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High Point, NC 27265

Adjustment Techniques

Diversified Technique [or Full-Spine Specific (FSS)] –

This is a widely used type of chiropractic manipulation/ adjustment that includes most of the procedures taught at chiropractic schools. This technique is the most commonly used of all chiropractic techniques and is the one probably most familiar to patients. The Diversified manipulation/adjustment entails a highvelocity, low-amplitude thrust that usually results in a cavitation of a joint (quick, shallow thrusts that cause the popping noise often associated with a chiropractic manipulation/adjustment). As the name implies, the Diversified Technique can be used to treat many of the joints in the body.

Extremity Manipulating/Adjusting – This is the application of chiropractic manipulation/adjustment to joints other than those of the spine, i.e., shoulder, elbow, wrist/hand/finger, hip, knee, ankle/foot/toe. Examples of conditions treated by extremity manipulation/ adjustment: carpal tunnel syndrome, gait, or posture-related problems.

Activator Method – This is a hand-held, spring-loaded instrument-based manipulation/adjustment protocol. Instead of the manipulating/adjusting forces being delivered by hand, force is generated with the small appliance that delivers a lighter, but quicker, thrust than can be delivered by hand. Activator can be used as a primary treatment protocol for all patients or a selective method for patients who may not desire manual manipulation/adjustment or where manual manipulation/adjustment may be contraindicated.

Manipulative/Adjustive Instruments - These are techniques, other than Activator, that include the use of instruments to deliver a manipulation/adjustment to the patient. Many of these procedures are used specifically in the upper cervical region, but not all. Precision of the direction of the thrust is claimed to be the advantage of these techniques.

Cox Flexion/Distraction – This is a specific chiropractic technique that uses mechanical and hands-on manipulation/ adjustment utilizing a special table where the spine is tractioned and flexed forward. This technique is primarily utilized to treat cervical and lumbar disc herniations, nondisc spinal disorders, and to increase mobility of spinal joints.

Thompson Technique – This is a specific chiropractic method and is a variation of the Diversified technique that uses a special table with several segments called drop pieces. These segments can be cocked up a fraction of an inch, so when the thrust is delivered, the table will drop this fraction of an inch. The drop pieces assist the thrust while minimizing the force used for the manipulation/ adjustment. Cavitation of the joint may or may not occur.

The ABCs of Good Health: 10 Key Vitamins and Minerals

The ABCs of Good Health: 10 Key Vitamins and Minerals

By Dr. Richard Drucker

With all the uncertainties in the world, this much is certain: Vitamins and minerals are necessary for vital health. Despite their importance, most people don’t know very much about vitamins and minerals beyond the most “famous” ones: vitamins A, C, E, along with the minerals calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. There are actually quite a few essential vitamins and minerals that, while lesser known, are of equal importance in terms of our health. Let’s change that “lesser known” label right now by focusing on 10 key vitamins and minerals your body needs on a daily basis.

1. Vitamin D3

We begin with a vitamin that has been generating a lot of attention recently: vitamin D3. Most of us are generally familiar with vitamin D,but do you know that vitamin D is actually made up of two distinct forms: vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)? Vitamin D2 is naturally present in very few foods and must be added to “fortified” products such as milk, juices and cereals. The lack of this form of vitamin D is attributed to bone disorders such as rickets. Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is synthesized by the skin when it is exposed to the sun or ultraviolet light.

Functions: Recent evidence suggests that D3 may be more effective than D2 in promoting calcium absorption and thus bone growth and remodeling. It prevents softening of the bones in both children (rickets) and adults (osteomalacia). It also helps modulate neuromuscular and immune function while reducing inflammation.

Sources: Individuals with limited sun exposure need to include good sources of vitamin D3 in their diet from food or supplements. Primary sources of this vitamin are fish and fish oils, beef liver, cheese and egg yolks. An appreciable number of flowering plants in the Solanaceae family contain vitamin D3 and its hydroxylated derivatives.

Recommended Daily Intake: Recommended D3 daily intake for infants to 50 years of age is approximately 200 IU (international units), between 51-70 years – 400 IU, and over 71 years – 600 IU.

2. Niacin

NiacinAnother lesser known but equally important vitamin is B3, also known as niacin or nicotinic acid. This vitamin, along with all B vitamins, helps the body convert carbohydrates into glucose to be used as energy. It is beneficial for proper nervous system function, hormone production, circulation, and cholesterol reduction. It may also reduce the incidence of atherosclerosis, diabetes, osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and various skin conditions. Interestingly, alcoholism is the primary cause of vitamin B3 deficiency in the U.S. Deficiency symptoms range from indigestion, fatigue, and depression to pellagra (characterized by cracked, scaly skin, dementia, and diarrhea).

Sources: Niacin can be obtained by eating beets, brewer’s yeast, beef liver, beef kidney, fish, salmon, swordfish, tuna, sunflower seeds, peanuts, strawberries, carrots, and sweet potatoes.

Recommended Daily Intake: Suggested intake ranges from 2 mg/day for infants to 17 mg/day for adults.

