My 5 Favorite Chiropractic Quotes

I collect quotes.

Quotes on all subjects from health and chiropractic, to motivation, to silly phrases.

Sometimes they speak to where I am in my life.

Sometimes they remind me of my goals or of something I love.

Chiropractic quotes remind me what I love about my profession and why I do what I do.

bj-palmer

This is probably one of the most well-known chiropractic quotes. BJ Palmer is known as the “Developer” of chiropractic. One of the major principles of chiropractic care echoes this quote. Our bodies all have innate potential which is present in all living beings. When the body is damaged or ill (dis-eased), it is important to unlock its potential and allow it to heal itself.

When I adjust the spine, I am moving the bones into a more normal alignment but most importantly, nerve interference is removed from the body. This unlocks our innate intelligence and allows the body to heal.

heal-better

This quote speaks to me on so many levels. As a Chiropractor, it is important for me to remember that sometimes it takes time for pain or discomfort to be relieved. However, I know that each and every person that I lay my hands on and make a correction to their spine is healthier after their adjustment.

This is also a phrase I quote to my patients. Chiropractic is unlike any other healing modality. When we remove the interference in the nervous system, I expect some immediate changes in symptoms… but pain relief is not the goal of the adjustment. The goal of the adjustment is to make the body function more smoothly which will speed up healing.

patient-centered

This quote dovetails with the previous one. This definition hits on my 3 favorite aspects of Chiropractic.

Chiropractic is patient-centered:

I treat each patient as an individual, from assessment to treatment. In order for me to work with each person, we must build a relationship of trust and cooperation. Each treatment plan is unique and tailored to the patient.

There is nothing cookie-cutter about Chiropractic Care.

Chiropractic is hands-on:

I use my hands to gently and effectively assess, analyze, and correct the spine and joints of my patients. Think back … when was the last time that a doctor touched you other than to listen with a stethoscope or give a shot?

Chiropractic focuses on influencing bodily function through structural correction:

See: “The power that makes the body, heals the body”

whisper

Many times, I see patients for the first time when they are in crisis. We often ignore warning signs from our bodies (myself included). We dismiss that headache. We walk off the knot in our hamstrings or the pain in our low back because a heat pack gets rid of it for awhile. We go on roller coasters and get shaken about, then cover up our symptoms the next day with over the counter meds.

Eventually, we end up having to stop everything because our quick fixes are no longer enough. When you ignore the subtle hints from your body, it stops you in your tracks.

Chiropractic patients learn to listen to those whispers and nudges from their bodies. They learn to seek care when things are minor to avoid the screaming.

"When in sickness, look to the spine first"- Hippocrates

This quote sums up a lot of my feeling about Chiropractic.

The nerves that go to all of your organs, muscles, and tissues must pass through the spine.

It makes sense, therefore, that when the spine is not moving properly, the body will not function optimally.

Many times a patient seeks care because their low back was sore or they had pain in their leg. They neglect to mention that they suffer from constipation or menstrual cramps. After a few treatments, many patients casually mention that some of these “other things” have corrected themselves. What a great side effect!

Am I missing your favorite health or Chiropractic quote? Post it below!

Get Your Flu Adjustment Here!

woman-698943Flu season is generally considered to be present from October-February. Many of us have experienced that we are more likely to “catch” a cold during this time of year. Signs pop up for you to “Get Your Flu Shot Here”. (For more info about the flu shot click here).

But why?

Flu and cold viruses are no more prevalent in the environment in the winter months… so why do we get sick!?

During the winter, our lifestyle drastically changes. We are enclosed with more people in work/school and are outdoors less. This also means that our Vitamin D levels are probably low because we aren’t getting as much sun exposure. Vitamin D plays a role in immune system function as well as mood and Seasonal Affect Disorder.

cookie-1792259

It’s also no secret that stress levels rise in the holiday season with travel, family, and increased demands on our time. The holidays are also a time of increased sugar consumption. A study performed by Loma Linda University in 1973 found that 100g of sugar correlates with white blood cells being 40% less effective at killing germs for up to 5 hours.

