5 Resolutions You Can Keep

Every December, millions of people craft lists of New Year’s resolutions for the coming year. And every January, February or month too soon thereafter, millions of people give up their resolutions until the next year. It’s a cycle of frustration that can eventually all but eliminate the likelihood of ever achieving one’s resolutions.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. No doubt you’ve already completed your 2018 resolution list, but since we’re only a few weeks in, why not start fresh with resolutions you can actually keep? It starts with worrying less about general goals (exercise more, eat better, etc.) that are too often prone to failure, and focusing instead on specific, foundational goals you can achieve and build upon day after day, month after month, year after year. Here are five simple suggestions you’ll be amazed you didn’t think about until now:

1. The Power of Hello: Too many people pass right by one another without saying hello and giving a warm smile – even co-workers, spouses and elevator sharers are guilty. Say hi to a stranger, a loved one (or both) and feel better about yourself every single day of the year.

2. The Written Word: Technology is stealing our health, our good habits and our ability to think outside of a screen. Replace at least 15 minutes of screen time a day with a good book, an engaging magazine article, or even some self-reflection in a journal. You’ll be delighted at the change you feel in yourself.

3. Deep Breaths: We live in a world of Post-It notes, schedules, deadlines and sleep deprivation. We rush from one task to the next, all the while gasping for air (in the literal and figurative sense). Sometimes all we need is a good old-fashioned deep breath or two to fill our lungs with air, our minds with purpose and our lives with a moment of peace and calm.

4. Reach Out and Touch Someone Even with text messaging, FaceTime and other modes of instant contact, there’s someone you haven’t touched base with in far too long – and it’s hurting both of you. Resolve to make contact with someone you’ve been missing on a regular basis this year. It’s worth the effort, and you’ll probably realize immediately that you should have started doing it a long, long time ago.

5. Action Required: Goals are great, but you can’t achieve them without an action plan. Resolving to lose weight, get more sleep or exercise more frequently are all doomed propositions if you don’t follow up with a specific plan of action. So follow up each goal with specific action steps that will help you accomplish it.

Don’t spend the last 11 months of 2018 feeling guilty about the resolutions you failed to keep (again). Resolve to achieve these and other steps to create a healthier, happier you that’s in a great position to achieve anything and everything moving forward!

Page printed from: 
http://www.toyourhealth.com

Posted in News | Comments Off on 5 Resolutions You Can Keep

Start the New Year Right

Last issue, we talked about New Year’s resolutions – particularly some of the ones that don’t show up on very many annual lists, even though they definitely should be on everyone’s list. As we begin 2019, let’s take things a step further. Don’t consider these resolutions so much as small, easy-to-incorporate steps you can take toward a better you this year and every year. They’re not New Year’s resolutions; they’re life resolutions.

  1. Make a connection (you never thought you’d make or thought you’d given up on). It could be romantic, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Think reaching out to a long-lost friend; striking up a conversation with a co-worker you’ve never spoken to except as it pertains to work; or making amends with a family member who deserves to be in your life (and you in theirs), but isn’t.
  2. Tell someone you’re sorry (and mean it, and understand why you were wrong in the first place). Has someone hurt you, but you’re unwilling or unable to forgive them? Who’s it ultimately hurting more – you or them? What about the flip side: Have you hurt someone, but are so embarrassed or ashamed that you’ve never apologized – even when the infraction was something so minor, so easy to remedy that you can’t believe it? It happens, but there’s no better time than now to fix it.
  3. Introduce yourself to the forgotten you (or the pushed-aside you, or the afraid-to-explore you, or told-you’re-not you). The older we get, the more we realize what could have been, or might have been, or should have been … if only we’d been strong enough. Guess what? You are strong enough! Life is a journey, but if you let the wind blow you in whatever direction it chooses, you’ll regret where you end up eventually.
  4. Start a bucket list (no matter how old) and cross at least one item off this year. The bucket list isn’t just for old people; in fact, the younger you make yours, the more time and opportunity you’ll have to complete it. Put whatever you want on your list as long as you honestly think it can be achieved. In fact, add a few items you don’t think have any chance of happening. It’s always OK to dream.
  5. Do something you’ve wished you’d do (but always let fear or acceptance get in the way). This could include an item on the aforementioned bucket list, but on a certain level, it’s more simple than that. Sure, if you’ve never sky dived because you were afraid to, it should be on your bucket list and fits the bill here. But we’re also talking about going beyond your own perceived limitations. It could mean changing careers because you’ve discovered that what you want and need is different than you thought; or moving to another state when you thought you’d always stay right here, wherever your “right here” is in this vast world.
  6. Give someone your undivided attention (even when you’re in the exact opposite mood). Everything thinks they’re a great listener; a substantially lower percentage actually pull it off. That’s because listening is not about keeping quiet for a few seconds while the other party speaks, but all the while thinking about the story you’re about to share. True listening is about hearing what the other person is saying and trying to understand what they’re feeling. In fact, sometimes you might not even need to say a word.

