Vaccines and autism

autism and vaccines, or how a little girl became unknown
autism and vaccines, or how a little girl became unknown

This is a great clipping I got from the newspaper a year ago, nearly lost it!   Don't you just love the Internet?  Now I can keep it posted here for all of you guys to see!   Now that I know I can post pictures on here, guess what?  You'll be seeing a lot more of them.

Ouch! My tailbone hurts!

About twice a week I see a patient who complains of "tailbone pain" at my downtown office. It's actually called the coccyx bone, and it's considerd to be a vestigial tail left over from our primate ancestry.

The bone, a triangular thing is usually roughly the size of a quarter, and has a rudimentary disc that attaches it to bottom bone of our spine, called the sacrum.  The coccyx is an attachmment point for acouple muscles, and some ligaments as well.  One of them, the pubococcygeus, gets it's name from this bony attachment.

The long and short of this bone is that it can be pushed out of its normal alignment, either scooted up and under, or back and out.  Either way is painful, as it is a sprain of the ligaments that hold the bone in place.

Diagnosis of the problem is pretty straighforward in my experience.. the patient will essentially tell you what happened.   After all, we all know where our tailbone is!  Xray pictures of the tailbone are often difficult to take in the office, and may only show that the two bones, the sacrum and coccyx, are touching each other.  Extreme coccyx/ sacrum angles can be present without pain.


The anterior subluxation of the coccyx is the most common occurance, and usually occurs due to landing on the tailbone in a fall or sitting on a hard surface in a flexed position.  Being hit hard here can also cause this, such as is seen from snowboarding or sledding.  The extreme results of this are that the sufferer cannot sit down comfortably without a "doughnut" or "butt doughnut".

Some pregnant mothers who have this condition actually bear children with a long red stripe down the front of the child's head, due to the coccyx bearing on it!

Ways to fix it:

There are essentially three ways to deal with an anterior coccyx issue. One, the most direct, is to do what is called an "internal adjustment".  The doc gloves up, inserts their finger into the anus, and pulled out and back, taking the coccyx with it.  This would appear to be the most direct method of dealing with this, if not the most graceful.  Since there are all sorts of boundary issues with this, it's not often done on opposite sex doctor patient teams, and if there is, it requires a staff person to be present for the adjustment.  PLEASE NOTE THAT IN WASHINGTON, WE AS CHIROPRACTORS DO NOT PERFORM THIS ADJUSTMENT.  MD'S AND DO'S, MAYBE EVEN NATUROPATHS DO THIS.


(Just kidding, there's noone named Tiffany who keeps asking for this adjustment.)

The "external method" uses a drop piece table in the chiropractors office, and the doctor uses the surface tissues to attempt to drag the coccyx up, much like attaching a rope to it and pulling lengthwise.  While maybe this method is not as effective each visit, it has the advantage of being more comfortable and does not require that staff be present in the office.


This subluxation is far more rare, but far easier to fix.  Essentially, this is a condition where the chiropractor simply pushes the coccyx back "home" while the patient lays face down on the table.  The adjustment is often painful, but because there are no complex physics going on, the results are often dramatically faster, and the prognosis is much better for full resolution of the symptoms.


All this said, there is a great chance that for your tailbone pain, chiropractic adjustments can be a viable alternative to sitting on the butt doughnut.  Call us to help you.  Dynamic Chiropractic Clinic , (206) 343-3325.

I love knees. And Feet. Call me weird?

By Dr. Jensen, DC:

Recently, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) reported that 9.5 million people visited orthopedic surgeons because of knee problems. The number is actually even higher, with a greater number of children and adults are participating in athletics every year. The large majority of innjuries are due to activities that require stopping and starting or quickly changing directions, such as basketball, raquetball, football, and related sports. It is thought that these extreme forces on the knee can result in torn ligaments,but they don’t result in torn ligaments in everyone, meaning there could be some pre-existing contributing factors.

To learn why our knees are injured so frequently, it’s important to know how  the knee works. The knee joint is composed of three bones: the femur, the tibia and the fibula.  Cartilage covers the hinge  and provides a smooth, lubricated gliding surface so the knee can move. The shape of the knee joint is stable, but to function properly, the ligaments need to be in good shape, too!

the knee ligaments are the ACL, the PCL, the LCL and the MCL. 

