Adjustments in the Park

Last week, I was lucky enough to get a call from a doula in need of some help.  The mom she was assisting had been in labor for over 24 hours but not progressing past 1 cm.  The doctors at the hospital didn’t believe she was in active labor so they turned her away and told her to come back next week! Instead of going home, they went to a nearby park to walk and get the baby moving.  They worked most of the morning trying to get labor to pick up but things weren’t changing much.  Cara, her doula, let me know that the mom wanted to try an adjustment to free any constraint in her uterus that wasn’t allowing her baby to drop into the pelvic cavity.  When I arrived at the park, I found a very tired mom!  She had been going through full contractions for over a day and was getting worried that she wouldn’t have the energy to get through the birth.  She was also attempting a VBAC after a failed induction with her first ended in a C-section and was nervous about the possibility of having another one.  I gathered all my equipment and we found a nice flat grassy area to begin the adjustment.

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Although the baby wasn’t breech I used the Webster technique to free up any constrained areas in her pelvis and sacrum.  The uterus attaches itself to these structures by way of ligaments.  If the pelvic or sacral bones are misaligned it can cause these ligaments to be stretched or asymmetrical, leading to prolonged labor, painful decent, breech babies, and ineffective contractions, etc.  When checking her, I noticed her sacrum was not moving the way it should on the right side so we adjusted it and then addressed the ligaments on the front side of her belly.  She also had some neck misalignments that could have been affecting her autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for the coordination of all the tissues, organs, and glands, so we adjusted that too.

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As I left the couple to continue to work through contractions, I had a great feeling about the upcoming hours.  I heard from their doula once more that day…telling me they had their successful VBAC!  Her contractions started picking up right after the adjustment and they went back to the hospital.  No one there believed she had progressed since the morning but they insisted and were finally admitted.  She was progressing well and had their baby that evening.

It’s days like these that remind me how much I love what I do.  Chiropractic is amazing and can do great things!  This is yet another reminder of how powerful an adjustment can be.  By freeing up the interference on your nervous system, your body can function like it should!  (Which is pretty important when birthing a baby!)  I’m so grateful to have been a part of the couple’s day and to have a gift I could share with them.

Raw Energy Bites!

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There are many days when I find myself craving something sweet in the afternoon to get me through the last few hours of the work day.  I usually remember to grab almonds or an apple for this time of day but sometimes they just don’t cut it.  On days when I need an extra energy boost, I grab a couple raw energy bites!  These are super easy to make and pack a mean punch of extra nutrition in one little bite.  I always try to make a big batch at once and then keep some in the fridge and some in the freezer for later…but they don’t last very long because they are really tasty!

The recipe, like I said, is super easy and you can really experiment with different flavors to give you some variations.  They also only take about 15 minutes to make completely, which is great since my one-year-old rarely gives me much more than that to do anything at once!  Oh, and I don’t measure anything out so just use your best judgement.  If you like more of something, use more!  Its all about you with this recipe.  Enjoy!

Raw Energy Bites

A couple handfuls of raw walnuts/almonds/cashews/pecans

1 TBSP of organic cacao powder

1-2 TBSP of organic shredded coconut

1-2 TBSP of Flaxseed Meal

1-2 TBSP of Hemp Seeds

1-2 TBSP of Chia Seeds

Approx. 20 Figs/Pitted Dates  (If using dates, be sure to soak them for about an hour in water before using.)

Handful of unsweetened Cranberries

A couple scoops of Almond Butter (optional but helps hold them together)

Combine your dry ingredients in a food processor until the nuts are all broken down.  Empty contents into a mixing bowl.  Combine the figs, dates, and cranberries in the food processor until they form a sticky mixture.    Add the sticky mixture and almond butter to the dry ingredients and mash/mix it up with your hands.  Once the mixture is moist, form it into small balls, a little smaller than golf balls.  Place in the fridge or store in the freezer.  They should be good for 7-10 days in the fridge, if they last that long!

If you don’t like the taste of the figs or dates, use less of them and more of the almond butter or even natural peanut butter.  The use of the seeds (hemp, chia, flax) and cacao powder is really important because they are amazing sources of protein, antioxidants, and omega-3s.  So don’t be stingy with these ingredients!

 

Trouble Getting Pregnant?

For many couples, the decision of when to start their family is a big one.  It can be an exciting time, anticipating the pregnancy and baby.  But when that decision doesn’t go as planned and it becomes hard to get pregnant, the process can feel more like a burden than a blessing.  Most couples turn to conventional medicine and start testing for infertility.  There are many factors that can contribute to infertility.  However, many times, doctors can’t find any reason why the couple is not able to conceive.  Oftentimes, this feels like a dead end.  This, however, doesn’t have to be.

