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134 Executive Drive, Lafayette, IN 47905, 765-448-6489

765-448-6489
By Dr. Doug Williams
August 14, 2017
Category: Uncategorized

A week ago, last Saturday, I was pondering the above statement... a lot! My oldest son (Josh) and I had just started a half marathon. This wasn't new for us;  it is something we have done on a number of occasions over the years, but this one was different, namely because it started around 9500 feet above sea level!

Dr. Sue and I had traveled to Denver and were staying near Breckenridge, CO with our family. When I signed up for the race several months ago, in Lafayette at 692 feet above sea level, it seemed like a good idea. At the start, I wasn't so sure. The fact that it began uphill led to my mantra: "Don't Forget to Breathe!"

Later that weekend, I sat in my Dad's living room and visited with my brothers (Jeff, Matt and Ben) and their families, and my sons (Josh and Caleb), and Caleb's girlfriend Claire. Josh now lives in Colorado, Caleb and Claire live in Atlanta, and my dad and brothers/families live in Denver. I love them all so much and miss them a lot - I couldn't believe I had them all in one place. Again, I had to remind myself to breathe.

We got back home last Tuesday afternoon and, on Wednesday I got up to use my foam roller and stretch out. The race, the travel, the overeating, the good and bad aspects of being with family had left me tight and tense. Once more I had to remind myself: "Don't Forget to Breathe!"

Life is full of a lot of moments that take our breath away, some of them enjoyable and some of them overwhelming. It is important to take the time to draw the moment into our lives and to let it back out again. I think God gave us the rhythmic aspect of breath to remind us that nothing lasts forever, and that it is important to appreciate and embrace each moment we are given.

I hope you have a great week, and remember: "Don't Forget to Breathe!"

Yours in Health,

Doug Williams, D.C.
Care Chiropractic
Lafayette, Indiana

By Dr. Doug Williams
July 30, 2017
Category: Routine
Tags: nutrition   anxiety   routine   sleep   health   well-being  

I woke up this morning at 5:20 am. It is Sunday. I didn't particularly plan on waking up at that time and I didn't have an alarm set. I rolled over and went back to sleep; after all, church didn't start until 9am! Over the last six months, I have changed my morning routine in order to participate in several running races over the summer and fall. A number of the races are in different states and require an investment of time and money, and I didn't really want to show up to unprepared. So, five mornings a week, I wake up at 5:20 am and try to do something that will move me towards my goal.

One of my problems is that, even though I want to run the races I have on the calandar, I like to sleep! One of the by-products of getting up early is that I almost always crash by 9pm. I don't have to look at a clock, I just know it's time for bed - if I want to get up at 5:20am to move towards my goal of running some races, I have to go to bed or I won't get up!

Another problem I've had with both getting up and going to bed early is that I have been hungrier than usual. That poses a dilemma: what do I eat!

Case in point: last Friday night, Dr. Sue and I were going to watch a movie on TV and she decided to make popcorn. Now, popcorn can be a fairly healthy choice, but you know what goes good with popcorn? Soda pop (don't be shocked: even your health care professionals don't eat right all the time!)! As I pulled the soda off the shelf and headed to the front of the store to check out, I realized that popcorn and soda go great with......... M&M's! They just happened to be on sale at CVS! I stood there for quite awhile - trying to decide between M&M's and Reese's Pieces - when it occurred to me - Popcorn: OK, Pop: OK for a Friday night, but if I add M&M's to the mix, it is going to be a lot harder to get up Saturday morning at 5:20 am and run for several hours! I left the M&M's for another day (believe me, there will be another day).

The last thing that I've noticed since I started getting up early is that, overall, I have been a little more relaxed. The staff might not notice it, but I know my wife does! I am, by nature, an anxious person, and when I get up early, go to bed early, eat right and exercise, I feel more relaxed and I know that transfers to being more present in the moment when I am working, studying, praying, everything.

