Dr. Michael Kwast, DC

Educate, Inform, Empower

I am a “Break Fix Kind of Guy”…

Had a patient tell me, “I am a break fix kind of guy”.  I am not sure what that exactly means.  Does that mean you don’t go to the dentist until your teeth hurt?  Do you not change your oil until it is low?  Do you only exercise when you are overweight?

It is hard to understand why anyone would want to come in hurting, when it could have been prevented.  The only thing I can imagine, is that he doesn’t understand the ramifications.  By waiting till it hurts, you are choosing to have more degeneration and osteoarthritis.  You are choosing to increase your chances of injury. You are choosing to have less range of motion.  You are choosing to suffer.  You are choosing to have an increase in whole body inflammation.  You are choosing to have a systemic stress hormone increase. Why would anyone pick this choice, unless they don’t “get it”.  Sad.

Ideally, a patient should come in and say, “Please check me out, find any areas of tightness, restricted motion, muscle knots, and imbalances, so I can have those corrected, so I have less chance of injury and arthritis, so I can perform better in all physical activities, and have an overall better and more active quality of life.”

Why are you waiting to hurt?

 

Dr. Michael Kwast is a Grand Rapids Chiropractor at iChiro Clinics.  iChiro Clinics has been awarded the Better Business Bureau of West Michigan’s Torch Award for Ethics in 2014, and voted the Best of Grand Rapids in 2015 and 2016.  Dr. Kwast is the author of the book, “7 Beliefs Destroying Your Health“.  He has been a speaker on television, and the host of the radio show, “Shattering the Status Quo“.

Approaching Your Health Holistically

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Many people in Grand Rapids don’t realize that chiropractors are trained in so much more than just adjustments. Chiropractors are trained to approach the body in a holistic manner utilizing natural methods. In our clinics, we have observed that patients who participate in a holistic treatment plan, enjoy the highest levels of results. An example of a holistic natural treatment plan would include: chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, exercise, stretching, healthy eating, taking nutritional supplements, stress management techniques, good ergonomics, healthy lifestyle choices, elimination of toxic habits and behaviors, and good sleep habits. To give you an example from a well known industry, look at dentistry. A patient who only brushes once and a while will have different outcomes than one who brushes daily. Adding flossing, protective rinses, regular checkups, regular cleanings, and eliminating sugar from their diet will all yield the best results. So, the question is what level of results are you looking for? To find out if a natural holistic approach could benefit your specific situation, contact our office and schedule an evaluation. iChiro Clinics has two locations in Grand Rapids. The north office is at 4150 E. Beltline, Grand Rapids, MI, 49525, 616-447-9888. The south office is at 6750 Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, MI, 49508, 616-656-1830.

Dr. Kwast is the CEO of iChiro Clinics in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and a wellness speaker for the Foundation for Wellness Professionals, and the Employee Awareness Association.

Is there a CURE for that?

 

 

 

In my Grand Rapids chiropractic clinic, I often hear patients talk about “cures”.  This is an interesting idea.  My first thought is what do you mean by cure?  Do you mean get rid of your symptom?  Or, do you mean fix the underlying cause?  What I have discovered, is when most of the people I talk with refer to a cure, they simply mean getting rid of the symptom.  For example, if you have a headache and take an aspirin, you have “cured” your headache.  However, if you get a headache again tomorrow, that really wasn’t a cure.

In fact, most problems have NO “cure”.  Think about it, does the cholesterol medication you take cure the problem, or do you take the pill forever?  Does the high blood pressure medication cure the high blood pressure, or do you take the pills forever?  Does the acid reflux medication cure the problem, or do you have to take it forever?  Does the visit to the dentist cure the problem of plaque on your teeth?  Or, is there more plaque when you show up 6 months later?  Even surgery can’t cure everything.  About 80% of patients who have had a back surgery will have another.  The idea that removing an organ cures the organ is ridiculous.  If you remove your gallbladder or appendix, you certainly won’t have that problem again because the organ is now gone.  Some problems have no cure.  For example, many injuries will cause actual physical damage that rarely can be “cured” or made 100% normal again.   Same with degenerative arthritis, you can often make the joint feel and function better, however, it will never be the same as before.

