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Words of Wellness

AUGUST- WORDS OF WELLNESS WITH DR. CATHY

Picture6To keep your back as safe as possible during your vacation travels, here are a few simple tips:

  • WATER: Drink a few ounces every hour and avoid caffeine. Water hydrates you, especially your muscles which are approximately 60% water. Keeping your   muscles hydrated will decrease stiffness and spasms. This is especially important when flying, because the pressurization in a plane tends to be very drying.
  • EXERCISE: When driving, try to get out of the car to walk around and stretch every hour for as little as two minutes. Go to a rest stop or parking lot and walk around your car, use the rest room or do a few leg and chest stretches. If flying, get up and stand in the aisle every hour. You can also perform some exercises while confined to your seat. Seated pelvic tilts, leg lifts, chest stretches, shoulder blade retraction and range of motion of your ankles are not only helpful for your back, but they also decrease the chance of forming blood clots while sitting too long. If you have a history of clots or are over 50 years of age, be sure to wear compression hose or supportive stockings. This will also help to keep the blood from pooling at your feet and ankles, thereby decreasing the possibility of clotting. For those with a history of back problems, lay over flights may be a better option, forcing you to get up and move around more frequently.
  • SUPPLIES: Keep a large zip lock freezer bag to add ice to while at the airport or a drive through. This tends to be especially helpful to prevent flare ups or in the event that you feel a twinge while packing the car of lifting your carry on. Sitting with the ice pack behind your back for 10 minutes every half hour, can greatly diminish inflammation and swelling. Patients tend to prefer the feeling of heat on their back, however I strongly recommend ice over heat. Heat increases blood flow which can increase inflammation and swelling. It is also very dehydrating which leads to tightness and spasms. Although they might keep you warm in the winter months, keep the seat warmers off while traveling. If you have a history of back problems, consider traveling with a TENS unit. This portable, hand held, “electric stimulation” machine, runs on a battery and is applied with stickers to the area of pain. It is allowed through airport security in checked luggage. Do not use while driving unless you are the passenger. If you move around too much, the stickers can become unstuck, causing a shock with driving. We sell high quality, dual lead units that can be purchased through your flex spending and insurance reimbursement funds. Lumbar braces are also extremely helpful to prevent flare ups while packing the car or carrying luggage.
  • MEDICATION: If all else fails and you end up with a twinge, have anti-inflammatory medication handy. Over the counter ibuprofen or Aleve are the most common medications. Natural options are terrific for both prevention and treatment. I suggest cold water fish oil at 2,000-4,000 mg per day (Metagenics and Standard Process are my favorites for quality and strength). Boswellia is a great herbal option for immediate relief. Consider using foods such as lemons, garlic, ginger, curcumin and turmeric. They have natural anti-inflammatory properties to assist with inflammation as well.

Dr. Cathy

 

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Words of Wellness

JULY- WORDS OF WELLNESS WITH DR.CATHY

Picture6

 

Thank you for 25 amazing years!

We hear it all the time…”time flies when you’re having fun”. Well, I have obviously been having a blast! I am baffled and amazed that I have been in practice for 25 years this July. I vividly remember receiving my job offer when I was in training in New Orleans. I immediately called my parents in Chicago to ask their permission to take this opportunity in Florence, Kentucky. I accepted the position, believing that it would only be for one year. It was meant to get my toes wet and learn how to run a practice, something not taught in school, before returning to my hometown. In truth, I ended up falling in love with the warmth and beauty of Northern Kentucky, the arts and dining of Cincinnati and most importantly, you all….or, as the water tower says, ya’ll. One of my favorite memories is my first Christmas here. It was a mixture of homesickness and awe at the never ending amounts of cards, cookies and gifts that I received from patients. It was then that I knew I had found a new home and my toes were more than wet, they were sunk in the Ohio River. Regardless of how homesick I was, you, my patients and staff, became my family. There obviously have been challenges along the way, especially with the ever changing insurance rules and regulations, but I still love to walk in the doors of my office every single day. That in and of itself, is an incredible feeling. I appreciate the opportunity to help you and I know what an amazing honor it is. To say “thank you” seems so little, but I hope you know how deep those words run. I am truly grateful and look forward to another year ahead.