What is my point in this week's post? Should everyone get up early so they can run some goofy race in Wisconsin? No way, I am not even sure I want to do that! The lesson I hope you take away is small routines can have really big ripple effects in your health and well-being. I didn't start out going to bed early, I didn't start out trying to eat better and I didn't start out aiming at becoming a little less anxious in life. No, I started out trying to get up a little earlier than I normally do, so I could reach a running goal, and it has had ramifications in a number of different areas in my life.

You don't have to start out trying to change everything about your life and health! Sometimes, you just need to pick one small thing,, be consistent and see what happens!

Yours in Health,

Doug Williams, D.C.
Care Chiropractic
Lafayette, Indiana

By Dr. Doug Williams
July 24, 2017
Category: Updates
Tags: Untagged

Wow! The last blog post I wrote was back in February! I didn't mean to leave you hanging quite that long! It is a good thing I didn't forget Maisey (our dog pictured above) all that time!

The initial goal I had when we started our blog was to put up a year's worth of material, check the feedback and see if it made sense to continue. I am glad to say we met our original goal last February! The feedback from the first year was very positive and I have decided to continue.

A note to those who have joined our chiropractic practice since last February:

Starting in 2016, we began to send educational emails to our patients, relative to lifestyle, health, longevity and disease prevention. These emails/posts are housed permenently on my website. It is a great searchable site and I encourage you to check it out! You will never receive solicitations from us, and we don't trade or sell our data base. If you don't want to receive these emails, simply scroll to the bottom and click unsubscribe!

We have some great topics to cover over the next six months, and I think you will find them helpful to you personally and potentially to your loved ones and friends. Something new we are going to do this go-around is some interviews with other health practitioners and people that work in the health and fitness industry. I hope to corral Dr. Markley (one of my practice partners for the last 25 years), who is one of the foremost experts on nutritional protocols for health conditions in the region, and get some of his thoughts on a good basic "nutrition package" for health maintenance and prevention. I also plan on interviewing Dr. Sue (my other practice partner and wife of 31 years!), and have her talk to us about care for infants and pregnant mothers. She does an excellent job working with both, and I am actually really looking forward to getting some insights from her for you all and for myself. It is also on my list to talk with a local spine surgeon on some of the reasons they would and would not recommend lower back surgery. In the middle of all that, we will continue to hit my favorite things: chiropractic, exercise and healthy eating.

I promise not to leave you hanging!

I am really looking forward to a new season of writing, and to bringing you some helpful information and interesting interviews. Keep your eyes on your inbox or go directly to the blog site from time to time to see what is new. May God bless you on your pursuit of good health and a full life!

Yours In Health,

Doug Williams, D.C.
Care Chiropractic
Lafayette, Indiana

By Dr. Doug Williams
February 15, 2017
Category: Frailty
Tags: Healthy Aging   frailty   body systems  
Over the last few months, we have been working our way through the topic of Frailty, which is really a study of how the body unwinds over a life time. Most of the material we have been drawing from has come from an article published in "The American Geriatrics Society."

While some choose to look at topics like Frailty and the unwinding of our bodies over time as a bad thing, this article and our blog series took the approach that we are "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made" and understanding how we function in youth and as we age can help us live as full and complete a life as possible!

The lens that we used to look at this topic consisted of four, separate yet interrelated, segments:
  1. Inflammatory System
  2. Endocrine  System
  3. Musculoskeletal System
  4. Nervous System

The first thing we looked at was Inflammation. We saw that researchers looked at these main markers in inflammation:

  • Cytokine IL-6
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Total number of monocytes

These were blood markers that increased with age and disease, and were related to the following disease states and functional issues:

  • Death (that is a big one)
  • Bone mineral loss
  • Muscle loss
  • Anemia
  • Insulin resistance (Adult Diabetes)

We also looked at how we could influence these various states of decline and dysfunction, primarily by how and what we ate. There are two links that can help with addressing this issue:

