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The Down to Earth Alternative

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Office Hours

Monday: 10:30 am – 1:00 pm
3:00  - 7:30 pm
Friday: 8:30 am – 1:00 pm
3:00 – 6:30 pm
Tuesday: 3:00 – 7:30 pm Saturday: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm (We are usually open at least two Saturdays/month)
Wednesday: 10:30 am – 1:00 pm
3:00 – 7:30 pm
Sunday:  Office Closed
Thursday:      Office Closed
Our phone number is (703) 938-6441. (Please note: some directories have listed our primary number as (703) 938-6442. This is not correct, and you will be unable to leave messages at this number.) Please visit our website: www.neurologicalfitness.com.


6, 13 Open for Saturday hours
22 Chiropractic Independence Day
29 Closed for Memorial Day
3,10,17 Open for Saturday hours
19 Chiropractic Independence Day
4 Closed for National Independence Day
8,22,29 Open for Saturday hours
17 Chiropractic Independence Day
5,12,26 Open for Saturday hours
21 Chiropractic Independence Day
4 Labor Day, office closed
6, 13 Open for Saturday hours
18 Chiropractic Independence Day

Note: We are making every effort to provide you with an accurate calendar. However, each newsletter covers a period of four months. Unforeseen circumstances during this time period may require minor changes in the calendar.


Golfer's Anatomy Lesson
Make a Referral - Save A Stomach!
A Down-to-Earth Raffle to Benefit Hurricane Katrina Survivors
Chiropractic Independence Day/Multipacks
Lifting with Your Wrists?
Perfume and Other Scents
In the Garden Again

Golfer's Anatomy Lesson Table of Contents | Top of page

Spring and a whole lot of fancies turn to golf! Here are a few hints to help you and your game through the season.

Where does the anatomy lesson come in? Golfing is an extremely one-sided sport, involving a tremendous amount of torsion in one direction. One of the major places that torsion takes place is your thoraco-lumbar junction, the area where your thoracic spine, which is stabilized by its attachment to your ribs, meets your lumbar spine. If you put your hands so that one is at the last vertebra with ribs attached and the other is on the one below it, you are at your thoraco-lumbar junction.

Since the ribs stabilize your thoracic spine, the shearing force of your swing goes right into the space between T12 (the last thoracic vertebra) and L1, the first lumbar, which is not stabilized by your ribs and is therefore more vulnerable to torsion injuries. The following will help protect you from some of the potential injuries to which that vulnerability exposes you: 

  1. Have a knowledgeable person check your stance to make sure your foot and leg position is good. This can go a long way toward making sure your overall body usage is good.
  2. Do a good warm-up. You’re going to be asking a lot of your spine.
  3. Learn to “rotate your tires”. Before you actually address the ball in the fairway part of the game, take a sham swing on the other side (a left-handed swing if you are right-handed, and vice versa). This will help balance some, if not all, of the force exerted on the side from which you play.
  4. Consider calling 703-938-6441 for a spinal tune-up to relieve some of the physical stress of the sport and to let your nervous system help you play your best game.

Make a Referral - Save A Stomach! Table of Contents | Top of page

We have some good news and some bad news. The bad news comes from www.2reduce.org, a website co-sponsored by the American Gastroenterological Association (an association of medical doctors specializing in gastrointestinal disorders). This source tells us that an estimated 16,500 Americans will die this year from stomach bleeding due to over-use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). An additional 103,000 will be hospitalized due to stomach bleeding or severe ulcer attacks. The NSAID category of drugs includes such common ones as aspirin, AdvilR, AlleveR, MotrinR and NaprosynR.

As the directions on most bottles of such products clearly warn, NSAIDs are available over-the-counter for only one purpose - temporary relief (ten days or less). While long-term use may occasionally be justified under strict medical supervision, many people self-medicate with NSAIDs for extended periods. It is quite probable that you have at least one friend, co-worker or relative who has been taking over-the-counter NSAIDs on a weekly or even a daily basis for months or years at a time. The chances are good that this risky overuse is for relief from back pain, neck pain or headache.

Here is the good news. If you are a chiropractic patient, you are aware that back pain, neck pain and headache are often related to nerve irritation caused by misaligned or restricted spinal joints (subluxation). When adjustments help the body correct subluxation, one result is relief from these painful problems. For many people, chiropractic care can dramatically reduce NSAID dependence. You can help protect the people you care about from the danger of NSAID-related gastrointestinal injury by introducing them to chiropractic care. If your friend, co-worker or relative wants further information prior to making an appointment, suggest a visit to our website: www.neurologicalfitness.com (you’ll find it printed on our business cards).

