The Weight of a Dime

The Weight of a Dime

Enough to stop a nerve from working.

In 1975, Seth Sharpless, a neuropsychologist at the University of Colorado discovered that the weight of a dime (10mm Hg) at the spinal nerve root was enough to drastically alter nerve function.  According to the report:

“A pressure of only 10 mm Hg produced a significant conduction block, the potential falling to 60% of its initial value in 15 minutes, and to half of its initial value in 30 minutes. After such a small compressive force is removed, nearly complete recovery occurs in 15 to 30 minutes. With higher levels of pressure, we have observed incomplete recovery after many hours of recording.” (1,2)

I want you to take a moment to think about what a small amount of pressure this is that could cause so much adversity.  Imagine you are sitting down and you place a dime on your lap.  Would you even notice it?  Your clothing probably creates more pressure.  At the spine, this amount of pressure is devastating.

Why is the nerve root vulnerable?

The slightest misalignment can create pressure on your nerve root.   The nerve root is vulnerable because:

  1. It exits through the narrow opening (foramen) between two vertebrae and adjacent to the disc.
  2. It has lacks a protective sheath (epineurium or perineurium).
  3. Each nerve root has only one artery, and if circulation is blocked, the nerve stops working properly.

Now take a minute to think about what it would be like to lose 60 peercent of your nerve activity.   What if you were holding your child’s hand and it was 60 percent numb? Would you notice?  Maybe, maybe not.  Normally our medical system won’t even acknowledge a nerve problem until you have declined to the point of severe weakness or disabilty, such as with a disc herneation.  Chiropractic is different.  Our science is to optimize the function of the nerves now, while it is reversible, before it becomes permanent.

One year ago we started using grip strength as an objective measurement for our patients.  Remarkably, we are noticing that some of our patients are increasing their grip strength by 10% or more after every 12 visits.  Most noteworty, not one of these guests reported having weakness when they began care, and yet there was a latent reduction in strength with all of them that improved while under chiropractic care.

  1. Kent, Christopher: Nerve Compression Physiology (contains further references)

Newport Village Chiropractic is now Una Vita Chiropractic

A lot changes in 18 years. 

In October of 2000.  There was a red Jeep TJ Sport in my garage.  My parents were only in their seventies.  I was mentally worn from completing ten years of university, held up from collapsing physically (and financially) by only the calm pride in the two letters, DC, just added to the end of my name.

When NewPort Village Chiropractic opened that October of 2000, it was founded on a simple fact:  When I was a child, chiropractic saved my mother’s life.

Our new name gets its roots in that story.  Lucia suffered from severe headaches.  I was raised in a home with an Italian culture, but it was also a culture where we took pills first when we were sick.    The pills she was prescribed made her more sick… and that led to other ailments, even more pills and less health.  I vividly remember her shoe box filled with pills she had to take every day.

She was hospitalized twice.  I remember at the age of 12, kneeling beside her empty bed at night praying that she would make it home.   In her own words, she was “dying slowly” from her medications.  A few years later she made a life-and-death decision.  She used chiropractic to heal her body and get healthy again and she became free of the pills.

In the same way she immigrated to Canada, she was changing her culture again to one of natural healing.

Even the doctor that prescribed her meds was ecstatic that she was healthy enough to get off them.  What doctor wouldn’t be happy to see somebody get health freedom like that?  That’s when I decided to become a doctor of chiropractic.

Our chiropractor was my hero.  In 2000 when I graduated, I just needed a place to wait, and maybe, be that hero for as many people as possible.  

Treating pain wasn’t enough for me, so I looked at enhancing performance.  I got diplomas in Active Release Techniques,  I became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist,  and a Certified Chiropractic Sport Physician.  That led me into working at many Ironman Canada Triathlons.  

My children, Alexander and Estella were born in 2010 and 2013.  I wanted only the best care for my kids, so I became certified in Prenatal and Paediatric Care.

In 2016 thanks to our wonderful supporters like you, our practice was busier than ever, and our tiny two-room office down the road was no longer suitable so we finally moved to our current space at 274 Newport Drive.   

This allowed me to hire a second assistant so I could give you higher-quality care and also spend more time organizing and improving my practice.

We have grown significantly in both efficiency and quality, and it has allowed me to spend more time with my family, which is really the most important thing for me right now.  

We now train UBC Kinesiology co-op students and the experience you are giving them inspires them to become chiropractors themselves.

Inspiring you, the practice member is another endeavour. Where we once primarily focused on reducing pain, we now focus on health and function.  Where we once treated injury, we now also seek to prevent injury.

My goal is to create an experience where we inspire but don’t pressure.  I want to create an experience where we always make it about you.  To inspire you to create change in your life in every way we possibly can.

Which brings us to our name.

NewPort Village Chiropractic is a name that does little more than tell you where our office is.  We needed the tagline “sports injury and wellness” just to explain ourselves.

A few years ago we selected the name “Una Vita” which means “One Life” in Italian.  I am so pleased to finally change the name officially.

I wanted to select a name that encourages every person to embrace their potential, and every person of every age to embrace the idea of being the best they can be, during their entire life.

Not to be at 75% but to be whole, 100%.  Not just part of their life, but from the time they are conceived, all the way into the future.

We want to enhance performance and potential for every generation.

The name “Una Vita” tells this whole story, which started when I was a little boy,  in two words, and I feel a sense of joy every time I hear it.   We are the only “Una Vita” Chiropractic Centre in the world.

With the new name we share our philosophy with every guest .

Gary B