Flu Season Wellness Plan Should Include Chiropractic Care

Posted on October 16, 2012. Filed under: Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Flu Season, Specials | Tags: , , , |

The World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) is recommending that people of all ages add chiropractic to their strategy for warding off and fighting the flu and its effects this season.

Spinal adjustments can have a positive effect on immune function, the WCA asserts, citing a growing number of researchers who are exploring the common denominators in disease processes, and the role of the nervous, immune, and hormonal systems in development of immune related illnesses,

Chiropractic corrects spinal abnormalities called vertebral subluxations that result in interference of the nervous system by placing pressure on nerves. Since the nervous system controls all functions of the body — including the immune system — chiropractic care can have a positive effect on immune function.

“Contemporary research is beginning to shed light on the neurobiological mechanisms which may explain the outstanding clinical results chiropractors have experienced when managing patients with viral and infectious diseases,” stated Dr. Christopher Kent, WCA Vice President.

Dr. Kent explained: “A comprehensive review of the research literature reveals the current understanding that the brain and immune system are the two major adaptive systems in the body. During an immune response, the brain and the immune system ‘talk to each other’ and this process is essential for maintaining homeostasis or balance in the body.”

Since its inception, chiropractic has asserted that viruses and microbes don’t threaten us all equally and that a healthy immune system easily repels most invaders. The immune system protects us from the flu, as well as any other infectious disease, and strives to get us well again when we do fall ill. Our immune system, like every other system in the body, is coordinated and controlled by the nervous system.

Chiropractors are also aware of the importance of positive health life style practices (rest, drinking ample quantities of water, diet, exercise, proper food choices, use of high potency multivitamins and minerals, and stress reduction approaches) that can also positively influence the nervous system and immune response. According to a large study of the chiropractic profession recently conducted by the Institute for Social Research, Ohio Northern University (McDonald et al., 2003), chiropractors also customarily advise their patients as to the benefits of these other modalities in optimizing overall body function.

Chiropractors helping patients battle the flu is not a new occurrence either. During the 1917-18 influenza epidemic, which brought death and fear to many Americans, it has been estimated that 20 million people died throughout the world, including about 500,000 Americans. It was chiropractic’s success in caring for flu victims that led to the profession’s licensure in many states.

Researchers reported that in Davenport, Iowa, out of the 93,590 patients treated by medical doctors, there were 6,116 deaths — a loss of one patient out of every 15. Chiropractors at the Palmer School of Chiropractic adjusted 1,635 cases, with only one death. Outside Davenport, chiropractors in Iowa cared for 4,735 cases with only six deaths — one out of 866. During the same epidemic, in Oklahoma, out of 3,490 flu patients under chiropractic care, there were only seven deaths. Furthermore, chiropractors were called in 233 cases given up as lost after medical treatment, and reportedly saved all but 25. In another report covering 4,193 cases by 213 chiropractors 4,104 showed complete recovery.

“These results are not so surprising given what we now know about the interaction between the nervous system and the immune system” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, WCA Board member and Editor of the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research. “Through research we know that chiropractic has beneficial effects on immunoglobulins, B-lymphocytes (white blood cells), pulmonary function and other immune system processes.”

One such study, conducted by Patricia Brennan Ph.D and her team, found that when a chiropractic “manipulation” was applied to the middle back, the response of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (white blood cells) taken from blood collected 15 minutes after the manipulation was significantly higher than blood collected 15 minutes before and 30 and 45 minutes after the chiropractic procedure. This research demonstrated an “enhanced respiratory burst” following the chiropractic adjustment. This “burst” is needed for our immune cells to destroy invading viruses and bacteria.

Another small study of HIV positive patients was conducted to study the effects of specific chiropractic adjustments to correct vertebral subluxations in the upper neck on the immune systems of HIV positive individuals. Over the six-month period of the study, the group that did not receive chiropractic care experienced a 7.96% decrease in CD4 cell counts, while the adjusted group experienced a 48% increase in CD4 cell counts over the same period.

A large retrospective study conducted by Dr. Robert Blanks and colleagues studied 2,818 individuals undergoing chiropractic care – these individuals reported an average overall improvement, ranging from 7-28%, in a battery of physical symptoms including stiffness/lack of flexibility in the spine, physical pain, fatigue, incidence of colds and flu, headaches, menstrual discomfort, gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, dizziness and falls (Blanks et al., 1997, Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research).

More importantly, the incidence of colds and flu was reduced by an average of 15% in this large population who were undergoing regular chiropractic care.

According to Dr. Terry Rondberg, president of the World Chiropractic Alliance, “While we would love to say we (chiropractors) figured this out, the truth is we didn’t. We simply take advantage of it to help our patients.”

He added that, “In many ways this is old news since the relationship between the nervous system and the immune system was reported by the New York Times in 1993. According to that article ‘Scientists have found the first evidence of an anatomical connection between the nervous system and the immune system. Nerve cell endings in the skin and white blood cells of the immune system are in intimate contact, and chemicals secreted by the nerves can shut down immune system cells nearby.’ Our health care system needs to catch up with the research.”

