Chiropractic is Not What You Think: The Science & Art of Healing

Chiropractic is Not What You Think: The Science & Art of Healing

A Parent’s Story

by Ed Arranga, guest author

Young girl's back being adjusted by a female chiropractor

“Chiropractic did not originate to treat pain: it originated to promote health.” — Anonymous

Chiropractic is known around the world. There are chiropractors in over 100 countries and 90 of those countries have national associations. The American Chiropractic Association estimates that the nation’s roughly 77,000 chiropractors care for more than 35 million Americans every year. But there seems to be a disconnect when it comes to the general public’s understanding of how they can help us improve our health.

Woman holding her back in painEveryone has a cousin or friend or knows someone who hurt their neck or back and went to a chiropractor to get help. That’s about the extent of interaction the general population has with the profession.

You see chiropractic offices tucked away in strip malls next to laundromats and liquor stores. They are largely invisible, never seen or talked about anywhere.

The sales pitch sounds like a bad marketing campaign from the 1950s — “health and wellness” — carrying with it the same promissory weight as the term “beauty salon.”

The profession has been around for more than 120 years. Sure, if you slip and fall and twist your back, you’ll think about finding a chiropractor. You remember they helped your cousin that one time. What more do you need to know?

And then one day, your son develops a chronic, debilitating cough that won’t go away…

A Growing Problem

My son, Jarad, developed a cough a few years ago, and my concern heightened as the cough became more frequent. The cough was almost constant and getting worse. We tried many healthful items like cups of tea with honey, a vaporizer, and decongestants, but this did not slow the cough’s trajectory.

We saw many different doctors: ear, nose, and throat specialists; neurologists; an allergist; and a gastroenterologist. None of their prescriptions worked.

We knew it wasn’t postnasal drip, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux, chronic bronchitis, chemical irritation, whooping cough, or a host of other possibilities, but we still didn’t know what it actually was.

The hacking was continual and, at this point, it had been going on for more than 2 years.

I didn’t know how my son’s throat could withstand the irritation of the sometimes very strong coughing. Several of the doctors began suggesting it was in my son’s head — a psychosomatic disorder.

It was time to move away from naysayers and find answers.

A Different Paradigm

“Look well to the spine for the causes of disease.”— Hippocrates

A friend advised me to bring my son to a local chiropractor. The initial intake assessment and exam were remarkably quick. The chiropractor placed Jarad on an upper-leaning adjustment table, grasped his head in his hands, and gently rotated his head in one direction and then the other, with the characteristic cracking noise (the cracking sound you hear is not bone, it’s gas — synovial gas — escaping from the joint) occurring each time.

Illustration of the Thoracic VertebraeThe chiropractor had Jarad turn over and lie on his stomach, feeling along his spine and putting pressure on the T5 vertebrae, in the thoracic area (the upper back.) The head turning along with the popping sound was repeated with both adjustments, and he tolerated the process well. In fewer than 3 minutes, we were done. An hour later, Jarad coughed.

It was the first time in over 2 years he went more than a minute without coughing. Jarad didn’t cough again the rest of the day. After 3 visits, his cough was 90 percent gone!

What had just happened? Why didn’t I know about this sooner?

It brought me back to a time 20 years ago when I was told there was no hope for helping my son’s autism. The “experts” told me to give up and move on, “Autism is now and forever, and there’s nothing you can do to help.”

That wasn’t true then, and it wasn’t true now. The coughing was NOT a figment of my son’s imagination.

And so I began to really comprehend, as Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reports, “Proper motion and alignment of the spinal synovial joints is a genetic requirement for health and a lack of proper motion in the spine represents a stressor.”

Health is Not the Absence of Pain

Today, 53 to 54 percent of children suffer from a chronic illness. There is an explosion of neurodevelopmental disorders that include autism, PDD-NOS, OCD, and ADHD.

Definition of the word ADHDBehaviors exhibited in children diagnosed with ADHD (attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder), specifically the inability to pay attention and being in constant motion, are manifestations of chronic stress.

An acute injury is very painful and needs immediate attention, but a chronic condition often sneaks up on someone unexpectedly. The joints send stress signals to the brain, and the brain releases stress hormones.

With this type of condition there is no pain, but the body is sick and will continue to send stress signals until all the conditions associated with chronic stress begin to manifest themselves in the body.