3. Biotin

Functions: Biotin or vitamin H/B7 is involved in carbon dioxide transfer and is therefore essential to the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. It is also involved in making glucose for energy production and assists in protein synthesis. Biotin deficiency results in fatigue, depression, nausea, muscle pains, hair loss, anemia, neurologic symptoms, and impaired immune system function.

biotinSources: Biotin is typically found in liver, egg yolk, cereals, legumes, nuts, beans, cauliflower, chocolate, dairy products, wheat germ, whole grains, and grasses. Intestinal bacteria produce a small amount of biotin, which may be absorbed and contribute to daily needs.

Recommended Daily Intake: Vitamin H works best when combined with other B vitamins. The recommended daily intake is around 300 micrograms.

4. Pantothenic Acid

Functions: Pantothenic acid (B5) can be found in all living cells and most foods. Its name comes from the Greek word pantos, meaning “everywhere.” Deficiency is difficult to diagnose because it appears to affect all organs and their ability to handle stressors, both emotional and physical. Like other B vitamins, pantothenic acid helps the body extract energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It also helps to metabolize fats, produce red blood cells, and synthesize stress hormones from the adrenal gland; it is therefore commonly found in “anti-stress” formulas. Pantothenic acid is necessary to maintain good health and may be useful in treating rheumatoid arthritis. It can also be used to lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. B5 deficiency is extremely rare in people who eat a variety of foods. Symptoms of deficiency have occurred only in experimental situations.

Sources: Rich sources of pantothenic acid include liver and kidney, yeast, egg yolk, and broccoli.

Recommended Daily Intake: 5 mg per day is considered adequate intake for adults.

5. Vitamin K

Functions: Vitamin K appears in two naturally occurring form; the first is K1 from plants, and the second, K2, is derived from bacteria synthesis. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for the functioning of several proteins involved in blood clotting. It also prevents the calcification of soft tissue and cartilage, while facilitating normal bone growth and development in addition to helping with cell growth.

Because the body stores very little vitamin K, its supplies are rapidly depleted without regular dietary intake. Overt vitamin K deficiency results in impaired blood clotting, which might be evidenced by easy bruising and bleeding, nosebleeds, bleeding gums, blood in the urine and stool, or extremely heavy menstrual bleeding. In infants, vitamin K deficiency may result in life-threatening bleeding within the skull (intracranial hemorrhage).

Sources: Green leafy vegetables and some vegetable oils (soybean, cottonseed, canola, and olive) contribute significant dietary vitamin K.

Recommended Daily Intake: Adequate Intake (AI) for vitamin K ranges from 2.0 micrograms/day for infants to 120 mcg/day for adults. People who are at risk of forming blood clots should avoid excessive supplementation with vitamin K. Some oral anticoagulants, such as warfarin (Coumadin), inhibit coagulation through antagonism of the action of vitamin K.

6. Phosphorus

phosphorusFunctions: The first mineral on our list, phosphorus, makes up 1 percent of a person’s total body weight. It is present in every cell of the body, but is primarily found in the bones and teeth because phosphorus aids in their formation. It also plays an important role in the body’s utilization of carbohydrates and fats, as well as the synthesis of protein for the growth, maintenance, and repair of cells and tissues. In addition, phosphorus is crucial for the production of ATP, a molecule the body uses to store energy. Phosphorus also assists in muscle contraction, kidney function, heartbeat regulation and nerve conduction. Phosphorus deficiencies can result in poor mineralization of bones, weight loss, retarded growth, and weakness, as well as deficient nerve and brain function.

Sources: The protein food groups (meat and dairy) provide dietary phosphorous. Fruits and vegetables contain phosphorus in small amounts.

Recommended Daily Intake: Infants can be given 100 mg a day, and most adults can take 700 mg daily. Pregnant or lactating women can take up to 1,250 mg/day.

iodine7. Iodine

Functions: Next we have iodine, an essential mineral that enables the thyroid gland to produce hormones. A severe iodine deficiency can cause hypothyroidism, developmental disorders, and severe goiter. Although iodine deficiency is rare in the U.S., it does occur in Third World countries where soils are deficient in iodine. In general, Americans use lot of salt in the daily diet – usually iodized salt — which has almost eliminated deficiency in the U.S. entirely.

Sources: Seaweed and seafood are good sources of iodine.

Recommended Daily Intake: It is suggested that 150 mcg be taken on a daily basis.

8. Selenium

seleniumFunctions: Selenium is a mineral that was formerly considered a toxic substance, but is now known to be essential in trace quantities. Selenium is known for its anti-aging properties; It helps rid the body of free radicals, as well as toxic minerals such as mercury, lead and cadmium. It also helps to fight infection by increasing antibody response, enhances energy, and aids in alleviating menopausal symptoms in women. Selenium can be used to combat arthritis and multiple sclerosis, and if provided in adequate amounts, it is thought to help prevent cancer as well. Tissue elasticity and pancreatic function depend upon this mineral, which may improve blood flow for the prevention of heart attacks and strokes.

Sources: Selenium can be found in Brazil nuts, whole grains, shellfish, grains, and grasses.

Recommended Daily Intake: A dose of 70 micrograms per day is recommended.

