Obesity and Diabetes Damage Your Liver

Obesity and Diabetes Damage Your Liver

Image of Human torso - Obesity and Diabetes Damage Your LiverIn lots of cases, family doctors do not stress that many cancers are highly preventable. Lifestyle-based cancers are a symptom of our modern society and overweight problems should be seen as a serious health concern.

The truth is that a nutrition and lifestyle plan to overcome obesity, overweight and type 2 diabetes problems is fairly easy for most people to follow and yields tremendous benefits from a health and longevity standpoint. It also yields psychosocial benefits to your quality of life.

The “Obesity and Diabetes Damage Your Liver” Article that follows includes helpful nutritional advice.

To Your Health:

Article: Obesity and Diabetes Damage Your Liver

By James P. Meschino, DC, MS

Until recently, hepatocellular carcinoma, a primary malignancy of the liver, was a very rare cancer in North America and most developed countries.

However, the recent escalation in the number of overweight, obese and type 2 diabetic individuals in our society has contributed to a corresponding rise in cases of liver cirrhosis and related hepatocellular carcinoma cases.

Being overweight, obese and/or developing type 2 diabetes promotes the deposition of fat into liver cells, primarily due to high circulating insulin levels. As liver cells fill up with fat (triglycerides) it leads to fatty liver degeneration, which later involves inflammation. This condition is known as NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis). As NASH progresses, liver tissue often degenerates into cirrhosis (an irreversible liver condition), whereby liver cells are no longer able to function normally.

Liver Cirrhosis From a Fatty Diet and Obesity

How Common Is Fatty Liver Disease?

The Solution Is Simple

The solution is simply to start eating a low saturated fat / cholesterol / trans fat diet, which should also exclude deep-fried and pan-fried foods. A lower glycemic diet is also helpful, as is the inclusion of regular endurance exercise, all of which pave the way to weight loss, improved blood sugar regulation and lower circulating insulin levels, even in type 2 diabetics. Applying these simple lifestyle modifications often reduces ALT and AST (liver enzymes that elevate when the liver is not functioning properly) into the normal range within 3-6 months as body fat declines.

<Read the complete article at To Your Health>>

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Fish Oil Causes Prostate Cancer or Does Rancid Fat?

Rancid Fat

Has anyone considered the effects of oil supplements that become rancid?
Rancid fat is a killer…<rancid fat causes cancer>

Nutrition Nuts and Bolts Article

Rancidity is the term used to describe the process and properties of a fat that is stale, smells bad, and is discolored. …

Rancid fats are found in the human diet in places such as cooking oils and fats, deep-fried foods, and some ethnic foods that are purposely made rancid. However, any fat, given the right conditions and amount of time, can go rancid. That means that any food containing fat can become rancid.

This does not mean you should stop eating fat, though. It just means you have to be smarter about how you store fat and what you choose to eat. …

Human health information on this topic comes from reported cases of toxicity due to eating rancid fat, since it is unethical to experimentally test toxicity on humans. …

Check dates and “smell for freshness” – If it smells ‘bad’, toss it!

Image of prostate gland - rancid fatHealth Hype

…the subjects in this study were not supplemented with fish oil or put on a fish-rich diet, which means that it is completely inappropriate to suggest fish-oil supplementation causes prostate cancer.

To Your Health:

There has recently been a surge in media coverage of a study that allegedly examined the effects of fish oil supplementation on prostate cancer expression. But quite to the contrary, subjects in this study were not supplemented with fish oil or put on a fish-rich diet, which means it is completely inappropriate to suggest fish-oil supplementation causes prostate cancer. In other words, don’t believe the media hype. <<read more>>

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Foods That Fight Inflammation

image Foods Either Promote or Prevent Inflammation

Diet can substantially influence the inflammatory state within our body. This article may help you with healthy food choices by focusing on foods reduce inflammation.

Foods That Promote Inflammation
Foods That Prevent Inflammation

To Your Health Article:

By David Seaman, DC, MS, DABCN

In recent years, researchers have come to appreciate that our diet can substantially influence the inflammatory state within our body. This view of inflammation is different than the standard view that characterizes inflammation as a response to injury, such as a sprained ankle, which then heals naturally and the inflammation goes away.

The new view of inflammation, developed over the past 10 years, is that it is a generalized state within the circulatory and immune system perpetuated by poor diet. The outcome of this is the dietary promotion of arthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and most other chronic diseases. We should call this “dietary trauma,” as it leads to the development of biochemical changes similar to physical injury. The difference is that, for most people, dietary trauma occurs every time they eat, three or more times each day, every day.

In most cases, the outcome of dietary trauma is not noticed for years. It takes years to develop arthritis and other chronic diseases, so we don’t usually associate a poor diet with disease expression. This allows us to easily deny such an association between diet, inflammation and disease. Thus, developing an awareness or mindfulness about eating is very important to help influence a behavioral change in our eating habits.

 

Refined carbohydrates in the form of sugar, sweeteners and flour produce inflammatory responses, as do refined oils and obese (fatty) meat. A surprise to many is that even whole grains and legumes (beans) can promote inflammation.

With the above in mind, consider that the average American consumes about 10 percent of calories from dairy products, 20 percent from refined sugar, 20 percent from refined grains, 20 percent from refined oils and 2 percent from alcohol. The biggest problems clearly are the sugar, grains and oils. Approximately another 20 percent of calories come from obese meat, which is the fatty meat from domestic animals that live a sedentary life in feedlots, where they are fed a tonnage of grains/corn instead of grass/pasture. The remaining 10 percent of calories might be fruits and vegetables.

Foods That Prevent Inflammation

Rather than listing all the foods and snacks that should be avoided, let’s focus on the foods that reduce inflammation. Researchers recently characterized a diet that offers preventive benefits for heart disease, called the “polymeal,” which is consistent with the PaleoDiet, the traditional low-starch Mediterranean diet and the anti-inflammatory diet.

