Back to School Tips for a Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul

By: Dr. Tod Williams D.C

 

Class is back in session! The beginning of the new school year can be a fun and exciting time for your kids, but it can also be a stressful time. The beginning of the school year can be stressful for students, like meeting new teachers, getting back into the routine, and the work load of classes. So, as we start the new school, year let’s learn some tips to help set up our kids for success!

 

Tip #1: Choose the Right Backpack to Avoid Back Pain!

Our kids might want to go for the backpack that shows off their personality, but unfortunately, it may not offer a ton of support. We want the straps of a backpack to be wide and cushioned, and if we can find backpack that has the third strap that connects across the chest, that’s even better. The third strap across the chest helps with weight distribution, reducing stress and relieving pressure off the shoulders.

Another important tip is to make sure your child is wearing the backpack correctly. Wearing the backpack with just one strap on the shoulder might look cool, but carrying all the weight of the back pack on one side of the body can lead to misalignments to the spine!

 

Tip #2: Proper Posture in Class!

When sitting at a desk for hours each day over the course of the school year, it is important for your child to be practicing proper posture. Hunching over the desk and slouching can cause neck, shoulder, and back issues. To help prevent hunching over and their head from tilting over their shoulders, it will help to get a standing desk that tilts toward them to keep their books and homework at eye level. You can also teach them a couple stretches to do at their desk, especially for when standing is not an option! Those stretches will improve their spinal health and their ability to concentrate in class!

 

Tip #3: Keep Your Child Adjusted!

Regular chiropractic care will boost the overall health of your child. Chiropractic adjustments will help manage your child’s stress levels. Chiropractic care will also help boost your child’s immune system so they avoid getting sick throughout the school year. Being healthy allows them to avoid less sick days and falling behind in their classes. Better physical health will ultimately lead to better mental health!

How Can Chiropractic Help Long-term?

You may have heard someone say “If you go to the chiropractor, you will have to go for the rest of your life” or “chiropractic is only for neck and back pain.” Those statements are completely incorrect. Though neck or back pain may be the initial reason people consider going to a chiropractor in the first place, we often see that people continue to go, even after the initial cause is resolved! This is usually because they have realized how good their bodies can feel with routine chiropractic care! After completing an initial phase of corrective care, we recommend wellness care at a lower frequency to maintain the changes made during that initial phase and to continue to improve your overall health. I will also discuss in this blog the additional benefits of wellness care and why it is important to add it to your health routine.

1. Injury and Illness Prevention:

You do not have to be in pain to benefit from chiropractic adjustments. The goal of the adjustment is to remove any nerve interference in the body. It is cheaper and more effective to take preventive measures than to be reactionary to any injury or illness. The rest of this blog will cover specific areas that can benefit from regular wellness chiropractic visits.

2. Range of Motion:

Chiropractic improves joint mobility. Better joint mobility reduces your risk of injury and cartilage deterioration. Chiropractic adjustments also help with loosening tighter muscles and improving strength in weaker muscles.

3. Nervous System Function:

Your nervous system is made up of the brain, the spinal cord, and all the nerves from the spinal cord that connect to every cell, tissue, organ, and muscle in the body. Your nervous system also controls and coordinates all other systems in the body. Chiropractic adjustments enhance your nervous system function and boosts blood flow throughout your body. Removing any interference to your nervous system enhances your whole-body performance.

4. Digestion:

Above, we learned that all systems are controlled by the nervous system. Your digestive system and nervous system are closely linked. Nerves in your spine control how your body digests food. Conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea, constipation, and even heartburn can be resolved through chiropractic care. It is evident that gut health has a major impact on overall health. A healthy gut means superior digestion, a stronger immune system, improved sleep, and an ability to combat certain autoimmune diseases and cancers.

5. Sleep:

Regular chiropractic adjustments take unhealthy strain and stress off of the nerves, promoting relaxation. People who are able to get a better night’s rest can notice benefits like; being sick less often, lower risk for heart disease, mood improvement, and less injuries. While we’re sleeping, hormones flood the body, promoting healing, growth, repair, and other functions. The nervous system rests and recharges. Cortisol, a stress hormone, reduces while the body is asleep. Muscles relax, heal, and rest up, preparing for the next day of activity and use. The immune system releases cytokines, chemicals that fight inflammation, infection, and trauma.

