Healthy LifeStyle

Here’s How to Choose the Right Spine Specialist for You

By Abagail Sullivan


Content by Ana Williams

Navigating the healthcare landscape isn’t easy, but it feels like even more of a feat when you’re bogged down with chronic pain amidst your search. Here, we guide you with six helpful steps in choosing the best spine specialist for you.

Make a Decision for Action

The first step to choosing your spine specialist is determining you want to take action. Begin your search straight away once you’ve made the decision. The best spine specialists are prepped to help their patients as soon as they’ve determined the needed treatment, making moves as directly as possible after a consultation. When you feel it’s time to take action, it is!

Commence the Surgeon Search

The spine is a complex collection of bones, nerves and tissue. Make sure your spine specialist has the experience and training to properly handle your condition. Providers devoted primarily to spinal orthopedics will have more experience treating your discomfort than general doctors will. The LESS Institute specializes in spine care with Professor Dr. Kingsley R. Chin, our founder, providing first class care of his own. Dr. Chin is a Harvard trained, board certified and repeatedly honored top surgeon and innovator in less invasive outpatient surgery.

Remember to Reference

Studies suggest that almost 80% of Americans will experience lower back pain, which means you’re bound to know a family member, friend or coworker who’s been treated by or heavily researched a spine specialist. There’s nothing like a personal referral to start. If that particular specialist is booked up or not accepting new patients, be sure to ask their office for an additional reference in the right direction.

Take the Time for Testimonials

Patients can provide the most personal insight into the type of care you may receive from the doctor and facility. Ask your potential surgeon to see their testimonials, or check out the practice’s website and social media pages for further info. At the LESS Institute, we’re huge patient advocates and hope they, too, feel the same in return. For our dedicated patients’ testimonials, head here.

Meet the Doc

Sure, you can learn a lot from research and online reviews, but you’ll get a much stronger feeling about your doctor by sitting down with them in person. An appointment will give you the opportunity to talk through your situation and discuss treatment goals. To request an appointment with our LESS Institute team, call us any time at 855-411-LESS.

Prep Your Qs

Undoubtedly, there will be aspects of your condition or recommendations for relief that you may not fully understand. Make sure to bring your past records and questions at the time of your visit so your surgeon can use that face to face time to explain next steps. The LESS Institute S.E.R.V.E. team, our concierge gurus, personally sits down with you (and even your family!) to educate on the recommended procedure to guide you on your road to relief. The concierge hotline is open to those patients getting a procedure and who may have questions after hours.

We’ve witnessed the hardships of living with chronic pain through our patients, and we hope these tips help you navigate the often overwhelming world of healthcare – to find the best spine specialist fit for you.

Feel Jollier All Season Long with These Healthy Holiday Choices

By Abagail Sullivan


Content compiled by Esther Rodriguez & Ana Williams

The holidays are so close, we can practically taste that home cooked comfort food. With all the creaminess and goodness it’s no wonder the average American gains a few pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years. Fortunately for us, this season doesn’t have to consist of dodging one food-focused frenzy after another. We can still enjoy the same delicious flavors we love, while cutting unhealthy fat and making a few tweaks to the classics – creating an all around healthier holiday.

Mashed Potatoes

Did you know that with every spoonful of mashed potatoes you serve yourself, you’re adding heaps of empty carbs and calories – and that’s before the added goodies like butter, gravy & cheese!? Stay light on your feet by making mashed cauliflower instead. It has the same texture and similar flavor – while staying a lot more belly-friendly.


Pie is an American classic, but try substituting one on your dessert table for baked, roasted or grilled fruit. If you’re a peach cobbler fan, try grilled peaches! This way, your guests will get the fruity sweetness they crave, minus the buttery, carb-heavy, calorie-dense crust.

Green Bean Casserole

Creamy green bean casserole is a go-to tradition for the turkey-day table (and a sorry excuse for a veggie!) With fried onions, butter, cheese, salt and cream of mushroom soup, this side’s ingredients are far from friendly. Toss in some oven-roasted Brussels sprouts for a savory, fiber-packed veggie or stick with the green bean classic, but sauté them over low heat in extra virgin olive oil and season with sea salt & black pepper instead.

Creamed Spinach

Spinach is a source of a lot of goodies for our body – like fiber, vitamins A, C, E & K, folate, calcium, iron and more – but when we load that with saturadated fats, the whole “health” aspect is sort of rendered useless. This year, sauté those leafy greens in heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil and garlic, or toss a spinach salad – dressed with balsamic vinaigrette and topped with sliced apples or peas & toasted walnuts or pecans for added flair.


In place of a heavy, white-bread loaded side dish, try quinoa, couscous or faro-based stuffing to cut down on cholesterol, saturated fat and empty carbohydrates. When these grains are blended with all the other stuffing ingredients, you won’t even be able to taste the difference between the traditional vs. healthy versions. 

Sweet Potato Casserole

We know, the melted marshmallows and brown sugar are to die for! But this year, try drizzling your baked sweet potatoes with a sauce made from extra virgin coconut oil, maple syrup, fresh grated ginger and pumpkin pie spice. While the syrup adds sugar, it acts as an unrefined form of the sweetener, which contains more natural nutrients.

Sour Cream

Our holiday favorites that “require” sour cream – from mashed potatoes to casseroles and sauces – can so simply be made healthier by subbing in nonfat Greek yogurt. And there’s no need to increase the amount – just a dash of ‘plain’ incorporated in the recipe, and your dish is just as delicious as it would be with its creamy cousin counterpart.

What approachable healthy holiday choices do you make? Next up, we’ll cover “amping up your healthy holiday” – highlighting ways in which we can get foster a healthier seasonal environment.

Inspired by’s 20 Healthy Holiday Food Swaps You Need to Try

Maximum Flavor, Minimal Guilt: Six Surprising Pumpkin Health Benefits

By Abagail Sullivan


It’s a fruit! It’s a squash! It’s a PUMPKIN. 

Who doesn’t love pumpkin season? From classic decor to seasonally tasty treats, this fall favorite has become a true symbol of autumn. Luckily for us, this season’s ‘superfood’ has health benefits galore – and doesn’t have to be another major indulgence among holiday madness. Check out these six good-to-know pumpkin health benefits, fostering maximum flavor and minimal guilt.

Content compiled by Esther Rodriguez & Ana Williams of The LESS Institute

Clear That Vision
Filled with beta-carotene and almost twice the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, a pumpkin’s bright orange hue promotes good vision – especially in dim light, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Keep Your Hunger at Bay
Pumpkin seeds are not only fun to eat, they’re high in fiber – which helps keep you full longer and promotes digestion.

Ward off Disease
A serving of pumpkin can contain 50% of your daily recommended vitamin K, which has recently been found to safely suppress the growth of some cancers.

Promote Your Healthiest Heart
Pumpkin seeds are also rich in potassium, vitamin C, and essential fats that can help lower the risk of hypertension and contribute to a healthy heart.

Sleep like a Baby
Can you feel that Thanksgiving-day sleepiness already? The tryptophan found in pumpkin seeds is that feel-good amino acid that helps you relax and unwind. Pumpkin seeds promote better sleep – so go ahead, take that post-Turkey-day nap!

Foster Positive Vibes
Ask someone what their favorite holiday is and chances are, it’s Thanksgiving. The serotonin found in pumpkins is known to improve the mood of those consuming this flavored pie – so it’s no wonder fall holidays are the happiest time of year.

Check back for more helpful health & wellness tips from our LESS Institute team – and let us know your favorite pumpkin health benefits (and topics you’d like to see covered), below!