Thursday, November 28, 2013

Magnesium Plus Malic Acid: One-Two Punch for Pain & Fatigue

A combination of magnesium and malic acid tops the list of recommendations for easing pain and fatigue, especially for those with fibromyalgia or ME/CFS.

Magnesium (Mg) is one of the most important nutrients required by our bodies. It is necessary for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body and is essential to human life. A few of magnesium's functions include:

•    Maintaining normal muscle and nerve function.
•    Keeping heart rhythm steady.
•    Supporting a healthy immune system.
•    Keeping bones strong.
•    Regulating blood sugar levels.
•    Promoting normal blood pressure.
• Supporting energy metabolism and protein synthesis.(1)

Since our bodies don't produce this essential nutrient, it is critical that we replenish our supply of magnesium daily through diet and/or supplementation.

According to a USDA survey, 75% to 85% of American adults consume less than the recommended daily amount of magnesium.(2)

Why We're Not Getting Enough Magnesium

One reason Americans tend to run low on magnesium is that we eat a lot of processed foods, which usually contain very little magnesium. Magnesium is mostly found in green vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, some legumes, and – you're going to love this – chocolate.

But wait - that's not the whole story.  What we gain by eating those magnesium-rich foods can be depleted by eating breads and pastas made from bleached and refined flour. Natural diuretics like coffee, tea and alcohol are also magnesium depleters.

A poor diet is not the only culprit, though. Another big reason so many people have a magnesium deficiency is that several commonly prescribed drugs strip our bodies of magnesium. These include oral contraceptives, estrogens, diuretics, corticosteroids, some diabetes drugs, and a number of antibiotics.

A magnesium deficiency can be related to a surprising number of illnesses including fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, migraines, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease and PMS. 

It can be difficult to detect a magnesium deficiency.

Most nutritional deficiencies can be revealed through a blood test. But because adequate serum levels of magnesium are essential for the heart to function properly, the body works overtime to maintain its blood serum Mg levels - at the expense of our cells and bones. So, even if a blood test shows normal serum magnesium levels, your cells, bones, and muscles may be severely deficient.

Fibromyalgia and Magnesium Deficiency
Researchers have found that people with fibromyalgia are commonly deficient in magnesium. Therefore, it's not surprising that the symptoms of a magnesium deficiency are quite similar to many of the symptoms common to FM:

•    Insomnia
•    Fatigue
•    Irritability
•    Headaches
•    Muscle spasms and cramps
•    Poor memory
•    Confusion
•    Nervousness
•    Anxiety
•    Depression

Several of magnesium's functions are directly related to FM symptoms:

Magnesium is involved in the production of serotonin.  Serotonin is a neurotransmitter involved in regulating sleep cycles, pain perception, mood and the immune system. People with fibromyalgia typically have low serotonin levels, which can be related to the sleep disturbances, increased pain and mood problems they often experience. 

A magnesium deficiency can cause an increase of substance P.  Substance P is a neurotransmitter that serves as a pain messenger. People with fibromyalgia usually have exceptionally high levels of substance P, which can contribute to their hypersensitivity to pain.

Magnesium activates adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Energy is supplied to our bodies by the mitochondria in the form of ATP.  Researchers have found evidence of mitochondrial dysfunction in fibromyalgia patients, which would result in the severe fatigue reported by most.(3)

Fibromyalgia and Malic Acid Deficiency

Researchers have found that people with fibromyalgia have decreased levels of oxygen in their muscles, also known as muscle hypoxia. Biopsies of those muscles have shown muscle tissue breakdown, mitochondrial damage, and low levels of ATP, which helps explain the widespread muscle pain characteristic of FM.

Evidence suggests that malic acid can help ease pain caused by muscle and tissue hypoxia. It allows the body to make ATP - and thereby energy - more efficiently, even under low oxygen or hypoxic conditions. Malic acid also enhances cellular stamina and endurance. (Malic acid is derived from food sources such as tart apples and is used/synthesized in the mitochondria as part of the ATP-producing citric acid or 'Krebs' cycle.)

As a team, malic acid and magnesium work together especially well to fight aluminum toxicity, which is thought to play a role in fibromyalgia. Malic acid acts as a potent aluminum detoxifier, while magnesium prevents future aluminum build-up.

