Happy Halloween!

One of people’s favorite fall-time activities happens right up to your door on Halloween. Every year I get asked for healthy snack ideas to distribute to eager youngsters instead of sugar-ridden candy. Here are a few ideas I thought about:

–Individually wrapped granola bars
–String cheese
–Sugar-free gum packets
–Colored pencils
–Individually wrapped packets of raisins
–Packets of hot chocolate
–Individually wrapped packets of peanuts
–100% fruit juice boxes
–Individual sugar-free fruit cups.

–Happy Hauntings!–
Dr. Phil Kotzan, DC

Out Of The Office

I will be out of the office from Thursday, October 29th through Monday, November 9th and will try my best to schedule your treatments around these dates. The office will still be open for anyone needing immediate attention. Looking forward to seeing you soon,

Dr. Phil Kotzan, DC

Tips For The Occassional Walker

WALKING is a wonder exercise says Sarah Bowen Shea, CNN health journalist. Not only can it help control weight, it also reduces the risk of developing diabetes, certain cancers, and heart disease. Walking bestows benefits to the brain too, by relieving stress and improving mood. Best of all, walking is free. You don’t need fancy equipment or a gym membership to reap the benefits. Below Sarah Bowen Shea shows how to make every step count, no matter how often you hit the pavement.

The Routine: Begin by walking 10 to 15 minutes on flat ground or on a treadmill at a purposeful pace, or complete 2,000 steps (use a pedometer to monitor your walking progress). “You want to cover a mile in about 20 minutes. That’s not a window-shopping pace,” says Mark Fenton, a former competitive racewalker and the host of the PBS series “America’s Walking.”
Walking tips:
1.) Maintain an upright but comfortable posture, with your neck, upper back, and shoulders relaxed. 2.) Minimize the sway in your lower back; don’t jut your rear out. Instead, maintain a slight, natural arch in your back. 3.) Gently pull in your abdominal muscles. This helps strengthen your abs while reducing lower-back pain.
Goal: Aim to walk at least five days a week. Every second or third week, add 5 minutes. After about two or three months of regular walking, you should be up to 30 minutes. Once you’ve hit half an hour, add variety to your terrain rather than increasing time or speed. This will boost your enjoyment, encouraging you to keep up the habit.

Keeping you walking,
Dr. Phil Kotzan, DC

Tips If You’re An Everyday Or Avid Walker…

Who doesn’t enjoy walking? Here are a few recommendations from Sarah Bowen Shea, CNN health journalist, for those that know the benefits of walking and frequently perform it to improve their quality of life.

If You’re An Everyday Walker:
Routine: If you’re already walking for at least 30 minutes a day, you may be ready to make your routine less routine. Concentrate on increasing distance and speed, gradually working up to 45 minutes. Pick up the pace until you’re walking a mile in 15 to 18 minutes. (Wear a pedometer, or use your car to measure your route.) To speed up, take faster steps, not longer strides. “There’s a physical limit to stride length, but as your fitness improves you can always take quicker steps,” says Fenton, who is also the author of “The Complete Guide to Walking for Health, Weight Loss, and Fitness.”
Walking tip: Bend your arms to about 90 degrees. That turns them into shorter, more compact pendulums. You’ll be able to swing them faster and thus help your legs and feet move faster. (Just try running with straight arms.)
Goal: Set your sights on taking 10,000 steps every day, which adds up to about five miles. You’ll take half of those steps just by going about your daily life — grocery shopping, climbing stairs. The rest, about 2½ miles, you’ll need to add by fitness walking.

If You’re An Athletic Walker:
Routine: Speed-walking means setting about a 12-minute-mile pace. Racewalking, an Olympic sport, is even more challenging. Both take concentration. Unless you continually remind your feet to move unnaturally fast, you’ll slow down.
Walking tips: To visualize racewalking, think of children running around a pool and being told by the lifeguard to walk, not run, says Fenton: “Imagine their upright posture, quick steps, fairly straight legs, and bent arms.” Take fast steps: World-class female racewalkers maintain a blistering 200-steps-per-minute pace (or a 7- to 7.5-minute mile) for 12 miles.
Goal: You could walk two miles in 25 minutes at this pace. Or you could keep your workout interesting by following these two strategies: 1.) Intersperse 10 one-minute bursts of speed-walking or racewalking throughout a moderately fast 45-minute walk. 2.) Become a hiker. “Going up hills is the best intensifier,” says author Mark Fenton. Even though you may not walk as fast as you could on flat ground, you’ll boost your workout substantially. According to experts, you expend significantly more energy hiking up a 10 percent incline than walking at the same pace on level ground. And because you’re moving up and down in addition to forward, your calf and thigh muscles will develop more tone.

