Tag Archives: neurological

Running Essentials (Vol.3)

In continuation with our Running Essentials series, this week’s post will keep it relatively simple.  The emphasis here is the need for continuous, maintenance work to clear potential hurdles and road blocks to your goals.
It goes without saying that it is essential to have at your service a competent practitioner you can trust for when the wheels begin to fall off. Unfortunately it happens to all of us at one time or another, especially if you are active.
That’s not what we’re referring to here.  We are talking about regular comprehensive sessions when all is well and running smoothly, in order to keep it that way.  It is far easier for patient and practitioner to rectify neuromusculoskeletal imbalances calmly in their infancy, rather than frantically and while in pain.
Finding a practitioner who speaks the same language and understands your goals and priorities is integral in this approach.  A knowledgable, holistic alley to collaborate with in ensuring you can continue to do what you love to do.
To simply utilize this individual for a more stressful damage control, injury cleanup normally ends up taking more time, money and emotion than if the proper respect and attention was paid to the body from the jump.
We are not simply speaking of rest and passive recovery either (although this is also key).  We are talking about active recovery between workouts.  If you look at a professional athlete, you have individuals receiving some sort of treatment numerous times per week, if not daily.  And while we are not referring to professional athletes here per say, but more of the full time desk jockeys who love to get after it during “play time,” the need for attention remains, one could argue even more so.
You take an individual who spends the majority of their hours in various positions and postures that are quite the opposite of a professional athlete.  This prolonged sitting, hunched postures, driving, etc., lends itself to countless imbalances in every single aspect of the neuromusculoskeletal chain.  The spotlight then shines on these imbalances when any type of physical activity is attempted, especially as we increase frequency, intensity and duration.
When speaking specifically  of running, we are talking about a repetitive pounding; a force transmitted and absorbed by the body that is exponentially larger than when walking.  Now throw into that equation a misaligned segment of the spine, pelvis or extremity, a chronically shortened or weakened muscle, a misfiring nervous system.  What we have is a recipe for disaster.
The point being is to make the changes in daily lifestyle that can be done, and to routinely work the other  potential issues out with that knowledgable practitioner.  It may seem like more of a commitment to have a weekly or bi-monthly session, but this pales in comparison to the time, money and stress that goes into the active injury identification, care and rehab.
We take our cars in for routine oil changes. We update our phones, no questions asked. In turn we expect reliable and optimal function.  How can we possibly expect anything close to that from our bodies, the most complex machine we will ever possess, when we don’t treat it with the same respect?
Come see us and we’ll do all we can to keep you moving.

Picking Protein: Weighing the Whey

The mission to achieve optimal health is an evolving journey.  A key component of that journey is finding the best source of nutrients.  In many instances this becomes a case of the least offensive option.  Something that’s going to give you what you’re looking for without leaving too large a trail of collateral damage behind.

Rarely do I find this to be more true than when it comes to protein powder.  Now, in an ideal world all of our protein would safely and conveniently be derived from grass fed animals, free range chickens and eggs, wild fish, etc.  Unfortunately this is not the case and due to convenience, availability and lack of consistently strong alternatives, supplementing with a protein powder is something many (self included) find themselves doing.

All day, everyday we are constantly using protein to carry out life’s functions.  This constant turnover makes it imperative to obtain an adequate amount from an outside source in order to thrive.  Add consequences of life such as elevated stress, physical activity, injury or a virus to the equation and the need for a sustained quality protein source grows .

My personal search for the “best” appears to be a never ending process.  It is a process that also accompanies the search for the best nutritional choices and supplement supply for myself and my patients.  Just when you get comfortable with a product, new research emerges or your own school of thought changes.  Even worse, a report surfaces that your go to product contains traces of antibiotics or metals (true story).

Being that individually we lack the time, knowledge and overall resources to whip up our own concoctions, we will always be at the mercy of a third party manufacturer who to varying degrees, has that bottom line on their mind.  It is our choice and has become my professional and personal duty to avoid the comfort of blissful ignorance and stay diligently abreast on the latest information pertaining to what we put in our one and only body.