Magnesium and Malic Acid Combo Reduces FM Symptoms

In a 1992 study, 15 fibromyalgia patients were given 300-600 mg of magnesium and 1200-2400 mg of malic acid for periods of four and eight weeks.  Participants reported reductions in pain across a tender point index. Notably, six of the patients experienced improvement in 48 hours.(4)

Magnesium and malic acid are essential nutrients, yet most people are deficient in them. Their pain relieving, energy producing and mood stabilizing qualities can be particularly beneficial for people with fibromyalgia and ME/CFS.

1.  Wester PO. Magnesium. Am J Clin Nutr. 1987 May; 45(5Suppl): 1305-12.  [There is a link to a full-text pdf on this abstract.]
2.  Morgan KJ, et al. Magnesium and calcium dietary intakes of the U.S. population. J Am Coll Nutr. 1985;4(2):195-206.
3.  Cordero MD, et al. Mitochondrial dysfunction and mitophagy activation in blood mononuclear cells of fibromyalgia patients: Implications in the pathogenesis of the disease. Arthritis Res Ther. 2010;12(1):R17. Epub 2010 Jan 28.
4.  Abraham GE, Glechas ID. "Management of fibromyalgia: A rationale for the use of magnesium and malic acid." Journal of Nutritional Medicine,1992;3:49-59.

From an article by Jim Miller, executive director of New Health Vitamins, a brand we carry in our office.  Please contact our office for ordering information.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Confidently Create and Maintain Your Own Healthy Eating Program

The holidays are coming and so is the temptation to eat foods we love but know aren't necessarily good for us to eat. Are you dreading the challenge of eating healthily throughout the holiday season? Come learn some new ways to think about and react to these potentially difficult situations.

Our eight-week program of weekly classes/support group with NLP practitioner Jacqui Alpert, MA-ABS, will update you with the latest dietary information, help you create new, beneficial habits, effectively deal with the logistical and social challenges of maintaining your eating program, and help you understand and change your response to the events that trigger emotional eating.

The group meets weekly starting Thursday, October 17th at 6:30pm, skipping November 28th (Thanksgiving) at Ki Chiropractic's new office.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Recent news concerning Omega 3 and prostate cancer...

Until we see the original article, here are some thoughts from James, Chestnut, DC, wellness expert:

"Recently the public media has been widely distributing a news story relating to the alleged link between high blood levels of Omega-3 and the risk of prostate cancer.  This story seems to be getting some traction and we are aware that some of you are facing questions in your clinical practices.  Our first response is to remind you that we base all of our decisions on the BODY of EVIDENCE related to any issue; not on singular studies.  So there is no need to panic.  In fact this is a great opportunity to be the health LEADER that your community needs and wants. 
Remember to ask the right questions.  Here are some that we are already asking:
  1. Was this “study” designed as an interventional study to determine cause and effect; or is it merely an observational study that demonstrates correlation?  Dr. Chestnut’s favorite example of correlation is that drowning victims have often consumed ice cream prior to drowning.  Does this mean eating ice cream causes drowning, or increases the risk of drowning?  Of course not.  It merely means that people often eat ice cream at the beach.  We may find the same factors at play here, such as:
  2. Were the study subjects also taking multi-vitamins? The people most likely to adhere to taking a daily fish-oil supplement are also the ones most likely to be taking a daily multi-vitamin. Unless they have been trained by you, these people will not know that almost all multi-vitamins on the market contain SYNTHETIC vitamins, which have been demonstrated to increase the risk of cancer. 
  3. Does the study indicate the SOURCE of the Omega-3s?  The media says it’s “marine source” but they don’t indicate if it’s actual fish consumption or if it’s from supplements.  The reason we recommend supplementing with a product derived from small fish and tested by a third-party for purity is that our oceans are becoming increasingly polluted, and large fish such as salmon and tuna contain high levels of toxins such as mercury and PCBs – known carcinogens.
  4. Ask yourself if you have ever heard of high levels of prostate cancer (or any other cancer for that matter) in populations that lived naturally and consumed very high levels of Omega-3s (such as North American Inuit or Australian Aboriginals)."

