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Join Dr Louis Calvano, Chiropractor for a FREE talk on

HOW TO RUN YOUR BEST MARATHON’! 

He will be giving tips and guidance to run a safe, healthy and satisfying marathon race!
Reserve your seat by calling 212-369-5490.
Dr.  Lou’s marathon running experience includes holding the record of the Long Island Marathon which I won twice in 1979 and 1989. I have also coached at the Craftsbury Running Camp in Vermont. I have a PR of 2:19:38. I have helped many athletes recover from their injuries and coached runners to success in .competition

Seating is limited. Call 212-369-5490 to reserve your seat.

Location: 481 Third Avenue between East 32 & 33 Streets Kessel Wellness Center

louAPRIL
Digital photo by Louis T Calvano

They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah, 40:31
Dear Friends,Today I share with you my sadness over the events of last Monday at the Boston Marathon. I say this because I have a particular fondness for the race, as I ran it 3 times back in the days when (what seems like another lifetime)  I was a serious competitive marathoner.  The Marathon, 26.2 miles long, falls on Patriots Day, a Massachusetts State Holiday, which commemorates the beginning of the struggle that led to the birth of our nation.

In the autumn of 1976, fresh out of college, I ran my first marathon in New York, enjoying great success with a 14th place finish, crossing the line under  2  hours and 23 minutes. I set my sights on  Boston the following spring very cocky, convinced that I would get under 2:20. I was so excited that I went out too fast and paid for it dearly in the second half. I learned why they called the stretch from mile 18 to 21 Heartbreak Hill, as I struggled just to finish. But the crowds were terrific, and their encouragement kept me going.

Boston 1979 was one of my best marathons, and my finish there qualified me to be invited to participate in the 1980 US Olympic Marathon Trials. I recall passing Frank Shorter, one of my heroes. He won the gold medal in the 1972 Olympic Marathon in Munich, then took the silver in Montreal  in 76. He was having a bad day (no champion is immune from disaster); I wanted to comfort him and said in passing, “Tough race, Frank, hang in there.”  Without hesitation, he said “Oh, I’ll finish,” like, ok, let’s just get through this, tomorrow’s another day, there will be other races to run. I learned volumes in that one comment.

By the time I returned in 1985, I was in my last year of chiropractic training and was competing to raise awareness for the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research.  The demands of school and advancing age started to slow me down, so my attitude was more as a participant than a competitor.  Nonetheless, the energy and uplifting spirit of the event never lost its magic on me, and I felt proud to be a part of it.

Being proud to be a part of something much bigger than ourselves, something that inspires, something that makes a difference in the world, is what has us rise up to meet the daunting challenges of life. Despite this tragedy, despite the horror, the loss of life and limb, this race will go on next year, and the next year after that and far into the future. The runners will return, and the cheering crowds and the community of support will be with them every step of the way. No one sick individual or group will extinguish the flame of the human spirit.

Although I no longer run marathons, my heart is with those who suffer now and will be with those who participate again in future races and happier times.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Louis T. Calvano, chiropractor     212-369-5490     www.drlouistcalvano.com

  
                                                     

Be careful what you wish for, because it might come true.

–Ancient Proverb

A beloved elderly professor of philosophy was given a retirement party by his university. Many of his present and past students and school officials came out to celebrate the occasion.

As a lighthearted retirement gift, several students gave him a magic lamp found at a novelty shop. “Rub the lamp!” they chanted in unison, amidst howls of laughter.

Lo and behold, to everyone’s astonishment, a genie appeared. “Sir”, he offered, “I will grant you a wish. You have one of three choices: You may select infinite health, infinite wealth, or infinite wisdom. Which do you choose?”

The professor thought a minute, then said, “Well, I have lived a long and happy life. If I were to die tomorrow, I would die a happy man. So for that reason, I will pass on infinite health. I am not a rich man, but my needs are met, so infinite wealth is not important. However, as a professor of philosophy, I have always been a seeker of the truth. It seems to me that infinite wisdom would be a great blessing. Thus I choose infinite wisdom.”

