Life Restored

I often get asked what my favorite chiropractic story is..and my answer is every one is my favorite. Each story represents healing, and new chance at life. Each is just as awesome as the next.

I want to share with you another amazing testimonial. This patient had been in a car accident a little over a year ago, has been through countless doctor’s appointments, therapy appointments. After meeting with this gentleman a few times and explaining what chiropractic is, does and how it can help he finally “took a chance” on Dr. Erica.

Here is his story he sent to Dr. Erica in an email:

“Sorry for the delay. This started as a short text message, but the more I thought the more I wrote. So I really wanted to take a moment to write this note to you and Brittany. 

Six weeks ago I came to see you because of injuries from my car accident that had been plaguing me.

As a new father, I felt these injuries had robbed me of the first year experiences that every father and their child should be able to share together. My daughter and I should have tons of pictures of us interacting together that we can look at years later and reminisce about. I should be able to tell her stories about what she was like and what we did together while she looks at these pictures and see us together in them. Unfortunately, she will miss out on most of her “first year of life” pictures because they don’t exist. You see, while my daughter was gaining small experiences like taking her first steps, celebrating her first birthday, etc., I was forced to watch most of it from the sideline with very limited participation. The pain I was in wouldn’t allow me to bend over and pick her up when she fell taking her first steps. She ran around the house on her first birthday and I mostly sat back and watched as the pain increased when I got overly active. The list of challenges goes on and on.

Thanks to you and your massage therapists Brittany (who’ve I’ve seen the most), I have went the last eight days without any back pain! To some, this may not seem like much, but to me, this is a huge victory after living the last year in pain more days than not. This is the best I’ve felt in a long time! Yesterday after my office visit I came home and my daughter met me at the door. I had no hesitation when bending over to pick her up. We then went downstairs and got to play together like we’ve never been able to before. A few weeks ago I couldn’t crawl around with her and if I tried to I was in pain while doing it and I could only last a few minutes. Yesterday we played together for about an hour and she loved every bit of it!

I’ve said all of that to say this, it seems like you and Brittany work in an industry where heartfelt thank you’s are rarely given. I want both of you to know that I am someone who is beyond thankful for your services. You two have helped me get my life/health back! So please allow me to say THANK YOU for helping me get back on track! My family means the world to me and I know if my daughter could speak full sentences (she’s only 18 months) she would say thank you as well!

You are truly a Godsend and I am very happy you and I connected.

Thanks again, and I look forward to a long lasting relationship while we work together to help each other and help our community!”

I love this story. I love this story even more because he has been disconnected from life for the past year. Disconnected from his passion of motivating others, disconnected from his daily life habits, disconnected from his family and friends and living in fear with ‘this is what my life will be forever.’ This gentleman took a chance on chiropractic, and took a chance on me. His testimonial is beautiful, powerful and inspiring.

Thank you for giving me the chance to serve you.

Top 3 Chiropractic Myths, Busted…

Chiropractic continues to get a bad rap today, despite the numerous studies that prove it to be both an effective and better way to heal. Well, as a chiropractor and true advocate of the profession, I feel it’s high time to put many of the misconceptions surrounding our calling to rest. There are so many that it’d be impossible to address them all in a single blog post, so I will start with the three biggest ones…

Myth #1: Chiropractic is dangerous.

Truth: This could not be further from the truth. In fact, studies have shown that activities such as salon shampooing, gazing at the stars and dancing are much more dangerous than a mere adjustments.

Myth #2: Once you go to the chiropractor, you’ll always have to go.

Truth: The choice to go to the chiropractor for routine maintenance and continued health is yours.

Myth #3: Chiropractic care is not effective.

Truth: Millions of people have benefitted from chiropractic care, and millions more continue to benefit from it today. People such as Tiger Woods, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lance Armstrong, Michael Jordan, NFL Pro Athletes, Christie Brinkley and so many others rely on chiropractic to keep them strong, healthy and doing what they do.

Stay tuned for more “myth busters!”
Visit www.brightlifefamilychiropractic.com to learn more about the very real benefits of chiropractic care.

Source: ADIO Chiropractic, http://www.getadio.com

9 Signs You Have Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium is arguably the most important mineral in the body.
According to Dr. Norman Shealy

“Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency and it’s the missing cure to many diseases.” 

