What is Chiropractic and how does it apply to Kenpo Martial Arts?

KENPO -“KEN Means fist, and“PO means law. What does this have in common with chiropractic.  Chiropractic-“Chiro”means hand and Practic from Praktikos or practical means “done by hand”.  Now, in the word Chiropractic is the “CHI”which is the Life force, or energy.  This Life force or energy or innate power travels throughout our body. We want this flow to be uninterrupted. 

According to The Association of Chiropractic Colleges, “chiropractic is a health care discipline which emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine and extremities ) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health.”

The “founding father” of chiropractic, Dr. D.D. Palmer, developed a theory that spinal misalignment ( altered structure) caused nerve pressure or irritation which in turn caused various ailments ( poor function) . He realized that the structure and condition of the body influenced how the body functioned and its ability to heal itself, without the use of drugs or surgery

This simple philosophy has healed people and has prevented unwanted injury and illness for over a century! But to fully understand the chiropractic perspective, one must learn a bit about the nervous system, or how our bodies are “wired.”

Our wiring
The nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. The brain is divided into sections and stores and receives an incredible amount of information. But this information needs a way to get in and out. Nerves provide a pathway for this information to travel, and the spinal cord is made up of bundles of these nerves. The spine both houses and protects the spinal cord. Nerve dysfunction can result from any number of factors such as physical stressors, such as falls, accidents, or over-use, emotional stress, and chemical stress ( environmental toxins, drugs, poor diet) . These events can alter our “wiring” and create pain or discomfort in our bodies.

We can not forget the brain is the driver of this Chi, life force, power that animates every cell, tissue, organ of our being. If there is an imbalance at the source, then the output will be distorted. The neural system receives sensory input ( your arm is moving). It processes this information, and modifies the motor output if needed. Now, lets say the arm is not swinging as it should, or your neck is not moving as it should, or your hip is not moving as it should.  What happens to the sensory signals moving upward to the brain? Well, those signals are distorted. Well, if those incoming signals are distorted, then what happens to the outgoing messages?  They would have to be distorted as well.  

So to sum this up, we perceive the world, process it, and create an action based on this perception. If our perception is distorted, from faulty movements and poor structure, the brain sends out distorted messages, and the outcome is the malfunction of a muscle, joint, gland, or organ. 

So in my practice, I assess the imbalance from several places. The brain by studying eye movement patterns, balance and equilibrium, gait, spinal thermography and many other neurological hands on testing methods. I also look at the foundation,  meaning the feet. The foot has 26 bones, as does the spine ( 24 vertebrae, sacrum and coccyx), it has arches, like the spine has arcs. Why, because energy flows better that way. When the foot structure is off, so will everything above it that they support. Of course I also assess the structure and function of the spine, and the other extremities ( shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees and hips) . The spine is the highway of communication of information on the way, or on the way down. 

If there is a hip issue on the right, then this will send abnormal signals up to the brain. The brain will mal adapt, and create abnormal outgoing signals. This can influence coordination of movement, and coordination of glandular and organ function as well. When the brain mal adapts, its processing ability will be off. This can alter ones reflexes as well. 

Are reflexes and smooth movement and coordination important in Kenpo? Is the perception of a kick, or punch important. Is your awareness of your body and its balance important? 

Getting to the source
Doctors of chiropractic are trained to locate the source of the pain/ discomfort and dysfunction/subluxation— it may actually be far from the actual location where the symptom is occurring— and then we correct or adjust the joints in the body and set it up to heal on its own.

Of course, the type of correction or adjustment employed by the chiropractor depends on the condition being treated, but you get the main idea. The important thing to remember is that chiropractic success occurs by addressing the source of the problem, not just masking the symptoms. Pain are signals to help us. Imagine putting a finger on a hot stove without feeling the pain. We all know this would create serious damage. So why would we want to dampen pain signals to the body. It hinders the healing process.

Holistic efficiency
Because helping the body heal itself involves many facets, chiropractors also provide lifestyle advice to help prevent illness and injury. Nutrition, fitness, ergonomics, and other areas in your life contribute, or diminish, your overall health. By making the right choices, one can live a life full of wellness and vitality.

