Can You Thrive On Two Meals Per Day?

Do you remember the age-old saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? Well, what if I told you that pushing your first meal a little later into the day could unlock a trove of health benefits? This is the essence of intermittent fasting—a time-honored tradition turned modern health hack.

My Personal Journey
I was a firm believer in the protein-packed breakfast. Skipping it? Unthinkable. Yet, in the first two months of the pandemic, in between episodes of Tiger King on Netflix, I took the leap into intermittent fasting. The first few days felt like a mental maze, challenging years of ingrained eating patterns. But within a week, to my amazement, I was loving it, unshackled from my daily breakfast routine.

Let’s dive into two of the main benefits of intermittent fasting, tackle the initial apprehension it brings, and outline simple steps to seamlessly integrate it into your life. Then I will share my daily fasting routine.

1. Turning the Tide on Insulin Levels
One of the most striking benefits of intermittent fasting is its ability to modulate insulin levels. When we fast (after about 8-10 hours), insulin levels drop, signaling our body to switch from sugar to fat as its primary fuel source. This isn’t just a tiny metabolic tweak; it’s a profound transformation that taps into our sometimes too bountiful fat stores, revving up the body’s fat-burning capabilities. It’s akin to flipping a switch that instructs your body, “Hey, let’s burn this reserve fuel.” This shift not only aids in weight management but also supports metabolic health. An added bonus: it is like burning logs for fuel versus kindling — you feel steady energy levels versus spikes and crashes.

2. Simplify Your Diet, Amplify Your Health
Intermittent fasting is a simplifier. It cuts down the incessant planning, prepping, and pondering over meals. By eating less frequently, I’ve noticed a significant improvement in digestion and an overall lightness. It’s not just about reducing calorie intake; it’s about giving your body a breather, allowing your digestive system to rest, reset, and rejuvenate.

Facing Fasting Fears
Now, let’s address the elephant in the room: the intimidation of meal “skipping.” Our culture is saturated with the dogma of constant eating, making the idea of fasting seem daunting. But remember, our bodies are remarkably adaptable. Throughout human history, most cultures and religions observe some periods of fasting lasting days or more. It is just our modern lifestyle that has made not eating three meals a day seem odd. I found that the initial discomfort was just old habits dying hard.

Where To Start
Starting is simpler than you think. Here are a couple of steps to dip your toes into the fasting waters:

– Begin with a 12-hour fast. Finish dinner by 7 PM, and then hold off breakfast until 7 AM. It’s a small adjustment that your body can ease into.

– Hydration is your ally. Drinking plenty of water can help curb hunger pangs and keep you full.

Currently, what is working for me is an eating window from 1 PM to 7 PM, with a rejuvenating 18-hour fast in between. And I don’t stick to this everyday, but 5-6 days/week I enjoy this routine. The result? I have more energy, I find it easier to maintain a healthy weight, and interestingly I have less food cravings.

So, if you’re eyeing a change in your wellness routine or seeking a sustainable way to manage your weight, consider intermittent fasting. It’s not just a diet; it’s a conscious choice to reset your body’s clock. I believe in you—take the plunge and discover the transformative power of intermittent fasting

Embracing the Chill

There’s something about submerging myself in cold water that has been equally horrifying and intriguing. Maybe you feel the same way? Whether a wellness ritual or a daring feat, cold plunging is becoming a hot topic. I want to share with you what I have learned from cold plunging these last 2 months and why you might want to consider incorporating it into your own health routine.

When we think of self-improvement, we often envision intricate tasks or grand changes. But sometimes, the most transformative experiences can be deceivingly simple. For me, cold plunging has proven to be more of a mental challenge than a physical one. It’s a throwback to childhood when tasks like learning to ride a bike seemed monumental yet were very attainable and incredibly rewarding.

Imagine standing before a tub filled with cold water (to find out ‘how cold’ keep reading). The first step is to take a deep breath, brace yourself, and get in, submerging up to your neck. I find that the faster I do this, the better. My mind screams, “Are you crazy?” but a deeper part of me echoes, “You can do hard things.”

