Energy Drinks, Health Risk and Death Connection

14 05 2020

Updated: 14 May 2020, by Marc Woodard

So what energy, soda or caffeinated drink and in what volume is considered safe?

The following recommendations for caffeine ingestion vary, but a good average across the board looks to be: adults can consume around 400mg/day of caffeine, pregnant women should stay below 300mg/day. A five-year old child should consume no more than 1 soda/day at 45mg caffeine [at the most]. And if you include a caffeinated soda in a Childs daily diet, this would mean no chocolate, tea, or any other food source with caffeine in it.

“A five-year old child should consume no more than 1 soda/day at 45mg caffeine [at the most]. …” Or one cup of chocolate.

As a point of reference, 1 energy drink does not equate to an 8oz cup of coffee (130mg/cup). One energy drink for example can have the equivalence of several cups of coffee!

Energy drinks flooded the marketplace over a decade ago, with ever increasing popularity within the teenage demographic. Within youth sports for example, energy drinks seem to be the rage and norm… because of the quick boost one receives before exercise activities… and employee’s become dependent on the drinks to accomplish work.

So what’s the bottom line on health risk? Here’s just a few updated citations I found recently on the Internet.

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“Energy drinks ‘can be dangerous because large amounts of caffeine may cause serious heart rhythm, blood flow and blood pressure problems,’ the NIH (National Institution of Health) has warned.”

“Researchers with the American Heart Association have warned that energy drinks can be ‘life-threatening,’ especially for those already with high blood pressure or cardiac issues.”

“The drinks have led to death. E.g., In 2017, a South Carolina teenager died after consuming an excessive amount of caffeine in a short amount of time.”

“Children with still-developing cardiovascular and nervous systems are also at risk as caffeine could harm them. The American Academy of Pediatrics said children should “never” consume energy drinks.”

“‘These energy drinks – one of the biggest problems – is that we haven’t the faintest idea what’s in them,’ Dr. Steven Nissen, M.D. of Cleveland Clinic pointed out.” “The manufacturers of these drinks are not required, by law, to disclose the contents. Those who have performed independent analysis on them have learned, at least a few of the drinks, are just loaded with huge amounts of caffeine.”

We already know exercise increases heart rate and blood pressure. When Energy drinks are introduced into the circulatory system and one participates in sport activity your system becomes super revved. The problem is, if you have an undiagnosed health issue, where an increased surge in circulatory pressure could lead to a stroke or heart attack. This leads one to wonder – is there a connection between high-dose caffeination and teenage deaths on the football field?

In 2012, Swedish authorities warned and believed mixing energy drinks with alcohol and drinking energy drinks after exercise can cause death! There was no hard scientific evidence available then on that health risk connection. “We are going through the Autopsy reports… ” (Anders Glyn, of the Swedish National Food Administration). Dr. Dan Andersson of Stockholm’s South Hospital stated, “If you drink a lot of Red Bull, and you are dehydrated, and/or mix it with alcohol, it can be very dangerous.” There have been recent incidents where energy drinks mixed with alchohol

“Swedish authorities warned and believed mixing energy drinks with alcohol and drinking energy drinks after exercise can cause death!”

Back in 2012, within the United States there was a crack down on manufacturers and retailers who made and sold energy drinks with alcohol in it. The FDA sent warning letters to manufactures… banning specific types of energy and alcoholic drinks in several states because of overdoses.

“Tue 12 Jun 2018 at 1812 AEST | 2012 NZST It has been reported that a teenage girl in Sydney has died after drinking a cocktail of alcohol and energy drinks mixed according to a recipe she found online. It is still too early for doctors to say the exact cause of death, though mixing alcohol and energy drinks has been known to cause health problems and even death in the past. …”

There is “a growing concern over the potential connection of energy drinks, alcohol and teen sport deaths.”

READ OUR FULL ARTICLE WRITTEN ON TOPIC which provides poison control data and a growing concern over the potential connection of energy drinks, alcohol and teen sport deaths. Also, you’ll learn about other ingredients in energy drinks that the FDA does not require to be listed on consumer labels.

It’s what you don’t know about the chemical energy drinks that’s increasing children and adult health risk and cause of other illness and disease and shortened lifespans. And for this reason alone, stick to coffee, tea and decaffeinated drinks [if caffeine intolerant] and morning stretch exercises to wake up and get your day started. And remember… Too much chemical-stimulant-influence on the mind and body, in the long run is not a healthy habit for anyone.

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2012-20 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Manage Irritable Bowel Syndrome Through Lifestyle Change

8 05 2020

Updated: 8 May 2020

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) may cause much discomfort in the large intestine. But it is not considered a serious health risk. It also does not cause more serious diseases such as intestinal bleeding, inflammatory bowel disease or cancer. IBS can also irritate, aggravate and inflame hemorrhoids which is a separate medical condition.

What causes IBS? No one knows for sure. There is not one identifiable organic factor. However clinical studies and research show symptoms are likely caused by various internal and external stimuli.

Those who experience IBS may be influenced by weakened immune system, reproductive hormones, diet, environment, mental health and lifestyle choice. Where 1 out of every 5 adults experience IBS or ~58 million Americans. The condition is more prominent in women starting as early as 20 years of age. And for those affected Americans, it’s typically experienced under the age of 45. Women also tend to be two times more likely than men to become symptomatic via stimuli response.

“Common triggers associated with IBS discomforts are thought to be mentally, environmentally and genetically triggered.”

