Health Buzz

Bethel Mom & Fitness Guru Helps Locals Reach Their Goals

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Bethel Mom & Fitness Guru Helps Locals Reach Their Goals

Personal Trainer Rachel Brown, owner of Fitness By Rachel. Photo credit: Chris Brown

Bethel mom and fitness guru Rachel Brown takes her workouts seriously and wants her clients to do the same.  Motivated by a love of helping people reach their goals, Rachel uses whatever it takes to aid her clients in accomplishing what they set out to do.

Originally from Manhattan, Rachel moved to Bethel 14 years ago after working in advertising for over 10 years.  “I knew after I had kids that I didn’t want to go back to that life,” she said.

Growing up as an “athlete kind of kid into sports,” Rachel said it was not until after having her two boys, now 13 and 12-years-old, that she really started working out seriously. While some new moms begin with low-impact aerobics or yoga, Rachel started with kickboxing.

“It was a way to de-stress from being a new mom with kids 15 months apart,” Rachel said. “Once the kids were in school full-time, I sat at home and thought, ‘Alright, now what?’”

Taking kickboxing for a year got her into prime shape and Rachel soon began teaching the classes at the studio where she first began. Teaching everything from for cardio classes and kickboxing for three years, and branching out to teach that and other style fitness classes in the area, Rachel realized that she had what it takes to start her own business, Fitness By Rachel.

“I got my certification in Personal Fitness Training 5 years ago. I have since added certifications in Kid and Teen Fitness, Sports Nutrition, and more,” she stated. Getting recertified each year enables Rachel to stay current on the latest fitness trends and information she can bring back to her clients.

So what sets Rachel apart from the rest of the personal trainers out there? She explained it this way: “I’m not affiliated with a gym, don’t need a gym membership to train with me. I try to make it fun and functional so you can work out wherever you are. If you have equipment or if you don’t, it doesn’t matter.”

“What I do is more of a supplement to most people’s workouts. People don’t use it as a ‘one an only.’ I push people to do what they would not be comfortable to do on their own, introduce new and different things, weights, bars, balls, machines, bands, and other things they might not do on their own,” she said.

Rachel inspires her clients by making their workouts customized. She trains each person differently because she says everyone needs something different.

“My clients range in age from their from their teens to their 70s. If I have a lazy teenager, we work through it to find ways to motivate them.  I play a lot of different roles. I like to help connect what in their life is affecting or inhibiting their success and work through it find ways to be successful and reach goals they want to reach.”

Rachel said it gives her a sense of accomplishment to help her clients feel proud of what they’re doing.

“There’s a certain feeling you have at the end of the day when you accomplish all the things you set out to accomplish. There’s an inner peace and that’s what we’re looking to achieve it s not just about the workout- it makes you motivated and less inclined to do things that are harmful to yourself. There’s a certain satisfaction to checking things off your list.”

Fitness By Rachel operates out of her own home studio or she can come to you. Rachel will customize each workout with the client in mind down to every last detail, even going as far as customizing playlists to match her clients’ perfect workout speed.

By keeping in mind that each of her clients is a unique individual with different ways they are motivated, Rachel helps them not only to lose weight and get in shape, but also to feel good about themselves as they continue on their journey.

“It’s about getting your brain wrapped around it and appreciating your accomplishments and celebrating them and being proud of them.”

For more information about Fitness By Rachel please visit her here:

Website link— Fitness By Rachel

Facebook link—> Fitness By Rachel

Twitter link —> @rachelsgym


Phone #:   203-943-2584

Be sure to look for Rachel’s “Friday Fitness Tip of the Week.”

Dr. Russell D. Caram Educates on Concussions

*NEW* – Concussions

Editor’s Note: Dr. Russell D. Caram is one of our local sponsors who shares weekly articles on Bethel Buzz. Material in this article is meant to provide information about Chiropractic but is not a substitute for professional health care.  The opinions represented in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Bethel Buzz or its editor.

Concussions are becoming a pretty common injury and a big topic of discussion lately. If you’ve ever had one you know it’s no fun – and the more we study this intracranial phenomenon we start to understand how complex and intricate the brain really is.

Generally we think the brain is pretty well protected – after all, it sits encased in the skull and it’s pretty hard to break one of those, right?  Well, the injury doesn’t require breaking the skull, it requires a quick shaking or other simple movement, which rattles the brain inside, causing it to hit against the skull.

The big talk recently is surrounding sports…football, hockey, lacrosse, soccer – even cheerleading – just to name a few.  These high-contact sports or sport activities involve players hitting each other or part of the field at high speeds.  Concussions  occur when the upper body and the head are violently shaken – jarring the brain inside the skull as well as cause strains and sprains of the neck, back or other joints.

SYMPTOMS: The brain is surrounded by fluid, and while that’s good for nourishment and some protection, if you remember physics class, when fluids are compressed they attain the properties of a solid. As mentioned in the case of a concussion, the brain slams against the inside of the cranial vault and is not afforded much protection. The brain gets injured(traumatic brain injury) and this alters it’s function. While effects are usually temporary and include headache, dizziness, amnesia, confusion, vomiting, slurred speech, “fogginess”, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), vertigo, lethargy, and loss of balance/coordination.  Loss of consciousness is not required for a concussion, and therefore most people may not realize they’ve suffered one. Most concussions are of the mild category and patients fully recover in time, however more significant concussions – or repeated occurrences – can have lingering effects for months to years.

TREATMENT: Chiropractic treatment for concussions in my office is centered around taking care of the neck injurysuffered at the time.  While I treat patients with concussions from sports injuries and car accidents, I work in conjunction with area neurologists to optimize patient care. For someone with a concussion, a baseline of higher function is established in the evaluation process. This baseline is then evaluated periodically in order to determine progress. Testing often centers around areas that show deficiencies: concentration, tinnitus, coordination, etc. With the exception of cervicogenic (neck-related) headaches, chiropractic care will treat outside the skull, I leave the neurologists to work on the inside. As I’ve noted previously, chiropractic care for the neck and back injuries – especially for the whiplash-type of headaches that develop – is far superior than physical therapy alone. And while headaches are common, they are not the only symptom…this is where the neurological evaluations come in. Otherwise, chiropractic care can help re-balance the structure(spine) and function at any phase after a mild concussion.

In moderate to severe concussions, a CAT scan or MRI should be obtained in order to monitor brain swelling. In these situations, it’s likely that the brainstem also got injured by the brain rotating on it. Other life-functions can be affected and it is important to monitor the injuries as well as the progress. It is also crucial to perform repeat studies in order to evaluate not only the swelling, but any potential intracranial bleeding that may have occurred. Typically, I will see these patients as well once other intracranial conditions are ruled out.

[UPDATED] Cause of Sick LeRoy, NY Teens Remains a Mystery [With Poll!]

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Cause of Sick LeRoy, NY Teens Remains a Mystery [WITH POLL!]

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Cause of Sick LeRoy, NY Teens Remains a Mystery ~ By Dr. Russell D. Caram

Pictured: LeRoy, N.Y. teen who mysteriously developed tics along with half a dozen other females at her high school. Photo contributed.

Editor’s Note: Dr. Russell D. Caram is one of our local sponsors who shares weekly articles on Bethel Buzz. Material in this article is meant to provide information about Chiropractic but is not a substitute for professional health care.  The opinions represented in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Bethel Buzz or its editor.

4:15 p.m. This article has been updated to include 3 more answers for the poll.

By Dr. Russell D. Caram

Over the past few weeks, you’ve probably seen an article about it, but in case you haven’t… there are 12 adolescent girls – all from the same high school in upstate NY. all about the same age. All developed a strange neurological disorder that manifests itself with uncontrollable tics, and all within a pretty small period of time – severe enough that some of them could not continue attending school.

The story of these 12 girls is now national news.  The parents are livid that the state medical authorities are refusing to disclose information about the illness – including what it is – to anyone, including the parents – and are basically telling everyone, “Stay calm. Please disperse. Nothing to see here…”

Imagine it was YOU or YOUR child.  Imagine you lived in the town and wanted to warn your children not to do what THOSE 12 did (if anything at all), but you can’t because the people who know aren’t telling you?  Imagine that you couldn’t take any special precaution to protect your other children KNOWING that something can cause harm, but you aren’t being told what it is? And when you ask the people WHO DO know, you get stonewalled?