These factors and many more mean that we are far more susceptible to colds and flu.

Don’t. Panic.

There are simple steps you can take to boost your immune system and protect yourself during the winter (and year round).

  1. Get Your Flu Adjustment Here!

patient-adjustmentThe nervous system and, therefore, spine have a tremendous influence on the function of the immune system. In fact, one study demonstrates that Fighter T Cells work better for 24-48 hours after an adjustment for a review of literature click here.

This means that getting adjusted regularly can help keep your immune system in top shape.BUT it also means that when you are sick, an adjustment can speed your recovery.

2. Monitor Your Sugar Intake

cake-727870It is recommended that women consume no more than 28g of added sugar, daily. By cutting sugary drinks, like pop and sports drinks, and keeping an eye on your cookie and dessert consumption you can improve your overall health and keep yourself from getting sick. If you want to learn more about sugar, join our book club which is reading Sugar Nation this January.

3. Get Your Vitamin D Levels Checked!

Vitamin D is essential for many bodily processes. Living far North of the equator, many of us are deficient in Vitamin D year round- and our levels plummet in the winter months. I love Biotics Vitamin D drops for easy and safe supplementation for both children and adults.

Is there a topic you would like to see me discuss?

What are your favorite ways to keep your immune system boosted?

Comment below!

Are walkers bad for my Baby? What about other upright toys?

Quite often I have friends and patients who ask me about walkers, exersaucers, and Bumbo seats (along with a huge list of other infant toys). There is a lot of confusing information on the internet regarding these and some of it is very misleading from manufacturers. I hope that here I can clarify some of the information and give you some facts.

The place to begin is normal child development. When a baby is born, they have no curves in their spine and they have no understanding of the physical world. These things are learned and skills are earned through experience and exploration. Motor and mental development are often broken down into “milestones” which are a series of behaviors and skills that we expect children to have at different ages.

baby-84552_1920.jpg

Spinal development is completely formed through activities. Tummy time causes the little one to lift their head up, forming the cervical (neck) curve. The curve in the lumbar spine (low back) is formed when the child begins to rock and crawl. The muscles and bones of the spine develop in response to these activities and the basis of the adult spine is formed.

The same activities that help to form the curves in the spine stimulate the brain and help your child develop a sense of where they are in space (proprioception). Crawling, scooting, pulling up, walking, and tummy time help in vestibular (balance) and sensory development. Movement stimulates a circuit called the Reticular Activating System which links motion to the cerebellum and helps the brain to learn posture and balance (and a whole lot more!).

Walkers:

FullSizeRender (5).jpg

Walkers are one of the most dangerous babysitters. A 2006 study looked at ER data from 1991-2001 and found 197,200 ER visits related to walkers. This study does not take into account those who saw a pediatrician, other health care practitioner, or stayed home for self-care. Walkers allow little ones to move quickly and often they can tip when they encounter the edge of a rug, door sill, or staircase.

Actual physical injuries aside, it is important to take into account the mental and motor developmental delays associated with walkers. As we mentioned above, many skills are dependent upon motion and experiencing the environment. It is easy to see how a parent may think that a walker is a great way for their little one to experience the world. However, this is a false environment. In a walker, children cannot see their feet which changes how the brain develops proprioception, children do not have to learn balance, and their future gait (walking) patterns may be affected.

In 1999, a study was performed with 109 infants where some were placed in a walker and others were allowed to play on the ground. By a landslide, the walker infants sat, crawled, and walked later than the other group. It is also important to note that the walker group also scored lower on the Bayley scales of mental and motor development.

In 2004, Canada banned baby walkers.

Upright Bouncers:

baby-84549_1920

Upright bouncers like the Jolly Jumper are very hard on the developing spine of the infant. The stress of being held prematurely in an upright position, when the bones and muscles have not developed the proper strength can damage the infant spine. Spondylolisthesis can occur in the lumbar spines of infants in these types of devices from the repetitive stresses delivered through an undeveloped spine. Spondylolisthesis occurs when the front part of the vertebra (which stacks) is separated from the posterior elements which surround the spinal cord and most often occurs at the lowest bone in the lumbar spine.