Not only does Magnesium help regulate calcium, potassium and sodium, but Magnesium (Mg) is essential for cellular health and is a critical component of over 300 biochemical functions in the body.

Even glutathione, your body’s most powerful antioxidant that has even been called “the master antioxidant,” requires magnesium for its synthesis.

Unfortunately, most people are not aware of this and millions suffer daily from magnesium deficiency without even knowing it.


Causes of Magnesium Deficiency

Once thought to be relatively rare, magnesium deficiency is more common than most physicians believe. Here’s why:

  • Soil depletiongenetically modified organisms (GMO) and the chemicals in our food have created a recipe for disaster. As minerals are removed, stripped away, or no longer available in the soil, the percentage of magnesium present in food has decreased.
  • Digestive disease, like leaky gut can cause malabsorption of minerals including magnesium. Today, there are hundreds of millions of people who aren’t absorbing their nutrients.  Also, as we age our mineral absorption tends to decrease, so the probability of having a deficiency increases across the board.
  • Chronic disease and medication use is at an all-time high. Most chronic illness is associated with magnesium deficiency and lack of mineral absorption. Medications damage the gut which is responsible for absorbing magnesium from our food.

Should you worry about magnesium deficiency? 

Maybe, maybe not, it all depends on your risk factors and presenting symptoms which are covered in this article. Also, approximately 80% of people have low levels of magnesium so the chances are you are probably deficient.

Take note of this… only 1% of magnesium in your body is in your bloodstream, so often you can have deficiency and it would not even be discovered by a common blood test.


Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms 

Many people may be magnesium deficient and not even know it. But here are some key symptoms to look out for that could indicate if you are deficient:

leg cramps1. Leg Cramps

70% of adults and 7% of children experience leg cramps on a regular basis. But leg cramps can more than a nuisance; they can also be downright excruciating! Because of magnesium’s role in neuromuscular signals and muscle contraction, researchers have observed that magnesium deficiency is often to blame. (1,2)

More and more health care professionals are prescribing magnesium supplements to help their patients. Restless leg syndrome is another warning sign of a magnesium deficiency.  To overcome both leg cramps and restless leg syndrome you will want to increase your intake of both magnesium and potassium.


Man With Insomnia2. Insomnia

Magnesium deficiency is often a precursor to sleep disorders such as anxiety, hyperactivity and restlessness. It has been suggested that this is because magnesium is vital for GABA function, an inhibitory neurotransmitter known to “calm” the brain and promote relaxation.

Taking around 400mg of magnesium before bed or with dinner is the best time of day to take the supplement. Also, adding in magnesium rich foods during dinner like spinach may help.


woman with neck pain3. Muscle Pain / Fibromyalgia

A study published in Magnesium Research examined the role magnesium plays in fibromyalgia, and uncovered that increasing magnesium consumption reduced pain and tenderness and also improved immune blood markers. (3)

Oftentimes linked to autoimmune disorders, this research should encourage fibromyalgia patients because it highlights the systemic effects that magnesium supplements have on the body.


woman stressed at work

4. Anxiety

As magnesium deficiency can affect the central nervous system, more specifically the GABA cycle in the body, it’s side effects can include irritability and nervousness. As the deficiency worsens it causes high levels of anxiety and in severe cases depression and hallucinations.

Magnesium is needed for every cell function from the gut to the brain, so it is no wonder that it affects so many systems.


blood pressure monitor

5. High Blood Pressure

Magnesium works partnered with calcium to support proper blood pressure and protect the heart.  So when you are magnesium deficient, often you are also low in calcium and tend towards hypertension or high blood pressure.

