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!

5 Things to Remember This Cold and Flu Season

I am so excited to co-blog this one with the wonderful Naturopaths from Clarity Natural Medicine in Fremont, Seattle! Check out their information below this post!

5 THINGS TO REMEMBER THIS COLD AND FLU SEASON

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Taking small actions in these 5 areas of your life can make a big difference for your wellness.

 

 

 

DIET DOs and DON’Ts:

Avoid eating common food allergens. If you know you have food allergies, now is not the time to ‘cheat’ because something tastes good or because the serving is very small. Any time you eat something you are allergic to, your body responds by attacking the food proteins in the same manner as it would attack a bacteria or a virus. This keeps your defense system is busy and may not allow for proper attention and resources to be spent on actual bacteria and viruses when they invade. If you do not know if you have any food allergies, it is still generally advised that you avoid consuming dairy products while you have the flu or a cold because they often cause the body to produce excess mucous.

fruits-320136_1280If you are sick or have been around people that were sick and wish to avoid falling ill, it is best to eat a whole foods diet- fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein sources. Avoid processed sugar and alcohol as these cause inflammation and depress immune system function.

WATER is your friend:

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During an illness, your number one job (other than resting) should be to maintain adequate hydration. Dehydration not only inhibits your immune system and lymph from circulating properly through your body tissues, but it also elevates your body temperature. Simple dehydration can cause a fever or cause an existing one to worsen. Additionally, consider that the mucous that drains from our nose, gets stuck in our ears or that builds up in our lungs is mostly water! When you are dehydrated, the mucous also dehydrates and becomes thicker and more difficult to get out.

 

MATTERS OF HYGEINE:

It’s not something we often think about, but many times our indoor air quality is more of a concern than the quality of our outdoor air. Persistent exposure to indoor mold, pet dander, dust and smoke irritates our mucous membranes (the lining of our nose, throat and lungs) also making it more likely that a bacteria or virus can invade. Clean and ventilate your home often. Avoiding second hand smoke and smoking counts helps, too. If you know you have a mold or dust allergy, consider installing an air filter in your home.  To reduce the spread of illness, wash your hands frequently and wipe down all shared surfaces: doorknobs, handles, children’s toys, even electronics.

CHIROPRACTIC CARE:

Chiropractic care can help you to combat both ear fullness and sinus congestion as well as boost the immune system.

The human body is an amazing machine. The anatomy of the head, face, and neck are closely related and can directly influence one another. Chiropractors utilize these relationships to help your stuffy sinuses drain or relieve pressure in your ears. The base of skull-31060the skull and the first bone in the neck, the atlas, can help the ears and sinuses drain by opening up the soft tissues in the throat. Sinuses are basically the spaces formed between the bones of the skull and can be gently manipulated to open up and improve drainage.

When working with the sinuses, gentle, rocking motions of the skull are combined with an adjustment to the upper neck and lymphatic drainage massage to maximize the efficacy of treatment. Most patients need a tissue within moments of their adjustment! This technique is gentle enough to use on little babies as well as their parents and grandparents.

One additional benefit of seeking out chiropractic care while sick is that an adjustment boosts the immune system.

The 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 and help some of your symptoms.

PROPER SUPPLEMENTATION:

Nutritional and herbal supplements can help your immune system stay strong and are effective at helping fight colds or flus if one does come. While there are some overall recommendations that are safe for most people, such as extra vitamin C, elderberry syrup and probiotics, each individual has unique nutritional needs and immune system weaknesses that make a personalized treatment the best. Your naturopathic doctor or chiropractor can make specific treatment recommendations after discussing your past medical history and any current concerns in detail.

Hope you have learned a couple of new tricks from these tips!

Take a moment and check out Clarity Natural Medicine– I love having Dr. D and Dr. M as colleagues and friends!

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Clarity is the shared vision of Dr. Tamara Dickson and Dr. Kellyn Misser who provide individualized integrative care. At Clarity Natural Medicine, concerns are explored completely and options to care are presented fully.

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.

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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!

Holiday Survival Guide

The Holidays are upon us! Thanksgiving has passed and we are welcoming the onslaught of holiday parties with Family, Food, and Cheer… Though if we are honest most of us have a love/hate relationship with the holidays.

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Love the family time → hate how family knows how to push all the right buttons

Love the food → hate how clothes fit later

Love the cheer →  but who can be happy all the time?

Thankfully, I have devised tactics to combat this love/hate relationship to leave us with bigger smiles and (hopefully) intact waistlines after the holiday season.

Family Time

I love family meals. I love the people. I love spending time with loved ones who know all my stories and love me for them… but this is also the downfall. Many times family can’t help but bring up the embarrassing or hurtful stories in a way that is meant to be funny, but awakens some old hurt you swore was gone long ago.

After years of this, I have finally found a counter-tactic. Rather than reminiscing about days past, I come prepared with a game to play (a prize is a plus) These help to build our relationships rather than relying on past interactions.  I also bring at least one question to ask each family member- who doesn’t like to be an expert in their own topic or talk about themselves!

