Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thrive, Don't Just Survive the Holidays

So many people go through Thanksgiving and Christmas and just plan to put on extra weight, let their cholesterol climb, and add inches to the waist. 

It is possible to go through the end of the year and actually come out healthier! Here are my top 7 health tips:
  1. Stay hydrated. Drinking enough water is a natural appetite suppressant. It reduces joint and muscle pain, improves digestion, and flushes the body.
  2. Don't skip breakfast. Breakfast gets your metabolism revved up and keeps your blood sugar stable. Wild swings in blood sugar can add inches to your waist quickly.
  3. Try a new twist on old recipes. Instead of smothering sweet potatoes in sugar (marshmallow) try mixing in cinnamon and raisins or baked as "fries" coated with a mix of lime juice, olive oil, and a pinch of crushed red pepper.
  4. Avoid the eggnog. I gave up eggnog 2 years ago as it is so terribly unhealthy. This year I have a great alternative. Metagenics Ultrameal + 360 Eggnog protein shake tastes great and lowers cholesterol at the same time!
  5. Commit to exercise daily. This one is very manageable if you plan for just 10 minutes on the busiest days and 45 on all others. Just decide you will do something everyday and then do it.
  6. Keep eating your veggies. Raw, steamed, roasted, baked, grilled - have them however you enjoy them. Just keep them going in. Half you plate in veggies every meal.
  7. Breath. This time of year is stressful for many people. Deep breathing reduces stress and helps manage weight, blood pressure, and improves cardiovascular function.
Of course, if you prefer some customized health advice, call me at to set up a time just for you. Most of all, Merry Christmas and stay healthy my friends. 

In health, 
Dr. Christian Cohen

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Flu Shot? No Thanks, I don't want the flu.

So it's that time of year when many patients come to me and ask, "Doc, should I get the flu shot?"
Since the laws regarding my license do not give me prescriptive authority (I cannot tell them yes or no by law).  I respond with, "Well, do you want the flu?".

Puzzled, they look at me.  So I explain, there are several questions that each person should be asking their MD before getting any vaccine. My list goes something like this:
  • What is in the shot besides the virus? Most have additives that I wouldn't touch, much less let someone inject into me.  Check out some of the ingredients here. Pay attention to Thimerosol (Mercury) which is know to cause brain (neural) damage and is linked to Autism.
  •  What is the risk to me if I don't get the vaccine? Are you an otherwise strong individual who is not likely to die from the flu? Uncomfortable for a few days? Yes.  Death, not so much.
  • Who should not get the vaccine? People with certain allergies, history of reactions to vaccines, people with a compromised immune system.
  • How effective is it really? Polio was already on the decline according to government statistics prior to the introduction of the vaccine by Jonas Saulk. 
  • What are the potential side effects?  This is a standard risk to benefit question that should be very straight forward and easy to answer.
  • Last is one of my favorites, "Doctor, have you had this vaccine?" Obviously, many won't even answer the question. That alone should be a huge red flag. 
What do you do if you are sitting nose-to-nose with your doctor and they are pressuring you into a vaccine you don't want? There are 2 different ways to deal with it.
  1.   If you don't mind some confrontation- these 4 words are the most powerful that can be spoken to any doctor: "I DO NOT CONSENT."  Bam! Procedures halt in the throws of it all.
  2. If you don't like confrontation- simply ask the question, "Doctor, are you willing to personally take full responsibility for any and all adverse reactions?" If the answer is no, well, you get the idea.
 So what are my options besides just accepting whatever happens to float on by? Well, try boosting you immune system so it can effectively fight off any virus. This can be done (and is done all the time) without so much as a hint of symptoms. How do we accomplish such a marvelous feat? Try any of my favorites. In fact, try them all. You can only get healthier because of them!
Want more specific help? I am here to serve your health needs. Simply call 253-858-2474 to schedule a time just for me and you. 

In health, 
Dr. Cohen

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bug Spray and Hormones

Have you heard the radio ads recently talking about the choice or organic food and food produced by "conventional farming"?  Organic (that is, USDA Certified Organic) food is free from pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals. Conventional farming methods employ the use of weed killers and bug spray on your food. (Yes, you read that correctly- bug spray.)

The concern about "conventional" foods is that the chemicals in them are categorized as endocrine disruptors. This means they interfere with hormone production and signaling, cause cellular damage, tumors, cognitive problems, ADD, and learning disabilities.

Hormone disruption for men means less testosterone. When it drops sex drive goes down, muscles gets smaller, and you get fat stores in the chest/pectorals. That's right guys- man boobs. For women, interference with estrogen balance leads to a list of symptoms: meunstral  cramping, endometriosis, and breast cancer. There is also a strong link between xenoestrogens and thyroid problems.