9. Manganese

Functions: Manganese, a trace mineral, participates as an enzyme activator and catalyst in the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol. It facilitates protein and carbohydrate metabolism and hormone production. It Manganese acts as an antioxidant and promotes bone strength, stable blood sugar levels, thyroid function and nerve conduction. A deficiency can negatively impact many physiological processes including growth, skeletal structure, and carbohydrate and fat metabolism.

Sources: Manganese is naturally present in abundance, so it is easy to supplement the trace amounts found in human tissue. Dietary sources include red berries, pineapple, leafy greens, garlicgrapes, summer squash, oats, spelt, green beans, brown rice, garbanzo beans, and some spices.

Recommended Daily Intake: Adequate intake for manganese is 3 mcg for infants and 2-3 mg for adults.

10. Molybdenum

Functions: Molybdenum, which is normally present in very small quantities in the body, plays a role in many important biological processes, including development of the nervous system, waste processing in the kidneys, and energy production in cells. Molybdenum is used to treat rare inherited metabolic diseases (such as Wilson’s disease, in which the body cannot process copper). It may be helpful in cancer protection and in reducing the heart and lung damage caused by some chemotherapy drugs. Deficiencies are most often related to malfunction of the liver and can result in jaundice, nausea, fatigue, headaches, tachypnea, tachycardia, vomiting, nausea, and coma.

Sources: Common sources of molybdenum include legumes (:beans, peas, and lentils), grains, leafy vegetables, liver, and nuts. The amount of molybdenum in plants varies according to the amount in the soil.

The ABCs of Good HealthRecommended Daily Intake: The RDA of molybdenum for most adults is around 45 mcg, with an RDA of 50 mcg for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.

It is important to understand that while deficiencies of each of these vitamins and minerals can have poor health consequences, problems can occur as a result of overdoses as well. Common overdose symptoms for vitamins and minerals include but are not limited to fatigue, muscle weakness, dizziness, headache, blood sugar imbalances and increased risk of liver damage. Certain vitamins/minerals also interact with medication, which is why it’s always important to discuss supplementation with your doctor prior to doing so.


Choosing the Right Multivitamin for Your Children

Choosing the Right Multivitamin for Your Children

From the Flintstones to the Gummi Bears, cartoon vitamins may seem like a fun, easy way to encourage children to take nutritional supplements. But do they give your child the nutrients they truly need? Get the truth about cartoon vitamins and their impact on your child’s health.

Children have a greater need for proper and more complete nutrition than do adults. That is a fact. So, why do we give our kids cartoon-shaped sugar pills containing synthetic vitamins? Proper nutrition is vital for the development of teeth, bones and muscles, as well as neuro-cognitive, immune-system and many other important functions. It also should serve as a primary defense against chronic diseases. But are your children getting the nutrition they need? Let’s first understand a child’s daily requirements for vitamins and nutrients.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently revised its long-standing food pyramid to illustrate that a healthy balance of the food groups is required, along with daily physical exercise. Visit www.mypyramid.gov and you’ll find a number of educational tools to help fit a nutritional plan to your specific child.

Also trying to help ensure our kids get adequate nutrition is the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It publishes guidelines for the recommended daily intake of 25 vitamins and minerals. These guidelines appear most commonly as U.S. RDAs (Recommended Daily Allowances) on food labels. All manufacturers of food sold in the U.S. are required to accurately state the percentage RDA per serving on its labels.

To understand how a child should be eating, let’s start with the FDA’s RDA of vitamins and minerals. It segregates needs based on two age groups: ages 2 to 3, and ages 4 to adult. In our case study, we modeled a 6-year-old girl’s daily needs. Next, we visited the food pyramid to obtain recommended foods from the various food groups in the appropriate proportions. We came up with a list of foods for a single day’s diet (Table 1). This set of food selections should yield a good nutritional base for our 6-year-old girl.

FOOD ISN’T ENOUGH: Why Children Need A Multivitamin
TABLE 1
Recommended Daily Diet for a 6-Year-Old Girl
1,400 calories, 30-60 minutes of exercise
Food Group Item Amount
Grains
Need: 5 ounces Cornflakes 1 cup
Whole wheat crackers 5 crackers
White rice 1 cup
Popcorn 3 cups
Vegetables
Need: 1.5 Cups Green beans cup
Baby carrots 1 cup
Fruits
Need: 1.5 Cups Banana 1 medium
Strawberries cup
Food Group Item Amount
Milk
Need: 2 Cups Milk 1 cup
Cheddar cheese, shredded 1/3 cup
Meat and Beans
Need: 4 ounces Chicken breast, roasted 3 oz
Cashews, roasted 1 oz
(18 nuts)
Fats and Oils
Limit: 4 tsp Cashews 2 t oil
Popcorn 2 t oil
Source: USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory, www.mypyramid.com.

The pyramid recommends that our 6-year-old limit extra fats and sugars to less than 170 calories per day. We calculated the vitamins and minerals in these food selections, and mapped them against the RDA values for vitamins and minerals. What did we find? Take a look at Table 2.

