I first came to Dr. Ala and started FLT (FirstLine Therapy) approximately three and half years ago. I initially wanted to start the program to lose weight. Shortly into the program I realized that more than losing weight, I appreciated how great I was feeling. I had an almost instant increase in energy, banishment of depression and a decrease in stomach bloat. Over the course of the next six months I lost close to 60 pounds. I felt wonderful!
I wanted this new lifestyle but old habits die hard and I thought I could have both. i fell back into my old habits of eating fast food, ignoring green veggies, indulging in processed food, junk food and bakery goods. My weight increased, my energy level plunged, joint problems returned along with anger sadness and self-pity.
After one year of 'doing it my way', I decided to return to Dr. Ala and the FLT way of life. I want to lose the weight I've gained, but more than that I want to feel healthy again. Obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes run in my family. I worry about that and it's not something I want to grow old with. I want to be able to live my life to the fullest and be the best I can be. I'm excited to get to a point where FLT and what I learn in the program is a habit. A habit I'm excited to call my new lifestyle. I'm looking foward to this lifestyle change.
A friend referred me to Dr. Ala in 2010. I started the FLT Food Plan in January of 2010. When I started I was very excited & motivated. I have colitis & have struggled with it for years. I got colitis within the 1st 2 weeks of going to college my first year. Eating has always been difficult with having colitis. Trying to figure what I can & can’t eat and how food is going to affect me. I knew I really needed to eat the right kinds of foods, quantities & the timing of my meals. Dr. Ala has helped me so much with my nutrition plan. I’m still on FLT & I LOVE it!! It has helped me a lot to stay focused & motivated. I eat 5-6 small meals daily, 3 hours apart. I feel so good when on FLT & I know I am finally eating the right kinds of food for me. I’m not perfect with it but I do eat very clean and I try to stay consistent with it. My health means a lot to me so I really try not to waver. I have had my ups & downs but I’m much more focused this year with my eating. I have found some great recipes & I LOVE to cook! I’m still Excited about my FLT plan 2 years later now and will continue with it. I encourage anyone to get on the FLT plan as it will help you out in so many ways, but you have to put the work into it.
I started the First Line Therapy program nearly 1&1/2 years ago because I had chronic joint pain, mainly in my knees. I was also overweight, which made the problem worse. I was told there was a supplement specific to people who suffered from chronic pain, so I wanted to learn more. After attending one of Dr. Ala's informational sessions, I didn't hesitate to get on board!
Dr. Ala designed a plan specifically for me. I stuck to it religiously. I was so ready to get away from my unhealthy way of life! I had lived on advil to get me through the pain I felt, especially at night, and caffeine to keep me awake through the day! Those days were over.
It took less than one week before I began to feel a change. Of course, weight began to drop. But even better, I noticed I had much more energy, and the pain in my joints began to subside.
Within a few months, I had lost 30 pounds, and more importantly, I'd completely changed the way I ate and lived! No more processed foods...just good fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats, along with daily exercise. I became so aware of all the foods I purchased and consumed. The FLT program taught me what to look for while I was in the grocery store. It also taught me what things to avoid! I was a caffeine freak...addicted to soda and coffee. Now I don't miss caffeine or soda! There are so many better choices out there...Thanks to FLT & Dr. Ala's program, I learned what those were!
Dr. Ala and her staff were great about helping me along the way, answering questions and making suggestions that made it easy to stick with it. They even had an FLT potluck, where we could sample each other's FLT approved recipes. I refer to our FLT cookbook all the time! Eating healthy tastes so much better!
FLT is so much more than weight loss. It's a change to a healthy lifestyle. I've never felt better...and I vow never to go back to my old habits!
