Confessions of a Chiropractic SkepticBy Will Forrester
I’ll never forget my first appointment with Dr. Ranicki. As I’ve mentioned before, I came in with severe sciatic pain. I was hurting and I was desperate for help. And I was a chiropractic skeptic.
I had internal defenses up a mile high in my mind. It was like I was looking for something to not go well, for someone to say something I disagreed with so that I could say, “See, this chiropractic care is nonsense. It’s a rip off.” Instead, the office was pleasantly decorated, and the staff was out of this world. The place had a very calm, soothing feel. They offered me a bottle of water, had me sit down to watch a video with some information about chiropractic, and asked me to fill out an intake questionnaire.
As I’m watching the video, I’m still skeptical. Then at some point, they ask me what my goals are for my chiropractic care. Do I want to have Good Health, Great Health, or Optimum Health? Now my skepticism really rises up. Now I see they’re plan. They’re trying to manipulate me into signing up for some regimen that I don’t need or want. What person is going to honestly say they only want to settle for good or great health? Of course I’m going to say “optimum,” and then they’re going to sell me on some long term commitment I’ll never get out of. Right?
But there was no manipulation. Yes, I admitted I wanted optimum health, and Dr. Ranicki explained what type of care I might need (and also what lifestyle changes I would need to consider as well). I didn’t feel pressure, but I did sense that Dr. Ranicki genuinely cared that I get the very best health and wellness care I could possibly get.
It took some time for my mind to absorb the difference that chiropractic care could make for me. How it wasn’t just about cracking bones but about improving my central nervous system and removing subluxations. How it was designed to help with more than just leg, neck, and back pain. I didn’t become sold on the program overnight. But I’m so thankful today that my leg pain was worse than my skepticism and hesitancy. Pain can be a great motivator, and it pushed me to at least come back for a few visits and see if this deal could work.
Why do I bring up how skeptical I was at my first visit do Ranicki Chiropractic? When I was looking for any exit I could find to get out of there? I bring it up because it’s been more than two years now, and while I’m not sure I’ve hit optimal health just yet, I think I’m pretty close. I feel so great most of the time now! This skeptic has become a regular. I still see Dr. Ranicki regularly as part of my ongoing care so that I stay healthy rather than get sick and in chronic pain again. I wouldn’t think of missing my appointment each week so that I stay healthy and feel energized and alive.
But if you are a skeptic like I was—if you’ve clicked over to this blog and are considering your options but are just unsure—it’s okay. Be skeptical. It’s a good thing to use your mind, toweigh the facts, to consider what path is best. Just don’t be so skeptical that you don’t do your own investigation. Maybe you’ve heard this quote from Herbert Spencer, which definitely applied to me before giving chiropractic care a fair hearing: "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
If you’re in need of help with your back, neck, sciatic pain, whatever – why not give chiropractic care an honest evaluation? Come in for an assessment and see if Dr. Ranicki and his team can’t take you to better health. Maybe even optimum health.
4 Ways You Can Get Rid of Back Pain… Without injections or surgery!
Most people at some point battle back pain at some point, whether it’s for a short period of time or something chronic. Back pain makes people miserable. It makes work less fun, and even worse, it can make play less fun!
Maybe you’ve tried taking pain killers or anti-inflammatories with little to no results, and you’re wondering if getting an injection will help. Maybe it’s even so bad you’re actually considering surgery. I get it. We just want the pain to go away.
The problem, which I’ve written about before, is that medicine and injections only serve to numb pain from problematic sites in the back. The really, really great news is that there are simple, (relatively) easy ways to actually get rid of your back pain… without medicine. Without injections. Without surgery. 1. Stand more, sit less. If you’re battling back pain, I dare you to try this for one week. Just quit sitting so much. Being sedentary puts enormous amounts of stress on your back which you were not designed to bear. Thousands of years ago our ancestors would have rarely sat the way we do. They would have walked most of the time, and they likely squatted when they ate their meals. Now, I am not suggesting you necessarily take up squatting at your next dinner function! But think about it: How much of your day do you spend sitting? Most people sit after waking up, enjoying their breakfast or coffee. Then they get in their car and sit while they head to work or school. Then they sit behind a desk or in front of a screen all day. Then they sit in their car on the way home. Then they come home and do what? Sit.
