Happy Sunlight!

Happy Summer! Happy Sunlight!

When I was kid, way back in the 1970’s and 80’s, I used to lay out in the sun covered in Baby Oil with lemon juice in my hair.  I was a sun goddess.  When I got older, I was a lifeguard and a swim team coach.  When it came time to work indoors during the summer months, I thought I’d die without my sun exposure.  Fast forward a decade or two and this whole skin cancer scare came about.  We started covering ourselves up with the highest SPF we could find, only to learn that all that SPF wasn’t good for us either.  As the pendulum swings and returns back to center, we now know that there has to be a decent balance of getting sunlight to create Vitamin D, but not too much that it causes skin cancer.

I’m sure everyone has seen the 100’s of uses or benefits of coconut oil floating around on your Facebook feed or on the internet.  I use pure coconut oil for everything from giving massages to cooking.  My favorite use of coconut oil is to use it as a sunscreen.  About 10 years ago, I slathered myself up with coconut oil and laid out in the sun, much like I had done as a kid, and hoped I would I have a nice tan after several hours.  NOPE!  Not one shade of golden beauty came through because of how effective the coconut oil was at blocking the sun.  Now, when I make my annual trip to the beach, I slather on the coconut oil before leaving the hotel room, while the rest of my family chooses to use a commercial sunscreen product.  Guess who doesn’t have that painful burn after day one at the beach?  You guessed it, ME.  I still had the tan shine through simply because I spend the majority of my time in the water.  The key, however, is to RE-APPLY every time you come out of the water.  If you don’t re-apply, you can still burn.  This is true of your favorite sunscreen products as well.

So, for a natural sun protectant, consider using coconut oil.  Don’t forget to re-apply.  Allow yourself at least 15 minutes per day of the morning sun to stimulate your body’s natural Vitamin D.  Most importantly, enjoy your summer vacation!

Sprain, Strain, Pelvic Pain

Doc! I can’t move.  I can’t get out of bed. I can’t even get in the car!”  When the pain is so bad that it hurts to turn over in bed, or changing positions from sitting to stand, or even laying down to sitting up, it’s time to seek professional help.

Low back pain and pelvic pain tend to go together.  A strain is what happens to the muscles or tendons when they are pulled or stretched to extreme measures.  A sprain is what happens to ligaments when they have been stretched beyond their limit.  Pain happens with both.  The muscles in your hips and low back contract so hard in an attempt to stabilize the hurt area, whether it’s in your lumbar/low back region or your pelvic region and hips.  Your core muscles (pelvic floor muscles, rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus) suddenly go offline and become weak in order to protect you from doing further harm.  The brain and your nervous system find many different ways to do the same job that your core muscles were supposed to be doing.

Now, simple tasks such as turning over in bed or going from sitting to standing become much more difficult. Pain is your body’s way of saying something is wrong.  You don’t have to figure out what is wrong, but your chiropractor, massage therapist or doctor will figure that out for you.

Remember, the type of professional from whom you seek treatment will always suggest the treatment based on their profession.  So, if you go to a medical doctor, you will likely be prescribed pain medicine or a muscle relaxer.  If you go to an orthopedist, you may be told you need surgery.  If you go to the chiropractor, we will suggest adjustments, massage therapy, physiotherapy and therapeutic exercises.

In the case mentioned above, you may be given a Trochanter Belt to wear for a few days.  This special kind of belt is worn below the waist and just at the level of where the femur attaches to the pelvis.    You will wear this for approximately five days, 24/7, except when bathing or bathroom time.  The belt acts as a support so the surrounding muscles don’t have to overwork into spasm.  Depending on the injury, your chiropractor may lessen or extend your time in the belt.

Once your low back or pelvic injury is healed, keep the trochanter belt around for times when you know you’ll be pulling a heavy load or doing a lot of walking. Be sure you re-learn how to activate those muscles that neurologically went off-line and learn how to move with proper bio-mechanics to avoid further injury or relapse.

If you would like a consultation for your back pain, you can text, call or email Dr. Seebacher.  Crawl-ins are welcome too.  Dr. Seebacher has created a FUSION of chiropractic, therapeutic massage and therapeutic exercise to help reduce pain and restore function to your life.

Drive Time Therapy

Traffic in Atlanta is one thing we all tolerate to the best of our abilities.  Why not make the most of your time while at a standstill?