Common triggers associated with IBS discomforts are thought to be mental and environmental stress and genetically connected. For instance, if IBS runs in a family, suspect genetics; whereas environmental stressors may influence the same stimuli, or triggered symptoms within offspring. Whereas environmental stressors may also cause anxiety, depression. Other IBS symptomatic triggers include: poor diet, drug use and sedentary lifestyle. It is therefore reasonable to assume parents, or a cousin for example, who have found IBS relief… like-treatment, or lifestyle change may alleviate in-family IBS like-symptoms.

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Doctors do agree, internal and external environment stress stimuli influence the digestive food coordination process. The intestines, rectum and colon have reactive triggers that are piped to the brain and are partly controlled by the autonomic nervous system [much like the heart and the lungs]. However the signals from the brain to the intestines are also lined with muscle that work in a rhythmic contraction and relaxation coordination to move food through the body.

Stressful Environments can Trigger IBS Symptoms.

Environmental stressors may cause intestine function for some to contract too little, or too much whereas the following discomfort conditions result. Removing too little water through the intestinal lining causes diarrhea. And when too much water is removed constipation occurs. It is when arithmetic muscle coordination incrementally increases within the large intestine so do the IBS symptoms. Either condition can cause cramping, bloating and gas felt within the stomach and accompanied to varying degree of either condition. Since we’re all wired a little bit different not all of us react the same way to stimuli stress triggers.

Another common IBS trigger occurs when too many bad bacteria buildup within the intestines. Whereas antibiotics or probiotics may help to alleviate this problem.

For some, vacation avoidance and staying homebound prevents stress triggers that cause IBS symptoms. For others, a cruise is just what’s needed to relieve IBS symptoms. That’s how different we’re wired. Identifying negative and positive stress triggers is the first step in connecting the dots and alleviating the symptoms.

IBS IS NOT considered a disease. As you now know, can be more or less thought of as an aggravated physiological condition triggered by lifestyle, genetics and within specific environmental settings that interrupt the connected mind-body digestive coordination process. The most common stressors include: undiagnosed mental health disorders, relationship and employer stress, anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive behavior, etc. Diet and drug [lifestyle choice] use also stimulate and trigger IBS-like symptoms.

Common treatment for diarrhea and constipation,

Obtain a Prescription for Diarrhea: Lotronex, Prevalite, Colestid or Welchol. Over-the-counter drugs: loperamide (Imodium), or Kaopectate could help.

Obtain a Prescription for Constipation: Zelnorm or a laxative such as milk of magnesia, etc. Over-the counter drugs: fiber supplements like Metamucil or Citrucel could help.

Be sure to ask for specifics of IBS treatment from treating physicians.

When purchasing an over-the-counter drug be sure to speak with a pharmacist to determine best product and application use. If either prescription or over-the-counter products are not used correctly, they can cause other health problems.

Alternative IBS treatments includes: herbs, acupuncture, massage, meditation and hypnosis.

IBS has no cures. You must manage what triggers the symptoms!

Other IBS Alleviation/Relief Recommendations:

1 Make a medical appointment with gastroenterologist and prepare in advance. For instance, keep a journal of the foods you eat, how much of suspected food irritants, daily exercise and any drugs taken. Then be mindful of what may likely stimulate the IBS episodes, time of day and how severe the symptoms feel. E.g., on a scale of 1-10. Ten being the worst.

2 Reduce large meal intake, which can cause cramping, and diarrhea [try consuming smaller and more frequent meals], slow down when you eat. And stop chewing gum, both results in too much gas (air).

3 Check risk warnings on medicines prescribed. Ask your doctor about questionable medications.

4 Remove chocolate, caffeine, milk-dairy products [determine if lactose intolerant], bread [determine if gluten intolerant] and alcohol from diet. Try removing one at a time to see if symptoms improve. Log this information in your daily journal.

5 Remove stress, conflict and other emotional upsetting factors from environment.

6 Drink 6-8 glasses of water/day, especially for diarrhea. This seems counter intuitive, but it will make you feel better by flushing your system. And you must rehydrate when losing too much water within the body. Don’t drink carbonated drinks. It’s a no brainer to drink more water when constipated.

Choose exercise activity that helps reduce stress and anxiety while increasing fitness levels
Choose exercise activity that helps reduce stress and anxiety while increasing fitness levels

7 Try consuming low fat & higher in carbohydrate foods, such as pasta, rice and whole grain breads & cereals, unless you have celiac disease. This disease mimics IBS. If you are diagnosed with celiac disease, your body can’t digest gluten (wheat, rye, barley, etc.,) a blood test can rule out if you have celiac disease).

8 Increase fruits and vegetable consumption within your diet.

9 Get enough exercise and sleep.

References,

Bolen, Barbara, Dr. “What Is IBS and Do You Have It?” About.com Health. About.com, 24 Mar. 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.

Cunha, John P., DO, FACOEP. “Irritable Bowel Syndrome, IBS: Symptoms and Diet Info.” MedicineNet. MedicineNet, Inc., 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.

Staff. “Irritable Bowel Syndrome.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 21 July 2014. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.

Staff. “Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)-Topic Overview.” WebMD. WebMD, LLC. 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2015 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Covid-19 Social Distancing – “Exercise Activity Plan B”

15 04 2020

On 18 March 2020, I showed up to the front door of a fitness center I frequently use. They were allowing 25 members in at a time to comply with Covid-19 social distancing rules. Regardless, the gym was closed the next day until further notice. Since my wife and value daily exercise, we pulled out Exercise Activity Plan B.

On 19 March which was a Thursday, we walked to Dirksen Nature Park and made use of the outdoor fitness center. The weather was beautiful and people were out in numbers like we’ve never seen before. In-between exercise sets, we noticed a huge mass of parents and children intermingled throughout the playground area. I said, “There are a lot of parents off from work and children out of school. I don’t think children tumbling around other parent’s children is safe from covid-19.” It was obvious to us the public health message – avoid close contact to prevent the spread of an aggressive virus had connected with parents. Apparently city officials noticed.