After 45 seconds, I find myself slipping into a blissful, almost meditative state without even trying. The euphoria that washes over my body and mind in the icy stillness is exhilarating. This 3-5x/week, five-minute ritual has become my metaphorical dragon to slay, reinforcing that I am capable of overcoming hard challenges in my life.

Beyond mental fortitude, cold plunging offers substantial physical benefits:

  • Stronger Immune System: Regular cold plunging increases white blood cell count, supporting a healthier immune system.
  • Reduced Inflammation: Cold water can act as a natural anti-inflammatory, aiding in muscle recovery.
  • Stress Reduction: The practice is known to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
  • Improved Circulation: The cold water helps blood vessels to contract, improving cardiovascular circulation and overall heart health.
  • Enhanced Metabolism: Some studies suggest that cold water immersion can stimulate brown fat production, increasing calorie burn and aiding in weight management.
  • Boosts Mood: Cold exposure releases endorphins, the ‘feel-good’ hormones.

Research shows that to reap these benefits, you need to spend at least 15 minutes in cold water per week, which can be broken down into shorter sessions (>3 minutes). Interestingly, the water doesn’t need to be ice-cold—55 degrees Fahrenheit suffices.

These aren’t herculean feats that require you to spend hours in a frozen lake. I started with an affordable (<$100) inflatable tub from Amazon. And adding a bit of spa chlorine and changing the water monthly keeps it fresh.

As I have woven this practice into my daily life, a surprising craving has emerged. What began as a daunting task now strengthens my mental resilience, wakes me up, and leaves me feeling like a warrior champion!

If you’re pondering ways to shake up your wellness routine OR you just want to feel like a warrior champion yourself 🙌🏼, consider taking the plunge. I believe in you.

Unlocking Your Best Sleep

In the realm of modern healthcare and personal wellness, the role of sleep is increasingly becoming a focal point of research and conversations. We spend about a third of our life in slumber and yet most of us never think about how to optimize the benefits we derive from sleep. Two decades into my chiropractic practice, I’ve seen the profound effects of sleep on everything from back pain to stress levels. But it wasn’t until I started wearing an Oura Ring that I truly began to understand the intricate nuances of my sleep and how it impacts my daily life.

When I first put the Oura Ring onto my finger the insights it gave me were humbling. Here I was, a healthcare professional and athlete, yet my deep sleep clocked in at less than 30 minutes a night. My resting heart rate stayed elevated for most of the night, and let’s not even talk about my HRV (Heart Rate Variability) levels, which hovered dismally in the high teens. It felt like waking up to a reality I didn’t even know existed. It also excited me to how good I could feel if I could crack the code to improve my sleep quality. Before diving into my journey toward better sleep, let’s clarify what deep sleep and HRV are and why they matter.

Deep sleep is the most restorative phase of our sleep cycle, distinct from REM and light sleep. It’s the time when tissue growth and repair occur, when the brain detoxifies, and when the body gets a full reset. Simply put, it’s quality over quantity. Good sleep isn’t just about the number of hours you get, but the kind of sleep you’re getting. Deep sleep allows your body to get to the work of truly healing while you are fast asleep.

Similarly, HRV is a measure of the variation in time between heartbeats and is an essential marker of our overall health and stress levels. HRV has been researched for over fifty years and we won’t get into all the details here. However it is important to understand that a higher HRV indicates a healthy heart and a body in a lower state of stress, providing us with a quantifiable measure of the stress on our bodies.

What sets Oura apart from other wearables I’ve tried (including the Apple Watch, FitBit, and Whoop Strap) is not just the data it collects, but also the actionable guidance it offers. I dived into the articles and tailored suggestions the Oura app provides, making small but impactful changes to my daily routine.

Some of these included:

  • Increasing the time between my last meal and going to sleep
  • Trying to eat a smaller and easier-to-digest dinner meal
  • Decreasing alcohol intake
  • Normalizing my time to sleep and time to rise within no more than a one-hour variation daily
  • Intake of Magnesium prior to bed

The results? My deep sleep shot up to over an hour (doubled!), my resting heart rate settled into a calm rhythm shortly after going to bed, and my HRV nearly doubled (regularly in the high 20s to low 30s now). Those improvements only required some simple adjustments and I started noticing results after just a few weeks.

