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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.

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Wellness

THRIVE NOT SURVIVE

Join me and my staff as we tweak our health to THRIVE NOT SURVIVE. Enroll online or in our office for this series of classes that will begin in January. Class topics include:

  •  Muscle and Joint Health: Foods and supplements to decrease inflammation and muscle spasms and improve hydration and flexibility.
  • Better Gut Health: Better food choices and the most expensive supplements won’t matter if your body is not absorbing them from the inside out.
  • Use It or Lose It: Why exercise is a critical anti-aging tool and how to safely incorporate it into your busy lifestyle.
  • The Nutritious Kitchen: How to read labels and make better choices in the grocery store.
  • Organic Foods: Hype, Fad or Lifesaving?
  • Improve your body and mind with breathing, meditation and yoga.
  • Hormone Function: How hormones work and how to improve them naturally.

 

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.

roses

 

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Fitness Wellness

ENGAGE YOUR CORE

Most of us think of “core strength” as the collection of muscles that help stabilize the spine. As true as that is, I like to use the term for something far different. I think of our “core strength” as our inner determination, our personal power, values and mental strength. Just as your physical muscles hold you and protect your frame, your inner core also holds and supports you emotionally. In my own life, a willingness and desire to see things differently has been invaluable. So “core strength” ALL THE WAY!

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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.

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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.

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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.

purification-products

Categories
Health Wellness

WARNING LIGHTS: Are you functioning at GREEN, RED or YELLOW?

lightWhat do you do when your car dashboard is showing you a warning light? Do you ignore it and continue driving or do you fix the problem? If the gas tank is empty, do you fill the tank or wait for the inevitable and eventually run out of gas? If your oil light comes on, do you dig deeper to fix the problem or just keep putting more oil in? If the answers seem obvious, then ask yourself this, why are you treating your car better than your body?

I see this happen all the time with my patients. They get many warning signs, or what I call “check engine signs”. Unfortunately, many just don’t do anything about them and consider them to be normal or part of aging. Whether it be back pain, joint stiffness, headaches, indigestion, constipation, weight gain or high blood pressure, these are all warning signs that something is out of balance. These are NOT normal symptoms. Look at these as yellow lights warning you before the red light comes on. These symptoms can be key to making life saving changes. Many of these signs   simply mean eat better, balance your poor choices with nutritional supplements, drink more water or spend a few short moments per day exercising or doing   breathing and relaxation techniques. I’ve witnessed even the smallest changes making huge life improvements.

 

Categories
Wellness

KINTSUGI

KINTSUGI

As I studied Asian medicine, I was reminded of a lesson I heard in a church sermon. Kintsugi is an ancient Japanese art form. The origin of Kintsugi began when a servant went to serve the emperor his morning tea and she dropped his revered tea bowl. The bowl broke into pieces and she was devastated. In a desperate attempt to salvage his prized bowl, she used gold plated glue to put it back together. With fear and Trepidation, she served his tea in the newly repaired bowl. When the emperor saw the bowl, he loved it and it became a one-of-a-kind work of art that he cherished even more than the original bowl. This became known as Kintsugi. People all over began purposefully breaking their cherished porcelain and repairing it with gold to make their own one-of-a-kind possession. What a beautiful lesson! How many times are we “broken” either emotionally or physically with pain and disease? However, if we are willing to work through it and “put it back together”, we may become something even more extraordinary. Maybe we make necessary changes to our routines, diet or priorities. If we work at it, many times the effort has great reward and our cracks become glued together stronger than ever. That is my wish for all of us….that we have the courage to put our broken pieces together in a beautiful, unique and different way that is better than we ever could have imagined!

 

Categories
Health Wellness

BACK TO SCHOOL TIPS

It’s already back to school time! Here are a few tips to keep kids’ backs safer and brains working.

  • Breakfast of Champions: Most kids tend to grab a quick bowl of cereal with milk for breakfast, but even complex grains with low fat milk just break down to sugar. In the morning, our bodies need protein!   Protein is the fuel of our muscles and brain. Eggs, meat and vegetables are truly the best sources of protein. For a quick morning meal, try rolled, sliced meats, hard boiled eggs or sliced tomatoes with cheeses. Nuts, especially walnuts, are also great. My personal favorite is protein smoothies. Use any combination of leafy greens, fruit (berries are best) and liquid such as water, coconut water or milk, cow’s milk or almond milk. I love adding Standard Process Complete protein powder for an extra boost of protein. Standard Process’ vitamins are not synthetic, like most protein powders, but rather come from food sources, making it easier for our bodies to digest and use the benefits. Kids love adding peanut butter, or even a little chocolate to their smoothies. Avoid protein bars. If you look at the nutritional label, many times they are loaded with nothing but sugar, carbohydrates and artificial preservatives.

 

  • Picture8Back Packs: Keep as light as possible. Instead of swinging the pack on one shoulder, use both shoulder straps to balance the weight evenly. Use the chest or belly strap to wrap the pack tightly against your spine and avoid it bouncing up and down against your back.