“I would recommend to any person concerned about the upcoming flu season to add chiropractic to their list of things to do to remove interference to their nervous system, enhance their immune function and give their body every extra bit of security it needs” stated Dr. Rondberg.

The World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA), an international organization representing doctors of chiropractic. WCA promotes the traditional, drug-free and non-invasive form of chiropractic as a means of correcting vertebral subluxations that cause nerve interference. The WCA is a NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information.

Immunity boosting foods

Being sick sucks, doesn’t it? What if there was a way to reduce or completely eliminate illness from our lives? Eating clean is the answer!  So here are some suggestions on how to eat to boost your immunity:

  1. Consume 5 to 6 servings of brightly colored fruits and vegetables daily. Foods such as oranges, sweet potatoes, carrots, cherries, squash and pumpkin contain beta carotene and/or vitamin C. Vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells and antibodies which helps to fight infection. Vitamin C and beta carotene help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by raising HDL levels in the blood.  Beta carotene also stimulates the immune cells called macrophages which help to kill cancer cells.
  2. Good quality yogurts contain live cultures which improve and strengthen intestinal flora, thus decreasing the instance of colds by as much as 25%. Opt for plain unsweetened yogurt and add your own fresh fruit.
  3. Garlic is an incredible immunity booster that improves natural killer cell activity, stimulates white blood cell production, and reduces the build-up of free radicals in the bloodstream.
  4. A cup of black or green tea daily is a fantastic way to ward off colds. Tea contains polyphenols which help to clean up free radicals. Free radicals can actually damage your DNA and accelerate aging.
  5. Zinc increases the development of white blood cells which help fight infection in the body. It also increases killer cells that fight against cancer. It’s best to get zinc from your diet and  here are some foods that contain rich sources of zinc:
  • oysters
  • crab
  • beef
  • turkey (dark meat)
  • beans

Not so difficult right? Now you have the tools to get through the upcoming cold and flu season illness free!

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Pumpkin Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup Whole wheat flour (substitute 1/2 almond & 1/2 whole wheat flour)

3 Tbsp Turbinado sugar

1 Tbsp Baking powder

1/2 Tsp Sea salt

1/4 Tsp Pumpkin pie spice

1 1/4 cup Low fat milk

1/3 cup Canned pumpkin

1 Tbsp Coconut oil

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice and set aside.
  2. In another bowl combine the milk, pumpkin puree and oil and mix until well blended. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
  3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle over medium heat. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto hot griddle. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side until lightly browned.

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Backpack Misuse Leads to Chronic Back Pain, Doctors of Chiropractic Say

Posted on September 3, 2012. Filed under: Chiropractic, Fitness, Massage, Neck, Specials | Tags: , , , , , , |

Back pain is pervasive among American adults, but a new and disturbing trend is emerging. Young children are suffering from back pain much earlier than previous generations, and the use of overweight backpacks is a contributing factor, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that backpack-related injuries sent more than 7,000 people to the emergency room in 2001 alone.

“In my own practice, I have noticed a marked increase in the number of young children who are complaining about back, neck and shoulder pain,” said Dr. Scott Bautch, a member of the ACA’s Council on Occupational Health. “The first question I ask these patients is, ‘Do you carry a backpack to school?’ Almost always, the answer is ‘yes.'”

This new back pain trend among youngsters isn’t surprising when you consider the disproportionate amounts of weight they carry in their backpacks – often slung over just one shoulder. According to Dr. Bautch, a recent study conducted in Italy found that the average child carries a backpack that would be the equivalent of a 39-pound burden for a 176-pound man, or a 29-pound load for a 132-pound woman. Of those children carrying heavy backpacks to school, 60 percent had experienced back pain as a result.

According to Dr. Bautch, preliminary results of studies being conducted in France show that the longer a child wears a backpack, the longer it takes for a curvature or deformity of the spine to correct itself. “The question that needs to be addressed next is, ‘Does it ever return to normal?'” Dr. Bautch added.

The results of these types of studies are especially important as more and more school districts – many of them in urban areas – remove lockers from the premises, forcing students to carry their books with them all day long.

The problem has become so widespread, in fact, that the California State Assembly passed legislation that would force school districts to develop ways of reducing the weight of students’ backpacks. Similar legislation is being considered in New Jersey as well. The ACA believes that limiting the backpack’s weight to no more than 10 percent of the child’s body weight and urging the use of ergonomically correct backpacks are possible solutions.

What Can You Do?
The ACA offers the following tips to help prevent the needless pain that backpack misuse could cause the students in your household.