More than just numbers, my transformation is palpable. I’m more in tune with my body, my energy levels have soared, and I wake up with a sense of excitement and freshness I had forgotten was possible. It’s a complete contrast from my humble start with my Oura Ring. I honestly didn’t think I could learn so much from a wearable.

I am constantly experimenting with new ways to get more performance and health span from my body with one of my goals being to share this knowledge with my patients at Positive Motion Chiropractic. Next time you are on my table feel free to ask me what new things I am learning. I would love to share with you.

How To Choose the Safest and Most Effective Sunscreen

Summertime in California is wonderful! The days are longer, we do more outdoor activities, and the increased sun helps boost our own natural Vitamin D levels. However, spending more time in the sun means we need to protect ourselves from the harmful side effects of too much sun exposure. That means finding shade under beach umbrellas, hats, UV protection rash guards, and using sunscreen.

The choice of which sunscreen to use is problematic for a few reasons. First, according to the latest science, most sunscreens only protect against one of the three kinds of skin cancer, and not against melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Using a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen is important to give you the greatest protection.

Additionally, many of the ingredients found in today’s sunscreens are toxic and harmful. In fact, in 1978 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began developing a comprehensive regulation for sunscreen safety and effectiveness. All these years have passed and the FDA has yet to issue its final regulations. FDA officials did set regulations in 1999 that sunscreen manufacturers are “voluntarily” supposed to abide by.

To that end, there are two different types of sunscreens. 1) Mineral-based, usually using zinc or titanium, as a barrier to sun exposure and 2) Non-Mineral Based, which use chemicals to protect against the sun’s rays. There are thousands of different brands of sunscreens and a patient of mine (thank you Jill) turned me onto a website that comprehensively details all sunscreen ingredients per products and gives them an easy to interpret score. I visited the site, checked out my regular sunscreen’s score (I was appalled) and then checked out some alternative. Once I found ones that I liked I was able to order them easily online.

A study came out in 2020 in the Journal of the American Medical Assocation looking at common non-mineral based chemicals and if they end up in your bloodstream. The study found that after just four days of sunscreen application that all subjects had higher than recommended levels of the chemicals in their blood. That certainly gave me pause against using non-mineral based sunscreen on myself and my children.

I should note that the best sunscreen is protecting your skin from the sun by means other than something applied to your skin. Sitting in the shade and wearing large brimmed hats are good examples. One of my favorites, as I love playing in the water is using an SPF rash guard as pictured below (I know this picture is of me coming out of the water in the dark, but you get the idea).

I recommend that you visit the Environmental Working Group Sunscreen Guide website and the parent site of the Environmental Working Group which reviews other common elements of our daily lives like cell phones and drinking water. When you are there check out the sunscreen that you use and read a little bit about what those long chemical names on the ingredients label mean. It will be a few minutes well spent. Remember, everything that you put on your skin ends up absorbed into your blood stream and even small things over long periods of time can produce profound changes in your health.

Positively,
Dr. Pedersen

From Falling Out a Window to Becoming a Chiropractor

This is the story of how I became a chiropractor.

Life is a learning experience. Stressors abound and especially during our early years we have a tendency towards accidents and trauma. First learning to walk, then going up and down stairs, and starting to ride a bike… scabs and bruises were likely a part of your childhood. Part of youth is learning the limits of what our bodies can and cannot do.

We have all had trips and falls, but during my early years I had one particularly severe accident. The details are all recounted to me from my mother, as I was less than two years old when this happened. As the story goes I was in the stumbling forward walk/run stage of my development. At the far end of our second story living room was a screened in window that slid up from the floor. In front of that window were light cloth drapes blowing in the wind. And I guess my fascination with wind began early on, because as those drapes were blowing in the wind I got up and ran to play with them. My mother, who was ironing in the room, saw me running and frantically tried to catch me. I had a tiny lead on her and she was just a little late. My little body went through the drapes and the window screen effortlessly and I was flying.

My 25-inch tall body dropped twelve feet to the ground below. As a new parent, I can’t imagine how my mother felt as she exploded down the stairs and rushed out to find me on the ground. Part of my body was on the sidewalk and a sprinkler had missed my neck/shoulder area by inches. She scooped me up and raced to the emergency room. The doctors did an exam and x-rays and said miraculously I hadn’t suffered any injuries or broken bones.

