Tag Archives: Prevention

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Simplify Your Family’s Health

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Life is not complex.  We are complex.  Life is simple,
and the simple thing is the right thing.
– Oscar Wilde

Minimalism can provide many benefits to your life, be it less stress, more money or more time. What many people don’t realize is that it also applies to your family’s health and well-being. We are often told we couldn’t possibly figure out how to improve our health on our own, that it is a very complicated process. The truth is – it isnt.

If you follow these simple yet essentials tips your family’s health will improve, without leaving you overwhelmed (or broke!).

Move your body in a way you enjoy.

Traditional “exercise” is not mandatory. Sure, you can join a gym if you’d like but it’s not necessary – and the downside is your children can’t exercise with you. So, instead – why not 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. Plus, the whole family can be involved – even the dog!

The benefits of walking are endless – so let’s just name a few: it helps prevent and reduce the severity of chronic disease (like high blood pressure and diabetes), it 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 start to see great health benefits.

Besides these health benefits – there’s also quality and uninterrupted time as a family: Being outdoors and breathing fresh air promotes a sense of calmness that can lead to bonding time and better conversations. In addition, you’re leading by example -setting a great example by modeling good healthy exercise habits that can reap future benefits in a child’s attitude towards exercise and fitness.

If walking isn’t your thing – do something else. Hiking, pillow fights, dancing to music, bike rides, jumping on the bed, whatever your kids enjoy – anything to get your family moving.

Eat Clean

This one truly is simple – research has proven what matters most: make sure your diet consists mostly of real, minimally processed foods.

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).

You can even involve your children by letting them help make a green smoothie; this can be any combination of several greens, avocado, coconut oil, and a little fruit. They deliver great nutrient-dense antioxidants and phytonutrients from vegetables with the fruit added to sweeten and lessen any bitterness from the chard, kale and spinach. They taste great and your children will learn about new foods and become more comfortable in the kitchen. Just remember the 3 main ingredients should be plants, fat, and protein (not all fruit/sugar).

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. Research shows that inadequate sleep can have disastrous effects on your weight loss efforts, impair your concentration, and weaken your immune system.

When it comes to bedtimes – the earlier is truly the better. Now, I know early bedtimes may not be possible with some families’ schedules, which is totally understandable. But for those who can do it – I strongly urge you to try.

Research consistently shows that putting kids to bed early is beneficial for their physical, emotional, and cognitive development. Not only do kids tend to sleep more when the lights go out sooner, but they also may get a greater proportion of restorative sleep, too. Early kid bedtimes are also great for parental sanity. Sipping a glass of wine in silence? Snuggling up with your spouse to watch a grown-up movie for once? It’s really quite lovely.

In addition- sleep that happens earlier in the night tends to be more restorative than sleep that takes place later at night and in the early morning. So putting your kid to bed early may ensure that a higher proportion of her sleep is the extra-restful kind. And well-rested kids behave quite differently than sleep-deprived kids.

When kids (and adults) are sleep-deprived, their bodies release hormones including cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline, which give them a second wind at bedtime and also make it harder for them go back to sleep early in the morning.

If sleep is an issue it’s worth noting – if you follow the other tips we mention here (walking more, eating cleaner, and getting adjusted) – your sleep will most definitely improve.

Remove Interference

Chiropractic care can literally change your family’s 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.

Your child’s spine is affected by a multitude of things: starting with birth, leading to crawling/walking and slips and falls, to backpacks, texting, and computers as they grow older. If statistics are what motivates you – consider this – in the US alone, over 200,000 children are taken to hospital each year to have playground injuries assessed. Other likely times that our children will become misaligned include learning to ride a bike, sporting activities or hobbies, and minor or major car accidents.

The expertise of the chiropractor is in checking the child’s spine for misalignments that impair nervous system function therefore affecting overall body function. By removing the interference to the nerves, many of these conditions can improve and/or resolve naturally – without drugs or surgery. Regular chiropractic check ups are a key component in growing healthy kids.

Focus on the lifestyle, not the goals.

Strive to make eating well and moving your body in an enjoyable way part of your family’s daily life. 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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True Health Food Rules

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TRUE HEALTH Food RulesSomewhere along the line we lost track of the idea that our food should be our medicine. In fact today, it’s quite the opposite – our modern eating habits are polluting our bodies, making us more susceptible to many preventable illnesses and diseases. We are no longer getting the nutrients from our food that are necessary to function at our optimal level. The water we drink and the food we eat are loaded with toxins, robbing us of our innate self-healing abilities.

It can be extremely confusing to attempt to keep up with the latest fads in diet or what you should or should not eat. The war on fat led to the explosion of empty (“fat-free”) carbs, food which is heavily processed and stripped of any nutritional benefits. This fat-free lifestyle has resulted in sky rocketing obesity rates. Our diet today is leading to increases in chronic degenerative diseases, and even more alarming, they are occurring at a younger age. Our lifestyle choices are pointing us directly to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune, inflammatory and neurological diseases.

