Take a Stand for Health

Women jumping

Take a Stand for Health

By now you may have heard the phrase “sitting is the new smoking.” Beyond being clever, the catchphrase, coined by Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative director Dr. James Levine, underscores a disturbing fact. According to Levine, we lose two hours of our lives for every hour we spend sitting. In fact, in an interview with the LA Times, Levine makes a further comparison: “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”1 With the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys showing that 50-70 percent of Americans sit for six or more hours each day, sitting has truly become an epidemic2.

The sitting epidemic is fueled by contemporary culture and lifestyle, particularly in the U.S. Our bodies and brains developed in response to particular environmental pressures and an active lifestyle. These days, most of us are not exposed to life-threatening scenarios on a regular basis. We exert little energy in our daily efforts to survive. Even our schools and workplaces promote the sedentary lifestyle: children are expected to sit still for hours upon end, and our workplaces have us sitting at desks, often typing away at keyboards for most of the day. Even our recreational habits have become less active: video games, instant access to movies and television shows, and virtual social environments tempt us to sit more and stand less.

The physical effects of this cultural shift are daunting. Excessive sitting has been linked to hormonal changes, increased inflammation, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.3 From a chiropractic standpoint, sitting can distort the natural curvature of the spine, cause undue stress on nerves and ligaments, overstress muscle tissue, and compress the vertebral discs and spinal joints. As we age, too much sitting leads to disability. According to an NPR report, research out of Northwestern University found that, “For people 60 and older, each additional hour a day spent sitting increases the risk of becoming physically disabled by about 50 percent — no matter how much exercise they get.” With U.S. Census data revealing that nearly half of the population over age 65 have a disability, the impact on our aging population, their families, and their communities is significant.4

The science behind the sitting epidemic revolves around a neat acronym: NEAT. NEAT stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis. Along with exercise activity thermogenesis, NEAT is the third component of human energy expenditure—calories burned during daily activity (basal metabolic rate, which is the energy required for basic body functions, and the energy needed to process food are the other two.) Some people have a “NEAT switch” that gets them up and moving after over-eating, while other people do not, which can lead to obesity. Surprisingly, the simple act of standing burns more calories than sitting, as noted in the table below.

Occupational Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)*
Occupation type NEAT, cal/d
Chair-bound 300
Seated work (no option of moving) 700
Seated work (discretion and requirement to move) 1000
Standing work (eg, homemaker, cashier) 1400
Strenuous work (eg, farming) 2300
*Data based on a basal metabolic rate of 1,600 cal/d. Adapted from Black AE, Coward WA, Cole TJ, Prentice AM. Human energy expenditure in affluent societies: an analysis of 574 doubly-labelled water measurements. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1996;50:72-925

So what can we do about this national health crisis? Unlike with anti-smoking campaigns, we can’t tax chairs and benches, people can’t be banned from sitting in public spaces, and we can’t enact a legal sitting age. We can, however, actively participate in our own health. As shown above, just standing makes a difference. Some workplaces and even schools are using sit-to-stand desks, which allow the user to set their workspace at a different height in order to stand. If your boss is not quite there yet, or if you’re retired, here are some simple things to do to reduce the effects of sitting.

  • Stand. It seems obvious, but, as shown above, standing burns more calories. Instead of just sitting during a lunch break, try standing for a bit, or even doing some simple stretches like bending forward and reaching for your toes to get the blood flowing. Standing a little more each day not only increases your metabolism, it also helps tone muscles, burns calories, and increases blood flow.6
  • Walk. Directly related to standing, of course, is walking. You should get up and walk around every 20-30 minutes.
  • Stretch at your desk. Shrug your shoulders up to your ears and hold that position for several seconds before releasing. Gently stretch your fingers, hands, wrists and arms by bending at the joints. Straighten your legs and point and flex your toes. These simple stretches are great for multitasking: the person on the other end of the phone will never know!
  • Do eye yoga or eye palming to stretch and moisten your eyes. Try moving your eyes in circles of varying sizes, or doing a figure eight with them. Or you can stare at the tip of your nose—and no, your face won’t freeze like that. Eye palming is simply cupping your hands over your eyes and breathing. As well as giving your eyes a break, this can make your vision clearer and reduce headaches.7
  • Use good posture. Your mother was never more correct. Good posture goes a long way to preserving the overall health of your spine and reducing stress on the nervous tissue of the spinal cord (which provides nerve input to all your muscles and internal organs.) Maintaining and supporting the natural curves of the spine is paramount to spinal health. While sitting at your desk/computer, use a lumbar and/or a thoracolumbar support cushion height along with proper workstation ergonomics (correct workstation, chair, and monitor height, proper keyboard placement, etc.).
  • Exercise, exercise, exercise. With summer coming, it’s easier to jog, swim, or hike, and there’s always the treadmill or elliptical machines at the gym. While, by definition, exercising doesn’t affect your NEAT, it does help your overall metabolism and health.

