Saturday, February 21, 2015

Energy Balancing and the Chakras

There are 7 main energy centers in the body, known as chakras. The definition of chakra is any of several points of physical or spiritual energy in the human body according to yoga philosophy. Each chakra has a certain location, color and correlation to specific body parts, mental thoughts and emotional moods. When the energy center, or chakra, is blocked or weak physical or emotional dysfunction can occur. When we release the blocked energy it can undo tightness, stiffness, or malfunction in the body or the mind. There are different ways of releasing the energy and since being a chiropractor is all about releasing stuck energy in the spine, joints and muscles of the body it was only a matter of time before I started to release blocked chakra energy in my patients as well.

I muscle test (applied kinesiology) the chakras and after finding out which ones go weak and then prioritizing which one needs the most healing I then have the patient wear the appropriate colored sunglasses that correspond to the weak chakra for at least 60 seconds. Wearing the different colored sunglasses puts that specific color or wavelength into the brain and that helps reset the blocked chakra to allow energy to flow again. If you are interested in buying a pair, they are $30. Just email me at to order! Read on to find out details of the different chakras.

After developing the glasses I wanted to incorporate exercise and movement into opening up and stimulating the chakras so Kenna Tuski and developed Chakra Class. Saturdays at 3pm at 67 Irving Pl. NY, NY 10003. After getting a good workout you will leave the class feeling light and rejuvenated as well!

1st Chakra also known as Root Chakra (red)

Sits at the base of your spine, at your tailbone.

Physical imbalances in the root chakra include problems in the legs, feet, rectum, tailbone, immune system, male reproductive parts and prostrate gland. Those with imbalances here are also likely to experience issues of degenerative arthritis, knee pain, sciatica, eating disorders, and constipation.

Emotional imbalances include feelings affecting our basic survival needs: money, shelter and food; ability to provide for life’s necessities.

When this chakra is balanced, you feel supported, a sense of connection and safety to the physical world, and grounded.

The lesson of this chakra is self-preservation; we have a right to be here.

2nd or Sacral Chakra (orange)

Located two inches below your belly button.

Physical imbalances include sexual and reproductive issues, urinary problems, kidney dysfunctions, hip, pelvic and low back pain.

Emotional imbalances include our commitment to relationships. Our ability to express our emotions. Our ability to have fun, play based on desires, creativity, pleasure, sexuality. Fears of impotence, betrayal, addictions.

When this chakra is balanced, we have an ability to take risks, be creative. We are committed. We are passionate, sexual and outgoing.

The lesson of this chakra is to honor others.

3rd or Solar Plexus Chakra (yellow)

Located three inches above your belly button.

Physical imbalances include digestive problems, liver dysfunction, chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, stomach ulcers, pancreas and gallbladder issues, colon diseases.

Emotional imbalances include issues of personal power and self-esteem, our inner critic comes out. Fears of rejection, criticism, physical appearances.

When this chakra is balanced, we feel self-respect and self-compassion. We feel in control, assertive, confident.

The lesson of this chakra is self-acceptance.

4th or Heart Chakra (green)

Located at the heart.

Physical imbalances include asthma, heart disease, lung disease, issues with breasts, lymphatic systems, upper back and shoulder problems, arm and wrist pain.

Emotional imbalances include issues of the heart; over-loving to the point of suffocation, jealousy, abandonment, anger, bitterness. Fear of loneliness.

When this chakra is balanced we feel joy, gratitude, love and compassion, forgiveness flows freely, trust is gained.

The lesson of this chakra is love.

5th or Throat Chakra (blue)

Located at the throat.

Physical imbalances include thyroid issues, sore throats, laryngitis, TMJ, ear infections, ulcers, any facial problems (chin, cheek, lips, tongue problems) neck and shoulder pain.

Emotional imbalances include issues of self-expression through communication, both spoken or written. Fear of no power or choice. No willpower or being out of control.

When this chakra is balanced, we have free flowing of words, expression, communication. We are honest and truthful yet firm. We are good listeners.

The lesson of this chakra is to speak up and let your voice be heard.

6th or Third Eye Chakra (purple)

Located in the middle of the eyebrows, in the center of the forehead.

Physical imbalances include headaches, blurred vision, sinus issues, eyestrain, seizures, hearing loss, hormone function.

Emotional imbalances include issues with moodiness, volatility, and self-reflection; An inability to look at ones own fears, and to learn from others. Day-dream often and live in a world with exaggerated imagination.

When this chakra is balanced we feel clear, focused, and can determine between truth and illusion. We are open to receiving wisdom and insight.

The lesson of this chakra is to see the big picture.

7th or Crown Chakra (white)

Located at the top of the head.

Physical imbalance include depression, inability to learn, sensitivity to light, sound, environment.

Emotional imbalances include issues with self-knowledge and greater power. Imbalances arise from rigid thoughts on religion and spirituality, constant confusion, carry prejudices, “analysis paralysis.” Fear of alienation.

When this chakra is balanced, we live in the present moment. We have an unshakeable trust in our inner guidance.

The lesson of this chakra is live mindfully.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Do You Have A Leaky Gut?

