How To Relax Your Mind & Muscles

How to Relax Your Mind and Muscles. 5 Simple Techniques

Achieving a state of total relaxation should involve the body and the mind simultaneously. While certain therapies target either one or the other, there are a few techniques you can try to achieve the full effect. In this article, we will discuss the top five methods that unwind your muscles and put your thoughts at ease simultaneously.

  1. Chiropractic Treatment

Chiropractic treatment is more than a massage. Due to his or her knowledge in the field of health sciences, your doctor will improve the functioning and wellbeing of your musculoskeletal system by using techniques such as adjustments and soft tissue therapy. Depending on what the nature of your ailment is, the approach will differ. Usually, a chiropractor intervenes when the patient has suffered an injury in the arms, legs, back, and so on. However, such a physician can also enhance your general health through methods that assist you in relaxing the body and mind while relieving pain, tension, and other potential discomforts in the process.

What is more, a chiropractor will also offer you treatment for headaches, or what the community considers ‘referred pain’. This type of distress originates somewhere else in the body and acts as a signal that something, somewhere isn’t working properly. Treating these bouts that seem to come out of nowhere is a great way to balance your life.

  1. Acupuncture

Ancient Chinese medicine relies on the body’s energy canals to stimulate health. When illnesses arises, the philosophy behind the practice believes it is due to a blockage in the meridians through which our vital qi flows. By stimulating various pressure points, acupuncture aims to clear them and stimulate organic healing processes. According to a 2010 study, acupuncture yields physical and mental benefits for patients that are both short and long-term. The research conducted by Jun J. Mao, M.D., under a grant offered by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has demonstrated that this olden Chinese method is effective in the treatment of various ailments. Test subjects suffering from lower back pain, chronic neck pain, knee osteoarthritis, and headaches have all exhibited visible improvements following this line of therapy. In addition to this, acupuncture is a relaxing experience that puts your mind at ease while treating the aches in the body. It improves sleep and emotional wellbeing, as well as digestive processes.

  1. General Massage

Getting a massage every once in a while is a great way to reconcile the body and the mind. By manipulating, rubbing, and strategically pressing your skin and tissue in all the right places, this type of therapy effectively reduces the incidence of pain, stress, and tension. Thus, it has the ability to better your quality of life and put your mind at ease.

In addition to this, it also helps diminish the symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, headaches, fibromyalgia, joint pain, injury-related soreness, and digestive issues, among others. What is more, its directness often triggers feelings of comfort and connection in patients, which is another tool on the path towards total repose. The main appeal of massages lies in the fact that sessions require no prior preparation. You just schedule an appointment, show up, and inform the therapist on what ails you. Then, he or she will proceed to handle the problem areas and promote their recuperation. However, if the discomfort you experience is severe, always consult with a doctor beforehand.

  1. Aromatherapy

The practice of aromatherapy has been used by mankind for calming and healing purposes for over 5,000 years. It is a type of alternative medicine employed for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. The main focus is on the handling of numerous fragrant essential oils obtained from a wide variety of herbs with amazing restorative abilities. It’s no secret that plants themselves contain several beneficial compounds which they use to protect themselves from the external conditions of their environment. Therefore, extracting their vital juices transfers those curative powers onto the human body. The oils are attained through distillation, then mixed with alcohol. This makes them volatile. For this reason, they are always mixed with other valuable carrier oils, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil. As a form of treatment, they can be utilized in many ways. Inhalations are a popular approach, as is soaking into bathwater that has been infused with them. And, of course, massage therapy is another popular possibility, as the oils are rubbed directly into the skin.

  1. Meditation

Meditation is yet another oriental practice whose history began many millennia ago. In fact, archaeologists place its origins as early as 5000 B.C., with the first documented record occurring in the Vedas teachings of the ancient India of 1500 B.C. Nowadays, this practice has become immensely popular in the Western world too, so it is available to all those who wish to pursue it.

Furthermore, when compared to all the other techniques on this list, it is the best one to pursue at home. In fact, it is recommended that you engage with it in an intimate setting where nothing can distract you. To help you get started, you can listen to guided meditation tracks. Remember, just a few minutes per day will greatly relax your body and mind alike.

The benefits of meditation are many. A 2013 study has demonstrated that mindfulness reduces the inflammation caused by stress, while research conducted in 2012 on 2,466 participants uncovered that it lowers anxiety levels as well. Self-reflection is an excellent promoter of emotional health, and it unwinds the muscles in the process as well.