While the ACL works as the main stabilizer when the knee is bent, the PCL works as the main stabilizer when the knee is extended. The collateral ligaments stabilize side to side motions. The medial and lateral menisci are located within the joint and act as “shock absorbers” and "aligners". The most commonly injured parts of the knee are the ACL and the medial meniscus. Tears of the meniscus usually take place during twisting, pivoting, or decelerating movements, or as a result of direct impact, as is often found in footbal injuries.

When you look for information regarding treatment of knee injuries, you will see two basic categories of medical care: surgical and nonsurgical. Surgical intervention has certainly improved over the past 20 years and typically involves arthroscopic surgery for severely sprained or ruptured ligaments or torn cartilage. The new procedures are far less invasive than techniques used many years ago, resulting in less scar tissue and faster recovery time. Nonsurgical intervention typically involves improving the stability of the knee joint with rehabilitative exercises, focusing on the quadriceps (thigh) muscles and the hamstrings. Bracing is also a common practice to enhance stability by limiting motion in the knee joint.

To summarize, the way knee injuries are handled in today’s world is to stop doing things that tear ligaments, like running, jumping, twisting and stopping quickly. If you do want to continue doing those things, the common recommendation is to get surgery or do rehab and put on a brace to limit motion in the joint. The resulting lack of motion will likely cause degenerative arthritis over the next 20-40 years, which will result in the need for a knee joint replacement.

OK, so where’s the good news? Simply put, a chiropractor has the ability to do a better job than that! Their knowledge of the foot, knee, hip and spine connection, combined with practical experience, affords an alternative to the “shoot the dice and hope for the best” theory. The first thing to understand is that healthy knee function is not possible without healthy foot function. The medical model of health care does not take that into consideration because the foot rarely presents itself as being painful. Even if the foot does hurt, treatment only takes care of the symptom and does not address abnormal joint function.

Sleep, perchance to dream?

William Shakespeare isn't the only one to espouse the benefits of adequate sleep. The question remains, however: How much is enough? Certainly, not enough sleep can be detrimental to your health, but can you also suffer health risks from catching too many zzz's?

Daniel Kripke, co-director of research at the Scripps Clinic Sleep Center in San Diego, Calif., compared death rates among more than 1 million American adults who reported their average nightly sleep totals. He recently discussed the results of his findings in Time magazine.

According to Kripke, "Studies show that people who sleep between 6.5 hr. and 7.5 hours a night, as they report, live the longest. And people who sleep 8 hours or more, or less than 6.5 hours don't live quite as long. There is just as much risk associated with sleeping too long as with sleeping too short. The big surprise is that long sleep seems to start at 8 hours. Sleeping 8.5 hours might really be a little worse than sleeping 5 hours."

He added that risks for various illnesses, such as depression, obesity, heart disease and diabetes increase both with not enough and too much sleep. 'Morbidity [or sickness] is also 'u-shaped,' in the sense that both very short sleep and very long sleep are associated with many illnesses."

Finally, getting out of bed when you're not sleepy and restricting your time in bed actually helps you to sleep more. Kripke noted this helps people get over their fear of the bed. "Spending less time in bed actually makes you sleep better. It is, in fact, a more powerful and effective long-term treatment for insomnia than sleeping pills."

Carb, no carb, low fat, raw food or prepackaged – which diet is your current favorite? In the quest to lose weight and live a healthier life, we have become addicted to following the latest trends in the diet world.

When the latest trend appears, we automatically think it's what we've been looking for the entire time. Some people seem to find the right fit and the results are amazing. For the rest of us, we might see some short-term improvement, but soon revert to our old habits of eating on the run, missing meals and not finding time to exercise. No matter which diet or combination of programs you choose to help you lose weight, there are a few common threads linking all effective diets and weight-loss protocols. Focus on these common concepts and take the first important steps toward a healthier lifestyle.

