Chiropractic Works with Dr. Birk

Are you suffering from Insomnia? Chiropractic can Help!

Posted: November 27, 2017
By: Dr. Ruminder Birk

Insomnia is difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep for long enough to feel refreshed the next morning; chronic insomnia is when this occurs for at least three nights per week for three months.

It is more common than you might imagine. Most of us experience some intermittent sleep problems at some point in our lives; but beyond this around a third of people in the Canada have episodes of insomnia, more commonly women and older people.

It can be caused by a number of factors, notably stress and anxiety, depression, some medications, illness, and alcohol or drug abuse. While most of us know that lack of sleep can cause us to be less with it, more irritable, and lacking in energy, less is known about the long-term health effects of not getting enough sleep over a longer period of time. Recent studies show that chronic insomnia is connected to a host of the most serious chronic diseases.

A 40-year study by the University of Arizona examining the long-term effects of sleepless nights was recently published in the American Journal of Medicine. The conclusion was that persistent insomnia defined as for six years or more - was linked to a 58 per cent increased risk of death. It was also linked to higher levels of inflammation in the blood (measured by a bio marker in blood called C-reactive protein), which is linked to many serious chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, dementia, and depression. This is not the first time that chronic insomnia has been linked with mortality but it is the first time that the underlying mechanism has been suggested.

What can you do?
If you think you may be suffering from insomnia dont let it go undiagnosed or unattended. Most medications for chronic insomnia are ineffective but it is possible to make lifestyle changes that will improve your chances of regularly getting a good nights sleep.
Some of these include:

Meditation or other relaxation techniques
Keeping consistent bed times and wake up times
Removing all TVs and phones from the room when you sleep
Using thicker curtains, or an eye mask and earplugs to so that you are not awoken by light or noise
Avoiding caffeine later in the day
Avoiding alcohol
Avoiding eating heavy meals late at night
Getting enough exercise

and most importantly regular chiropractic adjustments!

As Chiropractic adjustments improve blood flow throughout your nervous system, it can help reduce the amount of stress on your body which maybe out of alignment and balance. Thus allowing you to get a better nights rest and improve your overall sleeping habits. Many patients rave about how much better they sleep at night since getting their spine adjusted regularly, which also helps improve their day to day life!

If you suspect that you may have insomnia, try keeping a sleep diary for a month before you schedule an appointment to see me because this will help me to understand the cause of your problem better. This should detail your late night routine, what time you get to sleep, wake up times, how you feel in the morning and throughout the day etc. This will help diagnose why you do have insomnia and that will be the first step to doing something about it.

 


The Milk Myth!

Posted: November 7, 2017
By: Dr. Ruminder Birk

Thanks to clever promotion by the dairy industry milk is almost universally promoted as healthy dietary addition, predominantly for its high calcium content and therefore its positive effect on bone health. This is such a powerful belief that dozens of super models, actors/actresses, sports people and other celebrities clamber to jump on the promotional bandwagon presumably with the intent to make the world a healthier place.

BUT - for many years now Ive been telling anyone who would listen to me that modern industrialized dairy is a bad thing to put in your body...

What if, instead of promoting healthy bones, milk is actually connected by the science available to us to a higher risk of osteoporosis and even to death? A new Swedish study published in the British Medical Journal says just that.


A team of Swedish scientists from Uppsala University set out to examine whether high milk consumption is associated with mortality and fractures in women and men.They carried out a cohort (observational) study of over 61,000 women and 45,000 men aged between 39 and 79, from three central Swedish counties. The participants were administered food frequency questionnaires in the 1980s and the 90s and follow up was performed after an average of 20 years (for women) and 11 years (for men) to determine the association between milk consumption and time to mortality or fracture.


Results showed that, in both women and men, the adjusted mortality hazard ratio increased with every glass of milk drunk per day.You understood that correctly, each glass of milk made it more likely that you would die!For every glass of milk drunk by women or men, no reduction was observed in fracture risk in fact it increased for women.Additionally, a positive association was seen between milk intake and biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation. Oxidative stress and chronic low grade inflammation is a pathogenetic mechanism of cardiovascular disease and cancer, as well as a mechanism of age-related bone loss and sarcopenia.

