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Book Reviews | Swaim Chiropractic

BOOK REVIEW: The One-Minute Workout: Science Shows a Way to Get Fit That’s Smarter, Faster, Shorter

This is a particularly liberating book, which liberation is a prime reason for a book anyway. Please read on…

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The Book

The One Minute Workout: Science Shows a Way to Get Fit That’s Smarter, Faster, Shorter. Click HERE to order

The Author

Martin Gibala, Ph.D. (@gibalam) is a professor and chair of the kinesiology department at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

3 Sentence Summary:

1) Rather than fitting your day around your workout, fit your workout around your day.

2) How LONG you workout matters less than how HARD you workout. (READ that again and believe it this time!)

3) “For the coach and athlete, interval training programs should form the BASIS for all sports, including linebackers, sprinters, shot-putters and yes, even the business executive.” (I will add housewives and moms, because Mrs. Swaim is doing these).

Who is this book for?

Coaches, athletes, linebackers, sprinters, shot-putters, business executives, stay-at-home workers of any kind AND chubby chiropractors. Basically busy people who want to workout and are crunched for time. This is great news indeed.

If you are interested in implementing this approach and want some guidance, call. I will talk you through it.

Cheers!

ks


MUSCLE UP – BOOK REVIEW

Hello Friends, 

The question is often posed in our office, after people are experiencing the health producing effects of chiropractic, what can I do for my self?  The answer is always, and for the foreseeable future, LIFT WEIGHTS.

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Yes, diet is important, maybe the most important, but placing a new demand on your system to strengthen the new neurological pattern that chiropractic is helping build, is equally paramount.  How can two things be paramount? Well they just are.

The Book, Muscle UP:  https://www.amazon.com/Muscle-Up-Strength-Training-Everyone/dp/1518606571/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1504806581&sr=8-3&keywords=muscle+up+books

The Author is PD Mangan,  find his excellent blog Rogue Health and Fitness here:  http://roguehealthandfitness.com/

Three Sentence summary:

1) How Strength Training beats obesity, cancer, and heart disease and why everyone should do it. (I realize I took this right from the cover of the book, but it was such a great summary sentence that I could not resist)

2) The intensity of the exercise, not the duration, is the key ingredient to its effectiveness.

3) Why Strength Training/weight lifting is the single best form of exercise. 

Mr. Mangan writes clearly, intelligently, and compellingly about health and fitness.  His writing is to the point and unemotional. He cites his sources and reads the research with a wary eye.  His blog is a great source of accurate info.  Check it out.

For the rest of my opinion on the why and how of strength training go to: http://www.swaimchiropractic.com/strength-training/

Cheers,

ks


CS Lewis: The Narnian

The fact that I like humans, and humanity, causes me to read biography (http://www.swaimchiropractic.com/harry-truman/ and http://www.swaimchiropractic.com/a-good-read/ ) more often than not. 

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So when my friend Jon Fristad recommended a book about CS Lewis, I bought it.   I have confessed before to being a slow reader, and this book put “slow” into a whole new category.  Partly because I am usually reading several books at one time (which isn’t a good idea) under the mistaken notion that I can multitask and partly because the ideas presented were challenging.  But I am getting ahead of myself.

The book is called The Narnian, written by Alan Jacobs, an English professor, then at Wheaton University and now at Baylor University.  The book can be purchased here: https://www.amazon.com/Narnian-Life-Imagination-C-Lewis/dp/0061448729/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1490630723&sr=8-1&keywords=the+narnian+alan+jacobs

Much about Lewis’s life is known to those that have enjoyed Lewis’s work. His mother died when he was young. Jack, as Lewis renamed himself at 3 years of age,  lived in a large house full of books in Belfast and was often alone, which he seemed to revel in. He didn’t fare well in the English school system, ending up with private tutors, one that gave him a rational defense for atheism. He fought in WWI, was injured, and came home. He finished school at Oxford and became a tutor in the English department. Thereafter, through a series of having to abandon certain objections to Christianity, he subsequently converted; his actual conversion was rather uneventful too. He had a wide circle of friends, and a rather remarkable ability to work under pressure and with multiple distractions.  He was extremely productive.