Friday, July 12, 2013

And good news for people suffering from chronic rhinosinusities...

Here's another study about low level laser therapy, this time studying the effects on chronic rhinosinusitis, with positive results lasting for an average of 5 months:

Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a common inflammatory disease of the nose and paranasal sinuses that has a significant impact on patients' quality of life. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of LLLT in patients with CRS. Fifteen adult patients with CRS participated in this pilot pretest-posttest clinical study...

Patients were asked to score their symptoms in accordance with a four-point scale (0-3), and a total symptom score for each patient was calculated. Percentage improvement of TSS was considered as the primary outcome measure. TSS was calculated at baseline, at 2 weeks, and at 4 weeks. The TSS was improved significantly at 2 weeks (39%) and at 4 weeks (46.34%). The therapeutic effect was sustained for a mean of 5 months. [Emphasis added.] This pilot study indicates that LLLT applied for 4 weeks improves symptoms in patients with CRS.

Physiother Theory Pract. 2013 Mar 22 (Epub ahead of print)

Who do you know... who has muscles?

A  review of the literature regarding low level laser therapy and muscle function has been published* with the following conclusion:

"The use of low level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) has recently expanded to cover areas of medicine that were not previously thought of as the usual applications such as wound healing and inflammatory orthopedic conditions. One of these novel application areas is LLLT for muscle fatigue and muscle injury. Since it is becoming agreed that mitochondria are the principal photoacceptors present inside cells, and it is known that muscle cells are exceptionally rich in mitochondria, this suggests that LLLT should be highly beneficial in muscle injuries. The ability of LLLT to stimulate stem cells and progenitor cells means that muscle satellite cells may respond well to LLLT and help muscle repair. Furthermore the ability of LLLT to reduce inflammation and lessen oxidative stress is also beneficial in cases of muscle fatigue and injury. This review covers the literature relating to LLLT and muscles in both preclinical animal experiments and human clinical studies. Athletes, people with injured muscles, and patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy may all benefit." [Emphasis added.]

*Photonics Lasers Med. 2012 Nov 1; 1(4):267-286

Monday, May 20, 2013

Congratulations to Jon Silliman, L.Ac.!!!

Many of you have been following along with Jon's lengthy and intensive training, and so I'm sure you will be happy to learn that Jon is now a licensed acupuncturist!

Jon practices Classical Five Element Acupuncture, which is a synthesis of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean techniques.  It incorporates heat therapy (including low-level laser therapy in his case) and East Asian bodywork such as shiatsu and tui na, as well as needling.

As a Five Element Acupuncture practitioner, he is equally concerned with the body, mind, and emotions of his patients. He believes that true health is possible only when the whole of a person's being is addressed and nurtured.

Jon's office hours are on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, you may call Jon directly at 206.326.8559.  Just so know, I've already booked the 1:00 pm appointment on Wednesday for myself!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Book just released: Allergy Guide

This message just in from a fellow wellness practioner. I thought it might be a useful resource for many!
Dr. Connie

Allergy Guide hi resolution.jpgI am pleased to announce the release of my new book Allergy Guide: Alternative & Conventional Solutions. The paperback and e-book are now available on Amazon and are coming soon to most major online bookstores and e-bookstores; search for them using the book title in quotes (“Allergy Guide”) or the author name, or use the links provided at Following is a description of Allergy Guide: Alternative & Conventional Solutions by Elizabeth Smoots, MD.

The full spectrum of allergy solutions at your fingertips: From an integrative medicine expert, a reader-friendly guide to alternative and conventional treatments for allergies such as hay fever, asthma, sinus problems, eczema and food allergies. Packed full of health tips and resources for additional learning, Allergy Guide explores your options above and beyond medications to help you alleviate your symptoms and feel well again.

With easy-to-understand explanations about alternative and conventional approaches, this book empowers you to make health care decisions that can more effectively relieve your allergies. Allergy Guide provides you with the information you need to:
  • Know your options for alternative and complementary remedies for allergies and related conditions
  • Be familiar with the top conventional treatments for hay fever, asthma, sinus problems, food allergies and eczema
  • Utilize self care steps without leaving home to help alleviate allergy symptoms
  • Understand the underlying causes of allergies
  • Know what to expect during allergy diagnosis and testing
  • Prevent allergies from occurring in the first place or repeatedly coming back
What if someone would sit down with you to explain the alternative and conventional treatment options for your allergic condition and answer your questions? That is what Allergy Guide aims to do. With a copy in your hand (or on your screen), you will be better equipped to care for your condition, or know what questions to ask when you visit your health care provider.