These findings led to the following conclusion, with the caveat that it was an observational study:

High milk intake was associated with higher mortality in one cohort of women and in another cohort of men, and with higher fracture incidence in women.

I told you so!

Connections Between Milk and Chronic Disease
Milk and dairy consumption has been linked with a host of chronic health problems apart from osteoporosis.Milk consumption increases mucus production in the respiratory tract and dairy is one of the most mucus-forming foods we can consume: dairy has frequently been connected to asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, runny noses, and ear infections.

Following are some examples:

Weight Gain
In a study of almost 13,000 US children in 1996, children who drank more than 3 servings of milk a day gained more in BMI than those who drank smaller amounts, mainly due to the excess calories.

Cancer
The addition of bovine growth hormones increases the level of insulin-growth factor (IGF) in milk, which has been strongly linked to certain common cancers, as reported by The International Journal of Cancer in 2000. Milk consumption has particularly been linked with prostate and breast cancers.

Heart Disease
The correlation between dairy and heart disease is the strongest of all food types, with sugar second.

Juvenile Diabetes
More than 20 well-documented studies prompted one researcher to say the link between milk and juvenile diabetes is 'very solid'.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Drinking milk has long been linked to rheumatoid arthritis, which often affects the hands and feet of patients.

Toxic Load and Deadly Bacteria
Milk contains toxic levels of dioxins and may contain a cocktail of pesticides, antibiotics and other chemicals, as well as potentially killer bacteria like salmonella, listeria, and E. Coli.

Early Menstruation in Girls
Earlier onset of menstruation or menarche has been a feature of the past one hundred and fifty years, and has often been linked with milk consumption.

Neither the milk ads nor the health authorities recognize any of the above; that is one thing. But for both to actively promote milk as a positive force in fighting osteoporosis, when it may have entirely the reverse effect, is another thing altogether. Milk does contain many essential nutrients of importance for the skeleton, including calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. However, there is growing evidence that the negative effects outweigh these positives. It certainly warrants further investigation and a review of official dietary guidelines.


If you are a dairy addict and just cant give it up then I recommend dairy from 100% grass fed organic animals - it is possible that this type of dairy has no toxic effects because there is no specific data to show that it does. However, just because the data does not exist does not mean that it is safe! Feel free to ask me more about nutrition and ways to eat and "drink" right, on your next visit!


Teen Health- What do we do?

Posted: September 26, 2017
By: Dr. Ruminder Birk

Much of the present focus on childhood obesity is understandable, providing as it does a very striking visual reminder of the lack of fitness in the generations that we are raising.But health is not just about body weight and its important not to forget that the real chronic health problems work silently inside at a metabolic level and are affecting people earlier and earlier in their lives. Hence the prediction that this generation may be the first generation that lives shorter lives than their parents.

There was more indication of this earlier this month when the Irish Herald reported that a new study from Dublin City University showed that unfit Irish teenagers are showing evidence of heart disease.It found that male transition year students with low fitness levels are showing worrying early signs of cardiovascular disease which (is) Ireland's biggest killer, accounting for a third of all deaths every year.The study is ongoing, but has so far found that 15-year-old boys with low fitness levels have less -healthy blood vessels than highly or moderately fit students. Some were also showing signs of hypertension and high cholesterol.

While rising heart disease levels in populations around the world have been identified for some time, the trend in youth populations is even more disconcerting - but not particularly surprising.Modern diets are becoming increasingly reliant on processed carbohydrates, with low fruit and vegetable content and poor nutritional value; coupled with physical activity levels going through the floor, we are paying the metabolic price for this earlier and earlier in life. It is not just teen obesity and cardiovascular problems that are on the rise but type 2 diabetes, cancer, and other chronic diseases and conditions too.

