Bittersweet…

Seeing how I took last month to write about a man, Rich Busa, that I hold very dear to my heart, I am on a roll and want to take the time this month to talk about a family that I hold very dear to my heart.  For the sake of HIPAA, I will just use their first names during this article (Rich gave us permission years ago to use his full name in regards to helping our practice build its brand).

Just recently, two of my patients, Karen and Marco (and their husband/dad respectively), picked up and moved to Georgia.  I was so sad to hear the news when Karen gave me the heads up months prior, but none the less, the time crept up so quickly.

Karen first started coming to see me years back, not sure of the exact date, but we seemed to hit it off.  We both have similar views on lot of things as we came to know each other over the years, and it was only a matter of time before she started bringing her son, Marco, in for chiropractic care and Active Release Techniques (ART) as well.

When Karen was in one visit, prior to Marco being a patient at my office, we started talking about him and how active he is.  Karen started telling me about Marco being a tennis player, and how competitive he was.  Little did I know back then that he wasn’t just a competitive tennis player, he really has the potential to go big and go far!

Marco was a little shy the first visit or two in my office, but after we got talking about sports, school, our competitive natures, and fun stuff too, he warmed right up.  I am sure when his Mom was bringing him to his first appointment to see me, he probably thought he was going to some stuffy doctor’s office, and being young boy, wouldn’t that be the last place you would want to go?

I must say, Marco was the “posture child” for chiropractic and ART, or at least in my office he was.  He made me look REALLY good.  I honestly don’t think or remember there being one issue of his that I couldn’t help treat or fix.  I am reading that last sentence I just wrote, and hoping it doesn’t sound too arrogant, but his mom and I would joke about how well he responded to my treatments.

I remember Karen saying awhile back, that if Marco had an issue with something, as long as it wasn’t blood or guts, she would check with me first before going to his PCP, an orthopedist or other medical professional.  I felt so flattered that she thought/thinks that highly of me, and trusted me with her son that much, her aliments too, and especially her being an impressive and knowledgeable medical professional herself.  We still half joke half seriously talk about when Marco goes pro and is making the big bucks, I will go on tour with him as his personal chiropractor and ART practitioner.  I am going to hold Marco to that, lol!

I also think it is great that Marco has parents that understand the importance of health and well being, and taking care of one’s body, especially after what Marco demands of his.  This will only help Marco as he continues to grow and increase the demands he asks of his body as and athlete, and his tennis career continues to blossom.  If he continues to take care of the little aches and pains as they arise, the chances of bigger or more serious injuries as he gets older will be much less likely to occur.  I always say, “Focus on what you can control,” and this is one sure thing Marco has control over, taking care of his body.

But, on a more personal note, I am so happy that I have had the opportunity to get to know their family.  My step-son and I were even lucky enough to attend one of his last matches here in Natick, MA, before they moved south.  Marco was having a little trouble settling into the match from what Karen was saying, but he was focused and stayed strong, and won!  Never mind the fact of winning that set/match we got to see, I was more impressed with how Marco kept his composure and his mental game.  I watched his opponent mentally deteriorate on the court in front of him, and Marco knew it.  From what I could tell, Marco’s opponent went in fairly confident that he could beat Marco at the end of the day, and that wasn’t the case at all!  It was amazing to see something like that occur on the court right in front of me, live!  I felt like a proud older sister.

I really feel that Marco has a special gift, whether it is to play very competitively at the college level and hopefully receive lot of grants and scholarships to pay for his education, or to go as far as being on a pro tour, who knows!  The world is his oyster, and I think that Marco has the mental focus and toughness, skill, determination, athleticism and intelligence to be what ever he wants to be and his heart desires.  I told him whatever he does, just make sure he loves it, and to have fun doing it!

Karen, Dad, and Marco… It was bittersweet to see you go.  Sad that I will not be seeing you as often (I promise to visit), but so excited to see where this next chapter in life will take you all.  Thinking of you all often and wishing you all the best!

 

The Man, the Myth, the Legend

Now that my saga in regards to writing about all the various types of headaches that are out there has finally come to a rest, I wanted to take this month, being the month of Independence, to write about someone who holds a very special place in my heart, someone who very much reminds me of my grandfather.  As a patient, an amazing athlete, and a dear friend to me, it is no wonder I would like to take the time to write about him in this month’s newsletter, and brag that I have the honor of knowing him.

