Monday, December 9, 2013

Not pigging out during the holidays

This is a hard time of the year to eat nutritiously for a lot of us. We are heading to parties, receiving cookies, baking cookies, drinking egg nog, etc...
So many of my patients ask, "How can I get through the holiday season without totally blowing my diet?" (And by diet I mean a nutritional lifestyle of eating)
Here are a few tips to keep in mind...

1. If we don't allow ourselves to have some eating fun once in a while we will never maintain this lifestyle of eating. I don't mean go out and eat an entire pumpkin pie, but it is ok to have a slice.
2. Know which options are BETTER options. Such as... pumpkin pie has the fewest calories of all pies. Whereas, pecan pie has the most.
3. Before going to a party, eat a light snack such as carrots, celery, nuts, fruit, etc... It will help to decrease your hunger and you are less likely to eat a ton when the meal is served.
4. Keep exercising. This is easier said than done. We are all very busy during the holiday season and forget to take time out to do our normal exercise routines, but it is very important not to skip this very important routine in your day.
5. Share your cookie gifts with others. When patients bring me cookies, I share them with other patients, other staff, etc... I don't bring them home and eat them all by myself.
6. Drink water. Drinks of all kinds have LOTS of hidden calories or toxins in them. Drink Water! It will also curb your appetite.
7. Take small portions. Allow yourself to eat the beautiful meal but don't go up for 2nds, 3rds, etc... If you take an appropriate portion then resist going back for more.

There are so many more, but these will get you off to a great start. Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Breech babies and Chiropractic

I have been asked a LOT lately about the topic of breech babies and Chiropractic. What is Webster Technique and Why does Chiropractic "turn" a breech baby? This is why...

First of all I just want to say that there are techniques that skilled Chiropractors use to "turn" breech babies. One of them is called Webster Technique. It works a LOT of the time, but does not work for all babies. If there are reasons other than ones that I will discuss, for example a short umbilical cord, then the baby is NOT going to turn no matter what is done. There are anatomical reasons for the "breech" position. I am going to call this "breech" position inuterine constraint which means that the fetus does not have optimal room in the uterus. This could even be in the "head down" or vertex position.

As a woman, our uterus would be a free floating organ in our lower abdomen if it weren't for a few ligaments attached to it. Those ligaments are attached at the other end onto our pelvis (more specifically our pubis and sacrum). When our pelvis is misaligned, called a subluxation, it pulls on those ligaments which in turn pulls on our uterus. This causes a torque, or twist in our uterus which in turn causes less space in our uterus.

As an example if you had a balloon and were to pinch on portion of it and pull it towards you it would alter the shape of the balloon. Similar idea with the uterus. When the fetus is inside the uterus and the uterus is being pulled it makes the space inside the uterus compromised. The fetus then has to give up its preferred head down, freely floating position for a less optimal position.

When a pelvis that is subluxated is adjusted accurately and soft tissue work is done to the pelvic ligaments and muscles then the uterus is freed from that torqued position there is no reason that the fetus wouldn't take the path of least resistance which would be head down. (Unless of course there are other complications going on as stated before.)

The best thing about using Chiropractic for inuterine constraint is that there is no risk for mother or baby in using this technique. This technique will NOT WORK if there are other factors involved, and there will be no risk for an emergency Cesarean section.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

What is a subluxation?

We Chiropractors like to throw around the term "subluxation". I would like to try and define that for you. Funny thing is some chiropractors may not totally agree with my definition because we, as a profession, cannot totally agree. Anyway, here goes nothing.
A subluxation in the spine is a vertebral misalignment that causes stress on the nerves causing lack of health to the organ or tissue that that nerve innervates. OK. OK. Lots of big words, right? Here is another way of describing it. If you were to have a garden hose running at full speed, but put a stress such as a car tire on the hose what happens? The water cannot get through, right? Similar idea with our nerves. Fortunately subluxations aren't usually as "heavy" as a car, but sometimes it can be.
When our nerves aren't functioning optimally we cannot function optimally. This may do anything from having a lack of immune function to infertility.
So... when you are adjusted to alleviate the subluxations our bodies are able to function more optimally. This allows your body to heal itself. Our bodies were designed to do that very thing so why don't we all decide to allow our bodies to work optimally!!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mattresses and Pillows

When it comes to beds/sleeping I don't think that most people consider it a priority as much as they should. When we go shopping for a car, we look at comfort, color, make, price, mileage, etc... and we are willing to spend a LOT of money on one. BUT... how many hours a day do we spend in our cars? One hour, two maybe.
We spend on average 5-10 hours per night on our mattress and our pillows!!! Why are we willing to spend LOTS of money on our cars, but when it comes to mattresses we settle for cheap? ANYWAYS...
When you are shopping for a mattress my recommendation would be to take your time. There is no perfect mattress. I have even been a sales person that sold mattresses and I would like to say again, there is no perfect mattress. You need to find the one that is right for you. That takes time.
When I went shopping for a mattress I spent a long time lying on the mattress and felt for any tensions in your spine or anywhere else in your body. It will be subtle so you have to pay close attention. Also you want to try lying on your back AND your side. I would also look at consumer reports. Look at what others are saying about the mattress. Ask your friends.
In my opinion, and with what I see in my office, pillow top mattresses are NOT the way to go. Patients tell me that they feel a sagging after a short period of time. That would not be good support for your spine. These patients hurt a lot in the morning when they get up, and have restless sleep. That is all I will say about mattresses so good luck shopping.

