Feeling Inflamed? Wheat and Cereal Grains may be Contributing

We are all aware of the food pyramid and it’s inclusion of grains as a strong source of calories. What many may not know is that such sources of food intake from grains may be one of the driving forces of inflammation in their body.

Some sources are suggesting that wheat and other grains may be slowly promoting inflammation by degrading one of the most important barriers in the body = the gut barrier.  (article source)

Injury to the gut barrier allows a higher than normal passing of large, undigested food particles to pass through the gut into a region that is scavenged by immune cells on guard for protection of the body against outside sources.  (see intestinal barrier photo here)


It seems, grains containing gluten can increase the permeability of this barrier exposing our immune systems to higher and higher levels of undigested / partially digested foods and other contaminates leading to higher levels of inflammation.

In a double blind study where half of participants eliminated gluten, there was a significant decrease in symptom scores. (article source)

It may be wise to consider cutting out gluten or other cereal grains if you are suffering from symptoms of inflammation.  There are some measures one can take to start the healing of the gut barrier that may lead to a more vibrant, less inflamed life.

– Dr. Michael Lau, D.C.
Natural Health & Chiropractic Center
Tulsa, OK


Why Fish Oil May Slow Aging

Perhaps you’ve heard that taking fish oil is a healthy habit to include in your lifestyle.  However, if your like most, you may find yourself not really knowing ‘why’ it is helpful or what it does – therefore, your motivation to include it in your diet may drop at times.

New information may give an extra ‘boost’ in your motivation, especially for those that are looking to slow down the aging process.

Researchers are looking at telomere shortening as an indicator of the aging process.  Telomeres protect the ends of chromosomes from fusing with each other and their length is an indicator of biological aging.  Science is looking into nutrients that may help SLOW the rate of the shortening, thus slowing the aging process.

I guess in simpler terms, you could say that longer telomeres = longer living.  Thus, any  new evidence on different nutrients impact at protecting the length of telomeres would also be an indicator of life extension.

A study published in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association suggests an association with those taking fish oil and longer telomeres.

From the JAMA study:

“Conclusion Among this cohort of patients with coronary artery disease, there was an inverse relationship between baseline blood levels of marine omega-3 fatty acids and the rate of telomere shortening over 5 years.”

Interpretation:  The higher the level of fish oil fatty acids present, the slower the rate associated with the aging process of telomere shortening.

Including fish oil from a quality source is a healthy lifestyle habit.  Large sources of research also find it helpful for heart, skin, brain health and promote lower levels of inflammation in the body.

One considering supplementing with fish oil should be cautious in ensuring that it is a quality fish oil supplement with no impurities.  Some fish oil supplements are provided with safety information via third party assays to ensure no evidence of toxic elements such as heavy metals are present.

Fish oil certainly isn’t alone in it’s effect on protecting the length of telomeres (thus anti-aging), other nutrients showing some signs of protection include Vitamins D, C, E, A, B12, Folic Acid, Niacinamide, Magnesium, tumeric and curcumin extracts.  A good multivitamin to go along with a quality fish oil seems to be a great foundation to start with in your quest toward health.

– Dr. Michael Lau


Natural Health & Chiropractic Center


JAMA. 2010;303(3):250-257. doi: 10.1001/jama.2009.2008     http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/303/3/250.abstract

Leaky Gut and Pain Reduction

Acute pain can cause clients to reach for NSAID’s (or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen) for pain reduction.  I am not opposed for short trials of this for improving the quality of life in the acute pain episode.

Unfortunately, longer periods of NSAID use can lead to a breaking down of the integrity of the small intestinal lining, creating a condition called “leaky gut syndrome”.

The damage is done microscopically creating holes allowing a more porous intestinal lining, thus the term “leaky gut syndrome”.  This results in larger than normal food molecules (including partially digested proteins and micro-organisms) to enter through the small intestine into the blood.

The foreign substances that enter the blood stream stimulate an immune response which stimulates cells that produce an inflammatory response in the body. Inflammation can be experienced as pain, swelling, redness, or can go unnoticed until it becomes a chronic problem.

And you can see the cycle that may ensue….


Pain / Inflammation creates use of NSAID’s which can lead to Leaky Gut which then can lead to more pain and inflammation – and the cycle repeats.

To break the cycle, there are recommendations on attempting to lower the use of NSAID’s if possible through lightening the pain / inflammation through herbal anti-inflammatories and therapies.  If there is chronic pain involved that is not one of an auto-immune variety, then massage, trigger point therapy, physical therapy and joint mobilization/manipulation through chiropractic may be suggested to assist in breaking the cycle.

For healing for a leaky gut, recommendations may include a variety of probiotics, enzymes, nutrients found to be healing for gut cells and short term dietary restrictions.

– Dr. Michael Lau

Natural Health & Chiropractic Center

6130 S. Maplewood Ave., Suite D

Tulsa, OK  74136


Chiropractic Care Shown to be Cost Effective for Lower Back Pain

A study by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee revealed that care initiated in a chiropractors office reduced the medical costs of treatment / management of the lower back pain client by 40%.

