Archive for November, 2008

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

November 26, 2008

thanksgivingHere’s to my amazing patients!  Happy Thanksgiving!

(I am only using first names…so don’t panic…you know who you are!)

  • Kristina- You make me laugh.  I love every minute of your visits.
  • Brock- Thank you for forgiveness.  God knows I need plenty of it!
  • Chrystal- You love to talk and so do I.  I couldn’t wait until your next visit (and now I miss you)!
  • Rachel- I love your stories of Nora and Gus.  I now vicariously have dogs!
  • Lau- I appreciate your loyalty.  Thanks for not giving up on your treatment plan!
  • Chris- Thanks for your amazing design and great advice.  Tranquility has a face because of you.
  • Stephen- Stephen you are amazing!  I have a web presence because of you.
  • David- You are my greatest supporter.  I am always happy to hear about your week.
  • Mike- You are the best researcher.  No one has ever looked up everything I ramble on about.  And thanks for saving from the embarrassment of not knowing who Mack Brown was!
  • Nicole- I LOVE LOVE LOVE talking to you.
  • Tomoko- You are my adventurer.  I admire your courage and passion.
  • Josh- Thank you for telling everyone about me.  You have been my biggest referral source.  Don’t forget to put in the magazine one of these days!
  • Robin- I am always excited to hear about what you are working on.  Congrats on the new house!
  • Adam- You are my talented one.  I am always excited to hear your business is growing.  PS. Watch out!  Robin may just quit her job and become an electrician.
  • Sean- Thank you for listening.  Thank you for caring.
  • Larry- Thanks for sharing your story.  I am very proud of you.
  • Morgan- Thanks for coming in on a Saturday to be my model!
  • Pamela- I miss you so much.  Thanks for sharing all of your acupuncture knowledge.
  • Giselda- You are my ideal patient.  I am so happy to be able to help you.
  • Patricia- Thanks for the copay stickers and all the great advice!
  • Brandon- Thanks for the amazing online review. Several people have become new patients because of you!
  • Paul- It was great to learn more about Canada. I hope you are having fun freezing your tush off up there.
  • Brad- My only patient who loves his exercises. If I had to choose a patient as my child, it would be you. Do you eat your broccoli, too?
  • Nancy- I am so happy I was at the right place at the right time to meet you!
  • Betty- I loved visiting your digs! It’s always great to see you at Starbucks with your son.
  • DeDe- DeDe was famously early for every appointment. I may have you call a few of my no shows and teach them a lesson or two. Lol!
  • Ray- I enjoy our conversations immensely. You fill my office full of politics, spirituality, and class.
  • Camille- Thanks for your referral. I hope you are recovering quickly.
  • Cindy- Limp in one day; Run out the next. You made me feel God-like in my healing abilities! =)
  • Rand- Thank you for driving so far for treatment. You are super dedicated!
  • Eileen- You were one of my first patients. Thanks for helping with my confidence!

I love you all!

PS.  If I have forgotten anyone, you will get a complementary 15-minute massage at your next visit!

Dr. Funk

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STRESS

November 24, 2008

cervical-massageAs a Doctor of Chiropractic who specializes in stress-related headaches, neck and shoulder pain, 80% of my patients present with muscle tension, pain, and structural problems of or related to their spine.  All 100% of my patients could benefit from a reduction of stress in their lives, even if they present with an injury that had been caused by a fall or car accident.

Stress in small amounts can actually be beneficial.  Think about the last time you felt pressed for a deadline.  Most people will become more focused, work more diligently, and get more accomplished because they know they have to be finished by a certain time and date.  In this case, a deadline can be a beneficial stresses that acts to draw you closer to a goal or accomplishment.

Long-term stress can be very harmful to our bodies.  One deadline will not do the trick.  Most often, it is a combination of stressors that push us over our limits.  It’s the series of deadlines in the same week combined with the fact your child gets sick the morning of your big presentation.  You hadn’t eaten well for the past few weeks because you had to spend hours after work trying to meet the upcoming deadlines.  Your spouse is upset that you have been spending enough quality time together, and your mom called to say that she had to take your dad to the emergency room last night.  Can you relate?

In today’s society we live in a constant state of low anxiety.  It’s as if at any point in time one more stressor could push us over the limit.  You can feel your neck and shoulders feel tight.  They’ve been that way for so long that you don’t even notice it any more…until you are half way through your presentation.  You just dropped your pointer and go to pick it up…and it happens….a sharp, sheering pain from your neck shoots down your arm and you yelp in pain.  You finish your presentation and think this pain will go away soon.  Two weeks later, you are in my office.