Moving around during the workday not only benefits individuals, but companies and schools as well. Research shows that productivity and focus improve if employees and students have the ability to stand or move during the day.8 According to Dr. Levine, “This is about hard-core productivity. You will make money if your workforce gets up and gets moving. Your kids will get better grades if they get up and get moving.”9 Like ergonomic keyboards, standing desks are becoming a workplace necessity.

With summer coming, we’re likely to be more active outside of work. Warm weather tends to get us out-of-doors on the weekends and inspires us to exercise more overall. But after spending the weekend on the trail, don’t forget your body during the weekday grind. Take a stand for your health by taking a stand at work.

1MacVean, Mary. “‘Get Up!’ or Lose Hours of Your Life Every Day, Scientist Says.” Los Angeles Times, July 31, 2014. http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-get-up-20140731-story.html.

2“Questionnaires, Datasets, and Related Documentation.” Accessed May 11, 2017. https://wwwn.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes/Default.aspx.

3“Sitting Disease: The New Health Epidemic.” The Chopra Center, August 14, 2014. http://www.chopra.com/articles/sitting-disease-the-new-health-epidemic.

4“Sit More, And You’re More Likely To Be Disabled After Age 60.” NPR.org. Accessed May 4, 2017. http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/02/19/279460759/sit-more-and-youre-more-likely-to-be-disabled-after-age-60.

5Ibid.

6Just Stand “Burn Calories at Work.” http://www.juststand.org/Portals/3/literature/Burn_Calories_at_Work_Flyer.pdf Accessed May 11, 2017.

7 “Sitting Disease: The New Health Epidemic.” The Chopra Center, August 14, 2014. http://www.chopra.com/articles/sitting-disease-the-new-health-epidemic.

Foam Roller: Tips and Techniques

Foam Roller Tips and Techniques: Upper Back, Shoulder, and Chest

Benefits of using a foam roller is comparable to a deep tissue massage, myofascial release and myofascial trigger point therapy.Myofascial trigger points are taut bands or knots in the muscle tissue that can refer pain to other areas. Trigger points can also limit range-of-motion, inhibit muscle strength and cause muscle fatigue. Regular work can increase flexibility and performance while decreasing muscle tension and pain.

Maximize the effectiveness of the foam roller by incorporating it into your daily stretching routine. Use the roller before and after activity, and always roll before you stretch. This will help to warm up cold muscles and prepare them for deeper stretching.

Make sure you roll on soft tissue and not over joints, ligaments, or bony protrusions. Start by placing your body on a roller and slowly roll up and down the muscle. If you find a knot or tight band, hold that spot and try to feel the tissue release and soften underneath the pressure. Take deep breaths and try to keep your body relaxed as possible.

Use of the foam roller can be painful. If an area is too painful to roll, place your body on the roller for 15 seconds before moving on to the next spot. As the tissue starts to loosen up you should be able to roll with less pain.


Thoracic Spine

019Position the roller so that it’s inline with your spine, knees bent with feet flat on the floor. Make sure that it is supporting you from your tailbone all the way up to the back of your head so that you can relax everything during the exercise.

Hold this position for 15-90 seconds as long as it is comfortable and does not cause pain.

To target the the postural muscles on the right side, roll your body to the left, keeping your spine parallel to the roller, and stop on the muscles that run along the length of your spine. Hold for 15-90 seconds and allow yourself to relax. Repeat on the left side.

 Pectoralis

028Lie with your spine inline with the foam roller. Again, be sure to keep your head and hips supported on the roller. While keeping your knees bent and feet flat on the floor for balance, place your arms directly out to the side so you make a “T” with your body.

The more advanced version of this 029stretch is to have your upper arms on the floor perpendicular to your body and elbows bent at a 90 degree angle up and pointing above the head. Hold for 15-90 seconds.

 

 

 

 

Upper Back (rhomboids, middle trapezius, thoracic spine)

022Lie with the foam roller perpendicular to your body under the upper back. place your hands across your chest or behind your head with your elbows drawn in slightly toward midline- this allows for cervical spine support as well as letting your shoulder blades separate. If able, move body up and down a few inches at a time to target trigger points. Hold for 15-90 seconds as long as it is comfortable and does not cause pain.

Lateral Upper Back (latissimus dorsi, teres major)

026Lie on the left side with the foam roller perpendicular to the body and slightly below the armpit. Lean back slightly and extend the left arm out with your palm facing forward. Hold for 15-90 seconds. Repeat on right side.

To get an additional spot, try angling your body (as seen in picture 2) to assist in getting more of the teres/latissimus region

027

Mid Back (rhomboids)

024Lie with foam roller perpendicular to your body and across the shoulder blades, arms crossed on chest. Turn slight to the right about 40-45 degrees or until the roller rest between the shoulder blade and spine. Once positioned, slowly roll your body up and down an inch or two in either direction along the rhomboid. Hold for 15-90 seconds. Repeat on opposite side of body.