In this example, our 6-year-old girl achieves the recommended daily amount of only six of the 25 FDA-tracked nutrients. She is left woefully deficient in the remainder, including some of the most important. The nutrients are listed in the order mandated by the FDA, which is supposed to reflect the relative importance of each item.

This exercise illustrates that even using the available tools and guidelines to design a well-balanced daily diet, the average parent will likely end up providing meals to their child with nutritional shortfalls. In fact, even the most able nutritionist would be challenged. Consider that most parents have schedules that force them to take advantage of the conveniences of pre-prepared meals, drive thrus and highly processed foods. Unfortunately, poor dietary habits in children are the norm, not the exception.

TABLE 2
RDA of Nutrients Based on Recommended Daily Diet
6-Year-Old Girl, 1,400 calories, 30-60 minutes of exercise
Vitamin/Mineral RDA Units Totals % RDA
Age 4 + Age 4+
Vitamin A 5,000 IU 13,469 269%
Vitamin C 60 mg 63 105%
Calcium 1,000 mg 761 76%
Iron 18 mg 14 79%
Vitamin D 400 IU 142 36%
Vitamin E 30 IU 1 5%
Vitamin K 80 mcg 20 25%
Thiamin (Vitamin B1) 1.5 mg 1 67%
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) 1.7 mg 1 79%
Niacin (Vitamin B3) 20 mg 21 107%
Pyrodoxine (Vitamin B6) 2 mg 2 113%
Folate 400 mcg 310 78%
Vitamin B12 6 mcg 3 53%
Biotin 300 mcg 0 0%
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) 10 mg 4 38%
Phosphorus 1,000 mg 1,121 112%
Iodine 150 mcg 0 0%
Magnesium 400 mg 241 60%
Zinc 15 mg 7 49%
Selenium 70 mcg 60 85%
Copper 2 mg 1 48%
Manganese 2 mg 2 101%
Chromium 120 mcg 0 0%
Molybdenum 75 mcg 0 0%
Chloride 3,400 mg 0 0%
Calories 1,400 1,276 91%
Source: USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory, www.mypyramid.com.

A large study published in the journal Pediatrics monitored more than 3,000 children and showed that only 1 percent of the children met the recommendations for the food pyramid. This same study indicated these children were low in vitamin B6, iron, calcium, zinc and fiber.

Let’s look again at our 6-year-old’s diet and map the nutritional value of what a typical 1st grader might eat in a day:

Breakfast: 1 cup Fruity O’s cereal, 1 cup 2 percent milk
Lunch: 1 cup fruit juice, 4 chicken nuggets, 1/2 cup green beans, 1 banana
Snack: 1 cup tortilla chips (cheese flavor), fruit snack
Dinner: 1 slice pizza, 12-oz lemon-lime soda, 1 brownie

Now let’s look at how that daily diet affects our 6-year-old’s daily nutritional profile. As shown in Table 3, our 1st grader, aided by highly processed and fortified food selections, achieved her RDA for one more (seven) of the 25 nutrients, but has consumed 50 percent more calories than the USDA recommends for her age. We also should be concerned with the additional sugar and fats associated with these menu choices.

TABLE 3
RDA of Nutrients in Typical Daily Diet
6-Year-Old Girl (1st Grader)
Vitamin/Mineral RDA Units Totals % RDA
Age 4 + Age 4+
Vitamin A 5,000 IU 1,993 40%
Vitamin C 60 mg 144.7 241%
Calcium 1,000 mg 819.8 82%
Iron 18 mg 16.01 89%
Vitamin D 400 IU 98 25%
Vitamin E 30 IU 3.11 10%
Vitamin K 80 mcg 19.8 25%
Thiamin (Vitamin B1) 1.5 mg 1.754 117%
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) 1.7 mg 1.815 107%
Niacin (Vitamin B3) 20 mg 24.495 122%
Pyrodoxine (Vitamin B6) 2 mg 2.874 144%
Folate 400 mcg 263.3 66%
Vitamin B12 6 mcg 3.629 60%
Biotin 300 mcg 0 0%
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) 10 mg 4.137 41%
Phosphorus 1,000 mg 1,273 127%
Iodine 150 mcg 0 0%
Magnesium 400 mg 211 53%
Zinc 15 mg 11.151 74%
Selenium 70 mcg 72.9 104%
Copper 2 mg 0.697 35%
Manganese 2 mg 1.285 64%
Chromium 120 mcg 0 0%
Molybdenum 75 mcg 0 0%
Chloride 3,400 mg 0 0%
Calories 1,400 2,096 150%
Source: USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory, www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search.

The correct conclusion to this data analysis is that we must supplement our children’s diets, because it is virtually impossible for them to consistently eat the right combination of foods to provide their necessary nutrition. For this reason, knowledgeable health care and nutrition professionals recommend vitamin supplements for children.

Where does a parent turn, but to their local grocery or pharmacy shelf? There, they will find all manner of cute and cuddly candy-like multivitamins. They will review the labels to select one that appears to have a full spectrum of what’s missing from their child’s diet.

