Private: What is Trigger Point Dry Needling?

Trigger point dry needling (TDN) is an extremely effective technique that uses a very fine mono filament needle to "de-activate" or "shut down" painful and knotted areas in your muscles. Many of us have areas in our body that chronically feel tense, that are painful and feel like a hard ball when being touched. By inserting a thin needle into these contracture knots, we try to elicit a "twitch response" or a brief contraction (lasting less than a second) which causes the muscle to get rid of inflammatory products (such as lactic acid) and allows for a long-lasting relaxation of the muscle. Because the needle can treat very deep parts of the muscle very specifically, the technique can achieve amazing pain relief and improve muscle function.

dry needling NPTBlog

At Fyzical Therapy & Balance Centers of Naperville we use TDN every day to:

  • Provide long-lasting pain relief from head to toe
  • Eliminate muscle tension
  • Help muscles heal after injuries
  • Improve blood flow at a deep level
  • Speed healing and recovery time after injury
  • Improve range of motion and flexibility
  • Stimulate a muscle to work better
  • Prevent future injuries from occurring
  • Get people back to exercise and activities of daily living ASAP

Will TDN Help Me?

Does a massage give you relief but it doesn't last as long as you would like? People who respond well to massage, but are disappointed when the discomfort returns, often find that TDN can offer them a longer-lasting pain relief. TDN works very well for people with acute injuries as well as chronic overuse and sports injuries. We can treat nearly any muscle in the body from head to toe with greater specificity and at greater depths than is possible with other types of body work. TDN can be very effective in treating headaches related to muscle tension. TDN is not appropriate for treating swelling in a muscle as result of an acute injury when bruising is present. A physical therapy evaluation will help to determine if TDN can be indicated for you to help you with your recovery.

Does The Needle Hurt?

Because the needles are very thin and solid, they don't hurt as they pass through the skin like a hollow (much thicker) injection needle does. The sensations people report from the desirable twitch response of the muscle tissue are "deep aching", "electrical", "pressure", "releasing", "blood flow" or "soreness". The procedure is brief and the needle is left in for a short period of time, just long enough to get the muscle to twitch and to relax. TDN can be performed at various trigger points in the same muscle or in multiple muscles during one session, depending on your response. Because we treat sensitive areas that have been tight (sometimes for a long time), there is some discomfort. However, most patients experience that short-term discomfort is well worth tolerating considering the long-term relief TDN provides.

How Many Needles Will I Need?

We will start very slowly during the first session to give you a feel for the technique. The first session will focus on one or a few muscles that are key to your problem. Treating these key areas can give you excellent relief and result in less soreness and an improvement in flexibility. Subsequent sessions can also treat other areas related to your problem. It is not uncommon to find tightness in other muscles due to compensation patterns. Sessions are usually 3-5 days apart and you should feel a marked difference after 1-3 sessions.

How Will I Feel Immediately After TDN?

You will know if a positive change has occurred right after the session, because you can expect to feel some soreness similar to how you would feel after working out your muscles with weight resistance. The muscle will feel fatigued and the soreness can last from a few hours to 1-2 days, but should not interfere with your everyday activities. We encourage you to be active during this time to keep the soreness to a minimum. You can also use some heat or ice to temporarily alleviate the soreness. After a day or so, you will experience a new feeling of less pain and improved flexibility. The chronic injury you thought was here to stay will actually start to improve.

TDN should be performed by a qualified health care professional. Ben Grotenhuis, PT, CMTPT, FAAOMPT has received extensive post-graduate training in TDN. He has been using TDN as part of his daily physical therapy practice since 2010.

FYZICAL is Physical – Spelled Different Because We Are Different


In September, Naperville Physical Therapy will celebrate 20 fantastic years in business.  It truly has been a dream job for me and it got even better when Gary joined me 15 years ago.  Over the years, we have never tried to grow the business too much as we were concentrating our efforts on growing our children.  Well, now that they are at a very manageable age (are teenagers really manageable?) we have decided to take our business in a new direction in hopes that we can grow it, in this ever changing healthcare market, over the next decade.


This summer we spent a considerable amount of time learning about a new P.T. franchise.  We were so impressed with the team of professionals and the opportunities that exist to expand our business that we have teamed up with this group.  Over the next month, we will be transitioning our name to FYZICAL Therapy and Balance Centers – Naperville!!  The name change is a result of a rebranding effort designed to mirror the growth and transformation of our organization. This is no small endeavor but we are excited to share the news and hope that you will spread the word and continue to support our clinic.


