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How Does Chiropractic Promote Overall Wellness?

How Does Chiropractic Promote Overall Wellness?

Chiropractors know that adjustments are good for your general health. Millions of satisfied patients cannot be wrong. But what do chiropractors know that the rest of us do not?

They know the nervous system is the one system in the body that directly affects every other system. This is because nerves conduct sensory information from every part of the body and then delivers this information to the brain. Once there, the brain analyzes the information to determine what the body needs to maintain a healthy state. So the health of this system is paramount to the good health of the rest of the body.

Chiropractors recognize that misalignment in the spine can interfere with proper nervous system function. More specifically, chiropractors study the effects of vertebral subluxations – conditions of the spine where align- ment and/or movement patterns of the vertebrae are abnormal. When this occurs, imbalances cause irritation and inflammation. In turn this can cause interference with information that is transmitted along nerves and spinal cord. Chiropractors are the only health care professionals specifically trained to locate and correct spinal subluxations.

This is the principal reason why chiropractors should be called wellness doctors. Every time a chiropractor corrects a vertebral subluxation, the positive effects are felt in multiple systems simultaneously.

Where’s the Proof?

For decades, scientific research has focused on the use of chiropractic adjustments for low back pain, neck pain and headaches. In fact, there is now clear evidence to recommend chiropractors as the go-to professionals for spinal pain syndromes. However, with the rising popularity of wellness-based philosophies focused on non-traditional approaches to health, chiropractors are being asked to justify their role.

The traditional medical model of symptom-based healthcare is rapidly waning. We no longer feel we have to be sick to call upon a health professional for advice. Instead, we are focusing more on the detrimental effects stress has on our bodies, and the therapies that address the mind-body connection are getting much more attention.

In a recent report from the Center for Disease Control, the four most popular forms of alternative and complementary medicine were listed as: natural products, deep breathing, meditation and chiropractic!

People are casting their votes with their healthcare dollars and chiropractors are taking a leadership role in this new wellness model. As a profession whose core philosophy is about the optimization of the brain-body communication network, chiropractic can be viewed as a therapy with an emphasis on whole body health and wellness

Research is catching up to what chiropractors have known for years. In a recent study that reviewed all the available research to date, investigators found that “chiropractic adjustments, often for the purpose of correcting vertebral subluxation, confer measurable health benefits to people regardless of the presence or absence of symptoms.” More people are seeking what chiropractic offers: optimization of health and an improved quality of life, with a spine free of vertebral subluxations!

In a multi-nation study involving hundreds of chiropractors and thousands of chiropractic patients, researchers sought to measure the incidence of non-musculoskeletal responses to chiropractic therapy. What they found was that a number of patients experienced systemic benefits from their chiropractic treatments whether or not they mentioned any symptoms in these areas at the onset of care. The most common benefits reported in this study were breathing (27%), digestion (26%) and circulation (21%).

In yet another ground-breaking study, chiropractic adjustments were shown to actually decrease blood pressure, one of the leading causes for preventable death in North America (in relation to the incidence of heart-attacks and strokes). The study stood up to medical scrutiny and showed unequivocally that vertebral subluxations – of the upper cervical vertebra in this case – can be detrimental to the health of the individual, and not just a pain in the neck.

From these research results, chiropractors clearly have a greater role in your health and wellness than just treating sore backs. Chiropractic care should be considered an invaluable tool for you to not only help you feel well, but to also help you be well.

References and sources:

1. Dagenais S, Gay RE, Tricco AC, Freeman MD & Mayer JM. NASS Contemporary Concepts in Spine Care: Spinal Manipulation Therapy for Acute Low Back Pain. Spine Journal 2010 (Oct.); 10(10): 918-940.

2. Bronfort G, Assendelft WJJ, Evans R, Haas M & Bouter L. Efficacy of Spinal Manipulation for Chronic Headache: A Systematic Review. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2001 (Sept.); 24(7): 457-466

3. Thiel HW & Bolton JE. Predic- tors For Immediate and Global Responses to Chiropractic Manipulation of the Cervical Spine. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2008 (Mar.); 31(3): 172-183.

4. Barnes PM, Bloom B, Nahin R. Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Adults and Children: United States, 2007. CDC National Health Statistics Report #12. December 10, 2008.

5. Hannon SM. Objective Physiologic Changes and Associated Health Benefits of Chiro- practic Adjustments in Asymptom- atic Subjects: A Review of the Literature. J Vertebral Subluxation Research 2004 (Apr.): 1-9.

6. Leboeuf-Yde C, Pedersen EN, Bryner P, Cosman D, Hayek R, Meeker WC, Shaik J, Terrazas O, Tucker J & Walsh M. Self-reported Nonmusculoskeletal Responses to Chiropractic Intervention: A Multi- nation Survey. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2005 (Jun.); 28(5): 294-302.

7. Bakris G, Dickholtz M, Meyer PM, Kravitz G, Avery E, Miller M, Brown J, Woodfield C & Bell B. Atlas Vertebra Realignment and Achievement of Arterial Pressure Goal in Hypertensive Patients: A Pilot Study. Journal of Human Hypertension 2007 (May); 21(5): 347-352.

What’s Inside the Average American Medicine Cabinet? And What Should Be.

What’s Inside the Average American Medicine Cabinet? And What Should Be.