“Your wish is my command!” said the genie, and he disappeared into thin air.

Immediately, the professor began to convulse, writhe and contort, moaning and groaning. It was obvious he was experiencing a significant transformation. Then it stopped, and he looked up, with his eyes wide with wonder.

“Oh, such things I now can understand! Things I never could realize before!” Then a look of great disappointment came over him as he cried, “And the first thing I realize is . . . . I should have chosen infinite wealth!”

How often do we wish for things that we think will make our lives easier or better? For some of us, it’s a constant mantra. “If only I had . . .”  Once we have it, what would we do with it, and what new problems, complications, responsibilities would result from it?

Wisdom comes from non-judgemental, mindful observing of ourselves and others. It does not need to come with great difficulty, if we are willing to be open to seeing everything in our lives as a lesson.

The same holds true for our health. There is great wisdom in our bodies, and if we are willing to stop, observe it, honor it, learn from it, then we hold great potential for a long, healthy and productive lives.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Louis T. Calvano, chiropractor   212-369-5490  www.drlouistcalvano.com

Digital Photos by Louis Calvano
What we see depends on what we look for.
–John Lubbock
Dear Friends,
It was near the end of our day. Barbara and I had just spent several hours walking the grounds of the New York Botanical Gardens, admiring and photographing the flowers, and we were ready to head home.
At that moment, the lily pond was bathed in the golden glow of the setting sun, and the sight of it just nearly blew me away. I was, so to speak, at the right place at the right time.
I held my breath, aimed and took a shot. And then another, and another, until I got five in all, two of which you see now. I did not realize how wonderful the images were until I downloaded them to the computer. That’s when I knew I had to share them with you.
Sometimes life works that way. Unexpected beauty, unexpected miracles, unexpected opportunity, can show up at any time, anywhere. We just need to be of open mind, open heart, ready for it.
Just as in my photography, I’m always ready for a miracle when treating my patients with chiropractic. Some of you have already experienced that, and I am grateful for having shared those with you as well, and I look forward to those possibilities with you again.
Here’s to all of us having miracles in our lives!
Yours in Health,
Dr. Louis Calvano, chiropractor
212-369-5490
www.drlouistcalvano.com

All gave some, some gave all. Dear Friends, Obviously, the picture I share with you today is not one I took myself. I digress from my usual comments on health and healing, in light of the Memorial Day Weekend. These are a platoon of American GI’s in World War II, moments before landing on the beach in Guam, ready to do battle. It’s not a particularly famous photo from the war, as there were thousands taken, but it holds special meaning for me: one of the young men on the amphibious vessel was my father.Dad was a quiet man, never talked much about the War. Most of what I learned was from my mother and other relatives.As a matter of fact, I never saw this photo until after he passed away in 2002. About how he lied about his age (he was 17) in order to enlist in the Army after Pearl Harbor, about the weeks spent in the jungles and swamps in New Guinea and the Phillipines, about how mosquitos gave him malaria. He participated in five beach landings, one so bad they had to retreat back to the boats.Dad didn’t come home until the end of the war, after four years of service. Upon his return, he promptly married his high school sweetheart and raised 5 of us.How was it that these brave men, after all that trauma, could come home, get married, raise families and live a “normal” civilian life? I don’t know how he did it. Dad had a rough temper. We fought, and there were times that I was downright afraid of him. In a quiet moment, I once asked him, and all he could say was that he would just do the next right thing, then the next, and then the next.Maybe this letter is about health and healing after all. In order to be well, we need to forgive our Fathers’ mistakes (and he made plenty), and acknowledge that they did the best they could with the abilities they had.So, on this Memorial Day Weekend, let’s have an enjoyable and restful time. And in the midst of all the activities we have planned, may we also take a moment to honor and be grateful for all those who served, regardless of how they came back.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Louis T. Calvano, chiropractor 212 369-5490 www.drlouistcalvano.com

 