It seemed like a positive ending to this tragic story. And until I was fifteen we thought I had escaped any damage in what was my earliest of extreme sports stunts. The problem, if we can call it that, is that the human body has an unmatched ability to compensate when injured. When injured your body automatically favors other muscles, slightly shifts movement patterns, and alters postures. Indeed, the best athletes in the world are those with bodies that can compensate instantaneously during their sport or when injured.

I hadn’t suffered any broken bones in my fall, but what the MDs at the hospital weren’t trained to look for would nonetheless cause my body to be imbalanced and less than optimal. I was fifteen when I received my first chiropractic adjustment.

That initial visit to the chiropractor was for a pain in my right hip that had seemed to come out of nowhere. After two visits to the chiropractor my hip has never bothered me again. This chiropractic experience occurred in Hood River, Oregon where I was training as a professional windsurfer during the summer months.

Flash forward six months and it is a rainy, foggy, and cold winter in my hometown of Fresno, California. I am in high school and suffering from horrible acne. It had been getting worse since I became a teenager, but now it was almost unbearable. I feared I might have permanent damage to my skin from the eruptions on my face that plagued me daily. And I was ashamed each day to go to school because of how bad my face looked.

To try and get a solution to my acne my mother took me to a dermatologist. The doctor said that indeed I had a very bad case of acne and that it would probably go away by the time I was eighteen (I was still fifteen years old). He wrote me a prescription for an oral steroid that he said would help to calm my acne down until then. An oral steroid? I am someone who doesn’t like to take an aspirin unless I really need to and I was being put on a two-year course of steroids!)

We asked the MD if there was anything I could do diet or nutrient wise to help with my acne. He quickly stated, “No, your diet has nothing to do with your skin or acne.” I left the appointment with the dermatologist feeling frustrated, ugly, and without any hope for my skin except to take this severe medication.

My mother and I didn’t fill the prescription for steroids. I couldn’t bring myself to do it and I knew there had to be another way. The side effects of the steroids really scared me and I knew there had to be another way. My body and skin wanted to be healthy; I just had to find the way. Little did I know that I was soon to make a discovery that would forever change my life.

My mother was talking to our neighbor about my struggles with acne and the neighbor suggested we see her chiropractor. My mother exclaimed, “A chiropractor? Aren’t they back and neck doctors? They had helped my sons hip, but what could they do for acne?”

The neighbor replied, “Well it can’t hurt and maybe they can help balance out his nervous system and teach him something about how his diet could be better.” She left my mom with one question, “What do you have to lose?”

My mom asked if I was willing to see if a chiropractor could help my skin. I felt like I was ready to try anything and agreed to the visit. My life at that time involved spending thirty minutes per night in front of the mirror with alcohol wipes and topical creams that were advertised to reduced acne and redness. Nothing was working. I was so embarrassed.

A few days later I saw Dr. Steven Hoopes (DC) at his office in Fresno on the recommendations of our neighbor. Dr. Hoopes took a thorough health history and did the most complete physical exam I had ever received from a doctor. He asked my mother when

I had had major trauma to my head and neck region. I had never been involved in any car accidents or other major traumas and so there were none listed on my intake forms. Or were we forgetting something? Dr. Hoopes asked again about trauma because I had a nerve pinched in my upper cervical spine and some scar tissue that he could feel in those tissues.

Up until that chiropractic visit I had never heard the story about falling out of the second story window. When questioned by Dr. Hoopes again about trauma my mom said “well he did fall out of window as a child, but we took him to the hospital immediately and they said
everything was ok.”

Dr. Hoopes next asked how long I had not been able to breathe through my nose. I told him “for as long as I can remember.” It wasn’t that I had sinus problems or a plugged up nose. It was just as if my nose didn’t work. I would try and breathe through my nose and nothing would happen.

Dr. Hoopes proceeded to gently adjust my neck and do some cranial adjusting work. Five minutes later he asked me to take a breathe in through my nose. It was the first time I can ever remember being able to take in any air that way and it felt energizing and wonderful. He explained to my mother and I that I had probably pinched those nerves in the back of neck when I had fallen as a young boy and although that wouldn’t show up on x-ray, it certainly had an effect on my health.

