On 11-11-11, all the guns went silent. So reported Jim Jones. Former US Marine, Vietnam vet, the first speaker at the Pattaya City Expats Club’s November 11 meeting. Jim was followed by Gay Burnett from Pattaya Surecell Medical Clinic whose topic was: Back pain: how to avoid it and what to do if you have it.
At the start of his presentation, Jim played a sound track of that 11th hour, 11th day and 11th month of 1918 that marked the end of the war to end all wars, WWI. It was very dramatic as you could hear almost continuous artillery firing … then, suddenly, everything went quiet and you could actually hear birds singing. This was when the armistice went into effect. It was originally known as Armistice Day but, as time passed and other wars intervened, the name was changed to recognize those veterans who gave their life in other wars. In the US, it became Veterans’ Day, in the UK it became Remembrance Day.
Jim noted that though the last day of that great conflict, it was one of the bloodiest having more fatalities than the famous D day of 1944 of WW2. A trumpet rendition of the Allies Retreat and American Taps was then played as a fitting tribute to those lost in not only in that conflict but all those following.
The Club meeting which was held on November 11, marked the 100th anniversary of that great event. At the 11th hour a moment of silence was also observed by the PCEC attendees to honor those fallen heroes.
Jim then described his own experience as a veteran of the Vietnam War. He enlisted in the US Marine Corps for 4 years in 1955 at age 17. After completion, he was in the inactive reserves for another 4 years. He then went back into active service for 3 years, getting caught up in the Vietnam War; being in his late twenties, he was considered the “old man.” He was in an amphibious tractor company that landed troops on the beaches, went on patrols with the infantry, and supported them inland. After an experience with a land mine, he was transferred to a communications platoon. Altogether, he spent a year and a half “in country” during the Vietnam War and ended his tour of duty as Sergeant. James says the Marine Corps afforded him a chance to see the world; the good and sometimes not so good.
Next up, Gay Burnett from Surecell spoke about the advanced program of joint care through autologous Platelet Rich Plasma and cell therapies. Back pain is one of the main reasons for “loss of work days”. It is suffered by most of us at some stage of our lives either as a brief inconvenience or regular annoyance (in a brief show of hands among those present, only 5 people indicated they had not suffered back pain during their lives). The causes are many and so the management is varied. Gay endeavored to enlighten everyone on how to manage back pain and lead an active life.
Gay has worked for the Surecell Company for several years. Her focus is to educate and encourage healthy lifestyle changes including diet, food intolerance awareness, exercise and physical therapy programs. Her background was in Nursing, Midwifery and Pediatrics. Branching out into more alternative health care through a Physiatrist degree, she became a Reiki master and Advanced Reflexologist. Gay’s primary presentation was on back pain, its causes and some primary management techniques
The primary causes of back pain are spinal or muscle strain or sprains, bulging discs and vertebral compression. In addition, there are secondary causes such as smoking, excessive weight (BMI) lack of exercise, onset of arthritis or skeletal deformity. Any of these and cause or contribute to back discomfort.
The short answer to the back-pain management is low impact exercise such as walking, swimming, cycling or yoga. The goal of these exercises is to produce long flexible muscle rather than short strong ones. Diet of course is important and well as a discontinuance of bad habits such as smoking. Vitamin D, magnesium sups and Co Q 10 enzyme treatments are helpful as well.
With the help of a friend, Diana Mountanos from Pure Yoga Pattaya, Gay described while Diana demonstrated a few low impact stretching exercises. She said in the past she has had a whole regiment of these but found that too many produced reluctances in her patients to do anything. She had a handout with the name and pictures of how to do these helpful daily stretching exercises to prevent or alleviate back pain.
After the presentations, MC Roy Albiston brought everyone up to date on upcoming events and then turned it over to the Open Forum portion of the meeting where questions are asked and answered and comments made about Expat living in Thailand, Pattaya in particular. For more information about the PCEC and their activities, visit www.pcec.club.