The Bottom Line

Treating musculoskeletal ailments and soothing the mind in the process is completely possible with the five therapies detailed above. Depending on what your personal needs and preferences are, you will need to choose the one that is most suited for you. Of course, they can also be pursued in collaboration. When in doubt, always ask your doctor or of course, your Vancouver chiropractor about them.

Author Bio: Steven Watson is a writer and contributing author at Echiropractor.org. He is studying to become a professional chiropractor and in his spare time he enjoys reading medical journals in order to improve his expertise. He also loves to write on medical topics with every occasion he finds, guest blogging for several online publications.

The post How To Relax Your Mind & Muscles appeared first on Vancouver Chiropractors.

 

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sleep-apnea

Why You Need to See a Chiropractor for Sleep Apnea

Today we would like to address another frequently asked question that many of our patients have sought chiropractic help with. Sleep apnea. Well before we get started on whether chiropractic can help with sleep apnea, let’s go over the two most common reasons why people experience it.

The first reason that people experience sleep apnea is due to a compressive problem within the esophagus that happens when you lay down. It’s usually due to either overweight or excessive tissue softness. The second reason that sleep apnea can wind up occurring is due to a neurological issue. Now if you wind up having the compressive version and/or difficulty with obesity you can refer to our post on how chiropractic can help with obesity. If you’re concerned and think that you may be suffering from the neurological component here’s how chiropractic can help you.

How Chiropractic Can Help

In most cases, sleep control is regulated by a piece of the brain stem that’s going be the bottom portion of your brain. We’ve got a skull with the brain inside of it and then the spinal cord that comes down. The brain stem connects directly into the spinal cord. Now sometimes the portions of it can slip down through the foramen magnum in your skull and into the base of the cervical spine or neck.

When it does this we end up experiencing tension or stress in the cervical spine. This tension and stress can begins to happen from any sort of trauma within your neck. It can cause the change in positioning of the cervical curve from what it should look like at an ideal 42 degrees, to anything less than that or even reverse. The wrong way any of those changes puts tension on the spinal cord which can affect the upper cervical area and brain stem.

The Thornton Colorado Chiropractor Process

If that is triggering or contributing to the sleep apnea that you’ve been experiencing, visiting Thornton Chiropractors will be a massive help! We will assess and detect the curves positions and posture of your spine to make sure that they’re as close to the ideal state that they can be.  If they’re not, we develop a personalized program so that we can remodel your spine as effectively and as safely as possible avoiding surgery and/or drugs to help you regain your health.

If you have questions about sleep apnea, feel free to comment below.  I love to answer questions! If you think that you may be suffering from this form of sleep apnea,  let’s get together and find out what the true cause of the problem!

What Causes Nerve Stress?

When it comes to nerve stress and the benefits chiropractic care can have, we get questions regarding what actually causes nerve stress.   One big cause of nerve stress is physical trauma. Physical trauma could be from the birthing process, sports, riding a bike. Nerve stress can be caused by car accidents, repetitive motions at the office, long periods of sitting, improper lifting and everyday activities as well.

Physical Trauma

One of the most toughest injuries for the body to recover from are the ones that are repetitive; the ones that we encounter every single day. Poor posture caused by lounging around on the couch all day is another factor.  If you spend a lot of time sitting or laying on the couch, it can also lead to lack of muscle tone and inadequate nutrition. All of which can affect the spine and your overall health.

Stress

Then we know the big factor is lifestyle stress and it is getting more and more involved in our lives today. Researches studying the mind-body connection find there are many types of physical complaints that are related to poor health. Muscles in the soft tissue of the spine are commonly involved. Everything from deadlines, to financial worries, to traffic jams that cause stress can definitely affect the body and the mind.

Chemical Imbalances

And then, another way is chemical imbalances. The function of the nervous system can be affected by many types of drugs, alcohol and medication. Exposure to tobacco, a high fat diet, even a high protein diet…you know the body can only handle so much protein at one time and if you over eat, that will turn to fat as well. Environmental causes can have adverse effects on the body. Stress, negative thoughts, worry, getting emotionally upset can manifest themselves in the spine.

While we can’t control many of the stressors that occur in our lifestyle, chiropractic care can help to keep you healthy and relieve some of the stress on your body mentally and physically.  So contact your chiropractor.  If you don’t have one, contact Thornton Chiropractors.  We are happy to help!