So much has been written about Lewis’s spiritual journey.  For me, however, Jacobs brought to life the material Lewis.  He was the man who enjoyed the world around him; the man who enjoyed people.  Lewis enjoyed adult beverages, pubs, and smoked regularly. He loved walks in the woods and the sound of “adult male laughter” by a fire.  He was generous to a fault and had many financial difficulties along the way. Lewis married late in life.  Before his conversion to Christianity he craved recognition, his ambition was limitless, he was secretly drawn to the occult and the “secret knowledge.” He was real. He wrestled with life and his sinful nature.

His humanity comes shining through in Jacobs’ account.

Here are a few highlights from the book, and there are many:

Lewis, “There is no good trying to be more spiritual than God.  God never meant man to be a purely spiritual creature.  That is why he uses material things, like bread and wine to put the new life back into us. We many think this rather crude and unspiritual.  God does not. He invented eating.  He likes matter.  He invented it.”

“Is there any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?”

On one of his favorite pleasures: “the peaceful irresponsibility of mild illness” (He could then read as long as he liked, uninterrupted).

And on writing, “However, cheer up, and whenever you are fed up with life, start writing: ink is the great cure for all human ills, as I have found long ago.”   (It is interesting to note that Lewis never learned how to type; he used a pen and ink bottle, writing about 6 words at a time. Given his production, this is unbelievable to me as I write on a word processor.)

And one of his most famous, “Joy is the serious business of Heaven.”

Laced throughout his writing after his conversion are the ideas of joy, and pleasure and desire.  Leave it to Lewis to connect the material and the spiritual so well.

I highly recommend this book.  Thanks Jon.

If you have more insight on Lewis and his work please share here.


Great Christmas Gift

Every once in a while a friend will give me a book that he has written and I read it, often obligingly, only to find that my friend is actually wise and smart and articulate and talented.  (I promise Chris, I read it because I wanted to!)

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Less is More Than Enough is one such book.  This book was written by my friend and fellow Nampa-ite, Chris McNaught.

Turns out Chris is indeed wise and smart and articulate and talented.  In Less, Chris tells his story and wow, what a ride.  I will not spoil it.  I’ll let you enjoy Chris’s misery right along with me.  Chris has taken a situation that would crush most folks, me included, and come out with hope.  How does that happen?  Chris will show you how it works for him.  He has embraced a form of simplicity that if more of us would pay attention to, and also embrace, we would all be the more content.

Chris sprinkles in a few poems as well. They are good.

If you want to bless someone close to you with a dose of perspective and grace, this is a great gift.

Cheers,

Ken Swaim

You may get a copy for $10 in our office as long as they last or order through the following link:

Amazon – paperback and kindle.

Ernest Hemingway

If you are an Ernest Hemingway fan, read on.  If you are not… no hard feelings.  (Those of you who are reading on, I will attempt to use as few adjectives as possible and no fluff. In honor of EH)

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I’m sure it goes back to high school when I read my first Hemingway book.  The Old Man and the Sea grabbed my attention and imagination in a hurry.  Who doesn’t want to read about a Cuban fisherman catching a sword fish and fighting it for several days only to lose it to sharks?  Pretty great stuff.  That started me reading his other books.

Most summers I read portions of Hemingway’s first novel,  The Sun Also Rises.  Likely this is due to the fact that the book’s timeline is summer.  The book was written in 1926.  “Sun” follows a group of dysfunctional British and American ex-patriots living in Paris after WWI.  The group travels together to the Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona Spain to watch the bullfights, the running of the bulls and participate in all the revelry and debauchery.  The group predictably implodes, and there is very little of redeeming value in the end.  There are a few bright spots, however.  Jake and Bill going fishing in Burguete, most notably.

What keeps me coming back?

Good question.

There is something undeniable about the book’s story line of what Gertrude Stein called the “Lost Generation.”

If you are still reading I will assume that you have read the book and that I have said nothing you did not already know.

So without further comment, this book review is actually of a book about The Sun Also Rises.  Again if you are a Hemingway fan and a “Sun”  fan, this book might be for you.