Dr. Cathy

 

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Words of Wellness

June- WORDS OF WELLNESS WITH DR. CATHY

Picture6Meditation is such an important part of a balanced life. Since it requires no equipment and just a little time, anyone can do it. In a matter of moments, meditation can change your breathing, lower your blood pressure and relieve both mental and physical tension. Meditation is not a religious practice, nor is it just quiet time, when we sit and review the difficulties of the day. Meditation is simply a method of relaxation, focusing on “nothingness”.

Here are some steps I recommend for successful meditation.

  • Find a quiet corner in your home and ask to not be disturbed for a period of 5-20 minutes.
  • Eliminate outside noise and keep the ringer off your phone. I prefer complete silence for meditation, but some people prefer soft, instrumental music. Find what works best for you.
  • Using a small pillow, sit cross legged on the floor. If this is too difficult, sit in a chair.
  • Practice great posture and keep your spine tall to allow your lungs to expand.
  • Close your eyes and take a deep breath in. Fill your entire lungs. Hold for a few seconds and slowly exhale. Repeat slowly for a few moments. Don’t breathe too fast or you will become lightheaded.
  • You will be amazed at how difficult it is to keep your mind “empty”. Concentrate on your breathing to keep your mind from other thoughts. As you get comfortable with your breathing, however, you will notice your mind start to wander. Most of us will start thinking about our “to do” list or a stressful situation. When this happens, gently stop the thought and focus again on your breathing. If your mind continues to wander, try repeating a peaceful word. Another way to keep your mind “empty” is with your eyes closed, focus on the space between your eyes.

Some people choose to meditate in the morning, so they start the day calm and balanced. Others prefer to meditate at the end of the evening as a wind down in preparation for a good sleep. There is no “best time”, only the time that is best for you. Give meditation a try and see the benefits for yourself.

Dr. Cathy

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Words of Wellness

May- WORDS OF WELLNESS WITH DR. CATHY

Picture6Several years ago while out to dinner, I saw the most beautiful elderly woman. She had a lovely, peaceful smile and bright eyes, but what struck me the most was her perfect posture. She looked absolutely REGAL. It made me realize how underrated proper posture is. Since that time, I have observed how without good posture people appear so much older, worn and tired. We can use all the facial creams, make up and cosmetic surgery available, but none will have the immediate ability to make us look younger and slimmer like proper posture. While the cosmetic benefits of good posture are wonderful, as a chiropractor I have witnessed the physical pain that poor posture can bring. When you slouch, your muscles have to work harder to keep your body balanced, leading to back pain, neck pain, headaches, etc. This imbalance also gives you a greater risk of falling and injury. The pressure put on your spine from poor posture can lead to painful and permanent compression fractures. Additionally, with our shoulders stooped and out of alignment, it decreases our lungs’ capacity to hold and exchange oxygen.

Picture5The key to perfect posture is to focus on your shoulder blades. Simply roll them up and back. Doing so will lift your breastbone up, center your ears over your shoulders and improve the curve of your lower back. If your shoulder blades are in the correct position, you should be able to lower your hands and pinch your fingers on the side seams of your pants. When standing, try to keep the weight even on both feet. When sitting, try to keep the weight even on each butt bone. Always keep the top of your head lifted   towards the sky.

Take good posture seriously. Work on exercises to strengthen your core and see your chiropractor for maintaining good mobility of your spine.

Dr. Cathy

 

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Words of Wellness

April- WORDS OF WELLNESS WITH DR. CATHY

Dr. CathySpring is the perfect time to clean up your home, yard, garage and body. Yes, your body! This is my favorite time of year for a detox. At some point, we all eat processed foods, drink unfiltered water and breathe air filled with pollutants, so we can all benefit from purifying ourselves. I recommend a detox that lasts from 7-21 days, depending on how disciplined and determined you are. A great, simple detox that almost anyone can do, involves eating clean, unprocessed foods. Here are some keys to remember during your detox.

  • Eliminate meat, dairy, gluten, caffeine, alcohol and sugar from your diet.
  • Instead, fill your diet with beans, small amounts of fruit, quinoa, brown and wild rice and as many fresh vegetables as you want.
  • Fruits and vegetables are not only easier to digest, they are also loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber. All of which are natural detoxifiers. Take advantage of farmers’ markets and food co-ops to purchase fresh, local produce.
  • Drink plenty of water. Aim for half your body weight in ounces every day.
  • You should never feel hungry or deprived on a detox. Shop and cook for several days in advance. This way you always have healthy options available when you are hungry. Even the most dedicated will fail if they are hungry and there is nothing to eat in the pantry or refrigerator.
  • Being mentally ready for a diet change is the most important step of a successful detox program. Keep a positive outlook and focus on the healthy kick start you are giving to your body.