Can stress really cause neck pain?  Shoulder pain?  Back pain?  Headaches?  Stomach problems?  Skin problems? Yes, Yes, and Yes!

What does chronic and uncontrolled stress do to my body? When we live with chronic stress our nervous system starts to change.  People begin to see physical symptoms instead of just feeling anxious and jittery or run down and depressed, they start to develop the first symptoms of chronic stress: chronic headaches and increased susceptibility to fight off infections.  Muscle tension increases and muscular imbalance can lead to neck, shoulder, and back pain, as well as a host of other problems.  Some individuals develop depression, anxiety, diabetes, heart disease, thyroid problems, obesity, sexual dysfunction, or ulcers.  Not fun!

What can do to avoid stress-related headaches, neck, shoulder, and back pain? Stay active, learn good stretches, drink lots of water, eat healthy, meditate or use a relaxation technique you life daily, talk about what is bothering you with a friend or loved one.

I do suggest that if you have suffered with headaches, neck, shoulder, or back pain for more than three days, go to your chiropractor!

Once I come in to see you, Dr. Funk, what will you do to help me with my headaches, neck, shoulder or back pain?  I use a combination of soft-tissue techniques (similar to massage), spinal manipulation, stretching, and simple strengthening exercises. Each patient has a 30-minute treatment that is relaxing and therapeutic.  Patients who present with the conditions above can expect to see that their pain will subside in four to six visits.  The visits following will help to eliminate the cause that created the pain in the first place.

http://www.TranquilityCS.com

Massage Can Reduce Migraine Headaches

November 20, 2008

occipital-nerveA new study published last year shows the massage can reduce migraine headaches. The article is titled “Massaging Over the Greater Occipital Nerve Reduces the Intensity of Migraine Headaches.” (1) Good news for you….massage feels great and can help you relieve pain!

To better understand how massage can help your migraines, let’s have a simple anatomy lesson. I am assuming you don’t know where the greater occipital nerve is. And since random rubbing hasn’t proven to be effective for migraines, you probably will want to know where to massage or be massaged.

The Greater Occipital Nerve (GON) runs through the middle of the Suboccipital Triangle- four small muscles on either side of the upper neck. The GON innervates the scalp and areas over the ears. When our neck muscles get tight, epecially our occipital muscles (think base of the skull), irritation of the GON occurs. And you know what that means…a headache!

Tight muscles and nerve irritation can make even the happiest person miserable. The benefits of massage are unmistakable- muscle relaxation, increased blood flow, and stress-reduction. Now you can add headache relief to one of its many benefits.

massage-item-neckSelf-Massage or Partner Massage
1. Start massaging the neck and shoulders
2. Work your way up to the base of your neck (where the GON starts). Focus on any areas that are painful and tight. Many headache suffers have knots in their muscles, called trigger points. If someone pushes and holds a trigger point, you will feel the pain shoot up the head and recreate the headache. That’s the spot that should be relaxed with massage.
3. Finish up by massaging the scalp where the GON nerve endings are located.

To learn more about headache help or to book an appointment for a professional therapeutic massage and treatment, visit http://www.TranquilityCS.com.

(1) Piovesan, et al. Massaging Over the Greater Occipital Nerve Reduces the Intensity of Migraine Headaches. Arq Neuropsiquiatr 2007;65(3-A):599-604.* Full free article- http://www.scielo.br/pdf/anp/v65n3a/10.pdf

Stress Headaches

November 11, 2008


migraine-headache_1_1Stress headaches, or tension-type headaches, are the most common type of headache.  Surprisingly, as up to 78% of the general population will experience at tension-type headaches at some time during their lifetime.

Am I having a stress headache? Stress headaches are often the result of temporary stress, anxiety, fatigue or anger. Symptoms include a tight, band-like sensation around your head and spasms of the neck muscles and shoulders. Many stress headaches suffers experience pain and tightness just above the ears and at your temples.  Many times people experience temporary relief or exacerbation of their headaches when they press on certain points in their neck.

I heard stress headaches can occur every day. Some stress headache suffers have chronic tension-type headaches that can occur every day. A chronic tension-type headache is a condition where you have a stress headache on 15 days or greater every month. This type of headache is also called a chronic daily headache because many people have a headache every day.

