Author Archives: Peter Braglia, D.C.

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chiropractic and yoga

Improve Your Yoga Practice

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Are you having trouble doing certain yoga poses on your list? It might not be just your balance or flexibility that’s holding you back – it could be a sign of a structural shift in your spine. Read on to learn how regular chiropractic care can enhance your yoga practice and have you saying “ohm” in no time.

chiropractic and yoga

Restoring Health and Balance

Your body craves alignment. When we are properly aligned – our bones – not our muscles, do the bulk of the work to support our weight, reducing effort and strain.

When the muscles around your spine tighten up, your first instinct may be to stretch or try things like yoga to loosen those muscles up. But the reality is that oftentimes, your muscles are tense because the joint itself is locked up and affecting your nerve roots that supply those muscles.

Chiropractic adjustments help to improve posture, range of motion, and flexibility.  These are all very important parts of a strong yoga practice, so one can see how routine adjustments are beneficial to practice. When the spine shifts out of place it can cause your muscles to hold themselves in tough positions in order to cushion what lies beneath. It’s your muscles’ way of protecting what is essentially an unstable joint.

When movement and alignment are restored, the muscle doesn’t have to be as tense anymore – that is, it doesn’t have to work to protect an unstable joint by holding everything locked into that position.

In this way, we find that chiropractic is complementary to restorative yoga. You can combine them to help you recover from injury, or even if you’re just trying to get yourself into positions that don’t seem to be working for your body. The problem may lie in your muscles, but it could also lie in your spine.

Yoga Practice

Yoga practice addresses the mind, body, breath and spirit. We live our lives through our nervous system, constantly assimilating and responding to internal and external stimuli. Whether our responses can be controlled or not, becoming aware of our body and mind stuff offers a means to take the reins and steer toward balance.  Removing impediments to the body’s natural flow of energy (whether it’s through movement, chiropractic care, breath, meditation, diet or otherwise) engenders vitality and a balanced state of health.

Like chiropractic, yoga is another tool to help realign the body.

What’s more, postural awareness is an important practice within yoga, both on and off the mat. Posture has an obvious impact on spinal health, but it also impacts our emotional and bio-physiological health. Through awareness, we can shift ingrained movement and holding patterns within our bodies (such as hunching over cell phones and computers), as well as learn to respond to external stressors in a more mindful way. Chiropractic care is one such way to realign the body and its nervous system thereby offering balance and health.

At True Health, we have countless patients who have combined yoga with chiropractic care. In doing so, they’ve found that they have become more flexible and limber over time. Joints that were typically stiff were now lubricated and moving more easily because of regular adjustments. Yoga poses that were once forced into completing have become more fluid to move through. Most importantly, their yoga practice has become that much more fun and fulfilling!

How has chiropractic care enhanced YOUR yoga practice? Share your story with us in the comments!


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5 Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

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healthy thanksgiving

Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, or simply showing up to eat, the holiday’s can be stressful for the health-minded individual.  The good news: We’ve got 5 excellent tips to keep your holiday the way it should be – filled with family, relaxation and health!

 

1. TURKEY TROT: Start your day off with a brisk fall walk (or run!). Starting your day with exercise is a great way to boost your confidence and keep your health at the forefront of your day (chances are there is a 5K kicking off first thing in the morning in your neighborhood). It’s also important to have some non-food related activities planned (after dinner walk, playing catch, etc.) instead of eating as the sole entertainment.

2. ADD GREENS: Get some color on your plate! Adding delicious, colorful salads and leafy greens to the table before and in addition to turkey time will satisfy your body’s craving for nutrients and prevent over-eating during the main event. Use caution around the junk carbs that your family may push on you – like stuffing, dinner rolls, and pies.

3. SHOW SUPPORT: Support others who are practicing healthy habits during the holidays- don’t sabotage your family or friends by guilting them into over indulging. Be thankful and grateful for what you do have in your life and share with others.

4. DON’T STRESS: No matter how many quality ingredients you put on the table, if you’re weighed down with STRESS during the holidays, you’re not functioning at optimal health! Adjustments help you to better adapt to the stress of the holiday season.

5. DRINK UP: Don’t get too excited – we’re talking about water, it’s important to balance any alcohol intake with water consumption. Plus, staying hydrated is one of the best ways to keep from overeating.

Happy Thanksgiving from True Health Family Chiropractic!

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safety risk

Are Neck Adjustments Safe?

Recently, a story has been circulating that a chiropractor was the cause of a patient’s ruptured artery which ultimately led to her death. While my sympathy goes out to the family involved, with respect to the safety of cervical (neck) adjustments – all of the best available scientific evidence indicates that a chiropractic adjustment is NOT capable of creating the type of trauma needed to dissect an artery and/or cause a stroke.

In fact, if you look at the research released just this year on chiropractic and stroke, entitled “Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Chiropractic Care and Cervical Artery Dissection: No Evidence for Causation.”, their conclusion is as follows: “There is no convincing evidence to support a causal link, and unfounded belief in causation may have dire consequences.” It’s important to note that this research was authored by a group of neurosurgeons (NOT chiropractors).

