Thursday, December 22, 2011

Smartphone Addicts Have Now Started Feeling the Pain

Smartphone Addicts Have Now Started Feeling the Pain


The headline above comes from a December 5, 2011 article in The Economic Times, an online news publication covering the UK and India. The article starts off by noting that more Britains are using their smart phones for accessing the Internet and other tasks. A recent British poll from YouGov noted that, 44% of Britons use their mobile phone for activities other than making calls, for between 30 minutes and two hours per day.



Dr. Tim Hutchful from the British Chiropractic Association reports that leaning the head forward for extended periods of time to read the smaller screens has an adverse effect on the neck. “The weight of an average human head is between 10 to 12 pounds (4.5 to 5.5 kilogrammes).” He notes that if you look at a person with an ideal posture, you should be able to draw a line from their ear through their shoulder, hip, knee and ankle.



The article notes that when a person uses a smart phone, typically the head is leaned forward causing the effective weight of the head on the neck to be up to four times as much than if the head where held in straight-up neutral position.



Both Dr. Hutchful, and Dr. Emmanuelle Rivoal, a Paris-based physiotherapist and osteopath, report seeing more problems from the use of these devices. One of the more common terms being tossed around today is “Text Neck” which Dr. Hutchful described as a manifestation of repetitive strain injury or RSI. The article defines RSI by stating, “RSI is the name given to a group of injuries affecting the muscles, tendons and nerves primarily of the neck and upper limbs.”



Dr. Rivoal added that these types of problems were common with people who work on computers, “because they spend more than five hours a day in front of a screen.” He noted that a hand held device can be even worse because the screen is smaller.



Dr. Hutchful offered some advice to avoid injury for those who use smartphones regularly. This includes things as simple as keeping smartphone use at under 40 minutes. He offers, “Keep use to a minimum, take regular breaks and look at different ways of interacting.”

Is it Time Your Baby Saw a Chiropractor?

Is it Time Your Baby Saw a Chiropractor?


The above headline comes from a November 11, 2011 article in Essential Baby, an Australian publication that claims it is, "the largest online parenting community in Australia providing information and resources for conception, pregnancy, birth, baby, toddler, kids, parenting and women's lifestyle."



This article, written by Rebecca Martin starts off with her recalling the birth of her baby by saying, “After a long arduous labor requiring a suction cap to help my large first-born out, among the torrent of advice received was one unusual tidbit: ‘If he gets colicky, try taking him to a baby chiropractor’.”



Initially, Rebecca thought this advice was absurd, but when her colicky baby would not respond to every other remedy she tried, she started asking about a chiropractor for her baby. To her surprise she realized that many people were using chiropractors for their children. She reported, “Everyone, it seems, was doing it. All my more experienced mum-friends had one they could recommend. The child-health nurse, my GP and even the pediatrician who treated my son’s severe reflux, gave them the thumbs up.”



The article notes that when babies are adjusted there are no “bones cracked” as they called it. Many adjustments involve finger pressure on areas of the spine to have an effect on the nervous system. Dr Simon Floreani of the Chiropractors Association of Australia explained, “In the last decade there has been a lot more instrumentation used in the birth process, so babies get sprained and strained,” he says. “Chiropractic can help reverse the structural or mechanical injury of birth, and also help the nervous system to develop and construct normally. In infants, the biggest part the nervous system [affects] is sleeping, eating and pooing. Colic is a digestive thing, so if we can help ease the movement of milk through the bowel, we can help colic.”



The article also interviewed a chiropractic detractor who questioned research about chiropractic helping babies. To this Dr. Floreani responded with, “It’s difficult to get permission to do studies or trials on infants without getting caught up in a lot of ethics and issues.” He noted that medicine has tried to take the power away from mothers, and the best proof was that mothers are willing to pay for the care themselves. “Medicine can disempower you to say you know what’s right for your child. The fact that parents are paying out of their own pocket to [go to chiropractors] is more evidence than the best trials in the world.”

Taking Just a Little Too Much Tylenol Each Time Can Be Deadly

Taking Just a Little Too Much Tylenol Each Time Can Be Deadly


The above headline comes from a November 23, 2011 article on the Healthland section of the TIME website. This is just one of many articles which include headlines like, "Popular painkiller can be deadly even in small overdoses" (CBSNews), "Sneaky Killer: Just a Little Too Much Tylenol Can Be Deadly" (Fox News), and "Too much acetaminophen over time may damage liver", (USA Today).



The articles are based on a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in the November 22, 2011 edition. The USA Today article starts off with an ominous warning, "Taking slightly too much of the pain reliever acetaminophen (best known by the brand name Tylenol) over time can lead to an overdose that can cause liver failure and death."



Dr. Kenneth Simpson, an author of the study explained in the USA Today article that taking just a little more than the recommended dosage over time can cause serious liver failure and death. He explained further in the Journal's press release, "They haven't taken the sort of single-moment, one-off massive overdoses taken by people who try to commit suicide, but over time the damage builds up, and the effect can be fatal." The term that the researchers used to describe this kind of repeated mini-overdosing was "staggered overdoses."



The study looked at 663 patients who had been hospitalized at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh between 1992 and 2008 with injuries caused by acetaminophen. Of these patients it was determined that 161 of them had staggered overdoses from, according to researchers, taking the drug for things like headache, toothache, muscular pains, and abdominal pains. Dr. Simpson explained the real danger these people were facing by reporting, "On admission, these staggered overdose patients were more likely to have liver and brain problems, require kidney dialysis or help with breathing and were at a greater risk of dying than people who had taken single overdoses."



The article in TIME reports that "Acetaminophen is one of the most commonly used drugs in the world, with 28 billion doses purchased in the U.S. in 2005 alone." They go on to explain that because it is such a common drug, being the main ingredient in Tylenol, that people might think that it is safe. However, they note, "Tylenol overdose is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the U.S., leading to 26,000 hospitalizations and nearly 500 deaths annually, according to the Food and Drug Administration."

