Everett Chiropractic Center Blog

July 29, 2017

The Importance of Breath

“For many people it seems difficult to believe that changing breathing patterns can have such significant impact on mental and physical health. Not to mention performance and recovery.
It is the lowest hangning fruit and very few poeple are picking it. Instead many are looking for complicated methods or become dependent of pharmaceuticals.”

– Paul Silfverstrale, Wudang Practical Tai Chi Chuan

Here is his recent Blog Post entitled Nasal Breathing: https://wudangtaichichuan.wordpress.com/2017/07/29/tai-chi-chuan-qi-nasal-breathing/

It compliments, perfectly, all that I have said on this Blog on the subject, including the very recent Post on mouth breathing (the problem).


May 8, 2017

Mindfulness and Fecal Transplants

I choose to share the link relating to mindfulness. It is about how Freshman stress less and smile more. You might like it!


December 1, 2014

900th Blog Post

I started this Blog in December, 2005 for the benefit of patients, and others, who want help with health-related decisions. In pure permaculture fashion it simultaneously serves many purposes but, mostly, it’s a resource. It’s not all good, but some of it is great – and it’s usually easy to tell the difference (sometimes I am lazy; some days are better than others:-)

This Blog is a way to share what I’ve learned in over 40 years as a health nut and fitness fanatic, over 30 years as a Chiropractor, and over 20 years as a Tai chi guy. As an athlete since age 11, I know a little about sports injuries; as a chiropractor for over 30 years I know a little about pain and injury, relief, rehab, recovery – and prevention. And as a Tai chi guy I have learned a lot about putting all of that (and much more) together in a way that makes the whole greater than the sum of all the parts.

So on this, the 900th Post, I write to remind you that a simple search (just type the word in the search box to the right) of any one of the following terms or phrases will pull up a list of Posts on the subject. Scroll down the list of Posts to find the one that targets your interest, or read them all to get a fuller picture.

One feature that, so far, has never been used to full advantage is the Comments function. Use it if you want to give feedback (they all get sent to my email) or if you want the subject of that Post to be part of a conversation back and forth (you might have a question).

Here is a list of search terms that you might find productive:

back pain
back injury
neck pain
knee pain
shoulder pain
Activator Method
Activator Adjusting
Activator Instrument
Subluxation Complex
forward head posture
bending and lifting
back exercise
strength training
back muscles
back safety
tai chi
balance training
fall prevention
blue green algae
fish oil
olive oil
green drink
oil pulling
Kangen Water
nervous system
medical doctor
industrial complex

November 27, 2014

Neuroplasticity Isn’t Just a “Word”

Neuroplasticity is a word that refers to the brain and nerve systems’ ability to change in response to use. Used in the rehabilitation and fitness world, and now more recently in connection with all kinds of other things: here is an article that says the same thing with different words.

October 28, 2014

Tis The Season… to think about indoor air quality

Hayden and KaLynn, March, 2009

Hayden and KaLynn, March, 2009

This is a good summary article on the issues involved in indoor air quality. None are new and most are old news, but it’s good to be reminded (I blew out two red scented candles last night at home). We use the “Defender” air purifiers by FilterQueen both at home and here at the office. They are as good as you can get. So you can breath freely around here:-)

You can’t hide from it Hayden:-)

July 13, 2014

Beautiful Clouds


In the Tai Chi Hand Form, we start with Tai chi At Rest. This pose, or posture or Style as it’s called, is a standing meditation that can be held for an indefinite period. It’s the predatory, transitional time where we get centered, grounded and “mindful”. Held for longer periods the meditative effect accrues.

Of course few people take the opportunity to benefit from spending much time in this Style… We all move on the the rest of the Form – this is just the start. It is the start, the start to a magnificent journey. It’s also a place to stay. Here is a report of a recent study talking about the benefits of mindful meditation.

It’s funny, I looked on my own computer and searched Google for a photo of Tai Chi At Rest and didn’t find a single one… It’s a Style that is all about stillness, so… I guess it’s less photogenic. I will take care of that some time and Post it here later…

Incidentally this is the Posture that teaches alignment (standing up straight), breathing, relaxation and centering your mind (on your breath is a good place to start). Here you learn about neutral spine, the all important alignment that is essential in bending and lifting. (Read: It’s actually very very important!)

It is here that we first experience letting go of the unnecessary tensions in the body and appreciate what it FEELS like to really relax. And in our daily Tai chi practice it is all of this that attempt carry throughout the rest of the Form and all other aspects of our Tai chi work. No small feat!

Like every other little tiny aspect of Tai chi, you could write a book about just this Style.

In my own practice, and in an effect not to short change this Style, I take three breaths in this Style, with my eyes closed. Shifting to the Tai Chi Ready Style, we simply drop our hands down – as I do that I open my eyes.

Then it’s on to Tai Chi Beginning Style (you can see why those first two Styles are so easily over looked:-)

July 12, 2014

If Health Care Costs Really Mattered…


“Evidence-based” is reference to a systematic preference for advocating for, offering, choosing and incentivizing those things that are most supported by the available scientific evidence. Safety, effectiveness and monetary value are the three highest values, ostensibly.