So, what’s the moral of this story? It’s never too late for a new beginning. A better you starts now.

Page printed from: 
http://www.toyourhealth.com

Posted in News | Comments Off on Start the New Year Right

Life Can Be a Pain without Chiropractic

That pain in your knee is often what doctors call patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS). Simple activities such as running, jumping, or going up and down stairs can contribute to knee pain, which means that most of us will eventually suffer from some form of PFPS.

It has been suggested that PFPS can be relieved by sufficient stretching and lengthening of tight structures around the patella (the kneecap). A study in the Journal of the Neuromusculoskeletal System investigated this potential intervention in 30 patients with PFPS.

Patients were divided into two groups: The first group received “patella mobilization” (extension of the knee with pressure and movement applied for 10 minutes, followed by patellar adjustment in the direction of restricted movement); the second group received detuned ultrasound as placebo (five minutes of ultrasound, but with the intensity set at zero).

Patients receiving mobilization had positive improvements in PFPS symptoms compared with the placebo group. The authors note that this type of conservative care may be useful when combined with other treatment options such as exercise, orthotics and activity modification. If you’re suffering from knee pain and would like to know more about nonsurgical approaches to relieving your pain, contact your doctor of chiropractic.

Page printed from: 
http://www.toyourhealth.com

Posted in News | Comments Off on Life Can Be a Pain without Chiropractic

Smoking Leads to Spine Surgery

If you’re a current smoker, we hope you’re speaking with a health care professional right now about how to quit. If you’re not, we urge you to consider doing so, because your risk of suffering one or more of any number of diseases appears to increase dramatically if you’re a smoker. In fact, even back pain occurs more frequently if you’re a smoker, and the pain may lead to surgery.

Lumbar spinal stenosis, a condition characterized by spinal canal narrowing that causes low back pain due to the increased pressure on spinal nerves, appears to be more prevalent in smokers because nicotine constricts blood flow and promotes inflammation. In a study published in The Spine Journal, researchers discovered that smokers were more likely not only to suffer from lumbar spinal stenosis, but also to eventually undergo surgery for the condition. In fact, compared to nonsmokers, heavy smokers (15 or more cigarettes per day) were 46 percent more likely to undergo surgery, while moderate smokers (14 or less cigarettes daily) had a 31 percent higher risk and even former smokers had a 13 percent increased risk.

spine pain - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

What’s the takeaway? Smoking can lead to back pain requiring surgery, and the more you smoke, the worse the risk. And while even ex-smokers have a small increased risk compared to nonsmokers, it’s significantly lower than the risk inherited by smokers. Just another reason to say no to smoking. Talk to your doctor about the smoking cessation program that’s right for you.

Page printed from: 
http://www.toyourhealth.com

Posted in News | Comments Off on Smoking Leads to Spine Surgery

Chiropractic: Good Even for “Minor” Pains

About half of all children will suffer from low-back pain at some point, with nearly 15% experiencing frequent or ongoing pain. In North America, the primary providers of spinal manipulation are chiropractors. More studies are now being done to evaluate the role of chiropractic in treating back pain in minors.

In a study appearing in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 15 randomly chosen Canadian chiropractors provided data on their pediatric patients between the ages of 4 to 18 and suffering from lower back pain. Information was gathered on treatment type and outcome of care, based on patient-rated pain scales. Characteristics of the children with back pain included:

  • The average age of sufferers was 13 years old.
  • Nearly 60 percent were male.
  • Half attributed pain onset to trauma (usually sports-related).
  • One in four reported pain of over three months duration.

The most common diagnosis was a “subluxation,” appearing in half of these children. Patients were almost universally treated with spinal adjustments, with few requiring other forms of therapy. After six weeks of treatment, major improvement (defined as “much improved” or “resolved”) was seen in nearly 90% of patients, based on one of the pain scales, and there were no reported complications in any of the patients.

In children, as in adults, chiropractic treatment is extremely effective for back pain, regardless of the cause or characteristics. Your doctor of chiropractic can provide more information about treating childhood back pain.

Reference:

Hayden JA, Mior SA, Verhoef MJ. Evaluation of chiropractic management of pediatric patients with low back pain: A prospective cohort study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2003:26(1), pp. 1-8.