One of the most popular, powder protein sources is whey.  And while I personally have not used whey in a couple of years as I try to refrain from dairy products, I do recognize that it does possess many endearing and attractive qualities highlighted by its superior bioavailability.  What I’ve listed below are some buzz words and guide lines to look for if selecting a whey product.

The list is by no means perfect and can be hard to use as a checklist to satisfy all criteria.  It is however a good starting point as you decide which factors are most important to you.  This list has been loosely compiled from research.  Feel free to interject or add your own suggestions as we continue on that quest for the perfect products.

•             NON-DENATURED

WHY:     Traditionally, even the most expensive whey products available (isolates, ion exchange and hydrolyzed) are by-products of cheese manufacture. The milk goes through a heating process at high temperatures (163 degrees F) which damages the whey proteins.

Many manufactured whey proteins are also high in MSG (manufactured glutamic acid), which is toxic to neurological patients. In fact, typical whey protein powders may be detrimental to patients with neurological disorders because they contribute to an excess of glutamate in the body which can damage the nervous system, especially the brain.

True non-denatured whey protein on the other hand, is not a by-product of cheese manufacture; it is a “native” whey protein, which means it is not manufactured at all. It is the optimal natural precursor of glutathione (powerful antioxidant, antiviral, antimicrobial, detoxifier, etc.). It contains exceptionally high levels of non-denatured Cysteine and Glutamine, the amino acids required for intracellular glutathione production.


WHY:     Native Whey protein is obtained through a very specific process that differs from standard whey protein: the proteins are extracted directly from skimmed milk using membrane technologies, preferably COLD PROCESSED or at low temperature (microfiltration and ultrafiltration). The state of the art low temperature process removes casein and lactose to leave only the purest, most biologically active whey protein.

•             NO GROWTH HOMONES or GMOs

It is important to use whey protein from herds that graze on disease-free, pesticide-free, chemical-free, natural grass pastures and the milking of the cows are not subjected to any chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, or injected pathogens.  While some of these may be removed during the filtration process, some remain and can now wreak havoc within your own body.



Protein isolates are proteins stripped away/isolated from their nutritional cofactors.

Isolates are exposed to acid processing to eliminate the fat, which denatures protein, leaving them deficient in key amino acids and nutritional cofactors.

When you remove fat, you actually remove components of its immune supporting/boosting properties.  Fat provides not only calories; most foods rich in healthful fat – including nuts and seeds like almonds and chia – are carriers of antioxidants, such as vitamin E and phytosterols.

Overall you’re left with an inferior whey protein if you take the fat out.

Your FREE Holiday Season Therapy

As I age, I definitely appreciate and look forward to the holiday season more and more each year.  That fraction of the year kicking off with Thanksgiving and carrying us through New Year’s should serve as a coveted time to REflect on the previous year, REassessing and REorganizing where need be so that you are fully REloaded and REfreshed for the next year.  It is a time to REjoice for all our blessings, where a priority should be to RElax with family and friends.

Personally, I was raised on the Christmas stylings of Johnny Mathis, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, etc., and can’t help but get a smile on my face when I listen to (and belt out) some of these tunes.  The feeling of nostalgia truly lifts the spirit.  It works. Just ask my wife and brother, both of whom I have pushed the recommendation of at least a daily dose of the seasonal songs.

Did you know there is an actual neurological explanation behind just why this music seems to tickle the soul?  For this week’s post I am going to refer to one of my most respected colleagues, Dr. Joseph A. Bova.  This man is blazing a trail in upstate New York since graduating with me from Palmer College of Chiropractic.  As I say many times, “couldn’t have said it any better myself…so I won’t.”  Thanks Dr. Bova.

Click below to check out Dr. Bova’s post on a free, uplifting therapeutic approach to the “most wonderful time of the year.”


Enjoy the post and the holiday season!

What’s With that Weird Tape?

