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What’s REALLY in Your Fish Oil Supplement?

Fish oil supplements are more popular than ever. With an astounding average of 800mg of omega-3 fatty acids per serving, is it any surprise why?

 

We all need omega-3s to thrive, yet few people get as much as they need from their daily diet alone. In fact, recent research from Harvard University found that omega-3 fatty acid deficiency is one of the top 10 causes of death in America. This means that 96,000 Americans die highly preventable deaths each year, partly because they didn’t take enough fish oil supplements.

Tuna fish oil

If that fast fact has you leaning in, listen up — because not all fish oil supplements are equal. There are is huge variation in ingredients, freshness, purity, and even omega-3 content in the fish oil on the market, and not even health care practitioners always know the difference. It’s essential to investigate the efficacy and quality of your supplements before diving in — with minimal regulation in the supplement market, many products are mislabeled, unregulated and even made from harmful ingredients.

 

What to Look for In Fish Oil Supplements

When you look through fish oil supplements, there are five factors to consider when making your choice: freshness, nutrient content, purity, potency, and bioavailability.

  • Freshness: When overly exposed to oxygen, omega-3s can turn rancid. That makes it even more important to check freshness — specifically how old the oils you chose are. Consider sustainable sources (eg. Tuna oil).
  • Nutrient Content: While all fish oils contain EPA and DHA, special fish oils can also contain fat soluble vitamins for an extra nutritional boost.
  • Purity: Check each able to see if the fish oil in question meets international standards for heavy metals, dioxins and other ocean-bound contaminants.
  • Potency: Check the label for specifics on the levels of omega-3s present to ensure you’re getting what you really need to stay healthy.
  • Bioavailability: Nutrient content hardly matters if your body can’t take advantage of them. Make sure that the fatty acids in your supplements have a natural balance to ensure your body can properly absorb them.

 

The Fatty Acids You Need

There are two main omega-3s that make up majority of fish oil: EPAs and DHAs. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is an omega-3 found in coldwater fish like cod, herring, tuna, salmon, mackerel and sardines. In the same way, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a main structural component of the human brain and can come from the diet through fish oil, algae and even breast milk.

Both EPA and DHA are essential fatty acids — you can’t live without them, and the only way your body can get them is through food. These fatty acids are important for maintaining a healthy heart, and play an important role in the functioning of your nervous system while contributing to better moods, muscle growth, and good sleep. While both acids are essential, your body can transform EPA into DHA when necessary, making the former the most important in maintaining good health.

To ensure you’re getting the correct essential omega-3s, check the label on your fish oil supplements. The label will separate the types of omega-3’s by name.

Invest in high quality fish oil supplements and you’ll get the omega-3s you need to stay healthy. Make sure you do your research before you buy and know exactly what you’re taking. You’ll be well on your way to getting sufficient EPA and DHA — both critical building blocks to your short- and long-term health and well-being.

We prefer a Tuna Oil due to freshness, sustainability, and quality. Ask the front desk about our tuna oil options and where you may be able to purchase it.

“Organic,” “All Natural,” “Certified Organic ” and More: Is There Really a Difference?

Feel a little confused as you browse food labels on grocery store shelves? You aren’t alone. Why does organic matter? Manufacturers know healthy food is trendier than ever, and many will do whatever they can to showcase their product in the best possible light — sometimes regardless of what it really contains. 

To help you comb through the what’s-what of the grocery aisle, here’s a quick rundown of common labels and designations with clear-cut info and intel to help you make smart purchase decisions.

Organic, Fresh, No- Antibiotics...

Label me…

USDA Certified Organic:

This label always comes with the green USDA logo — and, more importantly, it’s the one standard of organic certification you can trust to mean what it implies. Only products that have been vetted by a third party to ensure compliance with organic standards can carry the seal — and that means all products with this designation must be grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, AND are free from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It’s expensive for farms to gain USDA organic certification, so the sign of certification shows the manufacturer made the commitment.   

 

“Organic” or “Made with Organic Ingredients:”

Without certification from the USDA, the term “organic” has a looser meaning. To be legally branded organic in the U.S., a food product needs to be made with a minimum of 95% organic ingredients. Food products made with at least 70% organic ingredients are instead labeled “made with organic ingredients.” However, there aren’t set standards for beauty and other personal care products, meaning that the organic label is often used as a relatively meaningless marketing strategy for them.

