The Zen Corner

Science, Art, and Philosophy of Chiropractic


Leave a comment

Our Gift

Every year at Christmastime we are given a gift. We always take this gift for granted because it has always been given to us and we hardly notice. This gift is our body. We are given this one body for our whole lifetime.
housetoolsYou may like your body or you may hate it, but it is yours. You are expected to make alterations, improvements, and maintenance on a regular basis. Our body is in a constant state of break down so keeping up with every part of our body is very important. Many people’s biological age is much older and damaged compared to their chronological age. For example, you will see people with many health conditions such as degeneration/arthritis in the spine. Some people’s spines are severely degenerated from doing vigorous and strenuous physical activity such as football, landscaping, construction work, and much more.

We tend to think we are indestructible in our youth, but once we get to a certain age that unlimited energy and vitality start to fade. Many people would say that the reason our bodies start to deteriorate is because of age. That is true — just like any car, if it gets older it starts to break down. If that car has been treated poorly and has not kept up with regular maintenance such as oil changes or tire rotations, the car will fall about faster and easier.

morris-minor_2825700aPicture of a Rusty Old Car

 

 

 

 

 

What would be maintenance care similar to oil changes and tire rotations for our human, biological body?

One detail about our human, biological body is that there are 65 trillion chemicals in the brain processed and produced every second of our life. The pharmaceutical industry knows 11,000 that are on the market. From just that ratio, we can definitely conclude that our body has very complex body chemistry. How does our body regulate, alert, and repair all at the same time?

Family-First-Chiropractic-Innate-Intelligence_Blaine-Minnesota_Blog

There is a inborn intelligence installed in a human baby at the moment of conception. This innate intelligence repairs cuts, damages and kills cancer cells, regenerates old cells to new, and puts in the perfect amount of chemicals needed for your body to be in full function and balance. Innate intelligence has been known from many discipline of healthcare, although medical medicine failed to understand or quantify this mechanism.

From many disciplines, it is well known that if we help this innate intelligence to freely operate on our body, the better our body regenerates, regulates, and reproduces in optimal function. How can we help this innate intelligence?

 

95cb5abd1a98ad61839090ed0c365591

“Ninety per cent of the diseases known to man are caused by cheap foodstuffs. You are what you eat.”  Victor Lindlahr

Food is Medicine

During this seasonal holidays, we are in a time crunch to fit in everything. Our tendencies are to depend on prepackaged, instant foods in the grocery store. Or we go out to order food from fast food restaurants. It may be a quick solution for good tasting food that everyone will enjoy…everyone, except your body. Mass produced prepackaged instant food in grocery stores and fast food restaurants always cuts corners, using cheap ingredients and chemicals to improve the shelf life of the ingredients. It is now known that these chemicals and cheaply made ingredients have consequences. America has been plagued by obesity, diabetes, and digestive problems that medical professions are unable to solve.

It is well known that highly processed, concentrated carbohydrates turn into fat in our body. So if we lower the carbohydrates we do better! Right? Well, there are highly concentrated carbohydrates in many seasonal holiday meals and snacks. It is almost impossible to take out all the sugars and carbohydrates out of meals. It seems like there is nothing to eat. In our conventional cheap grocery stores there will be hardly any solutions, but in other places that are more health conscious, such as grocery co-ops, now have many solutions to this problem. There are many vegetables that have carbohydrates but not in a form that will be highly processed into concentrated carbohydrates. The complex carbohydrates from plants give you small amount of sugar but also fill your stomach so that you do not crave more. There are more and more recipes for low-sugar diets in the categories of Paleolithic diet, Ketogenic diet, and Gluten Free Diet.

grassfedmeatIncreasing amounts of good grass-fed/grass finish proteins and good healthy fats are also a way to fill our stomachs other than just eating plants. Many people complain how hard it is to get good quality proteins and fats. But if we research enough and make the right decisions, many people can afford these proteins and fats. There are many farmers that are gravitating towards good quality grass fed/finished proteins. It is much cheaper to obtain quality meats than going through the convenient stores. The key is to find out how they grow their animals..

