Join us at the Bay Area Black Expo!

Bay Area Black Expo September 8 and 9 from 10-6 at the           Oakland Mariott Convention Center

The Grand Lake Health Center will be donating free spinal and joint screening exams for all attendees. A special rate will be granted to all attendees who wish to continue with care. Come out and join us!

OAKLAND/ BAY AREA, CA—The original “Black Expo” national tour was established in the mid-1970’s in New York City.  The Oakland, CA expo was eliminated from the national urban city tour in 1996. Refusing to allow the San Francisco Bay Area community to miss out on learning about available products, talents and services that the expo had to offer, licensed clinical psychologist and businesswoman Dr. C. Diane Howell established “Black Expo LTD,” and independently-produced an adaptation of the touring exposition until her untimely passing in 2008. With only a one-year interruption, Rose Lyles and Laura Wright brought a Black Expo back to the Bay Area with successful productions in 2010 and 2011—both yielding 100% booth occupancy and over 7,000 attendees each year.

This year, marketing guru J. Alton Byrd has joined Lyles to co-produce the two-day affair. With energetic support from corporate, community, social and media partners, the event’s producers plan for the 2012 Bay Area Black Expo to be the Bay Area’s largest and most comprehensive multi-ethnic trade expo ever. Bay Area Black Expo will take place Saturday and Sunday, September 8-9, 2012 at the Oakland Marriott Convention Center, 1001 Broadway, downtown  Oakland,  CA.  Additionally,  in  recognition  of  outstanding  Bay  Area  community partners, Bay Area Black Expo will host its inaugural Magnificent Seven Awards Gala® (a black- tie affair) Wednesday, September 5th at the exquisite Mira Vista Golf & Country Club in El Cerrito, CA.

The spectacular 2012 Expo will showcase and celebrate Bay Area’s diverse community with offerings that will include the awards gala; entrepreneur workshops; healthy cooking  demonstrations  with  Cuisine  Noir  Magazine  and  celebrity  chefs;  fitness  classes; fraternity/sorority step show; celebrity “Inside the Artist Studio” interviews; a powerful spirit-led gospel show; and special celebrity guest performers and speakers, in addition to the many exhibits  by  art  &  craft,  retail,  social,  corporate,  and  health  care  vendors  and  exhibitors. Admittance costs are: $10.00 general admission; $5.00 children, students with ID, and seniors. Tickets may be purchased at the door and online via PayPal at

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Is Chiropractic safe for pregnant mothers?

Many new expectant moms develop aches and pains associated with their growing child and belly.  All the extra weight up front causes mom to hyperextend her back to balance herself. Bending backward more than usual upon walking and standing can aggravate pre-existing problems that may have been symptom free before. So how can an expectant mother treat these issues without harming the baby physically or chemically with medication?

Chiropractic care can be great for expectant mothers. It is chemical free and can be safe physically for mother and child. The same misalignments of the back which can cause back or neck pain in non-pregnant patients can also cause pain in soon to be mothers. Not only is it safe but there have been studies that show delivery can also be easier if the mom continues with care throughout the pregnancy. We use special padding, tables and techniques to accommodate the baby bump so that it is comfortable for both mother and child. I have taken care of a number of expectant mothers allowing them to be more comfortable in their time of need. I have treated some patients up to a day or two before their due date.  There are also specific treatments to help babies in the breech presentation, called the Webster Breech Turning Technique.

One of my first patients who had trouble conceiving told me that after she started with chiropractic care she conceived. This makes sense if the same nerves that I was treating for her low back pain are the same nerves that go to her reproductive organs. So chiropractic can be beneficial for both pre and post conception.

Additionally, the birthing process can be both difficult on mother and child. Upon normal vaginal birthing, the person delivering the child can be pulling on their head and neck inadvertently causing neck problems. If the delivery is a c-section a relatively small incision is made and the baby is grasped and pulled out usually by the head with a suction device, forceps or by hand.  In most cases, there can be quite a lot of pulling and torquing  on the babies head and neck. You can perform a search on youtube for ” forceps birth or vacuum assisted birth or c-section.  This physical trauma can cause colicky babies, trouble latching, chronic ear infections and other problems. Sometimes our first spinal problems can arise from our very first day of life. Have yourself and or your child checked today.




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How Orthotics can stop your dogs from barking!

When people say that their ” dogs are barking” what they mean is that their feet are aching with pain, fatigue or discomfort. So how can orthotics help and what are they?