Digital photograph by Dr. Louis Calvano
Healing takes time. Despite great advances in health care,
the biggest part of your recovery is attributable
to the enormous healing power inside you.
The body heals itself according to its
own timetable–anxious thoughts
never hasten recuperation.
–Criswell Freeman
Dear Friends,
High on the list of questions my patients ask when we initiate care is: Doc, how long is this going to take to get better?
In many cases it’s a guessing game, because multiple factors influence a patient’s ability to recover and heal. Factors such as:
*age
*weight
*physical fitness
*diet and nutrition
*other medical conditions
*emotional states
*family and job demands
*adequate sleep
*etc…..
The bottom line is that your lifestyle habits and general health will determine how long it will take to recover from your condition.
When you receive my care, please keep in mind that it takes time to get better. Recovery can be like a roller coaster, with daily ups and downs. Have patience, hang in there on the tough days, and let’s celebrate the good days.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Louis T. Calvano, chiropractor
212 369-5490    www.drlouistcalvano.com

 

 
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Dear Friends,
Yesterday morning, while on my running workout, I suddenly became acutely aware of my surroundings and was stunned by its natural beauty.
Deep in the bowels of urban central Queens exists a miraculous stand of pristine woodland called Forest Park. It had just rained, still cloudy, and the trees had recently sprouted their verdant new foliage. The lush colors vibrated as I trod the soft trail.
As I came upon this blossoming bush, the experience of it all became overwhelming, and I had to stop. Fortunately, I had my trusty Blackberry with me and took a few shots, including this one.
In those few moments, I felt connected with the earth, profoundly peaceful, and deeply grateful for having had the opportunity to be in that spot at that time. How fortunate I am!
I wish for all of you moments like these. Unexpected moments that remind us of how wonderful life can be when we stop, observe, and appreciate the world around us in all its glory.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Louis T. Calvano, chiropractor

Drug Cascades and Hip Implants

I read two articles recently that helped to remind me why I do what I do as a chiropractor.

 The first I found in the September Bulletin of AARP. Its cover story addressed the impact of common drugs’ side effects and how people get sick from them and end up taking more drugs to deal with them.

 They call it the cascade effect , as one drug leads to another, and so on. It’s a huge problem, as this phenomenon is the fourth leading cause of hospital deaths, topped only by heart disease, cancer and stroke.

The second article, in a recent New York Times, discussed how hip implants shed tiny metal particles into the surrounding tissues from wear and tear. Scavenger cell from the body’s immune system engulf them and digest them.

 The digestion process degrades the metal into caustic, chemically reactive ions, which then become toxic and destroy surrounding healthy tissue. This process leads to more pain and disability, which the surgery was intended to avoid in the first place.

 These articles remind me of a TV commercial from the 70’s, in which an apparently benevolent woman playing Mother Nature discovers she is fooled by a company’s product. She suddenly turns indignant and scowls “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!” as she hurls thunderbolts.

 Many medical therapies and devices, while at times necessary and expedient, create unforeseen circumstances that can produce serious consequences. In many cases we are negotiating a Faustian deal with the devil, with one nasty payback.

 So the bottom line in all of this is to do whatever you can to get healthy. You simply must take out the time to get physical activity, choose the right foods, get enough sleep, lose weight, and when you hurt, get call us and get adjusted!

 Studies have shown that Medicare recipients who get regular chiropractic care have fewer medical costs in the long run. Which saves everyone money and reduces overall human suffering.

 Don’t wait for the doctor to tell you that you’ve got a serious health condition before you do something for your health. Start now and just do it!

 Dr. Lou Calvano

Muscle Soreness or Injury? 

 Many of my patients are very active. They love to be in motion! The variety of their activities spans the alphabet, from Aerobics to Zumba dance. You name it, they do it!

Many of those who begin exercise often ask me this question: How do I know that the unpleasant feeling afterwards is just plain soreness or an injury? If this uncertainty applies to you, read on.