The good news is that you have a high level of control over your exposure to these terribly damaging chemicals. Here is a list of common offenders and healthier options you don't have to go searching for:

Personal care products: lotions, shampoo, conditioners, facial cleansers, etc. that contain ANY kind of "parabens".  Replace with Sense Products from USANA Health Sciences.

"Conventional" foods: produce with bug spray on it, meats injected with growth hormones, antibiotics, and who knows what else.  Replace with organic produce and grass-fed (free range) meats.

What should you do if you are already hormone imbalanced and you suspect xenoestrogens? You may do well to perform an "Estrogen Detox". This is accomplished without much difficulty as your body is supported nutritionally to rid the offending chemicals and restore proper hormone balance. Many hormonally related symptoms simply disappear. My favorite is to use Estrium, a protein-based neutraceutical shake from Metagenics.

Want specific help? Visit me here to learn about working with me or call 253-858-2474 and we can easily set aside a few minutes just for you!

In health,
Dr. Christian Cohen

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fear of the Unknown

So I have to give fair warning - I am on the soapbox for this post...

I have a patient who's 1 year old has lost a few ounces of weight since her last check up. A few ounces doesn't sound like much but for a 1 year old it is significant. At the pediatrician's advice she took the little one to a nutritionist.

Here is where it gets interesting: the nutritionist discovers that I have her on a high protein, loaded with nutrients, low glycemic shake to supplement her eating but doesn't know Metagenics as a company or product (by her own admission to the patient/mom). Her advice- stop taking the high quality shake and instead use carnation instant breakfast.


Ever see the ingredients? Milk, sugar, maltodextrin (sugar), lactose (allergen to many people), natural and artificial flavor (hidden things like MSG, flavor enhancers, etc), corn starch (sugar-based thickening agent), wheat starch, salt, and the cheapest (read that worst quality) "nutrients" they can shove in just to say they are there. The form of zinc that they add is essentially a form of rust. Vitamin D without the co-factors necessary to absorb and use it.
Did I mention the kid is gluten sensitive? Breaks out in a rash every time something is ingested that has wheat in it. And the nutritionist was put off by the fact that I worked with the mom to get the kid off gluten.  This is the equivalent of saying to the poor mom- stop giving the kid food and nutrients and start with a healthy dose of crack instead.

So here is what happens- I advised mom on simple, healthy eating changes for the whole family not just the baby and mom says the baby is already doing better (eating regularly, active, and better mood). This is just in the last week so it is too early to see an appreciable weight gain but it is coming. And, it is healthy weight. We want the baby to become strong and healthy not fat and "up to normal weight".

Helping clients with Body Composition change is something I excel at. Whether you want to trim down the body fat, add some bulk, or just get to an ideal weight I can help. Nutritional work with me does not require you to come in for adjustments. Diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes are important.

Call me to schedule your nutritional consultation and get on the way to your healthiest ever.  I Love This!

Monday, August 8, 2011

An Ounce of Prevention.

  Saturday night at The Art Space Gallery @ Backbone Art Reception, a very nice lady I met explained to me about her bad back and the problems she had with it. When I offered to help improve her spine (really her whole health), she declined because "it isn't acting up right now".  
  To me, this is the same as saying, "I'm not going to brush my teeth until they hurt."  The sad truth is pain is not an indication of poor health any more than no pain is an indication of good health.

  Pain is a sign of inflammation. It is to stop us from causing further damage to ourselves. That's all. Having no pain and thinking you are healthy is like sticking your head in the sand.

  Many people have cancer and don't know it. For a majority of heart attack victims, the actual heart attack is the 1st "symptom" of heart disease. Clearly the injury to the heart didn't begin at the moment of the heart attack. We all know this. Don't fool yourself into thinking that no pain = health!

  Be proactive. We all know the expression about an ounce of prevention. Prevent sickness and dis-ease. Get a massage and adjustment regularly. Exercise daily. Eat organic fresh veggies and fruits, lean meats, nuts, and seeds. Be informed. Check out, Food, Inc., Super Size Me and other shows that tell the truth about food, farming, and food handling. 

Seek out guidance from specialists and health care providers who go beyond the surface and only treat the symptom. 

As always, my door is open and I love to help people improve their health. Call 253.858.2474 and check out to see what I can do for you.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Don't Be Fooled By Aggressive Ad Campaign

     According to the drug pusher, I mean pharmaceutical manufacturer, "Shift Work Disorder occurs when your body's internal sleep-wake clock is out of synch with your work schedule—your body is telling you to go to sleep when your work schedule needs you to stay awake."

In other words- you work nights and are tired. 