For more information about pediatric health, check out www.chiroweb.com/find/tellmeabout/childhood.html.

 

Page printed from:
http://www.toyourhealth.com

Posted in News | Comments Off on Chiropractic: Good Even for “Minor” Pains

Your Foot Bone’s Connected to Your Spine Bone

Spinal Stabilization: Your First Step Toward Lifelong Spinal Health

Stabilizing your spine plays a vital role in your overall health. Your spinal cord contains the nervous system, the center for all your mental activity. Misalignments in your spine can prevent your nervous system from functioning normally, causing you pain and discomfort. It even can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get sick.

Athletic woman with illustrated bone structure. - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register MarkMany factors can contribute to misalignments in your spine. Poor posture, excess weight, injuries, heavy lifting, an unhealthy diet and improper sleeping positions are just a few causes. Something you might not know is that the majority of spinal problems start at your feet.

If you have pain in your neck, back, hips or knees – check your feet. Why? In the old song favorite, it’s because “Your foot bone’s connected to your leg bone, your leg bone’s connected to your hip bone,” and so on. By age 20, an estimated 80 percent of people develop some type of foot imbalance. By age 40, foot imbalances plague virtually everyone.

Your feet are the foundation for your entire body; they allow you to stand, walk and run. Every day we expect our feet to take us where we want to go, support our weight and act as our body’s main shock absorbers. Your feet contain one-quarter of your body’s bones.  Each foot has 26 bones and 19 muscles. If that foundation is not solid and balanced, your entire body is affected.

Chiropractors have long known what some other health care professionals are just discovering: There is a cause-and-effect relationship between your foot and your spine. Movement at one joint affects movement at other joints, and every time your foot hits the ground to take a step, you’re passing that imbalance all the way up your skeletal structure. Over time, your body tries to compensate and this imbalance can cause pain in any number of places, such as your knees, hips, pelvis, low back and neck. Every time your feet hit the ground, a shock wave travels all the way through your body. If your feet are balanced, they can absorb much of that shock. But if they’re not in balance, the shock can cause your body additional strain, and eventually pain. Surprisingly, most of the time, your feet don’t hurt!

When you walk, your feet go through a three-phase process known as the gait cycle. Phase one is when your foot hits the ground (heel-strike); phase two is when your whole foot is on the ground (mid-stance); and phase three is when you start to take the next step (toe-off). Research has proven that during the gait cycle, there are small movements in your spine. If there is a problem with your gait cycle, it eventually will create problems in your spine.

Inadequate or unbalanced support from your feet puts abnormal stresses on your spine. Excessive shock, unequal leg lengths, or poor joint function in the feet or ankles all can affect your spine. The most common foot problem is pronation, or collapsed arches, which can seriously affect your body’s ability to absorb shock.

Flexible, custom-made orthotics are designed specifically for spinal stabilization. They help your foot maintain its normal position and control foot function. This only can be accomplished by supporting all three of the foot’s natural arches. A gradual weakening of the arches often occurs naturally after years of standing, walking and wearing shoes. The goal of stabilization is to control – not restrict – motion within your foot structure. Flexible, custom-made orthotics can enhance the structure and performance of your foot’s three functions, as described in the sidebar at right.

The most effective stabilization is based on two principal considerations: the amount of imbalance in your weight-bearing foot, and the degree of physical stress created by your occupation or lifestyle. Evaluating both of these factors allows your chiropractor to prescribe the stabilizing support level that will most effectively address your individual needs.

Pair of work boots standing at work site. - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register MarkIf you are experiencing a loss of spinal stabilization, your imbalances can easily be corrected using orthotics that are custom-made for each of your feet.A weight-bearing cast or digital scan provides the most accurate image of your foot for prescribing a stabilizing, custom-made orthotic. Your body’s movements and forces on your musculoskeletal system can only be observed in a standing position. If your body is evaluated in a non-weight-bearing position, vital information regarding your foot function is lost. A flexible orthotic, made from a weight-bearing cast or scan, allows your foot to be supported, not “crutched.” The resulting foot balance allows your body movements to function properly.

Your doctor can assist you in determining the extent of your imbalance (in your foot, pelvis and/or spine) and physical stress levels. If you are experiencing a loss of spinal stabilization, your imbalances can easily be corrected using orthotics that are custom-made for each of your feet. Sore or tight muscles; muscle or joint pain in the back, neck or extremities; poor foot function; and sore or tired feet are just some of the indications of loss of spinal stabilization. Ask your doctor to examine your feet if you are experiencing these or similar problems.

Your feet are foundational to the functioning of your entire musculoskeletal system. Spinal stabilization is the first step in spinal health. Your doctor can provide additional information specific to your needs.