Most weight-loss protocols generally focus on limiting what you shouldn't eat and decreasing the amount of food you should eat. Some diets have their own spin on what which types of foods are best to eat (or avoid) to achieve optimum weight loss. These diets have been successful for people who consume meals high in processed foods, limit the variety of foods they eat and/or often eat on the run. The guiding principle to remember is to introduce better mixes of foods into everyday meals. This helps your body change the way it uses food to make energy.

We also have to get more involved with our food choices, particularly when to start and stop eating. Diets do this by emphasizing the elimination of excessive eating, sugars and unnecessary calories, while introducing different food options that support weight loss instead of weight maintenance. Diets promoting foods higher in protein help by slowing down sugar absorption and providing essential amino acids for muscle growth. High-complex-carbohydrate diets help reduce appetite by prolonging the feeling of fullness (satiation) and improving intestinal movement.

Fasting or eliminating allergenic foods can help cleanse the body when done for a short duration. They also help decrease possible inflammatory responses to foods while giving the digestive system time to heal so problem foods can be reintroduced at a later date. These types of restrictive diets should be done under the care of a physician or dietitian, due to complications that can arise if used too long or in the wrong circumstances.

While considerable focus is placed on the types of foods we are or are not eating, liquid intake can be just as important. Empty calories in soda, additional caffeine and stimulants from coffee, and even excessive water consumption can leach out essential electrolytes from the body. The overall idea with restricting what we eat is to decrease the amount of energy used to break down what goes in and increase what comes out – namely energy. It also can help with certain medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease and chronic allergies, all of which have a strong correlation with food intake.

A secret about the scale is that it doesn't care how much weight you gain or lose, or if it's accurate at all. So much emphasis is placed on the measurements we see and less so on how we feel. Changes in numeric measurements should be slow and gradual, which indicate healthy weight loss and ultimately is the best way to keep the weight off. Dramatic weight loss often leads to rebound weight gain once people begin to slip from their program's strict regime. Positive improvements such as increased energy, more restful sleep, changes in how clothes fit, and improved attitude toward continuing lifestyle modifications are all steps in the right direction.

Diet, exercise, and weight-loss trends seem to change over time, but our goal to win the battle against the bulge remains constant. Looking beyond what you're not eating and drinking is important in any weight-loss program. Consistent exercise, dealing with life stressors, and settling realistic goals are keys to successful weight loss. So, the next time you hear about a new diet program, think about how it's different from and similar to all the rest. It might just help you choose the right program for your lifestyle goals and long-term health.

Mixing Foods

Okay, I admit it:  I stole this directly from my own Health Newsletter:

Certain foods become even healthier when mixed with other certain foods. Conversely, other food pairing may become less healthy and even endanger your health. Follow these simple rules from to get the most out of your food choices:

DO mix grilled steak and brussels sprouts: Certain compounds in Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower, may help rid the body of carcinogens that can form on meat during high-heat cooking. Nevertheless, charring meat on the barbeque is not the best preparation method. Instead, cook your meat or fish at low temperatures until done.

DO mix avocado and tomato: Tomatoes, which contain the antioxidant lycopene, are a superfood. If you eat some avocado at the same time, you've just made it even more super. The fat in the avocado helps the body absorb seven times more lycopene. Also, add a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil to your zucchini, spinach and other dark green vegetables to unleash the lutein, an antioxidant that may help protect against age-related macular degeneration.

DO mix spinach and oranges: Although spinach has lots of iron, your body doesn't absorb it well when spinach is eaten alone. Add in some vitamin C and spinach becomes a veggie Popeye would be proud to eat. That's because vitamin C converts the iron in spinach into a form that is more available to the body. This is also true for other foods that are sources of iron, such as broccoli and tofu. It doesn't take a lot of vitamin C – one medium orange will do.

DON'T mix alcohol and energy drinks: Vodka mixed with an energy drink might be popular on the party circuit, but this combo can cause heart palpitations and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, it could contribute to a heart attack or a stroke. Overloading the body with stimulants such as caffeine (which is found in many energy drinks) and alcohol, which is a depressant and a diuretic, puts tremendous stress on the central nervous system and heart.

