PROBIOTICS

probiotic.png

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!  

WHY?

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!

WHEN?

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.

HOW?

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.

IMMUNE SYSTEM

immune system.png

Immune System Overview

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.

Innate vs. Acquired Immune System

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.

Boost vs. Support

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.

Immune System Support

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 & Our 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.

Schedule your check-up with Dr. Mary or Dr. Kevin today to support your immune system!

 

BACK TO SCHOOL LUNCH IDEAS

Dr. Kevin and Dr. Mary know first hand the juggling that comes when school resumes - they have three children of their own, after all!  We scoured the internet, and found this great info-graph that outlines a great school lunch.  We love the variety of suggestions that would even please the pickiest of eaters! :)  

MAGNESIUM!

Magnesium is an important mineral that the average American diet does not provide enough of.  The average US adult gets 250mg per day, while the daily recommendation is 320-420mg.  Magnesium helps the body with so many things, it is an old home remedy for anxiety, depression, headaches, irritability, restlessness and muscle cramps.  It is said to be the 'original chill pill'.  Signs that you may have low magnesium include muscle cramps and heart arrhythmia.  Magnesium is a counter-ion for calcium and potassium in muscle cells, including the heart.  Ion regulation helps muscles contract and send nerve signals.  Magnesium also assists with cell transportation, energy within our cells, and our bones are a great reservoir of the mineral.  Stress causes us to waste our magnesium in our urine, causing deficiency.  Stress and depression are also associated with systemic inflammation and immune response.  The theory is the increase of depression in Americans is in part due to the decrease of magnesium in our diets.

Here are some great ways to get magnesium naturally in your diet - 

If you are unable to get the daily recommended 400mg per day, MagCitrate is available for sale at the clinic!**

**There are some safety considerations with respect to magnesium supplementation.  If you have normal kidney function, you do not have myasthenia gravis, bowel obstruction, or bradycardia, you should be able to supplement without worry.  In addition, magnesium interferes with the absorption of certain pharmaceuticals including digoxin, nitrofurantoin, bisphosphanates, and some antimalaria drugs.  Magnesium can reduce the efficacy of chloropromazine, oral anticoagulants and the quinolone and tetracycline classes of antibiotics.

LET'S TALK ABOUT POSTURE!

"In addition to back and neck pain, health studies show spending 12 hours a day in a chair increases the risk of developing diabetes by 91%."

A sedentary lifestyle is often unavoidable, especially if your workplace is in front of a desk.  Sitting for long hours folds your body, compressing and weakening your core, stand up and move around frequently to dramatically reduce the health risks of sitting.  Here are some additional tips to avoid the risks of prolonged sitting:

  • Use a headset to return calls so you can walk as you talk and to avoid poor cervical posture
  • Set an alarm on your phone of intervals every hour to get up and move
  • Take micro posture breaks and stretch throughout the day
  • Take your lunch break away from your desk and walk
  • Sit on an exercise ball an hour per day

 

Many businesses are beginning to recognize the role good body posture and comfort plays into employee productivity.  Ask your HR department for standing/sitting workstation approval.  Sometimes an improved workstation is a medical necessity!  Talk to Dr. Kevin or Dr. Mary if you qualify.

Many businesses are beginning to recognize the role good body posture and comfort plays into employee productivity.  Ask your HR department for standing/sitting workstation approval.  Sometimes an improved workstation is a medical necessity!  Talk to Dr. Kevin or Dr. Mary if you qualify.

SPINE FACTS

13 AMAZING FACTS ABOUT THE HUMAN SPINE

23 - 27 INCHES: Approximate length of adult spinal column

26: Adults only have 26 bones in their spine as some vertebrae fuse together as we grow

7: Both giraffes and humans have 7 vertebrae in their necks

100+: There are over 100 joints contained in the spine

120+: There are over 120 muscles contained in the spine

2/3: The spine is so flexible that it can bend far enough to form two thirds of a circle

17 INCHES: Approximate length of the adult spinal cord

33: The spine is made up of 33 irregularly shaped bones called vertebrae

5: The spinal cord is divided into five different regions (from top to bottom)
7 cervical vertebrae
12 thoracic vertebrae
5 lumbar vertebrae
5 sacrum-fused vertebrae
4 coccyx-fused vertebrae

13: Number of neurons in the spinal cord

220: Number of ligaments in the spine

3%: Astronauts returning from space can be up to 3% taller, gaining as much as 2 inches as cartilage discs expand in micro-gravity

35 grams: Weight of spinal cord

Chiropractic & Pregnancy

IS CHIROPRACTIC CARE SAFE IN PREGNANCY?

