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All posts by Dr. Shaw

Muscle Soreness

“Just take an Advil”

I recently shared with another health care provider that I had started a new, intense workout program. I shared that the soreness of my muscles was something I had to stay on top of.  She responded, “Just take one Advil before and one Advil after.”  This is a very common response that most people would not think twice about.

So, what’s the big deal? 

Ibuprofen, the main constituent of Advil, can damage the kidneys.  People who are dehydrated are more at risk.  Because dehydration is a common risk of working out, Advil is actually a very bad choice.

What is a good choice for muscle soreness?

The answer is minerals!  Minerals like Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium actually help to neutralize lactic acid, improve hydration, and decrease muscle soreness without risking damage to the kidney, liver, or stomach lining.

There is also a great herb called  Boswellia serrata that not only help with pain but inflammation too.  Make sure you are getting it from a respected herbal source.

Finally, keep hydrated!  Be sure to give your body support during workouts and increase the amount of water you consume.

Sick care vs. Health care

There has been a lot of uncertainty with health insurance lately surrounding the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Debating the pros and cons of the new law is an important conversation to have, but the current discussion seems to overlook some very important issues.  It is time for an overall paradigm shift that would help us to see health insurance through a more realistic lens.

Calling it “health” insurance presumes health is the priority. In reality, it would be more accurate to call it “sick” insurance as the system requires you to be “sick” before you can use it.  It is imperative to understand our health insurance system measures success in terms of profit, not measurements of health.  Therefore, there is no incentive for the system to promote health or wellness.  It is time to stop relying on a for-profit private insurance company to determine what we can do for our health.  Health insurance is important to help insure us against a catastrophic illness or accident, but you and only you can insure your own health.

Statistically, the US is number one in emergency medicine but we are 78th in wellness care.  We can do better.  Health is not a mystery.  We know how to achieve it.  But, until our system is set up to have health as a measurement  of success, it is ultimately up to us to take responsibility for our health through diet, exercise, chiropractic care, nutritional supplements, and other holistic based modalities that nurture our body, mind, and spirit.  We will likely not see improvements to insurance coverage for health improving activities, it is up to you to invest in the most important asset you have.

Body Messages – Brown Skin Spots

One of the more popular new cosmetics product out recently is the “age spot” remover. These brown spots on the skin are not called age spots because you are growing older.

AGE stands for Advanced glycation end-product.
Translation: your body cannot handle all the sugar you are eating. You can think of it like the sugar is carmalizing under your skin.
Understand when I say sugar, I am also referring to carbs. Carbohydrates are a bunch of sugars all connected together. Some of the worst offenders are bagels, breads, pasta and rice.
Brown skin spots are minor considering what unstable blood sugar can do to your body. Internal inflammation, hormone imbalance, elevated triglycerides, PCOS, excessive weight, osteoarthritis, fatigue are just some of the symptoms.
Stablizing blood sugar relies heavily on getting enough protein and avoiding carbs. There are several diets that follow this basic idea; Phase II diet, Paleo diet, Mediterranean diet. The short version is protein and vegetables for every meal and get off the grains and sugar.

Infertility & Breast cancer

I opened my internet this morning to see a story about Guiliana Rancic and her decision to undergo a double masectomy. I have followed her and her husband’s struggle with infertility over the years but I had not heard that she was fighting breast cancer. Sadly, I wasn’t surprised.

So what does breast cancer have to do with fertility?
The answer is hormone imbalance.

Hormone imbalance comes in many different forms:

  • infertility
  • breast, uterine, ovarian cancers
  • severe menopause symptoms
  • early puberty
  • PMDD, severe PMS
  • Prostate hypertrophy & cancer in men

Unfortunately we are living in a toxic pool of hormone disrupters and while hormone imbalance is common, it is not normal.

There are some easy lifestyle tips you can implement to improve hormone balance:

  1. Stop all forms of HRT and hormonal birth control (esp. Yaz & Mirena)
  2. Eat one serving a day of cruciferous vegetables/day (broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts)
  3. Avoid soy & plastics

These tips may not be enough to restore balance which is where nutritional therapy can help.
*A special note to those woman who have gone through IVF or are planning to go through IVF, the drugs are powerful hormone disruptors by design. Helping the body clear them safely through nutritional therapy helps to prevent other problems down the road.

Body Messages – Red Dots on Your Skin

Our bodies are often giving us messages, so do we know what they mean or that it is a message?
Red dots on the skin are an important message. They can show up anywhere on the body; arms, back, chest, face.

These little dots are an indication of too much estrogen in the body. They can show up on women or men. Men can get lots of them if they are taking synthetic testosterone since excess testosterone in a man’s body will turn into estrogen. Women can get them when the body is not filtering estrogen properly, from birth control or HRT. Anyone can get too much estrogen from non-organic animal products, plastics, soy, pesticides and many other sources.

If you have too much estrogen in the body, it can put women at risk for breast, cervical, ovarian and uterine cancers and men at risk for prostate cancer. If you find little red dots on you or your family, pay attention to this very important message.

There are things you can do to help reduce estrogen in the body:

  • Eat 1 serving of cruciferous vegetables / day (kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts)
  • Avoid soy products
  • Switch to organic sources of animal products (milk, cheese, butter, meat, etc)
  • Seek natural alternatives to birth control & HRT
  • Avoid using all pesticides and herbicides

Think Before You Drink…Fiji Water

I am not a fan of plastic bottled water as a rule for several reasons:
1) Cost
2) There are no purity standards
3) Plastic leaches into the water and contributes to the severe hormonal imbalances found in a majority of Americans
4) The enviromental impact of bottling and shipping water all over the world
5) It is one of the major contributors (plastic bags being the other) to the plastic waste problem that the world is facing along with the Eastern Garbage Patch that is already the size of Texas found in the Pacific Ocean

Now I have one more to add after reading this article on the irreparable damage that the Fiji Water Company is doing to the island of Fiji, the people and the environment.

A good way to make sure that you and your family have clean, environmentally responsible drinking water is distillation. You can find countertop distillers on or They require a investment of $200-$400 which is easily made back with avoiding plastic bottled water.
Distillaton removes

  • Bacteria, viruses & other microorganisms
  • Fluoride, sodium, nitrates and other soluable inorganic salts
  • Organic chemicals like pesticides, PCBs, THMs
  • Radionuclides
  • Heavy metals such as lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, etc.
  • Soluable minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, etc.

What distillation does not remove are gases and volatile organic compounds but this is easily remedied by incorporating a carbon filter which most countertop distillers have.
It is important to note that most distillation does require electricity so a easy way to minimize your electric bill is to run it over night. Using glass or stainless steel bottles to store the distilled water in the refrigerator allows for busy families to grab and go.

The controversy that is brought up over distilled water is that is devoid of minerals…which is true but the claim that ingesting distilled water will leach minerals out of the body is false. Once distilled water hits our stomach it mixes with our stomach juices and immediately loses its leaching abilities.

An easy solution to make your distilled water into absorbable mineral water…a few grains of brown rice in your water bottle!

If we are going to claim to be “GREEN”, we have start speaking with our money and skipping the bottled water, especially Fiji Water, is a good start.