Stop in the office to pick up your foam roller today! (802)655-0354

Reference: Foam Roller Techniques, OPTP, 2008, Michael Fredericson, MD, Terri Lyn S. Yamamoto, PhD, Mark Fadil, CMT, p. 15, 17, 23.

 

Inflammatory Foods

Derivation: inflame. My definition: To produce a flame inside you.

Inflammation is the new buzz word now being related to many chronic medical conditions such as: allergies, Alzheimer’s, asthma, high cholesterol and narrowing of the arteries, cancer, heart disease, celiac disease, chronic pain of muscles and joints, recurring “tendonitis”, Crohn’s disease, colitis, I.B.S. (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), dementia, diabetes, eczema and psoriasis, high blood pressure, interstitial cystitis, rheumatoid arthritis, other inflammatory arthritis; fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, Parkinson’s, slow healing response, osteoarthritis, etc and the list goes on.

So, how can we influence the amount of inflammation going on inside us? One accessible way is through manipulation of our diet. Certain foods have been shown to create inflammation in the body, whereas others can decrease the amount. The following is a list of pro-inflammatory foods: Bacon, bologna, bratwurst, brownies, (white) breads- including buns, rolls and bagels, butter, cake, candy, cereals*, cheese (American, cheddar, creamed, gouda, jack, mozzarella, provolone, swiss), cookies, corn chips, corn syrup, crackers*, cream, croissants, corn chips, danish, doughnuts, egg rolls, french fries, french toast, (deep) fried foods, fruit juices, granola*, hamburgers, hash browns, honey, hot dogs, ice cream, jam/jelly, margarine, molasses, muffins, noodles*, onion rings, pancakes, pastrami, pepperoni, pie, pickles, pita bread*, pizza, pasta*, popcorn, potato chips, pretzels, puddings, relish, ribs (beef or pork), rice (white), salami, sausage, sherbet, shortening, sodas, soft drinks, syrup, tortillas (flour), tortilla chips, waffles, whipped cream, whole dairy.

*Unless 100% whole grain and high fiber.

The following are considered anti-inflammatory foods: Acai, amaranth, anchovies, apples, arugula, artichokes, asparagus, avocado, bananas, beans (green, black, kidney, garbonzo, pinto, lima, and soy), bean sprouts, beets, berries (blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, goji berries, gooseberries, raspberries, strawberries), bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, canola oils, cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cherries, cranberries, cucumbers, dairy (non-fat), eggplant, endive, gooseberries, grapes, grapefruit, herring, honeydew, kale, lemons, lentils, mackerel, mango, mangosteen, millet, mushroom, mustard greens, nectarines, noni, nuts – raw (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, filberts, hazelnuts, macadamia, peanuts, walnuts), okra, olive oil, onions, oranges, papaya, parsnips, pears, peas, peaches, peppers (bell and hot), persimmons, pineapple, pomegranate, plums, poultry (no skin), prunes, pumpkin, quinoa, rhubarb, rutabaga, salmon, sardines, scallions, seeds (flax, poppy, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower), spices (cinnamon, cayenne, garlic, ginger, green tea, parsley, pepper, nutmeg, oregano, rosemary, turmeric), spinach, squash (butternut, crook neck, summer, winter, zucchini), sweet potatoes, tomatoes, trout, tuna (water-packed), turnips, water chestnuts, watermelon, wild game, yams.

If you analyze these lists you will notice that pretty much all the fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, spices as well as poultry (chicken, turkey, duck) and wild game are on the good list. And guess what? Processed foods, fried foods, breads (not whole grain), sweets (simple sweeteners), fruit juices, snack foods, sodas, margarine, whole dairy, many cheeses are on the “No-No” or “Here Comes the Heat” list. Does this sound all too familiar? Now we have yet another reason to try and reduce or delete from the “No-No” list. To quote Michael Pollan, “Eat food (real) and mostly vegetables”. Simple as that.

Dr. Kelly’s and Dr. Marion’s Suggestion for Nutrition to Support Every “Body”

039Our patients often ask us what we recommend for vitamins and supplements to support their adjustments and treatment for their musculoskeletal conditions. To this we often answer: an overall healthy body will be able to heal it’s health conditions, whether it may be a low back sprain/strain or lacerated finger, much quicker than a toxic, sluggish system that is not in balance, has inadequate immune system functioning and poor digestion.
We are aware that many feel there is a daunting amount of information, positive claims and even research for a whole host of supplements, but … we could go broke trying to take all of them. What to do?
Below is a list of the supplements that we feel most people should consider taking on a daily, regular basis to provide better health for their bodies (hopefully) in motion.

