ON THE SUBJECT OF "FUNCTIONAL IMBALANCES"

Interview by John Purnell, Filmaker; Managing Director at Deep CreekProductions, 2012

All Clinical Comments Answered By Dr. Mark Borsuk D.C.

J.P.   Dr.B. Good to see you.  After the last lecture I attended in Coffs Harbour, you elaborated on what it takes to restore an individual to “optimal wellness”, structurally, chemically & mentally?  Could you expand on that a bit more for this interview?

Dr.B. Good to see you again John. Sure I can, but that’s a big question.  And I’ll give you a thorough answer.  When clinically assessing an individual on all of these levels, it takes a good set of tools.  Being trained with the use of Applied Kinesiological diagnostics and treatment protocols gives you those tools.  About 60%-65% of my practice is comprised of women with systemic problems.  They are suffering from “functional imbalances”.  And I also see the same in many athletes I treat both competitive and elite of both sexes from “over-training”. The other 35%-40% are individuals who have suffered minor or traumatic injuries .

With the purely structural injuries, the application of manual muscle testing to assess functional neurology is an awesome tool.  Going through the affected joint compartment using this testing, tells you instantly and accurately what structures are behaving abnormally.  Are there muscles shut off?  Is there any damage to any ligaments or tendons?  Has the imbalance caused the joint itself to work improperly and it needs to be manipulated after balancing the faulty muscular patterns?  As a practitioner utilizing these tools you can quickly get to the job of organizing the involved structures in and around the joint.  A.K (Applied Kinesiology) treatment comprises many and varied manual procedures  to get any “inhibited” muscles working and making sure they are working in unison in a  “choreographed manner” if you will with their neighbouring muscle partners.  I love working with these types of injuries.  They are always fascinating.  And very gratifying when you achieve the result. 

J.P.    And the other 65%-70% of systemic cases you see, how do you know what is going on with them and how do you help alleviate their health issues?

Dr.B.  Again, I use the same tools. The manual A.K. diagnostic tools give you an insight into organ systems and endocrine systems because there exists a muscle-organ-gland relationship in the body. Let me just back up slightly John in order to answer your question fully.  A question that needs to be asked firstly is what are the signs & symptoms that these individuals are experiencing?  They are usually experiencing some fatigue, quite possibly extreme fatigue. 

Additionally, they are often experiencing an increase in body fat, bloating (especially after carbohydrate meals), always hungry (because they are undernourished due to malabsorption of nutrients) are often moody and irritable from low blood-sugar levels.  In addition to all of these symptoms, they may also be craving and consuming  an excess of poor quality sweets/nicotine/caffeine and other poor quality, high-glycemic carbs in a fruitless attempt to stave off the cravings and fatigue from their low blood-sugar problem!

J.P.   That’s quite a ball of wax! What do you or can you do about that?

Dr.B.   I usually can do quite a bit.  But just let me say lastly that an individual with the above set of symptoms often either already has or is heading in the direction of having high blood-pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, adult type II diabetes and women in this bracket often exhibit polycystic ovaries, uterine fibroids and various hormonal disorders and horribly enough;  sometimes breast cancer.  When I say heading in that direction, I mean some individuals might not show “positives” when they have their blood-work done, but they can be exhibiting the same symptoms that very sick individuals exhibit who test positively. When you’re not showing “positives” on the frank pathology tests but are still fairly unwell;  it’s called a “functional imbalance.  I’ll get to that momentarily. 

To help balance them and move them into the direction of optimal health, I need to accurately assess them to know what is the root cause or causes at the bottom of all this, and what are the associated or accompanying issues.  Using the manual muscle testing procedure that I previously mentioned, I can identify possible parasitic, bacterial, viral or fungal infections, or even heavy metal toxicity and nutrient deficiencies  which could be responsible for several organ system problems. But it may not be this at all. It could be an issue with an individual who has experienced some prolonged “intense” stress.  From a relationship problem,  job change, home change, illness to a loved one and many others.  This can be extremely taxing on the adrenal glands which are responsible for so many things in the body.  They are your “fight-or-flight” glands but shouldn’t be relied on indefinitely. 