DON'T mix alcohol and diet soda: You might cut calories but you also might get drunk faster. In a recent study, it took just 21 minutes for half a diet cocktail to leave the stomach and reach the small intestine, where most alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream, while the same amount of a non-diet cocktail took 36 minutes.

DON'T mix coffee and breakfast cereal: Most cereals sold in U.S. are fortified with iron. The problem is that polyphenols, an antioxidant in coffee, can hamper the body's ability to absorb iron. Black tea and some herbal teas (including peppermint and chamomile), which also contain polyphenols, also may reduce iron absorption – by as much as 94 percent – and hot cocoa cuts it by 71 percent.

The solution is to have your java before or after your cereal. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a cup of coffee consumed one hour before an iron-rich meal didn't affect absorption. If you choose to get your fix after breakfast, wait at least an hour or more.

The Whole Grain and Nothing But..

Wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley and other cereal grains start off as whole grains – but far too often, by the time they reach the supermarket shelves as ingredients in various foods, most grains have been refined to the point most of their health value is lost.

Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel; examples include whole-wheat flour, oatmeal and brown rice. Refined grains have a finer texture and a longer shelf life, which makes them more appealing to manufacturers and stores, but the dietary fiber, iron and many of the B vitamins have been removed. Examples of refined grain products include white flour and white rice. Many manufacturers then "enrich" the grains by adding back certain B vitamins and iron after processing – but it's just not the same, health-wise, as keeping the whole grain intact.

The amount of grains you need to eat each day depends on a number of variables including age, gender and level of physical activity. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says most Americans consume adequate grains – but not whole grains. The USDA recommends at least half of the grains you consume daily should take the form of whole grains.

The USDA offers the following tips on how to incorporate more whole grains into your daily diet. For information on the health benefits of whole grains and other foods, visit

1. Substitute whole-grain products for refined products. This is as easy as eating whole-wheat bread or brown rice instead of white bread or white rice.

2. Use whole grains in mixed dishes such as soup and casseroles, or make spaghetti with whole-wheat pasta.

3. Use whole-grain bread or cracker crumbs in meatloaf or on dishes that require breading (eggplant parmesan, baked chicken or fish).

4. Substitute whole-wheat or oat flour for up to half of the flour in pancake, waffle or muffin recipes.

Snack on whole-grain cereals or popcorn (with little or no added salt or butter) rather than potato chips.

Green Tea... you look so lovely to me....

Tea has always had a special place in our hearts. And as any tea drinker will tell you, it does indeed relax and calm the spirit. Take it from author C.S. Lewis, who once said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." However, Dr. Carr says,  "Isn't people swimming in a pool kind of like creating human tea?"New research suggests green tea in particular may have an even more special place in our hearts. It may actually help relax your arteries, thereby reducing your risk for heart disease and clots. When your arteries are more relaxed, blood flow increases, which reduces the risk for cardiac disease.

Healthy subjects were given 6 grams of green tea (the equivalent of about three to four cups of brewed tea), another caffeinated beverage or hot water. Arterial blood flow was measured 30, 60 and 120 minutes later. People who drank the green tea showed increased arterial blood flow compared to the other two groups. Even more impressive was that the heart-healthy benefits lasted up to two weeks for those who drank green tea daily.

In addition to its influence on heart health, green tea is rich in potent antioxidants called polyphenols. Research suggests polyphenols help reduce the risk of breast, stomach, colon, prostate and other cancers. Green tea also is a natural antiseptic and skin protector; applied to the skin, it helps relieve itching, swelling, sunburns and even puffy eyelids.

So, you Seattle chiropractor Dr. Peter Carr says "brew yourself a pot of green tea, settle down with your favorite book, and relax your body and soul."

Pregnancy- Joys!