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Top Seven Free Phone Apps to Get Fit

Some good resources for apps to help you stay in shape.
Android, iPhone Apps lists are included:

Image of Man Woman Couple Fitness Weights ExerciseNatural News Article: Top Seven Free Apps to Get Fit

(Natural News) Getting into the best shape of your life starts in the palm of your hand with free mobile phone apps designed to help you achieve your health and wellness goals. Track the steps you take each day, generate and stream a customized exercise playlist to keep you going, or learn how many calories to cut to help you reach your goal weight.

If you’re just starting out, almost at your goal weight, or looking to rev up your reps, there’s an app for that. Don’t just feel the burn. Free the burn.

Check these seven free apps to get fit:

Daily ab workout. A personal trainer that fits in your pocket. Get five- and 10-minute ab-sculpting workout tips (for targeting all major abdominal muscles), video demonstrations, and on-screen instructions and a timer. A paid version adds workouts for other body parts including arms, butt, leg, full-body, and a full cardio workout plan. (iOS)

Nike+ Running Billed as “the most popular running app on iTunes,” you can map your runs, track your progress, share your times with others in your social network and set daily and weekly goals. The app works regardless of where you run – treadmills, trails or tracks. (iOS)

Daily cardio workout. Gets your heart and legs pumping and boasts one app convert. After one week’s use, we have to agree. A certified trainer demonstrates different cardio routines which can all be done without leaving the house. The best part? Most routines can be done in 5 to 10 minutes. (iOS and Android)

LiftPro3 fitness tracker. Track all of your workouts, customize routines, and focus on muscle groups or total body workouts. Easy-to-read graphs and tables track your stats and progress while exercise instructions come with diagrams. Exercise for Dummies if you will. (Android)

Weight pad Losing the battle of the bulge? Bring in some help as this app lets you record your weight every day, track your progress, and view weight by week and month. Set a goal and let the app do the rest (diet and exercise not included). (Android)

Healthy recipes An app that combines tips for losing weight AND saving money on monthly food bills. Browse healthy recipes (submitted by more than 10 million users), instantly see nutrition content (fat, calories, and more), and see if you’re about to commit one of the 5 Worst Sins in American Diets. (Android)

Heart fitness. The app that detects how heart-healthy you are in less than a minute. The lower your heart rate when you’re at rest, the healthier you are. (iOS)

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
Sandeep is an avid rock climber, Mountaineer, runner, and fitness coach. He shares his tips for staying in shape and eating healthy on betterhealthblog. betterhealthblog provide tips on Healthy Living, Beauty and Fashion, Home & Gardening, Weight Loss .

Dakota Ridge Chiropractic
tips for staying in shape, tips for eating healthy, tips on Exercise, Healthy Living and Weight Loss

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How Exercise And Activities Combat Dementia

How Exercise And Other Activities Beat Back Dementia
Researchers followed individuals for up to 12 years. Those with busy social lives were half as likely to develop dementia, compared with those with minimal social activities.
An older man performs exercises in Mumbai, India.

 

 

 

 

NPR Article :

How Exercise And Other Activities Beat Back Dementia
by Patti Neighmond  http://www.npr.org/people/2100955/patti-neighmond
April 15, 2013

The numbers are pretty grim: More than half of all 85-year-olds suffer some form of dementia

But here’s the good news: Brain researchers say there are ways to boost brain power and stave off problems in memory and thinking.

In other words, brain decline is not necessarily an inevitable part of aging. “It’s simply not pre-destined for all human beings,” Bryan James tells Shots. He’s an epidemiologist at the in Chicago. “Lots of people live into their 90s and even 100s with no symptoms of dementia.”

So what can you do to increase the odds? Neuroscientist Art Kramer, who directs the at the University of Illinois, has a number of suggestions. First and foremost, Kramer says, is to exercise. Research shows it’s the best thing you can do for your brain.

Kramer did a in which he scanned the brains of 120 older adults, half of whom started a program of moderate aerobic exercise — just 45 minutes, three days a week, mostly walking. After a year, the MRI scans showed that for the aerobic group, the volume of their brains actually increased.

What’s more, individuals in the control group lost about 1.5 percent of their brain volume, adding up to a 3.5 percent difference between individuals who took part in aerobic exercise and those who did not. Further tests showed that increased brain volume translated into better memory.

The findings support earlier animal in which rodents that were exercised had a number of favorable physiological changes, Kramer says. They had more new neurons, stronger connections between neurons, and increased blood supply to a number of regions in the brain.

, a researcher at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California, agrees that it’s important to exercise your body to ensure the health of your brain. It’s not just getting adequate exercise, Whitmer says, it’s also “maintaining good blood pressure, levels of cholesterol and a healthy weight,” and remembering that “what’s good for the heart is good for the brain.”

What about mental exercises? Kramer says the evidence isn’t nearly as conclusive, but keeping your brain active can’t hurt.

The brain loves novelty, so if you do crossword puzzles, try shifting to a different type of puzzle — Sudoku, for example, he says. Or learn a new language. Play a new instrument.

And go out with friends. James recently published a looking at the social lives of about 1,100 adults over 80. He asked them about going to restaurants and sporting events, playing bingo, doing volunteer work and other activities.

Individuals were followed for up to 12 years. Those with busy social lives were half as likely to develop dementia, compared with those with minimal social activities.

In another , James looked at a different measure of activity — something he calls “life space.” He added up how often people got out of their bedroom, went out of their house, traveled out of their neighborhood or out of town. “The people who never left their home — even though they didn’t seem to have any cognitive problems when we started following them — were twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease” over five years, James says.

And finally, there’s the popular notion of brain food. There’s suggesting that omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish, and antioxidants, like vitamins C and E, found in vegetables, may help nourish the brain.

Putting it all together, Kramer jokingly suggests that the best advice might be to join a book group that walks and drinks red wine while talking about the book. Red wine contains antioxidants, Kramer notes. You’d be discussing a stimulating topic with good friends while exercising your body. “How can you beat it?” he says. “It’s got all four!”

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What’s the Connection Between Protein and Weight Loss?