Dirksen Nature Park, Tigard OR

Two days later, I wasn’t surprised when they shut down basketball courts and playgrounds. Tigard police announced on Twitter and other public notice media over the weekend, “You can access the rest of our parks but we ask that you avoid congregating in groups.”

If you’re feeling cabin fever and need an outdoor break, most public use recreational amenities are accessible. Just avoid congregating in them and respect social distances. I think this is a great opportunity for drone, plane or remote control car toy hobbyist who want to brush up on their skills in public use green space. Or create your own plan B exercise activity to explore nature, walk the dogs, or just reconnect with a significant other. If everyone does their part to comply with social distancing rule, the bulk of Tigard parks and trail systems will remain open for everyone to enjoy.

Tigard, OR .75 Heritage Trail Runs from Main Street to Tiedeman along Tigard Street.

One of my favorite Plan B exercise strategies is to use Tigard’s newly paved 10’+ wide ~.75 mile Heritage trail system. This is a great place to roller blade, bike, and jog, walk the dog and perform basic exercises, etc., in a safe environment. Park your car downtown and access the trail at Tigard and Main Street. Local business also need your support. Support them by purchasing to-go food services for outdoor picnics and trail treks.

Heritage Trail Entrance at Tigard, OR Main Street – Next to Chamber Building.

Get innovative and creative with outdoor exercise, play safe and stay healthy by following Covid-19 guidelines and related city policies and we all win.

For daily updates and impact on city services and public use facilities visit Tigard City Website corona update link: https://www.tigard-or.gov/corona/ Marc Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET., is a Fit Healthy Lifestyle Consultant with MirrorAthlete Corp., and former Tigard City Councilor. A strong proponent of City involvement in expanding recreation opportunities for everyone. 2020 copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., “To learn more about MirrorAthlete and free monthly newsletter, visit: http://www.mirrorathlete.com.





Acupuncture a PsuedoScience or Not – Baffles Many

9 04 2020

Updated: 9 April 2020, Marc Woodard

At one point in my life I sought alternate treatment for severe chronic back pain. I only did so after all other conventional treatments had failed.

It’s true physical therapy, diet, ideal body weight, prescriptions and exercise do help with weight bearing, pre-post surgery pain relief and the healing process.

But when you have substantial structural and neurological damage in/around bone and soft tissue which includes tendons, ligaments and muscle, you’re most certain to experience varying levels of acute and chronic pain for long periods of time.

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For those that go under the knife to correct and alleviate pain, risk of complications do occur. Under the best case surgical scenario, repair with significant pain relief is experienced – but not guaranteed.

Because of my unique pain story, I preferred to work around the pain centers throughout the body using alternative pain relief methods. Since there’s no guarantee surgeries could provide a pain free experience… “I ventured into acupuncture.”

At one point in my life I would have tried any type of pain relief modality opposed to surgery. Whether I believed it would work or not. And at that time acupuncture was something I didn’t have a lot of faith in “but I was running out of options and desperate to reduce pain spikes.”

My current thoughts on acupuncture – “Ultimately I became a believer.”I’m not exactly sure how it physiologically improves function and heals at a cellular level. BUT I do see how it can relieve pain through stimulation of muscle chemical and electrical transmitters in the body.

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture. Treatment for stomach pain, etc…

I also understand our bodies have this Chi energy force that travels throughout our neurological or meridian highways. Where electrical-chemical energy flow can become blocked through illness, disease and injury and creates inflammation and neurological pain. And when acupuncture needles are inserted at various points along these highways, energy flow that was once blocked can become unblocked. And when that happens pain is relieved.

In various cultures the energy flowing through our neurological highways is not only known as Chi. But can be seen or understood as life energy and cross-compared, or liken to Prana, life force, Spirit, subtle and vital energy, etc. If you want to know more about these things simply google those terms on the Internet.

For me acupuncture worked, “However at first, I was baffled on exactly how.”

I can only explain it in the following manner. “I think of my body with millions of electrical circuits where one has shorted somewhere, or was inflamed through illness or disease or injury and sending pain signals to the brain. Whereas the pain signal can be temporarily or permanently relieved through a by-pass, or neighboring circuit… in effect – pain signal to the brain can be removed or neutralized.” This does not mean your free of cellular disease or neurological damage.

“A relatable analogy would be similar to an electrical circuit that powers a lightbulb.” If you take electrical current to earth ground instead of sending it to the brain-bulb or switch-ON for pain – In essence the circuit is dead, “SWITCH-OFF” and pain gone.

Western medicine defines, relates and applies acupuncture treatment in the following manner.

“Approximately 2,000 different acupuncture points lie along the body’s meridians. The idea behind acupuncture is that stimulating these points with acupuncture needles or pressure relieves obstructions in the flow of energy, enabling the body to heal.”

“In the Western view, acupuncture likely works by stimulating the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) to release chemicals called neurotransmitters and hormones. These chemicals dull pain, boost the immune system and regulate various body functions” (Watson 2017).

Pain can be relieved anywhere within the body. And for every illness, disease or pain center, there is a meridian pain relief connection with the brain-body. As you can see in the photo, depending on pain relief modality needed, may require multiple needle insertions per treatment. At one time I had ~50 needles inserted to alleviate, or disconnect the pain.