  • Make sure your child’s backpack weighs no more than 5 to 10 percent of his or her body weight. A heavier backpack will cause your child to bend forward in an attempt to support the weight on his or her back, rather than on the shoulders, by the straps.
  • The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking.
  • A backpack with individualized compartments helps in positioning the contents most effectively. Make sure that pointy or bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child’s back.
  • Bigger is not necessarily better. The more room there is in a backpack, the more your child will carry-and the heavier the backpack will be.
  • Urge your child to wear both shoulder straps. Lugging the backpack around by one strap can cause the disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, as well as low-back pain.
  • Wide, padded straps are very important. Non-padded straps are uncomfortable, and can dig into your child’s shoulders.
  • The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body. Straps that are too loose can cause the backpack to dangle uncomfortably and cause spinal misalignment and pain.
  • If the backpack is still too heavy, talk to your child’s teacher. Ask if your child could leave the heaviest books at school, and bring home only lighter hand-out materials or workbooks.
  • Although the use of rollerpacks – or backpacks on wheels – has become popular in recent years, the ACA is now recommending that they be used cautiously and on a limited basis by only those students who are not physically able to carry a backpack. Some school districts have begun banning the use of rollerpacks because they clutter hallways, resulting in dangerous trips and falls.

Chiropractic Care Can Help…
If you or your child experiences any pain or discomfort resulting from backpack use, call your doctor of chiropractic. Doctors of chiropractic are licensed and trained to diagnose and treat patients of all ages and will use a gentler type of treatment for children. In addition, doctors of chiropractic can also prescribe exercises designed to help children develop strong muscles, along with instruction in good nutrition, posture and sleeping habits.

Bison Chili in a Slow Cooker

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups dry red kidney beans* (soaked overnight in 2 quarts of water)
  • 4 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups finely chopped yellow onion (2 medium)
  • 2 lbs ground bison
  • 1 can diced plum tomatoes (28 ounce-796 ml. size)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (23 ounce-680 ml. size)
  • 1 small can tomato paste (5.5 ounce-156 ml. size)
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

  • Combine chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, oregano, and cayenne in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Put vegetable oil in large saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat; add onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Sprinkle in set aside spices, stir to combine with onions. Let sizzle for a minute or two, or until the aroma from cooking spices becomes quite noticeable.
  • Immediately add the ground bison. Cook stirring occasionally until the meat has completely browned, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Transfer saucepan contents to the crock pot. Drain the kidney beans.
  • Add kidney beans to the crock pot along with the plum tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Sprinkle in salt. Stir to combine all ingredients.
  • Cover and set on high heat.

* For light red kidney beans, cook the chili a minimum of 8 1/2 hours; for dark red kidney beans no less than 10 hours is required.

  • Reheats, and freezes well.

 

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Olympic Athletes and Chiropractic Care

Posted on August 3, 2012. Filed under: Acupuncture, Chiro, Chiropractic, Massage, Olympics, Specials | Tags: , , , , |

Olympic Athletes & Chiropractic Care                                                      Washington Times – July 23, 2012

There is probably no group of athletes who stretch the brain and body like the gymnast.

McKayla Maroney, the 2011 World Vault Champion, was injured in St. Louis, Missouri on June 8, 2012, during a pre-meet warm up during her floor routine. She did three flips in the air, landed on her back, and hit her head so hard that her nasal bone fractured and she was left with a severe concussion.

Because this injury was of this magnitude she had to meet with the Olympic medical board to assess her ability to compete at the national team Olympic trials.

She was referred to Dr. Shad Groves’ office who was able to assess McKayla using functional neurology examination procedures and found equilibrium imbalances, eye tracking imbalances and nystagmus, and muscle weakness in her arm. After he gathered this information he performed specific neurological procedures using arm movements, eye re-patterning exercises, video-based opto-kinetics, and head movements as treatment and therapy.

The next day, Tuesday June 19, 2012, McKayla was evaluated by the Olympic medical board to assess her post-concussive state and determine if she would attend the Olympic trials in San Jose, California. During this evaluation McKayla not only showed normal improvements in her strength, but she did not show any eye tracking problems and had completely restored the balance in her vestibular system.

But even better, she was given specific exercises based upon her neurological evaluation to perform as on-going therapy provided by Dr. Groves. She is now one of five on the U.S. Olympic team representing the United States in London.

The popularity of chiropractic has grown around the world. Every athlete is looking for an edge and they are finding that chiropractic offers a hands-on, drug-free advantage. Athletes are finely tuned humans and when one seemingly insignificant part of their physiology is not performing correctly they lose function; adding time or shortening distances to their event.

What is the difference between you and a world class Olympic athlete? You are an athlete whether you admit to it or not. You are meant to move freely and function without interference. You may find yourself functioning less than you once did. For that reason, advanced chiropractic programs are developing new ways to:

-Reduce motor reaction times
-Increase stability of the body
-Increase coordination of movements
-Increase oxygen transportation and usage
-Reduce bio mechanical joint position errors
-Performing person-specific neurological exercise regimes
-Provide a lifetime of physiological and neurologic care

As you watch the London Olympics notice how these world-class athletes use their bodies whether they are on land, in the water, or flying through the air. Every movement, every breath, and every system of their body is working in synchronized coordination to propel themselves through space. Notice how similar or dissimilar you are to them. It’s all about degrees of performance.  Let the games begin.

Keep Young Athletes Healthy and Fit

In today’s age of health and fitness, more and more kids are involved in sporting activities. Although being part of a football, soccer or Little League team is an important rite of passage for many children, parents and their children could be overlooking the importance of proper nutrition and body-conditioning needed for preventing injuries on and off the playing field.