6. Immune System:

While on the topic of the immune system from the last point, the immune system is influenced by your nervous system and endocrine system. Chiropractic adjustments can help strengthen your immune system by helping your body perform at peak performance, which allows it to fight off any germs. Having a higher functioning immune system leads to less illness and sickness overall!

How to Keep Yourself Healthy During the Summer

The days are longer and the weather is warmer; summer is here! This is the best time to enjoy the outdoors and continue to stay healthy. As much as we want to be outside and enjoying our summer activities, it is still important to remember these tips to help keep you healthy while enjoying the summer days.

1) Stay Hydrated! The weather is warmer and that means we will lose fluids much easier, no matter the activity. The daily recommended water intake is 8 glasses of water, but if we are outside doing any vigorous activity, we are going to want to increase that intake to keep up with the fluid loss. A good rule of thumb is to make sure to drink AT LEAST half your body weight in ounces of water PER DAY! This will ensure that your body is getting enough water and staying hydrated all summer long!

2) Get FREE Vitamin D! Our body makes vitamin D when exposed to direct sunlight. The summer time offers you plenty of opportunity to get outside and expose yourself to the natural sunlight. 15-20 minutes a day during the strongest rays (10am to 2pm) with the most skin exposed will provide you the optimal daily dose of vitamin D. The sun is allowing you to get the vitamins you need (for free, too!) that help promote healthy bones and teeth. It also helps with easing the symptoms of depression, inflammation, and helps to increase brain development in pregnancy and infancy.

3) Take Care of Your Skin! The two most common products used in the summer time are sunscreen and bug repellent. Be careful of the products that you are using though. The skin is the largest organ of our body and has the ability to absorb all of the toxins into our body that we put on ourselves. When shopping for sunscreens this summer, you want to avoid these 6 ingredients: oxybenzone, octinoxate, retinyl palmitate, homosalate, oxtocrylene, and parabens. Some great non-toxic sunscreen brands are: Badger Balm, Blue Lizard, All Good, California Baby, Babo Botanicals, Poofy Organics, Goddess Garden, Think, Beautycounter, Kabana, and Earth Mama Organics.

Get out and enjoy the summer, but remember to protect yourself, your body, and your health!

 

By: Dr. Tod Williams

How to Handle Seasonal Allergies Like a Pro

Spring is here! It’s that time of the year where the days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer, and the flowers around us are blooming. That means more time for outdoor activities- whether that means going to the park, walking your pets, yard work, attending your kids’ sporting events, hanging out by the pool, or any of your other favorite outdoor hobbies. Sometimes though, all the time spent outdoors means we are faced with dealing with the pollen that is getting spread and suffering from those annoying seasonal allergies.

After enjoying a day outside, you may start to notice that your nose is getting stuffy, eyes are itchy, and you may start getting that feeling of sinus pressure. Luckily, there are multiple ways to combat those symptoms. Now, typically, you may pick up some over-the-counter medication like Benadryl, but maybe those medications make you drowsy or you’re looking for a new, more effective way to get rid of those symptoms. Well, I’m here to give you a few tips and tricks on how you can handle those pesky seasonal allergies a more natural way!

First, my personal favorite way- eating local raw honey. Eating just a tablespoon of local raw honey every day can help build up a tolerance to the local pollen in the area. The reason why local honey is so important is because it is collected from bees that have been collecting pollen from the plants that are running rampant on our sinuses.

Supplements, like Allerplex by Standard Process, are another great alternative to help with seasonal allergies. Allerplex, with vitamin A and C complexes, supports the body’s response to seasonal allergies. This supplement helps support the body’s natural ability to loosen up mucus and supports healthy lung and respiratory function. So, when you have that stuffy nose and find it difficult to breathe, this supplement is one to help with that. If you are wondering where you can get Allerplex, we keep a supply in the office and we can even ship it directly to you!

The final way to help with your allergies is by staying regularly adjusted! Having a highly functioning nervous system results in a stronger immune system. A healthier and stronger immune system will allow your body to tolerate pollen and reduce those allergy symptoms. Many people don’t realize that we can also adjust your sinuses so that they properly drain instead of having to deal with that annoying pressure. Definitely make sure to ask a Doctor while they are adjusting you if you would like us to also adjust your sinuses! We would lvoe to help relieve some of those allergy symptoms for you!