These concepts and principles are easy to visualize through my mind’s eye. Since I have an electrical-mechanical background and physiological knowledge through undergraduate studies… my mind accepts both Eastern acupuncture and Western healing and pain relief modalities logic. Regardless of whether Eastern medicine can fully explain through empirical data the exact healing agents on brain and body function… I accept acupuncture’s healing principles and believe in it. “Belief is half the battle to curing what ails the mind, body and spirit.” At least I believe this like many others.

Many scientists consider acupuncture a pseudoscience because it cannot be proven through a controlled lab environment… why it works for some, not others and why it works at all. I can completely understand the difficulty of creating a blind study where trial subjects wouldn’t know whether a needle was sticking them for example; while another group in the study was actually stuck. Plus cause of pain origins and level of pain sensitivities – is often subjective and not substantiated through medical diagnosis.

I believe if you believe something is possible the psychosomatic (mind/body) meridian highway and healing connection can be made to greater degree. That is the portion of brain during meridian stimulation effectively releasing electrical-chemical healing agents to a target area to mitigate pain.

Understanding these connections and relationship allows those like myself (alternative medicine believer) to channel the acupuncture stimulant point that allows damaged cell tissue to turn off pain receptors by channeling through a different meridian highway connections – “essentially grounding the pain, someplace else that can’t be felt.”

I can tell you there are different techniques used by acupuncturists when getting stuck with various sized needles. …

Many years ago, I experienced two different styles of acupuncture. A hard and soft style. “Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the most common form of acupuncture studied and practiced in the United States. Japanese style acupuncture takes a more subtle route than TCM. Fewer and thinner needles are used with less stimulation” (Acufinder.com 2017).

During the TCM acupuncture treatment, “the needles were inserted deep into my low back and caused discomfort and aggravation – multiple times.” They were inserted fast and hit damaged nerves frequently and was very painful process. After needle insertion an electrical pulsating current was sent through wire leads attached to the needles. This pulsating current went through the needles – then stimulated the damaged neurons under the skin. Eventually this treatment re-routes the pain signal from registering within the brain. Once the needles are inserted it’s all good and it is relaxing.

TCM with electro-stimulation.

Regardless of the aggressive TCM needle insertion technique – although painful seemed to turn-off a lot of back pain registering in the brain for me. However after 10 sessions I called it quits. Although I considered TCM a success, it was during the tenth session a needle hit a sensitive nerve in the low back and caused me to jolt. This was followed by a back spasm and a bit of cussing, “Don’t judge… God that hurt bad.” I did finish the session… gritting my way through it and managed to refrain from further cussing.

Thereafter and understandably so, I had fear of going back for more TCM treatments. I didn’t request another referral from my HMO. Instead I sought out Japanese style acupuncture to help alleviate a little more pain, since I didn’t complete the recommended 18 sessions. Fortunately my HMO authorized another 12 acupuncture sessions using a local Japanese soft style acupuncturist service.

Japanese style – these needles are very small.

The Japanese acupuncture application is completely different then TCM and very tolerable. The needles are more delicately inserted and don’t penetrate deep into the skin. My personal experience… I didn’t feel any discomfort during these treatments over the next 12 months.

If you have a lot of nerve damage and areas of the body are pain-sensitive to touch – Japanese style acupuncture may work well to help relieve pain anywhere in the body.

The Japanese preparation and process works like this: Very light massage, relaxation with suction cup may be used. They are heated cups placed on skin surface and along meridian pathways. When cooling, cause a suction [or vacuum] – draws oxygenated blood to damaged tissue area to increase blood circulation to expedite healing process.

Suction cups are often used in conjunction with Japanese acupuncture therapy sessions.

Thereafter inserted needles may be applied. This technique worked wonders to remove more back pain. Needles were not only inserted in the low back, but other parts of the body to help relieve radiating nerve pain.

To this day my total body pain is very manageable and allows me to live life to the fullest. I’ve not seen an acupuncturists for years.

I’ve read a few blogger sites on the benefits/to no benefits of using acupuncture. The feelings on this pain relief service is a mixed bag.

It’s considered by many who believe in Eastern medicine a natural science that can heal and alleviate pain and may/may not cure disease. To Western medicine practitioners, many professionals and lay persons at best believe it’s a pseudoscience that falls into categories more like magic and faith healing.

Instead of trying to convince you acupuncture may work for you, I think it is best to leave the following thoughts and insight. Like Pranic healing – modern science does not understand and has no way to prove how acupuncture and life Chi energy actually heals and alleviates pain for some and not others. Modern medicine scholars look to prove the brain-body self-healing connections and why it’s not 100% effective for some, but works 100% of the time for others.

I’d agree “maybe some lack the connective brain function or capacity to accept or believe an alternative healing method outside of Western medicine could help.”  Therefore self-healing through meditation or acupuncture or Pranic healing, etc., won’t work for some – for lack of internal chi channeling ability, belief or faith… who knows for sure. All I know is it worked for me.

Unfortunately unless science can unequivocally prove something… it is open to public/patient/scholastic medical scrutiny. Maybe it could work for everyone if they simply believed it could.

But this should not limit people to reason “how” the impossible can become possible.   Simply reflect on a few of man’s unbelievable achievements and cures… how they were first cast into disbelief throughout history… then the present believed the impossible – possible.

For example, it was impossible for man to fly, let alone sore through space and land on the moon. Or, until Penicillin as an effective antibiotic was discovered… many with serious disease through infection were doomed to die with no hope. During historical times scientific positions, IF based simply on belief – could not accept any medial application outside of that box… But today’s anti-aging and healing science appears to know no limit of life extension possibilities based in Eastern, Western, Faith healing, etc… why have these positions of alternative medicines changed before proven through science. Well if you believe organic bio-bots can be injected into the body to rearrange DNA and cure what ails you – although it sounds impossible – I assure you it’s not. Just because something can’t be proven at this time possible through empirical data, does not mean it’s not possible.