Click here for a link to the article on our website.

– Dr. Michael Lau, D.C.
Natural Health & Chiropractic Center
6130 S Maplewood Ave # D
Tulsa OK 74136
United States


Square Foot Gardening Update

April / May timeframe

June timeframe


It’s been a fun spring/summer learning about square foot gardening.  Things are really taking off now with the consistent warmer weather.  We have had plenty of lettuce from the garden, a few strawberries and some basil.

We are excited about the upcoming harvest from our tomato plants, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, onions and garlic.  I have taken notice of things to consider for next year.  One thing – the cabbage plants get huge for a one square foot area and tend to grow over the carrot tops at this point.  Thus, as you may see in the bottom pic, there is a cabbage plant transplanted to create more room and sun for the carrots.

I joke with friends who ask about the garden regarding the fact that the cabbage/broccoli plants were purchased from Conrad farms for about a $1.00/each as small sproutlings.  If I’m not mistaken, you can go to your local produce department and purchase a head of broccoli or cabbage for about a $1.00.  However, it is not nearly as fun and usually not organic.

It’s been a joy to watch our girls take ownership and learn from watching things sprout from the garden.  I’ll try to see if I can capture some pics of the some of the produce as it becomes ready.

– Dr. Michael Lau

Natural Health & Chiropractic Center
6130 S Maplewood Ave #D, Tulsa, OK 74136


Consider a Chiropractor + Myofascial Release for Carpal Tunnel

tulsa chiropractor writes about conservative care for wrist painWhen looking at the treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome, some patients may opt for a trial of conservative care before surgery in mild to moderate cases.

A chiropractor that incorporates myofascial release techniques into the practice maybe a good fit for a trial. Here’s why:

The connective tissue that surrounds the muscles in the body can become restricted and tight in cases of repetitive strain. Much like wearing a tight shirt would cause restriction with movement – tension in the connective tissue in a body part would also cause compression and restriction.
Releasing the fascia allows your muscles to move freely again.

Additionally, adjusting the wrist/carpal bones may provide great benefit to help reduce the compression that may be hitting the median nerve – the nerve at play with carpal tunnel syndrome compression.

Sitting in front of a computer all day in addition to typing creates more opportunity for the muscles in the forearm to grow tense and tight – potentially contributing to the compression in this type of injury.

– Dr. Michael Lau

Natural Health & Chiropractic Center
6130 S Maplewood Ave #D, Tulsa, OK 74136


Neck Pain with Arm Numbness

Patients that have shoulder and arm numbness express that it can be very frustrating. Pain may also be accompanied with it as well. If you suffer from neck pain, shoulder tension & pain with arm numbness, there is hope for getting this turned around. Many times, this trio is found in workers sitting in front of a computer all day.

It appears that long days of sitting with the head slightly forward looking at a computer monitor creates tightropes out of the shoulder muscle region. Such chronic strain leads to hardening and scarring of these muscle groups much like wearing a tight shoe can create callouses.

It is the hardening and swelling of this tissue which can diminish the size of the canal where the arm nerves are trying to run. This creates nerve impingement and thus the downstream effects like arm numbness and pain.

As a Tulsa chiropractor, I’ve seen that chiropractic care including specific adjustments to the lower neck and upper back segments, along with deep tissue muscle release techniques will help this condition.

There is a very high success rate on improving the tension/pain/numbness trio. In some cases, other conditions may need to be ruled out as well.

If you suffer from this type of condition, call our Tulsa chiropractic office at (918) 481-9200 and we’ll help you set up a consultation for us to take at your unique condition.

Dr. Michael Lau, D.C.
Tulsa Chiropractor


Natural Health & Chiropractic Center

6130 S Maplewood Ave # D, Tulsa,  OK 74136

Shoulder Pains Associated with Computer Work

As a chiropractor in Tulsa, I see patients present with tight shoulder muscles on a daily basis.  This tension is compounded by a sedentary lifestyle sitting in front of a computer.  The head forward posture that is often employed during a hard day at work in front of the computer puts excess strain on the muscles in the back of the neck.

Normally, our heads should be directly above our shoulders.  Too often, while at work, our head will translate forward to look at the computer monitor.  This is a lot like holding a bowling ball out in front of you – it gets heavier to hold.  The result is extra strain on the muscles in the back of the neck – causing them to act like “guide-wires”.  Over time, these strained muscles will harden and become tense.

A chiropractor will often use plenty of muscle work during the adjustment session to begin to reduce/reverse the muscle adhesions and splinting.  A chiropractic adjustment will also improve tissue flexibility in the area and ensure that the spinal mechanics are not being restricted by the tight muscles.

This type of pain scenario can also be associated with injuries where the muscles are splinting like auto accident injuries, whiplash and sports injuries.

Those with tight shoulder muscles should also be on the look-out for symptoms of arm tingling, etc. that can be linked to an entrapment of nerve tissue in the shoulder and neck area due to excessive neck/shoulder muscle tension.

