BLOG 248 CHIROPRACTORS
Relief from back pain might mean a trip to the chiropractor for some people. In fact, 22 million Americans visit the chiropractor each year. Different causes can send a person to this type of medical practice including car accidents, sports injuries, and muscle strains. Although most people might go for back pain, other pains that need relief occur in the neck, legs, arms, chronic headaches.
A chiropractor uses what is called hands-on spinal manipulation. The idea is to properly align the body’s musculoskeletal system. When the spin is in alignment, healing can occur, and this is an alternative to medication or surgery. Most of the time tissue has been injured that is causing loss of mobility and range of motion. This tissue damage might be the result of a fall, lifting with little back support, repetitive stress, or some type of trauma. This form of treatment is called alternative. Through this manipulation, the tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bones, and connective tissue can find pain relief.
A chiropractor will attend 4 years of chiropractic school. Upon completion, they will be awarded the title “DC” next to their name. Their type of treatment is generally considered safe. The chiropractor will perform a physical examination on a patient and discuss medical history. Then treatment will involve manual adjustments to the affected areas. The chiropractor uses sudden force to help the area have improved range of motion.
It is not advised that persons with spinal cord compression, arthritis, who use blood-thinning medications, or who have osteoporosis, should use a chiropractor’s help. A chiropractor is a health care professional who can help treat neuromuscular disorders, but explaining medical history is important in order to avoid further injury. Their goal is to preserve the structural integrity of the spine. This form of treatment can be complimentary to other forms. If a chiropractor thinks additional forms of treatment are necessary, they will refer accordingly.
Low back pain can vary in severity. Most of the time it is non-specific in the lumbar spine and can be treated. There is no exact cause. Nerves can be problematic if one is pinched or compressed. Other potentially serious causes include infections, tumors, joint infection, prolonged bleeding, or artificial joint problems.
Pain can be intolerable and so uncomfortable that a person must seek help. Imagine if a rib was popped out of place. One’s primary doctor might not be able to address this, and surgery certainly is not always necessary, so someone like a chiropractor can alleviate this pain. Each case is different and each person recovers on their own time based on the frequency and necessity of treatment.
BLOG 247 HOW WEATHER AFFECTS THE BODY
Remember when quirky Aunt Sally used to say, “My knees are hurting, must be a storm coming”?? In our adult lives, we now might relate to her wives’ tale. There may actually be truth to her statement. When barometric pressure changes in our body, weather forecasting becomes our new super power. Feeling increased pain before the weather changes is actually quite common in people with arthritis and chronic pain. Knees, ankles, elbows, and wrists are the popular trouble zones. When mother nature cries, so too can our joints.
There are a couple theories that might explain this. Barometric pressure (air pressure) seems to be the common denominator. This is the weight of the atmosphere around us. Think of what happens to the body when you go up on an airplane. You feel different sensations due to the change of air pressure.
Our joints are like a balloon. High pressure makes the joint push against the body and the tissues aren’t able to expand. When this pressure drops, which is what happens before rain, hail, or snow, there is less air and pressure on the body. This causes the tissues to start to expand. We feel this pressure sensation as the tissues put pressure on the joints. The cold weather causes our muscles, ligaments, and tendons to stiffen up. Synovium is the lining of our joints which have nerves at their ends. The nerves become especially sensitive post-surgery, if you have arthritis or fibromyalgia, or if you have had an injury. Think back to the plane. Just like in the airplane, where the pressure in cabin is less, this can result in swollen feet.
Another theory is that the change in humidity and temperature might affect the pressure in our brain. From this, our pain receptors are affected and not doing their blocking job. This aligns with the theory that people with migraines experience weather related headaches.
This does not mean that people with this pressure meter of pain can be alleviated by living in an ideal climate. Even the most minute changes can affect someone. Your body adapts wherever it goes. Warmth can help joint pain, so when it is cold dressing in layers and using a heating pad can be helpful. Loosen up those joints through exercise, because the combination of stiff and cold joints, only worsens the problem. The winter month is not a time to stay cooped up. Those joints need blood flow to ward off pain.
Fortunately, weather related pain is temporary. It comes and goes. We aren’t mother nature, so the weather is not in our control. How we manage our pain is. There a medications, creams, pads, and such, but just walking in place (movement in its simplest form), will help alleviate this condition. Use movement for joint pain relief come rain or shine. Use your weather super powers wisely, and be proactive about protecting your joints from pain.
