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Chiropractic Care and Asthma

While asthma is a common condition, it is anything but simple or normal. With asthma, symptoms vary based on the child and situation. The medical community defines asthma as a “chronic inflammatory disease” that causes shortness of breath, tightness of chest, wheezing and coughing.

Unfortunately, asthma follows no set pattern as symptoms differ from person to person, can vary from mild to severe, may flare up from time to time and then disappear for long periods of time. Because asthma is chronic, it needs to be monitored and managed over one’s lifetime. While anyone can get asthma, it’s usually first diagnosed in children.

Causes and Triggers

The cause of asthma is currently unknown with no cure. What is known is that certain triggers induce asthma attacks. Personal triggers can be very different amongst people with asthma. With every asthma case, it is crucial to avoid triggers in order to minimize airway inflammation and keep symptoms at bay.

Conventional Medicine

With asthma being a “variable” disease, doctors administer medicine and prescription doses at differing levels customized to child’s severity. In the realm of conventional medicine, most children with asthma take two types of medicine to treat each aspect of the condition.

Firstly, controllers or “preventers” are medications taken every day to reduce airway inflammation. The second medication, relievers, is used to treat symptoms immediately. However, reliever medications are a short-term solution to breathing problems as they fail to address the inflammation’s root cause.

How Chiropractic Can Help Asthma

“Dr. Laura uses very gentle techniques that Cameron finds fun and silly and her child care also addresses nutrition. Cameron has been with her for about 2 1/2months and is already off all of his asthma meds, sleeps through the night consistently and I haven’t had to take him to the Emergency Room once since we started with her.”

Lynsday B., Evolve Patient, on how chiropractic care helped in alleviating her son’s asthma.

Read his full testimonial here

Chiropractic is not a treatment for asthma. However, many who suffer from asthma report improvement after receiving chiropractic care.

There is research that suggests a link between the nervous system and the respiratory system. This may be why many have mentioned improved breathing by consulting our practice.

The incidence of children suffering from asthma seems to be rising, which is believed to be due to a combination of factors, especially the increase of chemicals in our environment. If these factors were the only issue, why wouldn’t all children living in the same house and breathing the same air, suffer equally? Your diaphragm is the primary muscle used for breathing. Nerves that control each breath leave your brain and exit the spinal cord in the mid-neck (C3, C4 and C5) area. Spinal problems in this area can have a profound effect on the nerve supply to the diaphragm.

Reducing misalignments/subluxations in the spine may help restore proper nervous system control of the lungs and improved function can begin, possibly reducing the frequency and severity of asthma attacks.

While large scale research results are lacking, there are many case studies showing improvement, sometimes dramatic, among asthmatic children with spinal misalignments.

References:

Asthma Society of Canada. Retrieved from: http://www.asthma.ca/adults/about/

 

 


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“No Pain in the Game” Golf Tips

With the sunny weather vastly approaching, many are itching to hit the greens and get to the first tee! As eager as you may be to start golfing season, you likely don’t enjoy the pains and strains that come with it. Swing force, awkward postures and warm-up neglect can lead to unnecessary injuries and pains.

Fortunately, a lot of these injuries are preventable and we’ve rounded up the best practices so you can play your game without the pain!

Proper Swing: Getting the right swing technique down isn’t just about boosting your game; it’s also about saving you from unnecessary pain. If you’re new to golf or tend to experience frequent strain post-games, sign up with a professional instructor for a refresher on safe and basic swing techniques.

Make Sure it fits: Ill-fitting clubs can not only interfere with athletic performance, but can also cause pain. Before that first swing, consult with a professional to confirm that your clubs are the right height. You also want to ensure that the material of the clubs is appropriate to your arm strength and has the right grip. Another thing you want to ensure fits well is your golf shoe. Select a quality golf shoe with adequate support and proper fit. This is key to preventing stress on the knee, hip and lower back pain.

Pre and Post-Game Prep: Make sure you take the time to warm up before the game with a brisk walk and some light stretching. Post-game is just as important for preventing injuries, so follow up again with some stretches. Stretching out the hamstrings, quadriceps, forearms, knees, and shoulders can do wonders for your muscles pre and post-game!

