Category Archives: Secondary conditions

Health Benefits of Drinking Red Wine

Ending the evening with a little vino is more guilt-free than you know. The health benefits of drinking red wine have been studied for decades, and research shows that it pays off to indulge.

Just one glass of high-quality wine a day can provide numerous health benefits, including:

Red wine#1. Boosting Heart Health

The polyphenols in wine make it beneficial for keeping blood vessels from forming blood clots. Likewise, research shows that drinking red wine can slow down the development of atherosclerosis, which causes a fatty buildup of cholesterol in your artery walls. In the same way, resveratrol, an antioxidant in red wine, can protect heart tissue from damage after a stroke or heart attack by keeping your arteries relaxed so more blood can flow through.

In fact, moderate amounts of wine are almost as effective as aspirin for your heart health, though overindulging can quickly lead to the opposite effect.


#2. Lessening the Alzheimer’s Disease Risk

Avoiding Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia is a high priority for anyone. Especially one that’s seen the impact of the disease on their family or friends. Adding red wine to your routine might lower your risk.


Research shows that people who eat a Mediterranean diet (which prominently features red wine) are 28 percent less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment, and 48 percent less likely to progress from mild impairment to Alzheimer’s disease. These benefits are attributed to resveratrol. Resveratrol is considered a crucial antioxidant for reducing antioxidant stress and inflammation. This can lead to reduction of the cognitive decline over time. 

#3. Providing a Natural Antioxidant Boost

Free radicals cause endless problems for your health and contribute to the development of chronic diseases. These diseases include cancer, arthritis, cardiovascular issues and more. However, the potent antioxidant properties of red wine give your body what it needs to stay healthy and fight off this damage.

 

Resveratrol is essential for fighting inflammation, and quercetin can reduce the effects of aging. Beyond fighting chronic disease, red wine might keep you healthier on a daily basis, too. A study from the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who drank 14 weekly servings of wine were 40 percent less likely to come down with a cold, making a single glass a smart choice for staying healthy.

 

#4. Helping Manage Diabetes

Drinking red wine may change how your body processes glucose, research shows. Researchers have found that red wine slows how quickly glucose passes through your bloodstream. It does this by inhibiting the enzymes that handle glucose. This helps prevent spikes in blood sugar that can contribute to type 2 diabetes, meaning that wine may have a role in a diabetic diet plan. White wine seems to be only 10 percent as effective, making red the clear winner.

 

While the health benefits of red wine are profound, it’s important to remember that more wine doesn’t lead to more health benefits.  It can cause more problems than it helps if you are not careful. So take a drink for your health, but remember to enjoy in moderation.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

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.

Join Our E-Zine

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.

Inflammation is BAD, but…

If you are a research and health news junkie like I am, then you have probably heard someone talking about how inflammation is the “big bad wolf”.

I want to quickly say… NOT SO FAST!

Inflammation-And-Natural-Health

While systemic inflammation is an absolute nightmare to most people, it is not necessarily “THE” problem. The question you should always ask is, what caused it? What caused the inflammation to occur? Was it diet? Physical injury? Bacteria? Virus? Parasite? Stress (yes, stress)? A Structural Shift?

Maybe, just maybe the inflammation is there in an attempt to HEAL.

In every pathology class, the basic process of healing is introduced.

For simplicity, I will talk about wound healing. When you first get a physical wound, your body goes through 3 phases of healing that wound. Inflammation is the first phase after bleeding is stopped, inflammation begins to bring essential cells, nutrients, enzymes, and growth factors to the area in order for the body to repair itself. Without this process, healing cannot occur. Inflammation is NECESSARY! Remember this when you attempt to bring down inflammation during the healing process. You should always consult a trusted health professional before “bringing down inflammation”.

Obviously, inflammation COULD cause a problem with SEVERE injuries. In such cases, bringing inflammation down may be necessary. This is usually done in a hospital setting under the supervision of surgeon, or trauma specialist.

Okay, now that we know inflammation is NECESSARY for healing, we can focus on the “bad form” of inflammation. “Bad inflammation” occurs when the body has a reason to systemically heal itself. Think of it this way… If you are constantly providing your body with IRRITANTS (i.e. food, inhaled, injected, topically), then it will have the need to cause inflammation in order to heal. Although I will not get into the different irritants here, I will blog on them in the future.

