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Mattresses and Pillows

August 26, 2016


What’s the best mattress for you?  The answer is…I don’t know.  But, you can find it.

Have you ever slept on a mattress you really liked at a hotel or friend’s house?  If so, what about that mattress was beneficial?  Was it firmer or softer than the mattress you have now?  Did you like your current mattress when it was new, but not as much as it aged?  This information will help you choose the ideal mattress.

Some of you may sleep comfortably on a soft mattress or a pillow top, others prefer a firm mattress, and some like the tempurpedic (memory foam) mattress.  Firmer is usually better, but personal preference is the rule.

Take your time when shopping for a mattress and don’t go when you are rushed.  Don’t feel as though you need to make a decision on the spot.  I recommend NOT looking at prices as you consider different styles and levels of firmness.  Narrow your decision down to 2 or 3, and then look at price.  This is an investment, and this investment could last 10-15 years, or longer.  Visit different stores, use their analysis tools for additional information.  Although not perfect, in-store analysis will help gather more information.

Regarding price, let’s say you buy a mattress for $3,000.  Seems like a lot of money.  However, if you sleep well on it for 15 years, it costs you 55 cents a night.  And the returns for your health, wellness, and help in reducing neck and back problems are priceless.

Many stores offer return policies in case you are not satisfied, so ask about their policies before purchase.

Some couples benefit from a sleep number bed, as each side of a larger mattress can be changed to your liking.  As another option, partners can select their own twin/full mattress and place them together.


Again, there is no one good answer for everyone.  Pillows are often trial-and-error.  Some people prefer contour pillows; others prefer memory foam pillows, and others buckwheat, water, or soft down pillows, thick or thin.  Take note of pillows you have tried when traveling which you slept well, or poorly, with.  Thinner pillows are better for most people.  Thicker pillows tend to put your head and neck into strained positions.

If you are a back sleeper, thinner is definitely better, unless you have a medical condition requiring you to elevate your head and shoulders.  For side sleepers, you want a pillow thick enough to fill the space between your head and the mattress, keeping your head aligned with your body, but not too thick or thin.  For stomach sleepers, it gets trickier, but thinner is usually better.  There are “stomach sleeper” pillows available to try.

Have you stayed in a hotel and find you need a chiropractic adjustment when you return home?  If so, you may respond to a thinner, lower profile pillow.  Hotel pillows tend to be thicker and fluffier.

I recommend trying a contour cervical pillow if you are looking to replace your pillow.  Often people find contour pillows result in more restful, comfortable sleep, and they tend to work well with your chiropractic care.  When I was a teenager, my chiropractor had me try a simple foam contour pillow, and I have used the same one ever since.  I bought a second one, cut it half to make it easier to travel with.

Smaller travel versions of your chosen pillow are often available for travel.

If you still don’t have an idea of which pillow to buy, go to a mattress store and try several different shapes and sizes, and take your time when trying them out.  If you are close to my office, we have a couple loaner contour pillows to try at home.

Dr. Scott Fuller, DC                                                                                                               August 2016

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Autism, Cancer, Liver Failure, End State Renal Disease, and High Blood Pressure

February 23, 2015

***NOTE: The following is not medical advice; it is research and information ONLY***

Increases risk of Autism and ASD-Autism Spectrum disorders, when acetaminophen is used during pregnancy and early childhood.  (Environmental Health 2013; J Restorative Medicine 2013; Entropy 2012; Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis 2010; Alternative Med Review 2009)

Evidence that Increased Acetaminophen use in Genetically Vulnerable Children Appears to be a Major Cause of the Epidemics of Autism, Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity, and Asthma.  (J Rest Med 2013, William Shaw, 84 references)   The percentage of the population with autism in the US is 298 times higher than in Cuba. Yet, vaccines are compulsory in Cuba and Cuba has one of the most highly vaccinated populations in the world.  The practice of prescribing acetaminophen as a prophylactic fever preventative is widespread in the United States but is very uncommon in Cuba.