When this occurs, it usually leads again to poor food choices, missing meals, a faulty sleep pattern and usually a faulty gastro-intestinal system.  This then usually predisposes an individual to some liver congestion along with some complicating hormonal changes and some fat gain.  It sounds complicated and it is.  But the practitioner must identify what is the root causal factor or factors as I mentioned and work backwards addressing the issues structurally, chemically (nutritionally) and mentally (emotionally).  These individuals will need very high quality nutritional supplementation with supplements you won’t find on the pharmacy or health food shelf.  It will need to be very specific for the type, dosage and duration.

They’ll need to be assessed and treated structurally for any alignment or concurrent injury problems; and be treated for any associated emotional problems.  This is where they are treated with N.E.T. (neuro-emotional-technique) which I’ll elaborate on later as well.  Now I’ve only described a couple of scenarios of health imbalances but as you can imagine there are hundreds that are all very unique.  And need a unique approach.  One needs to be a generalist, not a specialist.  I’m always left humbled!

 

J.P.   Dr. B.  Since you suggest there are hundreds of varying systemic cases or imbalances, could you possibly take us through and describe how you would approach helping an individual in a case you see more often?  A real typical case that maybe you see on a monthly basis?

Dr.B.   Sure…I’ll give you a typical overview of what I see clinically on a weekly basis.  I’m going to take you through what I describe as a “generally unwell” female for this exercise.  This woman would probably be in her mid-thirties to her mid-forties.  She may or may not have been a competitive athlete in her younger years.  She is married, has three children and works a fairly stressful job to help her husband make ends meet.  She is a “super-mom”.  She didn’t start her family until her mid to late thirties.  And was on the contraceptive “pill” from 16 years of age until her mid-thirties.  So in reality, she had been ingesting synthetic oestrogen for between 15-20 years to manipulate her fertility cycle.  She notices she has gained quite a bit of weight (really fat) over the last decade.  The synthetic oestrogen in the “pill” is classic for depressing the thyroid gland and slowing the metabolic rate which governs how many calories you burn daily for energy.  With that slower metabolic rate, she now stores a larger percentage of what she eats.  She loves to eat chicken (more synthetic oestrogen and anti-biotics unless it’s organic & hormone free) 3-4 times a week.

With the stresses of being the mother of three and holding down a demanding job, she is literally exhausted.  She reaches for and consumes large amounts of caffeine and sugar and poor quality high-glycemic carbohydrates.  Cakes, cookies, brownies, muffins…You get the picture.  All of these sugars, stimulants and carbs raise her insulin levels, insulin is a storage hormone which additionally along with the sluggish thyroid, causes her to store more body fat.  And these poor quality carbs contain high amounts of “trans fats” which are not found in nature. They are created by heating poor quality oils and forcing hydrogen gas through them which changes them chemically making them very stable and giving the poor quality carb product a very long shelf-life. Good for sales.  Not good for bodies.   Why am I mentioning this?  Because these “trans fats” create havoc for the liver and this stressed out mother of three starts to experience some uncomfortable bowel patterns, usually constipation and a host of other symptoms from her now congested liver.

Now that her liver is struggling to detoxify her bowel, she now starts to experience some hormonal imbalances.  The physical, chemical and emotional stresses of her lifestyle now start to affect her adrenal glands which become tired and depleted and help to add more pressure on the faulty endocrine system.  It’s not that she isn’t intelligent, it’s just that these cravings she has for these snack foods she is consuming is the body’s attempt to “quick fix” the low blood-sugar levels.  It’s a temporary “quick fix” with a “yo-yo” effect.  Her bowel now is in an opportunistic phase.  She is ripe for fungal over-growth especially with the past anti-biotics in high amounts in chicken but also in other meats and milk and cheese. 