Many of you know Rich Busa through the Greater Framingham Running Club in Framingham, MA.  Some may also know of Rich from the famous race named after him, Busa Bushwhack Trail Race, held every year in Callahan State Park, in Framingham, MA.

Rich Busa was born October 30, 1929, also the day after the stock market crashed.  If you do the math that means Rich is a young 86 years old and going strong.  Not only is he a decorated athlete, which we will talk more about in just a bit, but a war veteran as well.  He served during the Korean War, 1951-1953.  He did his basic training at Ft. Bragg, NC, followed by Jump School at Ft. Benning, GA.  He volunteered to go Korea, arriving there the fall of 1952, being assigned to the Fox CO, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division.  There he was awarded the Silver Star during the battle of Boomerang above the 38th parallel on June 14-15 of 1953.  Rich was also there doing the signing of the truce that took place August of 1953.  He returned home within a few months time, and was discharged November 30th, 1953.  Now, this is just a brief description of this part of Rich’s life, and as I sit here writing this, I still don’t feel it does him justice with all that he endured to this point and time in his life.

So…with that being said, we are going to fast forward to the 2000’s now, otherwise this entire newsletter, and the next 3 months of newsletters may not be enough to cover all this guy’s accomplishments.  The picture at the bottom is what actually sparked me to write this article.  His race report will be attached as well from February of 2016.

One morning a few months ago, Rich was waiting for me in treatment room 2, and as I walked in, he sat there with TWELVE gold medals around his neck (we later learned that were most likely not “real gold”).  The gold medals have been accrued over the years, 2005-2016, at the U.S. Snowshoe 10K National Championships.  In 2016 the race took place in Ogden, Utah.  If you read in his last race report covering this particular race, and the challenges he has worked through since 2013. He talks about this awesome race, Stonecat Trail Marathon, which he completed November of 2013.  He went on the state that it wasn’t his best race by far, but at least he didn’t finish last.  Lets just back up for a second now, he would have 83 at that time I believe, and the man finished a trail marathon!  I haven’t even done a trail marathon yet!  Since then Rich has battled a misdiagnosed inguinal hernia,  surgical repair of the hernia, a random parasite affecting his gut, and chest pain (which turned out to be nothing, thank god).  These are just a few of the issues that he has over come and not let slow him down too much anyway.

Rich never seizes to amaze me when he comes into my office every month for his “tune up”.  This time was a little different, I just stood there for a second and realized how lucky I am to know this man, and that he actually picked me and trusts me enough to help take care of his body through out each year, well, at least the musculoskeletal issues.

Rich and I discuss many other things in regards to training plans, dietary issues and nutrition, natural health care remedies he is constantly reading about and self educating, solutions for certain issues, and regular health care issues that he deals with as well.  What amazes me is his ability to “keep moving forward”, hell, about to just “keep moving”.  I live by this mantra in all aspects of my life, and here he is doing it at 86 years old!  I am so inspired by him, and he is my motivation to lead a life style like his as I continue to get older.  Rich comes to see me monthly to help mitigate those aches and pains that do pop up.  He has done massage, he has done physical therapy (PT), and does his PT exercises daily for his neck and low back.  We have been discussing the possibility of acupuncture as well at this time for a nagging health issue he is dealing with as of late.

Rich is willing to try anything to help preserve his ability to stay strong and compete as an athlete.  This is just one of the many reasons I get adjusted at least once a month, massage twice a month, and acupuncture once a month.  I see him at 86 going strong, and I know I started this process of taking care of my body years before he did.  With that being said, I should be going this strong at 106, or at least that is the goal!

Click Here to Read Rich’s Race Report Titled: The Impossible Dream

Resolutions versus Goals

This time of year resolutions abound. Whether it is to lose weight, exercise more, eat better, write that book, make more, save more, meditate daily or spend more time with friends or family, we become inspired to better ourselves on many aspects of our lives. January is the time that Health Club memberships soar and Trainer’s schedules are full. The problem is the initial motivations to keep our resolutions usually fade with time.

