Dr. Michael Pound has a goal to bridge the gap between alternative healthcare and mainstream medicine.
He is currently enrolled in the Duke Integrative Health Leadership program, which is striving to bring natural modalities to mainstream medicine. Dr. Pound is a chiropractor and also has a diploma in integrative pain management.
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Dr. Pound shares his wisdom on integrated (sometimes called holistic or alternative) medicine. In this episode we discuss the benefits of acupuncture, both eastern and western styles, hot vs. cold therapy and when to use each of them, and how to find high quality health care.
Eastern medicine is big on treating for prevention, and also not focussing on just current symptoms. It has a lot to do with energy, heat, and movement. Things like acupuncture are often discredited, or doubted here in the States, but there are many success stories out there! Dr. Pound shares how he sends people to an acupuncturist for a variety of maladies including headaches, pregnancy nausea, and sprained joints.
Western medicine is more about treating symptoms directly, addressing immediate needs and concerns, and doing cutting edge procedures. Ice is generally not used in Eastern medicine, but it has been called, with a little tongue in cheek, “the miracle drug” in the west. Dr. Pound recommends icing for many things and on many different schedules.
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So which one is better: traditional, heat-based, holistic easter medicine, or progressive, cold-therapy-loving, symptom treating western medicine? The answer is: it depends what you’re dealing with! Dr. Pound neither condemns nor condones one or the other for every case. Instead he is heading up a movement which strives to integrate the best of both worlds into patient care. He asserts that the best health care system is one in which both styles are embraced and recommended as options to patients when they come for treatment.
We also discuss what pain is, and how natural remedies such as mindfulness, ice, and supplements such as Mimi’s Miracle Turmeric can be used to manage pain and inflammation.
Miranda: 00:00:02 Welcome to the Dirobi health show. Covering the world of fitness nutrition and supplementation with world class guests the latest clinical research and plenty of tips you can use right away to boost your health and wellness. Here’s your host Dave Sherwin.
Dave Sherwin: 00:00:20 Welcome everybody to the Dirobi health show. I’ve got a guest today that I’m very excited to interview who’s got topics that I think will be of interest to anybody. Don’t care how old you are, man or woman. These are things that are very applicable to our society today. Dr. Michael Pound is an integrative chiropractor whose goal is to bridge the gap between alternative health care and mainstream medicine. And he’s doing that through the heal better fast podcast which I highly recommend. And he also has Heal Better Fast on YouTube and http://healbetterfast.com those all places you can find Mike. Dr. Michael Pound and his integrative approach. He’s also currently in the Duke Integrative Health Leadership Program and has a diplomat in integrative pain management. So we’ll be jumping into pain management as well in this episode. Dr. Pound thank you so much for taking the time to be on the show.
Dr. Pound: 00:01:13 Dave thanks for inviting me I really appreciate it.
Dave Sherwin: 00:01:17 Yeah. I found you through your podcast. Obviously I am a pod castor and when I discovered your podcast and reached out to you I had no idea how busy you were whether you could actually take the time. So this has been terrific. And as we’ve chatted these are topics that I personally I’m very interested in. I’m sure my listeners will be as well. But I want to start with the very basic question here of alternative health. I think that means different things to two different people and there may even be for a large group of people very positive connotations that go with the term alternative health. And for others there’s negative connotations. Alternative health. So why don’t you talk to us about alternative health and what that means to you.
Dr. Pound: 00:02:06 Yeah I appreciate that. Like you said when we talk about alternative health or when I talk to people about alternative health what I’m talking about is utilizing things that maybe are not utilized so much here in the States.
Dr. Pound: 00:02:20 And what I mean by that is when we look at health care outside of the United States a lot of things that other countries incorporate seem alternative to us. But the important thing is that in those countries a lot things that we do are kind of backwards. And so when I when I think of alternative health I think of a more conservative approach maybe not something that’s necessarily mainstream in the medical system yet but gets good results. So I’m really results driven when I’m in practice what how do I get the best results and what can I do to help people heal better fast and so alternative health care to me is kind of this. It is kind of a broad term but it encompasses a lot of these conservative forms of health care which maybe aren’t like. Like I said except that in the medical field now most of my patients that come in ours incorporating some of these different techniques anyways because the Internet has made things so easy to research now.
Dr. Pound: 00:03:29 And so what I find is even medical doctors who come in as patients are not necessarily against anything alternative. They’re very well educated in this stuff but maybe they just don’t feel like it’s as well accepted. And so what I what I’ve seen at least in my practice in the medical practice I’ve worked in before is that there’s there’s all these little things that people do that maybe don’t seem like they’re mainstream but we all tend to do things that we’re comfortable with that work for us. And so therefore they’re considered alternative ok sounds good.
Dr. Pound: 00:04:10 Can you give us an example. Maybe even a recent situation you’ve been involved in or maybe a favorite type of therapy. What would be a good example of the practical application of an alternative health method.
Dr. Pound: 00:04:28 Oh I love this. So as you said in the Duke Integrated Health Leadership program and what that is essentially I’m going to do as part of a year long program and what we’re trying to do is really incorporate again what’s classified as alternative health care different types of modalities into mainstream medicine. So the first example I’ll give you is mindfulness mindfulness is kind of a broad term that can be used and is quite frankly misunderstood and I didn’t even have a really good understanding until I went out there and you know I thought of mindfulness as maybe meditation or self awareness. And I think these are buzzwords that get pushed around a lot. But when I got there I sat down and there was a professor and he kind of took us through this mindfulness session. And so I was prepared to sit there and kind of be quiet for a little while and kind of you know maybe get lost in my thoughts and as I sat there he starts talking to us about focusing on a simple item and I started with thinking about a lamp and as as we thought about the lamp the key was to become non-judgemental about that lamp it doesn’t matter how big it is where it is what it’s doing what it looks like what color it is just just observing that it’s a lamp.