HOW DOES CHIROPRACTIC WORK?
For many couples, getting help from a chiropractor does not seem like a logical choice for infertility issues.  But many chiropractors specialize in the care of women (and men) with the goal of getting pregnant in mind. Chiropractors work with the nervous system to enable it to function at its best, uninterrupted and un-interfered with.  There are nerves in the low back that directly influence the sex organs and uterus and make sure the environment is ready to support a child.  Specifically, the 3rd Lumbar is one of the most important vertebra in this region.  Misalignments in this area cause stress on the nerves exiting the spine which can cause dysfunction with many of the “normal” functions of the body.  Effects of these misalignments include bladder troubles (incontinence), bed wetting, impotency, miscarriages, knee pain and menstrual troubles (amenorrhea, dismenorrhea).

Screen shot 2013-06-10 at 9.14.34 AMOther areas chiropractors can check is the atlas, or 1st Cervical vertebra, and the 9th Thoracic vertebra.  The C1 vertebra can influence many functions of the body.  Specific to infertility, it supplies the pituitary gland in the brain which is part of the endocrine system.  This gland is responsible for the stimulation and secretion of important hormones in the body.  The T9 nerves supply the adrenals, which are also part of the endocrine system.  The hormones released are involved with sexual function/fertility, our stress response, and kidney function.  Therefore, without proper nerve function in the neck or middle back, the endocrine system and fertility can suffer.

Other symptoms related to C1 subluxations include headaches, migraines, insomnia, head colds, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, depression, and digestive disorders.  T9 subluxations involve allergies, hives, digestive disorders, and other conditions.  As you can see, everything is related!  So, if you or someone you know is having difficulties getting pregnant or are experiencing any of these related symptoms, give the office a call to get your spine checked!  Chiropractors use natural and effective ways to encourage you to live at your highest potential, without the use of medications or surgery.  Make the goal today to live more naturally and let us help you achieve it!

Coconut Oil Benefits

Are you looking for an alternative cooking oil that is heat stable and doesn’t pose the health risks most cooking oils do?  Well, look no further; Coconut oil is your answer.

Coconut oil is one of the most beneficial things you can add to your diet.  It has been around forever, and a staple in many Eastern diets, but only recently come back into the spotlight in our Western diets after to the explosion of vegetable oils and seed oils on the market.  Many people are hesitant to consume fats for fear that they will go straight to their hips.  However, not all fats should be treated equally.  There are good fats that should be consumed in a normal balanced diet that provide many benefits to your health.  Coconut oil is one of these healthy fats.

Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid which is much healthier than long-chain fatty acids found in vegetable oils and seed oils commonly found in our diets.  What is the difference between medium and long-chain fatty acids?  Long-chain fatty acids are much harder for our bodies to break down which puts a strain on all of our digestive organs.  These include the intestines, pancreas, liver, etc.  Long-chain fatty acids are also stored in the body as fat and can be deposited in the arteries as cholesterol.  Medium-chain fatty acids, on the other hand, are smaller and more permeable to cell membranes.  This means that digestion is much easier and doesn’t put strain on the body.  They are also sent to the liver for conversion to energy to fuel the body instead of being stored as fat.  This stimulates the metabolism without a spike in blood sugar.

Along with these health benefits, coconut oil has been found to help maintain a healthy cholesterol, assist with weight loss, provide immune system support, increase metabolism, encourage proper thyroid function, and keep your skin looking healthy and young.  Because it is heat stable, coconut oil can be easily incorporated into your diet.  It can be added to stir-fry, smoothies, baked goodies, etc., and can be used as lotion/skin care.  Coconut oil is also good for your heart, containing no trans-fats, and has been shown to prevent and improved Alzheimer’s symptoms.

To get the true benefits of coconut oil, consume 3-3.5 tablespoons per day of this yummy ingredient.  It needs no refrigeration and has a two-year shelf life but keep it out of direct sunlight.  In selecting a brand, do some research on how it is made.  Many lower quality brands are made using copra, the dried up meat of the coconut, and are refined, bleached, and deodorized.  These types are usually heated and hydrogenated which create trans fats!

Make a change today that can truly affect your future.  Add a little coconut oil to your diet and reap the benefits!

Back to School

August is upon us and for most families, it is back to school for the little ones!  Did you know that the way your children’s backpack fits can affect their health over the school year?  Let’s explain.

Ideally, kids should only carry 7-10% of their body weight in their backpacks.  In other words, a 75lb child should only have between 5.25 and 7.5 lbs of books, paper, pencils, etc. in their bags.  These days, kids are carrying way more than that, usually 15% of their body weight, which is causing many problems with their health.  For kids in grade school through high school, backpacks can range from 11.5lbs to 22lbs!  Imagine what that does to their backs having to carry that much every day!

