All posts by vertfit

Can Chiropractic Make You Ripped?

Seriously, how can someone’s bicep actually looked flexed when lifting like 12 oz of coffee?

I remember this thought over 25 years ago sitting in a Starbucks watching a guy lift his coffee to sip, and his muscles actually responded by contracting and become more defined. I mean I was on the start of my yoga journey and no matter how much someone described how to “flex my abs,” I couldn’t even get a glimmer of a single line, none the less the washboard appearance that the yogi instructor showed when she just laughed. I spent a couple years even contemplating if it mattered. I was strong and I was capable. However, the looming wondering of why some have easier muscle tone than others regardless of activity amount always intrigued me.

Was it simply a matter of genetics or did something else come into play?

As I entered the world of fitness training, a coach told me “you should be able to do the 15 mins a day and it be more effective than an hour, as long as your have good form.” Ah, quality, not quantity! Yet, how would this even be possible as I looked at my structure? Years of injury jolting my shoulders forward, my neck having begun to loss curve, and my lumbar spine still trying to figure it what neutral was in a squat based on all my other compensations. That’s when I learned the physics of my form was going to be highly determined by my core posture, and this wasn’t something I could self align. And thus the start of my journey of chiropractic before and after my workouts. I was astonished to see the changes.

Even altering my posture, made my full appearance make a dynamite change. So much so, it was easy to do the “10 pound loss in 10 second trick” with people by showing them through photo how adjusting the way they stood could make them in a photo look 10 pounds lighter. Then I met Trevor.

He had always known this as an athlete. Your stride, performance, strength, and momentum was all about vectors, and the center of any human’s movement is their spine. His evolution as an athlete into a chiropractor made perfect sense and is still a passion for him.

Whether wanting to see your results through quality over quantity, or being injury and pain free during your movement, having someone who understands the physics of YOUR body in movement is the missing puzzle piece to many’s people fitness success.

Bread – is it good or bad for you?

To gluten or not to gluten; is gluten really the enemy; is modern wheat the culprit of all our health woes?

Grains and modern wheat are one of the most condemned food sources in this recent decade.  Yet as far back as the Stone Age, we see cave paintings of the wheat harvest, and in Egyptian tombs dedication to the food of the gods; let’s face it — wheat has been part of our ancestral diet and is as Paleo as it gets.  So how did something we have eaten and idolized for thousands of years get such a bad reputation?

Scientist and researchers blame the phenomenon on the modern farming of wheat.  Such as the hybridization of the grain, resulting in a GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) based crop along with the high amounts of modern pesticides now interlaced within the plant itself.  So, is gluten harming us or is it the toxins on and in the grain? Others point towards the processing of the grain that bypasses how humans once soaked, sprouted, and milled then fermented the grain before producing food-products like breads, crackers and cakes.  You can see the up rise in popularity of sourdough breads for this very reason.

There is no anthropological denying that wheat and grains are such a powerhouse of food for humans that we have put a lot of focus on planting, growing, and processing it into food products.  We have even created ways to make it higher in the gluten protein so we can create breads faster and quicker. Modern wheat is the icon of food science, thus the antithesis of anything ancient, old or traditional.  

The popularity of ancient grains has skyrocketed among health fanatics including farm-to-kitchen restaurants and bloggers.  It is possible the popularity surrounding the grains is simply because the ancient stories that surround them thus placing them into opposition of modern or refined, further glorifying the eating traditions of our ancestors?  In other words, the revolt against processed and fast foods.

While there may be many reasons for the spike in interest, the true question is whether the health claims surrounding these grains are accurate.  Do they hold more nutrients? Are they easier to digest? Is there less likely for gluten intolerance when eating ancient grains? And are they truly better for the earth?

Many of our common grains like modern wheat, oats and corn have nutrients; however, they may be imbalanced by our sensitivities to them because of the high content of pesticides or over breeding of the grains that increase gliadin contents and making them harder for us to digest.  In contrast, do ancient grains hold up to the nutrient content once touted by the Whole Grains Council?

Let’s start by looking at a common few:  Polenta for example has more protein than a large egg, 10% of our daily vitamin c and it can be an excellent alternative to bread or pasta.  Bulgur is a powerhouse of fiber and 26% of our daily niacin and over 15% of our iron and b6 needs, plus it is fast to cook making for a quick addition to salads.  Amaranth, one of the oldest grains, doesn’t hold the gluten protein and is still high in protein and brain boosting amino acids with a whopping 42% of our daily iron!  Farro and spelt are both some of our more ancient lineages of wheat being what we most likely see in old drawings and paintings and the bases of “living breads” and Biblical matzo.  These grains were most likely leavened with ancient fermentation processes which increased the bio-availability of the manganese, protein and b vitamins found in this plant. Millet, kamut, and teff are other examples of the long list of ancient grains that also hold a large variety of our needed nutrients, and, ironically, many of the nutrients modern humans are deficient in.  

An example of an ancient wheat that is also superior in nutrients and easier to digest is einkorn.  Why do we find that these grains do not create the gut issues of modern wheat? It is in their genetics.  While they maintain high nutrients, they maintain not just lower amounts of gluten but different strains of the protein.  Therefore, einkorn is being studied as a potential help to the gluten crisis.