 

All Natural:

Despite what the term seems to imply, “all natural” only means that a food product (usually meat) wasn’t overly processed and is free of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. This term is defined loosely by the USDA, meaning that many customers assume it means more than it does. For example, “all natural” products can legally contain antibiotics and GMO ingredients.

 

“No Antibiotics Administered” or “Raised without Antibiotics:”

In the meat industry, it’s common to administer antibiotics to animals to keep them healthy while in close quarters. In contrast to this standard, these labels mean that the meat in question was raised without antibiotics — a plus for many consumers.

To ensure you’re getting what you think you are, look for the “USDA Process Verified” shield — this ensures the company’s claims were legally verified.


One side note — some products are marketed as “antibiotic free.” The USDA has never authorized this term and it has no legal meaning when used for food. Don’t assume this statement means the same as “no antibiotics administered” or “raised without antibiotics.” It doesn’t. I have heard one manufacturer tell me that “we don’t add antibiotics to our meat”. As if I would ever think that they would add antibiotics to the end product (which is dead). When I asked if the animals were given antibiotics the answer was, “we don’t add antibiotics to our meat”. I hope you see why the term “antibiotic free” holds little value in my opinion.

 

Fresh:

Often used on chicken, this term means that meat wasn’t cooled below 26 degrees F before being sold. I would say that this is up for a lot of interpretation and does not sound like I would define fresh. How long has this been in the refrigerator? Your guess is as good as mine.

 

Certified Humane:

Certified by the nonprofit Humane Farm Animal Care, this strict standard requires animals live in conditions where they have fresh water, high quality feed, lots of roaming space and are never administered antibiotics.

 

Non-GMO Project Verification Seal:

GMO products are increasingly common in food. Now, the only way to know for certain if your food is free of GMOs is to look for the Non-GMO Project seal. Developed in 2003, this verification process tests foods to ensure they are fully free of genetically modified materials.

I hope you all learned a few things about the labeling system and how you can make the best choices for your health and the health of your family.

Stop Slouching: How to Fix Bad Posture Now

Stop Slouching: How to Fix Bad Posture Now

Maybe you’re suffering from back pain. Or maybe you’ve just started to notice tensed shoulders and slouching as habits that have started to creep into your day.

Either way, it’s time to stop slouching now, before serious problems occur from your poor posture. The fact is, back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. It’s also the second most frequent reason people visit a doctor. Yikes!

If left untreated, bad posture can start to effect your daily life. But if you start to break bad habits today, you can avoid back pain altogether — and greatly improve your future quality of life!

We’re going to tell you a few tips and tricks on how to fix bad posture so you can avoid serious problems with your spine.

Straighten Up! How to Fix Bad Posture

The stress bad posture puts on your spine is a slow accumulation over time. Sometimes, people don’t even notice until the toll starts to cause serious harm.

Here’s how to get on top of your posture now to prevent pain later.

Test Your Posture… and Become Aware!

The best first step is to assess the current state of your posture. Increasing awareness in your body will help you correct bad habits more consciously during every day.

You can do this in a couple of ways. First, basic wall tests have you stand against a flat surface to evaluate the curve of your spine.

Or, you can see a professional! A structural chiropractor can get a grasp on the state of your spine to give you a better understanding of where your current posture stands. It is always important to be sure that your posture is not just a secondary condition of an underlying structural shift.

Once you’re more aware of your posture and body’s ergonomics, you can move on to the next tip.

Basic Posture Tips and Tricks

We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of easy-to-implement daily tricks for how to fix bad posture.

They’ll help you straighten up and fix nasty habits in no time! Here they are:

1. Work on your core strength.

Our spine and core are undeniably intertwined. The more support your back gets from your abdomen muscles, the less strain will be put on your delicate spine. Basic core exercises are a great start, but a targeted core exercise plan that works with your spine is essential.

2. Do some posture correcting exercises.

There are a ton of simple, easy to do exercises that help strengthen your back. Over time, they can help correct poor posture. These are always an important part of a structural correction treatment plan.

3. Evaluate your workspace.

Is your chair keeping your spine in an uncomfortable position? Is your desk at the right height? You spend a lot of time at work. Make sure your space is spine-friendly. We often recommend a sit/stand workstation along with ergonomic key board, mouse, and proper monitor position (at eye level or up to 1 inch above depending on the current state of your cervical spine structure).

