Categories
Health

Take A Multiple Vitamin

TAKE A MULTIPLE VITAMIN. Although I definitely recommend eating healthy as an essential part of your health journey, taking a great quality multiple vitamin is like an insurance policy on your daily requirements.  The quality of our food is not always as great as we think.  If your fruit and veggies were picked before completely ripe (common so the produce does not rot during shipping and transportation), the concentration of vitamins and minerals received through the soil and sun will not be as powerful.  Also, we tend to eat the same foods repetitively so we are not always getting a good variety of nutrients.  Therefore, we may be missing important nutrients (vitamins, minerals and enzymes).  A multiple vitamin gives us the confidence that we are getting the basic necessities.  Don’t fool yourself, however.  You cannot eat poor quality food or make poor choices and even out the scale.  Taking a multiple vitamin does not equal a healthy diet and a sound nutritional life plan.  It is simply assurance that you will not be deficient in any of the major nutrients.  Optimal nutrition would be a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and even more vegetables, protein (animal or vegetarian) and plenty of fiber, water, good fats with little to no added sugars along with a great multiple vitamin.

Categories
Health

Get Adjusted

GET ADJUSTED:  I believe in the theory, use it or lose it!  This is so true with the health of the spine.  People ask me how they develop arthritis.  The answers include a.)  genetics, b.) prior injuries or c.) lack of motion.  When our mechanics are off, a segment or more in our spine locks up.  The vertebra or several get stuck and decrease movement causing a breakdown in the joint cartilage and a drying of the fluid around the area.  The joints stay healthy and alive by movement pushing nutrients into the area as well as removing waste products and debris.  Without movement, a sort of death of the joint occurs.  Use it or lose it is what a chiropractic adjustment will do.  When you come in for an office visit, I will check all 32 vertebrae for normal, healthy movement.  When a deficiency is detected, I will correct it by assisting the joint in its normal, healthy motion.  This can be done with an extremely gentle process or if I feel it is safe, sometimes a more forceful adjustment is recommended.  Exercises alone do not insure normal, healthy motion of each and every vertebra.  We can be extremely flexible and touch our toes but still have one or even several vertebrae locked and not moving.  Our bodies compensate and if one segment is locked, the vertebra above or below it will simply work harder.  Coming in for a chiropractic evaluation and having a chiropractor actually palpate all 32 vertebrae is a definite was to ensure that every joint is moving well and potentially prevent the breakdown of the health of the joint.  This holds true with all joints, not only with the spine.  When patients ask their orthopedists how to delay a knee or hip replacement for example, the common answer is “keep it moving”.  Remember that chiropractic adjustments are for ALL joints, not only the spine.  We treat knees, hips, elbows, wrists, ankles, etc.  Ask about all pains or problems that you are experiencing on your next office visit.  You might be surprised on other conditions that can be treated in our office.

FOR healthy posture as well as treating and preventing lower back, hip, and feet pain…USE ORTHOTICS.  

Orthotics are arch and heel supports to help correct and maintain a proper arch.  When the arches drop, which is common as we age, the knees pull inward and the hip rotate forward.  This puts more stress and strain on these joints as well as increasing the pressure on the lower discs in your spine.  For a very small investment ($35-50) you can have an awesome orthotic fit for you in our office.  I recommend a brand call POWERSTEP PRO.  This company is located in Sharonville, Ohio (support local!!!) and has amazing quality orthotics.  They come in a professional version sold in our office as well as an over the counter selection sold at many athletic stores.  There are many varieties offered from Powersteps.  Some are stronger and more supportive than others.  Some align the heels. Some have memory foam for tender feet.  Stop in and get fitted for the best version for your conditions.

Categories
Health

Work On Your Posture

Improving your posture is not only for looks.  Posture has been absolutely linked to physical health such as better breathing, cognitive (memory) improvements, preventing falls through improving balance and even decreasing headaches and neck pain.  I am currently completing my certification and awaiting my final examination on being a Certified Ergonomist.  This is a specialist in designing proper workspaces to decrease injury.  Along with this training, there was so much education on proper posture.  To begin with, let’s work on the CHIN TUCK.  I fondly refer to this as the REVERSE CHICKEN because when chickens eat, they push their beaks forward.  Unfortunately, many of us live with our “beaks” or noses jutting forward.  This puts too much pressure and compression on the base of your skull and the top of your spine.  To do this exercise, literally tuck your chin slightly downward and pull back towards your spine.  If done properly, you will get a double chin during the exercise.  You will feel a slight stretch in the back of your head.  Hold this position for 5 counts and repeat up to 20 times.  Do this sequence as many times per day as you can…the more the better.  If done often and long enough, this postural correction will become second nature.   Try to give yourself reminds throughout the day to keep yourself in this neutral posture.  Practice during work hours on the computer and while driving.  I have found that we will catch ourselves in the chicken position with our “beaks” forward often and this is a great reminder to correct our head posture.