Unfortunately for seafood, unless it is caught in the wild, the quality  of the food drops significantly. It may be cheap at typical grocery stores, but that is because the fish are farm raised. They have less nutrients, such as Omega fatty acids and Vitamin B complexes.  Also there are mercury in deep sea fish, which only allows us to consume once a week. And it is only harder to get seafood if you live inland. However, there are fishers that go fishing all season, freeze their catch and sell it much cheaper than what you can buy from common grocery stores. Check out your farmer’s markets and ask around.

Evolution-to-fat.jpg

“Physical inactivity produces an abnormal gene expression and is a direct causal factor of most chronic health conditions by its direct alteration of gene expression from normal phenotype to a preclinical or clinical phenotype.” F.W. Booth Ph. D. J. of Applied Physiology 2002

Physical Activity

Immobility is poison. Exercise is nutrition! When the holidays come, our schedules are tighter and it’s harder to get physical activity. That is why by next year in January, people have tight atrophied muscles and increased body fat. Many people’s ideas of getting physically active is running around miles and miles and lifting tons and tons of weight. Getting 20-30 minutes of physical activity that involve some cardio, some minor weights or exercises, and topping it off with yoga every day is a good start to maintain a sufficient amount of physical activity.

Once you get to a certain level of strength and agility, you start needing harder physical activity to build up more muscle strength. As you notice when you get older, the amount of muscle build up significantly slows down and it is harder to maintain muscle mass. Once muscles begin to atrophy, our mobility significantly decreases. Also the neurological connection between the muscles and brain start to degenerate, making coordination harder. Eventually, we are in bed all the time, slowly degenerating.

This can be all prevented with physical activity that we can maintain early on in our lives. More stimulation of muscles means more activity and growth for the nerves in the brain and body. Then the body starts to increase blood flow and to gain muscles, grow nerves, and detoxify your body from harmful toxins.

maxresdefault

Meditation

Stress has been a great contributor of hormones that damage our bodies. Stress can cause excess amounts of hormones such as cortisol. These hormones stimulate fight or flight responses and increase anxiety, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, high blood sugar levels, and many more. To decrease this stress hormone, we need to be able to manage our stress and relax our brains. Research has shown that stress is strongly related to brain wave patterns.

Brain waves

Brain waves are pattern of neuronal activity in the section of the brain which can be recorded.  The record is known as the electroencephalogram (EEG). Brain waves are broken up into four main categories, determined by the frequency of the wave.

Brain waves are patterns of neuronal activity in the section of the brain which can be recorded.  The record is known as the electroencephalogram (EEG). Brain waves are broken up into four main categories, determined by the frequency of the wave.

Beta: This is a conscious brain wave. It is characterized as a state of being awake, alert, and concentrating. If this stage is maintained for a prolonged period, it becomes associated with feelings of tension, worry, fear, or anxiety.

Alpha: This is also a conscious state, but identified with the mental experience where images are not identified. It has come to be associated with feelings of pleasure, pleasantness, tranquillity, serenity and relaxation. It can also imply a relaxed concentration.

Theta: Theta has come to be associate with such things as hypnogogic imagery, day dreaming, sleep, cognition of problem solving, future planning, remembering, switching thoughts, and creativity.

Delta: This state is predominately associated with no-dreaming sleep or deep sleep. There are some reports of individuals achieving this set of brain wave patterns while still retaining consciousness.

Things which lower the EEG frequency are:

  • LSD, sedative drugs

  • Large doses of alcohol

  • Very low blood sugar

  • Lack of oxygen

Things which raise the EEG frequency are

  • Caffeine

  • Small doses of alcohol, barbiturates

  • Low blood sugar

  • Excess of carbon dioxide (CO2)

As you can see, breathing affects our EEG frequency.

271813-exhale

The deeper you breathe, the more oxygen you get into your lungs. More oxygen getting into your lungs means more oxygen getting into your blood; because of this, most systems in your body are going to work much more efficiently than they would if you breathed shallowly.

Inhaling slowly and deeply sends more energy to heal your sympathetic nervous system, which is concerned with preparing your body to react to situations of stress or emergency by accelerating your heart rate, constricting your blood vessels, and raising your blood pressure.

Exhaling slowly and completely gives a signal to your parasympathetic nervous system to help it detoxify more deeply. This system serves to slow the rate and force of your heartbeat, decrease your blood pressure, and enhance your digestion.

