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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Gut/Brain Connection


Bottom Line:

If you have ever had “butterflies” or have been stressed to the point of your stomach hurting, you’ve experienced the gut/brain connection firsthand. Even the thought of food can activate your digestive system because it’s intimately connected with your brain and central nervous system. They are in constant communication, sending messages back and forth. So not only can stress make your stomach hurt, but your stomach hurting can actually stress you out!

Why it Matters:

Researchers have discovered that people with digestive issues may actually experience pain more acutely due to the sensitivity in their gut. Any added stress can cause this pain to seem even more intense. Some of the most common gut and digestive system issues related to stress are heartburn, abdominal cramping, and bloating. The good news is, researchers also found that people who were able to reduce stress have seen significant improvement in their digestive complaints.

- Your brain and gut are continually communicating, with your mood affecting your gut and your gut affecting your mood.
- Digestive issues like heartburn, abdominal cramps, and bloating can all occur due to stress.
- Reducing daily stress has been shown to improve many of those digestive issues significantly.

Next Steps:

Gut and digestive issues can place a tremendous amount of stress on your daily life. By reducing your stress with a combination of exercise, diet, and Chiropractic care, you give your gut the best opportunity to stay balanced and happy. If you have any questions about your gut health, let us know! We’re happy to help you find a natural solution!

Science Source:

Harvard Health Publishing. Healthbeat. 2018
Johns Hopkins Medicine. The Gut-Brain Connection. 2018



Tuesday, November 6, 2018

How Digestion Works


Bottom Line:

Our modern diet and lifestyle have been linked to a variety of digestive issues. The overall health of your digestive system is closely tied to the food you eat, the exercise you get, and your overall stress levels.

Your digestive system is a group of organs that take the food you eat and turn it into energy and nutrients for your body. The digestive system interacts with your nervous systems, immune system, endocrine system, and others to help regulate its function.


Why it Matters:

Perhaps what’s most interesting about digestion is that it actually starts in your brain! Your hypothalamus coordinates your appetite and how much food you eat. For example, if you are tired or are stressed out, the chemicals in your brain may influence you to eat more than usual in an attempt to find balance. We call this, you guessed it, “cravings.”


- Your digestive system is a complex network of organs, systems, tissues, and nerves controlled by your brain.
- Turning the food you eat into fuel for your body is the primary job of your digestive system.
- You can get rid of your food cravings by getting regular exercise and reducing your overall stress.


Next Steps:

Understanding that cravings are caused by a variety of physiological factors, and not just willpower, is the first step to controlling them. The next step is making a decision on which factors you want to impact this week - maybe it’s beginning a new exercise routine or finding ways to reduce daily stress in your life. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you are able to take control of your cravings by making a few smart decisions with your lifestyle!

Science Source:

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Your Digestive System & How it Works. 2018
Mayo Clinic. See How Your Digestive System Works. 2018


Thursday, October 25, 2018

Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep


Bottom Line:

Staying up late one night usually only results in feeling a little tired the next day, but when this happens day after day, it can really start to negatively affect your life. Research has shown that a lack of proper sleep can result in irritability, increased stress, a weakened immune system, and even joint pains. However, by developing a few healthy habits, you’ll be able to ensure that your brain and body get the rest the deserve, so you are ready to have a productive next day.


Why it Matters:

Practicing a relaxing nighttime ritual, such as powering down your electronics and reading a book, can help prepare your body for a good night's sleep - and don’t forget the TV. While some people like to sleep with the television on, researchers have found that minimizing background noise can actually help your brain get more rest. In our own office, we’ve also heard from countless patients that they get a better night’s sleep after getting adjusted, which makes sense considering the numerous benefits of Chiropractic care. 

- Wind down for approximately 30 minutes before bed by turning off your electronics.
- Minimize background noise to help your brain get much-deserved rest.
- Many patients report a more restful sleep after getting adjusted.


Next Steps:

Looking for more tips on how you can get a better night's sleep? Come to our upcoming workshop where we’ll teach you about the best sleep position for your spine, how sleep helps your immune system stay strong, and how Chiropractic care can decrease the stress you hold in those muscles supporting your neck and shoulders. If you want to Sleep Better Tonight, then this workshop is for you!

Science Source:

Harvard Health Publishing. Harvard Medical School 2018
EOS Sleep Centers. Dr. David Volpi


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Best Sleep Position


Bottom Line:

One of the most common questions we get from patients is: “What's the best sleeping position?” Considering you spend nearly one-third of your life sleeping, this is an important question to ask! Top researchers have found one of the best positions to sleep is on your side with your head supported, shoulders centered, and a pillow between your legs. This allows for the best alignment of your spine and reduces the pressure on your neck, low back, hips, and legs – all of which leads to a more restful night of sleep.

Why it Matters:

Sleeping is the time where your body can maximize rest and recovery. Not only can a lack of sleep cause grogginess the next day, but chronic sleep issues can lead to depression, insomnia, and even make aches and pains worse! If you have ever woken up with a “crick” in your neck, you know how taxing an awkward sleeping position can be on your spine. Maintaining a neutral position and keeping your spine in alignment overnight is an essential part of waking up energized and ready to conquer the day.

