The Healthy Way to Wear a Backpack

It’s back to school time for all the young scholars and with it comes the daily ritual of lugging school supplies around in a backpack. You may not realize it but ill fitting backpacks can put a significant amount of stress on your child’s body.
The long-term stress of wearing a poorly designed and/or excessively heavy backpack can lead to a back aches, neck stiffness, burning shoulders, headaches, tingling in the arms/hands, fatigued muscles and a stooped posture. These aches and pains can be a major distraction to your child’s focus in the school room, hamper their enjoyment of everyday childhood activities and increase the likelihood of future back problems later in life.

Loading a Backpack

  • Your child’s backpack should not exceed 15% of their body weight.
  • back pack2Load the heaviest items closest to your child’s back. Pack the bumpy or sharp edged items furthest away from the back. Arrange the school gear so it won’t shift and slide as they walk.
  • Many parents are shocked to discover just how heavy their child’s backpack truly is. To calculate how much the pack weighs have your child stand on a weigh scale with and without the pack on and subtract the difference.
  • On heavy backpack load days have your child hand carry a heavy book or item.
  • Pack up the bag on a table or ledge that is waist high as opposed to leaning forward over a pack on the floor.

Wearing the Backpack

  • Always use the two straps to spread out the weight evenly. Carrying a heavy load with one strap can lead to unwanted curvatures and abnormali
  • ties in the developing spine and musculature.
  • Make sure the straps are well padded (2 inches wide) to protect the blood vessels and nerves in the neck and shoulder region. Prolonged pressure in these areas can lead to pain and tingling in the neck, arms and hands.
  • Adjust the straps so that pack fits snugly against your child’s back. You should be able to slide one hand between the pack and your child’s back. Loose packs can pull your child back causing muscle strains.
  • The back of the pack should never rest more than 4 inches below the waist line.
  • Wearing a waist strap can take as much as 50 – 70% of the weight off the shoulders and spine helping to distribute the weight more evenly.
  • Teach your child to put on their backpack properly. Place the pack on a table and do up both straps before moving as opposed to twisting and reaching back or swinging the pack around the shoulder.Backpack21

It is important to be aware of your child’s daily burden because it could be detracting from their school experience. If they complain of back pain, headaches, numbness or weakness in their arms seek help to ease their discomfort and prevent future problems.

Chiropractic & The Gallup Poll

What Does the New Gallup Poll Tell Us About the Public Perception and Utilization of Chiropractic Today?

In 2015 Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa commissioned Gallup Inc. to undertake a study called American’s Perceptions of Chiropractic. This was important because the last studies done about chiropractic were in the 1970’s and 1980’s and were very out of date. Those studies also occurred before Federal Antitrust Laws finally broke up the AMA’s nearly 100-year plan to contain and eliminate chiropractic in a verdict handed down in 1987.

gallup-chiropractic-use-on-the-riseHere are just a few observations made by this landmark poll of the American public by Gallup concerning utilization:

One half of all Americans have been to a chiropractor (much higher than previously thought)
14% of all those polled had been to their chiropractic in the past year (a number that is twice as high as projected in previous studies)

Here are just a few observations made by this landmark poll of the American public by Gallup concerning health conditions:

• Two-thirds (61 percent) of adult Americans believe chiropractors are effective at treating neck and back pain.
• The majority (57 percent) of adults are likely to see a chiropractor for neck or back pain.
• More than 1/2 of all U.S. adults have visited a chiropractor, and more than 1/4 of Americans would choose chiropractic first for back or neck pain.

It’s great that so many Americans see their chiropractor as someone they would see for the neck and back pain. But chiropractors certainly have an upward battle to educate the public about the importance of the nervous system and how it relates to all body functions, not just neck and back pain. One encouraging statistic from the study was that of those who are seeing a chiropractor 31% of them want to see their chiropractor regularly even if they have no pain (sounds like there are a lot of chiropractors educating their patients about the true benefits of chiropractic. Hopefully this number will continue to rise exponentially.

