Checking in with Dr. Blair

Posted November 1st, 2012 by Andrea with No Comments
We recently spoke with with Dr. Betsy Blair, creator and chiropractor behind the Descaid phenomenon, to ask her a few questions about the product, and life beyond!

1) How did you form the idea for Descaid?
As a chiropractor, I treated a lot of people who had aches and pains from spending so much time in front of a computer.  I combined my knowledge as a chiropractor and an occupational therapist to teach them simple basic things they could do while at the computer.  They would tell me it worked when they remembered to do them, but often forgot unless they were in pain.  Then, because they forgot, they would be in pain again.  So, to help people remember and feel better I decided to make a program to teach people what they could do while at the computer as well as “reminder” software.  I also wanted to keep it simple and make it movements they can do while they are still sitting at the computer.  Most people have busy lives, so that’s why I teach things that are easily incorporated into their current activities.

Caid and Nick enjoy playing together in the leaves

2) Where did you get the name?
One afternoon I was just thinking about the whole idea of a reminder program and the basic things to teach and wondered what I would call it.  Given my love for animals, especially mine, I thought it would be fun to somehow name it after my dog.  His name is Kincaid, but I call him Caid.  So, I took his initials and the exercises/stretches came to me of how I could use his name as an acronym.  So, it’s different and gives people an easy way to remember what to do.  I added the first part on to make it Descaid since it is aid for your body while you are at your desk.

3) Did you encounter any obstacles?
I was very fortunate because most people were very supportive.  Many people were using my suggestions and like the idea of being reminded.  The hardest part was taking an idea and figuring out how to move forward with it.  There are so many parts to turning an idea into a product and I’m not really a computer person, so I had a lot to learn.  I had to learn about alpha and beta testing, surveys, different types of programs, designing it, etc.  It was quite overwhelming at times and I’m still learning.  This has all been totally new to me, so it’s been a lot to take on.  However, the response and feedback has been wonderful and very rewarding.

Supportive friend and Descaid lover!

4) What are some other ideas for those suffering from carpal tunnel, neck, back, and shoulder problems? 
Carpal tunnel:  Keeping your wrists in neutral at the computer, using wrist rests, etc., can help tremendously.  Check with your doctor, but you can do stretches stretching wrists backward, as well as sleeping in a Futuro wrist brace to help keep wrists in neutral while sleeping, as we often curl up our hands while sleeping, and don’t realize it.  Reglar chiropractic visits can help keep the bones of the wrist in good alignment.  Massage and Acupuncture are great for loosening up the muscles and providing relief from irritation and inflammation.
Low back:  A good chair at your desk with a curve in the lower back, feet flat on the floor, and a foot rest are all helpful additions.  Sitting for long periods is very hard on the back, so moving around, standing and changing positions is helpful with this.  Most people think they should sit up nice and straight and stay that way.  That’s great if you sit for 5 or 10 minutes, but not for sitting for long periods.  That is hard on the discs in your low back and is a strain on the muscles.  Every time the phone rings stand up to answer it.  Scoot forward, backward, use a footrest, just MOVE.  Ideally, you want to change positions every 20 minutes.  Some people do well with exercise balls or the air discs, such as the ones we have on our website.  Even with those, it’s good to change things up and maybe use them for part of the day and another chair for other parts of the day.  Chiropractic can help your spine to be as healthy as possible and reduce pain in the neck and low back, too.
Neck and shoulders:  Check with your doctor, but for most, neck stretches can be very beneficial.  Keep your head and neck in good alignment, be careful, when looking a computer, do not let your head jut forward.  This puts a lot of strain on your neck and shoulders.  Be careful with where you place your computer monitor, make sure it allows you to keep your head and neck in a neutral position, not looking up, but with a slight tilt down.  Sit with shoulders back and down.  Do shoulder rolls to keep them loosened up.

5) What are you doing right now?
I tend to push myself to my limits and take on new things, so I finally decided it was time to slow down a bit and take care of myself while I work on sharing Descaid with people.  That’s a learning process too!  I am also seeing human and animal patients as well as teaching at Options for Animals College of Animal Chiropractic.  For now I am slowing down to stop and smell the roses as they say, take care of myself, spend more time with family and friends and go on hikes with my “boys” (dogs Caid & Nick).

Dr. Blair and one of her “boys”

6) What are your plans for the future?
I would like to continue what I’m doing and make Descaid a household name.  I have ideas for other programs too.  I enjoy working from home and Descaid allows me to do that, so I hope to continue with that, as well as still see some human and animal patients.  Eventually I hope that home is in the country, surrounded by trees and fields.  Being outdoors is one of my favorite places to be, but, like most people, I spend a lot of time on the computer, so I’d at least like to remain pain free while having a beautiful view!