Maternal acetaminophen use during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk for HKDs (Hyperkinetic Disorders) by 37% and ADHD-like behaviors in children by 29%.  (JAMA Pediatrics 2014)

Long-term use (>4 days/week for >4 years) doubles the risk of Blood Cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma.  (J Clin Oncology 2011)

May cause Liver failure and death.  Acetaminophen hepatotoxicity far exceeds other causes of acute liver failure in the United States.  51% of US acute liver failures caused by acetaminophen especially with alcohol.  (Hepatology Nov 2005)

1,000 Capsules of Tylenol in a lifetime doubles risk of end stage renal disease.  (New Eng J Med 1994)

Increases high blood pressure.  Compared with non-users of acetaminophen, older women who consumed >500 mg per day for headache had a 240% increased risk of hypertension.  Compared with non-users of acetaminophen, younger women who consumed >500 mg per day for headache had a 370% increased risk of hypertension.  (Hypertension 2005)

Acetaminophen, whose best know brand name is Tylenol, is one of the most widely used nonprescription painkillers is the US.  Overdosing with it is the leading cause of serious poisoning in this country.  Every year, too much acetaminophen accounts for 50,000 emergency room visits, 42% of liver failures, and an average of 458 deaths.  Never take more than 4,000mg a day—eight 500mg extra-strength capsules.  If you have two or three alcoholic drinks or more a day, be sure to consult your doctor before taking Tylenol.  The symptoms of acetaminophen overdose are nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and lack of appetite.  The specific antidote is N-acetylcysteine (NAC).  (I. Rosenfeld, MD, Parade, Feb 19, 2006)

“The Danger Of Mixing Candy And Poison.”  Tim Davern, MD, a liver transplant specialist at UCSF.  “First Do No Harm” is a cornerstone of modern medicine.  “I think the practice of combining acetaminophen-Tylenol-and an opiate, such as hydrocodone bitartrate, together (as Vicodin does) defies logic, if not common sense.”  Acetaminophen is a “potent dose-dependent poison for the liver; simply stated, if you take too much, your liver dies.”  Acetaminophen overdose is the “leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States today.”  On the other hand, opiates, such as hydrocodone bitartrate and codeine, while safe for the liver, are highly addictive.  “Vicodin is currently the most popular prescription drug in the United States.”  Some patients become addicted to the opiate component of Vicodin and consume increasing amounts of acetaminophen, “ultimately leading to acute liver failure.”  (SF Chronicle, 8-14, 2004)

Acetaminophen Toxicity in an Urban County Hospital: Acetaminophen ingestion accounts for 12% of all patients hospitalized with drug overdoses.  Acetaminophen ingestion accounts for 40% of patients with acute liver failure.  (New Eng J Med  October 16, 1997)  Note: Narcotics like Vicodin, Percocet, and Darvocet contain acetaminophen.  Numerous other drugs also contain acetaminophen, including Nyquil, Sudafed, Alka-Seltzer, Sinutab, Contac, Actifed, etc.

Comment by Dr. Dan Murphy, DC                                                                                                                                    Based upon these studies and on the treasure trove of additional references found in their bibliographies, I would suggest that pregnant mothers and children not be given products that contain acetaminophen, ever.

What other things can you do if you have pain, especially chronic pain?

1. Clean diet.  More information on this blog, website and youtube page.

2. Daily general exercise within your ability and tolerance.  More information on my website and in-office workshops.

3. Corrective chiropractic care followed by wellness chiropractic care.  This is extremely underrated as a potential solution.

4. More and better sleep.  Information on my sites and in-office workshops.

5. Reduce stress.  Again, more information on my sites and in-office workshops.

6. Anti-inflammatory supplements including fish oil, B-vitamins and other antioxidants, Vitamin D, probiotics and fermented foods.  See articles on my website and youtube page.

7. Cold Laser or Low Level Laser Therapy, LLLT.  I have a laser at my office.

Local Organic Food

August 10, 2014

One of my favorite local farms is Meadow Mist Farm in Lexington, MA. You have probably driven past it and never knew it was there, since it is right off Route 2A (Marrett Rd).

I found Meadow Mist on  There you can find nationwide listings of  local farms, CSAs, farmer’s markets and farm stands.  On Local Harvest I also found the CSA I use,, for late fall and winter locally grown produce.

Meadow Mist is great because it is strictly organic.  Farmers Lauren and John currently have squash, peas, green beans, kale, broccoli, carrots, chard, greens, onions, garlic, and berries available.  They also have organic animal products including grass fed beef, chicken, and eggs.

Meadow Mist Farm has occasional volunteer days and children’s education.  Look over their website here and call ahead to schedule a visit.  Finding their farm for the first time is a little tricky so follow the directions on their website and look at an online map.

Take some time to organize your shopping schedule to include local (organic or non-organic) food in your diet, no matter where in the country you live.  This effort is critical.  What you decide to eat (and not eat) at every meal, every day is the most important factor regarding your health and the health of your children.  If you spend a little more on local, organic food, consider it an insurance policy to help reduce the chances of suffering expensive, chronic diseases.