  1. Andrew Wiel Article
  2. Blog Summary from our Healthy Eating Series

Next, we looked at the Endocrine System.  The main markers researchers look at in the Endocrine System are

  • IGF-1
  • DHEA-S

These two markers primarily give insight into the sex hormones: Testosterone and Estrogen. These markers ebb and flow over a life time, but tend to trend down as we age, causing the following functional loss:

  • Decreased strength
  • Decreased endurance
  • Weight loss (due to loss of muscle tone)
  • Decreased walking speed
  • Decreased physical activity
  • Increased inflammation
  • Cognitive issues (dementia)

When looking for ways to positively influence these factors, we found several factors to pursue:

  1. Resistance training
  2. Weight loss/management
  3. Decreasing high glycemic index foods
  4. Increasing sleep
  5. Eating a high protein low carbohydrate snack before bed

Two links that were helpful were:

  1. Article in the Journal of Gerontology (Technical)
  2. Article in Life Extension Magazine (Reader Friendly)

After the Endocrine System, we looked at one of my favorite: the Musculoskeletal System! The main marker for this system is muscle mass or muscle to non-muscle tissue ratio.

We primarily focused on the glute muscle because it is such a big player in much of human locomotion. Decline in the musculoskeletal system results in the following disease and functional states:

  • Diabetes
  • Fall risk
  • Declining bone health
  • Independence

We referenced two helpful links:

  1. The Sit to Rise Test (explained the relationship between core strength and life expectancy)
  2. Getting Your Butt Off the Ground (blog series on how to improve the Sit to Rise Test!)

Finally, we looked at the Nervous System. We saw that the nervous system really brought everything together, which is why it is often called the Master System. The markers that were used in the original article are:

  • Gait (how stable and smoothly you walk)
  • Balance
  • Strength

We added a bonus one that has been making it's way into the literature lately:

  • Cognition (how well your brain works)

When the nervous system starts to fail, you see the following issues:

  • Falls
  • Loss of independence
  • Problems with coordination
  • Cognitive issues (mental slowness, dementia and, possibly, Alzheimer's's disease)

We linked to several articles:

  1. The Nurses Study on Walking (showed a dose-based relationship to exercise brain function)
  2. An Article in JAMA (relative to exercise and brain health - dementia and Alzhiemer's)
  3. Our previous blog series on Getting Out Of A Chair (practical place to start for glute strength)


What's Left?

As I write this article, I am 52 years old. I am sure that some of you reading are much younger than me and some older. One thing we all have in common is we are all headed to one last door in life to open.. death! We all are going to have to step through it, at some point. I have a lot to say about what I believe to be on the other side for me (the waiting arms of Jesus, who made the supreme sacrifice for me!), but that is not what this blog series has been about! This series has been about how things are going to unfold as you get to that last door. Personally, I would like to be able to walk right up to it at the end under my own power. While that may not be possible, I am going to do all that I can to operate as fully and completely as I can in the framework I have been given. I hope some of the material we have covered helps you to do the same.

In Health,

Doug Williams, D.C.
Care Chiropractic 
Lafayette, Indiana

By Dr. Doug Williams
February 08, 2017
Category: Frailty
Tags: exercise   frailty   nervous system  
 
The Nervous System Lies at the Hub of Frailty

We have been working through a series on Frailty, essentially what happens to our bodies as we age. This material is important for several reasons, not the least of which is, because it is going to affect all of us, if we live long enough, and knowing what is coming can be comforting on some level.

However, more than that, I believe that understanding how we are "fearfully and wonderfully made" allows us to not only appreciate what we have been given in our bodies, but also inspires us to take the best care possible of them.

With that in mind, we have been going over what happens to us over time, but also how to positively impact it. The Nervous System literally and figuratively lies at the center of our life and, ultimately, death.

