [chiropractic] visits over 3 weeks for the treatment of HA/neck pain and disability. A larger number of visits than 12 in 3 weeks may be required for maximum relief and durability of outcomes.”

If you suffer with headaches, call your chiropractor today and tell him (or her 🙂 ) you’re ready to do what needs to be done to get them under control.

Posted in General Chiropractic, General Health, Headaches | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Acupuncture For Children With Headaches

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A German study published in the July 2008 issue of Pain, a prestigious peer-reviewed medical journal, has shown significant evidence supporting the use of laser acupuncture in children suffering with headaches. Children involved in the study suffered from either chronic migraines, or chronic tension headaches. Advanced techniques (double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled) were used to ensure valid outcomes. Across the board, those who were treated with acupuncture fared much better than the placebo group. Headache days were less following treatment. Headache time was decreased following treatment. And, headache severity was also decreased following treatment with acupuncture stimulation.

Each treatment is individualized based on the patient and their body’s needs. Subjects in this study were treated based on the theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and meridian balancing. Stimulating acupoints with a laser is relatively new, but offers a pain-free method of treatment that works wonders with children. The anxiety associated with needles is avoided, and the risk of injury associated with a child playing with inserted needles is negated.

I’ve got children and know how helpless a parent feels when their baby is sick or in pain. The last thing we want to do is expose them to even more discomfort or fear. We want to put them at ease and then use treatment techniques that are comfortable, have a good chance of helping, and minimize any potential negative effects. Laser acupuncture fits all of these. It’s comfortable for the child. In fact, they rarely feel anything at all when laser stimulation is used. We’ve just discussed its effectiveness. And, with laser acupuncture, there are no potential negative side effects… it either works or it doesn’t.

If you, or your child, suffer with headaches, we’d like to invite you in for a brief examination to determine if yours is a case for laser acupuncture. Call us today at (816) 795-1121 to schedule your appointment.

Dr. Gray

Gray Chiropractic is a full-service natural health care office in Independence, east of Kansas City. For further information check our website www.graychiropractic.com.

Posted in Acupuncture, Headaches | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

What Kind of Soda Is Best?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Thursday, December 11, 2008

Answer: NONE!!!

Why is this even a question today? The dangers of soda consumption have been known and documented many times over. Want to know why soda is still one of the most consumed beverages on the market? Because of the billions and billions of dollars spent selling it to you on the tube, on radio, through subliminal placement spots in TV shows and movies, etc.

Let’s break it down to pros and cons:

Pros:

  1. Soda tastes good… sometimes.
  2. The caffeine provides a short-term boost in energy levels.
  3. It’s cheap… more on this one later.

Cons:

  1. Soda is extremely acidic. With a pH of around 2.5, it is roughly the same as vinegar. Why do you think it’s so effective cleaning off battery terminals? And you want this stuff in your body?
  2. Soda leads to osteoporosis. Due to the high amounts of phosphorous, this leads to calcium leaching from the bones… hence, weaker bones. I just read a study reporting that 95% of their subjects with pathological stress fractures were regular soda drinkers.
  3. The sugar from one soft drink is able to damage white blood cells’ ability to ingest and kill bacteria for seven hours.
  4. Sugar and acid levels in soda dissolve tooth enamel.
  5. Soda makes you fat. The relationship between soft drink consumption and body weight is so strong that researchers calculate that for each additional soda consumed, the risk of obesity increases 1.6 times. And NO… diet soda is NOT any better. In fact, the latest research says the risk for obesity may be worse with diet sodas!
  6. Children who drink soda are three to four times more at risk for breaking bones.
  7. Think diet sodas are better? Nope… worse: Aspartame-sweetened beverages can produce about fifty-six milligrams of methanol. Methanol toxicity leads to what?… Oh, yeah… Multiple Sclerosis and Systemic Lupus. That’s nice.
  8. Saccharin, which is a noncaloric petroleum derivative, has demonstrated carcinogenic effects in the bladder and other sites, particularly female reproductive organs, with as little as one or two diet sodas per day.
  9. With diet soda, you’ve gone from high calories to poisonous levels of methanol and an increased chance of developing cancer. Not a very good trade.
  10. Those consuming at least one cup of a caffeine-containing beverage per day, such as coffee, tea or soft drinks, were more prone to PMS. And the more caffeine they consumed, the more severe their PMS symptoms.
  11. Trying to get pregnant? Just one caffeinated soft drink per day was associated with a reduced monthly chance of conception of 50 percent.
  12. Sodium benzoate, a preservative used in soft drinks (and a ton of other stuff), reduces the availability of potassium in the body leading to rash, asthma, and eczema.
  13. Diet sodas actually make you crave carbohydrates and leads to weight gain.
  14. High fructose corn syrup adds little or no nutrition, but lots of calories.
  15. Many of the chemicals used as ingredients in soda must be transported as Hazardous Waste… and you want to drink this stuff?
  16. Remember #2 in the “Pros” list? Check #10 and #11 in the “Cons” list… and add to that the fact that caffeine is addictive, and caffeine-withdrawal symptoms include not only headache, but also fatigue, mild depression, muscle pain and stiffness, flu-like feelings, nausea and vomiting.
  17. Remember #3 in the “Pros” list? Cheap? Compared to what? This country went bonkers over the past summer because gasoline was around $4.00 per gallon. Right now, the cheapest you can buy a gallon of Coke or Pepsi is about $5.50. However, that 20 ounce Coke you got at McDonald’s (that’s about 50% ice) that cost you $1.25… equates to spending $8.00 per gallon, and that’s with 50% ice so call it $16.00 per gallon. Cheap?

Look… I’m not going to lie and tell you I don’t have a soda once in a while, but let’s face it: The stuff is crap for you. You can’t expect to keep putting crap in your body, and not have your body turn into crap. You are what you eat… so eat good.

Posted in General Health, Nutrition | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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