For more nutrition information, read the Nutrition Guide article on my website here.

A Patient Explains the Importance of Chiropractic Wellness Care

July 14, 2014

Neck and back problems are just like tooth decay.  The longer you wait to fix them, the harder (and more costly) it gets to repair them and the pain just keeps getting worse.  Living with the certainty of another “my back’s out” all the time just doesn’t work for me.  I need to be at my best possible health all the time.  So I do back and neck stretches every day and visit Dr. Fuller every week and I haven’t been laid up with back pain in years.  Routine maintenance, just like brushing my teeth and seeing the dentist.  It’s a small price to pay for the reward of feeling good and being able to do what I want when I need to.  And not worrying about the next time a neglected spine is going to scream for attention!

Phil D.

Dr. Fuller’s Note:

To keep your car running at peak performance, you continue wellness car care with oil changes, tuneups, and alignments, even though the car has no pain.  The best time to bring your car to the mechanic is when it is running fine and you just need an oil change, not when the engine blows up.  Saves you money, too.

To keep your teeth as long as, and as healthy as, you can, you continue wellness teeth care.  You exercise your teeth daily with brushing and flossing, and have dental wellness checks, even though you don’t have teeth pain.  The best time to go to the dentist is when you only need a cleaning, not when you need root canals and bridges and implants.  Saves you money, too.

To keep your brain, body and spine running at peak performance, you continue with wellness Chiropractic care and daily spine stretches, even if you don’t have spine pain.  The best time to have a chiropractic adjustment is when you feel great, not when your “back (or neck) goes out.”  Saves you money, too.

Thank you Phil!

Break Your Soda Habit

June 22, 2014

Soda destroys your health.  Regular soda is terrible, diet soda is worse.  Juice is bad, too.  Are you addicted to soda?  Do you have several sodas a day?

The average American consumes 45 gallons of sugary drinks a year1-about a gallon a week-including soda, juice, “sport” drinks.  See how you can quickly run into trouble?

Regular soda is liquid calories.  Piling on calories.  The usual sweetener, high fructose corn syrup, wreaks more havoc in your body than regular sugar.  Fructose is processed by the liver,  causing liver damage and fatty liver2.  Fructose does not provoke an insulin response-lower insulin response means no satisfaction (reduction in hunger), so when it is mealtime, you eat the same amount.  When you drink regular soda, you and your children are piling on calories, and you don’t even know it, until you have weight problems with increased health risks (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s dementia).

Diet soda may be worse than regular soda.  Data shows that fake sweeteners are not helping people lose weight; dozens of studies conclude diet soda is linked to many of the diseases that regular soda are3 (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.).  In addition, the chemical sweeteners are known neurotoxins, meaning, they can kill brain cells.  DIEt soda causes brain cells to DIE.

Don’t drink juice, either.  Juice is concentrated sugar.  Eat the fruit, don’t drink the juice4.   When you eat a piece of fruit, say an apple, the small amount of sugar is slower to digest due to the fiber in the apple.  Apple juice has the sugar of many apples, but no fiber.  Absorption is fast, quick insulin spike, and presto, belly fat.

If you like water, your problem is solved; just drink water.  However, many patients have told me they don’t like drinking water.  Need help breaking your soda (or juice) habit?  Try this drink.

The Soda Eliminator5

  1. Glass full of soda water (no flavor, only water with bubbles), some ice if you want
  2. Add an ounce of 100% pomegranate juice, organic if available
  3. Squeeze in a lemon, lime, or both

That’s it!

Patients have used it successfully to break their soda habit.  If you don’t like carbonation, make the above with plain water.  Sure, there is a little juice in it with sugar, but only 4 grams/oz (compared to 33 grams of sugar in a can of soda).  If you want, skip the pomegranate juice and simply put lemon and/or lime in water to break your soda habit.

Another variation is to soak your favorite fruits and vegetables in water, just like Martha Stewart6 does.  Mint leaves too!

P.S. Need some extra motivation?  Put some rusty nails in soda for a few days and check results.  Want to subject your body to that?

1.  Link here.

2. Dr. Mark Hyman.  Link here.

3. Business  Link here.

4. Fat Chance, Robert Lustig.  A link to his book here.

5. Thanks to Doug Fuller for the recipe.

6.  Link here.

Allergy Season: non-drug solutions

May 25, 2014

Sneezing, runny nose, full sinuses, itchy eyes, chest congestion, disrupted sleep, difficulty exercising.

Do you have allergies?  Seasonal or year round?  Looking for non-drug answers?

