Hello! July 2006

Don't forget - you can now listen to Drs. Michelle and Kevin Brannick on the "The Natural Path", available at http://www.thenaturalpath.blogspot.com and on iTunes.

ginkgo leaf
Our trademark is the Ginkgo Biloba leaf, also called the Maidenhair tree.

The Ginkgo biloba is the world's oldest living tree species. It can be traced back to more than 200 million years. It was revered by the Chinese and often planted around temples, which probably saved it from extinction. It is a deciduous tree that can grow to a height of 100 or more feet with a 3-4 feet diameter trunk. It is very resistant to insects, disease and pollution. The extracts from the leaves are used medicinally. Learn more...

Welcome to this summer's edition of our enewsletter. In this issue:

  1. Announcements for the Brannick Clinic of Natural Medicine.
  2. What is Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy and How It Resolves PAIN by Craig Quaglia, CMTPT
  3. The State of Health Care by Dr. Michelle Brannick
  4. Food as Medicine


person giving talkUpcoming Free Lectures presented by the Brannick Clinic of Natural Medicine held at Fruitful Yield in Berwyn in Cermak Plaza (corner of Cermak and Harlem Ave) Wednesday at 6:30.

June 21 Digestion and Celiac Disease

July 19 Medical Massage and Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy

Aug 23 Menopause

Sept 20 Diabetes

Oct 18 What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Nov 15 Gerd/Reflux

Dec 20 Osteoporosis

Dr. Brannick is now affiliated with MacNeal Hospital Residency Program. She supervises rotating medical residents in her clinic to educate and integrate future allopathic doctors in natural medicine.


Future Free Lectures will be held at Whole Foods in River Forest starting in the August.

Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy and Pain!

There are many forms of pain that can result in the loss of income and productivity, sleepless nights, destroyed marriages, depression and lost careers. Long term pain can even cause one to question their sanity. Often pain becomes a part of our lives suddenly as the result of a fall, a car accident that can cause whiplash, or a sports injury such as an ankle sprain or muscle sprain. This type of pain is known as an acute pain. It's sharp, demanding attention now and is short term. Very often pain develops slowly, ignored at first as a deep ache, it comes and goes, responds to over the counter medication, it becomes chronic, forcing one to modify their daily life. The quality of life spirals downward and daily activities that were once easy and joyful are now avoided. Repetitive motion, poor posture, nutritional imbalances, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue all contribute to and perpetuate stiffness and structural dysfunction.

Why Myofascial trigger Point Therapy?

Most of our patients come to us at the Brannick Clinic of Natural Health only after trying a wide range of therapies with little success. Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy is not magic. On the contrary, it is based on rich body of scientific research building a case for the possibility of living a pain free life. Today the growing list of common pain patterns such as migraine headaches, (TMJ) temporal mandibular joint pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome, back and sciatic pain, frozen shoulder, buckling knee, foot, ankle and lower leg pain respond well to trigger point therapy. Whether you are a desk jockey working in front of a computer all day, a blue collar man or woman doing physical labor, an athlete, musician or dancer, productivity can be enhanced while pain is decreased or eliminated.

What is Myofascial Trigger Point Pain?

Myo -- meaning muscle, Fascia - a fibrous membrane covering, supporting, and separating muscles. A Trigger Point is a hypersensitive point in the muscle or surrounding tissue that may refer pain. Trigger points are predictable and have unique characteristics. Trigger points may be activated resulting in pain ranging from dull deep achy to sharp, tingling, burning, take your breath away. Active trigger points usually demand immediate attention, latent trigger points are found by palpating the muscles. Trigger points cause the muscle fibers to shorten, limiting function and mobility causing weakness, decreased circulation and ultimately pain. Its important to understand that muscles have a memory, when injured they learn to avoid pain, this is meant to be a short term response to allow healing and prevent further pain. When this pain persists this muscle memory can result in the expansion of the pain into other muscles, readily activated during times of emotional or physical stress.

Preparing for your first visit.

It is strongly recommended that you arrive early for initial treatment. The minute you sit down and begin to fill out your patient history form you have taken the first step in the treatment of your pain. Your pain patterns will be accurately mapped out, your muscles are palpated for trigger points and joints are assessed for range of motion. When a trigger point is uncovered pressure is applied in a sustained manner. Trigger point are characteristically very tender even painful, the sustained pressure gradually decreases the pain allowing the muscle to relax. Any referred pain will decrease as the trigger point relaxes. A combination of cold spray, followed by a specific stretch and heat facilitates the release of the trigger point, decreases pain and restores normal function and range of motion.