For more information,

Monday, April 15, 2013

A bit of shameless self-promotion...

Did you know that I am a "Certified Wellness Provider" with the Foundation for Wellness Professionals? What this means is that our office is highly qualified to offer wellness workshops and screenings to employees of corporations, non-profit organizations, etc., in order that these employees will have less stress and better health. Numerous studies have shown that wellness programs lead to enhanced productivity and employee satisfaction, with a net gain for the company.  Not to mention that "ObamaCare" mandates such programs.

Some of our programs include:

  1. Stay Fit While You Sit (good for office workers)
  2. How To Avoid Musculoskeletal Injuries in the Workplace (best for people doing manual labor)
  3. Stress Relief
  4. Weight Loss
We need your help. If you know a business owner, office manager, or human resources decision-maker in an organization with at least 20 employees, please let us know so that we can find out whether our programs might be a good fit for them. We volunteer our time for these programs so there is no out-of-pocket expense for the organization. 

Chronic Neck Pain Is Associated with Taut and Tender Jaw Muscles

For the subjects in this study, those with mechanical chronic neck pain had more latent trigger points (taut and tender spots in the muscles indicating nerve irritation) in the chewing muscles and reduced jaw opening compared to healthy controls.

And for those of you with a fascination with the physiology of the nervous system:

The authors of the study stated that the spread of sensitization from the cervical spine to the trigeminal brain stem sensory nuclear complex could have been the cause of the trigger points.J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2012 Nov-Dec;35(9):678-84

Laser Therapy Improves Athletic Performance in Seniors

Please send all your athlete friends our way to give them the edge in their competitive pursuits!

Low level laser (LLLT) has demonstrated positive results in reducing fatigue during physical exercise. Twenty-four seniors were tested using an 808 nm laser over the quadriceps muscle. After active LLLT, subjects demonstrated significantly higher number of repetitions compared to controls. In this study, LLLT has now been shown in multiple studies to increase muscle and athletic performance. Lasers Med Sci. 2013 Jan 8.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Congratulations to Jon!

Jon has passed his third and final acupuncture board exam, and will soon be a licensed acupuncturist! We are excited and honored that he will soon offer his expanded services in our office!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Our upcoming workshops...

Dr. Connie's Stress Relief Workshop emphasizes the physical (hormonal balance, exercise and nutrition). This follow-up workshop with Lynn Chapman, health educator and life coach, provides additional practical tips and techniques for taming your stress, and the focus will be on the mental and emotional side of the stress.

I have know Lynn for many years and highly recommend her work. She coaches people locally and nationally--either in-person, or via phone or Skype--and she is a joy to work with. Please join us for a fun and informative hour.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Ki Chiropractic & Massage
3511 NE 105th St.
(parking on the paved area in front of our home office or on 35th Ave NE; enter via the side door on the ground floor level)

There is no charge for this workshop, but light refreshments will be provided, so advance registration is required via email.

Laser therapy prevents scar tissue

Scars, including hypertrophic and keloidal-type scars, may occur after burns, trauma, or surgery. At the present time there are no noninvasive modalities to treat these painful, sometimes disfiguring conditions.

A study done at the University of California Davis Dept. of Dermatology found that LLLT can effectively inhibit scar formation. The physicians commented that they felt the LLLT could be a helpful modality for the prevention of scarring. In my work with surgeons I have spoken to a number of them who have commented on how LLLT can produce dramatically less scarring after surgery 
Dermatol Surg. 2013 Mar;39(3 Pt 1):422-5.

Contact us for a complimentary consultation and laser session to find out whether LLLT may help you.

Laser therapy improves athletic performance in seniors

Low level laser (LLLT) has demonstrated positive results in reducing fatigue during physical exercise. Twenty-four seniors were tested using an 808 nm laser over the quadriceps muscle. After active LLLT, subjects demonstrated significantly higher number of repetitions compared to controls. In this study, LLLT has now been shown in multiple studies to increase muscle and athletic performance. Lasers Med Sci. 2013 Jan 8.