When would I see my chiropractor for a stress headache instead of taking over-the-counter medications? I suggest if you are experiencing more than two stress headaches a week, you should visit your chiropractor.  Taking anti-inflammatories on a regular basis to eliminate headaches is masking the root of your problem: tight neck muscles, stress, and joint restrictions or misalignment can cause and aggravate your headaches.

Why do you treat stress headaches? Tension-type headaches are one of my specialties (and secretly, one of my favorite conditions to treat) because I personally suffer from them.  As a student in Chiropractic College I began experimenting with different techniques we were learning to treat my headaches.  After trying different treatments and practicing on patients and friends for months, a friend of mine showed me some soft tissue techniques he learned at his myofascial release seminar.  My headache was gone after his treatment when combined with spinal manipulation.  So, I kept trying it on everyone I could, and the treatment was helping more and more people.

How do you treat stress headaches in your practice, Dr. Funk? I use a combination of soft-tissue techniques (similar to massage), spinal manipulation, stretching, and simple strengthening exercises. Each patient has a 30-minute treatment that is relaxing and therapeutic.

Does Your Standing Posture Cause You Pain?

November 6, 2008

Good PostureThe body is amazing!  It was designed with a specific shape that evenly distributes weight among your joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.  Disrupting the natural balance because of poor posture can cause neck and back pain.

I remember talking to a man at Starbucks one day.  When I mentioned that I was a chiropractor, he said he used to visit a chiropractor.  “I spent a lot of money getting treatment at chiropractor’s office a few years ago.  I felt better for awhile, but the pain returned a few weeks after my treatment had ended.  I continued to suffer with back pain until I saw a photo of myself taken at my family reunion, ” he mused.  “I was shocked to see how horrible my posture was.  I was slouching and putting more weight on one leg than the other.  No wonder I had back pain”, he confessed.

“I remember how unattractive I was, and then it hit me, my chiropractor had commented that my posture needed improvement on my first visit in his office.”  He paused for a minute.  “My doctor had also mentioned that poor posture was  a culprit for neck and back pain, but no only had I not listened, I had no idea how bad my posture was!”

After that experience, he constantly reminded himself to sit and stand using better posture.  “Much to my surprise,” he smiled, “my back pain disappeared in a matter of weeks.  Now it only comes on occasionally.  I could have lived without chronic pain years ago,” he stated matter of factly.  “You need to tell all of your patients how important good posture is,” he grinned, “but then you might be out of a job!”  We chuckled.

Truth be told, poor posture is one of the many causes of neck and back pain.  Think of the perfect design of bridges or buildings.  The Leaning Tower of Pisa is an example of what a poor foundation can do to a building.  Build a building on the wrong surface, and the building will weaken.  If you think of your posture like the foundation of your body, you will realized that poor posture weaken our physical structure, and a weak structure leads to pain.

Utilize the description below to help correct your standing posture to alleviate pain and discomfort.

Good standing posture

When standing, imagine that a string is attached to your chest.  Feel someone pull the string upward and feel your chest rise.  Pull your shoulders down and back. Tuck your chin down toward your chest while you pull your head back and up as if were flattening your neck against a wall.

Put your feet shoulder distance apart and even distribute your body weight on both legs.  Relax your knees, pull in your abdomen, and tuck your tailbone.  Feel weird?  That’s mostly likely because you have had poor posture.

Tranquility’s MASSAGE CLUB

November 3, 2008

CLIENTS ARE WANTING MASSAGES TO REDUCE STRESS, RELIEVE MUSCLE TENSION, AND REDUCE BACK PAIN! I want you to know, I have been listening!

Tranquility Chiropractic Studio is now offering a MASSAGE CLUB!!! I am excited to announce, starting this month, we are offering our first massage club membership for $99.00.  Members will receive TWO one-hour massages per month or FOUR half-hour massages per month!

The Benefits Of Massage
The benefits of massage as a complement to chiropractic care are plentiful!  Massage can:

  • Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
  • Increase joint flexibility.
  • Lessen depression and anxiety.
  • Enhance immunity by stimulating the flow of lymph—your body’s natural defense system.
  • Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts.
  • Improve the condition of your body’s largest organ—your skin.
  • Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
  • Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
  • Reduce spasms and cramping.
  • Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
  • Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller.
  • Relieve migraine pain.

Call Tranquility Chiropractic Studio today to learn more about our massage club!  512-788-3366

“Working everyday to take a little stress out of your world!” — Dr. Funk