Donnelly Chiropractic is a PROUD sponsor of this year's Mayor's Challenge!
Spring is officially here, and here to stay! We are all eager to begin our gardening and lawn care, but the long days can bring about aches and pains. Read the tips below to learn how to plant and rake without the ache!
Gardening can be a great workout, but the bending, twisting, reaching and pulling can make even the strongest accident prone. The back, upper legs, shoulders and wrists are the major muscle groups to stretch before and after gardening. Simple stretches before and after can help prevent injuries, pain and stiffness. Stretching should not be painful - stretch as far as and as comfortably as you can.
Be aware of body technique, form and posture while gardening. Kneel, do not bend, and alternate stance/movements as often as possible to keep muscles and your body balanced.
Below are some stretches to help prevent gardening injuries.
1. Hamstring Stretch - Stretch your leg out in front of you, keeping your leg straight and prop your heel on an elevated surface. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of your elevated leg (your hamstring muscle). Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat twice on each side.
2. Hands Overhead Stretch - While standing, weave your fingers together above your head with your palms to the sky. Lean slightly to one side for 10 seconds, then the other side for 10 seconds. Repeat three times.
3. Tricep Stretch - Stand with your chin tucked in, with both arms raised with a bend at the elbows. Hold your left elbow with your right hand, as your left elbow bends and left palm faces down between your shoulders. Press with your right hand to stretch your left arm. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
4. Change It Up! Make sure you are alternating positions and movements as often as possible. Alternate kneeling knees, side twisting/reaching, etc.
If the aches from gardening still bother you, give us a call for a check-up. A simple adjustment keeps the injuries small and short-lived.
April is National Stress Awareness Month, and we are breaking down the human body, the effects of stress on our bodies, common sources of stress AND ways to manage stress.
THE HUMAN BODY
The body is made up of about 37 trillion cells (ex bone, blood, muscle & nerve cells). Cells are collected into tissues, which are then arranged into organs. Organs combine to form systems (ex cardiovascular, digestive, nervous, immune systems), and these systems make up the human body.
Our cells work best when the body's internal environment is kept constant, and our bodies have many systems in place to keep us stable despite changes in external environment. When the body is unable to maintain a stable internal environment (despite our hard-working systems), cell function is disrupted.
THE EFFECTS OF STRESS
Stress disrupts the body's internal environment. Under small amounts of stress, the body can correct the disruption with hormone regulation and toxin reduction. High or chronic amounts of stress can overwhelm our systems, challenging our ability to regulate. Initially, stress effects our cells, which is often unnoticed. When stress is high or long-lasting (chronic), our cells continually cannot function normally. Cell malfunction cascades to our tissues, organs and finally, our body systems. This is when measurable and visible effects are noticed. Optimal body function is compromised with this imbalance. Below you will find an info-graph of common symptoms of stress, and what body system they arise from.
COMMON SOURCES OF STRESS
Environmental Toxins (air pollution, water pollution, UV rays)
Psychological (emotional troubles, relationships, childhood trauma, media overload)
Nutritional (processed foods, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, overeating, metabolism)
Physical (sedentary behavior, illness/injury, intense exercise, lack of sleep)
Financial (job loss, decreased income, student debt, rent/mortgage)
We know stress is often unavoidable. While we cannot always control stress, we are very much in control with HOW much it can effect us. Take the time to invest in yourself and create your wellness arsenal. Some of the ideal stress relievers (working out, more sleep, yoga) can be momentarily out of reach (ex following an intense staff meeting), but there are smaller versions that you can do now for relief. If you are in a high-stress situation and the relief of a workout is not accessible, take a brief walk. The change of scenery and increase of heart rate will give similar benefits. Maybe you have a work deadline and are falling behind on sleep. A long nap may be out of reach, but meditating or resting for 10/15/20 minutes can have similar outcomes.
