Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Pet Can Make You Healthier

Good news for pet owners, particularly dog owners (sorry cat lovers), Fido could be helping you avoid one of the major health concerns of our time, heart disease.

A panel of experts reviewing years of research data on the benefits of owning a dog, found that that pets play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease. The reasons are simple: many dog owners tend to go outside for walks more, they also tend to form closer bonds with their pets, which helped with lowering heart rate. Pets do have the ability to reduce stress levels in people.

According to the report, pet owners also tended to report greater amounts of physical activity, and modestly lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Some research showed that people who had pets of any kind were also more likely to survive heart attacks.

According to published reports of the study, one of the only randomized controlled studies included in the report, 48 stressed stockbrokers with hypertension were put on medication that lowered their blood pressure, and then researchers divided them into groups. Those in one group were told to adopt a dog or cat. Six months later, the researchers found that when the stockbrokers who had adopted pets were around their new companions, they were markedly calmer in the face of stressful events than the stockbrokers without pets.

If you have been thinking of getting a pet lately, this is a good incentive - it can lead to positive results in your health and can possibly even ward off heart disease if you and your pet become more active.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Treat Your Headaches Without Drugs!

One in every six people or more than 16 percent of the population complain about headaches.  That’s more than any other health condition, including back pain; in fact, approximately 45 million Americans say they suffer headaches each year.  More than 8 million Americans visit their doctor seeking relief for symptoms of headaches each year. Unfortunately, the most popular treatment is over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription medication.

Well, there is some good news when it comes to headaches.  There is a safe and effective natural solution available to help reduce or even eliminate the symptoms of various types of headaches.  One of the most common problems that we see in our office is people suffering from headaches. 

Headaches 101

The most common type of headache is the tension headache.  It’s estimated that 80-90 percent of the U.S. population suffers from tension headaches at some point in their lives.  Let’s look at the two primary types of tension headaches:

Episodic: Headaches appear occasionally, usually less than 15 times per month.
Chronic: Headaches occur more than 15 times per month or on a consistent basis.

Tension headaches are intimately connected to abnormal posture, muscular tightness, joint stiffness, and restricted range of motion in the body. To obtain optimum health and function, it is important to remember that everything is connected and everything matters.  Dysfunctional patterns of movement and posture affect how much tension and stress your body holds. The body must compensate for these dysfunctional patterns by any means necessary, and it accomplishes this by altering tension points.

Muscles attach to anchor points on bone and act as primary movers and stabilizers for your body. Mover muscles are used get you from point A to point B, such as a getting up out of a chair. Stabilizer muscles control that movement so you don't fall down while standing up. Abnormal posture and altered tension points on bone anchors puts too much wear and tear on muscles and joints. Your brain and nervous system must compensate for this dysfunction by altering blood flow, muscle movement patterns and breathing. These alterations often lead to tension headaches.

Migraines: The second most common type of headache is the migraine headache. Approximately 16-17 percent of the population complains of migraines. These headaches are far more debilitating than the tension-type headaches. More women than men suffer from migraine headaches, leading researchers to believe there may be a hormonal component to migraines. The majority of migraine sufferers report some sort of trigger that kicks of their headaches (food, drink, smell, etc).

How Chiropractic Can Help

Chiropractic care can help alleviate the symptoms of tension and migraine headaches by improving and restoring normal postural patterns. Chiropractic treatment is aimed at normalizing muscle tension, restoring joint range of motion, and stabilizing the body to reduce abnormal stressors. Optimizing postural control of the head and neck reduces the workload your muscles must apply just to keep your head up during the day. Proper spinal alignment and muscle control helps give the body a fighting chance of avoiding a tension headache.

Proper breathing is also essential to relaxation, blood flow, and oxygen supply to the brain and body. Abnormal posture, which can include such dysfunctions as rounded shoulders, neck forward over the shoulders, slouched positions and tightness in the hips from sitting all day, decrease lung capacity. This decreased capacity alters how much you breathe, how often, and from where.

Headache sufferers tend to breathe more from their chest and shoulders as opposed to their diaphragm. This leads to repeated elevation of the shoulders and upper back muscles hundreds of times a day, leading to increased tension in the head and neck. Chiropractic restores function to the spine, ribs, and hips to maximize breathing and good postural control. Better breathing equals better health.