So, this should be the end of this article … but it’s not. What’s wrong with cartoon vitamins? A study of the available products reveals startling, problematic results. They contain synthetic vitamins, inadequate minerals, as well as binders, preservatives and sugar – some of the very items we need the supplements to combat in the first place! Yet those items are listed first in the ingredient section of the cartoon vitamin label. Unfortunately, the primary consumers for these products (parents) are untrained in how to interpret the labels. The most glaring problems include:

  • The formulas are incomplete.
  • They contain synthetic vitamins: chemically derived substances that are supposed to mimic the natural form, but in fact are like mirror-image opposites.
  • Processed sugar is used to flavor the pills to increase compliance, but most kids already get too much sugar in their daily diets.
  • To get the vitamins to hold their cute shapes, manufacturers use binders, which are non-natural chemical additives.

We need to provide our kids with the kind of nutritional supplements informed adults demand:

  • All-natural, with no synthetic chemical nutrients.
  • Derived from whole foods.
  • Complete and balanced formula, meaning they should contain at least the 25 FDA-recommended nutrients, preferably more.
  • Good taste to ensure compliance, but without added sugar. Liquids are best, as they absorb better and the dosing can be modified, depending on the child’s size and needs.
  • Need to contain the full spectrum of organic trace minerals.

What is the solution? In this case, unfortunately, there aren’t many good ones. Randy Miles, a certified nutritionist and co-owner of Family Health Market in Frisco, Texas, does not recommend any children’s multivitamin product. Rather, he uses their best liquid adult’s formula and reduces the dosage for children. “Multivitamin supplements for children are in a segment that is virtually ignored. What you find are products containing only the bare minimum of nutrients and also alarmingly include titanium and aluminum.” Miles continues, “Cartoon vitamins are all that is out there, so many pediatricians recommend them, but it’s more about marketing to the kids than it is about nutrition.”

The proof is in the pudding. Today’s children face more obstacles to good health than just poor nutrition. Our kids are exposed to more toxins, pollution and stress than those in one or two generations prior. They’re dealing with free-radical damage and oxidative stress daily and in higher amounts. Air pollution, water pollution, pesticides, preservatives, radiation, smoke, fatty foods and stress are factors that raise free-radical levels. These free radicals increase risks of degenerative diseases, as they cause cellular and tissue damage within the body.

There is a great need for diets rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to combat the free-radical damage. Children receiving the right amount and combination of these minerals and vitamins are better able to counteract the effects of the extra toxins they might face. It is absolutely a must for them to strengthen their armor with a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables, and low in processed foods and sugars. Then, we must augment that effort with the very best supplements available. Our kids deserve better health than their parents, but unless we do something, they are fighting an uphill battle.

For Low Back Pain, Look to Chiropractic

For Low Back Pain, Look to Chiropractic

It’s estimated that 8 out of 10 people suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. A recent study on the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders in the U.S. estimated that 40 million Americans aged 20-64 will experience “frequent” low back pain (LBP), with 15% suffering from LBP lasting up to two weeks at a time!

 

There’s no clear-cut way to resolve back pain, but chiropractic offers the most promise. Witness the results of a recent study comparing one-month outcomes for 93 chiropractic patients and 45 medical patients with chronic, recurrent LBP. Chiropractic care included spinal manipulation and various forms of physiotherapy, averaging four patient visits. Medical care averaged one visit and frequently included the prescription of anti-inflammatory drugs.

Patients treated by chiropractors showed better overall improvement and satisfaction after one month than patients treated by family physicians. Chiropractic patients showed substantial decreases in pain severity, functional disability, and pain quality, while medical patients showed only minimal improvements with regard to the first two measures, and deterioration in the third.

If you’re suffering from low back pain, the road to recovery may not be an easy one, but it begins with chiropractic! Schedule a consultation with a chiropractor today.

Reference:
Nyiendo J, Haas M, Goodwin P. Patient characteristics, practice activities, and one-month outcomes for chronic, recurrent low-back pain treated by chiropractors and family medical physicians: a practice-based feasibility study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, May 2000: Vol. 23, No. 4, pp239-45.

Bursting the Diet Soda Bubble

Bursting the Diet Soda Bubble

Regular soda is bad for you – it’s full of sugar and is packed with empty calories. What’s more, consumption of soda has been linked to heart disease, among other conditions. Think the answer is switching to diet cola? Think again.

Results from the Framingham Heart Study, reported in the research journal Circulation, indicate that even diet sodas increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Of the 6,000 healthy, middle-aged men and women who participated in the study, those who drank at least one soda (diet or regular) per day had about a 50 percent higher risk of metabolic syndrome (a cluster of cardiovascular and diabetes risk factors).

Compared to participants who drank less than one soda per day, those who drank at least one soda also had a 31 percent greater risk of becoming obese, a 30 percent higher risk of developing increased waist circumference, a 25 percent higher risk of developing high blood triglycerides and high blood sugar, and a 32 percent greater risk of low “good” cholesterol levels.

Researchers adjusted for the fact that people who drink soda tend to have similar dietary patterns – they consume more calories and unhealthy fats, eat less fiber, and exercise less – and still observed a statistically significant association between soft drink consumption and the risk of developing metabolic syndrome. While poor overall health habits could be to blame, other theories focus on the caramel coloring and fructose corn syrup in sodas, or the tendency to crave sweets when you consume a diet high in sweets.