Explaining the Connection Between Protein and Weight Loss

Four Skydivers Linking HandsTo lose weight, there must be caloric deficit. Caloric deficit is achieved by eating fewer calories, burning more calories or a combination of both.

Move more;
Consume less.

To Your Health: June 2013

Protein and Weight Loss: What’s the Connection?

By G. Douglas Andersen, DC, DACBSP, CCN

Recently I was asked by the staff at To Your Health to referee some of their water-cooler discussions regarding nutrition. Topping their list was this one about protein and weight loss: “Why is protein important for weight loss and how much should I eat (to lose weight)?” Before I answer, I would like to share a few thoughts on weight loss in general.

Weight Loss: A Tricky Topic

I believe the topic of weight loss is much more confusing, contentious, complicated and controversial than it should be – for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • The marketing of diets, exercise plans, fitness equipment and a huge array of nutritional supplements is a billion-dollar industry that is very competitive.
  • The Information Age we live in produces a constant stream of new research that is rapidly disseminated, selectively edited, commonly misinterpreted and excessively extrapolated – usually for secondary financial gain.
  • The biochemical and physiological diversity of people means there is more than one path to the top of the weight-loss mountain.

To lose weight, there must be caloric deficit, period. Caloric deficit is achieved by eating fewer calories, burning more calories or a combination of both. Now we are ready to address the question about protein and weight loss. <<Read more>>

Tags: Weight loss, exercise, protein, Chiro, Chiropractic, Chiropractic Care, Chiropractor Littleton, Good Health, Health, chiropractic care, Chiropractic Care in Littleton, Chiropractic Costs, Chiropractor

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Common Knee Injuries — Avoid Surgery and Stay in the Game

A common sense approach to knee issues.image of knee

To Your Health:

Common Knee Injuries, Uncommon Sense
How to Avoid Surgery and Stay in the Game

By Brian Jensen, DC

The growth of organized amateur sports over the past 30 years has spawned an unexpected and unwanted increase in sports-related injuries. Many young athletes suffer sports-related injuries that can turn into lifelong problems. Here are some basic facts about knee injuries and how they are handled in the world of modern medicine. I am not passing judgment – just pointing out some facts.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons reported that in 2003, 9.5 million people visited orthopedic surgeons because of knee problems. By now, this staggering number is probably even higher, considering a greater number of children and adults are participating in athletics every year. The most common recommendation regarding knee injuries is to avoid the activities that take place when the knee is injured, such as activities that require stopping and starting or quickly changing directions. It is thought that these extreme forces on the knee can result in torn ligaments; however, they don’t result in torn ligaments in everyone, which means there could be some pre-existing contributing factors.

To learn why our knees are injured so frequently, it’s important to know how the knee works. The knee joint is composed of four bones: the femur, the tibia, the fibula and the patella (see image on facing page). Cartilage covers the joint and provides a smooth, lubricated gliding surface so the knee can move. The shape of the knee joint is stable, but to function properly, the ligaments have to be in good shape, too! Those ligaments include the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL).

While the ACL works as the main stabilizer when the knee is bent, the PCL works as the main stabilizer when the knee is extended. The collateral ligaments are used when you move side to side. The medial and lateral menisci are located within the joint and act as “shock absorbers” and also influence knee stability. The most commonly injured parts of the knee are the ACL and the medial meniscus. Tears of the meniscus usually take place during twisting, pivoting, or decelerating movements, or as a result of direct impact.

When you look for information regarding treatment of knee injuries, you will see two basic categories of medical care: surgical and nonsurgical. Surgical intervention has certainly improved over the past 20 years and typically involves arthroscopic surgery for severely sprained or ruptured ligaments or torn cartilage. The new procedures are far less invasive than techniques used many years ago, resulting in less scar tissue and faster recovery time. Nonsurgical intervention typically involves improving the stability of the knee joint with rehabilitative exercises, focusing on the quadriceps (thigh) muscles and the hamstrings. Bracing is also a common practice to enhance stability by limiting motion in the knee joint.

To summarize, the way knee injuries are handled in today’s world is to stop doing things that tear ligaments, like running, jumping, twisting and stopping quickly. If you do want to continue doing those things, the common recommendation is to get surgery or do rehab and put on a brace to limit motion in the joint. The resulting lack of motion will likely cause degenerative arthritis over the next 20-40 years, which will result in the need for a knee joint replacement.

OK, so where’s the good news? Simply put, a chiropractor has the ability to do a better job than that! Their knowledge of the foot, knee, hip and spine connection, combined with practical experience, affords an alternative to the “shoot the dice and hope for the best” theory. The first thing to understand is that healthy knee function is not possible without healthy foot function. The medical model of health care does not take that into consideration because the foot rarely presents itself as being painful. Even if the foot does hurt, treatment only takes care of the symptom and does not address abnormal joint function.

A vast majority of people, young and old, excessively pronate. This means that when the foot hits the ground, it flattens out or unlocks, rolling inward and creating a twisting stress up the leg and into the knee. These twisting stresses do three things to the knees: stretch the ACL, stretch and twist the medial meniscus, and inhibit contraction of the quadriceps muscle.

Every time we take a step, jump, pivot, stop quickly and run, those three things take place. A torn knee ligament is not a one-injury event; it is a multiple micro-injury event. These abnormal forces take place perhaps thousands of times, creating microtrauma to the support structures of the lower leg until the ligament fails catastrophically.

If thigh muscle weakness is one of the results of excessive pronation, doesn’t it make sense that the muscle loses its tone to a point that it can no longer stabilize the joint efficiently? Remember, muscle is the primary stabilizer; ligaments are secondary. If you weaken the muscle and traumatize the ligament a few thousand times, you have all the ingredients for the classic knee injury.

Common sense tells us to prevent the excessive damaging motions by supporting the foundational structures (your feet) so they function within the functional range of motion.  Many chiropractors now evaluate the quality of the arches of the feet. If the arches aren’t supporting the legs and pelvis sufficiently, it can create stresses that lead to injury or joint wear and tear. It’s just like the foundation of your house; if it settles too much, it creates stress in other parts of the structure.