One of the most important foundations of reviving ancient grains lies in the removal of monocropping.  Modern wheat and modern farming was an experiment originally in good intentions – ways to increase production and reduce costs, to ultimately help feed the world. But this substantive hybridization, mutated the grain in a way that was hard for us to digest but also didn’t create bio diversity to our fields or our soils.  The estimation of lost grain is over 80,000 breeds and variety, yet 90% of what we consume comes from one type of plant. Farmers who grow and revive ancient grain crops start them literally from seeds that have been around for millennia making sure they are free of hybridization and manipulation. In many counties there are currently seed saver banks and farmers focused on only growing these ancient grains.  Some farmers simply use the mantra to fuel their mission “they are as nature designed them”. One of the most exciting aspects of the ancient grain revival is the promise of more to come. The increase in ancient grains will allow our earth as well as our diet to be given much needed nutrient diversity as well as help reduce our over consumption of modern wheat.

And you will see me happily enjoying my long fermented non-enriched, non-gmo, traditional sourdough baguette at breakfast for all these reasons and even more so for the amazing taste!

Just breathe (if you want optimal health and a great six pack)


Did the title catch your attention?  In today’s society we are often very focused on our exterior appearance.  I am often amused at how many “before/after” pictures on the internet are of decapitated bodies with the pinnacle image of the healthy body being the elusive washboard abdominal.  While there is an entire marketing history and lots of misconceptions about why this is in fact not a sign of wellness, one interesting observation is when people work out while using controlled deep breathing and EXHALING, they do achieve their desired fitness goals faster and more effectively while gaining greater wellness.

What we first need to realize is that oxygen IS LIFE.  If you hold your breath for too long or too often. . .well, it’s the opposite of life.  So to BE means to BREATHE.

Scientifically there is a lot happening when we purposefully and consciously take in large consumption of air and then let it out; however, I’m going to break it down in two simple important facts.  Primarily you flood the body with oxygen and help in the production of glutathione (yep, I know its a really popular supplement – but you could avoid the cost and just breathe better – right here is why glutathione is important), in addition when we breathe correctly, we burn off excess fat and waste through our exhale.

If I haven’t convinced you with my title, then I  want to direct you to a powerful series on how chronic breath holding (some of us have no idea we even do it!) leads to illness and premature death

SO THE QUESTION IS DO YOU KNOW HOW TO BREATHE?  Surprisingly many of us have trained ourselves to hold our breaths or shallow breath with the stresses of life.

I love doing breath training work with my patients.  I usually schedule 8-15 minutes to assess if there are physical restrictions that have led to your shallow breathing (out of place ribs or thoracic spinal vertebra as well as pain are common reason to train ourselves to shorten our breath and reduce the quantity of air we take in).  Once i know your structural support can function, I focus on the muscle systems that control the process.  You will quickly see your key to defined stomach muscles is in the movement of breath in and breath out, not the dreaded crunch.

All together now. . .breathe IN and OUT.  Ahhh!

FEET: You may be missing key components to your performance

As the foot strikes the ground, the nerves, if the foot is in proper alignment, are capable of sending appropriate signals to the brain increasing all aspects of function as well as preventing injury.    In fact, a non-diagnosed ankle sprain can wreak havoc on the athlete creating a cascade of issues from the ground up.  One of humans greatest milestones as an infant is standing and then stepping – foot by foot.  Walking on our two feet is in essence what makes us human and the nerve sensation called “proprioception” is a large link to brain power and athletic performance.

“Proprioception metaphorically is called the “sixth sense,”
extending the classical five senses to include the body. This
body sense is more than just a feeling of movement, however.
It is intimately tied to our feeling of muscle tone, perceptions
of effort and of balance. Specialized nerve endings
originate in our muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments, joints,
and some scientists even include the skin. These “afferent”
(sensory) receptors perceive deformation of tissue – the
amount of pressure (stretch or simply, placement), speed at
which movement is occurring and the rate at which the speed
is changing (velocity), direction of movement, and – when
deformation is extreme – pain. ” International Association for Dance Medicine and Science

So how does one increase the proprioception  of their gate and movement?  Through proper mechanics and more specifically the alignment of joints.  Shouldn’t you make sure each strike counts?

Trevor Marum specializes in gait analysis as well as neuromuscular re-education.  If you are interested in seeing where your foot strike lands on the performance scale, contact him for a FREE gait assessment. Email:

Welcome, Lacey!

Dr. Marum Skating Rainier Vista Park


I am so excited to have found our new home -the Chiropractic Care Center in Lacey, Washington where everyone is devoted to being a remarkable health resource on your path to wellness.  I have gratitude for my own joyous path getting to this abundant community and look forward to involving myself in the community of Lacey. I have two kids and a wife looking forward to meeting new faces and developing friendships.

So as I feel welcomed to Lacey, I welcome you to empowering yourself towards wellness, by proactively embarking on a new path in choosing me to serve your health.  My goal is for you to reach your highest point of wellness at the center. This journey we are taking together is teaching you to care for one of the most important aspects of your own physiology– your nervous system. Like a well-tuned piano or performance automobile, our nervous system requires tuning and care to function optimally thus, in turn, providing our other body parts, like organs and the immune systems, with proper support.

