Wednesday, July 30, 2014

4 Secret Steps to Weightloss

Although there's no real mystery to weight loss (burn more calories than you consume), that doesn't mean it's a simple endeavor, which accounts for the millions of people who struggle to achieve their ideal healthy weight.

But struggle no more, because the secrets to weight loss are out of the bottle and yours to follow on your path to lasting health and wellness.

1. Win With Goals: With the World Cup just ended, the importance of goals can't be understated. After all, the teams that scored at least one goal in a match usually won. Goals are absolutely crucial to weight loss, too; you can't achieve a goal if you don't set one. What's more, without goals, it's too easy to get sidetracked by a "bad week" or a less-than-desirable weigh-in, and give up. After all, the only goal you've set is to "lose weight." Set tangible, meaningful goals you can achieve each week, month, etc., in terms of the amount of weight you want to lose – and exactly how you'll do it. Put it all on a wall calendar and/or your smartphone, so motivation is at your fingertips.

2. Hit the Track: Of course running burns calories, but "hitting the track" means tracking your progress – particularly when it comes to your daily food intake. There's a reason why weight-loss programs that recommend tracking your meals are effective; research suggests people who complete food diaries tend to lose more weight than people who don't, pure and simple. When you're tracking what you eat, you're also holding yourself accountable and starting to understand how different foods impact your weight, energy level, etc. Understanding the power (good and bad) of food makes it easier to fill up on more of the healthy stuff and minimize the unhealthy options. And having to record it in a food diary makes it harder to "cheat," because no one wants to write "5 pieces of pizza, 32-ounce Coke, two slices of pecan pie" in their diary.

3. Plan Your Own Party: This doesn't necessarily mean "cheating" with a brownie sundae or a double cheeseburger once a month; it's more about recognizing the effort you've made and motivating yourself to continue doing it. Every month, celebrate your journey with something special – a trip to the local spa, a new outfit (in the size you couldn't fit into a few months before), or a night out with your spouse or friends. Thank yourself for all the hard work you make every day to become a fitter, healthier, lighter – better – you.

4. Just Do It: Nike may have trademarked the phrase, but it's universally applicable to many aspects of life, not the least of which is weight loss. Getting to (and then maintaining) your ideal weight is a lifetime effort, which means every day, every week, every month and every year, life will rear its ugly head and try to sidetrack you. The people who meet their weight-loss goals; the people who make it to the gym in the pouring rain; the people who make smart shopping and food preparation decisions – they have the same frustrations, time constraints, stresses and hectic lives you do. The difference: they "just do it." They make time to exercise, they focus on eating right and they trust that their hard work will pay off. Do the same and you'll reach your weight-loss goal before you know it – and find yourself eager to set and achieve new goals in life you never dreamed possible.

Monday, July 21, 2014

3 Simple Ways to Live Longer

Don't Smoke
An ever-increasing body of research and realworld experiences tells the sad story of how smoking can lead to catastrophic disease and shorten your life (and sometimes even the lives of those around you) dramatically. Consider that according to a recent study, you are likely to live at least four years longer if you never smoke compared to if you puff away. Clean air, clean lungs, longer life.
What happens in the absence of movement? If it's pictures on a shelf, dust gathers. If it's a job lacking new challenges or progress, stagnation can set in. In terms of your body, lack of movement causes fat to accumulate and disease processes to begin. The study referenced in the clean air piece above suggests you'll live at least three years longer if you participate in regular physical activity.

Watch Your Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight can also increase your lifespan, says the same study.  Expect your life expectancy to increase by more than one year if you maintain a healthy weight. Doesn't sound like much? It is if you consider that unhealthy weight can cause years of progressively worsening physical and emotional pain. Why suffer when you can enjoy a long, healthy life?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fact or Fiction: Chiropractic Saves Lives?

I stole this great post from Matthew Loop and wanted to pass it on.  It's definitely food for thought!

This post may be a little controversial for some, but it needs to be brought into open discussion. There are some out there they say chiropractic care is dangerous and others that say chiropractors actually save lives. So, what’s the real answer?

Let’s start with a not-so-obvious, indisputable fact.

Chiropractors pay roughly $2,000 per year in medical malpractice insurance (give or take a few hundred).

The average medical doctor pays around $10,000 per year. A surgeon can easily pay 6-10 times more than that.

According to the insurance companies, chiropractic treatment is on average 5x safer than standard medical care. This might shock some but the annual premium numbers do not lie.

If chiropractic was really dangerous, malpractice fees would be much higher (similar or above that of an MD). I’m not sure it gets more objective than that.

With that said, the truth is chiropractors DO save lives and here are 3 reasons why:

1) People that see a chiropractor are less likely to need surgical procedures.

I don’t care how much some MD’s down-play it, even the smallest of operations come with several risks. Surgical infection being the primary one. Not to mention your odds of contracting some other virus through a nosocomial infection (hospital acquired).

