holiday

How to Enjoy the Holidays & Minimize Holiday Stress

Holidays are supposed to be joyful, but they can also create many headaches and stress. While we know chiropractic can help you feel less stressed, we also love to share other ideas that’ll help you enjoy each day of your life more. See if you can weave any of these ideas into these next couple of weeks of the holiday season.

 

Reflect on What Is Important to You

This may change over time, but thinking about what you want for this holiday season will help you choose more intentionally about who you would like to spend time with and how you would like to spend the time. It’s hard to have a meaningful holiday if you don’t determine ahead of time what will give it meaning.

 

Connect With Others

There is plenty of research that indicates connecting with people maintains our mental, physical, and emotional well-being. We need the human connection and during the holidays this is vital. Whether your family and friends are far or near, spending time with others is crucial especially if you tend to feel lonely during the holidays.

Choosing to serve others can help you focus on others and decrease your loneliness as well. If you decide to serve in your neighborhood or community consider the areas in your life that you are passionate about. Quite often people choose to volunteer in random places without considering their interests and talents. They go through the motions and still feel empty, even though they’ve done some good. On the other hand, consider what it would be like if you chose to serve others by using your interests, talents, or simply what you are passionate about learning.

 

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness means that you’re in a state of active and open attention to the present moment. Gosh, we all could use more this during the holidays, right? Often in the hustle and bustle, we don’t take time to actually enjoy all the wonderful moments. A few simple things you can try: Eat slowly and savor the flavors; shop slowly and carefully; put down the phone and just take in the environment around you; listen—really listen—when a loved one is speaking to you; sit back and think about everything you have to be grateful for.

isolated_stretching

Overview of Active Isolated Stretching

Stretching keeps the muscles and ligaments loose. Many athletes do this to prevent injury. People usually do stretching before starting a game, an exercise, or a workout. This normal stretching is good for the body. But if you want to be more flexible than you already are, you can do active isolated stretching instead.

What is Active Isolated Stretching For?

You can hold regular stretches for 10 seconds by using the weight of your body. For example, you can touch your toes to stretch your hamstring or do butterfly stretching for the inner thighs. Meanwhile, in active isolated stretching, you can use a rope or band to enhance the flexibility and range of motion by focusing on a specific muscle.

During the exercise, the rope will give you resistance that will pull the muscle a little bit further than it is usually stretched in normal stretching. Before released, you must hold the stretching for just a couple of seconds. With this each active stretch, your body will gain improved motion range until up to 10 degrees.

The rope or other aid used in the stretching will allow the rest of the body to relax. For example, you can gently pull on a rope to stretch the leg muscle further than it is usually strained when you only use your weight. This technique will allow you have greater control over your stretch degree, which means you can stretch further without getting injured.

What Can Dynamic Stretching Therapy Help You?

Active isolated stretching is the best option for anyone who is suffering from injury or wants to prevent injury. It is better if you consult you chiropractor to find what your body actually needs. After that, they will assign specific active isolated stretches to be done between visits. Active isolated stretching will improve the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment because it allows your body to keep moving and increase flexibility. To ensure that your spine is aligned and relaxed, your chiropractors will give you a health plan combining active isolated stretching and other treatments.

barefoot_running

Barefoot Running: Pros And Cons

Barefoot running have been part of the subculture. This is actually based on a questionable knowledge. Barefoot runners believe that going barefoot is natural for human because human ran and walked without shoes for millions of years. They state that being shoeless can also reverse injuries caused by modern running technique while at the same time preventing problems in the future. However, this Paleo-based lifestyle is not enough to recommend patients to do so because million years ago human did not face asphalt and concrete streets. Another point is that in that time, you will not find 50- or 60-year-old people who are still running.