Here are couple of statistics that are great for chiropractors. Among those who have seen their chiropractor in the past five years:

74% of all people saw their chiropractor as trustworthy. (As opposed to 58% of MDs, NEJM)
82% of all people felt that their chiropractor has their best interest in mind when it comes to health care.

Source: 2015 Gallup-Palmer Inaugural Report: Americans’ Perceptions of Chiropractic

Take Control of Your Health

Are You In Control?

There is an old saying, “Everyone wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die to do it.” We feel the same way about our health. Everybody wants to be healthy but no one wants to do the necessary things to get there.

The fact is, health comes from within you. You cannot buy it at a local pharmacy. Health cannot be given to you by someone. It is not contagious. You may receive a genetic predisposition toward health from your parents and grandparents, but your genes don’t really determine your health. Your genes express themselves as a result of your lifestyle. Poor lifestyle creates poor health and a healthy lifestyle creates better health. Your decisions and actions about your lifestyle are literally a matter of life and death.

Without any doubt, the single most important concept to understand and accept so that you may attain maximum health and get the most out of life is that YOU are responsible for your health. That’s really the way it should be.shutterstock_133806461

The idea of taking control and responsibility for one’s own health is a relatively recent concept. Throughout history the responsibility for a people’s health was assumed by the most learned or powerful person in the tribe, village or city… witch doctors, medicine men, or shamans… and in our day it was Marcus Welby, MD on television or Benjamin Spock, MD telling us how to raise our children. However, beginning in the late 1960’s the pedestal that medical doctors had been placed upon was shattered. Few people accept the role of the physician as the sole authority in matters of health. Just look at the rise in popularity of alternative health care methods. By 2007, nearly 40% of all U.S. adults were using alternative non-medical health care and taking back the control of their health from the medical establishment. But, giving away your control of your health to anyone is still giving it away.

Here are some questions to ask yourselves to determine if you control your health: (1) Do you ever ask about the side effects of prescriptions? (2) Do you get a 2nd opinion on physical problems? (3) Do you ever question your doctor’s recommendations? (4) Have you read a book on health in the past few months? (5) If you chose the three most important things in life, would health be one of them? (6) Do you find yourself ever really listening to drug commercials? (7) Do you think that health is mostly a matter of luck?

New Herb Study Says “Buyer Beware”

What Does This New Study Tell Us About The Quality of Herbal Supplements?

In February 2015 the Attorney General of the State of New York accused four national retailers on Monday of selling dietary supplements that were fraudulent and in many cases contaminated with unlisted ingredients. He sent cease and desist orders to retailers Walmart, Walgreens, Target and GNC to stop selling their own herbal products when research showed that roughly four out of five of the products contained none of the herbs listed on their labels. In many cases, the authorities said, the supplements contained little more than cheap fillers like rice and house plants, or substances that could be hazardous to people with food allergies.

shutterstock_220512667The herbs tested by scientists were Gingko Biloba, St. John’s Wort, Garlic, Echinacea, Saw Palmetto and Valerian Root. They used DNA testing which only determines if the herb is present, but not about quality of the herb. For quality, scientists use chromatography to determine if the right part of the herb was used and whether it was prepared or extracted property and contained the therapeutic constituents. What the research showed then was simply whether the herb on the label was in the product. 4 out of 6 GNC herbal products were found to contain none of the herb. 3 out of 6 Target brand products contained none of the labeled herb. 5 out of 6 Walgreens herb products were found to contain none of the herbs listed. Finally, 4 out of the 6 WalMart herbal products contained none of the herbs. These products not only contained no herbs but contained other products such as powdered rice, beans, peas, wild carrots, asparagus and spruce tree.

This testing found that many herbal supplements don’t contain what the label says; just fillers, not herbs.

MediHerb, a company thEchinacea-Purple-Emperor_JDWat provides quality herbal products for health care professionals did a survey of Echinacea products available in the U.S in 1994 using chromatography and mass spectrometry. The active constituents of Echinacea are to be alkylamides. The research revealed that most of the Echinacea products available in the U.S. were nearly devoid of alkylamides. What that means that the products were nearly useless and had no therapeutic value. When you purchase herbal products for yourself and family, please consult your healthcare professional. If you don’t you could spend your hard earned money on something that is worthless.