Food

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The food at the holidays is nothing less than decadent.  It is entirely too easy to over-indulge. There are work parties, neighbors give cookies, family parties, friends have ugly sweater parties, and the list goes on. With all of this, our good habits from the rest of the year are often thrown out the window and we eat more cookies than we planned, drink in excess, and have just one more helping at dinner.

In past years, I have gained a rather large amount of weight over the holidays which I immediately try and banish with workouts and an endless march of salads in January.

The last 2 years I have planned ahead. When going to parties, I eat a small salad or some veggies before leaving the house. I offer to bring a dish to pass that is low in sugar and high on taste. If the meal is buffet style or appetizers only, plate food instead of grazing and always choose the smallest plate. If seated, put your fork down between bites! Cookies… I haven’t found anything too fool-proof here. The variety is my Achilles heel- I want to try them all! What I attempt to do is take only 1-2 cookies and split them with my husband.

Holiday drinks are often high in sugar and very rich, so I always aim for a glass of dry wine that is easier to sip than drink or a fill a glass with ice before adding any cocktail. Staying hydrated is also key- always have a glass of water at your place in addition to your drink.

Moderation in all things is the goal- with food and drink, you get to have some of the decadence but can keep a modicum of control over consumption.

Holiday Cheer

I am an introvert.  A Meyer Brigg INFJ. Holiday cheer is uplifting and exciting. It provides an opportunity to celebrate and connect with people. It also leaves me feeling drained and wanting to crawl under a rock. As an introvert, self care is incredibly important, so I make sure to sleep enough, mediate regularly, use a gratitude journal, regular adjustments, and remind myself that it is OK to come late or leave a party early.

Holiday cheer can also be a financial burden with gift exchanges and lots of eating out. Understanding what is within budget and what is affordable can be a downer, but will ultimately make holidays more gratifying in the end. No one likes to go into debt for the holidays. Amongst my friends and family, we use white elephant exchanges, games, and handmade gifts to keep the costs down on entertainment.

The take home on cheer is to understand your own limits and respect them. Whether you are an introvert like me- who needs to recover after being social- or an extrovert who thrives on community, it is important to stay within your boundaries.

Who doesn’t love the holidays?! It is a time when we celebrate with loved ones, new friends, and old. By maintaining good practices with family, food, and merry-making- we can ensure that we are healthier at the end of our holidays both mentally and physically.

What helps you survive the holidays?

 

Gratitude… More than just a holiday?

It is upon us! Thanksgiving is in just a couple of short days and, while the original historical background of Thanksgiving is controversial, it remains my favorite holiday. If we look at Thanksgiving in completely modern terms it has become a holiday of excess. Too much food. Shopping instead of family. Capitalism. Overall, it has been a holiday celebrating successful harvest, has been called a holiday commemorating the beginning of the persecution of the Native Americans, has been about a giant rock on the East Coast, getting great deals on shopping, gluttony, and- I am going to propose- Gratitude.

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Gratitude is the main reason Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It is a time for family and friends to gather together over a meal (modest or grand) and be grateful for the blessings of the year and for each other. Gratitude is a choice and by choosing to express it, we improve ourselves.

I was reading an article in the New York times about gratitude that cited studies demonstrating that people are genuinely happier when they choose gratitude. Not to mention that the brain, when studied with fMRI actually fires differently for pride and gratitude than with anger or jealousy. This indicates that we have the ability to use neuroplasticity to change our brains to be wired for gratitude.

What could this mean for us!? As individuals, choosing to be thankful and positive means enriching our own lives. As members of society, making this same choice means that those around us benefit from our gratitude. When we elevate the positive, we tip the balance in favor of light.

As the great Martin Luther King, Jr said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

It can be difficult to choose gratitude when things seem dark or hard. I mentioned on Facebook last week, one way to choose gratitude is to remind ourselves. You can use a gratitude journal where you list 3 things you are grateful for each morning. (I like to enhance this with 3 things that I am excited about and also 1 thing I will do for myself that day) Sometimes this is incredibly hard and I fall back on some classic things to be grateful for like family, shelter, education, my silly cats. Other times I am truly moved by the world around me into a place of profound gratitude and I can’t stop at 3. My planner also has a column for “Good Things That Happened” AKA Gratitude!!! If structured journaling isn’t your thing, try creating a list like this that contains things that are positive from your life/week. One of the benefits of writing it down is this: when times are the hardest or things seem to be the darkest, you can look back and see all that you have to be grateful for.

Choosing gratitude is more than a holiday, though Thanksgiving is an excellent excuse to start your practice. If you happen to be at my house for Thanksgiving, on the table is a sheet of brown paper and crayons instead of place mats. This provides an excellent excuse ample opportunity to make hand turkeys or to write down what you have to be grateful for.

I am thankful for so many things and people in my life- I am even thankful for you (whether we have met or not).

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.

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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?

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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