“The majority, if not all, sports are good, provided that the child prepares appropriately,” says Dr. Timothy Ray, a member of the American Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries and Physical Fitness. “Without proper preparation, playing any sport can turn into a bad experience. There are structural and physical developmental issues that need to be taken into consideration before children undertake certain sports.”

Highly competitive sports such as football, gymnastics and wrestling follow rigorous training schedules that can be potentially dangerous to an adolescent or teenager. The best advice for parents who have young athletes in the family is to help them prepare their bodies and to learn to protect themselves from sports related injuries before they happen.

“Proper warm up, stretching and strength-training exercises are essential for kids involved in sports, but many kids learn improper stretching or weight-lifting techniques, making them more susceptible to injury,” says Dr. Steve Horwitz, an ACA member from Silver Spring, Md., and former member of the U.S. Summer Olympic medical team. “Parents need to work with their kids and make sure they receive the proper sports training.”

“Young athletes should begin with a slow jog as a general warm-up, followed by a sport-specific warm-up. They should then stretch all the major muscle groups,” says Dr. Horwitz. “Kids need to be instructed in appropriate exercises for each sport to prevent injuries.”

Proper nutrition and hydration are also extremely vital. “While an ordinary person may need to drink eight to 10 8-ounce glasses of water each day, athletes need to drink even more than that for proper absorption. Breakfast should be the most important meal of the day. Also, eating a healthy meal two to four hours before a practice or a game and another within one to two hours after a game or practice allows for proper replenishment and refuels the body,” adds Dr. Horwitz.

Young athletes today often think they are invincible. The following tips can help ensure your child does not miss a step when it comes to proper fitness, stretching, training and rest that the body needs to engage in sporting activities.

Encourage your child to:

  • Wear the proper equipment. Certain contact sports, such as football and hockey, can be dangerous if the equipment is not properly fitted. Make sure all equipment, including helmets, pads and shoes fit your child or adolescent. Talk to your child’s coach or trainer if the equipment is damaged.
  • Eat healthy meals. Make sure your young athlete is eating a well-balanced diet and does not skip meals. Avoid high-fat foods, such as candy bars and fast food. At home, provide fruit rather than cookies, and vegetables rather than potato chips.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Certain sports, such as gymnastics, wrestling and figure skating, may require your young athlete to follow strict dietary rules. Be sure your child does not feel pressured into being too thin and that he/she understands that proper nutrition and caloric intake is needed for optimal performance and endurance.
  • Drink water. Hydration is a key element to optimal fitness. Teenage athletes should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Younger athletes should drink five to eight 8-ounce glasses of water.
  • Drink milk. Make sure your child has enough calcium included in his/her diet. For children over 2 years of age, ACA recommends 1 percent or skim milk rather than whole milk. Milk is essential for healthy bones and reduces the risk of joint and muscle related injuries.
  • Avoid sugar-loaded, caffeinated and carbonated drinks. Sports drinks are a good source of replenishment for those kids engaged in long duration sports, such as track and field.
  • Follow a warm-up routine. Be sure your child or his/her coach includes a warm-up and stretching session before every practice, game or meet. A slow jog, jumping rope and/or lifting small weights reduces the risk of torn or ripped muscles. Flexibility is key when pushing to score that extra goal or make that critical play.
  • Take vitamins daily. A multi-vitamin and Vitamin C are good choices for the young athlete. Vitamin B and amino acids may help reduce the pain from contact sports. Thiamine can help promote healing. Also consider Vitamin A to strengthen scar tissue.
  • Avoid trendy supplements. Kids under the age of 18 should avoid the use of performance-enhancing supplements, such as creatine. Instead, they should ask their coach or trainer to include weekly weight training and body-conditioning sessions in their workout.
  • Get plenty of rest. Eight hours of sleep is ideal for the young athlete. Lack of sleep and rest can decrease performance. Sluggishness, irritability and loss of interest could indicate that your child is fatigued.

Chiropractic Care Can Help  Doctors of chiropractic are trained and licensed to treat the entire neuromusculoskeletal system and can provide advice on sports training, nutrition and injury prevention to young athletes.

 

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen cookies   Prep Time: 15 minutes   Cook Time: 12-14 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda (aluminum free)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs
1 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (substitute carob chips)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and baking soda. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Add the applesauce and mix until combined. Stir in the raisins.

3. Slowly add the dry ingredients into liquid ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in the oats, quinoa, and chocolate chips.

4. Spoon about a tablespoon of dough onto a large baking sheet. Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes, or until cookies are just barely set. Remove cookies from baking sheet and cool on a wire cooling rack.

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Chiropractic and Neck Pain: Conservative Care of Cervical Pain, Injury

Posted on July 1, 2012. Filed under: Acupuncture, Chiro, Chiropractic, Massage, Neck, Specials | Tags: , , , |

Your neck, also called the cervical spine, begins at the base of the skull and contains seven small vertebrae. Incredibly, the cervical spine supports the full weight of your head, which is on average about 12 pounds. While the cervical spine can move your head in nearly every direction, this flexibility makes the neck very susceptible to pain and injury.

