March 2009


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Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Addresses Chiropractors at Fitness Symposium

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke to a group of about 200 chiropractors in Columbus Ohio on March 7, 2009. Each year the chiropractic profession and the fitness world come together during the Arnold Fitness weekend. Governor Schwarzenegger is a long time proponent of physical fitness and a long time supporter of chiropractic.

For the past 17 years the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) has held their "Symposium on Natural Fitness" in conjunction with the "Arnold Classic" and Arnold has come to the chiropractic event to speak to the chiropractors and take pictures with every chiropractor in attendance. Arnold and his family are supporters of chiropractic and have received chiropractic care for years.

At this years event the Governor spoke to the over 350 Doctors of Chiropractic and guests about the tough economic times. He commented that in the midst of financially hard times, the chiropractic and fitness professions are both growing. He told the group, "There's a financial crisis, there's an unemployment crisis, there's a housing crisis, there's a mortgage crisis, there's as many crisis as you can think of, except in chiropractic and in fitness, and at the Arnold Classic."  The Arnold Fitness weekend is held each year in Columbus and boasts some 17,000 athletes. This is more than the most recent Olympics which had 10,000 athletes.

At the Chiropractic Symposium, Dr. John Maltby, ICA President gave Arnold a large card signed by the chiropractors in attendance. In response he commented, "Thank you very much. You (referring to Dr. Maltby and the Chiropractors present) said that you have given me a lot of things like statues, and trophies and crystal things, but I just want to say that the most important thing that you have given me is your friendship and I really appreciate it and thank you very much." 

At the Chiropractic event, and onstage during the main Arnold Fitness weekend, Governor Schwarzenegger honored Dr. Franco Columbu who is a Doctor of Chiropractic and one of Arnold's closest friends. Arnold told the chiropractic group that he met Franco Columbu on October 31 1965 in Germany.  The Arnold Fitness website noted, "The Arnold Schwarzenegger Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Franco Columbu by Governor Schwarzenegger. Dr. Franco Columbu has won all the major bodybuilding and powerlifting titles in the world, including Mr. Olympia twice. He is also a doctor of chiropractic and an expert in Sports Medicine and Kinesiology. Columbu has starred in and produced numerous feature films."

With Arnold at his side, the International Chiropractors Association also presented Dr. Columbu with the "Crystal Award" signifying a lifetime of service to the chiropractic profession and the health and fitness of people around the word. Arnold himself is a previous recipient of this award.


Don't Worry, Be Happy - and Healthy

The 1988 song by Bobby McFerrin, Don't Worry, Be Happy, might now be more accurate by adding the words "be healthy".  According to a study led by Dr. Hilary Tindle, an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Internal Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, optimists have lower rates of death and a lower incidence of many chronic diseases compared to pessimists. The results of this study were presented at the American Psychosomatic Society's 67th annual meeting in Chicago.

A story on this report published on March 9, 2009 in Medical News Today noted that the study found that women who were optimists and more trustful of people had lower rates of death and incidence of many chronic diseases compared to their pessimistic counterparts who were more cynical or hostile.

Dr. Tindle and her colleagues performed the study by analyzing information gathered from more than 97,000 women ages 50 to 74 years old, who answered questionnaires on their attitudes. At the start of the study these women did not have heart disease or cancer.

The results showed that after eight years, optimistic women had a 14 percent lower risk of dying from any cause than those who were classified as pessimistic. The study also noted that the differences were more extreme in African-American women, where optimists had a 44 percent lower risk of cancer-related death and cynically hostile women had a 142 percent higher risk of cancer death.

In a March 6, 2009 New York Daily News article lead author Dr. Tindle stated, "Taking into account income, education, health behaviors like blood pressure and whether or not you are physically active, whether or not you drink or smoke, we still see optimists with a decreased risk of death compared to pessimists."