I attended one of Dr.Ala's FLT seminars and without doubt saw I needed to change my lifestyle and diet, and that I had several misconceptions of what "healthy" meant! I began the FLT program in summer '07. The detox period wasn't easy, but I saw results and benefits I didn't expect. I was sleeping through the night, several digestive problems disappeared, my menstrual cramps decreased greatly and some months were not even present, I had more energy at work. And this winter I realized I wasn't cold! A miracle! I am not perfect, but I will not go back! Dr.Ala taught me to think differently and take on a new lifestyle, not a "diet". FLT is second nature to me now and I am so thankful I was introduced to Smith Chiropractic! I am enjoying life with new energy!
Just wanted to touch base and tell you how amazingly well your FirstLine plan is going for me. It's been almost a month since I started and I've had no problem sticking with it, which is a good sign! It's easy to see how this plan is more about lifestyle change and choices than any sort of quick fix.
I'm still playing around with recipes to find the tastiest way to get everything in. At first I was just doing a lot of individual foods to make sure I got the exact portions. Now I'm learning how to combine things.
I still think about food a lot, but I don't feel ravenous like I use to. And I don't get stressed out about going out to eat anymore. I use to hate it when friends wanted to go out to eat because I didn't want to have to deal with making the right menu choice and/or throwing off my intake for the day. Now there's no question. I just select something off the menu that fits into my FirstLine plan. I wish I knew what they cooked with though 🙂 …
At any rate, I feel amazing! And I love how this plan caters to my self-diagnosed obsessive compulsive disorder! It makes me feel like I'm in control, with my little checklist, but in a very healthy way.
I have been on the First Line Therapy for about a year. I first started when my doctor told me to lose weight and go on cholesterol medication. After seeing what results my wife was having and after hearing Dr. Ala speak, I decided maybe this would be beneficial for me. Since then, I have lost a lot of weight, lowered my y blood pressure and have avoided taking cholesterol medication. After getting used to eating healthy foods, I get indigestion whenever I eat "junk". I notice the difference immediately and think about what I was doing to my body all those years. I would recommend this program to anyone wanting to improve their health and quality of life.
I started the First Line Therapy program as a last resort to relieving several years of chronic pain. I was desperate for any kind of help as several specialists, injections and drugs failed to give me any relief. I noticed results within a week as I had less inflammation and so much less pain. I couldn't believe how good it felt not to have constant pain! Life became fun again! I have been on the program for about a year and a half and consider it a life-style change. It really isn't hard to eat healthy and whenever I don't, I notice more swelling and more pain as a result of bad food choices. Since starting this program, I have been able to discontinue my blood pressure medicine and have lost a considerable amount of weight. I have recommended this program to several family members and friends and will continue to do so. So many health problems can be avoided by just a better balance of food. I have really appreciated the help of Dr. Ala and her staff. It has been a great learning experience and I have the best teacher!
We Asked Our Patients...
Q: How important do you think early intervention is as it relates to concussions?
A: We cannot stress enough the importance of early intervention. Both myself and my mother say, 'run to Dr. Ala as fast as you can,' and we live in North Dakota! We went through the regular concussion protocol and wasted months upon months of our time with absolutely no results.
I asked a regular neurologist "Why doesn't the headache go away?" His response was, "I don't know, good question, come back in four months." Safe to say, we never returned to that individual. Instead, we saw Dr. Ala and started to see instant results.
A: It is very important! The longer you wait to be treated the longer the healing process takes. With me, I wasn't really diagnosed for two years, and it took me two years to heal. If I was diagnosed earlier, I could have healed earlier.
A: It is extremely important. Our son did not get the help he needed right away and had severe damage with memory loss, speech, and headaches. He laid in bed suffering severely from headaches for over a year and a half...until we found Dr. Ala.
We want all athletes to know, never just assume your concussion will heal with time. That is what we were told in the beginning, we unfortunately listened, and that time hurt our son. He should have been getting help from Dr. Ala ASAP and he would not have had such extensive damage and suffered so long.
There is no reason anyone should just settle for such an injury, there is great help out there, so get out there and work hard, and you will be impressed. Dr. Ala is the one who is there for you through the whole recovery.
Q: What would you tell other athletes who have suffered a concussion?