4. Think about other parts of your body.

Make sure when you think about posture you aren’t purely focused on a neutral spine. Make sure your weight is being evenly distributed on each half of your body, whether it’s your feet while standing or derriere while sitting. We also recommend MOVEMENT while standing. Anyone who has had us work on their ergonomic workstation knows that I recommend having a step stool and alternating feet (think Captain Morgan’s stance).

Implement all of these simple strategies into daily life to enhance your posture. Your spine will appreciate the effort!

Tall, Proud, and Pain-Free

You’re now enabled with some knowledge on how to fix bad posture. The spine controls your nervous system, and in turn your whole body! Remember, if you have any questions or need clarification on how to implement any of these tips, please contact us.

Book a free consultation today — work towards living a back pain-free future.

Top 5 Most Popular Pregnancy Yoga Poses

Yoga is a great way to stay healthy during a pregnancy. Pregnancy yoga is a common form of exercise for expecting moms. It’s also easy and safe!

This article will cover five of the most common yoga poses pregnant moms can try today. Let’s begin!

Tailor’s Pose

This position will have you sitting on the ground, which is great for opening up the pelvic area. Find some pillows, blankets, or other things to provide a little bit of comfort as you do this pose:

  • Find a wall and sit against it. Keep your toes pointed up and together.
  • Press your knees down and away from each other.
  • Hold the position for as long as you feel comfortable.

Gently try to stretch the legs and pelvis in this position. If something starts to hurt, stop immediately.

Side Lying Position

A great resting pose if you’ve had a long day or are feeling stressed. This pose will place you on the ground:

  • Find a clear spot on the ground to lie down.
  • Gently place yourself on your side. Rest your head on your arm or a pillow.
  • Support your legs with a pillow if necessary.

This is a great pose to do some breathing exercises. Rest in this position for as long as you want.

Standing Warrior

This pose is recommended for the second trimester. It may be a little more strenuous, so take it slow:

  • Stand up on a mat or blanket.
  • Place one foot forward and raise your hands above your head. Keep your arms straight.
  • Stretch yourself forward while reaching towards the ceiling.

Hold the pose so you can feel your muscles stretch. You don’t have to hold it for very long, so release when you are ready.

Squats

As a pregnancy develops, it’s important to keep your pelvis and upper legs healthy. A good squat pose can be useful in making your lower half strong while you gain weight:

  • Stand on a mat or blanket with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Gently squat down. Hold your arms out in front of your for balance.
  • Squat down as much as you can.

Hold the position once you’ve reached your limit and then back off. As your pregnancy progresses, you can support yourself with pillows or soft furniture.

Angry Cat

This final position combines a bit of stretching with breath control. Make sure you have a soft surface like a mat or blanket to do this on:

  • Place yourself on your hands and knees.
  • Gently arch your back forward towards the ground. Breath out as you do.
  • Bring your back to the neutral position once more. Breath in.

Repeat this pose a few times while breathing in and out. This should help with stress.

Staying Healthy During Pregnancy Yoga

Pregnancy yoga should do a body good. Make sure to listen to your body as you do any of these poses. If something hurts or doesn’t feel right, stop. All of these positions should feel relaxing and natural.

For additional help or information, feel free to get in touch or check out the rest of the blog.

Surgery: One Thing You Must Know

Back Pain Treatment In The News…

You may or may not have seen the recent news conference with the coach of the Golden State Warriors, Steve Kerr about his surgery. If you did catch this conference then you probably know exactly where I am going with this blog.

Everything that I mention from here on out is focused on musculoskeletal type surgery

, although any surgery can also require a similar type of treatment. For example, a c-section is not only an organic surgery, but also VERY musculoskeletal in nature.

Anyone who has had, or will be having surgery soon should read this blog all the way through… and possibly two to three times. The lesson of this blog will have wide ranging effects on the rest of your life.

Let’s be completely transparent, I am a Structural Chiropractor. I work on the structure of the spine in order to PREVENT the need for surgery. I do not perform surgery and I would not say that I am not an alternative to surgery either (in MOST cases). It may be surprising to you that I would say that, but I can confidently say that Physical Therapists, Personal Trainers, and Surgeons are best suited to take care of surgical cases. If I find someone to be in that realm, I refer to a multitude of local EXCELLENT providers, a few of which I will share in this blog.

With that being said, I do have a few suggestions AFTER your surgery, but first I want to make MY assumptions very clear. I am assuming that you have already received a correct diagnosis and have seen multiple providers to obtain a second and in some cases, third opinion. It is your body and you should be very certain that you are making the best choice for your unique situation.

