February Expert Columns

Keeping Your Golf Game ‘Back Safe’

By Chip Abbadessa, D.C.

One of my favorite pastimes is golf. If I’m not playing golf I’m watching the golf channel or at the driving range! It’s also one of the most popular sports in the world. It can be played by almost anyone regardless skill level or age. Golf may also place more stress on the back than any other sport known. Because of this fact I would like to outline some simple steps to keep your game “back safe”.

1. Warm up first

This is true for most sporting activities but is even more important for golfing. A good warm up can be as simple as swinging a couple of clubs several times to loosen up the joints and muscles. Jumping jacks, deep knee bends or running in place also work well.

2. Proper set-up is critical

One of the biggest mistakes I see in golfers is failure to set up to the ball properly. Ideally a golfer should align the club to the target first then set the body comfortably around the club in the most natural way possible. Far too often a golfer will set up to the ball improperly only to have to alter his/her swing plane to keep the ball on target. Also, observe good posture. This is vital to the proper set-up because the spine is at its strongest when properly aligned. Everyone should have his or her spines checked and maintained by a correction-based chiropractor.

3. Don’t over-swing

Another very common mistake that will wreck your spine quickly. If you swing hard enough to come out of your shoes, you need to back it off a notch! A nice, fluid swing that allows a comfortable follow-through is best. Remember the 80 percent rule: Swing at 80 percent of your max, hit the ball 100 percent of the time!

4. Be very careful bending over

A golfer might bend over 100 times in a game: every time he places the ball on a tee, each time to pick up the ball from the cup, to clean the ball on the green, etc. Bend at the knees, not at the waist.

5. Keep your stomach and hip muscles strong

A powerful, effortless swing originates in the lower body, not the arms. Exercise your “butt & gut” for best results.

6. Use swing training aides and lessons for best swing plane and tempo

A hinged club like the “Medicus,” a weighted training club or an “inside approach” trainer all helps to keep your swing smooth and accurate. Lessons by a pro or video taping your swing can add years of golf to your life as well.

Chip Abbadessa, D.C. has been a chiropractor since 1988 and practices out of the Castle Professional Center in Kaneohe. He is currently accepting new patients on the Windward side of Oahu. He can be reached at 234-5535. Visit his website at www.docchip.com.

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Rhode Island Gemstones

 Gem News by Brenda Reichel

Rhode Island is accented by bowenite, a variety of serpentine. Bowenite is a massive form of serpentine and is known as “serpentine marble,” which occurs with other masses of rock and is combined with other minerals. The material from Rhode Island is dark green and very coarse. It is not a widely used gemstone Amethyst and other varieties of quartz have been found in Rhode Island. In 1984, gem-quality amethyst was found in deposits along the shores of Narragansett Bay near the Bristol - Mount Hope Bridge area. One collector, Clifford H. Stevens, stated he had found gem crystals as large as 100 carats.

In 1986, amethyst was found in Hopkinton, a discovery published in Rock & Mineral magazine, in an article by Dr. John Rakovan, Bill Metropolis and Sal Avella. Still, the amounts of amethyst are not conducive to a large-scale mining production.

Brenda Reichel, owner of Carats & Karats Fine Jewelry, is a graduate gemologist, member of the International Society of Appraisers, and proprietor of an AGA-certified Gem Laboratory. She can be reached at 593-8122. Visit Brenda’s website at: www.caratsandkarats.com.

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For a Younger You, There’s HGH

By Teresa Denney, D.O.

For years, I have been a proponent of the value of injectible lecithin for dissolving fat tissue, instead of surgery. Now I want to help you understand the benefits of another life-enhancing substance: human growth hormone.

Human growth hormone is the most abundant hormone produced by the pituitary gland (one of the endocrine glands). The pituitary gland is located in the center of the brain. HGH is also a very complex hormone. It is made up of 191 amino acids, making it fairly large for a hormone. In fact, it is the largest protein created by the pituitary gland.

HGH secretion reaches its peak in the body during adolescence. However, after you are around 20 years of age, your body starts secreting lesser and lesser amounts.

Growth hormone is known to be critical for tissue repair, muscle growth, healing, brain function, mental health, bone strength, energy and metabolism.

What are the benefits of HGH?

Decrease in fat, higher energy level, enhanced sex drive and performance, skin rejuvenation (wrinkles removed), enhanced immune system, better memory, better sleep, increased muscle tone, hair regrowth, improved vision, lower levels of cellulite, lower blood pressure, and improved brain function, such as memory and concentration.