You can step up your detox by including a mixture of herbs, vitamins and fiber supplements to filter your organs and intestines. The Standard Process 10-21 Day Detox Program is my detox of choice. This is a physician developed, nutrition based program consisting of a whole foods derived protein powder, herbal detoxifiers and fiber supplementation. When used in combination with clean eating, it is a great aid in filtering your entire body. This is a true detox that draws out and flushes toxins from your kidneys, liver and intestines, unlike most over the counter detoxes that just cause you to have more frequent bowel movements.

Don’t forget, your body is more important than your home, yard or garage. It is your most valuable asset! Make sure to include it in your “spring cleaning” this month.
 
Dr. Cathy

 

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Words of Wellness

March- WORDS OF WELLNESS WITH DR. CATHY

 

Dr. CathyIt’s hard to believe, but spring is on the way. This season brings the highest number of injuries to my practice, because after a winter of hibernating we jump straight into spring cleaning with mulching, weeding, planting, cleaning out garages, washing cars, etc. This drastic increase in activity causes severe overwork to our muscles and joints. Many times, the “weekend warriors” are the ones calling the office first thing Monday morning, because they are unable to get out of bed. To reduce the risk of injury, keep these tips in mind.

  • Stretch your muscles in the opposite direction of activity every 20 minutes.
  • Change activities and chores often to lessen the chance of overworking one muscle.
  • Bend and lift with your knees.
  • Moderation is key. Do a little at a time.
  •  If possible, hire help. It could end up being cheaper than taking a week off work to recover.

If you overextend yourself, there are many treatments available for pain relief.

  • With new back pain, always treat with ICE and never with heat. Heat increases blood flow to an injured area. The heat will initially feel good, but quickly you will begin experiencing spasms and pain. Instead, use an ice pack wrapped in a wet towel for 10 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Repeating as often as needed. Never place an ice pack directly on the skin or you could end up with an ice burn.
  • GENTLY and SLOWLY stretch the area that is painful.
  • Take physician approved anti-inflammatories as directed or use natural anti-inflammatories. My favorites are higher doses of boswellia and cold water fish oil, both proven to reduce inflammation. It is recommended to take boswellia at 400 mg three times a day. I suggest taking cold water fish oil at 4,000 mg initially and decreasing the dose as you improve. If you are on a blood thinner, consult your physician before taking fish oil, because of its anticoagulant properties.
  • Use a TENS unit. It helps to decrease pain and spasms and increase circulation and healing.
  • Massage therapy can be extremely beneficial in reducing spasms and pain. Typically a more gentle massage is recommended until the pain decreases.
  • Use a liniment such as Biofreeze or Traumeel to soothe and heal the damaged muscles.
  • Rest is a necessary step to speedy healing. If your muscles and joints have been overused, give them a chance to heal by being easy on them. Complete bed rest is seldom recommended, although it depends on the severity of the injury.
  • If the symptoms continue after 48 hours with no improvement, contact your physician or chiropractor. An evaluation may be necessary to determine if this is a muscle injury or a disc/joint problem.

You have all spring to make your yard look better than your neighbor’s yard! Take your time and don’t overdo it.

Dr. Cathy

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Nutrition Wellness Words of Wellness

February- WORDS OF WELLNESS WITH DR. CATHY

WORDS OF WELLNESS WITH DR. CATHY                           February 2015

Dr. Cathy
February is National Heart Month. Heart disease is the number one killer of adults, both men and women, in America. I would like to use my nutritional training to offer diet and supplementation suggestions that I know will help with the prevention, as well as the treatment, of heart disease. As always, please check with your primary physician before beginning any diet or supplementation routine.

