Change in Weather = Change in Skin Care

As the weather changes, so does our skin care routine.

With the temperamental weather patterns of the Bay Area, it’s important to maintain various skin care routines with the changing seasons. Although many people use the same type of regime throughout the entire year for their skin, making even the slightest of changes can make a visible difference in the way your skin looks and feels.

With all weather types we recommend wearing an SPF sunscreen or lotion to protect your face (and the rest of your body) against harsh UV rays and to help prevent sunburn. Many companies make specially formulated sunscreen and lotions for the face with a higher SPF and lighter feel. Starting your skin care routine with sunscreen is always a safe bet, even if the sun isn’t out.

With dryer weather, regardless of whether or not it’s hot, windy or cold, making sure that your skin is properly moisturized is key to maintaining a healthy glow and feel. It’s best to consult your esthetician as to what type of moisturizer works best as the type of cleanser you use in dry weather can affect your appearance and overall health. When it’s dry out, you don’t want to wash with something that is going to dry your skin out more, so typically a lighter cleanser, such as one infused with vitamin C, can help maintain a good level of moisture without overdoing it. For dry skin in dry weather, we recommend using a medium or heavier moisturizer, depending upon your age and skin type.

In humid weather we want to make sure the skin doesn’t get over moisturized or too dried out. Facial skin can be quite fickle, so it’s important to discuss your skin type with your esthetician to ensure the right balance for every type of weather. When it is humid, we recommend cleansing using a salicylic cleanser for more problematic skin, while for oily skin we recommend a bioglycolic cleansing gel that we use here in the spa, specifically for clients with oily skin. A face bar, which we also use in the spa, is also recommended for any type of skin. The face bar will exfoliate and cleanse the skin without leaving it dry.

Regardless of your skin type, maintaining a high level of water intake will also benefit your skin. Making sure you’re hydrated is important, not only to your internal health by keeping your organs nice and hydrated, but your skin as well. Upping your water intake also stimulates weight loss!

Again, with any skin type we recommend consulting your esthetician for the best methods in maintaining clear, healthy skin.

Weight Loss – Fast and Healthy – The Ketogenic Diet

One of the most difficult issues people wrestle with, are confused about, and have a history with is what to do about excess weight. This is understandable as body weight is regulated by so many different body systems, organs and brain areas. Getting some sort of focus on the direction you might like to take is a lesson in multi-factorial decision making. This can stagnate your ability to move forward out of the inertia of a sedentary lifestyle, or even make it impossible to decide what to make for breakfast.

One option is to latch on to a popular quotation like, “Never order food in excess of your body weight.” – Emma Bombeck. But as you might guess, that has it’s drawbacks. But then, asking your physician can be problematic because you may get the exact same answer. Recent scientific research has redefined the approach to weight control, but because of pressures from the food industry, insurance and drug companies, or simple disinterest, that information probably won’t trickle down to your doctor for years if not decades.

Understanding weight loss can be complicated but actually losing weight can be very straight forward. That’s where the Ketogenic diet comes in.

So what is the Ketogenic diet? It is an eating pattern that limits carbohydrates to about 50 grams per day and increases saturated fats and protein. The goal of a Ketogenic diet plan is to achieve ketosis, which is a normal metabolic process in which body cells burn fragments of fats called ketones instead of glucose for fuel. To give some perspective, a Starbucks mocha latte has about 60 grams of carbohydrate. You can see that the Ketogenic diet limits carbs but there are great rewards around the corner.

First, your body begins to burn fat instead of sugar—a major upside, and there are other advantages as well. Compared to other weight loss options, the low carb approach decreases cholesterol levels and decreases inflammation. It is particularly good at decreasing blood sugar and this affects conditions like diabetes, obesity, heart disease and peripheral neuropathy. That’s great, but it also turns out that people on the Ketogenic diet spontaneously eat less because the protein and fat leads to better hunger satisfaction. This diet can also increase memory in people at risk for Alzheimer’s, stabilize mood in bipolar disorders and even help some behavioral and social deficits in autism. Research (and my patients) shows that the Ketogenic diet is easily the most effective, healthy approach to rapid weight loss.

To make ketosis work for you, track your carb intake each day and limit them to about 50 grams per day. Increase your protein moderately, and the rest of your calories will come from fat. Your daily percent of calories from fat will be about 70-75%, from protein 20-25% and 5-10% from carbohydrates. Usually you don’t have to count calories because the diet decreases hunger significantly. Increasing your coconut oil intake (medium chain fatty acids) and leucine (an amino acid) can also make it easier to get into the ketogenic state and lose weight.

The most important thing here is to not focus on weight; focus on staying in ketosis (you can measure this be using a product called Ketostix). Your brain will begin working much better, your mood will improve and you will be losing weight without the desire for additional food.

This diet can be a huge help, but like most life changes, it would be even better to get the help from a professional who fully understands your special issues and can fully review your lab tests. We have had many patients who have successfully used this approach, and along with the targeted treatment regimes for other issues like fatigue, thyroid problems, sleep disturbance, anxiety, etc, have been able to make significant changes that have given them their lives back.

Dr. Don Davis, D.C., DACNB is a BOARD CERTIFIED CHIROPRACTIC NEUROLOGIST in Walnut Creek. He has been serving individuals with chronic pain for 30 years. For information about how you can get a free consultation with Dr. Davis, call (925) 279-4324 (HEAL) or


Dentinstry Must Not be Limited to the Oral Cavity

A famous writer, Maurice Meaterlinck, who wrote around the turn of the 19th century, made a statement that applies profoundly to the attitude of the medical establishment to Alternative Medicine. “Each progressive spirit is opposed by a thousand mediocre minds to guard the past.”

