Monday, January 3, 2022

Proper shoveling techniques

This is one of Minnesota's favorite or un-favorite past times. Shoveling snow!!! Whether we like it or not, most of us can't get around doing it. Here are some tips on how to keep from injuring your back in this must-do task.

1. Warm up for 5-10 minutes. Just like any other exercise you need to warm up before doing it. For this you can be inside where it is still warm and touch your toes a couple of times, rotate at the waist slowly without forcing it, bend and touch the opposite foot, walk up and down stairs. All of these activities, if done slowly and carefully, will help warm up the lower back muscles. Stretch your lower back, arms and legs.
2. Don't let the snow pile up. Going out to shovel several times during a snow fall is easier than doing it when it really deep and heavy.
3. When you are outside make sure that you are dressed appropriately for the temperature, and wear boots that grip to minimize slipping on the ice.
4. Take frequent breaks. Stop every 10-15 minutes especially if the snow is heavy. If you are feeling chest pain stop immediately.
5. Don't lift and twist.
6. Use a proper snow shovel that allows you to push and throw snow forward.
7. Lift with your knees, keeping your back straight.
8. Use a snow blower if you have one, or utilize a neighborhood kid.

Good luck, stay warm, and stay injury free!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Sleep and circadian rhythms

“Get your 8 hours of sleep in every night” seems to be the only advice most people are aware of when it comes to sleep. They assume that if they get 8 hours in, they’ve met the requirement for healthy sleep. However, the body is highly complex. Simply labeling a legalistic 8 hour textbook minimum requirement doesn’t fully capture what it needs. 8 hours of sleep is a good place to start the discussion about sleep patterns and requirements, but it goes far beyond that. In addition to quantity of sleep, quality of sleep matters. Not only that, but the hours in which you sleep matter as well.

Have you ever had a night of poor sleep and felt like the entire effort was a waste? Conversely, have you ever found that a 20 minute catnap can provide you with uncanny energy to carry you through your day? Quality sleep matters. Volumes have been written on REM sleep, non REM sleep, and the various stages of sleep, which is too much to cover in a single blog post. What the experts all agree about though, is that cycling through the various stages is important for total body and mental health.

In addition, the hours in which you sleep matter a great deal, and many people do not discuss this enough. In our modern society, we’ve lost the natural circadian rhythms that our bodies are designed to synchronize with. Circadian rhythm is defined as: A daily cycle of biological activity based on a 24-hour period and influenced by regular variations in the environment, such as the alternation of night and day. Circadian rhythms include sleeping and waking in animals.”

In real life, it means that our bodies were designed to be in sync with nature. With relation to sleep schedules, it means that we should be awake when it’s daytime and we should be sleeping when it is dark. It really is that simple. The invention of electricity has made our brains fall well out of sync with a natural circadian rhythm, as we are regularly exposing our brains to light and stimulation for many hours after we are meant to, particularly in the wintertime.

The adrenals in particular are the essential organ that is governed primarily by sleep. No supplement, food, or vitamin can support the adrenals like sleep can. The adrenals affect all other systems of the body, so supporting them is essential. If you work a night job, it’s likely that even if you get 8 hours of sleep in during the day, your adrenals are stretched very thin. Similarly, women who are caring for small babies during the night have tired adrenals. The adrenals need support - and biologically appropriate hours of sleep - to function. The body cannot be used in a way it was not biologically designed to without repercussions.

Here are a few tips for getting the most out of sleep:

  1. Sleep when it’s dark. Go to bed early and wake up late.
  2. Have a sleep routine. It only takes 21 days to create a routine. Deliberate effort will make this an easy transition. For instance: read a book, wash your face and brush your teeth, drink some tea, lay down and take 5 deep breaths.
  3. Take Magnesium. Magnesium has a natural calming effect and it’s wonderful for those who have a hard time falling asleep at night.
  4. Get adjusted. You may find that a single adjustment can do wonders for your sleep.
  5. Consider homeopathics. Supplements like “Rescue Remedy Sleep” are very safe and effective.
  6. Cut out sugar. Sugar is terrible for your body in every way, and too much sugar can interfere with your brain function.
  7. Lavendar essential oil has a very calming effect. 

“Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” was a phrased coined by Benjamin Franklin, and it was rather spot on. Take care of yourself in every way, including the way you sleep.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021


In order for any good website to work in your favor you need good optimization...  Now all of you computer people out there know exactly what I am talking about...  I on the other hand, do not!  BUT what I do know is that our bodies work in a similar way.  In order for our bodies to work the best for us, we need to make sure it is optimized.

Webster's Dictionary states that OPTIMIZATION is an act, process, or methodology of making something (as a design, system, or decision) as fully perfect, functional, or effective as possible.

Now I know you think I am crazy, but keeping our bodies optimized you have to:

ACT:  Webster's dictionary describes this as something that is done
You have to take action!  Your body is NOT going to work for you all by itself.  You have to CHOOSE to exercise, eat well, sleep well, and have a good mental attitude.  This does NOT happen by itself.  It is a change in your lifestyle and mentality.  

PROCESS:  Webster's dictionary says it is a series of actions that produce something or that lead to a particular result
This does NOT happen overnight for most people.  You have to make the decision to be healthy EVERY single day.  The process may start out simple for you and get more complicated later on.  You may start with just eating less junk food, or cutting out soda then eventually eating a vegan diet, or all organic, etc.  Same with exercise.  You may start out with a couch to 5k program and end up running marathons.  

METHODOLOGY:  Webster describes this as a set of methods, rules, or ideas that are important in a science or art : a particular procedure or set of procedures.

There are MANY ways to diet, exercise, meditate, or rest but you need to find the one that works best for you, and you enjoy!  Again this is why all of the is such a process.  No diet is perfect for everyone, and not everyone enjoys or can run.  BUT there is a solution out there for YOU but you need to take ACTION in order to figure out what that method is.

IF you were to ACT, fulfill a PROCESS with some METHODOLOGY you WILL become as fully perfect, function and effective as possible for you in your beautiful God given design.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

5 ways to manage or prevent leg cramps

Although it is very common to have leg cramps it is NOT normal.  Pregnant women tend to get them more frequently than the general population but that is solely due to the fact that their bodies are even more depleted of key nutrients because it all goes to that precious baby first.  Getting regular chiropractic adjustments is crucial to keeping your body aligned during pregnancy and non-pregnancy.  I would also highly recommend incorporating these 5 things into your daily routine.  

1.  Minerals!  

Cramping is a sign your body is depleted in micronutrients.  Most common ones would be Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium.  Finding a good supplement might be the easiest way to replenish these nutrients.  I carry all sorts of options for that in the office.  BUT getting some of it in your diet is very important too.  Rich in minerals are green leafy vegetables such as spinach or kale, bananas, nuts, beans, avocados, and seeds.  

2. Hydrate!  

Drinking WATER is a super important daily task.  You have to make it part of your schedule.  Carry a water bottle around with you if you need to.  I also like to enjoy herbal teas during the day to help with getting more fluids.  If you aren't drinking water right now I would not recommend starting out drinking the recommended daily amount (typically half your body weight in ounces) right away.  It should be a gradual increase to allow your systems to get used to the idea of increased fluids.  You might also notice that the more water you drink the more thirsty you feel.  This is totally normal. Your body is finally feeling hydrated and it craves water again.  If you haven't been drinking enough water your body stops telling you that you are thirsty because it tried and wasn't answered.  

3.  Stretch!  

If you stretch at least twice per day (upon rising, and before bed) you can help with the nighttime leg cramps.  To stretch your calf muscle you can use the wall or a chair.  See picture below of a wall stretch.  It is best to do the stretch with your back leg straight and bent since it stretches two different calf muscles.  

4.  Exercise! 

Going for light walks, yoga, and swimming can all be excellent ways to get your body moving while you are pregnant or otherwise.  Find something that is enjoyable for you and put it in your schedule to do it.  Let's face it... life is busy!  But we need to take time out of our busy schedules to make our body a priority.  Start with 20 minutes a couple times per week and work up to at least 30 minutes per day if you can.  Always check with your health care provider if you have any restrictions. 