In my opinion, a wish or resolution is something we hope for. A goal is something that is written down, read daily and focused on. Educators know about facilitation. It’s how we learn. It is about repetition until a new skill, idea or habit becomes part of who you are. On a neurological level facilitation is about overcoming resistance. The more a nerve pathway is used in the body, the easier it becomes for the nervous system to use that pathway, until it becomes almost automatic, or a habit. It’s like learning how to drive from our home to your new job. The first few days you need to focus on every turn and landmark. Over time, you drive to work don’t even have to think about the route.

By writing down your goals, reading them daily, focusing on them, and of course taking action on them, you will accomplish them faster than just hoping. Obtaining your goals is a process of retraining, and creating new habits. If your goal is to lose weight, just thinking about losing weight is not going to get you there. You need to take action; you need to decrease your caloric intake and increase your physical activity. You need to be committed. It takes 21 days to create a new habit. If you can successfully exercise, read that hour a day, keep electronics devices out of the bedroom, or whatever your goal is for the next 21 days, you will have facilitated the neurological pathways in your brain, in essence creating new habits, and will be on your way to achieving your specific goals!

Remember to make your goals obtainable, write them in the present tens , post them out in a place you will see every day (like your bathroom mirror) and remember to reward yourself when you reach each goal. Then create new obtainable goals!

My new favorite quote is from Albert Einstein (at least new to me):
“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want
And you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is
Physics”

Your thoughts are the energy that has created your present reality. Be careful about what you think about. Create your personal vision on your physical, financial and social wants, and then take action to achieve that reality!

I wish you a healthy New Year!

Brad Weiss, D.C.
drbradweiss@performancehealthcenter.com

Happy 86th Birthday Rich Busa!

Busa

Happy Birthday 86th Rich Busa and many more! You are an inspiration to all that know you. You are also our role model for active living! For those who don’t know Rich, he still runs train marathons (and wins them). Rich has an infectious enthusiasm which lightens up any room he is in. With all his accolades and trophies he is humble and encouraging to all he knows.
Rich did not run his first marathon until age 53, but has not stopped since. He has run over 70 trail marathons and 61 Ultra Marathons. At age 72, he was the oldest person ever to run the Vermont 100 (that’s right a 100 miles trail run). In addition he has run over 60 snow shoe races and has won the Gold Medal at the US National Snow Shoe Championships for the last 11 years.
On top of being the nicest person you could ever meet, what makes Rich’s athletic feats even more amazing is how he does it. When I first meet Rich in 2007 years ago, he wasn’t running due to back pain. I performed our usual detailed history and exam, and then took x-rays. Rich’s low back was so severely arthritic at all levels, that a radiologist without knowing Rich’s story would wonder how long he was in a rocking chair. The good news was there was no signs of nerve damage and all tests showed that Rich’s back pain was caused by abnormal function of the joints and muscles of his spine. More specifically his the spinal joints along his low back were stuck.
The short story is that Rich followed our recommendations for chiropractic care, responded very well and he was back running in no time. Rich has been running ever since!
Here’ the long story…osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease is not a normal part of getting older. It is essentially rust or decay in the joints. There are 24 vertebrae in the spine and 133 joints. Joints need to move. When joints don’t move they decay or rust together. The longer the joints don’t move the more progressive the arthritis usually becomes. I don’t buy into that arthritis is a normal part of aging. I have patients in their 20’s with significant arthritis and patients in their 70-80’s with minimal arthritis. Arthritis is caused by long term dysfunction of the spine.
Having arthritis doesn’t mean you are doomed to a sedentary lifestyle. Rich proves that every day. It’s not the arthritis that causes pain; it is the lack of motion. If you found an old rusty hinge that was stuck and you tried to force it open it could break. If you took that some rusty hinge and soaked it in oil for a few days, and then slowly start to play with it with slight gentle motions, over time that hinge would be functioning and you could even mount it on a door. That rehabilitated hinge would most likely need more TLC and regular oiling than a brand new hinge. That’s what we do with our patients with arthritis. We proverbially get their rusty joints to move using manipulation. We also get the small and large muscles around the joints to lengthen and function properly again with Active Release Techniques® (ART), which is a patented soft tissue technique which releases adhesions or scar tissue in muscles. Over time we optimize function and get our patients active again so that they can do the activities and sports they enjoy for as long as they choose too. Arthritic joint need more TLC and maintenance care than new joints. Unfortunately you can’t go back in time. The key is to have regular spinal check-ups from an early age, just as we have our teeth checked to prevent to start of spinal decay
So 8 years ago, Rich took my advice. He went through a rehabilitation program at Performance Health Center, which included manipulation, ART®, stretching and strengthening exercise and before he knew it was running again and literally has not stopped since. He schedules appointments at the office at least monthly for a “tune-up”. When he gets injured, which is bound to happen when you are running 26.2 miles on trails with rocks and roots, mud and stream crossing, he gets a little extra care to get him back on track.
Just like we got Rich up and running again, we may be able to do the same for you. Next time a family member or friend says they are limited by arthritis, please give them our name. We will perform a thorough history and examination. If we think we can help them we’ll tell them, if not we’ll make the appropriate referral. IF you have any questions, or if Rich’s story inspired you to start being active again, please email me at drbradweiss@rcn.com , or call me at 508-655-9008.