Everybody Behaves Badly,  written by Leslie M. M. Blume, is a book about a book.  The title is lifted from a line in the original, spoken by the protagonist Jake Barnes.   Ms. Blume does a fine job of setting the stage for “Sun”.  She chronicles the lives of the people that inspired the “characters” and the early years in Paris that a young Hemingway and family struggling to make ends meet, inhabit.  Very much a Whose Who of that era (Stein, Pound, Beach, Fitzgerald, Ford).  Blume writes well and tells an engaging tale.  Her command of the English language is enviable.    

Some highlights:

The historic context, the post WWI era, produced a major shift away from the straight laced world of Victorian literature that had dominated English literature for close to 100 years.  Hemingway became the voice of the Modern Era.  His spartan use of the language and his reporters eye ushered in a new style of novel.

Hemingway was as big of a character as the novels he wrote.  His legend, largely self created, grew with his reputation as a writer. He was as good at marketing himself as he was promoting his work.

Hemingway had a knack for betraying family and friends.

Hemingway worked very, very hard at his craft.  He was disciplined and dedicated.  He worked well under pressure.

If you are a Hemingway fan, this is a fun book.  A little depressing at times but always lively.  If you have ever wondered where this story line came from, here is your answer.  Is it worth a read? Yes.


Harry Truman

I, as I suspect most of you do, like to read.  My family over the years has blessed me with more books than I can read in a reasonable amount of time. (I read pretty slowly, but I am persistent!)

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These books get backed up, on every available surface in our home.  Consequently most don’t get read right away.  In this case, however, I got on this one quickly.  Knowing my love of people and  in particular biography, my daughter Abbey gave me  a book written in 1992 by historian David McCullough for my 50th birthday in November.(excellent choice Abbey)  The book is simply titled, Truman (our 33rd president), and is an amazing ride through a very tumultuous time in our nation’s history.  I had no idea.  Mr. Truman often gets overlooked, he succeed FDR and came before General Eisenhower. The two giants of the 20th century.  Someone loaned me a copy of this book, probably 20 years ago, and I never read it.  Not interested, I guess.  Mr. Truman could not possibly be worth a thousand pages of text and ten years of research by the author.  I figured it would be tedious.  How naive I was, and often still am.  This was one of the best books I have ever read.

 

To put it into historical context, in his first 4 months in office, Mr. Truman made more world shaping decisions than most presidents do in one term, sometimes two.   He ended WWII, oversaw the Marshall plan, crafted the Truman doctrine, helped create NATO, dropped the first A bomb, met with Churchill and Stalin, instituted the Berlin airlift… the list goes on.

 

What makes the story so compelling is that he was not just a farm boy, but a farm boy that never went to college and he grew up in the middle of the US far from the eastern power structure.  He had only local connections in the Kansas City area, and those were of dubious character.

 

Any person can be president.  His story is worth every page.

 

What makes the book so interesting is Truman innate optimism. To quote McCullough, “An optimist was a person who thinks things can be done. No pessimist ever did anything for the world.  Billy Graham said the end of the world was coming, but Truman didn’t believe it.”   He was often considered naive and he was the first to admit he needed a ton of help to run the presidency.  He surrounded himself with excellent people.  He did not whine or complain.  Even while lying in a non air-conditioned hospital during a Missouri summer, the president did not complain or ask for special privileges.  There is something so refreshing in a human that does not include entitlement.  He was a man of the people and he believed strongly in their ability to decide on issues right and wrong.

 

Mr. Truman was an early riser, a fast walker, (a shot of bourbon came on the heels of his morning jaunt), a faithful husband, a doting father, generous, loyal, and a very hard worker.  He dressed well, loved cars, and played poker whenever he could.  He was good to the white house staff, the secret service and anyone in a lower station.    He hated pretense and did not strive for popular approval.  He strove only to do right by the office he held and the American people and the global citizens as well, as evidenced by his stand in Korea to contain the spread of communism.    The list goes on.  And on.  And on.

 

In this season of political, social, and economic uncertainty, take some time to read some of our nation’s history.  It is good medicine and exactly what this Doctor is ordering.  Start with Truman, by David McCullough.

 

Cheers,

KS


Read This Book

Every so often a book will catch me by surprise and cause me to rethink what is important and more importantly, what is unimportant.