Push your golf bag: Don’t carry your golf bag! Ease stress on your back and prevent back injuries by pushing or pulling your bag and rotating turns riding the cart. If you must carry clubs, go for a double strap carry bag that distributes the weight evenly.

Keep hydrated: Hydration is a must out on those greens, especially on those hot days. Dehydration yields fatigue which leaves you susceptible to injury. Water is the optimal refresher here. Consuming alcohol can cause stiffened muscles and pain as it depletes the body’s fluids.

Chiropractic: Routine chiropractic care can help you stay active and moving, so it is perfect for those who want to prevent pain from the game! Chiropractic is often used to improve muscle and joint conditioning which has a direct effect on athletic performance.

Adjustments work to improve biomechanical function and enhance overall conditioning, important in situations where there is continuous repetitive movement, such as golf.

Chiropractic care also helps athletes fine-tune their muscles and joints for high-level performance and may reduce long term wear and tear.  Finally, treatment can be used to prevent, and sometimes shorten, the healing time of injuries.

Chiropractors can also instruct you on certain exercises to improve your strength and optimize your range of motion. In fact, many high-performance athletes, golfers included, turn to regular chiropractic care to maintain their performance.

References

Ontario Chiropractic Association. Get in the Game Without the Pain [pamphlet]. Toronto, ON: Ontario Chiropractic Association.

 


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3 Things that Affect Vital Aging

Maintaining vitality while aging is more possible than people think!

Vital aging is focused on health and wellness and making certain lifestyle choices that will benefit you long-term. We have rounded up 3 of the best and most basic steps you can take to maintain longevity and vitality in your aging.

1) Combat Inflammation

At the root of many chronic health conditions and illness, even age-related ones is inflammation. Your diet is one of the best starting points to quell inflammation:

  • Consume a diet rich in fresh vegetables (particularly leafy greens), fish, and nuts
  • Steer clear of refined sugars, processed foods, and saturated fats
  • Incorporate turmeric as one of it contains, curcumin, a strong anti-inflammatory
  • Load up antioxidant-rich foods (veggies, fruits, fish, nuts, seeds) to protect your body from free-radical damage maintain cell and tissues health
  • Look into taking a fish oil supplement to control inflammation and heart health

2) Prioritize Regular Exercise

It’s amazing how regular and consistent exercise can add years to your life! From an overall standpoint, exercise assists in weight management, bone strength and muscle health.

  • Exercises helps with brain health, slowing down cognitive impairment
  • A recent Harvard study found that exercise can be nearly effective as prescriptions when it comes to protecting oneself against conditions like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes
  • University College London researchers revealed that physically active older adults faced a lower risk of developing chronic conditions like arthritis

3) Maintain a Positive Mindset

A negative outlook can have a hugely negative impact on your health. As studies continue to point out, there is a strong correlation between negative mindsets and poor health. One of the best ways to preserve your heart health is through a lighthearted and cheerful disposition!

  • Research reveals that those who regularly experience pessimism, worry, anxiety, anger, or hopelessness increase disease risk, notably heart disease, coronary artery disease and cardiac events such as heart attacks
  • These consistent negative emotions have been linked to health concerns like complications from surgery and slower recovery from bypass surgery

References

Aberdour, S. (2012, October). 5 Tips for Healthy Aging. Retrieved from: http://www.alive.com/articles/view/23651/5_tips_for_healthy_aging

Gupta, S. (2014, April 28). The Best Anti-Aging Medicine? Exercise. Retreived from: http://www.everydayhealth.com/news/best-anti-aging-medicine-exercise/

Mercola, J. (2013, July 25). Positive Outlook Linked to Reduction in Cardiac Events Such as Heart Attacks. Retrieved from: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/07/25/positive-outlook.aspx

 


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5 Foods to Fight Inflammation

Here is the thing with inflammation: we do actually need it!

As part of the body’s immune response, we can’t properly heal without it. Like anything in life, inflammation becomes problematic when there is too much of it. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, chronic inflammation has been linked to many conditions and diseases not limited to acne, allergies, autoimmune diseases, intestinal problems, and joint pain.