The Health Department for NY State narrowed the causes to down to one of 4 things – genetics, environment, infectious disease, and drugs (recreational or prescription). Those authorities are from the CDC and “cluster” doctors from Columbia University. My guess is that someone sees a serious problem here.  Afterall, who calls on such bigwigs for a  simple allergic reaction or food poisoning? But they’re leaving a gaps with subtle clues…

Let’s break this down…They stated in a meeting with parents about the 4 possible causes: Environment, Genetics, Infectious Disease or Drug Toxicity(recreation or prescription).  Let’s see…

Environment: If there were something in public, there would have been some kind of public warning.  Same goes for food-borne illness – there would have been a food manufacturer exposed and given the “perp walk” of shame in order to point the finger at someone/something…like a bad batch of chicken, salmonella in the lettuce, etc. Now the “establishment” has diagnosed them with “Conversion Disorder” – a disease resulting in similar symptoms (true), but usually brought on by some kind of stress or traumatic event. But when asked, nothing fits the criteria(at least nothing has been mentioned at this time). The above-definition falls just short of the diagnosis of “hysteria”, but in this mass of 12 girls, would be termed “mass hysteria.”

Genetics:  Hardly an issue here. These children are not related to each other, nor do they possess the family histories inclusive of anything to account for experiencing simultaneous symptoms – and the possibility of such a high occurrence(frequency) in such a small population would make this statistically impossible.

Infectious Disease: A possibility. But if so, should there be NO further action by authorities to limit where these girls were? Or how about other individuals? There would be more labeling and finger-pointing to expose some fear that everyone should guard against. And what other infectious disease is so selective that it affects GIRLS only? The flu? A cold? Meningitis? Mono?  …all equal-opportunity illnesses.  All the right age-group, but GIRLS only? So, kind of rules this out, too…

Drug exposure(prescription or recreational): Well, there are a lot more possibilities here. Recreational drug use is always a possibility, but medical tests would have probably revealed something and they were performed. We would need to find something that would have a predilection for girls (notably adolescent girls) but also, common enough that would be obscured amongst other things that are considered “routine” enough and accepted as ‘normally experienced or taken’ by adolescent girls. There are two possibilities… birth control pills and HPV vaccines(Gardasil and Cervarix).  Take into account the timing. This occurred within a short period of time.  Exposure to a bad batch of birth control pills would be easy to explain, and there would be some reason to keep it quiet, considering the close ties of the AMA to the CDC. But the timing would need to be coordinated in such a way that they were all on them, got the same brand, and started taking them all at the same time. Not impossible, but improbable. The other possibility here are HPV vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix. The timing becomes more easily explained – as most children “get their shots” (and boosters, such as DTaP and the flu shot) before enrolling in school in the fall. It also satisfies the girls-only attack (even though they’re trying to convince boys to get the Gardasil shot also), as well as the age group (9-27).

The latter seems the most probable. Vaccines have been known to cause neurological disorders. Gardasil especially – based on the high levels of aluminum which is used as an adjuvant in the vaccine. Even the possibility of a cocktail effect of BCP’s and the vaccine MUST come into play considering the BCP’s deplete the body of certain vitamins (B6) that work to eliminate aluminum. This would make a girl more susceptible to a vaccine injury – again making the vaccine-theory more possible.

As a physician, I find the whole government group handling this to be untrustworthy.  These officials are not unbiased by any means, and they have an interest in the outcome of this tragedy – with them being paid by Health Departments whose income depends widely on the promotion and sales of vaccines.  Maybe no one else questioned this, but I certainly don’t buy the “Conversion Disorder” diagnosis being offered.

So, the questions remain…and so does the frustration of the parents (and citizens) of Leroy, NY. They’ve been given NOTHING as to the cause OR as an explanation, and I personally grow tired of watching regular people being talked down to and treated without respect by a government authority or the medical establishment.  The reason this became a national story is because the shell-game, the omissions of facts, and the deceit of the public (and patients) with a grouped “garbage can” diagnosis.  So, now the “cleaners” are in town making sure nothing gets out. Because they didn’t go up to Leroy NY to ask what they’re  doing for breakfast, that’s for sure…

As a parent, I’m be insulted and frustrated too. And my guess is that you’ll hardly hear about the conclusion of this story since the FEAR is what’s making it survive…and that won’t help anyone, either. In either case, the truth is in Leroy…but will it be told? Or will the cleaners and media change it for us…you know…for OUR protection?

What do you think caused the LeRoy N.Y. teens to develop tics?
Prescription DrugsVaccinesRecreational Drug UseStressNot SureEnvironmentInfectious diseaseGenetics


Dr. Russell D. Caram’s office is located on 182 Grassy Plain Street, Bethel, on Route 53. Office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. and Thursdays and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.

To find out more about Dr. Caram and his practice, click here.

“Like” his Facebook page by clicking here.

Call 203-748-2499 for an appointment.

Alternative Medicine Vs. Mainstream Medicine

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Alternative Medicine Vs. Mainstream Medicine by Dr. Russell D. Caram

Editor’s Note: Dr. Russell D. Caram is one of our local sponsors who shares weekly articles on Bethel Buzz. Material in this article is meant to provide information about Chiropractic but is not a substitute for professional health care.   

Alternative Medicine Vs. Mainstream Medicine by Dr. Russell D. Caram

Over the past 20 years, I’ve noticed a trend people are forming with regard to the responsibility they hold for their own health: More and more people are opting for holistic, natural remedies rather than the latest medications (which not-so-surprisingly end up being recalled or halted), or invasive medical interventions.  While I’m thrilled about this – and the responsibility people are taking for their own health – I can’t help but ask the question: When did natural remedies become the “alternative,” and the medical profession’s idea of chemically altered human beings become “mainstream?” When did our natural chemistries become so bad that we need these ‘cures?’

What’s been making our lifestyles so chemically unbalanced and drug-dependent that those conditions became the norm, and their drug-remedies considered “mainstream?” Yet my form of restoring balance naturally became known as “alternative?”

These questions have many facets; so let’s deal with them one by one.

The definition of “healthcare”

There was a time when the definition of “healthcare” meant, “free from disease”, and ways to keep you from needing reliance on the medical fields. Remember hearing “eat right and exercise?” How about “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” You seldom hear those phrases anymore simply because healthcare doesn’t mean, “care for your health” as much anymore. The definition of healthcare itself changed into drug-based “disease-care”  (Similarly,  “health insurance” is more like “prescription-cost-insurance” or “disease insurance” – if you think about it).

When did the principle of supporting healthy lifestyles and doing things to avoid physician reliance turn into the medical application of introducing drugs into the body that try to block, imitate or replace normal nerve, chemical or organ function? As the definition of healthcare morphed to the medical and drug-based one above, chiropractic would have to naturally be removed from that new drug-based definition.  Over the years, chiropractic care has maintained it’s purpose, it’s drug-free discipline and it’s principle of keeping people healthy and functioning as best as possible by removing nerve interference. THAT is the true definition of “health care”. But the accepted definition of “healthcare” now has drugs as it’s basis, and that leaves chiropractic care and other drug-free disciplines out of the drug-based definition.  Most people associate the terms “health care” with going to their MD and being given medicines, but since medicines are drugs, they now associate  “healthcare” with taking drugs.

The phrase “alternative medicine”

The phrase “alternative medicine” got introduced simultaneously as the definition of healthcare got hijacked in an attempt to further isolate time-honored, conservative forms of true “healthcare” with the growing acceptance of drugs and “disease-care.” The change didn’t occur quickly, but it became introduced in conversations without explanation – leaving the listener to default it into whatever health remedies were left over. And where does the “medicine” part come in, even if it’s natural? Does everything have to be termed a “medicine” of some sort…? Herbal medicine? Physical medicine? CHIROPRACTIC medicine?? There are no such things, but don’t tell that to an insurance company that naively lists THOSE exact benefits in your health plan. So again “alternative,” but compared to the drug-based definition.

“A feat of linguistic legerdemain” 

The terms “traditional” and “mainstream” make it seem as if they are universally accepted, time-honored forms of healthcare, and anything other than that is risky and worthy of hesitation.  The AMA has only been around 30 years longer than chiropractic, but how does such a radical change from time-honored natural means to a drug-based and chemical one automatically allow for the terms “mainstream” and “traditional” to automatically be applied to it?  People have been walking on backs and treating with herbs since the ancient Egyptians and Chinese were doing it and achieving therapeutic benefits, so why don’t they qualify for the terms “traditional” or “mainstream” based on chronology alone? Do other societies that don’t rely on medicines and vaccines only use “alternative” healthcare methods? Their means may still be considered mainstream to THEM, right?  Were they informed that the definition of their only means of healthcare was altered? So, remember that change in the definition of ‘healthcare’ I mentioned? Well, the association deception had begun.

My definition of ‘mainstream’ is totally different

Mainstream forms of healthcare are composed of natural things that you can do to keep you healthy, not to introduce chemicals, medicines and toxic substances once a disease has started.  By contrast, “alternative” healthcare would be implemented when something different from a natural or holistic state existed, or comes from an outside source. Interestingly in my field – chiropractors discuss HEALTH; medical doctors discuss sickness and disease.  Which would you prefer?  I know if I were in a desolate area of the world with 100 people around me, I could still enhance the health of each of them by introducing a healthier diet and spinal adjustments delivered by hand. The medical profession can’t say the same.  So to me, that is a true definition of HEALTH care.

