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100 Days to a Healthier You

January 31, 2014

WHAT?

Starting on Monday, February 3rd, I encourage you to exercise every day for 100 days.  Also, do the Fuller Five spine stretches every morning and evening during the 100 days.  (Review the spine stretches here, and two extra stretches here.)  These simple activities will help you improve the health of your spine and body, and maybe lose some weight along the way.

***DO NOT start exercising until you talk to, and get clearance from, your medical physician!***

If you are not exercising now, and if you are unfit, start slowly, maybe only 5 minutes a day; suggestions below.

If you are exercising, but not daily, the program is nudging you to increase your frequency.  For instance, if you exercise 3 times a week for an hour, try exercising 15-20 minutes a day on your off days.

The 100 Days to a Healthier You program incorporates 3 Pillars of Wellness:

1. Exercise-15-20 minutes a day (less if you are unfit, more if you want)

2. Nutrition-simple changes you can make now and forever (more to come in the weeks ahead)

3. Chiropractic-improve and maintain your spine and nervous system with Chiropractic adjustments and exercises.

WHY?

Why should you care?  Why 100 days of exercise?  Your reasons may include:

Live longer

Improve your Quality of Life

Significantly decrease disease risk (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s dementia, etc.)

Save money (the number one reason for bankruptcy in the US is medical bills)

Personal satisfaction of being in control of your health, fitness, and body

HOW?

1. Take a log sheet from our office (or make your own) and start recording Monday February 3rd.  I can e-mail one to you.

2. Exercise every day (aim for 15-20 minutes).  Place a check mark on your log sheet for each day you exercise.

3. Do your Fuller Five spine stretches twice a day.  Place a second check mark on your log sheet each day you do them. 

4. Eat better things (and fewer bad things).  Simple suggestions coming soon.

5. Watch the video “100 days to a healthier you” on my youtube page here (video will be up in a week).

6. Continue with your wellness Chiropractic adjustments to keep your spine and nervous system in top form.

PRIZES!

If you complete all 100 days and turn in your log sheet, you earn a chance to win a grand prize!

Refer a new patient to Fuller Chiropractic and get TWO CHANCES to win a grand prize!

***massages***

***coupons for Chiropractic care***

***Heart Rate Monitors and books from HeartZones.com***

***month membership to The Dojo in Billerica (BillericaDojo.com)***

***Initial Evaluation with a Personal Trainer***      

 (Drawings in May.)

Exercise Help 

If you are unfit, start with 5 minutes/day and slowly build up to 15-20 minutes/day.  Walking may be your exercise of choice and is a good start.  Later you will benefit from workout diversification, including resistance/weight exercises.   Choose something which gets your heart rate up.  Don’t have time?  When watching TV, try walking/marching in place, and/or do calisthenics  on commercial breaks.

Ride a bike, walk on a treadmill, use an elliptical or stair machine for 15-20 minutes.  Try a new fitness class (and start casually).

Be prepared with bad weather options!  Try home DVD workouts (check your library or purchase), and check your cable TV for programs.  Walk at a mall (and don’t forget the stairs).  Do you have stairs at home?  Do stair repeats.  Traveling?  Go up and down stairs in a hotel.  Get a gym membership and work with a personal trainer.

Daily household activities are not “exercise.”  You need heart pumping and heart healthy activity-workouts which get your heart rate up.  If you are new to exercise, get help so you don’t injure yourself.  Keep me posted on your success!

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Vitamin D for Optimum Health-Update

December 4, 2013

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to cardiovascular disease, strokes, various cancers (breast, prostate, colon), osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases (including MS), pain, flu, loss of cognitive function, diabetes (1 and 2), decreased strength, and depression.  “Deficiency of vitamin D is now recognized as a pandemic, with more than half of the world’s population at risk.(1)”  50% of the healthy North American population and more than 80% of those with chronic diseases are vitamin D deficient. Those with vitamin D deficiency experience 39% higher annual healthcare costs.