A study with 241,378 participants published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition uncovered that a diet high in magnesium foods could reduce the risk of a stroke by 8%. (4) This is profound considering that hypertension causes 50% of ischemic strokes in the world.


page with diabetes definition6. Type II Diabetes

One of the 4 mains causes of magnesium deficiency is type II diabetes but it is also a common symptom. UK researchers, for example, uncovered that of the 1,452 adults they examined low Mg levels were 10.51 times more common with new diabetics and 8.63 times more common with known diabetics. (5)

As expected from this data, diets rich in Mg has been shown to significantly lower the risk of type 2 diabetes because of magnesium’s role in sugar metabolism. Another study discovered that the simple addition of magnesium supplementation (100 mg/day) lowered the risk of diabetes by 15%! (6)


man tired at work7. Fatigue

Low energy, weakness and fatigue are common symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Most chronic fatigue patients are also magnesium deficient. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that 300 – 1,000 mg of Magnesium per day can help, but you do also want to be careful as too much Mg can also cause diarrhea. (7) If you experience this side effect you can simply reduce your dosage a little until the side effect subsides.


woma with painful headache 8. Migraine Headaches 

Magnesium deficiency has been linked to migraine headaches due of its importance in balancing neurotransmitters in the body. Double-blind placebo-controlled studies have proven that 360 – 600mg of magnesium daily reduced the frequency of migraine headaches by up to 42%. (8)


close up osteoporosis graphic representation9. Osteoporosis

The National Institute of Health reports that, “The average person’s body contains about 25 grams of magnesium, and about half of that is in the bones.” (9) This is important to realize, especially for the elderly, who are at risk of bone weakening.

Thankfully, there’s hope! A study published in Biology Trace Element Research uncovered that supplementing with magnesium slowed the development of osteoporosis “significantly” after just 30 days. In addition to taking magnesium supplement, you will also want to consider getting more vitamin D3 and K2 to naturally build bone density. (10)


Are you at risk?  

So who is most susceptible to a magnesium deficiency?

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), not every one is created equal in regards to metabolizing and assimilating magnesium. In fact, certain people are inherently at a greater risk of developing Mg deficiency.

Magnesium deficiency can be inherited genetically as an inability to absorb this important mineral.

Also, a diet low in high magnesium foods, or even emotional or work stress can drain magnesium from the body. Whether inherited, through a deficient diet, or even stress, a magnesium deficiency can lead to side effects of migraines, diabetes, fatigue and more!

My favorite magnesium supplement to take is Natural Calm. Natural Calm comes in many different flavors. My favorite is the Raspberry Lemon. Are you magnesium deficient? Do you take a magnesium supplement?

Source: http://www.draxe.com

I’m Waking Up with a Stiff Neck!

Alarm - focus on alarmLife is stressful enough during the day that it seems truly heartbreaking that many us cannot get the restorative sleep we need each night. Tossing and turning causing insomnia is an epidemic in the U.S., but worse, some of us wake up with actual pain and stiffness. It’s a completely normal way to start the day, right? Wrong.

Sometimes it’s the mattress being too soft or unsupportive. Or maybe the too thick hotel pillow has gotten your number. Sleep posture is very critical to spinal health. The neck has a forward arch, and this has to be preserved for there to be maximal relaxation of the spinal cord and nerves. Also, the head needs to be supported when turning to side sleeping. The pillow needs to be thick enough so that the head does not fall towards the shoulder, stretching the muscles and delicate nerves on the side of the neck.

You need to rest your spine each night so that the tissues can repair and heal. It is important that muscles are able to relax and the bones of the neck are not placed into abnormal postures. Ever fall asleep on an armrest of a sofa or in a car or plane? Most of us have experienced the stiffness that comes with this, but some of us have spinal bones that are already sprained and displaced from old injuries, which means good sleeping posture is even more critical. Simply a minor change from our usual bed or pillow is enough to make for a stiff neck in the morning. Or perhaps you thought a stiff neck in the morning was normal because it has gone on for years.

One of the more common problems for morning stiffness is neck and body position. Stomach sleeping is a definite no. In this position, the neck will be twisted excessively. The best positions will be side lying with adequate head support, or flat on the back with a proper neck-support pillow. These types of pillows allow the cushion to push upwards into the curve of the neck, while the head is cradled. Usually pillows are simply too thick and these can cause the neck to be in a forward stressed position which stretches the nerves and spinal cord.

If you’re waking up with a stiff neck, then it could be how you’re sleeping or whether your pillow is right for good neck sleeping posture. For better sleep habits, better neck function and less stress on your nerves and spinal cord visit your chiropractor today to discuss the proper sleeping posture and pillow for you.