Improvement in Autistic Behaviors Following Chiropractic Care

Improvement in Autistic Behaviors Following Chiropractic Care: A Case Series
A case series published on December 5, 2011 in the scientific periodical, The Journal of Maternal and Pediatric Health, documented two cases of chiropractic helping two young adults with Autism related problems. One of the cases involved a 20 year old autistic man who displays aggressive behavior towards others. The second case was a 17-year-old autistic woman who abuses herself.

This research was carried out in Auckland, New Zealand in conjunction with the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and Life Chiropractic College West in California. According to the study authors, Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by abnormal social interaction and communication concurrent with repetitive behaviors and mannerisms which affect approximately one in every hundred people in New Zealand.”

In the first case a 20 year old man went to the chiropractor with a chief complaint of aggressive behavior toward others. His behavior included trying to grab others and bite them on the head and neck. These episodes occurred multiple times a week. He was diagnosed with autism at the age of 18 months and was living in a facility with other autistic individuals. He could not speak but could understand some basic commands.

A chiropractic examination was performed and care was initiated based on the findings of the examination. After the first chiropractic visit, the young man’s caregivers reported that he became more alert causing him to actually have more mood swings initially. However, after the second visit they noted that he was even more alert and started to eat more regularly. By the fifth visit, his attention span improved and he started watching TV, as well as being able to follow instructions and carry out tasks. By the conclusion of the study the young man’s behavior had improved to the point where he would no longer attack any of the staff members or students at school, he was calmer, and more able to follow instructions.

The second case in this study involved a 17 year old girl diagnosed with autism, who was also living in a facility. The study noted that according to her caregivers she exhibited behaviors that included episodes of screaming, crying, jumping up and down, biting the webbing between her thumb and index finger, and punching herself in the face to the extent she would have multiple bruises over her face. She also suffered from epileptic seizures.

Chiropractic care was initiated following an examination. The results reported that after the fourth visit she was sleeping through the night, and was described as becoming increasingly calm and was able to sit down to eat meals. As care continued the bruises on her face were gone, and she became more interactive with others often seeking hugs. Eventually, she was able to go on a boat cruise and could sit for an hour without becoming agitated.

In the conclusion of their study, the authors wrote, “Two cases of individuals who suffered from autism are presented. Each had favorable results after undergoing chiropractic care. This case series provides supporting evidence that individuals with autism may benefit from chiropractic care.”

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chiropractic Active Life Plan Explanation

Chiropractic Active Life Plan Explanation (standard)

Chiropractic Active Life Plans are designed to help you and your family reach optimum health now, and over the course of your lifetime. Too many people wait until their health fails before they make it a priority and are paying very heavy prices for this, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” attitude. The fastest growing segment of the population today is centenarians. These are people who are at least 100 years old. Currently there are 70,000 people over the age of 100 in the U.S. With the baby boom generation maturing over the next 50 years, the U.S. Census Bureau expects the number of centenarians to climb to over 4.2 million by the year 2050. The chances of you reaching this milestone are increasing every day. The question is, “What will your health be like when you get there?” The health choices you make today will impact your quality of life in the future.

One of the most common comments heard by seniors is, “If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.” We are getting this advance notice that our parents and grandparents didn’t receive. What will you do with this information?

Chiropractic Active Life Plans will help you achieve the quality of life you deserve! There are two types of Chiropractic Active Life Plans: Corrective Adjustment Plans (CAP) and Wellness Adjustment Plans (WAP). At your Chiropractic Report, we will discuss with you the Chiropractic Active Life Plan for which you are eligible so that you can reach all your health objectives.

 Corrective Adjustment Plan (CAP):

A Corrective Adjustment Plan is appropriate if you are currently experiencing pain, sickness, disease, spinal subluxation degeneration, or health problems of any kind. CAPs are designed to help you feel healthy again as quickly as possible and to stabilize your spine. CAPs begin with frequent chiropractic adjustments, usually three times per week, over a short period of time lasting two weeks to a few months. Dynamic exams are performed every 12 visits to determine how your body is healing and how your spine is correcting and stabilizing.

Once your spine is stabilized, your adjustment frequency will be reduced to once per week for the balance of a year. As your Corrective Adjustment Plan winds down, our chiropractic team will discuss your transition into a Wellness Adjustment Plan, so you can continue to remain healthy and active for the rest of your life.

 Wellness Adjustment Plan (WAP)

If you have already completed your Corrective Adjustment Plan with our office or another chiropractor, or if you are extraordinarily healthy and have no spinal subluxation degeneration, then you are ready for a WAP to help you achieve and maintain optimum health.

WAPs consist of weekly, bi-monthly or monthly adjustments (depending on the condition of your spine and your long-term health goals). The more active you are, and the more active and healthy you want to be, the more you will value and appreciate your WAP.

While visiting our office, you may see generations of families on Chiropractic Active Life Plans, enjoying the benefits of the chiropractic lifestyle. As you learn about the benefits of chiropractic care, you too will want your entire family participating in chiropractic care. Both the CAPs and WAPs are available for an individual or for a family. Our family plans make care for your entire family affordable so that everyone can enjoy the good health, an active life, and peak performance that chiropractic care provides.

Congratulations on participating in chiropractic care.

We look forward to helping you achieve all your health goals over the course of your lifetime.

What Do Adjustments Do?

What Do Adjustments Do?

Probably the biggest chiropractic misconception revolves around the
adjustment. Naturally, we chiropractors think the adjustment is pretty
special. Along with sharing the principles of chiropractic it’s the most
important thing we do.
Chiropractors understand that the underlying cause of many health problems
is from nervous system disturbances along the spine. This often shows up as
one or more spinal bones that are stuck and not moving correctly. Many
think that a chiropractic adjustment puts the wayward bone back into its
proper position with the bones above and below it.
It doesn’t work quite like that. If it did, all you’d need is just one
adjustment!