My favorite way to reduce irritants is to eat foods that are high in antioxidants and that provide properties that do not encourage inflammation. These foods have been shown to reduce inflammatory blood markers that tend to be high in MOST chronic disease processes. I am not saying that you won’t get a chronic illness if you eat these foods, BUT I will say that it is a good idea to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to chronic illness. With that being said, here my top 5 “anti-inflammatory” foods:

  1. Animal based Omega-3 fatty acids (My favorite is Fish oil). These are also important for brain health!
  2. Leafy greens (kale, spinach, collard greens, swiss chard).
  3. Blueberries (high in antioxidants).
  4. Tea (Matcha tea from Japan, and Tulsi tea are the absolute best).
  5. Fermented foods (kefir, kimchee, miso, pickles, sauerkraut, olives, and other fermented vegetables, will help recolonize your gut with beneficial bacteria that control inflammation).

I hope you increase these foods in your diet ASAP and that you learned a little about inflammation and how it is bad and NOT so bad at the same time.

Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to share it with people that you love and care about by clicking one of the social media buttons below. As always, we provide COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATIONS to discuss your individual case and determine if we are a good fit to help you improve your heath.

Whiplash: Don’t Crack That Whip!

Whiplash: The Scary Truth.

Many people hear the term “Crack that whip” or “Whip It” and get a certain song in our heads along with the inevitable big smile. If you aren’t familiar with the song by DEVO that was released in the 1980’s, watch the video below. You can thank me later. Just for the record, they are not talking about whiplash.

neck

Whip It!

What many of us forget is the part that states “break your momma’s back”. That is the line that I will focus on in this blog. That line has a lot of significance right now due to our wet roads.

Whiplash… we all hear about it, but what the heck is it?

For simplicity, whiplash is an injury that can occur in your neck during any fast movement of the head. Most whiplashes are caused by car accidents, sports collisions, falls, and any time the head changes directions abruptly (including stopping abruptly). Watch this video to see how even a minor accident can result in major problems, Whiplash slow motion video.

Contrary to popular opinion, whiplash can occur in ANY DIRECTION. While most of the information out there focuses on rear end collisions (just do a google search on whiplash), in reality, any forceful change in direction can also result in LONG TERM neck damage from a whiplash.

Many cases of whiplash do not cause immediate severe pain. In fact, many report “feeling fine” immediately following a car accident. I often ask people that I know may be suffering from a whiplash type injury if they have ever had their structure evaluated. More often than not, I am sad to hear that they didn’t think about it because it “didn’t hurt”. Remember, pain is often the last of the secondary conditions that follow a whiplash. Some other secondary conditions to be aware of are headaches, foggy thoughts, trouble concentrating, loss of enjoyment in hobbies/ activities, depression, anxiety, headaches, irritability, “fussiness” and MANY MANY others. Any change in attitude, feeling of general well being, and/or mood can be a secondary condition of even a minor whiplash. It is NOT uncommon for a whiplash to actually cause residual or a secondary condition of low back pain!

My point in mentioning all of the symptoms above is to impart the importance of ruling OUT any Structural Shifts of the spine before you write of that “minor accident”, fender bender, fall or “bonk” (for the little ones).

Food for thought… in the United States alone there are an estimated 16,000,000 car accidents each year on our roads. How many do you think has one car traveling faster than the slow motion video above? I would venture to say most of them. You can decide for yourself when you realize that all of you can RUN, roll, or ride your bike faster than the speed in the video.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE be safe out there and don’t neglect your structure!

If you have been in a recent car accident, then a Complimentary Consultation is a no brainer.

Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to share it with people that you love and care about. As always, we provide COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATIONS to discuss your individual case and determine if we are a good fit to help you improve your heath.

What to EAT for your Brain Health: My Top 3 Foods

There are many different nutrients that protect our brain health, but not all can be created equal.

While my focus on brain health has much to do with the structure of your spine and being free of any underlying structural shifts, we can’t ignore the role nutrition plays in creating a healthy and thriving brain.

Let me just say that I did do some serious searching for articles on brain health and nutrition. All sources are included for your reference.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Yes, this heart saving fatty acid is also excellent for you brain health.

In one study, they actually showed that these healthy fats may help protect the brain after a concussion. Another study showed how these fats improved depression.

Last, but certainly not least, one study showed improved reaction times and memory in HEALTHY ADULTS. I highlighted healthy because most studies are done with disease and symptoms in mind and this one was done on healthy young adults. These are my favorite types of studies!