Countless numbers of my patients have enjoyed relief of their allergy symptoms by using a few simple strategies.  Read several testimonials here.

Allergies are not caused by pollen, animals, or grass.  If they were, all exposed people would express symptoms, but not all do.  It is your individual immune system’s reaction, or overreaction, to things in the environment.  If your immune system is in a hypervigilant state, when an irritant like pollen comes along, your immune system overreacts and symptoms develop.  Your immune system’s heightened state of alert is often cause by certain foods and spine/nervous system dysfunction.

Here are 3 simple strategies I frequently recommend, often with tremendous success.

1. Eliminate dairy products for one month.  Nothing from a cow for a month.  No milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, ice cream, cream, butter.  Many of my patients who try this enjoy wonderful results.  If you are going to try it, remember, you cannot have any dairy at all.  Cutting down will not give you the results you want.

If you have a peanut allergy, how many peanuts are you allotted per day?  Zero.  Think the same way here.  Confirmation of results may be assessed by reintroduction of dairy products, deliberately or accidentally, and noticing if symptoms return.

You may go cold turkey and enjoy results, or you may need some preparation time to find worthy replacements for foods you and your family typically eat.  For milk replacements, try unsweetened almond, rice, and coconut milk.  For cheese, try goat and sheep cheddar and gouda.  You can find hard goat cheese in almost all supermarkets-try the hard or soft goat cheeses at Trader Joes.  Try unflavored goat yogurt (Trader Joes, Whole Foods) in place of cow yogurt.  Rice and Coconut ice cream can replace traditional ice cream (be wary of products with long ingredient lists).  Stay away from processed soy products such as soy milk, soy ice cream, and soy cheese.

There is no down side to eliminating dairy products, contrary to what you may have been taught.  Cow’s milk is nature’s way of raising a baby calf into a large adult cow.  When a calf is weaned, it does not drink milk any longer, nor does any other animal.  Interesting.  What do adult horses, elephants, and giraffes eat to keep their huge bones strong?

2. Step up your chiropractic adjustments.  Chiropractic care does not heal allergies, rather, chiropractic adjustments stimulate nerve information to the brain and immune system, which for some, relieve allergy symptoms.  Some people enjoy relief of allergy symptoms with more frequent chiropractic adjustments during allergy season, especially kids.  No, people are not lining up outside chiropractic offices (yet) for allergy symptom relief because the word is not out.  But the people who have discovered that chiropractic care helps relieve their allergy symptoms are very happy.

3. If complete dairy elimination or chiropractic adjustments do not alleviate your symptoms, the next step is to remove gluten from your diet.  Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale.  A gluten-free, wheat-free diet eliminates foods such as bread, pasta, most cereals, and baked products made with wheat flour.  Don’t worry; there are many easy ways to convert homemade meals and baking recipes to non-gluten ingredients, with plenty of help online and in books.  For more information consider the books “Wheat Belly” by William Davis, MD, “Grain Brain” by David Perlmutter, MD, and “The Paleo Diet” by Loren Cordain, Ph.D.  Vegetarian and vegan diets with elimination of dairy products may work, too.

Is it hard to exercise for 100 days?

March 23, 2014

Tomorrow, March 24, marks day 50, the halfway point of the 100 Days to a Healthier You program.  Have you been exercising every day for 20 minutes?  Are you doing the Fuller Five spine stretches every morning and night?  Are you coupling your exercise with cleaner eating?

Considering 100 days together may seem like a huge task.

If 2000 stones are delivered to your house to build a wall, it may seem like a huge task.  You can’t build it in one day.  How do you start?  One stone at a time.  How about installing 20 stones a day, one minute per stone?  You can do that.  In 100 days, you have a gorgeous stone wall.

If you break exercise down to the daily assignment, exercising today for 20 minutes, you realize “I can do that.”  So, do that.  Don’t worry about 100 days, just exercise today.  Use your checklist, and when you exercise today, put a check on your checklist.  Then do the same tomorrow.

The other part of your assignment is to do the Fuller Five spine stretches twice a day, and when completed, put another check on your list.  The Fuller Five only take a minute and a half, the time it takes to brush your teeth.  You can do that.  So, do that.  Then do the same tomorrow.

See?  All of a sudden, before your eyes, you built a stone wall.  Or, in the case of exercise, formed powerful health habits.

100 days of exercise is easy, if you break it down to 20 minutes of exercise today, and repeat tomorrow.  If you did not start the 100 of exercise, no worries.  Start your own 100 days today.

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