Contact us for a complimentary consultation and laser session to find out whether LLLT may help you.

Monday, February 11, 2013

"Stay Fit While You Sit" -- our newest workshop (with brunch!)

By now everyone has heard the bad news about how sitting is detrimental to one's health. Learn how to reduce the ill-effects of sitting by joining us for our newest workshop, "Stay Fit While You Sit."

When: Saturday, February 23, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Where: Ki Chiropractic & Massage, 3511 NE 105th St., Seattle
Cost: $25, but no charge if (1) you're a guest, or (2) you're patient and you bring a guest

Advance registration is required because space is limited and because a light brunch will be served.

Our purpose is to help as many people as possible get healthy and stay healthy. We appreciate your sharing this with someone who needs help with their health concerns.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The connection between stored toxins and pathogens

Volume 2 Issue 10
Solving the Toxicity Puzzle
A respected pioneer in the field of heavy metal detoxification, Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, M.D., PhD has determined that there is a direct correlation between stored toxins and infectious pathogens. He states that “for each equivalent of stored toxins there is an equal amount of pathogenic microorganisms in the body.” The presence of stored toxins causes immune system deficiency that supports the growth of pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.

The term Toxic Body Burden (TBB) is now being used in reference to toxic heavy metals, synthetic chemicals, and pathogens that enter and accumulate in the body. Retaining and restoring vibrant health requires an effective two-pronged approach that can detoxify toxic substances while simultaneously eliminating infectious microorganisms.

Zeolite - Removes Toxins Naturally
Natural zeolites are a class of crystalline, hydrated alluminosilicates of alkali and alkaline earth cations, having three dimensional structures. Most common natural zeolites are formed by alteration of glass-rich volcanic rocks (tuff) with fresh water in playa lakes or by seawater. For thousands of years, civilizations throughout the world have used zeolites as a traditional medicine.

Zeolites are now used extensively in various industrial applications based on their properties to act as catalysts, ion exchangers, adsorbents, and detergent builders. The specific species of zeolite that has the most important health benefits is Clinoptilolite. Clinoptilolite is so effective in binding toxins that it was given to victims of the Chernobyl explosion to ingest in order to bind the radioactive isotopes that were released and thus reduce radiation levels in their bodies.

What makes Clinoptilolite so unique is its negatively charged, cage-like, honeycombed structure. When ingested, this natural mineral attracts and irreversibly binds toxic heavy metals, chemical elements, and free radicals and is then excreted through the urinary tract. This process is called chelation.

One of the most significant benefits of Clinoptilolite over other chelating agents is its affinity schedule for toxic heavy metals. Clinoptilolite binds with mercury first and lead second, moving on to additional positively-charged toxic heavy metals and chemical toxins which may include pesticides, herbicides, plastics, and even radioactive particles without removing precious nutrients such as calcium and magnesium. However, Clinoptilolite goes far beyond the critical job of removing damaging toxins.

Research has shown that it has many other vital actions in the body. Clinoptilolite removes free radicals. Unlike classic antioxidants, Clinoptilolite does not neutralize free radicals by donating an electron to stabilize them. Instead, its structure captures free radicals. Once trapped inside the cage, the inactivated free radical can then safely be eliminated from the body.

In summary:
• Clinoptilolite has broad-spectrum antiviral properties: first, by attracting and binding viral sub-particles, thereby interfering with viral replication and eliminating them from the body and second, by inhibiting viral proliferation via immune modulation of T cells.
• Clinoptilolite helps maintain proper pH by removing acidic ions and chemicals which then promotes optimal metabolic and immune functions.
• Clinoptilolite may help to eliminate carcinogenic toxins from the body, especially a category of carcinogens called nitrosamines. The most common sources for these nitrates include processed meats, cigarettes, and beer which are linked to pancreatic, stomach, and colon cancers.
• Clinoptilolite treats diarrhea, promotes healthy digestion and encourages nutrient absorption. Clinoptilolite’s ability to capture ammonium ions during digestion promotes a healthier and less toxic digestive system.

Source: Lyn Hanshew, M.D