1. Support. Over time, the effects of gravity upon a normal weight-bearing position will weaken the tissues and stress joints in your feet. Custom-made orthotics help reduce body-weight stress and strain by supporting proper joint position and reducing excessive motion.

2. Locomotion. When your foot hits the ground during the normal gait cycle, a series of responses occurs along your body’s kinetic chain. Excessive pronation due to structural or functional abnormalities is responsible for more chronic postural problems than any other foot disorder. Flexible orthotics can control both the degree and duration of pronation.

3. Shock absorption. Heel-strike shock generates forces reaching five to seven times your body weight. Normal pronation relaxes the foot to absorb some heel-strike shock directly, and decreases the angle between the bones at your knee joint to help protect your spinal/pelvic structures from extreme shock. When you have excessive pronation, this protective mechanism breaks down, resulting in excess shock transmission to your spine. By controlling pronation, custom-made orthotics enhance your body’s natural shock absorbers.

By Dr. Brian Jensen

Posted in News | Comments Off on Your Foot Bone’s Connected to Your Spine Bone

New Year’s Resolutions That Should Be on Your List (But Probably Aren’t)

A new year is right around the corner, which makes now a great time to review your 2018 resolutions (particularly how successful you’ve been at achieving them) and chart a course for an even better 2019 with a fresh set of resolutions designed to build a better you. Ready, set, go!Wait … not so fast. The overwhelming majority of lists start and end with resolutions related to eating habits and/or exercise goals (with or without weight loss in mind). Those are important aspects of your health and wellness, but you shouldn’t stop there.

Here are some of the best ways to improve yourself next year that, more often than not, won’t show up on the average person’s list of New Year’s resolutions, even though they should be close to or at the top. Add them to your list today and get ready to enjoy a healthier, happier 2019!

Laugh It Up: Want to reduce stress, boost your heart rate (in a good way), increase circulation, optimize your immune response, improve sleep and even burn calories? All it takes is a little laughter, which promotes health in these and other ways. And from a pure quality-of-life perspective, who can question the power of laughter to improve one’s sense of well-being and enjoyment? Just try to have a bad day while you’re laughing!

2019 - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

Say No to Stress: It can be a killer, particularly in its chronic form, so resolve to deal with stress whenever it raises its ugly head and prevent its severity before it even strikes. Stress elevates blood levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with obesity and heart disease. Stress can also cause GI problems, depression and headaches, according to research.

How can you reduce stress? Stick to your resolution! Are you managing your time well? Are you confined to a desk all day? Are you getting enough sleep? When a stressful situation arises, do you stay calm, or do you let stress win out? Answering these questions is the first step in the right direction.

Get More ZZZs: Most of us take sleep for granted and just “let it happen” when it happens. Big mistake. In today’s busy world, we all need to prioritize sleep – how much we get, when we get it and how we get it. Do you sleep through the night or do you toss, turn and wake up multiple times? It could be the wrong mattress or pillow. Do you stay up too late and wake up too early? Adjust your schedule to ensure you get at least seven hours a night. Do you prepare properly for restful, restorative sleep? Make your bedroom a sleep room. Sleep and health are inexorably intertwined. If you care about your health – and we know you do – then care about your sleep.

Time to Let It Out: Communication may be the most overlooked aspect of our mental and physical health these days. Sure, we communicate constantly on our electronic devices (often anonymously, which is another story), but how often do we actually talk to one another? Here’s another question: How often do we honestly share our thoughts with other people? Sadly, not as much as we used to, and our health is suffering. Holding things in is one of the biggest contributors to stress and the health consequences.

In 2019, resolve to let things out, rather than keeping them in. Whether it’s writing in a diary, setting up a regular time to talk to a loved one, or just reminding yourself not to keep everything in, let it all out!

Give a Hug, Get a Hug: The power of a hug is undeniable. Just give one (or get one) and you’ll feel an immediate difference in your life. But don’t just rely on personal experience for the proof. Research suggests hugging promotes release of “the bonding hormone” (oxytocin). Hugging reduces heart rate, promotes relaxation, reduces cortisol levels (see more about the “stress hormone” above) and may improve immune function courtesy of increased oxytocin production. Hugs are scientifically healthy for you; so give one (and get one) as often as you can.

As you debate your New Year’s Resolutions for 2019, consider adding these five to your list. Why wouldn’t everyone? If you’ve become accustomed to letting yourself down with your resolutions, talk to your doctor about how to set meaningful, achievable goals you can succeed at in 2019 and beyond.