Leaky Gut Syndrome is a very direct way of diagnosing someone with a permeable intestinal wall that let's food leak through into our bloodstream. Our bodies then have to create an immune response to these food particles which can then lead to all sorts of health problems, including food allergies, mood disorders, chronic health challenges and autoimmune conditions. Digestive symptoms include bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhea, but often presents itself as more complex symptoms like food allergies, eczema and rashes, migraines, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, weight gain, blood sugar issues including Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, Hashimoto’s thyroid syndrome, mood issues including depression, anxiety and even schizophrenia, infertility and a whole range of autoimmune conditions.

Dietary intervention is extremely helpful in healing leaky gut and there are several gut healing protocols like the GAPS Diet, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), Body Ecology Diet (BED) and the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol. What all of these diets have in common is the removal of problematic foods, like gluten, hard-to-digest grains, legumes, sugars and starches, and the inclusion of healing foods that decrease inflammation like bone broths, pasture-raised meats, organically grown vegetables, healing fats and naturally cultured or fermented foods. The goal is to provide a healing environment for the small intestine.

Besides irritated food, heavy metals or chemicals, leaky gut also occurs under stress, and is found after radiation treatments for cancer, after some chemotherapy, with diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, and with bacterial infections, which can result in bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine.

Eliminating foods to which you are intolerant or allergic can help provide a healing environment in the small intestine. Also, carotenoids, (a precursor to vitamin A), may be particularly important since vitamin A supports the maturation of epithelial cells, which are the type of cell that line the intestinal tract, and it is the mature epithelial cells that form the strongest barrier in the intestinal tract. Carotenoids are found at high levels in vegetables, especially the orange- and red-colored vegetables.

Glutathione, a small peptide found in the highest concentrations in fresh vegetables, fruits, and lean meats is also beneficial to the small intestine, since it can directly act as an antioxidant in the intestinal tract and help decrease damaging molecules that may be produced during inflammation. Vitamin C, from citrus fruits, and vitamin E, found in whole grain cereals and nut oils, are important antioxidants for the small intestine and work with glutathione to support intestinal healing.

The cells that line the intestinal tract need fuel to continue their process of nutrient uptake. The preferred fuel for these cells is the amino acid glutamine, which can be obtained from proteins. Some studies have shown that short-chain fatty acids may also support the small intestinal tract barrier because they can serve as an alternate fuel for the cells that make up the intestinal lining. The small intestinal tract cells also require energy to maintain integrity of the cell wall, and production of energy requires healthy levels of vitamin B5. Mushrooms, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, corn, broccoli, and beet greens are concentrated sources of pantothenic acid.

These foods are a good place to start but the intestinal tract cells actually require a number of vitamins, so adequate overall nutrition is necessary and Nutrition Response Testing can help be even more specific by addressing overall nutrition of the body and identifying which toxins in particular are the culprit.

Monday, February 2, 2015

When Losing Weight, Where Does the Fat Go?

When losing weight I have patients write down everything they eat and drink, holding them accountable for their food choices and to see specifically how many carbohydrates they are consuming. For more on carbohydrate consumption and weight gain read "The Schwarzbein Principle". I also think it's a good idea for patients to be able to understand what is happening in their bodies as they lose weight on the cellular level. A word of caution, I use scientific words in the following!

When you consume calories beyond what your body needs, you will end up storing that extra energy in the form of triglycerides within fat droplets of individual fat cells. Carbohydrates are easiest to make into fat. Assuming that blood sugar levels are adequate, the carbohydrates will then be stored as glycogen. Muscles and the liver use glycogen for energy. But muscle does not have the necessary enzymes to synthesize all carbohydrates into glycogen; therefore the liver converts the majority of carbohydrates into liver glycogen. Since the liver is responsible for supplying energy to the entire body, once its stores are full, it is responsible for signaling the body to convert the extra carbohydrates to fatty acids to make triglycerides and store it in the fat cells. This is how carbohydrates are easily converted to fat.

When attempting to lose weight, you increase energy output and lower energy input such that the body dips into its energy storage within fat cells to keep itself going. When breaking down fat, the triglyceride is taken out of storage from the fat cell and broken down and used as energy by the body. As a fat cell liberates more and more triglycerides during times of negative caloric balance, it becomes smaller and smaller, but never disappears.

The whole process can be summarized in the following chemical equation:
Triglyceride (C55H104O6) + 78O2→ 55CO2 + 52H2O + energy

So yes, when broken down, fat is used to create energy. I also wanted to show you that 1 triglyceride molecule (with the help of oxygen) is converted to a bunch of carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). So if we do the math as they did in the scientific experiment (Meerman R and A Brown. BMJ 2014;349:g7257), when somebody loses 10 kg of fat (triglyceride), 8.4 kg is exhaled as CO2 while the remaining 1.6 kg is lost as water in urine, feces, sweat, tears and other bodily fluids.

So,when fat is lost, it is mostly exhaled as carbon dioxide (84%), with the remainder (16%) being excreted as water.

Interestingly, this also means that the lungs are the primary excretory organ for fat. Breathing from the diaphragm is important and breathing exercises have helped patients in my office decrease their emotional and physical stress. We can see now it is also important when one is trying to lose weight. There are many articles on breathing exercises to lose weight and only now do I see the validity. Try one and if you see results please let me know so I can pass it on to others!