BLOG 246 QUITTING SMOKING
Quitting smoking is a battle many cigarette users face when attempting to stop cold turkey or even reduce the number of smoke breaks per day. Smoking is the largest preventable cause of death and disease in the U.S., but nicotine users are certainly addicted and hooked. Smoking kills more than 480,000 people per year. It Is estimated that 14% of U.S. adults are smokers. Of these, 75% of them smoke every single day. Ages 25-65 seem to be the target group most involved. American Indian and Alaska Native are the highest race/ethnicity that smokes.
There are several different ways to try to quit smoking. Some people have mad multiple attempts, revisiting the addiction after stopping for some time. Some people are able to make up their mind and walk away forever. Our brains are wired differently so finding a solution might be a task of trial and error unit habit is finally eliminated.
1. Quitting cold turkey: Only about 5-7% of people are able to do this on their own without any type of help. About 90% of people attempt to quit smoking without the use of therapy, medicine, or different aids.
2. Nicotine replacement therapy: There are many types on the market. These include patches, gums, inhalers, and sprays. The catch is that the person is trying to quit their addiction to nicotine itself, so sometimes changing for a different form doesn’t make the craving and desire for nicotine any less.
3. Behavioral therapy: This involves working with a counselor to address triggers that make the person want to smoke. These might include emotions or situations. Together, a plan of attack can be created to know what to do when these circumstances arise.
4. Medication: Chantix and Bupropion can be prescribed to help with withdrawl and cravings.
Of course the first few days are going to be difficult. Change of any type adds an element of uncertainty and a withdrawal from something that once was. It becomes important to avoid situations, triggers, or places, that could create a desire to want to reach for a cigarette. It is extremely important to succumb to cravings. Allowing yourself to have that cigarette when the want is so strong, only tricks your brain that permission is granted, and it is okay to keep smoking. Send the right message from the start for long term success. Reward yourself for hitting milestones such as going one week with none. Stay active and busy and get out. Don’t let boredom and too much time let cigarettes lurk in your mind. Of course much of this can be considered easier said then done and for many cigarette smokers they have heard it all before.
Change is possible. Quitting is possible. Think of all the positives and remember your health is a priority and shouldn’t be compromised to the power of nicotine addiction.
BLOG 245 DYSLEXIA
Dyslexia is a type of reading disorder that involves difficulty reading, despite level of intelligence. This might include difficulty spelling, writing words, how fast a person can read, and pronouncing words. Most of the time, these troubles will become noticed at school. This can translate into difficulty writing and spelling. There are more than 3 million cases of dyslexia in the US each year.
This disability effects the part of the brain that processes language. There is no cure, but treatment can involve tutoring and special education intervention. Early warning signs, prior to school age, might include late talking, difficulty with nursing rhymes, confusing words, and learning words slowly. Once in school, the disability become more apparent. Reading level ability typically tests well below the expected age. There might be difficulty with pronunciation, problems spelling, and avoiding activities that involve reading. The key is early diagnosis so that the troubleshooting can take place.
There is no direct cause for dyslexia, but there are associated risk factors. These might include family history with this and other learning disabilities, premature or low birth weight, and exposure during pregnancy to drugs, alcohol, or infection.
When left untreated, the person can have problems that continue into adulthood. This might include overall trouble learning. The person feels at a constant disadvantage to their peers. This can lead to social problems. The person might have low self-esteem, anxiety, and feel the need to withdrawal from friends, family, and teachers. Later in life this can affect job selection and schooling.
A doctor will diagnose dyslexia using a number of approaches. These might include vision and hearing testing. There may be a set of educational tests. Psychological testing might be performed. Discussing home life might also take place.
Teachers can use a number of techniques to help. These might include phonics which is understanding word’s sounds and meanings, reading comprehension, working on vocabulary words, and working on phenomes (the sounds of words). Schools in the United States actually have a legal obligation to create an individualized learning plan for students with dyslexia. Parents should become involved and practice reading with the child, reading aloud, and setting an example for reading.
Given the right resources a person can still succeed with dyslexia. Reading may never become easy, but can be improved given the skills and resources to make progress and overall improve quality of life. Reading might feel like a game of catching up for a person with this condition, but catering to other strengths and learning abilities can help a person still excel in life, despite having dyslexia.