If a good portion of your day is done sitting, take a minute to think about how you might be able to change those patterns. Could you walk during your lunch break instead of sitting the whole hour? Could you get a cordless phone for work and walk while you talk, if your work allows that? If not, could you take more frequent “standing breaks” right at your desk? Our bodies were not meant to be sedentary. We were made to move! If you’ll resolve to become a person who stands and moves and walks more, you’ll be amazed at how your back will begin to say, “Thank you!” 2. Stop drinking soda.
What does soda have to do with back pain? Do those fuzzy bubbles get lodged in there somehow? Well, no, not really. It’s not the bubbles that are the problem. It’s the chemicals. Back pain happens because there is stress on your back. But there are all sorts of stressors that affect our body. One way to give your body a chance to heal and repair itself so you’ll feel less back pain is by removing unneeded stress from your life. Have you ever had just a bad, emotionally stressful day? Ever felt back pain because of it? Because stress is stress. Mental and emotional stress can cause physical stress on the system.
When you eat or drink stuff that let’s be honest more than likely came from a chemical lab than from the good earth, you are putting stuff in your body that your body was not designed to process. So when you consume lots of chemicals, that is a form of stress on your body which your body then has to deal with. If you’re hurting bad enough to read this far, wouldn’t it be worth it to give your body a break? Maybe you can’t just make the stress from your family or your job go away overnight, but you know what you can do? You can start drinking more water and less stuff with chemicals in it. We live in one of the most stressed out cultures in human history.
If you’re going to get better, you have got to be your body’s best friend and start removing chemical stressors from your system. A wonderful side benefit to cutting out soda or other artificial food and drink is that you will likely lose some weight which will also help your back pain tremendously! I was going to make this post FIVE things you can do to help back pain and make one of them “Lose Weight,” but none of us wants to be told to lose weight, right? So forget about losing weight for now. Just cut out the soda and see what happens.
Ready to Runby Will Forrester
My wife Kelly and I recently decided it was time for us to “get moving,” meaning exercise! Since coming to Dr. Ranicki for care, we have both experienced enormous health improvements, some of which we hoped for, and some we didn’t even anticipate. But since beginning a Couch Potato to 5K regimen, we have discovered another tremendous benefit that my wife has received from chiropractic. But first, a bit of our history. I like to run occasionally. By no means am I an avid runner, but if I’ve had a stressful day or a rough week, I like to go for a run to clear my head. I have dreams of finishing 10Ks and maybe even running a marathon, but I’ve never gotten into a good habit of running.
Kelly on the other hand… let’s just say she is a great swimmer! For some reason, all of her life, running has been something she just couldn’t do. Like, not even running ten or fifteen yards. She would experience terrible pain in her lower back and would immediately start walking. So people who ran with her would always assume she was just really, really out of shape. But the truth was she was in pain.So she rarely makes attempts to run at all. But deep down she has longed to strap on a pair of good running shoes and head out the door for a run the way she sees so many of her friends do.
Since having our last child, we have wanted to do something for exercise as a family, so pushing the jogging strollers together and going for a run became an easy, attractive option. Kelly was determined to give it a go, and we even got her a pair of good shoes to begin the adventure. The last time we had run together was about seven years ago, and we had not attempted to run at all since.
So a few weeks ago was the big day. We got the kids loaded in the strollers. We downloaded the Couch Potato to 5K app so we would know how long to run and how long to walk. The first week’s exercise looked this this: Brisk five-minute warm-up walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Kelly had not run for sixty seconds straight. Ever. In her life. And guess what? She did it. She was able to run and walk the entire program. All of week 1. Oh and all of week 2. Without a hitch. What changed that made her able to run again? We credit chiropractic care.
