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Dr. Johanna goes Over The Edge for the Youth Council 2019 Experience

The Day I Went Over The Edge

I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and feelings around my experience at the Over The Edge event.

In earlier blog posts, I shared why I was participating in the challenge. For starters, I was nervous about being able to raise enough money—and then of course I was also nervous about actually stepping Over The Edge!

A few weeks before the event my family and I hiked Mt. Ascutney after I had completed the mountain race. Because of my fear of heights, I was unable to walk to the top of the observation tower. Thankfully, my friend Amy, a fellow chiropractor who is a rock climber and who helped me practice rappelling off of her ten foot high porch.

Friday—the day of the event—we finished our work at the office, rounded up the boys, and I half changed into my costume before we headed to Manchester. All day, I had been feeling waves of nervousness. My husband Alex would ask me if I was feeling stage fright or if it was like the gondola ride at Canobie Lake Park. (Early in our marriage, we went to Canobie Lake Park and I thought I would feel ok on the gondola ride, and that it wouldn’t set off my fear of heights. Unfortunately I was wrong and sat there for a few minutes detailing to Alex how I was going to jump out into a tree and climb back down to the ground!) Fortunately I realized that my fear was stage fright—and I was also scared that I wouldn’t be able to do it. Even if I cried the whole way down the building while being coached, I knew I would not regret the experience. But if I got up on top of the building and didn’t go Over The Edge, I would regret it for years. The scariest thing for me to think about was the idea of watching someone not able to take the first step!

Dr. Johanna and Family At Over The Edge 2019Once we got to Manchester, waves of nervousness passed through me as we met up with others from The Youth Council. Soon it was time to kiss the boys goodbye and head into registration with another Youth Council “Edger” dressed as Wonder Woman. Inside the room where we got our harnesses as a group of three, Wonder Woman—who had gone over last year—and Meredith who was going Over The Edge for the Nashua Prevention Coalition. In the room there was a hypnotist. On the advice from someone who had already made it over, I sat down and chatted with him. I’ve had hypnotherapy in the past to help cope with test anxiety, so this wasn’t a new experience for me. But even as the three of us chatted, the waves of nervousness kept coming.

Since the first harness they gave me was too big, I had to swap out to a smaller one—and after getting our harnesses on, there would be no more bathroom trips! After multiple checks on the harness set up, they attached the rappelling gears, and handed me a (still damp from sanitization) helmet. I made sure all of my hair was pulled back, and Meredith had to tuck my braid in on itself as it was too long. Next we took a very fast elevator ride to the 20th floor where we took stairs the rest of the way to the roof.

The roof was set up with water coolers, snacks, and a popup shade tent. We learned how to use the different pieces of equipment and I practiced doing a one foot rappel off of an I-beam. For the next hour we waited, chatted, and watched others go over. As more people went over, we got to see someone in a T-rex costume at the top—and we could see that we were getting closer to our turn!

When there were only four people left to go before us, there was a correction on the scheduled times and suddenly I was next! I was next for the blue rope. But, a woman was up on the roof at that point, and I could tell she was scared—her legs were shaking. We watched and waited. And then she stepped back down from the ledge back to the roof—which was the hardest thing for me to see. As I had already told Alex, this was the one thing I really didn’t want to see—and the one thing that could shake me—and there it was right before it was my turn to step up to the ropes!

Dr. Johanna Over The Edge About To go overBut, I stayed focused and remembered what Amy taught me. Instead of looking down or over the edge, I focused on the people helping attach me to the rappelling ropes. I looked everywhere but down or over the edge. While It was easy for me to sit on the roof edge and talk, standing up was challenging. My arms were too short to reach the tripod, so I was attempting to stand up on the edge, while attached to many different things, all while using the rope to hold on to while trying very hard not to look down. The tripod was shaking a little, everyone assured me it was safe, but the shaking was a bit unsettling to say the least!

Once I was standing, a photographer started taking pictures of the edgers. The attendant helped me step to the edge of the building offering to tell me when I got there. I stayed focused on the people on roof, my hands, the ropes in front of me, and my feet as they were on the edge. I didn’t want anything to shake my resolve. The photographer took a few more photos and in hindsight I wish I had done some goofy stuff, but in that moment I just wanted to take the steps necessary to commit to the rappel.