A Fine, Healthy Spine

A healthy spine is an often-overlooked and essential part of a healthy lifestyle. People who suffer from back pain, particularly if it is long-term, are generally less healthy than those who do not. In fact, back pain costs are staggering not only financially, but also in terms of lost time from work and because of psychosocial problems that arise during the healing process associated with long-term back pain.

Unfortunately, approximately 80-90% of the population suffers from spinal pain at some point. People who are overweight or obese, and who smoke, lift heavy objects, or had a previous episode of back pain, are more likely to experience back pain.

Following simple posture, lifting, and healthy lifestyle guidelines can help you keep your back in good shape.

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) recommends the following spinal health tips:

Standing

  • When standing, keep one foot slightly in front of the other, with your knees slightly bent. This will take the pressure off your low back.
  • Do not stand bent forward at the waist for prolonged periods of time. The muscles in your low back become deconditioned in this position, which may lead to pain.

Lifting

  • At all times, avoid twisting while lifting. Twisting is one of the most dangerous movements for your spine, especially while lifting.
  • If the item is too heavy to lift, pushing it is easier on your back than pulling it. Whenever possible, use your legs, not your back or upper body, to push the item.

Sitting

  • Keep your knees slightly higher than your hips, with your head up and back straight.
  • Avoid rolling your shoulders forward (slouching).
  • Try to maintain the natural curve in your low back.

Reaching and Bending

  • When reaching for something above shoulder level, stand on a stool. Straining to reach such objects may not only hurt your mid-back and neck, but it can also bring on shoulder problems.
  • Do NOT bend over at the waist to pick up items from the floor or a table.
  • Instead, kneel down on one knee, as close as possible to the item you are lifting, with the other foot flat on the floor and pick the item up.
  • Or bend at the knees, keep the item close to your body, and lift with your legs, not your back.

Carrying

  • When carrying objects, particularly if they are heavy, keep them as close to your body as possible.
  • Carrying two small objects—one in each hand—is often easier to handle than one large one.

Sleeping

  • Sleeping on your back puts approximately 50 pounds of pressure on your spine. Other positions may be better.
  • Placing a pillow under your knees while lying on your back cuts the pressure on your spine roughly in half.
  • Lying on your side with a pillow between your knees may also reduce the pressure on your back.

Quit Smoking

  • Smokers have more spine pain than nonsmokers, and they also heal more slowly when they have an episode of back pain because the chemicals in tobacco smoke restrict the flow of blood to the tissues in and around your spine.

While following these instructions is no guarantee that you’ll be free from back pain for your entire life, it can certainly reduce your risk of developing it. In the long run, these simple steps can help you maintain and improve your spinal health. If you do develop spinal pain, consider visiting Thornton Chiropractors.

Chiropractic Sleeping Tips

Let’s face it, most of us really love to sleep.  Getting good sleep can be a challenge and even a problem in some cases.  So today, we would like to offer some sleeping advice to get your day started right!

Tip #1

Without beating around the bush, it’s either best to sleep on your side or your back. So not sleep on your stomach. The reason why is, if you’re sleeping on your stomach you have to breathe. So if you are laying on your stomach in bed, you are going to have to place your head in an unnatural position. Either turning it from one side to the other or holding up.  None of this is good for your neck.

Tip #2

The second tip is if you’re going to sleep on your side, you want to make sure that your pillow is thick enough.
So, the problem is most people don’t have a thick enough pillow when they’re sleeping on the side. Generally, if you sleep on your side and your pillow is not thick enough, your head will come down and then gravity will eventually pull you forward and you’ll wind up on your stomach with your head turned to one side or the other.

If your pillow is too high, then you’ll generally roll to your back and you’ll have some kind of twisted position. The easiest thing to do is lay on your side, stack up your pillows and lie comfortably and silently and try to feel your body. And if you feel like you’re rolling forward, that means you’ve got to add a little bit more pillow height. And, if you feel like you’re rolling backwards, then you’ve got to lower the pillow height.

Well, this concludes the sleep tips for this week.  If you have any questions or concerns, please comment below.  We are happy to make pillow and sleeping recommendations for you so feel free to schedule a consultation!

