Farewells for now

Today… I woke up and cried. I cried for hours on end but it seemed like days. I cried because I knew by the end of week I would have to bid farewell.  Most high school seniors around this time will be graduating soon but as we all should know, the first Friday of June this year will be a day of remembrance, honor, and most importantly a day of celebration. A time all Americans can for one moment, bask in our glory by partaking in a deep fried sugar glaze coated piece of dough and sprinkles. Nobody should ever forget National Donut Day, nor forget to remember. I as well as millions of other Americans wait all year for this forthcoming event, and never cease to not commemorate the Chicago Salvation Army for creating this national holiday back in 1938. That being said in celebration of the day, I have some fun facts to share with you all. I hope you all learn something new and will forever remember this important day in history. Happy National Donut Day

  • The donut’s hole wasn’t invented until the early 19th century.
  • The record for the largest box of donuts is 666 lbs, 3,880 donuts, by Voodoo Donuts of Portland, Oregon.
  • Providence, Rhode Island, is the city with the most donut shops per capita, at 25.3 per 100,000 people. But as a country, Canada has the most.
  • Billions of donuts are made every year. Dunkin’ Donuts alone accounts for 2.8 billion; Entenmann’s, 780 million.
  • In geometry, the shape of a donut is known as a “torus” and is created by rotating one circle around another.

By the way, I ended my senior project today. I went to my local bakery, Kings Hawaiian and bought donuts for the entire staff at Nu Image Now. Then I spent the day mainly talking to everyone and hanging out. I also got a massage. It’s been a great experience, and I’ll be happy to be working there this summer. That’s all folks.

The controversy between the health sciences… PT or DC?

Today I did more shadowing with Dr. Gunter and then spent the rest of my day with the Physical Therapy clinic run by Jesse and Garret.

Their specific clinic focuses on functional movement based rehab. Unlike most physical therapists who may put their clients on machines, or stretch out the injured area, Jesse is a hands on based physical therapist that uses various manual practices to rehab his clients. His philosophy is to deal with every problem at the same appointment, instead of dealing with one problem per appointment. This is because all parts of our body are connected, and therefore in everyday actions, (walking, running, bending over, etc)  our bodies react and move through compound movements. This means there is always more than one body part associated with each movement. Your hip being out of place can be the reason your ankle hurts.. therefore the place where it hurts may not be the place where you should treat. Jesse has a very unique and holistic approach to his treatment, which has been proven extremely effective for his successful clinic.

I had the awesome opportunity to sit in on one of Jesse’s appointments this afternoon. First Garret, Jesse’s colleague, stretched his client out the first 10 minutes, and then Jesse came in to do the manual work. Since this client in particular had multiple muscle strains and soreness all over, the appointment lasted well over 2 and a half hours with Garret first evaluating the area and then Jesse coming in to do the actual rehab. He used a very similar technique to Dr. Gunter, where he asked what was hurting and then evaluated his movement by having him walk down to the end of the room and back. From this test, Jesse instantly knew what was wrong as he could tell from this guy’s walk not only why it hurt but how to fix it. For this specific client he used some type of resistance rehab where he started at the clients feet, pressing in certain areas and then queued his client to flex his foot against his hand both forward and backward as hard as he could for a couple seconds and then relax. This technique is supposed to enhance the range of motion through the foot by tension and relaxation. He did this for both feet, and then re-evaluated until he saw a change.

When comparing PT to Chiropractic, the biggest differences in my opinion fall in the business aspect. While PT’s can work in hospitals and outpatient centers, their clients have to be referred by a medical doctor unless they’re able to pay by cash. Nevertheless since Chiropractors aren’t certified as medical practitioners under the American Medical Association (AMA), they will always be fighting an upward battle trying to legitimize their own profession. Chiropractors also have to become more business savvy as more than half of all Chiropractors own their own practice since by law, MD’s and DC’s (Chiropractic Doctors) can’t work together in the same practice.