Dr. Pound: 00:06:00 And so as I said kind of wrapping my head around this. It kind of took me by surprise because all of a sudden I’m waking up and you know I’m having these weird kind of thoughts I guess is revealing or experiences in way I can explain. I know the sounds of the air but I felt I felt a lot different. I felt relaxed a relaxation that I haven’t felt before and some clarity that that was really amazing. And and it was then that I started realizing that the importance of some of these things that we can’t necessarily quantify or we’re just starting to quantify with science but that can help people heal in their journey of healing. And so we started going over some of the statistics of incorporating mindfulness into chronic pain programs in hospitals especially when it comes to post-traumatic stress disorder and the results are amazing. I mean it’s just like you know why. Why aren’t we doing this on a larger spectrum. And the reason is AIDS is not well understood yet. And B it does take some training and some acceptance. And so for you to go to a hospital and just say OK you need to start practicing mindfulness it takes a little more.
Dr. Pound: 00:07:26 Basically education on the importance of it and the results of results are going again. And so I guess Mindfulness is a good example. Another one that they’re incorporating a lot is acupuncture and again the majority of the world actually is well aware of the benefits of this. But here there’s oftentimes with my patients I’ll see a fear of needles or misunderstand of what acupuncture is and even in the States we have eastern based acupuncture and Western based acupuncture or western based acupuncture more pain driven. So put kind of put the needles where it hurts right. Stimulating the body’s natural healing processes whereas eastern based acupuncture is more energy driven. And so in our clinic we have a multidisciplinary clinic. I have an eastern based acupuncturist and I’ll tell you what I have learned so much from from that practitioner day is just amazing.
Dave Sherwin: 00:08:30 Well these two things you brought up. Boy we could go on for hours because I agree with you that this mindfulness thing is much more than just a buzz word on my podcasts. I had Thomas McConkie recently. For those of you near the podcasts I highly recommend his interview he is phenomenal he did an episode on effortless mindfulness and as an expert he’s been practicing this for over 20 years. And then Michael I was recently introduced to Judson Brewer who I’m sure you are familiar with in this field he’s one of the first to do human clinical studies on mindfulness and he has applied it to quitting smoking to PTSD as well as two addictions and soldiers who return from combat. And so I guess the PTSD some forgetting there’s three. And I think I just actually named two of them. Anyways the… Oh eating. That’s sorry that’s the third one the third one is binge eating. But when they did the clinical studies on using mindfulness as a way to quit smoking they found it was twice as effective as the existing top rated quit smoking program in the country I think that’s astounding Yeah it’s really amazing how effective is like I said it’s it’s not a question of whether it’s going to work.
Dr. Pound: 00:09:54 It’s a question of whether you can incorporate or not at this point.
Dave Sherwin: 00:09:58 Excellent. And then on the acupuncture it’s another thing that’s new to me. You know of course I’ve heard about it I know about it. My wife has done it for a few years to manage migraine headaches when she’s regularly doing acupuncture. She doesn’t have near as many migraines. And recently I was at my chiropractor Dr. Joe Kepoo who’s been on the podcast and I had a level three ankle sprain that I suffered the week after Father’s Day and it is still not quite healed. It was a bad sprain but as he was treating me he asked me if I wanted to do acupuncture on it.
Dave Sherwin: 00:10:39 And although I had I knew my wife had positive experience with acupuncture to be honest my impression was that this would really not do much. This is kind of a little thing that kind of like why not. Right. And so he did his regular adjustment that he does on me and then I went into a little side room where they did the acupuncture as the Western style like you described.
Dave Sherwin: 00:11:09 To help manage the pain and inflammation. And so I sat in there with very low expectations as a matter of fact I think I started playing a game on my phone. And and. And yet within just a couple of minutes I could feel a sensation in my ankle. I was like this is really weird because they just haven’t you know there’s five needles in my ankle it didn’t hurt. I don’t know what I was expecting but it just kind of a tiny little prick as I put them in and then nothing but this sensation. It felt like fluid was running through my ankle I don’t know how else to describe it. I know that that probably isn’t what was happening but there was a definite sensation. And I felt that sensation for a couple hours after. And then I did the acupuncture once a week for four weeks to help bring down the inflammation and the pain in the ankle and so I became a believer. It wasn’t like a miracle I’m not saying that I went in with a level three sprain and I came out of acupuncture with a completely healed ankle. It was just that I felt the healing properties of it and that it sped it up and at the ankle was stronger faster than it would have been. Is that the type of experience a lot of other people are having or I mean this is just my little experience with an ankle but what types of experiences are people having with acupuncture right now.
Dr. Pound: 00:12:33 Yes I love that you said that because there’s no criticism but I have so many patients that come in and they say you’ve done this and now I’m a believer.
Dr. Pound: 00:12:42 And my favorite line back to them is it doesn’t matter if you believe it or not. You know it’s an intervention and it has a result. It works so it doesn’t require you to believe in it necessarily as it does. You know just to try it out. So when I when my patients come in for instance a good example would be pregnancy and nausea you know morning sickness something that you know I just thought OK that’s a normal part of pregnancy and. And one day I was talking to our acupuncturist and he says I said so I’ve got these different patients with pain. What else can I send to you. And he says well well Nausea is one of those things are really good at treating. I said what kind of nausea. He says pregnancy related. And it kind of caught me off guard. That’s a random thing. So I had a couple of patients I was seeing and they had actually brought it up that they were having morning sickness I said hey go try to go try to acupuncturists down the hall and just after one or two sessions no more morning sickness. I mean are you kidding me. This is crazy. And so. So that’s one of the things I mean I’ve seen it lowering blood pressure reducing symptoms related to sinusitis increase in immunity. Just just things that are pretty ordinary
Dr. Pound: 00:14:10 I guess I would I would say they’re outliers but are pretty normal for for an acupuncturist who has been trained in Chinese medicine OK and in those situations I want to I want to dig a little deeper into this difference between the eastern and the Western these different situations are described in the ankle situation I described these are symptom based.