I was talking with a guy the other day at a store.  He found out I was a chiropractor, and started talking.  It went something like this.  Him:  “My neck is a degenerated mess.  I go to so many doctors.  If I thought you could cure me, I would come in to see you.”  Me:  “What are you doing for the severe degeneration in your neck?”  Him:  “Well I take oxy and get steroid shots in my neck every week.”  Me:  “Hmmm, how is that fixing your neck?”  Him:  “Well…umm…I guess it’s not.”  Me:  “Right, so the other doctors can’t fix your neck, but you still are going to them?”  Him:  “Yeah…umm…”  Me:  “So, let me ask you, if you could be 10-20% improved would you be interested in that? Even though there is no cure for your problems?”  Him:  “Well…I guess…sure.”  Me:  “So what is holding you back?”  Him:  “If…umm…I…”.

Most of the people I talk with are simply not educated on their problems and really are not informed of the expectations of results, and what is meant by results and/or cure.  Really, you should be looking for improvement.  Not only in symptoms, but in your mobility and function.  These all combine to create your quality of life.

We all degenerate over time.  So there is no cure for life.  Well, there is, called death.  So the answer is not to try and find cures for everything, but to try and make you last as long as possible, with the highest qualtiy of life as possible.  By adopting this mindset, you will set yourself up for an attainable goal to be your best for as long as possible!

lastaslongasyoucan

Dr. Michael Kwast is a chiropractor in Grand Rapids Michigan, and the CEO of iChiro Clinics.  He is the author of the book, “7 Beliefs Destroying Your Health“.  His clinics have received the 2014 Better Business Bureau of West Michigan’s Trust Award for Ethics, and Grand Rapids Magazines Best of Grand Rapids for 2014.

Knee Pain?

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In Grand Rapids, knee pain is a common condition that many people endure. There are many causes from slips, falls, injuries, accidents, and cumulative traumas. The muscles around the knee, the ligaments, and the meniscus are tissues that can be injured. By addressing the muscles and ligaments, relief and improved function can often be obtained. By combining chiropractic adjustments to the muscles, massage therapy, nutrition, stretching, and exercises, knee pain can often be helped. By using multiple therapies, the benefits are compounded and results are more likely to be obtained.  A great tool to exercise the deep muscles is by utilizing a vibration plate.  To aid in decompressing the joints, an inversion table is also a great tool.  Nutritionally, glucosamine is another tool to help make the cartilage in your joints be more durable and healthy.  Our Grand Rapids chiropractors have helped many people recover, be able to function better, and enjoy physical activities again. If you, or someone you know are suffering with knee pain, give one of our Grand Rapids chiropractic offices a call and get started on your path to recovery.

Dr. Kwast is the CEO of iChiro Clinics in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and a wellness speaker for the Foundation for Wellness Professionals, and the Employee Awareness Association.

Do I have a slipped disc?

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Did I slip a disc? Many people in Grand Rapids, Michigan believe that they have slipped a disc. I hear this comment frequently, however, that is not what is really happening. Discs don’t slip, they bulge, herniate, and rupture. The actual disc is very tightly adhered to the bone. What happens is when the deep stabilizer muscles compress the disc it will compress and bulge out the side like a tube of toothpaste when you step on the tube. Trauma can also cause compression on the disc, like falling off a ladder. So does everyone with back pain have a disc problem?

In a ground breaking study performed by the New England Journal of Medicine, 98 asymptomatic (pain free) people were given MRI examinations to determine the presence or absence of lumbar disc herniations. The findings were surprising. Of the 98 individuals examined only 36% (about 36 people) had what doctors consider “normal discs at all levels”. Over 52% had at least one disc bulge while 27% had at least one disc herniation! So, you may have a disc problem and not even feel it! Depending on the severity of the disc problem, and the location of the bulging/herniation/rupture, you may have no symptoms at all. Many times the symptoms people feel are not from the disc, but from the surrounding tissues that are often damaged too. By properly rehabing these tissues, many patients can reduce and eliminate their pain and numbness.  Chiropractors are ideally trained to decompress the disc and relax the surrounding muscles.  There are also some at home tools you can use to help with muscle tightness and spasm.  The biostick is a great tool that allows you to work on yourself in conjunction with a therapy plan.

To find out if a natural holistic approach could benefit your specific situation, contact our office and schedule an evaluation. iChiro Clinics has two locations in Grand Rapids. The north office is at 4150 E. Beltline, Grand Rapids, MI, 49525, 616-447-9888. The south office is at 6750 Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, MI, 49508, 616-656-1830.