Although more research on the topic is in order, for now, experts advise that you limit your intake of all soft drinks – including diet sodas. That’s a recommendation to take to heart.

Originally Seen:
http://www.toyourhealth.com/mpacms/tyh/article.php?id=950

The Detox Diet – Healthy Nervous System

The Detox Diet – Healthy Nervous System

The Detox Diet

By Michael Roth, DC

Detoxification: it’s a word that is being used with more frequency and urgency in today’s toxic environment. With the advent of pollution awareness several decades ago, most people now know about the toxins that are present in our atmosphere, lakes, rivers, water supply and even our own homes. But what you may not realize is that toxins can be found in abundance in our present-day food supply. That’s the bad news. The good news is there are easy nutritional ways to detoxify your body and avoid the perils of toxins.

The Bad News

Less than 150 years ago, chemical use was quite limited. These days, each successive generation is exposed to a limitless supply of unnatural chemical toxins that accumulate in our tissues and organs. These toxins, many of which may be originating from our food/water supply, include unnatural fats and cholesterols, xenobiotics (organic toxins), inorganic chemicals, and heavy elemental metals, to name a few. All of these toxins can severely affect the operation of the body’s organ systems over time and cause significant health problems.

How do these synthetic toxins wind up in our foods? In addition to the contaminants that coat our food sources from rainwater, the soil is loaded with fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, etc. These toxic chemicals seep into the soil directly and are absorbed through both the leaves and roots. Logic tells us these chemicals then end up in the fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds we consume every day.

imageThese same foods are also being heated or irradiated to help increase their shelf lives and keep them from spoiling. And while these “treated” foods may provide calories, heat and radiation destroy the natural structure of their vitamins and enzymes, turning them into something the body cannot utilize as originally intended.

Fruits and vegetables aren’t the only victims of toxic chemicals. Livestock, fowl, and farmed fish are given color-enhancers, steroids, antibiotics, and hormones, and are fed genetically altered food. And of course, they also consume the same contaminated plant matter as we do.

In short, all this has taken a substantial toll on our collective health. In the past 30 to 40 years, we have seen an alarming rise in autoimmune-related diseases. Many health experts believe this increase is directly related to the synthetic chemical poisons we are breathing, eating and drinking every day. Continued exposure to these toxic chemicals may cause an accumulation in the body, one that overwhelms our natural detoxification abilities. Eventually, the body can no longer keep eliminating these substances. This cumulative load, called the “body burden,” is thought to lead to chronic and even life-threatening illnesses.

Examples of toxin-related health maladies include hormonal imbalance, impaired immune function, autoimmune syndromes, digestive impairment leading to nutritional deficiency, inefficient metabolism, and a host of immune and autoimmune aberrances. In addition, the digestive tract can develop microscopic ulcerations, pH imbalances, imbalances in bacteria and fungi, and many other problems. Heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, arsenic and mercury also may be found in our foods. Over time, these metals affect health and have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and cause systemic central nervous system disorders.

The Good News

The good news is that many of these toxic accumulations can be halted and even reversed. An overall healing plan must be initiated to remove stored-up toxins. A colon cleanse is simply not enough, since nearly every cell can be affected. In order to detoxify our bodies and prevent or reverse illness, a proactive, multi-pronged attack must be mounted, one that includes exercise, fresh air (less toxic exposure), clean water, limited sun, and a healthy diet.

The same types of foods that are the cause of our toxification can also be the source of our detoxification. The difference is the kind of food, their purity and combination. According to a 2007 study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, “It’s clear that nutrition and lifestyle are well-defined modulators of chronic diseases. Poor dietary habits, as well as a sedentary lifestyle clearly contribute to today’s compromised quality of life in the United States. It is becoming increasingly clear that nutrition can modulate the toxicity of environmental pollutants.”

In a study published in the December 2007 issue of Food and Chemical Toxicology, feeding seaweed to rats increased the effectiveness of liver enzymes. Additional studies have shown the benefits of nutrition in clearing the body of the toxic buildup of lead and mercury using citrus peels.

As mentioned, the type of food is very important. Many fruits, vegetables and certain herbs have clear cleansing and detoxification properties, but they must be free of pesticides or any other harmful ingredients, and must not have been altered by exposure to radiation or other methods of shelf-life extension. Fruits and vegetables that fit this description are “certified organic.” Essentially, this means they were grown using minimal or no chemicals at all.

Several years ago, it was very difficult to buy certified organic food. However, with growing health concerns and increasing demand by consumers, more supermarkets now carry an organic line of foods. Simply look for the organic produce section of your favorite grocery store or ask your grocer. Many are willing to begin carrying organic fruits and vegetables as long as you ask. Additionally, certified organic goods can be identified by the five-digit code on the label. If a food is certified organic, the code will begin with the number 9 and may also contain the phrase “Certified Organic.” Most non-organic produce begins with the number 4.