Nutrition Nonsense

NutritionBanner

What Can I Believe In The Media About Nutrition?

Nutrition is a science, however, much of what you hear in the media through news and advertising is not only false, but disregards the current scientific knowledge. Let’s explore a few of these pieces of nutrition nonsense:

The Best Diet is a Low-Fat Diet, With Carbs at 50-60% of Calories

The low-fat diet has been put to the test in several huge randomized controlled trials. It does not cause any weight loss over a period of 7.5 years and it has literally no effect on heart disease or cancer. The low-fat diet has been a huge failure. All the major studies show that low fat diets don’t work. Consider that the next time you go to purchase something “non-fat” or “low-fat” at the grocery store.

  • Howard BV, et al. Low-fat dietary pattern and weight change over 7 years: the nWomen’s Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 2006.
  • Howard BV, et al. Low-Fat Dietary Pattern and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. Journal of the American Medical Association, 2006.
  • Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial: Risk Factor Changes and Mortality Results. Journal of the American Medical Association, 1982.

Eggs Raise Cholesterol and Will Lead to Heart Disease

The cholesterol in eggs does not raise the LDL cholesterol in the blood. It raises HDL cholesterol (good) and eggs actually improve the blood lipid profile.
The studies show that egg consumption is not associated with heart disease. Whole eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. Consider this the next time you’re tempted to buy “Egg Beaters” at the market.

  • Rong Y, et al. Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. British Medical Journal, 2013.
  • Fernandez ML. Dietary cholesterol provided by eggs and plasma lipoproteins in healthy populations. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care, 2006.
  • Blesso CN, et al. Whole egg consumption improves lipoprotein profiles and insulin sensitivity to a greater extent than yolk-free egg substitute in individuals with metabolic syndrome. Metabolism, 2013.

Polyunsaturated Fats Lower Cholesterol and Reduce Heart Disease Risk

There are two types of polyunsaturated fats, Omega-3 and Omega-6. It is true that Omega-3s reduce the risk of heart disease, but the same is not true for the Omega-6s. Even though the Omega-6s (soybean oil, corn oil, canola, sunflower and safflower etc.) can lower cholesterol, the studies show that they actually increase the risk of heart disease. Therefore, the horrible advice to increase polyunsaturated fat, without regards to the type, is probably contributing to heart disease instead of preventing it.

  • Ramsden CE, et al. Use of dietary linoleic acid for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease and death. British Medical Journal, 2013.
  • Lands WE, et al. Dietary fat and health: the evidence and the politics of prevention: careful use of dietary fats can improve life and prevent disease. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2005.
  • Ramsden CE, et al. n-6 fatty acid-specific and mixed polyunsaturate dietary interventions have different effects on CHD risk: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. British Journal of Nutrition, 2010.

Fat Makes You Fat

Even though fat has more calories per gram than carbs and protein, it is not any more fattening. Eating foods that are naturally high in fat tends to reduce the appetite. The studies consistently show that diets that are high in fat (but low in carbs) lead to much more weight loss than diets that are low in fat. Fat doesn’t make you fat. Sugar makes you fat. Eating good fats can actually help you stay healthy. So, eat good quality fats and real, whole, fresh food, and don’t worry about it.

  • Brehm BJ, et al. A randomized trial comparing a very low carbohydrate diet and a calorie-restricted low fat diet on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors in healthy women. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2003.
  • Yancy WS, et al. A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-fat diet to treat obesity and hyperlipidemia: a randomized, controlled trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2004.
  • Westman EC, et al. The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Nutrition & Metabolism, 2008.

Weight Loss Is All About Your Calories In and Calories Out

This is completely false, different calorie sources go through different metabolic pathways in the body and have varying effects on hunger, hormones and the brain. Also, let’s not forget that health is about way more than just weight. Certain calorie sources (added sugar, vegetable oils) can cause harmful effects on metabolism that have nothing to do with their caloric value. The idea that weight loss is all about calories in/calories out is ridiculous because it totally ignores how certain foods affect your hormones that deal with appetite and fat storage affect your weight.