Make a hierarchy of stress relievers based on accessibility and time. The key is stress reduction, and no matter how small or how little time, any reduction is better than nothing at all. Investing in yourself will always pay off. Stress is something that we feel begins in our mental body and overflows into our physical body and function. If you need more ideas on simple stress management exercises, visit our prior blog post called '40 Days of Wellness'!
Therapeutic massage and chiropractic adjustments are great ways to manage stress. Therapeutic massages are not only relaxing, but are proven to decrease the symptoms of high-stress. Chiropractic adjustments are a great way to support your immune system during stressful times. Self-care is not selfish!
This month, we are giving you a Wellness Wednesday BONUS! This Wednesday marks the beginning of the 40 days of the Lenten season. These 40 days prepare us for Spring. Regardless of your religious beliefs, this is a great time of year to devote time for self-growth. We compiled a list of 40 acts of self-care to practice once a day. The 40 Day Challenge begins Wednesday, February 14th and is complete on Sunday, April 1st. In actuality, the season is 46 days, as Sundays are not included. On Sundays, repeat an act of self-care or spend time preparing for future acts of self-care. The list below does not need to be completed in order, it is simply a guide for your 40 days!
Enjoy your journey of practicing self-care!
Take an Epsom salt bath
Go to bed early tonight
Avoid social media
Drink a cup of hot tea
Complete your favorite exercise
Take a yoga class
Spend an evening with your family
Spend an evening with your friends
Spend an evening with your partner
Spend an evening with yourself
Drink 128 oz (1 gal) of water
Meditate for 30 minutes
Make a homemade meal
Begin or complete a book
Journal about your day
Schedule an adjustment
Avoid sweets today
Get a massage
Drink 8 oz of water first thing in the AM
Skip coffee today
Wear a facial mask
Go for a walk
Organize a room in your home
Donate unused items to a shelter
Learn something new today
Spend time outdoors
Write a letter to a loved one
Floss your teeth
Do one thing that makes you happy
Practice a breathing exercise before bed
Take a nap
Live today focused on gratitude
Smile at every person you interact with
Make a list of what you LOVE about yourself
Complete a puzzle
Eat vegetables at every meal
Have a dance party
Journal about favorite childhood memories
Avoid television today
Reflect on your self-care journey
Chiropractic care is for everyone at every stage of life, from infancy to geriatric, but we are going to focus on chiropractic care for WOMEN!
All babies can benefit from chiropractic care! Babies experiencing reflux, colic, ear pain and difficulty nursing, to name a few, show great outcomes of these symptoms with just a few chiropractic visits. A Gutmann study showed that approximately 80% of babies experience some sort of nerve dysfunction during labor. Chiropractic care's primary focus is to restore nerve function. (www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org)
Young children and athletes benefit from chiropractic care! A study conducted by the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine concluded that chiropractic care can help hip joint extension ability, which in turn can increase running velocity. (www.journalchiromed.com). In addition, a study again conducted by the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine concluded that chiropractic manipulation of the spine, pelvis and extremities will treat and manage chronic, recurrent ankle sprains in young athletes. (www.sciencedirect.com).