Take a proactive step to avoiding injuries and preserving the health of your knees, hips and spine. After all, you know what they say about “an ounce of prevention.” Ask your doctor for a thorough foot evaluation, particularly if you’re experiencing knee pain or participate in activities that put you at risk for a knee injury.

Tags: Knee Pain, Chiropractic, Chiropractor Littleton, Littleton Chiropractic, Knee care and knee pain, Chiropractor, Chiropractor Littleton, Littleton  Knee injuries

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3 Invigorating Exercises for Shaping Up

Shape up exercises for Spring.

To Your Health:

Make Shape-Up Simple: 3 Invigorating Exercises

By Editorial Staff

It’s late April, months since you dedicated yourself to those New Year’s resolutions, one of which was to get off the couch and get into the best shape of your life.

So, how are you doing four months into 2013? Chances are you’re like too many other resolvers who gave it their “best” shot for a few weeks in January, then hit a stumbling block and decided 2014 sounded like a better starting point.

Don’t waste a whole year when a new body, a new attitude – a new you – is closer than you think. Get ready for summer fun and beyond with these three invigorating exercises you can do today (at least three times a week is even better!):

1. Burpees: Technically this exercise is called the squat thrust, but you’ll remember it by it’s common name – and by the fact that it’s not just for the lower body; you’ll get great full-body results from performing this four-part exercise. From a standing position, drop quickly into a squat position, hands on the ground. Then extend your feet back in one motion (essentially a push-up or plank position). You can do a push-up here first; otherwise, return to the squat position in one quick motion, then it’s back to the standing position. To challenge yourself, you can also jump as high as possible, arms outstretched, at the end of each burpee (when returning to the standing position). Try to do as many as you can, building to sets of 15-20 with minimal rest in between sets.

exercise 2. Sprinting in Place: This is a basic exercise that yields big benefits, and you can do it just about anywhere. With arms and knees slightly bent, back neutral (don’t round your low back or shoulders), run in place as fast as you can for 20 seconds. Stop for 10 seconds max., then repeat. Make sure you’re keeping your knees bent and are using your arms during the movement. You’re working not only your calves, hamstrings and glutes, but also your triceps and biceps. Feeling brave? Then alternate 20-second sprints with 20 seconds of jump rope or push-ups (see below) to get a true full-body workout.

3. Push-Up Variations: Everyone knows how to do a push-up, right? Well, try one of these fun, challenging variations: 1) Every time you lower your chest toward the floor, bend one knee up toward that side of your body. Alternate knees / sides every push-up (do each repetition slowly at first until you get the hang of it.) Maintain form throughout, making sure not to bend your back or put too much weight on your shoulders. You’ll get a chest / upper-body workout and a core-tightening, ab-crunching, glute-toning workout at the same time. 2) Set the timer on your smartphone or watch for 3 minutes. Your goal is to do as many push-ups as possible before the clock runs out. You choose the strategy, including how many to do for your first set, how long a break to take between sets, etc. But watch out: You’ll find yourself fatiguing quickly after that first set!

Tags: Health, exercise, Littleton, Chiropractic

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Bed Rest for Back Pain? Maybe not the Best Idea

If your first thought is to get off your feet, lie down and rest. Think again.

Image of people playing soccer in snowEvidence suggests that unless the pain is severe or accompanied by other symptoms, such as pain radiating down the legs, rest is exactly the opposite strategy if you’re trying to relieve back pain.

Inactivity can make your spine and back muscles tight and stiff, increasing pain, particularly when you bend or stretch. Prolonged inactivity can also make you weaker, not to mention that evidence suggests the longer you stay in bed with pain, the more likely that your pain will become chronic / more disabling, often because you avoid moving for fear it will exacerbate the pain.

To Your Health:

Bed Rest for Your Back Pain? Not the Best Idea

By Editorial Staff
Upwards of 80 percent of adults suffer at least one episode of back pain in their lifetime, which means you’ve already felt the pain, are feeling it now or will feel it before you know it.

And chances are good that, like so many others, your first thought will be to get off your feet, lie down and rest. Unfortunately, evidence suggests that unless the pain is severe or accompanied by other symptoms, such as pain radiating down the legs, rest is exactly the opposite strategy if you’re trying to relieve your back pain.

If you’re suffering from back pain, staying active is an important piece of advice to follow in the majority of cases. That means avoiding bed rest, prolonged stretches of sitting, standing or inactivity; and doing all the things you usually do, within reason (no heavy lifting or intense physical activity, including twisting or other dramatic movements that could make the pain worse).

While it may sound counter-intuitive, abundant research suggests activity can help reduce the pain and shorten recovery time in most cases of non-complicated back pain. In fact, one study that summarized findings from an international task force on back pain stated, among other findings / recommendations: 1) bed rest is contraindicated in subacute and chronic cases of low back pain; in acute cases, bed rest should neither be enforced nor prescribed; and if authorized (based on pain indication), bed rest should be for the shortest duration possible.

power walk The theory is relatively simple, if you think about it: Inactivity can make your spine and back muscles tight and stiff, increasing the pain, particularly when you bend or stretch. Prolonged inactivity can also make you weaker, not to mention that evidence suggests the longer you stay in bed with pain, the more likely that your pain will become chronic / more disabling, often because you avoid moving for fear it will exacerbate the pain.

Of course, the first step when suffering back pain is to make a visit with a health care provider who can evaluate your pain, make sure there’s nothing more serious going on, and then offer treatment and self-care recommendations (including activity) to help relieve it. Enter your doctor of chiropractic, the experts in treating spinal pain.

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Try Stretching The AIS Way

Many of our patients ask if they are stretching correctly?

Try: Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) Techniques

Here’s a good article from To Your Health:

Are You Stretching the Wrong Way? Try the Right Way
By Perry Nickelston, DC, FMS, SFMA

How would you like to increase coordination, reduce muscle tension, increase range of motion, prevent future injury, improve posture, develop body awareness, and enhance proper movement patterns? The good news is you can, by incorporating active isolated stretching (AIS) techniques and principles into your exercise / wellness routine.