For decades the policy of dentistry has been that it is to be limited to the mouth and associated structures. Those of us applying alternative medicine in our dental practices are under the constant ridicule of mediocre minds, many of whom are the law makers regulating what our license allows us to do in both medicine and dentistry. While they desperately try to hold back progressive practitioners under their rule of having to be “Evidence Based” or within the “Standard of Care,” innocent victims go without possible life saving, or at least quality-of-life saving, care.

Some examples of progressive attitudes are:

• Periodontal Disease: Very often this symptom is a sign of what is going on in the rest of your body. In addition to cleaning the pockets, and dentally treating the gum disease, lifestyle and diet changes are often in order as well as a possible referral for medical testing.

• Tooth Decay: If your diet and lifestyle is rotting your teeth what else is suffering? The sugar causing the decay also causes cancer, type-two diabetes and heart disease.

• Crooked Teeth: Many times caused by inability to breathe through the nose, resulting in oral and facial muscle malfunction and growth changes. Now that we know the danger of chronic inflammation why are we allowing it to persist in the sinuses?

• TMJ Dysfunction: Ninety percent of my TMJ patients are women. Shouldn’t we be looking into hormone imbalance as a potential cause for many of the symptoms? In the past most TMJ treatment consisted of splints, physical therapy, possible medications with occasional surgery. By simply treating the TMJ dentally without a thorough diagnosis you may miss what is causing the patient to clench and grind in the first place.

• Myofacial Pain Dysfunction: Another possible hormone problem, medication side effects, as well as a manifestation of stress, can all be causes. Just treating the teeth rarely brings a cure.

• TMJ Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis. Again the “Standard of Care” is that these are incurable and must be treated with medications. Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease and can be successfully arrested with diet and lifestyle changes. Having to treat one’s mouth separately from the rest of the body is ludicrous.

As many of my readers know I recently finished a book entitled WHY? The question that could save your life. I wrote it so that the average person could understand the challenges of achieving optimal health and healthcare. Recently, the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Rothman, Schekman and Sudhof which confirmed the scientific finding outlined in the book The Code of Life, published in 2008 by Dr. Ronald Drucker. Dr. Drucker goes into the details of what makes the body work and how to make it work better.

For those of you interested in what the establishment is doing to hold back medical progress, what causes many diseases and what you can do to prevent them, I consider this a “must read.” I kept my book simple to encourage the average person to read it and live a better life.

More doctors are becoming more holistic as the truly scientific evidence, not pharmaceutically backed “doctored” research, becomes available. Many of our leading universities are also coming around. There is hope that those of us who want optimal health care will not have to look far to find this type of care giver.


Don’t Let Sciatica Keep You Out of the Game

The condition known as Sciatica is one of the most common conditions that we treat at Align Healing Center. Some of the typical symptoms of Sciatica are sharp pain in the low back and/or buttocks accompanied by numbness, tingling, aching or burning down the back of the leg. In severe circumstances, weakness in the leg may also be seen.
The Sciatic Nerve is large and travels down the back of the leg to the foot. The nerve is buried deep within the muscles of the buttock and leg making it difficult to treat with common physical therapy methods. The Sciatic Nerve is composed of several smaller nerves and originates from the low back. It passes under the piriformis muscle (underneath the main buttock muscles) on its way down the leg. Irritation of the Sciatic Nerve at any point along its path is commonly known as “Sciatica”.

Understanding Sciatica
Let’s talk about nerves for a moment. Nerves are the electrical wiring of the human body. They carry the signals that allow us to move, feel, digest, detoxify, respond to our environment, and so much more. Plain and simple, if the nerves do not work the body will not work. That being said, it is important to understand that unlike other tissues, the primary blood supply to nerve tissue is actually located WITHIN the nerve itself. So, if a nerve becomes impinged or compromised, so does the blood supply to the nerve. Without proper blood supply, the nerve does not receive the energy and nutrition that are needed for the nerve to heal itself. Over time neural impingement leads to a painful chronic condition called Neuropathy. The definition of Neuropathy is a disease or injury affecting nerve cells. The common symptoms of Neuropathy include sharp pain, burning, muscular weakness, numbness or tingling either at the site of the nerve injury or wherever the nerve travels. The condition known as Sciatica is a form of Neuropathy that specifically affects the Sciatic Nerve.

What can I do to relieve my Sciatica without drugs or surgery?
Since 1999 Align Healing Center has been offering many different modalities to heal Sciatica. We have found that a combination of Class IV laser therapy and spinal decompression offer outstanding results in healing stubborn Sciatica. Class IV Laser Therapy allows the practitioner to stimulate healing within the damaged tissue by delivering the necessary energy directly to the injured area. This creates an optimal healing environment that reduces pain and inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms and stiffness. In addition to laser therapy we implement spinal decompression to restore spinal disc health. Decompression works by gently stretching the spine, creating a vacuum effect which can restore disc height and even reduce the severity of bulging disc conditions associated with chronic pain and neurological symptoms.

We have found laser and decompression therapy to be most beneficial for patients with pinched nerves, arthritis, herniated discs, and degenerative disc disease. This unique combination of non-invasive therapy offers a chance for realizing a permanent cure. The treatment is finite and typically lasts for about a month. This eliminates the long-term care commitment forced upon patients by other symptomatic sciatica treatments. With proper care and rehabilitation of your spine and nervous system you can be back to your healthy self quickly!

Dr. Niele Maimone, DC of Align Healing Center in Danville, CA has been active in natural health & wellness since 1999. For more information or to set up a consult call 925.362.8283 or visit