Why Suffer with Low Back Pain?

I hope you have already read “A Second Chance in Life” (below in body of this blog).  It is truly a remarkable testimonial and the doctors at Performance Health Center are overjoyed at Patsy’s remarkable recovery after using crutches for so many years.

As remarkable as Patsy’s response was to chiropractic are, on a daily basis we  are helping people who are suffering with disabling pain syndromes and getting them out of pain and back to enjoying their lives

Low back pain (LBP) is the number one cause of disability in the United States and in the developed world.  It is the number 2 reason why people visit their Primary Care Physician (PCPs) after the common cold.  Unless you or a loved one is suffering from LBP, you can’t imagine how LBP can effects your life.   Everything from getting a good night’s sleep, to getting dressed, to sitting and driving, to working (whether your sit, or do physical labor) is effected, and that doesn’t include the emotional stress it puts on the whole family.

Here is the true story of a typical LBP patient who walks (and sometimes crawls ) into our office almost every day.  A 55 year old woman told her story to me 2 weeks ago.  She had 1 episode of LBP prior to this one years ago.  Then in April she started to feel LBP.  There was no trauma involved.  Quickly the pain started to radiate down her to her left foot.  She made an appointment with her PCP who told her “maybe you have arthritis and your going to have to live with it,” and she was right.  Up to presenting at my office she has lived on meds, did a round of PT and had 2 cortisone shots with no long term relief.

X-rays and an MRI had shown a bulging disc.

 

She was frustrated and did not want to continue living in pain.  I did my examination and the first thing I noticed was that she had a McKenzie right pelvic shift, which means her body was in a compensating position and that if she looked down her belly button had shifted to the far right. Basically she was crooked.  I also found that there were no “hot” signs of a disc as the cause of her pain.  In fact  MRI studies have shown that if you take an MRI of people without LBP, two-thirds (2/3) will have herniated discs and other findings, yet they have no pain.

The problem with MRIs and even X-Rays is that they are like taking pictures of a car in a parking lot.  An MRI is like putting your body through a preverbal meat slicer.  It shows everything.  Going back to the car analogy, an MRI would how what the paint job looks like, if there were any dings, dents or scratches, you could see the wear of the tires, you could even see all the hoses and connections.  You could make some obvious diagnostic findings like broken hoses, etc, but until you actually start the car and drive it you don’t know how it functions.

This 55 year old woman had no signs of disc injury as the cause of her pain.  Classic finding of a “hot” disc include pain coughing or sneezing.  There is usually immediately raising the leg straight when on the back, or straightening the knee while sitting.  To sum it up, there were no positive neurological signs to explain her pain, or in medical jargon we would say her finding were unremarkable.

What I did find was poor range of motion, muscle spasm, joints of her lower back not moving and an entrapped sciatic nerve, which are all functional findings  After my exam she told me no one to date had put her through such a thorough examination.  I told her that she most likely was in the right place, but since she did not respond well to other therapies to date, we would start with a trial of care.

