Who’s Watching out for your Kids?

If you are a parent, or if you are a child, you should be aware that what you eat and drink can have a significant effect on your health. Are watching out for the health of your children?energy drinks

One study showed that between 2009 and 2011 there were 4854 calls to poison control centers regarding energy drinks. 51% of these calls were involving children. Another study shows the link between energy drinks and cardiac events among teens. This study recommends that teens consume no more than one 250 ml energy drink per day and not before or during sports or exercise. A 2016 study showed that 18-40-year-olds who drank energy drinks had a significant increase in their QTc interval, which is a marker of abnormal heart rhythm risk. Abstract.

But in the United States, where the consumption of energy drinks has been linked to multiple deaths, there remains little regulation of the products.

The drinks first hit the market as “dietary supplements” under the Food and Drug Administration, a classification that allowed makers to sell the products without revealing the ingredients — generally exceedingly high levels of caffeine and sugar, with additives like taurine, guarana, or ginseng.

Since entering the U.S. market in the late 1990s, they’ve exploded in America, yielding $25 billion in sales in 2016 alone. One of the fastest-growing beverage markets, experts now say the energy-drink segment is projected to reach $84.8 billion by 2025.

Red Bull, the first energy drink in the U.S., dominates the market, followed by Monster, and then smaller brands like Rockstar and Nos. With brightly colored ads and labels, the companies have been criticized for gearing their marketing to kids. Although the companies deny targeting youth, a 2014 study from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity found that teenagers watched 30 percent more Red Bull and five-hour-energy ads than adults.

As the drinks began to take off in America, the negative health effects in the demographic guzzling them — namely, kids — began to skyrocket. As early as 2005, a toxicologist tracked 4,500 caffeine-related calls to poison control, half of them for people under the age of 19.

According to “The Caffeine Informer”, here are the Top 14 Dangers of Energy Drinks:

Cardiac Arrest
Headaches and Migraines
Insomnia
Drug Interaction
Addiction
Risky behavior
Jitters and Nervousness
Vomiting
Allergic Reactions
High Blood Pressure
Niacin Overdose
Stress Hormone Release

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a clinical report warning pediatricians that energy drinks were “never appropriate” for kids, pointing to “harmful effects” on the “developing neurologic and cardiovascular systems” in children and adolescents who consume high levels of caffeine.

In 2013, it looked as though the days of unregulated energy drink use among kids might be numbered. In “The Use of Caffeine in Energy Drinks,” 18 doctors, researchers, and public health experts from across the United States called on then-FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to put pressure on Red Bull, Monster, and others to label their products and require that they provide evidence that the drinks are safe for kids.

Instead, as reported by the New York Times that year, the companies simply changed the classification of their products from dietary products to beverages. The change included a concession by energy-drink makers — in that beverages must include the caffeine count — but offered a bigger reward for them: Because their products were now considered drinks, they would not have to disclose potential injury or death related to their consumption.

The following year, the World Health Organization released a study stating that “increased consumption of energy drinks may pose danger to public health, especially among young people.” The authors suggested that countries regulate the levels of caffeine in the drinks, as well as create rules against young people buying them. “There is a proven potential negative effect on children [and] there is the potential for a significant public health problem in the future,” the authors concluded.

Since then, despite increasingly troubling reports, little has been done to curb the use of them in this demographic. Today, kids of all ages have free rein to consume drinks with sky-high levels of caffeine, with just one having the equivalent of 15 sodas. The effects, in some cases, still prove deadly. Education is vital towards protecting the health of your children and you!

Why Shoulder that Burden?

Shoulder pain is common. If fact, it’s highly likely that many of you reading this currently have or have had a shoulder injury, as studies suggest that about 90% of us will tear our rotator cuff, labrum, and/or capsule at some point in time during our lives. So why is this so common? More importantly, what can be done about this?

