Posts Tagged With: bones


Dear Friends, my normal activities have been drastically hampered by my inability to climb stairs, walk any distance without pain, and carry any weight, etc.  My first visit to a chiropractor was while I was on the road in Ashland, Kentucky. I’ve had steady treatments since returning to Murphys. For those familiar with chiropractic treatments, it is muscular, hands on  manipulation of the skeletal structure.

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Meet Dr. John Souza of Soulsbyville, CA. who is a hands-off practitioner of chiropractic and a trainer using a SpineForce 3-D Rehabilitation machine developed through the Space Program.  But, first, the hands-off. He uses a Mach Gun to shoot my spine and loosen  any mis-alignments.

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Then he seats me next to a machine called a Pro-Adjuster. The prongs vibrate 12-15 times per second and record each vertebrae in graph form.

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It shows my spine is out of alignment in in the left window. Each bone is registered. (click to enlarge pictures if you like.)

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After applying the adjuster to each out-of-line vertebrate, it was visible on the screen. Now the look more like a string of pearls. The Red T1 shows a vertebrae that would not move.

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Dr. Souza uses a different tip of the prong for my neck and base of the skull. The device did not take away the pain from my neck. He realized it was coming from my jaw and he tested my jaw and applied pressure to it. I’ll have another treatment on Friday.

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Then he worked on both hips.  Not only is the adjuster more affective, but it is faster as well.

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Then he introduced me to the SpineForce 3D training machine. It was very hard for me. He explained that there is a learning curve.

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You have to co-ordinate pulling with one hand, pushing with the other in a balanced way with feedback from the machine recording your efforts. The brain has to be engaged. I had to bend my knees slightly but he kept the platform still for this first experience.

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It is kind of like patting your tummy and rubbing your head in a circular motion like we did when we were kids.  The red lights show uneven results. The right hand push gave me lights in the target, but no bulls-eye.

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Here the lights show even strength but nowhere near the bulls-eye goal.

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And here, for one brief second, I got the green lights in the bulls-eye and equal strength all around. My neighbor, Jan Stewart accompanied me and took the pictures. I don’t know how she managed to get the one photo of that brief second, but she did. The SpineForce 3D three dimensionally targets the 180 deep spinal muscles and is designed to train you to use them in a coordinated way. Work on the trainer strengthens and restores core strength, rehabs back and shoulder injuries and neuromuscular balance disorders such as in MS. The device basically treats 180 muscles at the same time and improves the function of  stabilizing back muscles. Along with spinal adjustments, the trainer can alleviate pain and serve as an anti-aging device. Sounds good to me.

There is a video demonstrating the device on-line if you are interested. You can buy the 2008 model on Ebay for $16,000.00. I think I’ll pass.

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Aptly named Cliff Palace, this cliff dwelling is the largest in the United States and is the one most often seen in magazines and tourist brochures about ancient ruins.

It is the only major cliff dwelling in the park that can be seen from an overlook.  I was disappointed in my pictures of the Weatherhill Long House, but here you can see the dwellings from a distance and get an  idea of what the whole settlement looks like in two photos.

The tour starts on the left and moves off to the right.

A tighter shot also taken from the overlook. Notice the tower in this photo and a comparison of what the site looked like when it was first photographed by a  Swedish Scholar, Gustaf Nordenskiold, in 1891. He was the first to scientifically study the site though it was officially “discovered” by Weatherhill,  local ranchers and curiosity seekers knew of its existence.

Quite a difference. Much debris from many years of neglect, but hey, the 1100’s was a long time ago. From the overlook,  our group proceeded down into the canyon.

Jim is moving a bit slowly. He was in pain this morning from overdoing a things a bit yesterday, despite the meds.

Then up this small ladder and you are at the beginning of the tour.

Because the ancient Anasazi (the preferred word is now Puebloans)  seemed to have abruptly vanished, Bill Slaughter, our guide,  posed  some  questions to think about as we viewed the site:   Who are the ancient Puebloans?  Where did they go? What made them leave?

There is much scientific study about the ancient Puebloans.  They speculate that because there are so many kivas at this site, those who decided to leave their nomadic way of life as hunters and gatherers and build cliff dwellings, supported a greater community of Puebloans in the surrounding Mesa Verde area. I believe he said the palace has 11 kivas.  From local Native Americans who still use kivas for political and ritual uses, scientists speculate that the same was true of the ancients.