When I started stepping back, I kept my focus on my feet, one step then two steps. I looked up at the tripod, then focused on my hand holding the gear. I did not let go with my right hand though I could if I wanted to with this safety gear. I stepped backwards slowly and found that instead of having to force the rope through the mechanism, it moved smoothly and almost too fast. After several steps I was standing on the windows on the side of the building. I struggled to touch the side of the building with my feet. The rope was releasing a bit faster than I wanted it to, and my legs felt too short! I kept trying to just keep walking backward. I kept trying to go slow while avoiding locking the secondary rope because I did not want to have to fiddle with the equipment on the wall.

I continued to keep looking up, and while I was looking at the windows, the only image I remember is seeing the back of a Dell monitor on a desk inside.  I counted each floor I completed, but after about six floors, I gave up trying to walk on the wall, and just hopped from ridge to ridge, dangling my legs between. While I originally didn’t want to do it this way, it became more comfortable. I looked up to see how far down I had come, and occasionally I would look to the sides and diagonally down to the streets below—but I never looked directly down!

Dr. Johanna Rappelling Over The Edge

On the way down, I took moments to pause, breathe and just reset my bearings. I was surprised at how well I was handling the fear—but I still wouldn’t look down. I could hear people below cheering, but the only voices I recognized were my sons’, my husband’s, and friend who invited me to do this crazy thing. The things I remember from the event are strange, I remember how the rope sliding fast through my right hand felt, and how I was worried that I would pinch myself with it. The rappelling controls were sensitive, and like the hot and cold water in the shower, it was near impossible to get it to the right speed. I was warned during set up, that the activity is hard on the arms, I did not realize how difficult it would be until I was starting to fatigue. When I was about halfway down, an announcers introduced me and I heard the cheers getting louder.

On the last fifteen feet of the rappel, I realized that I could get hurt if I released the rope too quickly. If I did, there might not be enough distance for the safeties to stop me before ground impact. I was also completely dangling now, with no building for support, as I was being pulled away by the grounds crew from the bushes at the side of the building. I slowly descended to the ground and sat down. I was helped up, handed a cold water bottle—which someone was kind enough to open for me.  But my next thought was: can I get in line and go again? My husband helped me manage the recovery from the adrenaline spike. I snacked on peaches, posed for pictures and congratulated other edgers.

Dr. Johanna Over The Edge 2019

In the end, I raised $1300 (from 34 individual donors) for the Youth Council, but I was just one of five people who went Over The Edge for the Youth Council. The next day my left forearm and abs were sore, but I feel lighter and less afraid of heights after this experience. I’ll see what the next few weeks hold, but this may have been an event that has changed who I am.

Randy of 2020 Vision Quest’s GoPro video is a fantastic example of the set-up at the top:

All United Way photos from the event can be found here and were used with permission.

Erchonia cold laser treatments are now available at Catalyst Chiropractic in Nashua, NH

Dr. Johanna Now Offers Cold Laser Treatments at Catalyst Chiropractic

Why did you decide to add cold laser to your practice?

Dr. Johanna: I’ve been looking for a modality that could help fast forward through the pain relief phase of treatment. I also wanted to add a unique treatment to our practice. After doing research, I felt that the cold laser was the best choice for our goals at the office, since it accelerates pain relief and improves the healing process.

Who could typically would benefit from cold laser treatments?

Dr. Johanna: Generally speaking, there are benefits for everyone. It’s just depends on their treatment goals. Because the Erchonia cold laser works with the mitochondria of the cells, it helps to improve cell regeneration which shortens healing time. Speeding up pain relief allows a patient to start corrective care sooner.  The laser also helps with older injuries such as sprained ligaments or muscle adhesions. It helps to break up old patterns so that the body can heal correctly and with an improved range of motion.

What do people need to know before getting a cold laser treatment?