She also might be someone who would be taking a lot of anti-biotics in pill form whenever she gets an inkling of a cold because she can’t afford to get sick.  This all leads to a vicious cycle of not digesting and absorbing nutrients properly.  More fatigue.  And I’m hoping you and the audience are getting the picture.   She’s tired, heavier, stressed and depressed.  She wants and needs help! And once helped, needs some good education.  Some good books and websites so she can start looking after herself which in turn helps her take care of her family!

What you must do for her is just what I described before.  Identify the root causal factors involved with her organ & glandular systems which are stressed and depleted.  Through manual muscle testing with muscles related to these organs & glands you can accurately identify which are involved and if there are any infections present.  You must then in order of priority intervene by stimulating certain reflexes which will help get the organs & glands involved function better and supplementing nutritionally like I mentioned earlier.  It will not need to be indefinite, and some supplementation could “over-stimulate” the organs & glands involved.  So again, find a practitioner that can do this properly.   

This super-mom would need along with other nutritional supplementation a gentle liver cleanse and detoxification to flush out the remaining synthetic oestrogen anti-biotics, and any fungal overgrowth if present.  If not, it’s like painting over rust.  You have to get rid of the “offenders” if you want the permanent fix.   As I mentioned earlier with supplementation: they must be of high quality, the right dosage and duration.  The individual is not on anything indefinitely.  And the practitioner ultimately wants to see a neutral test for the substance or substances being used nutritionally speaking.  This means you no longer need it. 

The involved organs or glands become balanced and healthy and the body reaches homeostasis. You then can just check the individual maybe monthly for a period of time to make sure they’re traveling well with no recidivism.  Your job is to get them off your table and help all the others out there that also need your help. So you have to look toward finding a practitioner who is trained in these procedures and can accurately assess your total body thoroughly and holistically.

 

J.P.   Is there anything else you want to talk about regarding this type of patient?


Dr.B.  Yeah...What I didn’t mention that I’d like to touch upon briefly is something else the above described mother probably had an issue with.  And that is what we call “carbohydrate intolerance”.  There are many good books and references on the subject and I’ll leave some book titles and references on my website.  Barry Sears has many good books on the subject.  Several of his books basically explain how consuming high amounts of refined, processed, high-glycemic carbohydrates leads to excessive levels of insulin secretion and this is ultimately linked to obesity, adult onset diabetes, stroke and some cancers.  Carbohydrate intolerance is often seen in the women I treat but many men suffer from this as well.  The women I typically see with this  are usually oestrogen dominant which I’ll elaborate on in a moment.

Firstly, carbohydrate intolerance is an issue whereby the body has a difficult time digesting varying carbohydrates.  For some individuals, it will be wheat.  For others, it will be corn or potato.   I’ll often see carbohydrate intolerances in individuals with several of the carbs they’re eating.  You’ll see this problem in cases of women with elevated levels of Candida albicans (a fungus) which is a normal part of the gut flora.  Prolonged use of anti-biotics and other drugs sometimes affect the gut and ultimately stimulate this natural fungus to over-grow.  Once this occurs, digestion is affected and again; malabsorption of nutrients occurs.  

Many of these undigested particles are viewed by the immune system as foreign invaders and the body gets a little upset having to sort this out.  The body ultimately realizes these carbs are the enemy, not food.  I normally don’t view these intolerances to be “true” allergies.  Those are more readily identified when you have a clean slate if you will.   No other gut disturbances.  That’s when it’s a good time to check for any “true” allergies.

And touching on a real issue for women in this day and age is this issue I mentioned of oestrogen dominance with a deficiency of progesterone.  Some authors describe it as oestrogen dominance unopposed by progesterone.  Basically, it’s a lopsided scale. The body becomes heavily tipped to one side of the scale hormonal speaking due to the over ingestion and exposure to synthetic oestrogen.  Oestrogen makes things proliferate in the body and studies were showing this linked to polycystic ovaries and uterine fibroids.  Doctor John Lee M.D. who is no longer with us is a great resource and thoroughly wrote and lectured on this subject.  It was a lot of his work that let to HRT being taken off the shelves here in Australia and in the U.S.A. due to a potential causal link to breast cancer.