BLOG 244 DEODORANT
Deodorants are applied to the arm pits, feet, and other body parts to prevent body odor (BO) from making its smelly presence. Their purpose is to eliminate odor and control sweat near the underarms. When a person excessively sweats, using an antiperspirant might be a consideration. The primary difference between these two sweaty choices is that deodorant covers up body odor, while antiperspirants slow down sweat production. Our armpits have two sweat glands which are called the apocrine and eccrine. The apocrine glands are the type that produce the smell by carrying fats, protein, and sweat to the skin’s surface. These fats and proteins mixed up, then basically turn into a smelly bacteria. The eccrine glands are the primary sweat producers to cool down the body. They release water and sweat. These glands normally don’t develop until puberty, so this time period is the start of B.O. for many as they start to change. In the U.S., deodorants are actually regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Sweat is the fluid of our body’s air conditioning system. Sweating is a normal occurrence, but sometimes in a hot environment, during exercise, or from stress, a person might sweat much more. For example, physical activity can stimulate the sweat glands producing a fluid that the cells carry and travel to the surface of the skin. When a person is sweating extra, the body is just really trying to cool itself down.
Around the 1950s, body odor became socially inappropriate. This started the deodorant market that preyed on people’s insecurities to avoid smelling bad. Now, we have options on the shelves including sticks, roll-ons, and sprays. There are a number of fragrances too.
Deodorant doesn’t prevent sweating. It is the smell blocker that tries to target the fats and proteins that have become bacteria. Antiperspirants prevent sweating. When there is no sweat, there is no bacteria, which means there is no smell. The aluminum and zirconium in this product plug up the sweat glands. There are many rumors that antiperspirants prevent the body from naturally releasing toxins. This back up has been said to be linked to cancer. This has not be proven.
Most of us put this product on after the morning shower. Different recommendations say morning, others say night before bed to clog the pores when they are less active. Which variety a person chooses might be trial and error to see which one most effectively fights B.O. Some people (men) have vary hairy arm pits, some people just sweat more, and others don’t want any residue left under the arm. Whichever the pick, body odor is a personal hygiene taboo. Cover up the smell or slow down the sweating rate. We tend to keep buying the type that works best for us and personal preference (like scent) does influence our buying choices. Just be sure to roll or spray on your BO blocker of choice for your health and happiness and those in your vicinity haha.
BLOG 243 BEER
Beer is one of the oldest and widely consumed alcohol beverages in the world. Brewing different types has become increasingly popular. Beer is brewed from cereal grains which include malted barley, wheat, maize (corn), and rice. This brewing process is called fermentation. This produces starch sugars, ethanol, and carbonation, which results in beer. Today’s beer is brewed with hops, which creates the flavor and bitterness. Sometimes other items are added instead of hops for flavoring which includes fruits and herbs.
Alcohol in any form can have health effects, especially considering the amount (regardless of the type). In a world that classifies moderate drinking as one drink per day for women and two for men, overconsumption is commonplace. Beer is empty calories when it comes to nutritional consideration. Most beers contain between 140 and 200 calories. A light beer might have about 100 calories. These added calories and the fact that alcohol causes the body to burn less fat for energy, can lead to weight gain and difficulty losing weight. The body will burn acetate instead for energy. Beer also effects blood sugar levels. Alcohol interferes with the liver converting glycogen into glucose. Beer also is a diuretic which can cause fluid loss and dehydration. It can interact and interfere with certain medications. Because it is made with wheat and barley, anyone with gluten intolerance can be affected.
Craft beer has become the popular type on tap. Sales have reached a new record. Craft beer is a small and independent particular type of beer. Craft beer still only makes up about 10% of the beer industry when this includes major sellers like Coors or Anheuser-Busch, but there are close to 2,500 craft breweries popping up across the country. Baseball stadiums are carrying it too. The fan favorite Bud Light just isn’t cutting it for everyone anymore. Beer lovers are starting to turn towards fun, new flavors. Indian Pale Ales have grown 40% in the past three years. Beer drinkers are experimenting, and beer makers are experimenting at the same time. New innovative styles are being made every day. Sampling rooms are a new trend to try different types and give new brewers a chance to pilot launch their products.
The market is planning to expand and has started to make it portable. Golf courses and markets are starting to carry them. Wholesalers and retailers are catching on and carrying lines of new brews more and more. People’s habits change and craft beer is the new evolution of one of the world’s oldest alcohol beverages.