Dr. Johanna: As with any treatment, we will have a conversation and consultation along with an exam. This way we can establish your areas of concern, along with your goals to create the best course of treatment. Erchonia laser treatments can be purchased separate from chiropractic treatment, but we recommend chiropractic care to greatly improve outcomes. While some studies show low level laser pain reduction with just one treatment, the majority of the studies use a series of treatments. For best results we recommend a series of six, nine, or twelve treatments depending on the problem.

Why did you choose this particular piece of laser equipment?

Dr. Johanna: The laser we chose was manufactured by the Erchonia Corporation, the global leader in low level laser healthcare applications. They were also the first to receive FDA market clearance for their products in the treatment of chronic pain—proven through two double blind IRB studies.

Along with pain reduction and helping heal injuries, how can cold laser therapy benefit athletes?

Dr. Johanna: If an athlete is dealing with an injury, cold laser treatment will speed their recovery time so that they can get back to their sport. Since low level laser encourages cell regeneration, athletes can also recover from heavy training faster. Imagine if an athlete is able to reduce their recovery window and train with greater frequency and intensity! When a muscle is stressed while training for improvement, the muscle fibers get damaged. By using the Erchonia laser, we can encourage cell regeneration (or in simple terms muscle repair), helping the athlete’s muscles get stronger, faster. The same would apply for someone who is strength training or weightlifting.

How can patients request to add this treatment to their current therapy with you, or get set up for laser treatments at your office?

Dr. Johanna: New patients will need to schedule a consultation and exam. Current patients, simply need to discuss the treatment with Dr. Johanna at their next visit. Or, they can call the office to arrange an appointment specifically for a laser consultation. Depending on treatment goals and problems, most patients will find that adding cold laser to their treatment plan will only increase their time in the office

Rappelling down a Skyscraper!

Help Dr. Johanna Rappel Down a Skyscraper to Benefit The Youth Council with Over The Edge 2019!

Over the Edge 2019 Q&A With Dr. Johanna

Have you ever rappelled before?

I have, but just once in high school with Explorer Scouts, and it was nothing even remotely close to this height! We went hiking and did some small rappels during the outing. I was only able to do the rappels where my feet were firmly planted on the rock face, I was terrified of just hanging! In middle school, I only managed to complete one zip-line ropes course. Before then, I’d gotten too scared and backed down.

As an adult I generally avoid heights or more accurately, edges. Unfortunately, this has conflicted with my desire to experience adventures in my life. Even so, I’ve managed to face my fear enough to ride a few roller coasters and have been to the top of the Eiffel Tower which was terrifying with the wind!

It sounds like you’re afraid of heights! Is that true?

I’m completely terrified of heights. I even have difficulty on gondola rides at amusement parks due to the height!

How do you psych yourself up for new and potentially scary challenges? The Over The Edge event involves a serious height challenge!

I never want to miss out on an experience because of fear. So, I rely on facts and get analytical. I know that the redundant safety measures were almost too redundant for one of my rock climbing friends who did the Over the Edge event last year! Intellectually, I know I will be safe—and I also appreciate the fact that not everyone has the opportunity to rappel down a 300ft skyscraper! I don’t want to miss my chance to have this a-once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’ve run a marathon, I ran up Mt. Wachusett last weekend, so I know that I can walk backward 300 feet—the length of a football field.

Gate City Marathon Johanna Half Marathon

It’s easy to back out of something scary when you know you’ll have other opportunities, but this event only happens once a year and I can’t guarantee I’ll be invited next year!

How did you first learn about this challenge?

I heard about Over The Edge last year when Dr. Amy Haas, another local chiropractor and avid rock climber went “Over the Edge”. This year Dr. Haas was not available, and I was invited to participate in her place.

The United Way hosts this event for every year to raise money for many area non-profits. I’m participating to benefit The Youth Council.

Where can we learn more about The Youth Council?

The Youth Council helps Nashua area families get help with mental health, alcohol and drug abuse. They’re able to intervene to keep children from going into the corrections system, or starting down a path of multiple criminal records.

The Youth Council is proud to fill a critical niche for young people at the intersection of law enforcement, education, substance misuse and mental health symptoms.

How will our donations help The Youth Council?