Our clients have always been and will remain our number one priority.  We are expanding programs to meet more needs within the community.  One such offering is a state of the art balance, dizziness and fall prevention program.   You will see our facility and equipment improve to directly benefit our clients.  Although our name is changing, we are still the same practitioners who have treated you with care and expertise for over two decades.  We now look forward to serving the community, focusing on health and preventive medicine, in conjunction with the current services we already provide.


If we have not seen you in a while, please reach out and let us know how you are.  We will still be the same “mom and pop shop” you experienced but now we will have “grandparents”.


Thank you and LYL (Love Your Life)!


Mary Rachford, PT

FYZICAL is Physical – Spelled Different Because We Are Different

In September, Naperville Physical Therapy will celebrate 20 fantastic years in business. It truly has been a dream job for me and it got even better when Gary joined me 15 years ago. Over the years, we have never tried to grow the business too much as we were concentrating our efforts on growing our children. Well, now that they are at a very manageable age (are teenagers really manageable?) we have decided to take our business in a new direction in hopes that we can grow it, in this ever changing healthcare market, over the next decade.

This summer we spent a considerable amount of time learning about a new P.T. franchise. We were so impressed with the team of professionals and the opportunities that exist to expand our business that we have teamed up with this group. Over the next month, we will be transitioning our name to FYZICAL Therapy and Balance Centers - Naperville!! The name change is a result of a rebranding effort designed to mirror the growth and transformation of our organization. This is no small endeavor but we are excited to share the news and hope that you will spread the word and continue to support our clinic.

Our clients have always been and will remain our number one priority. We are expanding programs to meet more needs within the community. One such offering is a state of the art balance, dizziness and fall prevention program. You will see our facility and equipment improve to directly benefit our clients. Although our name is changing, we are still the same practitioners who have treated you with care and expertise for over two decades. We now look forward to serving the community, focusing on health and preventive medicine, in conjunction with the current services we already provide.

If we have not seen you in a while, please reach out and let us know how you are. We will still be the same "mom and pop shop" you experienced but now we will have "grandparents".

Thank you and LYL (Love Your Life)!

Mary Rachford, PT

Yardwork Yoga

This past weekend I watched my neighbor kneel in the same position for hours while gardening in her beautiful yard.  She loves to garden and we often laugh about how much I hate it. I did think to myself as I drove by well into the evening and she was still in the same position, “I wonder how her back will feel tomorrow?”

The next day it was my turn to head out to the yard. We really don’t have a garden, just lots of bushes and a few flowers (which I can’t even tell you the names of) – but we sure have plenty of weeds! After a few minutes into it, I thought, “How can I make this more enjoyable because this really is one of my least favorite things to do?” I thought about the position my neighbor was in all day and decided to try a little lunge action to pick the weeds and wow did that feel good, a little stretching and strengthening all at the same time. Next, I got an old blanket and put it under my knees to try pulling the weeds from a child’s pose and, by golly it worked. Soon, I was in a plank position, then threading the needle position and finally resting in a comfortable pigeon position to stretch my buttocks.

As my excitement grew with each new pose I tried, my husband just looked over and laughed, saying “What do you think people driving by are thinking as they see you in these positions.” I could care less, I had just invented a new exercise that I’m sure would sweep the nation.

I ran into the house to get my daughter to come to take pictures of me so I could remember how I was doing this and, of course, blog about it. My son then suggested we try partner Yoga pulling techniques. Why not I thought. Soon enough, my daughter and her friend were getting in poses, actually pulling weeds and they were having a blast doing it. I suddenly had a realization that maybe I could offer classes in my yard and have people pay to learn how to do Yardwork Yoga and get them to pull those dreaded weeds at the same time. A little Tom Sawyer-ish if you recall the painting of the white picket fence.

OK, that probably is never going to happen, but I have to say I wasn’t sore when I finished all of the yard work. I had fun doing it and when my neighbor drove by she did tell me her back was hurting from all of the weeding she did the prior day. You can see from the photos the various poses I tried. Try and incorporate a few poses into your own yard work only if you have experience with Yoga. These poses are not for beginners.

  • Namaste
  • Namaste
  • Warrior 2
    Warrior 2
  • Warrior 3
    Warrior 3
  • Pigeon Pose
    Pigeon Pose
  • Thread the Needle
    Thread the Needle
  • Side Angle Pose
    Side Angle Pose
  • Plank
  • Low Lunge
    Low Lunge
  • Kneeling Plank
    Kneeling Plank
  • Downward Dog
    Downward Dog
  • Child's Pose
    Child’s Pose
  • Chair Pose
    Chair Pose
  • Cat Pose
    Cat Pose
  • Cow Pose
    Cow Pose
  • Bird Dog
    Bird Dog

Why Do We Get Frozen Shoulders?