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is usually felt after the workout. You wake up the next morning and feel stiff and sore.  The pain tends to be sharp and diffuse. It also is usually felt in the belly of muscles, as that is where the work of muscles, the contractions, is done. The pain usually diminishes (though may not disappear) with light activity and stretching, and spontaneously clears in a few days.

Like DOMS, an injury may also not show up right away. In the total engagement, physically as well as mentally, of competition, performance or amped-up training, pain signals are often blocked by the brain, only to show up in the calm after the storm.  The pain is usually more focused, concentrated to one spot. It may or may not be swollen, and almost always painful to the touch. It could be in belly of the muscle, but just as often it is near or on the attachment to the bone.

If you’re lucky (a big if), with some self care (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) it will resolve over several days or weeks.

If you do get injured in the course of your exercise routines, do not get discouraged. They are part and parcel of an active lifestyle. I like to call them “the injuries of excellence.” It happens to almost everyone at one time or another. Just be responsible, take care of yourself, and know when to back off or find something else to do while you’re recovering.

If you have developed an injury and its not resolving with your self care, then it’s time to see a professional. That’s where I come in. If there’s anything we can do to help, please give us a call.

In the meantime, have a great sweat!

Dr. Louis Calvano

What’s a 57-Year Old Klutz Doing In A Hot Yoga Class?
My wife Barbara has recently taken up Bikram Yoga. You know, the kind where you take the class in a room where the temperature is at 105 degrees? She’s been loving it, and had been on my case for week to give it a try.
So I finally broke down and joined her for a few clases. The first time I entered the room I was overwhelmed by the heat. “Whoah! Am I going to be able to breathe in here?” I’m thinking.
Our instructor was enthusiastic and talked very fast as she started to guide us through our poses. “We’re going to make it hurt for the next 90 minutes so it doesn’t hurt for the next 90 years!” she said. We should live so long!
After enduring 3 classes over the next couple of weeks, I cannot say that I exactly enjoyed the experience, but I did learn 2 valuable lessons that I would like to share with you.
First, there was pain involved in trying to attain a pose. I thought that I would injure myself, but I found that the results were just the opposite. I have always stretched in the past to assist my long distance running, but I’ve never stretched with this kind of intensity. The results were dramatic. So, first lesson is, when you stretch, concentrate, take your time, stretch deep and make it hurt a little. Don’t  worry you’ll be fine, and don’t  be surprised by how good you feel later.
Several of the poses were practiced while balancing on one leg and then the other. I was apalled that I could not stand on one leg for more than a second or two before stumbling over like a klutz. I have always been an accomplished long distance runner my whole life, and had no idea of my limitation in this area. It is something I am definitely going to work on. So the second lesson is, work on your balance, guys.
Why is this so important? Let’s face it, we live in New York City. It’s a tough town. You have to get around on your own, and it requires strength, coordination and balance. No one said it would be easy getting on and off buses, in and out of taxis, climbing up and down subway stairs, or sometimes just crossing an intersection.
What if you could not do those things? Say goodbye to your independence, your freedom. You’d be a prisoner in your own apartment. I don’t know about you, but I want to be able to get around this amazing city for a long time to come, so I’m going to work on my balance.
Will I go back to the hot yoga classes? I’m not so sure about that, but one thing is for sure: I’ll be working on my deep stretching and balance exercises from now on.
Dr. Lou
“Hey Doc, You Gonna Crack My Back?”
Aarrrgh! Just the thought of it!
I get that all the time from folks who kid me about what I do. I like to respond by saying that “I only crack nuts and jokes, but I will adjust your spine when and where it needs to be adjusted!”
So if I do not “crack your back,” (or “snap your neck,” as some people say), just what is the noise all about anyway, and is it really important to get noise during an adjustment?
First, it’s important to understand how joints in the spine are shaped and how they work. Between almost all of the vertebrae in your back you have discs, and you also have two little joints that are flat, which are called facets, and they glide on one another, which allows you to bend and twist.
All of these facet joints are encapsulated in an envelope of strong ligaments and contain joint fluid. When I deliver an adjustment, one surface momentarily lifts off of another, creating a gap. Because the cartilage surfaces that glide on each other are wet, they create that “pop,” similar to when you lift a glass off a wet countertop.
Sometimes, we cannot create noise in the joint. It may be due to the drying effect of arthritis, too much swelling from inflammation, or just the way your joints were created genetically. With or without noise, we still get movement in the joints. Forgive the pun, but as I like to joke with my patients, Getting a good adjustment is like going to the bathroom: you don’t have to make a lot of noise to get a good movement!
Either way, the result is a spinal joint that has greater freedom and mobility. This is so critically important to the long term health of your spine. If you doubt me, just look at the seniors in our community and the trouble they with their stiff, inflexible spines.
Staying flexible and mobile requires ongoing attention, and the combination of daily stretching, exercise, good nutrition and weight management, with chiropractic care, is a winning combination.
Dr. Lou Calvano, chiropractor
What do Jack LaLanne and Bill Maher Have In Common?
 