A $50 donation will support a day at our suspension center for a 5th-8th grade students. This center is a safe place for children who are suspended from school. The center also can address the underlying issues which may have caused the child’s suspension.

A $100 donation will support an embedded middle or high school student assistance counselor for a day. They work to help students overcome stress, anxiety, relationship challenges, and even substance use.

A $300 donation will support a global assessment of an individual’s needs. The Youth Council will help a family determine if their child has a substance use disorder, and will create a comprehensive plan to address their needs with a licensed therapist.

A $1,250 donation will help a child who has been arrested for the first time (along with their family) through our court diversion program. This program ensures that the child is held accountable while receiving the support they need to avoid an offense on their permanent record.

How Can I Support Dr. Johanna and The Youth Council?

You can make contributions on Dr. Johanna’s “Over the Edge” donation page:

Cash or check (made out to the United Way) donations can also be made at our office.

For new patients who have donated at least $50, we have set aside a few Thursday New Patient Consultations and exams. The appointment must be scheduled before the end of the June. If you would prefer to make a donation by cash or check, call our office to schedule and let us know that this is your plan.

Once Dr. Johanna raises $500, she will get on the schedule to know when she is jumping. She will need to raise at least $1,000 to make the jump, and would love to raise more. The Youth Council does great things to help the youth and parents in the city of Nashua.

Preparing for, running, and recovering from Ragnar Relay Races Interview with Ambassador Niki Leonard

All About Ragnar Races, an Interview with Niki Leonard, Ragnar Ambassador

Recently I had a chance to chat with Niki Leonard about Ragnar Races. These weekend-long group relay races are challenging, fun and life changing, so I wanted to learn more.

Ragnar Ambassador Niki LeonardWho is Niki Leonard, and what is a Ragnar Ambassador?

Niki Leonard is an ambassador for Ragnar Races, and has participated as a runner for years. Ragnar Ambassadors are runners who apply and are chosen to represent Ragnar at events and races. They are so enthusiastic about the races that they not only enjoy the events but want to share the experience with others.

What is a Ragnar Race?

Ragnar is a relay race—a really long one. The relay is run by teams of friends. Over the last few years the Ragnar Relay has developed a number of different formats. The original race format consisted of teams of twelve people who would run a distance of about 200 miles as a relay over 24-30 hours. Each team of twelve runners splits into two vans. In the same order, they run 36 legs of the race which add up to roughly 200 miles. The relay race starts at a single location and finishes at an iconic destination.

How The Original Ragnar Relay Format Works:

The original race format begins with the first runner from the first van. The runners in the second van sleep a little later. While the first runner begins, the remaining five runners in the first van drive to the first exchange—all while cheering on their runner during the drive (this usually involves ringing a cowbell!) Meanwhile, still in the first van, the second runner gets ready to start running at the first exchange. This pattern continues until the sixth and last runner in the first van is running—and the first van is on the way to the first major exchange. A major exchange is when the second van’s team begins to run. At that exchange, runner seven on the second van is ready to run—and the second van is ready to take over the relay. At this major exchange the “relay baton” (a classic 1980s style snap bracelet) is handed off. The runners in the first van then get a few hours to relax, eat, or take in the local sights before the next major exchange. The relay continues until all 36 legs of the race are completed.

Ragnar Trail Relay - interview with Ragnar Ambassador Niki Leonard how to run, prepare for, and recover from a Ragnar Relay RaceOther Ragnar Relay Formats: Longer Distances, Shorter Distances, Trails, Ultra!

While the 200 mile road relay race is the oldest and most well-known Ragnar race format, there are now many other choices. If you prefer trail running, there’s a three-loop, eight-person relay trail race. The trail race begins with you and eight of your friends camping at the base of a mountain. Each person takes turns running three different loops of varying difficulty and distance. Ragnar also has other shorter options: the Florida Sprint relay is a six-person, 60 mile race, and the Sunset Series format is a 4-person marathon that lasts from noon until sunset. Finally, for long distance road or trailer runners, you can form an “ultra” team where a team that’s half the number of people covers the same distance. Ultra trail runners also have the option of taking on the “black loop” challenge with a friend—they run all three loops on Friday then run an 18 mile loop on Saturday.