The slower you inhale the more oxygen you take in, creating more energy and helping your body to detoxify and cleanse itself better. When you exhale slowly, more energy reaches your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps you relax and also helps to detoxify and cleanse your body. Simply breathing hard will not help; you can hyperventilate and cause an excess of CO2 and stimulate the sympathetic nervous system. This will stimulate the brain to emit Beta waves and cause a stress response.

zazen

There are many different Meditations that consists with breathing techniques. Starting with Zazen Meditation would be a good start.  (Here is a instruction link from Dharma Field):

http://dharmafield.org/meditation/online-meditation-instruction/

 

Advertisements


1 Comment

Guide to Whiplash Injury

post_accident_injury
No one asks for a whiplash injury-they are nearly always a surprise and rarely the fault of the victim. But they are very common. In fact, over 1 million rear-end collisions occur every year in the U.S. Most cases of whiplash are minor and heal within a few weeks with the proper care. Unfortunately, a small number of patients, about 20-30% with whiplash cases, becomes chronic and lead to long-term discomfort. Whiplash consists of some classic symptoms. Sometimes these symptoms occur immediately after the crash and other times they may take weeks or even months to appear. Common symptoms are the following:

  • Headache
  • Neck Pain
  • Dizziness
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Jaw Pain
  • Arm Pain

Many people might think that they only had a minor car accident that was with speed of only 5-10 mph.

Dr. Cailliet stated:

“Simulated impacts have been studied extensively and essentially confirm that a low-speed impact with minimal or no damage to the impacted vehicle can and does cause significant musculoskeletal injury to the drivers or occupant’s head and neck.”

Dr. Macnab reported in his article, “Acceleration Extension Injuries of the Cervical Spine,” said:

“Acceleration depends on the force applied and the inertia of the vehicle that has been struck. The force is dependent upon the weight and speed of the striking vehicle, so that a streetcar traveling at 3 mph can apply as much force and initiate the same degree of acceleration as a compact car traveling at 40 mph.”

car-accident11

The key to recovering quickly from your whiplash injury is to understand how this happened. It is hard to sort out the truth from the myth about whiplash. This guide is to help you understand how you were injured and how to get well again.

Your Spine: How it is built

Your spine supports your body weight, aids in movement, and serves as a passageway for your spinal cord and nervous system. The spine is made up of 24-26 vertebrae, that are individually designed for specific roles. Each vertebrae is separated by a tough disc that cushions the bones and allows flexibility and movement. The spine as a whole, with many bones and disc, is capable of very large motions. But each individual joint by itself allows only a few degrees of movement.

Neck Movements

The neck is the most flexible part of the spine. It allows your head to move in practically any direction. But, its flexibility also makes it the area of spine that is most vulnerable to injury.

In addition to the disc for flexibility and movement of the cervical spine (neck region) also has what is the known as the facet joint. The facet joint is the part of each neck vertebrae, and it allows the bones to glide smoothly over each other. All of these neck facet joints moving together making it possible for the head to nod forward or backward. In a typical segment of the neck region the spine has 4 facet joints and two disc joints.

How Collisions can hurt your body:

The bottom line on whiplash is this: your body was not designed for the abnormal motions that occur during collision. Normally when your head moves forward and backward, all of the vertebrae participate equally and safely in the motion. Whiplash, however is not normal motion. During a collision, which takes place in a split second, your head is thrown backwards so forcibly and quickly that your body does not even has a chance to respond. As we mentioned earlier, the facet joints allow smooth, controlled forward and backward movement motion of the head and neck. And each joint moves equally to aid this motion.

Different Phases of Whiplash Motion:

Watching each spinal segment in a live human being during a whiplash type collision is not an easy task. What these scientist did was to subject a volunteer to a simulated rear end collision, while videotaping the spinal motion with x-ray video camera at a very high speeds (about 500 frames per second). Whiplash injuries occur in about a tenth of a second, so that the entire occupant motion would take up just three frames with a regular video camera with a rate of 30 frames per second.

These researchers found that the smooth motions that they saw when looking at the overall motion during whiplash were much more complex when they examined and analyzed the motions of individual segments.