The neck’s susceptibility to injury is due in part to biomechanics. Activities and events that affect cervical biomechanics include extended sitting, repetitive movement, accidents, falls and blows to the body or head, normal aging, and everyday wear and tear. Neck pain can be very bothersome, and it can have a variety of causes.

Here are some of the most typical causes of neck pain:

Injury and Accidents: A sudden forced movement of the head or neck in any direction and the resulting “rebound” in the opposite direction is known as whiplash. The sudden “whipping” motion injures the surrounding and supporting tissues of the neck and head. Muscles react by tightening and contracting, creating muscle fatigue, which can result in pain and stiffness. Severe whiplash can also be associated with injury to the intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, muscles, and nerve roots. Car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash.

Growing Older: Degenerative disorders such as osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease directly affect the spine.

  • Osteoarthritis, a common joint disorder, causes progressive deterioration of cartilage. The body reacts by forming bone spurs that affect joint motion.
  • Spinal stenosis causes the small nerve passageways in the vertebrae to narrow, compressing and trapping nerve roots. Stenosis may cause neck, shoulder, and arm pain, as well as numbness, when these nerves are unable to function normally.
  • Degenerative disc disease can cause reduction in the elasticity and height of intervertebral discs. Over time, a disc may bulge or herniate, causing tingling, numbness, and pain that runs into the arm.

Daily Life: Poor posture, obesity, and weak abdominal muscles often disrupt spinal balance, causing the neck to bend forward to compensate. Stress and emotional tension can cause muscles to tighten and contract, resulting in pain and stiffness. Postural stress can contribute to chronic neck pain with symptoms extending into the upper back and the arms.

Chiropractic Care of Neck Pain
During your visit, your doctor of chiropractic will perform exams to locate the source of your pain and will ask you questions about your current symptoms and remedies you may have already tried. For example:

  • When did the pain start?
  • What have you done for your neck pain?
  • Does the pain radiate or travel to other parts of your body?
  • Does anything reduce the pain or make it worse?

Your doctor of chiropractic will also do physical and neurological exams. In the physical exam, your doctor will observe your posture, range of motion, and physical condition, noting movement that causes pain. Your doctor will feel your spine, note its curvature and alignment, and feel for muscle spasm. A check of your shoulder area is also in order. During the neurological exam, your doctor will test your reflexes, muscle strength, other nerve changes, and pain spread.

In some instances, your chiropractor might order tests to help diagnose your condition. An x-ray can show narrowed disc space, fractures, bone spurs, or arthritis. A computerized axial tomography scan (a CT or CAT scan) or a magnetic resonance imaging test (an MRI) can show bulging discs and herniation. If nerve damage is suspected, your doctor may order a special test called electromyography (an EMG) to measure how quickly your nerves respond.

Chiropractors are conservative care doctors; their scope of practice does not include the use of drugs or surgery. If your chiropractor diagnoses a condition outside of this conservative scope, such as a neck fracture or an indication of an organic disease, he or she will refer you to the appropriate medical physician or specialist. He or she may also ask for permission to inform your family physician of the care you are receiving to ensure that your chiropractic care and medical care are properly coordinated.

Neck Adjustments
A neck adjustment (also known as a cervical manipulation) is a precise procedure applied to the joints of the neck, usually by hand. A neck adjustment works to improve the mobility of the spine and to restore range of motion; it can also increase movement of the adjoining muscles. Patients typically notice an improved ability to turn and tilt the head, and a reduction of pain, soreness, and stiffness.

Of course, your chiropractor will develop a program of care that may combine more than one type of treatment, depending on your personal needs. In addition to manipulation, the treatment plan may include mobilization, massage or rehabilitative exercises, or something else.

Research Supporting Chiropractic Care
One of the most recent reviews of scientific literature found evidence that patients with chronic neck pain enrolled in clinical trials reported significant improvement following chiropractic spinal manipulation.

Delicious Smoothie for all ages

Ingredients

  • 6-8 ounce Organic carrot or orange juice
  • 1 cup Organic frozen berries
  • 1 cup Organic spinach or kale
  • 1/2 Organic apple
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Directions: In a sturdy blender, blend all ingredients in a smooth consistency. Pour over crushed ice for a healthy breakfast or a daytime snack.

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Keep Young Athletes Healthy and Fit

Posted on June 2, 2012. Filed under: Acupuncture, Chiro, Fitness, Massage, Specials | Tags: , , , , |

Keep Young Athletes Healthy and Fit

In today’s age of health and fitness, more and more kids are involved in sporting activities. Although being part of a football, soccer or Little League team is an important rite of passage for many children, parents and their children could be overlooking the importance of proper nutrition and body-conditioning needed for preventing injuries on and off the playing field.

“The majority, if not all, sports are good, provided that the child prepares appropriately,” says Dr. Timothy Ray, a member of the American Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries and Physical Fitness. “Without proper preparation, playing any sport can turn into a bad experience. There are structural and physical developmental issues that need to be taken into consideration before children undertake certain sports.”

Highly competitive sports such as football, gymnastics and wrestling follow rigorous training schedules that can be potentially dangerous to an adolescent or teenager. The best advice for parents who have young athletes in the family is to help them prepare their bodies and to learn to protect themselves from sports related injuries before they happen.