As I mentioned, the trend I’m seeing in my office is one of realization and a more health-conscious individual. Patients are seeking resolutions to CAUSES of their problems, and not a means to mask their problem with a medication that has a dozen side effects. And while this boom in natural, conservative treatments is real, I strongly feel that the medical professions’ bombardment of drug ads has finally turned the public off.  They’re realizing that is NOT ‘mainstream’ healthcare.  Certainly not in MY book, that’s for sure…!

Since I deal most often with structural injuries and maintaining a healthy immune system, I can tell you that the medical treatments toward these physical/structural ailments (short of emergency care) are archaic.  If the medical profession didn’t have painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, they would be completely useless and even THOSE only mask the symptoms. They don’t address the cause of pain. Yet somehow, mysteriously, that medical way of only treating the physical symptoms (spasms, pain and inflammation) got to be considered ‘mainstream’, while treating the cause is ‘alternative?’

I don’t get it. To me, what they do is called experimental and risky. No one knows what the introduction of those drugs really does on any organ system. It’s based on that principle alone that defines what we should really consider ‘mainstream’ and what we should really call ‘healthcare!”

Dr. Russell D. Caram’s office is located on 182 Grassy Plain Street, Bethel, on Route 53. Office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. and Thursdays and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.

To find out more about Dr. Caram and his practice, click here.

“Like” his Facebook page by clicking here.

Call 203-748-2499 for an appointment.

Chiropractic and Ear Infections

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Chiropractic and Ear Infections ~ By Dr. Russell D. Caram

For years I’ve been asked by patients and friends about chronic ear infections in children. There have been several studies on the subject and all of it shows amazing promise.

I’ve had the privilege of hearing Dr. Joan Fallon speak at many seminars.  She’s an outstanding pediatric chiropractor from Yonkers, NY and an extremely intelligent, research-oriented physician. I recommend you read about a study regarding chiropractic treatment in children with ear infections here. I’ve also had her evaluate and treat my own son when he was a year old when he was suffering from an ear infection. Her approach was quite simple: treat and remove the subluxations.

Children have the same anatomy as you and I, however there are a few striking differences.  One of which is the fact that a baby’s head accounts for about 30% of their total weight up to the age of about 1-year-old. That would be the equivalent of a 180-pound person with a 50-pound head!  This is what accounts for a baby/child’s inability to fully control their heads.  Secondly, and more importantly, the eustacean (YOO-sta-shin) tubes in children are short and have no descending angle toward the throat until the child is roughly 10 years old.

The eustacean tubes are the pressure-equalizers between your ears and your throat. If you’ve ever gone up in a plane and had your ears “pop” when ascending or descending in flight, or if you’ve ever felt the need to yawn or chew gum to equalize ear pressure – what you’re trying to do is to manually open the tube and allow your middle ear’s pressure to equalize to your surrounding atmospheric pressure through your throat.

Ear infections in children are more frequent because of the anatomical factors mentioned above. Bacteria from the throat have an easier path traveling up the horizontal eustacean tubes than it does in adult counterparts who have angled ones. Couple that with the anatomically shorter path travel path and, viola!!…ear infections.

Eustacean tubes also help keep the middle ear drained in the same fashion. It’s the function of these tubes that’s seen as the fault in cases of chronic ear infections, and also where chiropractic care seems to fill a niche and address this need.

Chiropractic treatment for children requires time and patience.  The benefits will be seen in time, and it has been noted in the research above that there was a definite reduction in the frequency of infections in children who underwent treatment. This also leads to a reduction in time spent on antibiotics, given the alarming side effects they have. For a list of other articles regarding chiropractic treatment for ear infections (otitis media), click here.

There is another phenomenon to be aware of: Fluid build-up. There is the possibility of fluid remaining in the middle ear, yet the ear doesn’t become infected. I’ve had one such case of this – where the fluid was moved but didn’t fully infect or drain. It’s important to have the child’s hearing checked periodically in conjunction with treatment. Should prolonged fluid persist behind the eardrum, the child may experience a reduction in hearing as well as delayed speech. In bad cases, surgically implanted tubes may be place in the eardrums to assist in the draining process, but it’s always best to exhaust all other means first. Surgery is – and always should be – a last resort, and I have yet to meet a parent who didn’t express serious concerns about surgery…especially for their child.

Dr. Russell D. Caram’s office is located on 182 Grassy Plain Street, Bethel, on Route 53. Office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. and Thursdays and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.

To find out more about Dr. Caram and his practice, click here.

“Like” his Facebook page by clicking here.

Call 203-748-2499 for an appointment.

How Chiropractic Care Benefits Kids


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How Chiropractic Care Benefits Kids ~ By Dr. Russell Caram

Kids and Chiropractic Care

How often chiropractors have encountered parents who appreciate the importance of regular checkups for their child’s teeth, hearing, eyes, ears nose, and throat, but draw a blank when it comes to a spinal checkup.  Spinal checkups should be one of the most important checkups your child should have!

When do subluxations start?

It’s tough to say for sure, but one has to look at the birthing process initially. Usually, obstetricians will twist the infant’s head and neck so far to the side to get the shoulders to lineup in the birth canal. A baby’s head is very large and very heavy when compared to the rest of its body, so a great deal of care must be used when handling it.  But babies were meant to be pushed out of the birth canal, not pulled and twisted!  In situations like this, neck subluxations can occur easily and turn out to be the exact start of a baby’s ‘first subluxation.’

I’m often asked about chiropractic care for children and most often it’s by a parent who had an injury that they just watched their child have – whether it be ice-skating, playing sports, or even a mis-step off the curb that jams the back. I’ve been checking my children – and treating them for – subluxations since the days they were born. Children LOVE getting adjusted, and the videos below prove it. They have no preconceived bias, notions or fear. They only know what they feel…if they’re hurt, they’ll cry. If they’re feeling good and having fun, they’ll laugh and smile. Although the first adjustment is always a bit ‘unexpected.’

Children lead very busy physical lives…they run, play, jump, and fall all day long. Any of those activities could be responsible for subluxating the spine, and with children being as flexible as they are, they typically won’t complain much. But knowing that any kind of accident can cause spinal misalignments, wouldn’t it be wise for all parents to have their children’s spines checked periodically throughout the year by specialists? Chiropractors are the most proficient physicians at determining spinal abnormality, scoliosis and posture.  But there’s more to it than that.  As mentioned in the “Why Everyone Needs A Chiropractor” section, the nervous system has an extremely close relationship with the immune system. A healthy nervous system gives the immune system it’s best chance to combat infections that could otherwise become advantageous and cause sickness. In children, this is even more paramount as their immune systems are still developing.  Subluxations in the spine that hinder nerve function will also retard the enhancement and development of the immune system. The result is chronic sicknesses or increased susceptibility to colds, flu, or infections.


A 1989 study in the Journal of Chiropractic compared 200 children of chiropractors to 200 children of pediatricians. The result – the health of the chiropractic group was notably superior to that of the children brought up under standard medical care. (Journal of Chiropractic, Summer 1989, p 101-103).  The chiropractic group had fewer ear infections, fewer allergies, fewer cases of tonsillitis, and less medical treatment (antibiotics, immunization/vaccinations).  Most parents have brought their children to chiropractors for the treatment of persistent ear infections. The cause for concern of putting a child on continued antibiotics is real, as is the correlation with the ingredients of vaccines and antibiotics and the development of diseases like autism and asthma.  In the late 70′s, children got 12 vaccination exposures. Today’s child is supposed to get 84 or more exposures, according to the AMA.  That’s a 7-fold increase in the number of vaccinations, running in conjunction with a 6-fold increase (1:1,000 then, and 1:150 now) in the number of autism, learning- and processing dysfunction cases within the same time period (1977 to 2007).

The methodology of treating children for ear infections is quite simple…get the inner ear to drain its fluid.  The eustacean tubes of children are pretty much horizontal, up until the age of 10 and it’s at that point that they start to angle inferiorly (downward) toward the throat. At that point gravity usually does all the work, but when the tubes are horizontal, there’s too much chance for bacteria from the throat to travel the tube and not be drained out.  This is where chiropractic care is helpful; because by treating the neck and physically helping the fluid drain toward the throat you lessen the chance of ‘backflow’.  Treatment is usually continued – even on a supportive basis – until a decent weaning process can be achieved.

Children accept chiropractic treatment openly.  They only know what makes them feel better and what hurts. Also, their response times for injuries and/or conditions is often much less than adults because they’re still growing and are more flexible.  But don’t forget: As the twig is bent, so grows the tree!!

Get you children’s spines checked!

Dr. Russell D. Caram’s office is located on 182 Grassy Plain Street, Bethel, on Route 53. Office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. and Thursdays and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.

To find out more about Dr. Caram and his practice, click here.