The Whiplash motion looks like the following:

Phase 1: Upright spine before collisionnormal-cervical-curve1

Phase 2: Immediately after the impact the car seat pushes the torso forward while the head remains stationary. At the same time, the torso “ramps” up the seat, compressing the cervical spine.

cervical-spine-lateral2

Phase 3: Torso is accelerated by the vehicle seat and may start to ramp up the seat. The lower neck is then pulled forward by the accelerated torso/seat. The head rotates and extends rapidly rearward hyper-extending the neck. The vehicle seat begins to spring forward, and torso continues to accelerated forward.

whiplash2

Phase 4: The spine forms an S-shaped curve before the musculature of the neck has a chance to react. This S-shape curve results in bending and damaging ligaments in several of the spinal segments.motor-accident-2

Head and torso are accelerated forward. Neck is “whipped” forward rotating and hyper-flexing the neck forward. The head accelerates due to neck motion and moves ahead of the seat back.

neck

The latest study on this issue shows that the joint capsule and disc undergoes excessive stress in just a few segments of the spine. So much stress that the joint capsules and disc can be torn or the cartilage of the joint itself can be “pinched,” resulting in tissue damage and pain.

Why your body is in pain?

All of the most common symptoms of whiplash can be traced either directly or indirectly to the trauma in your neck that you experience through the auto injury. There are 5 major types of injury that whiplash can cause, these are: muscle, ligament/tendons, nerve, facet joint injury, and fractures.

  1. Muscle Injury:
    • Most whiplash pain involves muscle tissue, since it is the most easy to damage in collision. During the impact, the muscles in your neck are stretched beyond what they normally experience. Muscle damage is accompanied by swelling and tenderness of the muscles in the neck and shoulders. Fortunately, muscle injuries heal quickly and usually don’t require extensive lengthy treatment.
  2. Ligament/Tendon Injury:whiplash-injury-recovery
    • Now a new study has looked more closely at what happens to the neck, but this time by studying the anterior ligaments of the spine. Previous studies have shown that some patients experience injuries to the anterior longitudinal ligament (ALL) after whiplash. This new report by leading whiplash researchers used a sophisticated mathematical analysis (based upon experimental anatomical and crash data) to see what happens to the ALL during a crash.The ALL runs along the front of the human neck, providing stability for the vertebrae of the spine. The added hypermobility may lead to spinal disorders such as early degeneration of the connected intervertebral disc or vertebrae. In addition, segmental hypermobility can lead to long-term instability. Catastrophic failure of the ALL in a whiplash injury will almost inevitably result in simultaneous injury to the intervertebral disc requiring Chiropractic intervention with specific and scientific analysis to prevent further damage and degeneration.
  3. Nerve Injury:
    • Just as muscles, ligaments/tendons are stretched during rapid motion of whiplash, so are nerves. Most nerves are able to handle such motion. But if your head is turned, head restraint wasn’t adjusted properly, having neck instability to begin with, a nerve can be damage and stretched to far or pinched.                                       Nerve injuries can be slightly more difficult to heal then muscle and ligament damage. Nerves that are trapped by misalignment of the vertebra require chiropractic adjustments to restore normal functional capacity.
  4. Facet Joint Injury:
    • Facet joint injury can show itself in variety of ways. Pain in the area of the joint is the most common symptom. Facet damage can also result in pain that is felt elsewhere in the body. Shoulder and arm pain are common whiplash complaints that may be related to facet joint injury.                                                                Healing of joint damage can be more difficult for many reasons. First, the joint itself does not have a good supply of blood, which makes it hard for the tissues to heal. Secondly, constant motion of the joint and swelling can irritate the injury. Thirdly, misalignment of the vertebra called subluxation is the culprit cause of this problem causing loss of motion in damaged vertebra in lower neck area and creating too much instability in the upper neck.
  5. Fractures:PE-SpinalFractures_Figure2b
    •  Fractures in the neck may also occur during motor vehicle accidents when the head is violently jerked either backwards or forwards. The most common type of spine fracture is a vertebral body compression fracture. Sudden downward force shatters and collapses the body of the vertebrae. If the force is great enough, it may send bone fragments into the spinal canal, called a burst fracture. Abnormal slipping and rubbing motions can cause pain and damage the spinal nerves or spinal cord. Stable fractures can usually be treated with bracing and rest. Unstable fractures usually require surgery to realign the bones and prevent spinal cord or nerve injury.when more pressure is put on a bone than it can stand, it will break. People affected by osteoporosis, tumors, and certain forms of cancer that weaken bone are prone to vertebral compression fractures (VCF). The fracture appears as a wedge-shaped collapse of the vertebra.