Dave Sherwin: 00:14:34 This would be Hey I have a symptom. I’m going to go to an acupuncturist to get relief from my symptom but do I understand correctly just guessing here that western the western style is that it’s I’ve got a pain. I want it to go away. And the Eastern is more preventive based. Could you flesh it out for us the difference between the eastern and the Western acupuncture schools of thought.
Dr. Pound: 00:15:00 Yeah and I’ll just say I’m not an acupuncturist.
Dr. Pound: 00:15:02 So you know from my understanding based off of the experts we have and the acupuncturist I’ve worked with in the past. But the difference is with a Western based approach typically they’re building insurance and so insurance has diagnosis codes in order to treat someone they have to have a problem. And so for instance contracted in California through a network that Kaiser Kaiser is a very big HMO on the west coast and their acupuncturists typically will put the needles where the pain is so you’ve got an ankle problem you’re going to get needles in the ankle and that should help stimulate healing just as the experience you talked about versus the one an arc our acupuncturists in our clinic there focus is not necessarily just preventative. They still have people come them with symptoms that’s a primary driver for you know almost anything we do as humans unless something is telling us we should do something.
Dr. Pound: 00:16:11 Typically that’s that’s going to be the main driver which is why Dave I appreciate you doing podcasts like this because it’s it’s important that it’s so much easier to prevent a problem than it is to fix a problem. But more on that in just a moment. So back to the East Room based philosophy. They still they still do treat symptoms but it’s more about the energy and the flow of the body. So I may go in for instance I had a patient go in with a back problem and there’s needles in the foot there’s needles in the head there’s needles in the hands and and so I have to prepare patients when they go there. Hey they’re not just going to stick needles where it hurts and you may experience different types of symptoms in fact this week I had a patient who had went in for low back pain and tingling on the legs had the needles placed all over the body and had like us like almost like night sweats the whole night you know just their body was reacting to the energy flow. And so I would say that in my observation the difference between the two. And again I’m not an acupuncturist so I can’t comment on the complexity of it but just from my understanding.
Dave Sherwin: 00:17:33 OK well let’s move on to what you are and what you are doing that’s an excellent introduction to two natural remedies and some examples you just launched your YouTube channel. And I think you said that live as of this recording just three days so that’s exciting venture. You must have a list of certain topics you want to cover. Can you give us an idea of what type of things will be covered covering on YouTube.
Dr. Pound: 00:18:00 Yes so I’m a chiropractor as you said in the beginning and I use my hands to try and help people feel better fast. And as a result they usually will heal better fast because their body wants to move more or less pain decrease tension increased flexibility. And so really my channels about what I do in clinic and what people can do on their own to increase flexibility decrease pain and speed up the healing process.
Dave Sherwin: 00:18:30 OK. Well that’s interesting about flexibility. You must obviously feel that’s pretty important to overall health. It seems to me flexibility is something that’s often done for a few minutes at the beginning of a workout and a few minutes after workout. But I know I try and I’m trying to do a lot more of it than I used to. Especially as I get older I’m trying to actually work on my mobility and flexibility outside of the gym because I find that in the gym I’m just not as flexible as I used to be. And then you know more likely to get injured etc. So talk to us about flexibility. You know here you are talking about as one of your major points on the channel do you find the same thing that most people just aren’t stretching very much at all and if they are maybe it’s just kind of a you know pre warm up thing.
Dr. Pound: 00:19:25 Yeah. So I love that. I can’t tell you how many people I have come in as patients and when I’m working on them they’re like yeah I feel more flexible but I’m might just not going to be as flexible as I was when I was younger because I’m getting older or do I need to stretch more. And typically my answer is no stretching in my humble opinion is just kind of like a bandaid. So most of the time people who come to me with problems back or neck pain. The problem is not necessarily that they don’t stretch enough. Their problem is that they don’t. They don’t strengthen the right muscles. And so through strengthening you can actually improve flexibility. And so for instance let’s let’s take a let’s take a simple hamstring stretch. So most people listen they know how to stretch their hamstrings stick.
Dr. Pound: 00:20:20 They lay on their back and stick their leg up in the air and that’s an easy test for me to do in the office to text test so-called flexibility. When I push against that muscle or that leg to try and get it to go further the body has a natural protective mechanism to stop the guarding mechanism. And so everyone’s guarding mechanism starts at a different degree of reflection. And so some people can get up to 90 degrees. Some people can’t. Some people. The range of motion is hindered by pain and that could be just pain tension in the muscles or that could be nerve related pain and some people can go further than 90 degrees. And so the goal is not necessarily OK we need to get to the certain point. But what I do find is that people who can’t get up to that 90 degree mark tend to have more low back problems.
Dr. Pound: 00:21:14 And so if we can get flexibility up to 90 degrees then we can actually improve or decrease their chances of having back problems. Now how do we do that. And you think OK just stress the hamstring bring it up but when we do a static stretch when you just lay there for 20 or 30 seconds with your leg up in the air you’ll feel the pole it kind of feels good afterwards but you’ll notice like you said at the end of a workout or the next day you’re at the same place you were the day before. So in my opinion did that stretch do you good? Well it felt good. But if you’re in the same place you were before then maybe it didn’t have as good of a result. So how can we change that. Well one of those is by strengthening some muscles around it and activating different muscles.