“Like” his Facebook page by clicking here.

Call 203-748-2499 for an appointment.

Don’t Let Holiday Stress Get You Down

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Don’t Let Holiday Stress Get You Down ~ By Dr. Russell  D. Caram

Holiday stress got you down? Guess what can help? A chiropractic adjustment can. One of the most common problems patients complain about in my office is headaches; migraines, cluster and tension (stress) headaches are caused by a variety of different things, and at times it’s the elimination of those things that brings relief. Often they have had headaches for YEARS but just assumed they were ‘normal’.  They’re not.  While headaches are common, they’re not normal. Headaches are a sign that something’s wrong, and taking a painkiller or aspirin doesn’t eliminate the problem…it merely covers it up.


Since there are many different kinds of headaches, it’s really a matter of the characteristic of the headache that will classify it: Migraines, cluster, tension, hormonal, withdrawal, rebound, etc.  For the sake of argument, we’ll cover just a few here.

Migraines – are usually of a piercing quality and usually are located throughout the head without respect to side. They are typically preceded by what’s called a “prodrome” – which is some kind of precipitating factor usually 20-30 minutes prior – in the form of nausea, photophobia, sensitivity to sound or even vomiting.

Cluster – these headaches are typically short bursts of headaches over the course of days or weeks and can be quite severe.  There is usually a quick onset, and at times they will subside anywhere from an hour to 6 hours without medication, but then will repeat.

Tension (Stress) – These are headaches typically felt as a result of poor posture and are felt in the back of the head. They are also often experienced in the latter aspect of the day and can also subside once the causative agent is corrected (poor posture, ergonomic correction, etc.).  Quite often, these headaches are also experienced after auto accidents, considering the muscles in the back of the neck become strained.


Diagnosis of headaches is mostly thru characterization as described above combined with a detailed history. Social, environmental, dietary, work and postural habits need to be evaluated as other possible triggers for headaches. I’ve been around patients who have been suffering for years and never knew they could get relief simply by having their posture corrected or back and neck adjusted. They simply called their headaches “normal” and popped pills for them.  Keep in mind: Pain is COMMON, it’s not ”normal”…it’s telling you something is wrong.

Again, keep in mind that there are MANY different causes for headaches (too many to list here), and none should be taken lightly. They all need to be fully evaluated and followed-up on, but for the simplicity of this page, we’ll limit it to kinds that have been found to respond favorably to chiropractic care. Over the nearly 20 years I’ve been in practice, I’ve taken pride in my ability to evaluate and treat different kinds of headaches – especially chronic ones. The relief one can gain is life changing – for the BETTER!

Chiropractic Treatment

Treatment of the cervical spine is usually the approach to headaches, although referred pain from muscles in the upper back can be another site of care. With most types of treatment rendered, a patient will most likely report a positive change in the frequency, intensity, location or duration of their headaches after a few weeks, depending on how long the patient has been suffering. But the elimination of such a controlling and frequent pain can only enhance one’s quality of life!

Dr. Russell Caram is a local chiropractor with over  22 years of experience. His office is located at 182 Grassy Plain Road (Route 53), Bethel. Just look for the big spine! 203-748-2449.Click here to check out his website. Click here to “like” Dr. Caram on Facebook.

Dr. Caram’s Injury of the Week: Facet Syndrome

A little anatomy: The vertebral bodies are stacked one on top of another to form the entire structure of the spine. On each side of the vertebral bodies are tiny joints called facet joints. Facet Joint Syndrome is a condition in which joint jamming and inflammation occur, and the nerves to the facet joints convey severe and diffuse pain. Often there is some resulting ‘wear and tear’ that’s also been suffered at the involved levels.

Symptoms: The pain does not follow a nerve root pattern. It is actually called “referred pain,” as the brain has trouble localizing these internal structures. Patients often complain of pain in a generalized, poorly defined region of the neck or back. There may be some tenderness overlying the involved joints as well. It is usually caused by trauma (auto accident, whiplash, a bad fall) and a degenerated or herniated disc. These all cause the spine to subluxate (move out of joint) and the joint capsule to become irritated. It is usually worsened by sudden movements or prolonged episodes of poor posture, (e.g., kneeling in the garden, bending over to lift, or straining to read a book or look at a computer terminal). Many patients find the worst time is at night, when all the muscles relax and the joints grind together. It can be mistaken for a condition called fibromyalgia or for myofascial syndrome. Often, there is an associated spasm of the muscles in the paraspinal region [on either side of the spine], which can further confuse the diagnosis.


Diagnosis: It is based mostly on orthopedic and neurologic testing, both can be performed by your chiropractor. After a history of the problem is documented, X-rays are usually helpful as well to determine the condition and positioning of the joints involved. Most often if there isn’t an acute injury bringing out this episode, there will have been some trauma in the patients past that would account for this syndrome to make it’s presence known.

Treatment: Chiropractic treatment of this condition is quite successful considering that chiropractors adjust vertebral subluxations – which are the cause of this condition. Typically, adjustments are well tolerated, however the accommodating muscle spasms and lingering joint pain may still persist over a few days.  The first sign of improvement is a reduction of pain most often followed by a slow restoration of the range of motion and once this starts to improve, you’ll be on your way to recovery!

Dr. Russell Caram is a local chiropractor with over  22 years of experience. His office is located at 182 Grassy Plain Road (Route 53), Bethel. Just look for the big spine! 203-748-2449.Click here to check out his website. Click here to “like” Dr. Caram on Facebook.

Survivors of Suicide Day to be Shared at Healing Hearts Center

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Survivors of Suicide Day to be Shared at Healing Hearts Center 

DANBURY, CT— On November 19, survivors of suicide loss will gather at hundreds of simultaneous “healing conferences” around the world to share International Survivors of Suicide Day. Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western CT, Inc.’s Healing Hearts Center for Grieving Children & Families will be one of 250 sites nationwide to participate.

“Coming together on this day allows bereaved individuals whose loved one died from suicide to connect with other survivors in their community who understand their experience,” said Debbie Ryan, vice president of counseling services at Regional Hospice and Home Care. “For some, it will be the first time they will reach out for support. For others, they will continue their journey of healing and try to cope with the multitude of emotions this type of death evokes.”

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which sponsors the day, more than 34,000 people in the United States die by suicide each year, leaving millions of survivors who are trying to cope with the heartbreaking loss.

The Healing Hearts Center, and all sites, will show a video presentation featuring a diverse group of survivors of suicide loss who talk about coping with grief after suicide. For the first time, the video presentation will also feature a teen who lost a parent to suicide. A discussion will follow the presentation. The afternoon begins at 12 noon for registration and light refreshments, and the teleconference takes place from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

The Healing Hearts Center for Grieving Children & Families, located at 73 Stadley Rough Road in Danbury, has received national recognition for its unique bereavement programs and services for the community, including numerous support groups, workshops and programs provided to the public throughout the year. One group, Survivors of Suicide Loss, meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Healing Hearts Center.

For more information on the International Survivors of Suicide Day event or to register, please contact Ellen Maron, bereavement coordinator, at (203) 792-4422 or by email at by November 15, 2011.

The Healing Hearts Center for Grieving Children & Families is a program of Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western CT, Inc. The nonprofit home care and hospice agency offers real hope for those facing advanced illness through patient-focused care, education, resources and advocacy. We help patients and families discover what end-of-life care can be—what can be gained, what can be realized and what can be recaptured. For more information, visit or call (203) 702-7400.


Expert Commentary Available: November 19 Survivors of Suicide Day 

DANBURY, CT— On November 19, survivors of suicide loss will gather to share International Survivors of Suicide Day. Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western CT, Inc.’s Healing Hearts Center for Grieving Children & Families will participate (see separate press release.) Regional Hospice and Home Care Social Worker and Healing Hearts Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Group Facilitator Sheryl Renne, MSW, is available to provide expert commentary on the timely issue of suicide loss and prevention.

“Survivors of suicide loss share a unique, intense bereavement,” said Renne, who has facilitated the Healing Hearts’ suicide survivor support group since its creation nearly two years ago. “People are left grappling with the why.”

Renne holds an MSW in clinical social work from Fordham University. She has received training from the American Foundation for the Prevention of Suicide and has attended conferences focused on depression and suicide.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which sponsors the Survivors of Suicide day, more than 34,000 people in the United States die by suicide each year, leaving millions of survivors who are trying to cope with the heartbreaking loss.

Renne is available to comment on the unique aspects of suicide loss, healing and bereavement in general, as well as the national Survivors of Suicide Day and the work of the Healing Hearts Center.

The Healing Hearts Center for Grieving Children & Families, located at 73 Stadley Rough Road in Danbury, has received national recognition for its unique bereavement programs and services for the community, including numerous support groups, workshops and programs provided to the public throughout the year. One group, Survivors of Suicide Loss, meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Healing Hearts Center.