1)  A good quality multi vitamin and mineral supplement.
The supplement should be “packed” with all major vitamin, minerals and digestive enzymes with amounts far exceeding the “% daily value”. Why do we need to take such a supplement? Because our US soil content is significantly depleted of the mineral and soil microorganisms compared to the 1930’s, AND because of the creation of genetically modified plants which are commonly less nutritious than heirloom plants (Scientific America, April 27, 2011). Of major significance: when “minerals go down, disease goes up” . As an example, bone deformities are associated with calcium, copper, fluoride and magnesium deficiencies (Nutrition Security Institute, “Human Health, the Nutritional Quality of Harvested Food and Sustainable Farming Systems”).
2) Probiotic supplements – A probiotic bacteria complex of several “good flora” bacteria along with FOS (fructooligosaccharides), 3-6 capsules/day.
Probiotics (and cultured, fermented foods) help to keep our gut or GI system (our intestines) properly functioning via the good bacteria that are in probiotics helping to crowd out the bad bacteria. Food then passing through our GI system can more properly be digested and the nutritional content extracted from the food. Bacteria in the GI tract are responsible for the operation of the mucosal immune system that resides in the GI tract lining (Peyer’s Patches). They also aid in antibody production to antigens and help to differentiate between harmful vs non harmful antigens. It is said that 70-80% of our immune system stems from our GI tract. This is exactly why we need to keep our gut functioning as optimally as possible.
3) Omega 3 Fatty Acids– in particular Fish oil or krill oil – 3,000 IU/day
However this recommended amount is misleading. One must look at the label on the back of the bottle and look at how much EPA and DHA is actually in each capsule. EPA and DHA are the compounds in Omega 3 Fatty Acids which are responsible for the positive benefits of fish oil, such as: decreasing the risk of stroke, increasing LDL and lowering triglyceride levels, decreasing clot formation, prevention and improvement of coronary heart disease, improving circulation, important in infant brain and eye development, reduces risk of premature birth, may help with depression, may reduce pain and inflammation in those with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and autoimmune diseases and decreases joint swelling and inflammation (Colorado State University Extension, No 9.382). Therefore, if the label read 1,000 IU of Omega 3 fatty acid but the back label reads 200 mg of DHA and 300 mg of EPA, one would only receive 500 mg of the active components of the capsule =the capsule is 50% bioavailable. This information along with the supplement being produced from wild caught fish, that the heavy metals have been extracted from the oil and that the capsule is enteric coated (which reduces stomach upset and fish “burping”) are other important factors in choosing the correct supplement.
4) Vitamin C – 1,000 to 3,000 mg/day
Vitamin C is one of the safest, least toxic, yet highly effective antioxidant, antinflammatory supplement. And…it is cheap! Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is a water soluble vitamin and therefore the body is unable to store it. What we are unable to use at any given time will simply be excreted in the urine. The following benefits are attributed to Vitamin C: lowered blood pressure, decrease plaque build up in arterial walls, maintain the vascular integrity of the blood vessels, provide protection against cancer, prevent oxidative damage from smoking and overall decreases inflammation in the body.
5) Vitamin D3 – 1,000-3,000 IU/day
The medical doctors are now all over this vitamin. The northern states residents (Vermont!) are especially at high risk for Vit D deficiencies because our sunlight is so weak in the winter time. Vitamin D can be found in a few foods, however approximately 80-90% comes from our skin’s absorption of vitamin D. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include: general tiredness, muscular and joint aches and pains and frequent illnesses or infections. Those at the highest risk for D deficiencies are: dark skinned people, the elderly, those who stay inside the house commonly and those who cover up completely or use total sunblock when outside. It’s as simple as getting a screening blood test for Vitamin D to determine if you are one of the many who are deficient.

That’s it, our list. However, if one has a particular health issue they are trying to combat, improve or change there are many wonderful supplements and herbal preparations that can help you improve your health. Please consult with your doctor, chiropractor, acupuncturist or naturopath for the best supplement for your condition and the recommended amounts.

Here’s to a healthier body for every “body” this year!

Truncal Obesity and Health

Image

Now that America’s most passionate day of food consumption has passed, it is time to get smart about food choices and how it affects our body.   

“Apple shape” is a popular term used for truncal obesity – fat that has accumulated around one’s middle.  It is defined as a body-mass index (BMI) 30 and above, and a waist-to-hip ratio of greater than or equal to 0.88.  Normally, obese people put on weight relatively evenly through their entire body.  Sufferers of truncal obesity put on larger than normal amounts of fat around their midsection, often making them seem disproportionately overweight compared to others with the same BMI.

Having any excess body fat above a standard range is unhealthy.  The more overweight, the greater the risk for onset of chronic and serious illnesses.  Unfortunately, suffering from truncal obesity as opposed to ‘normal’ obesity only makes the problem worse.  This is because the fat is concentrated around the belly and digestive systems, as opposed to hanging off the legs, hips, and buttocks. 

Truncal obesity is associated with atherosclerotic heart disease and an increased risk of acute myocardial infarction, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, and increased blood pressure in the kidneys with an increased risk of kidney disease over time.  It also weakens the immune system, decreases sexual performance, can trigger bouts of depression and other mental disorders, and is universally acknowledged as reducing the quality of one’s life.