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Anything You Want, by Derek Sivers is such a book.  The subtitle, 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur, is not just for those that wish to run a business.  These are some great life lessons.   You can read it in about an hour or if your are really smart, and savor the lessons a bit, you can make it last a few hours.  Sivers invites you into his life, and after the first few lessons, it is easy to want to journey with him.

A quick overview of the book.

Sivers is a musician and he wants to sell his music online.  Unfortunately, (or fortunately) no one would agree to list his music and sell it.  So he created a business to sell his music.  When his friends found out they began asking if he would list and sell their stuff as well.  He agreed and grew a business to 85 employees and sold it all for 22 million dollars 10 years after starting.  Sivers didn’t have a business plan, he didn’t think big.  He cared more about his customers than himself and ran it as if he didn’t need the money. He followed a very intuitive process in a world of MBA’s and success formulas.  Turns out his intuition is very counter-intuitive.

A few things to ponder:

  • What is enough?
  • Why do we fear an invisible jury?
  • Does our work solve a problem?
  • Do you need a business plan?  Do you need investors?

I won’t spoil it.  Read it. Enjoy it. Share it.  I know I will.
Here is the Amazon link for the book.

Cheers
ks


Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, MD 2013

The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar-Your Brain’s Silent Killers 

Rating – 4 stars

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Overview

The title gives it away doesn’t it? Nothing subtle to be found in this book. Our brains are being killed by grains and sugar? What? According to Dr. Perlmutter this is exactly what is happening. The process of inflammation created in the body in response to the ingestion of grains and sugar is the culprit. Every Chronic disease process we are experiencing in the western world is inflammation driven, from diabetes to cardiovascular issues. What happens to our brains in this environment? This book details what happens to our brains (and hormones , like leptin)when eat the standard American fare, grain based and sugar laden, and why it is time to stop eating this standard grain based diet. Dr. Perlmutter is a neurologist and also board certified nutritionist. He is still a practicing clinician in Florida giving him a wealth of firsthand practical application of his ideas. His ideas, that Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s etc, are inflammatory driven and grain based as well.

Impressions

Inflammation has been in the news off and on for the last 10 years. As medical science digs deeper into the “mystery” of the chronic degenerative disease processes, i.e. diabetes, autoimmune maladies, and weight gain, the often overlooked but always present inflammation is included. Is inflammation a cause of disease or a symptom? Let’s have a closer look at inflammation.

Inflammation is a normal biological process that occurs when tissue is damaged. The healing process associated with biological insults, weather large or small, begins with inflammation. The inflammatory response mobilizes the body’s defenses, isolates and destroys microorganisms and other injurious agents, and removes foreign material s and damaged cells so that tissue repair can proceed. For instance when you cut your finger the body, not the doctor or your mother, begins the healing process. You might notice redness, heat, swelling, pain, and loss of function for a short time. These are all components of the inflammatory response. They are all critical for healing.

But what if the thing CAUSING the inflammation, the injurious agent so to speak is not removed? What if we reduce the inflammation (remember a symptom), with oral drugs, or ice or ointment and the injurious agent remains? Going back to our example, what if the splinter that caused the slice in your finger is still present? Does it make sense to continue taking anti-inflammatory for the pain and swelling or does it make more sense to remove the stimulus?

This leads to another question about inflammation. What happens to the injured tissues if the stimulus is not removed and the body produces long periods of inflammation or what if inflammation becomes chronic? This is exactly the question Dr. Perlmutter answers in this book. GRAINS AND SUGAR ARE PRO-INFLAMMATORY AGENTS THAT CAUSE THE BODY TO CONSTANTLY ATTEMPT TO REPAIR ITSELF. THIS LEAD TO TISSUE DAMAGE AND ACCORDING TO DR P, BRAIN DAMAGE.

Why read this book? If you are making a transition away from a grain based diet, this book will give you the courage to stay on the journey. This book will also help clarify why you are on the journey at all. If you are simply curious about nutrition and nutritional trends, this book is a great start to the recurring trend of low carb eating that continues to gain momentum and proponents.
Why did I read this book? This is the first book that I have seen linking not just obesity, but brain health to grain consumption. My family and I have been experimenting with a grain free lifestyle for several months and a lower carb approach for several years. There is plenty of negative press regarding wheat, in particular, and grains in general, and I wanted to see if there was any merit to the claims being made.

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