Another posture corrector is to PULL OUR SHOULDER BLADES BACK AND DOWNWARD.  So many of us were taught to pull our shoulders back but this is only half true.  Pulling our shoulders back and down is really important.  The downward pull works the latissimus dorsi muscle which is a very important postural muscle.  Pull the area between your shoulder blades towards the spine or bra hook area and then pull both shoulder blades towards your waist or belt line.  Hold this position for 5 counts and repeat up to 20 times.  

Categories
Fitness Health Wellness

ICE VS. HEAT

One of the most common questions patients ask is whether to apply ice or heat to a musculoskeletal pain or injury. Most importantly is what feels better and works best for you, however here are a few suggestions.

ICE: Typically, ice is used for acute or new conditions. This stops the bleeding, swelling and bruising. When using ice, always wrap it in a wet towel and never place the ice or ice pack directly on your skin. This could result in an ice burn, that looks and feels exactly like a heat burn. Use the ice on your body for 20 minutes and off for 20 minutes. Do this for approximately 2-3 days.

HEAT: Heat should be used several days following a flare up or with chronic, on-going stiffness. Moist heat is always best. Otherwise, as your body sweats with the dry heat, you will be dehydrating the muscle. Use heat for 20 minutes per hour. Never use heat longer than 20 minutes and please never fall asleep with a heating pad.

Categories
Fitness Health Wellness

TAKE TIME TO SMELL THE ROSES

The most common excuse I hear from patients is “I don’t have time to exercise”. I am about to make you feel very guilty, because here is a one minute exercise that will leave you refreshed and relaxed.

Take a deep breath in. Feel your belly swell and get larger as you inhale. Don’t worry about a flat stomach. Your belly should rise with your in breath. Put your hand on your stomach and feel it move back towards your spine with the exhale. Follow this rhythm a few slow times. Once you’re comfortable with this rhythm, try the inhale for a slow count of 5 with the exhale also for a slow count of 5. As this gets easier, try to lengthen the breath for counts of 10. If you’re really focusing on this, your mind will not be able to wander to your “to do” list. You won’t be able to vent and hit replay on any troubles you are going through. As the title of a country song says, JUST BREATHE. After a few cycles, start holding your breath for 5-10 second counts between the inhale and exhale. You will not get dizzy if you do this routine slowly.

This exercise can having amazing healthy benefits and literally takes a minute or two. You can physically decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. It can be done anywhere and no one will even know you are exercising. You can even do this in bed, right before sleep. When you get really comfortable with this practice, truly add the sense of smelling roses with the inhale. You will be amazed at the good feeling this simple and quick exercise will leave you with.

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Categories
Health Wellness

PUTTING THE BRAKES ON STRESS

Stress is commonly referred to as the body’s fight or flight response. This is handled by a part of our body called the Sympathetic Nervous System. I like to think of it as our gas pedal. When you’re busy during the day with to-do lists, high performance demands, deadlines and multi-tasking, your gas pedal is floored to the ground. Although this is acceptable at certain times, it becomes dangerous and unhealthy when your entire day is “pedal to the metal”.

The Parasympathetic Nervous System is the relaxation response that your body performs to repair from the hectic pace that you’ve set during the day. This would be the brake that you apply when the car needs to slow down. This system is typically activated at rest and during sleep.

The problem is many of us spend 17 hours with the gas pedal floored and expect to achieve balance with maybe 7 hours of sleep. And the sleep we get is not really restful. Many of us are tossing and turning,   thinking and rehashing, planning and anticipating, all throughout the night. We awake still tired and foggy. We reach for the shot of caffeine and sugar filled snacks for a boost. In an attempt to regain sanity, many will succumb to sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medication and alcohol. Although for some people, these may be necessary, for others these are nothing more than temporary fixes that lead to a whole host of side effects. What happens even to the best luxury car when the gas pedal has been floored and then you slam on the brake? Smoke! This is not a good sign. How do you think our bodies deal with this? Illness.