Instead, consider this. Bones are static structures. They only move when
acted upon by a muscle. And muscles only contract when commanded by
your nervous system. That’s why chiropractic is actually about the quality of
your nervous system, not the condition of your spinal column.

Your body does the actual healing. The energy I supply with the adjustment
just helps things along. I use everything I know about anatomy, physiology
and spinal biomechanics to partner with your body’s wisdom. Repeated visits
help retrain muscles and with time, your body can “right” itself.

While it’s tempting for me to take credit for the amazing results I often see, it’s not
me. I’m just the assistant. Your body does the healing!

Does Chiropractic Treat Disease?

Does Chiropractic Treat Disease?

When chiropractors observe that chiropractic care has helped people with virtually every type of
heath problem known to man; some mistakenly think that means that we treat disease.
Nothing could be further from the truth.

The fact is, we locate and reduce nervous system disturbances (usually along the spine) that
interfere with your ability to be fully you. Being fully you includes everything from turning
bending, walking and sleeping to breathing, fighting infection, digesting food and healing a cut.
When the integrity of your nervous system is restored, your body is more likely to work as it was
designed. Sometimes that capacity returns quickly. For others whose healing ability is limited
by stress, poor nutrition, negative emotions or other factors, it comes more slowly. And for a
few who have neglected their health for years, progress can be so incremental as to appear
ineffective.

Please do not blame chiropractic when results come slowly. Likewise, do not credit chiropractic
when success comes quickly. It is your body that does the healing. What you bring to the table
is actually more important that what we do on the table!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Effect of Lumbosacral Manipulation on Corticospinal and Spinal Reflex Excitability on Asymptomatic Participants

« BackJournal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
Article in Press

The Effect of Lumbosacral Manipulation on Corticospinal and Spinal Reflex Excitability on Asymptomatic Participants

 

Abstract 

Objective

The aim of the study was to examine the effects of a high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) manipulation to the lumbosacral joint on corticospinal excitability, as measured by motor evoked potentials (MEPs) using transcranial magnetic stimulation, and spinal reflex excitability, as measured by the Hoffman reflex (H-reflex).

Methods

In a randomized, controlled, crossover design, 14 asymptomatic volunteers (mean age, 23 ± 5.4 years; 10 men; 4 women) were measured for MEPs and H-reflexes immediately before and after a randomly allocated intervention. The interventions consisted of HVLA applied bilaterally to the lumbosacral joint and a control intervention. Participants returned a week later, and the same procedures were performed using the other intervention. Data for H-reflex and MEP amplitudes were normalized to the M-wave maximum amplitude and analyzed using 2-way analysis of variance with repeated measures.

Results

A significant interaction of treatment by time was found for MEP (F1,13 = 4.87, P = .04), and post hoc analyses showed that the MEP/M-wave maximum ratio decreased significantly in the HVLA treatment (P = .02; effect size, 0.68). For H-reflex, there was a significant effect of time (F1,13 = 8.186, P = .01) and treatment and time interaction (F1,13 = 9.05, P = .01), with post hoc analyses showing that H-reflexes were significantly reduced after the HVLA manipulation (P = .004; effect size, 0.94). There were no significant changes in MEP latency or silent period duration.

Conclusion

An HVLA manipulation applied to the lumbosacral joint produced a significant decrease in corticospinal and spinal reflex excitability, and no significant change occurred after the control intervention. The changes in H-reflexes were larger than those in MEPs, suggesting a greater degree of inhibition at the level of the spinal cord.

38 Ways Yoga Keeps You Fit

Count on Yoga: 38 Ways Yoga Keeps You Fit

From Yogajournal.com 

Are you looking for reasons to start practicing? Here are ways yoga improves your health—reasons enough to roll out the mat and get started.
By Timothy McCall, M.D.

If you're a passionate yoga practitioner, you've probably noticed the ways yoga works—maybe you're sleeping better or getting fewer colds or just feeling more relaxed and at ease. But if you've ever tried telling a newbie how it works, you might find that explanations like "It increases the flow of prana" or "It brings energy up your spine" fall on deaf or skeptical ears.
As it happens, Western science is starting to provide some concrete clues as to how yoga works to improve health, heal aches and pains, and keep sickness at bay. Once you understand them, you'll have even more motivation to step onto your mat, and you probably won't feel so tongue-tied the next time someone wants Western proof.
I myself have experienced yoga's healing power in a very real way. Weeks before a trip to India in 2002 to investigate yoga therapy, I developed numbness and tingling in my right hand. After first considering scary things like a brain tumor and multiple sclerosis, I figured out that the cause of the symptoms was thoracic outlet syndrome, a nerve blockage in my neck and chest.
Despite the uncomfortable symptoms, I realized how useful my condition could be during my trip. While visiting various yoga therapy centers, I would submit myself for evaluation and treatment by the various experts I'd arranged to observe. I could try their suggestions and see what worked for me. While this wasn't exactly a controlled scientific experiment, I knew that such hands-on learning could teach me things I might not otherwise understand.

My experiment proved illuminating. At the Vivekananda ashram just outside of Bangalore, S. Nagarathna, M.D., recommended breathing exercises in which I imagined bringing prana (vital energy) into my right upper chest. Other therapy included asana, pranayama, meditation, chanting, lectures on philosophy, and various kriya (internal cleansing practices). At the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai and from A.G. Mohan and his wife, Indra, who practice just outside of Chennai, I was told to stop practicing Headstand and Shoulderstand in favor of gentle asana coordinated with the breath. In Pune, S.V. Karandikar, a medical doctor, recommended practices with ropes and belts to put traction on my spine and exercises that taught me to use my shoulder blades to open my upper back.
Thanks to the techniques I learned in India, advice from teachers in the United States, and my own exploration, my chest is more flexible than it was, my posture has improved, and for more than a year, I've been free of symptoms.

My experience inspired me to pore over the scientific studies I'd collected in India as well as the West to identify and explain how yoga can both prevent disease and help you recover from it. Here is what I found.