Dr. Pound: 00:22:00 In fact my favorite technique if we’re going to go into stretching is perceptive neuro facilitation or PNL stretching which is really activating the muscle and then relaxing the muscle activating the muscle and relaxing the muscle. And that’s one of my favorites because when I do this technique on patients they feel like I’m working magic on them because I’ll have them come up to that 90 degree point and I’ll have them push against me and then relax and then they relax. I push that muscle a little bit more and we can override the body’s natural guarding response which is cool because all of a sudden we’re getting 10 15 20 degrees extra range of motion just with that simple movement. And these are people who for years haven’t been able to touch their toes. And in just a minute or two I can actually get them to the point where they’re touching their toes which is kind of cool right now.
Dave Sherwin: 00:22:57 Absolutely.
Dr. Pound: 00:22:58 The other the other thing that I love about this technique is if it’s practiced even just a few times the the the measurement of the flexibility will often it’s cumulative. So when we have a patient do this in one week and then haven’t come back I can tell whether they’ve been doing or not. Because if I’m going in to do the hamstring stretch again and I can go further before they start feeling I know they’ve been working on this because their flexibility is remaining. Now you can be too flexible too. And I have patients who are very active I see a lot of athletes and so I believe there’s a healthy balance between too much flexibility and not enough flexibility and too much flexibility is where that strengthening comes in. You need to stabilize the muscles so you have good strength so you can avoid injury. And so when I am treating athletes the goal is not just OK we need to make you more flexible period. We do to make sure that you have strong muscles that the movements that you’re doing are supported by the muscles or the exercise that we’re working on and that the other ones that you do have the flexibility so that you don’t enjoy yourself having something get caught it OK.
Dave Sherwin: 00:24:18 And I assume there’s going to be a video on the heal better fast YouTube channel about how to do this at some point there will be. OK. OK. So pay attention people to the heal better fast YouTube video to learn how to do this. It’s very interesting stuff in my years of triathlon I did triathlon for eight years is kind of just what I did to stay in shape for those eight years and I learned some of these things there for example some of the top trainers discovered that too much flexibility in the lower body did not make for for a better runner or better triathlete. And that flexibility in the upper body paid huge dividends. If you’re a triathlete you’re a better swimmer and more comfortable on the bike. But there’s a lot of guys out there that there’s all this research on runners that those that were too flexible weren’t as successful of runners. So this is interesting to hear you say that again and kind of confirm that that there is a point of being too flexible. It’s interesting.
Dr. Pound: 00:25:25 Yeah and the again the goals will differ depending on what people are trying to accomplish.
Dr. Pound: 00:25:32 When I have my patients come in and they’re in their 70s 80 90 year olds usually you know I always ask them OK how did you get to this point because a lot of them a lot of people that I see may not have had a history of back problems which is very rare nowadays. And so you will ask them OK how do you stay so fit. How do you stay pain free. What is your secret. And it’s typically that they didn’t do too much of anything. Right. So they weren’t hardcore into any particular sport but they also did something and usually that something is just walking. That’s that’s the common thread among doctors among or among all my seniors who tend to live well into their 90s. They just walk everyday it’s a regular habit. Move. enough movement is key. And I’m a huge proponent of movement of some sort.
Dave Sherwin: 00:26:35 Yeah for sure. Excellent. Well let’s move on to another topic that is one that I know is of particular interest to you and something you’re working on in your clinic on a regular basis and that’s pain management. We’ve touched on it already a little bit but and this will sound like a really elementary question but I think it’s a great starting point. Could you just define pain for us and start with that.
Dr. Pound: 00:27:00 Yeah that’s a good question. So pain the easiest way to put it is pain is in your head. So pain is essentially a bunch of electricity sensory expressions from a peripheral nerve to the spinal cord. And so in the absence of obviously your head you have no pain which is good and bad right. We want to be able to experience pain. And sometimes when people come in. I would say 90 percent of the time they’re worried they’re worried about a couple of things.
Dr. Pound: 00:27:35 One this hurts more than it than I’ve experienced in the past so it must be bad. And number two will the pain ever go away. And so the first thing we go over is a thorough history and examination because I want to know kind of what’s going on because if they’re experiencing pain that’s actually a good thing. It’s the body’s check engine light if you will. Signals telling us that there’s something going on so we just got to figure out what’s going on. And the second thing is the level of pain the intensity of pain does not necessarily correlate with the problem. In fact some of the some of the most dangerous conditions that I come across are very low in pain and some of the easiest conditions that I treat are the ones that send people to the E.R.. In other words muscle spasms can be extremely painful.
Dr. Pound: 00:28:26 We’re talking like the 7 8 9 10 out of 10 pain level and even my patients who have been through childbirth I’ve never been through childbirth. I do have four kids so my wife has been through it. But the one thing that they always say is you know that this is worse than that. That seems to be like a threshold. But then this muscle spasms seems to be worse. And so muscle spasm. First we got to find out what’s causing a second then we then we can treat it. One of the easier things to treat versus these low low pain threshold where I’ve had patients come in with cancer tumors cysts and they didn’t even know that something like that was going on because it wasn’t that painful. Now I’m not saying cancer itself is not painful but in the early detection it’s important that a thorough history is done and the examination is done and that we don’t get tricked into thinking that if pain is worse than the problem is worse.
Dr. Pound: 00:29:26 And I see this time and time again especially with health care providers because we’re used to seeing people in so much pain with really bad problems and so we tend to think OK if we’ve got bad pain then it must be a bad problem. But that’s not the case especially in my practice.
Dave Sherwin: 00:29:41 It’s almost always opposite Well this is fascinating because it goes along as something I’ve recently learned in my own life. And I want to run this by you and have you just talk more on this subject with this little personal experience of mine. So recently I had Dr. Kepoo who I understand you went to school with out in California right.
Dave Sherwin: 00:30:05 Yeah great. I love that guy. Yeah. Good good.