Completely eliminating inflammation triggers like sugar, saturated fats, stress, infections, and toxins is not realistic given the world we live in. However, consuming a diet abundant in foods that tackle inflammation-triggering free radicals and toxins, can create some balance.

Here are 5 powerhouse foods we suggest for keeping inflammation at bay!

Tart Cherries

Cherries give you a double dose of inflammation-busting compounds! Tart cherries boast higher amounts of anthocyanins 1 and 2, a type of phytonutrient. Phytonutrients are anti-inflammatory botanical compounds.

Salmon

Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which has been known to assist in reducing inflammation. You don’t need to make salmon the main course of every meal to reap the benefits. All you need to do is strive to minimize your ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Ideally, a fifth of a teaspoon of fish oil to a teaspoon of omega-3 fatty acids a day is the amount you need.

Ginger

While researchers haven’t sourced it’s anti-inflammatory properties just yet, studies have linked the plant to a drop in joint pain caused by the chronic inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis as well as reduced post-exercise inflammation.

Kale

Kale is loaded with sulfur which prompts your liver to undergo two detox cycles rather than one. This second detox cycles stimulates your body to release more phase II enzymes, which break down toxins similar to how your digestive enzymes break down food. Phase II enzymes help with inflammation in that they cleanse your body by reducing the toxic load.

Walnuts

Walnuts are major powerhouses when it comes to reducing inflammation. They contain over 10 antioxidant phytonutrients, the highest levels of plant-based omega-3s and polyphenols that also assist in lowering inflammation.

References:

Chia, J. 10 Foods that Fight Inflammation. Retrieved from: http://www.prevention.com/food/food-remedies/10-foods-help-fight-inflammation?s=10

MacMillan, A. 14 Foods That Fight Inflammation. Retrieved from: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20705881,00.html

 


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Easy Ways to Fit in 10 Minutes of Exercise

Busy women who fit short bursts of activity into their daily schedules will reap many health benefits and even see results.

One study discovered that women who broke their exercise into 10 minute increments were more likely to consistently exercise over time. More so, the study revealed that these women lost more weight after 5 months than those who exercised for 20 to 40 minutes at a time.

The next time you’re stuck in an over-scheduled rut, remember some of these simple and portable exercise bursts to add into your day. Bear in mind that short bursts of exercise are a means of supplementing your fitness routine, not replacing it!

1) After you go outside to retrieve the newspaper or collect your mail later, go for a brisk 5-minute power walk up the street in one direction and then back the other way.

2) Squeeze in 5-10 minutes of jumping jacks while you’re waiting for dinner to cook or watching TV. A 150-pound woman can burn 90 calories in one 10-minute session!

3) Do some standing push-ups when waiting for a pot to boil or baking dinner in the oven. Stand approximately an arm’s length from the counter and push your arms against the counter. Push in and out for a few repetitions to tone the arm and shoulders.

4) Keep a set of free weights on a shelf in your bedroom or bathroom. During your bedtime routine, fit a few repetitions of some dumbbell exercises.

5) Briskly walk around the block several times while waiting for your child at an extracurricular activity or on your break at work. Add in 1-minute jogging bursts as your fitness levels improve.

6) Turn park visits with your kids into mini-workouts. Bring a ball to throw back and fourth to your kids and run for the fly balls.

7) Walk to restaurants or cafes on your lunch break at work that take you a bit out of your way.

8) When watching a TV program, jog in place during the commercials. A 150-pound woman can burn up to 45 minutes in 5 minutes!

9) Another ideal workout that can easily be done during light TV watching is leg exercises and lifts with small free weights.

References

The Editors of Prevention Health Books for Women. (2011, November). 25 Easy Ways to Fit in 10 Minutes of Exercise. Retrieved from: http://www.prevention.com/fitness/fitness-tips/fitness-25-fast-and-easy-ways-fit-10-minutes-exercise


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6 Ways to Nourish your Adrenals

Adrenals are the triangular-shaped endocrine glands that sit on top of the kidneys. The adrenals are the keys to optimal health because they are solely responsible for releasing stress-monitoring hormones.

