Ventura Spine & Nerve Center September 2019

(805) 648-7987 | The Vertebral Column Health Transformations Without Toxic Medications



How to Refresh and Avo id Burnout

Friends, I’m back from visiting one of the best places on the planet — Hawaii — with my wife, Susan. We celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary and our 37th year of working together at the Ventura Spine and Nerve Center. Since we plan our vacations nearly a year in advance (basically the only way to ensure sanity when your schedule is as insane as ours), we made it through numerous seminars presented to those looking to restore their health, processed a slew of new patients who decided to trust us to transform their quality of life, and interviewed a lot of people before hiring our new front desk receptionist ... all before we hightailed it to the islands. While there, we were able to recharge like it’s our job ... because it is. It’s my job to do the work and show up for this community. It’s my job to be a great father and an awesome husband and to care for myself. I can’t do any of those jobs well if I don’t treat rest and self-care as an essential factor in my profession. One of the questions I’m getting more and more is people asking what to do when they get burned out or feel like they’re on the verge of a breakdown. I hate to think some of you might be feeling exhausted or overwhelmed, so

I thought I’d share the ways I refresh, relax, and recharge, all of which are possible with or without an AirBnB in a tropical locale.

I’d also start a negative self-talk shame spiral because I’d blown all the progress I’d been making. Now, I stay on track: I eat the same meals I would back home. I do the same workouts. I drink ALL the water, but I do have

1. ‘Turn off.’ No, seriously. “Turning off” is

a huge deal for us, and we try our best to do it every single weekend.

one addition. I treat myself to indulgences along the way. I might get dessert after dinner! 3. Don’t crash and burn. Each

The easiest way for me to do this is to identify whatever your regularly scheduled programming looks like and actively choose something

day, take care to eat right, sleep

well, move at least 30 minutes a day, and get

regular chiropractic adjustments (at least once a month). Recharging regularly allows me to do my jobs well (as mentioned above), and it will also keep you living life to its fullest. If you haven’t been in to receive a life- enhancing spinal adjustment in over three months, call the office now and

that’s totally opposite. Just the act of getting outside your routine will shake up the monotony that can start to wear you down. 2. Stay on plan but treat yourself. When I go on vacation, I stay on my meal and workout plans. The way I eat and the way I workout is the core of feeling great every single day. In years past when I would go bananas on vacation, eat and drink everything and never move off the pool lounger, I’d finish up the trip feeling abysmal.

meet our new front desk receptionist, Ha, and get recharged now!

–Dr. Steven Alff, D.C.

1 (805) 648-7987


well and don’t always require a full-time commitment. Many even offer flexible schedules, which can help older workers spend more time with peers or loved ones. This balance is exactly what many older workers are looking for, especially those who are “part-time retired.” More importantly, however, most older workers find these jobs fulfilling. They allow older folks to interact with the community and stay active, both of which, research suggests, are essential to healthy living as people age. For many, working past retirement, or not leaving the workforce entirely, can be a win-win-win: It’s a win for your bank account, a win for your health, and a win for the community.

with the community and help them lead more active lives.

The BLS categorized the jobs many older workers are currently pursuing: • Real estate appraisers/assessors • Property/real estate/community association managers • Technical writers • Tax preparers • Construction/building inspectors • Crossing guards • Clergy These seven jobs are projected to grow between 8–14% over the next six years according to BLS data. They often pay

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, upward of 40% of people aged 55 and older are continuing to work past the normal retirement age. There are a number of reasons why people are choosing to stay employed, with one of the biggest being a lack of retirement funds, but some are also using work to keep their minds and skills sharp. In fact, most of the jobs that the 55-plus crowd goes after keep them engaged

I originally had what felt like a very thick pair of socks on my feet for about 3–4 years, and it was gradually getting worse. It affected my balance and was very distracting to 65 and Feeling Alive ! What Our Patients Say

me, especially when I was at work. I answered an ad in the newspaper and attended Dr. Alff’s seminar about peripheral neuropathy. The information he shared made a lot of sense! I hoped that my symptoms could be halted and reversed, so I started treatment at the Ventura Spine and Nerve Center. In a fairly short time of treatment, I gained a lot of feeling and sensitivity in the bottom of my feet, and it’s not disturbing me anymore! This program doesn’t just address my neuropathy. The examination revealed other issues. Dr. Alff’s program helped me lose weight and eliminate my blood

pressure meds, and my recent blood tests showed good cholesterol numbers. Plus, my cardiologist cut my statin dose in half! Some other things that have cleared up are my acid reflux symptoms and some great improvements to my back. I would rate the quality of care at the Ventura Spine and Nerve Center a 10 out of 10! They have effective treatments, a caring staff, and thoughtful Dr. Alff. As I pass an “age 65” milestone, I feel better, sleep better, and take fewer medications.