Dave Sherwin: 00:30:09 He was on the show talking about a simplified Wim Hof method that’s just an episode or two ago and he’s been telling me about using the Wim Hof method and for those of you who don’t know it he’s known as the iceman.
Dave Sherwin: 00:30:27 A lot of his his stuff is about getting cold for certain periods of time and deep breathing techniques and I’ve never had any interest because I don’t like being cold and so I just kind of ignored it. Even though Dr. Joe was pretty excited about it but finally he was talking to me one day about the simplified method of simply at the end of a shower turning it all the way down to coal and standing in there for just a minute to two minutes.
Dave Sherwin: 00:30:55 And that has an anti-inflammatory effect and it gives you energy. And I thought OK you know I don’t want to get in the ice bath for ten minutes but I can handle a cold shower now at the same time I’ve been researching a lot about mindfulness as you’ve alluded to as well.
Dave Sherwin: 00:31:15 And one of the things I’ve learned from mindfulness is that we can accept negative emotions. We can sit with them we can observe them. We don’t have to just be repelled by them or be reactive to them but in our mindfulness or meditation we can simply observe in a non-judgemental way or in an interested way those things and it actually tends to change some negative emotions or at least take the edge off of them. And so I was using this technique to build a stand the freezing cold of the shower. OK. So I would that the other shower turn it down really really cold and then at first there’s a slight repellent like feeling of oh I want to get out of this cold water. Right. We all know what that feeling is like. But then I tried to use this mindfulness technique of curiosity and non-judgemental ism and well what does this really feel like.
Dr. Pound: 00:32:12 And I went with it instead of rejecting it and it was interesting because when I really put my attention on the sensation of the cold I realized how actually it feels kind of hot as well as cold water has kind of a heat sensation too and then I I just keep thinking that through.
Dr. Pound: 00:32:32 And the more I let myself just be with it and analyze it the less effect it had over me and then I’ve been doing it for it just a couple of weeks now. And I had an epiphany this week a breakthrough where for the first time I turned it all the way to cold and normally I’m kind of bracing myself because it takes a little time for it to cool down. Right. So it goes from warm down to cool. You know Luke warm down to cold and I’m kind of bracing myself for that effect and it just didn’t come. And I actually tested the temperature to make sure I’d turn it all the way down. And what I found and it’s happened now everyday since then I no longer have that effect at all. I can turn it all the way to cold. I’m just used to it and then I just kind of turn around slowly under that cold water getting on my shoulders and my back and my chest and especially after workout it really does feel good.
Dave Sherwin: 00:33:28 You can you can just sense that this is just good for your body it gives you energy you can just sense that the heat of inflammation from a good workout just kind of going away.
Dr. Pound: 00:33:38 And so that’s a personal experience I’ve just recently been through or something I would have considered you know not nicely painful really cold water but definitely an unpleasant sensation. That changed just through going through it and accepting it and you’ve mentioned already you’re you know learning in the Duke program about mindfulness and then of course the pain management. How does this relate to pain management. Is this a technique you’re teaching people or are there other techniques you’re teaching people just talk about that experience and how other people are applying things like this and pain management.
Dr. Pound: 00:34:23 So the simplest thing and I’m glad you brought that up because I too take I’ll take cold showers a few times a week for sure. And I’m not to the point I just turn on straight cold and hop in. Hop out. Nothing just the cold water and. And I do like my showers you know in the morning that’s my thinking time and my morning showers are warm but when I’m going to work. I’m back at the cold shower and I’m doing it for like you said a lot of different reasons. But anti-inflammatory but I also have a cryotherapy tank in the clinic. And so we have patients come in we can put them in a flash freeze them for three minutes and I’ve seen the results with that which is pretty amazing but when you say OK how can we scale this or what’s the message.
Dr. Pound: 00:35:11 I want to give two people. And it really comes down to I can’t tell you after I’ve had oh thirty or 40000 thousand patient encounters. And typically they’re always coming to me for a pain problem.
Dr. Pound: 00:35:27 And it typically goes I’ve had this pain I’ve tried to heat heat makes it feel better temporarily but it’s not fixing it. I’ve tried stretching I’ve tried exercise I looked up online and I’ve tried massage and none of it’s working. So I’m here today.
Dr. Pound: 00:35:46 And if I could just change the paradigm so that instead of starting with all these things that cause inflammation he causes inflammation massage. You know it’s worked in the muscles can inflamed a muscle. Exercise is going to cause some inflammation and stretching a muscle that doesn’t want to move typically doesn’t result in anything good. If I could just give people and I do it every one of my first visits just ice ice for 10 to 15 minutes. And ice is an analgesic it’s a pain reliever it’s an antiinflammatory it’s going to decrease the inflammation can speed up the healing process. Typically they’re going to feel better even if I weren’t to do anything because they’re doing all the wrong things. If you just do the right thing you’re going to feel better. Now you may not heal and that’s where I come in. But if we’re trying to get people to feel better and decrease inflammation ice is key.
Dr. Pound: 00:36:41 Now it’s interesting as you were talking about earlier Eastern medicine Western medicine in medicine they’re very much about heat and I’ve treated plenty of yoga instructors or even acupuncturists and they were resistant first to ice because you know their philosophy their beliefs. And he and I understand that and I respect that. And but from my perspective as a pain management provider typically you want to get out of pain get better. You want to do it the quickest way possible. We’re on the icepack now after that. Then we’re we’re to the point where we can exercise we can stretch if we want. We can also use an eye for that.
Dr. Pound: 00:37:27 But typically when I have someone come in and they’re in a lot of pain it’s because they’re over inflamed so that’s really one of the simplest things that people can do to decrease their pain.
