Monday, June 24, 2019

The Perils of Plowing---Who Knew??

     Since the beginning of agriculture, there have been progressive loss & degradation of soils all around the globe.
“Humanity is losing 0.3 percent of our global food production each year to soil erosion and degradation and 30 percent every 100 years,” according to a United Nations report on soil. 
Loss & degradation of soils have even played a part in the decline of civilizations--for example, Mesopotamia, classical Greece, and ancient Rome.
   “It also caused the downfall of the Piedmont region of the southeastern United States as a leading agricultural producer, which it had been in colonial America.” 
It turns out that the PLOW is the villain!
That’s right---plowing exposes soil to erosion; disturbing the soil degrades organic matter, the natural biology of the soil. Farmers have to keep feeding the degraded soil more and more fertilizer.
The answer lies in not plowing (“no till”), keeping soils covered year round using cover crops, and rotating diverse crops in the fields. 
These are the principles of Regenerative Agriculture,  which “stimulates soil microbial activity, the “soil food web,” ....”to build fertile soils, which in turn produce healthy plants.”

Monday, June 17, 2019

Facet Syndrome

       On each side of our vertebrae, toward the back, are bony projections called the “facets.” The facets of each vertebra articulate---or form a joint---with those of the vertebra above. These are synovial joints, similar to other joints in our body.
      These articulations are the only normal points of osseous (bone) contact between our vertebrae, which are separated by the flexible “pads” of our discs. They lend stability to the spine, while allowing movement and flexibility.
      Pain in a facet joint can be due to arthritic changes of aging, or just “wear & tear,” perhaps due to overuse or overexertion, that causes irritation and inflammation. Gentle Activator adjustments, rest,  ice, and stretches help ease the pain. 
      Another common cause of facet pain is restriction; the joint(s) becomes “jammed,” and the area, including adjacent soft tissue, becomes tight. Think of a clenched fist. I see this quite often in my practice, and I use precise, directional adjustments with the Activator instrument to release the tension and relieve the pain. Alternating heat & ice, stretches, and staying mobile are good adjuncts.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Summer is Coming - Who's Minding the Kids?


"Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Cruz County is working hard to make sure that that no child goes without care this summer by providing affordable, convenient, and impactful summer programs and safe places to come during the summer."

Summer offerings at Boys & Girls Clubs include:

     Day Camp
     Summer Meals and Snacks
     Open Swim & Swim Lessons at the Downtown Club
     Field Trips
     Creative Arts,
     Chill Out Time
     "Walking Bus" to Junior Guards
     Computer Activities
     Academic Learning With the Watershed Rangers        

Monday, June 3, 2019

Floating Ribs

  Ribs at the lower ( T12, T11) and upper (T1) regions of the spine typically extend from joints on both sides of the spinal vertebrae at these levels, but unlike the other ribs, do not reach around and attach in front of the chest at the sternum.
Thus they are called “floating” ribs.
This “floating” characteristic is usually inconsequential, except in the upper spine at the T1 level, where these smaller ribs, as they curve around toward the collarbone, may cause an impingement of nerves exiting the neck (called the brachial plexus) and going down into the arms.
The nerves of the brachial plexus pass down through the region where the T1 “floating” ribs come close to the collarbones. The “floating” T1 ribs may press or abrade the nerves against the collarbone(s) (aka clavicle(s) on one or both sides.
This nerve impingement is a condition called “thoracic outlet syndrome,” and can manifest as numbness, tingling, or pain in the arm and hand.
My treatment includes gently separating contact between the T1 “floating” rib and the collarbone with the Activator, teaching specific stretches, and counseling about upper body postures that exacerbate the problem.