You may be asking yourself, “What the heck is that ONE THING that I must know?”.

Hang in there…

I am sharing this information not only for the benefit of the patients I work with and the community, but I have also personally dealt with the same exact PROBLEM.

What is the PROBLEM?

Rehab.

Again, this is not what I do, but I see the benefits and side effects when it is done correctly vs. incorrectly.

Most people recognize immediate post surgical physical therapy as a MUST. If you didn’t know that, then just know, it is a MUST. Following any surgery, you need to find a great physical therapist. I don’t often plug other providers, but I don’t hesitate to recommend Jessica Ortiz DPT at Eastside PT in Redmond. I have seen her great work over and over again and you will not be disappointed.

While a quality physical therapist is a must, your rehab should not end there.

NO WAY!

You need to continue building on the great foundation that your physical therapist sets for you.  You can do this by working with someone to strengthen (even further) and fine tune your movements.

For that task I recommend that my patients find a personal trainer, and NOT ANY personal trainer either.

I have four that I know do great work in our area. I know there are MANY GREAT trainers in our area, but I can only recommend those that I work with. Whether that is on a personal level or directly with my patients.

Your trainer will work to improve strength, endurance, and mobility of your musculoskeletal system to improve your quality of life now, and 10 years from now. With that being said, I have a few recommendations. I highly recommend, PJ Glassy at X-Gym in Kirkland, Amanda at ProClub in Bellevue, Josh at 24 Hour Fitness in Redmond, and Karen Grady at PIVOT in Bellevue. One of these excellent trainers can help guide you to wellness. Notice that I said “guide you” and not give you.

All of these trainers are great, but you must be committed to your own wellness as much as they are.

These trainers are all very different and if you need help choosing one vs. another, please contact my office for a COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATION.

These trainers will improve your life and lengthen it… well, kind of. Statistically speaking, you are more likely to live a longer life if you include moderate to intense physical activity. If they don’t actually lengthen your life, I would still say that your quality of life will improve in one way or another. Whether that means doing fitness competitions or just being able to play with your children is completely up to you.

There you have it! REHAB! Long term REHAB is the one thing you should know about surgery. Don’t take it lightly as you may regret this in the future. You cannot go back in time and you do not get a new body in this lifetime (not yet anyways). I know this VERY well. Get out there and take charge of your health!

If you think anyone can benefit from the information or the resources in this blog, please share! I even include convenient share buttons below. You never know how far reaching a simple share can go and you may greatly improve someone’s future.

New FDA Guidelines For SEAFOOD!

marlin

I don’t always follow EVERY guideline as it comes down the pipeline to the consumer. To be fair, most of the time I am already doing what is recommended. Other times, it doesn’t apply to me. In this case, the seafood guidelines that were released by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in January of 2017 did not apply to me at all. In fact, they NEVER will as I doubt that I will become pregnant anytime soon.

HOWEVER,

Often times I have found that the advice given to PREGNANT mothers is often great advice for most of us.

The FDA and EPA rated 60 species of fish into 3 categories that ranks fish into “best choice”, “good choice”, and “choice to avoid”.

Expectant mothers have been warned about the dangers of eating shark, king mackerel, swordfish and tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, but added to the list of “choices to avoid” are marlin, orange roughy and bigeye tuna.

I would go slightly beyond this recommendation and add this… If a fish eats OTHER fish, then it should be avoided as well.

WHY?

The larger the fish, the larger the quantities of smaller fish that it eats.  This makes it  more likely it is to be contaminated with heavy metals and other undesirable contaminants.

Another great thing about the new ratings chart is the” handy” serving size section. By following this serving size tool and applying it to ALL ANIMAL PROTEIN, it will greatly help you with portion size control.

See the chart in full detail here…HERE HERE

Sleep Positions and Posture During Pregnancy

 

pregnantbackpainLet’s face it, most people don’t have the best posture to begin with. Unless you happened to attend an old-timey finishing school where you were forced to walk around balancing a book on your head, chances are good you’re one of the many adults that slouches and suffers from back and neck pain as a result. And when you discover that you’re pregnant, you’re in for even more problems. As your body puts on weight, your posture is likely to get even worse – that is, of course, unless you become aware of the changes that your body is undergoing. If you do, you can take steps to keep your back aligned (biomechanically speaking) and correct the posture issues contributing to the decline in your spinal health.