Dave Sherwin: 00:37:38 Interesting. I remember years ago I don’t remember the name of this doctor but I remember a doctor writing an article to the effect of is called something like ice the new miracle drug. And I remember thinking well that’s really clever and it made sense to me that that would be true. It’s funny because you know you’re a health practitioner and you know I have a physical therapist that I go to sometimes you know I’ve had an injury and he’s just like you he’s just like there is nothing like ice. Like if I come to him with something it’s been a little become chronic like not like a you know a big injury like I did with my ankle. But just I got pain here there and I want to go in and have him just kind of have a look at it and he’ll say well you’re icing right.
Dave Sherwin: 00:38:27 And kind of like that tone of voice like Dave you know better. Like come on dummy like ice ice. And so it’s a great reminder for those of you listening that this is not a reminder for ice really is probably superior to some of the drugs people take. If a person has joint pain and they’re taking a drug for the joint pain is that not just masking the pain like you mentioned the pain is in the head. Right it’s the signal that’s received that’s telling the brain that something’s not right in a particular area at least that’s the way I interpreted it my head from whatever you said and maybe I got that wrong. But if the if the drug the drugs job is to mask the pain it’s really not doing anything where if you ice it you’re actually working at the source of the problem. Correct.
Dr. Pound: 00:39:23 Yeah. And I’ve worked this into my notes because I’ve repeat this day in day out 40 50 times a day over and over again you know for the past decade. And so it’s kind of become my mantra. You know I say the same thing over and over again. And then the next question is Will should I take an Advil should take Motrin and my answer back is always my advice hasn’t changed in the last two seconds. I would recommend icing and it’s only because I know what they want which is to get out of pain. Now it’s interesting that you bring up your ankle because a while ago I was on Thanksgiving. I was playing basketball right. And I go for the ball and I share my finger. Well I thought it was jammed and it ended up being broken. The Ring Finger of course some first thing I’m pulled the ring off right. The second thing is I run over to my clinic and I start doing some cold laser therapy on it. So I’m doing some infrared.
Dr. Pound: 00:40:19 And then I start then I start doing a little bit of mild fascia. These are muscle release on my finger and then I’m elevating it and then I go to the acupuncturists and it gives me this herbal wrap for it. Nowhere in that time did I actually ice my finger or for the next couple of weeks. And the reason was because I knew my my body’s time to heal and ice does slow down the healing process and so does so does the medication that we’re taking so as long as the swelling doesn’t get out of control and you can handle the pain you can manage the pain your body will do a miraculous job healing itself which I did I had full recovery and it was great it was speed it was quick and I needed that because I use my hands to work on people and I want to play more basketball. But but it’s not necessary. No it’s good from a pain standpoint. Like you said if you want to do some for pain or the information is out of control or the swelling is out of control then get on the ice. But it’s not necessarily a requirement. Just do the right things you’ll heal better fast do the wrong things you’ll end up having to come see me.
Dr. Pound: 00:41:27 Ok so I’m not sure if I understand that. So when do we use ice and when do we not use ice.
Dr. Pound: 00:41:34 So the ice is when the pain is out of control you can’t control the pain let’s say you want to take a medication because it’s so painful. Then you’re going to use ice or the instant the swelling is getting to the point where what we say is that you get numbness or tingling where it’s just swelling to the point that you can’t control the swelling your body is not able to get rid of the inflammation lights on. Then you would use ice.
Dave Sherwin: 00:41:56 OK so you’re using ice more as a pain management tool not necessarily as a part of the healing like. You’re not one of those who would say you know I sit throughout the day or anything like that.
Dr. Pound: 00:42:10 Well you can. And like I said there’s more for pain management as you said. But for another example would be as you said let’s say we have someone come in with osteoarthritis joint pain so they have bone on bone pain. They’ve worn down. Maybe they’ve been told that they have to have a joint replacement.
Dr. Pound: 00:42:31 They’ve been given medication but the medication isn’t working anymore. They’re not getting the same result with the medication that in that painful knee. OK. So would we need to do.
Dr. Pound: 00:42:42 We can either just not do anything about it they’re going to be in pain and not going to want to walk anymore or we can control the pain and control the pain with medications is definitely not going to cure the problem. Right. We know that. So let’s put some icing on the swollen joint the painful joint and see if we can get them moving better. Now I don’t want to be on ice for the rest of their lives but if I can decrease the joint pain and get them mobile again then be mobile should actually help with the problem. Even bone and bone. I’ve seen patients we have this thing called a game ready it’s used very popular in sports. You’ll see you’ll see the athletes on the sideline with these big compression braces around their knee or their ankle and what it’s doing is it’s compressing and circulating with cold cold water ice alone.
Dr. Pound: 00:43:30 For patients let’s say who have any problem maybe they’ll get some relief. It’s going to be temporary. But when you add that compression which is the key which is blood flow we want blood blood flow. It’s interesting because we’re using something to stop the blood flow but also something to try and pump the inflammation away. Two things that seem to contradict each other but actually work really well together which is why I like the game ready. I can take someone who’s had who is a knee replacement candidate put them on game ready for a little while. And they’ll I actually feel young again. I mean I’ve had 70 80 year olds come in. I’m looking at their extreme like there’s not much I can do..
Dave Sherwin: 00:44:08 They get on the machine and they’re feeling young again and it’s pretty amazing to see how that works how the body again has the ability to heal if we can just get over the inflammation interesting and as a shameless plug seeing as this is the Dirobi Health Show I need to send you a couple bottles of Mimis Mercal turmeric. When we’re done I’ll make a note and get your address. Here’s what the condition that they use in the human clinical studies they found 120 people with osteoarthritis in their knees and did a 90 day human clinical with the circle life which is the active ingredient in Mimis miracle tumeric. And those people had over a 90 percent reduction in pain and they also had increased flexibility and mobility so remind me when were done to get your address and send a couple.