Of course these are just a few key tips, but there are many others out there to help with your allergies. Find what works best for you and go enjoy the weather. We don’t want to be stuck inside while everyone else is out having fun because your allergies are keeping you sidelined.

By: Dr. Tod Williams

What Causes Neuropathy and How to Fix It Before Its Too Late!

Neuropathy is damage, disease, or dysfunction in one or more nerves, especially of the peripheral nervous system (arms and legs). Common symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are burning or shooting pain, numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness. Neuropathy is often degenerative, and is usually caused by injury, infection, disease, drugs, toxins, or vitamin deficiency. Let’s take a look at what the 3 most common causes of neuropathy are.

Diabetes is one of the most common causes of neuropathy. It has been known that two thirds of the population with diabetes are also affected by diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic nerve pain occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the nerves. The nerves’ ability to send signals to other areas of the body are prohibited by high levels of blood sugar. The capillary walls of the blood vessels are also weaker with high blood sugar, this results in the nerves not getting adequate amount of nutrients and oxygen due to lack of blood flow.

Another common cause of neuropathy is vitamin deficiency, more specifically, vitamins such as B1, B6, B12, and vitamin E. Alcoholism is a common reason for vitamin deficient neuropathy. The reason why alcoholism can lead to vitamin deficiency is because it is assumed that they are not eating a complete or healthy diet. Alcohol also effects the body’s ability to absorb vitamin B1. People that have a vegan diet also need to be careful about their vitamin intake. Vitamin B12 is naturally only found in animal-based foods. Vegans are highly encouraged to supplement vitamin B12 into their diet to help avoid vitamin deficient neuropathy.

The third common cause is the herpes zoster virus; the virus that is responsible for chickenpox in kids. This virus lays dormant in the body after adolescence and can be reawakened many years later, due to age or stress, and presents itself as shingles. The virus attacks the nerves and can cause itchiness, rashes, and pain into the nerves.

If the symptoms of neuropathy start to present themselves, it is important to take action as soon as possible before the symptoms progress! Schedule an appointment with us to have a neuropathy exam performed. We will determine if your condition is true neuropathy and come up with a treatment plan for you so we can start to reduce the progression of your neuropathy! Help us help you!

No More New Year’s Resolutions!

What is the most common question you get asked going into a new year? For most people, it’s usually along the lines of “What are your New Year’s resolutions?”. It’s a common tradition passed on through the years that people use the “new year” as a starting point for their new goals and lifestyle practices. Why wait until New Year when you can start now?

 

If you put your goals off until the new year, you have to ask yourself how much of a priority they were for you in the first place? Are you using the holidays as an excuse to binge and fall further behind on your goal before you face it head-on in January?

 

Let’s say you make a set of resolutions going into the next year. You are really consistent and on top of all of your goals for a month or maybe even more! Inevitably, life gets in the way and excuses start coming up and you begin to lose the motivation you once had to stay consistent with your resolutions. Then, eventually, there are too many “reasons” as to why your goals are not your priority anymore, and pretty soon you are no longer progressing on these goals at all.

 

But, wait! At this point, it’s almost January again! You can just start your resolutions again next year! This is going to be the year you actually accomplish your goals!

 

And again, the cycle starts right back over.

 

If this cycle sounds familiar to you, I challenge you to ask yourself, “Why am I waiting to start my goals?”

 

Whatever it is that you may want to introduce in your life, it can always be started now. Do you want to start exercising more? Join the gym today. If you are already paying for it, why wouldn’t you go? Do you want to eat healthier? Throw out the junk food! Out of sight, out of mind. With little to no junk food in the house, you will have to force yourself to be creative and make healthier meals using the more nutritious items you might already have or that you purchase to help yourself accomplish your goal!

 

It’s important to remember that baby steps are better than no steps at all. Sometimes life really does get in the way, but it rarely ever completely prevents you from doing what you want to do. Even when things seem to be difficult and you start to lose motivation, try and take a step back and decide how you can accomplish this goal now!