Orthotics are insoles for your shoes.  The insoles are designed to make your feet more comfortable while walking. Some of them are generic and some are custom fit. The generic ones can help you feel more comfortable especially if the original insoles were poorly made. Customized orthotics are for people with chronic problems that don’t resolve.  The chronic foot pain can be caused by several issues and not just with the feet. People can have abnormalities of the bones of the feet, low arches, high arches, feet turned in or supination, feet turned out or pronation, plantar fascitis, heel spurs, neuromas, non- healed injuries of the foot or ankle, scar tissue, subluxations or misalignments of the feet, ankles, knees, hips, pelvis or lower back. All of these issues and more can benefit from custom made orthotics.  However, the difference between orthotics made by a foot doctor and a chiropractor can be night and day.  Before I create a custom orthotic for a patient I correct the alignment of their entire spine, hips, knees, ankles and feet. Then and only then do I cast the orthotic.  So when the orthotic is cast with the entire body in perfect alignment, the orthotic can help the patient hold their correct alignment and resolve the foot issues and sometimes issues of the ankles, knees, hips, lower back and spine. On the other hand, if the patient has the orthotic cast while having the problem, since foot doctors cannot adjust the alignment of the joints, the orthotic will mold to the patient’s incorrect alignment and procure the same problem. I believe the orthotics I make are superior for this reason.  Additionally, our orthotics are usually less than half the price of a pair made by a podiatrist.

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What patients and most doctors don’t know about can harm you.

From the day I started Chiropractic school. I vowed to eat and become healthy.  Over the years, just like the nutritious food, I have consumed everything I can to learn about becoming and eating healthier.

One of the most important concepts I learned about is enzymes.  Within all fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables are the enzymes that our bodies need in order to digest it. Pretty smart right? However, if you cook that produce past about 118 degrees Fahrenheit the enzymes start to break down. What’s the answer?  Either you need to eat that produce raw or take additional vitamin supplements that provide you with the enzymes to digest it so that your body can break it down and utilize all of its nutrients. This concept is why there are vegans out there who eat nothing but raw foods.

You may ask yourself why do I need to eat raw or supplement my diet with enzymes when I have not had a problem yet?  The problem is that all of us are born with a limited supply of enzymes.  If you eat a lot of cooked produce you will use up your natural storage of enzymes quicker. At some point your body will become intolerant or allergic to foods that you no longer have enzymes for.  Did you ever wonder why you can’t eat the same foods that you did when you were younger? Also, because of the lack of digestive enzymes the food can sit in your colon and rot causing you problems like Crohn’s disease, chronic fatigue, arthritis, headaches, eczema, allergies and many other problems.

Additionally, the giant food corporations are genetically modifying (GMO) produce to inhibit growth of these natural enzymes.  Why do they do that?  The same enzymes that are needed to digest produce are the same enzymes that cause the breakdown or spoilage of fresh produce.  If the food corporations can remove the enzymes, the produce will have a longer shelf life to increase profits.  This is why organic produce spoils so much quicker. It’s alive with nutrients and enzymes unlike the dead produce that almost never spoils. There are other reasons why our food is genetically modified and other ways the enzymes are inhibited.  I will write about that in another blog.

Dairy and fruit juices are also live products until they are pasteurized. The pasteurization process heats up the liquid to kill any possible bacteria from lack of sanitary processes and unfortunately destroys the natural enzymes at the same time.  Many people are lactose intolerant not because they are allergic to milk but because there are no enzymes to allow them to digest it.  Yogurt and Kefir with live cultures are more easily digested due to the active bacteria that aid digestion. Raw milk and cheese are available at specialty stores. Additionally you may want to create your own whole food live juices or smoothies.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to eat a healthy diet.  The food you put in your mouth is what your body uses to make new tissue.  About every three years our entire body, except for the the nervous system, has been rebuilt with the foods we consume.  If you try to rebuild your body with hamburgers, fries, enzyme absent produce and processed food, your body is going to be subject to disease.

P.S. Processed food can be defined as any pre-made, pre-packaged food that does not spoil. It does not spoil due to lack of enzymes, lack of life and usually contains preservatives, hydrogenated fat and a host of other man made chemicals or vitamins. Essentially it is a dead food.

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Can you guess the most common medical complaints?

Among some of the top complaints patients seek a medical doctor for are coughing, ear aches, stomach aches, double vision and depression.  However people also make thousands of appointments for lower back pain, even though most general practitioners have very little training in musculoskeletal problems. A patient of mine, who was a general practitioner, embarrassingly admitted that her schooling was very limited when it came to these types of problems. Medical doctors most commonly treat lower back pain by covering up the pain with medication  or referring the patient to a physical therapist who is only trained to treat problems of the muscles.  But, they can give the pain a name like lumbago which translates to back pain or sciatica which is defined as pain resulting from irritation of the sciatic nerve, typically felt from the low back to behind the thigh and radiating down below the knee, courtesy of

Most commonly, lower back pain or sciatica is due to subluxations of the lumbar spine and or pelvis.  A subluxation is a misalignment of a vertebrae which impinges upon a spinal nerve either directly or indirectly.  The pinched nerve can cause pain, numbness, tingling or all three at the same time.  The harder the nerve is pinched the further down the leg the pain will travel. The misaligned vertebrae becomes fixated or stuck in the wrong position which also causes  decreased range of motion.  Some other causes of back pain are disc herniation, tumors, kidney stones or spasming of the piriformis muscle.