Ninety percent of people who stretch usually do so ineffectively, performing the same old-style stretching exercises that most athletes, coaches, therapists and fitness magazines have recommended for years. These programs often consist of holding the same boring positions to stretch the groin, hamstrings, hip flexors and low back at the same intensity and for the same duration, without regard for the uniqueness of each individual. People are likely to be worse off than they would have been if they hadn’t stretched at all!

Why? When stretched for too long, muscles will inherently tighten up as a self-protective mechanism. They are protecting themselves from potential tearing and injury. Unless you learn how to bypass this protective mechanism, your body will never allow an increase in flexibility to occur.

girl stretching AIS is based on the principle of reciprocal inhibition, which states that when you contract one muscle, an opposing muscle will relax. When this occurs we have an opportunity for a more effective stretch of the relaxed muscle. Hold each stretch for a maximum of 2 seconds to prevent the “stretch reflex” from occurring. This reflex occurs when a muscle is stretched for too long and too hard, and the nervous system actually tightens up that muscle in anticipation of an injury. The muscle becomes tighter as a rebound effect. Instead of gaining flexibility, you actually lose it.

AIS works muscles, joints, ligaments and soft tissue. There is no need for a partner, thus making it easy to actively stretch difficult-to-reach muscles. Just a few sessions of AIS can equal weeks of old-school stretch-and-hold programs. The basic protocol for AIS consists of the following:

  • 10 repetitions per stretch
  • Hold each stretch for 1-2 seconds
  • Assist at end range into movement with approximately 2 pounds of additional pressure
  • Exhale into each movement

AIS takes just 5 minutes at a stretch (no pun intended) and can make you feel incredible. It takes a little practice, but the more you stick with it, the better you will get. You will become empowered to take back control of your life from pain. Your doctor of chiropractic can tell you more about active isolated stretching and recommend a comprehensive stretching and exercise program suitable to your health needs.


Perry Nickelston, DC, is clinical director of the Pain Laser Center in Ramsey, N.J., where he focuses on performance enhancement, corrective exercise and metabolic fitness nutrition To learn more about Dr. Nickelston, visit www.painlasercenter.com/Our_Practice.html.

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Prescribing Trends: Not a Pretty Picture for the Prescription Drug Crisis

Prescribing Trends: Not a Pretty Picture

The harsh reality of the prescription drug crisis is outlined in a must-read paper for all health care clinicians and patients.

By Editorial Staff

From the Annals of Family Medicine1 comes one of the most important studies to date in the effort to define and understand how drug companies are influencing both the practice of medicine and the health of patients who seek care from medical providers.

Conducted by a pair of anthropologists from Michigan State University, the study examines the impact of lower diagnostic thresholds, clinician rewards systems and the prescribing cascade on the health of patients diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension.

The authors lay the foundation for their study by noting, “Spending on prescription drugs in the Unites States has risen nearly 6-fold since 1990, reflecting substantial increases in treatment of chronic conditions and subsequent polypharmacy. As many as 45% of Americans have at least 1 diagnosed chronic condition, and 60% of the most prescribed medications were for hypertension, high cholesterol levels and diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 11% of the US population and 40% of people older than age 60 take 5 medications or more.”

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Chiropractic Costs: A National Perspective

Chiropractic Costs: A National Perspective

First national study of CAM / chiropractic expenditures for spine conditions finds neither adds to overall medical spending.

By Peter W. Crownfield, Executive Editor

While health care conversations increasingly mention chiropractic care as a viable option for back and neck pain – and research increasingly supports its utility from a clinical standpoint – a recent nationwide study of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)-related health care expenditures by 12,000-plus adults (ages 17 and older) with spinal conditions lends support to the suggestion that CAM in general, and chiropractic specifically, is also a cost-effective alternative to traditional medical care.

Although CAM users had “significantly better self-reported health, education and comorbidity compared with non-CAM users” – variables critics have relied on in previous studies to explain why CAM users have lower health care expenditures” – the current study revealed that even when controlling for these variables, CAM users had lower annual medical costs ($424 lower) for spine-related conditions and lower total health care costs ($796 lower) than non-CAM users.

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Scientific Chiropractic Articles about Spine Care Costs and Back Pain

Who’s to Blame for Spine Care Costs?

Medical specialty care is primary culprit in rising costs, while chiropractic expenditures remain fairly stable.

By Peter W. Crownfield, Executive Editor

With health care costs teetering on the brink of disaster, if not already over the edge, health care stakeholders nationwide continue efforts to pin down specific sources of runaway costs as a first important step in finding a long-term solution.

According to a recent study that analyzed 10 years of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, one such area of gross cost increases is spine care. However, according to the study, the primary reason behind these increasing spine care costs is increased costs for medical specialists, as opposed to primary care physicians; while chiropractic care is not responsible for the dramatic increases, with costs “remaining relatively stable.”
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Back Pain Is #1 Cause of Disability Worldwide

Global Burden of Disease 2010 highlights the pressing need to prevent, treat spinal and musculoskeletal disorders.

By Peter W. Crownfield, Executive Editor

A series of studies emerging from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Project, a massive collaboration between the World Health Organization, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (the coordinating center), the University of Queensland School of Population Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the University of Tokyo, Imperial College London, clarifies the worldwide health burden of musculoskeletal conditions, particularly back and neck pain, in crystal-clear fashion, with low back pain identified as the number-one cause of disability worldwide and neck pain the number-four cause. Overall, musculoskeletal conditions represent the second leading cause of global disability.
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5 Smart Food Substitutions When Eating Out

Keep in mind Food Substitutions When Eating Out to help avoid health consequences.

To Your Health
September, 2011

5 Smart Substitutions When Eating Out

By Editorial Staff

There’s nothing wrong with the occasional treat-yourself trip to a fast-food or sit-down restaurant, but Americans are eating out at an ever-increasing (sometimes daily) rate, and usually paying the health consequences. It’s tough enough finding healthy food when grocery shopping these days, but put your trust in the hands of a burger joint, a diner, a pizza parlor or the vast majority of other restaurants and you’re generally asking for trouble. Here are five substitutions to infuse a little more health into your next dining experience away from home.