Yes, new medications are brought onto the market that manage the conditions; but this cannot disguise the fact that the traditional wisdom of these being old man diseases is a lie. These problems are manifesting themselves earlier in life, due to the risk factors mentioned above taking a firm hold.Heart disease can and does start very early in childhood according to study author Sinead Sheridan, and you dont have to be overweight to see the symptoms. "In our low fitness group the majority of the guys were overweight but there were also guys in the group who were actually very lean," Sheridan said. "It is actually better to be overweight and fit than to be lean and unfit. Studies show that fitness trumps over all the other risk factors" she added.

The heart and blood vessels are connected to the central nervous system, with one major attachment being the vagus nerve (this nerve comes from the brain) and the autonomic nervous system. These nerves are the central control of your heart rate and blood pressure, both important factors when it comes to heart health. Due to the fact chiropractic care positively impacts the nervous system, its benefits to the heart are superior to other forms of care. Chiropractic care can help prevent or treat cardiovascular disease by lowering blood pressure, improve nerve function of the heart, decrease blood markers of inflammation, improve heart rate variability, decrease chest pain and improve lung function.

Good chiropractic benefits more than just your heart as the nervous system touches every organ and cell in the body. Get your children and teens looked at today here at Atlantis Wellness in Woodbridge to see if there are any early signs of heart disease that we can help treat.


Stretching for Neck Pain Sufferers

Posted: September 15, 2017
By: Dr. Ruminder Birk

Often enough it is easy for us to forget about stretching, as it's something people don't usually consider as "important". Stretching daily is really great to help with improving posture, better balance, as well as reduced aches and pain. Overall stretching has many benefits which will positive impact your health and wellness. Below are a few stretches we recommend at Atlantis Wellness Center for patients with neck pain and cervical conditions.

Upper Trapezius Stretch - 3 repetitions of 30 seconds each
This stretch helps to correct muscular imbalances and restore range of motion. As well as increasing flexibility, and improving mobility and joint function.

Begin by positioning yourself in a seated position with one hand grasping the side of the chair while the other hand is gently contacting the top of your head.
 

Gently tilt your head forward as your chin drops down towards your chest. Then slightly rotate your head to one side until a stretch is felt in the neck as the hand on top of your head pulls gently to slightly increase the stretch sensation. Attention should be paid not to elevate the opposite side shoulder. Hold for the recommended duration and repeat as instructed.

Quadruped Thoraco-Lumbar Mobility 3 sets of 10 reps, 30 seconds rest
This stretch helps provide stability and support to your thoracic spine while walking and running.


Begin in the quadruped position with palms flat on the floor and knees on the floor below hips. Place left hand on the back of the neck and flex the body towards the floor bringing the left elbow towards the right hip.
 

Slowly lift the left elbow upwards, extending and rotating the body towards the high elbow. Repeat for the recommended number of repetitions before switching sides.

Isolated Cervical Extension - 3 sets of 10 reps, 30 seconds rest between sets
This stretch helps to increase neck strength and muscular endurance, as well as improve stability, functional strength and injury prevention.

Place fingers around the neck at the location instructed by your chiropractor (may be upper, middle or lower neck). Middle fingers should touch at mid line.
 

Apply gentle pressure with fingers and extend head. You should feel the neck bending over your fingers. Repeat for prescribed sets and reps.

Head Retraction - 3 sets of 10 reps, 30 seconds rest between sets
The purpose of this stretch is to increase neck strength and muscular endurance.

To start, begin seated, or standing, looking forward with shoulders back with good neutral posture.
 

Activate core muscles. Attempt to draw head directly backwards. Maintain level head position. Do not tilt head up or down. Hold for two seconds. Return to start position and repeat for prescribed repetitions and sets.

Child Pose with Foam Roll 30 seconds, 3 times a day
This stretch helps to correct shoulder imbalances and restore overall function. In addition, this stretch helps increase flexibility, improve joint range of motion, and improves circulation.

Begin on your knees with hands on foam roll. Hands should be shoulder width apart and directly under shoulders.

