It Takes a Team to Make an Olympian

From the Desk of Dr. S. Erik Vose…

I don’t know about you, but I have really been enjoying watching the Winter Olympics this past couple of weeks. Seeing athletes compete at the highest level of amazing sports that we are not usually exposed to and being able to witness the culmination of years of hope, sweat and dreams is a very unique opportunity filled with plenty of drama and excitement. Of course there are some sports that each of us identify with more than others. Personally, I really enjoy the snowboardcross, short track ice skating, ski jumping and aerials… and that is probably because, at some point in my life, these would be the events that I would aspire to compete in. It is easy to think to yourself “yeah, it would be great to be in the Olympics someday” but to actually be able to even put yourself in the position to get to the Olympics takes something that most of us don’t have. Needless to say, I have great respect for the athletes at the Olympic games because of their dedication to training, their endurance, power, agility, creativity and talent.

I probably watch these games with a slightly different mindset than most people due to the profession I am in. Some of the stresses that are put on the body in events such as the downhill mogul ski races and ice hockey are pretty obvious to everyone, but I can’t help but to watch something like speedskating and think to myself how incredibly taxing that motion must be to the muscles of the lower back with the skater forward flexed to almost 90 degrees. Or how the shoulders of the biathletes must be so incredibly conditioned to be able to work that intensely for such a long period of time and then remain so steady as to shoot a rifle accurately. And then of course there are the wipe-outs, those terrible moments where something goes wrong and it seems as though it would be a miracle if the person were to even be able to get up.

I have often found myself hoping that all of these athletes have someone who does what I do to help them through all of the trials and tribulations of being an Olympian, regardless whether it would be to help prime their bodies to perform their best, to prevent injuries from hours and hours of training, or to correct conditions that develop from all of the training. Or in the worse cases, help these athletes rehabilitate injuries suffered from falls and mishaps. And then I remind myself that these are the elite, of course they must have a whole team of people looking after their mind and bodies because, at that level, if you didn’t, you would be at a distinct disadvantage.

It is that team approach that makes such a difference when treating conditions of not only elite athletes, but the rest of us as well. Knowing that there is a group of like-minded healthcare professionals communicating for the common good of an individual has proven again and again to be very efficient, not to mention comforting for the patient.

So even though my days of being an Olympic athlete have probably passed, I will still take comfort in the fact that I have a team of practitioners looking after me and if the Skip of the US Curling team calls me up and wants me to give it a try, I just may do that… but I am bringing the rest of OMBE with me!

Biography

Erik S. Vose D.C., Doctor of Chiropractic

Erik Vose is a Board Certified Chiropractor in Massachusetts. He holds a Doctorate of Chiropractic from Palmer College of Chiropractic West in California and a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology and Applied Physiology from the University of Colorado. After earning his doctorate degree, Erik received two years of additional chiropractic and sports therapy training in Walnut Creek, CA. Erik is a member of the Massachusetts Chiropractic Society and the American Chiropractic Association.

Dr. Vose treats patients for a range of conditions from sports injuries to chronic pain by focusing on the entire musculoskeletal system. Erik combines soft tissue therapy with ultrasound, electric stimulation, stretching, and chiropractic adjustments. He is proficient in the diagnosis and treatment of extremity injuries as well as those associated with the spine. Erik develops comprehensive treatment plans that focus on both alleviating symptoms and helping his patients achieve optimal strength and well-being.

Acupuncture & Chronic Pain: What’s in an -itis?

You’ve heard the news before-acupuncture is good for chronic pain. You may have heard it on TV, read a research summary, or overheard your Aunt Mary swear by acupuncture for her swollen knees. On average, patients ask their physicians about the effectiveness of acupuncture for conditions such as chronic pain seven times a day. They want to know whether acupuncture is effective for chronic pain conditions such as bursitis, tendonitis, or arthirtis. The suffix -itis simply means inflammation. Inflammation causes pain, swelling, point tenderness, and that good-old-fashioned hot sensation deep in your joints. OUCH! The burning (literally) question is: Why is acupuncture effective for so many inflammatory conditions?

