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Friday, October 30, 2009

Answers to Your Questions

Patients and friends of Soft Touch Chiropractic and Acupuncture gathered to learn about anti-aging strategies through chiropractic, acupuncture and NLP. We had a great time practicing Qigong together, talking about wellness and learning how to change our posture for better health. Please feel free to comment and ask follow up questions right here on this blog. TO POST A COMMENT OR QUESTION, look to the bottom of this post and click on the word Comment.

Thank you all for making this a great seminar and we hope to see you again in January at the detox seminar

Here are the answers to your questions:

1. Where can we get the Qigong DVD showed at the seminar?

A: We purchased our copy through The name of the program is Ken Cohen Qigong Training Course. This course includes 8 CDs and two workbooks. If you are interested in something less costly and easier to get a hold of, we suggest you look on We found an excellent video, although it is lengthy. You can find it by searching for Discovering Qigong on youtube. The video is posted by the National Qigong Association.

2. Does a man's hormones react differently than a woman's hormones under stress?

A: Yes. Women seem to be more sensitive to cortisol (the stress hormone) after the end of their menstrual cycle, due to the fluctuation of progesterone and estrogen.

3. My legs hurt if I stand for short periods. I feel I have to move constantly or else it's uncomfortable. Why?

A: It is possible that you have an obstruction in the nerve root of your low back L3, L4, L5 and S1. The cause of obstruction could be loss of disc height or a bulging disc. The cause can be determined by an MRI.

4. Where can I learn more about Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP)?

A: You are welcome to book and appointment with Ruth for an introductory NLP session. You can learn more on line on this page We found the explanation to be short enough to not bore anyone with details, but long enough so that it gives good background info on NLP.

5. How can you coordinate your body systems? Is there a book you can recommend?

A: The best way to coordinate the body's systems is through the nervous system. Our body goes through micro or macro traumas each day, whether through habits or injuries. Those traumas could interfere with the nervous system. These interferences show up in our joints, muscles and bones; bones can become misaligned, muscles can spasm or lose tone, joints can swell up or become unstable. All these interferences, separately or together, can create obstruction to the nervous system. By removing these obstructions, we can ensure that the nervous system functions at its maximum potential. There are other obstructions or interferences, like chemical interferences, caused by ingestion of drugs, food contamination (i.e. pesticides, insecticides) or through chemicals in beverages like aspartame, also through the overload of sugar, or lastly through enzyme or vitamin deficiencies, especially vitamins B. Last but not least, emotional interferences can also cause obstruction in the nervous system. Stress, for example, can translate into hormone interferences through the release of cortisol. Stress can also cause loss of muscle tone and posture thus creating a physical interference. Chiropractic can help remove musculoskeletal interferences. Improving your nutrition can begin to remove the chemical interferences. NLP can help you to help yourself with eliminating emotional interferences.

We recommend the following books to learn more about coordinating the body's systems: Chiropractic First (you can pick up a copy of this book in our office), Natural Healing by Jack Soltanoff, DC.

6. I seem to contract with the touch, will chiropractic still help me?

A: Yes, chiropractic will help you. If you contract with touch, you have a special need for chiropractic and can benefit greatly from regular joint mobilization and also from non-force chiropractic techniques. Non-force techniques are designed for people who are emotionally reluctant to manual adjustments, for people with osteoporosis or those who are sensitive to touch.

7. During the seminar Ruth shared about how her mom changed her eating habits and was able to reverse arthritis and is now living pain-free. The question is, how did she change her diet? or better yet, what did she change her diet to?

A: My mom followed a modified detox plan outlined in the book There is a Cure for Arthritis by Dr. Paavo Airola, available through amazon. I outlined some of the details in earlier entries in this blog. See parts 1-3 of Food Can and Does Heal. This is a subject we will briefly touch on in our January seminar.

We look forward to more questions and comments from you. See below for details about our next seminar.


JANUARY 16, 2010


Soft Touch Chiropractic and Acupuncture

19474 Rinaldi St.

Northridge, CA

Friday, August 28, 2009

Qigong, what is that?