Walking Towards Better Health,
Dr. Phil Kotzan, DC

Healthy Lunch Tips For Kids (And Adults)

Packing school (and work) lunches can be a drag. Lunch ideas start to become a blur and the ideas of what to put on the menu seem to be slimmer and slimmer…especially if you try to pack foods that are less expensive, lower in fats and salt, and higher in nutrition. The Palo Alto Medical Foundation established some ways to create nutritious and delicious (as well as quick and economical) packed lunches. Here is their list of ideas:

1.) Make sandwiches using whole-grain breads cut into different shapes with cookie cutters, or use whole-wheat pita bread or rolls. Pack lettuce and tomato separately to avoid sogginess.
2.) Sneak in vegetables by packing baby carrots and cut-up bell peppers or broccoli.
3.) Include some bite-size fruits such as bananas, apples, grapes, blueberries or strawberries, and a small cup of yogurt (preferably low in sugar). Dried fruit (sulfur-free), which contains just as many vitamins as raw fruit, is also a great addition to any lunch, especially since it doesn’t get squished like raw fruits.
4.) Don’t limit lunch to “lunch-type” foods. Cereal with fruit and yogurt makes a very healthy lunch.
5.) Cook larger meals than you need for your family’s dinner, and set a side portions of the leftovers for lunch.
6.) Make a healthy pizza for lunch using a bagel or English muffin for the crust, and then add tomato sauce, cheese and vegetables.
7.) Make the food together as a family. Helping to prep the food (cutting, chopping and grocery shopping) draws one’s interest in eating the delicious creations.

Here’s to a lifetime of healthy lunches,
Dr. Phil Kotzan, DC

What is “Cell Phone Elbow”?

There is a newer phenomenon hitting Silicon Valley that is causing pain, weakness and parasthesias of the arms. These symptoms are now commonly being referred to as CELL PHONE ELBOW from excessive cell phone use (AKA cubital tunnel syndrome). More time is now being spent on cell phones than ever before as people use them for full Internet access, social networking and entertainment. The problem arises as people keep their elbows bent greater than 90 degrees and/or allow pressure to be placed directly on the ulnar nerve as it passes around the underside of the elbow (especially with resting on the arm while talking on the phone). Prolonged bending of the elbow causes blood flow to the nerve to be cut off, eventually leading to such severe symptoms as muscle atrophy, weakness, further pain and clawing of the ulnar digits (affecting our daily activities such as typing and writing). If you experience any overuse symptoms, there is an excellent way of treating them…Active Release Technique with chiropractic adjusting. Overuse symptoms develop after the overworked muscles involved in the action become blood and oxygen deprived. ART’s purpose is to relax the muscle and restore the blood flow. After treatment, it is important to prevent recurrence by examining your daily activities. Sleeping with the elbows bent, habitually crossing the arms and working on a surface that is too high can all pinch the ulnar nerve and should be addressed. Using a headset is also a great way to prevent these symptoms. This not only prevents flexing the elbow too far but also prevents the neck and upper back from being strained from being in a side-bent position. Try to sit upright, with your head over your shoulders, using an external keyboard and a pillow under your arms for lengthy typing. It is also helpful to look down with your eyes (versus neck) and to tuck your chin to keep a healthier posture. Information provided by the American Chiropractic Association.

Helping teach that cell phone who’s boss,
Dr. Phil Kotzan, DC

New Office Water Fountain

New Office Fountain

New Office Fountain

If you haven’t been to the office in the last week or two, you have missed a new feature that greatly adds to the office atmosphere. We recently installed a new wall-mounted water fountain that not only looks great, but adds some relaxation to the waiting area.

Come stop by and see how our new addition adds a warm touch to your chiropractic experience.

