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Newsletter Archives > Monthly Health Newsletter: September 2011 Health Newsletter

September 2011 Health Newsletter

Current Articles

» Update from Dr. Feldman and Susan Feldman
» Chiropractic - The Knock Out Punch for Migraines & Dizziness
» Get More Sleep and Lose Weight!
» Survey: Chiropractic Care Outperforms All Other Back Pain Treatments...
» September is Pain Awareness Month

Update from Dr. Feldman and Susan Feldman

Hola, and heartfelt greetings from SMA. You all have been close on my mind, but we have been exceedingly busy! The process of moving, traveling, moving in, and settling in has been immense. The cultural shift of living as an “extranjero” utilizes a distinctly different language and operating system that is life changing. We are finally feeling settled in. We live in a lovely, very comfortable house. It has a big back yard filled with birds. Friends seem to be flocking in, as well. There is an openness, inquisitiveness and warmth found between like-minded expatriates. San Miguel is a bit like Berkeley in that there are large numbers of artists, writers, musicians, dreamers, eco-warriors and other types of people whose unifying thread may be best described as that they prefer to live outside the box - and outside of the country while they are at it. There is a natural curiosity in everyone we meet about each other, and what gifts each person might be able to bring to the community. Our early contribution was to create a parallel “Burning Man” party for all those people who may or may not have been to, or even heard of the event that just happened this past week, and the enthusiasm was enormous. People came in costume and ate and drank and danced. A group of musicians showed up that were shockingly talented. It was almost like having Santana playing in our back yard. We burned “Pinata Man”, and we fortuitously found the pyrotechnics guy in San Miguel to rig up him with rockets and roman candles so he spun and sprayed sparks everywhere. It was a smashing success, and we cemented many new friendships. The downside, though, was that we didn’t think to put our dog, Athena, upstairs during the fireworks portion, and she got spooked and took off. Then it rained 2 or 3 inches and further freaked her out, I am sure. Thankfully, she was returned to us 4 days later, thanks to an all points bulletin on the radio and posters offering a substantial reward. She had been adopted into a nearby rancho, and a friend of the people of the rancho who’s dog had died asked if she could have one of their many dogs, and was offered Athena. She was going to take her, and then saw the poster, and they all split the reward. Everyone, including Athena, is very happy now. I have been keeping a blog, in which I write about our lives and thoughts and Susan has posted many pictures on her Facebook page. It is hard to put in a nutshell, but I would say, by and large the people in Mexico are more connected to their family, their community, culture and religion than we are in Berkeley, and by and large get along with much, much less. I would guess that they are probably happier as a whole and feel less isolated than many Bay Area people do. Life is materially more spare, but seems to me less stressful at the same time. I find myself encountering many locals and expats whom I considered fairly self-actualized in the sense that they are comfortable in their own skin, however their gifts present themselves. Self confidence and humility in the right proportions might be another way to explain it. Danger and tragedy hovers in the background, however, and life is an existential balance every day. How do we comfortably go out for a well deserved night on the town (there was an amazing chamber music festival last month. Last night we went to see a percussion group that could have played Yoshi’s on a Friday night. Excellent restaurants and bars abound, with prices 1/3 to ˝ Berkeley prices.) when there is a Guatemalan boy on the tracks asking for spare change so he can eat and drink enough to catch the next boxcar to the border, families rummage for recycling (sound familiar?) Fortunately most expatriates around here tend to do something personally and with organized groups to support the local needs of people and animals, and we are all enriched by the kind and courteous people who by and large give everyone their best side. The rest is really doing my body a lot of good. I adjust one person every week or two, basically, and that is my chiropractor, a Canadian expat and a former body building champion. I probably should have picked a smaller chiropractor to exchange treatments with but he has good hands and is taking great care of me, Susan is exploring beginning her craniosacral practice at a healing center called Lifepath run by a psychotherapist that is exquisitely situated in a 300 year old colonial mansion. I have given myself the goal of simultaneously studying advanced Spanish and light force chiropractic and osteopathic techniques, as well as starting a bilingual men’s group. It is a time of internal processing for me and I look forward to the upcoming months. I welcome any and all contact with you all. You may reach us at [email protected], or Facebook or Skype us by finding Ethan Feldman or Susan Feldman in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. We would love to chat. This is also a wonderful area to visit, if you want to come and say hello, and if you are worried about the safety of traveling in Mexico, this place is safer than Berkeley, and most people who work or live in and around downtown or tourist centers speak some English. The weather, culture, and hot springs are all fabulous. Abrazos (hugs), Ethan and Susan