Vitamin D and Cancer  

Raising the year-around blood levels of vitamin D to 40-60 ng/mL (100–150 nmol/L) would prevent 58,000 cases of breast cancer and 49,000 cases of colorectal cancer each year, and 3/4 of deaths from these diseases in the US and Canada.  These levels could reduce case-fatality rates of patients who have breast, colorectal, or prostate cancer by half.(2)

A 2 year old benefits from Vitamin D
A 2 year old chiropractic patient was having trouble sleeping. Mom leads a healthy lifestyle for her daughter-breastfed, healthy food, lots of physical activity, chiropractic care since birth.  With my suggestion she tried vitamin D*.  Mom wrote soon after: “…drastic improvement we have seen with (her) sleep patterns since starting Vt. D (1600 IU/day); for the first time in months she woke up only once per night for the following 7 nights and slept through the night last night for the first time in a long time.  We are beyond thrilled! You continue to be my miracle worker and have returned some sanity to this family! Thank you!”

*Check VitaminDcouncil.org for dosages for infants and children.  They recommend 1,000IU per 25 lbs body weight.

Update on My Personal Experience with Vitamin D
I’ve tested my vitamin D level 4 times in the past year using our office finger prick kits. My test results:
September 2012: 32 ng/ml.  Not in the ideal range.  For the next 4 months I took 10,000 IU per day (5,000 AM + PM).
January 2013: 65 ng/ml.  32 to 65 in 4 months with 10,000 IU/day.  I wrote about my health improvements in prior news.
May 2013: 64 ng/ml.  Level stayed constant with 10,000 IU per day; I will drop to 5,000 IU for the summer months.
September 2013: 54 ng/ml.  Even with sun + 5,000 IU/day, level dropped 10 points.  I am back on 10,000 IU/day and will retest in 2014.

How to get the Vitamin D Your Body Needs(3)
Two ways: Expose your bare skin to sunlight and by taking vitamin D3 supplements.  Most of you are indoors during the day, so sun is out.  Vitamin D tests are easy and supplements are inexpensive.  Your goal is to get your blood level of vitamin D to over 50 ng/ml (higher with certain illnesses).  Sarcoidosis patients (and other granulomatous diseases) should not supplement with vitamin D because it increases granuloma production, increasing risk of hypercalcemia.

After you know your blood level, a loading dose of supplemental vitamin D3 of 10,000 IU/day for 4 months and maintenance dose of 5,000 IU/day may be what you need to get and keep your levels healthy.  NOTE: Only do this under a doctor’s supervision. Remember, some medical physicians prescribe doses of 50,000 IU/week when low.

We have 3 forms of Vitamin D3 supplements available in the office: liquid drops, gelcaps, and tablets, from trusted companies and inexpensive.  The liquid drops are available in 1,000 IU for children and 4,000 IU for adults.

Testing your Vitamin D level
You can test at our office with a finger prick kit for $99, using zrtlab.com for analysis.  Alternatively, have your medical physician test your Vitamin D3 with your next blood test.  Follow-ups are needed.

Sun Exposure and Vitamin D
The most natural way to get vitamin D is by exposing your bare skin to sunlight (ultraviolet B rays).  This can happen quickly; you don’t need to tan or burn.  Visit VitaminDCouncil.org for how to do it.  Boston only has 4 months of adequate sun, from Mid-April to Mid-August.  With skin type III, the charts state I’d need an hour of midday sun to make 1000 IU of D.  Do you have time for that?  You may be sun-sensitive and told to avoid all sun anyway.  Supplements are the way.  For more information, read my June 2013 post here.

Make sure you are supplementing with vitamin D if you are breast-feeding!

1. Integrative Medicine Vol. 9, No. 1, Feb/Mar 2010 Joseph Pizzorno, ND, Editor in Chief
2. Annals of Epidemiology Volume 19, Issue 7, July 2009, Pages 468-483
3. VitaminDCouncil.org
Thanks to Dan Murphy, DC for providing Vitamin D research.

Cars, Teeth, and Spines

October 20, 2013

CARS
A beautiful classic car pulled up outside my office recently, and it was obvious the car was well cared for with passion.  The owner came out and I quickly assessed the same careful maintenance was not applied to his health.  He was very overweight and struggling to move around as he tinkered under the hood.  Imagine how wonderful it would be if people would care for their health with the same priority and focus as a car.

Do you maintain your car with wellness visits to your mechanic?

TEETH
Every day you brush and floss your teeth (or at least you know you should).  Your daily exercise program for your teeth will probably continue for the rest of your life, without much thought, because you accept it as an important wellness and prevention strategy.  Even with this consistent follow-through, your teeth have to be professionally scraped every 6 months.  Imagine if you decided to stop brushing and flossing for 6 months.  What would your dentist and hygienist find on your next visit?