You obviously want to maintain your overall health as much as possible for the benefit of your baby, but also for yourself. The way you position your body during pregnancy, during both waking and sleeping hours, can help to ease the heavy burden you’ll carry for the next several months, keeping you as comfortable as possible throughout the process. If you’re looking for ways to ensure a smooth(er) pregnancy, the following are just a few sleep positions and posture basics to get you started.

Sleep on Your Left Side

If you’ve read any literature pertaining to what you should expect when you’re expecting, you’ve no doubt discovered that sleeping on your stomach is a major no-no. Well, that’s just common sense. You might be more surprised, though, to learn that you should also avoid sleeping on your back. As your baby grows and you gain weight, this position can lead to labored breathing and pressure on internal organs. Sleeping on your side is best and sleeping on your left side is actually better than the right. This position aids circulation and it stops the growing baby inside you from putting undue pressure on your liver all night long.

As a side note, proper posture and spinal alignment during slumber can generally be better maintained by sleeping with a body pillow (click here for a Structurally approved body pillow). Place it between your knees and arms to keep your body in the most desirable and comfortable position.

Stand Up Straight

If you don’t want to end up looking like Igor or Quasimodo in your twilight years (don’t get me wrong, I do love them both), you should probably strive to stand up straight all of the time, but it is especially important to observe proper posture when you’re pregnant and you have an extra 20 to 40 pounds weighing you down. Standing up straight does require some amount of attention to detail, and because practice makes perfect, here are a few points to keep in mind where posture is concerned.

Hold your head straight and try to keep your earlobes aligned with your shoulders (as viewed from the side). Keep your shoulder blades pulled back (but not up – be mindful of shrugging your shoulders up as it will increase the tension in your neck). Pull your stomach up and in, and tuck your pelvis so that your back doesn’t arch. Point your feet forward and don’t lock your knees. These are the “basics”. And when you’re pregnant, try to move around frequently rather than standing in the same spot for any great duration. As always, I will gladly teach this to you during one of our complimentary consultations along with explaining how Webster technique may be able to help you.

Sit Up Straight

Sitting is seen by most patients as a chance to relax, but sinking into your favorite La-Z-Boy is nothing but an excuse to slouch. If you want to preserve your spinal health during pregnancy, it’s important that you sit up straight. If you’re having trouble doing so, try to sit in straight-back chairs and add lumbar support in the form of a lumbar pillow as mentioned below.

Support Your Lower Back

Okay, remembering to sit and stand tall is all well and good, but it does take some work. Luckily, you can cheat a bit by using lumbar support, at least when sitting. You will not find a shortage of pregnancy-related products, and that includes pillows. But you need not shell out beaucoup bucks for a specialty pillow. A sturdy bolster or even a rolled towel will do the trick. Simply position it behind your lower back when sitting for an extra measure of support. This will help you relax and feel comfortable while still maintaining proper posture. If you want an inexpensive lumbar support, HERE is an Amazon link.

Try Pregnancy Yoga

If you’re looking for ways to strengthen the areas around your belly, pregnancy yoga can be a godsend. Gentle stretching will help to relieve the aches and pains of pregnancy, while also improving circulation and minimizing swelling. Yoga routines will strengthen key areas of the body. This will allow you body to better withstand the increased burden of gravity as your baby grows.

There you have it. Just a few tips to help make your pregnancy (or someone you care about) a little more comfortable.

As a perinatal and pediatric trained chiropractor, I understand that pregnancy can come with some “different” sensations. I offer complimentary consultations to discuss structural correction and/ or Webster technique during your pregnancy. Please share with moms, moms to be and aspiring moms as they all deserve know these easy tips.

How to Improve Your Sleep

We all know the frustration that comes with insomnia: watching the clock, counting the hours till morning, and flipping through late night channels. If you suffer from frequent insomnia, you’re not alone. Approximately 30% Americans are plagued with insomnia each year and even more struggle in one way or another with sleep, such as grogginess, poor concentration. But apart from these frustrating symptoms, poor sleep habits can result in long-term medical issues, including cardiovascular disease, anxiety, and depression. Luckily, with some small changes in your habits and sleep routine, you can take control of your sleep and boost your chances of getting better rest.