When Kelly began seeing Dr. Ranicki, she discovered she had some severe problems in her lower spine. It was even causing her some pain when she was sitting, occasionally. Through regular chiropractic care, Kelly has experienced enormous reductions in upper and lower back pain. Our whole family feels healthier as we are all receiving care. But little did we know that Dr. Ranicki had given Kelly the opportunity to become a runner, if she wants to. For the first time in her life. What about you? Do you have problems with certain exercise programs? Have you considered chiropractic care to help you perform better as an athlete or just be able to exercise regularly with less risk of injury? Give us a call to schedule a wellness assessment. We believe and know that chiropractic can and will help.
Five Reasons to Try Chiropractic in 2014
by Will Forrester
A few years ago my family and I stumbled onto chiropractic care, and we’ve never felt better. If you’re looking to get healthier, feel better, or just want some relief from a problematic area, here’s five reasons to try chiropractic care in 2014:
and Back Pain
Slows You Down and Makes You Miserable. If you’re reading this blog then chances are you’ve got some neck or back pain. That’s what drives most people to investigate chiropractic care in the first place. And that’s a good thing—because it works. It’s a New Year. Would you like to finally get some real, tangible relief in that neck or that back that is giving you trouble? Regardless of how bad of shape you think you may be in, chiropractic care can certainly improve if not significantly improve your functioning. Imagine getting to go for a whole day, or a whole week without back or neck pain? That’s a New Year’s Resolution we can help you actually reach.
2. You’ll Have WAY Fewer Headaches
. Maybe you’re not thinking about headaches now, or maybe you’ve got a splitting migraine as you read this. Either way, most people have occasional headaches or even chronic problems. Did you know most headaches are tension and stress related, many times due to neck tension. Guess what? You get some good chiropractic care, and studies show you will have fewer and less severe headaches. Some of our patients literally don’t get headaches anymore.
3. Your Nervous System Affects EVERYTHING. Chiropractic is actually about aligning the spine, in other words, the central nervous system. Yes, we help align bones as well, but the magic is that your nervous system carries all that information back and forth so your body can repair and heal itself. When you’re out of alignment, it’s like a computer that has all sorts of bugs and maybe even had coffee spilled on the keyboard a time or two. It just doesn’t run as fast as it should and gets locked up sometimes. At Ranicki Chiropracitic, we want your nervous system to function as smoothly as a brand new Mac laptop (or PC if that’s your preference)! When your body is communicating well, all your internal organs will work more smoothly. We have lost count of the number of patients who initially came in for help with a back or neck problem, but after receiving care found that their acid reflux or asthma or kidney or hormonal problems or depression also significantly improved.
4. You’ll Have More Energy
. And when your bodily systems are all working together more smoothly, you know what happens? YOU FEEL AWESOME! Have we discovered the fountain of youth? Well, not exactly, but the truth is that most Americans are way more tired and worn down physically than they should be at their age. Chiropractic care will serve as a boost to your energy level as you put into practice other healthy life habits. What if 2014 was the year that you actually felt like getting out of bed, going after life with gusto because you knew you had the energy to tackle whatever was before you?
5. The Adjustments Really Do Feel Great
. Why should you give chiropractic a try this year? If you really need another reason, here’s one more. The adjustments really do feel great! Now if you’re in severe pain starting out, you might not get that “ahhh” feeling initially. But give us a few weeks, and you’ll see why more and more Americans love their chiropractor. They know how to help relieve tension and stress in a way that’s going to help you for years to come.
6. The Atmosphere at Ranicki Chiropractic Is Peaceful and Positive
. Okay, I know we said 5 Reasons, but I can’t resist giving you one more reason. If you haven’t stopped by Ranicki Chiropractic and Wellness Center, you owe it to yourself this year to at least come by and meet Dr. Ranicki and the incredible wellness team. They are super friendly, always positive and helpful, and the atmosphere they have created is a breath of fresh air. It’s one of the highlights of my week to get to lie on the adjustment table, hear the aquarium water bubbling, listen to gentle meditative music that calms my spirit, and then get to chat with the amazing staff. They never fail to offer a smile, an encouraging word, and positive advice for how to get and remain healthy. If you want to have an awesome 2014, get into an environment like Ranicki Chiropractic where you’re going to be motivated to be your best self. And get some people on your team like Dr. Ranicki who will make you want to stay on the path to true health and wellness.