BLOG 242 LEG CRAMPS
When your muscle suddenly becomes hard and tight or you feel a quick sharp pain in the calf, a muscle cramp has struck. It can happen while in motion when out for a run or even during a night’s sleep. This type of involuntary contraction is a spasm we would rather forgo. Without warning, the onset of a “Charley horse” (cramp that occurs in the calf area), is marked by temporary pain that we want instant relief from. Cramps are never fun to endure, and one just has to breathe through it, stretch, and massage out the area until alleviation kicks in.
There are a number of triggers that can cause muscle cramps. In order to avoid future spasms, knowing the causes becomes important. A cramp can be the result of poor blood circulation. Exercise related stress can bring on a cramp. Being dehydrated or deficient in magnesium and/or potassium, can be causes. Hot temperature is also a culprit, especially when being active. Not stretching enough can also lead to cramping. There are also medications that can lead to cramping. These include diuretics, certain Alzheimer’s medications, statin medications for cholesterol, as well as some osteoporosis and high blood pressure medications. Nerve compression can also cause a pinch that produces a cramp. Muscle mass lessens with age so what muscle is working may be more stressed than normal and overworked much more easily which can cause cramping. Muscle cramps are common during pregnancy as the body is undergoing a lot of changes. Certain medical conditions like diabetes, liver, or thyroid disorder can also heighten the risks of cramping.
Prevention includes staying hydrated, properly stretching, and making sure to eat healthy foods with nutrients. These include vitamins, minerals, potassium, and calcium. Potassium is found in many choices including vegetables, bananas, berries, potatoes, melon, citrus, meat, fish, and milk. Caffeine found in coffee, soda, and other beverages does affect fluid hydration in the body so be sure to replenish with water. Exercise and activity that lasts over 60 minutes can lead to glycogen depletion which can lead to fatigue which can lead to cramps.
Although only a temporary sensation and typically harmless, an unexpected bout of pain never feels good. It is important to seek a doctor’s help if these cramps are reoccurring or persistent. A nutrient imbalance may not be readily noticeable. Finding the cause can help avoid future incidences. Muscle cramps happen to almost everyone, few and far in between, but when they strike, they aren’t forgotten. The healthy folks of Bonsall and Fallbrook know that less is more when it comes to “Charley horses”.
BLOG 241 CONFIDENCE BOOSTERS
Self confidence attributes to a happy personality. Low-self confidence attributes to depression, influences how you view yourself, and hinders how you interact with others. It is an important piece to the happiness pie. Maybe your daily routine could use a few small changes to boost your self- confidence.
1. Smile: This can lead to positive emotions. The physical act of smiling tells your brain to feel secure and upbeat.
2. Do a good deed: You feel better about yourself when you brighten someone else’s day. Send a card, compliment someone, or bake someone their favorite dish. Your mood will improve.
3. Volunteer: Meaningful giving can help you feel connected to others and better about yourself for helping someone else.
4. Dress: Clothing can affect how you feel. Your outfit says something about you. It doesn’t matter if you sit at a desk all day and no one sees it, because you still hold judgment about yourself.
5. Learn something new: Taking a class or enlightening your mind with new information can perpetuate self confidence as you know you are doing something positive.
6. Exercise: This can improve your mood, relieve stress, and help the way you feel about your appearance. Self-discipline and reaching fitness goals can be uplifting.
7. Eat right: Eating healthy helps your appearance and helps your mood. This leads to more energy and more self-confidence.
8. Posture: Standing up straight displays self-confidence. There are physical benefits to this, but it also communicates that you feel you belong and should be where you are in the moment.
9. Get organized: Managing small pieces of your life helps you feel in control.
10. Others like you: Assume that people like you instead of worrying what everyone else thinks. People don’t always focus on your flaws the way that you do about yourself.
11. Ignore your inner critic: Stop telling yourself that you are not good enough or not worthy. Give yourself some credit.
12. Avoid the mirror: Stop being addicted to looking at your physical imperfections. You are your own worst critic.
13. Make eye contact: This is a confidence radiating mannerism.
14. Stop procrastinating: Creating stress does not make you feel good about yourself.
15. Have me time: Spending time on just you is important. Get a facial or your nails done. Go play golf. You are telling yourself you are worth taking time for.