Acupuncture is effective for inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and knee osteoarthritis because it helps maintain homeostasis. Homeostasis is the body’s ability to constantly adapt to its environment and maintain equilibrium. Acupuncture regulates the underlying physiological processes of the body. Occasionally, your body isn’t able to maintain that balance or your body is under too much stress (too much pavement pounding, snow shoveling, or texting). This is when acupuncture can be a powerful catalyst to assist your own body’s healing mechanism to beat that inflammation. The next time you feel that burning sensation in your elbow, knees or toes, think of acupuncture first! Here are the top 10 orthopedic reasons to try acupuncture:

Top 10 Orthopedic Reasons to Try Acupuncture

1. Achilles Tendonitis

2. Ankle Sprains

3. Degenerative Disc Disease

4. IT Band Syndrome

5. Knee Osteoarthritis

6. Low Back Pain

7. Piriformis Syndrome

8. Plantar Fasciitis

9. Rotator Cuff Injuries

10. Shin Splints

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO
Licensed Acupuncturist

Jessica L. Molleur is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and massage therapist in Massachusetts and California. She holds a Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, CA. Her training also includes a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of California at Davis, CA. Jessica first became interested in acupuncture as a soccer player searching for an alternative to knee surgery.

She is a National Diplomate of Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine and Chinese Herbology through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Following her acupuncture licensure, she became a Diplomate of Acupuncture Orthopedics. This orthopedic specialty certification is held by fewer than 300 acupuncturists in the United States. Areas of specialty include women’s health, infertility, pediatrics, and sports medicine.

Occupational Hazards 101

From the desk of Kristen Lutz, LMT, MS…

WARNING! Your job should come with a warning label. That’s right, I said it. Wouldn’t it be great if someone told you there is a very good chance your body’s health, comfort and productivity may suffer at the hands of your job? Did that thought ever even cross your mind? Well, if it didn’t, do not feel badly. I never really thought about it either…until I went to massage therapy school.

Now I often label myself as the ‘forever student’. I am a dork and I’ll admit it. I love school. I like being the sponge that soaks up knowledge and applies the information to the work I do with my clients. With that said, I’ve spent my fair share of time in lecture halls and labs prior to going to massage therapy school. I was a student of exercise physiology which included working in various clinical settings. Each clinical setting came with its own set of physical demands. Yet, no one ever taught me how to take care of myself so that I could have longevity in my career of choice. Now, maybe this is something that I should have figured out on my own, but I didn’t. And I’m going to venture to say that you are also in the same boat that I was in.

Let’s jump back to massage therapy school. I had no idea that they would place so much emphasis on the importance of good body mechanics and proper self-care. But it makes sense. It was the backbone (pardon the pun) of my learning experience and I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately. Why don’t other schools give their students the tools to take better care of their bodies so they can be more productive and decrease their risk of injury? That thought inspired me to dedicate my blogging over the next few months to address what I am calling “Occupational Hazards 101”. Each entry will feature a different job or occupation. I will address the risks (hazards) associated with the job function and provide some solutions (remedies) and self-care ideas. My hope is to help increase your awareness of how you move your body relative to your job responsibilities each day. In doing so, you can work toward preventing discomfort and ward off injuries so that you have more time for the fun things in life!

I am open to requests! If you’d like to have your job featured, please send me an email at kristenwlutz@gmail.com.

Featured Job: The Desk Job. Whether your job is to lend IT support or answer the phones, sitting at a desk all day can create poor postural habits. There are some things that are within your control to change at work, while others are just going to be there no matter what. Either way, here are some ideas to help bring you closer to occupational bliss…or something like that.

The Hazard: Repetitious static work is very fatiguing on your upper body as well as your eyes.
The Remedy: Take a short break (3 to 5 minutes) from sitting or working at a computer every 20 to 40 minutes. The short break doesn’t mean you have to stop doing your job. Find other tasks you can do like send a fax, get up to file some papers or go speak directly with a coworker instead of sending an email.
The Self Care: When you do stand up, do so with a purpose! As you stand up imagine yourself lengthening your body into a perfect vertical rubber band. While feeling grounded at your feet, imagine your muscles elongating from your feet, up through your legs, into your hips, spine and eventually through your neck and head. If you can, raise your arms out to your sides with palms facing up. Bring them together up and over your head as you look up towards the ceiling. Take a nice deep breath in. As you exhale, draw your arms back down along your side.

The Hazard: Sitting in one position or leaning on your arms for long periods of time can interfere with circulation, make your joints and muscles stiff, and lead to fatigue.
The Remedy: Change positions periodically. Fidgeting at work isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Elementary schools across the country will take class breaks to let the kids get up and move around. While, I’d love to see you break out some jumping jacks or the tree pose in the middle of your office, just small movements will do.
The Self-Care: Take this opportunity to drink a few sips of water. No water at your desk? Plan to bring your own refillable bottle of water each day. Use that trip to fill it up another reason to get up and move your body.