Fitness guru Jack LaLanne died recently at the age of 96. He was famous for touting exercise and eating right as the keys to longevity and quality of life, long before it became popular to do so.

 Among his favorite sayings were: “Exercise is King, Nutrition is Queen, put them together and you’ve got a Kingdom.” and “The only way you can hurt the body is not to use it.”

 So what does that have to do with the political humorist and commentator Bill Maher?

I have inserted a link to a YouTube video of Mr. Maher describing the way pharmaceutical companies profit by keeping people dependent upon their drugs, when profit should be given to doctors who funnel their patients into wellness programs.

 “So ask your doctor if getting off your ass is right for you!” he quips in the video.

 As you know, I’ve been encouraging, cajoling and pleading my patients for years to eat better and get some exercise. I do that because I know the benefits, I live the benefits. I walk (or should I say run and bike and strength train?) the talk, practice what I preach. So let’s get with it, guys!

In the meantime, enjoy the video: 

 http://www.youtube.com/embed/rHXXTCc-IVg

 

 

“This Is How You Are Wrecking Your Back.”

 These Are The Top 5 Things That Destroy Your Back… And How To Avoid Them!

            The number one thing that most new patients want to know is, “How did my back get this way?” And unless they were in a car accident or had some other type of accident, most of them don’t know why their back is hurting or how it got that way. But, there are a couple of things that really stand out and there are things that you can do to help prevent damage to your back. These are the top 5…

1. Weekend Warriors. These are the folks who think that they’re athletes but never train like an athlete. They go out and hurt themselves during a weekend round of golf or basketball game. These are also the people who for the most part are idle for most of the week and then try to tackle a major home improvement project on the weekend. Cleaning out the garage or spending hours out in the garden can be just as rough on your back as playing sports all weekend.

            Prevent It. According to Michael Hisey, MD, orthopedic surgeon and president o f the Texas Back Institute, “The only preventive solution for back pain is exercise. The fix is to stretch and strengthen your core muscles.” Developing a good strong core can help protect your back and is important for back stability. Also, taking a few extra minutes to stretch and warm up before your weekend activities can help prevent injuries.

2. Poor Lifting Technique. Improper bending and lifting can cause back injuries.

Prevent It. So you’ve probably heard this advice before but do you follow it? Here’s how to lift safely:

Bend with your knees and keep your back straight. Don’t bend at the waist.

  • Keep the object you’re lifting close to your body. The farther it is away from you the more it stresses your back.
  • Never hold the object higher than your armpit or lower than your knees.
  • Don’t try to move something that weighs more than 20% of your body weight.
  • Never pivot, twist or turn while lifting. Face the object you are lifting and change directions with your feet, not your waist.

3. Absentmindedness. How many times have you heard of someone who injured their back simply by picking up a pencil off the floor or by loading the dishwasher? Doing simple mundane tasks can cause a back injury if you’re not focused on what you’re doing. If your mind is running on auto-pilot instead of focusing on the task at hand, you could be in trouble. According to Dan McMackin, a spokesman for UPS, “we’ve seen a higher proportion of injuries occur at the end of the shift, due to fatigue of the mind and body.”