5.  Epsom Salt!

A relaxing way to get your salts replenished is through an Epsom Salt bath.  (Make sure the water temperature is not too hot during pregnancy.)  Pour about a 1/2 cup of Epsom salt into the bath as the water is filling in the tub.  Soak for 30 minutes.  I also sell an excellent Epsom salt lotion at my office that can be massaged into the problem areas.  

If you are interested in seeing Dr. Felicia Conner at Child and Family Chiropractic click here.  

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Starting solid foods

Introducing Solids

This topic seems to be very confusing to most moms because everywhere you turn people have their opinion on this subject, the opinions change from year to year, and new moms are terrified to have their babies choke.  I am going to help you to navigate through 6 myths that will make introducing foods a whole lot more fun. 

Myth #1:  Babies should start solids at 4 months old. 
Babies are not ready for solid foods at 4 months old. Period. Even if they have teeth at 4 months old.  Babies should be able to sit up with their head upright solidly, pick food up between two fingers, move the food to their mouths, have an interest in eating food, and most likely have a tooth or two.  This is usually closer to the 6th month mark, but can be a lot longer.  

Myth #2:  Babies first food should be rice cereal.  
Rice cereal has no actual nutrient value.  It may be fortified with iron but that is not an optimal source of iron.  Breastmilk and formula are better options.  Additionally, it is never recommended to put rice cereal in a bottle, it does not help babies to sleep longer.  

Myth #3:  You should only introduce one food at a time to monitor an allergic reaction. 
This is old school thought.  New Research now indicates introducing a few foods is okay and introducing common allergens between the ages of 6 and 9 months is optimal.  If there is a reaction you can eliminate if needed.  Starting with avocados, bananas, eggs, sweet potato, etc are fun first foods.  Try to introduce foods that you are also eating.  If you are having eggs for breakfast, then give some to your baby.  If you are having sweet potato with dinner, have them eat with you too.  Meals are just as much about social interaction as they are about nourishment.  Encourage eating to happen as a family.  

Myth #4: Babies should start with pureed food. 
Pureed food is not a necessary food.  This stage is just to help some babies get used to textures of food, but not a necessary step.  If you wait to introduce foods you can simply skip this step all together.  The primary food in the first year of life should be breastmilk or formula period.  So before solid foods are introduced at every meal it should start with breastmilk or formula first since most of their nutritional and caloric intake come from these foods they need to come first.  So a typical feeding for breakfast would be breastmilk or formula then maybe a small bowl of avocado or bananas.  I know with my first baby I had time to make and freeze pureed food and did that with her.  The last 3 kids we introduced solids much later and had fun eating as a family.  It took the stress out of feeding times, etc.  We enjoyed it.  

Myth #5: Babies should start with vegetables so they don't love sweet foods first.  
Breastmilk has an array of flavors with each feeding.  No "meal" tastes the same.  Breastfed babies are used to a variety of flavors.  Formula babies not as much.  But babies will enjoy certain foods more than others.  Keep introducing foods 3-4 times before you give up on that food.  Babies might need time to get used to a certain flavor.  And it is really normal for a baby to gag on foods in the beginning while they are learning to transfer foods from the front of their mouth to the back and then to swallow.  

Myth #6:  All food should be cut up really small.  
Handing your child something that is too big to choke on but able to pick up and hold to take bites out of it is much safer for your baby.  Great examples is a whole banana vs cut up pieces.  Some exceptions to this are grapes, and hotdogs (not a fan of hotdogs but they are a summer staple).  Babies will learn to put appropriate sized bites in their mouths much faster.  Again, babies might seem to choke or gag a little periodically, but they are learning to eat.  It is a learned and practiced skill.  

If you would like to learn more about natural baby led weaning I would recommend you check out: 
Now have some fun!  Have some conversations!  Enjoy time as a family!  

Dr. Felicia, DC, DICCP

Monday, March 19, 2018

Colic: The Relentlessly Screaming Baby

It’s almost like a parenting rite of passage these days. Nobody knows what causes it, many methods of managing it simply do not work, and new parents are left to fend for themselves as their babies scream desperately for hours.