1. Skip the Fries

fries French fries and potato chips, two of the most common sides at fast-food and sit-down restaurants, contain little or no nutritional value and large quantities of fat (oil). But they certainly are popular, which is why potatoes (in the form of fries and chips) are among the most frequently consumed “vegetables.” Skip the grease and go without if at a fast-food restaurant (most only offer fries, onion rings or other fried options, although some do offer sides of corn, beans or rice, which are definitely healthier than fries or chips). At sit-down restaurants, it should be even easier to replace the fries / chips with a side of rice, a small baked potato and/or some veggies.

2. Watch What You Drink

soda Soft drinks are exactly what your body (and teeth) don’t need, yet they are a staple beverage at fast-food and other restaurants. Water offers three distinct benefits by comparison: it doesn’t cost you anything, it’s calorie-free, and it doesn’t contain any sugar. While calorie- and sugar-free sodas are available, research suggests they may still be dangerous because artificial sweeteners may condition you to crave sweets and overeat. And do you really need a 32-ounce drink (of anything) with your meal?

3. No Oversized Loads

hamburger What’s your average family meal at home like in terms of portion size? Unless you’ve purchased oversized plates, meals are generally within reason. Not so for an increasing number of fast-food chains and sit-down restaurants. “Super-sized” combo meals and 17-inch plates heaped with Thanksgiving-like portions are a recipe for weight gain. Stick to a reasonable portion size (or eat half and get the other half to go) and you won’t have to unbutton the top button of your jeans midway through your meal.

4. Find a Veggie

veggie Depending on the nature of the establishment, this can be fairly easy or a bit tricky, but either way, it’s a worthy pursuit. Whether it’s a hamburger with lettuce and tomato or a plate of pasta with broccoli, choose meals that have some natural color, courtesy of Mother Nature’s best vegetables. A burger with cheese, a bun and nothing else or a plate of pasta with cheese and cream sauce are missing the color of nutrition your body needs. Pizza is even easier; add a few veggies along with your other favorite toppings.

5. Know What You’re Ordering

nutrition facts In the past few years, the majority of restaurants have begun (by mandate and/or choice) to reveal how nutritionally unsound some of their meal options are. This can range from providing complete nutritional facts to listing calorie counts on the menu. Doing so gives you the upper hand when it comes to choosing a healthy (or at least healthier) meal for you and your family. Visit the Web sites of your favorite restaurants or review the nutritional information in-house before ordering. You’ll be surprised at how much fat, sodium and calories are in some of your favorites; perhaps they won’t be your favorites after you learn what’s in them and you’ll steer toward lower-fat, lower-calorie, better-for-you selections instead.

Call us for an Appointment to get you started!

Living a better, pain-free lifestyle in Littleton, Colorado | (303) 948-9800
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5 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Image of Family riding sled on snow.…with a different approach this year!

With a new year right around the corner it means a new list of – the same old New Year’s resolutions. Every year, millions of people around the world resolve to improve their lives beginning Jan. 1 – and for most, their resolutions die sometime within the first few months.

What can you do to make this year different? What can you do to make sure your New Year’s resolutions stick? Here are five ways to keep your 2013 resolutions while avoiding some of the common pitfalls that have struck down your resolutions in year’s past.

1. Think It Through:
2. Recruit Help:
3. Remember Last Year:
4. Take Small Steps:
5. Dream Big:

Get help when you need it, take it slow, and most of all, don’t get frustrated when that little thing called life temporarily gets in the way. Now that’s the smart way to make – and keep – your New Year’s resolutions.

5 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

To Your Health: By Editorial Staff

A new year is right around the corner and that means a new list of – in far too many cases – the same old New Year’s resolutions. Every year at around this time, millions of people around the world resolve to improve their lives beginning Jan. 1 – and for most, their resolutions die sometime within the first few months, if they get off the ground at all.

What can you do to make this year different? What can you do to make sure your New Year’s resolutions stick? Here are five ways to keep your 2013 resolutions while avoiding some of the common pitfalls that have struck down your resolutions in year’s past.

1. Think It Through: One of the biggest mistakes resolvers make is jumping into a resolution without thinking it through. Sure, you can resolve to start working out, lose weight, quit smoking, eat healthier or be more patient with your kids – but words are just words unless they’re supported by sensible actions. And sensible actions require a sensible plan. Resolving to exercise? Think about how many days per week, whether to go to the gym or work out at home, potential hurdles / challenges that may come up, and other factors. Resolving to be more patient? Map out a half-dozen specific ways to do it (think before you speak / act; give yourself a “time out” so you can refocus, etc.). Whatever your resolution, you have to figure out how to make it work or it probably won’t work, pure and simple.

exercise2. Recruit Help: While everyone has their own New Year’s resolutions, that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Your friends, family, co-workers and other acquaintances are your biggest allies, and chances are they’ve either resolved to do one of the same things you have, or they did it last year. Work out with a friend; brainstorm healthy meals your kids can help prepare; and engage online support groups whenever possible. Tap into their experience, their encouragement and their support to stay focused and strong throughout the year, and your resolution won’t be the one-week, one-month or even one-year variety; it will last a lifetime.

3. Remember Last Year: Those who refuse to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it, and we’re guessing that like most people, last year’s New Year’s resolutions didn’t go so well. In fact, this year’s list might be identical to your 2012 list, your 2011 list, and so on. What will make 2013 different? A good start is to learn from your mistakes so you can chart a more effective course. If you’ve had trouble getting to the gym consistently, despite your best intentions, perhaps this time, you need to refine your schedule, research an at-home program for the days you can’t get away, or work out before work instead of after, when you’re usually tired. Succeed in 2013 by remembering why your 2012 resolutions didn’t pan out.