     But don't worry, they have your answer. (No, I won't name the drug- they don't deserve the free ad from me.) They will even do like the crack dealers in the 80's and offer you a free taste in the hopes you get hooked (although they call it a free 14 day trial, very PC).
     The infuriating part is how they make up a condition to sell a drug and then casually ramble through the "possible side effects" as though they should be disregarded.
     Well let's review.  The list includes: serious rash, hives, difficulty swallowing or breathing, allergic reaction that damages the liver and blood cells (and may be life threatening), depression, anxiety, sensing things that are not really there (last I checked these are called hallucinations), chest pain, abnormal heart beat, headache, nausea, dizziness, and trouble sleeping. Be sure to tell your doctor if you develop a side effect that bothers you or that doesn't go away. Of course they push the liability off in a letter to "warn" doctors  (taken directly from their website):

      "Discontinuation of treatment may not prevent a rash from becoming life-threatening or permanently disabling or disfiguring."

    Well, guess what? It is PERFECTLY NORMAL to be tired if you are up all night. Yes, some professions need to be up at unusual hours in the night (Thank You Firefighters, Police, Emergency Room staff). Do we want any of them having suicidal thoughts or hallucinations when they are doing that job?
     How about doing things to protect the body's health and make it stronger and better able to deal with the off-hours? Try things like regular exercise- it boosts energy production. Healthy diet that eliminates processed sugar, reduces high glycemic starches, and includes lots of organic fresh veggies, lean proteins, nuts, seeds, and fruits. How about stress reduction like walks or bike rides with friends and loved ones? Of course, my favorites are to have a massage and an adjustment, take vitamins/minerals, and use protein shakes to stabilize blood sugar and maintain healthy body composition. 
     Don't fall for their million dollar ad campaign. Make them realize that people are smart and know when they are being buffaloed. Want options? Call me at 253-858-2474 or check out our new website at for resources to help.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Normal or Insane?

I was coaching a client earlier this week about eating habits. He said something interesting to me. He said he just wanted to be able to eat "normal".  He said that meant he just wanted to eat the way he usually does: bread, potatoes, pasta, starches.  Two thoughts occured to me.

First, one definition of insanity is doing the same thing yet expecting different results.  If we eat the way we always have and we expect to change our health, i.e. lose weight, control blood chemistry, have more energy, etc., we might just be insane.

This is the down side to crash diets. For example, HCG works very well at helping a person drop a lot of weight very quickly. The challenge is that it was never intended to be a long term solution. If after a round of HCG a person slowly goes back to their "normal" eating habits, they will also slowly go back to their "normal" unhealthy self. To think otherwise is...insanity.

Second, I realized that in this sense, being normal is not always a good thing. What is normal?

Mirriam-Webster dictionary describes normal as "conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern".  What is standard or regular pattern of health in this country? Let's see...1 in 2 women will get breast cancer, 1 in 3 men will get prostate cancer. 1 in 3 will become diabetic, unless you are of a minority group in which case it is 1 in 2. So, "normal" lifestyle patterns cause "normal" diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.  

If that is normal, I want to be weird. I want my family, friends, patients, and everyone I can influence to be weird with me until healthy is normal again. 

Can you join me? Do you have the courage to be weird? It is really not hard. Eat veggies, fruits, and lean meats daily, refuse food with bug spray on it (if you are not eating organic- it is covered in bug spray), shut off the TV or computer, take a multivitamin and fish oil (USANA Health Sciences), avoid sugar, dare I say it...choose to be healthy.

You can do it! I can help. Call, email, send smoke signals, use carrier pigeons- I don't really care how you reach me- just do it. Make the change and choose health!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Most people I know are actually suffocating. 

I ask all of my patients if they know how to breath. Funny enough, most of them don't. It seems kind of self explanatory- if you just exhaled, inhale and vice versa. Actually, there is a lot more to breathing correctly.

Good breathing requires full use of the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a large flat muscle that attaches to the spine, bottom of the rib cage, and sternum. There is an attachment (called the central tendon) to the sack the heart rests in(pericardium).  

A good breath means the diapragm contracts down and pulls air into the lungs. The chest should not have much movement. The belly should protrude out. When you exhale the belly button moves towards the spine. If your chest heaves up and down with breathing you are not doing it right.

Correct breathing improves oxygenation of the body. It helps circulation and strengthens the heart. The heart actually gets a "massage" from the sac it sits in. There is a study that suggests that chest breathing occurs in most if not all heart attack victims.

A strong diaphragm also helps maintain the low back curve (lumbar lordosis). Remember, the diaphragm attaches to the spine? This means your breathing is connected with spine form and function. It also means that if you had a spine injury you may not be breathing well and don't even know it.

When you get overly tired or stressed what should you do? Breath. It helps you to relax.

If you want to practice correct breathing- sit up tall, put your hand over your belly button, and inhale pushing your hand away with your belly. Then exhale and squeeze your belly to bringing your hand towards your spine. Try to inhale for 4 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds.

If this feels awkward to you- congratulations you have now recognized that you have a problem that you can correct. As you practice and progress, maintain the exhale twice as long as the inhale. If you really want to step it up- try this exercise on a Pettibon Wobble Chair with full spinal motion. Not sure what that is? Call Deb at 253-858-2474 and she can teach you.