Effective Healing Methods:

The goal in healing and stability is to help the damaged tissues from the injury. This may take time, depending upon the extent of damage.

First, it’s very important that you stay active and continue to keep your daily activities. Don’t take excessive time off work or recreation, as this can make it harder for you to get back into the daily life style. The more you make an effort to stay active, the easier it will be for you if you have a legal case later on.

Chiropractic with Whiplash:

Chiropractors work to correct the bio-mechanical problem causing the symptoms related to whiplash. An approach that will only emphasize on pain or other symptoms will not correct the problem. One report examined 10,382 articles on neck injury and found traditional techniques for whiplash (collars, injections, ultrasound, medication) were largely ineffective. Several studies point to the success of chiropractic for whiplash sufferers. One found 26% were completely pain free after chiropractic intervention and the other 74% were significantly improved. Another found 93% improvement.

Patients who undergo chiropractic care are found to have the natural curve of their necks restored, whereas patients who do not undergo chiropractic care tend be left with a straightened or even reverse curve in their neck. Through research from the Cervical Spine Research Society conducted by Dr. Hohl, he has been shown that after an average of 7 years post-auto accident, an acceleration of degenerative disc disease following whiplash injuries occurred. By that amount of time, auto insurance will not cover the damage of auto injury.

spinaldecay

Dr. Gonstead’s Experience with Whiplash

According to Dr. Gonstead, whiplash usually causes a lower neck problem, but the gonstead and spinemajor problem is often the upper neck problem. He often found damage in the front of the neck bone in the case where a lower neck problem is involved. When there is a very bad whiplash case, he often saw atrophy of the thumb muscles and they couldn’t bring the thumb and index finger together. Dr. Gonstead always wanted to adjust the whiplash as early as possible after the accident. Dr. Gonstead used soft collars for TV and driving purposes if they couldn’t hold up their neck and also to make sure that after the Chiropractic adjustment the neck will heal in the best posture as possible. Dr. Gonstead stated that traction for whiplash is to be avoided along with cervical collar. Ice will help reduce the sensation of pain but heat will make the muscle inflammation worse and increase the pain. Typically whiplash damages start to degenerate after 6 months of stagnant lack of care to the spine.

In the Future:

When the whiplash injury is cared for with Chiropractic adjustments, the whiplash will stabilize and heal properly with a series of Chiropractic adjustments. There will be no fear of reoccurring symptoms, progression of degeneration, and less medical bills to pay for in the future. Not just any Chiropractic adjustment will do. The Chiropractor has to be specific, objective, and creating a future plan of how to keep their spine strong and stable. Dr. Gonstead had the most experience with all kinds of whiplash injuries and his Chiropractic system has been tested through out time. There are all kinds of whiplash injuries that involves the muscles, ligaments, nerves, and bones so finding a good Chiropractor is very important and if they perform Chiropractic adjustment like Dr. Gonstead.


2 Comments

Does Chiropractic Care Never End?

This is a million dollar question. Does Chiropractic care ever end?

Many people are suspicious about Chiropractic care because in their experiences are that the care never ends. People pay thousands or dollars over the period of time. Their frequency of care doesn’t decrease and the cost keeps mounting up. At one point their most observable results starts to peak and you feel that your health condition is not changing. These are concerns of the public and this concern is very legitimate because they are paying clients that want to get observable results. People should reach their goals when they reach the result they wanted and eventually their chiropractic adjustments should end at a certain point. What is the starting point and how frequent is chiropractic adjustments?

Frequency of Chiropractic adjustments:

Only way to really know how frequent the person has to come in for chiropractic adjustment is determined by how the first chiropractic adjustment has helped the subluxation. Once the initial examination is done, we know what the condition of the person and the first chiropractic adjustment is done. Then the next visit is very important. If the person that was given chiropractic adjustments healed fast then the frequency will be less frequent. If the person healed very slow then the frequency will be more frequent. After several chiropractic adjustments, re-examinations is done to assess the healing progression.

Progession of Chiropractic adjustments:

The progression of chiropractic adjustments phases1depends on the starting point of their health condition. Many people are in pain and they have a lot or problems, but once the pain is gone many people don’t see the reason for continuing chiropractic adjustments. The problem is that many people are not told the damaged areas of the spine will not be stable even after the pain is gone. If people stop the chiropractic adjustments after the pain is gone then the unstable condition will revert back to the original condition and pain eventually.  The healing process of damaged areas to be stable takes long period time for the muscles and ligaments.