Chiropractic care is beneficial for young women as they begin puberty and with their menstrual cycles. Chiropractic adjustments are a safe, non-pharmaceutical alternative to treating the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which affects 3 out of 4 women. Adjustments of the lumbar spine and sacrum, specifically L2 and L3, affect the sympathetic and parasympathetic symptoms, which control hormone regulation. In multiple studies, women reported less bloating, headaches and cramping while under chiropractic care. (www.chiroone.net)
Chiropractic manipulations can help ease the symptoms of menopause, something all women will go through in their lifetime. Common menopausal symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats and sleep issues, which can be attributed to a change in levels of estrogen and progesterone. As mentioned above, adjustments of the lumbar spine and sacrum can help with hormone regulation. (www.chiroone.net)
Chiropractic care is vital during pregnancy and post-partum! There are no known contraindications to chiropractic care throughout pregnancy. Dr. Kevin & Dr. Mary are trained to work with women who are pregnant, in fact, it is routine care for most chiropractors. During pregnancy, there are several physiological and endocrinological changes that occur, including: protruding abdomen and increased back curve, pelvic changes and postural adaptations. A misaligned pelvis may cause intrauterine constraint and make it difficult for the baby during delivery. Chiropractic care has also been shown to control symptoms of nausea, relieve back pain and prevent potential cesarean delivery. Often after birth, the mother's pelvic biomechanics change, which can bring discomfort with nursing, walking and sleeping. Chiropractic manipulations, exercises and stretches can help mobilize the pelvis and spine. (www.americanpregnancy.org, www.themotherbabycenter.org)
There is SO much research, articles and resources supporting why chiropractic care is vital for a woman's health. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask! We strive to be your wellness resource, our staff has decades of combined experience and we are here for YOU!
Last month, we broke down popular and affordable meal replacement bars. This month, we are focusing on trail mix! Trail mix is a great option for on-the-go because it can be comprised with your exact nutrition goals in mind. As a reminder, many components of trail mix are high in fat, thus high in calories. Portions of trail mix are small, but they pack a nutritional and caloric punch to keep you full for hours. In our previous post, we gave a brief nutrition lesson, if you need a refresher.
A great trail mix should be comprised of the following: a nut, a seed, some crunch and some sweet. This combination helps create a balanced (carbs/protein/fat) mix that will help with hunger and cravings. Below, we selected 4 types of nuts, seeds, crunch and sweet, and broke down the macros and nutrition of each.
NUTS // CALORIES PER OUNCE • PROTEIN (P) • CARB (C) • FAT (F) • SUGAR • FIBER
Almond // 164 cal • 6g P • 6g C • 14g F • 1g sugar • 4g fiber
Peanut // 160 cal • 7g P •5g C • 14g F • 1g sugar • 2g fiber
Walnut // 185 cal • 4g P • 4g C • 18g F • 1g sugar • 2g fiber
Pecan // 196 cal • 3g P • 4g C • 20g F • 1g sugar • 3g fiber
SEED // CALORIES PER OUNCE • PROTEIN (P) • CARB (C) • FAT (F) • SUGAR • FIBER
Sunflower // 166 cal • 6g P • 6g C • 15g F • 1g sugar • 2g fiber
Pumpkin // 180 cal • 9g P • 4g C • 14g F • 1g sugar • 3g fiber
Chia // 137 cal • 5g P • 12g C • 9g F • 0g sugar • 10g fiber
Sesame // 103 cal • 3g P • 4g P • 9g F • 0g sugar • 2g fiber
CRUNCH // CALORIES PER SERVING • PROTEIN (P) • CARB (C) • FAT (F) • SUGAR • FIBER
Fiber One Cereal // 60 cal (1/2 cup) • 2g P • 25g C • 1g F • 0g sugar • 14g fiber
Soy Nuts // 113 cal (1/4 cup) • 9g P • 7g C • 0g F • 0g sugar • 2g fiber
Pretzels // 110 cal (22 pcs) • 3g P • 23g C • 1g F • 4g sugar • 1g fiber
Sesame Sticks // 170 (1/4 cup) • 3g P • 14g C • 12g F • 0g sugar • 1g fiber
SWEET // CALORIES PER SERVING • PROTEIN (P) • CARB (C) • FAT (F) • SUGAR • FIBER
Raisins //92 cal (one oz.) • 1g P • 22g C • 0g F • 21g sugar • 1g fiber