Frozen shoulder, also called adhesive capsulitis, is often called “idiopathic” which means the cause is not known or it arises spontaneously. I have wondered through my many years as a physical therapist if the cause would ever be found and why it seems to primarily occur in women. At a recent course I attended in St. Louis, the presenter, Dora Partridge, a Texas physical therapist, had some interesting views to the “whys”. She questioned the role of hormones, especially estrogen, in this process.


Research has shown that estrogen is a powerful hormone stimulating the building of new bone, promoting muscle growth and repair, maintaining the integrity of the connective tissue, reducing inflammation and overall facilitating the healing process in addition to its more well know affects (reducing hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness). Though she discussed other underlying conditions that have been connected to frozen shoulder, such as diabetes and thyroid dysfunction, she felt that estrogen levels had been ignored.


Over a four-year period she collected data on 69 female patients diagnosed with frozen shoulder. She requested that they all have their serum estradiol levels tested and found that 59 of the 69 were estrogen deficient. As to date, there are no medical journal reviewed  studies to support the effect of estrogen on frozen shoulders, so not all of the doctors of these patients would agree to prescribe estrogen replacement therapy.


Overall what she found in the estrogen replacement group was –

  • Many women obtained pain relief within 24 hours of initiating estrogen replacement.
  • For most of the women it took 2 weeks of initiating estrogen replacement to see significant improvement in their frozen shoulder symptoms
  • The response time depended on how long they had been estrogen deficient with younger women turning around more rapidly than older women.

Both the estrogen replacement and non-treated group received the same physical therapy but the untreated group progressed much slower with continued inflammation with difficulty gaining muscle mass and overall strength.


Hopefully there will be further research on this subject in the future. In the meantime, it is something to think about.


This information is presented by Barbara Casey, PT.  If you have any questions about a frozen shoulder please contract her at our office number on the right.

Spring Cleaning – For Yourself!

I am not one who enjoys spring cleaning, but April seemed like a good time to test out a personal cleanse product we are offering at the clinic called NutriClean.  This 7 day system is touted as an excellent cleaning tool that should be used once or twice annually for optimal digestive, liver and colon health. I have always been curious about cleansing but never wanted to do anything extreme and I love food so I wanted one where you could actually eat healthy meals.  I also recommended it to my sister who was venturing into a healthier lifestyle so we decided to do it together. 


The night before I took the plunge, I feasted on a juicy hamburger with a Coke and chips.  Why not make the first day be a memorable one, I thought.  I am not a huge red meat eater but I have to say it was a tasty last pre-cleanse meal.


I did this cleanse during my week vacation at home with the kids which had pro’s and cons.  I could definitely plan my meals better and ate gorgeous salads and lovely pasta dishes every day. 1516 - Salad    1425 - PastaHowever, the temptations to indulge in the many unhealthy snacks we had were plentiful.  I’m not sure what I was thinking the first day of spring break when I went out to get a dozen Dunkin Donuts as a treat for the kids. It was a brutal test and I passed.

1396 - DD

Every morning a ½ hr before I ate breakfast I mixed up a scoop of fiber powder with 8 oz. of water.  It tasted like berry juice and went down easily.  The powder consisted of a blend of soluble and insoluble fibers, along with probiotics and essential gastrointestinal nutrients.  Next, I swallowed two release tablets that consisted of natural botanicals that can help to gently promote peristalsis and cleanse the bowel.  The rest of the day, I was encouraged to increase my intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  Increasing exercise and water intake is also beneficial during a cleanse so I walked for 45 minutes every day followed by 15 minutes of basic floor exercises. I also lifted weights twice that week and did two Yoga classes.  I always drink a lot of water, but definitely needed more as I found out the second day after waking up with severe dry mouth and a headache at 3:00 AM.  It felt like a hangover, except I had not enjoyed a night of drinking beforehand.


At night, before bed, I had to take two more release tablets and two Hepato Cleanse capsules.  This is a combination of special botanicals and nutrients that support various enzymes within the liver to promote the body’s normal excretion of toxins that accumulate over time.  There are nine different key ingredients in these and you can go to our website to read the complete list.