Her findings were all functional, or movement faults in her body.  There are 24 vertebrae in the spine, but there are 134 joints.  My job is to find the joints that are not moving and move them with manipulation or chiropractic adjustments.  The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body.  It exits your spine in the low back region from 5 levels.  By the time it goes through your butt (more specifically under the piriformis muscle) it is about the size of your thumb.  The nerve branches, but all the major branches go through the channels between the muscles groups, (along with arteries and veins).  Active Release Techniques® (ART) has protocols to diagnose and free these nerve entrapments.  There are only about 20 chiropractors in the state who are certified in ART Nerve Entrapment Protocols

She agreed to a trial of chiropractic care to include adjustments, ART, Kinesio Taping® and McKenzie Shift Exercises to do at home.  After her third office visit, she reported that she was able to drive again with minimal LBP and sciatica, she was able to “get out of bed without a struggle” and there was no tingling in her toes. I told her that was a great result from her first 3 treatment.   She asked me, just like Patsy did, why no other medical provider recommended chiropractic treatment for her LBP which has dominated her life for almost a third of the year.  I did not have a good answer for her, except to say her PCP probably never learned how to refer to chiropractors in medical school and through residency.

I know this as a fact.  For 8 years (4 in Vermont and 4 in Massachusetts), I had Family Practice Residents do rotations in my office.  I asked these residents 3 questions when I first meet them. 1- in all your years of medical school and residency what did you learn about chiropractic health care? The answer was nothing! ; 2- In all your years of medical school and residency what did you learn about the musculoskeletal system?  The answer was uniformly not much; and 3- How many vertebrae are in the spine?  In 8 years only one resident was able to quickly state the correct answer which is 24.  Then they spent a day with me and learned how chiropractors diagnose and treat patients.

There are several PCPs in the Metrowest area that do refer their patients to me, and they often tell me how good I make them look!  For those who have been helped with chiropractic care you have a responsibility to tell others and as importantly tell your PCP that you are seeing, or have seen a chiropractor, and how much it has helped.

There are no chiropractic TV series yet and the drug companies are not advertising for chiropractors.  The chiropractic profession has grown and thrived for 120 years because we help people.  We get fast, results safely using for the most part hands-on-therapy only!  The research findings are readily available with a Google search.  All your PCP has to do is read the literature on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of chiropractic care.

You can see I am both fascinated and frustrated.  If someone has a functional problem it is fascinating how fast they can respond with chiropractic care which is a functional approach to health.  It is frustrating that so many of my patients have to suffer so long before they find our office.  Please help me to help others by sharing this Blog with your PCP , and your family and friends.  If you or any of your family and friends have any questions about their health, they can call, or email their questions and concerns before they make an appointment at: Drbradweiss@performancehealthcenter.com

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July 25, 2015

A letter of testimony, “a second chance at life”

Everyone suffers pain once in a while, but 16 years ago I went from a normal above average health triathlon runner to barely being able to walk with severe pain, in a matter of six short months after suffering a severe stomach virus.

After months of tests, it appeared that I had acquired an illness that affects my musculoskeletal, tendons, ligaments with chronic inflammation caused by an autoimmune disease that progresses into arthritis in my joints.  There is no known cure.  And treatment via medication is only to slow the progression.  Eventually I was prescribed arm crutches and a wheelchair to help on the worst days.  There is no medication for the chronic pain except ibuprofen.  Traditional chiropractic and massage therapy were my only methods to manage my pain.  I found myself going 3-4 times a week just to stay sane from the pain. And eventually the ibuprofen caused an ulcer, my previous pain management course was ineffective.

Then I found Dr. Weiss and Dr. Ball from Performance Health Center in Natick, MA.  I came to try the ART therapy. I came in on my crutches and tightened slouch from years of illness progression.  And I left straight up and crutch-less on the first visit. I was amazed at the results. Of course my illness is chronic and everyday attacks the muscles, ligaments and tendons so it’s a constant work in progress for my body. But after 14 years of debilitating pain and long term muscle dysfunction to have the full elimination of the sciatica nerve pain down my leg be totally gone, eliminate chronic shoulder tendonitis, elbow and knee tendonitis – completely gone! And to eliminate my arm crutch usage for around my house and short trips to the store etc. – priceless!