Somatotropin, the medical name for human growth hormone, is produced in a laboratory using technology that copies the natural growth-hormone molecule. It produces a 100 percent physically, chemically and biologically identical molecule to the HGH produced by the pituitary gland.

In August 1996, the FDA approved human growth hormone for use in adult patients. Before that approval, it was only authorized for use to promote growth in short-statured children with HGH deficiencies. Now HGH can be prescribed for hormone-deficient adults as well as to delay the aging process. Restoring the body with youthful hormone levels is an important key to living a stronger, healthier and happier life.

As HGH is a large and complex protein, it is not absorbed intact and must be taken by injection. If HGH were taken by mouth, it would be digested in the stomach and become inactivated.

NOTE: Human Growth Hormone is available only by prescription and regulated by the FDA. In order for our physicians to prescribe HGH to you they must establish a doctor-patient relationship with you. This is to make sure the therapy chosen is right for you. To make an appointment to determine your potential for HGH therapy, call  (808) 732-0888 or visit us on the Web at www.hghpharm.com.

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Stress/Attorney Fees

By Richard Lee, J.D., C.P.A.

Dear Judge Lee: I heard that stress is a major cause of death and disease. What can I do to minimize the chances of me getting a stroke or heart attack and stress out?

Signed, Stressed Out.

Dear Stressed Out: Breathe. Take a couple of deep breaths. Inhale — stomach goes in – exhale — stomach goes out. Breathe with your diaphragm or abdomen — not your chest. Meditate and continue breathing. Do this for a minimum of 10 minutes per day. Take quiet time for yourself. Empty and quiet your brain and focus on your dan tien, a point two inches below your belly button. Go to a quiet place.

Stress kills. The number one cause of illness is stress. Stress is created by your right brain that is constantly letting your emotions get the best of you and making you “worry yourself sick.” The practice of tai chi qigong strives to quiet your upper brain and to focus on your dan tien or lower brain to guide you, thus letting excess energy service your organs and keep them healthy and functioning properly, rather than letting your upper brain burn up all your energy. Dan tien breathing lowers blood pressure, promotes blood circulation and decreases many symptoms of disease. A comprehensive list of impact of tai chi qigong on the human body is found in “Tai Chi Qigong for Idiots,” one of the best-documented summaries on the medical impact of tai chi qigong on individuals. Qigong miracle healing is fast becoming known in the West after being a secret in China until the early 1990s. It is the foundation of tai chi chuan martial arts. Two good books on the subject are Dr. Effie Chow’s “Qigong Miracle Healing” and Master Hong Liu’s “The Healing Art of Qigong.”


Dear Judge Lee: I have heard that some attorneys run up fees and pad bills. How do I minimize this and insure that my bill is fair?

Signed, Overbilled.

Dear Overbilled: I have personally witnessed this in many cases by unscrupulous attorneys. Simple cases, which should be around a few thousand dollars, end up costing clients hundreds of thousands. Many attorneys see the money and not the simple solution and fit the bill to the amount the client can pay. The simplest way is to shop around, get flat fees, and remember: the nicest office means higher fees to cover higher overhead, and not necessarily better lawyering. Many people think that the more you pay, the better the lawyer — nothing could be farther from the truth. Fair and reasonable flat fees are the best way to go. Educate yourself on the Internet and talk to people with legal experiences. Unfortunately, the state attorney disciplinary board is more interested in politically using their office protect “in group” attorneys and head hunt “non player” attorneys than protecting the consumer against overbilling. This problem is a disgrace and should not be allowed to exist. The Supreme Court needs to wake up.

Good luck. Judge Lee

Editor's Note:  Richard Lee is a former Hawaii Judge and CPA. He holds an Economics degree from Stanford University and a J.D. degree from Hastings School of Law, University of California. His Richard Lee Consulting firm focuses on relieving stress for clients with tax, real estate, business and relationship problems. Mr. Lee teaches Tai Chi Qigong for diet and longevity and is the founder of Perfect Mate Internat’l. Visit him on the Web at www.richardleeconsulting.com. Tel: (808) 957-0000.

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Baby Boomers in Need of Help

By D. Kona Smith

Wow! It’s official. The age of the “Baby Boomers” as senior citizens is upon us. Who would have thought that the same folks pictured in TIME magazine cavorting at Woodstock will soon be ready for social security? It gives new meaning to the old adage “time flies.”