“Proper warm up, stretching and strength-training exercises are essential for kids involved in sports, but many kids learn improper stretching or weight-lifting techniques, making them more susceptible to injury,” says Dr. Steve Horwitz, an ACA member from Silver Spring, Md., and former member of the U.S. Summer Olympic medical team. “Parents need to work with their kids and make sure they receive the proper sports training.”

“Young athletes should begin with a slow jog as a general warm-up, followed by a sport-specific warm-up. They should then stretch all the major muscle groups,” says Dr. Horwitz. “Kids need to be instructed in appropriate exercises for each sport to prevent injuries.”

Proper nutrition and hydration are also extremely vital. “While an ordinary person may need to drink eight to 10 8-ounce glasses of water each day, athletes need to drink even more than that for proper absorption. Breakfast should be the most important meal of the day. Also, eating a healthy meal two to four hours before a practice or a game and another within one to two hours after a game or practice allows for proper replenishment and refuels the body,” adds Dr. Horwitz.

Young athletes today often think they are invincible. The following tips can help ensure your child does not miss a step when it comes to proper fitness, stretching, training and rest that the body needs to engage in sporting activities.

Encourage your child to:

  • Wear the proper equipment. Certain contact sports, such as football and hockey, can be dangerous if the equipment is not properly fitted. Make sure all equipment, including helmets, pads and shoes fit your child or adolescent. Talk to your child’s coach or trainer if the equipment is damaged.
  • Eat healthy meals. Make sure your young athlete is eating a well-balanced diet and does not skip meals. Avoid high-fat foods, such as candy bars and fast food. At home, provide fruit rather than cookies, and vegetables rather than potato chips.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Certain sports, such as gymnastics, wrestling and figure skating, may require your young athlete to follow strict dietary rules. Be sure your child does not feel pressured into being too thin and that he/she understands that proper nutrition and caloric intake is needed for optimal performance and endurance.
  • Drink water. Hydration is a key element to optimal fitness. Teenage athletes should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Younger athletes should drink five to eight 8-ounce glasses of water.
  • Drink milk. Make sure your child has enough calcium included in his/her diet. For children over 2 years of age, ACA recommends 1 percent or skim milk rather than whole milk. Milk is essential for healthy bones and reduces the risk of joint and muscle related injuries.
  • Avoid sugar-loaded, caffeinated and carbonated drinks. Sports drinks are a good source of replenishment for those kids engaged in long duration sports, such as track and field.
  • Follow a warm-up routine. Be sure your child or his/her coach includes a warm-up and stretching session before every practice, game or meet. A slow jog, jumping rope and/or lifting small weights reduces the risk of torn or ripped muscles. Flexibility is key when pushing to score that extra goal or make that critical play.
  • Take vitamins daily. A multi-vitamin and Vitamin C are good choices for the young athlete. Vitamin B and amino acids may help reduce the pain from contact sports. Thiamine can help promote healing. Also consider Vitamin A to strengthen scar tissue.
  • Avoid trendy supplements. Kids under the age of 18 should avoid the use of performance-enhancing supplements, such as creatine. Instead, they should ask their coach or trainer to include weekly weight training and body-conditioning sessions in their workout.
  • Get plenty of rest. Eight hours of sleep is ideal for the young athlete. Lack of sleep and rest can decrease performance. Sluggishness, irritability and loss of interest could indicate that your child is fatigued.

Chiropractic Care Can Help

Doctors of chiropractic are trained and licensed to treat the entire neuromusculoskeletal system and can provide advice on sports training, nutrition and injury prevention to young athletes.

Little Dippers Snacks

Scooping up dips turns mere eating into interactive food fun. And who says kids shouldn’t play with their food, especially if it means they’ll end up eating more fruits and veggies?

Persian Cucumber Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 1 (32 ounce) container plain yogurt
  • 3 English cucumbers, peeled and cubed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 5 tablespoons dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Directions: In a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, and shallot. Season with dill, salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to blend flavors.

Apple Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions: Stir together the cream cheese, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until the sugar has dissolved, and the mixture is smooth.

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What Is Causing the Asthma Epidemic?

Posted on May 8, 2012. Filed under: Acupuncture, Chiro | Tags: , , , , , , |

In the United States, asthma cases have increased by more than 60 percent since the early 1980s, and asthma-related deaths have doubled to 5,000 a year. What is causing the asthma epidemic and what can we do to stem the tide? A recent series of articles in the Journal of the American Chiropractic Association (JACA) delves into this question and offers advice from doctors of chiropractic and allergists who have helped control asthma symptoms in many patients.

People in their 30s and older can remember that when they were young, it was very unusual for even one child in school to have asthma. School children now often know several kids with asthma in a single class. The rapid increase in the number of young people with asthma was brought home to Dr. Scott Bautch, past president of the American Chiropractic Association’s (ACA) Council on Occupational Health, when he went to a football game with his 13-year-old son: “Someone on the field had a breathing problem. It was hard to see whose son it was, and 15 parents ran to the field with inhalers.”