He then talked with me about my diet and how that could affect my skin as well as other aspects of my life. I was a ravenous carb-o-vore and lean protein and good fats were completely absent from my daily meals. He gave us some simple suggestions on how to incorporate a balanced diet into my routine and sent us on our way. We scheduled a followup appointment for a few weeks later. And when the next appointment rolled around my acne was 95% gone. I was ecstatic!

Was it the chiropractic adjustment that helped my acne? We will never know. I do know that ever since that visit I have been able to breathe through my nose. And from my chiropractic training I know that when the body and the nervous system are properly aligned and cared for that all the systems in the body work better, including our skin. Or was it the nutritional advice that Dr. Hoopes had taken a few minutes to give me that helped my skin? Maybe the adjustment and the counseling? We will never know.

What I do know is that it was then, at age fifteen, that I decided I wanted to dedicate my life to helping people through natural, conservative health care, the way that I had been helped. I wanted to empower people to have amazing health without drugs and surgery. And I wanted to give people options when they felt they had none. I had been treated for a severe injury, the fall from the window that went unnoticed for thirteen years. And I had my eyes opened to a new healthy way to live and feel my best.

Obviously I am biased; I had my life profoundly changed by a chiropractor. That being said, I strongly urge you and your family members to be evaluated and treated by a good chiropractor. Not just because you have pain or need to take medications daily. You should see a chiropractor because you may be limited by things you consider “normal” but that are nonetheless holding you back from being truly healthy. Being adjusted and receiving advice for healthy living from a chiropractor is invaluable.

Inflammation: Cause or Effect?

As I drove to work today, I was listening to the news and one of the topics was side-effects of anti-inflammatory medications. That news story made me want to express the holistic approach to healing versus the western medicine approach to treating conditions. Inflammation is a great way to explain this concept so central to dynamic health.

Inflammation in our bodies is characterized by a few cardinal signs: swelling, redness, heat, and pain. Inflammation may be easily visible to the naked eye, as in a severely sprained ankle. In contrast, inflammation can be deep in our tissues. An example of this that I commonly see in my office is patients complaining of digestive problems that upon examining and palpating their abdomen, I find have severe tenderness to even light pressure. This tenderness to light pressure is a sign that they have intestinal inflammation. It isn’t visible from the surface, but nonetheless their digestive tissues are inflamed.

One other distinction when talking about inflammation is inflammation that isovert versus inflammation that is on a microscopic level. People can have “systemic” body-wide inflammation that causes plaquing of their arteries or hastens the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Inflammation doesn’t have to be visible, it can be microscopic. The more we learn about inflammation the more we realize its implication in a wide variety of conditions.

So when a patient presents to a doctor’s office today complaining of inflammation, what is the doctor’s response? I would hope that it would be to determine the CAUSE of the inflammation. That is what I do every day in my office.

A simpler, quicker, and one-size-fits-all approach is to give each patient an anti- inflammatory medication. This addresses the EFFECT, which is inflammation, without expending any effort to diagnose the cause of the patient’s inflammation. This approach drives me crazy! Sadly, this is the standard of care for most doctors.

So you may ask, “What can be a CAUSE of inflammation in my body?” Here is a brief list of common causes of inflammation:

  • Improper joint biomechanics: For example, if you ride a bike frequently to get exercise and your knee starts to hurt, the geometry of your bicycle could be causing abnormal wear and tear on your knee.
  • Tight muscles causing abnormal wear on joints: If your muscles aren’t balanced and working properly they cause joints to degenerate at an accelerated rate.
  • An inflammatory diet: The Standard American Diet (SAD), consisting of lots of grains, refined carbohydrates, tons of dairy, processed foods, and red meat is inflammatory. On the other hand, fresh fruits and vegetables, cold water fish, and unprocessed whole foods are anti-inflammatory.
  • Subclinical immune challenges: This could be anything from a semi- dormant virus, such as hepatitis, to an infection smoldering away in a tooth underneath a crown. “Subclinical” means the infection isn’t keeping you in bed or giving you overt symptoms. Nonetheless, it is putting strain on your body and causing inflammation.
  • A lack of anti-inflammatory pre-cursor nutrients: Your body makes its own anti-inflammatory molecules that are great at quenching the inflammatory fire. But you need the basic nutrients like EPA (an Omega 3 oil) and the vitamin and mineral cofactors to be able to produce them.
  • Poor adrenal gland health: Your adrenal glands, your “stress glands,” produce cortisone and cortisol which have anti-inflammatory properties. If your adrenals are “stressed out” then your body won’t be able to produce adequate amounts of either of these hormones.
  • Metabolic syndrome or Insulin Resistance: These conditions, which are becoming more and more prevalent in our society, are very inflammatory.