My quality of life has improved significantly – my pain levels have been dramatically reduced as long as I receive routine ART therapy treatments from Dr. Weiss and Dr. Ball.

What is frustrating, is that not one of my 9 routine doctors ever suggested ART therapy to me earlier in life. I’ve learned from 16 years experience in the medical world – you are responsible for your own long term pain relief – and I’ve finally found it!  I’ve referred several friends to this practice for long term isolated pain issues and they all were amazed how it eliminated the pain issue.

Like I said, thanks to Dr. Ball and Dr. Weiss I have a second chance at a real life.

For those that have muscle, ligament, tendon or joint pain – you’re a fool not to try ART therapy at Performance Health Center.  It is sustainable treatment and works. I’ve had almost every body area worked head to toe and it worked for every one of the issues. Simply amazing! One simple visit – and you will know the difference immediately!  Make the call it’s the real deal!

This is one of the greatest blessings I received in life! Thank you Dr. Ball and Dr. Weiss!

Yours truly,

Patsy M.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How The Courage Of A Young Man With Cerebral Palsy Inspired An Entire School

The Matt W. Story


Matt Inspired An Entire School.  Do YOU Have These Kinds Of Guts?

Who knows what his real, full name is.  “Matt W.” was all that was given and that’s all that is needed, because Matt W.’s actions speak louder than words ever could.

Here is why:  Matt W. is a student at Worthington Colonial Hills Elementary School in Ohio.  But Matt W. is not your average student.  You see, Matt suffers from cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy is a serious condition and according to the Mayo Clinic, “Cerebral palsy is a disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture that is caused by injury or abnormal development in the immature brain, most often before birth.  Signs and symptoms appear during infancy or preschool years.  In general, cerebral palsy causes impaired movement associated with exaggerated reflexes or rigidity of the limbs and trunk, abnormal posture, involuntary movements, unsteadiness of walking, or some combination of these.  The effect of cerebral palsy on functional abilities varies greatly.  People with cerebral palsy often have other conditions related to developmental brain abnormalities, such as intellectual disabilities, vision and hearing problems, or seizures.”

That’s why it was a very big deal when Matt decided he was going to run the 400 meters (approximately ¼ mile) at his school’s once a year track event.  What happened during that race is one of the most inspirational events you’ll ever see. There’s a link to a video of it below, but we’ll describe it here…

At the start of the race, all the 5th and 6th graders took off.  Matt slowly made his way off the starting line.  His running strides were labored but what he lacked in grace he made up for in determination… tenfold.  The video’s soundtrack is the theme for Rocky.

The race was two complete laps around the 200 meter track and the other students quickly lapped him.  Then, the real magic started.  Matt’s gym teacher, John Blaine, started running the race with Matt while providing him verbal and emotional support.

As Matt completed the first lap, supporters started to cheer more.  About a quarter of the way around his second lap, a little girl made her way over to Matt while yelling to cheer him on.  Inspired by Matt (and taking the little girl’s lead) more students rushed over to join Matt.

Students completely surrounded him with everyone chanting over and over, “Let’s go Matt… Let’s go!!!” Matt picked up his pace as his classmates and friends energized him.

More and more students appeared.  They all crossed the finished line together with a massive cheer in just under four minutes.  The students swarmed Matt with high fives and hugs.  Matt was obviously exhausted but enjoyed this amazing moment with his supporters.

Matt’s mother broke down in tears several times as she witnessed her son’s incredible journey and life lesson for us all.

Many doctors believe in the power of positive thought.  Not only does it have the power to possibly heal us, but it can also move mountains when it has to.

Matt W. may never win an Olympic Gold medal, but his actions during this 400 meter race may change more lives than any Gold Medal winner probably ever has.

There is no doubt many of his classmates will achieve great successes in life because of Matt W.’s remarkable inspiration. Here’s the video of Matt W.’s amazing race:

 We love helping our patients and their friends and relatives through their tough times and getting them feeling better!  We are here to help you stay feeling better and looking younger!  Don’t be a stranger.  You really can afford Chiropractic care! Don’t wait until you can no longer move!

(c) 2012 Altadonna Communications, Inc