In spite of your daily teeth exercise program, you will probably lose them.  That’s okay, you can always get new teeth.

SPINES
Many people stop going to their chiropractor, and stop doing their daily spine exercises, after they feel well again.  Does this sound familiar?

When you decided to brush your teeth today, did your teeth hurt?  Probably not. You brushed anyway, knowing daily teeth exercise is a great wellness and prevention strategy.

The last time you had the oil changed in your car, did your car hurt?  Probably not.  You had it serviced anyway, knowing it helps your car stay well as it ages, and helps prevent inconvenient breakdowns and expensive repairs.

My suggestion is to apply your philosophy of teeth and car care to your spine by doing the following:

1. Continue with wellness visits to your chiropractor, especially when you feel good.  Once a month works well for most people.  Some people need more, some less.  Monthly wellness adjustments help keep your spine in good shape as you age.  Adjustments stimulate your brain, and may help strengthen your immune system.  (Ironically, wellness adjustments are never covered by insurance.  That’s why we call it medical insurance, not health insurance.)

2. Continue with your daily spine exercises.  For a review, watch my video here.  Remember, do these exercises casually and in your pain-free zone.

3. Continue with good posture and ergonomic habits.  Helpful tips are available on my videos here, here, and here.

These strategies will help you avoid another crisis.  You remember…when you had crippling back pain just before going on vacation; when your neck locked up and driving was unsafe because you could not turn to see; when you had a bad cold which never seemed to go away.

What about your children?  Do you want to wait until they end up like you before they start chiropractic care?  One reason I am a chiropractor is because back in the 70’s, my parent’s chiropractor asked, “Why leave your kids at home to suffer the same fate as you?”  We have had wonderful success working with kids who have ear infections, asthma, colic, migraines, ADD and ADHD.  Read stuff here, here, and here.  We would be happy to check your children.

Remember, you only have one spine, and if it wears out, you can’t get a new one. Take very good care of it.

CHIROPRACTIC PROFESSION AND PATIENTS CELEBRATE FOUNDER’S DAY

September 18, 2013

Chiropractic’s famous first adjustment is recognized each year commemorating September 18th, 1895 as Chiropractic Founder’s Day. On this day, 118 years ago, Dr. Daniel David Palmer administered the first specific chiropractic adjustment on his patient, Harvey Lillard in Davenport, Iowa. Dr. D.D. Palmer delivered this historic first chiropractic adjustment with the specific intent of realigning a malpositioned vertebra on the patient, restoring its normal position, and Harvey Lillard, who had lost most of his hearing 17 years earlier, noted his hearing swiftly returned under Dr. Palmer’s care. Dr. Palmer proceeded to explore and evolve his clinical practice to his new method of replacing spinal bones that were out of position, and experienced positive clinical results in patients with a wide variety of health concerns. His practice grew and the profession of chiropractic was launched.

Chiropractic is predicated on the recognition that the human body is a self-healing, self-regulating organism. And, most constructively, chiropractic understands how the body, rather than requiring intervening interruptions or intrusions into the healing process, instead needs no interference with its innate capacities for self-coordination, organized communication, and repair. The pioneering efforts begun by Dr. Palmer, that in his time were deemed an affront to the orthodox medical industry of the era, is now a concept so accepted and credible that widely-recognized authorities like Drs. Andrew Weil and Deepak Chopra base the core premise of their best-selling books and tapes on this healing model.

Chiropractic continues to grow in popularity and acceptance, and is now coming into its own as the largest drugless healthcare profession. It was because of the authenticity and soundness of these principles that chiropractic has not only survived initial harsh criticism and onslaught by its detractors, but has flourished, and now is increasingly understood and embraced by a wide audience of people in search of health.

“It is vitally important that both professionals and the public become better aware of the founding principles of this profession,” explains Dr. Daniel J. Murphy, internationally respected chiropractic educator and former ICA Vice President. “The very nature of the language used to describe chiropractic science includes core concepts that are in turn explored in research, articulated in education and expressed in practice by thousands of doctors of chiropractic worldwide.”