Local Races near Nashua:

Cape Cod Ragnar (May 10-11th) runs from Hull to Smuggler’s Beach.
Reach the Beach (Sep 13-14th), celebrated its 20th Anniversary race last year. It runs from Bretton Woods to Hampton Beach.
Ragnar Trail Vermont (Aug 16-17th) at Mt. Ascutney.

Use Niki’s code 19YAYFRIENDS to save $80 on a team registration for local races.

How to Sign Up for A Ragnar Relay Race

Ragnar only accepts registrations as a team. If you have a few friends who enjoy running and a good adventure, go ahead and sign up as a team. If your friends know more people who wish to participate then before you know it, you’ll have a whole team! Most Ragnar road races offer the opportunity to just fill one van of runners and they’ll randomly pair you up with another single van. This option is usually available if the race doesn’t sell out within the first 2-3 months after registration opens.

How To Build Your Ragnar Racing Team

If you feel like this race is for you, but you’ve never talked to another runner who has participated in a Ragnar race, here are Niki’s recommendations for starting building your team:

  • If you frequently run with friends or in a group, ask them if they would interested. While captaining a team can be challenging, there are a lot of resources available to help you along the way. I’ve captained a few road teams, and am currently captaining a trail team for the 4th year in a row!
  • If you are on Facebook, search “Reebok Ragnar Cape Cod”, “Ragnar Reach the Beach”, or “Ragnar Vermont Trail”. Look for the official event pages created by Ragnar. Within those pages, search in the community sections for teams who need runners to join them. Comment and message the person who posted to see if you’d be a good fit. As the events get closer and closer, it gets easier to find and join an existing team.
  • Find a running group! You’ll usually find a team to join and a whole lot of new friends at the same time. Almost all of the Ragnar races I have run are with teammates from the New England Spahtens Obstacle Course Racing community.

How Did Niki Get Involved with Ragnar Races?

Back in 2013, I found myself in a physical place with my body that was just unhealthy. After committing to get back to an active lifestyle, I decided to start participating in obstacle course racing. I was able to not run too much right away because of stopping for the obstacles (a.k.a. the fun stuff). However, the more obstacle course races I ran, the more I wanted to become a better runner.

I heard about the Ragnar races in my OCR community. One day I made a Facebook post to express my interest, and an hour later I was officially on a team. After my first Ragnar in Cape Cod, I was instantly hooked. I have now run the Cape and NE/VT Trail every year since 2015. I’m committed to both 2019 races, RTB in 2018, and completed the first Ragnar Sprint in Florida in February 2019. My team ran the Sprint as an Ultra team, with three runners instead of six. While I’m sad to miss RTB this year due to other commitments, I’m envisioning 2020 as more heavily focused on travelling to other parts of the country to participate in Road and Trail races.

What’s One of Your Most Memorable Moments From a Ragnar Race?

Every single Ragnar creates a whole bucket of memories—van life, or simply an amazing view from the top of a trail. At my very first Ragnar race, I joined a team as an unconfident runner who wanted the least amount of mileage possible. When a runner had to drop from our team at the last minute, I found myself offering to take a much more difficult running position. The day before the race, I went from a cumulative eleven miles over three legs, to 19 miles, with a nine mile final leg. At the time I’d only ever trained running six miles! But, with a can-do attitude, amazing coaching from a teammate, and my van meeting me every two miles along the way cheering me on (and handing me a swab of Vaseline to help with the chafing), I completed that leg with a new PR for distance! It was one of the best experiences of my entire running career.

How Should I Prepare for a Ragnar Race?

There are two components to consider when preparing for a Ragnar race. In addition to being physically ready, mental preparation is as if not MORE important.

Physically, make sure you’re comfortable running your assigned distances. On a road race, individual legs range from two miles to thirteen miles. The total distance per runner is from 10.5 miles to 26 miles. Be completely honest about your abilities so your captain assigns a runner position within your capabilities. Trail races have loops that are three to eight miles long—often with plenty of elevation. Practice running your assigned distances closer and closer together. During the race, you will be running three times in 24 hours. Your legs will get tired, and knowing how far you can run on tired legs is important. You can also train your legs to handle it better. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, be sure to run in complete darkness at least once—so you know what to expect before race day. Make sure to have a headlamp, reflective vest, and a blinking light on your back!