Obviously, the best source of Omega-3’s is from food, so fatty fish like king mackerel and salmon are an ideal source. However, eating fish daily is impractical and undesirable for almost everyone. Therefore supplementation with a high quality Omega-3 fish oil can help fill the gap.

A high quality fish oil contains a 3/2 ratio of EPA/DHA, contains vitamin E (for freshness). Of course, I will always help you with choosing a quality fish oil.

Probiotics

This is one of the hottest research topics out there. Everyone is trying to crack the code on healthy bacteria. You can find probiotics in many products including Kombucha, yogurt, and many forms of fermented foods.

One of the most exciting things about the science is how gut bacteria can affect almost every other system in the body. I found studies that link gut bacteria to you that number on the scale that I will not mention, blood sugar regulation, and even Parkinson’s. Obviously this important “system” in our body has much more effect than just helping with digestion and bowel movements.

Another exciting field of research is how gut bacteria may be affecting our children. Would you call me crazy if I said, “Your child’s mood is because of their gut bacteria”. Read that study and you many not call me crazy anymore (although my wife says this is a long shot).

Studies are being done to link gut bacteria to depression, anxiety, movement disorders and yes, even autism.

Even with all of the promising research, there are still many questions regarding probiotics. I cannot predict where these studies will ultimately take us, but I have read enough to have every person in my house take probiotics daily, including my 17 month old son who has been supplementing since 6 months of age.

Curcumin

3769698051_71438de2e3_z

Image courtesy of Steven Jackson. (Flickr CC license)

I bet this one caught you off guard. Even if it is the “it” supplement of the day, it does have some great health qualities. Enough that I put it in my top 3 brain foods. While the research is still mostly on animals, it does give us a lot of insight into what the mechanism of how this supplement is helping.

This extract of turmeric has been shown to alter the process of Alzheimer’s, tumor formation, diabetes, chronic pain, and even DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness after that long lay off from the gym (don’t worry, I know you would never do that).

It is thought that the chemicals in curcumin are able to help eliminate inflammatory molecules in the body called free radicals, thus reducing inflammation.

While this is great news, there is still a lot of research that needs to be done in humans. We also know that cucumin gets mostly destroyed in the stomach and that very little is absorbed into the blood stream. In other words, we don’t know what the best delivery method is quite yet.

However, many people report benefit from a simple curcumin supplement. The risk is very low along with the price and the reward can be very great if you are a chronic pain sufferer that gets some relief.

One way to increase curcumin is to eat more curries and use turmeric in more of your dishes. If you are anything like me, this is not a bad thing to hear.

Normal wear VS. Abnormal wear

Recently I had to buy some new tires for my car. No big deal, just normal maintenance…right?

When I inspected my tires closer, I noticed that one of my tires was nearly bald on the outside like the picture below. I knew this was not good. How did this happen? Then it hit me, this is exactly what I work on every single day in the office. I correct Structural Shifts of the spine as to keep other parts of the body functioning properly. Exactly like fixing the alignment on my car to correct uneven wear of the tires.  It seemed almost too simple, yet it is the same basic concept and it is not hidden under skin, muscle, and fat like my spine is.tire with uneven wear

 

With that in mind, I immediately wanted to correct the CAUSE of my uneven wear of the tires.

 

It was obvious to me that the problem was NOT my tires at all. I had an alignment problem that was being shown on my car as uneven wear of the tires. The uneven wear of the tires was the SECONDARY CONDITION, and not the primary cause of why I needed to buy new tires!  Thinking about this I knew that I could relate it back to health and how we take care of our body.  The easiest way I could think of to describe this is to talk about symptoms, most specifically pain. Pain is always a nuisance, thus the reason we always pay attention to it. Even though we all know that pain is never the cause, but only a signal or what Structural Chiropractors refer to as secondary conditions. Since pain is usually the most obvious secondary condition, I hear a lot about it. While I never want any of you to be hurting, you can now see that I am always looking for the cause and not the symptoms that you may or may not be expressing. My goal today was to give your the slightest bit of insight into how I view health and the human body.  Now that we know pain is analogous to uneven wear of the tires, should we only replace YOUR tires or should we find the cause?

Thank you for visiting our blog. We hope that you have learned something from this short story today. As always, please email [email protected] with questions or requests for topics to be covered. Have an outstanding week!

*