Imagine what health care would be like in this country if any of that were really the case.

The good news is that if your health really matters to you, the information is available. You can make healthy choices.

Here is one. (Don’t try reading the whole thing. Skim for the titles that interest you the most – it’s comprehensive.) There are some things, with science-based support, that really are not too good to be true, even though they appear to be. Like chiropractic care, Tai chi is one of those things.

June 29, 2014

Relax Here

April 29, 2014

Simplicity, Patience & Compassion


“Some say that my teaching is nonsense,
Others call is lofty but impractical.
But to those who have looked inside themselves,
this nonsense makes perfect sense. And to those who put it into
practice, this loftiness has roots that go deep.

I have just three things to teach:
simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions an din thought, you return
to the source of being. Patient with both friends and enemies, you
accord with the way things are.
Compassion toward yourself, you reconcile
all beings in the world.” ~ Tao Te Ching

August 7, 2013

A rose by any other name…


I used to talk a lot about how well the Yoga people articulate Tai Chi principles. That was back when The Yoga Journal came to the office and I got to read it regularly. Now it doesn’t come to the office, but here is a link to a very good article on the subject of “core” strength.

It’s also another good example of how the rehab community borrowed a small piece of Yoga for their purposes (the Side Plank). When the Yoga people talk about something, you understand that there is a lot more going on that just “Get into this position and hold it.”

I hope you enjoy it.

July 8, 2013

More Americans Seek Complementary & Alternative than for All Conventional Physician Services Combined!

An "Alternative" View

An “Alternative” View

I don’t always share this newsletter but this one is full of great stuff, with something in it for everyone. Take a look and be amazed.

Breaking Medical Research-Tai Chi & Qigong!

Here is a taste…

Oxford University Press, May 2013

The most recent comprehensive assessment of CAM use in the United States found that roughly 40% of US adults had used at least one CAM therapy within the past year. In addition, Americans make more visits to CAM providers each year than to primary care physicians and spend at least as much money on out-of-pocket expenses for CAM services as they do for all conventional physician services combined …

June 20, 2013

The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi


From The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi, by Peter M. Wayne, PhD, with Mark L. Fuerst

Chapter 14

LifeLong Learning with Tai Chi

I left out a lot in the series of Posts reviewing this book. I was going to leave out the rest, since not everyone is that interested. But this chapter talks about how to learn, and how to find a teacher and a Style, so here I will complete my review with these excerpts.

“The two factors needed to learn Tai Chi, according to Professor Cheng Man Ching, are perseverance and right teaching. To progress in your Tai Chi training, you need to practice. Even with the right teachers, you are responsible for what you get out of Tai Chi.”

Develop a Tai Chi Practice

“Some basic rules apply in developing a Tai Chi practice. You need to find your own optimal frequency and duration to practice, the best times of day, and the most convenient place so do Tai Chi, whether in class, at home, or in a local park.”

Some practice is better than no practice. Like any learning process, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. The regimen you choose depends on what your goals are.”

Pace yourself. Like most exercises, it’s better to do a little Tai Chi frequently than to do a lot all at once and nothing in between.”

Be patient with your progress. Change happens slowly with Tai Chi.

Don’t compare yourself to others. People learn in different ways and at different rates.”

“Don’t be too overly self-critical.”

Make Tai Chi part of your regular routine. A structured routine will help you prioritize your practice. It’s like putting “Go to the gym” on your calendar. Pick a regular place and time to practice Tai Chi so that it becomes a kind of ritual.”

Keep a notebook or sketchbook. “… The process of filtering an intengible experience through your own words or pictures helps to incorporate it into your body.”

“Find ways to integrate Tai Chi throughout the day.”

“Join a Tai Chi program.”

How to Find a Tai Chi Program

“Just as it is when you shop for a doctor, or a car, it’s worth doing some research to find a Tai Chi teacher.”

“The first place to look for a Tai Chi teacher or program is on the Internet.”

“Here’s what to look for when you search for a Tai Chi teacher or Tai Chi program.”

An experienced teacher. All things being equal, someone with more experience is likely to teach you more effectively.”

“Good teachers tend to have long-term students.”

“A teacher with good teaching skills and good people skills.”

“A comfortable environment in a practical location.”

“Look for the right size class.”

Trust your instincts. If you find a teacher, but it doesn’t feel right, respect your instincts.”

“Consider the costs.”

“Understand your goals.”

“Pick a style.”

“Your progress in Tai Chi will depend on your ongoing commitment and perseverance.”

About the Photo

This is in front of Legion Hall at Legion Park in Everett, WA. It sets on the bluff above Port Gardner Bay and looks over the bay to the San Juan Islands and the Olympic Mountains. At 8 a.m. it is almost always totally empty and for the past 6 years or so I have practiced Tai Chi most mornings there. If you can find a place that is covered, that would be better, but I have practiced in airport terminals, parking lots, banquet rooms, and balconies. You just need a flat spot that’s about 15 feet from left to right and about 12 feet from front to back – and it doesn’t even have to be that flat.

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