Colic affects many families, though the jury is out on how common it is since the causes are not well known. Furthermore, each baby is different, and what bothers one may be different from what ails another. Colic is a catch all term for babies who cry without a clear medical indication.

It’s complicated. And miserable.

Let’s talk about possible causes. There are various theories, each one worth investigating.
  • Gastrointestinal distress and gas is a common theory.
  • Overuse of antibiotics in labor is yet another.
  • The use of pain medication in labor is also a possibility.
  • Others try to educate parents about the “4th trimester” - a period of adjustment in a baby for the first 12 weeks after birth.
  • Some say colic is a result of overstimulation at the end of the day since in some cases, babies will predictably cry for several hours at the same time in the evening.

At the end of the day, nobody really knows, and treatments are few and far between. Most are ineffective. What is a parent to do? Parents all over are praising chiropractic care as an effective treatment for infants with colic. (In fact, chiropractic adjustments make sense for infants whether they have colic or not.)

When you look at the dynamics of birth and the effect it has on a baby’s body, adjustments for newborns seem like common sense. Babies are squeezed through the mother’s pelvis which has the possibility of contorting their necks, and their heads are often times pulled on by doctors as they exit the birth canal. This happens with more force during surgical births as well, since a physician’s hands are the only thing pulling a baby out of the uterus. (It should be noted that birth is a very normal and healthy process, and it’s not dangerous. Birth is a major cause of subluxation in a baby’s neck, however, and it is easily corrected.)

Is it reasonable to assume that in the course of all that movement, a baby’s neck and back could become subluxated? Have you ever cranked your neck in an uncomfortable position (when you slept perhaps) and been sore afterward? Certainly a baby can experience the same thing! Furthermore, the holistic effect that even a single subluxation can have has the potential to affect various systems within the body. Whichever system is compromised could be causing a baby to be colicky. It’s reasonable then, to assume that correcting said subluxation can cause a baby to be relieved, ceasing the crying.

The research that exists in favor of chiropractic care for colic is encouraging. A randomized clinical trial was published in 1999 in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. In the study, researchers randomly assigned infants diagnosed with colic into two groups. One group received chiropractic care for two weeks and the other group was given dimethicone (the anti-gas medication) for two weeks. The babies who got treatment from a chiropractor showed a 67% decrease in crying while the babies on medication showed a 38% decrease, and researchers concluded that chiropractic care is effective in treating colic.

Regardless of the cause for colic, it’s worth it to try getting your newborn adjusted as soon as possible after birth. Chiropractic care is a safe treatment for babies with colic, so why not give it a try?

Monday, May 1, 2017

Essential Oils: A Rundown

Probably the most trendy thing in natural health right now is essential oils. Everywhere you look, another claim is being made that “there’s an oil for that!” Unfortunately for the curious consumer, there is so much information, misinformation, and conflicting information out there about them these days that it’s hard to know what the truth is.

So, what are essential oils? How safe are they?

Essential oils are the result of an intense distillation process that leaves behind the most concentrated aromatic and therapeutic properties of plants. Oils have been used for thousands of years for a variety of uses, including healing.

What is exciting about essential oils is that they are bioavailable, so they can communicate properly with the body. Human bodies recognize them, so they have a potential to be a powerful, safe, and effective tool in facilitating the healing process. Many essential oils have been proven to be as effective as pharmaceutical grade antibiotics, with less risk. Scores of testimonials are surfacing in our culture about the therapeutic effect that essential oils have had on their health. Essential oils are being credited with curing everything from hay fever to cancer.

So, what’s the problem? If they are recognized by the body and they are bioavailable, is there any risk?

Research is finding some exciting things about the capabilities of essential oils, but there isn’t enough research to safely say they can be used. They are natural, but tremendously potent, and it’s their potency that the possibility of danger lies. Children in particular can be harmed by certain kinds of essential oils, and they should not be using many of them.

What is one to make of this?

Essential oils can absolutely be included in your health care regimen. However, their use should be guided by a trained professional. You should be careful about the advice that you take regarding essential oils, as they can also be harmful.

Keep an eye on the research on essential oils as it begins to surface. It’s an exciting development - but as it’s developing, beware of potential risks, and use with caution.

Dr. Felicia