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.
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.
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).
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!