A study by a Harvard professor showed that barefoot runners have a significantly different foot strike that minimizes structural impact if compared to runners who worn shoes. Another research conducted by Lieberman, et al., tried to analyze the adult US athletes’ running style by involving Kenyan athletes who had grown up running barefoot, but had switched to running with shoes; Kenyan athletes who had never worn shoes; adult U.S. runners who had grown up wearing shoes; and adult U.S. athletes who had always worn shoes as the participants. The research showed that when landing, the toes of the barefoot runners are pointed, which will cause the impact to be put at the middle or front of the foot instead of on the heel, making the runners less prone to repetitive-stress injuries.

Another Harvard research showed that barefoot runners use less energy when running the same distances as runners wearing traditional shoes and striking with the heel.

Another research was done to question the true benefit of foot running. The participants were recreational, experienced runners who had run between 15 and 30 miles a week wearing normal running shoes until the beginning of the trial. To ensure there were no pre-existing injuries, all participants received a pre-participation MRI.

Half participants as control group kept their running with the same shoes, and the other half of them were given barefoot-style shoes. They had to follow the duration based on the study.

The follow-up MRI studies 10 weeks later showed no participants experienced injuries or tissue changes in the lower leg’s structure. But those wearing barefoot-style shoes experienced increased bone-marrow edema in the tarsals and metatarsal bones.

The radiologist showed that the control group indicated slight edema (level 1), while the majority barefoot group indicated level-2 edema, with 3 of them experienced level-3 edema and 2 displayed full stress fractures in the calcaneus or metatarsals with associated level-4 edema.

Changing to barefoot does not always cause injuries. However, the transition period must be given much attention. Though distance barefoot running is natural for our ancestors, modern people never experience this kind of thing. If you’re grown up wearing shoes while running, you will need to make the transition as slowly as possible to give your muscles and bones time to make the change.

stress_on_holidays

How to Avoid Stress on Holidays

Stress can be part of the holiday season. And this stress can aggravate the health of people with chronic condition, like migraine and fibromyalgia. Here are the tips to manage stress during the holiday:

  1. Make priorities

Don’t push yourself to do all the stuff that demands your attention at this time of the year. You can choose which holiday activities to focus on, and not all.

  1. Have a time for yourself

Many people forget to take a break while doing the abundant holiday schedules. You should schedule some times for yourself to relax and take a breath. You can also find support and help, especially if you find that the holidays are emotionally difficult to you.

  1. Exercise

Exercise is good for treating any health problems, including reducing the duration and frequency of migraines, and lessening the pain of fibromyalgia, sciatica, and whiplash. The pain and injuries healing time can also speed up with exercise. To find information about how to have a safe exercise, you can have counseling to a chiropractor.

  1. Beware of your nutrition

The temptation to drink and eat is getting higher on holidays. You should remember that overeating can lead to something bad in the end. To avoid it, you must develop e healthy eating plan so that you can get the adequate level of Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin C which will help your body respond to stress. Chiropractor can give you advices on healthy diet and nutrition.

  1. Chiropractic adjustment

Chiropractic adjustment can help you manage stress level and pain.

sit_properly

How to Sit Properly?

How much time you sit in a day? Sitting in front of your computer, sitting in a car, sitting while watching TV, and sitting on a dining table are some of the examples. Yes, it is a lot of sitting time in a day. From now on, you need to learn how to avoid muscular imbalances by sitting properly and taking ‘microbreaks’.

One of the easiest microbreaks is by standing up, reaching overhead with both arms, while pretending that you are climbing a ladder with your hands. Do this for 30 seconds every 30 minutes of sitting.

Most people who are sitting in front of computer, especially those with improper screen height, tend to have forward head posture (FHP) along with kyphosis. Both are typical spinal problems for those with extensive sitting time. Normal spinal curves are needed during sitting. People with FHP are more likely to suffer neck and shoulder pain as the shoulder muscle activity is altered. If not assessed and corrected properly, people with this habit are more prone to shoulder impingement syndromes, scapula-thoracic, and cervico-scapular injuries.

Sustained stress can be experienced through the repetitive load on the tissue during improper driving position. Prolonged poor position in the car seat can eventually cause damage.

Many mistakes are done while driving. One of which is driving with one hand on the steering wheel. Driving with only the left hand will elevate the left shoulder, which can tighten the left trapezius and levator scapulae.