When your living a life, that allows the full optimum expression of the neural system, by incorporating chiropractic care and balancing out your structure, you will function so much better in Kenpo and life in general. 

About the author: Dr. Steven Lindner is a Doctor of Chiropractic. He has over 20 years of clinical experience.  He is board certified by the Board Certification of Nutrition Specialists. He is the assistant director for online learning for the University of Bridgeport Human Nutrition Institute. He is also an Associate Professor for the University of Bridgeport teaching Anatomy and Physiology, Vitamins and Minerals, and the Virtual Clinic. He is Adjunct Professor for Adelphi University and Nassau Community College teaching Anatomy and Physiology. Dr. Lindner is also a candidate for his diplomat in Functional Neurology. You can Reach Dr. Lindner via Email DrStevenLindner@aol.com or visit his website at www.NutritionChiroDoc.com

Fueling Your Body For Optimal Energy And Power

By Health and Wellness Expert
Ellen Nalaboff

When it comes to food there is no one size fits all. We are all individuals with different requirements. The challenge is learning what your body needs and how you can increase vitality and health through your food choices.

    There are millions of opinions on how to eat and which diet is best.

In the Martial arts world you have many different points of view. For example; Orion Gracie, co-founder of the UFC, believes that the Gracie Diet is on the top of the list for reasons why this family has had such extraordinary success. The diet was created by the patriarch of the Gracie family and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Carlos Gracie. This way of eating focuses on food combining with the objective to prevent acidity in the body and the fermentation of food in the stomach. The Diet requires you to space your meals out four and a half hours between each one and to eat just three meals a day, absolutely no snacking in between meals just water. The Gracie diet is all about eating natural foods and combining them in such away as to ensure optimal digestion.
Another famous Martial Artist who was highly particular about his diet was Bruce Lee. His diet was heavy on hi-energy complex carbohydrates such as rice, vegetables, and noodles; he would occasionally supplement his meals with fish and meat.  Bruce ate four to five smaller meals a day instead of three and snacked on fruit throughout the day to boost his metabolism. He never ate foods that could harm his body and banned both coffee and soda from his diet. He stayed away from dairy and all deserts. Bruce avoided refined flour found in baked goods because these foods were filled with empty calories and did nothing to strengthen and support his body. He loved his protein shakes and drank juices made from vegetables and fruit believing that by juicing his body would assimilate nutrients quicker. He added into these shakes massive amounts of vitamins and supplements such as Royal bee jelly and ginseng.
Another very different style of eating is UFC fighter Frank Mir. He follows the Paleo diet, which is modeled after the Hunter gathers diet (caveman) this diet is based around protein such as meat, poultry and fish, lots of vegetables, some nuts and seeds and a small amount of fruit.  He eats very little processed foods and is very big on protein making sure every time he sits down to eat he has protein on his plate. He drinks protein shakes between meals with added supplements and takes fish oil.
As you can see there are many different diet choices out there, it is up to you to decide which one works best for you. It is trial and error when it comes to which diet will support the energy and fitness level you require. Frank Mir tried becoming a vegetarian at one time in his career it did not support his body the way he needed it to, but there are Professional athletes out there who are Vegetarians and Vegans who thrive on it. Rich Roll for example who is an ultra –endurance athlete who in 2010 became one of only two people ever to complete the EPIC 5 Challenge – five back to back ironman-distance triathlons in less than one week. He did this all on a Vegan diet; it obviously works for his body.
So how do we know where to begin if we want to build explosive power, greater speed and increased energy? We start with the first rule that all of these athletes have in common we rid our diets of processed foods. That means no five-minute microwaveable food, no fast foods, nothing that comes in a box that can sit on your shelf for any length of time. Eliminate all empty calorie foods that add nothing to the nourishment of your body such as cakes, cookies, crackers, chips, and pretzels. Avoid anything made with white floor. Avoid deserts and products that contain a lot of refined sugar including soda. All sugar lowers the strength of your body’s immune system. One teaspoon of refined sugar will cut the power of your immune system in half for over four hours; there is an average of ten teaspoons of sugar in a 12 oz. can of soda. Sugar takes away your energy and zaps you of your strength; this is something you certainly do not want if you plan on improving your energy and martial arts skills.