Can you see why it is important to look for the cause of inflammation? I went to college for 8+ years to learn how the human body works. I also learned how to diagnosis causes of inflammation and solve them, in most causes, by natural means. I have devoted my life to solving patient’s health complaints, and I LOVE doing it.

I hope you will give me the opportunity to find the CAUSE of your health
complaint. In today’s health care environment, more and more patients are fed up with covering over the symptoms with medications. They want a doctor that will go to bat for them and put in the work necessary to solve the mystery of their pain. I’m excited to be that doctor for you.

Positively,

Dr. Brant Pedersen (DC)

You Deserve A Body That Feels Amazing

Prologue: I wrote this blog in October 2014 as an exciting new chapter of my professional life was unfolding. The curiosity and passion for my life’s work has only increased since then and I look forward to many more decades of learning, sharing, and helping my patients.

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It begins… or it continues. All hinges on perspective.

As of this week, I have been in practice as a chiropractor in Los Gatos for a decade. It has been a privilege to have the opportunity to help so many people “get healthy and feel better.” I have witnessed the miraculous healing powers of the body, been humbled by cases I could not solve, and awoken many a night with insight into how I might help a patient… impatient for the patients next visit so I could continue my life’s work.

This morning I left my house at 4:30AM on a trip to Paris to study with one of the world’s leading experts on posture, Noelle Perez-Christiaens. She has devoted her life to helping western society not crumble into somatic chaos. I say western society, because in many parts of the developing world people utilize their body daily for physical labor. And in these cultures excellent posture is common, effortless, and the human body resilient.

In our modernized world we have every convenience. We utilize our brain much more than our physical body. Many of us sleep in comfortable beds, sit for our meals, drive to and from work, labor at our desks, and collapse on the couch in the evening. And almost everyone has chronically tight muscles, discomfort with prolonged sitting and standing postures, and bouts of neck, low back, and/or hip pain.

I believe that it is a human being’s birth right to live in a body that feels amazing. When I look at my boys running around, squatting effortlessly, bounding with energy, I see physical ease. No restricted movement. Muscles supple and relaxed. A physical body transporting their ever-learning brain and their soul.

Some would say that is a luxury of youth. Then I see a picture of a sixty-year-old woman carrying water in a bucket on her head from the river to her home. Her spine is straight, she has a look of resilience in her step, and her face has peace and joy as she easily converses with her friends during her daily trek.

What would life be like in a body that was perfectly balanced? What would it feel like to sit for three hours, unaware of any sensations from our body, able to fully immerse in our mental and spiritual faculties? I had a few hours of this experience a month ago enjoying the production of Wicked. I’ll blog about my experience, but it was mental and emotional euphoria because I was able to completely focus on the musical. Unlike anything I had previously experienced, because my body was utterly silent. No sense of discomfort or tension or strain. Silence.

I think that might be what my boys are experiencing throughout their days and nights. Maybe it is the reason children learn so rapidly. The reason they are full of bliss and wonder. The reason they “sleep like a baby.” Maybe a large part of it has to do with silence from their 650 skeletal muscles. As we age does the constant, nagging static signal from our imbalanced physical body compete with our vibrant experience of the world around us and our true mental capacity?

I’m in search of that still point of physical being. And I want to learn how to help those around me on their journey towards body awareness and balanced posture. My journey has me traveling to the other side of the world currently. I’m excited to share what I learn.

