Friday, June 23, 2006

Google Trends Revisited

I've discussed using Google Trends as a way to gauge public interest on health headlines that pop up in the news. I decided to put it to use today and see what happens. I plugged in "cervical cancer" and the most recent spike in search queries was on June 9th. It corresponds very nicely with the latest published articles on the new vaccine for cervical cancer. Coincidentally, on that very day, I also wrote on this topic.

On a side note, the first round of World Cup ended today. The Round of 16 starts tomorrow morning. The tournament really heats up tomorrow with the single elimination format.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Anti-Chiropractic Ads

The latest edition of Dynamic Chiropractic (6/20) has an article on the anti-chiropractic ads displaying on buses in Conneticut. I first reported this back on May 15th. Pick up the latest issue of DC if you want further reading. You can also read it on their website.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Be a Health Expert

Marketing efforts of your office will be exponentially more effective if you are viewed as an expert in your field. This is what a doctor hopes to establish when undertaking various marketing activities such as giving health lectures in the community and donating services to local schools.

Establishing yourself as an health expert in cyberspace is just as important. Internet usage is becoming ever more popular as Jeremiah Owyang reports. As more consumers continue to seek information online, more doctors are seeking to secure their visibility on the world wide web. Many choose to invest in programs such as Google AdWords or Yahoo Local Sponsored Search. Those programs will help you increase your visibility.

But what about your credibility?

You can be recognized as an expert in your field by imparting knowledge to your visitors. Providing pertinent up-to-date health information will differentiate your practice from other offices who merely advertise their services.

Likewise, health searchers are becoming ever more active online. They are asking ever more questions, looking for experts online to find their answers. In the article, Loren Baker also shares with us how he found a local chiropractor through the web. When you share health tips on your site, your content will help your web visibility. When visitors learn from your writings, your content will then help your web credibility.

As more and more doctors strive to gain visibility online, the consumer will rely on credibility to differentiate one office to another.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Absolute Absolute Truth on Dieting

The last post on abdominals got me thinking about dieting. As I noted, the two topics are perpetually linked, though often for the wrong reasons. In an ever waist-inflating society, people are always asking about the best way to diet. Too often, I hear the phrase "If I only knew how to diet, I'd drop all this extra weight." Or how about, "Let me finish reading this latest diet book, it's supposed to work really well." Or "I'm so confused, everybody says their method is the best."

I get very angry when I hear these proclamations, especially the last one. All these competing authors and companies in the ever lucrative dieting industry have done is confused the masses and hide the basic truth from you. Allow me to help you filter out all the conflicting garbage that's been heaped upon you the last 20 years and share with you this earth-shattering absolute truth on dieting. This basic fundamental truth can be best described in the following mathematical relationship:

(Calories In) < (Calories Out) = Weight Loss

It's that simple!

It doesn't matter how many grams of yogurt you eat every morning. You don't have to wait until Saturday for your ice cream. You don't have to measure out every meal. When thoughts of dieting gets you confused, just remember this simple formula above. It doesn't matter what you're eating or what you're doing. As long as you're burning more than you take in, your goal will be accomplished. So next time someone asks you how'd u lose 5 lbs, give them my answer, "I burned more calories than I took in".

Dieting is a very simple process.

Dieting doesn't seem so daunting now.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Your 6-Pack Abs

I just want to share a potpourri of personal thoughts on abdominal muscles. This muscle group is a popular target in issues such as exercise programs and weight lost programs. At times, so much is written that I feel the message has become quite muddled. Other times, minute details are stressed that the main point is lost. Here are points that I have frequently shared in the past with my patients, colleagues, and fitness clients.

  1. There are actually 4 separate muscles in the abdominals. The rectus abdominus (the 6-pack muscle) is only 1 of the 4. You don't see the other three in the mirror because they lay underneath the rectus muscles, and you're probably too fat.
  2. A complete ab workout requires rotational exercise, not just the uniplanar motions done with flexing and extending your trunk. Ex: Traditional crunches do not include rotational movement.
  3. Working out your abs DO NOT help you lose more weight anymore than exercising other similar sized muscle groups
  4. However, working out your abs CAN decrease your waist size. This is especially true if you just started working on your abs.
  5. Your waist size decreases not because you lose any actual weight, but because your abs have become stronger so your guts and intestines are literally not falling out your stomach cavity. Picture a rubber band, a corset, or a girdle wrapped around your stomach tightening, that's essentially what your improved-strength abs are doing. This work is done primarily by the transversus abdominus (1 of the other 3 ab muscles you don't hear much about).
  6. Because of the preceding point, it is actually possible for you to slim down while gaining weight. (muscle weighs more than fat)
  7. Likewise, don't be discouraged if you feel slimmer (feeling more room in the pants?) but you don't see a corresponding drop on the scale. It's not in your head, you probably really did slim down.
  8. Conversely, your gut gets bigger not just because of increase fat storage, but because common sedentary activities like sitting allows the abs muscles to become weak over time.
  9. Light cardio exercises such as walking or jogging require the abs to contract throughout the exercise, they help in maintaining muscle tone in the abs. (If you don't believe me, try jogging when your abs are sore, but please have someone take a picture of your face and send it to me afterwards.)
  10. Unequivocally, the three best abs exercises are 1) Bicycle kick 2) Captain's Chair 3) Swiss Ball Crunch
So next time someone says you're fat, you can validly reply "No I'm not, my abs are just weak".

After reading this, I hope you will go for a walk or jog tonight with a loved one. Have a conversation and tighten up those abs.

I welcome any questions or contributions from you.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Shaq and Chiropractic

If you read the postgame report after Game 4 of the NBA finals earlier this week, you might've read Shaq's response to a rough foul by Jerry Stackhouse.
"It actually felt pretty good to get hit like that. Thank you, Jerry, I appreciate it"
But if you watched or listened to Shaq's postgame interview in full, you would've heard him continue to say something along the lines of:
"He loosened me up pretty good. He saved me a trip to the chiropractor, saved me 50 bucks."
While he didn't say it specifically, it sounded pretty obvious that Shaq supports chiropractic and knows the benefit it brings. I can only guess that stems from some positive personal experience. I am not saying that Shaq's opinion on chiropractic should hold any extra weight since his expertise lies within basketball. However, I still want to thank the Diesel for giving a shout-out to chiropractic amidst all the media coverage during this year's championship series.