If you’re a sports fan like myself, you can’t help notice the increasing presence of an oddly positioned, colored tape being donned by athletes of all sports.  The use of this tape generated much publicity when beach volley ball icons Kerri Walsh and Misty May sported it during their 2008 Olympic gold medal run in Beijing.  Top tennis stars Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic, and most recently, NBA superstar and huge proponent of chiropractic, Derrick Rose have been seen taking advantage of the tape’s therapeutic properties.   

Or maybe you’ve noticed someone in the gym or on the streets fashionably accessorizing with the colorful tape.  The point is, it’s out there and more and more people are utilizing it.

But what exactly is it and what does it do?

In most cases, what you are seeing is a form of athletic tape known as kinetic tape.  The tape had its origin as kinesiotape by Dr. Kenzo Kase in the 1970s.  Since then, other brands such as Rock Tape or Strength Tape have followed suit with slight modifications.

While various manufacturers boast their own techniques to the actual taping method, the main purposes of the tape is shared.  Kinetic tape is a form of tape that can provide support and stability without limiting range of motion.  This is a huge deal in that in order for all of us to function optimally, we need to have access to the full range of motion our joints were designed to provide.  This is key for all of us, but is imperative for an athlete.

Another benefit to kinetic taping is that it helps to reduce swelling and inflammation.  Permitting full range of motion allows this by encouraging venous return of blood and the lymphatic system (waste removal), but the tape actually does this in additional ingenuous ways.

The first way the tape does this is by lifting the skin off of the underlying tissue and allowing room for accumulated fluids to exit.  Another way inflammation and swelling is reduced can be facilitated by a distinct taping method in which the tape is cut into individual strips which resemble fingers. When the patient moves, these fingers then lightly squeeze the area of involvement, creating a massaging effect that encourages the removal of stagnant fluids in the area.  This method is quite useful for the acutely injured athlete who is trying to limit the initial swelling.

In addition, properly applied kinetic tape can provide an all natural analgesic or pain-killing effect.  One way this is done is by lessening inflammation in the ways described above.  The chemical mediators of inflammation excite the nerves that transmit pain signals, so anytime we can lessen inflammation, we can also lessen pain.

The second way the perception of pain is dampened by the tape is by closing what is known as the physiological pain gate.

You see, nerves vary in size and speed of transmission, with the bigger, faster nerves overriding the smaller, slower nerves.  Luckily for us, painful stimuli is mainly transmitted by the smaller nerves, while the sensation of touch takes a ride on the larger, faster nerves.  One way to intelligently and naturally lessen pain is to override the signal by stimulating nerves that pick up touch and enter the spinal cord at the same level.

It is this mechanism that serves as the explanation behind why we instinctively shake or rub the finger we just smashed with a hammer.  By doing this you are literally closing the gate on the transmission of the pain.  Unfortunately, as soon as the stimulation by way of rubbing or shaking ceases, the gate re-opens and the pain signals are once again permitted to reach the brain where the perception of pain occurs.

Kinetic tape conveniently comes into play here by providing constant stimulation to the painful area, thus closing the pain gate.  This serves as an extremely practical, temporary fix while we work to fix the underlying cause of the pain.

Neurologically, the tape serves a therapeutic purpose providing feedback from the taped area to our brain.  Aside from pain, when we are injured, feedback from the injured area tends to become inhibited or lessened.  This can lead to further issues as things like balance or proprioception (the sense of where our body or body parts are in space) is largely influenced by feedback from the actual body part.  Kinetic taping provides neurological stimulation to enhance the necessary communication between the central (brain and spinal cord) and peripheral nervous systems.

At Clarke Chiropractic and Wellness we utilize kinetic taping quite frequently when treating athletes and other patients in order to take advantage of the therapeutic benefits described above.  It should be noted that ideally, the tape is used like any other type of therapy; as an adjunct to chiropractic care and temporarily while we correct the underlying issue.  However, many athletes with chronic issues and a schedule or lifestyle that doesn’t always allow adequate rest for healing absolutely love being routinely taped as well.

If you are curious and would like to explore the world of all natural treatments like kinetic taping feel free to call us at anytime.

I’m ready when you are.