Dr. Michael Lau

Natural Health & Chiropractic Center

6130 S Maplewood Ste D

Tulsa, OK  74133


7 Ideas for Pain Reduction

There are several theories on what creates pain in our bodies.  As a Tulsa chiropractor, the type that I am focusing on today is the achy pain that is created by restriction/tightness in our joints.  A good percentage of the back pain, neck pain, etc. that we treat in our office can be traced to ‘fixated’, ‘stuck’ or misaligned joints that are not moving well.

Here’s 7 Ideas to Help with Those Aches and Pains:

1)  Go for a Walk – Exercise is even more important as we get older because our body wants to stiffen up.  One of the best exercises for your lower back is walking, so get out and walk today!  It’s springtime!

2)  Reduce Your Intake of Sugar – Sugar is very inflammatory.  It’s loaded in most processed foods, soft drinks, sweets, etc. Whenever we consume too much of this inflammatory substance, our aches and pains are more likely to bother us.  Want even faster results?  – google ‘anti-inflammatory’ diets and see that a diet higher in fruits / vegies, lean meats, fish, raw nuts and seeds and less ‘white’ food / processed food are good at reducing body inflammation levels which trigger pain.

3)  Get a Massage – Our soft tissues around our body tend to get ‘tight’ and our muscles will often splint.  This splinting can create trigger points in our muscles which can create referred pain.  Additionally, our tight muscles fight against our joints in restricting normal joint play which can further cause our achy pains.

4)  Engage in Stretching / Yoga – If you are dealing with chronic lower back pain, chances are that your hamstrings are tight.  Additionally, glut muscles are also usually engaged with tension – all of which leads to mechanical problems which lead to pain in the back.  Our upper body needs stretching as well.

5)  Try Ice – Put away the electric heating pad.  Better yet, throw it away or save it for your pet.  Dry heat such as the electric heating pad tend to feel great while it’s on but when you take away the heat, the pain can come back with a vengence.  I am big fan of icing the affected area for 14-20 minutes.  This will reduce inflammation.

6)  Balance Exercises – I’ve found that standing on one leg to work on balance will help fire postural muscles that aid with spinal stability.  Lift you knee up for 5-7 seconds and hold, then alternate.  This is a good starter to help build better balance and stability.  Down the road, employ the use of wobble or rocker boards (be careful – start slow and have something nearby to help balance) to add higher difficulty.  After a few weeks of 5 minutes a day, our posture muscles start to become more stable and can help with pain reduction.  The above is most appropriate for lower back issues.

7) Joint Mobilization – There is much hope in restoring motion to joints that have pain.  A study comparing recovery rates from injuries sustained by baseball players and hockey players found that hockey players had a much quicker overall recovery from injuries with less pain.  Scientists seem to think that as a general rule, hockey players have a much higher rate of body mobility with continually moving versus baseball players who tend to be more sedentary.  Joint mobility is important for joint health and helps to block pain.  Joint mobilization and manipulation (whether by hand or instrument) is an effective means to reduce pain.

Disclaimer – the above ideas are not meant for clients who are known to have systemic inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disorders, etc.  Consult with your chiropractor or primary care doctor before implementing a self-guided home exercise program.

Dr. Michael Lau, D.C.


Ste D, 6130 South Maplewood Avenue, Tulsa, OK 74136

(918) 481-9200 ‎

Organic Square Foot Gardening

Square Foot Gardening

Recently I was inspired by others who have studied square foot gardening to give it a try myself.  We didn’t seem to have much success with gardening while I was growing up – partially because our work duties on the farm rarely made it to the garden area as we focused on the large field crops.

Usually, about half way through the summer when the weeds had overtaken the garden, my dad would hook up the shredder to his tractor and drive over the garden a few times to completely mow it down.  No more weeds, no more garden.  Good idea, but not enough time delegated to it.

Frankly, it wasn’t my favorite thing – pulling weeds.  There were so many.  I know that sounds lazy, but trust me, there were tons of them.

The beautiful thing about square foot gardening is that you plant the garden in an elevated planter.  This reduces weeds, insects, animals, etc. from being as big of a problem.  Additionally, if you do it right, you can easily access the garden right in front of you without the excessive bending that is not as easy to do and hard on the back – I am a chiropractor – we think of these things.

One of the things that attracted me to this style of gardening besides being easier to reach, less bugs, less problems is the very organized layout.  It lends towards maximized efficiency.  Each square foot garden is marked off with either twine (as in mine pictured above) or with wooden slats.  There is a book that can be purchased that has great recommendations on types of vegies to plant and how many per square.

We’ll see how this summer goes.  My daughters have all wanted to pitch in and manage their own ‘squares’.  I am hoping that they will see the fruit of their labors and learn something from it as well.  You can take the boy out of the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the boy.  I’ll try to keep things posted here occasionally.

– Dr. Michael Lau

Natural Health & Chiropractic Center

6130 S Maplewood Ave # D,

Tulsa, OK 74136

(918) 481-9200 ‎


Natural Health & Chiropractic Center
6130 S Maplewood Ave # D
Tulsa OK 74136
United States