It is a shame that modern medicine has largely ignored one of the best weapons against disease- nutrition. By utilizing these 10 food “rules”, we hope to guide patients to regain control of their health by eating well and by eating clean, health promoting foods.

1. Eat REAL Food

This means Grass-fed Meats/Butter and Wild Fish and Game/Free Range Eggs. Increase Colorful Fruits and Vegetables (Polyphenols = antioxidants / anti inflammatory)

2. Minimize GRAINS (including whole grains)

An excess of breads, pastas, cereals can lead to leaky gut syndrome which can lead to unwanted inflammation.

3. Add NATURAL FATS (coconut/avocado/olive oil, butter)

These natural fats help to provide immunity, development of the nervous system, and protection from micro-organisms. Avoid industrial vegetable and seed oils (soy, corn, canola, sunflower).

4. No LOW FAT or FAT FREE Processed Foods

None. Most low fat or fat free foods add sugar and chemicals to make up for the loss in taste.

5. Re-think BREAKFAST (Protein/Fat not Carbs)

No cereals, toast, or sugary yogurts. Instead, aim to fill up on protein. Better choice: Smoothies.The 3 main ingredients should be plants, fat, and protein. Any combination of several greens, avocado, coconut oil, and a little fruit will work. (When smoothies have no protein, they’re just fructose)

6. Cut Out Unnecessary SUGAR

Go plain whenever you can and sweeten it naturally, you’ll use a lot less. Eliminate any sugary beverages, stick with water with lemon and teas. Use dark chocolate as your go to treat.

7. SATURATED FATS and CHOLESTEROL are Vital for Optimum Health

Cholesterol helps babies and children develop a healthy brain and nervous system. Saturated fats promote the body’s use of essential fatty acids, enhance the immune system, protect the liver and contribute to strong bones.

8. Modern SOY Products are Dangerous

Modern soy foods, such as soy protein powders and soymilk, block mineral absorption, inhibit protein digestion, cause endocrine disruption, depress thyroid function and contain potent carcinogens.

9. Organic Does NOT Equal Healthy

Organic pasteurized milk, breakfast cereal, chips, cookies, crackers and fruit juice are highly processed, refined convenience foods lacking vital nutrients. Organic meat and milk may still come from animals in confinement and therefore lack vital nutrients for growth and immune function.

10. A VEGAN Diet Can Lead to Nutritional Deficiencies

Vital nutrients found exclusively in animal foods include complete protein, cholesterol and vitamins A, D, B6 and B12. We can’t get sufficient true vitamin A from plant foods, and most of us get enough vitamin D from the sun alone. Vitamin B12 is not absorbed from plant sources, and modern soy products actually increase the body’s need for B12. Those who do not eat meat can have a healthy diet by consuming eggs and  dairy foods from animals on pasture, and by avoiding modern soy foods.


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Your Body’s Circuit Panel

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Your Body's Circuit Panel

Think of the electrical system in your home. When a power surge stresses the system, a circuit breaker trips to prevent the house from burning down. Now, what if the circuit that was tripped powered the refrigerator? The food inside would start to spoil unless you could get the power turned on before it was too late. As you can see – the problem is not the refrigerator, but the power to the refrigerator.

The tripped circuit breaker OBSTRUCTS the refrigerator’s power source preventing the refrigerator from operating efficiently. In regard to your body, when a structural shift is present, your nervous system is underpowered.

Why is this important? Your nervous system connects to every system in your body. From your muscles and bones, down to your organs like your heart and stomach. It even controls things like your immune system. In many ways, it’s like the electrical system of your house with your brain stem acting as the power source.

When our body has stress beyond our ability to adapt properly (like too many Christmas light strands plugged into a circuit), then the breaker will keep tripping (a recurring shift in the spine and associated secondary conditions).

Make sure your electrical system is working by getting all the necessary structural corrections, at True Health Chiropractic.


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6 Ways To Get More Movement Into Your Day

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time-to-move

As a society, we need to stop thinking of exercise as something that requires a change of clothes and a warm-up – after all, you wouldn’t do either of those things in an emergency. Life is busy, and fitting in exercise can be tough – but it doesn’t have to be that hard. By making a few simple changes to your life, you’ll be in better shape in weeks. It’s worth the effort – as well as making you happier, there’s evidence that regular physical activity can protect you from everything from obesity to Alzheimer’s. To help, here are 6 ways to move more every day:

1. Always Take the Stairs

Simple, and yet so easy to avoid. It’s easy to rationalize taking the easy way – elevator, escalator, that cool motorized walkway thing at airports – because you’ve had a long day, or you’ve got a heavy bag, or because it barely burns any calories anyway, right? But that misses the point. There’s evidence that even minimal amounts of resistance exercise can increase your body’s levels of a substance called GLUT4, which encourages calories from food to be stored in muscle cells rather than as body fat – so even a single flight of stairs helps.