Flex Time
1 Improved flexibility is one of the first and most obvious benefits of yoga. During your first class, you probably won't be able to touch your toes, never mind do a backbend. But if you stick with it, you'll notice a gradual loosening, and eventually, seemingly impossible poses will become possible. You'll also probably notice that aches and pains start to disappear. That's no coincidence. Tight hips can strain the knee joint due to improper alignment of the thigh and shinbones. Tight hamstrings can lead to a flattening of the lumbar spine, which can cause back pain. And inflexibility in muscles and connective tissue, such as fascia and ligaments, can cause poor posture.
Strength Test
2 Strong muscles do more than look good. They also protect us from conditions like arthritis and back pain, and help prevent falls in elderly people. And when you build strength through yoga, you balance it with flexibility. If you just went to the gym and lifted weights, you might build strength at the expense of flexibility.

Standing Orders
3 Your head is like a bowling ball—big, round, and heavy. When it's balanced directly over an erect spine, it takes much less work for your neck and back muscles to support it. Move it several inches forward, however, and you start to strain those muscles. Hold up that forward-leaning bowling ball for eight or 12 hours a day and it's no wonder you're tired. And fatigue might not be your only problem. Poor posture can cause back, neck, and other muscle and joint problems. As you slump, your body may compensate by flattening the normal inward curves in your neck and lower back. This can cause pain and degenerative arthritis of the spine.
Joint Account
4 Each time you practice yoga, you take your joints through their full range of motion. This can help prevent degenerative arthritis or mitigate disability by "squeezing and soaking" areas of cartilage that normally aren't used. Joint cartilage is like a sponge; it receives fresh nutrients only when its fluid is squeezed out and a new supply can be soaked up. Without proper sustenance, neglected areas of cartilage can eventually wear out, exposing the underlying bone like worn-out brake pads.

Spinal Rap
5 Spinal disks—the shock absorbers between the vertebrae that can herniate and compress nerves—crave movement. That's the only way they get their nutrients. If you've got a well-balanced asana practice with plenty of backbends, forward bends, and twists, you'll help keep your disks supple.

Bone Zone
6 It's well documented that weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones and helps ward off osteoporosis. Many postures in yoga require that you lift your own weight. And some, like Downward- and Upward-Facing Dog, help strengthen the arm bones, which are particularly vulnerable to osteoporotic fractures. In an unpublished study conducted at California State University, Los Angeles, yoga practice increased bone density in the vertebrae. Yoga's ability to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol (see Number 11) may help keep calcium in the bones.

Flow Chart
7 Yoga gets your blood flowing. More specifically, the relaxation exercises you learn in yoga can help your circulation, especially in your hands and feet. Yoga also gets more oxygen to your cells, which function better as a result. Twisting poses are thought to wring out venous blood from internal organs and allow oxygenated blood to flow in once the twist is released. Inverted poses, such as Headstand, Handstand, and Shoulderstand, encourage venous blood from the legs and pelvis to flow back to the heart, where it can be pumped to the lungs to be freshly oxygenated. This can help if you have swelling in your legs from heart or kidney problems. Yoga also boosts levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues. And it thins the blood by making platelets less sticky and by cutting the level of clot-promoting proteins in the blood. This can lead to a decrease in heart attacks and strokes since blood clots are often the cause of these killers.

Lymph Lesson
8 When you contract and stretch muscles, move organs around, and come in and out of yoga postures, you increase the drainage of lymph (a viscous fluid rich in immune cells). This helps the lymphatic system fight infection, destroy cancerous cells, and dispose of the toxic waste products of cellular functioning.

Heart Start
9 When you regularly get your heart rate into the aerobic range, you lower your risk of heart attack and can relieve depression. While not all yoga is aerobic, if you do it vigorously or take flow or Ashtanga classes, it can boost your heart rate into the aerobic range. But even yoga exercises that don't get your heart rate up that high can improve cardiovascular conditioning. Studies have found that yoga practice lowers the resting heart rate, increases endurance, and can improve your maximum uptake of oxygen during exercise—all reflections of improved aerobic conditioning. One study found that subjects who were taught only pranayama could do more exercise with less oxygen.

Pressure Drop
10 If you've got high blood pressure, you might benefit from yoga. Two studies of people with hypertension, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, compared the effects of Savasana (Corpse Pose) with simply lying on a couch. After three months, Savasana was associated with a 26-point drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number) and a 15-point drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number—and the higher the initial blood pressure, the bigger the drop.

Worry Thwarts
11 Yoga lowers cortisol levels. If that doesn't sound like much, consider this. Normally, the adrenal glands secrete cortisol in response to an acute crisis, which temporarily boosts immune function. If your cortisol levels stay high even after the crisis, they can compromise the immune system. Temporary boosts of cortisol help with long-term memory, but chronically high levels undermine memory and may lead to permanent changes in the brain. Additionally, excessive cortisol has been linked with major depression, osteoporosis (it extracts calcium and other minerals from bones and interferes with the laying down of new bone), high blood pressure, and insulin resistance. In rats, high cortisol levels lead to what researchers call "food-seeking behavior" (the kind that drives you to eat when you're upset, angry, or stressed). The body takes those extra calories and distributes them as fat in the abdomen, contributing to weight gain and the risk of diabetes and heart attack.


Happy Hour
12 Feeling sad? Sit in Lotus. Better yet, rise up into a backbend or soar royally into King Dancer Pose. While it's not as simple as that, one study found that a consistent yoga practice improved depression and led to a significant increase in serotonin levels and a decrease in the levels of monoamine oxidase (an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters) and cortisol. At the University of Wisconsin, Richard Davidson, Ph.D., found that the left prefrontal cortex showed heightened activity in meditators, a finding that has been correlated with greater levels of happiness and better immune function. More dramatic left-sided activation was found in dedicated, long-term practitioners.  
 