Mentally preparing for a Ragnar Relay involves working on staying calm and going with the flow. If you’re a high maintenance person, get anxious, or have a short temper, then this race may not be for you. You may get little to no sleep, and you’ll be surrounded by the same five people for almost thirty hours! You’ll smell, they’ll smell, and during the race, things will absolutely go wrong.

Be prepared for anything. Have a can-do attitude. Enjoy all the scenery and amazing craziness that comes along with running one of these races. I promise with the right attitude, you’ll make amazing friends and have an unforgettable weekend—no matter how hard the run was, how bad the passenger seat smells, or how little sleep you managed to get! Spend a little time reading some of the amazing blog posts on the Ragnar website or that other participants have written. This will provide additional insight about how to prepare and what to expect. While a Ragnar race sounds like a crazy thing to try (and let’s be honest, it is), if you’re a lover of adventure, running, and making friends, then this is absolutely a race you should try.

What’s the best way to recover from a Ragnar Relay?

If possible, do a leg drain immediately after each segment. Lie down and put your legs up against a wall (or the inside of the van) as close to 90 degrees as possible. Stay in that position for 8-15 minutes. Sleep is also very important. After an endurance event you need to let your body recover and heal.

Be sure to eat high quality protein and anti-inflammatory foods. Stretch and foam roll to help the body clear out waste products. An epsom salt soak (two cups of Epsom salts in water as hot as you can stand) followed by stretching can be incredibly helpful. Be sure to re-hydrate: drink half your body weight in plain water daily—and more if the event was held during hot weather. See your chiropractor for an adjustment to help make sure any imbalances or minor tweaks are resolved before they become problems.

Dr. Johanna’s Advice: How Can Chiropractic Care Help with Your Training, Performance, and Recovery

Adding chiropractic care to any training plan will help with recovery and success. Dr. Johanna offers a specific, detailed assessment for runners who wish to stay healthy while running at their highest efficiency.

Schedule Your Runner’s Assessment.

Ask Dr. Johanna

Ask Dr. Johanna: 5 Common Questions New Patients Have at Catalyst Chiropractic

People often ask us many great questions at the Catalyst Chiropractic office–either for themselves or for family members and friends who they may be bringing with them to a future visit.

Q: If someone has arthritis is it safe for them to be adjusted?

A: Yes, it’s definitely safe to adjust someone with arthritis. Part of the process is to actually assess their spine because arthritis is a very generic term for disc degeneration. So, what we do at Catalyst Chiropractic is find out the specific levels. So, if your doctor told you that they did an x-ray and you have some arthritis in your spine, we will look at the x-ray or we will take our own. We will see what specific levels of degeneration you have–and is it preventing specific bones from moving appropriately.

Q: Does Catalyst Chiropractic accept Medicare?

A: We do! We’re a participating provider with Medicare, which means I can bill Medicare directly for your care. We make sure you know up front what the costs will be to you, and what Medicare will cover. We also monitor when/if Medicare decides that they may no longer cover your treatment, so you do not get any billing surprises.

Our office manager, Alex Newbold, will explain what Medicare can cover for your treatment. For other insurance, Alex also calls and makes sure to get all of the coverage information together for you. This is especially valuable since every insurance company is different. Alex is our on-site insurance and Medicare specialist. He brings over ten years of experience in the health care industry, where he worked in a large HMO to the task to make sure you get all of the correct information.

Q: Can pregnant women still get chiropractic adjustments?

A: It is quite safe to get adjusted while pregnant. As with any patient, there would be an evaluation to specifically assess their safety for adjusting–and to determine what the correct technique would be for that person. When Dr. Johanna was pregnant, she continued to get adjustments through the duration of her pregnancy. And, many of her patients have said that it has been fantastic for relieving body aches–because when you’re pregnant you want to avoid taking any kind of medications. So, adjustments can help to avoid taking medications during pregnancy for normal body aches and pains.