Start thinking what may be possible to cure what ails. If you need significant pain relief, I believe a combination of Western and Eastern medicine and treatment is your best bet. Especially if your stuck taking a boat load of prescription pills and want to improve your situation and lifestyle.

“For the self-healing and alternative medicine believer – Meditative and Spiritual untapped brain-body function has the healing energy and capacity necessary to cure what ails us.” [MirrorAthlete 2017]

Japanese style cupping for back pain relief, may be used used in conjunction with acupuncture.

I agree like many of you “science does not know everything about the connected brain-body self-healing capacity.”It has long been said people on earth only use 10% of their brain capacity. This too is controversial due to opposing views of natural selection.  Since the brain tissue has metabolically evolved throughout time, to lose 90% of capacity would have catastrophic consequences on the human regulation of body function… What if brain capacity increased 1-2% up to, or over that10% without body function affliction. I believe this has already been accomplished by faith healers, spiritual mediators and proteges to name a few? “Begin thinking outside the Western influence box!” There’s no scientific proof using more brain capacity to increase IQ or self-heal is harmful to health.

In relationship to this line of reasoning – acupuncture and panic healing may open a 2% healing mind-body-spiritual connection and opportunity to increase brain capacity and improve bodily function to heal damaged cellular tissue and get well. Just because science can’t prove how brain capacity and body function coordinate above and beyond what natural selection scholars, doesn’t mean self-healing and alternative medicine doesn’t work.

Since most aren’t educated and trained in meditative and alternative medicine and therapeutic practices… if open to the wellness and healing possibilities – allow someone schooled in alternative pain relief modalities to help heal you if all else has failed.

If you have acute, chronic or severe pain regardless of what the cause, what have you got to lose? Give acupuncture a try? What doesn’t work for others may work for you? You may have the ability to unlock the Chi force hidden within part of your untapped brain capacity to make use of Eastern medicine like I did… which has provided significant pain relief and increased mobility function.

I believe one day science will prove through empirical trials how and why acupuncture works for some patients and not others. Then hopefully educate everyone on how to tap this self-healing power.

Like Einstein’s Theory of Relativity “Time was no longer uniform and absolute.” Physics could no longer be understood as space by itself, hence space and time was also dependent on velocity. Until this time Isaac Newton’s physics and astronomy stood as a 200-year-old theory of mechanics.

Acupuncture is thousands of years old. But has only been accepted in Western medicine and studied for decades. What has Western medicine yet to discover about the practice as applied to individual life force healing energy? Will it take 200 years or more to discover all of it’s secrets? Who knows.

If you want to try acupuncture and your primary care physician won’t refer you, or it’s not covered in your health insurance there are 3 things you can do.

During your private or employer annual health insurance selections – pick a provider or policy that covers acupuncture [most HMO policies offer it]. Or, if you have coverage for this service, but a physician won’t refer for whatever reason, request a new primary care physician. Or request of your primary care physician to be referred to a physiatrist. A physiatrist is a pain management medical [pain specialist]; and will likely honor your referred request to an acupuncturist if covered within your HMO insurance.

References:

Craig, Gary. Acupuncture Meridians Pathways of Chi Energy. Healing with EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques. Website: http://www.healing-with-eft.com/acupuncture-meridians.html

Google answer site. Do We Use all of our Brain Power?  http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/751682.html

Novella, Steven. Does Acupuncture Work or Not?  Neurologica blog. Sep 25, 2007.http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/does-acupuncture-work-or-not/

Watson, Stephanie. Acupuncture Overview. HowStuffWorks. a division of InfoSpace Holdings LLC. 2017.

Woodard, Marc.  What is Pranic Healing and Does it Work? Mirror Athlete’s Fitness Secrets! July 23, 2010. http://www.mirrorathlete.com/2017/05/10/what-is-pranic-healing-and-does-it-work/

Woodard, Marc. Why a Physiatrist Offers the Best Rehabilitative Course. Mirror Athlete’s Fitness Secrets! June 23, 2011. http://www.mirrorathlete.com/2011/06/23/why-a-physiatrist-offers-the-best-rehabilitative-course/

Woodamarc. Pain Depression Origins. HubPages.  http://woodamarc.hubpages.com/hub/Pain-Depression-Origins

Physiotherapy Adelaide Site. How Does Acupuncture Work? Copyright 2011. http://www.howdoesacupuncturework.com/

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET. 2017-20 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com. Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





City Recreation Reversing Inactivity Pandemic In Light of Covid-19

6 04 2020

Updated: 4/6/2020 by Marc Woodard

Now more than ever people are attracted to walkable cities and community recreation facilities to help melt away body fat and get more fit. Although Covid-19 has currently shut down fitness, community and gym facilities, this has not changed the fact, people looking to move, stay active and get more fit are trending toward places that offer a safe environment and public use recreation amenities as top priorities. Cities with connected trail systems and developed parkways and recreation community centers rank high on the relocation and aging in place decision list.

Outside of Sheltering in place, we’ve learned, parents and active adults (seniors) want these recreation amenities and resources for their children as seen in recent city services surveys and studies. Local and National statistics show there is good reason communities are trending in this direction. Now more so than any other time in history.

“Design of play space for children as well as adults contributes substantially to childhood development and healthy social connections, other activities and well-being.” Dirksen Park Tigard, OR

The National Center for Health Statistics show more than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults have obesity (NCHS 2015). Overweight conditions don’t just present a diabetes and heart disease risk for adults. There is also what some consider a near epidemic of childhood obesity cases growing nationwide. “Today, about one in five school-aged children (ages 6-19) has obesity” (Center for Disease and Control 2017).