Asthma & Upper Cervical Care

Upper cervical care can indeed help with asthma. Your brain stem controls breathing. The delicate nerves in this area are in charge of health, well being and function of your lungs and bronchial tubes, and air passages. In asthma, the bronchial tubes constrict and breathing becomes very difficult for a person and there’s a lot of theories. However, the most recent research says the constriction of the bronchial tubes are neurologically related, and comes from your brain stem, which controls all vital functions — breathing, your heart, everything vital.

Misalignments and the Lungs

Any misalignment of your top vertebrae will choke off your brain stem and will cause an imbalance of the nervous system. When there’s an imbalance of the nervous system, the communication line to the lungs gets interrupted. When that’s interrupted, we get bronchial constriction or bronchial dilation — we get one or the other. An asthmatic has dilation, they don’t have such a hard time breathing but if your bronchial tubes are open big when they’re not supposed to be, that can also be a problem. There’s more air and more stuff getting into your lungs.

Bronchial Constriction

The bronchial constriction is an asthmatic problem. We want to restore normal balance to the upper cervical spine so that the bronchial tubes open and close when they’re supposed to. When you’re resting, the bronchial tubes constrict and when you’re exercising, your bronchial tubes dilate. If there’s a mis-communication, if there’s an atlas subluxation, it does the opposite. That’s the problem with asthmatics. Chiropractic care has helped numerous children and adults with asthma and they have gotten great results. I say that personally, I say that professionally. Upper cervical chiropractic care has a great effect on asthmatic suffers.

If you or someone you know suffers from asthma, please share this information with them.  You can also feel free to schedule and appointment with Discover Health and Wellness Northglenn.  We are happy to help you out!

Can Adjustments Improve Overall Health?

Chiropractors are experts in health and wellness particularly because of their training, but especially because of their philosophy of health care. Chiropractic is a vitalistic philosophy that understands that the lack of disease does not mean that you’re healthy. There is a spectrum of wellness that goes from disease to wellness and in the traditional medical model you’re either sick or you’re not sick.

The chiropractic really understands that there are shades of grey in between and that we really strive to get the body to function optimally to adapt to its environment optimally. This way you can maintain homeostasis and perfect health. When you go to a medical doctor, they’ll do an examination and they’ll do a bunch of tests and at the end of it, they’ll let you know whether you’re sick or not. And if you’re sick they’ll treat you. And everybody who has the disease you have, gets the same treatment. If you’re not sick they say come back next year and we’ll see if you’re sick next year.

Chiropractors have a much more vitalistic philosophy of health that really is sophisticated. Chiropractic looks at the structure of the body and relates that to how the body is functioning.  We can give very general nutritional advice to patients so that they can maintain optimal weight and optimal nutrition focusing on a Whole Foods diet. we talk to our patients about the importance of enough sleep and doing certain mind-body techniques so that they can recover from stress on an ongoing basis. The founder of chiropractic famously once said “the power that created the body can heal the body” and the answer to this question is yes chiropractic can absolutely increase overall wellness and health you.

For more information on how chiropractic can help you achieve optimal health, feel free to schedule a consultation with Thornton Chiropractors.

Back to School and Backs

Back-to-School-and-Backs

The smell of a new box of crayons.  Sharp pencils.  Fresh erasers. A new locker combination.  A new dorm room.

It’s back-to-school time, and that means trips to school, scraped knees, books, back packs, and school sports. The activity can be great for you and the kids, but heavy backpacks and bad posture can end up hurting your kid’s backs.  But how to navigate this growing concern straight out of the gate?

Backpacks

First, find a good backpack! It should be light, snug and comfortable to wear. It should be made of vinyl or canvas, with two wide padded shoulder straps and a waist strap. All straps should be used and adjusted so that the pack is snug against the wearer’s back and not “falling away” from the body.

Second, a quality backpack is only as good as the way it is packed! Heaviest objects should be packed close to the body (books, pencil cases) and any bumpy, odd-shaped objects placed on the outside, away from the back (lunch boxes, water bottles, sports gear).

Moving Boxes

Moving your kids into their college dorm room or new apartment? Lifting heavy boxes can give you back pain. Tape the boxes so that they are sturdy and the contents do not shift while being handled.  Before lifting, make sure that you have balanced footing and good grip (boxes with handles are ideal).

Face your work. Stand so that your nose, hips and toes are facing forward. Keep the object as close to your body as possible and bend from the hips and knees.

Studying

Hit the books but help your back! When it’s time to study or read, use a book stand so that your book is at eye level. This will reduce the amount of strain on your neck and shoulders from having your book lay flat.

