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

What’s Wrong with Her?

A few weeks ago, I was adjusting a little girl who receives care here with her Mom and Dad. After they had left, another patient, who witnessed the little girl getting adjusted, asked me, “What’s wrong with her.”kid-2815780_1920 (1)

I asked what she meant. Her response inferred there was a health problem with her, like headaches, low back pain, or neck pain, or anxiety. I replied that there was nothing “wrong” with her, that she did not have any symptoms, that her Mom and Dad bring her here for the same reasons that they receive care here. They want their daughter’s Nervous System to be functioning at its most optimal level, so that she can continue to function physically, emotionally, and psychologically at her best level of performance, and so that her body can continue to heal itself at its best level possible.

For many people, chiropractic care is synonymous with the correction of physical problems, whether it’s pain, like headaches, neck pain, or low back pain, and/or emotional problems, such as anxiety, depression, and energy loss. Yes, it’s true, many people begin to receive chiropractic care due to health problems that have reached the tipping point, where it becomes difficult to continue with their life.

What is also true is that chiropractic care has very little to do with helping you FEEL better. It has everything to do with helping you FUNCTION better. Once you function better, then EVERYTHING about you can begin to work better, whether it’s physical or emotional. So when a little girl is on the table receiving her adjustment, my goal is to help EVERYTHING about her work better, so that she does not grow up with the SAME PROBLEMS as her Mom and Dad did. My goal is to help EVERYONE function better so that they can heal at an improved capacity from how they did the day or week or month before.

Just think, if you continue to climb the ladder of health, week after week, month after month, year after year, where you can be in six months, or a year, or five years?

As far as all my young lives receiving their life enhancing adjustments, I would like to see the next generations’ health at a higher level than the generation of today. Chiropractic care can go a long way to ensuring that that becomes a reality.

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.

Do you Think This is a Good Investment?

What are your most important investments?

Planning your financial freedom?investing

Planning for a comfortable retirement?

How about investing in your child’s college education?

We would both agree those are very important considerations. However, what is appropriate for investing in your health?

A more important question is, why is it important?

I recently read an article about a professional football player, James Harrison. A few facts about James Harrison:

-He is 39 years old, and a linebacker, which is unheard of in the rigorous physicality of the National Football League. Most stars who play his position and other positions have either hung it up or are past their prime and of no use for teams.

-He was elected as the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year and Linebacker of the Year by NFL Alumni in 2008.

-Earned five straight Pro Bowl selections (2007-11)

In summary, James is no slouch!

What is unique about James is the care he has for his health and his life. He spends over $300,000 of HIS money every year on his health care.

For his muscles to handle the lifting sessions and the NFL grind, Harrison says he needs an acupuncturist, a dry needlist, three massage therapists, two chiropractors and a person who does cupping. He flies them to all his games and sees each of them at least once per week.

It is estimated that Harrison has made over $70 million over the course of his 14 years in the league.

As Harrison puts it, “When it comes down to it, what I make versus what I spend, the payout is worth it based on how I feel.”

How can you apply this to your own life? What is it worth for you to be the healthiest you can be so that you can maximize your earning potential, and function and feel the best you can?

That’s something only you can answer, but when you read a story like Harrison’s, it makes sense to protect the greatest investment you have, your health!

More or Less?

Is it human nature to want more of something, or less of something? If you use money as an example, the answer is obvious. You want more. How about vacation time? Once again, you want more.Joy1

What about health? Isn’t it true that if you have headaches, your goal would be to have less? Or neck pain? You want less of that! Or digestive problems, you want less of that! Anxiety and stress? Again, definitely less!

What would happen if you shift your paradigm to wanting MORE? I do not mean more headaches, or more neck pain, or more digestive problems, but I mean the MORE that comes with having a better functioning Nervous System and greater health. As you regain your health,

How about more energy?

What about more happiness?

Are you up for more ease in your life?

Who wouldn’t want more flexibility?