Weighty Matters
13 Move more, eat less—that's the adage of many a dieter. Yoga can help on both fronts. A regular practice gets you moving and burns calories, and the spiritual and emotional dimensions of your practice may encourage you to address any eating and weight problems on a deeper level. Yoga may also inspire you to become a more conscious eater.
 
Low Show
14 Yoga lowers blood sugar and LDL ("bad") cholesterol and boosts HDL ("good") cholesterol. In people with diabetes, yoga has been found to lower blood sugar in several ways: by lowering cortisol and adrenaline levels, encouraging weight loss, and improving sensitivity to the effects of insulin. Get your blood sugar levels down, and you decrease your risk of diabetic complications such as heart attack, kidney failure, and blindness.

Brain Waves
15 An important component of yoga is focusing on the present. Studies have found that regular yoga practice improves coordination, reaction time, memory, and even IQ scores. People who practice Transcendental Meditation demonstrate the ability to solve problems and acquire and recall information better—probably because they're less distracted by their thoughts, which can play over and over like an endless tape loop.
 
Nerve Center
16 Yoga encourages you to relax, slow your breath, and focus on the present, shifting the balance from the sympathetic nervous system (or the fight-or-flight response) to the parasympathetic nervous system. The latter is calming and restorative; it lowers breathing and heart rates, decreases blood pressure, and increases blood flow to the intestines and reproductive organs—comprising what Herbert Benson, M.D., calls the relaxation response.
 
Space Place
17 Regularly practicing yoga increases proprioception (the ability to feel what your body is doing and where it is in space) and improves balance. People with bad posture or dysfunctional movement patterns usually have poor proprioception, which has been linked to knee problems and back pain. Better balance could mean fewer falls. For the elderly, this translates into more independence and delayed admission to a nursing home or never entering one at all. For the rest of us, postures like Tree Pose can make us feel less wobbly on and off the mat.
 
Control Center
18 Some advanced yogis can control their bodies in extraordinary ways, many of which are mediated by the nervous system. Scientists have monitored yogis who could induce unusual heart rhythms, generate specific brain-wave patterns, and, using a meditation technique, raise the temperature of their hands by 15 degrees Fahrenheit. If they can use yoga to do that, perhaps you could learn to improve blood flow to your pelvis if you're trying to get pregnant or induce relaxation when you're having trouble falling asleep.
 
Loose Limbs
19 Do you ever notice yourself holding the telephone or a steering wheel with a death grip or scrunching your face when staring at a computer screen? These unconscious habits can lead to chronic tension, muscle fatigue, and soreness in the wrists, arms, shoulders, neck, and face, which can increase stress and worsen your mood. As you practice yoga, you begin to notice where you hold tension: It might be in your tongue, your eyes, or the muscles of your face and neck. If you simply tune in, you may be able to release some tension in the tongue and eyes. With bigger muscles like the quadriceps, trapezius, and buttocks, it may take years of practice to learn how to relax them.
 
Chill Pill
20 Stimulation is good, but too much of it taxes the nervous system. Yoga can provide relief from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Restorative asana, yoga nidra (a form of guided relaxation), Savasana, pranayama, and meditation encourage pratyahara, a turning inward of the senses, which provides downtime for the nervous system. Another by-product of a regular yoga practice, studies suggest, is better sleep—which means you'll be less tired and stressed and less likely to have accidents.
 
Immune Boon
21 Asana and pranayama probably improve immune function, but, so far, meditation has the strongest scientific support in this area. It appears to have a beneficial effect on the functioning of the immune system, boosting it when needed (for example, raising antibody levels in response to a vaccine) and lowering it when needed (for instance, mitigating an inappropriately aggressive immune function in an autoimmune disease like psoriasis).
 
Breathing Room
22 Yogis tend to take fewer breaths of greater volume, which is both calming and more efficient. A 1998 study published in The Lancet taught a yogic technique known as "complete breathing" to people with lung problems due to congestive heart failure. After one month, their average respiratory rate decreased from 13.4 breaths per minute to 7.6. Meanwhile, their exercise capacity increased significantly, as did the oxygen saturation of their blood. In addition, yoga has been shown to improve various measures of lung function, including the maximum volume of the breath and the efficiency of the exhalation. Yoga also promotes breathing through the nose, which filters the air, warms it (cold, dry air is more likely to trigger an asthma attack in people who are sensitive), and humidifies it, removing pollen and dirt and other things you'd rather not take into your lungs.
 
Poop Scoop
23 Ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation—all of these can be exacerbated by stress. So if you stress less, you'll suffer less. Yoga, like any physical exercise, can ease constipation—and theoretically lower the risk of colon cancer—because moving the body facilitates more rapid transport of food and waste products through the bowels. And, although it has not been studied scientifically, yogis suspect that twisting poses may be beneficial in getting waste to move through the system.
 
Peace of Mind
24 Yoga quells the fluctuations of the mind, according to Patanjali's Yoga Sutra. In other words, it slows down the mental loops of frustration, regret, anger, fear, and desire that can cause stress. And since stress is implicated in so many health problems—from migraines and insomnia to lupus, MS, eczema, high blood pressure, and heart attacks—if you learn to quiet your mind, you'll be likely to live longer and healthier.
 
Divine Sign
25 Many of us suffer from chronic low self-esteem. If you handle this negatively—take drugs, overeat, work too hard, sleep around—you may pay the price in poorer health physically, mentally, and spiritually. If you take a positive approach and practice yoga, you'll sense, initially in brief glimpses and later in more sustained views, that you're worthwhile or, as yogic philosophy teaches, that you are a manifestation of the Divine. If you practice regularly with an intention of self-examination and betterment—not just as a substitute for an aerobics class—you can access a different side of yourself. You'll experience feelings of gratitude, empathy, and forgiveness, as well as a sense that you're part of something bigger. While better health is not the goal of spirituality, it's often a by-product, as documented by repeated scientific studies.
 
Pain Drain
26 Yoga can ease your pain. According to several studies, asana, meditation, or a combination of the two, reduced pain in people with arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other chronic conditions. When you relieve your pain, your mood improves, you're more inclined to be active, and you don't need as much medication.
 