Spinal joints that are out of alignment will not move properly, will begin to degenerate, and will cause inflammation. Being chronically out of alignment will cause a chronic stress response. One might think it would be painful, but it’s not. That’s a misconception and major difference between acute and chronic illness.

When subluxations occur in the spine, these misalignments cause tension in the spinal cord or the nerves exiting from the spine. This causes an interference or imbalance in the nervous system messages to the various organs, tissues, glands, and cells.

This means the brain cannot communicate with the body nor the body with the brain as efficiently or effectively as nature intended, which leads to various dysfunctions and symptoms.

The Havoc of Stress

Understanding the basic stress response of the body provides the building blocks behind the art and science. When a person is placed in a stressful situation, the brain releases stress hormones, such as adrenaline, cortisol, norepinephrine, and others. The heart rate and blood pressure increase to send the hormones everywhere in the body.

Chronic Stress shown via 4 emojisThe body enters a state of upregulation, which is the process of increasing the ability to respond to stress. Catabolic processes begin breaking down complex compounds and molecules to release energy. There is an increase of cholesterol, blood-clotting factors, blood sugar, and fatty acids in the blood.

Catabolic activity is metabolically expensive, requiring that anabolic activities (healing, growth, and repair) are put on hold. The immune system is downregulated, which is the process of reducing or suppressing a response to a stimulus. Cell-modulated immunity is decreased. There is a decrease in factual memory and learning capability.

During an acute stress response, the senses of sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste are heightened. The body is adapting to the situation and these varied responses are intelligent.

Survival depends on the ability of the body to properly respond to stressful changes in the environment.

The dangers arise when the acute stress response becomes chronic. The decrease in healing; growth; repair; memory; and brain-, organ-, and immune-function, is no longer temporary — it becomes permanent. The increase in cholesterol, blood glucose, fatty acids, and insulin is off the charts.

The increase in insulin downregulates the production of HGH (human growth hormone), the hormone responsible for longevity, anti-aging, healing, growth, and repair. Excessive insulin then prevents the production or proper utilization of magnesium, the mineral which is responsible for relaxing both skeletal and smooth muscles, the arteries, and the heart.

How Chiropractic Works

Chiropractors study physiology — the branch of biology that deals with normal functions of living organisms and their parts. Medical doctors study physiology too, but then focus mostly on pathology — the study of the origin, nature, and course of diseases.

Chiropractic returns healthful motion to the spine, which returns healthful motion to the body.

Daniel David Palmer, founder of chiropracticD.D. Palmer, chiropractic’s founder, defines chiropractic as, “a philosophy, science and art of things natural; a system of adjusting the segments of the spinal column by hand only, for the correction of the cause of dis-ease.”

Palmer also said, “Chiropractic is a restorative healthcare profession that focuses on the inherent healing capacity of the body and the fact that the nervous system is the primary system involved in that healing and repair.”

Steve Tullius, a pediatric chiropractor in San Diego stated, “Chiropractors are specifically trained to locate and gently correct these structural imbalances in the spine, known as vertebral subluxations, and by doing so, restoring balance and function to the nervous system.”

Chiropractic care adjustments facilitate health and function.

Chiropractic and the Immune System

A very important part of keeping our immunity strong is the lymphatic system. It consists of a network of lymph nodes, ducts, and vessels that move the lymph (a fluid made of white blood cells and chyle) from various parts of the body into the bloodstream. The lymph nodes are responsible for making immune cells that help to fight infections.

The better the lymph is able to travel through the body, the more it is able to carry the infection-fighting cells to every part.

The lymphatic system is connected to both the central nervous system and the musculoskeletal system. A chiropractic adjustment helps the central nervous system by removing subluxations that prevent proper communication throughout the body. The musculoskeletal system transports the lymph through the body as we move and contract our muscles.

Adjustments allow for more movement in the muscles, which increases movement of the lymph.

A Learning Experience

Illustration of the Cervical VertebraeAfter examining Jarad’s spine and nervous system, Dr. Holland explained that he had found areas in Jarad’s spine that were misaligned — specifically vertebral subluxations at C1 (cervical or neck area) and T5.

Dr. Holland began a series of gentle adjustments to restore normal movement and function to the spine, allowing the body to communicate more effectively. As a result, we saw Jarad’s cough disappear.