Research Shows Chiropractic Helped with Difficult Birth

A case study published in February 2009 in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, documented the case of a woman in the midst of a difficult birth receiving help with chiropractic. This case study showed the successful collaboration of chiropractors and midwives, as the authors describe the care of a woman in labor with problems.

This case study involved a 26 year old first time mother experiencing problems while in labor. She was attempting a home birth delivery with 3 midwives and her chiropractor in attendance. At 23 hours of labor, the woman had lack of cervical dilation, descent but diminished uterine contractions along with decreased fetal heart tones. Due to the variety of problems the midwives discussed the possibility of transferring the patient to the hospital. At that point the decision was made to initiate chiropractic care with the "Webster Technique".

The Webster Technique, created by famed pediatric Chiropractor, Dr. Larry Webster, is the application of a specific chiropractic adjustment, which reduces interference to the nervous system (subluxation) and helps return balance in the pelvic structures thereby improving the physiological functioning of the pelvic muscles and ligaments. This in turn removes in-utero constraint and allows for the fetus to get into the best possible position for birth.

After the application of chiropractic care, the midwives reported a significant improvement in labor progression. The patient’s contractions became stronger and more frequent, and the fetal heart tones stabilized. The midwives again attempted various patient positioning, more homeopathic remedies and performed a surgical rupture of the patient’s membranes. As the labor continued, they recommended further chiropractic care.

At 34 hours of labor, the attending chiropractor rendered care again. One-half hour later, the patient finally reached complete cervical dilation. The labor progressed rapidly thereafter, and the patient began pushing. A healthy baby girl was born vaginally at home one hour after receiving her last chiropractic spinal adjustment.

Dr. Jeanne Ohm, Executive Director of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) and one of the co-authors of the study stated, "Research is revealing that chiropractic care is extremely beneficial before, during and after the birth process, helping the mother enjoy a healthier pregnancy, a more normal delivery and giving the child a better start in life. Study after study is showing that a chiropractor is an indispensable part of the birthing team.”


Antibiotic Use in Children Is Associated With Increased Risk of Asthma

A study published on March 2, 2009 in the journal Pediatrics, by the American Academy of Pediatrics, shows an association between the use of antibiotics in the first year of life linked to an increase in the occurrence of asthma. The study was also reported on March 9, 2009 by Medscape, and noted that the risk of childhood asthma increases with the number of courses of antibiotics prescribed.

Study author, Fawziah Marra, PharmD, from University of British Columbia in Vancouver, commented in the Medscape article, "Antibiotic exposure in early childhood is a possible contributor to the increasing asthma prevalence in industrialized countries. Although a number of published studies have tested this hypothesis, the results have been conflicting."

The researchers were very careful in this study to rule out other factors that might alter the results of the study. Things taken into account included such factors as sex; socioeconomic status; urban or rural address; birth weight; gestational age; delivery method; frequency of clinician visits; hospital visit involving surgery; visits to an allergist, congenital anomalies; and the presence of otitis media (ear infections), acute bronchitis, or chronic bronchitis; and upper and lower respiratory tract infections. These factors were accounted for so the results would only indicate the association between antibiotic usage in the first year of life and the onset of childhood asthma.

After adjusting out all other factors the authors reported that, antibiotic usage in the first year of life was associated with a small risk for the development of asthma in early childhood. They also noted that the more antibiotics were used in the first year of life, the greater the risk for the development of asthma. Researchers also reported that with the exception of sulfonamides, all other antibiotics were associated with an increased risk for the development of childhood asthma.

The study authors noted in their conclusions, "We have shown that in a large, population-based cohort, after careful conducted analyses adjusting for many potential confounders and with multiple sensitivity analyses, the association between antibiotic exposure and the subsequent development of asthma remains. This study provides evidence that the use of antibiotics in the first year of life is associated with a small risk of developing asthma, and this risk increases with the number of courses of antibiotics prescribed."