We all want to give that perfect gift for that special someone, right? Okay, maybe you have someone who is “hard to buy for.” They say thank you, but you can tell they are trying hard not to roll their eyes at one more “attempt” to get them something they really, truly want. Maybe you’ve become a bit of a Grinch over the years because you don’t think you can really afford something that will make that special someone beam when they open your gift.
What if I were to tell you that we have a gift idea that will serve as a DOUBLE GIFT. It will make their day when they open it, and then it will make their day on another day when they redeem it. This, my friends, is called a double win!
What is this clever gift idea, you ask? Why, a massage of course! Maybe you yourself have never gotten one, maybe you think it’s a little bit self-indulgent or silly or a waste of money. Well, trust me, it’s none of those things. A massage is an incredibly healthy way to reduce stress, bring that body, mind and spirit back into alignment, and do something that folks seem to have a harder and harder time doing these days… RELAX.
If you’ve never even thought about getting a massage, check out our website
to see the incredible packages we have – all sorts of great deals this time of year. But even if this is just for someone else, I guarantee that you will not get one of those looks when they open the present this time. They won’t have to shrug and say to themselves, “Well, it’s the thought that counts.” And this won’t be one of those gift cards that just lies in a drawer collecting dust, either!
That’s when this gift becomes a double gift. You’ll make their day when you give it, and you’ll really make their day when they come and enjoy that incredible massages offered by Skylar at Dr. Ranicki’s Creating Wellness Center. As hectic and crazy as life can be, can you think of a better gift than literally taking some stress away from a special person in your life? This really is a gift that will keep on giving.
My First Massage
by Will Forrester
I think I was on a romantic weekend getaway when I had my first massage – one of those couples massages where you’re in the same room. I was crazy nervous, not used to being mostly unclothed in front of strangers, and also sharing this experience with my new bride. At first I was chatting away nervously with the massage therapists, peppering them with lots of questions, till finally my lovely wife gave me a kind look as if to say, “It’s time to relax and be quiet now.”
Before the massage therapist
got to work, she asked if there was anything in particular I had been struggling with. I said no, I was doing pretty well, not too much tension or anything. It was only a few minutes into the massage when both my therapist and I realized that I was at best fooling myself and at worst lying! I was UNBELIEVABLY tense! I can’t remember the exact conversation, but she began to ask me if I had been experiencing a lot of stress lately. I honestly didn’t know what to say. I thought I had been doing pretty well with life, but even I could tell that my muscles were in rough shape. I needed a lot of work.
The therapist also helped me notice some PAIN in my hip.
I had a tremendous knot, and when she hit it, I flinched a bit at first. “Oh yeah, I guess I have had some pain in my hip from time to time. I guess I didn’t think about that.”
Quite honestly I don’t remember much else about my first experience with a professional massage therapist, other than I felt like I could melt into a puddle of relaxation afterwards, and that I was completely out of touch with how stressed I was and how it was affecting my body.
When somebody asks YOU how you are doing, what do you usually think about when answering that question? If you’re like I was, you think about how you’re thinking mentally and feeling emotionally. But how are you doing physically? How much stress and tension are you carrying in your muscles? The truth is, how you are doing physically, emotionally, and mentally really can’t be separated. If you’re mentally and emotionally stressed, you’re going to feel it physically. And if you get some relief physically, it’s going to help you out mentally and emotionally as well.
Now is a perfect time to do yourself or your friends and family a favor. There is a new massage therapist right here in Pooler at Dr. Ranicki’s Creating Wellness Center. The holidays can sometimes be hectic and even stressful, so why not give yourself an early present and relieve some tension? Or you can knock one of those gifts you need to buy off the list. Come on…who doesn’t want a massage gift certificate?
Don’t Crack Your Own Neck In Front of Your Chiropractorby Will Forrester
I’m not gonna lie, I love the feeling of that “pop” when my neck
or my back
“cracks.” I can still remember cracking my own back for the first time. In high school, I had this friend who started cracking his own back, and I thought it looked bizarre, but like most teenagers, I figured if someone else was doing it, I’d better try, too, right? So I did. Thus began a habit of cracking my own back which lasted for years.