Dark Chocolate Chips // 70 cal (14 pcs) • 0g P • 9g C • 5g F • 6g sugar • 1g fiber
Dried Cranberries // 123 cal (1/3 cup) • 0g P • 33g C • 1g F • 26 sugar • 2 fiber
Banana Chips // 170 ( 1/2 cup) • 1g P • 20g C • 10g F • 5g sugar • 2g fiber
SAMPLE TRAIL MIX COMBOS
(CUT TRAIL MIX COMBOS IN HALF FOR A SNACK OPTION)
#1: ALMOND // CHIA // PRETZELS // RAISINS (one serving of each)
503 CAL • 15g PROTEIN • 63g CARBS (47g NET) • 24g FAT • 26g SUGAR • 16g FIBER
#2: PEANUTS // PUMPKIN // FIBER ONE // DRIED CRANBERRIES (one serving of each)
523 CAL • 18g PROTEIN • 67g CARBS (46g NET) • 30g FAT • 28g SUGAR • 21g FIBER
#3: WALNUTS // SUNFLOWER // SOY NUTS // DARK CHOC CHIPS (one serving of each)
534 CAL • 23g PROTEIN • 26g CARBS (19g NET) • 38g FAT • 8g SUGAR • 7g FIBER
#4: PECANS // SESAME // SESAME STICKS // BANANA CHIPS (one serving of each)
639 CAL • 10g PROTEIN • 42g CARBS (34g NET) • 51g FAT • 6g SUGAR • 8g FIBER
Purchase your trail mix components in bulk to save money, and measure out servings in ziplock bags or reusable containers. Store the servings in your car, in your gym bag, at your work and in your home. These are great, accessible, affordable and TASTY snacks to help you with your wellness goals!
1. SET GOALS THAT MOTIVATE YOU - Make sure your goals motivate you, meaning, making sure they are important to you and there is value in achieving them. Set goals that relate to the high priorities in your life. Without this focus, you can end up with far too many goals and end up achieving none (which can be disappointing, frustrating and de-motivating). Create a sense of urgency and a 'must do' attitude - this will maximize the likelihood of success.
TIP: When creating goals, write down WHY it is valuable and important. If you were to share your goal with others, what would you tell them to convince them it was a worthwhile goal?
2. SET S.M.A.R.T. GOALS - For goals to be powerful, they should be designed to be S.M.A.R.T. Each goal should be:
Specific - Your goal should be clear and well-defined. You need goals to show you the way, so if they are vague or generalized, they do not provide direction.
Measurable - Include precise amounts, dates, etc. for your goals so you can measure your degree of success. If your goal is to reduce expenses, for example, how will you know when you have been successful? Reduce expenses by 1%? 10%? Measure to celebrate success.
Attainable - Make sure your goals can be achieved, but also not too easy. If you set a goal that you have no hope of achieving, you will only disappoint yourself and your confidence will decrease. If you set a goal that is too easy, it will feel anticlimactic and hinder future goal setting.
Relevant - Goals should be relevant to the direction you want your life and career to take. When you keep goals aligned with this in mind, you will create focus to get ahead and do what you want. If you set widely scattered and inconsistent goals, you will waste time and efficiency.
Time Bound - Your goals MUST have a deadline. This means that you will know when you can celebrate success! When you are working on a deadline, your sense of urgency increases and achievement will come that much quicker.
3. SET GOALS IN WRITING - The physical act of writing down a goal makes it real and tangible; you have no excuse to forget about it. Use language such as 'will' vs ' would like to' or 'might' to avoid getting sidetracked. Post your goals in visible places to remind yourself of your intentions.
TIP: Shift your goal to a positive statement. Example, 'I will stop drinking soda' vs 'I will drink more water'. The first feels like a restriction, like soda is an enemy and can NEVER be enjoyed. Shift the goal to something you want to add or that can contribute positively to your life.
4. MAKE AN ACTION PLAN - This is often a missed step in the goal planning process; you get so focused on the outcome that you forget to plan the steps needed along the way. By writing out individual steps and crossing them off once completed, you will notice you are making progress towards the end goal. This is especially vital if your goal is big, demanding or long-term.
