14 Medications to Zero

pillsA few weeks ago I heard a great story about a lady’s return to health that made me both happy and frustrated all at the same time. While checking out at Nordstrom’s the woman that was assisting me took down my email address and noticed that ‘Dr.’ was in the spelling. She continued to ask what kind of doctor I was and when I told her I was a chiropractor her face lit up as she told me how her chiropractor was the absolute best and was the only doctor she currently uses. This, of course, makes me smile, but also begs me to get more information. The explanation of her return to health was really summed up in one sentence. She said, “Two years ago I was on 14 medications and now I am on none!”. 14 MEDICATIONS!!!!! It is almost difficult to believe that someone can continue to be handed prescriptions at a rate so high. She said that she finally sought out this chiropractor because she was not satisfied with the direction of her healthcare and didn’t feel right taking that many medications every day. This particular chiropractor took control of her care and in two years she lost 50 pounds and was able to eliminate 14 medications from her life! That is just plain awesome. Can you imagine the negative side effects that 14 medications have on your system? Not only each individual one, but there also must be some negative interactions between these meds. Now, this story is really not to say how chiropractors are the best thing in the world. This could have been any other healthcare professional, like a dietician, a naturopath, an acupuncturist, or even another medical professional. The point is that she was able to turn her life around so drastically and truly control her own health.
This really made me smile as I walked out of the store, but this satisfaction was quickly joined by a feeling of frustration. Clearing 14 medications from the system and returning the body to a healthy state is a massive victory, but it begs the question of how someone can possibly be instructed to take all these medications in the first place. Was this really the direction that her previous healthcare provider(s) thought was in her best interest?? Surely there were multiple medical professionals who each lent a hand in boosting her prescription numbers. And maybe even 3 or 4 of these medications were given temporarily and not meant for long term use. However, this would still leave the patient with at least 10 daily medications and potentially no planned date for ending their use. Unfortunately, this has become a common scenario in today’s healthcare system; partly because multiple doctors are used to control a patient’s health and partly because many medical professionals rely on medications as their primary tool for ‘health’. Luckily, this patient decided to seek out advice from another health professional whose goal would be to fix things without using a prescription pad. My hope is not that we eliminate the use of all medications as there are extremely useful and necessary in many instances. My hope is that we use them only when other methods fail to provide solutions or if the body just cannot sustain health without them. I’m sure there are many stories just like this, but probably even more people that COULD have stories like this if they decided to finally take control of their own health.

How to Avoid Overtraining

One of the biggest problems I see with my patients who do a lot of training is that they overtrain. They vastly underestimate the importance of taking time to recover and let their bodies heal. It’s easy to think that more is better, so they are constantly pushing their body to the max. Unfortunately, that’s when the most injuries occur.

how to avoid overtraining, overtraining for a marathon, endurance sports overtrainingDuring training you are actually breaking down the muscles in your body. Your body intelligently responds by rebuilding them stronger than they were before. However, your muscles don’t get stronger while you are working out. It’s when you are resting that you get stronger, faster, bigger, etc. That recovery time is so important for increased performance, as well as for avoiding injury.

It’s pretty simple when it comes down to it. If you are constantly breaking your body down and not allowing sufficient recovery time, you are going to injure yourself. The most common times I see this is with people who are training for endurance sports, like a marathon or triathlon, as well as people who do a lot of weight training. Quantity is not as important as quality.

All of the endurance athletes know the importance of tapering before a competition or race. The reason taper is so important is for the same reasons I described above. However, few people take that mentality into the rest of their training. If you don’t allow yourself time during your training to recover, you run the risk of injury. Increasing recovery time before a big race allows your body to be 100% for race day. Don’t you think it would be wise to try and be 100% for each training day? The more recovered you are for each training day, the harder you can push yourself, which results in making quicker gains in speed, power, and strength. Too often, endurance athletes get to their taper period injured. This time in the training schedule should be used to make sure the body is 100%, not crossing your fingers that your pain will go away.

Another key factor that intensifies over-training is lack of proper nutrition. What you eat and put in your body is the fuel your body uses when you are training. Proper nutrition plays an immense role in how you are going to perform, how effective your training is, and your likelihood of getting injured. Just like a car that needs the right fuel to run properly, if you aren’t putting the right fuel in your body, you put yourself at a much higher risk of getting injured.

Overtraining is much more common than people think. It’s something that I see frequently. Some common symptoms of over-training include always feeling tired or sluggish, having an increased heart rate, not recovering from previous workouts, chronic pain, and/or not feeling energized after you exercise.

As you are training, be sure to build in time to recover. You have to listen to your body to know what it needs. This will help you avoid injury and increase performance.

Have questions about this? We would love to help. Feel free to give us a call at 949-916-9742.