Other kivas we’ve seen could only be entered by a ladder through the roof. This advance in building skills allows the person to walk into the kiva through a “keyhole” entrance.

A three-story “apartment” house, and other buildings on site are so straight, scientists speculate they may have used a plumb bob to align their  buildings.  Small rocks with a hole drilled through them were found on site that could have served that purpose.

A crevice above the dwellings was used to store corn and beans to keep it from rodents and birds and weather.

The Puebloans built round as well as square buildings with great skill. Sandstone is a good, long-lasting building material when not subject to harsh storms. They could hand chisel rocks to fit. It had to be  a major decision to give up their nomadic lifestyle and hunker into the cliff sides and build such protected houses. Most likely, for some protection from conflicts. There were probably 30 to 50 thousand Puebloans in the area.  And while there is no sign of conflicts in the cliff dwellings,  conflicts arouse over a diminishing source of food and game and other resources like wood in the greater area below the mesa in what is now Cortez and surrounding areas.

Examinations of bodies show a people somewhat protein deficient.  All of the big animal bones were gone from the upper layers of the middens, no deer, elk or sheep bones. The Puebloans were living on small game, like rabbits and turkeys.

The cliff location provided protection and water. They dry farmed and depended on winter snow melt and summer rains to grow their corn. A 23 year drought may have driven them to take up their nomadic lifestyle once again.  They didn’t just disappear,they moved.

There is plenty of evidence linking the ancients to the local Ute and Hopi tribes.  This is their ancestral lands. Even some DNA evidence.

The climb out of the canyon is steep and about 180 feet up.

I thoroughly enjoyed the rock climbing aspects of squeezing through tight spots and between gigantic boulders, but Jim was getting a workout he didn’t need at that point.

We, at least, had steps and handrails. The ancients made it up the cliffs barefoot. Their hand and toe holds could be seen carved into the rock at this spot.


The final three ladders are bolted into the cliff.  If you go, the rangers give you excellent information about how strenuous each tour is. I didn’t find this a strenuous trip, despite the altitude of 7,500 feet. It is possible to do two tours, or even the three major dwellings in one day. The most challenging is Balcony House.  Since Jim was in no shape to attempt a second tour we skipped it, but I told him he’d have to drag me back here to take it another year.

There is much more to do here if you can hike two to five miles.  And there are longer hikes to see hidden dwellings and petroglyphs described by yesterday’s, guide, Pam Slaughter, as “very beautiful.”  The museum is excellent. Don’t miss the 25 minute film.  We drove the loop and looked at views of lesser dwellings on the way back to camp.  Then we enjoyed watching the deer eat while we enjoyed our own supper.

I always take way to many photos, but if you’d like to see my album, click on the link:

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Both the boys and Grandma are delighted every time we have occasion to visit Stories In Stones, a local business in Angels Camp owned by Pam and Russ Shoemaker.
Its Owen and Theo’s favorite store.

From the giant grizzly bear skeleton to giant trilobites, the fossils here of all kinds fascinate them. What’s nice is that Pam and Russ are so willing to inform and educate the kids about everything in the store as well.

A giant geode taller than a ten and eight year old is like an old friend. Worth a small fortune, they are always glad it hasn’t sold and they get to see it one more time.

Their favorite room is the wholesale room even though they have to pay more for their purchases than the listed “wholesale” price. They understand wholesale and retail pricing. Theo came away with a geode pocket in a polished wood base and Owen bought an emerald sphere on a small tripod stand. Such treasures.
We bummed around town a bit before going to Moaning Cave. They’ve been to Mercer a couple times but never Moaning. Theo shuddered a bit at the hand winder that at one time lowered people into the unknown depths in a half barrel “bucket” holding a candle. And, at the skull of a 12 year old girl who fell into the cave during a  distant, unknown past. We enjoyed watching the rappelling while waiting for our walking tour.

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The skull and other human bones and artifacts. It is now against the law to remove remains from caves. After taking the cave tour, we proceeded to the little gold mining town of Columbia, which is also a California State Park.

A cool way to spend the hot afternoon, playing around in the gold panning trough. No sign of any gold, but they found little pieces of gem stones that are almost as pretty as gold, while the boys were as good as gold. Nope, better than gold.
Before breakfast this morning, Theo picked plums from the tree on the deck with Aunt Dawn. He hopes his mom will make cake with them.

Its a wild plum that just grew. Tasty but small. Just right for little boys.

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