The Healing Hearts Center for Grieving Children & Families is a program of Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western CT, Inc. The nonprofit home care and hospice agency offers real hope for those facing advanced illness through patient-focused care, education, resources and advocacy. We help patients and families discover what end-of-life care can be—what can be gained, what can be realized and what can be recaptured. For more information, visit or call (203) 702-7400.


Pregnancy and Chiropractic Care

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Pregnancy and Chiropractic Care ~ By Dr. Russell Caram

There’s nothing more troubling to pregnant women than the physical changes their bodies undergo during pregnancy (well, except the birth itself, but we’ll get to that later…)

There is a tremendous amount of energy exerted over the 9 months of pregnancy that takes its toll both physically and mentally on the expectant mother.  The disproportionate weight gain alone is enough to complain about…then add in extremely high hormone levels and let’s face it…there’s nothing the fathers should complain about during this time!

So, what do chiropractors do for pregnant women? Well, chiropractors are more helpful to pregnant women that ANY other profession in addressing these physical changes.  There is an enormous amount of sheering force put thru the spine and discs that makes everyday life very difficult.  Since the spine is located in the back half of the body (if viewed from the side), the developing fetus displaces the mother’s body weight forward, and this causes her to lean backward in order to keep her center of balance in-between her feet. Well, the problem with this is two-fold:  Not only the sheering forces placed on the discs and vertebrae, but also the compression of the posterior joints in the back of the spine – which will lend itself to a deep, boring, diffuse pain that can at times become quite sharp with little provocation.  In addition, these compressed joints can also send “sciatic-type” pain radiating into the legs – which are already suffering from their own personal hell with regard to an increased weight gain.

Drugless Healthcare

Often times with painful situations like this, it would be time for pain-killers in an attempt to make life a bit more comfortable…but you can’t do that now…there’s a developing fetus that’s been growing and enjoying a drug-free life.  ALL pain medication has side effects, and some of those are not even known. This is why most medications are not recommended during pregnancy…they just don’t know if any part of the medication – or any broken down component absorbed into the mother’s body – will be transferred to the developing fetus. So, be safe and don’t chance it!

This is where chiropractors are your best “life-line” for relief. Not only do we address the physical component of the pregnancy thru spinal adjustments and the removal of spinal subluxations, we are LARGEST ‘drug-free’ healing profession in the world… and we’re GROWING!  And who better to address your physical needs, your aching joints, and your inability to take pills than chiropractors?

The 6th thru 9th months of pregnancy are usually the most uncomfortable – with the degree of discomfort increasing as the due date approaches.  During this time, there is yet another hormone that’s release into the system -called ‘relaxin’ – that has a great effect on the ligaments of the body. Its job is to allow the ligaments to loosen and stretch, enough so that the mother can then pass a baby thru her pelvis. It does a wonderful job at allowing the pelvic ligaments to expand for the birth, but there’s one problem…it doesn’t just work on the pelvic ligaments…it works on ALL ligaments!

Once the baby is out, the production of the hormone stops, but the effects of it may last up to 6 months post-partum. Given that information, it’s logical to see how these lax joints can become quite painful. Additionally, as the amount of relaxin diminishes after the birth, the joints will then ‘firm up’…and sometimes in positions of subluxation.  This is why most pregnant women who are seen in my office are seen on a regular basis AFTER the birth of their baby…and typically mother AND child are treated during this time (if you’ve ever seen a live NVD birth, you know what I mean!).

The birthing process is quite traumatic, to both the baby as well as the mother. During a normal vaginal delivery (NVD), the baby’s head is held and turned in an attempt to align the shoulders vertically. Watching this is enough to make one cringe. Necks weren’t meant to turn this way – I don’t care what age you are. However, once the shoulders line up, there is a side-to side wedging implemented in order to get the shoulders out one at a time (provided they don’t use forceps or the vacuum). And with all this, do you need to still ask yourself why babies need to be checked for chiropractic subluxations?…and that’s all before you’re ONE MINUTE old! Add THAT to the life of a child who learns to walk, falls, rides bikes, plays sports, has poor-posture, doesn’t exercise enough, rough-houses with siblings and friends, and carries a humongous backpack from school and you’ll start to see why the care of a child’s spine is extremely important!

So ladies, there is a reason why you feel the way that you feel, but it’s also something that you don’t have to endure and suffer from.  Help is available and it’s safe, effective and drug-free! Chiropractic care is virtually tailored to the needs of pregnant women.  If you have questions, please call the office for a consultation!  You’ll be happy you did!

For more information about Dr. Russell Caram and to book an appointment click here.

“Like” Dr. Caram’s Facebook page by clicking here.

Cervical Disc Herniations and Treatment

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Cervical Disc Herniations and Treatment ~ By Dr. Russell Caram

Millions of people suffer from neck, shoulder, and arm pain. While there are numerous conditions that can result in this type of pain, a common cause is a herniated disc. Discs, which act as shock absorbers for the spine, are located in between each of the vertebrae in the spine. Each disc contains a tire-like outer band (called the annulus fibrosus) that surrounds a gel-like substance (called the nucleus pulposus). 

A herniation occurs when the outer band of the disc breaks or cracks and the gel-like substance from the inside of the disc leaks out, placing pressure on the spinal canal or nerve roots. In addition, the nucleus releases a chemical that can cause irritation to the surrounding nerves causing inflammation and pain.


The symptoms of a cervical herniated disc might include:

  • Dull or sharp pain in the neck or between the shoulder blades, which can intensify in certain positions or after certain movements.
  • Pain that radiates down the arm to the hand or fingers (this is called radiculopathy).
  • Numbness or tingling in the shoulder or arm.

How Do Discs Herniate?

Most cervical disc herniations occur as a result of sudden stress. This occurs during movements resulting in sudden flexion, extension, or twisting of the neck, such as during a fall or auto accident. Sometimes herniations occur gradually, over weeks or months.

However, there are risk factors that can contribute to the chances of a disc herniation, including:

Aging: As we get older, discs gradually dry out, affecting their strength and resiliency.  History of major or minor trauma to the cervical spine.

Lifestyle choices: Lack of regular exercise, not eating a well-balanced diet, and tobacco use substantially contribute to poor disc health. Poor posture, incorrect and/or repetitive lifting or twisting can place additional stress on the cervical spine.

MRI image showing disc herniation at the C5-C6 level


Good treatment is always based on an accurate diagnosis. The comprehensive diagnostic process includes:

Medical history: We will talk to you about your symptoms, how severe they are, and what treatments you have already tried.

Physical examination: You will be carefully examined for limitations of movement, problems with balance, and pain. During this exam, we will also look for loss of reflexes in the extremities, muscle weakness, loss of sensation or other signs of spinal cord damage.

Diagnostic tests: Generally, doctors start with plain x-ray films, which enable them to rule out other problems such as infections. CT scans and MRIs are often used to give three-dimensional views of the lumbar spine and can help detect herniated discs.

Chiropractic Treatment

Chiropractic treatment of cervical disc cases has been well-tolerated and is recommended for most types of herniations, and when combined with the physical therapy modalities in the office, the results are often experienced faster and with less complications than with drugs or surgery. In-office physical therapy modalities include electrical muscle stimulation, ultrasound, ice or heat, as well as massage and axial-traction are all used to decrease pain and increase flexibility.

In conjunction with these treatments, we will educate patients about risk factors to avoid, healthy posture, good body mechanics, and suitable exercises. Quality education can lead to a healthier spine in the long run.

Dr. Russell Caram is a local chiropractor with over  22 years of experience. His office is located at 182 Grassy Plain Road (Route 53), Bethel. Just look for the big spine! 203-748-2449.Click here to check out his website. Click here to “like” Dr. Caram on Facebook.

Flu Shots: To Prick or Not To Prick, That is the Question

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Flu Shots: To Prick or Not To Prick, That is the Question ~ By Dr. Russell D. Caram

Be aware, as of August/September 2010 the swine flu vaccine has been incorporated into the regular seasonal flu shot. Nothing like taking an experimental vaccine and all of its side effects and combining it with another one!

Connecticut offers 2 forms of exemption from vaccines: medical and religious. If there is no medical reason [immunosuppressed, etc.] for exempting your child, your only other alternative is to claim “religious exemption”. This allows you the choice to vaccinate [or not to], by “informed choice”.  Click here for the CT Religious Exemption form – which is accepted statewide in Connecticut by all schools and daycares.

Some government and medical agencies recommend flu shots for healthy infants and toddlers between the ages of 6-23 months.  But this recommendation may not be based on scientific evidence.  What’s more, the flu vaccine is linked to side effects ranging from autism to allergies.