 

Exersaucers and Bumbo chairs:

These upright devices promote abnormal postures and can lead to the altered formation of the curves of the spine. For example, when an infant is placed in a Bumbo chair, their pelvis often tips backward, thrusting the ribs forward, and promoting anterior head carriage. This is a reversal of the curves we see in a normal spine- indicating that increased spinal stress is present when children sit in these positions.

While the Exersaucer is much safer (less likely to tip) than a Walker, it still promotes weight-bearing through the spine in an abnormal and premature way and should be used with caution.

What is the take home? Children need to experience their environment in order to learn. It is essential to have a lot of exploration time for our infants and little ones. The development of their brains and bodies depend upon it. As a Doctor of Chiropractic, I am committed to sharing knowledge with parents so that they can  make informed decisions regarding their children.

References:

http://consults.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/22/the-dangers-of-baby-walkers/?_r=0

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10533994

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16510623

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-03-15/health/ct-met-bumbo-posture-20120315_1_physical-therapists-developmental-benefits-babies

http://pathwaystofamilywellness.org/The-Outer-Womb/maximizing-infant-development.html

The Place Between Breaths

The past week has been a very stressful one for me, personally. I am having a lot of things going on in my family and have been relying heavily upon meditation, journaling, and exercise to elevate mood and keep myself centered. These are techniques learned through trial and error and through many different teachers that have come to be a solid basis of self-support for me.

This would be an incredibly long blog post if I ran through all three, so we will zero in on meditation today.

****Disclaimer****
I have never trained formally in meditation, but I do practice regularly. Scroll all the way to the end for sources of additional information on meditation and resources to help you find your own path.

img_2803

Meditation is incredibly easy in concept and difficult in practice. It comes in different forms. It can be guided. It can be mediated by the inhale. It can focus on the exhale. It can even be focused around the space in between the breath- that little moment between inhalation and exhalation where stillness takes place. Below I am outlining 3 of my favorite kinds of meditation techniques.

Self-guided meditation (envisioning your greatest self)

I learned about this type of meditation at the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association’s Freedomfest in 2014. Dr. Joe Dispenza spoke about the power of the brain and about his book, You Are The Placebo. I am about 1/3 of the way through this book and am learning a lot about how we make our thoughts become a reality. But I digress…

Each morning, I take 9 minutes (the time between my alarm and my snooze) and meditate. Before my feet touch the ground. Before I check my email. Before I let the world take me away from the peace of rest. I meditate. I begin by remembering back to a time when I was truly, completely, sincerely joyful down into and out from the core of my being. Once I have that moment, I allow that feeling to surge through my body and make its way all the way from the crown of my head to the tips of my fingers and toes. Thus embraced in a moment of pure joy, I picture my physical self in total fitness. My best self. I choose the facial expression, the shine of my hair, the tone of my muscles- you get the picture. And I let these two things come together. The Joy and the Best Physical Self.

This lets me step backward and see myself as I truly am.

Some days this is incredibly easy and I can slip right into that state of joy and gratitude and wellness. Other days I have just found the joyful moment when the alarm sounds. No matter what, I accept what my practice was and take it forward into the activities of the day.

Meditation with Outside Guidance

A couple of years ago, I did a series with Deepak Chopra and Oprah about mindfulness. It was a series of guided meditations and journaling from Deepak. I had never done meditation guided by another person before- and have discovered that it is a great way for me to get to meditate when I am having a hard time finding my own quiet. Deepak has a ton of meditations (even on Spotify and Pandora) that you can listen to and follow along. He walks you through your meditation from what to do with your feet and hands to your breathing. It is incredibly helpful, especially for the crazy busy type A person. When I am having trouble stepping out of my life and into my heart space, I turn to  Deepak.

“To make the right choices in life, you have to get in touch with your soul. To do this, you need to experience solitudem which most people are afraid of because in the silence you hear the truth and know the solutions.”