The source of the problem were the misalignments which were not allowing Jarad’s lymph glands to operate as they should.

His lymph glands were overflowing, causing Jarad to cough and swallow continuously in an attempt to clear them.

Jarad’s schedule consisted of 2 adjustments a week (generally Monday and Friday), for 6 weeks, during the corrective phase, dropping down to 1 adjustment a week during the support phase, for 6 weeks. Going forward, I plan to take Jarad once a month to help keep him subluxation free.

As a parent, I’m grateful to chiropractic for restoring Jarad’s health, and grateful to the chiropractic doctors who soldier on, rarely being given the recognition they deserve, while routinely performing some of the most extraordinary reversals of health fortunes in the healthcare industry.

Reference: https://www.focusforhealth.org/chiropractic-not-what-you-think-science-art-of-healing/

 

Get Healthy and Pain Free with Chiropractic

GET HEALTHY AND PAIN FREE WITH CHIROPRACTIC CARE

American Chiropractic Association – www.acatoday.org

 

Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Doctors of chiropractic—often referred to as DCs, chiropractors or chiropractic physicians—practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. In addition to their expertise in spinal manipulation/adjustment, doctors of chiropractic have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.

 

What conditions do chiropractors treat?

Doctors of chiropractic care for patients of all ages, with a variety of health conditions. DCs are especially well known for their expertise in caring for patients with back pain, neck pain and headaches with their highly skilled manipulations, or chiropractic adjustments. They also care for patients with a wide range of injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, involving the muscles, ligaments and joints. These painful conditions often involve or impact the nervous system, which can cause referred pain and dysfunction distant to the region of injury. The benefits of chiropractic care extend to general health issues, as well, since our body structure affects our overall function. DCs also counsel patients on diet, nutrition, exercise, healthy habits, and occupational and lifestyle modification.

 

How is a chiropractic adjustment performed?

Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a manual procedure that utilizes the highly refined skills developed during the doctor of chiropractic’s intensive years of chiropractic education. The chiropractic physician typically uses his or her hands—or an instrument—to manipulate the joints of the body, particularly the spine, in order to restore or enhance joint function. This often helps resolve joint inflammation and reduces the patient’s pain. Chiropractic manipulation is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort. The chiropractor adapts the procedure to meet the specific needs of each patient. Patients often note positive changes in their symptoms immediately following treatment.

 

Research Supporting Chiropractic

A growing list of research studies and reviews demonstrate that the services provided by chiropractic physicians are both safe and effective. The evidence strongly supports the natural, whole-body and cost-effective approach of chiropractic care for a variety of conditions. To read excerpts from relevant studies, visit www.acatoday.org/research.

 

Chiropractic Education

Doctors of chiropractic—who are licensed to practice in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and in many nations around the world—undergo a rigorous education in the healing sciences, similar to that of medical doctors. Because of the hands-on nature of chiropractic, and the intricate adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in clinical training.
The course of study is approved by an accrediting agency which is fully recognized
by the U.S. Department of Education. This has been the case for more than 25 years. Before they are allowed to practice, doctors of chiropractic must also pass national board examinations and become state-licensed.

This extensive education prepares doctors of chiropractic to diagnose health care problems, treat the problems when they are within their scope of practice, and refer patients to other health care practitioners when appropriate. To learn more about how chiropractic education compares to medical education, visit www.acatoday. org/education- events.

 

Why is there a popping sound when a joint is adjusted?

Adjustment (or manipulation) of a joint may result in the release of a gas bubble between the joints, which makes a popping sound. The same thing occurs when you “crack” your knuckles. The noise is caused by the change of pressure within the joint, which results in gas bubbles being released. There is usually minimal, if any, discomfort involved.

 

Is chiropractic treatment appropriate for children?

Yes, children can benefit from chiropractic care. Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and blows from activities of daily living, as well as from participating in sports. Injuries such as these may cause many symptoms, including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or discomfort. Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient. It is a highly skilled treatment, and in the case of children, very gentle.

 

Are the services provided by doctors of chiropractic safe?

Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an
excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild soreness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current literature shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours. Learn more at www. acatoday.org/patients.

 

Is chiropractic treatment ongoing?