My favorite is to use the headrest, situated to the middle of your head. Press your head back and in to the headrest, slightly tucking your chin under as you press and hold for a count of 5.  This gives a nice stretch to the suboccipital muscles at the base of your skull and it activates the deep flexor muscles in the front of the neck.  This will also release some tension in the back of your neck and maybe even in your shoulders.  Next you can turn your head as far as comfortable and press your head back and in to the headrest.  Be sure to do both sides equally.

Need some shoulder therapy?  Try pressing your shoulder back, one at a time, holding for a count of 5, just as you’ve been doing.  Be sure to do both sides equally.  Now you’re working the muscles between the shoulder blades, squeeze those shoulder blades together behind you and make sure the back of your head is touching the headrest. Don’t allow your head and neck to creep forward.  You can also work on those external rotator muscles of the shoulder by squeezing your elbows towards your rib cage, elbows bent at 90 degrees, now open your arm out away from your body, attempting to touch the back of your wrist to either the door or towards the passenger seat.  Let’s not forget shoulder shrugs and shoulder rolls as well.

Again, make sure you are safe while in your car.  These are quick and easy to do at a red light.  While the car is moving, see if you can keep your head touching the headrest.  We have this bad habit of thrusting our neck forward as if we could actually see things better from that position.

 

 

 

 

Human Barometer

Are you a human barometer?  Have you ever wondered why you have a unique talent for knowing when a storm is coming?   Do your joints ache when it’s cold and rainy outside?  You may be a human barometer.

Barometric pressure is the effect of air on the environment.  Think of this as a heavy blanket exerting downward pressure on everything when the barometric pressure is low, or dropping.  We like to say that a cold, rainy day is “good sleeping weather”, to just stay in bed and hibernate.  It is true that lower barometric pressure causes us to seek sleep mode.  Strangely enough, as the barometric pressure drops, the air we breathe drops the level of Oxygen, so less O2 in our blood and going to the brain makes us feel sleepy.  The pressure on our bodies causes fluid in the joints and blood vessels to expand.  Remember back to elementary school that hot air rises, cold air is denser and pressure gradients always shift from high to low in order to create balance.  This is why we have so many aches and pains when the barometric pressure is dropping.  Any old injury you have may express itself with a vengeance, particularly if you have arthritis or have had surgery to a joint.  Everything inside expands.

On the other end of the spectrum from achy joints is the awful storm approaching migraine.  If you’ve ever noticed when weather patterns collide and create massive thunder storms or possible tornado activity, the human barometer can sense that rapid drop in pressure.  There is some speculation that the electrical charge in the air is what effects the body’s chemistry.  Other weather related activity that can spark a migraine or pressure headache include: changes in temperature, high humidity, high winds, extremely dry conditions (causing dehydration), sun glare.

What can be done about this?  The primary goal of the nervous system is to adapt to the environment, both inside the body and outside pressures on the body.  It is perfectly okay to crawl back in to bed on those cold and rainy days when you are able to do so.  For the migraine sufferer, you may need some extra assistance to help you adapt.  Getting a regular chiropractic adjustment helps the nervous system function at it’s optimal level so that these swings in pressure don’t effect us as dramatically.  The sooner you can come in at the onset of a migraine, the better chance of stopping or at least significantly reducing your symptoms.

Here are some of my “go to” relief remedies I have in my tool box:

Migra-Eeze – This came highly recommended from my neurologist to take as a preventive measure.  I can attest that this works very well when taken on a daily basis and it significantly reduced the severity of my migraines.

Intensity 10 TENS unit – using a TENS unit on those muscles that are in spasm is an excellent way to relieve pain associated with migraines and barometric pressure changes.  Dr. Seebacher can help you find the right fit for you, as well as ordering the TENS unit with insurance approval.

Migracap – I will admit that I have not used this yet.  In the midst of a migraine, cold temperature works best due to the rapid expansion of blood vessels.  This cap covers the eyes and provides that extra comforting pressure when you feel like your head is about to explode.

Hydrate – A good rule of thumb is to drink 1 oz of water for every 2 pounds of body weight.  As an example, if you weigh 180 pounds, you need 90 oz of water daily.  You’ll need more if you’re physically active.  When the environment is dry and drought conditions persist, the human body needs more water. You can add a pinch of salt to the water to provide extra minerals and to retain some of the water needed by your body.  I prefer Pink Himalayan Salt as it has more mineral content to help balance the electrolytes in your body.