The Hazard: Straining your neck and back while at the computer. Before you know it, you find that your back is rounded, shoulders are rolled forward and your head is in a forward position.
The Remedy: Maintain a comfortable viewing distance from your screen (about 18 to 30 inches) at a level where your screen is perpendicular to your line of site. Be sure your head and neck are in a neutral posture when you are checking this. Having difficulty seeing what’s on your screen from that distance? Maybe it’s time to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.
The Self-Care: While sitting, think about lifting the top of your head to the ceiling. To help you do this, you can image someone has tethered a string to the top of your head and they are gently pulling the string upward. Follow that line of movement while keeping your chin parallel to the floor. You can also think about lifting your chest up 1 inch versus trying to “sit up straight”. Oftentimes, that leads to over-arching your low back and causing more discomfort. Without tipping your head in any direction, pull your chin and head straight back. You will feel a stretch in the back of your neck. Relax your chin back forward to a neutral position. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

The Hazard: Straining your neck and back while on the phone.
The Remedy: If a headset or earpiece is not in your near future and you find yourself having to hold a phone to one shoulder or the other, at least switch sides after each call…share the love. We all tend to have one side that we favor using – whether it is to hold a bag or support a phone. Try switching it up to share the responsibility.
The Self-Care: Begin with your head and neck in a neutral position. With your right hand, pull your head so that you are bringing your right ear closer to your right shoulder. It is not so important that you touch your ear to your shoulder as it is important you feel a comfortable stretch between your left ear and left shoulder. Think about keeping your left shoulder completely still. You want to create a nice long line and stretch between that left shoulder and ear. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat to the opposite side. Take notice if one side is tighter than the other and give an extra stretch to the tighter side.

The Hazard: Improper arm positioning when using a keyboard, mouse or other desk items.
The Remedy: Position your keyboard at elbow height, keep your wrists straight while typing. You want your forearm and upper arm to create a 90-degree angle. Remember, if you have to raise your chair to do this, make sure your feet are still supported by the ground or a footrest. When seated, your hips should be slightly higher than your knees. Having a keyboard and/or mouse too far away can cause additional stress on the shoulders, elbows, forearms and wrists.
The Self-Care: Perform each stretch to one arm at a time. With your left elbow bent and palm facing the ceiling, rest your right hand over the fingers of your left hand (leaving the left thumb alone for now). Slowly push against the fingers of your left hand so that the top of your left hand is being drawn toward the top of your left forearm. This movement should be slow. Stop when you feel a comfortable stretch in your forearm. Hold for 30 seconds. While maintaining the stretch, start to extend your left arm out until your arm is straight out in front of you and that elbow is no longer bent. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat to the same arm, only this time, focus on stretching your left thumb. Repeat all of that to your right arm.

BIOGRAPHY

Kristen Lutz, a Nationally Certified Licensed Massage Therapist, is a graduate of Cortiva Institute – Boston (formerly Muscular Therapy Institute) in Watertown, MA. As a member of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and Cambridge Who’s Who Among Executives, Professionals and Entrepreneurs, her work is centered upon supporting clients in achieving optimal health and well being through listening and understanding individual needs . She integrates various massage techniques into each personalized session. These techniques include Swedish (relaxation), deep tissue, sports massage, neuromuscular (trigger point) therapy and myofascial release along with stretching, range of motion and breath work.

Clients benefit from Kristen’s approach that each client is unique and no one treatment is alike. This customized approach leads to a more effective treatment. Kristen, a New England native, has been living in Boston for the past six years. She graduated with a B.S. in Exercise and Sport Sciences from Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH while playing collegiate women’s volleyball. She continued with her education and graduated with a M.S. in Clinical Exercise Physiology from Northeastern University in Boston, MA and has worked in the health and wellness field as an exercise physiologist.

An Interview with Dr. Erik Vose

This month, our chiropractor, Dr. Erik Vose, took time out of his busy schedule at OMBE Boston to sit down with Sylvia Guo and discuss his chiropractic care philosophy, patient care experience, and dispel some of the common myths about chiropractic medicine.

Q: First off I’d like to thank you, Erik, for taking time out of your tight schedule to do this interview. Let’s first learn a little bit about you – what is your background and educational training?

A: I’m from Newburyport originally and started my undergraduate studies in engineering here in Boston. Eventually, I transferred to the University of Colorado and got a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Applied Physiology because I was interested in studying the mechanics and movement of the body. Finally, I went to California to attend one of the fourteen chiropractic schools in the US.

Q: So would you tell me what interested you about chiropractic medicine originally?

A: I’ve always been interested in the human body – and that’s why I majored in Kinesiology and Applied Physiology in college. When I first heard about chiropractic medicine, I didn’t have any first-hand experience with it was fairly curious. Eventually, I learned that chiropractic medicine deals with the muscles, bones, and nerves of the body as well as being closely linked to kinesiology. What I found to be even more interesting was the idea inherent in chiropractic medicine in that the body can heal itself without drugs or surgery.

