This week (June 11th – 17th) is Men’s Health Week! The goal is to raise awareness about health issues that disproportionately affect men and encourage them to take control of their health, whether that means eating consciously or learning to manage stress. In honor of the occasion, I interviewed some of the most powerful and inspiring guys I know.
Dr. Darren Pollack, DC is an “independent client provider” for the DASHA® brand. Well known in the wellness industry for chiropractic care, preventative medicine and fitness. Pollack completed his chiropractic education at New York Chiropractic College (NYCC) in Seneca Falls, NY. Dr. Pollack holds additional full body certifications in both the Graston and ART techniques.
He believes in providing his patients with a customized plan that offers special techniques to help them to live a healthier, pain-free lifestyle.
Pollack’s education and skill set has also allowed him to speak inside hundreds of corporations, fitness communities and wellness events.
Pollack remains true to himself as an athlete. He uses high intensity interval training, running and Crossfit to keep himself both mentally and physically fit. He has completed over twenty-five marathons and 50 half marathons, plus he’s competed in the Crossfit Open and Murph Challenge worldwide. He incorporates a variety of fitness and health tips into his treatment plans for every athlete in training, running enthusiast or just someone who wants to achieve overall wellness.
Shannon: Why is health and wellness important to you?
Darren: I understand the benefits because I have studied and practiced them for over 20 years. It is important that I feel good on the inside and the outside — I want to be happier and live stress free.
What about health and wellness do you think is a common misconception particularly for men?
Most men tend to be stubborn and seem to have all the answers. The reality is once they are in tune to their health and wellness their behavior will start to change. It’s true that a man’s worst enemy is cardiovascular disease and although it’s a huge public health problem, it can be prevented. My recommendation is to go for your annual checkup, exercise regularly, get proper sleep and eat healthy. It’s all about lifestyle medications.
How did you first get into Chiropractic Care?
I grew up in Coney Island, Brooklyn and when I was a kid my father saw a chiropractor weekly due to back issues. His name was Dr.Longo, DC. I would go on these office visits with my dad and noticed that in his office he had all the pictures of WWF Professional Wrestlers, which is now known as the WWE World Wrestling Entertainment. At the time I was in school for computer science and graduated with international business but still had no direction of where I wanted to go. I knew pro football was out and so I decided to move in the direction of sports medicine. I went in one day to speak with Dr Longo and realized that Chiropractic was the road for me to go down.
What is the best advice you can give to a chiropractic student?
After 20 years plus of hands on experience, living in the hustle and bustle of New York City I have learned how important it is to have good bedside manner. I treat people all the same no matter who they are and where they came from. Any one who walks in my door deserves my full attention and expertise. It is important to make sure you really understand the services and benefits you are providing to the patient. Patients are educated before they walk through the door.
What are your tips for dealing with injuries?
Follow the RICE Protocol: Rest, ice the injury (wrap with sleeve or support), compression and elevation depending on the extremity.
What type of physical activity do you prefer to engage in?
Exercise, particularly Crossfit because it makes me feel good, releasing the endorphins, and it’s the closest thing to being on a team because it has a community feel with a competitive component but in a spirited way. Crossfit is constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity.
What is ART?
ART is a soft tissue protocol used to help treat naturally, often without the use of medications, are those that affect fascia (connective tissue), major muscle groups, tendons and ligaments. The goal of Active Release Technique is to restore normal mobility and “glide” between muscular tissue and nerves.
How do I know if I am a good candidate for ART?
I am full body certified in ART which is a specific certification using soft tissue protocol known as active release technique. After being evaluated and assessed the doctor will use their hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves.
ART is effective in treating overuse injuries. So if you are very active and then slow down, there are a variety of common causes for overuse injuries including: Improper training, technique errors, imbalance of strength and flexibility.
How long does a patient see you for?
This is a loaded question, simply because a patient initially sees me because they are in pain. However, and after treating them for a few weeks they tend to share other ailments that they have been ignoring for quite some time. On an average if a patient is seen for one condition it can be 6-8 weeks and then maintenance.