The reason for the high prevalence of shoulder pain is due to the anatomy of the shoulder. The shallow “socket” allows for the shoulder’s great range of motion, but with this excellent mobility comes a decrease in stability, as a joint can’t be BOTH stable AND highly mobile. 
So from a prevention standpoint, consider the following: 1) Don’t reach into the back seat to lift your heavy briefcase or purse to the front seat. 2) Take “mini-breaks” when working overhead. 3) Follow an exercise program that maintains strength in your shoulders. 4) Get help when you know the task you’re about to attempt is going to be a challenge. This list could go on and on but the last point is crucial: don’t feel insecure about asking for help with difficult tasks! As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
An important goal regarding recovery from a shoulder injury involves restoring the joint space between the ball and socket joint and the “roof” of the shoulder or acromion process (or “acromiohumeral distance”, or AHD). A shoulder impingement injury typically occurs when this space is reduced, resulting in a tighter fit that pinches pain-sensitive structures when one attempts to raise their arm up over their head.
To reduce impingement, try the popular “pendular exercise” by holding a 5-15 lbs (2.26-6.80 kg) weight so that the arm swings loosely like the pendulum of a clock. The weight pulls the shoulder joint open, reducing impingement. Another exercise is gripping the seat of a chair while leaning to the opposite side (focus on relaxing the shoulder while leaning) to open or separate the joint. If these exercises are not helping, the problem could run deeper. If you or someone you know experiences chronic shoulder pain, suggest they schedule a chiropractic assessment, to see if chiropractic care can help correct the problems.

News of the Weird

I just read an article I saw came across as a feed in BuzzFeed titled, “27 Pillboxes and organizers that will make your life so much easier.”drugs

As I skimmed the article and read the comments below it, I was saddened by several thoughts. One is the realization that this article may be read by millions of people who take multiple medications every day. Two is that I began thinking of the opiod epidemic sweeping our country, and how for so many people, this is their reality. Just last week, I read an article that drug manufacturers over the last decade shipped over 20 million pain pills to two pharmacies in a town in West Virginia of just under 3000 people. That’s over 6,666 pills per person. Now I understand the need for new and larger pill boxes.

Bear with me as a I share some of the normalization of our country’s drug crisis. One of the cases comes with inspirational sayings, such as “everything’s going to be OK.” Actually everything’s NOT going to be OK!  According to the CCHR, Citizens Commission on Human Rights, 65 high profile cases of mass shootings/murder have been committed by individuals under the influence of these drugs, including the recent Las Vegas mass shootings, the worst mass shooting in US history.

Another pill box says in large letters, “Arsenic – Poison”, with a skull and crossbones. I believe the thinking is that you do not want someone to take your drugs, so the sign implies “keep out!”. Once again, I do not really get the humor intended.

Lastly, there is the essential “Smiling Cat Face” pillbox, just to keep things light. The reality is the overdosing of Americans is a serious matter. According the the National Institute of Health, accidental overprescription drug deaths and incorrect prescription medication deaths are now the THIRD leading cause of death in this country, after heart disease and cancer. Almost a million people a year are dying unnecessarily.

What are your options? For starters, know that you have the power to heal from the inside out. You were created with an inborn intelligence that is working 24/7 to help every muscle, organ, system, tissue and cell properly communicate with your brain. Stresses, which are comprised of physical, emotional, and chemical, will prevent your body from optimally communicating with your brain, which happens trillions of times every second of your life. Medications are a chemical stress which make it harder for your inborn intelligence to work the best it can. Why create blockages in your Nervous System pathway which makes it harder for your to function and heal optimally? Chiropractic is the worlds’ largest DRUGLESS profession.

Why spend your hard earned money on something so unneccessary as pillbox with cute sayings or a cat face? As you’re now regaining your health the natural way, why not spend your money on a new pair of hiking boots or a new bike helmet? Now that’s a great investment! If someone you know and care about is heading down a path of dependency on drugs and medication, please show them that you care about them and tell them about healthier ways to improve their health and life.