Heat Treatment
27 Yoga can help you make changes in your life. In fact, that might be its greatest strength. Tapas, the Sanskrit word for "heat," is the fire, the discipline that fuels yoga practice and that regular practice builds. The tapas you develop can be extended to the rest of your life to overcome inertia and change dysfunctional habits. You may find that without making a particular effort to change things, you start to eat better, exercise more, or finally quit smoking after years of failed attempts.


Guru Gifts
28 Good yoga teachers can do wonders for your health. Exceptional ones do more than guide you through the postures. They can adjust your posture, gauge when you should go deeper in poses or back off, deliver hard truths with compassion, help you relax, and enhance and personalize your practice. A respectful relationship with a teacher goes a long way toward promoting your health.
 
Drug Free
29 If your medicine cabinet looks like a pharmacy, maybe it's time to try yoga. Studies of people with asthma, high blood pressure, Type II diabetes (formerly called adult-onset diabetes), and obsessive-compulsive disorder have shown that yoga helped them lower their dosage of medications and sometimes get off them entirely. The benefits of taking fewer drugs? You'll spend less money, and you're less likely to suffer side effects and risk dangerous drug interactions.
 
Hostile Makeover
30 Yoga and meditation build awareness. And the more aware you are, the easier it is to break free of destructive emotions like anger. Studies suggest that chronic anger and hostility are as strongly linked to heart attacks as are smoking, diabetes, and elevated cholesterol. Yoga appears to reduce anger by increasing feelings of compassion and interconnection and by calming the nervous system and the mind. It also increases your ability to step back from the drama of your own life, to remain steady in the face of bad news or unsettling events. You can still react quickly when you need to—and there's evidence that yoga speeds reaction time—but you can take that split second to choose a more thoughtful approach, reducing suffering for yourself and others.
 
Good Relations
31 Love may not conquer all, but it certainly can aid in healing. Cultivating the emotional support of friends, family, and community has been demonstrated repeatedly to improve health and healing. A regular yoga practice helps develop friendliness, compassion, and greater equanimity. Along with yogic philosophy's emphasis on avoiding harm to others, telling the truth, and taking only what you need, this may improve many of your relationships.
 
Sound System
32 The basics of yoga—asana, pranayama, and meditation—all work to improve your health, but there's more in the yoga toolbox. Consider chanting. It tends to prolong exhalation, which shifts the balance toward the parasympathetic nervous system. When done in a group, chanting can be a particularly powerful physical and emotional experience. A recent study from Sweden's Karolinska Institute suggests that humming sounds—like those made while chanting Om—open the sinuses and facilitate drainage.
 
Vision Quest
33 If you contemplate an image in your mind's eye, as you do in yoga nidra and other practices, you can effect change in your body. Several studies have found that guided imagery reduced postoperative pain, decreased the frequency of headaches, and improved the quality of life for people with cancer and HIV.
 
Clean Machine
34 Kriyas, or cleansing practices, are another element of yoga. They include everything from rapid breathing exercises to elaborate internal cleansings of the intestines. Jala neti, which entails a gentle lavage of the nasal passages with salt water, removes pollen and viruses from the nose, keeps mucus from building up, and helps drains the sinuses.
 
Karma Concept
35 Karma yoga (service to others) is integral to yogic philosophy. And while you may not be inclined to serve others, your health might improve if you do. A study at the University of Michigan found that older people who volunteered a little less than an hour per week were three times as likely to be alive seven years later. Serving others can give meaning to your life, and your problems may not seem so daunting when you see what other people are dealing with.
 
Healing Hope
36 In much of conventional medicine, most patients are passive recipients of care. In yoga, it's what you do for yourself that matters. Yoga gives you the tools to help you change, and you might start to feel better the first time you try practicing. You may also notice that the more you commit to practice, the more you benefit. This results in three things: You get involved in your own care, you discover that your involvement gives you the power to effect change, and seeing that you can effect change gives you hope. And hope itself can be healing.
 
Connective Tissue
37 As you read all the ways yoga improves your health, you probably noticed a lot of overlap. That's because they're intensely interwoven. Change your posture and you change the way you breathe. Change your breathing and you change your nervous system. This is one of the great lessons of yoga: Everything is connected—your hipbone to your anklebone, you to your community, your community to the world. This interconnection is vital to understanding yoga. This holistic system simultaneously taps into many mechanisms that have additive and even multiplicative effects. This synergy may be the most important way of all that yoga heals.
 
Placebo Power
38 Just believing you will get better can make you better. Unfortunately, many conventional scientists believe that if something works by eliciting the placebo effect, it doesn't count. But most patients just want to get better, so if chanting a mantra—like you might do at the beginning or end of yoga class or throughout a meditation or in the course of your day—facilitates healing, even if it's just a placebo effect, why not do it?

Timothy McCall, M.D., is Yoga Journal's medical editor and a board-certified specialist in internal medicine. His book Yoga as Medicine will be released in fall 2005. Check with your health care provider before following any of the recommendations given in this article.

Yoga Poses for a Cold - Exercise Helps!