As far as job growth, the PT job market will continue to grow at an extremely high rate over the next decade compared to chiropractic who’s job will relatively stay the same. For me, I personally like chiropractors better mainly because of the freedom and independence that comes with the job. I can do so much as work in a medical building to owning my own gym/practice like Dr. Lum does. While PT’s may get paid more off the bat and have a better chance of landing a job, I see a lot more growth in the long run with Chiropractic medicine.Nevertheless…. I have a lot to think about concerning my near future…

A New Perspective

It’s crazy how important it is in general to regulate a clean, well kept gym. Not only do you have to pass through certain rules and regulations, but having a clean gym is also a marketing strategy. Clients can immediately see through an employee’s work ethic through the cleanliness of the workspace. One reason I found Nu Image Now Wellness Center to be so successful among the rest is because they pride themselves on their ability to provide a sanitary gym/workout space to all of their clients.

Yesterday I switched my schedule from shadowing the chiropractors to helping Carmen, the head of the cleaning department through her daily routine. From washing, drying and folding towels to scrubbing the floor, Carmen does it all! Through working with her, I’ve realized how much really goes into running a gym. The gym itself composes of over 16,000 square feet, much of which is covered with weight machines, grass turf, PT offices and cardio equipment. Near the back wall lies a whole cross-fit room filled with tons of weights, barbells, pull-up bars, and kettle bells. Carmen’s job is to not only wipe every single piece of equipment down but also make sure they can function up to date.

For about 2 straight hours yesterday we were both on our hands and knees scrubbing the back wall of the gym with a 2x2in magic eraser and some vinegar. As time consuming and hard as this job was, it represented only a small part of Carmen’s daily routine. Working straight from opening at 6am to sometimes even after hours, I’m always in awe of the amount of energy she brings every day.  Nevertheless while her title can go sometimes under appreciated, Carmen truly is one of the hardest working employee’s here and I couldn’t be more thankful to be working with her.



Getting put on the spot

Today was a probably by far the most interactive day to date. I started off shadowing a couple of Dr. Lum’s patients and then helped the cleaning department wash and fold towels for the upcoming wave of clients. After a nice lunch at Lazy Acres, (similar to Bristol Farms but 1000x better) I shadowed the third chiropractor, Dr. Oca for the remaining period of the day.

Dr. Oca graduated from the same chiropractic school Dr. Lum went to, learned the same things, trained the same way, but uses a unique technique different from all the rest. He starts every client off on either a traction table, or on stimulation patches. These machines help loosen the muscles up, so it won’t hurt as much when he starts manually adjusting. Multiple times today and towards the end of last week he put me on the spot and had me work both the traction table and the stimulation patches on his clients.

My first day meeting and shadowing him, he started two clients off on a traction table (basically a massaging bed that has a roller which rolls up and down ur body), turned to me and said “alright mike, hard parts over, now go relax”. This dude turns and goes into his office, turns on his screen of his computer revealing a page of door knobs for sale on the Best Buy website. Before I could even say anything he turns to me again in his chair and says “You see man, you gotta think bout whatchu want in life. you wanna lotsa money in this field.. go all the way and become an ortho(orthopedic). Work 40 hours a week in a hospital, 12 hour days, overtime with no breaks and go live in PV (Palos Verdes) and buy a mansion. But ask yourself, are YOU going to be happy living that way? You see man, I’ve been doing this stuff for about as long as you been alive. But I’m happy doin what I’m doin. I plan my schedule so I work 25 hrs a week, 5 a day and I get to take a long 1-2 hour break in between. Even as were sitting right now I got 2 clients and I’m looking at freakin door knobs for my house man. You just gotta figure that out whatchu wanna do”. As grateful as I was for him sharing his wisdom, It honestly just made me more paranoid about my future. Gladly I’ll have a lot more time to think about it…

After our conversation he took one client off of one of the traction tables and I introduced myself to him. Little did I know I would be the one working on him as once again Dr. Oca put me on the spot. The client had a back problem in which his spine was out of place so Dr. Oca gave me a roller like object and told me to roll on both sides of his back up and down. And so I proceeded with lots of caution (since I obviously have never done such a thing before). I guess I wasn’t doing a good job because Dr. Oca came in multiple times and had to reteach me the motions. I slowly started to get it towards the end,  apologizing and thanking my first ever client. Dr. Oca took it from there, finishing the job with some last back and neck adjustments. I’m happy to have met and worked with Dr. Oca, and I hope I’ll be able to continue working with him in the future.