You will also elevate or protract your shoulder if you don’t hold the steering wheel at 9 and 3 o’clock position. The thoracic spine, scapula and gleno-humeral joint can remain neutral if you position your hands properly.

Sometimes people driving with the right hand will lean the torso to the right in order to rest the arm on the centre console. This prolonged sitting habit can lead to poor circulation of oxygen to the tissue, which can further cause inhibition.

Microbreaks while driving can be done by squeezing the shoulder blades together for 20-30 seconds. After that, you can let it go and repeat for 2 or 3 times. Other driving microbreaks include cervical range of motion as well as shoulder retraction with elevation and depression. If you have electric seat, you can frequently change your position (every 30 minutes).

And these are the tips on how to sit properly while driving:

  • Sit with a tall spine against the seatback
  • Adjust the back rest so that it can fit your comfort level
  • Adjust the seat pan length
  • Draw in your belly button lightly towards your spine
  • Adjust your hips to make them level and square
  • Firmly put your left foot on the floor and dead pedal
  • Roll the scapula back and down or back and up to set them (based on the neutral scapula position of the client)
  • Push the back of your head to the headrest to maintain a level chin
  • Put your arms on the 9 and 3 o’clock position or lower
  • Lift the sterna notch
A cropped shot of a handsome businessman under strain as colleagues request various things from him

Five Ways to Manage Stress

Stress can affect your health by what it can do to affect your mind, body, and lifestyle habits. Stress can stop people from doing their habits, such as exercise, seeing friends, eating healthy, and having quality sleep. The dysregulation of hormone’s system can also occur as the result of stress. Stress can affectthe brain chemicals which work in the hormonal system function. Stress can also affect metabolism and thyroid, as well as other system of the body.

Here are five ways you can do to manage your stress:

  1. Write down anything that can cause your stress
  2. Write down any solution or situation that can cure or ease the stress
  3. Note any ideas of how to reach the ideal solution in a realistic way
  4. Have a prioritized time for exercise
  5. Keep the nutrition and sleep the priority no matter how stressed you are

This is how to explain this stress management:

Some people feel stressed because of some situations, not only one. Sometimes, you feel stressed when you are about to give presentation. And when you feel this stress, you cannot do the usual activities that you always do like preparing dinner and picking up kids from school. Sometimes, even your spouse cannot help to relieve your stress. From here, you can learn to write down any stressors (anything that can cause stress).

After each stressor is written down, you can think of the ideal solution for each. After writing down all solutions, have some few days to brainstorm ideas to reach the ideal solution in a realistic way. For example, you can ask your spouse to help you pick up the kids, and about the food, you can, for instance, order food from healthy restaurants. Swapping household chores and roles with your spouse can also be a good thing to do. So, if one is busy, the other can help make the salad or pick up the kids, and so on.

What people forget to do when they are stressed is doing exercise because in most cases the stress has consumed your time. If you don’t have enough time to go to the gym or have usual exercise, spare 10 minutes of your time for simple exercise like running or just moving around the house.

Sleeping is also another important thing that you should not forget. Enough sleep can make you efficient and effective in working at home and at work. Remember that if you do not sleep, you will feel exhausted and you will end up doing something that is not your best for the work. Moreover, exhaustion can cause you to work twice longer and harder. So, make sleep your priority. Turn off the light when sleeping so when waking up you will feel fresh.

The last is food. You can have all the groceries prepared for you. This will help you when you have short time to prepare the foods. Pre-packaged salads or pre-cut vegetables or pre-marinated meats are recommended for you. They are a lot better than fast foods. Consuming fast foods can worsen your quality of sleep and make your body soggy and sluggish. Energy from good nutrients is all you need when you are stressed.

The point of all this is that you need to make a list of what you can do to manage stress. It will make the stress more manageable and organized. So, anytime you feel the stress, you just need to look at the list and you can manage the stress more easily.