Now for the hard part – what you have to eliminate during this cleanse. You are not to have any processed food like lunch meats, boxed meals, cheese and white bread.  You should also abstain from alcohol and soda during the week, the phosphoric acid in soda can upset the pH balance in your body in addition to pulling much needed calcium from the bones when consumed in large quantities.  Sodas are also high in sugar. Hydrogenated oils, such as margarine, spreads, cooking fats and commercially baked food should also be stopped. I don’t smoke but if you do and are planning on a cleanse then stop, they contain thousands of toxic chemicals. I reduced my protein intake and only ate chicken and fish, I did not eat any red meat and limited my eggs to about 3 for the week. And if you haven’t guessed it by now you should avoid refined sugars, such as cookies, crackers and candy as well as artificial sweeteners.


I won’t go into detail about my bowel movements, but they didn’t change significantly and I could have done the cleanse if I was working.  They increased to two times a day for a few of the days but it was not as bad as I thought it would be.   I did get two headaches, one I did take an Advil for the other I did not and they went away fairly soon after I drank more water. This is a common side effect as toxins are being released from your body.  My sister did the cleanse at the same time and she did not have any headaches.  Both of us were pleasantly surprised to lose 5 lbs each and a friend of mine who just completed the cleanse lost 13 lbs in one week.


I have to say the biggest thing I noticed was a boost of energy on the last two days.  This may have been due to the 10 hours of sleep I got the night before or the fact that I was on vacation all week but regardless I enjoyed it and got a lot accomplished.  I have since stayed on the healthy eating plan, avoiding processed food, alcohol and soda as much as possible and I have kept the 5lbs off for three weeks longer.  So for me it was worth it and I would do it again – once a year though – not twice!


If you are interested in the NutriClean 7 Day Cleanse you can order it through our website, just click on the nutraMetrix icon on the far right and it will take you to our page.  Happy Spring!!

Vitamins for Healing


Last weekend there was a great turnout at a Saturday Seminar we offered on “Healthier Healing”.  I had a friend of mine, Sid DeLair, talk at the end of this seminar about how his life has drastically changed over the past 8 year years, largely due to the changes he made with his diet and by adding supplements.  He went from being overweight and on 20 medications to dropping 50 pounds, getting off all medocations and now running in ultra-marathons.  Sid is an inspiration to many and it goes to show you how hard work and determination can change your life.


Here are a few of the key points that we talked about at the lecture and maybe one or two of these will help you on the road to recovery.  Many of these tips come from Dr. Heather Tick’s book “Holistic Pain Relief” which I have talked about in previous blogs and should be read by every person dealing with chronic pain.


Balanced vitamins and minerals are important for everyone but they are most important for those on the road to recovery.  For this reason, a balanced multivitamin and mineral supplement is a good insurance policy – it ensures we get at least some essential nutrients every day.  Multivitamins are a mixture of Vitamin A, B, C, D, E, K all the essential minerals and usually some other antioxidants.  Multivitamins are becoming more and more accepted by conventional medicine.  Even the Journal of the American Medical Association has printed articles endorsing the use of multivitamin products.


B Vitamins are often found together in the same foods and are best taken this way as B-Complex vitamins. B Vitamins support the health of our immune system, nervous system, red blood cells, skin and muscles.  They are needed for energy production and detoxification.  B-complex vitamins with magnesium can be helpful for treating leg cramps and restless leg syndrome and can help us deal with stress of all kinds.  Vitamin B2 is helpful for migraines.  B12 helps create red blood cells and maintain bone density.  It also plays an important role in the health of our brain and nerves and a recent study showed it plays a specific role in pain.


Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant.  It is needed to build and repair collagen, which makes our connective tissues, such as tendons, ligaments and fascia.  It is also needed to build and repair muscles and bones.  Our vitamin C needs vary from day to day depending on stress, injury and sickness. Only 10-20% of adults get the recommended 9 servings of fruits and veggies a day, so unless you are eating a lot of fruits and veggies, it’s best to take this supplement.


One vitamin that all Midwesterners are deficient in this winter is Vitamin D.  Vitamin D is the “sunshine vitamin” and is not found in fruits or vegetables.  It is important for the function of over 200 hundred genes in the body.  It boosts the immune system and helps it fight infections like the flu. It plays a role in blood sugar metabolism and preventing diabetes.  It helps our bones absorb calcium and improves muscle strength.  Vitamin D deficiency is associated with pain. Many chronic pain patients I have are tested by their doctors for this and found to be deficient so they are put on high doses and it truly helps with pain reduction. When we do finally get to spring, get out in the sun 2-3x/week for about 1/4th the amount of time it would take to develop a slight sunburn.