– Deepak Chopra

Silent, Breath Focused, Meditation

I am not really sure how to describe this one. Breath focused meditation is exactly what it sounds like. You are aiming to find stillness with focus on nothing except the breath- be it the inhale, the exhale, or the pause. This is not to say that there will be no thoughts in your head and that you have to reach a place where you are totally blank. It means, that we acknowledge the thought and let it pass without our focus. I generally prefer to focus on the space in between the breath because otherwise I find myself trying to control the tide of my breathing. (Type A much?) I have found that this type of meditation does not at all come easily to me and that I do best with it after yoga or a good workout. As though I have to get out the physical energy before I can bring my focus internally. I have also found that practicing in a group/structured setting helps me with breath meditation. To improve my skills in this, I have visited many Buddhist temples for meditation practice.

I still find that I do my best meditation in nature (see the photo at the top of this post). Something about the stillness of the forest makes it easier for me to find my own stillness.

What all of this boils down to is this: We as humans have an incredibly hectic and chaotic way of life. We focus so much external energy that we often deplete ourselves. There are many ways to take care of yourself. Some people schedule resort vacations where they can recharge their batteries with sun, sand, and tropical drinks. Some people work out. Some people camp and hike. I would suggest, though, that we take a second to assess ourselves and make sure that we are taking care of ourselves routinely. Meditation is an excellent way to stay centered and focused.

For years my mom told me that I needed to meditate or at least take quiet time for myself. I brushed her off and coped in different ways. It wasn’t until I was sitting on the floor after work one day crying and feeling so far away from myself that I began to pursue meditation as a technique to come home to me. Now, my husband will sometimes look at me concerned and say, “Have you been meditating lately? You don’t seem like yourself.”

I hope you find something of use in this post that you can apply to your life- or even that it inspires you to research another form of self empowerment and fulfillment. If you want to chat about it or learn more about any of the practices that I do, please feel free to contact me through my website!

Resources:

Dr. Joe Dispenza‘s webpage where you can see his books. I also recommend following him on Facebook!

Some tips on meditation for beginners. They broke this down a lot more succinctly than I could!

Bold Tranquility is a Yoga Nidra meditation designed for women. I have had many patients rave about her work!

Deepak Chopra‘s website for a 21 day meditation experience (I love just about everything he does…)

So many more resources are out there! What is your favorite meditation practice or resource?

 

 

 

Chiropractic Care for Kids

Wait… You adjust kids?

ethan

This is one of the questions I get most often in practice. People are more and more accepting of chiropractic for adults and conditions like headaches and low back pain. In fact, statistically, chiropractic is a top treatment for these things. However, it seems that people are taken aback at the idea of children getting adjusted.

Let me tell you a little bit about pediatric chiropractic.

Why would a child or infant need an adjustment?

Birth is a traumatic process. When you think about it, the last days and weeks of pregnancy the baby does not grow very much, most of what is occurring at this point is development of the lungs and other organs. This means that the baby is tucked into a little ball inside of mom. Then, when labor happens, they are pushed out through a small hole and someone grabs their head and pulls them out. If you have questions, try watching a video of a C-Section.  Often times the birth process causes the upper neck or the tailbone to be subluxated, causing nerve interference. Some more extreme cases result in shoulder dystocia or torticollis.

Subluxations from birth can cause issues with many things such as the latch in breast feeding. The baby’s face may appear asymmetrical or their head always tipped to one side. Others are very subtle and may result in colic, difficulty sleeping, etc. Pediatricians are not trained to evaluate the spine for the subluxation, so it is recommended that parents take their children to a chiropractor to be checked.

As children learn to crawl and walk, they fall upwards of 25 times per day. It is important for them to be checked regularly at this time to ensure that they do not develop subluxations from these falls. The trips and tumbles of childhood often result in muscle tension and imbalance in the spine. Many parents bring their children to be checked on a regular basis during the toddler years. Then child and adolescent sports throw yet another variable into the mix!