Support from friends, family, and co-workers are also needed in the time of stress. You might be surprised on how much effect the care of these people can help to relieve your stress.

foods_juicing

Whole Foods Juicing, Blending, and Mincing: Pros and Cons

Fruit and vegetable juice has become favorite drink of almost everyone because of its fresh taste and health benefit.  However, it doesn’t mean that we never try to consume fruits and vegetable juice in any other way like making into smoothies or munching the raw ones. Though all are healthy options, each has their pros and cons. Here they are.

Juicing Fruits & Vegetables

By making juice, it means that you remove the fiber and consume only the water and nutrients from either fruits or vegetables.

Pros

The nutrient content is high. In making juice, you will need more fruits than that amount you need for making smoothies. This way will increase the drink’s nutritional content.

It is easier to be digested. Not like smoothies and raw fruits or vegetables, juice lacks of fiber. This is good to give a break for your digestive system. This process will also let the body absorb the mineral and vitamin content quickly.

Cons

The sugar content is high. The removal of the insoluble fiber increases the sugar content, which can lead to increased insulin level.

The shelf-life is short. You must drink the juice for maximum 15 minutes after making it because air and light can break down its nutrient.

Blending Fruits and Vegetables

In blending, we will use the entire fruits and vegetables—sometimes even the skin and all.

Pros

It makes us creative and satisfied at the same time. Compared to juice, smoothies will make you feel fuller longer. To be creative, you can add some ingredients into the smoothies, such as almond butter, Greek yogurt, and chia seeds to make it a healthier drink.

The fiber content is high. The smoothies contain high fiber level, which is good to keep your digestive system in check.

Cons

It contains “hidden” calorie. The healthy added ingredients like chia seeds, Greek yogurt, and almond butter can increase the calories. But it doesn’t mean that you should not add them in your smoothies. You just need to moderate the amount.

You need to drink it quickly after making. Like juice, the nutrients in smoothies can be damaged in short time. On the other hand, gulping down smoothies within 15 minutes can be a challenge too.

Mincing Raw Vegetables

Mincing raw vegetables can give an alternative for snack, side-dish, garnish, or even meal. Finely chopping the vegetables will give you delish slaw.

Pros

The slaw feels like a meal. These finely chopped vegetables can be used for garnish, side-dish, or topping for sandwiches and salads. To add the health benefit, you can add organic extra-virgin olive oil.

The shelf-life is longer. Once you prepare the slaw, it can last until 24-48 hours.

Cons

It has digestive issues. The slaw contains high fiber level and is harder to be digested, which is not good for anyone with celiac diseases and other condition.

It takes longer prep time. Compared to the making of juice and smoothies, making slaw can take longer time, especially if you choose to chop by hands.

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Tips for Chiropractic Golf

Many people love golf but unfortunately many people also have got injured while playing it. It is reported that 80% of the injuries are back injuries. Here are some chiropractic golf tips you can do before going to the green to prevent injury.

1. Entire body stretching

You can increase the flexibility of your body by having a stretching before and after a golf game. You must focus on some muscles and areas of the body, such as calves, Achilles tendon, hamstring, hips, hip flexor, quadriceps, wrist, core, upper and lower back, shoulders, and pectorals.

2. Core strengthening

When you swing your club, you use your core muscle. The mistake that people think about their core is that it is simply the abdominal muscles. While in fact, core muscle consists of larger muscle group from shoulder to pelvis:

  • Scapular stabilizers (muscles that function to keep shoulder joints and blades in place)
  • Three layers of abdominal muscle: rectus abdominis, external oblique muscle, and transverse abdominis
  • Multifidus (thin muscles located in spine)
  • Crucial muscles on the hips: gluteus minimus, medius, and maximus
  • Pelvic floor muscle (muscles that function to help the pelvic movement)

 3. Off-course practice

One of the ways to keep your body fit when you’re on the course is by having a practice off the course. For example, in midweek, you can practice to swing in the backyard.