Minerals come from the earth.  Our bodies must ingest them and cannot make them.  Fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts are good sources of minerals.  Calcium is probably the most commonly recommended mineral. It is needed for muscles to contract, blood to clot and some neurotransmitters to function.    Too much calcium can be harmful, especially in men.  Excess calcium has been associated with increased rates of heart disease. Normally, adults need 1,000 mg from all sources – food and supplements.  Smoking, excess alcohol, caffeine and salt consumption; and hormonal imbalances all interfere with calcium levels.


Magnesium is needed by the body to make energy and is involved in over 300 essential metabolic reactions.  It keeps bones strong, helps regulate blood sugar and controls the rate of nerve firing.  It causes muscles to relax and so is helpful for cramps, spasms and tight painful muscles.  It also reduces blood pressure, used for treating fibromyalgia, lyme’s disease, multiple sclerosis and migraines.  It can help irritable bowel syndrome by relaxing the gut muscles, reducing cramps and relieving constipation.  It can improve sleep and reduce pain.  Because 99% of the magnesium found in your body is in the tissues not the blood, it makes it difficult to detect a deficiency, although it is one of the most common deficiencies in Western society.


There are many items on the market to help with pain.  One of the most commonly recommended one is glucosamine.  It is a widely recommended supplement for joint health.  The studies are inconsistent but some well-done studies suggest if slows down the degeneration of cartilage in joints and reduces joint pain.


Pycnogenol is a name for a water extract of the bark of the French maritime pine which is grown in the southwest France. It contains oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs). It is helpful in supporting the immune system and there is evidence of assisting with asthma symptoms, muscle pain and cramps, painful menstruation, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  To date, no serious adverse effects have been reported in the available scientific literature.  Take a look; Dr. Oz even has promoted the use of pycnogenols on his show –


A product that has been helpful to my husband’s joint problems is Prime Joint Support Formula by nutraMetrix™.  It is the only product on the market delivering glucosamine, Pycnogenol and hyaluronic acid in an isotonic form.

Isotonic, which means “same pressure”, bears the same chemical resemblance of the body’s blood, plasma and tears.  All fluids in the body have a certain concentration, referred to as osmotic pressure. The body’s common osmotic pressure, which is isotonic, allows a consistent maintenance of body tissues. In order for a substance to be absorbed and used in the body’s metabolism, it must be in an isotonic state.  This means that the body has less work to do to obtain maximum absorption of the nutrients.  The isotonic state of the suspension allows nutrients to pass directly into the small intestine and rapidly absorb into the bloodstream.

With nutraMetrix™ Isotonix™ products, little nutritive value is lost, making the absorption of nutrients highly efficient while delivering maximum results.  WARNING: Do not take Prime Joint if you have a shell fish allergy.


Disclosure:  Naperville Physical Therapy is a distributor of nutraMetrix™ products and you can access our website page for more product information, Nutri-Physical health assessment tool and product ordering at


Research shows Omega-3 Fish Oils help a wide variety of painful conditions, including osteoarthritis, RA, PMS symptoms and inflammatory bowel disease.  They also may reduce the risk of diabetes and some degenerative brain diseases, as well as reduce depression and ADHD.  Choose a high quality fish oil and do not take high doses (stay under 3 grams a day) as high doses may keep your blood from clotting.  Omega-3 oil can be found in flax which is very healthy.  I put flax seeds in my smoothies, so if you choose to do this as well, a helpful hint from me is to make sure to grind them yourself first.  Doing this will increase the overall effectiveness of the seed.


I continue to learn more and more about the benefits of proper nutrition and supplements and I want to share my knowledge with you.  I will be sharing more tips on


April 16th from 7:00pm – 8:00pm

 Wine and Wellness Wednesday


Stop by to learn about the benefits of resveratrol and other healthy habits that will make you look hot and healthy.  Admission is free, but space is limited so register by calling 630-369-1015, email us at or like us on Facebook and register on our home page.

Healthier Healing


While waiting for my daughter to pick out her books at the library last week, I casually looked over the new arrival section and was pleasantly surprised to see one called, "Holistic Pain Relief" by Dr. Heather Tick. I checked the book out and read it in two days.  I would highly recommend it to anyone going through any sort of health crisis.