In studies during the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, there were patients treated medically and others treated at DD Palmer’s School of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. The medical facility treated 3 times more patients, but had 274 TIMES more of a death rate than at Palmer’s school.  This study was revealed in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternity and Family Health, May 4, 2009.  In the article, they (a medical journal) recommend that “chiropractic care should be incorporated into all flu prevention programs since spinal adjustments have been proven to enhance the immune systems” To read the story about the results of the study, as well asmyths about the flu and flu shot, go here.

I’ve come to learn that people hold differing opinions about vaccinations. Some get none, some get all, some selectively vaccinate. I come from the camp of “get educated before you get medicated.” There have been numerous claims and government (VAERS) claim settlements to thousands of parents whose children have been injured by vaccines. It’s obvious those settlements would never have been made if the vaccines were totally harmless.

No Better Than Placebo

Researchers who analyzed 51 vaccine studies involving a half-million children worldwide recently concluded “the injection [of inactivated flu vaccine] is no better than a placebo at preventing influenza.” Their collective conclusion was published in the January 2006 issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of the Cochrane Collaboration: a renowned international organization that evaluates medical research (Cochrane Database syst Rev 2006;1:CD004879).

Inactivated flu vaccine is the only one approved for the 6-23 month age group, according to the Cochrane researchers. It includes the virus in its “killed” state, as opposed to the “live” version known as Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV). One month after the Cochrane review – which included 17 papers translated from Russia for the first time – was published, researchers in Japan noted that “no significant vaccine effectiveness was detected among very young children” who were given inactivated flu vaccine.  The study included 2,913 children under the age of 6, 1,512 of whom received inactivated flu vaccine, and 1,401 who received no vaccine (Vaccine 2006;24:957-63). The Japanese study supports the conclusion of Cochrane review co-author Sue Smith, MD of Oxford University, who said, “national policies for the vaccination of healthy young children are based on very little evidence.”

So, is it safe? In the process of reviewing the initial studies, the Cochrane authors also noted a particularly disturbing omission. “We were astonished to find only ONE safety study of inactivated vaccine in children under two years [of age] carried out nearly 30 years ago, and in only 35 children.” So, safety studies are grossly lacking.

Increased Risk of Flu Later In Life

In an article published earlier this year, researchers from France noted “repeated vaccination at a young age substantially increases the risk of influenza in older age.” In fact, the study found that those who receive repeated flu shots as children are twice as likely to get the flu as adults, compared with those who wait until the age of 50+ to receive their first flu shot. The researchers concluded, “These findings have important implications for influenza vaccination policies.” (Epidemiol Infect 2006;134: 63-70). This finding is particularly unsettling; because older people tend to have more complications arise from the flu, compared with youngsters.

More on LAIV

According to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), Live and Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV) should not be given to children under the age of five or adults over the age of 50 (MMWR Recomm Rep 2003; 52:1-8). However, some LAIV formulations – such as Flu Mist(TM) – are gaining in popularity among individuals over 50 due to widespread advertising campaigns.

LAIV is also dangerous for people with asthma, reactive airways disease or other chronic disorders of the pulmonary or cardiovascular systems; persons with other underlying medical conditions, including diabetes renal dysfunction and hemoglobulinopathies (anemia resulting from abnormal hemoglobin levels); or persons with known or suspected immunodeficiency diseases or who are receiving immunosuppressive therapies. Children over the age of five or adolescents who take aspirin or other salicylates (because of the association of Reye’s syndrome with wild-type influenza infection) should also avoid LAIV.  So should pregnant women and anyone with a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome or allergies to eggs.

Mercury and Flu Vaccine

Researchers speculate that the mercury based preservative thimerosal — use in many inactivated flu vaccine formulas — is linked with autism.  “Mercury poisoning and autism both a fact the central nervous system.” (Pediatrics 2003; 111:674-9.) Thimerosal interrupts growth factor signaling and interferes with the regulation of normal DNA and gene function: critical to proper neurological development in infants and children (Mol Psychiatry 2004; 9:1038).

Why was that Marisol added to vaccines in the first place?  To prevent spoilage and contamination, a major risk factor when vaccines were first introduced.  Although many developed countries phased out most Thimerosal-containing vaccines in 2000, the questionable preservative is still used in the manufacturing of most inactivated flu vaccines, according to the US Food and Drug Administration. Most vaccines for diphtheria, Japanese encephalitis, meningococcal and some hepatitis B formulas also continue to feature the preservative. (For more information on thimerosal in vaccines,

The Chiropractic Lifestyle Boosts Immune Function

It’s a fact: a stronger immune system is less vulnerable to allowing diseases and illness. When the spine is healthy, both the nervous and immune systems benefit: a connection known as psychoneuroimmunology.  “In practice, most chiropractors also emphasize the role of diet, exercise and lifestyle modifications as an adjunct to the healing process.  As such, chiropractic is well positioned to make a unique contribution to the field of psychoneuroimmunology.” (JVSR 2005:1-7.)  To squash the flu bug in its nasty little tracks, reinforce your child’s immune system with proper nutrition, plenty of sleep and — of course — regular chiropractic visits.

Think for Yourself

Numerous studies reveal a well-orchestrated effort by government and medical agencies to persuade reluctant parents to have their children vaccinated.  “A clear message that the doctor recommends influenza vaccination for a child is an important factor for ensuring vaccination and may foster the idea that vaccination is ‘smart’.” (Am J Prev Med 2005; 29:210-4.)  Another study noted, “Enthusiastic staff support may result in higher vaccination rates.” (Am J Manag Care 2005; 11:717-24.)  The subtle insinuation in the above cited references, as well as countless others, are that if parents don’t vaccinate their children, they are bad parents. Doctors of chiropractic believe in the open and honest exchange of research data.  The key is not to take any one doctor’s word for it when it comes to your child’s health.  Instead, gather as much research information as possible before arriving at your own conclusion.

Get educated before you get medicated.

Dr. Russell D. Caram is a Bethel chiropractor who has practicing for more than 22 years. His office is located right near the big spine on the side of the road on Route 53, at 182 Grassy Plain Road, Bethel. Call (203) 748-2499 for an appointment. For more information about his practice click here. To become one of Dr. Caram’s Facebook fans, click here.

First Selectman Declares Oct. 22 as Bethel Health Day

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Matt Knickerbocker declares October 22nd Bethel Health Day!

The following is a press release from Dalene Foster, Chairman of the Catch Me if You Can Race–

October 22nd is officially Bethel Health Day and we are celebrating with two great, family friendly events!  First, St. Mary’s is hosting the 3rd Annual Catch Me If You Can! races starting at 8:30.  This year there is a 5k, 10k and Kids’ FunRun with a Vendor Fair , Refreshments, and Live Entertainment throughout the event.  Find out more at

St. Mary’s 5k Racers

From 10-2, the Bethel Chamber of Commerce and Newtown Savings bank present the 1st Annual Healthy Lifestyles Fair Embracing a Healthy Lifestyle!  Join us to celebrate your health! The event is for the entire family and will bridge health and wellness with eco-consciousness.  We have booths galore that will showcase information about products and services to help you and your family lead a healthy lifestyle.  Morning activities include a Spin-A-Thon 8am – 12pm; Dance-A-Thon 9am-12; and Yoga-A-Thon 12-2.  Call Sportsplex to sign up at 203-748-8600.

This year’s theme is Breast Cancer Awareness and the Scotty Fund. The fair will be held at the Best Western Hotel and SportsPlex, on Route 6, Stony Hill. For more information, visit:

Dr. Russell Caram Brings Health Through Chiropractic Care to Bethel

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Dr. Russell Caram Brings Health Through Chiropractic Care to Bethel

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”   ~Thomas Edison

For years, commuters may have noticed an interesting sight while driving down Route 53 on their morning commute. A large model of a spine stands on the lawn of chiropractor Dr. Russell D. Caram. That spine not only serves as his advertising, but also as a daily reminder for people to maintain their health even when they’re well.

Dr. Caram, also known as “Dr. Russ” by his patients, has dedicated the last two decades of his life striving to help people achieve the goal of optimum health through chiropractic care.  He opened his Bethel practice in 1993 after starting his career in 1990 at Advanced Back and Neck Center in Milford, CT. Even today, patients come from near and far to be treated by him, many since he first began in Milford.

Born and raised in Yonkers N.Y., Dr. Caram’s interest in healing piqued at an early age. When he was 13-years-old he sprained his ankle while playing hockey and was fascinated by the sight of his own x-ray. It was then he knew he wanted to learn more about healing.

At the age of 16, while stocking shelves at a grocery store, he injured his back, causing severe pain. His uncle, Dr. Alfred Caram (“Uncle Al”), a Yonkers chiropractor who moved to San Jose one year earlier, recommended he see a chiropractor for his injury. He took his uncle’s advice, went to the chiropractor for treatment and was amazed that he could walk out of the office virtually pain-free.