For more on Dr. Blair and her philosophy and ideas, visit our YouTube Channel, and join our Facebook page for frequent updates and promotions!

Sitting in front of your computer

Posted May 21st, 2012 by drblair with No Comments

I know we’ve talked about this before, but it bears repeating. In years past when good ergonomic positioning was taught it was taught that a person’s hips, knees and ankles should all be at 90 degree angles. This was thought to be good positioning, so a good ergonomic chair was one that put you in that position. Therefore, a good ergonomic chair would help keep you from having back pain.

Let’s talk about sitting for a moment. Sitting is the position that puts the most pressure in the discs of your low back. It can also cause changes in the muscles, ligaments and tendons in your low back. Back pain sometimes seems to come out of no where, but often it’s an accumulation of the microtraumas from sitting for long periods even in an ‘ergonomic’ position. In fact, a person should not sit in that ‘ergonomic’ position for more than 10 minutes. In addition to all the pressure and long term affects it can have, there are other health issues, see the blog “The Sitting Disease”.

Recently, I wrote about what kind of chair is ‘best’. There are things to look for in a chair, but the best true ergonomic chair is the one that allows easy posture changes at a variety of joint angles. The most important recommendation is to continually change the settings on the chair. Lean back in the chair with your feet on the floor. Put your feet up on the desk and your keyboard in your lap. Sit cross-legged in your chair. Cross your legs one way, then the other way. Only stay in any one position for 20 minutes. Ideally, you want to stand up and stretch your arms over your head. I created Descaid to remind people to do things like switching positions. It can give you a subtle reminder every 20, 30 or 40 minutes or you can do it every time the phone rings. This movement varies the load on the internal tissues in your back to help keep your back healthy and strong. Ideally, you want to start this before you ever feel pain to help prevent it, so even if you don’t have pain, you need to be changing your position. Just because you don’t feel it doesn’t mean the pressure isn’t there and taking it’s toll.

Make sure your chair fits your body and makes it easy for you to move and change positions.

Dr. Stuart McGill is considered the lead researcher of low back issues. He has a lot of great info out there is you are looking for more.

Thank you!!!

Posted May 13th, 2012 by drblair with No Comments

Thanks everyone for taking part in the great sale for Descaid! I hope you enjoy it!

It teaches some basic movements, stretches, exercises to do while you are working on the computer and reminds you to do them. You can also do what others have done and use it to remind you of the 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes look up for 20 seconds at something 20 feet away to help relieve eye strain. I know someone else who is retired and does a yoga stretch when her reminder goes off. Others use it to stretch their wrists and forearms to help prevent carpal tunnel.

It’s so easy to get focused on the computer and let hours go by without moving or looking away. I know we are all busy, we have full lives. Not many people have extra time to add more things into their day. That’s the beauty of Descaid. You do it while you work!

If you haven’t tried it out, I hope you will soon and share it with others!

Also, if you haven’t been following, Monday – Friday there is a post on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. It’s a quick little bit of info to help you take care of this one and only body of yours!

Vision at the computer

Posted May 6th, 2012 by drblair with No Comments

Staring at a computer for hours can cause eye strain. If you are getting headaches, eye strain may be the cause. Be sure and start with an eye exam. There are things you can do to help prevent eye strain too!

One thing to do is minimize glare whether it’s from outside or lighting inside. Use curtains, an anti-glare screen on your monitor, move lighting and you can adjust the brightness on your computer. Also, don’t put your computer directly in front of a window or have a light.

One easy thing you can do is adjust the size of the print. That can make it much easier to read and only takes a few seconds to adjust!

Another great thing you can do is look up at something farther away for a few seconds. It uses the eye muscles in a different way and helps relax some of the strain. I often look out the window or even just across the room. Ideally, you want to do this every 20 minutes. Remember the moving around and switching positions we have talked about in previous blogs? That is ideally done every 20 minutes too, so while you are doing that look at something in the distance for a few seconds.

There are also some exercises you can do. I will add those to Facebook and Twitter this week, so keep those eyes out for more help while you are taking care of them!

Remember too, that Friday the 11th Descaid will be only $11 for everyone! Just use the coupon code “11onMay11″.

What is the best chair?