Wow, it's been a couple of months since my last entry. It's not that I don't have anything to share, it's just that there is so much going on, that I hadn't made the time to share it. I am in the midst of a couple of big projects at the practice, the kids went back to music and ballet classes and with that come the birthday parties, the play dates, etc. AND I've been exploring Qigong. Here is an excerpt from our practice's newsletter about this very interesting subject.

Qigong, pronounced chee gung, is a Chinese meditative practice that uses slow movements to cleanse, gather and circulate the energy in the body.

Qi means life energy and breath. Gong means work or skill. Qigong is thus breath work or energy work. It is used or healing purposes, to improve sports performance and for spiritual purposes.

We have found various sources that report the existence of six thousand to ten thousand types of Qigong. We have been exploring the Personal Healing practice for self healing and restoration. There are two types of healing practices, Personal Healing and External Qi Healing. External Qigong is a type of therapeutic touch in which the healer assesses the patient's qi and then projects healing energy through his or her hands to restore the patient's qi balance.

Qigong has been scientifically tested and experimental evidence demonstrates that it can be effective in treating many ailments in conjunction with other healing practices. We like the way Ken Cohen describes the dynamics of Qigong in his book, The Essential Qigong Training Guide:

"Qigong is based on the premise that the human body is an energy system. As long as it has energy or qi, it is alive; when energy is gone, it is dead. This makes good scientific sense. A living cell has an electric charge; differences in electric potential allow nutrients to flow in and out of the cell and messages to pass through the nervous system. Like a computer, the electrical signaling system can become corrupted through 'incompatible programs' - pollution, poor diet, stress."

My personal experience with Qigong has been most successful in the last two months, since I committed to practicing daily. I had a few false starts with the practice earlier this year and I hadn't seen any results; this time, I chose to be more engaged and present while practicing and it made all the difference (versus doing the movements while my mind raced through my to do list!)

The day I started, I definitely felt the cleansing effects. At the beginning I felt a bit of tingling in my fingers and arms. After doing movements for a half hour, my nose started to run a bit, I had to race to the bathroom and my head was very clear. If you've done any type of detox, you know these are symptoms of the body detoxifying. I felt great immediately after finishing my practice! My 30 minute routine consists of cleansing the qi, circulating the qi and then doing movements paired with sounds to remove old stagnant qi from specific organs.

I could not load up the youtube video that shows a 45 minute Qigong session. If you are interested, look up Discovering Qigong on and choose the video produced by the National Qigong Association. Be aware that the first four minutes consist of various warnings and disclaimers. If you are seeking to practice at home or are interested in the External Healing practice, Ken Cohen's training set is a good one.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Mother-Daughter Relationships and Wellness

It took me three years, but I finally finished reading Mother-Daughter Wisdom by Dr. Christianne Northrup. It felt like a monumental achievement. The 700 page book is filled with great advise on mother-daughter relationships (mostly for the mother on nurturing her relationship with a daughter). The premise is that our relationships with our mothers deeply affect our health.

"So what does my relationship with my mother have to do with health?" was my first question after starting the book three years ago. The short answer is, just about everything! Dr. Northrup's advise, backed by personal experiences, documented studies and data, range from why it is a great practice to look at your baby girl in the eyes and talk to her as you hold her during her infant years all the way to how a daughter's health is impacted by a mother's emotional letting go of (or holding on to) her daughter in their adult years. By the way, Northrup explains that if you consistently talk to your infant daughter while looking into her eyes, her brain grows faster, meaning she makes more brain connections, thus making her smarter. This is quite the simplistic layman's way of explaining it. Dr. Northrup does a much better job of elegantly explaining what exactly happens in the brain. And the letting go issue, Dr. Northrup makes a clear connection between weight/obesity issues and daughters whose mothers will not go of them emotionally. Very interesting.

It takes a little to get used to the medical jargon used throughout the book, but anyone who took physio in high school, will find this book interesting and practical. The book moves through each "stage" in a daughters life, seven years at a time.