4. Take Small Steps: In many ways, New Year’s resolutions have taken on a black-and-white quality; either you’re not resolving to do anything or you’re resolving to do big things, instantly. Unfortunately, life isn’t that simple, and the overwhelming majority of resolutions involve behaviors / patterns that are difficult to change overnight. The problem with this all-or-nothing mentality, of course, is twofold: It sets us up for failure at the first sign of a challenge (“I resolved to work out three days a week, every week, and already I’ve missed a few days!”) and it ignores the small steps that are just as, if not more important in accomplishing the big step. Want to quit smoking after 30 years? You may want to resolve to scale back progressively, rather than quit cold turkey. Want to start exercising (for essentially the first time)? Try 1-2 days a week of brisk walking for a few months, or a few step classes at the gym, and build from there.

5. Dream Big: Despite the fact that generally, resolutions have a greater chance of success if they’re accomplished in small, manageable steps, that doesn’t mean you need to think small. New Year’s resolutions represent the perfect opportunity to reach for a better world, a better life, a better you; so dream big and go for the proverbial gold. After all, if you set your sights too small, you might be more likely to quit (or not even start) because you don’t consider it meaningful enough. Craft a sound strategy to achieve something big that will make you proud. Get help when you need it, take it slow, and most of all, don’t get frustrated when that little thing called life temporarily gets in the way. Now that’s the smart way to make – and keep – your New Year’s resolutions.

Call us for an Appointment to get you started!

Living a better, pain-free lifestyle in Littleton, Colorado | (303) 948-9800

 

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Red Rocks Dakota Ridge Bikepath

We live in a beautiful part of Colorado and the bike trails are spectacular. This photo caught our attention:
 image of Dakota Ridge bike trail at Red Rocks Colorado

Photo Credits: Single Tracks Website
by: jbersch

Dakota Ridge Chiropractic

 

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Forever Young – Chiropractic Care and the Fountain of Youth

Image of Family riding sled on snow.There is no fountain of youth, of course, but there does exist a fountain of youthfulness. Anyone can gain access to this fountain by following a consistent plan of healthy nutrition, regular vigorous exercise, and sufficient rest. When you add regular chiropractic care to your long-term program, all your activities provide a greater yield.

Chiropractic care works by optimizing the functioning of your spinal column. The spinal column houses and protects spinal nerves, branches of your central nerve system that carry messages to all the other parts of your body. When the various parts of your spine – the vertebrae – are working well together, messages can flow freely back and forth along the spinal nerves. By helping ensure this free flow of information, chiropractic care helps you get the most out of your nutrition, exercise, and other healthful activities.

 

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Forever Young – Eat Less – Move More

Image of Grandparents with grandchildrenMost of us like to think of ourselves as young: young in heart at least, if not actually young in years. But is it possible to stay “forever young” in terms of health and wellness? Of course, probably no one would want to remain forever young in terms of life experience. Our experiences give us character and contribute to our growth and development as persons.
As we get older, though, gaining skills and possibly wisdom, is it really necessary to suffer physical breakdowns along the way? Holding on to youthful bloom may not be feasible in all aspects, but there are a few critical tips and tricks to retain much of that glow and vigor as we get older. We may not, in reality, stay forever young, but we sure can give meaning to the notions that “50 is the new 30” and “60 is the new 40”. Here are two key tips. They may seem obvious, but the power is in actually implementing these tips consistently over time.
Tip #1: Eat less. Each person has his or her own caloric balancing point beyond which extra food will be retained as fat. If your average daily calorie consumption is right around this critical value, all the energy in the food you eat will be used to support your physical functioning. But extra calories will not be burned up and this unused energy will be stored as fat. Over time, increasing fat stores frequently lead to chronic disease such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. So with respect to long-term health, it’s a very good idea to avoid overeating. Of course, we want to have fun, too, but that’s what a “free food day” is for. If you eat within your caloric range on six days of the week, the seventh can be a “free day” when you can eat whatever you want. Such a system works very well for ongoing optimal weight management (which, of course, means ongoing health and well-being, contributing to our notion of “forever young”).1
Tip #2: Exercise more. Did you ever see a gymnast, competitive swimmer, or professional dancer who didn’t look absolutely terrific? These young men and women are in such good shape owing to the high volume of exercise they do every week. Do you know an older adult who was on a high school or college gymnastics team or was a professional dancer long ago? Isn’t that person still really healthy and fit? Such long-term fitness results from a lifelong habit of exercise. The very good news is that even if you haven’t exercised in many, many years, you can still derive benefit for years to come from starting to exercise, right now.2,3
You get fit by doing the work. Not all at once of course, but gradually, steadily, building up strength and endurance, starting right where you are. The secret is to begin. And after not too long a time, you’ll find that your new habit of exercise is providing all kinds of surprising benefits, including deeper, more restful sleep and increased energy and exuberance. Not to mention weight loss and a slimmer waistline.
These two tips, eating less and exercising more, have been known for decades. But in order to reap the many benefits, what’s required is to actually do these things. We can be forever young, relatively literally, by taking these simple actions on our own behalf.
1Campbell KL, et al: J Clin Oncol Reduced-Calorie Dietary Weight Loss, Exercise, and Sex Hormones in Postmenopausal Women: Randomized Controlled Trial. 2012 May 21 [Epub ahead of print]
2Umpierre D: Physical activity advice only or structured exercise training and association with HbA1c levels in type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA 305(17):1790-1799, 2011
3Betof AS, et al: Effects and potential mechanisms of exercise training on cancer progression: A translational perspective. Brain Behav Immun 2012 May 17 [Epub ahead of print]
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5 Ways to Build Muscle Fast

How to build muscle quickly is one of the most asked questions and a popular topic to mention.

To Your Health
February, 2012

5 Ways to Build Muscle Fast

With all the talk these days about losing weight and burning fat, it’s easy to forget about the importance of building muscle. Whether you’re looking to maximize your metabolism or just look better in front of the mirror, you need muscle to do it.