If you're suffering from headaches and are tired of taking pain-relieving medication day after day, call our office and make an appointment to see if chiropractic can relieve the cause of your headaches.

Monday, May 13, 2013

In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Month, we would like to extend a big “Thank You” to all teachers and faculty for all their hard work.

As our way to show thanks for all the education, training, time and efforts they've put in, we're offering a package of free services as a thanks for their dedication and hard work.

From Monday, May 13th to Friday, May 25th, we’re offering all teachers and faculty:

FREE Consultation
FREE Exam
FREE Chiropractic Adjustment
FREE Recommended Action Plan

and
FREE 15 Minute Chair Massage

If you are a teacher, take advantage of this great offer, if you know a teacher, pass it on!

Monday, May 6, 2013

How to Survive the Worst Allergy Season Ever

Spring is in the air – literally, in the form of massive pollen levels that are causing an historic spike in cases of seasonal allergy, also known as allergic rhinitis.  In fact, health experts are calling this the worst allergy season on record, which means the tactics you overlooked last year to survive the sneezing, coughing, runny nose, itchy eyes and various other symptoms may require real attention this time around. Bad news for spring-lovers who can't wait to emerge from their winter cocoons and enjoy the outdoors. After all, who wants to smell the flowers when doing so causes you to feel miserable?

If you're an allergy sufferer who's used to "getting away" with minimal attention to allergy avoidance, this is definitely not the year to push the envelope. With an early spring and record pollen levels, you could be asking for trouble – big trouble. Here are five ways to minimize your risk of succumbing to seasonal allergies this year:

1. Pick your spots: One of the best ways to minimize your exposure to allergens such as pollen is to make smart choices. For example, pollen levels tend to be highest in the morning or when it hasn't rained in awhile. And let's not get started on wind, which can not only circulate pollen, but also tends to cause allergy-like symptoms – a bad combination that can ruin your day.

2. Keep it out: Unless you've got a garden in your living room, the good news about pollen is that it's outside, which means you can take a few simple steps to keep it there. For starters, keep windows closed whenever possible (especially if it's windy). If you've been out, change your clothes once you get in the house, and try not to repeat-wear clothing. If it's been a particularly bad day in terms of pollen and/or you've spent most or all of the day outdoors, you may want to throw your clothes directly into the washer. And speaking of that garden in your living room, avoid bringing flowers into the house – unless putting a romantic gesture on display is worth the allergy symptoms that may accompany it.

3. Seek shade: The eyes are often the hardest hit by allergy symptoms. No one wants to spend their day rubbing watery, itchy, dry, red eyes, and trust us, it doesn't look good when you're making that big presentation in the boardroom. Two tips: 1) Wear sunglasses whenever you're outside during allergy season. (This is also a good idea because with spring comes sunnier skies, putting your eyes at risk for sun damage if they aren't protected.) 2) Carry saline drops to keep your eyes moist throughout the day, which will help when pollen, dust, etc., inevitably attack your field of vision.

4. Clean up: It's amazing how many health issues can be minimized with the simple act of washing your hands, and when it comes to seasonal allergies, it's a great recommendation. During allergy season, it becomes even more important because pollen and other irritants transfer easily from your hands to your face / mouth if you're not careful (much like germs that cause the common cold).

5. Eat smart: Research suggests vitamin C, which is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, in addition to being available in supplement form, provides an antihistamine benefit that may help minimize allergy symptoms. (Histamine is released from cells as part of an allergic reaction.) Probiotics or "healthy bacteria," found in yogurt and increasingly added to a number of food products, also may reduce allergic symptoms caused by exposure to pollen. And don't forget that in general, a balanced diet high in antioxidants and other immune-boosting compounds helps your body defend whenever it's attacked – even by allergens.

6. Detox: By managing the level of toxins that build up in the body, you can prevent your allergies form "taking over".  Our office uses the Ioncleanse Footbath detox unit to easily pull toxins out of the body without having to purchase expensive supplements or make a big change in your eating habits.  4 to 5 sessions using the Ioncleanse unit can usually help improve your allergy symptoms.