The hands-on nature of the chiropractic treatment is essentially what requires patients to visit the chiropractor a number of times. To be treated by a chiropractor, a patient needs to be in his or her office. In contrast, a course of treatment from medical doctors often involves a pre-established plan that is conducted at home (i.e. taking a course of antibiotics once a day for a couple of weeks). A chiropractor may provide acute, chronic, and/or preventive care, thus making a certain number of visits sometimes necessary. Your doctor of chiropractic should tell you ahead of time the extent of treatment recommended and how long you can expect it to last.

 

For more information on prevention and wellness, or to find a doctor of chiropractic near you, visit ACA’s website at www.acatoday.org/patients.

AMERICAN CHIROPRACTIC ASSOCIATION .,, WWW.ACATODAY.ORG

REFERENCE: https://www.acatoday.org/Portals/60/Healthy%20Living%20Fact%20Sheets/UPDATED%20HL%20PDFs/about_chiropractic.pdf

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Shoulder Pain From Computer Use? Chiropractic Solution.

A Chiropractic Solution for Mouse Shoulder

BY HOWARD PETTERSSON, DC AND J.R. GREEN, DC

Dynamic Chiropractic – October 1, 2018, Vol. 36, Issue 10

Clinical literature abounds with articles about repetitive injury and conditions related to the use of electronic devices, especially stationary or desktop computers and work stations. One of these conditions that frequently brings patients to the chiropractic clinical practice has been called “mouse shoulder.” Here’s how to identify and resolve this all-too-common condition.

British osteopath Jane O’Connor gives us a succinct description of the etiology of mouse shoulder, pointing out: “The shoulder and shoulder blade attach to the body by various muscles that insert into the spine, ribcage, neck and base of the skull.

Holding a mouse … causes these muscles to contract to support the weight of the arm.”1 Dr. O’Connor also notes that repetitive strain can cause shoulder pain and weakness to the mouse user; and that similar injury may accompany other repetitive work-related tasks, such as operating machinery.

Ranasinghe, et al., observe that “complaints of arm, neck and/or shoulders (CANS) affect millions of office workers.”2 They further differentiate the complaints by noting they are “not caused by acute trauma or by any systemic disease.” The costs of CANS are astronomical. As the “leading cause of occupational illness in the United States,” Bongers, et al., estimate that work-related neck and upper-limb problems cost industry “$45 to $54 billion annually.”3

Signs and Symptoms

The patient with mouse shoulder tends to have a readily recognizable pattern of presenting complaints. They report fairly diffuse shoulder pain with focal interscapular point tenderness, and generalized myalgia over the upper trapezius. There may also be tenderness to digital pressure at the head of the glenohumeral joint and on the lateral humerus at the deltoid tubercle. Many patients recognize the underlying cause of their complaint to be associated with use of computers and other devices.

mouse shoulder - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register MarkCommon examination findings reveal taut and tender fibers in the shoulder and related muscles including the supraspinatus, deltoid, levator scapulae and upper trapezius. Deep palpation in the interscapular region on the side of shoulder involvement almost invariably shows tightness of deep paraspinal muscles such as the rhomboids.

Point tenderness is frequently encountered along the medial border of the scapula, as well as along the costovertebral junction of the upper thoracic spine. Rib humping and prominent interscapular soft-tissue bunching can be readily detected in most cases. A positive shoulder depressor finding often manifests on the side of shoulder involvement from chronic tightness in the upper trapezius.

The patient with mouse shoulder may also complain of intermittent numbness or tingling in the hands and distal extremities. However, biceps deep-tendon reflexes and vibrational sensitivity are usually within normal limits. The patient may demonstrate some pain-limited range of motion while abducting and externally rotating the involved shoulder.

A negative Codman (drop-arm) test helps to eliminate the likelihood of tears and other injuries to the rotator cuff muscles – notably the supraspinatus. Be alert to patient reports of pain in the rotator cuff and deltoid region during the Codman test, because that may be indicative of chronic overuse of the shoulder muscles.

One explanation for the mouse shoulder phenomenon may be contracture of interscapular muscles, especially the rhomboids and portions of the trapezius. Because these muscles are under constant and long-term load to stabilize the shoulder as the mousing arm is working, they may become fatigued and less pliable. Consequently, when the arm is raised or moved into abduction and rotation, the shoulder muscles encounter unanticipated resistance and demonstrate stiffness and pain with motion.