The obvious solution to treatment of truncal obesity is to lose weight, either by reducing your caloric intake of food or by increasing the expenditure of calories through exercise.  A combination of both is strongly preferred by health professionals and will provide quicker, longer lasting results.  Despite many infomercials and diet plan claims, you cannot ‘spot-target’ fat reduction.  Try adding an exercise regimen that involves gradually increasing amounts of cardiovascular exercise.  Using a diary to chart foods consumed and exercises performed is very helpful in charting your progress.  Bottom line, in order to lose weight, calories consumed must be less than calories burned!   

Start now and your weight loss goals for 2014 will be in full-swing by New years!

References:

http://www.modernmedicaldictionary.com/2012-2/2013-2/june-2013/16-20-junx/

http://www.what-is-obesity.com/truncal-obesity/, Christian Romero

Acidic and Alkaline Food Consumption for Healthy Living

All food digested in our bodies metabolizes, or burns down into a residue which can be neutral, acidic, or alkaline, depending on the content of the original food. Scientific research emphasizes the importance of balancing pH levels to maintain good health, proper immune system function and to avoid many diseases.

The pH is the measurement of the substance’s acidity and alkalinity. The normal pH of the human blood is between 7.35 and 7.45. A blood pH below 7 is considered acidic whereas a pH above 7 provides an alkaline blood chemistry.

Our body manages the acid load by excreting it through normal channels of elimination, and by buffering the acid with minerals borrowed from our bones. When the body accumulates excess acid and the elimination system can no longer get rid of it, our body will store the acid waste in our tissues, joints and muscles. Symptoms of an overly acid pH include joint and muscle pain, osteoporosis, low energy, digestive problems such as indigestion and acid reflux, colds, flu, allergies, hormone imbalances and immune system dysfunction.

In general, animal foods such as meat, eggs, dairy, processed and refined foods, yeast products, fermented foods, grains, artificial sweeteners, some fruits, and sugars are acidifying, as well as alcohol, coffee, chocolate, black tea, and sodas.

Acid forming foods will speed up aging causing a rapid decline in the cardiovascular system. Oxidative stress is known to be linked to over 200 diseases. Consuming acidic foods causes free radical cell damage in the body. Prevention is the key in slowing down the aging process and disease manifestation. Balancing your pH via diet helps to lower cholesterol and reduce stress along with improving the functioning of the immune system.

Vegetables are alkalizing. A few non-sweet citrus fruits are also basic or alkalizing to the body, as are sprouted seeds, nuts, and grains. In general, grains are acidifying, though a few (millet, quinoa, buckwheat, and spelt) are only very mildly so. Raw foods are more alkalizing, while cooked food is more acidifying.

To maintain a balanced pH in your blood and tissues, your diet should consist of at least 70 to 80 percent basic foods – that is, no more than 20 to 30 percent acidifying foods. To accomplish this, eat two alkaline foods for each acidic food you eat (see accompanying chart) and you will soon be feeling and looking great as well as on the road to a healthy old age.

acid Alk chart

References:

http://ezinearticles.com/?Alkaline-Foods-Vs-Acidic-Foods,-Which-Are-The-Best?&id=6084798
http://wakeupgethealthy.wordpress.com/alkaline-food-vs-acidic-food/
Natural Cowgirl, 6/25/2013, pH – Get Yours Balanced for Better Health!

How Healthy is your Brain?

Prevagen
People are living longer than any other time in history. Major nutritional and medical advancements have been made to help keep the body physically healthy. The bad news is we are seeing an unprecedented number of mild brain health issues affecting our families and our friends. When life spans were shorter, people simply were not living long enough to see the effects of natural brain aging that are common today.

Scientists estimate we lose between 30,000 and 50,000 brain cells every single day. This leads not only to common occurrences like the misplacement of car keys and reading glasses, but difficulty with management of our time and household tasks. A recent study by the Natural Marketing Institute ranked healthy mental function as the number one health concern among those over 60 years old. In the year 1900, the average life expectancy was 47 years. In the year 2012, life expectancy has risen to nearly 80 years. While this increase reflects positive improvements in health care, it has led to an increase in the wear and tear on our bodies, including our brains.

Caring for our brain requires an understanding of its needs. The brain is a demanding organ. Despite comprising just 2% of the average adult body weight, the brain requires 20% of the body’s energy and up to 25% of the heart’s blood flow. In each of the 100 billion neurons in the brain are energy factories known as the mitochondria; the neuronal mitochondria turn glucose into chemical energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Feeding your brain the right nutrients becomes more important as we age.

• Eat the right kind of fat. The brain and nervous system are comprised of 60% fat, so ensure your diet is rich in the Omega 3 essential fatty acids found in cold water fish and flax oil. Avoid foods high in saturated fat or overly processed foods. People with high cholesterol and blood pressure levels are several times more likely to experience age-related mild memory problems.

• Drink plenty of water. Consuming 8-12 eight ounce glasses per day will help keep skin
looking healthier, regulates body temperature and helps in digestion. Tea, coffee and soft drinks don’t count. These will actually dehydrate you. If you want to feel better, drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. You can’t live without it!