Slowly sit hips back, dropping head and chest downward allowing arms to stretch upward. Hold for 20-30 seconds or for prescribed duration. Repeat for prescribed repetitions.


Why looking after your Spine is a smart decision!

Posted: August 25, 2017
By: Dr. Ruminder Birk

One under-diagnosed cause of chronic pain is abnormalities of the spine. We perhaps shouldn't be surprised that problems with the backbone affect other areas of the body, seeing as it is the central support mechanism of our skeleton and is involved in every movement we make; it is also the central mechanical point of transmission for pain signals to reach the brain. So problems in the spine can translate directly to surrounding muscle, tissue and, more seriously, organs; and we feel the result of this as pain. 

Chronic pain is essentially any pain that lasts longer than a few weeks, gets gradually worse, and/or keeps coming back - such as arthritis or lower back pain; as opposed to the acute pain we experience from , say, a broken arm or a sprained wrist. Chronic pain is on the rise in Canada, with anywhere from 6 to 8 million people living with it (accurate statistics are hard to come by. Millions of prescriptions are written for all types of painkillers yearly, and assuming that doctors are not just writing prescriptions unnecessarily (sometimes a dangerous assumption to make) this would point to a very high level of chronic pain sufferers. 


Quite apart from the problems of addiction, abuse, increased sensitization to pain and adverse incidents associated with these drugs, medicating a chronic problem only masks the symptoms and doesn't address the cause, the way chiropractic care and natural wellness would. The answers are nearly always found in our lifestyle choices - the usual suspects like diet and lack of exercise. 


It is necessary to understand the nature of chronic pain a little more. While it is always long-lasting and may keep coming back, there are different types of chronic pain. The two most common types are: 

Somatic pain - pain detected by receptors in the skin, muscles and joints that will be triggered by temperature, vibration and swelling. It is quite easy to pinpoint the area of pain. Arthritis and tension headaches are good examples. 


Visceral pain - this is thought to be less common and it is the pain detected deeper in the body by the organs. It may feel like a dull pressure or an ache, and is harder to pinpoint e.g. irritable bowel syndrome and cystitis. 

Sometimes there are only small differences between the types of pain, which make it difficult to diagnose the problem effectively unless you have access to advanced diagnostic technology. Research suggest than there is more than just a coincidental connection between spinal abnormality (functional or congenital), and both somatic and visceral problems. In fact there is a direct link between organ disease and spinal malformation (often called "dysrhaphism"). Malformation can occur at the embryonic stage and are therefore considered to be congenital (present from birth but not necessarily anything to do with genetics). It can be severe and cause spina bifida and paraplegia, or relatively minor, seemingly benign and cause no apparent lack of mobility. 


One paper published in the Clinical Radiology journal almost 40 years ago, titled Vertebral malformations and associated somatic and visceral abnormalities, expanded on earlier studies from the 1960s. Study leader William L. Schey took a group of patients with congenital spine abnormalities and examined them for other congenital problems; he then took another group with known visceral malformations and examined them for spinal variations. The results showed a clear relationship: 

"Those with congenital vertebral malformations had an extremely high rate of associated visceral abnormalities, especially of the heart and kidneys. Other relationships between the spine and viscera include congenital lesions of the gastrointestinal and respiratory system and other parts of the renal system." 

Other conclusions that Schey reached included: 

The level of the malformed vertebra(e) might help with identifying which organ could be affected 
The exact nature of the vertebral malformation is not a strong indicator of the somatic-visceral problem that may be found. Thankfully serious congenital spinal malformations are quite rare. But many people experience spinal defects/abnormalities and their related problems throughout their lives due to car accidents, pregnancy and their lifestyle choices. 


The above study was from a long time ago, but with the current health climate today we should be paying closer attention to what it, and other similar studies, tell us: poor spine health, structure, and alignment need to be corrected before they lead to other chronic problems that can severely impact one's life, or even be life-threatening. It is a warning to take note of your pain and start addressing the root causes rather than masking the symptoms with drugs. Chiropractic care is the best place to start as it is an all natural, non-surgical wellness path!