What would you be able to accomplish with more motivation?

How would your life be more amazing with more gratitude?

How much better would your life by with more compassion?

The model that has been created in our “health care” system is one of “LESS”. You want less pain, less anxiety, less tightness, less stress, less sleeping problems. Now, once you start on a path towards greater function and greater healing capacity, and your problems go away, what paradigm do you adopt? Do you think, “All my problems have gone away, I’m done?” With the changing of seasons, this is a great time to begin to think about “What do I want MORE of”, or “What have I been experiencing MORE of?”

There is so much personal power when you begin to realize that you are more energized, more in touch spiritually, more focused on your goals, more present in your relationships, more playful, more adaptable, more able to express happiness for others, and more energized!

There is much less power in living the lifestyle of having less headaches, less stress, less tightness. They are important benchmarks, but if you live this paradigm, you will soon plateau in your self assessment of your health and life. Where can you go up from there?

I want you to go for it and create the most powerful list of MORE’s that you can think of. I am here to support you in your transformation from wanting LESS of something to wanting MORE. Let me know how you’re doing in your process. Additionally, if you know someone who is struggling in not being able to reach the goal of achieving LESS of their problems, please share me with them. I would love to help them shift their paradigm from less to more.

How Good of a Manager are You?

Whether it is down to work pressure, money worries or relationship troubles, most of us experience stress at some point in our lives. In fact, around 75% of people report experiencing moderate to high levels of stress over the past month. It is well known that stress can cause sleep problems, headache and raise the risk of depression. Here are some important ways in which stress can affect your health.

It is our response to this fight-or-flight response that determines our ability to successfully adapt, and thus, our ability to be healthy.stress free

“Stress is caused by the loss or threat of loss of the personal, social and material resources that are primary to us. So, threat to self, threat to self-esteem, threat to income, threat to employment and threat to our family or our health,” Stevan Hobfoll, PhD, the Judd and Marjorie Weinberg presidential professor and chair at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL, and member of the American Psychological Association (APA), told Medical News Today.

Stress levels ‘too high’ in Americans

An annual survey by the APA, completed by 3,068 adults in the US during August 2014, revealed that the primary cause of stress among Americans is money, with 72% of respondents reporting feeling stressed about finances at some point over the past month. Of these, 22% said they had felt “extreme stress” in the past month as a result of money worries.

The second most common cause of stress among Americans was found to be work, followed by the economy, family responsibilities and personal health concerns.

On a positive note, average stress levels among Americans have decreased since 2007. On a 10-point scale, respondents rated their stress levels as 4.9, compared with 6.2 in 2007. However, the APA say such levels remain significantly higher than the 3.7 stress rating we consider to be healthy.

I know that when I ask new patients about their recent stress levels, a typical rating is anywhere from 6-10 with 10 being the worst, so if 3.7 is considered healthy, you need to develop the strategies to be able to ADAPT more successfully, as opposed to having less stress.

“[Last] year’s survey continues to reinforce the idea that we are living with a level of stress that we consider too high,” says Norman B. Anderson, CEO and executive vice president of the APA.

The surprising health implications of stress

“Stress is significantly associated with virtually all the major areas of disease,” Prof. Hobfoll told MNT. “Stress is seldom the root cause of disease, but rather interacts with our genetics and our state of our bodies in ways that accelerate disease.”

Some of the more well-known implications of stress that you may have experienced include sleep deprivation, headaches, anxiety and depression. But increasingly, researchers are uncovering more and more ways in which stress can harm our health. 

Heart health

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), stress can influence behaviors that have negative implications for heart health.Heart attack

One study found stress could increase heart attack risk by 23%.

Have you ever arrived home after a stressful day at work and reached for that bottle of wine? Many people have.

In January 2015, MNT reported on a study that found working long hours was associated with risky alcohol use, which the study researchers say is partly down to the belief that “alcohol use alleviates stress that is caused by work pressure and working conditions.”