It might surprise you to find out just how many people go into the hospital for a “simple” procedure and wind-up passing away.

    We have the best trained crisis care medical doctors in the world, but medical errors do happen regularly. Actually, in the US, iatrogenesis is one of the leading causes of death.

It’s better to seek the conservative chiropractic approach first so you don’t have to gamble with your health. Going to a chiropractor either for a back injury, spinal hygiene, OR maintenance / wellness care keeps your spine and nervous system in great shape.

You don’t need to search too much in the medical literature to validate the fact that chiropractic care keeps people out of surgery and reduces medical costs.

Keeping patients from unnecessary surgery and hospital time saves lives.

2) Those that visit a doctor of chiropractic are more educated about the human body and less likely to take drugs.

From treating thousands of patients over the years, it seems that practically everyone is on some type of drug. It’s very sad to see people dependent on a system and therapy that will NEVER cure their problems / diseases.

This indoctrination has occurred because of massive, relentless campaigns of UNETHICAL influence-based marketing by Big Pharma, the AMA, and the FDA.

The public has been intentionally dumbed-down, which has been great for big business. Medical research studies are ghost-written and fabricated frequently. It’s anything but science.

Here’s the crazy thing, though…

By definition, allopathic drug therapy is “a system of treating disease by inducing a pathologic (disease producing) reaction that is antagonistic to the disease being treated.” Hence the reason why there are always adverse side effects.

    What the public is not told is that ALL medication is toxic and poison to your system! It doesn’t restore health, it merely “masks” symptoms.

The masses have been deceived into thinking that if the symptom is taken away, health is restored. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Cancer, heart disease, and diabetes (a few examples) begin without you ever consciously noticing any pain, symptoms or abnormal lab-work.

Chiropractors educate patients about how to take control of their health naturally.

The more educated people are about how their body works, the less likely they are to take drugs and fall prey to the legal drug cartels. The less folks take drugs, the less chance of irreversible damage or accidental death.

The human body is always trying to maintain a homeostatic norm… meaning it has an intrinsic, innate life-force that guides and automatically directs your body’s healing process. It’s not something you have to consciously think about.

Chiropractors have long embraced this irrefutable, vitalistic truth and look for the cause of problems, enabling them to trouble-shoot effectively.

Drugs don’t cure.

    In fact, prescriptions for non-life threatening diseases kill tens of thousands annually. Tylenol alone kills roughly 500 people each year. Not to mention it’s responsible for 26,000 hospitalizations yearly, too!

Chiropractors save lives by educating and empowering consumers to get off risky medications.

3) Chiropractic patients are more likely to understand importance of the human Nervous System in regards to optimal health

It’s a medical and scientific fact that the nervous system directs and coordinates every function of the body. The brain acts like the main control-panel and sends messages down the spinal cord which eventually break-off into nerves (power lines).

If one of the spinal cord pathways or nerves is “choked” / compressed, then the brain cannot communicate at 100% to the innervated muscle, organ, etc.

Not to get too in-depth here, but the spinal cord is composed of different tracts (like a bunch thin strings grouped together) and depending where the compression occurs, will correlate to the symptoms that present.

Let me give a quick, obvious example.

You may have heard the term slipped or herniated disc. Either of these conditions can cause compression on the spinal cord and / or nerves. When this happens, patients can experience pain, numbness, tingling, decreased circulation, muscular weakness and other symptoms.

    Sometimes, they might not experience any noticeable symptoms, though.

The bottom line is that when this nerve compression occurs, you LOSE FUNCTION. The life is literally being taken away from the area the nerve connects to. If you’re a chiropractor or medical doctor reading this, you’ve probably seen the above example frequently in your office.

To restore function and optimal health, the nerves need to be free of the interference that’s causing the problem. When you take the pressure off the nerve, you bring-back normal communication and the symptoms go away in this instance.

Make sense?

This is one example of where a chiropractic adjustment can help restore normal function and communication between the brain and bodily systems involved. What I’m referring to here is the obvious of the obvious, in terms of nerve compression.

Here’s another slightly different example.

When a patient has a stroke and a pathway in the brain is damaged, they can experience symptoms like speech problems, involuntary muscular contractions, visions problems, paralysis on one side of the body, etc.

They have literally LOST FUNCTION of certain lower motor areas due to the lesion.

Think of a lesion in the stroke example as like a road block. Your brain cells are always trying to regenerate but in some cases they have to take a detour around the road block to get back on track. The pathway needs activation primarily.

    An experienced chiropractic neurologist can accelerate this healing process and help the brain form those collateral pathways in order to restore proper function.

We see it all the time as stroke patients regain their temporarily lost functions, many times returning back to normal. The body is always trying to heal itself, sometimes it just needs a guiding hand to speed things up.

So, what about those compressions or lesions that aren’t so obvious?