Epsom Salt Bath – You can find epsom salts at any grocery store.  I recommend to my Fibromyalgia patients the Fibro Detox Bath: 1 package (2-3pounds) of epsom salt in the hottest water you can safely handle; add 1 box of Baking Soda (8oz), 1 tbs of ground ginger. Warning, ginger makes this a stimulating bath, but it reduces pain significantly.  Soak as long as you possibly can.  For relaxation, try adding lavender essential oil or any soothing blend to replace the ginger.

Chiropractic + Therapeutic Massage: Chiropractic adjustments are designed to help the nervous system restore balance in the body.  Therapeutic Massage helps to release trigger points so that your body does not hold patterns of spasm.  Combining the two together gives you the best of both worlds.  Keep in mind, neither one is intended to be a one time cure-all.  It took a long time for your body to build up the stress and toxic environment that is created by barometric sensitivities.  Dr. Seebacher provides the chiropractic adjustment and the therapeutic massage all in one visit.  Click here to schedule your chiro+massage appointment.

 

 

Medicare + Chiropractic Benefits

In a recent post, we discussed chiropractic benefits with health insurance.  Now we will look at chiropractic benefits with Medicare.

In the state of Georgia, the Medicare part B annual deductible is $187.  The co-payment for Medicare is approximately $40.  All that this covers is the spinal manipulation.  It does not cover extremity adjusting or any physio-therapeutics or health history and exam.  Once the Medicare patient has met their deductible (about 4-5 visits), the patient then pays a 20% co-insurance, so their cost is approximately $8.00 per visit.  As with regular insurance, this is limited to approximately 20 visits per year and must be for acute care only.  Maintenance care is not covered by Medicare.

Should the patient need more than 20 visits, or choose to pay for extra services that are not covered, such as massage or ultrasound, the patient can then elect to sign an ABN – Advanced Beneficiary Notice, where they choose to self-pay and still have Medicare billed; or self-pay and choose not to bill Medicare.

The challenge here is that by the time a person reaches age 65, most of their joints have degenerated, whether spinal or extremity (knees, hips, etc).  Rarely is there a new injury, but rather an acute flare-up of an old injury that needs care.  It took 65 years for the body to wear down at this point, rarely will there be lasting results with only 3 – 4 weeks of care.  This is the number one reason chiropractors state they do not accept Medicare because of limitations in care and such low reimbursement rate for the limited length of time we are allowed to treat a person.  Here’s a little secret… the chiropractor does not have the option to not accept Medicare patients.  (Lightning bolts are now soaring through the sky to shoot me down for telling this trade secret!)

When I worked at Wellstar Healthplace as a massage therapist and yoga instructor, I would recommend chiropractic care to the over 65 population. Their biggest complaint was that they could not find a chiropractor who would accept Medicare benefit assignment.  I promised then, before becoming a chiropractor, that I would offer chiropractic care to the Medicare population because I firmly believe that everyone needs chiropractic care.  We have more people over the age of 65 alive now than ever before in history.  Blessedly so, these Baby Boomers are even more active now than they ever have been in history.  It is a joy for me as a chiropractor to be able to help a grandmother be able to sit on the floor with her grandchildren and be able to play without pain or the fear of getting up from the floor.

If you have further questions about insurance and chiropractic, you need to first reference your insurance company about your personal policy.  Each policy is uniquely different.  You have to ask specifically about chiropractic benefits.  Once you understand your benefits, then you can ask your chiropractor how to best work within the guidelines to have your chiropractic needs met.  I wish I could say that 20 visits per year will be enough for that low back strain you have after doing intense yardwork over the weekend, but sometimes, that is not the case.  Your aches and pains did not happen overnight (unless you had a sudden traumatic injury) and neither will the best chiropractic care cure that pain overnight.  Be sure to check in for other blog posts about chiropractic care and healing times.

Chiropractic + Health Insurance = ????

The number one question chiropractors are asked is, “Do you take insurance?”  I will admit to you, fewer and fewer chiropractors are accepting insurance these days.  This can be a very good thing, or not.  Let me explain.

First, chiropractors are considered “Specialists” in the insurance world, so when you look at your insurance card, make sure you are looking at the co-payment for a Specialist.  Now here’s the kicker – unless it is specifically written otherwise, you MUST have depleted your DEDUCTIBLE before the co-pay price kicks in for chiropractic.  That means, if you have a $4,500 deductible, you have to pay your Specialist the full negotiated price at time of service, assuming your doctor is in network.  If your doctor is out of network, or does not file insurance at all, you end up paying the full price of the doctor’s usual and customary care price.