From Yogajournal.com 

Before you begin, wrap your forehead to relieve tension in the head. Take a wide ace bandage (about 4 inches) and wrap it snugly around the head, tucking the free end in. You can also wrap it over the eyes, taking care not to wrap the eyes too tightly. The bandage will comfort your congested sinuses while you do the poses that follow.
Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
Brings energy to the head and respiratory area; helps clear the sinuses. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and rest your forearms on a chair seat. You can also place a blanket on the chair seat for extra padding. Hold two to five minutes.
Supported Bridge Pose (Salamba Setu Bandhasana)
Opens up the chest and increases circulation to the upper torso. Align two bolsters or two to four blankets on the floor running the entire length of your body (the height of the support can vary from 6 to 12 inches). Sit on the middle of the support and lie back. Slide towards your head until your shoulders lightly touch the floor. Open your arms out to the sides, palms turned up. Rest with your legs stretched out on the bolster or with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Relax for a minimum of five minutes.
Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
Brings energy to the groin and opens the chest area to facilitate breathing. With the back of the pelvis on a bolster placed 4 to 6 inches from the wall, swing the legs up the wall. Drop your sitting bones into the space between the blanket and the wall and open your arms out to the sides. If your hamstrings feel tight, try turning the legs slightly in, or move the bolster further away from the wall. Hold for a minimum of five minutes.
Supported Bound Angle Pose (Salamba Baddha Konasana)
Opens the chest, abdomen, and groins; relaxes the nervous system. Sit on the floor, knees bent towards the chest. Bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees open towards the floor. Support the outer thighs with folded blankets at a comfortable height. You can also place sandbags on each inner thigh to deepen relaxation. Release the arms out to the sides and let go of any tension. Relax in the pose for a minimum of five minutes.
Reclining Twist (Modified Jathara Parivartanasana)
Releases physical and stress-based tension. Lie on your back and with an exhalation bend your knees and draw your thighs to your torso. Shift your pelvis slightly to the left and, with another exhalation, swing your legs to the right and down to the floor (if they don't rest comfortably on the floor, support them on a bolster or folded blanket). Turn your upper torso to the left. Rest your right hand on the outer left knee and stretch your left arm to the side, in line with your shoulders. Look straight up or close your eyes. Relax for three minutes. Repeat on the other side.
Widespread Forward Bend (Upavistha Konasana)
Quiets the internal organs; relaxes the mind. Sit on the floor with your sitting bones on the edge of a folded blanket. Straighten your legs out in front of you and then separate them as far as you comfortably can. Rest your upper torso on a bolster or (if you're more stiff) a chair seat. If you are using a chair, you can fold your forearms on the seat for more height and padding. Hold the pose for three to five minutes.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How Chiropractic Can Help With Your Pregnancy and Birth

How Chiropractic Can Help With Your Pregnancy and Birth

by Birth Without Fear on August 24, 2011
Editor’s Note: This is a Guest Blog Post by Brandon Harshe, D.C with The Atlas of Life Chiropractic!
Pregnancy and Birthing Without FearMorning sickness. Vomiting. Nausea. Back pain. Pelvic pain. Shortness of breath. Hormones gone wild. High blood pressure. Swollen ankles.
These symptoms are seen as normal during pregnancy, something you better get used to for the next 38-42 weeks. You wanted a baby, now deal with it. Right?
Wrong. Sure these examples are common among pregnant women, but the intensity or even the presence of these symptoms will greatly diminish if under Chiropractic care.
Why?
As we established in previous posts, the nervous system controls all in your body. Under the direction of your body’s Innate Intelligence, the nervous system will adapt to the changes brought on by a growing new life inside of you. This new life you carry has its own Innate Intelligence that will do whatever it must to preserve the health and well being of itself. This will come at your expense, causing a number of deficiencies that your Innate Intelligence will have no choice but to adapt to.
The presence of a vertebral subluxation will interfere with the nervous system’s ability to communicate back and forth with the body. The subluxation will result in three things:
1.) Body Imbalance – a subluxation at your atlas will tilt your head to one side. Your brain has a reflex called the righting reflex which keeps your eyes level with the horizon. This will cause your lower cervical spine to bend the opposite way of your head tilt. To compensate, your thoracic spine will bend the opposite way, then the opposite way in the lumbar spine, resulting in one side of your pelvis being drawn up and causing one leg to appear shorter than the other, as well as an uneven distribution of weight putting undue stress on the joints. An unevenly aligned pelvis during pregnancy can be incredibly painful, as well as problematic for the baby trying to get into a proper birthing position.
chiropractic and pregnancy
2.) Nerve Tension or Pressure – Because of these compensations traveling down your spine, the muscles on one or both sides of your spine will become very tight, and inflammatory effects will take place and escalate in places of spinal misalignment. These changes will add stress to the nerves exiting your spinal column at some level, be it the nerve root or further along the distribution of the nerve. The nerves exiting your spine all lead to various parts of your body, including muscles, organs, glands, and blood vessels. Left alone and, over time, this nerve stress will lead to degeneration in these various body systems.
Chiropractic Pregnancy and Birth
3.) Brain Stem Tension or Pressure – A subluxation of your atlas (C1) vertebra will not only narrow the spinal canal in which the spinal cord travels down, but this narrowed space will result in an increase of pressure within this spinal canal. This added pressure will cause undue stress to the brain stem located just above the atlas.
If you remember Christopher Reeve, he shattered his atlas and nearly severed his spinal cord at the level of his axis (C2) vertebra. The brain stem is the Houston Control of your body, coordinating any and all communication from the brain to the body and vice versa. Because of an injury to this area near the brain stem, Christopher Reeve could not breathe on his own without a respirator and he eventually died of heart failure due to decreased brain stem function.
As you can see, the results of a vertebral subluxation do not equate to healthy changes in your body. Your Innate Intelligence can only do so much when given a limitation of matter. Add in a growing baby using up much of your body’s resources to survive and grow within you, and you can begin to see where a subluxation can wreak havoc on the health of a pregnant woman.
How?
The spinal compensations resulting from the subluxation may result in distorted pelvic positioning, causing the baby to get into an unfavorable position for birth, possibly breech. This unfavorable position could be adding increased pressure to your pelvic veins and vena cava (the large vein on the right side of your body carrying blood from the legs back up to the heart). This pressure could slow down the flow of blood back up to the heart, causing the blood to pool in your legs. This will only add to the swelling you might be experiencing in your ankles, as well as contributing to the increased risk of preeclampsia in your last trimester.
Blood Pressure in PregnancyThe nerve pressure and tension caused by the spinal compensations in the spine may lead to improper signals to be sent to various organs and tissues. Pressure and tension on the nerves in your mid to upper thoracic spine may lead to decreased function of the heart and/or lungs. This may result in an added shortness of breath. Or maybe high blood pressure, adding to that risk of preeclampsia.
Maybe pressure in the lower thoracic, lumbar, and sacral nerves results in decreased blood flow to organs such as your kidney and liver. This could result in decreased organ function, which may cause protein to leak into the urine, another sign of preeclampsia. Nerve tension in these lower spinal areas may result in a tight uterus, making you unable to relax during labor due to the pain you feel with each contraction. This might keep you from dilating properly, only adding to the stress a possible cesarean section can create.
A subluxation of your atlas will cause tension or pressure to the area of your brain stem. This tension or pressure will interfere with the brain stem’s ability to coordinate the messages being sent to the body by the brain. This could interfere with proper distribution of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. Since the placenta is being developed with the help of estrogen and progesterone, a lessened amount of both these hormones may result in complications with the placenta, and therefore the growing baby inside that placenta.
As you can see, a vertebral subluxation is not a minor thing to ignore. Even the most seemingly insignificant of subluxations will always run some kind of interference to the brain-body communication. This is never a good thing, and especially not when you are pregnant and your body needs the most help and the least interference.
You deserve to have the best chance at a successful pregnancy and childbirth, and you can only do that with a nervous system that is running free and clear of interference.