So far, researchers don’t know why cases of asthma are increasing at such an alarming rate. They hypothesize that a combination of genetics and some non-hereditary factors — such as increased environmental exposure to potential allergens — play a role. “Thirty years ago, Windex was the only cleaning solvent used by a few people. Now, we have a special cleaning solvent for every object,” says Dr. Bautch. “In addition, furniture and carpets are produced with formaldehyde as a preservative, and people breathe it,” he says.

Decreased air quality is coupled with the allergy-friendly modern house design, says Dr. William E. Walsh, MD, FACC, an allergist practicing in Minnesota: “Fifty years ago we lived in old, drafty houses, and the breeze dried and freshened the air, and cleared out mold and other allergens. Nowadays, our super-insulated houses don’t breathe adequately. Making basements into a living space increases mold exposure because mold grows in any basement.”

Food has become another source of exposure to allergens. “Food manufacturers put more preservatives in foods now to store them longer,” says Dr. Bautch. Researchers hypothesize that an increase in vaccinations, cesarean births, and antibiotic intake may be playing a role, too.

Asthma is a chronic disease; it can’t be cured—only controlled. For best treatment results, both the primary care physician and an asthma specialist, such as an allergist or pulmonologist, should be involved. According to experts interviewed for the article, the treatment program, in addition to medication intake, should include reducing exposure to the substances that induce acute episodes and identifying specific allergens that affect the patient.

Allergens aren’t the only culprit. Stress factors—such as moving to a new home, or changing jobs—may induce or aggravate asthma attacks. Even emotional expressions such as fear, anger, frustration, hard crying, or laughing can cause an attack as well. To reduce the patient’s stress level and improve the patient’s quality of life, alternative treatments should be incorporated into the treatment program. Various relaxation techniques, such as biofeedback, meditation, yoga, and stress management, as well as massage, chiropractic manipulation, breathing exercises, and acupuncture can be helpful.

A multi-site clinical trial on chiropractic management of asthma is underway in Australia. “The preliminary data are very encouraging. Chiropractic patients are showing decreases in physical asthma symptoms and cortisol levels,” says Dr. Anthony Rosner, director of education and research for the Foundation of Chiropractic Education and Research.

“Doctors of chiropractic can give a full-scale evaluation to asthma patients; assess their physical and neurological status, their lifestyle, diet, and stressors; and help the patients increase motor coordination, and improve the work of respiratory and gut muscles to increase the quality of life,” says Dr. Gail Henry, a chiropractic neurologist, who practices in Houston, Texas. “Doctors of chiropractic can be a great addition to the healthcare team treating the asthma patient.”

Asthma experts offer the following tips for asthma patients:

  • Use air filters to help clean air in your home.
  • Cover mattresses and pillows with dust covers and use hypoallergenic bed clothing to reduce exposure to dust mites.
  • If your condition is getting worse, get checked for viral respiratory infections and different medical conditions, such as flu, rhinitis, sinusitis, and gastroesophageal reflux. When those are treated and eliminated, asthma symptoms improve. Endocrine factors, such as menstruation, pregnancy, and thyroid disease, may exacerbate asthma, as well.
  • Some medications—aspirin; beta-blockers, including eye drops; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, etc.—can also precipitate or aggravate asthma symptoms.
  • If your asthma is exercise-induced, an individually prescribed exercise program carefully chosen under the guidance of your primary health care provider or doctor of chiropractic should be incorporated into the treatment plan.
  • Avoid sulfites or monosodium glutamate (MSG) in foods. Since both additives are used in a wide variety of foods, carefully read processed food labels and choose MSG-free foods when eating out.
  • Choose a more vegetarian-type diet. Animal proteins found in meat include arachidonic acid—a precursor for inflammation.
  • Include foods with omega-3 fatty acids in the diet—such as fish or fish oil.
  • Supplement with vitamin C, which helps reduce allergic reactions and wheezing symptoms.
  • To reduce stress in your children, spend quality time with them and limit their exposure to TV programs that include violence.

Pull Your Weeds, Not Your Back, When Gardening

As springtime approaches, weather warms up and leaves turn green, many people will spend more time outside planting bulbs, mowing the lawn and pulling weeds. Gardening can provide a great workout, but with all the bending, twisting, reaching and pulling, your body may not be ready for exercise of the garden variety.

Gardening can be enjoyable, but it is important to stretch your muscles before reaching for your gardening tools. The back, upper legs, shoulders, and wrists are all major muscle groups affected when using your green thumb.

A warm-up and cool-down period is as important in gardening as it is for any other physical activity,” said Dr. Scott Bautch of the American Chiropractic Association’s (ACA) Council on Occupational Health. “Performing simple stretches during these periods will help alleviate injuries, pain and stiffness.”

To make gardening as fun and enjoyable as possible, it is important to prepare your body for this type of physical activity. The following stretches will help to alleviate muscle pain after a day spent in your garden.