5. STICK WITH IT! - Goal setting is an ongoing activity, not just a means to an end. Create reminders to keep yourself on track and make standing appointments with yourself to review your goals and action plan. The end goal may remain the same, but the action plan may undergo significant changes along the way. Make sure the relevance, value and necessity remain high.
Goal setting is much more than saying you want something to happen. You must clearly define exactly what you want and understand why you want it. Your odds of success will reduce considerably if you do not follow these steps! Happy Goal Setting!
We know that you know that an ideal meal is sitting at a table, with a plate full of whole foods, but we ALSO know that sometimes we just can't avoid a meal on the go! We did some digging, and found some of the best meal replacement bars available.
Before we dive into our list, let's give a short nutrition lesson. Each bar is broken down into macro nutrients (Carbohydrate, Protein, Fat). Macro nutrients are the 3 components every single food and liquid is comprised of, and what we need to thrive. We also list the sugar and fiber content of each bar. Why? Because sugar is often added for flavor and to decrease fat content. Fiber is a very important component of nutrition, and it also decreases the net carbohydrates of a food or liquid. Example, if a bar has 30 grams of carbs, but has 4 grams of fiber, the net carbs of the bar is only 26 grams! All calories are not created equal. Carbs and protein have 4 kcals per gram, while fat has 9 kcals per gram. This is why foods high in fat are also high in calories!
Make sure you chose a bar based on your specific needs and goals. If it is a TRUE meal replacement, do not shy away from high calories. If it is for an energy boost or after a workout, reach for a bar with more carbohydrates. If it is in the morning, reach for a bar high in protein to keep you full. If it is before a workout, reach for a bar high in fat.
1. CLIF WHEY PROTEIN BAR
250 CAL • 3g FIBER • 23g (net) CARBS • 14g PROTEIN • 11g FAT • 5g SUGAR
2. KIND STRONG BAR
230 CAL • 3g FIBER • 12g (net) CARBS • 10g PROTEIN • 16g FAT • 6g SUGAR
3. RX BAR
210 CAL • 6g FIBER • 16g (net) CARBS • 12g PROTEIN • 10g FAT •16g SUGAR
4. LUNA PROTEIN BAR
170 CAL • 3g FIBER • 17g (net) CARBS • 12g PROTEIN • 5g FAT • 13g SUGAR
200 CAL • 3g FIBER • 23g (net) CARB • 5g PROTEIN • 11g FAT • 16g SUGAR
6. CLIF BUILDER'S PROTEIN BAR
270 CAL • 4g FIBER • 26g (net) CARB • 20g PROTEIN • 8g FAT •20g SUGAR
7. CLIF BAR
250 CAL • 3g FIBER • 41g (net) CARBS • 9g PROTEIN • 5g FAT • 22g SUGAR
By now you have heard about probiotics and gut health. There are supplements and foods that are heavily advertised everywhere we look, recommending probiotics. Our digestive system is our second immune system (well, actually our third, because we have an innate and acquired immune system, click the box below for more information), and we suggest beginning a probiotic regimen!
Glad you asked! Our gut health is vital for our overall well-being. Common symptoms such as fatigue, feeling sluggish, bloating, even joint pain can be due to our gut flora. Gut flora is the complex community of microorganisms that live in our digestive tracts. It may give you an uneasy feeling to know that our gut is filled with microorganisms and bacteria, but intestinal bacteria is essential for important tasks, such as synthesizing some vitamins. Our digestive system lives in harmony when the majority of bacteria in our gut is GOOD, but when our gut is overrun by BAD bacteria, our system cannot function effectively. Probiotic supplements are packed with GOOD bacteria that can help you feel your best from the inside, out!