Yes!  There are no known contraindications to chiropractic care throughout pregnancy.  All chiropractors are trained to work with women who are pregnant.  Investing in the fertility and pregnancy wellness of women who are pregnant or trying to conceive is a routine care for most chiropractors.

WHY SHOULD I HAVE CHIROPRACTIC CARE DURING PREGNANCY?

During pregnancy, there are several physiological and endocrinological changes that occur in preparation for creating the environment for a developing baby.  Your body changes, including: protruding abdomen and increased back curve, pelvic changes and postural adaptations.  When the pelvis is misaligned it may reduce the amount of room available for the developing baby.  This restriction is called intrauterine constraint.  A misaligned pelvis may also make it difficult for the baby to get into the best possible position for delivery.  This can affect the mother's ability to have a natural, non-invasive birth.  Breech and posterior positions can interfere with the natural ease of labor and lead to interventions such as C-sections.  The nervous system is the master communication system to all the body systems including the reproductive system.  Keeping the spine aligned helps the entire body work more effectively.  

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CHIROPRACTIC CARE DURING PREGNANCY?

Chiropractic care during pregnancy can provide benefits for women who are pregnant.  Potential benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy include: maintaining a healthier pregnancy, controlling symptoms of nausea, reducing the time of labor and delivery, relieving back, neck or joint pain, and preventing a potential cesarean delivery.

Dr. Kevin & Dr. Mary are both experienced with prenatal care.  If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms in pregnancy, call to schedule an appointment today!

CAN I GET MASSAGES DURING PREGNANCY?

Yes!  Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, regulate hormones, improvement of nerve pain, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health.

Our massage therapists, Kari & Stuart have experience with prenatal massage.  Mention this blog post and receive $10 off you or your loved one's first prenatal massage!

Information courtesy of www.americanpregnancy.org

Plant & Rake Without the Ache!

Spring is here, and nature is slowly waking up from the long winter!  We know you are eager to get into your garden and lawn, so here are some simple tips to avoid injury this season!

STRETCH BEFORE YOU START
Start with a brisk walk, then do some light stretching.

USE THE RIGHT TOOLS
Choose the proper, ergonomically designed tool for the job.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT SHOES
Wear shoes with good support, thick soles and the proper fit.

USE THE RIGHT MOVES
Use your knees to lift with ease.

COVER UP
Wear gardening gloves, a wide-brimmed hat & sunscreen.

TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS
Fatigue can increase your risk of injury.

DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS
Water is an ideal refreshment.

Enjoy the season! 

Shamrock Smoothie!

There is lots of green temptation this time of year...green beer, green shakes...so we thought we would share a healthy alternative to a familiar treat!

Shamrock Smoothie

2 scoops of chocolate UltraMeal (or 1 serving of your choice protein/meal replacement)

6 oz almond or coconut milk

2-4 oz cold water

1/8 tsp peppermint extract

2 ice cubes

Blend until smooth, and ENJOY!

Don't depend on luck to maintain your health!

Initial Intensive Care

If an ache, pain or other obvious symptom has prompted you to begin chiropractic care, the first thing you want is to feel better.  Office visits will be frequent and your adjustments may be combined with other procedures to help offer relief.  Depending on your age, condition and lifestyle, repeated visits over weeks or months may be needed to reduce or eliminate your symptoms.

In the beginning, frequent visits are usually needed to relieve symptoms and begin the healing process.

Corrective Care

Muscle and other soft tissue damage often remain after your original symptoms have improved.  Corrective care stabilizes your spine and promotes more complete healing.  Visit frequency is reduced and you may be encouraged to supplement your care with exercises and other self-care procedures.  With your ache or pain gone, more complete healing can occur.  Stopping care now may risk a relapse.

Corrective care, like orthodontics for teeth, is designed to help restore proper position and motion of spinal bones.

Wellness Care

When maximum improvement is reached, periodic chiropractic check-ups are recommended.  These wellness visits can detect and help correct new problems before they become serious.  Health-conscious adults choose this type of care for themselves and their children.  Like other preventative measures, wellness care can save time and money by helping you stay well.

Like wellness care, periodic mechanical inspections can detect problems and breakdowns before they become serious.

How long you decide to benefit from chiropractic care is always up to you.