 The good news gets even better. Not only does chiropractic care not cause gastrointestinal disorders, but also there is evidence to suggest that it may in fact promote gastrointestinal health. This evidence is summarized in Chapter 9 of the textbook edited by Drs. Todres and Masarsky, Somatovisceral Aspects of Chiropractic: An Evidence-Based Approach (Churchill Livingstone, New York, 2001). You will find a copy of this textbook in our reception area. 

So, if you are a chiropractic patient, make a referral and save a stomach. If you are not yet under chiropractic care, refer yourself by calling 703-938-6441. The stomach you save may be your own!

Rejuvenation Table of Contents | Top of page

A person in an acute crisis has no trouble understanding why their misaligned or restricted spinal joints (spinal subluxations) should be adjusted. The pain and other unpleasant sensations (numbness, stiffness, etc.) are glaringly obvious reminders that subluxations cause nerve irritation. However, even in the absence of such a crisis, subluxation can make you feel old beyond your years.

For instance, loss of breathing capacity is an established biological marker of aging. In the 1980’s, Drs. Todres and Masarsky published a report on breathing capacity in a series of new patients. They found that even patients with lung volumes normal for their age in the initial visit often improved after 2-3 chiropractic adjustments. In other words, it is not uncommon for patients to begin with age-appropriate breathing capacity and end up with “younger” respiration after chiropractic care.

In 2005, an international research team investigated the ability of a person’s DNA to resist damage and to repair itself while that person is under chiropractic care. Previous research suggests that DNA damage can accelerate the aging process and reduce longevity. The ability to resist this damage can be estimated by taking a blood sample and measuring the levels of a naturally occurring group of substances – plasma thiols. In the 2005 study, patients who had received short-term chiropractic care (104 weeks or less) were compared to patients who had received long-term chiropractic care (105 weeks or more). The plasma thiol levels were significantly higher (and, by implication, DNA protection and repair more efficient) in patients who had undergone long-term chiropractic care.

 To be clear, we do not offer a magical fountain of youth. However, emerging evidence suggests that there are subtle rejuvenating effects of the chiropractic adjustment, and that these subtle enhancements are measurable and valuable. If you are not already doing so, consider scheduling regular chiropractic check-ups.

A Down-to-Earth Raffle to Benefit Hurricane Katrina Survivors
Table of Contents | Top of page

At Vienna Chiropractic Associates, we try to keep our clinical procedures rational and our treatment plans reasonable in terms of your real-life needs. That’s why our motto is, “The Down-To-Earth Alternative”.

We also like to be as down-to-earth as possible in our humanitarian efforts. We all know that the United States is more successful than most countries at bringing forth food from the good earth. Sadly, many Hurricane Katrina victims are still among those struggling to get their share of this American bounty. Many previously self-supporting people in Louisiana and Mississippi remain jobless and/or homeless, prolonging their need for food aid. In addition, the hurricane left many soup kitchens, food banks, etc. in need of rebuilding or repair. The 2006 hurricane season, which begins in June, will find the Gulf area still reeling from last year’s disaster.

We feel that helping people get their daily bread is health care at its most down-to-earth level. So, we’re having a raffle! Tickets will be on sale until June 10: $1 per ticket, $5 for six tickets, $10 for twelve tickets.

This is your chance to win really great stuff. Even some of our prizes are down-to-earth! For instance, we’re giving away three sets of onyx bookends and a fossilized fish. That’s right – you could win a really old rock! Along more clinical lines, we have one velveteen bed wedge (to help you assume a better sleep position), and six chiropractic visits. 

Proceeds will be donated to America’s Second Harvest. According to an article in Forbes Magazine, this is one of the nation’s most efficient charities, with 98% of the money going directly to feed the hungry through a national network of local food banks, soup kitchens, and other similar institutions. In addition to participating in our raffle, you may wish to make a private donation to: America’s Second Harvest, Attention: Liz Franke, 35 E. Wacker Street, Chicago, IL 60601 (1-800-771-2303).