Posted April 29th, 2012 by drblair with 1 Comment

Someone asked me today, what is the best chair for working at a desk? There isn’t one perfect chair for everyone. First of all, I would sit in different chairs and find out which one feels the most comfortable. It’s important to have good lumbar (low back) support for the natural curve we have in our lumbars. Also, one’s feet should be able to rest flat on the floor. Good cushioning is something else at which to look. As I’ve said before though, the most important thing about sitting is not to sit for long periods of time. If you’ve been following my Facebook posts and the blog here, you know I talk a lot about moving (stand up, scoot forward, scoot back, put your feet up, put them down, use the footrest from our products to help with different positions, whatever it takes). Moving every 20 minutes is far more important than a $1,000 chair. Of course, comfort in a chair is important. As I said, try out different chairs, see what works for you. I bought a $500 chair for my assistant. I loved it! She didn’t. She liked a $150 chair from an office supply store. She actually rotates between her chair and a rolling stool that she puts an air disc on.

Keep in mind, cushion and comfort, low back support and feet able to rest flat on the floor while sitting back in the chair. Beyond that, it’s about movement. I heard someone say recently that sitting is the new smoking. I talk a lot about sitting in relation to back pain, but it also increases heart disease and many other life threatening illnesses.

Standing to work is another option and a topic for another day!

Coming Soon!

Posted April 22nd, 2012 by drblair with No Comments

Stay tuned to for a super opportunity for you and your family, friends and co-workers!

In the mean time remember to MOVE! Sitting for long periods makes your muscles tight and stiff and can contribute to many illnesses including heart disease. It’s easier to prevent than to get rid of health problems.

Thanks for reading!

Here come the Holidays!

Posted November 30th, 2011 by drblair with No Comments

Winter is setting in and the holidays with all of the holiday food are here. It can make it more difficult to take very good care of your body this time of year. DESCAID is a great way to be reminded to take care of your body in easy ways that don’t take extra time out of your day. There are other things you can do too. Make a commitment to yourself to drink more water. Carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go just like you do your cell phone. When you leave the house think ‘cell phone, keys and water’. Water is great for your body in many, many ways and can help you eat a little less. Which wouldn’t hurt most of us this time of year. I’ve said it before and you know at this point I’ll say it again, move. Stand up at your desk when the phone rings. At home leave your cell phone in the next room, so you have to get up and get it. After dinner get up and help clean up the dinner dishes (if you don’t already). If you have a dog, bundle up and go for a walk. Those are just a few little things you can incorporate this time of year and all year long.

Hopefully, you can come up with some easy little things with a little thought. It’s a great gift you can give to yourself!

DESCAID would also make a great gift for you and those you care about!

Keep your eyes out for more ideas!

Comments from DESCAID users

Posted October 23rd, 2011 by drblair with No Comments

What are people saying who have used Descaid?

“I have fewer headaches and less neck pain.”  Jennifer – Development Manager

“I highly recommend this innovative and helpful service for busy professionals or those otherwise attached to computers for hours on end.  And as a new mommy of twins, it’s so easy to neglect myself and my health while I focus my attention elsewhere…and that’s where DESCAID keeps me in line and reminds me to focus on me every now and then.  I’m a HUGE fan.  Try it- you’ll LOVE it!  Deb – Sprint

“It’s great that something that takes so little effort can have such major results!”    Kathleen – Office Manager

“It is really nice to have this reminder in the midst of a busy workday.”  Amy – HR Manager

“It helps relieve the poor posture I get at the computer as well as the tight muscles.”  Lee – Domestic engineer

“Oh, my. Finally downloaded DESCAID to my laptop. Amazing! I work on my computer a lot and this program totally helps fight body and eye fatigue by reminding me to take care of myself with simple, quick exercises.  I highly recommend DESCAID to anyone who sits in front of a computer as a part of their day.  Thanks, Dr. Betsy!”   Kathleen L. 


Posture at the Computer

Posted October 16th, 2011 by drblair with 6 Comments

There are lots of great ergonomic chairs out there and most people know that sitting with hips, knees and ankles at 90 degree angles is beneficial.  However, sitting that way is beneficial if all you are doing is sitting for 5 or 10 minutes.  Who sits for only 5 or 10 minutes?  What’s more important than sitting in that position is changing positions.  Sitting is actually very hard on our low backs.  It puts a great deal of pressure on the discs in our low backs and our muscles can get tight and stiff and even lose muscle tone.  With the Sitting Disease and the pressure caused in our low backs we have to move for our health!  Ideally, change positions every 20 minutes.  Stand up, scoot forward, scoot backward, sit with your feet up on your desk (only if it’s appropriate), cross your legs in your chair, just move.

Our website features an air disk that helps you move while you sit, as well as exercise balls.  The DESCAID software program actually reminds you to move.  You can set the reminder for 20, 30 or 40 minute intervals.  It’s a great way to help prevent some of the effects of long term sitting.   It’s also got an acronym “CAID” to help you remember the stretches and movements taught in the video.

Let’s make CAID a verb and improve our health!  Share this info with your friends!

Did you CAID today?

Thanks for reading and sharing,

Dr. Blair



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