Dynamic Chiropractic - February 12, 1996, Volume 14, Issue 04

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Title: Gentle Fitness -- Yes!

Author: Catherine MacRae
Publication: Two-tape video set with 7-min. professional demonstration tape, or display case with six pack of video sets including demo tape.
Publisher: Gentle Fitness
Category: Patient self-help and fitness
Price: $39.95 for 1 video set, $159 for display case with six pack of videos.

I have reviewed a number of fitness videos, some for athletes, others for geriatrics, but never one so suitably tailored for patients with chronic pain and debilitating disease. Catherine MacRae, herself a survivor of multiple sclerosis, has compiled a complete fitness program including stretching and flexibility exercises, strengthening and toning exercises, and self-massage, done almost exclusively in a seated position. This is an exceptionally applicable video for those who are wheelchair-bound or unable to exercise in a standing position due to pain or instability.

Tape A includes three sections of progressive seated exercises and a short section (seven minutes) of standing routine. She has very creatively and gently included mechanisms for stretching most commonly shortened muscles (quads, hamstrings, gastrocs) and inventively developed strengthening exercises for abdominals and spinal musculature in the seated position.

Tape B includes self-massage of head, face, hands, and feet, as well as exercises to be done on the floor (or bed) for relaxation and flexibility.

Both tapes highlight useful tips not just for exercise, but for daily regimen as well (i.e., how to get up easily from a chair, floor, or bed, and tips designed for staying well). The models include the elderly, and patients disabled with a variety of conditions from CVA to rheumatoid arthritis and orthopedic deformities. Ms. MacRae's own advisory board consists of health professionals from all areas: chiropractic (Dr. Joe Bradley); physical medicine and rehabilitation; physical therapies; and health education. I have used this tape already for patients with fibromyalgia and intend to use it for patients with chronic arthritis as well. Included is a brief demonstration tape for health care professionals and retailers to assist in applying this program.

It will be a very welcome and unique addition to your library of patient education tools and has filled a niche in the assistance of chronic pain patients.

Silvestrone Rating: 10 out of 10

Title: The Palmer Mansion: A Pictorial Tour
Authors: Wes and Dorothy Sheader
Publisher: Palmer College of Chiropractic
Attn: Bookstore
1000 Brady Street, Davenport, Iowa 52803
Category: Historical presentation for doctors, students and those of the public with an interest in the history of chiropractic.
Price: $25

During the centennial year of chiropractic, many members of the profession had the opportunity to tour the Palmer Mansion. During the Davenport session of the Grand Celebration there was a constant stream of visitors to take the guided tour of this wonderful house. Because of the historic nature of the mansion and its contents it is generally not open for public viewing, It is used for special events by Palmer College of Chiropractic, and on occasion special tours are arranged. These tours are conducted by an organization known as the Campus Guides, a wonderful group of students who volunteer their time to escort visitors on tours of the campus, and when called upon, conduct guided tours of the Palmer Mansion.

Two of the current Campus Guides, Wes and Dorothy Sheader, have compiled this wonderful pictorial tour of the mansion. Those chiropractors not fortunate enough to have visited B.J.'s house in person can now view its unique architecture and collections. For those who have toured the mansion, this book will provide a reminder of their time spent there.

As someone who has visited the mansion on a number of occasions, I found this book fascinating. B.J. Palmer was a collector. In his world travels he collected many unique, rare and beautiful pieces. These are displayed throughout the first floor of the mansion. Although I've seen many of these pieces more than once, I never knew the history behind their creation and acquisition. This book contains many of those stories. The authors have conducted in-depth research in the Palmer College archives to glean the details included in this book. Knowing the background on the chess sets, the blind point embroideries, the pipe organ, etc., gives me a different perspective on not only the pieces themselves, but the man who collected them.

As unique as the collections is the mansion itself. This is no ordinary house. After its purchase by B.J. and Mabel, they began to remodel the house to their needs and the needs of a very young Palmer School of Chiropractic. The additions made to the house were in some cases made to accommodate a growing school and profession. Many unusual features are present as part of the house itself, such as the four large trees in the rustic room, and the leather belts that make up part of the ceiling. It should also be remembered the Palmer Mansion served as the broadcast studio in the early years of WOC radio. There are also pictures of BJ's "Little Bit O'Heaven," which contained many of his collectibles. Unfortunately, Little Bit O'Heaven had to be dismantled in 1981, but many of its most unique features can be viewed in this book.

The Palmer Mansion: A Pictorial Tour is organized in two parts. Part one is the history of the Palmer Mansion, a description of its rooms and their original uses. Part two is a photographic and narrative tour of the mansion, much as it would be conducted if you were present in the house itself. The book is filled with wonderful color pictures of the rooms and its collections. The narrative descriptions are clear and concise. After reading this book, I look forward to my next visit to the Palmer Mansion. It will be a more enjoyable experience for having read this book.

For those who've never visited and those who want the chance to revisit the Palmer Mansion, I would heartily recommend this terrific little book. Although only 32 pages, with over 75 color pictures, it's well worth the $25 price. More important than having the mansion to tour at your leisure, all proceeds from the sale of the book go to a fund to help restore and maintain this truly historic place.

Savoie Rating: 10 out 10