Once considered experimental, unorthodox or “alternative” health care, Chiropractic has now become a vital part of the main stream of health care. “Doctors of chiropractic worldwide have every reason to be proud of our profession and the unique contributions chiropractic science continues to make to the lives of millions,” said ICA President Dr. Michael S. McLean. Chiropractic receives tremendous support from the public, and every day in countries around the world, millions of individuals of all ages, from newborn infants to the most senior of our citizens, seek the care of a doctor of chiropractic. Throughout its history, the chiropractic profession has provided clinically efficacious, cost-effective and safe care to millions of patients worldwide, and has earned the highest patient satisfaction levels of any doctor-level health care science.

Dr. Scott Fuller, DC’s note:  I have been a practicing chiropractor for 24 years, and I am proud to serve people with chiropractic and a wellness lifestyle.  Many patients have offered heartfelt gratitude and thanks for helping them get well again, which excites and motivates me and my wonderful staff to show up at the office each day.  I am thrilled to witness so many babies, children, and adults become and stay well with chiropractic.  Thank you for such wonderful experiences!

Thanks to the International Chiropractors Association for this News Release.

Vitamin D Supplementation for Optimum Health

June 1, 2013

Sunrise at Yumigahama Beach

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases (including multiple sclerosis), pain, flu, loss of cognitive function, decreased strength, and increased rate of all-cause mortality.  In addition, an increased risk for strokes, diabetes (types 1 and 2), depression, and breast and colon cancer are closely linked to low Vitamin D levels.

 An article in the Journal of Integrative Medicine1 states “Deficiency of vitamin D is now recognized as a pandemic, with more than half of the world’s population at risk.”  Approximately 50% of the healthy North American population and more than 80% of those with chronic diseases are vitamin D deficient.  80% of healthy Caucasian infants are vitamin D deficient. The rate of vitamin D deficiency tends to be greater in African-American and Hispanic children.  Those with vitamin D deficiency experience 39% higher annual healthcare costs than those with normal levels of vitamin D.

How to get the Vitamin D Your Body Needs2

The two main ways to get vitamin D are by exposing your bare skin to sunlight and by taking vitamin D3 supplements. You can’t get the right amount of vitamin D from food.  Read more on sunlight exposure below.

The good news is it is easy to have your vitamin D level checked, and vitamin D supplementation is inexpensive.

Suggested healthy blood levels of vitamin D as measured by 25(OH)D3 are:

Caucasians             125 – 175 nmol/l       =   50 – 70 mg/dl

Hispanics                 100 – 150 nmol/l       =  40 – 60 mg/dl

African-Americans      80 – 120 nmol/l      =   32- 48 mg/dl

The maximum safe levels for vitamin D in the blood is 275 nmol/l (100 mg/dl).  Sarcoidosis patients (and other granulomatous diseases) should not supplement with vitamin D because it increases granuloma production increasing the risk of hypercalcemia.  (Note: Results listed as mg/dl are the same as ng/ml.)

A loading dose of supplemental vitamin D3 of 10,000 IU/day for 3 months and maintenance dose of 5,000 IU/day “is not enough for most people in northern climes.”  Prolonged intake of 10,000 IU of supplemental vitamin D3 “is likely to pose no risk of adverse effects in almost all individuals.”  Some medical physicians prescribe doses of 50,000 IU/week for many weeks or months when a patient tests low, and vitamin D toxicity is extremely rare.

After you know your level, consider a loading dose of 10,000 IU/day for 4 months with a maintenance dose of 5,000 IU/day.  If you take this amount you must monitor your blood 25(OH)D3 level.   We can test your vitamin D3 level at the office; see below.

I have yet to see an adequate level of vitamin D in any of my patients not already taking a vitamin D supplement .  Chances are your level is low, and for some of you, dangerously low.  You vitamin D level, and potentially your health, may be improved quickly by knowing your level and taking enough vitamin D supplements.

Testing and Increasing your Vitamin D level

You can test at my office with a finger prick kit (not venipuncture).  We send the kit to ZRT Laboratory, http://www.zrtlab.com, for analysis.  You may also use the kit at home and mail it in yourself with their postage paid envelope.

A finger prick Vitamin D3 test costs $99, and results take about a week to come back from the lab.