Heavy backpacks alone can do a lot of damage; but one that is not fitted properly can do even more.  When a child’s backpack is too heavy, they tend to bend forward and hold their head anterior to the spine.  This posture is detrimental to the health of their spine because it puts a lot of stress on the cervical vertebrae in the neck and the vertebrae making up the cervicothoracic junction.  Over time, this anterior head carriage will change the shape of the natural curve in the cervical spine, causing further changes to the discs between each vertebrae.  Because of these changes, there is a greater chance of prolonged nerve irritation that can have major affects on the child’s health.  Many kids experience headaches, lack of concentration, brain fog, insomnia, and various other conditions that have a lot to do with the cervical vertebrae being out of alignment.  The constant bending also can encourage rounded shoulders, a decrease in the natural curve of the low back, and stress on the vertebrae in the lumbar and sacral regions.

When children use one-shoulder backpacks, all the weight of the backpack is concentrated to the one side, creating asymmetry in the spinal muscles. Many kids already have a curvature of the spine, known as scoliosis.  Wearing the backpack on one shoulder could increase an already diagnosed scoliotic curve or cause a minor curve to develop into a major curve.  Asymmetry in the spine can cause subluxations putting the child further at risk for health problems such as digestive issues, allergies, asthma, UTIs, bed wetting, and migraines.

To prevent your child from experiencing any of these problems, read on for some backpack safety tips.  And don’t forget to get your child’s spine checked by their chiropractor to make sure they are fully functioning for the new school year!

Backpack Safety Tips:

1.  Carry the heaviest items closest to the back.

2.  Use two-strapped bags vs. one-strapped over-the-shoulder bags.

3.  Tighten straps so the top and bottom of the backpack lie between the shoulders and buttocks.  Make sure the backpack is a good fit.

4.  Pack as light as possible.  Figure out what books really need to come home each day and what can stay either at home or at school.

5.  Use folders vs. heavy binders to keep papers straight.

6.  Wear two-strapped backpacks on both shoulders instead of on one and utilize the waist strap if your bag has one.

7.  Make an effort to use good posture while wearing the backpack.  Try to not lean forward or jut your head out in front of your body.

8.  Pick a backpack with padded, wide straps and a padded back for comfort.

9.  Try a rolling backpack as an alternative to bulky backpacks if carrying a heavy load is unavoidable.

10.  Lift with your legs when picking up the backpack and putting it on your back.

Prenatal Care

Prenatal Chiropractic Care

                  Regular chiropractic care during a pregnancy plays an important role in the health of both the mother and growing child.  It keeps her feeling comfortable, while enabling her to cope with the physical changes going on in her body.

What are those changes?

  • The pregnant body releases the hormone relaxin that causes all ligaments and muscles to become relaxed.  This allows joints to become more easily misaligned, or subluxated.
  • The addition of a baby growing inside means the addition of some extra weight.  This will put an additional demand and fatigue on the muscles and ligaments of the spine.  Plus, the natural curves of the spine are accentuated.  These factors can increase the occurrence of pelvic subluxations, resulting in low back pain or less optimal development of the child.
  • As the baby grows, there is a change in the weight distribution for the mother.  The weight of the belly pulls the torso forward putting stress on the muscles of the spine and pelvis.

    What are the benefits?

             With regular chiropractic care, the expecting mother will experience many benefits to not only her own body, but to the developing baby inside of her.  Because of the relaxation of her muscles and ligaments, the bones that are supported can become misaligned easier in the spine and pelvic region.  When these misalignments are not corrected, the bones remain in an improper position, known as a subluxation.  Subluxations in the spine or pelvis can be very uncomfortable for the mom.  The nerves that exit the spine can become irritated causing pain, muscle weakness, sensory issues, and most importantly, improper functioning of the organs supporting her and her baby.

    By correcting the subluxations the expecting mother’s organs will be functioning at their most optimal potential.  This means that her baby is getting everything it needs to develop into a healthy, beautiful baby.  In addition, she can feel relief of the pain in her spine and pelvis.

    Studies have shown that in addition to experiencing the health benefits under chiropractic care, expecting mothers receiving regular adjustments have a reduced time spent in labor.  With the pelvis moving properly and the nerves free of interference, the mother can have full, affective contractions pushing the baby faster through the birth canal.

    Is it safe?

                      The chiropractic adjustment for an expecting mother is a very safe and gentle adjustment.  Extra care is given to ensure that the expecting mother is relaxed and the chiropractic adjustment is both comfortable and specific.

Do not hesitate to get your nervous system checked if you are pregnant.  It is an important addition to your preparatory measures for the arrival of your baby!