On a related topic, we would like to acknowledge many of our patients who have been able and willing to volunteer time to work on various rebuilding projects in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Chiropractic Independence Day/Multipacks
Table of Contents | Top of page

In an effort to make chiropractic care affordable to everyone, we set aside selected Mondays as Chiropractic Independence Days. On Independence Days, there are no set fees. Your decision to seek chiropractic care is independent of your insurance or income level. Payment (which goes anonymously into a box at the front counter) is a combination of what you feel the care is worth and your ability to pay. We do accept new patients on Independence Day, depending on time availability, making this an excellent time to introduce a friend, co-worker, or loved one to chiropractic care. It does make sense to make your appointment well in advance, as these time slots fill in quickly.

For those of you who want to have your spine checked regularly on an early intervention basis, you may be interested in our six or twelve visit packs or the 18 visit family pack. You will save money while safeguarding your spinal health and mobility. Our staff is happy to answer your questions on these programs

Lifting With Your Wrists? Table of Contents | Top of page

By now, we’ve all learned (at least theoretically) to lift with our legs. That being said, a lot of folks out there are lifting with their wrists, pushing off with their hands to bring themselves from a sitting to a standing position. This puts a tremendous burden on your wrists and can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome and similar constellations of symptoms, as well as jammed elbows, shoulders and collarbones and general upper body dysfunction.

Occasionally, lower body injuries force us to use our upper bodies to help us get up, but our wrists will be much better off if we can make our larger leg muscles do this particular task.

If you find yourself “lifting with your wrists” and can’t seem to break the habit, mention it at your next visit, and we’ll work with you to help correct the problem.

Perfume and Other Scents  Table of Contents | Top of page

In a crowded urban/suburban area, we are all constantly bombarded with all kinds of scents, artificial and natural. Some of us have allergies to certain scents, and many of us are very sensitive to “scentsory overload”.

Please help make everyone in the reception and adjusting rooms comfortable by limiting your use of perfumes, colognes, aftershaves, etc. when you are in the office. If it’s later in the day and you applied scent before leaving home in the morning, please don’t refresh it right before coming here. If you are coming in before work, please wait to apply scent until after you’re done here, if that is at all feasible.

Thank you so much for being considerate of the needs of others.

In the Garden Again  Table of Contents | Top of page

The other thing to which fancies turn in spring is the garden (and yard).

We’ll let the horticulturalists tell you how to get the best, hopefully least chemically nurtured blooms, veggies and lawns. We’ll take this space to remind you of the following in order to make your experience even happier: 

  1. If you are allergic to mold or just have trouble inhaling small, solid bits, why not wear a particle mask? It will keep you from breathing in whatever you’re digging up and save you many fits of whiplash-like sneezing.
  2. Sit up/stand up frequently. This allows your spine’s natural curves to come back to whatever is normal for you. This will also help you from getting quite so stiff.
  3. Don’t try to garden standing up! This includes pulling up groups of weeds and “just tidying up a little”. Wait until you can sit or kneel for a few minutes.
  4. When pulling up vines that have overtaken your little area of serenity, don’t stand, grab them by the end and yank. The vines will win, and you will end up with something very much akin to whiplash. Sit or kneel and hold the vine close to the soil to pull up. You might even want to trim the vines a little first, so you are not quite so engulfed. Wear gloves; many vines have toxic “sap” that can make you itch, at the very least.
  5. Pace yourself. Depending on whether your garden consists of a single large planter, a border or something resembling the Ponderosa, don’t try to accomplish everything in one day. Why throw your back out trying to relax?
  6. Ah, mulch! See almost all of the above…really! Wear a mask if you’re using shredded mulch to avoid mold. Throw the mulch down directly in front of you as opposed to repeatedly twisting to one side. Every structure in your back will thank you for not turning gardening into a one-sided sport. While we’re at it, may we suggest that you look into other forms of mulch, perhaps bark, or even pebbles? You may not have to apply them as often, and there won’t be as much odor of mold. Your neighbors will love you for it almost as much as your spine will, though a wheelbarrow would be a big plus while working with pebbles. Ask your garden center experts for ways to keep down odor and mold with forms of mulch that may not require such frequent effort.
  7. If the best-planned and performed gardening still heads straight for your spine, call 703-938-6441 for an appointment, and your table will be waiting!

This Newsletter is Copyright © 2006, Drs. Marion Todres and Charles Masarsky, Chiropractors. All Rights Reserved.

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