• Eat your vegetables. Research has found that to retain health benefits associate with eating broccoli and other cruciferous veggies (like cabbage, turnips, cauliflower and kale), you must consume the real thing because the phytochemicals inside them is missing in vitamin supplements. Cook only for 2-3 minutes or steam until still crunchy to maintain its health value.

Maintaining a healthy diet is an important part of brain health, but it isn’t the only way to better memory. There are also many lifestyle changes that can also improve brain health.

• Physical exercise. Consistent, low stress workouts, like a brisk walk a few times a week or yoga is excellent. Gardening or other everyday activities promote good brain health by helping to maintain fine motor skills and concentration.

• Mental exercise. Directly stimulating your brain with crossword puzzles, word games and math problems is not only fun, but also strengthens connections within your brain. Scientific evidence is showing that you can fight aging by challenging your mind.

• Embrace technology and balance it with real life interactions. New technologies allow people to learn about a certain topic or communicate with a variety of people. Networks of people can learn to collaborate globally and may help you build a sense of community. Multi-tasking involves that part of the brain that governs social and reasoning behavior. Use social technologies as a planning tool or to join a local group. Interacting with people face-to-face is a great way to keep your brain sharp.

• Engage with people. Actively engaging with others requires using different regions of the brain. The unpredictability of conversation requires attention in order to follow along and contribute to a dialogue. Active listening and allowing to share our struggles and deal with stress, gives a sense of purpose and well-being.

• Find something to love. Having love in your life is in itself a source of energy – helping provide reason, purpose, and direction. You will be making the most of the positives and dealing firmly with life’s challenges. It is important to recognize you can play an active role in the health of your brain. Scientists have demonstrated that connections between brain cells are constantly changing. A lack of brain activities will cause disconnections, while active care of the brain will promote greater mental acuity.

In addition to nutrition and lifestyle changes to support your brain health, a key protein supplement, Prevagen®, can play a role in addressing specific functions of the brain.
Prevagen® is a safe and effective brain health supplement shown to improve memory. It has not been found to conflict with any other supplement or medication.

In a published study, Prevagen® has been clinically shown to support cognitive function over 90 days in a computer-assessed, randomized placebo-controlled study.
The uniqueness of Prevagen®:

• One of a kind ingredient – Prevagen® contains “apoaequorin”, a protein found in a certain species of jellyfish. Apoaequorin was first discovered in 1962 by Princeton researcher Dr. Osamu Shimomura, Ph.D., who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008 for the discovery of the protein. Apoaequorin is now produced through a controlled scientific process.

• Long research history – Apoaequorin has been a diagnostic tool used in research for decades to monitor and measure calcium. Quincy Bioscience holds the patent on the application of the protein that includes supplementation. Pre-clinical in-vitro research at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has shown support for brain cells.

• Unique mechanism of action – In humans, neurons express proteins as a mechanism for brain function. Research has shown that after the age of 40, the production of these proteins diminishes which can lead to memory problems seen in normal aging. Apoaequorin has been shown to be an effective supplemental source of these proteins.

Many patients taking Prevagen® report improved memory and mental clarity within 90 days. Do you have memory concerns? Call 802-655-0354 or email info@onionriverchiro.com to take our free Memory Screening Questionnaire and consider starting Prevagen® today!
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LaserStim Cold Laser Therapy

LASER

At Onion River Chiropractic, we use LaserStim cold laser therapy with patients who suffer with pain associated with a variety of conditions:  Tendonitis (knee, ankle, forearm, shoulder, hip) bursitis, rotator cuff injuries, plantar fasciitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tarsal tunnel syndrome, neck and back pain, muscle strains, soft tissue injuries, myofascial pain syndrome, peripheral neuropathy.  It is helpful, safe and effective for those who have artificial knees or hip replacement or other metal implants.  It is the only physiotherapy modality that can treat joint replacements as it does not cause vibratory insult or heating of the metal implant as is the case with ultrasound treatment.

Laser works by emitting photons (light energy) into the mitochondria and cell membrane of the body’s tissues.  It uses both red, visible light and infrared light which can penetrate the tissues from the surface of the skin up to a depth of 5 inches with a peak power of up to 25W. 

Physiological changes affecting the body’s immune and nervous systems include: 

  • An  increase in cell growth, metabolism and regeneration
  • An increase in vascular activity, increasing blood flow to the injured area
  • Invoking of the anti-inflammatory response, promoting tissue healing
  • Relaxation of muscles and stimulation of nerve transmission, resulting in increased healing of areas affected by nerve damage
  • An increase in the production of endorphins, providing pain relief
  • Reduction in swelling and inflammation
  • Decrease in scar tissue formation from cuts, burns, and surgery

The diverse tissue and cell types in the body all have their own unique light absorption characteristics; that is, they will only absorb light at specific wavelengths and not at others. For example, skin layers, because of their high blood and water content, absorb red light very readily, while calcium and phosphorus absorb light of a different wavelength.  Although both red and infrared wavelengths penetrate to different depths and affect tissues differently, their therapeutic effects are similar. 