What’s Inside the Average American Medicine Cabinet?  And What Should Be.Take a look inside the average American’s medicine cabinet and you are likely to find out-of-date prescription medications, half-used bottles of lotion, some painkillers and a box of Band-Aids. Some of these are useful, and some should have been disposed of long ago. Along with the annual maintenance that you perform on your smoke detector, your medicine cabinet should have a thorough evaluation and clean-out once a year as well.

Many minor health issues can be treated at home, saving you and your doctor unnecessary time and expense. The key is to be sure that what you have on hand is effective for treating your problem. Medicines lose their effectiveness over time, so any medicine that is beyond its expiration date should be discarded. Do not flush medicines down the toilet or dispose of them in the trash, as they can make their way into the water system, which is becoming an increasing problem for water treatment facilities. Instead, drop off expired medicines at your local pharmacy, where they will dispose of them safely.

Experts advise that the following items should be staples in any medicine cabinet:

Painkillers – It is useful to have a few different types on hand, to treat different types of pain. Aspirin is best for general pain relief and to reduce fever, acetaminophen is easier on the stomach and good for children (who should not take aspirin due to the danger of Reye’s syndrome), and ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory useful for treating muscle cramps, sprains and arthritis pain. None of these should be taken in large amounts, as they can harm the liver.

Antihistamine/Decongestant – For itching, sneezing and congestion due to colds and allergies.

Cold and flu remedies – To reduce the aches, pain and fever of a cold or flu.

Cough medicine – Can be either a suppressant (to reduce coughing) or an expectorant (to loosen phlegm and make coughing more productive). However, FDA pediatricians warn that cough medicine should not be given to children under 6 years of age because of the potential for severe harmful side effects. Studies have found that honey is actually more effective than most cough medicines in reducing coughing. Honey, however, should not be given to children under one year of age because of the risk of infant botulism.

Gastrointestinal remedies – To treat indigestion, heartburn, diarrhea and nausea. Pepto-Bismol and some type of antacid are useful items to have on hand.

First aid kit – To treat minor injuries, a basic first aid kit should contain Band-Aids, sterile dressing, medical tape, tweezers, eyewash, antiseptic cream, an ace bandage and a thermometer.

Your bathroom is not the best place to keep medications, as the heat and moisture from the shower can speed their deterioration. A better choice is to keep them in a cool, dark, dry place such as in a linen closet. By keeping your medicine cabinet well-stocked and up-to-date, you may be able to save yourself a trip to the doctor.

Remember, that in addition to basic medical supplies, one of the best ways to stay healthy is to get a regular adjustment from Dr. Oblander!

Brain Games: Which Types of “Mental Calisthenics” Really Help Us Age Better?

Brain Games: Which Types of “Mental Calisthenics” Really Help Us Age Better?

women-playing-on-computer
women-playing-on-computer

Medical science has given the healthcare community the knowledge and tools to extend life in ways that would have seemed like science fiction a generation ago. But, believe it or not, these modern miracles also pose a challenge—the possibility of life without quality of life. In other words, living longer but not necessarily living better.

With this in mind, it’s becoming more important than ever to do what you can while you’re still relatively young to “grow old gracefully” later on. So how do we put together a “playbook” for safeguarding our lifestyle as we age? One approach is to look into the midlife habits of those who live into their 70s, 80s and beyond while retaining both their physical and mental health to see what we can learn from them.

When you examine the research studies and first-person accounts of healthy seniors, there’s one lesson that’s particularly striking: “Use it or lose it.” And this lesson seems to apply equally to both our mental and physical abilities. According to many experts, the pillars of a healthy lifestyle include (in order) regular exercise, a healthy diet, mental stimulation, good quality sleep, successful stress management, and maintaining an active social life.

Why it’s as important to exercise your mind as it is your body

The third “pillar” in this list surprises some people, though it really shouldn’t. Studies on the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive impairments indicate that seniors who regularly read and complete crossword puzzles are far less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those who don’t. One of the reasons, these scientists speculate, is that the neural connections that are “first to go” when brains begin to deteriorate with age are those associated primarily with words. Thus people may tend to forget people’s names, or the names of places, or have trouble finding “the right word” for things. Engaging in activities that continually forge new connections between words and concepts in our minds has been proven to prevent and in some cases even reverse the ravages of dementia.

One study, known as ACTIVE (the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly study) tested nearly 3,000 adults over 65 and found that the three most valuable “brain exercises” that staved off degeneration were activities that improved 1) your memory, 2) your reasoning abilities, and 3) the speed at which you process information. Those participants in the study who participated in activities to strengthen these areas showed improvements that lasted for at least five years, and translated into real-life improvements such as being able to manage their money and households.

When it comes to choosing the “best” activities for keeping your brain active, there’s still no general consensus. While it’s still an open question, some researchers recommend word games (like crossword puzzles or Scrabble) or learning a new language. Others suggest memorization exercises. Still others believe that strategy games, riddles, or puzzles will have the greatest benefit because they encourage you to “think in new ways.” Modern video and computer games may also be helpful in stretching your brain and keeping it active. You can find other resources on the Internet – “brain gyms” that provide all of these things, such as Luminosity, Brain Food or MyBrainTrainer. Some of these websites may cost money or charge a membership fee, but if what you’re looking for is to keep your brain healthy and active for the rest of your life (and you enjoy the activities they offer), it may be well worth it. In the meantime, there are still many, many options available even if you’re on a tight budget. Public libraries are a particularly great resource! As with physical exercise, the thing that makes mental exercise “work” is how often you do it, not what you pay for it.

 

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