Chiropractic Helps ADHD, A Case Study

The scientific periodical, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, published a case study in the March 2009 issue documenting the improvement with chiropractic care of a 3 and a half year old boy who had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Authors of this case study report that experts now consider Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to be the most commonly encountered neurobehavioral disorder of childhood. They report that some studies show a 4%-12% occurrence rate among school-aged children with boys being three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls. They note that medically, ADHD is treated using psychostimulant drugs, such as Ritalin.  They note that these drugs can cause a decrease in the ADHD symptoms but that the side effects may outweigh the benefits.

Side effects from drugs used to treat ADHD include but are not limited to: growth rate reductions, cardiovascular effects such as an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, insomnia, reduced appetite, anorexia, stomach aches, sleep disturbances, and dizziness. It has also been reported that most of the high profile school shootings were performed by boys who were on long-term medication for ADHD.

A chiropractic examination involving several procedures such as thermography, muscle testing, posture analysis, and range of motion was performed on the young boy in this case study. The presence of vertebral subluxation was made and a course of specific adjustive care was initiated. The care initially involved adjustments for 3 times a week for three weeks followed by one visit per week for the 8 following weeks. In addition to chiropractic care to reduce vertebral subluxation the mother was advised on decreasing food additives and sugar.

The outcome of chiropractic care for this young boy was very encouraging as both the boy's parents and teachers reported improvement in the boy's attention and energy levels following the initiation of chiropractic care. They also note that his grades have improved. His mother reported that he was able to win a chess tournament due to his improved ability to pay attention. The boy's mother noted that at the point of chiropractic care at the writing of this study, her son would show an increase in hyperactivity if she waited longer than two weeks to get him adjusted. At the writing of this case study, the young boy remained under chiropractic care at a frequency of twice monthly. Most notably, and perhaps most important, the case study reports that this 3 and a half year old boy is no longer on any related drug therapies.

Dr. Pamela Stone-McCoy, lead author of the paper noted, "Research is revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system and brain. Basic science research shows that the proper development of the brain relies on proper structure and movement of the spine from an early age.” Dr. McCoy went on to explain, "Children’s nervous systems need the constant stimulation of movement in order to develop and function properly. Abnormal position or movement of the spinal vertebra can develop and this can lead to nerve interference. It is this interference, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.”


Physically Fit Students Do Better on Tests

Several articles in Texas reported that children who are physically fit do better academically on standardized tests in their state. One article appearing on the The Dallas Morning News on March 9, 2009 noted that the Texas Education Agency released a study showing that students who are physically fit are more likely to do well on Texas achievement tests and are also less likely to have disciplinary problems.

Also on March 9, the online edition of The Houston Chronicle published an article on this study and quoted state Senator Jane Nelson, who commented, "Now, we have hard evidence that there is a link between fitness and academic success. We need to continue our efforts to decrease these trends as if lives depend on it, because they truly do."

In the Dallas News story, state Education Commissioner Robert Scott said in a statement, "Texas is the first state to require an annual physical fitness assessment of public school students. Today’s research results show that improving our children’s physical fitness can have positive results not only for the children, but also for the schools as well.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry stated in the Houston Chronicle article, "Our state and nation are struggling with obesity, thanks to the combination of increasingly sedentary lifestyles and the declining quality of diets. We owe it to our children to take the appropriate steps to encourage fitness, steps that are made clearer by the information contained in this first round of testing. I am confident we are on our way to making a difference that will improve and even save lives.

"The study released by the Texas Education Agency can be read here, and noted that, "Students who are physically fit are more likely to do well on the state’s standardized tests and have good school attendance. Fit students are also less likely to have disciplinary referrals."

In the release by the Texas Education Agency, Dr. Kenneth Cooper, aerobics pioneer and founder of the Cooper Institute stated, "The impact exercise has on the growing brain is unparalleled. Increased exercise improves cardiovascular health, and that helps the brain function more efficiently and enhances its ability to learn.”


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