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Excerpted from the 5/04 - 8/04 Newsletter


Pulling Vines Table of Contents | Top of page

Yes, you can whiplash yourself in the garden. Your shoulders and upper back may also see action, if you find yourself trying to clear the yard of unwanted but well-rooted vines.

We’ve noticed that many of you are doing battle with the above as you try to leave your mark on a much older garden or yard. As beautiful as vines may be, when they threaten home invasion and trip your dogs, we can understand wanting to trim them back.

Sooo…you put on the heavy duty gloves and start yanking, trying to save some time while attempting to reinvent the yard according to your needs and wishes, only to find that those beautiful, leafy, luxuriant vines and tendrils are really tough, with amazingly tenacious roots. Grabbing one end and pulling hard, from a standing position, can leave you miserable. Here are a few suggestions that may help! 

1.Limit yourself to thirty minutes to one hour of vine removal at any given time

 2. Sit down and work close to the ground whenever possible. 

3. Clip the vines so that you’re dealing with short sections and pull them slowly, close to the earth. If one vine won’t give, either dig around it with a spade and try again, or go on to the next one. Many vines grow underground and then put up shoots, so don’t be surprised or disappointed if you don’t get everything the first time. Gardening is a process, tell yourself that! 

4. Try not to lean forward, with your natural cervical (neck) curve reversed, for too long at a time. Sit up straight frequently and take a few deep breaths before you  bend forward again. 

5.After your vine-pulling session, go inside and take a nice warm shower. Your muscles will love you for it. 

6. You may be a little sore from all that activity, especially if the movements and posture are very different from your everyday life. However, if stiffness, pain or limited range of motion persist for more than a few days, it’s time for an adjustment, even if you wouldn’t usually be due in here for a while.

Research Review: Breathing Normal and Then Some
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In the 1980s, Drs. Todres and Masarsky published a report on breathing capacity in a series of new patients. They measured the liters of air exhaled by their patients while forcing out a full breath; this measurement is called forced vital capacity, often abbreviated to FVC. They also measured the liters of air exhaled in the first second of forcing out a full breath; this measurement is called forced expiratory volume in one second, often abbreviated FEV-1. When repeat measurements were taken after one to three chiropractic adjustments, both FVC and FEV-1 were found to improve significantly.

It was no surprise that patients with difficulty in breathing would improve under chiropractic care. Along with many of our colleagues, we frequently hear patients make comments after a session along the lines of, “I feel like I can breathe freely again.” However, when we isolated the data for those patients in this series with normal FVC and FEV-1 on the initial visit, we found that this sub-group of patients had also improved. In other words, a significant number of chiropractic patients seemed to be walking in with normal breathing capacity and walking out with breathing capacity that was even better. They had started out normal and ended up “normal and then some”.

Worth noting is the relationship between breathing capacity and longevity. Both FVC and FEV-1 have been established in the biomedical literature as biological markers of aging. When a group of 1,750 50-year-olds in Framingham, Massachusetts were examined with long-term follow-up, it was found that the higher the FVC at age 50, the more likely was survival to age 75.

Breathing is made possible by skeletal muscles – the same types of muscles that enable you to lift, participate in sports, and perform well in other types of physical activity. These are the same types of muscles that make normal posture possible. The same chiropractic adjustments which may offer improvements in posture, sports performance and work productivity can also aid breathing – a vital function linked to longevity.

Rearch References Available on Request


Cranial Adjusting  Table of Contents | Top of page

We have a tendency to think of our heads as being  formed by one big round solid bone, when in fact they are made of many individual, somewhat unusually shaped bones. These fit together at sutures, sort of jagged lines that fit together like pieces of a living puzzle.

When we are children, our cranial bones are primarily cartilage, with soft areas that allow our heads to grow as we develop. The area people call a baby’s “soft spot” is one of them. Each bone has the capacity for very small natural movement, which works with our breathing. Our cranials are attached in places to the dura mater, the outermost membrane covering our brain and spinal cord, so a lack of correct movement can actually alter the natural tug on that membrane and change the pressure on the fluid surrounding the brain and cord. This, in turn, can affect the way the nervous system in general functions.

There are several techniques within chiropractic that can involve cranial work. In our office, we use elements from a number of them, all very gentle.

Peak Performance Project: Volunteers Needed
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At Vienna Chiropractic Associates, we have launched our own effort in the field of human performance research – the Peak Performance Project. Our initial (and still ongoing) investigation studies the effects of chiropractic adjustments and related techniques on alertness, especially in people who experience a “mid-afternoon slump”.

In our future efforts, we would like to carry the Peak Performance Project out of our office and into your real world. Are you involved in a recreational or work-related activity with a measurable aspect of performance? Obvious examples would be scores in target sports (shooting, archery, bowling, etc), measures of voice quality in singers, and number of moves to win or lose in chess and other games of strategy. There are many other examples you can make us aware of – aspects of performance at school, work and play are being measured all the time.

If you would like to discuss the feasibility of a new peak performance study, please get in touch with Dr. Masarsky. If you would like to participate in the on-going “mid-afternoon slump” study, please sign up at the front desk.

Why Would My Child Need Chiropractic
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Some of you are surprised when you see children in our reception area. “Why would a child need chiropractic?” you ask.

Let’s go back to basics. The purpose of chiropractic is to find areas of the spine that are not moving properly and are therefore causing communication errors along our nervous systems, somewhat like static. When these areas are adjusted, the nervous  system is able to resume its normal function of informing the rest of the body as to what is needed to work to the best of its ability.

That being said, remember that kids’ bodies are still developing, neurologically, muscularly and skeletally. This is the time to monitor and correct problems that challenge the developing child and work to provide a healthy matrix for the adult they will become. Does this mean that once corrected, your child will never have any problems? Of course not, but he /she will have the chance to throw off many of the injuries caused by learning to sit up and walk, falling, dancing, sports activities, long hours spent studying and learning to play instruments, etc.

This Newsletter is Copyright © Drs. Marion Todres and Charles Masarsky, Chiropractors. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © Vienna Chiropractic Associates, P.C. All Rights Reserved.