There is conflicting advertisement suggesting probiotics should be a daily supplement for the rest of your life, despite that being FALSE. Probiotics should be taken sporadically or acutely, based on symptoms and diet. Aside from marketing and sales, another reason that probiotics are recommended for daily use is the assumption that many of us have poor diets and gut flora that is so far from the ideal. Some people would benefit from an extended regimen of probiotics until their gut flora is restored, but the goal is to not have to take yet another supplement every day. Diet is THE factor when it comes to gut health (aside from any genetic disposition). Whole foods as a primary and refined sugar & carbs in moderation, is the tried and true way to wellness for life. Probiotics are a great tool for acute care - for example, after a vacation or during the holidays when sugar intake is in excess. Excess sugar is a breeding ground for yeast. When our gut has an influx of yeast growth, good bacteria cannot keep up. Yeast overgrowth is responsible for many symptoms listed above. A high-quality probiotic, taken for 10-21 days is a great way to restore your gut and its health.
Not all probiotics are created equal. Avoid purchasing a probiotic that is stored at room temperature on a store shelf. Probiotics are filled with live, active cultures, so a cooler temperature is ideal. Room temperature + sitting on a store shelf for an extended period of time = significant decrease in effectiveness (and waste of money!). There are probiotics available that are stable at room temperature, such as the probiotics from Standard Process (click box below). We are a great resource to point you in the right direction for supplements based on your needs and budget. Contact the front desk for more information, or send us an email using the "Appointment Request" tab.
Our immune system is a beautifully intricate system that is constantly working and caring for us. Our immune system adapts, fights and functions autonomously - we do not have to consciously remind it to work for us. Despite having an amazing immune system, we sometimes get ill. When we get ill, our immune system begins working in high gear - it wants to recognize the illness, fight the illness AND prevent the illness from returning. During illness, our immune system uses a lot of energy, which is why a common symptom is fatigue and even increased appetite - our body is asking for fuel to help fight.
Our innate immune system is the autonomous system present at birth. When triggered, this system reacts quickly and broadly as possible to fight off offending intruders. In its swift action, the innate immune system can be very non-specific and resorts to unpleasant responses, such as inflammation that leads to hives, fever, cough & runny nose, to name a few. This is the system that is responsible for allergic responses. While innate immune system reactions are important in the body's defense mechanisms and are critically important in the first few hours of exposure to a pathogen, the acquired immune system is the main system working when it comes to ridding your body of unwanted disease. The acquired immune system is more sophisticated in its fighting action. This system uses knowledge (immunological memory) to fight illness - it identifies previously encountered bacteria and viruses to attack the new infection with precision and efficiency. These strategic attacks of the acquired immune system are why most common bacteria and viruses are ultimately cleared from the body.
Boosting our immune system is a misnomer. A boost is a surge, and it is what our immune system does when we are ill. We only want our immune system in a boost when we are ill - otherwise, we have an overactive immune system (autoimmune diseases & allergies). Instead of envisioning a boosted immune system, practice a lifestyle that supports your immune system. Our immune system wants to work efficiently, and there are things we can do to support the system that works so hard for us.
Our acquired immune system is one that has been cultivated over time and with exposure. Aside from vaccines and antibodies from breast milk, this system relies on exposure and memory to keep us healthy (and often times why children get sick more frequently than adults). There are steps we can take to keep our immune system working in harmony and efficiently. Eating well, getting enough sleep, consistent exercise and proper hydration are great ways to help support your immune system.
Chiropractic care is an amazing way to support your immune system. Chiropractic adjustments are not just for symptoms of the spine and joints, but adjustments can help heal us from the inside out. Immune response is contingent on proper neural function. Neural dysfunctions due to spinal misalignments (subluxations) are stressful to the body and cause abnormal changes that lead to a poorly coordinated immune response. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to improve the coordinated responses of the nervous system and immune system. Every system in our body including the immune system is coordinated and controlled by the nervous system. Immune organs include the spleen, lymph nodes and the thymus are all in communication with the brain and nerves connect them all. This communication process occurs so that they all talk with one another to coordinate the body’s response to what may be happening in the body; without this process we fall ill. If our nervous system is not functioning properly then the immune system cannot function properly; this makes our body susceptible to viruses, bacteria, and other illnesses that it can normally fight off.