Dr. Tick summarizes quite nicely several different types of treatments, solutions and strategies to assist anyone that is stuck in a painful cycle.  She writes about a healing diet and when we eat the wrong foods our cells cannot heal and can actually cause inflammation in the body.  You may know that losing weight can lighten the loads on your joints, but did you know there is a four pound reduction in stress on the knee joint for every pound lost by an overweight person? That's an amazing statistic .


According to Dr. Tick, "Diet is more powerful in preventing the common diseases than either drugs or medical care." I wasn't aware that 80% of the immune system lies inside of the gut. If someone has a leaky gut bad particles can cause inflammation.  If it continues over a long period of time, such as when one has a food allergy, this type of inflammation can affect the entire body.  One way to prevent leaky gut is to eat a balanced diet that includes probiotics and avoid excessive sugar and refined carbohydrates.  I drink Kefir which is a probiotic smoothie drink that is found in the refrigerator section of most grocery stores.  It has 10 strains of healthy bacteria verses the 2-3 strains found in most yogurts.  It has a tart flavor so I mix it into my smoothies or with a little juice.


Healing works best when your body has the proper nutrients found in both food and supplements.  There is a lot of excellent research on nutritional supplements but more is needed.  If you are thinking of adding some to your diet consult your doctor especially if you are taking prescription medications.  In addition, I would choose an isotonic formula verses a pill form.  Many supplements in the pill form do not dissolve quickly enough to be absorbed into the bowel according to Dr. Tick.  I take an isotonic formula which comes in a powder and dissolves into water, taken on an empty stomach it rapidly absorbs into the body for maximum results.   Visit for more information.


We hear a lot about antioxidants lately and that they are helpful in lowering blood pressure and keeping our hearts healthy.  Antioxidants are needed to decrease free radicals, the high energy particles that come from our body and the environment.  Free radicals can cause inflammation and damage to our muscles and joints over time.  Antioxidants can heal this damage.  Some foods that are high in antioxidants  are:


  • Acai
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Pinto and Kidney Beans
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Apples
  • Strawberries


The best diet to assist with healing is a low-glycemic diet.  The glycemic index measures how fast carbohydrates turn into sugar once you eat them.  When you eat foods with a high GI number you will feel tired, cranky and hungry for anything about two hours after you eat.  These foods cause your blood sugar level to drop below the normal range. This can cause more inflammation in your body, thus more pain and slower healing.  Research has shown eating a low GI diet can also help control obesity and reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes.   A good on-line site to check the numbers of various foods is  Food with a lower GI are healthier for us, generally try to stay below 55.


I was not aware that research supports eating food that has been naturally raised.  I love the idea, but also can appreciate the fact that is more expensive.  Dr. Tick suggests that if we are eating less animal proteins (3oz, 3x a week) you can buy better quality, it will taste better and offer improved nutritional value.  Then use vegetables, beans, lentils and whole grains to fill yourself up.


Dairy products are something to consider giving up if you are having unexplained issues with your skin or sinus'.  My husband is on a trial of giving up gluten and dairy products to see if he can clear up his 25 year history of blocked sinus'.  He is 3 weeks in and about 25% better.  I started buying almond milk for him and my kids all love it, especially the chocolate and vanilla flavors.  Those with auto-immune disorders should try stopping cow's milk for a few months to see if it makes a difference in symptoms.


There are many more tips and breakthrough strategies offered in "Holistic Pain Relief" and I encourage everyone to check it out of their local library or order it on-line.  I am even putting together a seminar on her information and many more tips on how to improve healing rates.


Mark your calendar for Saturday, March 8th at 10:30 AM. 

Blood Type & Your Health


A few weeks back, we had a great Friday Forum with Dr. Alicia Miller of the Natural Care Clinic. She spoke on the benefits of eating right for your blood type. I did not know anything about this topic before listening to her very informative lecture and thought that I would share some of the highlights, as I think this could really benefit people who may be dealing with some health issues and not responding to treatments. It certainly couldn’t hurt to follow these guidelines or ever try it for a short time and see how your body responds. Here are some of her notes condensed (somewhat) for the sake of blogging about it.


What foods we absorb well and how our bodies handle stress differ in each blood type. Consuming foods that work for you is the key to health, longevity, fitness and emotional well being. Dr. Peter D’Adamo is the author of “Eat Right 4 Your Type” and has been studying this theory for 15 years. He believes your blood type is a powerful genetic fingerprint that identifies you as surely as your DNA. In Japan blood type has long been associated with personality type. You might well be asked your blood type on a job interview. When you use the individualized characteristics of your blood type as a guidepost for eating and living, you will be healthier, reach your ideal weight and slow the process of aging.