After learning of his nephew’s interest in health, ‘Uncle Al’ encouraged Russell to attend Palmer College of Chiropractic – West in Sunnyvale CA, where he taught chiropractic technique courses and was a clinician at the campus outpatient facility. He later became a mentor to Caram, and at the young age of 23-years-old, Dr. Caram became the third youngest to ever graduate Palmer Chiropractic College – West in 1990.

“I had the privilege of learning a few things under him, which made the learning experience a bit more special” Dr. Russ said of his uncle.

“There’s something to be said about treating people as people, the old-school way. Health delivery systems now are focused on treating numbers, there’s no personalization anymore,” he said.

In October of 1989 Dr. Caram lived through the Bay Area 7. 1 magnitude earthquake, which served as a deciding factor on where he chose to practice. After graduating in March of 1990, he headed back east to New York, eventually settling in Connecticut, “where the land is a bit more stable,” he said.

By blending his uncle’s approach and technique, D.D. Palmer’s philosophy and his own expertise and skill, Caram has built a solid reputation in the field over the past 21 years.

“You don’t treat conditions, you treat people,” Dr. Russ said his late uncle used to say.

“Treat them with respect and dignity. They’ll tell you what they want, and you give them what they need.”

After the Sept 11th terrorist attacks, Dr. Caram spent 8 months at St. Paul’s Chapel treating the workers on the pit at Ground Zero in addition to maintaining his offices in Harrison, NY and Bethel. A humble man, Dr. Caram gives back through his work and shows his passion for not only the chiropractic profession but also his strong desire to help people.

Dr. Caram holds true to the founding principles of chiropractic, that the body has an inborn, innate ability to stay healthy.  Spinal adjustments alleviate tension-based and bone-on-nerve -pressures that inhibits proper nerve function and performance. Chiropractic has been recognized as a primary health field in this regard.

Thomas Edison’s quote that the “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease,” goes along with Dr. Caram’s practice of keeping people well, as well as how to treat the sick.

Dr. Russell D. Caram’s office is located on 182 Grassy Plain Street, Bethel, on Route 53. Office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. and Thursdays and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.

To find out more about Dr. Caram and his practice, click here.

“Like” his Facebook page by clicking here.

Call 203-748-2499 for an appointment.

Bethel VNA To Hold Flu Clinic Thursday

The following is information from the Bethel VNA–


Thursday Oct 6

5:00 – 7:00

Students and Families

Berry School Gymnasium


As a courtesy Bethel VNA will submit claims to the following insurances:

Aetna, Aetna Medicare, Anthem BC /BS, Connecticare, Connecticare Medicare, HealthNet Medicare, Medicare  Part B, Oxford , and  Wellcare Medicare

Check with your insurance company to see if flu vaccine is a covered expense. Copay and deductible will apply.  If your insurance company is not listed above, you may pay by cash or check.  You will get a receipt to submit for reimbursement.

Flu Shot $35 (all ages over 6 months)

FluMist Nasal $40 (ages 2-49 with no medical constraints)*

*see Vaccine Information Sheet for more information and consent form for medical questionnaire

*SAVE TIME!  VIEW VACCINE INFORMATION & PRINT CONSENT FORMS ATwww.bethelvna.orgBethel Visiting Nurse Association • 70 Stony Hill Rd • Bethel , CT 06801 Phone (203) 792-0864

Beware of Brazen Bambi & Her Babies


Beware of Brazen Bambi & Her Babies

She’s cute and furry with a little white tail, Bambi, and her babies. But these beautiful creatures are not as innocent as they look. An increase in deer population in our area has caused high rates of car accidents, increased cases of Lyme disease and other tick-borne disease and damage to natural plants and landscaping, according to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

An abundance of deer and their young have been spotted in and around Bethel lately, some more bold than others.  Just last week a family of 5 deer was spotted by a Bethel resident on Fox Den Road, eating from their shrubs in broad daylight.

Another local homeowner on Evergreen Drive said she has seen deer come on to her property in middle of the day and, “they act like they own the place. They will eat your bushes, flowers, tulips, anything that they can!” On  Walnut Hill and Rockwell Road, one brazen deer stared down a passing driver, unafraid, as he ate a late-afternoon snack. (see photo)

The population of deer in Connecticut has increased dramatically. Overpopulation  can affect animal and human health, result in property damage to cars, yards, and crops.  According to the Community Report Card For Western Connecticut, our community has an unusually high rate of tick-borne illness, compared to nearly any other community in the nation.

During the 10 year period from 1996 to 2006 there have been more than 29,000 reported cases of Lyme disease in Connecticut.  The cause of Connecticut’s epidemic is an increase in the population of deer. Deer ticks feed on and are transported on the deer, which are then passed on to humans.

According to the Center For Disease Control, untreated Lyme disease can cause serious health consequences including paralysis, meningitis, neurological difficulties, joint swelling, arthritis and loss of hearing or sight .

An under reported illness associated with deer ticks is babesiosis, a disease that can prove to be fatal in the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. A June 20, 2011 New York Times article recently reported:

A potentially devastating infection caused by tick bites has gained a foothold in the Lower Hudson Valley and in coastal areas of the Northeast, government researchers have found.

The condition, called babesiosis, is a malaria-like illness that results from infection with Babesia microti, a parasite that lives in red blood cells and is carried by deer ticks. Though far less common than Lyme disease, babesiosis can be fatal, particularly in people with compromised immune systems.

Many people who are infected with the parasite have no symptoms at all, while others experience mild to moderate flu-like symptoms that may last for a few days or as long as six months. “But some people get so sick that they wind up hospitalized, put into an intensive care unit, or even dying,” said Dr. Gary Wormser, chief of infectious diseases at Westchester Medical Center in New York.

In the Block Island study, researchers tested about 70 percent of the islanders and found that about one quarter of adults and half of children who were infected had no symptoms and were therefore not reported. Even people with mild to moderate symptoms may never see a physician. Even if they do, the condition may not be accurately diagnosed.

The symptoms can be vague (there is no tell-tale rash as there may be with Lyme disease) and include fever, sweats, chills, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches and pains. 

Infants and adults over age 50 are more likely to get moderate to severe symptoms if infected. People at increased risk of complications include patients with compromised immune systems (such as people receiving immunosuppressants), those who’ve had their spleens removed, and those with lymphoma or H.I.V. or who are being treated for cancer.

If not caught and treated early, babesiosis can lead to such complications as kidney, lung or heart failure. The infection can be treated with antimicrobial medications, but people with serious complications are less responsive to the drugs.

So how can we protect ourselves from these sometimes fatal diseases? Awareness. In 2008 the Town of Ridgefield developed the BLAST program to raise awareness of Lyme disease prevention practices. They also serve as  an informational source to educate the community about the early signs and symptoms of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases to promote early diagnosis.  Click here for more information.

Deer population control is another way to keep these diseases at bay. According to the Fairfield County Deer Management Alliance, the latest CT DEP aerial deer survey completed in January 2009, shows that Bethel has 69.6 deer per square mile, more than 6 times the healthy level of 10 to 12 deer per square mile.

The town of Bethel recognizes the need to keep the whitetail deer herd under control and for the last 20 years has offered two controlled deer hunts.  The hunts take place at Terre Haute and Chestnut Acres, both town-owned properties which are highly forested.  The hunts are overseen by the Bethel Fish and Game Association and are subject to yearly approval by town  selectmen.

Landowners in Bethel can invite volunteer bow hunters on to their properties if they feel deer population is an issue. Homeowners can make arrangements directly with a hunter. A list of local hunters is available at the office of the Town Clerk.  For more information contact

For additional resources from the Lyme Disease Association, information for kids and about grants for those without insurance, click here.

Fitness Benefits: The Fountain Of Youth



Fitness Benefits: The Fountain Of Youth

~By Daniel R. Gaita, Owner, Private Studio Fitness

Fitness Has Far Reaching Benefits – Sweat From Exercise = The Fountain Of Youth

Having been in the fitness industry for nearly 20 years, I have learned a lot about human motivation, behavior, and the rewards of commitment.

So rather than focus on the depressing national statistics regarding the growing epidemic of obesity in this nation and how it has contributed to unmanageable health care cost I thought I’d rather highlight a couple positive examples of local fitness enthusiast that have turned the tides in their favor and slowed down the clock of mortality.

No, I am not referring to my wife that is training for her second New York City Marathon, or the young athletes I’ve had the honor of working with throughout my career but rather a couple clients born well before Woodstock, The Vietnam War, or the Korean War.

Meet Mr. Kevin L. Cleary, Born May 6th, 1951. That’s sixty years young. Mr. Cleary had knee surgery on May 1st, 2011 and weighed 255lbs. One month later he began to incorporate regular brisk exercise and weight training most days of the week. In only three months (September 6th2011) he’s down to 220 lbs, he’s dropped 35lbs, and benefits from increased strength, endurance and stamina.