Science has shown that expressing GRATITUDE during periods of stress and anxiety can activate the relaxation centers of the brain. This is also very helpful before bedtime. Another tool is BREATHING exercises. Breathe from the chest to the belly, stopping momentarily at the heart to give thanks and send love. MEDITATION for only minutes can also reach this place of balance. The key to improving this vicious cycle is to practice MINDFULNESS throughout the day. Respect yourself and be aware that you are needed. Practice a few of these ideas and see if you can learn to coast during the day.

Categories
Health Wellness

DON’T FORGET TO HYDRATE THIS SUMMER

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Drinking adequate water is so easy to forget. The recommended amount of water we should intake per day is 50% of our body weight in ounces. If you weigh 180 pounds, you should consume 90 ounces of water per day. If you sweat excessively due to work or exercise, drink even more. This recommendation is for pure water, not any liquid such as juice or tea. Adding electrolytes to your water, in the form of sports drinks, can be beneficial during heavy exercise. When we don’t hydrate enough, we can suffer from dehydration. The symptoms of dehydration include: headaches, brain fog or unclear thinking, fatigue, chills and heart palpitations. Be aware that dehydration can be life threatening if untreated.

Categories
Health Nutrition

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Nutrition Tips by Dr. Cathy

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Why do we need vitamins and supplements? I am asked this question many times in the course of a week. The answer is so simple. The soil is depleted. If traditional farming methods are used, the same crop is planted in the same field, season after season. Along with overuse and not rotating crops, we use chemicals to kill weeds and bugs. These same chemicals kill the necessary microbes that form the beneficial nutrients that are taken up by the plants roots and transferred to the crop. What we eat then becomes an “empty harvest”, void of the life giving nutrients the plants were meant to provide. Even organic produce does not guarantee soil richness and quality.

The sun is just as important as the soil. Greenhouses may utilize artificial light to make the plants grow. Only real sunlight can create photosynthesis. You can taste the difference in a home grown tomato versus a hot house one. And taste is not the only deficiency. The nutrients are deficient as well. Buying organic, although very important, does not mean that your produce was picked at its peak of nutritional value. If you look on the label. Many organic produce comes from California or Mexico, where it was picked well before its peak in order to survive the long trip from its home to yours. Produce picked before its time is deficient in nutrients.

To maximize the amounts of nutrients in your produce, buy local and buy in season. When buying strawberries in January, be mindful of where they came from. In the winter, look for crops that survive cooler temperatures to be the freshest. This includes root vegetables like squash and sweet potatoes.

 

Categories
Health Supplements

PROBIOTICS

Beneficial bacteria, also known as probiotics, are the first line of defense in our gut to protect us from harmful ingested bacteria, pathogens and fungus. These probiotics deny the harmful bacteria from surviving or flourishing and thereby poisoning our bodies. Probiotics also help the breakdown of life giving nutrients for proper absorption. What good is a vitamin if our body cannot absorb it?

I prefer Standard Process ProSynbiotic, because it is well tested live cultures and packaged in amber colored glass bottles. This protects the live cultures from sun and oxygen, which can kill good bacteria. It also contains an amino acid called Glutamine, which is very healing on the GI tract. So along with giving you the good bacteria, it also helps to heal the inner lining of the stomach and intestines.

You can also get probiotics and good bacteria from certain foods. The highest amounts of probiotics are contained in fermented foods such as raw sauerkraut, raw beet juice, Kimchi, Miso Soup, Kefir and Kombucha. Yogurt, which is high in only one strain of probiotics, is also high in sugar which decreases its helpfulness.

Categories
Health Nutrition Supplements Wellness

PURIFICATION PROGRAM

Coming January 1, 2016!

In reviewing several “detox” programs, I personally endorse the Standard Process 21 Day Purification Program. This detoxification includes a combination of a whole food, nonprocessed diet, along with eliminating the two most common food irritants, dairy and gluten. Along with a completely clean eating program, it includes whole food nutrition to help flush your kidneys, liver and intestines. For 21 days you will clean yourself from the inside out.

This program, offered through my office, will also include details on foods and recipes to make this journey as easy as possible. My husband and I have personally completed this program several times. The most important decision for you to make is are you willing to really make changes and sacrifices for 21 days? If you are, the results are amazing!

We are offering classes in our office to learn more about this detox program. They are available at 6:15pm on Monday, December 7th and 28th. You can also find more information at www.standardprocess.com.

Join me and my staff at Florence Chiropractic Center as we embark on our journey for a NEW YEAR TO A NEW YOU! Please call the office to reserve your place for the free informational class.

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