Visible red light, at a wavelength of 660nm, is beneficial in treating problems close to the surface such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, wounds, cuts, scars, trigger and acupuncture points, and is particularly effective in treating infections.  Infrared light (905nm) penetrates deeper than visible light and is effective for treating ailments of bones, joints, and deep muscle tissue.

Light therapy can:

  1. Increase vascularity (circulation) by increasing the formation of new capillaries, which are additional blood vessels that replace damaged ones. New capillaries speed up the healing process by carrying more oxygen as well as more nutrients needed for healing and they can also carry more waste products away.
  2. Stimulate the production of collagen. Collagen is the most common protein found in the body. Collagen is the essential protein used to repair damaged tissue and to replace old tissue. It is the substance that holds cells together and has a high degree of elasticity. By increasing collagen production less scar tissue is formed at the damaged site.
  3. Stimulate the release of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).  ATP is the major carrier of energy to all cells. Increases in ATP allow cells to accept nutrients faster and get rid of waste products faster by increasing the energy level in the cell. All food turns into ATP before it is utilized by the cells. ATP provides the chemical energy that drives the chemical reaction of the cell.
  4. Increase lymphatic system activity.  Edema, which is the swelling or natural splinting process of the body, has two basic components. The first is a liquid part which can be evacuated by the blood system and the second is comprised of the proteins which have to be evacuated by the lymphatic system.  Research has shown that the lymph vessel diameter and the flow of the lymph system can be increased with light.  The venous diameter and the arterial diameters can also be increased.  This means that both parts of edema (liquid and protein) can be evacuated at a much faster rate to relieve swelling.
  5. Reduce the excitability of nervous tissue. The photons of light energy enter the body as negative ions. This calls upon the body to send positive ions like calcium among others to go to the area being treated. These ions assist in firing the nerves thereby relieving pain.
  6. Increased phagocytosis, which is the process of scavenging for and ingesting dead or degenerated cells  for the purpose of clean up. This is an important part of the infection fighting process.  Destruction of the infection and clean up must occur before the healing process can take place.

We are offering a Laser treatment special promotion which includes an initial examination and 6 laser treatment sessions for $150.  This offer is not valid with any insurance, personal injury or workers compensation cases.  Scheduled appointments are required.  Valid until July 31, 2013.   Call the office today at 802-655-0354 and see how effective Laser therapy can be for you!

REFERENCES
The Photobiological Basis of Low Level Laser Radiation Therapy, Kendric C. Smith; Stanford University School of Medicine; Laser Therapy, Vol. 3, No. 1, Jan – Mar 1991

Low-Energy Laser Therapy: Controversies & Research Findings, Jeffrey R. Basford MD; Mayo Clinic; Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 9, pp. 1-5 (1989)

New Biological Phenomena Associated with Laser Radiation, M.I. Belkin & U. Schwartz; Tel-Aviv University; Health Physics, Vol. 56, No. 5, May 1989; pp. 687-690

Macrophage Responsiveness to Light Therapy, S Young PhD, P Bolton BSc, U Dyson PhD, W Harvey PhD, & C Diamantopoulos BSc; London: Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, 9; pp. 497-505 (1989)

Photobiology of Low-Power Laser Effects, Tina Karu PhD; Laser Technology Centre of Russia; Health Physics, Vol. 56, No. 5. May 89, pp. 691-704

A Review of Low Level Laser Therapy, S Kitchen MSCMCSP & C Partridge PhD; Centre for Physiotherapy Research, King’s College London Physiotherapy, Vol. 77, No. 3, March 1991

Systemic Effects of Low-Power Laser Irradiation on the Peripheral & Central Nervous System, Cutaneous Wounds & Burns, S Rochkind MD, M Rousso MD, M Nissan PhD, M Villarreal MD, L Barr-Nea PhD. & DG Rees PhD,

Low Level Laser Therapy: Current Clinical Practice In Northern Ireland, GD Baxter BSc, AJ Bet, MA,,JM AtienPhD, J Ravey PhD; Blamed Research Centre University Ulster Physiotherapy, Vol. 77, No. 3, March 1991

Low Level Laser Therapy: A Practical Introduction, T. Ohshiro & RG Caiderhead, Wiley and Sons

Bone Fracture Consolidates Faster With Low-Power Laser, MA Trelles, MD and E Mayayo, MD, Barcelona, Spain; Lasers in Surgery & Med. 7:36-45 (1987)

Wound Management with Whirlpool and Infrared Cold Laser Treatment, P Gogia; B Hurt and T Zim; AMI-Park Plaza Hospital, Houston TX, Physical Therapy, Vol. 68, No. 8, August 1988

Effects of Skin-Contact Monochromatic Infrared Irradiation on Tendonitis, Capsulitis and Myofascial Pain, T.L Thomassoi DDS, 19th Annual Scientific Meeting, American Academy of Neurological & Orthopaedic Surgeons, Aug. 27-30, 1995 Facial Pain/TMJ Centre, Denver, CO

“The Incredible Vitamin D”

Many of us know vitamin D as “the sunshine vitamin”.  It plays an important role in bone health, helping to absorb and use calcium.  It also helps to maintain normal blood levels of phosphorus, another key to bone-building.