Take the example of fructose, found in drinks as high fructose corn syrup… Fructose, when it enters the liver from the digestive tract, can be turned into glucose and stored as glycogen. But if the liver is full of glycogen, it can be turned into fat… which is then shipped out or lodges in the liver. Consumed in excess, it can cause insulin resistance, which raises insulin levels all over the body and insulin drives fat gain.

  • Feinman RD, et al.“A calorie is a calorie” violates the second law of thermodynamics. Nutrition Journal, 2004.
  • Johnston CS, et al. Postprandial thermogenesis is increased 100% on a high-protein, low-fat diet versus a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet in healthy, young women. The Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2002.
  • Veldhorst MA, et al. Presence or absence of carbohydrates and the proportion of fat in a high-protein diet affect appetite suppression but not energy expenditure in normal-weight human subjects fed in energy balance. British Journal of Nutrition, 2010.

Holiday Wellness Tips

What Can I Do To Keep From Gaining A Lot of Weight, Becoming Stressed Out and Getting Sick During the Holidays?

Research shows that the average American adult gains weight during the holiday season. The season is also the peak of the flu/cold season and a time when stress levels can reach their maximum for the year. Here are some tips for a healthier holiday season:

1. Stay Away From Foods That Cause Insulin Spikes From Loads of Rapidly Absorbed Sugars. Remember, insulin spikes cause fat deposition and can increase your hunger level. These foods include the “great whites”; white rice, white potatoes, white flour and sugary sweets. Fruit drinks and fruit juices as well as soda can be added to this list.

2. Eat Protein and Fiber With Every Meal. Protein in your meals causes your blood glucose levels to remain more steady and level. This means less hunger and more energy. Fiber slows down absorption of sugar into your bloodstream resulting in less sugar spikes and insulin spikes.

3. Fill Up On Healthy Bulk Foods. Eat lots of your “skinny” fruits, vegetables and salads at the start of your meals. This will suppress your appetite before you consume foods that may have a greater negative effect on your blood sugar and insulin levels.christmas-cocktail-party

4. Make Exercise a Priority. The holiday season is especially busy and that makes it easy to skip this important ingredient to health holidays. Exercise is the perfect tonic for the stress and anxiety. Take a “family walk” after your holiday feast. Recruit a holiday walking buddy. Incorporate walking into your holiday shopping. Park at the far end of the mall or shopping center.

5. Limit Your Contact With People Who Have Had Flu Shots in the Past 21 Days. Popular flu vaccines such as the mist style nasal type can spread flu viruses for up to 21 days are they are. The CDC has admitted that these immunizations can spread the flu. Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water. Avoid coughing and sneezing people.

6. See Your Chiropractor Regularly. Having a nervous system that is functioning at optimum levels means that all of your organs, glands and systems are working at peak potential. This gives you better immune function and a greater ability to deal with added stress.

16 Reasons to Get Adjusted

What Are Some Good Reasons to See a Chiropractor Regularly?

chiropractic-adjustments21. More Energy. The vital energy that runs your body comes from the brain, travels over the nerves and gives vitality and vigor to your body. Logic says that if that energy is interfered with, your body will not work at its fullest potential.

2. Clearer Thinking, Memory and Concentration. Did you ever have a day when your mind was extra sharp, thoughts and ideas came quickly or your memory was especially good? Ever have just the opposite type of day? Well, your body chemistry determines to a great extent your ability to think, concentrate and remember. Body chemistry is controlled by your nerve system and your nerve system works better without any interference (vertebral subluxation)

3. Less Stress. How can getting adjusted make your job easier or cause your kids to give you less problems? Well, it cannot. But there is a difference between adversity and stress. Adversities are the circumstances of life. You cannot change them. Stress is the inability to handle those adversities. How well your body is working will determine to some degree how much adversity you can handle and how much stress you have in your life.yourinhomechiro_smt

4. A Longer Life. Here is a reason based on logic. All things being equal, you will live longer if you take care of yourself, barring any unforeseen trauma, of course. Taking care of yourself, in no small measure, means keeping your nerve system free of interference due to vertebral subluxations.