Author: Dr. Ethan Feldman
Source: Personal
Copyright: Dr. Ethan Feldman 2011

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Chiropractic - The Knock Out Punch for Migraines & Dizziness

Two case studies reported in the September 2011 issue of the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine find chiropractic care to be effective in both alleviating migraine headaches and cervicogenic dizziness - dizziness originating from a mechanical disturbance of the neck. Since these are individual case studies, they each deal with just one individual's results with chiropractic care. However, the successful management of migraine headaches and dizziness in certain individuals has been known and reported within the chiropractic profession for more than 100 years. According to these specific case studies, a 52 year old female with a 40 year history of migraine headaches occurring approximately once a month was migraine-free at her 6 month follow up evaluation after receiving chiropractic care. Additionally, a 29 year old man with a 10 year history of progressive dizziness with symptoms including a sensation of excessive motion, imbalance, and spinning associated with neck pain and stiffness reported a reduction of pain and dizziness and an improved quality of life after chiropractic treatment. While not every migraine sufferer or individual with dizziness obtains these results, there are a great deal of those who do obtain full or partial relief. If you are suffering, don't continue to wait. Call your local chiropractor today for a professional no obligation consultation!

Source: Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. Vol 10, Issue 3, September 2011.
Copyright: LLC 2011

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Get More Sleep and Lose Weight!

New research indicates those who lack adequate sleep tend to consume more food and do so without burning any additional calories. A different but also recent Swedish study found similar results where those who did not have proper sleep burned up to 20 percent less calories per day. In either case, weight gain is the end product. With the work more sleep less hectic lifestyles we have today coupled with the increased consumption of fast foods and sugary drinks, it's no secret why the obesity rates are skyrocketing. It's speculated that one of the reasons for weight gain is the hormones that regulate how hungry we are, when we're hungry and what kinds of foods we crave are negatively affected when we are sleep deprived. Another potential cause are the poor health decisions made when one lacks proper sleep. Lack of sleep has also been shown to be associated with other health related issues. So eat right, be healthy and ensure you remember to get proper sleep.

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online June 29, 2011.
Copyright: LLC 2011

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Survey: Chiropractic Care Outperforms All Other Back Pain Treatments...

Survey: Chiropractic Care Outperforms All Other Back Pain Treatments, Including Medication

ACA Suggests Conservative Care Before Prescription Drug Use

In a new survey, chiropractic care outperformed all other back-pain treatments including prescription and over-the-counter medications, deep-tissue massage, yoga and Pilates. According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), this news reinforces the use of conservative care options as a first line of defense against pain.

The survey, released by a leading consumer product rating and survey publisher in late July, found that 65 percent of those surveyed using chiropractic care for back pain said it helped a lot. Only 53 percent of respondents using prescription medications found them as helpful.

Additionally, about half of those surveyed who are using deep-tissue massage, yoga or Pilates said those treatments helped a lot, and only 28 percent of respondents using over-the-counter medications reported that they helped a lot.

Current evidence-based guidelines support the use of conservative care such as chiropractic for conditions such as chronic lower back pain. In 2007, the Annals of Internal Medicine published low back pain guidelines developed by the American Pain Society and the American College of Physicians. Those guidelines recommended that, for patients who do not improve with self-care, doctors should consider non-pharmacologic therapies such as chiropractic care, massage therapy and acupuncture.