Garden Fitness Stretches

  • Before stretching for any activity, breathe in and out, slowly and rythmically; do not bounce or jerk your body, and stretch as far and as comfortably as you can. Do not follow the no pain, no gain rule. Stretching should not be painful. While sitting, prop your heel on a stool or step, keeping the knees straight. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh, or the hamstring muscle. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Do this once more and repeat with the other leg.
  • Stand up, balance yourself, and grab the front of your ankle from behind. Pull your heel towards your buttocks and hold the position for 15 seconds. Do this again and repeat with the other leg.
  • While standing, weave your fingers together above your head with the palms up. Lean to one side for 10 seconds, then to the other. Repeat this stretch three times.
  • Do the “Hug your best friend.” Wrap your arms around yourself and rotate to one side, stretching as far as you can comfortably go. Hold for 10 seconds and reverse. Repeat two or three times.

Finally, be aware of your body technique, body form and correct posture while gardening. Kneel, don’t bend, and alternate your stance and movements as often as possible to keep the muscles and body balanced.

When the Bulbs Are Planted…
If you already feel muscle aches and pains and did not complete the warm-up and cool-down stretches, there are ways to alleviate the discomfort. Apply a cold pack on the area of pain for the first 48 hours or apply a heat pack after 48 hours, and consider chiropractic care.

Quinoa with Chickpeas and Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 cup canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer, and rinse under cold, running water until the water no longer foams. Bring the quinoa, salt, and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Once done, stir in the garbanzo beans, tomatoes, garlic, lime juice, and olive oil. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley to serve.

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 For further information on health, contact Ash Chiropractic & Acupuncture Clinic at 972-317-0680

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Back Pain…Not a Laughing Matter

Posted on March 1, 2012. Filed under: Chiro, Massage | Tags: , , , , , , , |

“Receive every day as a resurrection from death, as a new enjoyment of life; meet every rising sun with such sentiments of God’s goodness, as if you had seen it, and all things, new – created upon your account; and under the sense of so great a blessing.” …William Law

Back Pain Facts & Statistics
Although chiropractors care for more than just back pain, many patients visit chiropractors looking for relief from this pervasive condition. In fact, 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time.

A few interesting facts about back pain:

  • One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.
  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
  • Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic, meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
  • Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain, and that’s just for the more easily identified costs.
  • Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in our lives.

What Causes Back Pain?
The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back pain. While sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements—for example, picking up a pencil from the floor— can have painful results. In addition, arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain. Back pain can also directly result from disease of the internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss.

Manipulation as a Treatment for Back Problems
Used primarily by Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) for the last century, manipulation has been largely ignored by most others in the health care community until recently. Now, with today’s growing emphasis on treatment and cost effectiveness, manipulation is receiving more widespread attention.
Chiropractic spinal manipulation is a safe and effective spine pain treatment. It reduces pain, decreases medication, rapidly advances physical therapy, and requires very few passive forms of treatment, such as bed rest.
In fact, after an extensive study of all currently available care for low back problems, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research—a federal government research organization—recommended that low back pain sufferers choose the most conservative care first. And it recommended spinal manipulation as the only safe and effective, drugless form of initial professional treatment for acute low back problems in adults.

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) urges you to make an informed choice about your back care. To learn more about how chiropractic manipulation may help you, contact our office.

Tips to Prevent Back Pain:

  • Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
  • Remain active—under the supervision of your doctor of chiropractic.
  • Avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest.
  • Warm up or stretch before exercising or other physical activities, such as gardening.
  • Maintain proper posture.
  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
  • Sleep on a mattress of medium firmness to minimize any curve in your spine.
  • Lift with your knees, keep the object close to your body, and do not twist when lifting.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking impairs blood flow, resulting in oxygen and nutrient deprivation to spinal tissues.
  • Work with your doctor of chiropractic to ensure that your computer workstation is ergonomically correct.

Special Deviled Eggs

Ingredients:

  • Homemade Mayonnaise: 2 egg yolks (room temperature), 1 clove garlic (pressed), 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 pinch salt, pepper (to taste), 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or to taste)
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 (6 ounce) can salmon, drained and flaked
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. To make the mayonnaise, beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl with an electric mixer or hand blender. Slowly blend in the oil, one tablespoon at a time while mixing constantly. Continue to add oil until the consistency is a little thicker than regular mayonnaise. Pierce the garlic clove, and stir it around in the mixture until it releases its juice. Remove the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Mix in the red wine vinegar 1 teaspoon at a time. Go slow, this will thin the mayonnaise a bit.
2. Place the eggs in a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain and cool. Peel off the shells, and cut eggs in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks, and place them into a medium bowl. Place the egg whites on a serving plate.
3. To the yolks, add shallot, salmon, 1/2 cup of the mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Mix until well blended. If the mixture seems dry, stir in more mayonnaise. Spoon into the egg white halves and chill or serve.

For further information on health, contact Ash Chiropractic & Acupuncture Clinic at 972-317-0680

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November Special

Posted on November 9, 2011. Filed under: Chiro, Massage, Specials | Tags: , , , , |

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – JFK (1917 – 1963)

Holiday Special: New Patient Consult, Exam, X-Ray 30-minute Massage Only $46.99 $310 Value, Over 80% off)  Please call 972-317-0680 to schedule your appointment today!


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