 

This IS a Laughing Matter

Many people that choose to receive care in my office are suffering from challenging health problems. Two that come to mind have extremely challenging health problems. What I admire about both of these extraordinary people is how they use humor to help them through their healing process. laughter

I have seen first hand how important humor is, not only to help navigate through health challenges, but to help enjoy life to its fullest. One of the stories I remember when I began chiropractic school was that of Norman Cousins, author of “Anatomy of an Illness”. In short, Norman, who was an editor for the Saturday Evening Post, developed a denegerative disease while on a trip to Cold War Soviet Union in the 1960’s. He was given a prognosis of a few months to live. He decided to cure himself by taking large doses of Vitamin C and watching television shows such as Candid Camera, Marx Brothers movies and Three Stooges. “Miraculously”, he made a full recovery.

How are you using humor and laughter in your life? Personally, if I do not experience laughter at least ten times a day, I am not living. Humor is a major part of my day. Are you surrounding yourself with funny people or funny situations? Are you able to laugh at yourself out loud? Do you find humor easily in life? If you are answering “no” to any of these questions, I challenge you to make it a point to bring more laughter into your life.

Laughter will help you get through the challenging times in your life.

Laughter will enrich the fun times in your life.

Laughter will help others around you live a happier life.

Laughter will provide more energy for you.

Laughter will help your digestion.

Laughter will help you focus on more important things in your life.

Laughter will help you sleep better.

Give it a try. I am sure once you begin to bring laughter more into your life, you will never turn back.

If you are challenged, you can see me and I will give you a “prescription” for ten belly laughs a day.

5 Ways to Improve your Posture

Let’s face it. Your posture is a window into how your body is functioning. All you need to do is go to a busy store and look at people’s posture, and you can make a quick judgement on who seems healthy and who doesn’t.yoga

Research shows that poor posture can affect lung capacity, heart function, and overall life expectancy!1,2

That’s in addition to the commonly experienced problems such as neck and upper back tension and pain, headaches, energy loss, and sleeping problems. What steps can you take towards improving your posture? Here are five easy steps you can take to improve your posture, your organ function, your energy level, and your life expectancy:

1 Simple stretching  – 

Simple stretching – when your head is in a forward position from the center of your body, it is important to emphasize extension, or backward movement of your head. Stand erect, bend your head forward for a few seconds, then bring your head backwards for a five seconds. You want to engage both movements but emphasize the backward movement for a longer time. Go back and forth five times, two or three times per day. Only go backward to your limit. See how that improves over a few weeks.

2 Yoga – Simple yoga postures that everyone can do.

Cat/Cow – on your hands and knees on the floor. Cat – inhale, arch up like a cat, hold for five seconds, then cow, exhale, let your belly sink to the floor. Hold for five seconds. Repeat five times two to three times per day.

Speaking of yoga, keep an eye on our upcoming “Yoga, Muffins and Mimosas” that I will be hosting at the newly opened Yoga Pod just a few doors down on 30th Street. You definitely will want to be there. 

3 Fuller breathing – Esther Gokhale produces a great program on posture and awareness. Here is a tip from her on breathing.

Lengthen your spine: Adding extra length to your spine is easy, Gokhale says. Being careful not to arch your back, take a deep breath in and grow tall. Then maintain that height as you exhale. Repeat: Breathe in, grow even taller and maintain that new height as you exhale. “It takes some effort, but it really strengthens your abdominal muscles,” Gokhale says.

4 You and your Phone – Think about how many times a day and for how long a time you look down at you phone. Or maybe you don’t want to think of that. Constantly craning your neck down to stare at your phone is damaging your posture. Try holding your phone in front of you instead of bending your head down, and similarly propping your tablet up perpendicular to the table if you’re just reading.

5 Workstation ergonomics – Your desktop position, your laptop position, your chair and your position in your chair are all important factors regarding your seated posture. Here is a LINK to give you some tips on proper ergonomics.

Oh, am I forgetting something? Yes, your Network chiropractic care! I have been so fortunate to witness thousands of patients’ posture improve over the years through a healthier functioning Nervous System. If you are currently under care, great for you! If not, take action now to prevent an unhealthy future. Pain, tension, and diseaase are not the place you want to end up.