Diabetes

You may be surprised to learn that stress has been associated with increased risk of diabetes. In January last year, a study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that women with symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – a condition triggered by very distressing events – were more likely to develop diabetes than those without PTSD.

Periods of stress increase production of the hormone cortisol, which can increase the amount of glucose in the blood – a potential explanation for why stress has been linked to higher risk of diabetes.

For people who already have diabetes, stress can lead to poorer management of the condition. As well as interfering with stress hormones and increasing blood glucose levels, the American Diabetes Association note that stressed patients with diabetes may be less likely to take care of themselves.

“They may drink more alcohol or exercise less. They may forget, or not have time, to check their glucose levels or plan good meals,” states the organization.

Alzheimer’s disease

While the exact causes of the condition are unclear, past studies have suggested that stress may contribute to its development.
A study found that for seniors with mild cognitive impairment, anxiety could speed up progression toward Alzheimer’s.

In March 2013, MNT reported on a study by researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, which found high levels of stress hormones in the brains of mice were associated with large amounts of beta amyloid plaques – proteins believed to play a role in Alzheimer’s.

Fertility

Approximately 1 in 8 couples in the US have problems getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. Increasingly, researchers are suggesting stress may be a contributing factor.

In May 2014, a study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility that found stress in men can lead to reduced sperm and semen quality, which may negatively affect fertility.

How can you protect against stress-induced health problems?

Self talk, meditation, therapy, exercise, diet improvements are all great ways to protect against stress induced health problems. My recommendation?

Get yourself under Network Care stat! Or if you are currently under care, make a commitment to continue improving your health. Research regarding atients under Network Care have shown over time the ability to have:

  • A greater ability to adapt to stress
  • Better ability to recover
  • Easier to implement diet and exercise programs
  • More eager to meditate

Doesn’t it make sense that the more you can affect your master control system, your Nervous System, the healthier you can be, and safeguard to the best of your ability, the BEST ways to adapt to STRESS.

 

When a Herniated Disc is not a Herniated Disc

Physicians, neurosurgeons, and orthopedics alike have for years provided the recommended treatment for a herniated disc – Surgery. By the way, there’s no way I could have become a neurosurgeon – I can’t even look at pictures like this!surgery

Recently, I came across an article from my friend, Dr. Danny Knowles, on research being done on Disc Regeneration, rather than Degeneration. The study, which was completed by Ming Zhong, MD, among others, published in Pain Physician, January 2017, found that lumbar disc herniation (LDH), a common disease, treated conservatively, frequently results in spontaneous resorption of the herniated disc.  Their results represent the pooled results from 11 cohort studies. The overall incidence of spontaneous resorption after LDH was 66.66%. That means over 66% of Lumbar disc herniated resolved on its own, using conservative methods.

Just think of how many people choose more aggressive methods to remedy Disc Herniations. A quick check of surgical methods for lower back disc herniations revealed over six different types of surgical procedures. I have seen over the years how my patients with herniated discs respond favorably to non invasive chiropractic care. Once again, chiropractic care does not “fix” a herniated disc, any more than chiropractic “fixes” headaches, neck pain, sleeping problems or anxiety.

However, if your Nervous System, THE most important part of you, the part of you that controls and coordinates EVERY function in your body, is not functioning at its optimal level, thereby creating subluxations that affect your body’s ability to heal itself, then you will have a more difficult time healing from a problem such as a disc herniation. The better your Nervous System functions, the better your opportunity to heal.

Surgery certainly has its place in the medical world. The question that needs to be asked is, what are you giving up in the long term for a questionable short term gain? Keeping your NeuroSpinal system healthy helps you experience more of what you want in your life: freedom, joy, movement, increased function, and greater adaptability. If someone you know and care for is experiencing disc herniations or health challenges in general, please let them know they have choices. While you are doing that, please pass my name along so they can make a better educated choice on the options they have.