Correcting Mouse Shoulder

Chiropractic intervention for an uncomplicated presentation of mouse shoulder typically involves attention to three areas of involvement:

  1. Thoracic and costovertebral segmental fixation
  2. Lower cervical segmental fixation
  3. Glenohumeral joint dysfunction involving anterior and inferior malposition of the humeral head

Adjusting procedures may use manual technique or instrument-assisted correction, or a combination of both.

Thoracic: Locate thoracic segments to be adjusted by palpating for taut and tender paraspinal fibers and prominent transverse processes on the side of involvement. These vertebral misalignments are almost always on the side of the shoulder complaint at the levels of T2-T4. To adjust an upper thoracic vertebra, take a scissors stance on the side of involvement. For a manual correction, use a single-hand contact with the fleshy pisiform of the inferior hand. Stabilize by placing the palm of the superior hand over the dorsum of the contact hand. Apply a posterior to anterior and slightly superior and medial thrust to the high transverse. For an instrument-assisted correction, contact the prominent transverse and apply a thrust with an anterior, medial and slightly superior line of drive.

Costovertebral: When a costovertebral articulation misalignment is present with a complaint of mouse shoulder – and it frequently will be – contact the rib manually or with the instrument, about a centimeter lateral to the transverse process. Apply an anterior and slightly lateral thrust to the rib. A manual thrust may also include a torque component (clockwise on the right, counterclockwise on the left) to facilitate release of the rib fixation. Release of the rib at the costotransverse articulation often produces immediate abatement of some of the symptoms associated with the mouse shoulder complaint.

Lower Cervical: Segmental fixation of a lower cervical vertebra – usually C7 or C5 – is frequently encountered with mouse shoulder. Use a conventional manual or instrument-assisted adjusting procedure to correct cervical segmental fixation.

Glenohumeral: Manual and instrument-assisted correction of the glenohumeral joint component of mouse shoulder usually involves a posterior and slightly superior thrust to the head of the humerus. One strategy for manual adjusting is to take a scissors stance at about the level of the patient’s elbow. Use the inferior hand to take a broad stabilizing contact over the scapula. Reach under the shoulder and contact the exposed head of the humerus with a stabilized middle finger of the superior hand. Apply an anterior and superior thrust to the scapula with the inferior hand, while simultaneously using the superior hand to apply a posterior and superior thrust to the humerus.

This method tends to work most effectively using a table with a drop mechanism. To correct the glenohumeral joint with an instrument, reach over and retract the shoulder with the inferior hand. Apply a posterior and superior thrust to the exposed head of the humerus.

References

  1. “10 Ways to Fix Your Mouse Shoulder Pain, Now.” PainDoctor.com, Aug. 14, 2017.
  2. Ranasinghe P, et al. Work-related complaints of arm, neck and shoulder among computer workers in an Asian country: prevalence and validation of a risk-factor questionnaire. BMC Musculoskel Disord,2011;12:68.
  3. Bongers PM, et al. Epidemiology of work related neck and upper limb problems: psychosocial and personal risk factors (part 1) and effective interventions from a bio behavioural perspective (part 2). J Occup Rehabil, 2006;16:279-302.

Dr. Howard Pettersson, a 1976 graduate of Logan College of Chiropractic, is an associate professor of technique at Palmer College of Chiropractic. He was the senior editor of Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique – College Edition, published in 1989, and published Pelvic Drop Table Adjusting Technique in 1999. His most recent publication, written with Dr. Green, is How to Find a Subluxation, published in 2003.

Dr. J.R. Green is a 1988 Graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic. He retired from the Palmer faculty after many years of teaching basic sciences and chiropractic technique. He is currently in private practice in Galva, Ill., and is also an adjunct professor of chemistry with the Eastern Iowa Community College District. Dr. Green was one of the writers of Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique (1997) and also worked as a technical writing consultant on Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique – College Edition and Pelvic Drop Table Adjusting Technique.

 

 

https://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=58266

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Leap Into Spring!

by Dr. Kim Del Mage, DC

chiropractor montvale

Click here to learn more about our chiropractic and physical therapy specialties.

Full, Bloating, Turkey Overload? Here are a few great ways to lose weight after the Holidays!!!!!

1. DRINK WATER: Drinking water, especially seltzer water, helps you feel full. People often mistake thirst for hunger, so squeeze a little lemon or add your favorite fruit and drink drink drink.