Source: www.chiro-trust.org

Freedom to Choose

This post is going to be a little bit different today. In the office this week I’ve been asked about my thoughts on the current measles outbreak. I’ve also been asked about vaccinations and my opinion on vaccinations, and if when I have children if I will vaccinate my children. I’m not one to weigh in on controversial topics like this unless asked because it’s not worth the fight. Controversial topics can lead to heated discussions filled with intense emotions and ignorant statements and/or attacks on personal morals, values and beliefs.

Here’s the conclusion I’ve come to…
Personal choice with a two asterisks. Every parent parents differently. Families have their own beliefs, values, morals, health practices, etc..

Therefore, my stand is personal choice with two asterisks.

The first * is this, education.

Before you make the decision to vaccinate, not vaccinate or delay schedule vaccinate your beautiful bundles of joy, I just ask you to do the research and know the pros and cons of each scenario so you are able to make the best, informed decision for your child and your family.

Topics to research: vaccination schedules, what is in each vaccination, the “why” or use for each vaccination, the dosage for each vaccination, the pro/cons of vaccinating or not vaccinating, adverse reactions to the vaccines, etc..

The second * is respect.

Respect the decision of other parents. It’s 100% ok to agree to disagree. What’s not ok is “shaming” them, blaming them, slamming them… Shaming other parents into thinking their children don’t deserve healthcare when they are sick because they weren’t vaccinated, or that their children shouldn’t be allowed in school, play groups, church groups, etc because they weren’t vaccinated. That’s not ok, and simply it’s not respectful.

Have you ever asked a parent who decided to vax, non-vax, delay vax their reason, their “why” for doing so?
Because for me, what really matters is everyone’s lives matter. Black or White, Asian or Hispanic, Young or Old, Non-Vaccinated or Vaccinated..it doesn’t matter. All lives matter.

So, my medical opinion and stance on the vaccination issue is this:
Do your homework, so you are able to make an informed and not ignorant decision. My second medical opinion is this, respect other parents and their decision.

And in the name of Ellen Degeneres–Be Kind Today, and Every day!

Babywearing Benefits

There has been much interest in the media about carrying our babies. Outside of the variety of car seats (being awkwardly used to carry the baby) and the traditional stroller, many parents are now opting to “wear” their babies.

Numerous baby carriers are now available to choose from. In general, parents are looking for greater insight in choosing the methods of carrying their infants. Here is some insight from the chiropractic perspective.

babywearing
Structure Determines Function

In chiropractic we frequently say, “structure determines function;” primarily, the spine determines the function of the nervous system. In chiropractic we recognize that the nervous system controls all body systems. Therefore, a nervous system stressed by a compromised structure will affect the body’s overall ability to be healthy. One significant way our spinal structures become impaired is through irregular, repetitive postures. New parents need to be aware that the means they choose to carry their babies has postural effects on both themselves and their children.

Baby Carrying Overview

Car seats are for the car! The frequent use of car seats as carriers outside of the car are known to cause undue postural distortions to both the mother and baby. Just watch a mother struggling to remove the seat from the car—it is almost impossible to get directly in front of it when lifting it from car and the torsion and twisting to the spine during this struggle spells potential injury. Once she finally gets the seat out of the car, her body posture is forced to lean to the side she is carrying the seat on. As the baby gains weight, this task becomes more and more difficult. Once again, this repeated spinal stress could lead to injury.

Strollers seem to be most convenient for the mother’s body, but they do not allow contact between mother and baby. It is well known and documented that close contact between baby and parent is important for babies’ physical, emotional, social, and neurological development.

The phrase “baby wearing” is being used to describe the revived custom of carrying infants in cloth carriers on the parent’s body. There are numerous benefits to baby wearing for both the parents and the infant. From a chiropractic wellness perspective, we recognize that baby wearing contributes to a healthy neurological development for the baby in many ways. Two of the most significant benefits are parent–baby contact and varied baby positioning.