Components of the Nervous System
 
The Nervous System is structurally broken down into two parts:
  1. Central Nervous System, which is composed of the brain, spinal cord and nerve roots
  2. Peripheral Nervous System, which is composed of the nerves once they leave the spinal cord
The Nervous System is functionally composed of about a million different parts! Okay, maybe not a million, but way more than I am prepared to cover in this material.
 
The most useful model for the functional aspect of the Nervous System is to think of it as a great big feedback mechanism.

It is constantly seeking information through our senses on things like: gravity, position, resistance, stability, sound, smell, sight, temperature, feel, etc., and relaying this to the brain in order for the brain decide what it wants to do next.
 
 
Think of Your Nervous System Like a Submarine
 
Submarines are known for operating on sonar - essentially, making a sound, waiting for the sound wave to bounce off something and return back to the sender. The submarine then could make a decision on whether or not it wanted to go in this direction or that. This is often called pinging.

Pinging is what your nervous system is doing all day long, searching out information from the periphery, relaying it to the brain, deciding what, if anything, to do about what it has found out and then taking action.

Going up a flight of stairs? Your eyes gauge the height of the stairs, your foot tells you if the surface is smooth like wood or has resistance like carpet, your heart rate and blood pressure increase (via messages from the nervous system) as you ascend and relay information to the brain in order to make a decision if you need to stop and rest halfway up or not.

Most of this happens automatically without you thinking about it... until it doesn't! Then, you have a problem - you might slip, stumble and fall, or catch yourself.

The interesting thing is that failures in the feedback mechanism happen at both ends of the age spectrum - a 2-year old learning to negotiate the stairs has some of the same issues as an 82-year old might - and for the same reason: The Nervous System is Not Completely Plugged In!

Often times, our physical "Pinging and Processing" can parallel our cognitive (ability to think and reason) "Pinging and Processing." In other words, our brains can slow to match our bodies!

This presents some very interesting possibilities. For instance, if you train the body, will the brain follow suit?
 
 
Train the Body, Train the Brain!
 
An interesting study published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) in 2004 looked at over 18,000 women between the ages of 70-81 and their activity levels, specifically walking. The study found that, not only was there a 20% difference in cognitive function (brain activation), but that their cognitive function was related, in part, on a dose basis: the more active they were, the better off they were!

This is only one of many articles you can find on physical activity and the role it plays in keeping the brain healthy. Really, keeping the brain healthy is a reciprocal action, just like our sonar example from the submarine. The more information you can process, the more likely you are to get up and process it; rinse and repeat!

Another article published in JAMA in 2008 studied elderly individuals with memory issues but had not met the criteria for Alzheimer's. 138 people completed this study that split the group into two: half did what was considered an "educational and usual care program" and the other half did a "24 week at-home physical activity program." The "educational and usual care program" showed deterioration over the study time - they actually lost ground. In contrast, the "at-home physical activity group" not only didn't lose ground, but they showed improvement!

Components of accessing the nervous system for frailty include:
  • Gait: how well and how much you can walk
  • Balance: a measure of strength and coordination
  • Strength: a measure of how well you recruit your muscles to do a task; this can be a quantity and quality issue
Doesn't that sound a lot like exercise? It sure does to me! Once again, we find ourselves back at the basic premise that we were born to move and, when we stop moving, we stop living (maybe not all at once, but progressively, in both body and mind)!

Training movement has a lot of components, but at the heart of it is this concept:

GET UP AND DO SOMETHING... ANYTHING!
 
A good place to start would be our blog series on getting out of a chair. It has some simple step-by-step exercises for strengthening your glutes, the biggest muscles in your body.
 
Whew! Well, I hope you have gotten something out of our series on Frailty. Next week, we will wrap it up and pull everything together. The last portion of the theory on Frailty is called Integrative, I think you will like it!

Until then,
Get Up and Do Something!

Doug Williams, D.C.
Care Chiropractic
Lafayette, Indiana

PS: Don't forget to visit our new blog page at Doug Williams, DC - there is lots of great stuff to explore!




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