Once the damaged areas are completely healed the body has more adaptability and healing capability to maintain the spine by themselves. Eventually the nerves are in 100% function, so the frequency of chiropractic adjustments decreases.

End of Chiropractic Adjustment:

There are times when a client comes in to the office and there is no physical evidence of the need to adjust the person’s spine. As long as the chiropractor is always assessing the condition and progress of subluxation, then eventually there will be objective and scientific conclusion that there are no more subluxations. Then there is an end for chiropractic adjustments as long as the person can maintain their good condition. Find a chiropractor that will communicate and educate everyone about their progression and condition of subluxation will give the answer you seek.

How long this will take, how frequent the chiropractic adjustments are, and how much it will cost.

wellness


Leave a comment

Get Ahead of the Curve!

An arch is the strongest structure in nature.

That is why most primal structures such as big bridges and buildings are built with curves and arcs.   Curvature in the spine helps the spine in many ways. First, the curvature helps absorb the impact from walking/running and evenly distributes the weight of the body. Second, the curvature helps the body withstand the constant physical stress that is produced by gravity. Third, loss of curvature will cause abnormal stress to the spine, making it vulnerable to damage and cause loss of function. For us to be ahead of the curve in life is to have good spinal curvature!

Before we dive in to how the curvature is necessary for your spine, we need to make sure which curve we are addressing. We are addressing the curvature that develops from birth to adulthood. In the womb, for a period of time following birth, a baby’s spine is shaped like the letter C. This curve is termed a primary curve, which is called the Kyphotic. During the time the baby is learning to lift his head and eventually walk, muscles develop. As muscular strength and ability is gained, the baby’s activity will shift body weight to the spine. Gradually, secondary curves develop in the cervical and lumbar regions; these curvature are called lordotic curves. These curves will continue to develop until growing stops. The curvature structure can be seen from lateral full spine radiological film, and there is a method of measuring to determine the normality of the curvature.

These curvatures in your spine withstand constant bombardment of stresses that are caused by normal activitiesin your daily life. As your body undergoes physical activites such as: sports, exercise, and recreation there is stress produced to the spine. The infrastructure of the spine upholds the body to withstand stress and keep the organs in place. This is also reflected in cathedrals which have many arcs/curvatures strategically placed to  prevent it from collapsing and withstand the test of time.

Other than applying stress from physical activity, there is another natural force that will constantly cause stress on your spine. That is Gravity!! The only way to counter the effects of gravity is to have proper curvature in your spine. The S shape curvature of the spine counteracts the effects of gravity like a spring, and sustains its structure. Do you see a waiter holding a tray? They hold it to support the weight, but bend the elbow like a curvature for support. It is the same thing with the curvature in your spine in the neck. A 10-15 pound skull needs a structure in the neck that can hold its weight and going against gravity. Most people complain about having tightness in their neck. It is usually due to loss of curvature.

When you lose curvature, the spine then is not able to withstand the stress from gravity on your body’s mass. This will result in structural failure of the spine in the long run. Loss of curvature will cause increased pressure load on the discs, increase muscular strain to support the inefficient skeletal structure, and cause nerve damage from alteration of the spinal structure. When this continues on for a long term, it will make it vulnerable to additional physical stress.  Things such as car accidents, slips, and falls can easily cause damage to the spinal structure.  The disc structure that was giving cushion to the spine can be damaged slowly and wither away from the increased stress due to poor integrity of the spinal structure. When the disc withers away, then the nerves will be compressed, increase pain, and eventually the disk will lose its function.  When time goes by, the degeneration process accelerates and your damaged spinal structure becomes permanent. Your body will be conditioned with that problem all your life.  

When the spinal structure has its curvature, it is able to withstand the physical stresses, the weight of your body, and is less vulnerable to damage to the spine. When your spine has its curves, you are ahead of the curve!! You are able to function 100%, withstand the test of time, and experience life instead of living life. You will be able to play tennis in your later years, play with your grand kids, or simply being able to walk to the bathroom. To be ahead of your curve, you simply need to make sure you have them or keep them!