Oh, how exciting! You're pregnant! But along with the eager anticipation that comes with waiting (for nearly 40 weeks) to meet your baby, are the common aches and pains associated with your growing baby and changing body.
One of the most pleasant and effective ways to reduce these minor discomforts is to get a professional prenatal massage from a certified prenatal massage practitioner. Prenatal massage has many benefits for you and your baby. First of all, massage reduces stress levels and since very few women go through this major transition without some degree of stress and anxiety, a supportive massage is just what is needed to override the harmful effects of stress. Studies have now shown that your attitudes and stress levels have a direct consequence on your growing baby. When you are uptight, nervous, and anxious, so is your baby. And the opposite is true: when you feel good, relaxed and confident about your pregnancy, your baby is happiest. And these benefits continue to be enjoyed even after your baby is born.
One of the most common complaints is backache. As your pregnancy progresses, your center of gravity shifts forward and the muscles of your lower back compress. Your abdominal muscles weaken, stretch, and separate in order to make room for the baby, but this also adds to your lower back discomfort. A professional massage practitioner knows exactly how to release those tight back muscles and advise you how to strengthen your abdominal muscles for increased lumbar support. (Hint: crunches are the worst exercise you can do during your pregnancy and early postpartum recovery. Abdominal exercises that recruit your transverse abdominis – the deepest of the abdominal muscles – will stabilize your lower back and pelvis and will minimize the abdominal separation (diastasis recti) affecting nearly 90% of pregnant women.) Sciatic pain can also easily be relieved with appropriate massage and specific postural stretches.
You also may notice how achy, sore, and swollen your legs and feet have become, especially during your third trimester or in warm weather. Some of you may be having difficulty fitting into your shoes. There is a specific massage technique, called manual lymphatic drainage, which eases the congestion in your legs and safely protects against dislodging any blood clots your body might produce. (As a protective mechanism during pregnancy and up to 10 weeks postpartum, your body produces more blood clots to prevent excessive bleeding or hemorrhaging during labor and early recovery. Most of these clots are found in the deeper vessels of your legs and calves. Therefore, all deep strokes to your legs are not appropriate during this sensitive time.) A trained professional will understand this and will use the light touch of manual lymphatic drainage to make your legs feel wonderful.
Make sure the practitioner takes a complete medical history before the first massage and employs the essential pretreatment evaluations (for blood clots and pitting edema – a possible sign of preeclampsia) prior to each session. You want someone who understands the importance of using manual lymphatic drainage on your legs and can massage you in a variety of comfortable positions on the treatment table or sitting, if necessary.
Most of all, you want to find someone with whom you feel comfortable. It is an honor and a privilege to massage pregnant women and new mothers, and you want to share this journey to parenthood with the right partner.

Put It in Writing
A recent study suggests keeping a food diary can double your weight loss. The study, coordinated by the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research and conducted at Duke University Medical Center, Johns Hopkins University and other sites, involved nearly 1,700 overweight or obese adults ages 25 and older. Subjects maintained food diaries for six months and were encouraged to eat a healthy diet and stay physically active. They also met on a weekly basis to discuss their food diaries in a group format.
After six months, study participants who recorded their daily food intake six days a week had lost approximately 13 pounds – twice as much weight lost by those who kept a food diary one day or less per week. Number of days maintaining a food diary was the most powerful predictor of weight loss.
Here are a few other good reasons to chart the amount and types of food you eat, particularly if you're trying to lose weight. And remember, all it takes is a pen, paper and a few minutes each day to write down what you eat. If a particular food doesn't have a nutritional label (a banana, for example), several online sites provide comprehensive nutritional information on thousands of common foods.
You might be shocked to learn how many calories they're eating on a daily basis – especially for certain foods and drinks. And too many people think portion size is all that matters; that perception will changes when they find out a tiny piece of cheesecake has 800 calories and a full day's worth of fat.
One way to be motivated over the long term is to be invested in your progress. A food diary is that investment. It also helps you gauge how much exercise you need to do to reach your target calorie count for a given day.
A major reason why people don't stick with a nutrition or weight-loss regimen is lack of accountability. Most supervised weight-loss programs require participants to keep a food diary and submit it to their nutritionist, doctor or fitness counselor.
If you're still skeptical about the benefits of a food diary, consider that half of all participants in the National Weight Control Registry, which tracks the habits and practices of people who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for one year or more, say they use some type of self-monitoring such as a food diary.