Another study shows when city urban designers and architects work together to improve human life, “design of urban environments has the potential to contribute substantially to physical activity and reduce the health burden of the global physical inactivity pandemic” (The Lancet, Volume 387, No. 10034, p2207-2217, 28 May 2016).

These statistics and other studies like them are resonating within the communities and elected leadership to help mitigate the national inactivity pandemic – through healthy city building. Whereas healthy lifestyle justice – [regardless of social or economic status] demands more city recreation facilities (amenities) and equal access for all… the public and it’s leadership is listening. Communities are becoming more fit healthy literate and positively influenced in support of increasing recreational amenities and fitness activities for public use and affordable access.

“When cities lack public recreation facilities families look elsewhere for those things…” (Woodard 2017)

As a former Tigard city councilor, I fully support Tigard’s strong vision to become the most walkable community in the Pacific Northwest. I also support their growing city recreation department. I understand how public use recreational amenities, activities and events motivates people to move more, increase fitness levels and improve health… which sustains well-being and keeps community positively connected.

I published an article Recreation Saves Lives and Cities. Within the article I detail how walkable communities and recreational facilities are valued from a public health, social, economic and sustainability city perspective.

These distinctions and importance can’t be emphasized enough especially since active adults now demand more public recreation activities and community gathering facilities for them and their children. “When cities lack public recreation facilities families look elsewhere to find them and even relocate to meet long term child development and active adult needs” (Woodard 2017).

Chehalem Park & Recreation District, Aquatic & Fitness Center, Newberb, OR
Latino Feast, 2017 Tigard OR

Cities that invest in recreation amenity events space with recreational programming are further enriched through social gathering and commerce. It is during these public events community and families bond and new entrepreneur opportunities often culminate into small business. The political, social and economic engagement connections are the lifeblood of every community. And the connected neighborhood trail ways and sidewalks people access to walk and ride bikes, scooters and skateboards, etc., to go to work, play and spend leisurely time is a highly valued recreation amenity. One that connects people to these events, people and commerce through affordable mobility means.

This is where the Latino festivities [above] occurred in 2017. Now 2020, this Rotary Plaza space is built within the Heritage trail system next to the chamber building in Down Town Tigard OR. This place has been reconstructed for events, public rest rooms, events activities-stage and vendor truck electrical power hook ups, etc. Like the .75 mile Heritage Trail system the rotary plaza and events attributes are recreation amenities paid for by the public.

Regardless of social and economic status, everyone benefits by supporting and investing in walkable communities that offer community gathering space, developed parks and community recreation center(s) and other other recreational amenities with affordable public use access.

In ending, there is one recreational activity everyone can participate at no cost to stay fit healthy throughout the year – even when sheltered in place. Like many other cities throughout the state, Tigard OR has no shortage of connected city trail systems.

In my opinion, Tigard is next to none in trail systems that run through our parks and down town area. Virus or no virus… social distancing during walking exercise is pretty easy to do. So do get your walk and biking on. Walking is not a restricted activity within the city of Tigard.

“My favorite recreational activity for exercise is walking along Fanno Creek Regional trail system through Tigard.”

Tigard’s Fanno Creek on the Regional trail system is my favorite place to walk. If you’ve not taken the opportunity to experience it with family or friends, I highly recommend it.

This is a very relaxing and fun way to get your daily exercise and burn calories while taking in nature’s beauty. Along the way be sure to spend a little time Down Town on Tigard Main Street and Heritage trail. Walk to the local shops and support them by grabbing a healthy meal TO-GO.

To learn more about Tigard walking trails, connections and Down Town area visit Tigard walks at http://www.tigard-or.gov/community/tigard_walks.php .

Good Health to You and Your Family.

Marc Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. Is a member of the Tigard City Council. He is a strong proponent of City involvement in providing recreational opportunities for its residents. 2017-20 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com





Bout With Gout

12 03 2020

12 March 2020, By Marc Woodard

The most common signs of gout are sudden (acute) redness and inflammation around joints with intense pain. Most often people’s bout with gout occurs at the first joint attacked, with arthritis like symptoms at the big toe. Once gout forms, due to the nature of inflammatory properties it can spread throughout the body (medically referred to as poly-articular gout).

Patients initial symptoms include – an intense throbbing pain, whereas the big toe and/or foot is reddened and swollen beyond belief. These signs and symptoms may occur infrequently, then become chronic if not treated by a medical doctor.

Gout in foot

Gout and Arthritic-Like Conditions – Although there is much similarity in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) the difference is RA afflicts up to several joints at a time, where gout usually impacts one joint at a time and typically starts in the feet.

Once gout sets in it can be so painful one can hardly bare to stand, walk or have a bed sheet touch the toe. A chronic gout situation can also occur within other joints of the body, i.e., ankles, knees, fingers, hands, elbows and wrists… whereas – Tophi – “Uric acid crystallization” spreads to other part of the body.