Alternatively, you may request your medical physician to test for Vitamin D3 level during your next blood test.  However, you should test your vitamin D3 level every 4 months if you plan to increase your vitamin D3 supplementation.

My Personal Experience with Vitamin D

In September of 2012 I tested my vitamin D level with a kit.  Results showed 32 ng/ml which is too low (even after adequate sunshine exposure over the summer).  Over the next 4 months I supplemented with 10,000 IU per day, 5,000 in the AM and PM.

In January of 2013 I retested and my level increased to 65 ng/ml.

Good test numbers are important, but did I notice any changes in my health?  Yes.  Each winter for many years I could count on a terrible sore throat for about a week, sometimes twice.  Over the winter of 2011-12 I had three.  Since increasing my vitamin D in the fall of 2012 I did not have a sore throat for the entire 2012-13 winter.  My immune system was very solid, even being exposed to multiple sick children and adults daily in my chiropractic office.

I stayed on 10,000 IU per day for four more months and retested in May of 2013; my level remained steady at 64 ng/ml.  With adequate sun exposure for the next 4 months, I will take 5,000 IU (recommended maintenance dose) and retest in September.

Sun Exposure and Vitamin D3

The most natural way to get vitamin D is by exposing your bare skin to sunlight (ultraviolet B rays). This can happen quickly; you don’t need to tan or burn. You only need to expose your skin for around half the time it takes for your skin to turn pink and begin to burn.  There are a number of factors that affect how much vitamin D your body produces.  These include the time of year and time of day, where you live in the world, the type of skin you have, and how much of your skin is exposed to the sun.  For more information on your sun exposure needs, use the VitaminDCouncil.org charts.

For example, in Boston, we only have about 4 months a year of adequate sunlight: Mid-April to Mid-August.  With skin type III, the charts state I’d need an hour of midday sun to make 1000 IU of D.  Who has time for that?  And, some of you are sun-sensitive and have been told to avoid all sun.  You can understand why most of us are deficient, and supplementation may be the only way to have adequate vitamin D levels for optimum health.

Make sure you are supplementing with vitamin D if you are breast-feeding.

Dr. Scott Fuller, DC, CCST

1. Integrative Medicine  Vol. 9, No. 1, Feb/Mar 2010  Joseph Pizzorno, ND, Editor in Chief

2. VitaminDCouncil.org

Thanks to Dan Murphy, DC for providing Vitamin D research.

20 Years of Chiropractic Healthcare

April 1, 2013

Fuller Chiropractic opened in Woburn, MA, in April 1993, 20 years ago.

During that time we have helped thousands of babies, children, and adults find relief of and conservative answers to various health problems, and many continue with years of wellness chiropractic adjustments.  Read some success stories here.

The most inspiring moments are when someone looks me in the eye and says, “thank you for helping me get my life back,” and, “thank you Dr. Fuller for helping my child become healthy again.”  These wonderful results, often when  chiropractic is used as a last resort, motivate me to continuously sharpen my provider skills.

Chiropractic as a whole has positively changed over the past 20 years.  It is much more widely accepted, and people are learning that Chiropractic Healthcare is much more than neck and back pain relief.  Also, I have communication with many medical physicians, and we refer back and forth as needed.  This is the way it should be.

Thank you all for giving chiropractic a try, and thanks for your many referrals over 20 years.  You have helped Fuller Chiropractic prosper as a health and wellness center.  I will give you my best effort to offer quality chiropractic care, and nutrition, exercise, and supplement advice for another 20 years and beyond.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Scott Fuller, DC

Snow shoveling without injury

February 9, 2013

Many of you will be shoveling and using snowblowers this weekend.  Before you go out, review my video on how to avoid injury here.

Another way to avoid coming into my office with an Unhappy Back on Monday is to do your spine exercises several times during your shoveling marathon.  Review the stretches here.  Every 30 minutes take a break and do a few spinal twists, side bends, and an extension stretch.  When you come in for a break, lie down and do a dozen (or more) knee rolls and a couple knees to chest.  At the end of the day double up on the number of stretches; for example, try 20-25 knee rolls each side.  Don’t forget to do the stretches casually and in your pain free zone, as the video instructs!

This video has 2 bonus stretches at the end; cat stretch and child’s pose, here.

Remember, go slow, take breaks to do the Fuller Five stretches (plus the bonus 2), and keep your Happy Back!

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