As an example, a regular chiropractic office visit would end up costing approximately $75.00 for the spinal adjustment, extremity adjustment and 15 minutes of physio-therapeutics, which includes massage, trigger point therapy, ultrasound, therapeutic exercises, traction, etc.  This price is increased if it is your first visit (usually $100) when the chiropractor takes a comprehensive health history, or a re-examination (usually $75) which should be done about every 3 months or after 10 – 12 visits.

If the doctor is in network, there is a negotiated price for doing business with the insurance company.  What is considered a usual and customary fee of $75 is now negotiated down to approximately $28 for an adjustment and nothing more is included.  This negotiated price is subtracted from your deductible.

For the person who has insurance benefits for chiropractic care, co-payments are applied once you have met your deductible.  So now, according to the fictitious insurance card pictured above, the specialist co-payment is $25 for each visit.  That means the chiropractor now submits a claim to the insurance company, and hopefully will be reimbursed for the remaining $50, but may only receive $3.00.  This could take 2 – 5 hours for the chiropractor to justify to the insurance company that treatment was medically necessary and took place in the office as described.  Here is where insurance companies like to play games with us which drives that hourly commitment skyward for both the insured and the doctor.  Suddenly, the doctor is no longer listed as being in-network, even though the insurance company has already paid for the same services with another patient, or even the same patient; or the insurance company states the member ID number is illegible, despite the fact the form is filled out electronically; and finally, the insurance company will only allow 20 visits per year for chiropractic and this is the 21st visit in this calendar year.  With this last case, the patient may end up paying full price for the rest of the year, knowing that chiropractic care is helping the patient feel better and be more functional in daily activities.

Now, the chiropractor has only received $3 – 25 for their services which usually costs $75.00 and they end up spending extra time themselves or hiring someone to chase down the insurance payment for the remainder.  The chiropractor ends up spending more time with insurance companies than she does seeing patients.  This equates to a DOCTOR (with $300,000 worth of student loan debt) now ends up making $10 per hour.  This is what ends up driving prices up higher, or ultimately, chiropractors making the decision to be a cash only practice where no insurance is taken.

There is an alternative with chiropractors who are able to offer a Time of Service – TOS discount, which caps the dollar amount on the office visit despite insurance.  As an example, insurance company “ABC” has a co-payment of $60 for an office visit, but your chiropractor may offer a TOS discount of $50 without filing insurance for you and/or handing you the forms to file yourself.  This TOS discount may include the adjustment, physio-therapeutics and no limit on how many visits.  Be sure to ask your chiropractor about this, don’t just assume everyone has this.  This has an advantage to the doctor and the patient when they are able to give/receive the care needed without limitation from the insurance company.

Always check with your own insurance policy for an explanation of chiropractic care benefits.

Coming up – Medicare coverage for Chiropractic

 

Core Restore is finally here!

Core Restore logo 3.28.16

Imagine a Fusion of Yoga, Pilates, Rehabilitation and Movement without Pain.  Dr. Seebacher has taken years of experience from teaching all these movement classes and breaking them down for optimal performance for wounded athletes, weekend warriors and chronic pain survivors who don’t dare move a muscle in case it hurts.  Often people complain of attending classes doing countless repetitions at high speed and end up hurting themselves.  More often than not, it’s because they didn’t have the ability to perform the skill successfully at slow speed before catapulting into the competitive pace of an instructor teaching to the more advanced abilities of the class.

Starter Class  For the low activity level. (Chronic Pain, Acute Pain, Desk Jockey, Couch Potato, Wounded Weekend Warrior, and Supporters)

Classes begin January 31, 2017 and will be held every Tuesday & Thursday evening at 7pm, and Saturday morning at 9am.  Classes will last approx. 1 hour.  Space is limited to 6 participants. Classes will be held at:
Fusion Chiropractic.
2820 Lassiter Rd, Suite A-150,
Marietta, GA 30062

Fees:
drop-in: $15
pay in advance: $10 per class, issued on Fusion-Chiro gift card
monthly unlimited: $75, includes 1:1 special instruction as needed

Tools of the Trade (purchase by clicking the link)
Here are some of my favorites and suggestions based upon your needs:

  1. Any standard yoga mat is perfectly fine for class, however, I prefer the 1/2″ thick yoga mat to protect precious bony points like the knees or the sitting bones.  You are welcome to purchase a pre-made yoga kit or create your own based on your individual needs. (*REQUIRED)
  2. A yoga wedge is ideal for weak or painful wrists.  This helps to support a better angle for your wrists when working in the table top position, plank, down-dog and even cobra.
  3. A yoga strap is a universal tool when attempting to stretch those un-stretchable and hard to reach body parts.  This particular yoga strap is my favorite because it has multiple grip loops without worrying about your hands slipping on the strap.
  4.  Yoga blocks are used to help deepen a pose, or make a pose more attainable.
  5. I like to use a 6 inch ball to add range of motion as well as deep relaxation into some stretches and self-massage poses.  It’s always important to go softer, rather than harder.  For smaller spaces you can use a tennis ball, but please don’t use a Lacrosse ball as they do not have any give and can be too hard, causing injury to your body.  My favorite self-massage kit is the
  6. A large, core exercise ball is used to improve balance and strengthen core muscles.  Be sure to choose the size that is appropriate for your height.  As an example, most people would choose a 65cm ball if you are between 5’4″ and 5’10” tall.  You have the ideal sized ball when your hips and knees remain at a 90 degree angle when sitting on the ball.
  7. There are two or three sizes of foam rollers that work well.  The 24×36 inch foam roller is great for balance across the length and/or width of your body, such as working those hamstrings or quads, both at the same time.  The 6×12″ foam roller or even a 6×18″ foam roller is smaller in length and is more manageable for working one side of the body at a time such as the shoulder or lateral hip.
  8. Lastly, to help restore confidence in rehabilitating abdominal crunches, especially without pain, there is an abdominal wedge that is designed to support your lumbar spine as well as provide greater range of motion to more advanced techniques.

Please call or text to reserve your space or if you have questions.
404-838-8985

To enroll in the Core Restore Class, click here.

Customizable Pain Relief

How many times have you been to a chiropractor who sets you up on a plan where you are getting adjusted 3 times per week for 3 weeks, then 2 times per week for a few more weeks, and finally the blessed 1 time per week? Do you recall if you felt better immediately or did you feel beat up too many times? Were you lectured about the benefits of chiropractic for not just back pain but everything leading up to clearing fertility issues?

I believe in chiropractic care on your terms, providing customizable pain relief and teaching you how to care for yourself. My goal is basically to teach you how not to need me.

Depending on the severity of your symptoms and condition, your initial treatment may be simply once per week. My goal is to see you progress to every 2 weeks until you are stable with your care and optimally once per month just for a check-up. I will provide you with not only chiropractic care, but also the soft tissue work that goes along with your adjustment.

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Welcome!

In the last year I have done a lot of NEW things: graduated from school for my lifelong dream career, opened my own business and now Blogging! I am a lifetime student and I love learning, especially so I can turn around and teach someone else. I have a lot of opinions that are not mainstream, but also don’t follow the alternative medicine revolution. Now that I am in my (still) maturing middle age, I’m not concerned about following the masses and I know how to use my discernment skills to decide what is right and not right for myself, my family, and my patients.

I have successfully turned my social media outlet into an educational experience that keeps me up to date on trends in my industry. I tend to forward or re-post a lot of information on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/Dr.CynthiaSeebacher. My Marketing Mistress has now cracked the whip at me to start writing my own so that you can be educated and pass along information too. During this process, I hope that you,

too, will share things that interest you, tell me about your experiences and ask questions that intrigue you.

Allergy Relief

A recent Facebook meme stated, “In Georgia, it does not snow… it pollens.” All the cars are covered in that yellow powder while prayers beg for the rain to come and wash it all away. In actuality, most people suffer the most with the pollens that we cannot see, usually a week or two before the yellow stuff makes its appearance. Symptoms are not always a stuffy or runny nose. Fatigue, headaches, insomnia, mood changes, even joint pain – all are symptoms of a toxic overload from pollen that is not visible. When I was a child growing up in the Atlanta area, every Spring I would fall asleep during class and have terrible headaches. The first doctor my mother took me to feared it was a brain tumor. Thankfully, that was ruled out and a more compassionate doctor decided it was Spring allergies. While I am certainly glad it was not a tumor (insert my best Arnold Schwarzenegger impression from Kindergarten Cop), I still suffered from pollen allergies with headaches, fatigue, watery eyes, etc. more