Two very good books that should be read carefully are “What Your Doctor Didn’t Tell You About Pre-Menopause” and “Natural Progesterone” both by Dr. Lee.  There are some other teachers and authors describing similar scenarios like Syndrome X and factors around pre-diabetes. But the real message I want to convey here is they’re all similar to varying degrees.  The synthetic oestrogen that has been making it into womens’ bodies from the contraceptive pill, HRT, from chicken and other meats to dairy; are having the accumulative effect of depressing the thyroid gland and sometimes other organ systems.

In addition to this, there are other environmental “man-made” synthetic oestrogens from herbicides making it into the water supply to cosmetics they apply to their skin to foods in contact with certain plastics.  These are called xenoestrogens.  They have the same affect.  This is driving a womans’ hormonal system way out of balance.  It is over oestrogenized, and with synthetic instead of natural oestrogen.  Dr. John Lee talks about it in his many books and I will leave that information for listeners on the website.  You have to work with the different body systems and tilt the out of balance scale back in the right direction.

How?  By eliminating the offenders through detoxification and supporting those organs or glands that are struggling with appropriate supplements, including natural and only natural progesterone.  It can easily be administered to the body in cream form.  Oestrogen dominant women will usually exhibit weight gain, painful menses, carb intolerance, hyperlipidaemia on blood tests (high cholesterol & triglycerides).  And they’ll exhibit all the signs & symptoms I described above with the “generally unwell” super-mom.

Lastly, on the womens’ front; I’d like to see mothers teach themselves and their daughters about “natural fertility”.  In Australia, there is a great woman author/teacher/naturopathic doctor  named Francesca Naish.  She has lots of great information on her website and a great start for this is her ground-breaking book called “Natural Fertility”.  There is no reason to use a very strong pharmaceutical drug to interfere with such a sacred cycle in a women, the fertility cycle. Education instead of medication makes more sense to me. That is obviously my personal opinion.  If a woman learns exactly how her body works, she’ll know when she is fertile and when she isn’t and can use that knowledge for both conception and contraception.  And she’ll be keeping the synthetic oestrogen out of her body.  Which in turn will keep her from heading down the “hysterectomy highway” in years to come.  Doctor Naish has some great books and a great website which I’ll list for  you.

 

J.P.   You mentioned earlier a concept called “functional change” or “functional imbalances”…Could you talk about what that really means for our audience?

Dr.B Sure.  When I first examine an individual I look to see if there is balance in the differing body systems. Using A.K. procedures allows you to identify any dysfunction in these systems.  The body allows itself to adapt to different and ongoing stresses, emotional, structural and chemical.  If there are certain stresses in any of these systems that the body has trouble adapting to, signs and symptoms will start to appear in the individual and in the muscle testing.  I try to identify and correct these and hopefully prevent them from recurring. 

A “functional imbalance” put simply is where an individual’s system is not adapting well to any or several of these stresses. They’re heading in the direction of ill health but haven’t quite arrived there yet. They just don’t show positive results on their stool, urine and blood tests.  They may have mild or even severe symptoms like several symptoms I’ve described earlier.  However, even though they may feel very unwell;  they still present in the normal range across the board when they have these tests done. Meaning, a doctor may say “I can’t find anything wrong with you; everything is within normal range”.  But you as the unwell individual know you still don’t feel well.  This is where Western Medicine is a bit weak.  Because you may be heading in the direction of several different serious conditions.   You may just not be sick enough to show positives on frank pathology tests.   And practitioners in my field have the skills to see you heading in that direction and can intervene on the “functional imbalance” and turn you around before it becomes severe.  We try to get you to do a U-turn so you never reach the nasty destination.

J.P.  Is a person’s lifestyle important in your analysis?  Does this affect your approach?

Dr.B.   It’s absolutely crucial.  Most of the patients I see have these “functional imbalances” with the accompanying symptoms.  Going through the factors of their lifestyle is extremely important if you’re going to help them.  Their day to day stresses, their job, obviously a huge one is their diet,  any negative habits like excess alcohol or smoking or recreational drugs. 