Q: How long have you been practicing?

A: This is my fourth year practicing.

Q: Many people are confused by chiropractic medicine. Could you please describe briefly the treatment philosophy and practice in your own words?

A: Chiropractors look at the whole body, the musculoskeletal system, and focus on the specific problems. For instance, I examine how the whole body is functioning-including the muscles, skeletal and nervous system of the body- and look for musculoskeletal imbalances. I also give my patients home exercises, such as stretching and strengthening exercises to help them recover from injuries.

Q: What sets your treatment apart from other chiropractors in the same field?

A: Most practitioners practice adjustment treatment – they introduce movement into a stuck or immobile joint. I use this strategy as well, but I focus a lot more on the musculoskeletal system and the muscles of the body, because they control the joints. This way I won’t miss the connections within the whole system. Many practitioners focus only on the spine, while I work on all the joints of the body. I also spend one hour with my patients during follow-up sessions-generally unusual for other chiropractors. I also use high-tech devices like ultrasound and electric stimulation.

Q: Why did you choose OMBE? What’s so special about OMBE that you think it’s a good choice for patients?

A: I met Laura Foresta, the nutritional counselor and dietitian of OMBE and was introduced to OMBE. I like the integrative concept of OMBE. There are a lot of different modalities and practitioners working in the office, so I can always reach out to others if there’s something I cannot do. The Copley Square location is great and the general ambience is peaceful and healing.

Q: It seems like more and more people are either going to a chiropractor or are considering trying one. What is it that attracts so many people to chiropractic care?

A: Now, more and more people have realized that being proactive about healthcare is beneficial. Instead of waiting to be healed, people seek treatments for maximum health. Besides, chiropractic care is very cost-effective; much less expensive than certain surgeries or in-patient care. Many corporations have included chiropractic into their healthcare options for employees as an effective way to keep people from getting sick and losing work productivity.

Q: Is chiropractic treatment for everyone? Or is it more appropriate for a certain segment of patients?

A: Guess who are the most appropriate patients for Chiropractic?

Q: People in their 40s to 60s?

A: Actually newborns! Especially after a difficult, prolonged, or complicate labor and delivery. They respond so well because most of their musculoskeletal system is naturally balanced at the beginning of their lives unlike us adults. In general, I’ve treated kids as young as 12-months old and patients in their nineties. Basically, chiropractic care can benefit everyone, but I use different treatment plans according to different patterns that patients present and their specific condition.

Q: What are the most common issues that you’ve treated?

A: One common issue is trauma-related, so patients recovering from surgeries or accidents; another group of people I treat frequently are athletes of all levels. Weekend warriors to serious competitors alike-usually their musculoskeletal imbalance or some unresolved chronic issue comes up once they start training or change their activity level.

Q: What about people like myself who sit in their office from 9-5? Do they develop problems?

A: Yes, they do! The human body isn’t meant to sit for such long hours. So for office workers, I take a look at their desk and computer set-up, suggest that they take breaks, move around a little bit, and stretch their bodies every half an hour.

Q: How long does it take to get satisfactory results with chiropractic care?

A: It really depends. Some treatment effects might last for a whole year; while on average, patients can feel a difference after 4 to 6 sessions. My goal is to provide a treatment that is as effective as possible so my patients can get back to doing what they enjoy.

Q: What part of your job do you enjoy the most?

A: Well, of course I love it when a patient leaves my office feeling a lot better and experiences the long-term benefits of chiropractic. This is a very rewarding experience when I know my patients are well on their way to health, and I can help them live their lives the way they want to.

Q: Sounds great! And did you know that you’ve received a lot of great reviews online, on Citysearch and OMBE’s website?

A: I’m aware of a couple. They’re encouraging.

Q: Thank you for your time Erik! Finally could you please share some of the success stories of your patients?

A: Of course. I have several patients who had problems for years and weren’t healed by other treatments and they came to me and improved. Their experiences really turned into remarkable stories. One woman has had headaches every day for almost ten years. She’s gone through several treatments, has had numerous tests, all showing negative results, and has taken many different medications. Then she came to me. I found that the joints in her neck didn’t move well and muscles controlling these joints were very tight. After a few treatments her headaches are gone.

Q: Wow.

A: Another patient sprained her ankle eight or nine years ago. She saw several physicians because the pain still was bothering her. I noticed that the soft tissues around her joint were mislaid, and the bones were not in the right place. I adjusted the joints and her pain disappeared.

Q: That’s wonderful! Thanks again, Erik. I hope more people can benefit from chiropractic care and the time you take with your patients!