The reality is, sometimes a muscle, ligament, fluid / inflamed tissue, and a bone can cause compression. If it’s in the spine, this is called a vertebral subluxation. Sometimes symptoms manifest, but sometimes not.

Regardless if evident symptoms are created, a subluxation can have severe consequences on the joint complex, associated nerve, and eventually decrease its function. If the nerve supply is compromised, then the connected muscles and organs can begin to lose function.

Chiropractors are trained to check for those areas of dysfunction and correct the corresponding subluxation. This increases life to the tissue and helps to maximize health.

    An important FYI here… symptoms are a poor, and many times unreliable, way to judge health. Heck, over 40% of the time, the first symptom of heart disease is a heart attack and death.

Chiropractors, as well as their patients, are typically more proactive and “prevention-centered” when it comes to health.

This leads to longer, healthier lives with reduced instance of having to go to the MD, getting caught-up in a medical system that neither cures or restores health. This is yet another way chiropractors save lives.

Let me be clear, though.

In terms of crisis-care or immediate life-threatening illnesses, the medical profession works wonders and we’re blessed to have such technology and specialists.

However, for most everything else including chronic disease management and treatment, medicine is severely lacking.

This is because the American medical system is based on a FLAWED paradigm of treating symptoms on not the underlying cause or whole person. Unfortunately, it was intentionally set-up this way for private interest. It’s business and has nothing to do with health.

Medical doctors get trained by fresh-out-of-undergraduate school pharmaceutical reps and are lavished with free meals, beautiful vacations, and many other perks by Big Pharma. On the books, this is illegal, but it still happens all the time creating influence and favorable opinion.

It’s a strong conflict of interest, as it shapes and molds the way many MD’s practice medicine. The “modern” medical system has created a society of dependent addicts.
It’s time for Americans to empower themselves so they can take control of their health once and for all!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Are Energy Drinks All They’re Cracked Up To Be?

Energy drinks claim to increase energy and vitality. In making this claim, the manufacturers often load their concoctions with a variety of substances, including but certainly not limited to caffeine, herbs and various amino acids. That brings us to an interesting question: Do these drinks actually have health benefits, or are there hidden health dangers? Here's the lowdown on energy drinks.

Energy drinks constitute big business these days. While Austrian-based Red Bull claims to own the lion's share of the market, all signs point to that dominance changing in the near future. Monster, Adrenaline Rush, Venom and 5-Hour Energy are just a few of the estimated thousands of energy drink distributors worldwide, and they're everywhere: in stores, schools, gyms and all manner of social environments.

Suffice it to say the popularity of these drinks is unquestionable; their health benefits is another story altogether. The big concern with the majority of energy drinks is their caffeine content: up to 80 mg of caffeine. According to Brown University, that's more than twice the caffeine in a can of Mountain Dew and more than three times the caffeine in a can of Coca Cola Classic. Why is this important? Because too much caffeine can elevate the heart rate, increase blood pressure, and lead to insomnia (Some energy drink manufacturers have now come out with decaffeinated versions, although that hasn't seemed to particularly impact the popularity of the caffeinated varieties.)

A recent study that investigated potential safety issues in energy drinks reveal that most energy drinks also contain some combination of natural products such as guarana, taurine and ginseng. Oh, and let's not forget about sugar, one of the major ingredients in addition to caffeine. Average sugar content can exceed 35 grams per can, according to the study, published in the Journal of the  American Pharmacists Association. (Sugar-free versions of some energy drinks are now available, but remember, there are plenty of sugar-free sodas out there, and none of them are any good for you, either.)

Here's perhaps the most telling point emphasized in the study: "The amounts of guarana, taurine, and ginseng found in popular energy drinks are far below the amounts expected to deliver either therapeutic benefits or adverse events. However, caffeine and sugar are present in amounts known to cause a variety of adverse health effects."

Here are other things to keep in mind if you or someone you know consumes energy drinks, again courtesy of Brown University:

  •     Energy drinks should not be consumed while exercising; they tend to promote dehydration, which can be dangerous when combined with fluid loss from sweating.

  •     Energy drinks should not be combined with alcohol (they often are); the former is a stimulant and the latter is a depressant, which can be a bad combination. Users may not be aware of how impaired they are because the stimulant effects mask the effects of the alcohol. And again, both tend to promote dehydration.

The bottom line: Energy drinks probably aren't doing you much good, and may even end up doing you some harm.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Relief From Sciatica

Sciatica is a condition in which pain radiates from the lower back down one or both legs. Typically, this is  caused by a problem in your lower back.

While many people believe that sciatica requires surgery, a new study found that 

"Sixty percent of patients with sciatica who had failed other medical management benefited from chiropractic to the same degree as if they underwent surgical intervention."

Chiropractic can alleviate many of the symptoms related to sciatica and can do so without the cost and many of the dangers associated with surgery.  

If you or someone you know is suffering from sciatica, schedule an appointment today to talk about your options for relief and solving the cause of your pain.