My plan is to continue with their recommendation of regular visits for “tune-ups” and prevention of previous health issues. It certainly makes sense to prevent issues than to seek treatment only after those issues become a problem! Sincerely, Bruce F. 2


Found in Your Favorite Foods

failure, etc. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has 92 different categories of complaints against aspartame. 2. MSG (monosodium glutamate) MSG is pervasive in junk food, processed food, fast-food, most restaurant food, canned food, pet food, and even baby food. It is found in just about everything, but the alarming fact is that it is not required to be disclosed on labels. The FDA only requires it to be listed on labels if it is 100% pure MSG. Spices, flavorings, and natural flavorings can contain up to 99% MSG without needing to be identified on the label. 3. Sucralose This artificial sweetener also goes by the brand name Splenda. It is very popular in sugar-free products, especially sugar-free drinks. Sucralose was accidentally discovered while doing research to create a new insecticide, which is why some researchers suggest sucralose should be listed in the insecticide category. This neurotoxin is regarded as a chemical cousin to the insecticide DDT. As a result, there is a long list of common neurological side effects. 4. Aluminum This type of metal is commonly found in drinking water, baking

Many neurotoxins found in the food we eat and the water we drink can impair brain function, nerve function, and overall health. The presence of neurotoxins has increased dramatically within the last few decades. Studies have shown that neurotoxins can shorten the life span of nerve cells. These toxins have been linked to brain disorders, peripheral neuropathy, and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s chorea, and Parkinson’s disease. There are far more than just five neurotoxins commonly found in our food, beverages, and water supply. But the five we are highlighting are some of the most common and have been linked with diseases mentioned above, plus brain fog, headaches, anxiety, and depression. 1. Aspartame One of the most popular artificial sweeteners, aspartame, is found in diet sodas, processed foods, and, of course, the little packets that go by the name of Equal or NutraSweet. Studies have linked aspartame to other disorders, such as diabetes, migraines, kidney TAKE A BREAK

powder, cooking utensils, over-the-counter antacids, deodorants, and vaccines. Research has shown that aluminum easily crosses the blood-brain barrier and enters the brain when it comes in contact with fluoride, another neurotoxin commonly found in drinking water. Researchers have concluded, “Aluminum fluoride is the compound in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.” 5. Mercury Mercury exists in various forms and enters the air from a number of sources. Once in the air, mercury eventually settles into bodies of water, like lakes and streams, or onto land, where it can be washed into water. Microorganisms in water can change it into methylmercury, and it builds up in fish and shellfish. Mercury is one of the most toxic neurotoxins because it easily destroys brain tissue and other nerve tissue. The bottom line is to avoid these five neurotoxins at all costs. It’s not that difficult and requires just a bit of diligence on your part. There are many healthy alternatives to reduce your exposure. Taking action will help you protect your brain and nerves.



• 1/2 cup onion, diced • 1 red pepper, diced • 2 strips bacon, cut into squares • 1 large sweet potato, spiralized or grated • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 2 cups spinach

• 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth (optional: substitute with water) • 1 tsp paprika • 6 eggs • Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Heat oven to 375 F. 2. In a large pan over medium heat, sauté onion, peppers, bacon, and sweet potatoes until bacon is completely rendered and onions are translucent. Then, add garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes. Finally, add spinach and continue cooking for another 3–5 minutes. 3. Transfer to a greased casserole dish. 4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and pour them over casserole. 5. Bake for 20–30 minutes, let stand for 5 minutes, and serve.

It all begins with you — if you do not care for yourself, you will not be strong enough to take care of anything else in life. If you want help to restore your health and quality of life, we are here for you! Call us at (805) 648-7987 for a no-obligation, free consultation and let’s talk!

Inspired by

3 (805) 648-7987

(805) 648-7987


1590 E. Main Street Ventura, CA 93001


inside this issue

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Recharge and Avoid Burnout Why Are So Many People Deciding Not to Retire? Hear From Our Patients! 5 Dangerous Neurotoxins to Look Out For Paleo Breakfast Casserole Can a Vegan Diet Prevent Cancer?

A Look at the Power of Plants CAN A VEGAN DIET PREVENT CANCER?

One of the pillars of holistic health is the idea that food is nature’s medicine. But while no one is arguing the fact that fruits and vegetables are good for you, there is plenty of debate about just how good they are. Can the right diet cure a cold? Counteract the flu? Prevent cancer? Many vegans, vegetarians, and other plant-based eaters say yes. The cancer question has been on the minds of an increasing number of researchers in the last 30 years. Because cancer afflicts roughly 38% of the U.S. population, it’s an urgent problem and an ever-fluctuating area of study. However, in the last decade, scientists have reached a tentative consensus on the impact of diet on cancer prevention, and it’s a feather in the cap of holistic health.

A comprehensive study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information notes that dietary factors are estimated to be responsible for 35% of all cancer cases, and that most studies have found vegetarian diets are “modestly cancer protective,” reducing risk by 10– 12%. Studies also link red and processed meats to eight different cancer types and claim the risks meat poses are amplified when it’s fried, grilled, or barbecued. According to the studies, these processes form potentially carcinogenic compounds called heterocyclic amines. The American Institute of Cancer Research recommends a plant-based diet for cancer prevention but doesn’t ask Americans to ditch meat and dairy entirely. Instead, the website claims that as long as you stick to “moderate to small” amounts of animal-based foods, you can have your meat and decrease your cancer risk too.

First, let’s get this straight: Going vegan isn’t a surefire way to prevent cancer, and it certainly can’t cure it. But studies do show that sticking to a plant-based diet — and specifically cutting out meat — lowers your risk of cancer. According to Lindsey Wohlford, a dietitian with the MD Anderson Cancer Center, this is in part because plant-based foods contain phytochemicals, which boost the immune system. Plant-based foods are also a great source of fiber, which lowers cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar levels, and helps regulate the bowels. As she put it, “Meat just doesn’t do that.” 4

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