Blood type O is the oldest blood type. People who have this type blood can be powerful and productive, however, when stressed they can become angry, hyperactive and impulsive. If type O wiring gets crossed, as a result of a poor diet or lack of exercise, they are more vulnerable to negative metabolic effects, including insulin resistance, sluggish thyroid activity and weight gain. They may also be predisposed to certain illnesses, such as ulcers and thyroid disorders.

Main foods that are beneficial for Type O’s:
Seafood (wild caught)
Iodized salt (not table salt)
Red Meat (lean, antibiotic & growth hormone free)
Organic Kale, Spinach and Broccoli

Main foods that Type O’s should avoid:

Wheat & Gluten
Kidney & Navy Beans
Cabbage, Brussell Sprouts, Cauliflower & Mustard Greens
Dairy, alcohol and caffeine

Type O’s most often described themselves in ways related to the following characteristics; responsible, decisive, organized, objective, rule-conscious and practical. They use all 5 of their senses well and are more detail and fact oriented. They are, however, more vulnerable to destructive behaviors when overly tired, depressed or bored. These can include gambling, risk taking and substance abuse.


Type O’s benefit tremendously from brisk regular exercise that taxes the cardiovascular and muscular systems 3-4x/week for 30-45 minutes. They have a better emotional response when exercising regularly and more than any other blood type, O’s rely on physical exercise to maintain physical health and emotional balance. If easily bored, O’s should choose two or three different exercises and vary their routines.


Blood Type A’s flourish on a vegetarian diet. If you are accustomed to eating meat, you will lose weight and have more energy once you eliminate the toxic foods from your diet. Many people find it difficult to move away from the typical meat and potato fare to soy proteins, grains and vegetables. It is particularly important for sensitive Type A’s to eat their foods in as natural a state as possible; pure, fresh and organic. According to Dr. D’Adamo, low levels of intestinal alkaline phosphatase in the stomach make it difficult for Type A’s to digest and metabolize animal protein and fat.

Main foods that are beneficial for Type A’s:
Vegetable Oils (organic, non-GMO)
Soy Foods (organic, non-GMO)
Vegetables (organic, non-GMO)

Main foods that Type A’s should avoid:
Dairy Foods
Kidney and Lima Beans

In this busy, ever changing world it’s almost impossible to avoid everyday stress. Type A’s have a naturally high level of the stress hormone cortisol and produce more in response to stressful situations. Due to the naturally elevated cortisol in Type A’s, additional stress often manifests in several ways; disrupted sleep patterns, daytime brain fog, increased blood viscosity (thickening) and promotes muscle loss and fat gain. In extreme cases in Type A’s, stress can manifest in more serious ways, causing obsessive-compulsive disorder, insulin resistance and hypothyroidism. To help balance cortisol levels, Dr. D’Adamo recommends that you limit sugar, caffeine and alcohol. Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast and eat smaller, more frequent meals to help stabilize blood sugar levels. The following factors are known to increase cortisol levels and increase mental exhaustion for Type A’s – be aware and limit your exposure when possible:

  •  Crowds of people
  •  Loud noise
  •  Negative emotions
  •  Smoking
  •  Strong smells or perfumes
  •  Too much sugar and starch
  •  Overwork
  •  Violent TV and movies
  •  Lack of sleep
  •  Extreme weather conditions (hot or cold)

Type A’s benefit from gentle exercise, such as Yoga, walking or Tai Chi.


Blood Type B have the most flexible dietary choices as they have a tolerant digestive system and a strong immune system, however, they tend to be highly sensitive to the effects of slipping out of balance. Type B’s tend to have a greater ability to adapt to altitude and are statistically the tallest of the blood types.

Main foods that are beneficial for Type B’s:
Green Vegetables
Eggs/low-fat dairy products (organic, free range)

Main foods that Type B’s should avoid:
Sesame seeds

When it comes to hormones, Type B is closer to Type A, producing somewhat higher levels of cortisol. When a Type B is out of balance this manifests in overreaction to stress, difficulty in recovering from stress, disrupted sleep patterns, brain fog and suppressed immune function. This leads to increased risks for depression, insulin resistance and hypothryroidism. They are also susceptible to slow growing, lingering viruses, such as those for multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome and lupus.


Blood Type AB reflects the mixed inheritance of their A and B genes. According to Dr. D’Adamo, “Type AB has Type A’s low stomach acid, however, they also have Type B’s adaptation to meats. Therefore, you lack enough stomach acid to metabolize them efficiently and the meat you eat tends to get stored as fat.”