J.P.   Their diet must be a really big issue for them and for you when trying to help them?

Dr.B.   It’s ridiculously important!  With all of the stresses in their daily lives and the stresses their body is under with their “sugar ridden” diet in either in  the form of sugar or an excess of processed carbs their body becomes a “sugar burner” instead of using the body’s preferred fuel which is fat. You have to get some of these individuals totally off carbs for a period of time which is unique in every case.  Others, you have to test for quality and quantity of carbohydrate that can be tolerated by the body and still burn fat.  By fixing all the problems and getting them to become fat-burners; their energy rises and stays that way through more waking hours.  The individuals caught in the sugar burning scenario with all the associated symptoms and imbalances of the unwell super-mom described above have lots of up & down energy shifts through the day.  We call this a “sugar handling” problem.  If you look at their sugar levels on a Glucose Tolerance Test you’ll see high highs and low lows.  A big rollercoaster.  You want to see a more even spread of glucose (sugar) throughout that test and throughout the individual’s day.  This equates to more energy, less structural aches and pains and less or no sugar cravings.  And these individuals will need some additional quality vitamin-mineral combinations for a period of time.

People here and abroad are getting fatter and fatter and diabetes with its associated risks is more prevalent and on the rise.  The Barry Sears’ books explain this very clearly.  He was a Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry.  His explanation as stated earlier, it’s an insulin problem.  And an excess of carbohydrates and the wrong types is a big culprit.  Getting this all working properly gets the whole hormonal system balanced.  The glands and organs cannot be dysfunctioning   or out of balance for the hormonal system to work properly.   If you identify and eliminate any body system offenders (viruses, bad bacteria, parasites, funguses and molds or any other toxicity), support everything involved nutritionally and structurally, including nutritional co-factors which are usually deficient; then everything starts to fall into place. Optimal wellness.

J.P.   In a couple other lectures I was present for in the Coffs Harbour region, you were ad dressing some elite athletes in the audience and I know you treat a few in this area.  Do these same skills that A.K. gives you really benefit athletes in general?

Dr.B.   Working structurally with everyday athletes and elite athletes is really gratifying and yes, the manual muscle testing is an essential tool.  I really enjoy just working on structural injuries.  It’s a favourite of mine.  Especially individuals who have been really hurt and not helped by other practitioners.  I have a few M.D.’s who refer me some of these injuries.  But you have to realize that elite athletes have lots of other issues apart from serious or nagging injuries.  They often train too hard and at too high a heart rate for too long a duration and this causes lots of problems, sometimes serious. And this often leads to systemic problems, not just structural injuries.

So you always have to treat their whole body.  The over-trained athletes also become sugar-burners instead of fat burners and their diet goes off track, their adrenal glands become depleted and their endurance goes down.  Again, with good tools you can assess and work with it all.  Elite athletes can be a challenge because they don’t always like to be told what they need to do and often don’t want to listen.  It’s their competitive nature.  But after enough weight gain, endurance loss, colds and flu; they’re usually ready for help.  They have to hit over-training rock bottom.  Then they’ll listen.  And again, it’s very gratifying getting them up and going and improving again. 

A real expert in my field in my opinion is Dr. Philip Maffetone D.C.  Of course he utilizes A.K. procedures very thoroughly and has written some excellent books on the subject as well as coaching several high profile athletes and coaching one athlete to six Hawaiian IronMan titles.  His books are a must whether you’re a serious athlete or a weekend warrior.  And I’ll list his website and books.

J.P.   You have had the luck of treating a few high-profile athletes around the coast.  Have they been a challenge?