The importance of parent–baby contact

Numerous psychological groups are encouraging a return to baby wearing because of the effects that constant motion and touch have on the neurological and emotional development of the baby. Researchers are documenting the importance of the continued contact and motion offered by baby carrying. A baby spends nine months in the womb experiencing constant motion, warmth, and physical contact with the mother. Separating the infant into an apparatus where the baby cannot feel, smell, and touch the mother is a stressful, alarming change of environment for the baby. Neurological development is often impaired under stressful situations.

The importance of varied baby positions

Ever since the “Back to Sleep” program, which advocates placing babies on their backs to reduce the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), babies have spent more time on their backs then ever before. Combined with the additional use of strollers, infant seats, car seats, and other similar reclining carriers, doctors of chiropractic are noticing a significant increase in plagiocephaly, a condition of flattened portions of the infant’s cranium. Since an infant’s head is so soft and impressionable by position, it is vital that parents offer numerous positions for the baby during waking and carrying hours.

A flattened head is more than a cosmetic concern. It adds to cranial distortions and, therefore, neurological compromise for the infant. Additionally, back-lying seat carriers do not help infants develop and strengthen their neck muscles. Once again, structure is being affected and therefore function will be compromised as well.

With all of these postural considerations in mind, the carriers of choice are baby slings, sacks, pouches, and wraps. There are numerous carriers to choose from. Each has its own unique design. Because baby wearing involves carrying the baby, there are postural considerations for both the parent and the baby.

babywearingcake
Considerations for the Mother

The hormone relaxin may remain in your system up to nine months after delivery. So, postural adaptations may adversely affect your spinal joints while trying to perform new activities such as carrying your baby. You need to be sensitive to what your body tells you while using a carrier for your child. Do certain areas of your neck, back, hips, or shoulders become uncomfortable? Do you feel specific back muscles tighten regularly? Do you feel a general fatigue after carrying your baby? These questions will help you recognize if you are placing undue stress on your spine from infant carrying. Spinal stress will eventually affect nerve system function and it is important to recognize minor discomforts before they accelerate into bigger problems.

Regular chiropractic check–ups are a must during this period to help you maintain a healthy spine and nervous system. As the baby’s weight increases, your spinal stress increases as well. You can optimize you body’s ability to adapt with regular chiropractic care. Your doctor of chiropractic can assist you in selecting carrying postures that support your regular, postpartum chiropractic adjustments.

Considerations For the Baby

A chiropractic exam right at birth will help determine if there are any spinal misalignments contributing to potential postural deviations. Addressing these issues as early as possible with specific chiropractic adjustments can prevent abnormal developments of the spine and cranium.

For continued support in the care of your infant’s spine and nervous system, your family chiropractor will discuss variations of postures for your baby’s optimal development as well. This includes sleep, play time, breastfeeding, and baby-carrying positions. Incorporating proper baby positioning and carrying early on will offer your child the best potential for normal, healthy, structural development.

Choosing a single carrier that offers maximum diversity with all of these considerations is not easy. It is therefore advisable that parents have a variety of carriers on hand for various stages of baby development, weight gain, and mutual comfort for parent and child. Parents should also vary the use of their carriers on a daily basis. Alternating carriers and maintaining awareness of postures will offer both parent and baby the maximum benefits of baby wearing.

Considerations for choosing a soft–body carrier:

  • Does the carrier offer various carrying positions for the baby on the wearer? (Front, sides, back?)HIP-DYSPLASIA-2
  • Does the carrier offer numerous positions for the baby: forward-facing, chest-facing, vertical, horizontal, legsfolded, straight, or frog-like position? (A carrier with limited positions for the child will affect your baby’s postural development.)
  • How long will the carrier accommodate the child’s growth and postural development? For several months, the entire first year, into the toddler years?
  • Can the child be transferred from one wearer to another without disturbing the baby?
  • How comfortably can a sleeping baby be laid down or removed from the carrier without waking?
  • Can the baby be breastfed while being carried?
  • Is the carrier easily cleaned?
  • Does the carrier require the wearer to support the baby with one hand or does the wearer have both hands free?
  • Can the baby be put into all carrying positions by the wearer alone, or is another person’s help necessary?
  • Is the weight of the baby evenly distributed for the wearer’s comfort while using the carrier?
  • Does the carrier cause repetitive stress and postural compensations to one area of the wearer’s spine?

Source: www.icpa4kids.org