Sessions typically last an hour. The number of sessions to resolve most Myofascial trigger point dysfunction is usually five or six treatments. At the end of each session self care exercises specific to your needs will be recommended. Goals will be re-evaluated based on your results and commitment. The reduction pain, retraining, balancing and conditioning muscles to prevent future myofascial dysfunction from returning is our primary goal. Any other challenges that emerge during treatment can be addressed. We have available at the Brannick Clinic of Natural Medicine naturopathic medicine, myofascial trigger point therapy, clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, colonics, acupuncture, craniosacral, massage therapy, chiropractic, counseling and psychotherapy. What are you waiting for? Contact us today! For more information or to make an appointment call 708 447-2468.

photo of craig quagliaCraig Quaglia is a National Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist since 2004 and has 20 years experience as a massage therapist working in the medical and holisitic models. He was a deep tissue instructor for five years at the junior college level. Craig worked at a pain clinic specializing in Fibromyalgia and Myofascial dysfunction. Currently Craig works at the Brannick Clinic of Natural Medicine in Riverside, Il.

The goal of trigger point therapy is to recognize the importance of referred pain patterns,
to identify perpetuating factors and dysfunctional postural patterning that may be the cause of pain.

The protocol developed and refined over the years by Drs. Travell and Simons includes:

Call for appointment today! 708-447-2468

State of Health Care by Dr. Michelle Brannick

Health care is changing so fast today. Many professions are trying to maintain their dominance and protect their territory. We have an FDA that does not look out for the interest of public but instead allows harmful and deadly medications to be on the market. The FDA pretends that supplements and vitamins are harmful yet it is the FDA approved pharmaceuticals that are killing people. Recently several drugs have been pulled off the market because they have killed people. How often does a natural supplement, herb or vitamin kill someone? It is extremely rare. However the FDA wants you to think that it is a common place event. In the rare event that a supplement is implicated in causing harm it is usually due to several factors; the supplement is abused by taking high doses, other medications have already compromised the liver and other organs causing the supplement to become the scapegoat, or else the supplement is not monitored or recommended by a trained physician ie; a Naturopathic Physician.

Some statistics: The World Health Organization (WHO) states that the US is ranked #1 in health expenditures per capita but ranked #37th on the overall health system performance and #72 on the level of health. WHO measures "healthy life expectancy" which is a measure of total life expectancy minus years of illness. Among industrialized countries the US ranks #22 out of 23. More than $6000 is spent on health care in the United States for every person. This is more than twice as much as other developing countries spend. In 2003, the US spent $1.6 trillion in health care representing 14% of the nations gross national product we should have the best medicine in the world with this kind of expense. Due to the current narrow approach to health that is all about money, commercial interest and not about the individual, we have a death rate of approximately 800,000 deaths per year from medical mistakes. This figure is grossly under represented due to the fact that most mistakes are not even reported, so this figure is much, much higher. Let me put this figure into perspective, 50,000 US people died in Vietnam War over several years and we had a major protest, 3,000 people died in the 911 Terrorist attack, and we go to war. What about the 800,000 people who are dying from our current medical system? The American Medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the US (Heart disease in 2001 resulted in 699,697.) We are paying the most to be the worst. Health care is changing fast and it is about money not about your health. The pharmaceutical companies spend enormous amount of money on advertisement and events attended by doctors. They are huge contributors to the medical schools and dictate educational curriculum. Adverse reactions of prescribed drugs in the hospital are experienced by 2.2 million people a year. In 1990, US life expectancy was 71.8 years for men and 78.8 years for women which is ranked one the lowest of developed countries.

Ways to take responsibility for your health include finding a doctor that will treat the cause of your illness rather than suppressing the symptoms with medications that in the long run cause more problems and learning more about the prescription drugs that you are taking. Many prescription drugs lead to nutritional deficiencies. There are alternatives to most medications and better choices to be made if you want a higher quality of life and health. Realize that you may have to spend out-of-pocket money to get high quality health care. Take a stand to support natural medicine. Some people may choose not to use natural medicine but it needs to be available for those who want it. In Illinois we recently submitted a bill to license Naturopathic Medicine to the House of Representatives and the Senate. This bill was voted down mainly due to opposition from the Illinois State Medical Society. Our Representative and Senators need to hear from you. They need to hear that you want high quality natural medicine from practitioners that are professionally trained and qualified. Fifteen states have already licensed Naturopathic Medicine. Go to the Illinois Association of Naturopathic Medicine to write a letter to your congressman or senator at www.ilanp.org.

Reading recommendations and references:

Food as Medicine

Nut Cream Sauce great topping over blueberries, raspberries and bananas

raspberry1 cup of raw, unsalted cashews
3 Tablespoons of pure maple syrup
2 Teaspoons of vanilla

Grind nuts to a fine meal in blender. Add maple syrup and vanilla and a few drops of water. Blend until consistency is firm yet fluid. Apply to fruit.