The issue of pain relief has gained visibility recently with the release of a government report which found that while the use of some illegal drugs has diminished, the abuse of prescription medications has sharply increased--particularly prescription opioid pain relievers such as Oxycontin and Vicodin. The report points out that unintentional opioid overdoses (once almost exclusively the fate of heroin abusers) are today increasingly caused by prescription painkiller abuse.

“As this latest survey helps to demonstrate, chiropractic care is an evidence-based and effective treatment that can prevent patients from resorting to powerful drugs with potentially harmful consequences,” said ACA President Dr. Rick McMichael. “I urge health care providers, whenever possible, to recommend drug-free, conservative care interventions for their patients before prescribing medications that may be associated with negative side effects. Patients deserve to know their options.”

Doctors of chiropractic provide drug-free, non-invasive treatment for many types of painful conditions, including acute and chronic back pain, neck pain, joint pain and headaches. For more information about chiropractic care, or to find a doctor of chiropractic near you, visit the American Chiropractic Association’s website.

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), based in Arlington, Va., is the largest professional association in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic. ACA promotes the highest standards of patient care and ethics, and supports research that contributes to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients. Visit

Author: American Chiropractic Association
Source: August 8, 2011.
Copyright: American Chiropractic Association 2011

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September is Pain Awareness Month

Chronic pain affects an estimated 116 million American adults - more than the total affected by heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined, according to a recent Institute of Medicine report.

Allsup, a nationwide Social Security disability representation company, helps thousands of people with chronic pain obtain their SSDI benefits each year. To salute those who persevere, Allsup is distributing free posters for Pain Awareness Month in September and explaining how chronic pain is evaluated in the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims process.

SSDI is a payroll tax-funded, federal insurance program established in 1954. It provides a monthly benefit for people who have worked in the past, paid Social Security taxes and are unable to work for a year or more because of their disability

"Pain is a major consideration in many claims," said Ed Swierczek, Allsup senior claimant representative. “In fact, there are court cases throughout the country that state the effect of pain on a person’s functioning must be considered in the evaluation of a disability claim.”

The Social Security Administration is required to consider pain and the limitations it causes when evaluating a disability claim. However, before pain may be considered, a medically determinable severe impairment must be established and the established impairment must reasonably be expected to produce the pain.

For example, individuals with lupus often experience pain in their joints or muscles, or in the form of migraines. Systemic lupus erythematosus is included in the SSA’s Listing of Impairments and is considered a medically determinable severe impairment. Another common example is lower back pain due to a condition that meets the SSA listing of disorders of the spine.

"Because pain is subjective, the presence of a medically determinable severe impairment lends credibility to the pain,” Swierczek said. “It is important for individuals to inform their treating physicians each time they experience pain, and to document the presence of the pain at each office visit, if the pain is present."
When evaluating a disability claim, the SSA must consider whether pain is severe enough to significantly limit a person’s ability to perform basic work activities. These activities include:

  • Walking, standing, sitting, lifting, pushing, pulling, reaching, carrying or handling
  • Seeing, hearing and speaking
  • Understanding/carrying out and remembering simple instructions
  • Responding appropriately to supervision, co-workers and usual work situations
  • Dealing with changes in a routine work setting

The SSA also considers:

  • The location, duration, frequency and intensity of the pain (or other symptoms).
  • Factors that precipitate and aggravate the symptoms.
  • The type, dosage, effectiveness and side effects of any medication the individual takes or has taken to alleviate pain (or other symptoms).
  • Treatment, other than medication, the individual receives or has received for relief of pain (or other symptoms).
  • Any measures, other than treatment, the individual uses or has used to relieve pain (or other symptoms—e.g., lying flat on his/her back, standing for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or sleeping on a board).
  • Any other factors concerning the individual’s functional limitations and restrictions due to pain (or other symptoms).

"The most important thing to remember is always let your doctor know what your symptoms are, be it pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, etc.," Swierczek said. "This not only documents your claim, but gives your doctor important information that he/she needs to provide treatment."

Source: August 31, 2011.
Copyright: LLC 2011

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