 

For example, maybe you were going to the gym 5 days a week for 30 minutes each day. Something happens and now you are unable to commit to going as frequently as you were before.

 

Instead of using this as an excuse to just stop, take a step back and ask yourself how much you can reasonably commit to right now. Can you find 2 days in the week that you can spare 30 minutes to devote to exercising? Maybe even 3? Working out 2-3 days isn’t as often as 5, but it’s definitely better than 0. Just by setting aside this 1 hour out of your whole week, you just saved yourself from potentially giving up on your goal completely.

 

In addition to this, it is also important to set reasonable goals in the first place. If you try and set resolutions that you know you are not able to commit to 100%, you are setting yourself up to fail and who would want to do that? Instead of telling yourself, you are going to lose 100 pounds this year, knowing you are not the type of person who has hours and hours to commit to the gym each week, start smaller by trying to lose 20 pounds in 6 months. If you find that you really are consistent and on track, then think about raising it to 30 or 35 pounds in that 6-month time frame.

 

Not only will this be healthier for your body, but it will also be healthier for your mind. Pacing yourself and setting realistic standards for yourself can drastically change your attitude when going into a goal! Plus, an added benefit is that if you are able to easily crush each smaller goal, it won’t feel like it was such a struggle to get to the bigger one! We get more out of life when we keep the commitments we make to ourselves.

 

As Hillel, the Elder once said, “If not now, when?” I challenge you to start those New Year’s Resolutions today.

 

Healing From Loss

I find myself in grief again, with the knowing that this will not be the last time I experience loss.  I am also reminded that loss is not just the loss of someone, although that loss may well be the most impactful; it can also be the loss of love, of respect, of connection, understanding, adoration, community, and so on.  With each and any loss there is a process we may find ourselves immersed in.  It may move in different stages, or not.  It may last awhile, or not.  It may ebb and flow, or not.  But one thing I have found with all of the losses that have arrived in my life, is that they have always come with some form of pain.

I have been in the presence of end of life transition many times in my life.  Present at the very moment that the life force energy of an individual, as well as an animal, has left for good.  I have seen the last breath taken, witnessing the exact moment that a living being has left their respective physical form.  I have seen that process be a great struggle, and I have witnessed it as a great gift, and the in between.  I have witnessed this shift, if you will, be comforted by those holding space for the one transitioning, and comfort being provided by those leaving to those who will be left behind.  It is an organic process that has many ways of unfolding and expressing itself.  In my humble experience, there is no one way for this all to come about.

And in this understanding I have equally understood that there is no one way to feel the pain of this either.  For it may come firstly, even before the actually loss has occurred, as a soft knowing of what is to come.  And in that first soft knowing, that may not actually be consciously known, it may then continue as a gentle feeling of tenderness, vulnerability, perhaps growing into an ache, soreness around the heart, a sinking in the gut, a heaviness of the mind.  Then the moment arrives when the actual loss is realized and the breath, feeling as if it has been sucked from your lungs, leaves you with the feeling that you can barely breathe.  Your neck becomes stiff, your back pulls, barely able to hold itself up, your shoulders experience a crushing feeling unable to support the heavy weight of your grief.  It is a complete and utter full body and mind experience.  And then it is over.  They have gone, or the “it” situation has gone, the moment of losing whatever it was you lost has left forever, and you are now left with how to heal.

How to heal; do we even know where to begin?  Do we really understand how to allow ourselves permission to begin the process of knowing what we so desperately need to heal?  Do we honor the Body, Mind connection?  What will we do in this moment?  What have we done for moments like this?  What will we do now?

For me, I will feed myself good food.  I will give my body the care it needs.  I will give my mind the comfort and tenderness it desires.  I will be authentically bold and courageous in doing all of these things.  And in doing so, may I be so humble as to hope, this “doing” will inspire others to do the same.

Chiropractic care helps our body function in the way it is meant to.  It assists in restoring the optimal body mind connection that we are meant to experience for a life well lived.  A life that is capable of supporting all that arises, however challenging.  Getting adjusted will be part of my healing process.  May it be part of yours, if you so find yourself in need of healing, if you so find yourself in a body that has stored grief which may have manifested in pain.  Be well.