Dr. Kwast is the CEO of iChiro Clinics in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and a wellness speaker for the Foundation for Wellness Professionals, and the Employee Awareness Association. iChiro Clinics has received the 2014 Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Ethics, and the Grand Rapids Magazine’s reader poll award for the Best of Grand Rapids.

Are You Cracking My Bones?

 

 

 

 

Many people believe that chiropractor’s are “cracking” your bones.  This is not actually what happens.  In fact, if that was happening, it would be called a fracture.   What actually is occuring with a chiropractic adjustment is the chiropractor is using the vertebrae (bones) as a lever to stretch the deep stabilizer musculature (see diagram) which releases tension in the muscles and decompresses the facet joints of the spine.  When the joint is decompressed or “opened up”, the fluid in the joint turns into a gas to expand and take up the space inside the joint, which causes an energy release and creates a “cracking” sound.  The sound is simply from the energy release from liquid turning to gas rapidly, called cavitation.

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Understanding this process is critical to achieve results.  Many people believe that your bones have “popped” out of joint, and the chiropractor simply “pops” them back in place.  This is incorrect.  In fact, if a facet joint was dislocated, you would have serious problems.  Watch a short interview on WZZM.

By understanding that the deep stabilizer muscles are being stretched, you can then understand how to change them.  The goal is to change the way these muscles hold the spine together.  To achieve change in the muscles, it is similar to any type of muscle changing activity, like stretching or working out.  Every time an adjustment is delivered, the muscles stretch a little more, and change a little bit, and hold that position a little longer.  By utilizing frequency and time, you can change these muscles.  Just like going to the gym once or twice will unlike yield results, one or two adjustments typically doesn’t either.  Muscle change requires frequency of three times per week or more done over months.

Once the muscles are normally contracting and relaxing, and holding the spine in a decompressed state, you can introduce exercises to reinforce the proper patterns.  If you exercise too soon when the muslces are not functioning properly, you will simply reinforce the compensation patterns and the dysfunctional muscles will typically not even participate in the exercise event.  This is why the function must be restored first, before exercise.

Adjustments to these muscles cause: increased range of motion, decreased compression on joint cartilage, decrease nerve compression and irritation, increased flexibility, and increased function.

If you are having musculoskeletal or joint problems, contact iChiro Clinics and set up an evaluation to find out if you can be helped.

Dr. Kwast is a chiropractor in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and CEO of iChiro Clinics.  He is the author of the book, “7 Beliefs Destroying Your Health”.  Dr. Kwast’s clinics have received the 2014 West Michigan Better Business Bureau’s Trust Award for Ethics, and Grand Rapids Magazines Best of Grand Rapids 2014.

Boost your immune system to avoid colds/flu!

Many people in Grand Rapids have started struggling with colds and flu like symptoms with the recent weather changes.  I am often asked what people can do to reduce their chances of developing colds and flu.  Here are some ideas:

  1. Avoid sugar.  Sugar can depress the immune system.
  2. Wash your hands.  Hand washing has had a immense positive impact on the worlds health.
  3. Get some sun.  Vitamin D is essential for good immune system function.  If you can’t get in the sun, try oral vitamin D.  Current recommendations range, however, some studies show 7000IU day is a good number.  You can take too much, so you may want to have your numbers tested via blood test.
  4. Get a massage.  Massage helps move your lymphatic system, which is where your white blood cells circulate.
  5. Get some sleep.  Sleep is essential to proper immune system function.
  6. Exercise.  Exercise gets the blood and lymph pumping which cirulates immune system cells.
  7. Get adjusted.  Chiropractic adjustments can help increase immune system function through somatovisceral reflexes as shown in a study.

Adopt these lifestyle changes and see what positive effects happen.  Check out the links I provided for more data!  Remember, the best way to stay healthy is to keep your body functioning well!

 

Dr. Michael Kwast is a chiropractor in Grand Rapids, and CEO of iChiro Clinics.  He is the author of the book, “7 Beliefs Destroying Your Health“, and his clinics has been awarded the BBB of West Michigan Trust Award for Ethics in 2014, and Grand Rapids Magazines Best of Grand Rapids 2014!

What is your Purpose?

I often am told that I am very passionate about what I do.  People tell me that my offices are so passionate and caring.  While these are exciting feedback statements to get, it really got me thinking.  Why is excitement and purpose missing in so many people’s lives?  What is it that makes someone have passion, caring, and sincere interest?  I know for myself, my purpose comes from a desire to help others live a healthy and high quality of life.  This is backed by my personal desire to serve Christ by doing my absolute best with the tasks he has given me.  My offices’ purpose statement is, “To help as many people as possible get and stay healthy naturally.”