2. EAT MORE OFTEN: you should be eating at least 5 meals a day. It keeps and even speeds up your metabolism. Digestion itself burns calories and eating smalls meals through out the day boosts your energy and can improve your mood.

3. ADD SOME SPICE: Making your food a little spicier can not only help curb your appetite but it can speed up your metabolism. Put some salsa on your eggs or chicken, and sprinkle a little cayenne pepper on your meals. It can really help heat/speed things up!

4. SET REALISTIC GOALS: One of the top things I continually tell my patients is to set a goal that is easily attainable. I like to follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time I am eating healthy through out the week and I set aside 20% to have a little fun. Using this goal makes it easier to get to your target weight with out giving up all the fun.

5. KNOW HOW TO MEASURE: Portion size is very important. We have a tendency to overeat, even if we are making the right food choices. Get out the measuring cups and spoons, even get a food scale. When measuring your food regularly, you will find that you are more satisfied with a little less.

 

5 Simple Ways to Be Healthier and More Productive Without Leaving Your Desk

I saw this one on the internet and thought I would share it with you.  It comes from Entrepreneur, so I guess that means it is for important people, haha!  I hope you can use it:

We know physical health affects job performance, yet the demands of the day often win out over doctors’ orders. While studies show that a ten minute break for every 50 minutes of intense mental demand is required to keep your brain at its’ optimal performance, getting up from the desk is not always an option, especially for busy entrepreneurs. Follow these tips to stay healthy and productive even when desk-bound.

1. Boost your immune system with lemon water.“Squeezing half of a fresh lemon into an eight-ounce glass of water will kick-start the liver to metabolize waste more effectively, minimizing digestive bloating, gas, constipation and body pains”, says Naturopathic doctor Camille Nghiem-Phu. Bonus: lemon is an uplifting scent that can make you feel more energized and alert.

2. Get rid of your chair for better posture. “Poor posture obstructs proper blood flow and nerve conduction to our organs,” says Nghiem-Phu. Bad posture can also often lead to lower back, upper neck and shoulder pain resulting in headaches and poor concentration.

Switch up your desk chair for an inflatable exercise ball that allows you to keep your back straight while strengthening the core muscles. “Ensuring proper ergonomic positions will accelerate fresh oxygen delivery to the brain for mental sharpness,” says Nghiem-Phu.

3. Choose high-protein snacks. “Protein keeps the blood sugar stable to ward off the highs and lows of sugar-crashes that come from consuming only carbohydrates at mealtimes,” says Nghiem-Phu. Exchange your coffee and doughnut for high-protein snacks such as raw almonds, fruit, plain Greek yogurt or hummus and veggies and avoid refined sugars to ensure optimal mental performance all day long.

4. Drink more water than you think you need. Drinking water keeps the brain and muscles hydrated. We’ve all heard the advice to drink eight 8-ounces glasses of water a day, but it’s not one size fits all. Your weight in kilograms is equal to the ounces of water your body requires each day, according to the American Dietetic Association. So if you weigh 170 pounds (77kg) you should drink 77 ounces of water a day (or almost 10 eight-ounce glasses). Increase this number by 16 to 20 ounces when you exercise.

5. Stretch at your desk. Taking a break to do some stretches improves circulation allowing fresh oxygen delivery to the brain, and minimizes neck and shoulder tension that lead to headaches. Nghiem-Phu recommends the following stretches for the desk-bound:

  • With a straight back, bend your elbow, reaching your right hand towards the back of your head, for the area behind the left ear and bring your chin towards the right shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.”This stretches the muscles at the back of the head that are typically tightened to cause migraines and tension headaches,” says Nghiem-Phu.
  • To stretch the neck and upper back, bring both hands to the back of the head and allow the weight to bring your head forward while keeping your back straight.
  • With your right hand on your right hip, raise the left arm to the ceiling. Bend sideways at the waist towards the right to stretch the obliques. Repeat on the other side. “This opens the rib cage to maximize air circulation in the lungs,” says Ngheim-Phu.
  • To stretch the upper back, stand up, place both hands on the desk in front of you and take a couple steps back so you’re bent at the hip with your arms outstretched and your head facing the floor.