Fibrous Facts

Our traditional understanding of fiber and its nutritional benefits has been mainly in the area of regularity. Fiber keeps us ”regular”; almost everyone, it seems, knows that. Despite this knowledge, however, there is a huge discrepancy in actual fiber intake in the United States.

While the recommended daily intake of fiber is 25-38 grams per day, the vast majority of Americans consume far less. But that trend is changing. Research from as early as 1986 in the journal Gastroenterology highlighted the beneficial effects of colonic bacterial fermentation of complex carbohydrates such as fiber. Since then, multiple additional studies by other researchers such as the British Journal of Nutrition and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have provided even more insights into this critical process.

Food manufacturers have obviously responded to consumers' demand for fiber and digestive-health products, and there are now more products with fiber or digestive-health claims in the marketplace. In fact, according to the Global New Products Database, the number of new products in 2006 with a fiber descriptor on the label surpassed the number of new products with more traditional and established claims like "added calcium" or "reduced fat." Even more astounding, the number of new products with digestive-health claims introduced into the marketplace was second only to products with a vitamin fortification claim. In 2007, the term prebiotics was used on at least 54 food and beverage products, a remarkable increase from approximately 23 a year earlier. Next year, expect that the term “probiotics” will see a dramatic increase. What do these terms mean? Well, it’s important to note that almost every term in nutrition has a specific meaning. Prebiotics are things that bacteria eat. Probiotics are actual bacteria that people ingest. Dr. Carr’s prediction: Probiotics will really come into their own in yogurt, where there bacteria are normally left anyway, so why not promote it, right?

One of the best sources of probiotics is available from your Seattle chiropractic office. We get ours from right in Redmond, Washington: Pharmax.

Okay, back to fiber. “Normally”, fiber was advertised in bakery and cereal products. While these products still are abundant, the discovery of new sources of soluble fibers in particular has enabled food and beverage manufacturers to add fiber to nontraditional products, such as beverages and dairy products. There are now prebiotic fibers in beverages, yogurt and bars. Dietary supplements containing prebiotic fibers also are very common.

Surveys show American consumers are actively looking for products that contain fiber. Over the past five years, the number of consumers increasing their use of fiber has risen steadily. A Health Focus Trend Report showed that in 2006, more than 42 percent of consumers reported they were actively increasing their fiber intake, while 9 percent reported increasing their use of carbohydrates that promote digestive health. Ask your doctor for more information about the right foods to eat to promote digestive health.

Neck pain is a bigger problem than you think.

Neck pain is super common, and still, most people simply carry on with their activities of daily living. However, about 5 to 10 percent of people develop debilitating symptoms. Unfortunately, even among people who have disabling pain, the majority find their neck pain to be stubborn and recurrent to some degree.

The renewed interest in neck disorders has spurred some really interesting studies. In the March/April 08 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT), Canadian scientists have shown that arthritis in the neck might affect balance. This may mean that cases of poor balance or repeated falls among the elderly, treatment of the cervical spine might have value. This could represent a "top down" strategy, which is a bit different from the "bottom up" approach to balance training more commonly utilized in rehabilitation.

In the February 08 issue of JMPT, another study by both New Zealand and Canadian researchers suggested adjusting of the neck can relax muscles in the arms and could be useful in relaxation of the whole body. This implies ANYTHING causing tightness in the neck joints also might cause muscle pain in the arms or elsewhere. Because adjusting and manual therapy are great treatments for neck problems, your Seattle chiropractor should be among the first providers consulted for this type of pain.

So, how fast can a patient with neck pain expect to feel better with chiropractic care? By chance, in the same March issue of JMPT, British authors studied which neck symptoms might respond the quickest to "hands-on" treatment. Overall, considering all possible neck area complaints, about 70 percent of patients reported immediate favorable responses to manipulation. However, if patients complained about more specific things like headaches, shoulder or arm pain, reduced arm or neck movement, neck pain, or upper or middle back pain, the percentage of those who reported immediate improvement in pain rose to an incredible 95 percent! Woo Hoo!

If you're experiencing neck pain and haven't scheduled an appointment with a chiropractor, DO IT.