Dave Sherwin: 00:45:02 Maybe you have a couple of patients you could give them to as a experiment. So anyways. Okay so one of the things you’re dealing with and I assume you’re current covering is well and the Duke Integrative Health Leadership Program is finding those solutions like we can’t do it alone. Right we all need someone who is more knowledgeable than us in certain areas I’ve mentioned I’ll go see doctor Joe I go see him every week. I have for years. I have a physical therapist. I have a doctor and making the choice of who I go see is a very proactive thing for me. I haven’t left that to chance. I think a lot of people do kind of leave it to chance. I think they go with the doctor that’s recommended by a neighbor or by you know provided by their health insurance. But there could be several good doctors covered by their health insurance.
Dave Sherwin: 00:45:59 There’s several good chiropractors in their area etc.. For me having the rate go to people is critical to my health knowing I can trust them and feel like they’re the best. And for me what best means is I feel like there are people that are just true healers people that they’re not just doing this for a profession but it’s beyond that. They have this intuitive sense of understanding their patient and they get to know their patient over time and and they they aren’t just referring to some textbook and then giving giving giving the answers that they hope are right. At a higher level they have more like a healing power about them I know that’s the right way to said butt but just to me I just try to find people just really that I really resonate with you.
Dr. Pound: 00:47:00 You mentioned that as a talking point of of you know how do we find and choose effective care solutions.
Dave Sherwin: 00:47:09 I do think a lot of people are leaving that too much to chance and this is something that you have a lot of thought and you’re you’re now doing this program Duke on this. Talk to us to our listeners about how they find effective care solutions that can make a big difference right the wrong person or the wrong procedure can do more damage than than than help right.
Dr. Pound: 00:47:36 Well you made an interesting point. Actually there’s something that you said that I want to correct. And it’s how people typically choose a health care provider. I think you and I because we do this for a living. First of all it’s not a lack of education. People get the memo. Like you said we know we should eat better. We know we should move more. But what is a limit what limited is time. And so most people when they pick a provider and I learned this early on my career is based off who can see them first right. That’s the first move most people will make. In other words let’s say you have this really great primary care physician. But they are not accepting patients or they’re not able to see you for two months but you feel sick now. I’m going to go to someone who can see me now.
Dr. Pound: 00:48:30 If that doesn’t work then I’ll go to my go to. And so what we find in healthcare is, really good providers tend to get booked up and so it’s hard it’s hard to skill a good provider. And so so let’s say let’s start there. So maybe maybe there’s a certain amount of people who will just go to who can help them the quickest. Then when that doesn’t work then they’ll go to the next one and so there’s this kind of this hierarchy it’s how we go through and find solutions. Now in that is I believe the problem. In other words when we look at corporate healthcare especially from them. I worked in the Bay Area and Google Facebook when we look at these onsite clinics. What they’re doing is they’re saying OK let’s start with really good providers who can see people on a more conservative approach.
Dr. Pound: 00:49:30 And then if that doesn’t work then kind of move along the line.
Dr. Pound: 00:49:34 And what they’re finding is that that saves a tremendous amount of money that people are actually happier with their care. It’s increasing productivity and by the way is also decreases worker’s comp costs but people just enjoy the experience. At Duke we’re finding it’s the same thing. So when people come into the hospital rather than just saying OK go to whatever doctors available first we have this different wing and it’s integrative health. And it’s a team of people who worked really good doctors their tool boxes a little bit broader than maybe just the the specialists. Is there a little more open minded. There are good providers. But their their goal is their goal is all the same. It’s not just to kind of get this patient in and get this patient as quick as possible. It’s really kind of like you said this humanity of being able to know that your provider cares and sometimes it’s a difficult thing as a healthcare provider to care because can you care too much. Well some people make the argument that you can and that can be a problem. But on the same the same on the other side you don’t want someone who doesn’t care right there’s just the right amount of caring that you hope you provide her house.
Dr. Pound: 00:50:53 And so when we’re looking at effective care solutions we’re finding that if you start with a conservative approach of someone who’s invested in it with you who cares with you then usually you’ll be invested in your healing as well. And with that it’s more of a team approach not someone telling you what to do but someone working with you to heal whatever it is you’re trying to overcome. Now of course we’re talking more in generalities especially musculoskeletal that’s what I deal with. But if you just need a flu shot maybe you know you don’t care whether you’re a nurse practitioner cares about you or not. Now should you be getting a flu shot? That’s a good question. And oftentimes again you’re integrative health care provider can help with that. But you know a great example of cost savings would be with back pain if you go to the emergency room with extreme back pain.
Dr. Pound: 00:51:48 They may take an x ray.
Dr. Pound: 00:51:51 But what we’re finding in these integrative health care settings that may not be the first line of diagnostics that you may actually have someone put their hands on you feel what’s going on and say OK let’s start with this first.
Dr. Pound: 00:52:09 You could need some ice could do some stretches could be some exercises could be in my case spinal manipulation to get the pressure off the back and see what happens before we go and radio. Before we go looking for problems because many times we’re finding that the x ray doesn’t change the course of treatment it’s just an added expense and it can lead to ineffective health care solutions such as injections unnecessary surgeries.
Dr. Pound: 00:52:38 Lots of these different types of modalities that can increase the cost or the burden on health care and actually decrease the patient’s overall outcome OK gotcha.
Dave Sherwin: 00:52:50 So you’ve mentioned that word several times on the podcast the conservative approach and you just described it. But just to be really clear when I’m. Well I just want you to define it. Flesh it out a little bit more. What exactly do you mean by more conservative approach.
Dr. Pound: 00:53:10 OK thank you. Yeah I appreciate that. So when I look at something I say OK can it can the effects be reversed.