For those who are interested in wellness and do their homework, it's almost common knowledge that the health of our relationships deeply impacts our physical health, thus the mind body connection. I have personally found that my relationship with my mother, specifically, deeply impacts my wellness and it has done so in the past without me being conscious of it. In my adult life I have had times when my mother has been physically far away from me and also times when she has been physically close. At this time she is close by, thankfully. We have found a great balance in our relationship as adults. We have figured out ways to communicate as women, instead of just mother-daughter. I realize not everyone is so blessed and sometimes distancing from a maternal relationship seems to be the best option for someone whose relationship with their mom is highly toxic and irreparable. It saddens me to hear of such relationships, but it is reality.

If you have a daughter of any age, it is worth reading this book; even if your daughter is in her adult years, you can just skip to the relevant chapters. As a mother, this book changed my paradigm on letting go of children as they grow, the power of womanhood through menstruation as well as child birth and lastly, the incredible impact I will have on my daughter's health. I've learned how important it is that I mindfully train her and teach her. As a daughter I have become much more understanding of my mom and less critical of her parenting. I am much more grateful for my upbringing. Maybe that just comes from being a mother, but it sure has eased my heart into a place of compassion and conscious decision-making in relationships. I sleep better at night knowing I've done my best as a mother and a daughter. So goes my wellness.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Food Can and Does Heal - Part 3

I forgot to mention one great benefit about following the Cure for Arthritis nutrition plan (see the last two previous posts for the plan), WEIGHT LOSS!!! My mom lost more than 50 lbs. and I lost about 10 lbs. We both kept all the weight off for about five years. My mom gained about 10 lbs. back after the fifth year and I gained all 10 lbs. back after my two pregnancies. It is refreshing to be reminded of the great success we had back then because I am beginning to show signs of arthritis on the joints of my index fingers and I'll be following my mom's footsteps. I just learned that the signs of arthritis tend to show up when people are in their mid 30's. So I have made a commitment to stop eating meat. I am having a hard time cutting out the caffeine because I love tea, but that will be step two.

Here's a link to a list of foods and their healing benefits. If you are dealing with illness, and want to start using food to heal, I encourage you to get the help of a trusted naturopath physician.
Here's to our health!!!
On a different note, my attempt to get to bed by 10pm every night was a great success....for about a week. LOL, then our family moved and I was back to hitting the sack at midnight. Over the years I've learned to accept falling off the waggon as part of life and I don't beat myself up; now getting back on the waggon is not such a dread. I am back on track with sleeping 10-6.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Food Can and Does Heal - Part 2

Here are the specifics of what mom and I did to help her heal the arthritis. It was really just a formula of subtracting the inflammatory foods and adding foods and supplements that would help her heal. As I mentioned, we subtracted: caffeine, refined flour, refined sugars, dairy and all meats. We added the following supplements daily: MSM crystals (not pills), glucosamine sulfate, and alfalfa pills (to absorb the toxicity in the joints.) We followed the meal plans from the book (There Is A Cure for Arthritis) pretty closely. We used only fresh ingredients, nothing canned. She followed this nutrition plan for a year, including the monthly three-day fasts. I followed the plan with her for three months. My mom began feeling significant relief from pain and stiffness after three months. I started feeling much more energetic and lighter in my abdominal area. The plan is very straight forward. The tough part, for us, was leaving the substances we were, quite literally, addicted to. It was hard to leave coffee. Both of us had been drinking it for decades. We are both fans of chocolate and all types of sweets, pastries and the like, so around the holidays, it became very tough say no, but we relied a lot on each other and on PRAYER for encouragement and for those needed reminders that the immediate satisfaction was not worth our long term goal of beating the arthritis. If someone had told me ten years earlier that healing arthritis was possible to do without drugs, I would have been very skeptical; but today I am a firm believer in using food as a first resort to healing. I do have to add that during this year, my mom did not do any additional exercise that what she was accustomed to, which was light walking.

During that year, mom had found a job as a teacher's assistant at a kindergarten. One day she came home ecstatic about being able to use scissors 10 consecutive minutes WITHOUT PAIN! Before our healing journey, she couldn't even hold a pair of scissors. It felt like a miracle to her.