 4. Hip exercise

Golf is focused on the hips. Your swing can be improved by stabilizing the muscles assisting the hip rotation. This way will also reduce your back pain. You can strengthen your hip muscles and increase its flexibility by doing open and closed kinetic chain exercises, such as:

  • Open kinetic chain exercises: chest presses, bicep curls, leg curls and leg extensions
  • Closed kinetic chain exercises: pushups, pull-ups, squats and lunges

5. Body Observation

You need to observe your own body. Anytime it tells you stop, you must stop and don’t push yourself too hard. When you experience pain, it means that your body tries to send you a message. If necessary, you can put down your clubs for a couple of days and take a rest.

chiropractor_baby

Baby Chiropractor

What do you think about chiropractors for baby?

Your nervous system controls everything. Chiropractic looks at the way your child’s nervous system is functioning through feeling for small restrictions in the movements of the spinal joints. These restrictions are the body’s way of communicating any imbalances. The nervous system controls what muscles tighten up and consequently, what joints are restricted. It can also work vice versa, the joints, be them irritated/sprained, may cause irritation back to both the nervous system and the surrounding muscles. By relaxing any stiff/irritated joints in the spine, the stimulus that may be causing the child to be irritable, is decreased, and the child then begins to feel more comfortable, more able to cope with everyday stimuli, and living with a nervous and immune system that is now functioning optimally. You may notice your child’s response to treatment in other ways too – some feed easier, some wind easier and some are generally a lot more content during awake times.

We have a passion for treating babies, children, and families.  It is very important for children as well as adults to get their spines checked and adjusted regularly.

What happens with the babies?

Chiropractic adjustment for babies is a very basic gentle adjustment of the spine. Chiropractors will do safe and gentle treatments for babies.

How much treatment will my child need?

Children respond very quickly to chiropractic care (much faster than adults with years of abuse to their bodies). Most children will experience improvements in their problem and a return to health after just a few treatments. The amount of treatment needed will depend on your child’s unique situation, but after your first appointment the pediatric chiropractor will lay out a customized plan and let you know what to expect. No surprises here.

 

tips_on_juicing

Tips on Juicing, Blending, and Mincing Fruits and Vegetables

Some experts have their own tips on how to juice, blend, and mince whole foods. Let’s have a peek here.

How to Juice Fruits and Vegetables

The juicing method will remove all the fiber from the fruits and vegetables and leave just the juice behind. Before buying the right juicer, browse the information in the internet or ask some friends for recommendation.

  • To keep the sugar content low, keep the 2:1 ratio of vegetables and fruits.
  • To save money on these two things, you can find the on-sale seasonal fruits and vegetables.
  • Drink the juice slowly. Don’t swallow it at once. Swish it around your mouth so the juice will mix with the saliva, the process of which will help the digestion process.
  • For organic citrus, you can blend it along with its rind. However, the taste will change but you must try it at least once just who knows you like the taste.
  • For any produce with waxy layer, you must peel them before juicing.

How to Blend Fruits and Vegetables

Your old blender can be used to make smoothies. If you are sure if the blender can blend smoothly, you can combine fruits and vegetables in one.

  • Don’t break your blender by putting all the whole fruits and vegetables without cutting them first.
  • To help you blend the ingredients more easily, add the liquid first before blending. The liquid can be either water, tea, coconut water, or any other liquid.
  • You can avoid adding ice by putting all your fruits and vegetables in the freezer. As a result, the smoothie can be frosty without having too much water in it.

How to Mince Raw Vegetables

This option is less popular compared to those two options mentioned above. However, this is one of the best ways to have vegetables into your diet and make it easier for them to be digested rather than munching them as a whole. You can mince some vegetables as finely as possible to make slaw. The fine mincing will ease the digestion process. Add balsamic vinegar or organic extra-virgin olive oil. You can use this slaw as a meal, salad or sandwich topping, or a side dish.

  • You can have some vegetables combination: cabbage, spinach, peppers, radish, kale, cauliflowers, broccoli, cucumber, carrots, etc.
  • You must mince the vegetables as finely as possible to ease the digestion process.
  • You can use food processor to mince the vegetables. Blender that has pulse setting can also be utilized.