Millions of neck adjustments are performed safely in the U.S. every year, providing patients relief from common forms of neck pain, headache and a variety of ailments and helping them to get back to their normal activities and perform optimally. Doctors of chiropractic have some of the lowest malpractice insurance premiums in health care because of the low risk associated with the treatments they utilize, it’s one of the safest health professions in the world.

The reason why there is even a relationship at all is due to the symptoms of a cervical artery dissection (CAD). 80% of patients with CAD report neck pain or headache, and they are more likely to visit a chiropractor than patients without neck pain. This means that in some cases those complaints of neck pain and headaches are secondary to vascular problems that may already be in process, and those vascular problems are not picked up on.

When a patient has suffered from a trauma to his or her neck (like a fall) –  as was the case in this recent story – they are extremely more likely to exhibit symptoms of an artery dissection (severe dizziness, neck pain, extremely painful headache). Which is why we refer for advanced diagnostic imaging in the rare instances that these symptoms show up. My training is key in recognizing this so that my patient gets the right care. I can assure you, if the history and examination lead me to suspect even the outside possibility of a dissection or stroke – I DO NOT adjust.

Bottom line: The research shows that adjustments do not cause stroke but the truth is that anyone, even MD’s, can miss one in progress. This is the reason that at True Health Chiropractic, we perform a complete history and exam to make sure this is not the cause of your problem.


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Start With Stretching

There’s good news for those of you just starting on your fitness journey. Even the simple act of stretching can have a great impact on your health. Researchers found that a single 40-minute session of static, whole-body stretching lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow.

Static stretching refers to slow muscle stretches, which are usually performed in one position and held for several seconds. In our office, we use WebExercises for our patients to provide customized stretching recommendations.

What’s great about the results of this study (published in in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation) is that regular stretching can help to boost cardiovascular fitness in people who are unable to exercise due to surgery or poor health. So even if you’re not quite able to full on exercise – you can still take control of your health.

This study further cements what we’ve been writing about for a while now on the blog – that although it may seem intimidating and confusing when you start on your journey towards better health, it’s not. Remember to start slow, and to keep thing simple.

If you move your body way more than you currently are your health will improve – simple as that.


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simplify your health

Simplify Your Health

Today’s society has developed an unhealthy obsession with health and fitness. We’re talking about a billion dollar per year industry with a never ending supply of fad diets, gadgets, exercise equipment and apps that promise to drastically improve your health and wellness. It seems like with every day that passes it is becoming increasingly complicated to improve your health.

The good news is that it’s not. If you follow these essentials tips your health will improve – without breaking the bank or leaving you confused.

Walk More

It’s that simple. Move your body way more than you currently are and your health will improve. Walking is a refreshing alternative to complicated aerobic routines and overpriced gym memberships –  it’s free, enjoyable and already a part of your everyday life.

The benefits of walking are endless – but let’s list a few: it helps prevent and reduce the severity of chronic disease, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, and also improves mood and mobility. The best part about these benefits is that it doesn’t take much time from your day to achieve them. Thirty minutes a day is where we see great health benefits.

Eat Clean

This one truly is simple – Eat more fresh whole foods and less processed man made foods – that’s it.

To successfully implement this into your life remember we often eat what’s convenient, and if you buy it and keep it in the house, you’ll eat it – so don’t buy it in the first place. The following are some basic ground rules to follow when eating clean. Eat more organic and/or local fruits and vegetables, and remember the fresher the food, the more potent the nutrients. Drink more pure filtered water (Divide your weight by 2, aim to drink that number in ounces). Eat a handful of raw nuts/seeds everyday. When it comes to meat and dairy – choose products where animals live as close to their natural state as possible -free-range, cage-free, grass-fed, raw milk etc.). Lower your intake of inflammatory/mucus producing foods (dairy, sugar, wheat) and instead aim to eat more raw foods that contain powerful enzymes and phytonutrients (try juicing).

Make Sleep a Priority

Sleep is often the single most undervalued behavior in our lives—and yet it is the one with the most immediate power to improve our lives in every waking moment. Getting a good night of sleep is one of the cornerstones of health, your body needs this time to repair and heal. Six to eight hours per night seems to be the optimal amount of sleep for most adults, and too much or too little can have adverse effects on your health. Research shows that inadequate sleep can have disastrous effects on your weight loss efforts, impair your concentration, and weaken your immune system.

If you’re averaging less than six hours of sleep, aim to get just one more hour a night. It will leave you feeling more physically energized, emotionally resilient and mentally clear. If sleep is an issue it’s worth noting – if you’re walking more, eating cleaner, and getting adjusted – your sleep will most definitely improve.

Remove Interference

Chiropractic care can literally change your life, and enable you to live a pain-free life full of energy and vitality. That’s because chiropractic adjustments help reduce or eliminate pressure on your nerves—the same ones responsible for your everyday bodily functions. Chiropractic will help eliminate pain and inflammation, reduce fatigue, and restore normal balance and nerve flow to all your organs, giving you the energy, drive and peace of mind to go out there and live life the way it was meant to be lived.

Enjoy the journey and do these things for the right reasons – and you’ll improve your health, fitness and quality of life.


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