Baby Boomers evolved during a very interesting period in our history. They are the by-product of an industrialized society. They were weaned on “hard rock” music. It seems that they have been bombarded by loud noise their whole lives. As a result, they are far more prone to have a hearing loss than any generation before them.

Pete Townsend, guitarist for The Who, recently warned fans not use headphones too often. His own hearing, he says, was permanently damaged by loud music and he now must take at least a 36-hour break between studio sessions so his ears can recover.

Because of their vast numbers, the market place has been catering to “boomers” for the past 40 years. It should come as no surprise that special new hearing aids have been de-veloped for music loving “boomers.” Former president and saxman Bill Clinton, while still in office at age 51, became one such “boomer” benefiting from this new technology.

Different and Better

These specialized hearing aids are very small and usually go unnoticed when worn. They are designed with sophisticated digital circuitry to enable the user to hear and understand conversation in all but the most difficult background noise situations. They overcome many of the problems encountered by users of ordinary hearing aids. As a result of this new technology, you have a comfortable, discrete product that really helps you hear what you need to hear. Clinical tests indicate up to 40 percent better understanding using this new technology.

Help is Here

Hearing loss, even a mild hearing loss, can be annoying and lead to miscommunication. This can lead to tension and misunderstanding. Who needs this added stress in their life? It certainly doesn’t have to be that way.

An Offer You Can’t Refuse

It is important for anyone over the age of 50 to have an annual hearing check-up by a qualified hearing care professional. This service is offered free of charge by Ohana Hearing Care. Call 593-2137 today to schedule this important health care service. It is free, it is easy and it is a great idea. Copies of your test results will be given to you for your personal health care file. What better way to get the New Year off to a good start?

Free brochures about the new “baby boomer” hearing aids are also available. Call 593-2137 today if you would like more detailed information. If you have a question about hearing, we can help. Send e-mail to: earsmith98@aol.com for expert, confidential advice. There is never a charge for this service.

D. Kona Smith founded Ohana Hearing Care in 1966. Call 593-2137 for an appointment and evaluation.

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Diabetics Living Healthier

By Waimanalo Health Center 

Waimanalo Health Center has a free monthly support class where adults come to share and discuss ways to better manage their diabetes. Malia Sommers, a nutritionist at the health center, teaches these classes on the third Thursdays of each month.

“Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease. That means it is caused by the way we live. The typical American life-style of inactivity and too much to eat is the major factor in bringing on this disease,” Sommers claims.

The information that she teaches on nutrition is for anyone, not just for those with diabetes. Other diseases such as heart disease are interrelated and may have some of the complications as diabetes. People who have weight problems and those who would like to learn about nutrition are invited to attend these classes. Prevention and moderation in eating lifestyles are taught by Sommers.

Provided at each class are samples of healthy foods that are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and protein and low in sugar. Students have enjoyed poi, brown rice sushi, whole grain bread, fresh cut melons and strawberries and soybean.

The students learn what foods are good for them and what foods to be cautious of. Some foods that taste good are actually healthy. Unfortunately it may be a disappointment to learn that some of the foods that they love to eat are not good for their body.

Chicken and turkey are ideal meats; but seafood, including shrimp, is high in cholesterol and so are eggs.

“You’ll also want to stay away from foods that contain hydrogenated fats and triglycerides (the cholesterol that hardens fatty substance in our arteries).” These fats are in coconut, vegetable shortening, diet drinks, pastries and many other desserts.

Taking your medication, dieting to cut down on triglycerides, and exercising are basic preventive health practices. She advises to drink lots of water. “I can’t stress that enough.”

“We hope more people will come to these classes. Malia is really good and she teaches us so much. We learn to understand what we can do to take care of ourselves. We learn so much about how our bodies work,” says two of her students.

The Free Diabetes Support Classes are open to everyone interested in better health. Waimanalo residents, as well as the patients of Waimanalo Health Center, are invited to attend.

Classes are on the third Thursday of the month at 10 to 11 a.m. at the health center in the Administrative Conference Room. If you are interested or would like to learn more about this support group, please call the Malia Sommers at the Waimanalo Health Center, 259-7948, ext. 130.

The Waimanalo Health Center has doctors in adult, pediatric, and women care, behavioral health and prenatal. Most major health insurance is accepted including Quest and Medicaid. The health center is located at 41-1347 Kalanianaole Hwy, across from the Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate School. Hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturdays at 8 a.m. to noon. Need a Doctor? Call 259-7948.