FDA Cracks down on OTC Hcg Products (Over the Counter)

FDA Cracks down on OTC Hcg Products (Over the Counter)
Taken from their website http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm281333.htm 

FYI - This crack down is not from professional homeopathics from a licensed FDA regulated Lab. HCG is not and will not (I believe anytime soon) be approved for weightloss, even those we do know it has an effect with fat metabolism while you are on a 500 cal diet. Main reason why it is not FDA approved is because no one wants to spend the millions of dollars on a 10 year research study to document the changes...

Thank for reading,
Dr. Jon Wise

Here is the story!

Anyone who has ever been on a diet—and there are many of us—knows that there are sensible ways to lose weight. These include balanced diets, exercising and realistic goals.
And then there are reckless ways to shed pounds—fads and diet aids that promise rapid weight loss, but often recommend potentially dangerous practices. These include HCG weight-loss products marketed over-the-counter (OTC) that are identified as "homeopathic" and direct users to follow a severely restrictive diet.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers to steer clear of these "homeopathic" human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) weight-loss products.  They are sold in the form of oral drops, pellets and sprays and can be found online and in some retail stores.
FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have issued seven letters to companies warning them that they are selling illegal homeopathic HCG weight-loss drugs that have not been approved by FDA, and that make unsupported claims.
(For the list of manufacturers, distributors and products—and more information about FDA’s concerns about HCG—visit www.fda.gov/hcgdiet.)
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HCG Makes Big Claims

HCG is a hormone that is produced by the human placenta during pregnancy.
Products that claim to contain HCG are typically marketed in connection with a very low calorie diet, usually one that limits calories to 500 per day. Many of these popular HCG products claim to “reset your metabolism,” change “abnormal eating patterns,” and shave 20-30 pounds in 30-40 days.
“These products are marketed with incredible claims and people think that if they're losing weight, HCG must be working,” says Elizabeth Miller, acting director of FDA’s Division of Non-Prescription Drugs and Health Fraud. “But the data simply does not support this; any loss is from severe calorie restriction. Not from the HCG.”
HCG is approved by FDA as a prescription drug for the treatment of female infertility, and other medical conditions. It is not approved for weight loss. In fact, the prescription drug label notes there “is no substantial evidence that it increases weight loss beyond that resulting from caloric restriction, that it causes a more attractive or ‘normal’ distribution of fat, or that it decreases the hunger and discomfort associated with calorie-restricted diets.”
HCG is not approved for OTC sale for any purpose.
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A Potentially Dangerous Diet

Living on 500 calories a day is not only unhealthy—it’s hazardous, according to FDA experts. Consumers on such restrictive diets are at increased risk for side effects that include gallstone formation, an imbalance of the electrolytes that keep the body’s muscles and nerves functioning properly, and an irregular heartbeat.
Shirley Blakely, a nutritionist at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, echoes concerns about such restrictive diets. They can be dangerous, she says, and potentially fatal.
Very low calorie diets are sometimes prescribed by health care professionals for people who are moderately to extremely obese as part of medical treatment to lessen health conditions caused by obesity, like high blood pressure. But even then, strict—and constant—medical supervision is needed to ensure that side effects are not life threatening, says Blakely.
Without medical oversight, consumers on very low calorie diets may not be getting enough vitamins, minerals and—most critically—protein.
“In general, the reference (average) calorie level is 2,000,” says Blakely. “If you want to lose weight, reduce your daily intake by 500 calories. Over the course of a week, that equals 3500 calories, which is the loss of a pound. Gradual weight loss is the way to do it.”
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Story Started Decades Ago

Miller explains that HCG was first promoted for weight loss in the 1950s. “It faded in the 1970s, especially when it became apparent that there was a lack of evidence to support the use of HCG for weight loss,” she says.
The diet has become popular again and FDA and FTC are taking action on illegal HCG products. “You cannot sell products claiming to contain HCG as an OTC drug product. It’s illegal,” says Brad Pace, team leader and regulatory counsel at FDA’s Health Fraud and Consumer Outreach Branch. “If these companies don’t heed our warnings, they could face enforcement actions, legal penalties or criminal prosecution.”
Elisabeth Walther, a pharmacist at FDA, explains that the agency does not evaluate homeopathic drug products for safety or effectiveness, and is not aware of any scientific evidence that supports homeopathy as effective. However, those that meet certain conditions set by FDA can be marketed. A reference document called the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States lists active ingredients that may be legally included in homeopathic drug products.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Positive & Negative Energy Effects on Water Crystals

Positive & Negative Energy Effects on Water Crystals

 

Research From Dr. Masaru Emoto, says human thoughts are directed at water before it is frozen, the images reflect the beautiful or ugly thought. Since1999 Emoto has published several volumes of a work titled Messages from Water.