Here are five simple strategies, whether you’re looking to stay lean while losing weight or get pumped up and gain a few pounds of muscle:

1. Contain the Cardio: Exercise that gets your heart pumping, particularly in the fat-burning zone, is great if you’re looking to slim down and lean out. But too much cardio can burn muscle along with the fat (the classic example is the long-distance runner; they may be lean and in great shape, but they generally can’t pack on pounds of muscle). That doesn’t mean you should ignore cardiovascular exercise, because it’s an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Just limit it to three 30-minute sessions a week and spend the rest of your workout time doing muscle-building exercises (with free weights, balls and bands, or your own body weight).

2. Don’t Overdo It: The number-one mistake exercisers make, whether they’re trying to build muscle, burn fat, lose weight or do all of the above, is overtrain. You might think that more is better, but in general, it’s a recipe for disaster. One or both of two things can happen if you overtrain: you can get injured or you can get burned out. If either happens, you won’t be able to – or won’t want to – work out, and of course, if you’re not working out, it’s difficult to build muscle, particularly over time. So work out every other day for a maximum of 45 minutes, and work within the limits of your body. That means if you can only bench press 200 pounds, don’t get greedy and try for a 300-lb lift.

muscle building3. Mix Things Up: Life is all about mixing things up. Variety is what keeps people from getting complacent and bored. Your muscles operate under a similar principle. Once they get comfortable with how they’re being used, they stop growing. They key to continual muscle gains is to mix your workouts up every 4-6 weeks; doing so will keep your muscles engaged in fresh, new ways. Instead of sitting back and getting comfortable with the same old workouts, your muscles will jump to attention and keep working hard. The result: they’ll keep growing and you’ll keep building muscle.

4. Keep Eating: In the endless pursuit of weight loss, many people incorrectly focus on calorie restriction as the way to lose weight and get lean. Not only will that not particularly work (your body actually needs more calories, especially if you’re working out; and too few will shut down your metabolism and store fat), but it also will cost you and chances at muscle growth. The reason is twofold: First, the more you eat, especially a blend of protein, complex carbohydrates and essential fats, the more your metabolism increases. The more effective your metabolism is, the more energy your body expends, even when you’re sedentary. Second, if your muscles don’t have enough food, they can’t grow, pure and simple. Starve them and they’ll wither away.

5. Take a Break: Even if you’re mixing your muscle-building workouts up, you – and your body – need the occasional rest. In fact, you’ll often find that your greatest muscle gains take place when you aren’t working out. That’s because muscle growth operates on a simple principle: Exercise tears the muscle down, while rest, recovery and proper nourishment builds it back up. If you’re always working out, your muscle is always being worked – it never has time to grow. So schedule a few breaks during the year of at least a week; you’ll be amazed at the effect it has on your body – and your state of mind. You’ll be ready to get back to the gym, and your body will be ready and raring to go!

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Four Foods to Combat Stress

Stress-Free Eating: Four Foods to Combat Stress

Known as the stress hormone, cortisol is released by the adrenal gland during times of stress and has several important functions in the human body. However, cortisol is also one of the hormones responsible for tearing down muscle tissue. It also increases fat stores, particularly in the abdominal area. Fortunately, research suggests certain foods may help to reduce levels of cortisol in the body. Here are a few to consider.

To Your Health
September, 2012 (Vol. 06, Issue 09)

Stress-Free Eating: Four Foods That Reduce Stress

By Corey Mote, BS, DC

Cortisol, known as the stress hormone, is one of the body’s instinctual response hormones to the fight-or-flight situation. It is released by the adrenal gland during times of stress and has several functions in the body, such as blood-pressure regulation, glucose mobilization, and reducing inflammation.

However, although beneficial and even crucial in many aspects, chronically increased levels of cortisol will impede your body’s overall health.

Cortisol is one of the hormones responsible for tearing down muscle tissue. It also increases fat stores, particularly in the abdominal area. One way to keep this destructive hormone lowered is to avoid stressful situations as much as possible. Another way to lower cortisol levels is via a proper, well-balanced diet with the right nutrients. Research has shown that certain foods may help to reduce levels of cortisol in the body. Here are a few to consider:

Salmon

Studies reveal that taking fish oil for as little as three weeks reduces cortisol levels compared to placebo. Wild Alaskan salmon is one of the premium choices for omega-3s. Other foods high in omega-3 fatty acids include halibut, walnuts, almonds, and flax seed oil.

Oranges

 Stress-Free Eating Increasing your intake of vitamin C, which is found in citrus fruits such as oranges, as well as bell peppers and dark green leafy vegetables, could reduce cortisol levels. A research study at the University of Alabama concluded that rats supplemented with vitamin C had reduced levels of cortisol after a stressful event compared to those receiving a placebo.

Low-GI Foods

Low-glycemic-index foods can lower cortisol levels in your body. It is recommended to consume foods such as eggs, meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables to lower cortisol levels. High-glycemic index foods containing large amounts of sugar or starch are poor choices for reducing this hormone level, and may even increase the level of cortisol in the blood.

High glycemic index foods require utilization of almost an equivalent mass of animal protein to keep glycemic balance. It is also necessary to avoid extreme low-calorie diets. Low-calorie dieting is a major stress to the body and increases cortisol production while simultaneously reducing testosterone levels.

Dark Chocolate

Good news, chocolate lovers: Eating dark chocolate may aid in relieving stress. Researchers in Switzerland examined the effects of dark chocolate on stress metabolism. At the end of a two-week study, scientists observed that the group given 40 grams of dark chocolate per day experienced decreases in blood cortisol levels compared to the control group.

Keep in mind that in addition to proper diet, getting the adequate amount of sleep (seven to nine hours of sleep per 24-hour span) and a regular exercise regimen are crucial in lowering the levels of the stress hormone. Additionally, rose hip extract has been found to reduce cortisol levels and reduce stress. You can find rose hip extract at your nearby health food store. And by the way, rose hip extract may also help fight the flu and colds.


Corey Mote, BS, DC, practices in Clarksville, Ga. A professional natural bodybuilder, Dr. Mote was the 2010 Musclemania (MM) Britain champion and the 2011 MM Universe Pro finalist. For questions and comments regarding this article, contact him via his Web site, www.coreymote.com.

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