Arthur Guyton, MD, in his Textbook of Medical Physiology, dedicates an entire chapter to alkaline balancing, and states that when the body is alkaline it converts free radicals to harmless water and oxygen, which maintain energy and vitality. The acid-alkaline balance relates to the chemistry of the body’s fluids and tissues as measured by pH.
The cells of the body need a slightly alkaline environment to survive. With a blood pH of 7.365 the cells are in homeostasis and they receive nourishment and release waste with ease.
But when you eat, drink, and live an acidic lifestyle, your cells and the inner environment become toxic. Your patient’s diet and lifestyle choices will either help or harm their delicate pH balance and improve or worsen their clinical outcomes.
Free radicals, inflammation, pH-Levels and Acid Foods
Understanding the relationship between chronic muscle and joint pain, inflammation, and saliva pH is critical for improving outcomes. Most chiropractors agree that the majority of injuries presented at their practices are chronic muscle and joint pain problems.
These problems may be secondary to acute or repetitive stress, but typically they develop from improperly managed inflammation and acid/alkaline imbalances in the body.
A major factor in the formation of chronic inflammation is the presence of free radicals occurring in greater abundance than the body’s ability to remove them, frequently referred to as “oxidative stress.” Excess acid-forming foods, drinks, and acidic lifestyles in general put an enormous strain on your patient’s digestive system, liver, kidneys, and other areas prone to chronic inflammation.
The body’s attempt to neutralize all that acid creates even more free radicals, which further damage inflamed tissue cells and steal electrons — your patient’s life force — from existing healthy tissues. By integrating a simple saliva-pH test and offering an alkaline, antioxidant, and phytonutrient-rich green drink supplement, you may see improved outcomes and faster healing times.
Monitoring your patient’s pH
A simple and accurate way to read a patient’s pH is to test his or her saliva. Saliva pH is a reliable body fluid to test outside of the blood, and it can easily be measured using litmus paper strips, which are available in most pharmacies. Many doctors buy small pH-testing kits that contain a small number of test strips (around 15), and a pH color chart to measure results, all enclosed in a small sealed bag.
Most doctors who have integrated saliva-pH testing into their practice buy high quality test kits and either offer them to patients at markup or give them away when the patient purchases an alkaline green drink supplement.
To test a patient’s pH, have him or her take the test kit home and first thing in the morning dip one paper strip into their saliva on a spoon for one to two seconds. In about 10 seconds they can compare the color on the test strip to the color on the pH chart and record the number. One reading of a test strip won’t really tell you much, because levels fluctuate.
It’s best to have patients track their readings a few times a week for two to three weeks to get a general idea of where they fall on the pH scale. This will give you and the patient a fairly accurate reading of their body chemistry.
Keep in mind that pH operates on a logarithmic scale, meaning that each increase of a single number in either direction away from seven is a multiple of 10. So when your patient’s pH moves from seven to six on the scale, that’s 10 times more acidic; seven to five is a hundred times more acidic, and so on. Coffee, for example, has a pH of around four and soda a pH of two.
Guyton says it takes 20 molecules of alkalinity to neutralize one molecule of acid, which means when your patients drink one 8-ounce glass of cola, it will take 20 8-ounce glasses of water to neutralize it. It’s obvious how the Standard American Diet (SAD) can produce such devastating effects on your patients’ health.
The power of alkalizing green drink supplements
Plant-based green foods add alkalinity to the reserves of your patient’s body. Barley grass, chlorella, spirulina, and vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, parsley, and kale along with fruits like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, plums, pears, and many others flood our bodies with chlorophyll, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and oxygen.
Healthy cells thrive on an alkaline, oxygen-rich plant-based diet, while unhealthy cells or viruses, bacteria, and cancers hate oxygen.
Pathogens prefer an acidic diet high in animal products, processed and refined foods, and synthetic chemicals.
When you eat a plant-based diet or supplement with an alkaline green drink, you assist the body in maintaining an alkaline aerobic environment. The more oxygen you get in your food, the more health you should experience.
Excessively acidic food creates an unhealthy cellular environment, which increases the chance of pathogen growth. Green drinks and living foods from fruits and vegetables are the most alkaline, oxygen-rich foods you can eat. They are the prescription for optimum health because they still contain their life force.
Alkaline balance and pH testing protocols
Since the majority of injuries in your office are muscle and joint pain related, and are chronic in nature from improperly managed inflammation and acid/alkaline imbalances, it’s likely that the tissues surrounding the area of main complaint are acidic and loaded with free radicals. Therefore, it’s not necessary to measure saliva pH in your office on the first visit to determine the need for alkaline balancing.
Alkaline Balance Nutrition Recommendations
First visit acute care protocol: two alkaline green drinks/day and one alkalizing mineral drink.
After one week of saliva pH testing follow the schedule below:
Simply conducting the typical patient workup that includes the main complaint and history along with examination findings should be enough for you to suggest an antioxidant-rich supplement. As part of your routine treatment of inflamed tissues, recommend a change in dietary and lifestyle habits that favor alkalinity.
Knowing that most patients are more interested in getting out of pain than changing their lifestyle habits in the initial phase of care, it seems most prudent and beneficial to consider offering them an easy and simple way to alkalize their bodies and quench free radicals as part of their initial treatment program.
The recommendation of a phytonutrient-rich, alkalizing green-drink powder supplement on the first visit, one that contains many different superfoods, complex carbohydrates, alkaline protein, and vegetable-based healthy omega oils will provide a substantial amount of antioxidants with an abundance of free electrons. This can help quench free radicals, decrease inflammation, alkalize surrounding tissues, and provide acid/alkaline balance, which can ultimately improve outcomes.
Patients can be sent home with a green drink supplement and a pH test kit to record their saliva pH over the next couple of weeks to monitor improvement, or determine the need for additional lifestyle changes.
Educate patients to improve compliance
Most patients, rightly or wrongly, think of chiropractors as neck or back pain doctors. Since most will have difficulty in connecting their “back pain” to pH testing and the benefits of a green drink supplement, it will be helpful if you can connect the dots for them: from their spine, to their nerves, to their organs, and finally to pH imbalance.
Consider using a software program that shows patients the connection between where they hurt in their neck or low back, the route of the affected nerves to the end organs, and a correlation to pH imbalance. The software should have a simple checklist patients fill out that clearly demonstrates how their current acidic lifestyle is contributing to their acid/alkaline imbalance and free radical production, and exacerbating their pain and inflammation.
In chronic muscle and joint disorders, the presence of chronic inflammation, acid/alkaline imbalance, and oxidative stress in the myofascial tissues are inseparable; you cannot have one without the others. Therefore, to correctly heal chronic muscle and joint problems, monitor a patient’s saliva pH and offer an antioxidant-rich alkalizing green-drink supplement that manages the metabolic factors of chronic inflammation and free radical damage.