I remember the back thing, but I can’t recall when I started cracking my own neck. But talk about a great feeling! Honestly, as I’m typing this post, I’m now having to resist the urge to just reach up under my chin and twist to get that nice pop that will relieve some of that tension. Did I mention it’s been a stressful day and it’s late in the afternoon?
After I’d been seeing Dr. Ranicki
for a few weeks, one day right after he had finished my adjustment, I got up from the table and stood up. As Dr. Ranicki was making notes on my chart, I casually cracked my own neck. RIGHT in front of him. He looked up at me and said, alarmingly, “What are you doing???”
Here’s the funny thing – I had developed such an unconscious habit that I honestly didn’t even realize I had done it. I said, “What are you talking about?” “You just cracked your own neck right after I got finished adjusting you. You’re basically undoing the work I just did. Don’t do that.”
I think my first thought was, “What’s the difference between you adjusting it and me cracking it just a bit?” Thankfully, before I could utter those words out loud, Dr. Ranicki explained, “Listen, if you had a toothache, would you buy your own drill set and fix your own cavity? I wouldn’t recommend you or anyone I cared about do their own dental work. In the same way, I wouldn’t recommend you adjusting your own neck. Trust me, this is why you are coming to me.”
A chiropractor like Dr. Ranicki has the training and skill to isolate just the problem areas and give justthe right amount of pressure needed to correct any subluxations that exist. When you or I just—on our own—casually give our neck a good crack, we are almost assuredly overextending ligaments and, over time, doing great damage to the health and stability of the neck. If you are feeling stress and wanting to relieve some tension, check out this great video Dr. Rancki posted about how to get some relief without doing the dangerous cracking. And obviously, nothing will help you more with overall neck health (not to mention the health benefits associated) than stopping by for an evaluation from Dr. Ranicki.
Back Pain RELIEF
by Will Forrester
Years ago I used to experience some pretty terrible back pain. Right in the middle of my lower back, particularly on stressful days at work, by the end of the day I would be looking for opportunities to get alone and try to stretch it out, put some heat on it, something. And I was used to it. I always told myself it was because I was really stressed and out of shape. Of course, when I would try to get in shape, the throbbing would get even worse… for a while. If I stuck with the exercise regimen, I would notice it would improve slightly. Which would only confirm would I (wrongly) believed, that I just needed more exercise – even though exercise wasn’t completely eradicating the problem. Oh, and I also took Advil and Aleve and other meds like that. I guess I figured this was just what people who worked out did.
This went on for a few years, and interestingly, my back pain improved a bit on its own. I didn’t notice it so much anymore – only when I exercised, which was less regularly, so I didn’t have to deal with the pain. Not good. Finally my back problems shifted I supposed and I began experiencing sciatica.
Which finally drove me to investigating chiropractic care for the first time. As I’ve written previously, my sciatica improved in short order. In the process of getting treatment, I began to actually experience back pain from time to time again – my back problem had become so severe that I was actually numb—this was why my pain had seemingly gotten better! In fact, I was in danger of having very severe back problems which would only get progressively worse.
And today, my back pain is no longer an issue
. I can exercise all I want. I never--NEVER—have to (or want to) take any pain killers or anti-inflammatories any longer. I don’t need them.
If you are in the Pooler area, I would highly recommend making an appointment to see Dr. Ranicki for an evaluation. How I wish I could have gotten help for my back pain years ago, rather than allowing the places where my spine was misaligned to continue untreated for so long! But even if you, like me, have endured back pain for a long, long time, it’s never too late to begin to bring some actual relief to the sites where the pain is coming from! It’s so much better than just popping a pill to tell your brain to pretend the throbbing or ache it is feeling isn’t there.
How’s Your Ride? Will Forrester
Do you remember your first car? Even better, do you remember the freedom that driving your own car gave you? The exhilaration of being able to go where you want to go whenever you want (as long as you have gas money, of course!). There really is nothing quite like a fine automobile and what it can do for your soul.
We Americans love our cars. We spend a lot of money on them. Have you ever tried to think of how much money you have invested in these things that transport us around from place to place? When you think about gas, insurance, repairs, and of course the amount of cash you have to save up to buy one (or the size of those monthly payments!), we invest a LOT of time and energy and money into our mechanical transportation.