Evaluating and Re-evaluating Pt. 2

Today marks Day 3, and it seems as though this internship is becoming much more fascinating each day!  I mainly shadowed under Dr. Gunter and Dr. Lum, and got to compare and contrast their techniques.

Dr. Lum’s technique specializes in a lot of deep tissue work, mainly using his fingers, hand, and even his elbow! He also makes use of a variety of other tools such as lacrosse balls, and a variation of plastic tools that he uses to press and maneuver around scar tissue. Sounds painful huh? You better believe it because in that 1 hour time span I saw a grown man and woman cry. The woman had a shoulder and ankle issue which Dr. Lum treated with a series of treatments: One technique he used was he laid a small towel over the area and took a lacrosse ball and rolled back and forth over the area slowly. Another technique he used was digging his thumb into the tissue and slowly starting from the bottom, pressing up the muscle and then back down the muscle trying to separate scar tissue. He ended the treatment cracking and adjusting her spine, neck, and feet. Nevertheless as painful the process looked, when we had her re-evaluate her shoulder and ankle by doing some slow arm circles and squats the results were immediate. Her range of motion had increased dramatically as well as her pain level had decreased.

Dr. Gunter’s technique specializes in more mild tissue work, using less force but producing the same results. He also likes using tools so its not as hard on his hands. For his patient who had a knee problem, he brought out a small metal rod-like tool that he used to press and slide up the top of the knee cap. He would continue the rotation about 3 times and then switch positions on different parts of the knee. For the 10 minute treatment I counted about 4 times he re evaluated his knee until he was satisfied that his treatment was working. It was really cool to see him quickly diagnose not only what was wrong but problem solve and critique which spot he should move to next.

After my shadow time was over, the rest of the day was spent in a leisurely manner. I had a nice lunch at a local mediterranean restaurant and then went on to do a cross-fit class followed up with a massage. Yup… its a hard life out there.


Gym-etiquette in the LBC Pt. 1

Yesterday, I started my senior project internship at the Nu Image Now Wellness Center in Long Beach. Starting off the day, I was introduced to the heads of the three main departments (cleaning, therapy, gym) and given a tour of the whole center. I then hung out and talked with the general manager, Tracy, (who is actually my dads cousin). She gave me the rundown on what I’m going to be doing so I can get the most out of the three weeks, and then introduced me to the rest of the crew. After spending most of the day meeting people and getting acquainted, I finally got to see some action after Dr. Gunter, fresh out of chiropractic school, invited me to sit in on a friendly client. This client in particular, had a serious shoulder problem which Dr. Gunter identified immediately as a torn muscle after feeling out the injured area. It was amazing to see how fast these guys can diagnose and be 100% confident judging only on feel and how the client moved. Immediately after Dr. Gunter told his client the diagnosis, he started working his magic. I was told since you can’t physically “fix” a torn muscle, the best thing to do is give the joint mobility, preventing it from stiffening up and strengthening so it won’t be vulnerable to any future injuries. So Dr. Gunter proceeded to press in certain areas while queuing the client to move his arm in a certain rotation a number of times. After about 3 minutes of seemingly painful moaning and groaning, the client was told to sit up and move the arm around. The amount of mobility and painless movement gained in that 3 minute period was incredible. It was truly a magical feat performed right in front of my eyes. And to say these guys have 20-30 clients like that per day. Nevertheless, these past two days have been pretty awesome, and I’m excited to know what is in store for me next.

A little bit on my mentor:  Dr. Brian Lum, is the owner and head chiropractor. Hailing from the great state of Hawaii, Brian made his appearance earning his chiropractic degree at Los Angeles College of Chiropractic while working as a standout personal trainer at various gyms around the South Bay. He became known far and wide throughout L.A for his unique technique and seemingly “magical touch”.  After settling down in Long Beach, Brian and two other partners rented out the Signal Hill Athletic Center, using the space for his newfound gym space and chiropractic practice. He eventually made enough money and bought out his partners. He expanded the gym to over 16,000 sq ft, and added a huge array of resources and classes including physical therapy, massage therapy, yoga, zumba, crossfit, spinning and personal training. Brian’s journey is the embodiment of success in the health and fitness industry and the reason I’m very thankful to learn under his watch.