Dr. Pound: 00:53:17 So for instance if you have surgery that can’t necessarily be reversed so that I would not consider that conservative. Let’s now let’s talk about doing an exercise. Let’s say a patient comes into me with low back pain. And I say OK try this exercise or try icing. I know those two things will probably not have permanent effect so it’s more. It’s good to have it can have an effect it’ll tell us what’s going on. It’s diagnostic as well as therapeutic. It’s very low cost overall and I believe we get more feedback as far as what’s going on. It also empowers the patient so conservative with the least invasive to the most invasive so if something is least invasive. In other words we’re not cutting anything. We’re not necessarily injecting anything in the beginning. It’s your body’s going to be able to recover from it better or quicker and so conservative I would say with the least invasive ok that makes a ton of sense.
Dave Sherwin: 00:54:25 Well this episode has been very interesting. I know everyone listening has a body and we experience our entire life through our body and this is why all of these topics are so important because when we’re in pain our quality of life is is down. All of these topics you’ve touched on and some of these alternative methods and your methodology. This is just great stuff and this is stuff that more people in this country need to hear right like we do have a health care crisis in this country. I think we have for a long time. I have actually been a person who has experienced what you said in the beginning. I’m actually from Canada originally and I had a lower back injury in Canada and one of the first things they did was send me to a chiropractic and massage. And when we came to the states everything was like if I had a back injury it seemed like they started with drugs was number one.
Dave Sherwin: 00:55:21 And that chiropractors and massage therapists weren’t covered by our insurance. It was a completely backwards experience. And in Canada when I had a repetitive motion injury in my in my back like I said it was it was 100 percent treated with natural methods and I completely recovered from that. And and so this actually has been interesting for us to live the United States. We’ve been here since 92 and see the the approach here and how it’s so much based on treating symptoms. It feels like to me it’s a lot about treating symptoms not so much about treating people. And so this is what I’m hearing from everything you’re saying is you’re in this world of treating people and there are conditions and trying. You’ve mentioned about trying to reverse conditions and do all of this through this method you’re talking about the least invasive.
Dave Sherwin: 00:56:15 I like it. I mean this it makes so much sense to me it’s surprising that it also seems like it makes so much sense to so many people I’m really surprised the system doesn’t seem to be evolving to what so many people can clearly see is a superior way. Do you agree with that.
Dr. Pound: 00:56:34 I think it is slow but I think it is in fact to just read a study. I believe it says from Forbes when we’re talking about back pain in general here in the States chiropractors are now number two which is it’s a huge improvement. So sometimes the word is getting now right. That were we’re pretty good at treating low back pain. And so it’s only by a couple of percentage points lower than the M.D is the first. And so there’s just not a lot an M.D. can do for people like you said. And so a lot of them these I work with they just prefer patients come to me first. And if I can help them then then send them that way. So I believe that we’re making headway. It is improving. That’s why I do what I do. That’s why I’m out on the Web. We’re trying to change this and that’s what we’re doing with Duke as well as trying to change the whole paradigm to really hopefully improve the overall health of care which is a huge task right. That’s the big that’s the big task. But you know people like you doing these interviews just little things. It’s going to it’s going to tilt that well.
Dave Sherwin: 00:57:53 Excellent well I hope so and I think you’re probably right. I think I can. I can see that and it’s good to know that you know you’re someone in the industry with your ear to the ground and have a positive outlook that things are moving in a more natural way and away from so much of the drug.
Dave Sherwin: 00:58:11 You know treat the symptoms treat the pain with drugs type thing rather than work more on the actual causes of the problems. Well thank you so much for being on the show I’ve taken a lot of your time. And yet before we wrap up I was hoping you could just share any parting thoughts any last things anything that maybe haven’t touched on that you think is important for our listeners to know before we let you go.
Dr. Pound: 00:58:36 The one thing we haven’t touched on and I would be I would probably be doing my profession a disservice if we didn’t posture. And so I always my thing is if you slouch you will. Ouch. And people always ask me what’s the worst posture. And my answer is it’s the posture you spend the most time in. So whatever that is. Don’t spend too much time in the same position. Just change your position and you’ll do great. And all of that will help you feel better.
Dr. Pound: 00:59:05 Fast excellent stuff.
Dave Sherwin: 00:59:09 Thank you again so much for being on the show everyone this is Dr. Michael pound. He has healbetterfast.com. He also has just recently started a YouTube channel that he’s adding videos to on a lot of these topics that we’ve discussed which is he’ll better fast channel on YouTube. Dr. pound thank you so much for being on the show.
Dr. Pound: 00:59:30 Thanks David appreciate it.
Dave Sherwin: 00:59:32 OK. Thank you to everyone listening. And if you would go over to iTunes and leave a review I’d appreciate it even if you lie and say this is a really terrific show that would be phenomenal and let other people know most of our listeners listen on our Web site at Dirobi.com I and the vast majority listen on Google Play which is fascinating to me and something we never would have thought of when we launch we thought iTunes was a thing that the reviews on iTunes really matter and helped to build up the show. So if you would go over to iTunes and leave your review there that would be outstanding and also one more reminder that you can get my book for free formula 7 the top seven principles for healthy living that is for free right now Dirobi.com it was for sale on Amazon but we’re giving it away and love for you to have that 100 page ebook.
Dave Sherwin: 01:00:23 Easy to read and my many years of of of reading and studying it’s just distilled down the top seven things I’ve learned that I think are most important that people ought to do to improve their health. So grab that over at Dirobi.com you can just add it to your cart and it’ll show zero amount so you don’t even have. You don’t use your credit card at all. Nothing like that. You just buy it without using a card and it will be delivered to the e-mail that you enter. So thanks again. And till next time this is Dave Sherwin wishing you health and success.
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