Limit Your Screen Time

Despite the urge to watch Netflix in bed, try leaving your computer, tablet, or television anywhere but the bedroom. Doing so can improve your sleep, even if you don’t suffer from full-fledged insomnia. Using electronic devices, including your phone, just before bed has been linked to irregular sleep patterns and poor sleep habits. So if you find yourself waking up exhausted or tossing and turning before falling asleep, switch out your laptop for a book.

Move Your Body

An aerobic workout may be enough to tire our your body and promote deep sleep. After all, regular exercise has been found to improve patterns of insomniacs. But even a single moderately paced exercise session may help you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, at least for that night. Exercise may help with insomnia because it regulates your body temperature, reduces anxiety and depression, and helps to normalize your circadian rhythm.

Change Positions or Your Pillows

No matter how tired you are, you may find it difficult to get into a comfortable position and stay asleep. If neck pain or headaches are keeping you awake at night, you may want to re-consider your sleep position or even your pillows. After all, an individual’s reported pillow comfort is correlated with sleep quality. Aim for a position and pillow that prevents your neck from staying in neutral while you sleep. I recommend THIS PILLOW and even sell it in the office. I provided the Amazon link just in case you can save a few bucks by buying it from them. The goal is to improve your ability to get a good nights rest, not to sell you a pillow.

A good night of sleep is irreplacable

Address Pain

Aches and pain not only make it difficult to fall asleep but lead to frequent awakenings, painful mornings, and a restless night.

Unfortunately, pain and sleep may work in concert: pain can lead to poor sleep quality, and poor sleep quality can further exacerbate pain. To break free of this frustrating cycle, address the primary cause that is leading to a secondary condition of pain.

Get Checked For Sleep Apnea

If you are a snorer, wake up gasping for breath, or struggle to stay awake during the day, do yourself a favor and get checked for sleep apnea. It is a condition characterized by cessations in breathing during sleep and it is devastating to your health. Short periods of oxygen deprivation lead to numerous subsequent micro-awakenings, ones that you may not even remember. Although between three and seven percent of adults suffer from sleep apnea, very few get treatment for this potentially dangerous condition.

Consider Supplements

If all else fails, you may find yourself desperate for a good night’s rest. Hopefully you are not drawn to television advertisements for sleeping pills. Before you ask your doctor for a prescription, consider nutritional or herbal-based remedies that may help you get a better ZZZZZ’s. Look for foods that contain melatonin, including cherries. Some studies have found that melatonin supplementation reduces the time it takes to fall asleep and increases quality sleep time.

Replace That Old Mattress

If you are sleeping on a mattress that is more than 8 years old, stop! Take a deep breath, and imagine waking up in the morning without aches pains. I have tested, discarded, and been very disappointed MANY times over the years. There are two mattresses that I can recommend without hesitation. One is the Intellibed, a medical grade bed that is top notch. Unfortunately, like many mattresses, it is pricey. 

The second bed is one that I am extremely happy to share with you. It is the best memory foam mattress I have found. Yes, much better than the “brand name” that we always associate with memory foam and MUCH cheaper. Thankfully, it is cheap in price and TOP in quality. Save your money and brag to your friends that this bed is STRUCTURALLY APPROVED. Do yourself a favor and put this in your shopping cart now and get some much needed rest.

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Back Pain: 1 Simple Tip to Decrease it

Hopefully you all know that I am in the business of helping people rid themselves of neck pain, back pain, and headaches. In fact, most of my new patients all have some form of back pain. While this may be only ONE of many symptoms they are experiencing, it is often the driving force that brought them into my office.
Now, you may be asking yourself,
“I thought this was about Moms?”. 
Let me explain. Since we usually see mother’s first in our clinic, I wanted to write this article to help them while they were not in my office.
The good news is that this applies to all HUMANS (almost)!

Let me start out by giving my disclaimer. All neck pain, back pain, and headaches are unique to the individual who walks into my office and THEIR STRUCTURE. No one is perfect, and no one has the same structure, therefore it really does take a consultation and examination to determine the exact path to improving your spine health.

Now lets get to the tip to decrease your low back pain.