I want to finish this post with gratitude. I have so much to be thankful for in my first ten years of practice:

  • Thank you to God for giving me a passion and purpose to help others. I value every day on earth, even the challenging ones. I love being in service to my patients. And I humbly appreciate the wonder which is the human body.
  • To my wife, Aryn: you inspire me, push me, comfort me, and I have so much fun with you. I am the man I am because of you. And I become a better man, day-by-day, because of your influence. Thank you for being such a wonderful mother to our children and for encouraging me to take this journey to France to continue my education.
  • Jean Couch and Jenn Sherer from the Balance Center / Spinefullness in Palo Alto, CA. A patient seven years ago told me that Jean had ended his chronic back pain with a seventy-five minute “sitting class.” That got my attention and I signed up for the class that day. Thank you for being my teachers.
  • To my patients: I love being your chiropractor. I have a dear mentor who once told me that “God will send you patients that you will fail on so that you will learn.” I show up every day at practice with the intention of fixing everything that ails each patient. I don’t always succeed, but when I can’t figure something out, that patient doesn’t ever leave my mind. When reading a journal article, sitting at a medical conference, or consulting with a colleague I am thinking of that patient and if “now” is the moment I am going to learn the secret to help them. Hopefully, my travels in Paris will include some of those moments.

In Positive Motion,
Brant Pedersen, DC, CCSP

Is Your Child In Pain?

According to a study published in the journal Spine, many more adolescents have pain in their neck, shoulders, low back, and limbs, then was previously assumed.

The study showed that nearly 25% of 16-year-old boys and girls and nearly 20% of 18-year-old boys and girls had pain in at least one of these sites.

I was 15-years-old the first time that I went to a chiropractor. That doctor’s visit changed my life. I had been involved in many minor traumas, as most children are. I fell off my bike, crashed skiing, and even fell out a 2nd story window when I was two (ask me about that one sometime). All those traumas that children and teens have, get stored in their muscles, joints, and tissues as restrictions of motion and can cause pain. Many times children just “play through it.” Additionally, they can often have difficulties describing pain to their parents. It isn’t always easy to describe where, how, and when parts of our body hurt.

This is why it is so important to take your child to get assessed by a chiropractor. Adjustments, when indicated for children, are extremely gentle and children often times LOVE it! They get excited about how much better their body feels immediately after the adjustment. Also, they feel that it is easier to sit without pain for long hours at school and many note improvements in their athletic performance.

When we correct joint fixations/subluxations and muscle tightness in children it usually only takes one or two visits and it allows the child’s growing body to not be hampered by imbalances and pain. If we never address a child’s tight muscles and joints then those imbalances become “locked in” to their adult tissues. I think this is why many of us have our “trouble areas” as adults which require numerous treatments, instead of just a couple adjustments as when treating children.

My first visit to the chiropractor helped me so much, I decided at age 15 that I wanted to devote my life to the chiropractic profession. I would be honored to have the opportunity to check your child’s joints for fixations and muscle imbalances. After I help you and your child understand what I found and answer any questions you have, we can get to work helping your son or daughter feel their best!

In Positive Motion,
Brant Pedersen (DC, CCSP)

My Son’s First Chiropractic Adjustment

I was empowered watching this video to continue teaching my patients and the public at large about dynamic natural health through whole food nutrition, exercise, and chiropractic adjustments. We have such an awesome gift: our body. I want to help people learn how to make their body feel energized, beautiful, and powerful.

I’m very proud to announce that on June 8th, 2011 our son, Finn, had his first chiropractic adjustment.

He was officially one week old. I would like to share the why and how of this exciting event in hopes that it might help others.

Patients often ask me, “Do you adjust children?” I respond, “I adjust children after they are age five.

Before that age I refer them to a chiropractor that specializes in chiropractic pediatrics. The chiropractor I refer to in these situations is Dr. Beate Teufel (DC).”

I have spent most of my time since graduation from chiropractic school focusing on sports medicine and functional nutritional medicine. Dr. Teufel, who in addition to being a doctor of chiropractic, is a registered nurse and worked in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for ten years, did her advanced studies in pediatrics. The day my son was born I set up an appointment for his first visit to her office.

“Why would you adjust an infant?” is a question I am frequently asked. I love answering this question because it is at the heart of what is so special about chiropractic. My answer to this question is two fold.