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16571389

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15450042

Catching Kayla

Today I was flipping through TV when I came across a show I viewed a few months ago. “Catching Kayla” is about Kayla Montgomery, then a high school girl who was a runner who noticed that her legs were going numb during her runs.  The show, which you can also see on You Tube, profiled her battle with Multiple Sclerosis. runner

The show defines Multiple Sclerosis as a disease that causes nerve damage and interference in communication between her brain, spinal cord and legs.What happens to Kayla is that she starts a race out fine, and then her legs go numb. At the end of the race, her coach is at the finish line and catches her and carries her to the infield so she can regain the feeling in her legs. Hey, isn’t that the role of your Nervous System, to regulate and optimize all communication pathways between your brain, spinal cord, spinal nerves and the rest of your body?

It’s an interesting situation. Obviously, losing feeling in your legs is a bad situation. For Kayla, not feeling her legs getting tired may give her an advantage. I felt the emotion of the show, which culminates with Kayla winning State titles in Cross Country, indoor track and outdoor track in her senior year. Oops, spoiler alert!

One of the points I felt was interesting was the defining of Multiple Sclerosis as a disease that causes nerve damage and interference in communication between her brain, spinal cord and legs. Isn’t that the role of chiropractic? To increase the communication pathway between your brain, your spinal cord, and every part of your body? Every muscle, every organ, every system, everything!

You do not have to be Kayla Montgomery to take the steps towards increasing the essential pathway between brain, spinal cord and the rest of your body. You do not have to have Multiple Sclerosis, or headaches, neck pain, or digestive problems to want to optimize the function of your Nervous System. Actually, everyone can benefit from having a healthier functioning Nervous System. Who does not wish for a better way to regulate and optimize the communication between your brain, spinal cord, and the rest of you?

Seeing the impact that Multiple Sclerosis is having on Kayla Montgomery made me feel more passionate about helping everyone make sure that their Nervous System is functioning the best it can so that you can be at your best physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

Want to Live Longer? Listen to what your Mother Tells you.

Here’s the scenario: I show a patient their posture pictures and the person sees their head leaning forward, and says to me, “My mom has been on my case my whole life to stand up straighter!” old woman

So we have a laugh about it, but it is no laughing matter. The reason these patients were not able to stand up straighter is because their bodies do not permit them to! It’s not because they are lazy and do not want to. It’s because their spinal structure has adapted unsuccessfully over the course of their life, and this is the way their body compensates.

You may think, other than it not looking attractive, what is the health risk of having your head leaning forward? That’s a great question, and here’s the answer:

Imagine your head the weight of a 10 pound bowling ball.

Imagine your head leaning forward 10 or 20 degrees. Do you think this makes your head lighter or heavier? Of course the answer is heavier. How much heavier?

Research has shown that for every degree your head leans forward, that’s an extra pound of weight that needs to be supported by your neck and upper back muscles and spinal column. So, if your head is 20 degrees forward, you are supporting 30 pounds compared to 10 pounds in a healthy spine.

If this pattern were to continue over 20 or 30 years, how could this affect your long term health? In the September 23, 2004 issue of Journal of American Geriatrics Society, a study was done on over 1300 geriatrics. The results of the study showed that geriatrics with a hyperkyphotic curve, that means a greater exaggeration of the upper back curve, developed by a forward leaning head, INCREASED MORTALITY BY UP TO 14 YEARS!

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1532-5415.2004.52458.x/full

Why? One reason is that the stress of a forward leaning head over a long period of time will result in reduced blood and nerve supply to your heart, and the reason given in the study is hyperkyphotic posture was specifically associated with an increased rate of death due to atherosclerosis.

Reduced nerve supply and reduced blood flow to your heart is serious business. This is why I have been using a digital posture analysis in my health practice for years. Your posture is a window into the function of your Nervous System.

Poor posture means poor Nervous System function.

Poor Nervous System function means poor ability to adapt, thrive and heal.

Poor ability to adapt, thrive and heal is a recipe for sickness, illness and disease.

Show me someone with poor posture who exhibits amazing health. Show me someone with poor posture with lots of energy and stamina.

Maybe your mother was right after all!