Foods That Detoxify and Heal

imageSo, what kinds of foods help our bodies to detoxify and heal? Examples of cleansing foods are (organic) green teas, which serve to induce detoxifying enzymes for chemoprotection (chemical protection) or cytoprotection (cell protection). Cruciferous vegetables such as kale, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and turnips are all excellent for energizing and cleansing the liver, your body’s built-in detox center. Lemons, watercress, garlic,
oregano, sesame seeds, and fruits also are powerful detoxifying foods that not only aid in colon-cleansing, but also possess anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic properties.

The benefits of these foods are well-documented. In fact, broccoli has been shown to detoxify carcinogens in liver cells. Another example is spinach, which is high in fiber and B vitamins. Spinach has been shown to help soothe the nervous system, protect against and possibly reverse macular degeneration. Legumes such as lentils and kidney beans are among the best sources of folate, which helps fight heart disease. Capsaicin, the “hot stuff” in chili peppers, has been found to soothe the stomach lining, detoxify the body and fight colds. And sweet potatoes have double the vitamin C, more fiber and fewer calories than white potatoes, contain antioxidants that may reduce inflammation in bones and muscles, and are a good source of beta-carotene, which protects against respiratory infections. They also may protect against sunburn and help wounds heal and scars fade.

Ensuring Adequate Nutrition

Many organic fruits and vegetables help to detoxify our bodies and maintain or improve our health. However, as wonderful as these organic foods are, they are not enough. The majority of even these carefully grown foods lack essential nutrients and complete detoxification properties. The reason for this is due to decades of chronic over-farming and toxic synthetic chemicals.

The primary growing regions of this country continue to use the same soil repeatedly to grow crops. This overuse eventually causes the earth to become depleted of essential organic complexes, nutrients and minerals, which means less is taken up by the plants. This vicious cycle weakens the nutrient benefit of fruits, vegetables and herbs. This is so prevalent in today’s farming practices that we need to eat at least 10 cups of broccoli to get the same amount of nutrients that 1 cup of broccoli contained just 50 or 60 years ago.

The best way to combat this unfortunate deficiency and ensure complete nutrition is to supplement. Just like our foods, the type of supplement is very important. Try to avoid over-the-counter pills, capsules and powders that contain synthetic chemical nutrients, ingredients, additives, preservatives, fillers and binders. Ideally, one should look for organically complexed (carbon-bound) supplements derived from whole foods that are minimally processed and made from the highest quality ingredients obtainable. Good health is ultimately worth the investment and is ultimately your choice.

The Sample Detox Diet: 12 Foods That Promote Health and Wellness


Dr. MIchael Roth obtained his Chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic College in Marietta, Ga.
Originally Seen Here:
http://www.toyourhealth.com/mpacms/tyh/article.php?id=1153

3 Ways to Diet Right

3 Ways to Diet Right

3 Ways to Diet Right

Hand Frequency

While there’s some debate over whether frequency of meals impacts metabolism, it makes perfect sense that the more small meals you eat, the less chance you’ll feel starved and overeat. Eating frequently also provides your body with a steady supply of energy to burn throughout the day. Too much energy (calories) at one time increases the likelihood of it being stored as fat.

Moderation

Pie in plate Many diets fail because they require people to deprive themselves of the foods they’re accustomed to eating. This isn’t to say you can keep eating the same amounts and same types of foods, especially not if they’re the high-fat, empty-calorie variety. It’s all about moderation: incorporating healthier options into your daily diet while allowing for the occasional small splurge.

Timing

Clock Your body tends to slow down at night, which can affect digestion and metabolism. Slower digestion and metabolism means your body isn’t processing the food you’ve just eaten at a normal rate (and in general, doesn’t need nearly as much of it for energy at night vs. during the day, when you’re much more active). The potential result? More calories stored as fat, rather than utilized by the body.

Originally Seen Here:
http://www.toyourhealth.com/mpacms/tyh/article.php?id=1230

Understanding Wellness

Understanding Wellness

Understanding Wellness

And How Your Chiropractor Can Help You Achieve It

By Dr. Claudia Anrig

Many have attributed the term wellness to Dr. Halbert Dumn, who wrote a booklet in 1961 titled High-Level Wellness, in which he basically defined it as a lifestyle approach for pursuing elevated states of physical and psychological well-being. While the reality is that the term wellness was actually coined in the year 1654 by a Scottish physician, the true meaning has evolved beyond what they both intended.

Defining Wellness

Chiropractors are the originators of the wellness movement, being the only health care professionals who recognize the body’s natural ability to heal itself. This is why they have spent more than 50 years educating their patients on the benefits of a wellness lifestyle. Proper nutrition, exercise and routine chiropractic care help the body to perform at maximum efficiency, resulting in improved function.

Wellness: Improving Function

The term improved function has been used by chiropractors for years to help patients understand the benefits of chiropractic care and the role it plays in true wellness. The body is made up of muscles, organs and glands that are controlled by the nervous system, and the nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord and nerves.

Understanding WellnessThe brain sends signals down the spine and to the nerves, which tell the heart to beat, the lungs to breathe, the stomach to digest, the glands to produce necessary hormones, and so on. It’s when the signals don’t get from the spinal cord to the nerves and then from the nerves to the muscles, organs and glands that the body begins to lose proper function and symptoms begin to occur.