Love, Love, Love…at OMBE Center

From the desk of Sharon Barry…

So, it’s February and for those of you who live for holidays, Hallmark is thrilled to help you celebrate one of their biggest card selling days of the year (besides my birthday, of course). Every February I get into this crazy mode, trying to figure out “hmmm, what can I get my darling, little love bug THIS year to really blow his mind?? Really, I just HAVE to knock his socks off with this one!” Then I realize that I’ve been single like 5 plus years (hey, it’s not MY fault, look at the state of affairs of the few single men out there!) and the only person I have to really impress on V-day is my 17 year-old cat (I know, it‘s heartbreaking, I guess I‘m like the crazy old cat lady). And sadly, she’s so fussy and nonchalant, I can rack my brain all year long and she’ll never be satisfied with whatever I get her. Honestly, catnip and cheese just aren’t enough these days she’s so feisty! So, if you have a love that’s like my cat (but hopefully, less furry, about twenty times her size and a little more open to 2-sided conversations than this one is), you probably have a difficult time finding the perfect gift as well.

My first suggestion is, forget Hallmark (unless you buy their recycled cards, of course). Why spend up to $5 on a card that your partner is either going to laugh or tear up or cringe at for about, say 12 seconds (depending upon their IQ and reading level) when you can really show how much you love them by making a homemade card? My nieces are amazing at these; I still have a massive banner-like card from my youngest on my refrigerator. So, go green like OMBE Center for Valentine’s because who in their right mind EVER throws away a homemade card??

Next, visit OMBE’s website (well, technically if you’re reading this you’re already here) and check out our list of services. Dr. Erik Vose, our amazing chiropractor can “crack” your love up if you’re lacking in the humor department or need an adjustment. Jessica Molleur, acupuncturist extraordinaire, can put you both on “pins and needles” and guide you into a state of bliss close to what Rachael Lappen, our lovely yoga teacher here can give you. Though personally, I imagine that if I did have a boyfriend, he would work so hard all the time (someone has to right?) that he would constantly be whining about how tight his neck, shoulders and back were all the time so I would want to get THAT bad behavior to stop pronto and get him a gift certificate to see the oh-so-talented-hands of Kristen Lutz, massage therapist of the year. Actually, I must admit, I’m a little on the sadistic side so I’d probably enroll him in a 6-week mat class with the BEST Pilates trainer in town, Lisa Grodsky, and have a little chat with her about torturing him throughout the series.

Or, if none of those options appeal to you (you should break up with your significant other and just hang out with my cat since you’re being rather difficult), I’m offering a special for the month of February where I will teach you and your loved one the basic art of Thai yoga massage. Both the giver and receiver of Thai yoga enjoy the benefit of stretching, relaxation and overall health. Thai yoga is called the “lazy man’s yoga” (so it’s probably right up your lover’s alley) and the receiver’s body is put into different stretches and yoga poses while the giver uses his/her fingers, palms and feet to massage. Neither of you have to be flexible and it’s a great form of massage that can be easily learned and practiced at home. The sessions are catered to both of your bodies’ needs and can be light and fun or serious and relaxing…or a combination of all. These private partner sessions are only available until the end of February and are 55 minutes in length. For more information, give OMBE a call.

Happy Valentine’s month to all you lovers out there. I’m going to go eat an entire box of heart-shaped chocolates (and I don’t even LIKE chocolate) to ease my loneliness and then go see the sweetest, most nurturing nutritionist ever, Laura Foresta, who will get my brain functioning as normally as possible again!

Sharon Barry, CPI
Certified Pilates Instructor, Thai Yoga Massage and Reiki Practitioner

Sharon Barry began her Pilates training as a dancer in college 17 years ago. In 1996, she received her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography from Arizona State University and has been a certified Pilates trainer since 1997 through the PhysicalMind Institute. Additionally, Sharon was a professional choreographer and dancer, trainer and performer with the San Francisco School of Circus Arts where she taught Pilates, flying and static trapeze, teeterboard, trampolining, and acrobatics. In 2002, she received her First Degree Reiki certification and in 2008 she completed her Thai Yoga Massage certification.

In addition to teaching Pilates classes and private sessions, Sharon combines her training in Reiki and Thai Yoga massage with her clients. Over the past 12 years, Sharon has trained professional dancers, circus performers, gymnasts, golf professionals, marathon runners, and triathletes. She has coaxed bodies through injury rehabilitation as well as helping clients improve athletic performance. Throughout her career as a Pilates instructor, Sharon has enjoyed working in conjunction with physicians, chiropractors, orthopedic surgeons, acupuncturists, and physical therapists.