The Birth Process is Traumatic

First, the birth process is a traumatic experience. Yes, we have been doing it since the beginning of humanity, but squeezing an infant’s huge head and tiny body through the cervix and vagina by forcefully contracting the uterine walls is a challenge on the infant’s delicate body.

Indeed, my wife’s labor and delivery went very smoothly, but our son, Finn, came into the world with a two-inch round hematoma on his head. The cause: getting forcefully contracted upon while his head wasn’t turned exactly perfectly to align with the birth canal.

This is a very normal occurrence in the birth process, and the hematoma, a large bruise, and collection of blood under the skin, is resorbed and goes away within a few weeks.

The hematoma goes away. But what about the fixations and misalignments in the neck and spine that can happen with such a compressive force on the head and body during vaginal delivery?

It was no wonder that during Finn’s first chiropractic assessment and adjustment, he had a misalignment in his upper cervical spine.

The misalignment was easily corrected with an adjustment using a precision instrument called an Activator.

The Activator carefully applies a measured force of a few ounces to a couple of pounds.

Compare that to the average vaginal birth that subjects the newborn’s neck to an average of 40 pounds of traction or torsion. And if the birth is more difficult, like during a cesarean section, forceps or vacuum extraction, the force can reach upwards of 100 pounds of pull on the newborn’s neck.

Don’t You Want to Give Your Child The Best Chance at Health and Happiness?

We take our children in for routine medical check-ups. We get their teeth cleaned and cavities filled. But what about getting their joints, muscles, and nervous system checked by a chiropractor, a specialist in the proper function of the human frame? Don’t our children deserve to have their spine checked as well as their teeth?

Children, especially before they are talking, have a hard time letting us know that they are in pain or experiencing some difficulty with their body. Sure, a baby might cry a lot, but is that because they are hungry, need to be changed, tired, etc? As an example, how does your son or daughter let you know that they have a hard time turning their head to the left?

Although they are often overlooked, sometimes parents will notice these asymmetries in their child’s movement patterns. A common statement I hear is “I noticed that Sydney doesn’t like to lie on her right side or feed from my right breast.” The parent may or may not link this to their child’s difficulty with certain postures that can be caused by misalignments in the child’s spine. A chiropractor is trained to assess the child’s spine and make adjustments where appropriate.

I fell from a second-story window as a toddler. I suffered with problems in my nervous system and spine for years not knowing how my body should feel. With such a severe trauma at such a young age, I thought, “this is just how my body feels.”

When our son was born, we wanted to assure that his spine and nervous system were working to their full potential. We want our child to become all that he can become, and we obviously want to remove any barriers to his success. That is why we had him evaluated and treated by a chiropractor soon after his birth.

Obviously, I am biased as I have dedicated my life to chiropractic and natural healing methods. That being said, the children that I see under chiropractic care get sick less, have improved balance and posture, and overall seem to excel. I believe that a balanced health care approach, where the medical doctor (M.D.) and doctor of chiropractic (D.C.) work together towards the well-being of the child is always the best approach. I hope that you will have your son or daughter evaluated by a chiropractor today so that they can realize the gift of limitless health.

What’s In A Name?

I was 20 and just about to graduate with my pre-med degree. Sitting in my college room with all the excitement of a life starting to bloom, I was signing off a letter to a friend and trying to come up with a letter close that would convey my attitude in life…

“In positive motion,”

The way I saw it back then, and still see it today, is that we have a few choices in life.

We can be in only one of these states:

Static.
Not moving forward. Nor backwards. Not moving at all. Not making an impact. Not standing for anything. No opinion. No desires. Each day that passes brings little feeling or emotion.

Regressing.
In “negative motion.” Sliding backwards. Devolving. Slowly decaying in our minds, bodies, and spirits. Letting the world make us old before our time. Giving up the will to strive for better health and a life of abundance and joy.

Positive Motion.
Living a life of action geared towards making a difference. A difference you feel as your body and mind becomes strong, vibrant, and fun to live in. Activating your soul and using your gifts to help those around you. Smiling. Sharing your heart, your stories, and your love. In my life, I choose to be in Positive Motion. I choose to help my patients experience dynamic health. I believe that health is not just the absence of disease, but a vibrant body that functions gracefully and effortlessly.

I hope that you will join me in Positive Motion.