Looking forward to seeing you,
Dr. Phil Kotzan, DC

Get Your Kids Back-To-School Ready

Time for Back-To-School check-ups. One of the fundamental pieces of any back-to-school ensemble is the backpack. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) offers the following checklist to help parents select the best possible backpack for their children:

1. Correct Size- The backpack should never be wider or longer than your child’s torso, and the pack should not hang more than 4 inches below the waistline, to prevent leaning while walking.
2. Shoulder Straps- Non-padded straps are not
only uncomfortable, but also they can place unnecessary pressure on the neck and shoulder muscles. Two wide straps are needed.
3. Does your child use both straps?- Lugging a heavy backpack by one strap can cause a disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, low-back pain, and poor posture.
4. Adjustable Shoulder Straps- This is so that the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body. The backpack should be evenly centered in the middle of your child’s back.
5. Back Padding- A padded back not only provides increased comfort, but also protects your child from being poked by sharp edges on school supplies inside the pack.
6. Have Several Compartments- This helps position the contents most effectively. Make sure that pointy or bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child’s back, and try to place the heaviest items closet to the body.
7. Weight- The child should never carry more than 10% of their body weight.
8. Pain- Seek care from a doctor of chiropractic or other health care professional for reported pain.

If you would like to have your kids receive a tune-up or a check-up as a preparation for the start of school, please give me a call at 650-593-3500.

Wishing your kids the best this school year,
Dr. Phil Kotzan, DC

Summer Grilling at its Healthiest


Grilling is one of the Bay Area’s favorite past-times. For all of you meat eaters out there, this common cooking technique can be done with an even healthier twist. All types of meats produce a type of protein called HCA, when grilled or cooked at high temperatures, that is carcinogenic. Our job as healthy eaters is to minimize the amount of HCA’s we create by cooking the meat properly. Here are a few ways to minimize the carcinogenic protein in our meat.

1. MARINATE the meat (for any period of time). Moisture prevents HCA formation.
2. MICROWAVE the meat before cooking to reduce the amount of time needed for the meat to grill.
3. TRY SEAFOOD because seafood produces lower HCA’s (so long as it isn’t charred).
4. KEEP IT MOIST. The drier and the more well-done the meat, the more the HCA’s produced.
5. BAKE, ROAST, OR STIR-FRY instead, since grilling creates more HCA’s.
6. FLIP FREQUENTLY to keep the surface temperature lower, preventing HCA formation.
7. SKIP THE PAN DRIPPINGS that prevent runoff HCA’s from coating the meat.
8. COOK IN LIQUID. Boiling, steaming, stewing all create lower HCA’s because the temperature never tops the boiling point of the water.
9. EAT YOUR VEGGIES. These create little or no HCA’s. Cruciferous veggies (broccoli and brussel sprouts actually help to detoxify HCA’s).

Enjoy the summer barbeques!

Enjoying Summer Health,
Dr. Phil Kotzan, DC

Osteoporosis And The Newest Solution…

Osteoporosis is a decreased bone density across multiple bones of the body. One study stated that over 34 million Americans over the age of 55 have Osteoporosis. This becomes problematic when we rely on our bone strength to act as our body’s framework, to protect our internal organs and soft-tissues, produce red and white blood cells, and to act as a bank for our body to store and release calcium and phosphate. When our bones can no longer absorb calcium as well, we lose more calcium than we take in and suffer from problems such as: nerve conduction, muscle contraction, blood pressure, and hormone regulation, bone fracture, insomnia, muscle spasm, heart palpitations, and numbness in the extremities. The physical activity that we perform decreases the likelihood of problems, while obesity increases our risk.


I now offer a product that is an all-natural, whole-food, complete bone-management system that has no negative side-effects and can be taken safely with other supplements or prescription drugs or even while undergoing other treatments. This is not a calcium supplement…but rather a supplement that allows the calcium that we intake to be more readily absorbed by the body. It is recommended for all ages…including pets. The product is taken with food, preferrably with dinner because it does it’s job during the sleeping hours. For those with Osteoporosis, I always suggest to maintain an active dialogue with their medical provider about the products they are taking. What better way is there to fight off and prevent osteoporosis?!?

Please direct anyone you may know with osteoporosis or desires to prevent osteoporosis my way so that I may answer any of their questions. I now stock the product and would be more than happy to consult with them about their situation and how the product will work for them. Osteoporosis can be beaten and prevented. Call Dr. Kotzan today at 650-593-3500 to learn how.

In Fighting Osteoporosis,
Dr. Phil Kotzan, DC