Restoring Posture: More than just sitting properly

Posted: August 14, 2017
By: Dr. Ruminder Birk

Most people who seek our care do so because of sciatica, back pain, neck pain, postural problems, or problems with mobility.

However, after these are corrected through our natural re-constructive care, they often see an improvement in chronic health conditions that they never knew were associated with these problems.More evidence continues to come to light about the importance of correct posture to general health. This is particularly pertinent in modern life, where many of us spend too much time sitting, with inadequate exercise and poor diets.

A study was recently published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research where re-constructive care was used on a 34-year old former rugby player with cervical and lumbopelvic postural distortions and a history of chronic health problems.The technique used was Chiropractic BioPhysics, developed by Dr. Deed Harrison - probably the most thoroughly researched forms of natural re-constructive care (and the forerunner to Impulse Incision Technique which is delivered here at Atlantis Chiropractic), where the focus is on restoring optimal posture and spinal alignment.

The patients chronic health problems included headaches, mid and low back pain, congested sinuses, and upper respiratory symptoms, which he had experienced for the past twenty years.After the examination and diagnosis of the postural distortions has been made, the patient received 9 months of care. He was seen twice per week for the first 12 weeks, then once per week thereafter for an additional 6 months.A series of procedures, exercises, and traction were used to reduce the spinal subluxations and postural distortions, and he also wore a heel lift on his right shoe.

Follow-up x-rays showed that there was progressive improvement in postural measurements toward normal. This was associated with improvement in headaches, sinus and respiratory symptoms.
It is suggested by the authors that the treatment may have reduced tension and strain on the spinal cord, leading to an overall improvement in all body functions.

Though this is just one study on one patient, there are countless examples of the positive effect of re-constructive care not just on the primary condition that the patient presents with, but on associated conditions; and many times, the patient is unaware of the connections between them.

Ask the average person what spinal re-constructive care is and either they wouldnt really know or they would say something like back treatment. The wider-reaching benefits of re-constructive care are seldom reported in the mainstream. But restoring correct posture and normal physical stature have been shown to ease a host of conditions from those mentioned above to heart disease, hypertension, and psychological problems.

Given the prevalence of poor posture and many serious chronic health conditions in Canada (and worldwide) today, the problem requires more attention, rather than just throwing the next drug at each individual condition. Taking a more holistic approach would reveal that many of the chronic problems experienced by back pain sufferers, or those with poor posture, may be connected and can be corrected. Find out today if you feel you would be a good candidate for spinal re-constructive care by calling Atlantis Chiropractic and Wellness.


The Possible Cancer Cure That May Be Inside Women

Posted: July 20, 2017
By: Dr. Ruminder Birk

After decades of expensive research and even more expensive treatments, it seems the answer to some cancers may be a little closer to home. In fact, if the latest research from a group of Swedish researchers is to be believed, it could be inside of you: in breast milk.

The amazing effects of breast milk on tumours

It should be no surprise that breast milk has amazing powers; babies should live on it entirely for at least the first six months of their lives, helping them grow into strong, healthy children.

But it’s powers may extend beyond even these considerable benefits. A group of Swedish researchers from the University of Lund were amazed to see the effects of a breast milk compound on human cancer cells. Nicknamed ‘Hamlet’, this compound is part of human breast milk. The team of researchers investigating its effect on bladder cancer patients found that those patients injected with Hamlet started to expel cancer cells in their urine within days of treatment. Not only this, but healthy cells were left alone. Unlike with chemotherapy, which is a systemic therapy that affects the whole body, flooding cells with toxic chemicals, the Hamlet compound seemed to target only the tumour cells.Even radiation therapy, which is considered more targeted than chemotherapy, commonly damages healthy cells. So there is some excitement from this study that there may be a new, effective, targeted therapy for some cancers.