We all want to be confident about who we are, what we do, and our presence on this Earth. Self-confidence is a personality trait that must be fulfilled for happiness. You can be happy, and it starts by believing that you are enough.
There are four main types of blood: A, B, AB, and O. Blood type is determined by antigens found on red blood cells. Each letter refers to a type of antigen. A blood type is also called a blood group. Which type a person has is determined by the genes they get from their parents. Every person’s blood is unique because they have their own set of antigens and antibodies. Most people have 4-6 liters of blood in their body. The cells that float in this liquid are called plasma. In 1901 the Austrian scientist Karl Landsteiner discovered that there are in fact different blood types. Before that, doctors thought that all blood was the same.
Red blood cells deliver oxygen to different tissues in the body and remove carbon dioxide. White blood cells destroy bad invaders and fight infection. Platelets help the blood to clot.
Blood type is based upon two different antigens: A and B.
Group A has the A antigen and B antibody.
Group B has the B antigen and A antibody.
Group AB has A and B antigens but no A or B antibodies.
Group O doesn’t have A or B antigens but has A and B antibodies.
Rh factor determines if a person’s blood is positive or negative. Positive means you have Rh and negative means you do not. Rh is another type of antigen. Therefore, a person can have A positive or A negative, B positive or B negative, AB positive or AB negative, or O positive or O negative blood.
Blood type is important because is two different blood types mix, they can clump and this can be fatal. This can cause a toxic reaction. During a blood transfusion, the donor and recipient must have the same blood types. Blood types don’t always have to be an exact match to be safe. In fact, type O has been referred to as the universal blood type because it used to be thought that it could be donated to anyone. That is not always one hundred percent true. However, type O is considered the safest to donate in times of emergency or when there is limited supply.
Recently there have been claims that people can eat to their blood type to achieve better weight loss results. There is not enough scientific evidence to this claim yet.
Blood is part of all of us and knowing our type is important in case we ever are in a crisis or can help someone out who is in one. When we can safely share and help one another in times of need, but blood is not meant to be freely shared. If you don’t know your blood type, ask you doctor and find out. You never know when this information can come in handy.
BLOG 239 ASPIRIN
Aspirin is a salicylate (derived from a plant) and is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). The earliest uses of this drug date back to the Greek physician Hippocrates in the 5th century B.C. He used a powder extracted from willow’s bark. It works by blocking a certain natural substance in your body to reduce pain and swelling. Today you can walk into most any store and purchase this product. Almost anyone and everyone has used it, but when it comes to kids, it is important to consult your doctor before treating a child younger than 12 years. Aspirin is a home remedy or doctor prescribed treatment for so many different purposes. It’s that easy remedy we turn to first at the sight of pain or discomfort.
Aspirin is the fixer upper solution to many conditions. The most common uses include trying to reduce a fever, making a headache go away, reducing pain and swelling, and to helping alleviate symptoms of a cold. Aspirin in also a blood thinner. Often times a doctor will prescribe its use to help prevent blood clots. This is especially true prior to a surgery, when a doctor might prescribe a low dose of aspirin to help ward off blood clots in the process. This can also help with the prevention of heart attacks, strokes, and help reduce chest pain. A doctor might recommend the daily use of aspirin as a preventative method.
It is used to aid muscle and tooth aches. When taking at your own will, always read and follow the directions. The dosage is dependent upon the condition but it important to not exceed amounts outside of the recommended directions within a 24-hour period. Everyone’s body responds differently to aspirin, but some of the less serious side effects include heartburn and an upset stomach. More serious side effects include kidney problems, vomiting, bruising, bleeding, ringing in the ears, dizziness, or feeling constantly tired.
It is always important to consult a doctor at the first indication of any of these adverse effects. It is important to avoid aspirin if the person has a bleeding disorder, particularly stomach or intestinal bleeding. Aspirin poisoning is one of the common forms of accidental poisoning in children. Inappropriate dosages to children and elderly cause this poisoning too. The first signs of poisoning include ringing in the ears, rapid breathing, and dehydration.
Aspirin is a drug and it is always important to address any medical attention that goes beyond the scope of self care with a doctor. Aspirin seems to fix about any symptom, but only temporarily. Listen to the body and when over the counter isn’t effective, a doctor should be advised. Pain is not meant to last, but don’t keep masking. Take aspirin as needed in the advised amount and it may just fix what needed a little attention.