After a year, my mom gradually added back very little turkey, chicken and fish to her diet, but to this day she does not eat beef or pork. She only eats sweets on very special occasions and she eats loads of fresh fruits and veggies. Thank you Dr. Airola and thank God for fresh, nutritious food.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Food Can and Does Heal - Part 1

One major stepping stone in my search for wellness was my search for a way to help my mom manage her rheumatoid arthritis. I've gotten her permission to share this inspiring story. When my mother moved in with me, she didn't have the strength in her hands and arms to pick up a cushion off the couch, plus she was stiff and in pain all the time. She had been living this way for about 15 years. It was emotionally painful to watch her move about with such discomfort. I was determined to find a way to help her heal. Thanks to a previous roommate of mine who also battled a serious case of arthritis and won, I found the help my mother needed. We read and implemented a modified version of the recommended nutrition and detox plan in a book called There Is a Cure for Arthritis by Paavo Airola. The program outlined in the book is very aggressive and radical. My mom felt she could not do a 40-day fast, which is what the book called for, so instead she decided to fast once a month for three days at a time. But before she got up to this point of detoxing, she cut out all of the following from her diet: caffeine, refined sugars, refined flours, meat of all types (even fish), and dairy. All of those items are highly inflammatory and aggravate arthritis. I decided to join her in her new way of eating, which was one of the toughest changes I have ever made in my eating habits. We were left with the choice of fruits, vegetables, grains (but no bread) and nuts. We worked together to prepare the broth that she was to have during her fasting days. We held onto each other while walking through the mall craving sweets and coffee. It bonded us as mother and daughter and it made each of us stronger as individuals. At the time, I was mad. I was mad that my mother had been told that she would live with this condition for the rest of her life and there was nothing she could do about it. I was mad that she was poisoning her body with pain killers that would only result in more painful side effects. It drove me to search for answers and a real cure for her condition.

Friday, May 1, 2009

What is wellness anyway?

I started pursuing "wellness" in the late 1990s, thanks to a friend who cared enough to introduce me to various simple ways to detox and clean up my nutrition; and also thanks to an ayurvedic doctor who shared with me as much information on health and ayurveda as I could process. Since then, I have been on just about every point of the health spectrum; swinging the pendulum from being a fast food junkie (even though I knew what I was doing to myself) to being on a strict raw vegan diet for almost three months. Now that I have learned much more about wellness through my chiropractor hubby, my definition of wellness has crystalized as follows: I continue to improve areas of my life that are well by using techniques that have proven effective for me, while I nurture and help heal the areas that are in pain or suffering. In other words, I don't sit idle until I am in pain, I proactively listen to my body, my thoughts and my spirit to prevent disease or pain. The reality....easier said than done! But I believe that my philosophy has worked for my relationships (keeping them honest and healthy) and it allowed me two peaceful, beautiful births.
I believe that everyone defines wellness for themselves even if they have not consciously put it down on paper (or a blog). Sometimes wellness does not include health, it may just mean contentment and acceptance of situations we cannot change. Being conscious of what wellness means is the first part of finding it; taking deliberate steps to achieve wellness is part 2.

So here is my one deliberate step. Go to bed by 10pm and be up by 6am. Let's see how it goes.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why in the world would I choose to start a blog when I have two kids and a business?

Welcome to share wellness! Yes, my life is full, really full and busy and I have chosen to start this site to share my passion for wellness, health, nutrition, and fitness. Over the years, I have accumulated a wealth of information on these subjects (which, by the way, I believe should be shared freely, as in for free!) and I share bits and pieces with friends and family as the subject comes up. I'm not really the type to shove information down people's throat and be preachy, so the blog gives me a chance to share to a mass audience and everyone has a choice to take or leave the information, share more information, ask questions, disagree if they must, share resources, make this site more interesting by sharing from their own experiences and be a part in building this blog. I must confess that as of today, I am not in the best shape in any area of my life (mind, body or spirit) but I hope to use this blog as an accountability partner and a gauge for my recovery. I am much better at the written word than at the spoken word and since I won't be publishing a book anytime soon, this is the next best thing. Honestly, this is quite ambitious for me since our family is homeschooling, we run a chiropractic practice (see our site and we are involved in church ( and our community. I hope this blog will encourage you to live a life of wellness.