Eat whole foods, real foods, the sum of its parts, what I mean by that is a carrot is a carrot a tomato is a tomato, chicken is chicken there are no other ingredients, it is the sum of its parts.  Eat whole eggs with their yolk not just egg whites.  If you juice don’t extract the juice from its fiber use the whole vegetable and or fruit. Feed your body foods as close to their natural state as possible.  If you look at your food choices and you don’t know what plant, vine, bush, tree or animal it came from it is probably best to eliminate them. What tree do pretzels grow on? You get the idea.  Avoid food that has many different ingredients and ones you cannot pronounce, if you can’t recognize it and pronounce it you probably shouldn’t be eating it. Most processed and prepared foods are also loaded with refined table salt, which is another toxin for your body.
Eat the rainbow (variety) of foods, because different foods and colors of those foods have different nutrients, eating a wide assortment of foods will help provide you with all the nutrients you will need to stay in peak performance. So many people pick an average of twelve foods and eat these same twelve foods everyday. Avoid this pitfall and be creative and open-minded, by doing this you will be much more likely to get the vitamins and minerals you need to support the best you. Martial arts training demands energy and it is essential to meet these nutritional needs in order to compete at full strength and recover quickly.
Eat 3 meals a day; skipping meals will hurt your performance. Make them complete meals; these meals will consist of a protein, which is the main building block of life, a complex carbohydrate, and healthy fat. An example of this would be a piece of grilled chicken (protein), a complex carbohydrate (vegetables) and a fat such as olive oil. Another one could be steel cut oatmeal (complex carb), a few nuts for protein (walnuts, almonds) and a teaspoon of coconut oil. (Fat). Eggs with the yolk are a complete protein and a great source of fat; have them with a few steamed greens (complex carb). Do you get the idea? A banana is not breakfast nor is a processed power bar.  Include protein in the recovery meal because it enhances muscle repair and growth.
Healthy fats are required in your diet so make sure you are having a little with every meal, such as Olive Oil, coconut oil, avocados, grass fed butter or ghee. The society we are living in today has created a belief that if you eat fat you will get fat but that is far from true. Sugar makes you fat not fat. Fats and oils are essential to optimal health. They are the building blocks for the cells of your body and support hormonal health. Stay away from hydrogenated oils and vegetable oils.
Make a commitment to your body to drink lots of water through out the day. We are made up of 75% water; every function in our bodies is monitored by the flow of water. No fluid in the world is more important it transports nutrients to every organ in our bodies. Our metabolism is based on water. Many times we confuse hunger with thirst, if you just ate two hours ago and are feeling hungry again try drinking a big glass of water.  When 4 o’clock in the afternoon rolls around and you find your energy levels dropping drink a glass of water, it will energize you right away. Water gets your digestive system flowing, when you first get up in the morning grab a glass of water before you go for that cup of coffee or tea. When you are dehydrated the level of brain function decreases, next time you are taking a class or training and you feel foggy and unable to focus grab a big glass of water. Water helps with attention deficit; a well-hydrated brain is continually energized to imprint new information in its memory banks. Dehydration can cause major psychological disorders, depression and anxiety for starters. Water also acts as a lubricant within your joints, so if you are suffering from joint or muscle cramps check your hydration. Water generates electrical and magnetic energy in every body cell, providing a natural power boost and as martial artists who doesn’t want that?
In conclusion fueling the body for optimal energy and power is about making the right food choices. Every one of us has the ability to make a choice. We can stay with the choices we have always made or we can choose more wisely knowing that our energy, power, speed and focus all are a direct result of these choices.

    The choices we make will determine whether we live a life of failure, frustration and disease or an extraordinary life filled with accomplishments, abundance and health. The choice is yours to make!

KENPO AND CHIROPRACTIC Article by Steven Lindner CD, MS, CNS What is Chiropractic and how does it apply to Kenpo Martial Arts? KENPO -“KEN Means fist, and“PO means law. What does this have in common with chiropractic.  Chiropractic-“Chiro”means hand and Practic from Praktikos or practical means “done by hand”.  Now, in the word Chiropractic is the “CHI”which is the Life force, or energy.  This Life force or energy or innate

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