Ten Foods to Avoid to Decrease Gout Risk

Purines are a part of our biology and introduced into the body through diet. The by-product of Purines is uric acid. Purines are part of human tissue. A diet high in Purines are known to increase gout risk. Those high Purine-Rich foods are:

Alchohol is high in purines; Certain fish: herring, tuna, mackerel, sardines, codfish, trout, and haddock and anchovies [Salmon is a low purine alternative]; Wild Game; especially rabbit, venison, quail, pheasant, and goose – Tip, white meats [turkey, chicken] rarely cause gout attack; Sea foods: avoid scallops – Tip, Low purine sea foods are lobster, shrimp, salmon, and crab (6-8oz). Organ Meats; tongue, liver, brains, kidney, heart and sweetbreads, etc. Beer; wine in moderation is allowable. Sugar Drinks; avoid all foods with high-fructose corn syrup. It’s best to stay with natural fruit juices. Certain vegetables; plant foods like dried fava and garbanzo beans are high in purines, also: cauliflower, mushrooms, asparagus, peas, spinach, and cauliflower.  Certain Fruits: pears, dates, lychees, prunes, plums, cherries, and pears – it is suggested if eaten in moderation, may not cause a gout attack. But if they do, avoid consuming them. High-Fat Dairy Products; Those with gout should avoid consuming too much ice cream and milk. Various studies suggest contradictory evidence – whereas the following dairy products may decrease gout risk: cheeses, yogurt, and ice cream [consume in moderation].

Ten Most Common Symptoms of Gout

Diets with high purines and protein have long have been suspected of causing gout. Uric acid crystals can be transported by blood circulation and deposited within targeted joints that breach the bursa sacs throughout the body. Bursa sacs are our fluid protective cushions around body joints that protect joint tissues. They can become breached by elevated uric acid levels that form crystals within certain joints of the body. Gout can lead to a chronic bursitis [swollen bursa sacs]. A condition where surgery may be required. Gout is considered one of the most painful forms of Rheumatic conditions and afflicts an estimated 840 out of 100,000 people in this US. Gout accounts for approximately 5% of all cases of arthritis.

Pain in big toe – whereas uric crystals form in joint; and make it incredibly sore to walk on; Tenderness – after chronic toe pain condition subsides, or prior to another gout episode; Swelling – to decrease swelling and inflammation and pain once gout symptom occurs, use cold compresses and see a doctor for medically prescribed drugs. Pain Attacks – sudden pain distant from the toe, often occurs simultaneously in the feet, or legs lower extremities. Felt mostly during standing or walking. Night Pain – Any pressure on big toe or foot, even a bed sheet can exasperate the pain condition once gout has set in. Redness – A red bloated skin condition on or near the gout site is a common. Kidney Stones – The build up of uric acid is also a cause of kidney stone formation which leads to very painful urination and bloody stream. Other secondary symptoms: low back and abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Tophi – Uric acid crystallization in other parts of body joints. Check for crystallization nodules to confirm on the ears, hands, ankles or elbows. Biopsy of the nodule can confirm a gout diagnosis. Fever – Gout can also cause nausea, fatigue and flue and fever-like symptoms. Peeling Skin – With swelling comes inflammation and damage to skin cells: itching, cracking, dry and bleeding skin surface.

It is highly recommended if you experience any of the signs or symptoms listed above, avoid high purine foods and seek medical treatment right away to keep your bout with gout at bay.

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2020 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free monthly newsletter.





MirrorAthlete Before Book Publication

10 03 2020

Updated: 10 March 2020, by Marc Woodard

A former client Sid asked specific questions regarding information I posted on MirrorAthlete’s first web site back in 2007. His questions provided an opportunity to share more of the company’s history with other reader’s and reflect on how we got into publishing our first book.

[Sid wrote] “I can’t seem to locate your MirrorAthlete pain chronicles I read back in the early years. I remember it as a unique informational pain management and personalized chronicles website. Have your memoirs been moved? ‘Where can I find them? And do you still take on clients for fit healthy lifestyle consultation and customized fitness and assessment programming? Im also interested to learn more on how you improved your fitness levels after injuries and chronic pain story.” 

A friend of mine coincidentally lives in your neck of the woods. She also recalled like I did, you produced and sold nutritional supplements under the name of Dynamic Dimensions in Tigard and surrounding cities, while offering 1:1 services in fitness assessments in the 90’s for a consulting fee.”

I’m looking to become more fit and increase muscle mass and lose weight naturally. But now feel I’m losing ground because of lower body joint pain. Although I’m working with my doctor and yet another fitness trainer, ‘they don’t have that unique fitness trainer – pain management perspective I understand you’ve mastered. I see you’re on LinkedIn, FaceBook, and Twitter.

And a City councilor in your home town Tigard, OR since 2011-18. ‘You’ve not slowed down a bit – especially after what I remember of your 5 year mobility challenge.” 

“I also hear you walk on average 7-10 miles daily on a regular basis and no longer take on clients.  ‘would you consider taking on a former client?”

Sincerely, Sid.

From the Desk of Marc Woodard,

Sid, so good to hear back from you after all these years. Thank you for reaching out. You and your friends memory of what I was doing years ago is impressive.

Unfortunately I take on few clients these days… however I would make an exception for you. I found it more productive to put that knowledge and energy into a soon to be released ‘Very Unique’ fit healthy lifestyle book – A fitness and health book like no other… now that the book is published, it’s like I’m right there with you. Once you begin reading it the personal touch and consulting logic will be very familiar to you and comfort for others looking for similar lifestyle change support.

Beth and I still keeping the fitness faith by working out daily, Sep 2019.

I’ve included the personalized fitness and healthy lifestyle programs, processes and practices I used during past client consultations. Some will be familiar to you and a lot of new information I didn’t have at the time, e.g., industry secrets, client cases and stories; and my personal physical adversity challenge.

Once I became my own client’ – I also became forever “Ageless MirrorAthlete” with a renewed life purpose. My job now is to manage personal health and maintain sustainable mobility so I can be there for my family and community for years to come.