The ideal way to get vitamin D is when our body converts it to the activated form after exposure to UVB rays in sunshine.  We also gain vitamin D from dietary sources and from vitamin supplements.  Even by obtaining the vitamin from three potential sources, Vitamin D deficiency is common today in children and adults.  In fact, more than 50% of women and men ages 65 and older in North America are vitamin D deficient, according to a consensus workshop held in 2007.  People who have trouble absorbing dietary fat, such as those with Crohn’s disease or celiac disease, can’t get enough vitamin D from diet no matter how much they eat (vitamin D requires some dietary fat in the gut for absorption).  People with liver and kidney disease are often deficient in vitamin D because these organs are required to make the active form of the vitamin, whether it comes from the sun or from food.

The discovery that most tissues and cells in the body have a vitamin D receptor and possess multiple effects on gene-regulation has provided new insights into the function of this vitamin.  So far, scientists have found approximately 3,000 genes that are affected by vitamin D.  Of great interest is the role it can play in decreasing many chronic illnesses including common cancers, autoimmune diseases; rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, infectious diseases; colds and flu, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.

Vitamin D deficiency can cause growth retardation, skeletal deformities and may increase the risk of hip fracture later in life.  Another symptom is pain and weakness in the muscles and bones.  Based on this fact, it has been suggested that some disorders diagnosed as fibromyalgia may actually be vitamin D deficiency.

A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in June 2008 showed low levels of vitamin D doubled the risk of death from cardiovascular causes in men and women (average age 62) referred to a cardiac center for coronary angiography.  Postmenopausal women who took 1,100 international units (IU) of vitamin D plus 1,400 to 1,500 milligrams of calcium per day reduced their risk of developing non-skin cancers by 77% after four years, compared with a placebo and the same dose of calcium. The 1,100 IU dose – nearly three times the 400 IU per day recommended in federal and other expert guidelines – was correlated with a 35% higher blood level of vitamin D, on average. A large study of aging in the Netherlands published in the May 2008 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry found a relationship between vitamin D deficiency and depression in women and men ages 65 to 95.

Vitamin D Dose Recommendations

So, how much Vitamin D is enough?  Based upon most recent research, the current recommendation for healthy vitamin D levels is 35 IU’s of vitamin D per pound of body weight.

For a child weighing 40 pounds, the recommended average dose would be 1,400 IU’s daily, and for a 170-pound adult, the dose would be nearly 6,000 IU’s.  However, it’s important to realize that vitamin D requirements are highly individual, as your vitamin D status is dependent on numerous factors, such as the color of your skin, your location, and how much sunshine you’re exposed to on a regular basis.

It is recommended you monitor your blood vitamin D levels regularly when taking oral vitamin D supplements to make sure you’re staying within the optimal range.  Your vitamin D level should never be below 32 nanograms per milliliter, or 32 ng/ml, and any levels below 20 ng/ml are considered serious deficiency.

The OPTIMAL value that you’re looking for is 50-65 ng/ml.  This range applies for everyone; children, adolescents, adults and seniors, and are based on healthy people in tropical or subtropical parts of the world, where they are receiving healthy sun exposures.

There are two blood tests that closely resemble each other: 1,25(OH)D and 25(OH)D.  25(OH)D, also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D, is the better marker of overall D status. It measures the precursor produced by the skin and converted in the body to vitamin D.  This marker is most strongly associated with overall health.   Please realize, however, that the “normal” lab range for 25-hydroxyvitamin D is between 20-56 ng/ml.  This conventional range is really a sign of deficiency and is too broad to be ideal.

Latitude and vitamin D production in the skin

Except during the summer months, the skin makes little if any vitamin D from the sun at latitudes above 37 degrees north (in the United States, the shaded region in the map) or below 37 degrees south of the equator. People who live in these areas are at relatively greater risk for vitamin D deficiency.

Dietary Sources of Vitamin D

Vitamin D can be found in foods like milk, eggs, fish and fortified orange juice, but you only get an average of 250 to 300 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day from dietary factors alone, which is rarely enough to maintain optimal levels.

If you take a vitamin D supplement, you want to take the natural D3 (cholecalciferol), which is the same vitamin D your body makes when exposed to sunshine.

You may want to consider booking that tropical vacation.  It might be exactly what your body needs!

Yours in health,

Marion M. Fraser, D.C.

Sources:

N Engl J Med 2007;357:266-81, Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D., Vitamin D Deficiency

Harvard Women’s Health Watch, “Time for more Vitamin D”, September 2008 issue.  http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Womens_Health_Watch

http://www.mercolaa.com/nutritionplan/ beginner_supplements.htm

The New York Times, “A Second Opinion on Sunshine: It Can Be Good Medicine After All”, June 17, 2003