2. Walk More

You’ve heard this one before, but it’s worth looking at the numbers to get the full picture. According to a 2012 study, participants who ran one mile burned 112 calories, but those walking a mile still burned 88. While running means preparation, getting changed, finding a shower and – depending on how fast you go – a level of unpleasantness that can be tough to get psyched up for. Walking is just walking. Get off the bus a stop earlier, or park a little farther away and enjoy your exercise – without any need for equipment.

3. Break Up Your Sitting

We’ve addressed this over on over on this blog. Sitting down puts your body in neutral – it constricts circulation, slows your metabolism, shuts off muscles and tightens your connective tissues (fascia). Even exercising for an hour a day can’t do much to compensate for the 10 hours you spend slumping in a variety of chairs. But fortunately there’s a solution: just stand up. Take small breaks as frequently as possible. Go to the bathroom. Use a smaller water cup so you have to refill it more often. Do a lap around the office. Ask for a stand-up desk. Step outside for a minute to get some fresh air. Stand while you’re talking on the phone.

4. Sit on the Floor at Home

Yes, like a child. Here’s why: modern sofa technology has advanced to the point where you can remain essentially motionless through an entire Netflix streaming session, but if you sit on the floor for exactly the same amount of time  you’ll be squirming, stretching, essentially changing position the entire time. If you’re feeling really motivated, this would also be an ideal opportunity to foam-roll away some of the aches and pains of everyday life – there’s a brief guide to that here.

5. Do the 10-minute Squat Every Day

In most countries, the deep squat is still part of everyday life – it’s just how you sit, relax, or go to the toilet. For many Americans, user of chairs and western toilets –  – we probably haven’t done one in years. But you should – it’ll help enormously with your hip and ankle mobility, as well as providing you with a jolt of isometric exercise. Mobility expert Kelly Starrett suggests that you should be able to hold the position for 10 minutes, but if you can’t, just start with a minute at a time – it all counts, and it all adds up.

6. Get a Pull-up Bar

If you’re doing a lot of sitting – as in hunching over your desk or driving in a car all day – you should be doing pull-ups. They’ll counteract the computer-hunch, improve the health of your spine, build your arms and work your core muscles better than weighted crunches. Get a bar that clips over your door frame and aim to do one or two reps each time you pass through it during the day. Can’t do a pull-up? Try this: “Jump” to the top position, then lower yourself as slowly as you can – just for a rep or two. You’ll get there eventually.


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Performance and Prevention With Chiropractic

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performance chiro

Recent research from New Zealand has found that Chiropractic care may reduce gym and fitness-related injuries while also improving performance.

According to Dr Heidi Haavik, Director of Research at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic, the inability of some people to properly activate and control their core muscles when engaging in exercise, predisposes them to injury – particularly in the lower back. This may be reversible with regular chiropractic care.

“We know that delayed trunk muscle reflex responses increase the risk of low back injuries. Research suggests that this is partly due to a failure of the brain to predict what is going to happen during some movements. There is now accumulating evidence that chiropractic care may play a part in improving the ability of the brain to engage the core muscles appropriately and stabilize the spine”, states Dr Haavik.

The nervous system plays such an essential role in our bodies, especially when it comes to our fitness. Your nervous system connects to every system in your body – from your muscles and bones, down to your organs, it even controls things like your immune system. In many ways, it’s like the electrical system of your house with your brain acting as the power source. When there is interference to the nervous system (a structural shift in your spine) your electrical system will not work properly. When it comes to athletic performance, this interference results in an inability of the brain to activate the core muscles in time – which may be the cause of many gym and fitness-related injuries.

It’s important to note that poor nervous system coordination will not manifest itself as a ‘symptom’ until it is too late. So, if you’re only using chiropractic care as pain management – you’re missing out on this performance and prevention benefit.

Chiropractors and elite athletes have know for years that chiropractic care helps them perform at an optimal level – it seems that now science is finally starting to catch up and demonstrate how it actually works. From Dr. Haavik:

“Chiropractic care improves the communication between the brain and body and results in better control of the core muscles during body movements, so that your spine is at less risk of injury. We are also starting to see research developing which suggests that a single session of chiropractic care may improved muscle activation and increase muscle contractions equivalent to findings following three weeks of strength training. This line of research also suggests chiropractic care may possibly reduce muscle fatigue developing during strong contractions.”

In our office, we see Athletes, Crossfitters, Triatheletes, and Runners – and guess what? Most of them don’t have back pain, but are actually looking to make their bodies work more efficiently. After all, normal structure allows your body to operate smoothly and at its best.


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