I would love to meet each of you now that we have arrived.  Currently we just got off the road making our way north and learning about the great landscape of the Pacific Northwest.  We managed to get our belongings in a trailer and we had a blast learning how to live minimally and most importantly, as a family.  My wife is even recording her “travel and cooking” experiences on her blog ( where you can even see how she made sourdough bagels using a 100 year old starter, coffee pot and a toaster oven!  

So, come say hi to us all!  

I am offering anyone in the area a delicious incentive to come by the office and schedule an appointment – a jar of handcrafted gourmet Paleo Almond Butter Cups (seriously you don’t want to miss these nutrient rich decadence!)  All you have to do is make a new patient appointment with me and get treated to this nutrient rich delight.

Three common reasons for lower back pain

Three common ways people develop back problems include poor digestion, poor movement, and emotional stress, much of which is fueled by low quality nourishment and trauma. Digestion is inextricably linked to our nervous system, our intestines are now dubbed the “second brain” by medical doctors, and toxins destroy the membrane of the gut preventing good absorption and excretion. Without proper absorption of nutrients, our body is unable to process vitamins and minerals to relay pinnacle chemical and hormonal processes such as the creation of serotonin, gaba, and vitamin d creation, to name only a few. Further impacting this is the body’s inability to contract intestine musculature and excrete, thus creating damage to the colon and compacting toxins. This poor nourishment and gut damage shuts down the nervous system of the gut which is directly linked to the lumbar both through muscles, tendons, and nervous systems creating pain and other back problems.

Poor nourishment is not the only lifestyle choice leading to chronic back pain in the United States. Our obsession with sitting in today’s fast-paced business life and technology-driven industries lure us into forward head posture, as we glance at our interfaces throughout the day leads us to more than just sore overworked and weak muscles –this static posture leads us to neurological and skeletal deformities and trauma. In fact sitting has been deemed as detrimental as smoking on our health, and one of the first key indicators of the effect is in the compression and weakness it generates in our lower backs.

Our choices for nourishment and movement affect our spinal health directly and through functional means; yet there is an often ignored less obvious cause of lower back pain– stress. Overworked and underslept, our society has created a catastrophic situation of elevated cortisol and glucose surging through our nervous system. We have misregulated our circadian rhythms further creating havoc on our hormones, and inversely our digestion. A lack of sleep is considered as traumatic as most post traumatic stress disorders.

By looking at three problems that cause lower back problems, we can easily summarize three steps to wellness to find improvement- nourishment, movement, and lifestyle. Focusing on improving these 3 steps creates an opportunity of high probable effect to lower back pain. It’ll become part of the unpleasant past.

The first consideration in treating lower back pain is realizing that pain is about nerve dis-ease, or lack of health. If your nervous system is not properly functioning, pain is a symptom to the host to change the cause or issue. In order to reboot the nervous system even after improving nourishment, movement and lifestyle is assuring that the nervous system can function properly which is dependent on oxygen via blood pathways as well as appropriate skeletal alignment so muscles and surrounding spinal support systems can fire allowing for optimal movement and neuronal health.

As a large portion of your nervous system travels through your spine, as well as the spinal cord acting as a direct channel to the brain, any misalignment or malfunction of the spine can create false signals of pain (even after the trauma or problem has been removed), thus the entire system needs to be rebooted to provide proper oxygen and nourishment to the spine and the spinal nerves that branch out to muscles and organs of the body. Chiropractic is an essential tool to allow the body to perform this healing by removing interference in the nervous system. As a future chiropractor, my role in addition to realigning the spine is to also coach and motivate clients on how to nourish, move, and deactivated stress in order to prevent their chronic lower back pain. As stated in the 2004 study, A practice-based study of patients with acute and chronic low back pain attending primary care and chiropractic physicians: two-week to 48-month follow-up. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutic, chiropractic treatments have been shown to be more effective than medical care.

What is Wellness?

We may come out whole as we enter this world, but we often develop in ways that throw us off balance.  Each segment works together interweaving who we are as a entity.  Like a top that will spin if one side is weighted unevenly, greater dysfunction and eventually lack of spin will arise the more the imbalance.  Our health and wellness functions like a top creating a spiral of energy that can topple right over if not kept in check.  Wholism is the function of all slices in balance – Social, Occupational, Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Emotional.

Which one do you need ADJUSTED?

Vert Fitness & Wellness coaches patients and adjusts for each area designing a custom plan in achievable steps.  Call us to own your own path to wellness.

To print your SOSPIE form, click SOSPIE Printable Form

Why can’t I heal my gut with food alone?


Examples of poor digestion include

  • Acid Reflux
  • Bloating
  • Gas/Abdominal Discomfort
  • IBS
  • Gut and Psychology Syndromes
  • Constipation

Click here to discover how misalignment can create an imbalance in your nervous system, how blood glucose can be regulate by turning on your parasympathetic nervous system, and how neck trauma can actually create constipation