Mainstream medicine doesn’t recognize these symptoms as simple alerts from the body that there’s something amiss, but instead as something that must be eliminated through chemicals or pharmaceuticals. They don’t seek wellness, but rather a lack of symptoms.

Medical vs. Wellness Care

The biggest difference between mainstream medicine and wellness care is just that: medicine. Today’s medical professionals are still treating symptoms instead of the cause of the problem. The bigger problem lies with the fact that the medicines usually begin to create their own list of symptoms that must be treated with more medicines. It’s a domino effect leading not to health and wellness, but to illness and dependence.

By focusing on symptoms instead of body function, they avoid having to look at the root cause and can ignore the lifestyle habits or outside influences that are the underlying problem. A drug-induced lack of symptoms leads to a false sense of security and avoids the lifestyle changes truly necessary for wellness.

On the other hand, the wellness chiropractic practitioner recognizes that the symptoms are there for a reason, an alert from your body that something isn’t right, and begins to seek the cause of the problem.

How Stressors Affect Wellness

What you may not realize is that your body is constantly adapting; when something isn’t quite right, the body will try to compensate. Physical, emotional and chemical stressors, or as they are called by chiropractors, the three T’s (traumas, thoughts and toxins), begin to cause the body to try to balance itself out or acclimate to the stress. Problems arise when the body, in a constant state of instability, begins to wear down; this is when our wellness or well-being is compromised.

The more obvious examples of stressors are physical; falls, jolts or sudden impacts to the spine. However, even micro-traumas caused by improper posture or one-sided repetitive movements can stress our system.

Emotional stressors are more difficult to avoid, but can be equally damaging to our wellness. Some well-known effects of emotional stress include increased blood pressure and gastrointestinal difficulties. But consider for a moment the pressure put on the spine by the physiological response to stress. Emotional stress can cause the muscles of the neck and back to tighten in response, potentially affecting the alignment of the spine.

Finally, chemical stressors or toxins are one of the leading causes of distress to the nervous system and interference to wellness, with diet and nutrition as one of the most frequently discussed underlying factors. From the chemicals in sodas and energy drinks to processed foods and preservatives, our body is constantly adapting to a chemical attack, working overtime to remove toxins and chemicals in an attempt to maintain balance.

Finding True Wellness

These days, the term wellness is being overused and abused by a society that recognizes its importance but doesn’t understand its application. Marketing departments around the globe are throwing the word around because it’s popular, but often it’s simply being used as a gimmick to improve sales of products that have nothing to do with improved health and function.

True wellness is achieved when all of the body’s systems are receiving their signals from the brain and are properly providing the body with what it needs to not only survive, but thrive. Too often, we mistake an absence of symptoms as the presence of health, when the reality is that the two are not even related.

We live in a society that’s been conditioned to believe there’s a medication or a surgical procedure to fix every problem. Is that really the way you want to live your life? Now that you understand wellness, start doing something to ensure you can enjoy it. Talk to your chiropractor to learn more.


What Wellness Is (and Isn’t)What is wellness? Many people think the absence of symptomatic disease means they are “well,” but true wellness is actually quite different. If you’re sick, and you take medication to mask the symptoms, it doesn’t mean you get well; it just means the symptoms go away (at least temporarily). The root cause of the problem hasn’t been addressed, and you may be no better off than when you started.

For example, do you have high cholesterol or know someone who does? If you’re taking medication to regulate your cholesterol, it may work, but it won’t address why you have high cholesterol in the first place. In many cases, it may be poor diet or lack of exercise. I think we can all agree that a person with high cholesterol, poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle who has to take medication is definitely not achieving a state of wellness.


lady with fruitsWellness: Part Health Promotion, Part Disease PreventionThink of wellness in terms of promoting better health and preventing disease. In that context, you don’t wait until symptoms appear – back pain, a stomach ulcer, fatigue, shortness of breath, etc. – or a disease process takes hold (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer) and then react; you proactively engage in behaviors that promote optimal health and reduce your risk of developing disease in the first place. Chiropractic adjustments, smoking cessation, a healthy, balanced diet, regular physical activity, and stress reduction tactics are among the many lifestyle modifications that can promote health, prevent disease and contribute to lifelong wellness.


Top Five Truths About Wellness Care 5. Symptoms are not the problem, but an alert to an underlying cause and should be heeded, not silenced with chemicals.

4. The body has an inborn ability to restore itself and will adapt to outside stressors, whether they are physical, emotional or chemical. When these stressors become too much, the body will eventually wear itself down trying to maintain balance; this results in an absence of health and wellness.

3. Wellness practitioners do not diagnose or treat conditions and diseases, but instead identify and remove outside stressors.

2. Wellness care focuses on improving function rather than hiding symptoms.

1. Doctors of chiropractic recognize the value of preventative care compared to symptom-based care. With regular adjustments, spinal health is maintained, encouraging proper nervous system function and allowing for the body to perform at its best.

Originally Seen:
http://www.toyourhealth.com/mpacms/tyh/article.php?id=1356

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