Good quality pillows are another very important item you should have. When buying a pillow you might need to consult a professional first, but for the most part you should look for something that has support in the neck for side or back sleeping. Also, it is usually not a good idea to have a pillow that is too thick or too thin. BUT this is one of those things that an assessment might be necessary. If you have a lot of degenerate problems in your neck or certain diseases you may need a different pillow. SO consult your chiropractic physician if you are not sure.

I hope this answered your questions about pillows and mattresses. It is probably not ok for me to mention name brands on a blog so I didn't, but if you want to ask more of those types of questions you can contact me on my website at

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ear Infections

My intent in any of these blogs is not to get too technical, but I am going to have to.

I very much enjoy treating children. The most common ailment at the medical doctors office for children is the dreaded EAR INFECTION. The medical community feels that they only have one choice and that is to medicate with antibiotics. (This is a long discussion that I will not go into right now.) Often times this approach doesn't work, so another round of antibiotics gets prescribed. I would like to describe possible reasons for ear infections and why this medical approach is usually not the answer. The number one cause, that I see in my office, for ear infections is allergies or a virus. BOTH of which are NOT treatable by antibiotics.

When I describe allergies to my patients I explain it this way. All of us have allergies to a certain degree, but some of us can fight against it easier than others. To help further describe this I will use a demonstration. We were all given a barrel, and each of us has a different sized barrel. There are things that come against us that fills that barrel. Everyone is different so some examples are pollen, dust, milk, gluten, cats, soy, etc... The more we are exposed to these different allergens the more the barrel is filled up. Once the barrel is overflowing we have symptoms of allergies such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, stomach problems, etc...

Then you might ask, "Why are some people's barrels bigger than others?" and that is a great question!! Our barrel size is determined by genetics, stress, diet, exercise, and whether or not we have subluxations in our spine. Subluxations are misaligned spinal vertebra that cause stress on a nerve. The nerves in our spine talk to everything in our body including our organs, our brain, our skin, etc... When our nerves are not working optimally our bodies are not working optimally. (This to is another long discussion that I will work on some other time.) We can definitely affect our barrel size by eating right, exercising and getting adjusted to minimize subluxations.

SO... How can we treat ear infections without antibiotics? The answer is simple, but important.

1. Avoiding the allergen is a huge possibility. Sometimes that can be difficult to figure out what the allergen is but most of the time it is pretty simple. In my practice, the majority of allergens affecting the ears is coming from a DIETARY source. Believe it or not, it is very true. I want to get even more specific in saying that the majority of the dietary allergy patients that I see the number one allergen is usually caused by DAIRY products. Drinking milk causes increased mucus production even in individuals that don't have allergies, so when you have poor drainage in your lymph system of your neck the excess fluid ends up in the ears.

2. Subluxations!!! If you have a subluxation in your neck it will cause your neck muscles to tighten and spasm. (Also a main cause of headaches.) When the muscle in your neck tightens it cuts of the drainage of the lymph system in your neck. Then your ears don't drain either.

How do you treat subluxations? EASY you get adjusted by a very trained Chiropractor. I have been treating ear infections on kids for years with much success. Children, for the most part, respond very favorably to chiropractic care because they don't have the 'baggage' that us adults have. Their bodies are so much closer to optimal and heal rather quickly.

Making the decision to take your child to a chiropractor is a very responsible and healthy decision. My kids have been adjusted since the day they were born. Neither one of them has ever had an ear infection. I just wish that I could say that about your kids too!!!

If after reading this you have questions please let me know. I welcome discussions on any of the topics I will bring up.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Why do we get subluxations?

I had someone ask, "Why do we get subluxations?" That is a GREAT question. This is my answer to that question.

There are three main causes of subluxations. I call it the 3T's. Thoughts, toxins, and trauma.

Thoughts: This is the number one cause of subluxations. Our emotional stress, whether it is good or bad, is by far the biggest cause of subluxations. When we get stressed our muscles tighten up and pull on our vertebra which can pull it out of alignment.

Toxins: This is the second main cause of subluxation. Some examples of toxins are poor diet, medications (especially when taking more than two), smoking, alcohol, etc.. We are all aware of these ideas, but probably never thought of it in this way. Also the opposite is true. When you don't get enough of the "good things" in your diet such as water, fruits, veggies, protein, etc.. that can cause subluxations too.

Trauma: This is probably the one most people think of first because it can appear to be the most obvious, but examples of this would include car accidents, slips/falls, giving birth or being birthed, sports related injuries, etc...

Some examples of children and why they might get a subluxation are:

A 6 month old: Birth process, improper carrying, formula fed or introducing solids too early, stress in the family, second hand smoke, improper nutrition during pregnancy, or it can be just as simple as the baby's head falling backwards once because it's head wasn't stabilized. I could go on and on. There is research to say that at least 50% of all babies fall from the height of a diaper changing table.

6 year old: These guys have just had more years to their little lives. They could have subluxations that stem back to inutero or infancy, but now you have to add on learning to walk and all the falling that is associated with that, adding solid foods into their diet and all that that entails. More exposure to second hand smoke or other environmental toxins. The stress of starting school or home life stress. Wearing backpacks. ETC...

16 year old: More stress in their life... hormonally, educationally, physically, etc... More car accidents or near misses. Introducing more toxins in their bodies such as soda, alcohol, cigerette smoke, etc... (We would all like to think that this isn't happening, but it might.) Educational stresses. Life stresses. Sports stresses. Girlfriend/Boyfriend stresses. LOTS AND LOTS!

Adults: We have a whole different stress. Not only have we lived longer, but some of can add children in the mix. That brings on a whole new stress. Financial stresses, Emotional stresses, etc... I think that we all get the picture. :)