The accidental breakthrough

Like with many great ‘discoveries’, this one was by accident. Immunology Professor Catharina Svanborg was researching antibiotics when she made the breakthrough. She was researching antimicrobial agents and was as surprised as everyone else at the amazing effect of breast milk on human cancer cells. According to the professor, breast milk contains alpha-lactalbumin. This is a protein that is able to fight cancer cells inside the stomach, targeting the mitochondria and nucleus of the cells, while leaving healthy cells alone. This action effectively weakens the cancer cells, depriving them of energy, until they die and are passed out of the body.

“There’s something magical about Hamlet’s ability to target tumour cells and kill them,” she said. It remains to be seen whether these results will be replicated in studies in patients with other forms of cancer, but more trials are planned. There are hopes that Hamlet can be used on patients with bowel and cervical cancer too. These early studies have received some good coverage in the mainstream press, which is encouraging. Any research that can show the potential of natural substances to replace some of the dependence on the toxic chemicals and radiation that standard cancer care involves should be considered a positive move.

Now, let’s start hearing more about all of the other natural treatments for cancer that have shown positive results. Although there are no direct studies showing chiropractic care can treat cancer itself, it has proved to be helpful in reducing pain and inflammation for patients with this type of illness. In addition, because chiropractic is based on the idea that a healthy spine and nervous system play an important role in your overall health, it is beneficial for any one at any phase of their lives to take advantage of naturally boosting their immune system. Power On!


Living in Pain shrinks your Brain!

Posted: July 10, 2017
By: Dr. Ruminder Birk

Quite apart from the physical pressures of living in pain, more light is now being shed on just how damaging the psychological effects of experiencing pain are. As methods for scanning and imaging the brain and monitoring its activity have developed in recent years, so we are learning more about the nature of pain and how it affects the brain.


In the past decade or so, studies on both humans and animals have identified a network of pain-transmitting areas within the Central Nervous System, leading to better understanding of how pain relates to distinct areas of the brain. It seems that, no matter what syndrome of pain a person is experiencing, there are some common areas of the brain that are involved in processing it.


According to a 2008 paper by the International Association for the Study of Pain, recent neurobiological findings indicate 'local morphologic alterations of the brain in areas ascribable to the transmission of pain.' This was the case in patients 'suffering from phantom pain, chronic back pain, irritable bowl syndrome, fibromyalgia and two types of frequent headaches'.


While the effects on the brain were different for each pain syndrome, they overlapped in some areas of the brain: notably the cingulate cortex, the orbitofrontal cortex, the insula and dorsal pons, which seem to act as 'multi-integrative structures during the experience and the anticipation of pain'. It was observed that one of the effects of pain was to decrease the amount of grey matter in these regions.


The author of the paper, Arne May, notes that this phenomenon could be termed a 'common brain signature' in chronic pain patients, but also asks the question whether the changes are causes or consequences of the pain: the classic 'which comes first?' scenario.


At the end of the paper the author suggests that the changes in the brain of chronic pain patients are 'the consequence of frequent nociceptive input and should thus be reversible when pain is adequately treated.' One of the powerful effects of a spinal impulse is that it reduces nociception which means it can reduce/prevent chronic pain and therefore brain shrinkage. Of course more studies will need to be done on this subject especially in relation to the long time period associated with chronic (as opposed to acute) pain but there is hope that future findings can provide breakthroughs in the treatment of pain.


With further advances in neuroscience and functional MRI technology, it is becoming much easier to monitor changes in the brain, blood-flow, and neuronal activity, which should tell us even more about the nature of pain and how to go about alleviating its harmful effects.


Meanwhile, the findings also show just how important it is to treat the cause of the pain rather than just the symptoms which, unfortunately, is what modern medicine often does. Natural medicine such as chiropractic care treats the true cause of your pain not just the symptoms, whether it be back pain, sciatica, neck pain, headaches or any type of pain in your body, we are here to help get you Back to Life!


So you had an MRI and your back still hurts?

Posted: June 22, 2017
By: Dr. Ruminder Birk

So you had an MRI and your back still hurts.. Now what?