Q: If someone has had a spinal fusion, can they still get adjusted?

A: Absolutely. At Catalyst Chiropractic, we have worked with several patients with spinal fusions who have had fantastic results. Obviously if there’s been a fusion, we don’t adjust that area and we’re not going to want to or try to undo it! But, we can make sure that the areas above and below the fused area of the spine are all working appropriately. And if other parts of the spine are having problems we can help take care of those as well to try to prevent future spinal fusions.

Q: Does Dr. Johanna Newbold still get chiropractic adjustments?

A: Yes, she does. Right now, she is receiving supportive maintenance care with a chiropractor in town. She goes at least once a week because she finds that it helps her stay in tip-top shape for taking care of her patients. As an avid runner, she knows that regular chiropractic care is essential to faster recovery times after endurance events and training. Even when she runs really hard in a race, she’s already beginning to recover just 30 minutes later. More importantly she finds that she isn’t in pain the next day after a race.

Easy Chicken Soup Recipe

It’s that time of year, when the weather turns colder, the leaves change color and warm soup becomes a desirable thing.

Basic Ingredients

2-4 lbs of chicken thighs
Coconut Oil
2-3 inches of fresh ginger root (pealed and chopped, if you prefer to remove the ginger at the end cut the pieces larger for ease of removal)
5-10 garlic cloves (pealed and chopped)
8-9 cups of water
1-2 tsp peppercorns
1-2 bay leaves

Optional Ingredients
1 medium onion (pealed and chopped)
sliced carrots
sliced celery
celery seeds (1/4 -1/2 tsp)
rice or noodles (I cook separately and add to bowl when serving)

looking down in to pot of chicken soup


  1. Using a large pot or dutch oven saute ginger, garlic, and onions(optional) in coconut oil.
  2. Add chicken thighs skin side down
  3. Add 8-10 cups of water to pot, along with bay leaves, celery seeds, and peppercorns
  4. Boil for 30-60 minutes until chicken is completely cooked. Since you are boiling, you don’t need to worry about over cooking the chicken.
  5. Remove chicken. Discard the skin and bones. Shred the meat and add it back to pot.
  6. Remove ginger if you don’t want to eat large pieces of it.
  7. Add carrots, celery, and salt to taste.



Either serve the soup as is, or add some cooked rice or noodles to the bowl and ladle the soup over them.  I prefer to add rice/noodles this way to avoid the rice/noodles becoming mush. This way every one gets the right noodle to soup ratio.

This recipe is very adaptable both in its initial cooking and when reheating to have a bowl.

Showering Nashua in Service

Sunday the 8th of April Dr. Johanna added the Nashua Soup Kitchen 10k to her training run for the Gate City Marathon. This is the 25th Annual race raising money for the Nashua Soup Kitchen. This year there were 750 runners. Registration for next years race opens in December.

On Tuesday, April 10th we met with our friend Cheryl at the Nashua Senior Center to to see what help we could offer for Meals On Wheels. Starting on the 17th, we rode along with several drivers to learn more in depth about what volunteering to deliver meals 2-4 times a month entails. Rather than make it just something we do this April, we applied to be drivers and by the end of May we’ll be driving a weekly route delivering meals in Nashua. We are excited to be able to help Nashua in an on-going way. They are looking for more drivers, if you are interested you can apply here.

Meals On Wheels has an upcoming walkathon in Manchester on May 19th.

Another local charity we wanted to help was Habitat for Humanity. We quickly discovered that their build days would interfere with our patient hours and opted to spend a pleasant Wednesday afternoon volunteering at the Restore on Amherst St. We spent the afternoon straightening up displays and helping people move furniture around. Registering for a shift is easy on their website.

Our linens drive for the Nashua Humane Society has been a fantastic success, thanks to our patients. You’ve managed to over flow the bin with blankets, towels, sheets, and even several large dog beds. Thank you!

April Showers bring May Flowers

rain drops on a blue flowerHumane Society of Nashua LogoThis April Catalyst Chiropractic will be showering the Nashua area with service. To kick off the month we are starting with the Humane Society of Greater Nashua.