 Prevent It.It goes back to the core muscles and training yourself to keep them engaged. The best exercise I’ve found for this is to pull your belly button in toward your spine. Do this throughout the day and especially when lifting or bending.

4 & 5. Commuting & Computing. Sitting… whether you’re at work or while driving or in front of the TV… your back doesn’t like it. When you sit still, fluid is basically compressed out of your discs.

Think of it like wringing out a sponge.

When you move, fluid circulates through the disc providing proper nutrition to the discs. Sitting still is hard on your back and your neck and can do long term damage. In fact, studies have shown that sitting puts more pressure on your spine than lying down or standing up.

Prevent It. You’re going to have to sit, so try these strategies to help lessen the impact that prolonged sitting can have.

§         Get up and move every 20 minutes (unless you’re driving). Set a timer or your screen saver to remind you. Get up and stretch, go for a short walk and change positions.

§         Hold reading material at eye level (this includes your computer monitor). Basically, you should try to keep your spine straight and try to avoid working hunched over at your desk.

§         Choose the right chair. You need a chair that supports your lower back and can be adjusted so that your feet stay flat on the floor. If your seat doesn’t have good lower back support you can use a small pillow or rolled up towel behind your lower back.

§         Remove everything from your back pocket especially your wallet. Sitting on this uneven surface throws your spine out of alignment.

Put these tips into practice and try to prevent damage to your spine before it happens. You have to make it a habit to “check yourself before you wreck yourself.”

And what is the number one thing you can do to help prevent back problems?…

Routine, regular chiropractic check-ups and adjustments.

Remember; don’t wait for there to be a problem… prevent one from developing.

Caution: Handheld Technology May Be Hurting You

              I love the fact that with one little device that can fit inside my pocket I can access the entire internet, check my email, send a text message, make a phone call, take pictures and video and find an “app” for just about anything I want. But is all this technology a good thing or a bad thing?

A recent survey found that young people between the ages of 8 and 18 spend in excess of seven-and-a-half hours a day using some form of mobile media. Whether it’s their cell phone or a video game or even an e-reader, that amount of time with one of these devices will lead to future health problems.

This type of handheld technology forces the body into repetitive behaviors and positions. The primary concern is the development of an abnormal postural problem known as Forward Head Posture (FHP). Spending hours on end, day after day with your head down, neck bent forward, staring at a tiny phone screen will eventually lead to FHP.

What are some of the effects of FHP?

  • Muscle Strain
  • Disc Herniations
  • Pinched Nerves
  • Chronic Neck Pain
  • Loss of Cervical Curve
  • Decreased Lung Capacity
  • Early Degenerative Arthritis

The more time you or your kids spend using these devices, the more you need to be on the lookout for FHP. The signs are easy to spot. They include slumped, hunched or rounded shoulders and from the side view, the center of the ear being out in front of the center of the shoulders.

Don’t be surprised if you spot the signs of FHP on a family member or a friend. It is the most common abnormal posture finding that every chiropractor sees. But, just because it’s common, doesn’t mean it’s normal or acceptable. It’s a sign that the body is undergoing a structural change that if it hasn’t already; will surely lead to functional problems later.

If you think that FHP may be affecting you or a family member, I highly recommend that you bring them in for a posture evaluation.

                 

“Within Three Weeks I Was Feeling Better…

I Can Now Move Freely Again Without Crying!!”

 “I came to Dr. Calvano because I had given up and was terrified of having surgery. My doctor’s were saying that surgery was my only option. An MRI showed that I had a large herniated disc in my neck. Severe pain had set in and was radiating down both arms and into my hands. I couldn’t even turn my head without crying. I had gone through eight weeks of physical therapy, steroid treatments and pool therapy and nothing was helping.

Within three weeks of starting care with Dr. Calvano, I was able to move freely again without crying.”         –Shirley R.