  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Omega 3s, are the most important supplement for almost all of us to take on a daily basis. Omega 3s are considered essential fatty acids and keep our blood vessels pliable. Our bodies don’t make Omega 3s, so we only get them from food sources and supplements. The highest concentrations are found in cold water fish (salmon, herring, mackerel and sardines), flax seed and flax oil (never heat or it becomes rancid and dangerous), walnuts, hemp milk and oils. Fish oil, my favorite choice, is the only Omega 3 that is also a very strong anti-inflammatory. Most heart disease stems from inflammation, including atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, plaques and blockages. For most patients I recommend 2,000-4,000 mg per day. An average serving of salmon contains 400 mg of Omega 3s, so it is very difficult to achieve the ideal amount without supplementation. Do not take Omega 3s without your physician’s authorization if you are on blood thinners. Fish oil is an anti-coagulant and if you are already on blood thinners, it can thin your blood to a dangerous level.
  • CoEnzyme Q 10, CoQ10, is considered necessary for anyone with heart disease or a strong family history of heart disease, especially if you are currently on a statin (cholesterol lowering medication). CoQ10 provides energy to the cells. It is the strongest anti-oxidant and helps to cleanse our cells of cellular debris from poor diets, toxins, medications and air pollution. All statin medications lower CoQ10 causing patients to feel weak muscles, fatigue, shortness of breath, etc. Sometimes simply supplementing with CoQ10 will reverse these unpleasant side effects. I recommend a minimum of 100 mg for prevention and 200-400 mg if on a statin, symptomatic or for anyone with heart disease.
  • Many people preach “low fat” for heart patients. I preach healthy, good, natural fats. Our bodies need fat to keep our blood vessels open and pliable. Choose butter or olive oil instead of margarine or imitation butter. Our bodies recognize real foods and know how to process them. Always use butter and olive oils in moderation.
  • The heart is a muscle and muscles need protein to stay strong and well fueled. High sources of protein are found in animal products, beans, whole grains and vegetables. Choose free range, hormone free meats, dairy and eggs whenever possible.
  • Stay away from processed, packaged, low fat foods. They are filled with sugar and sodium to make up for the terrible processed, chemical taste. You are better off choosing full fat foods in moderation, than choosing foods comprised mostly of chemicals.

A key aspect of heart disease that I believe is many times overlooked, or at least not discussed enough, is stress. Although I may be going out on a limb, I want you to know that I have learned a very important lesson in stress reduction…loving yourself is equally important as loving everyone around you. I know everyone has so many necessary obligations squeezed into a 24 hour day, however, if you don’t carve some “you time” into those 24 hours, I believe it will eventually back fire on you. There are simple things we can do throughout the day to lower our stress levels. Turn off your cell phone in the car and enjoy the peace, meditate or listen to music that brings you joy. Visualize your stress washing down the drain when you shower. Get to the gym for 30 minutes. Take 10 minutes at the end of the day to deep breathe and focus on what you did right that day. Don’t dwell on the things that didn’t go as planned. Make yourself a priority!

Dr.Cathy

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Words of Wellness

January- WORDS OF WELLNESS WITH DR. CATHY

WORDS OF WELLNESS WITH DR. CATHY                         JANUARY 2015

Dr. Cathy

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2015! The focus of Florence Chiropractic Center remains on the best care for our patients. I believe it’s easier to stay well versus get well. Because of this, nutrition will become a priority of mine in practice this year. Many of you know I have a degree in nutrition (Diplomate in Nutrition) as well as being a Certified Clinical Nutritionist. My interest in nutrition is based on my true nature and belief that “we are what we eat”. My desire to obtain a formal nutrition degree came with my dad’s terminal cancer diagnosis in 1996. I devoured any and all information on alternative treatments of his illness. The wide range of nutritional treatments were confusing and potentially dangerous. I chose at that time to become formally educated with the most current and safest treatments available. Unfortunately my dad passed away from cancer, but I continued with my thirst for   knowledge and my quest to become more well informed on nutrition. I am passionate about being able to share what I have learned with others.

Nutrition classes will be available on select Wednesday evenings in the lower level of my office. The classes will range from basic nutrition and meal planning to natural arthritis treatments and hormone balancing for men and women. Registration is required, so please call the main office to reserve your spot.

I will also be offering private nutrition counseling on Fridays. Counseling sessions will comprise of two meetings, an initial 30 minute consultation and a 60 minute follow-up. The goal of nutrition counseling if not to put you on a diet, but to help establish a healthy eating lifestyle change.

I am looking forward to sharing all the wonderful changes and adventures this new year has in store!

Dr. Cathy