1.) Stretch Your Psoas. Here is a great photo showing you where the Psoas muscle “lives”.
Below are a few stretches to help bring down your pain levels. I think now is a good time to add another disclaimer.
While your pain levels may go down,
YOUR PROBLEM IS NOT FIXED. I repeat, YOUR PROBLEM IS NOT FIXED. 
Without going into great detail, I want to make sure you know why I made the above statement in bold. Your tight Psoas muscle is not the problem, but rather the RESULT of many things. It is the result of poor neurological control, poor posture, and lack of supporting musculature. While I hope you get some relief from these stretches, I do not want you to ignore the fact that you may have some  structural abnormalities that need to be addressed. Please seek a professional that focuses on structural correction, and NO, it does not have to be me.
Here are two stretches that you must put into your repertoire.
I hope you seriously consider adding these two stretches into your routine. And as always, if you have something that you would like to discuss with me in person, please schedule a complimentary consultation by either calling 425-636-0303 or by filling out this form.

Flu Is NOT a Season! Healthy vs. Feeling

stoptheflu

I was recently brushing up on the most recent scientific literature on “Colds and Influenza” and was saddened that some of the alternative treatments do not get the media attention that they deserve. It is unfortunate that many of them are not more commonly known.

Most of us realize that any Structural deficiency can lead to DECREASED function of your body, but I will not be covering anything about how this puts you at a disadvantage from the get go. If you want to discuss this, please call the office and schedule a consultation and I would be happy to go over your case with you. After all, I am a Structural Chiropractor.

Back to the paper that I caught my eye. It was a systematic review of the literature on everything from vaccinating against the flu, antiviral agents, over the counter products to various natural treatments. Since I am the nerd and I don’t expect most people to know that a systematic review is one of the HIGHEST forms of research studies, I will just tell you. It is a big deal when a systematic review shows efficacy. In other words, they carry a LOT of weight in the scientific and clinical community.

While I was intrigued by some of the traditional treatment results (and lack thereof), I wanted to focus on the natural treatments that are effective at keeping you, and your family felling well. Also NOTE that I did not say healthy.

Healthy and feeling well are not the same thing.

Healthy is the ability to adapt to your environment, while feeling well is just a subjective “feeling”. People with cancer often report “feeling good”. Individuals with heart disease “feel good”. People with cavities may “feel good”. As you can see, feeling good and healthy are not always the same thing. I want you all to be healthy AND feel good.

In this article, I want to cover some of the little known natural treatments and not necessarily the most effective for your individual case. As with all of my posts, I ask that you discuss with your healthcare provider BEFORE trying anything as you may or may not be an candidate for all of the treatments. Now that I have that intro out of the way, here are the top 3 “lesser known” ways to reduce symptoms, severity and duration of the common cold and influenza.

1.) Echinacea (Echinacea spp)

As with all of these, the product/ formulation and dosage matter. Do not go and buy just any echinacea. Ask your provider which brand/ product and dosage to take.

The results of studies are mixed on Echinacea, likely due to the different formulations as mentioned above. However, there are enough studies that suggest that it may reduce duration as well as severity of common cold symptoms. Even though there are “mixed” results, there are still enough good studies that suggest echinacea does reduce symptoms.  It may be a viable supplement to your treatment.

2.) Elderberry Syrup (Sambucus Nigra)

Now this one may be my favorite. I have PERSONALLY had great results with the syrup both myself and with my son. While I have only been ill twice in the past decade, but the last time being very recent, I can absolutely say that I had great results. It is recommended that you take this one within 48 hours of symptoms as the research suggests that it the most effective time to do so.

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Research demonstrates elderberry syrup possess immune-modulating and antioxidant properties.

 Most people do not realize that Elderberry syrup has antiviral properties that make it ideal for any viral infection. Mumcuoglu (an Israeli virologist) found that elderberry syrup effectively blocks viruses from being able to replicate, which is a really cool finding!

3.) Garlic (Allium sativa)

This one is a fun one. Who doesn’t love garlic? Okay, I know that everyone doesn’t love it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take it in a supplement form.

In one large study they compared a group of 123 people who took a garlic supplement versus 123 who did not. In this study, the supplement group only had 24 colds, while the non-supplement group had 65. Also, the supplement group reported symptoms lasting 1.5 days on average versus 5 days in the non-supplement group.

You should never take the results of one study and consider it to be definative.  This is because it is very rare for researchers to study things that result in little to zero financial gain. In other words, unless the garlic supplement industry were to fund additional research, we aren’t likely to see many more studies completed. While many of us don’t agree with this practice, we must take it into account.

I will leave this data with you to digest (PUN intended), and go about my business. I hope you found this article applicable and helpful to you and your family. At the very least, I hope you continue to investigate on your own. As always, if you have any questions either about this article or structural chiropractic care, feel free contact me.

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