Main foods that are beneficial for Type AB’s:
Tofu (organic, non-GMO)
Seafood (mahi-mahi, red snapper, salmon, sardines and tuna)
Dairy (organic)
Green vegetables

Main foods that Type AB’s should avoid:
Red Meat
Kidney and Lima beans

Type AB should avoid caffeine and alcohol, especially when they are in stressful situations and avoid all smoked or cured meats, as these can cause stomach cancer in people with low levels of stomach acid. They should eat smaller, more frequent meals as they will counteract digestive problems. They will digest and metabolize foods more efficiently if they avoid eating starches and proteins in the same meal.


Type AB often receives mixed messages about emotional health. While they tend to be drawn to other people and are friendly and trusting, there is a side of them that feels alienated from the larger community. They are intuitive, spiritual and passionate in their beliefs but also want to be liked by others which can create conflicts. The greatest danger with Type AB’s is the tendency to internalize their emotions, especially anger and hostility, which is much more damaging to their health than externalizing it. Exercise plays a critical component in stress reduction and maintaining a healthy emotional balance for Type AB. A combination of both calming activities, such as Yoga or Tai Chi two days a week and a more intense physical exercise like running or biking three days a week is recommended for optimal balance.


Dr. Miller discussed many other topics related to the Blood Type Diet, however, I am unable to cover them all in this simple blog. If you would like more information you can contact her directly at (331) 457-5062 or visit her website at My blood type A body, does not think she can give up meat completely but I can certainly limit it and add more pineapple to my diet.  I was very surprised that 9 out the 10 items that I should avoid, I already make a conscious effort to avoid because they drive me crazy.  Now I know why, it’s in my blood. Fascinating stuff!!


Mark your calendars for our first Friday Four O’Clock Forum of 2014, January 24th!  Dr. David Lawrence of “Second Act Coaching” will discuss five important things you can do to have a spectacular and memorable second act. The skills that we learned in the first part of our lives are quite different from the ones we need as we get older. If you are feeling confused or stuck at this period of your life, this might be the perfect talk for you to attend.


Have a healthy and happy start to 2014!!!

Pain Discussion on November 8th at 4:00pm


Pain – Webster defines pain as “the physical feeling caused by disease, injury or something that hurts the body”


The body handles pain in a variety of ways and individuals react completely different when given the same amount of painful stimulus. My oldest son, at the age of 12, even enlightened me that research shows if you swear when you are in pain it lessens the painful sensations.  I thought he was trying to avoid punishment after dropping a few choice words in front of his grandma when he got hurt.  He was, however, a very well read 12 year old and absolutely correct.  I now even let my patients know they can tell me to "F&@$ off" if I’m hurting them.  I won’t stop my treatments but it may alleviate some of their pain.


Nutrition is a factor that can contribute to pain.  Vitamin D has been shown to be lacking in some patients with chronic pain. Ask your doctor if this may be the case in you haven’t been checked, some are even prescribed high doses of Vitamin D which results in reducing inflammation and building up the immune system. Getting a little sunshine, 10-15 minutes a few days a week, will also help with your Vitamin D intake.


I am seeing more and more chronic pain patients with Diet Coke addictions.  Some drink 6-7 a day with no water intake. I have written before about the benefits of water but it’s worth mentioning again to drink half your body weight in ounces everyday. Water helps to make your muscles stronger, flush toxins from your body, improve the function of nerves, lubricates joints and prevents constipation. It may even help you lose weight by suppressing your appetite so you don’t eat as much.


Research has also shown that after experiencing chronic pain the brain changes.  What does that mean to patients going through rehab?  It may benefit patients to get help from psychologists who specialize in treating patients with chronic pain.  Many people will think that they are being told “you are crazy” or “the pain is all in your head”. This is not the case at all, it just means that while the body heals, the brain can be given the necessary tools to handle the pain, possibly lessen the pain and potentially heal the injury.


Our next Friday Forum will address pain.  “Heal Your Mind/Heal Your Body” will be presented by Dr. Carol Low is a clinical psychologist at the Center for Conscious Living.  She offers a unique approach to puzzling physical ailments such as chronic pain, irritable bowel and headaches.  Your brain runs your body and the solution is often based in experiences your body has had that your mind has not finished processing.  Dr. Low will present new ways to approach functional medical illnesses and hopefully you will feel better quickly.  Join us at 4:00 on Friday, November 8th.


Admission is free, but space is limited so register by calling Naperville Physical Therapy at 630-369-1015 or email at