- Chronic sleep disturbances have been linked to depression and many common pain syndromes.
- Maintaining proper spinal alignment at night can decrease your aches and pains.
- Sleeping on your side with your head and legs supported is the best sleep position for your spine.



Next Steps:

Tonight, when you lie in bed, take a look and make sure your nose and belly button are in alignment. If they are, it’s a good sign your spine is in both an optimal and comfortable sleep posture. Then, take a small pillow and place it between your knees to give your legs and hips that proper added support. Following these quick tips will help you get into the best position to have a great night's sleep.

Science Source:

National Sleep Foundation. www.sleep.org
Harvard Health Publishing. Harvard Medical School 2018


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Sleeping Well Can Keep You Healthy


Bottom Line:

New research has shown that not only can a good night’s sleep keep you mentally sharp, but it can also help you stay healthy by strengthening your immune system. For years physicians have believed that sleep supports the healing process, and now new evidence has been discovered that indicates sleep also plays a role in regulating your immune function. Your immune system is the complex network of cells, tissues, and organs that protect your body from disease, so keeping that system functioning at its highest level is very important to your overall health and wellness.


Why it Matters:

While you’re asleep, your central nervous system is in constant communication with your immune system. Many immune system functions operate on a 24 hour cycle, just like your sleep schedule. In fact, your T-cells, which are some of the most important immune cells, are very, very active while you’re asleep. Everyone may not require the same amount of sleep, but the research is clear: getting a good night's sleep will help bolster your immune system.

- Your body uses sleep as its time to rest and recover.
- Sleep patterns are tightly linked to your immune function.
- Chronic sleep issues promote inflammation and pain.


Next Steps:

Sleeping well has been proven to be an essential part of staying healthy. Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, can make it extremely difficult to get a good night's sleep and leave you feeling tired and sleepy all day. If you have experienced difficulty sleeping, let us know. We have an upcoming workshop where we’ll be discussing not only the causes of many of these issues, but also the action steps you can take to FINALLY get a great night of sleep!

Science Source:

Sleep and immune function. European Journal of Physiology. 2012


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Adjusting Your Sleep Schedule


Bottom Line:

Neck and back pain are the most common reasons people experience sleep disturbances. Patients talk about sleeping on the floor, or sleeping in a lazy boy, or even sleeping bent over their bed attempting to get into a position that helps them get those few precious moments of rest and relief. Talk about a pain! All you want is the ability to get some rest, yet every position seems to make things feel worse. Well, don’t worry - you’re in the right place to get back on track!

Why it Matters:

Your body needs rest to heal.  If you are in pain, it can be challenging to find a comfortable position to rest. As Chiropractors, we understand this better than anyone. Chiropractic care has been shown to increase your spinal range of motion, decrease inflammation, and even reduce the pressure on the delicate nerves exiting your spinal column - all of which will make it much easier to find a comfortable sleep position.

- Finding a comfortable position to sleep when you’re in pain can be difficult.
- Adjustments reduce the stress on your spine, helping you more easily find a comfortable position to sleep.
- Sleep is essential to healing because your body is better able to accelerate the healing process when properly rested.


Next Steps:

If stress has kept you up at night, you're not alone. However, you can rest easy knowing you’re in the right place! Chiropractic adjustments can help reduce the stress in the muscles supporting your head and neck, allowing you to experience a more comfortable - and more restful - night of sleep.

Science Source:
Neurophysiologic effects of spinal manipulation in patients with chronic low back pain. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 2011



Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Connection Between Posture and Headaches


Bottom Line:

Ergonomics is the study of the posture and positioning of your body. It sounds pretty boring until you consider that millions of people are suffering from headaches every day that are related to their posture! Whether it’s an assembly line, a computer, a tablet, or your phone, you’re likely spending a lot of time looking down. Research has found that up to 20 pounds of pressure is placed on the neck for every inch the chin extends forward or down. This increased pressure can irritate the tissues of the neck leading to everything from premature degenerative changes to chronic headaches.

Why it Matters:

Maintaining a healthy posture not only helps reduce the stress and pressure on the spinal joints of your neck, it also helps dramatically reduce your headaches. The first step in regaining proper posture is to establish normal motion. This is why Chiropractic adjustments are likely to become your new best friend! Our care is focused on finding the areas of your spine that aren’t moving correctly and gently helping them regain their normal range of motion. After we’ve worked with you to restore proper movement, we can then focus on strengthening the muscles that support your neck and back. This personalized type of care is how we’ve been able to help many people (just like you!) establish better posture and reduce the frequency and severity of their headaches.

-       Every inch of forward head posture adds up to 20 lbs. of pressure on your neck.
-       This added pressure can contribute to tension headaches.
-       Research has shown that Chiropractic care can dramatically improve your posture and, in turn, reduce your headaches.


Next Steps:

Take a look around your workstation the next time you’re at the office. Is it set up in a way that's ergonomically correct? If not, or if you're not sure, just let us know! We would be happy to set up a time to come to your office, evaluate your workplace, and share our specific recommendations to help keep you and everyone you work with feeling great! 


Science Source:

Evidence-Based Guidelines for the Chiropractic Treatment of Adults with Headache. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. Volume 34, Number 5. 2011
Efficacy of Manual and Manipulative Therapy in the Perception of Pain and Cervical Motion in Patients with Tension-Type Headache: A Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. (2014) 13, 4-13