A: If you have suffered from a concussion, remember, you only have one brain, take care of it. Do not let someone else tell you how you feel. Do not let the coaches tell you that you are fine.
Listen to your brain because it is telling you that something is wrong. Our daughter had the guts to keep telling us that something was wrong. She didn't let anybody tell her any different.
DO NOT HIDE THE SYMPTOMS. I will make some enemies with this statement, but there is no state championship worth ignoring your brain. Sports are great, and if you can play again great, and if not, that's okay too. It is difficult to miss out on certain sports, but coming from a mother that has watched a child go through this, there is nothing more important than taking care of your brain.
Most athletes stop their career after high school, and there is no sport that is worth the risk of jeopardizing your future. Our daughter had her high school years all planned out, until her accident. That accident changed everything.
And I cannot emphasize enough the importance of your brain. Get the screening, listen to Dr. Ala– she is truly amazing and she will tell it like it is. That is exactly what you need to hear to recover.
The day Dr. Ala said, " You've got your daughter back"–yep you guessed it, I cried. Followed by the biggest smile on my face.
A: Never ignore the symptoms or think it's only a mild concussion. Get help immediately and take precaution. Don't get back at the sport ASAP because it is a life long injury if not taken care of. Our son suffered for many months and it was not just a couple of weeks of recovery as we were originally told.
Until we found Dr. Ala we just thought our son would have to live this life suffering this way. Thank God for what she knows, and trust us, she knows best. She made our son smile again!!
A: Seek medical attention soon after the injury, it makes recovery quicker and reduces the chance for permanent injury. Stay positive! It is hard work and not many people understand what you are going through.
Q: After your concussion, what was your recovery process like at Smith Chiropractic?
A: After examination and testing, we were given a brain rehab protocol. It includes various exercises that need to be done daily. The exercises the doctors prescribe are targeted to rebuild the injured pathways in the brain. The recovery process is hard and requires lots of work, but it’s worth it when you see the results.
A: Once our son found out what was wrong after his examination and testing, he worked extremely hard on the protocol given. He saw how much his work helped after each retest was run and he began to notice changes in his symptoms.
A: The road to recovery for some is instant and for others long. We were told the recovery would be a long time, but our daughter started to see results soon after she started with the exercises.
One thing that has to be understood, if you want to recover, you have to do the treatment plan exactly as Dr. Ala says, and put in the time. Our daughter worked so hard to recover, she still does her exercises everyday. Her injury was September of 2011 and it is June of 2015. That is a long time, until you remember what you felt like before and how you feel now. No one had answers for us until we found Dr. Ala. "Amazing" does not describe what she does for people.
Q: How valuable are the examination by the doctors and testing methods (such as CAPS testing, VNG exams, and Saccadometry) in recommending proper care for an injured athlete?
A: Very valuable. They show progress and help the doctors reassess the treatment you have to do.
A: The VNG in our opinion is the BEST help you could get! MRI's and CT scans didn't detect any of the issues that our son experienced. We would not have ever understood why our son suffered so much without this testing and examination by the doctor.
A: The CAPS and VNG tests give the doctors a clearer picture of what has happened to the brain and what needs to be done to start the recovery process. These tests are short and show immediate results from the concussion.
When your child has had a concussion that doesn't heal on its own, these tests are imperative for recovery. The examination by the doctor also explains what has happened to the brain.
We saw instantly what had happened to our daughter, and more importantly, we heard there was help for her. It is just heartbreaking to watch someone you love struggle with everything that comes with a concussion.
It's not just the concussion itself, but the reaction from some people that adds to the difficulty. If you can't see the injury, they don't understand. I was sad at first to hear what had happened to our daughter's brain, but at the same time I was excited to hear when Dr. Ala start talking rehab and recovery. Our daughter was so excited when she finally found people who understood.
A word from the doctors:
Rest is often prescribed for patients that have suffered a head injury. However, that is only a short term prescription. If those symptoms are left unchecked for too long, they can become permanent.
If you think you, or someone you know, may have suffered a head injury, see us as soon as possible to have a complete assessment.