If the back pain is caused by a subluxation or hypertonicity of the piriformis muscle a chiropractor is able to diagnose the problem and correct the cause instead of merely masking the pain with medication. Correcting the alignment removes the pressure from the nerve and allows the body to heal itself. Hypertonicity of the piriformis muscle is known as piriformis syndrome.  The muscle gets so tight that it squeezes the sciatic nerve.  Specific techniques and stretches performed by the chiropractor will allow the muscle to relax and decrease the pressure on the nerve eliminating the pain.

For additional information or to diagnose your specific problem, please see your local chiropractic expert for an evaluation to see if chiropractic can help you or someone you know.

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Can chiropractic help headaches?

Yes. Most people don’t think of chiropractic care being able to help with headaches but, the truth is most times it can. In my experience, chiropractic has been able to cure headaches 95% of the time.  Most headaches are indirectly caused by misalignments of the neck which chiropractors call subluxations.  These subluxations cause pinching of spinal nerves as well as spasming of muscles in the neck. One of these muscles is called the rectus capitus posterior minor.  This muscle is attached to the dura mater which is a membranous sac that covers the brain and spinal cord.  When this muscle goes into spasm it pulls on the vertebrae as well as the dura mater.  The pulling of the dura mater causes increased pressure in the head which causes the headache.  Whew!

By correcting the alignment of the vertebrae with  chiropractic treatment, the muscles can relax.  The relaxed muscle decreases the pressure in your head and ” PRESTO! ” your headache disappears.  Chiropractic is not magic although it works like it is. It’s simple, unadulterated health science.

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How to find the best chiropractor.

The best chiropractor is the doctor who you feel the most comfortable with and gets the results that you are looking for. One great way to find a good chiropractor is to ask your friends and family members who their chiropractor is. Chances are if they like him/her you will too!

When you do find a doctor, always let them know how you are feeling in regard to treatment or office protocol. If a particular treatment is not working for you, your doctor can’t alter the treatment unless you let them know your body is not responding well. Different people respond to different techniques and it can take some time to find the treatment that is best for your body.

I hear all the time that people think ” once you start going to a chiropractor you can’t stop! ” The truth is you can stop your care anytime. It’s your body. However, lots of people who come in and get better through chiropractic also realize that it is best to maintain your alignment to prevent future problems. It’s less stressful for your body to prevent problems than trying to correct it once you have it.

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Lifelong Medical Care – Health Fair and Community Walk!

LifeLong Medical Care had it’s 3rd annual Community Walk and Health Fair on Saturday August 6th, 2011 at 2344 Sixth Street in Berkeley.   Lifelong’s mission is to ” Deliver high quality health and social services to underserved people of all ages.”

The Grand Lake Health Center had a blast at this community event. They had the community walk, dancing, raffles for free prizes and an overall sense of well being, hope and health for all.  Dr. Mark Wong went in commando meaning solo, due to some unforeseen circumstances.  Regardless, he was able to educate the event goers about chiropractic and their various spinal and joint issues ranging from shin splints to genetic disorders of collagen.

There were lots of  young and helpful volunteers who were interested in how chiropractic could help them with their back pain.  It was refreshing to see how interested they were in their own health and in prevention of problems.

Even the young can have spinal problems.  Their bodies can go through more stress than ours since they tend to be more active in different sports and activities.  Chiropractors believe that if we can correct subluxations ( spinal misalignments that pinch nerves) early, we can prevent more serious problems in the future.  Prevention is the key to health.


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Dr. Mark Wong takes a stand at the Bay Area Black Expo

The Grand Lake Health Center participates in the Black Expo in Oakland, CA to screen for spinal and joint problems on July 23 and July 24.

It was a great event and we found lots of people with all kinds of issues ranging from car accident pain and injuries, job related injuries, falls and childhood injuries that were never treated and have resulted in chronic pain.  What amazes me most is how many people have problems that can be corrected with chiropractic care but have no idea since their medical doctor tells them it’s just age  related or arthritis and it’s something they just have to live with.  Well, they don’t have to suffer needlessly. Chiropractic can help! We screened many people and scheduled the majority of them to start the healing process within the Grand Lake Health Center.


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Rash of Neck and Shoulder problems hit Eastbay!

Due to the increasing number of jobs that require extensive computer use the number of injuries to the neck, shoulder and back have also increased.  The repetition of sitting in one position and using the mouse causes undue stress upon the spine and joints.  If the person is also using poor posture the problems increase exponentially.

These problems are causing neck pain, shoulder pain, arm pain, hand pain, headaches and back pain.  Symptoms of numbness and tingling are also being found.

Dr. Wong has treated several cases in the past few weeks.  These injuries respond well to chiropractic care, muscle therapy and stretching.  Prevention of injuries requires proper ergonomics, home stretching and postural improvement.




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