Here's a little known and often surprising fact:

"If you've been waiting months or spent thousands privately to get an MRI in the hope that you'll get rid of your back pain... it's probably going to do very little to help you get rid of the pain or even accurately pin point where the problem is coming from." And even if the MRI did show you that you have bulging discs, experts in back pain will be quick to point out that 99% of the time MRIs are taken lying down and don't reveal what's happening to the disc under pressure. A lying down MRI is not a functional test, and this is why MRIs are known to be very poor at finding the cause of a person's back pain.

The Journal of Family Practice states that: “The overall evidence for the appropriate use of MRI in low back pain is limited and weak, and yet this diagnostic technology is touted by many as being the definitive answer for the question of why someone might be suffering with pain. No wonder so many people are struggling to get rid of their back problems when they go down the conventional route...And this will leave you still suffering with shooting, stabbing and burning pains from the low back, sometimes with additional pain through the buttocks and down the legs with little indication that this is ever going to go away. In severe cases you’ve waited so long for help that you've started to notice muscle wasting or numbness and constant tingling down to the tip of the toes.

There is a better way and you get seen almost immediately... Professional help is available for people with back pain and sciatica in Woodbridge, and it works really well even when you have been diagnosed with disc problems like slipped discs, bulges, herniation's, prolapses etc.

31 year old research from China has shown that these specialist spinal techniques have a 76.8% success rate in treating people suffering from back pain from disc problems. Research conducted in 2014 into more advanced techniques have a 88% success rate even when there are multiple damaged discs involved, and that's with zero recorded adverse events. What are these techniques? Known as "Non-Surgical Re-Constructive Spinal Care", a combination of chiropractic care, spinal decompression, laser therapy, vibration therapy and nutrition. These are the exact techniques used in the Atlantis Wellness Centre of Woodbridge.

Don't suffer a moment longer, the team of fully trained spinal care professional at Atlantis Wellness Centre have helped over 1,000 patients find relief from their agonizing back pain and sciatica, call us today.


Heart Disease - Could Spinal Re-Construction Be An Unsuspected Saviour?

Posted: June 6, 2017
By: Dr. Ruminder Birk

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a big problem, big news and big business!

Some of the statistics about heart disease prevalence are quite shocking; so, if there was a simple, non-invasive therapy that could be used to prevent or treat cardiovascular disease it should get a lot of coverage, right? No taking drugs for the remainder of your life, no surgery, no repeated doctor visits - just a series of re-constructive interventions like those delivered at the Atlantis Wellness Centre in Woodbridge.


CVD is the number one cause of death around the world, leading the way in industrialised countries and developing countries alike. Globally approximately 17.3 million people died from CVDs in 2008 (30% of all global deaths). 7.3 million deaths were due to coronary heart disease and 6.2 million were due to stroke - both of which share common origins in lifestyle mis-behaviour. In the US every year about 785,000 people suffer a first heart attack and another 470,000 experience an additional attack.

The fact that the number of prescriptions for "life-saving" lipid modulating drugs (statins) increased from 295,000 to over 50 million between 1981 and 2011 reflects the disturbing global fixation on cholesterol levels, discussed below.

The hypothesis that "cholesterol is bad" is flawed. Firstly few people are aware that cholesterol is absolutely critical for animal life with brain synapses, bile, cell membranes and sex hormones especially depending on cholesterol. Secondly, its action within the body is misunderstood; it is complicated and certainly not as simple as cholesterol hardening the arteries and restricting blood flow, or the "sludge in the drain" theory.

A very recent US study concluded this:

"It appears quite clear from the literature that "cholesterol" levels have nothing at all to do with atherosclerotic plaque formation, and subsequent CVD."

The study also points to a follow-up of the famous, 30-year "Framingham Study" in the US, which began in 1948 and followed thousands of men and women over a number of decades, along with their children and spouses, and even the grandchildren of the original cohort in 2002. The Journal of the American Medical Association recently ran a report on the latest findings stating that:

"After age 50 years [of age] there is no increased overall mortality with either high or low serum cholesterol levels."