To answer your question directly, the pain chronicle link to the old web site contained memoirs throughout 2007-08. I ran that journal for just over a year while I was rehabbing my way back to good health and mobility after disease, injury and surgeries challenged me physically, mentally and spiritually for many years to follow. … Even before this time, and years after working with you, I began to outline a book publication ideal during a 1999 Mexican Rivera cruise. Little did I know, I’d actually published a book in 2019 based on that initial outline. It was larger than any project I’ve ever undertaken… and harder to put into words than ever imaged.  I began chipping away at it in 2010. But really got serious about the ideal of publishing the book in 2012.

In 2018 – I thought, “God willing, it will be published this year. …” [Agless MirrorAthlete “Overweight and Unfit No More,” was published, 1 Jan 2019].

In early 2008 I decided to pull the MirrorAthlete Pain Chronicles from the original site and placed some of that context into the book manuscript. The original manuscript outlined in 1999 read more like a bunch of short stories. At that time I was not well versed on how to integrate factual information, with personal experiences and client stories.

“I wrote many manuscript versions after the first one, but still lacked an interesting story line and crux that would capture the heart, mind and spirit of anyone looking to self-improve themselves physically, mentally and spiritually – And would want to refer back to the content time and time again as lifestyle change programming needs occurred.”

Unfortunately for me I was more or less a skilled technical writer… not a creative story teller. Two very different and distinct writing styles. Learning how to integrate the two, including narration is not an easy ordeal.

So there you have it. It took years of failed manuscripts and grammatically incorrect submissions learning how to piece this thing together.

Marc Woodard, Oct 2018, East Mediterranean cruise contemplating 2nd Total Hip replacement [complete: Jan 2020]

I look back at those Chronicle posts and early article publications from 2007-2012; my writing style and grammar wasn’t good. I continue to slowly update article archives at this site. I have a lot of updating to do on older articles past 2018. I’ve also begun working on a second Ageless MirrorAthlete book which will be self-published by MirrorAthlete. Stay tuned for the sub-title.

Initially I didn’t plan to start a fitness and health information and articles publication web site based business… And still wasn’t sure I wanted to write a book since I didn’t consider myself a good writer. Even today it’s still a challenge to stay focused on writing well.

Recall, I nearly quit writing after submitting my first manuscript…

I hired a self-publishing review service to critique the chapter contents – they thought the content was great – however, they recommended I make ~550 changes. At that time the book was a 25 chapter manuscript.

Well hell, “I might as well have just thrown it in the garbage.” The whole thing was marked up in red. What an Ego-Defeating blow. Like many new authors, I had to make a decision, “Quit or press on, ‘thankfully I pressed on.”

Once I incorporated the principled fit healthy lifestyle philosophy into the umpteenth revised manuscript… “I don’t know – I lost count,”  Everything began to fall in place. I knew I had something special and different than anything else out there in the marketplace.

“This is when the real work began – polishing and revising and modifying it to perfection before publication.”

I chose a self-publishing and editorial services to help me through minor book editing, styling and grammatical polishing. I was finally ready to submit a new and improved manuscript unlike the one marked up in red. This manuscript had significantly improved from it’s 25 Chapter version, to a lean 18 Chapters, with a whole lot more bang for the buck.

The new and improved manuscript fully incorporated MirrorAthlete’s 18 principled fit healthy lifestyle philosophy based on unique lifetime experiences, client cases, industry knowledge, fitness consulting trade secrets and a lifetime of relative education and experience.

In ending each chapter I’ve also included my Personalized Fitness Challenge Story relative to each chapters content, including programming processes and practices I used for years for clients like you. The chapters contents are also backed by hundreds of professional citations throughout the book.

Ageless MirrorAthlete, “Overweight and Unfit No More,” Ch17, Longevity Secrets Divulged, Cartoonist John Fiedler.

And to make it even more appealing for visual readers there are ~50 unique satirical cartoons, including useful tables and forms similar to what I used during 1:1 client consults. Our Cartoonist John Fiedler does not disappoint in humor which support the fit healthy lifestyle change context. Please feel free to learn more about John and his lifetime work by clicking on Ole Fuzz Cartoons.

Sid, now you can catch up with the rest of the MirrorAthlete and Pain Management story…

I’ll admit I’ve become a much better writer from those early years. I know the book quality and competitive writing style and consumer value is there. The recent book reviews after publication are better than I could have hoped for… listing the book as a [RECOMMEND]. This is representative of a grade A book.

It seems prior to publishing I read each chapter a hundred times. And to tell you the truth the content became more captivating to a point where I look forward to a reading it again and again… as I know others will. Often as I read, I still can’t believe I’m the author – It’s almost as if someone else wrote it “I have to pinch myself… ‘Yep it’s me.”

I guarantee – The reader will often refer back to it as I have; a lifetime reference to receive timeless customized fit healthy lifestyle change programming advise to sustain a state of mental, physical and spiritual well-being for a lifetime.

If struggling with physical, mental and spiritual adversity… I know the continuing Personal fitness Challenge Stories at the end of each chapter will resonate on a personal level; and be of great comfort. Especially those with mobility challenges, injury and disease.

Now thousands of consumers like you [Sid] will have my 1:1 consulting services without paying a consulting fee and continue to live life to the fullest regardless of fitness or health condition.

By having access to my timeless principled fit healthy lifestyle consumer truths and programming processes, anyone can experience living life to the fullest and without paying hundreds of dollars in learning how to achieve and sustain it.

Sid, thank you so much for the memories and opportunity to share MirrorAthlete history and update our readers on the making of MirrorAthlete and where to find the book.

“Good health to you and your family!” And thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Marc.

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2018-20 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free monthly newsletter.