One of the misunderstandings I hear often, is that you can only be a high level “A” player, with passion and excitement, if you are in a job or career that really excites you.  While this is somewhat true, there is another aspect.

As Christians we are all called to work as though we are working for God and not man.  Joseph worked very hard at being a slave…not something most people have a passion for.  While you may not feel passionate about the job God has you in at this moment, you really need to give it your all and perform at the highest level.  Your boss and coworkers should be in awe of your willingness and effort.  This is one way to show the “light” christians are supposed to be for the world.

Go out there and work for the MAN!  God that is!

Dr. Michael Kwast is a Grand Rapids chiropractor, and CEO of iChiro Clinics.  He is the author of the book, “7 Beliefs Destroying Your Health“.  His clinics have received the BBB of West Michigan Trust Award for Ethics in 2014, and Grand Rapids Magazines “Best of Grand Rapids” in 2014.  Dr. Kwast has helped thousands of patients realize a higher level of health.

Chiropractic?

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Many people are uninformed as to the benefits chiropractic care can provide. Besides eliminating low back pain, headaches, neck pain, and other physical problems, a study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapy in May of 2007, showed patients whose primary care physician was a chiropractor experienced: 85% less in pharmaceutical costs, 62% fewer outpatient surgeries, 60% fewer hospital admissions, and 59% fewer days in the hospital. Contact your Grand Rapids iChiro Clinic to make an appointment so you can start benefiting!
Dr. Michael Kwast, DC, CSCS, CEO of iChiro Clinics, has been in practice since 1998 and helped thousands of people reach a higher level of health.

Soultions to Fibromyalgia

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Fibromyalgia is a disorder that results in chronic widespread pain throughout the musculoskeletal system and they body’s connecting tissues. The pain typically migrates from day to day and can be felt at various places within the body at any given time. But because the causes, signs, and symptoms of the disorder are varied, each person is affected differently depending on their specific situations, health conditions, and lifestyles.

What are the Causes?

While many studies have been done on the subject, the causes of fibromyalgia are not currently known. But there are a variety of situations the disorder as been linked to such as:

Trauma
Stressful events
Illness
Repetitive injuries
The disorder seems to occur on its own without cause in many cases. Many scientists believe that genes may play a role in its onset and progression. Some studies have also shown that fibromyalgia is linked to problems with the nervous system.

What are the Symptoms?

There are a variety of symptoms reported by people suffering from fibromyalgia. The most common symptoms are muscle pain, fatigue, and tender points in the back, arms, and neck. Other symptoms include:

Insomnia
Regular headaches
Tingling in both the hands and feet
Memory problems (often called “fibro fog”)
Bloating and pain in the abdomen
Painful menstruation
Sensitivity to light
Depression
Anxiety
It is not uncommon to have more than one of these symptoms at the same time while combined with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Many times, these symptoms will vary depending on the time of day or the stress levels that are involved at any given time.

Home Remedy Options

There are no specific treatments or pills that are used to specifically treat fibromyalgia today. Most doctors simply treat the symptoms with pain management options. However, there are a variety of things you can personally do to gain relief from the pain and problems the disorder brings to your life. Some effective methods include:

Get regular exercise.  Try a vibration plate.
Get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.  Try a cervical pillow.
Eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables.  Try taking greens.
Make changes at work or home to minimize stress on the body and mind.  Try a support.
Getting a deep tissue massage is also helpful for relaxing the body and mind, which helps to take a lot of the frustrations of dealing with this disorder away.  Try a massage chair.

Use non habit forming pain relievers.  Try biofreeze.

Professional Remedy Options

It is important to get help from professionals who are familiar with this disorder and how to best manage the variety of symptoms it causes. An effective way to treat fibromyalgia is through chiropractic adjustments and massage therapy.

These adjustments are made to the spinal joints, which relax the deep stabilizer muscles within the body to reduce pressure and stress on the nerves. Chiropractic adjustments also help to minimize inflammation which is commonly associated with fibromyalgia.  Our Grand Rapids Chiropractors have had numerous successs stories treating fibromyalgia.

To find out if a natural approach might help you, contact iChiro Clinics and make an appointment for an evaluation.

Dr. Michael Kwast is the CEO of iChiro Clinics, an author, and a wellness speaker.  He has helped thousands of patients realize a higher quality of life.

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