Page printed from:
http://www.toyourhealth.com

Posted in News | Comments Off on New Year’s Resolutions That Should Be on Your List (But Probably Aren’t)

How to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain: Weigh In

If you’re concerned about your weight this holiday season, you’re not alone. Millions of people stress about how to enjoy the festivities – and at least a few of the treats, sweets and other holiday foods – without packing on the pounds they’ve worked so diligently to lose all year. In previous issues of To Your Health, we’ve offered some great tips on how to enjoy the holidays without abandoning your fitness / weight-loss quest; now let’s discuss one we haven’t mentioned (and that you might not even realize).

According to research published in the British Medical Journal, weighing in – both about your weight and about what you’re eating – is an effective way to prevent holiday weight gain. People who tracked both their weight and their energy intake actually lost approximately one-third of a pound over the 45-day study period, which spanned the holiday season and was marketed as a study on “winter weight gain.” Control subjects who did not weigh themselves or track what they were eating, on the other hand, gained almost a pound.

weight in - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

Members of the intervention group were advised to weight themselves every day, record their weight and reflect on any weight gain / loss. They also received weight-management tips, including eating and exercise suggestions; and a list of holiday foods and how much exercise would be required to burn the calorie total for each.

Your doctor can provide you with more information about weight maintenance in general and specific to the holiday season; and offer you more advice on how to enjoy the holidays without sacrificing the great work you’ve done all year to build the healthy body you deserve.

Page printed from: 
http://www.toyourhealth.com

Posted in News | Comments Off on How to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain: Weigh In

Sticking Your Neck Out for Chiropractic

If this is your first visit to the chiropractor, here’s just one example of what you’ve been missing: Manual therapy preserves the mobility – and money – of patients, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal. An Amsterdam research team studied 183 patients with neck pain of at least two weeks’ duration. Of the patients (18-70 years of age), 60 received manual therapy, 59 received physiotherapy, and 64 received treatment from a general practitioner (GP).

A higher percentage of patients in the manual therapy group reported “complete recovery” after seven weeks than either of the other two groups:

  • Sixty-eight percent of the patients receiving manual therapy recovered.
  • Fifty-one percent of physiotherapy patients recovered.
  • Thirty-six percent receiving care from the GP recovered.

But that’s not all: After six months, total treatment costs for patients assigned to the manual therapy group were only approximately one-third the total treatment costs of physiotherapy or general practitioner care:

  • Manual therapy: $402
  • Physiotherapy: $1,167
  • General practitioner care: $1,241

Left untreated, neck problems can lead to significant, long-term disability. But take some relief in knowing that by correcting this problem using chiropractic, you’re receiving the best care possible – and saving money at the same time!

Reference:

Korthals-de Bos IBC, Hoving JL, van Tulder MW, et al. Cost effectiveness of physiotherapy, manual therapy, and general practitioner care for neck pain: economic evaluation alongside a randomised controlled trial. British Medical Journal, April 26, 2003: Volume 326, pp. 911.

For more information on neck pain, visit www.chiroweb.com/find/tellmeabout/neckpain.html.

Page printed from:
http://www.toyourhealth.com

Posted in News | Comments Off on Sticking Your Neck Out for Chiropractic

Don’t Let the Holidays Defeat You

Yes, another year coming to an end means a final month of holiday celebrations. And of course, that means frantic shopping, last-minute deadlines at work, dessert-packed parties and every reason to finish the year in the least healthy way possible. But that’s not the way it has to be. Here are four ways to preserve your health and wellness – and even step it up a notch – as the new year approaches:

1. You are what you eat, so treat yourself right this holiday season. That doesn’t mean avoiding all the goodies you’ll be tempted with throughout the last month of the year. It does mean practicing moderation, not stressing about enjoying a few of your favorites and reminding yourself that the physical and mental health you’ve earned all year shouldn’t be sacrificed by overindulgence.

2. Move it or lose it, a premise supported by research suggesting if you migrate from high levels of exercise to low or no levels of exercise, you’ll gain body fat and lose muscle in just 14 short days. So pull out your calendar and find time for exercise, even if it’s scaled down a bit during the holiday season hustle and bustle. Trust us, you’ll feel great and look great, too.

3. Take a deep breath and pull out all the stress-reduction tips we’ve taught you this year (and every year). Make To-Do lists, prioritize your priorities, find some “you” time and most importantly, recognize that stressed out is never good for anyone, least of all you.

4. Write down your New Year’s resolutions early and make sure the list doesn’t focus on any of the three areas above. After all, you’ve got your diet, exercise and stress reduction handled year-round!

Page printed from:
http://www.toyourhealth.com

Posted in News | Comments Off on Don’t Let the Holidays Defeat You