5. More Sleep. All sleep is not the same. Just because you get ten hours does not mean you are getting the kind of rest you need. At different time, we have all awakened refreshed, sluggish, or tired from the same amount of sleep. How well your body is working will determine how much of your sleep is real sleep and not just “down time”

6. Greater Value from Your Exercise. We all need to exercise regularly. Some of us do not have the energy to get up off the couch and begin a workout, although that is an issue we have already addressed. Some of us have interference in the nerve system that keeps the muscles of our body from receiving a full complement of vital life energy. It is like trying to exercise a paralyzed muscle. There is not enough energy going to those muscles. That is what happens when there is interference in the nerve system due to a vertebral subluxation.

7. More Balanced Chemistry. The proper balance of your body’s chemistry is unique for you. Only the innate wisdom of your body knows exactly what is should be. People can only guess. The organs, glands and cells of the body must be working properly to produce just the right amounts at just the right time. Your nerve system is critical in the coordination of that function.

8. More Hours in Your Day. How can you get more than 24 hours a day from chiropractic visits, especially when the visit is going to take at least a little time?13hour_clock Well, time-management experts will tell you that it is the efficient use of your time, not the total number of hours that is the issue. If your mind and body are working as well as they possibly can, you will be more efficient and more than make up for the time it takes to visit your chiropractor.

9. Increased Earning Capacity. If you had more energy, clearer thinking, a better ability to handle adversity, more alertness, and were more efficient and physically, mentally and emotionally functioning at a higher level, you work more, work harder, get a better job or possibly a promotion, or even start a business of your own.

10. Improved Relationships. Why is it that some people seem to be able to get along with people that you cannot stand? Perhaps it is you. If you were functioning at a higher level, if your body chemistry was balance, perhaps you could handle them better and not be bothered by whatever it is about them that affects your relationship. Even better, get them to a chiropractor and you could, perhaps, become best of friends!

11. Improved Performance. With an improved nerve supply, all your performance levels will be elevated. Whether that improvement is enough to make a difference is an individual matter. As the advertisement says, “Results may vary.” However, getting adjusted and doing some other healthy things will have a cumulative effect and result in noticeable changes. It just makes sense to do everything possible to improve performance, including having a good nerve supply.

12. Better Digestion. There are prob- ably hundreds of reasons why certain foods affect certain people. Most times, the cause can be traced back to the inability of the body to handle that food. If it was the food, then it would negatively affect everyone. There are many reasons why your body, in general, and your nerve system, in particular, may not work properly. One of those reasons, interference in the nerve system due to vertebral subluxation, can be addressed by regular visits to the chiropractor.

13. Enjoy Life More. The bottom line is to have a happier and more fulfilled life. If you see improvement in the areas above, your life has to be more enjoyable. Even some of the things you do not enjoy now could become more pleasurable and rewarding. Visit your chiropractor this week!

14. Healthier, More Robust Immune System. Research has demonstrated that persons who have regular long term chiropractic care have immunity to cancer causing agents that is 200% greater than those individuals that have not had regular chiropractic care. In research with HIV positive patients, those patients who had regular chiropractic adjustments not only had an improvement in the number of white blood cells that attack the HIV virus, but it was the very cell that the HIV virus prefers to use as a host.

healthy-seniors-s17-seniors-exercising-115. More Active, Vital Senior Years. A three-year study of senior citizens over 75 years of age revealed that seniors who receive chiropractic care spend fewer days in hospitals and nursing homes than elderly non-chiropractic patients. Senior citizens under chiropractic care report better overall health, have fewer chronic conditions, and are less likely to use prescription drugs than non-chiropractic patients. The senior chiropractic patients were more likely to exercise vigorously and more likely to be active in the community. Chiropractic patients spend 15% less time in nursing homes and 21% less time in hospitals than the non-chiropractic patients.

16. More Creativity. Creative thinking is one of the greatest human assets in that it initiates new thoughts and world changing ideas. Creativity is the ability to generate ideas of both novel and useful form to a particular social setting. Innovative thoughts inspire excitement and unlock the depths of human potential. Research shows that adults have higher levels of creativity for up to 8 days following a chiropractic adjustment.