If your non-profit could use an extra set of hands, contact Alex and we’ll see if we can help out.

It’s the time of year for Spring Cleaning. While you’re cleaning out your closets and basements, take a moment to stop and think about the Humane Society of Greater Nashua. The Humane Society is always in need of blankets, sheets, and towels for their animals waiting for their forever homes. Feel free to drop them off at our office and we’ll take care of delivery.

The Humane Society of Greater Nashua was recently named Non Profit of the Year at the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce Eminence awards. Everyone knows that the HSFN provides temporary homes to pets who are looking for people just like you. Were you aware that they also offer low cost veterinary services to the community as well? Plus dog training!

Dog sticking head out of blanket

Catalyst Chiropractic is collecting your unwanted towels, blankets, and linens for the HSFN. Give a dog or cat a warm place to sleep while they search for their forever home. To you it’s just an unwanted beach towel from 1994, but to a future beloved pet it might mean the world.

Nominated for Small Business of the Year

Small Business Nomination Award Catalyst Chiropractic was nominated for Small Business of the Year in the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce 15th Annual Eminence Awards. While we didn’t win, it was an honor to be nominated and we’re glad to have shared the room with wonderful organizations such as, The Greater Nashua Humane Society, The Great American Downtown, and LaBelle Winery.


Congratulations to all the nominees and winners. We enjoyed the luncheon at Sky Meadow Country Club and learned quite about about the Farm to Table movement here in Nashua and Farmer’s Dinner. Check out Grow Nashua here in town and find out what they are doing to promote health with local fresh vegetables.
We were nominated for our unique expertise in the field, and for our dedication to our patients. Book a New Patient Appointment with us, and experience it for yourself.

YMCA Octagon Lunch Circuit Class: Review

I’ve been debating whether or not to write this review because I enjoy this class and it has a 10 person limit. On Mondays when you would think the gym would be starting to empty the class hit that limit and more. Wednesday’s class doesn’t get as full.

Octagon equipment at the YThe flip side of this is if the class is popular, then maybe it will be offered more often.

The class is 45 minutes long and consists of up to 10 stations per round. If the class is full, then it’s 3 rounds. On the day in which it was just the two of us, it was 9+ rounds. Each round start with a runner who runs 1 lap around the track (9 laps per mile), expect for a few of the faster runners, they do 2 laps and sometimes the runner walks a half lap (depending on their limitations). They act as the timer, during that time you do the exercise station you are at until the runner returns. Then everyone moves up a station, the next person runs, and the class continues until everyone has done each station.

This class works multiple region of the body, and alternates between exercises using resistance techniques, free weights, or your own body weight. Modification of an exercise is an option if there is a limitation, and there is no pressure to push yourself until injury. There is encouragement to try a little harder, to do 1 more rep, but encouragement is not pressure. We all started at a different level of fitness, a different levels of ability, and we all have our own goals.

Dr. Johanna’s Goals: My goals for this class are to cross train to enhance my running ability, and to increase my speed. I’m training to run Gate City marathon this year and cross training is often forgotten when trying to run 4 times a week. I’ll be honest I do not push myself as hard as I could at the class, but one day a week I am doing this class and running 3-4 miles. I prefer a slow gradual improvement with minimal risk on injury and I know patients would prefer I stay injury free as well. The strength work is hard but is getting better.  The stretching we do at the end is a good start, but honestly if you are taking this class plan to spend 5-10 mins after class stretching or foam rolling.

Alex’s Goals: My primary goal is to be healthier, to that end I’m exercising in this class to improve my stamina and lose some unwanted pounds.  Plus, I enjoy working out in groups.  I tend to get bored if I’m alone at the gym and work out less.  Having a class to attend, gives me accountability. Having an instructor picking the routines, also gets me doing exercises I wouldn’t normally do if the choice was up to me. 

Overall this is a good whole body workout class that works on strength and is small enough to get some personal attention when you need it for form or modification. After 4 weeks of the class, we have both learned new exercises we can do at home to continue the forward momentum.

You can learn more about class and other at the YMCA. If you have a gym or host an exercise class you would like us to review, please contact the office and we’ll do our best to accommodate.