When asked what he’s enjoyed most about exercise Mr. Cleary said: “I have more energy, I feel better about how I look, I am driven to make even larger strides to lose weight, my clothes fit better and I can’t wait to see my doctor at this years physical in November. Best of all – I needed to be in shape to enjoy my two grandchildren ages 4 & 1.”

All that in only three months. No cocktail of prescription medication can make those claims.

Our next life-long fitness enthusiast, Mr. Tulio Belardinelli was born prior to the start of World War II. Born April 30th, 1937. Yes, he is 74 years young. During the summer months Mr. Belardinelli plays racquetball for hours while also incorporating weight training three days a week. He enjoys a couple rounds of golf during the week too.

In the winter months he ramps up his training and gets to the gym 5 days a week. At 74 he can still drop down and bang out 25 push-ups.

Mr. Belardinelli, founder of Belardinelli Tire, just celebrated fifty years in Business in Bethel. Last year he was inducted into the first class of Henry Abbott Technical Schools Hall Of Fame. He is an active member of the American Legion, Bethel Lions Club, and volunteers numerous hours for other charitable organizations.

FYI, he also makes a great red and white wine yearly which he enjoys, in moderation of course.

My hat is off to these two great examples of healthy living, they are role models for all of us and through their regular exercise they continue to enjoy showering in the fountain of youth. Keep up the good work gentleman. Thanks for setting an example and for the inspiration.

Daniel R. Gaita

Owner, Private Studio Fitness

Bethel CT

Bethel VNA Flu Clinics


Bethel VNA Flu Clinics

The following is a list of local flu clinics sent by the Bethel VNA. Bethel Visiting Nurse Association is located at 70 Stony Hill Rd, Bethel, CT. For more information call (203) 792-0864, fax (203) 730-8053, or email:

Bethel VNA Schedule of Public Flu Clinics Fall 2011  
Day Location Time
Friday, September 23 English Apothecary 9:00 am – 11:00 am
140 Greenwood Avenue, Bethel
Saturday, September 24 Newtown Health and Public Safety Fair 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
11 Queen Street, Newtown
Monday, September 26 Newtown Youth Academy (NYA) 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
4 Primrose St, Newtown
Thursday, September 29 Bethel Senior Center – Café 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
1 School St, Bethel
Monday, October 3 Bishop Curtis Homes Community Room 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
28 Simeon Rd, Bethel
Tuesday, October 4 Newtown Senior Center 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
14 Riverside Rd, Newtown
Tuesday, October 4 John Read School – Community Room 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
486 Redding Rd, Redding
Wednesday, October 5 Bethel Senior Center – Café 2:00 pm -4:00 pm
1 School St, Bethel
Thursday, October 6 Brookfield YMCA 6:30 am – 9:00 am
2 Huckleberry Rd, Brookfield
Thursday, October 6 Newtown Health Department 10:00 am -12:00 pm
3 Primrose St, Newtown
Thursday, October 6 Berry School – Gymnasium 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
200 Whittlesey Dr, Bethel
Friday, October 7 English Apothecary 9:00 am – 11:00 am
140 Greenwood Avenue, Bethel
Saturday, October 8 Brookfield YMCA 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
2 Huckleberry Rd, Brookfield
Saturday, October 8 St Mary’s Church 6:00 pm -7:00 pm
26 Dodgingtown Rd, Bethel
Sunday, October 9 St Mary’s Church 8:00 am  – 1:00 pm
26 Dodgingtown Rd, Bethel
Monday, October 10 Brookfield YMCA 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
2 Huckleberry Rd, Brookfield
Tuesday, October 11 Caraluzzi’s Bethel Food Market 10:00 am -2:00 pm
98 Greenwood Ave, Bethel
Tuesday, October 11 Caraluzzi’s Georgetown Market 10:00 am -2:00 pm
920 Danbury Rd, Wilton
Tuesday, October 11 Caraluzzi’s Newtown Market 10:00 am -2:00 pm
5 Queen St, Newtown  
Tuesday, October 11 Sterlings Woods Platinum Club 5:30 pm -6:30 pm
115-117 Silversmith Dr, Danbury
Thursday, October 13 Bethel Senior Center – Café 9:00 am -12:00 pm
1 School St, Bethel
Thursday, October 13 Best of Brookfield, Candlewood Inn 4:00 pm -8:00 pm
506 Candlewood Lake Rd, Brookfield
Friday, October 14 English Apothecary 9:00 am – 11:00 am
140 Greenwood Avenue, Bethel
Saturday , October 15 Redding Community Center 9:00 am -12:00 pm
37 Lonetown Rd, Redding
Sunday, October 16 St. Thomas Church 11:15 am – 1:00 pm
95 Greenwood Ave, Bethel
Tuesday, October 18 Newtown Senior Center 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
14 Riverside Rd, Newtown
Tuesday, October 18 Brookfield YMCA 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm
2 Huckleberry Rd, Brookfield
Wednesday, October 19 Brookfield YMCA 6:30 am – 9:00 am
2 Huckleberry Rd, Brookfield
Wedneday, October 19 Redding Senior Center 9:00 am -12:00 pm
37 Lonetown Rd, Redding
Wedneday, October 19 Bethel Senior Center – Café 2:00 pm -4:00 pm
1 School St, Bethel
Friday, October 21 English Apothecary 9:00 am – 11:00 am
140 Greenwood Avenue, Bethel
Friday, October 21 Union Savings Bank 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
  79 Stony Hill Road, Bethel  
Saturday, October 22 Bethel Health Fair – Stony Hill 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
13 Stony Hill Rd, Bethel
Thursday, October 27 Bethel Senior Center – Café 9:00 am -11:00 am
1 School St, Bethel
Friday, October 28 English Apothecary 9:00 am – 11:00 am
140 Greenwood Avenue, Bethel
Tuesday, November 8 Vote & Vax To Be Announced
 *see for updates and additions

Bethel Opens Cooling Centers As Heat Wave Approaches

From the office of Thomas E. Galliford, Fire Marshal, Emergency Management Director, Town Of Bethel, CT
In cooperation with the following facilities the following info is provided as needed:
Due to the heat advisory and excessive heat in our area, the following locations are available as “cooling centers” for those without air conditioning and need to “beat the heat.”  The Bethel Senior Center will be open daily from 8:30am to 4:30pm. The Bethel Library is open from 10am-8pm today and Thursday and on Friday/Saturday from 10-5pm.   Also- please drink plenty of fluids, wear light colored clothing, don’t over exert yourself, and keep cool!
also- see  info below from CT DPH. Temperatures are expected to reach near 100F by Thursday afternoon and mid 90′s Friday and Saturday with increasing humidity.
#  #  #


July 19, 2011

Department of Public Health Contact: William Gerrish (860) 509-7270

Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Contact:

J. Paul Vance (860) 685-8230

Residents Urged to Take Precautions as Heat Wave Approaches State

Residents can dial 2-1-1 to find a cooling center in their area

Hartford — With temperatures across the state expected to be well into the 90s this week, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) are urging people to protect themselves during the extreme heat and seek out options to cool down within their communities.

Many towns and cities have established cooling centers to help their residents get relief from the heat. The public can dial 2-1-1 to find a cooling center in their area. State officials are asking municipalities to report their cooling centers to 2-1-1 immediately once they open so residents can be kept up-to-date.

“Extreme hot weather can be very dangerous, especially for the elderly, young children, and those who work outdoors,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “It’s important that people take frequent breaks when doing heavy outdoor work during high heat days. Drink a lot of fluids, stay indoors or in the shade when it’s most hot, and wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing to beat the heat.”

“While pools, lakes and beaches are a great way to cool off from the heat, it’s important that people are careful and take safety precautions in and around water,” said Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Reuben F. Bradford. “We also remind people to never keep children or pets in closed or locked vehicles and to check on elderly neighbors and loved ones, especially in extreme heat.”

The Departments of Public Health and Emergency Services and Public Protection offered the following safety tips:

• Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him/her how much you should drink while the weather is hot.

• Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the movies, shopping mall, public library, or a friend’s house/apartment with air conditioning–even a few hours spent in an air conditioned environment can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.

• Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

• If you must be out in the heat, limit your outdoor activity to early morning and evening hours.

• Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and

sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels).

Particularly with regard to pool and swimming safety, the following tips are important:

• Never leave children (even those who can swim) unattended in, around or near pools or other water sources – not even for a few moments. A child can drown in the moment it takes to answer a phone.

• Never swim alone. Use the buddy system and maintain eye contact.

• Keep pool area locked and secure when not in use.

• Swim only in supervised and approved areas.

• Keep rescue equipment near the pool. Have emergency flotation devices and a phone near the pool.

• Enforce water safety rules. No running, pushing or dunking.

• Learn CPR and water rescue techniques.

• Have a professional inspect all entrapment hazards in the pool, including the pump and drain.

• Know and mark the location of the electrical cut-off switch for the pool pump.



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