Benefits of Movement

I saw this from a website that I subscribe to (bonfire health) and I liked it so I am going to share it with you:

Critical Concepts:  Lack of movement promotes stress.
There are many well-understood benefits of movement and activity, including improved cardiovascular health, weight loss, lean muscle mass and strength, balance, tone and appearance.  Science is now grasping the depth of the role of exercise in the realm of prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes, CVD and obesity.  The latest research is now painting a broader picture for the benefits of movement in the realm of neurology, development and optimal health.

The primary purpose of movement and activity is to develop and condition the brain (Dr. John J. Ratey, Spark).

Our nervous system is an incredibly complex network of communication fibers and junctions that allow us to relate and adapt to our internal and external environments.  The nervous system, made up of the brain, the spinal cord and miles of nerves, depends on movement to restore the body to homeostasis – or a state of general balance and equilibrium.

This resting state is critical to health and healing.  Our lives have become frantic.  We rush through our days, seemingly never having enough time to complete tasks, slow down to eat, or relax and unwind.  So often we are stressed out in traffic or sitting in front of a computer or on the phone.  Most people spend far too much time in the “Go State” – fight or flight.  This constant Sympathetic Stress State keeps stress hormones coursing through our veins, wreaking havoc on our health.

One vital function of movement is its ability to “re-set” our nervous system from a “stress state” to a “rest and repair” state.

The cerebellum is the area of the brain that monitors movement.  The “body sense” that is derived from movement is called proprioception.  This body sense provides more data to our brain than all of our other incoming senses combined.  It is described by Nobel Prize Winner Roger Sperry as a brain nutrient.  The information is derived from the compression of spring-like mechanoreceptors in your joints.  When you move, they send signals to your brain.

This cerebella stimulation from movement of our joints will actually drive the body away from a stress state and back toward a rest and repair state.  This critical homeostatic mechanism is responsible for returning your body to a state of equilibrium.  In other words, movement reduces stress.

Lack of movement promotes stress.

If you live a sedentary life, you miss out on this effective “stress-buster.”  People who exercise regularly report less stress in their lives and experience fewer stress-related health problems.  Exercise has the additional benefits of increasing neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) that promote happiness, better sleep and increased sex drive.

Poor posture and fixed positions can create stress in the body.  Toxic and deficient movement patterns promote core weakness, muscle strain, inflammation and structural dysfunction.  When joints do not move properly, they create irritation to the nervous system that acts a lot like “static” or noise in our communication network.  This noxious stimulation or nociception changes the brain’s function and influences the body’s chemistry.  This type of joint dysfunction and associated nerve irritation is called “subluxation.”

Subluxations can occur in any joint, but the most devastating are found in the joints of the spine.  These spinal misalignments can be caused by trauma or bad habits (or both), and their ill effects on your health can be profound.  A distinctive quality of subluxation is joint fixation.  When a joint is fixed or “stuck” and not moving through its normal range of motion, a host of problems can arise.  Joint decay and degeneration (arthritis) occurs when a joint is not moving properly.  If a joint is fixated, proprioception (Body Sense) is reduced and nociception (noise) is increased – both of which promote stress in the body.

Healthy people practice regular spinal hygiene by utilizing the Life Extension Exercises.  A Bonfire best practice is to implement these into your daily routine to combat stationary work and postural stress.  Best results are achieved if you do this one-minute routine at least once every two hours at the computer or work station.  Nudge yourself into better habits by auditing your workstation for postural stress (read more here).  Make it a regular habit to get up and walk during your day.  It is very unnatural for you to sit for extended periods of time – no matter how important the project.  Dr. James Chestnut suggests a brilliant nudge: position yourself perfectly while sitting at the wheel in your car and then adjust your mirrors.  If you slouch during your drive, the mirrors will remind you to sit up.

A vital behavior for optimal health and function is to have your spine and nervous system evaluated regularly by a qualified chiropractor.  These doctors have a unique training and specialization in locating and correcting spinal misalignments that contribute to spinal stress.  This safe and effective method has been practiced widely for over one hundred years, and is now the second largest form of health care in the world.

Your brain and body expect and require movement for health – for life.  Get to it.

Summary Checklist

  • Add activity every day in every way
  • Calculate Energy Balance
  • Add Functional Training
  • Use variety in your workouts
  • Focus on the Intensity of your workouts
  • Gradually progress to a higher intensity
  • Adopt the Buddy System
  • Get your Spine checked by a chiropractor