But there is something even more important that we travel around in than our cars and trucks. Every one of us travels around in a body. You have yours and I have mine. And you’ve probably already heard the fascinating statistics on how quickly the cells in our bodies replace themselves. You have entirely new skin every thirty days. Other parts take months or years to replicate themselves. But the “you” that you’re traveling around in now—regardless of how long you’ve been alive--your body is only around ten years old. Crazy, huh? Kinda makes you wish you could go back and eat a few more salads over the past ten years, right? Because what we are eating today, our regular eating habits now, will directly impact how young we look and feel as our body replaces itself.
But I have kind of a weird question for you. Who are you? If your body is always replacing itself, then who is the “you” that is traveling around in that body? Because we retain memories and experiences and wisdom gained for more than ten years. Yet the body we travel in is constantly in flux. Of course, scientists and philosophers disagree on what the essence of who we actually are is. Some believe we have an eternal soul. Some believe we’re just synapses firing in our brains. Some believe we have a spiritual essence of some sort. We can all disagree and discuss this forever.
My question is, regardless of what you believe about what the essence of *you* really is… how are you taking care of *you*? And whether you believe you have a soul or a spirit or are just entirely organic matter, I think we can all agree that for however long we have here on earth, we are intimately connected to this body we are traveling around in. You can’t really separate how *you* are doing and feeling from how your body is doing and feeling.
So how are you? Really.
How is your body? Really?
Are you healthy? Are you happy? Are you as healthy as you really want to be? Are you as healthy as you believe you can be?
Maybe you’re not a total car nut. Maybe you never spent hours waxing your first car like so many did as a teenager. But most of us, car fiends or not, invest a lot of thought, time, energy and money into what we use for transportation, because we know it’s important to get where we need to go, and it’s also important how you feel when you’re “on the journey.” Getting there is half the fun when it comes to driving, so we want a nice, clean car if we can afford it.
At Ranicki Chiropractic Wellness Center, they offer many services to help keep your body running smoothly. Visit the website, or drop by their office for more information.
Are You Sitting Down?
by Will Forrester
Are you sitting down? Seriously, are you sitting down right now as you read this?
Well, if you’re a typical American, you are. We Americans love our chairs. We like them big and comfortable and we even put things like “lazy” in the name of some of our chairs. We are big on comfort. And you know what a lot of typical Americans experience as well? Back pain. And the more we sit, and the longer hours that we typically work, and the more we stare at screens (usually while sitting), the more back pain we experience.
Yes, there has been many improvements done in the types of chairs available so that we sit with better posture, but in some ways those comfortable or
ergonomically designed chairs can actually work against us. Because we can sit LONGER and still “feel comfortable.”
Comfortable. Sitting. A lot. Sometimes all morning. Or even all day. But what feels good in the short term can lead to massive back pain later. We know heavy lifting and car wrecks and carrying too much weight contribute to experiencing lower back pain, but did you know that sitting too much is bad for your back? “Sitting puts nearly twice the stress on the spine as standing; slouching while you sit increases the pressure even more. That's because hunching forward pushes the back into a convex or C shape.”
“Yeah, but with my job, I have to sit a lot.”
Really? According to whom? Increasingly employers are recognizing the need for their employees to be able to perform at optimum levels, and most businesses are more than willing to accommodate people who want to do their work well while also maintaining optimum health. And you can do it.
But like any change, at first it can be touch. You have to break the habit of wanting to sit all the time. So, are there ways you could “fool yourself” into having to get up periodically as part of your work?
One thing I have done is gotten a cordless phone at work, and if possible I take my phone calls while walking outside with a pad and paper to take notes. I’m walking while I’m working. Other times I put my laptop on a higher surface so I can work while standing for part of the morning. Not only do I feel much better at the end of the day, but I’m also actually getting more done! My brain feels like it is firing on all cylinders as I allow myself the ability to experience more natural movement during the day rather than simply sitting.
So… are you still sitting down? Why not move around? Your back doesn’t get and stay healthy by being in one position all day long, particularly not sitting. We were meant to be on the move. So get up and get busy!