Sports

Returning back to school sports after some time off during the summer? Remember that your body may not have moved and performed in that sport in a while and will need extra time to warm up.  Warm up for a minimum of 10-15 minutes before playing. The warm up should involve simple movements that “simulate” your sport and get the heart rate up. Always stretch after your sport.

In Class

Sitting in class with good posture will reduce the strain on your neck, shoulders and low back. It will also help keep you attentive during class! Sit with your shoulders back, chin tucked in and a gentle “C curve” in your low back. Don’t arch your lower back or slump forward. Your ears, shoulders and hips should be in a straight line. Make use of your breaks! Between classes stand up, walk around and stretch.

Preventing Alzheimer’s with Lifestyle Changes

Image credited to Max Pixel 

It is safe to say that Alzheimer’s disease research is in a state of crisis. For the past two decades, over 73,000 research articles have been published, averaging 100 papers per day, yet little clinical progress has been made. The reason a cure may be impossible is because lost cognitive functions in Alzheimer’s disease patients are due to fatally damaged neuronal networks, and dead nerve cells cannot be brought back to life.

Consequently, replacement with new brain cells— even if it were technically possible, cannot be done without creating a new personal identity. One may live, but is it really a cure if one’s personality is lost forever? Developing drugs that try to clear out the plaques from advanced degenerated brain tissue makes about as much sense as bulldozing tombstones from graveyards in an attempt to raise the dead.

Even if drug companies figured out how to stop further disease progression, many Alzheimer’s victims might not choose to live without recognizing family, friends, or themselves in a mirror. Thus, prevention of Alzheimer’s may be the key.

Preventing Alzheimer’s with Lifestyle Changes

Just as a heart attack or stroke can be significantly prevented, one can think of Alzheimer’s dementia as a ‘‘mind attack.” Mind attack, like heart attacks or strokes, needs to be prevented by controlling vascular risk factors, like high blood pressure and cholesterol. Also, controlling that chronic brain hypoperfusion, the lack of adequate blood flow to the brain over the years before the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, which means a healthy diet, physical exercise, and mental exercise.

The potential number of Alzheimer’s cases could be prevented or reduced every year in the United States if we could just reduce diabetes rates 10%…25%, because diabetes is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s.  So is high blood pressure, obesity, depression, not exercising your body, smoking, not exercising your brain. Altogether, a small reduction in all these risk factors could potentially prevent hundreds of thousands of devastated families. If modifiable factors such as diet were found conclusively to modulate the risk of Alzheimer’s disease to the degree suggested by this research, then we would all indeed rejoice at the implications.

So while there is no cure as of yet, we should try to take every health precaution necessary to reduce the risks!  For more articles on health tips, please sign up for our newsletter.  Interested in speaking with us personally?  Give us a call or schedule a consultation.  We would love the opportunity to help you out!

How Chiropractic Helps Dizziness & Vertigo

Today I wanted to talk to you about vertigo, balance dizziness, and how chiropractic might be of help for you or finding a Thornton Chiropractor to help you with that. Basically, when it comes to the ears, they have two functions. One, for you to hear, but the other is for balance. And so, instantly, when someone says they have vertigo, we’re trying to figure out if they have one of two things going on. Is it the ear that’s causing the problem where you actually have the little stones that are in your ear?  You could Google BPPV–Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo and they’ll show you the inner ear and how there are little stones in there that can kind of get dislodged in the cochlea.

So the inner ear can have these stones that get dislodged and basically if that’s happening, there are exercises and different maneuvers that we can do to actually treat that and help those stones get back into a better place to where it’s not creating this major vertigo.  Vertigo in short is what happens any time you move your head in a certain position and the room begins to spin a ton, and some people, to the point where they’re actually vomiting or getting sick.

The second thing we like to consider or rule out is the upper neck. There are tons of nerves coming out of the upper neck right by the atlas, they’re going into and supplying the ears where the balance center is. So if you have a vertebra like your atlas in your upper neck out, of course it can cause any sort of symptom besides neck pain like ear pain, dizziness, vertigo, what have you.  So I hope that helps you understand a little bit more about vertigo, dizziness and how a chiropractor would evaluate the ears. and the difference between the ears and the upper neck.  If you or someone you know suffers from vertigo or dizziness, please share this information or contact Thornton Chiropractor to schedule a consultation!