In another statistical review of 15 countries in 2008, comparing heart-disease rates in men aged 35-74 and average cholesterol levels, study author Kendrick concluded that:

"There is a complete and utter dissociation between cholesterol levels and heart disease."

Prescription drugs block receptor sites or interfere with the human enzyme systems, thereby changing bodily function. They are expensive and cause side effects, so relying on them based on flawed science and assumptions is irresponsible, and will almost certainly have long-term negative effects.

The Connection to Inflammation

Inflammation is a subject that doesn't get much attention despite being the underlying cause of many chronic diseases. That it is part of the bodily system to fight injury is clear, but the world poorly understands why inflammation continues and can lead to disease after the initial intervention of the body's defence mechanisms, even though the empirical evidence is quite clear on this.

Inflammation and atherosclerosis have long been associated, with over 10,000 articles on the subject since the first one was published in 1966. The association is made at all stages of the disease and even low-grade chronic inflammation can help to predict risk of disease developing. Interestingly, one of the effects of statins is to reduce inflammation.

In mechanical terms, inflammation is closely connected to subluxation (spinal abnormality), which means it's essential to focus on correcting the dysfunctional biomechanical spinal segment; it is known that mechanical disturbance and irritation to spinal joints and nerves causes an inflammatory process that affects neurological function and can lead to musculoskeletal problems and disease.


Kendrick reviewed the medical literature and found that spinal cord injuries have been associated with:

Low HDL levels (and other lipid abnormalities, e.g. raised LDL levels)
Sharply raised blood-clotting factors
Insulin resistance (leading to diabetes)
Visceral obesity [a well-known risk factor for CVD]
Increased risk of dying of heart disease.

So the role that spinal re-constructive care plays in reducing inflammation has great potential in the treatment not only of heart disease, but other chronic diseases and conditions that are plaguing us globally today.

The Study and Its Findings
A case study and review of literature by Eric Zielinski and Nate A. Blume was recently published in the US, reporting on a 54 year old male patient with dyslipidemia who experienced lipid panel normalisation from chiropractic care (a primitive, un-developed form of spinal re-constructive care). The patient had a past history of myocardial infarction (heart attack) and angioplasty (artery-widening). After electromyography, range of motion, and thermography readings and blood readings were taken, a series of vertebral subluxations at the levels of C1, C5, pelvis, and sacrum were found and worked on over a 5-month period. It lowered cholesterol levels, despite no other reported lifestyle changes occurring, and the patient was able to reduce his medications.

While this is only one study of one man in his 50s, the influence of stress-related inflammatory and hormonal responses have long been believed to be a factor in the plaque build up involved in atherosclerosis and its subsequent complications with CVD. 

The study concludes that:

"A review of literature indicates that subluxation-based chiropractic care may be effective in managing atherosclerosis and other risk factors associated with CVD due to its potential effect on inflammatory markers."

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute in the U.S. are honest in admitting that "The cause of atherosclerosis is not known", even though scientific data shows quite clearly the factors that cause it! Inflammation is a major marker that something isn't right, this is quite clear, but it is what causes the inflammation that is the subject of most debate and actually the thing that is important; since inflammation is only a response to something that is wrong, it in itself is never what has gone wrong.

We need to look at heart disease not in isolation, but in connection with the factors causing the rise of other related chronic diseases and conditions like type 2 diabetes and obesity. In each case there is a factor of factors causing inflammation, this cannot be ignored; it is not difficult to trace this back to lifestyle factors, especially diet, lack of physical activity, excessive sitting and now poor mechanical structure also - all of which have profound effects on the organ systems of the body. The ubiquitous emphasis on cholesterol may be misplaced, but with billion-dollar industries depending on its perpetuation, a widespread change in thinking depends on educating individuals instead of relying on the marketing messages or the say-so of lazy MDs who follow pharmaceutical company advice.

If you'd like to take charge of your life and health, give us a call today to get a consultation. Perhaps chiropractic care can be your saviour to reduce cholesterol levels, inflammation, and/or any back, neck or sciatica pain you may be experiencing.