Further, they assist in producing many hormones (notably adrenaline for short-term stress and cortisol for long-term stress), balancing blood sugar, regulating mineral supply, as well as generating and sustaining the body’s energy levels in relation to the thyroid.

When we don’t take care of them:

Prolonged stress to the adrenal glands wreaks serious havoc to our health overtime:
• Steadily elevated cortisol levels can cause weight gain, particularly around the midsection
• Blood sugar imbalances, high blood pressure memory loss, muscle wasting, dizziness, hot flashes, night sweats and even excessive facial hair
• Overworked adrenal glands eventually crash, leading to adrenal exhaustion and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The Top 6 Ways to Nourish Your Adrenals:

Solitude: Aim to spend a few quiet minutes alone every day, free from the phone and other technology. This would be the perfect time to perform some meditation, deep breathing exercises (aim for 10 to 20 diaphragm breaths every morning and night) or gratitude reflecting.

Restorative Exercise: Restorative exercise like yoga, Pilates and tai chi provides wonderful support to the adrenals. If feasible, doing these on a daily basis or even 2-3 times a week is ideal.

Sleep: Try to aim for 7-8 hours of sleep a night in order for body repair, renewal and hormonal balance.

Probiotics: Taking a daily probiotic to protect your gut health will boost your immunity strength and natural healing abilities. In turn, less physical stress on your body means less stress on your adrenals.

Wholesome Foods: Chronic stress depletes nutrients. Consuming a nutrient-dense diet of fresh fruits and vegetables will deliver the crucial vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients to the body. Restrict processed sugar and refined wheat products as they caused your blood sugar to rapidly fluctuate, subsequently causing your adrenals to overact.

Reduce Caffeine Intake: Enjoy caffeine in moderation as it stimulates the adrenal glands leading to an energy crash later on. Herbal teas and peppermint tea are great natural pick-ups that don’t overstimulate the adrenal glands.

References
Sepel, J. (2013, January, 11). Why Nurturing Your Adrenals Is The Key To Optimal Health. Retrieved from: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7366/why-nurturing-your-adrenals-is-the-key-to-optimal-health.html

Schroffo-Cook, M. (2010, July 23). 14 Ways to Boost Your Stress Glands. Retrieved from: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/14-ways-to-boost-your-stress-glands.html


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TOP 5 Energy-Boosting Foods

It’s simply amazing what plain nature can do for your energy levels. Your body can only get so far on certain foods—that being processed items. Refined foods won’t give you the strength and power you need to sustain lasting, vital energy.

Regularly consuming nourishing foods can significantly help you maintain your energy levels. If you’re feeling frequently sluggish or chronically fatigued, there are some wonderful whole foods that will give you that much-needed, natural energy boost. Here are our top 6:

Kale:
Besides being loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, this dark leafy green contains chlorophyll, a compound that allows plants to assimilate energy from the sun. Similarly, when we eat kale, we also absorb this natural, vital energy.

Nuts:
Nuts like cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts are chock-full of magnesium, which is integral to the sugar-energy conversion process. Containing high levels of fibre and protein, they help to regulate blood sugar levels and curb hunger throughout the day.

Berries:
One cup of blackberries or raspberries contains 8 grams of fibre. High-fibre foods are great for energy preservation in that they slowly release sugar into the bloodstream. This way, you won’t experience sudden energy peaks and crashes.

Quinoa:
Quinoa is definitely considered a high-energy food with a carbohydrate content of 59.7 percent (mainly complex carbohydrates). With 5 percent dietary fiber and a low-glycemic index, this pseudo-grain won’t spike your blood sugar.

Lemons:
Lemons help you reclaim your energy levels through their powerful cleansing abilities. Overexposure to toxins can yield fatigue and other serious illnesses. Lemons flush toxins out of your system, alkalize your blood and provide support to your immunity and liver.

References:

Croes, N. (2012, September 20). Top 5 Energy-Boosting Foods. Retrieved from: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6208/Top-5-EnergyBoosting-Foods.html

Onwochei, M. (2011, March 21). Quinoa Superfood Diet. Retrieved from: http://www.livestrong.com/article/408099-quinoa-super-food-diet/