Dr. Reese’s Bits and Pieces
February 2016 Newsletter
As I write this newsletter, we have had snow on the ground for over 7 weeks. Supposedly, we are going to hit the high 50’s and low 60’s by the end of the week which might finally dry off the golf courses and let me play. I’ve learned that when it’s a good ski season…it’s a bad golf winter!
How are those New Year’s Resolutions going? If you didn’t make it through the first month, don’t beat yourself up. It might be that your Resolution was unrealistic or you just had a minor setback and need to start again. You still have 11 months to get it right!
Fit as a Fiddle
Many make exercise goals at the beginning of the year that are too tough to keep. Most of us can’t go from being sedentary to working out 5 days a week for an hour in a month. You will get tired, sore and injured pretty fast. The idea behind exercise, for most people, is to enhance your ability to enjoy your life. If you are torturing yourself in the name of health, please stop!
You need to find something fun to do that gets your heart rate up and makes your muscles contract. If you don’t enjoy your activity, you won’t stick with it for long. Even if you do enjoy it, excessively doing anything will make it a chore eventually. I’ve played 4 rounds of golf in 3 days a few times and I always need a break for a few weeks afterwards. Exercise classes, bikes, walking, hiking, weights, yoga, Pilates, Zumba (watch those knees!), P90X, etc. can be fun or torture depending on your tastes and workout intensity. Under-achieve with your exercise instead of trying to record personal records each day.
Health not Hurt
In the early 70’s I was a crazy runner who ran regardless of weather conditions or the state of my body. I never took any vitamins or minerals during this addiction and felt that more running would cure anything that ailed me. My knees eventually screamed loud enough to get my attention and I moved on to less pounding activities. No matter what your sport or favorite exercise, you can do more damage than good if you overdo it. I want everyone to exercise but in moderation. If you are constantly sore, can’t sleep through the night even though you are dead tired or dread your next workout, you could be over-training.
The early bodybuilders of the 1950’s were in it for the health and to see how much they could develop their body through diet and exercise. They were strong, flexible and very healthy. Then the era of anabolic steroids and other drugs moved health to the back burner and made getting big easy. This also was the beginning of guys dying young from drug induced cancer, heart disease and dehydration just to win a contest. Many professional athletes were using performance enhancing drugs that helped them compete at a higher level regardless of the health consequences. (Google former Bronco Lyle Alzado)
I understand wanting to run a marathon, triathlon or other big physical goal to see if you can do it. You just have to look at the toll it is taking on your body and don’t confuse heavy exercise with being healthy. I’ve seen the damage done to knees, backs and necks from excessive exercise and sports. I’ve treated a lot of people who wish they still had good shoulders, knees and hips as they got older. If you wear out your body, you won’t have any place to live!
Old injuries from sports, falls, accidents, inflammation, surgery, cuts, pain killers, Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID) and immobilization from casts, splints and braces cause the development of scar tissue. This is part of the normal healing process but if it becomes hard and immobile, it can create all kinds of pain anywhere in the body.
In the late 1960’s a doctor created what he called the “One-Minute Cure”. He would examine all the scars on the body of a patient suffering from chronic pain and inject them with a drug like Novocain. If the pain disappeared in a minute or so, he knew the scar was causing the pain. He would treat the scar with acupuncture or cross-friction massage to help the energy flow through that area better and stop the pain. He found chronic headaches caused by a scar on the foot and vice versa. Opposite ends and opposite sides of the body can be affected so it doesn’t just affect the area of the scar. Do yourself a favor and rub across any scar you have on your body for a few minutes each day and you will help your body feel better.
Poke then Stretch
You don’t need a healed cut on your skin to have scar tissue. Any old muscle or joint injury will have scar tissue. When I work on your muscles and trigger points, I’m trying to break up this scar tissue. I recently found out that if you stretch the muscle, after you poke and prod in there, you get a better result. It’s not about how much pain can be inflicted but a quick prodding throughout the muscle and then stretch it can relieve a lot of chronic pain. You’ll be much nicer to your muscles than I will but you will still get some results. Thera-Canes and tennis balls can help you hit those hard to reach places.
If you bought a blood test through us with Principal Labs, you need to get the test done within 3 months or the Requisition number is no longer any good. You don’t lose your money but we have to ask the lab for a refund and then you have to pay for the new test. The refund can take up to 10 days to post back to your card. Stop procrastinating and get your blood drawn before it expires! If you have one older than 3 months, Sarah can help get your old one canceled and a new one ordered.