How does a Chiropractor check a child?

When I evaluate an infant or child for subluxation, I take a history of the child from pregnancy through present to learn as much as I can about their live- down to food preferences and developmental milestones. In my exam, I check all of the little one’s reflexes and evaluate ranges of motion and balance in the body. The amount of pressure that is used both in evaluation and adjustment is less than you would be comfortable with on your own eyelid. Many babies sleep through the whole process!

What is a pediatric adjustment like?

Pediatric and infant adjustments are very gentle and, like the evaluation, many infants sleep through them. Using gentle pressures and muscle stretches, I restore normal motion to the bones and restore balance to the muscles. Sometimes, I will ask the parents to assist by laying their child on their stomach or holding them while they are adjusted.

Toddler adjustments are always fun to watch. Many children enjoy laying on the table to be adjusted and relax for the whole thing, while others play on the floor and get checked on the move. I always feel that it is important to make sure that kids are comfortable and engaged in their adjustment, so I meet them on their level.

Adjusting little ones is vastly different from adjusting adults. The pace is much slower and it often looks like playing to onlookers.

How do I know if my child needs to be checked by a Doctor of Chiropractic?

Many parents bring their children in to be checked when they exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Spinal or facial asymmetry
  • Difficult latch in breast feeding
  • Colic
  • Reflux
  • Delayed or absent milestones
  • Ear pulling
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Sleep issues
  • Bedwetting
  • Trips and falls

It is important to understand that chiropractors do not treat colic, reflux, ear infections, or other medical conditions. However, interference in the nervous system from subluxations can present in these ways. By restoring motion in the spine and removing the interference, the body has the opportunity to heal on its own.

Looking for more information? Check out ICPA4kids.org or contact our office at SeedOfLifeChiro.com

 

 

Chiropractic as Part of a Healthy Lifestyle

Chiropractic as Part of a Healthy Lifestyle

seed-of-life-logo-small

I often hear from patients that they are feeling good, so they don’t need to be checked. While I am happy to hear that they are not having pain, I always stress that it is important to have someone assess your movement and your spine a couple of times a year (minimum) to ensure that there is nothing just over the horizon.

Many people associate chiropractic care with low back pain, headaches, or neck pain. What they fail to realize is that many of these things (if not all) are preventable not inevitable. Many times the way that we move in daily life is not biomechanical.

What the heck does that mean? The curves in the spine begin to develop as soon as a baby starts to gain muscular control over their head and lift it up. Crawling and other developmental stages help to build your spine into the shape that it is as an adult. Basically, we are born with a C-shaped spine that develops into 3 distinct curves in the neck, mid back, and low back. Throughout this same process, we also build patterns into our brains that help our muscles support the skeleton in different motions.

Over time through minor and major falls, injuries, too much sitting, text neck, and so much more, our body builds compensation patterns to make up for what we cannot do perfectly. You can live for many years with a compensation pattern before another straw lands on the camel’s back and you have a major issue. This is why you will often hear, “I picked up a pencil and threw out my back!” Odds are it was not the pencil, but the lifting and bending pattern that had been present for many years.

As chiropractors, we are trained to analyze the body and pick out these patterns for correction. I am lucky to combine my chiropractic training with the training in biomechanics and rehabilitation learned in my Masters of Sport Science and Rehabilitation to help you to be as stable and balanced as possible.

This does, however, mean HOMEWORK. I was really happy to think I left homework behind me when I walked across that last stage to get my diploma… but then I learned that the most important homework is not what is on your desk or computer. It is the corrective exercises that are assigned to retrain your brain and your posture. Chiropractically, I can perform an adjustment to the spine or to a joint and normalize its motion; however, if you return to doing things exactly the way that you have always done them it will just go back out of balance.

My main goal is to have my patients not need me for pain relief but to get checked periodically to ensure that their home exercises are still appropriate, that their body is holding its balance, and that they are making progress.

Is there something you would like me to write about? Drop a comment on this page or on Facebook to suggest a future blog topic!