Dr.B.   Let me first say that I’m really honoured to have worked with some of them.  I’ve learned so much. Up in Queensland, I helped an Olympic swim coach by the name of Brian Stehr. He then sent me quite a few of the “elites” on the Sunshine Coast.   I was fortunately lucky enough to help him with a really bad shoulder injury that no one else could fix.  I was happy about that!  He was the coach to Nick Darcy who swam for Australia in the last Olympics.  I’ve had the pleasure of working with three IronMan & IronWomen.  Kirsty Holmes, Zane Holmes and Olympian Lisa Curry-Kenny.  And several others in the Coffs Harbour area where I live and practice.  They suffer the same maladies as everyday folks.  Sometimes on a grander scale.

I remember Kirsty Holmes being dehydrated until she got six litres of water into her during the summer months. That’s what you get when you train in the Queensland sun for 6-7 hours a day including her 7ks swimming daily.  Four litres just wasn’t cutting it.  Two to three would usually do it for the average human.  I really believe that athletes in general, not just elite athletes; have the most to gain by seeking out a doctor doing Applied Kinesiology.  There is so much they can do for them with structural balancing, diet education tailored specifically for them and checking for nutrient deficiencies as well as all the other parts of the analysis that us A.K.ers do daily with all our patients.

J.P.  You said earlier you could in fact touch on the emotional side of your tools which you were going to elaborate on just a bit?

Dr.B.   Sure John.  I’ll talk to you about the technique, then give you an example in an injury situation with an emotional component tied it.  Firstly the technique is called neuro-emotional technique.  The definition of neuro-emotional technique is that of a mind-body technique that uses a methodology of finding and removing neurological imbalances related to the physiology of unresolved stress.  Net is a tool that can help improve many behavioural and physical conditions.  So let me apply this definition and concept to an injury scenario.  Individuals who have experienced serious car crash injuries are typical for needing this therapy in addition to structural realignment, muscle & proprioceptive balancing and nutritional therapy for rebuilding the damaged tissue involved.  Serious car accidents are obviously very traumatic.  Sometimes as a practitioner, you just don’t see and injured individual healing up at a pace you’re used to.  When the emotional component is involved, healing will be slowed a bit on the structural side of things; sometimes dramatically so. 

Many of these injured individuals not only have this component associated with their injury but have this component be the real “stumbling block” if you will.  This ends up being the more prominent injury and very evident even after their structural patterns have resolved.  You can imagine how traumatic these accidents can be on the psyche and many others.  Patients can get really stuck.  With car accident victims, you often see them re-living their trauma every time they hear a motor-vehicle slam on its brakes or sound a horn.  They jump out of their seat and it’s very evident that from a psychological standpoint, they haven’t gotten over their injury.  They need some kind of help to get back on the wagon and N.E.T. is that therapy. 

What a practitioner does well-versed in N.E.T. is assess the injured individual every time they treat them, because sometimes isn’t diagnosable of the first visit but shows up several visits down the track.  Whenever you do find it, you can use specific emotional reflexes and verbal questioning through muscle testing and “remove the emotional block” if you will.  It’s amazing how much this helps the individual and speeds up there injury resolution in general.  I’ve seen some miraculous results when a psychological injury is part of traumatic injury.  Lastly, what’s also important to realize in my opinion is that it isn’t the practitioner that heals the body, it’s the wisdom of the body that does.  But sometimes the body/mind complex needs help in putting the healing process in motion.

J.P.   Dr. B.  Thanks so much for your time and effort today…

Dr. B.   Thank you John and thanks for having me.

 RESOURCES

Kenton, Leslie

     “Passage To Power: Natural Menopause Revolution”

     lesliekenton.com

Lee M.D., John

     “Natural Progesterone”

     “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Pre-Menopause”

     “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause”

     “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer”

     johnleemd.com

Maffetone D.C., Philip

     “Training For Endurance”

     “Eating For Endurance”

     “In Fitness & In Health

     “The Big Book  Of Health And Fitness”

     “Complementary Sports Medicine”

     philmaffetone.com

Naish N.D., Francesca

     “Natural Fertility”

    greenmedicineinstitute.com

Sears Ph.D., Barry

     “The Zone Diet”

     “The Anti-Aging Zone”

     “The Anti-Inflammation Zone”

     drsears.com

Walker D.C., Scott

     netmindbody.com