Benefits of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

By:  Dr. Emily Smith

Pregnancy can be an amazing experience as you watch your body develop to support your growing baby. Unfortunately, for many women the joy of pregnancy is overshadowed by pain and discomfort.  But pregnancy doesn’t need to be painful. Chiropractic care before, during, and after pregnancy can help to alleviate symptoms and allow for your body to function at its best during a time when it needs it the most.

Chiropractic care consists of adjustments made to correct the alignment of the spine, which allow for the nervous system to function without interference. There are a number of different techniques available, but it is important during pregnancy to choose a chiropractor who is trained (Diplomate and/or pregnancy certification) and experienced in providing care specific to this clientele. This ensures that you will have the best possible experience and optimal results.

There are many reasons why chiropractic care can be helpful during pregnancy, however symptoms/pain are not required. Pregnancy can make pain management a challenge because many medications are either contraindicated or not recommended for use during pregnancy due to unknown side effects. Addressing the source of the problem and correcting it can eliminate the symptoms and the need for medications. Some examples may include headaches, heartburn, constipation, insomnia, sciatica, back pain, carpal tunnel, and pain with certain movements. Getting adjusted throughout pregnancy can help to prevent/alleviate many of the common symptoms of pregnancy and allow for a more enjoyable experience.

Posture is particularly important during pregnancy, and chiropractic care can help to maintain it. Ideal posture allows for the weight of the head to be balanced with the ears aligned over the shoulders/hips/ankles.

• In pregnancy, the weight of the growing chest and abdomen encourage the head and shoulders to slump forward. This altered posture can lead to headaches and upper/mid-back pain, due to the muscle strain of trying to hold up the weight of the head. Knowing this, and consciously correcting this posture, can help to minimize symptoms.

• The rib cage goes through a lot of change as well, as it expands outward and moves upward to make more room for baby. This can lead to pain and difficulty taking deep breaths if the rib movement is not symmetrical.

• A pronounced low back curve is also common as the body struggles to maintain forward/backward balance. This can cause extra strain on the areas where the mid-back transitions into the low back and where the low back transitions into the pelvis. Proper movement at these spinal areas can minimize pain and decrease symptoms of constipation and sciatica.

• The alignment of the pelvis is vital in ensuring a safe passageway for baby to enter into the world. The laxity of ligaments, especially toward the end of pregnancy, makes it difficult to keep the pelvis positioned properly. Simple suggestions are to limit holding/carrying of children on the hip, sleep with a pillow between the knees, and avoid crossing the knees to avoid any unnecessary twisting of the pelvis. This attention will help reduce complications during labor, as well reduce labor time.

Pregnancy can, and should, be an enjoyable experience. Utilizing the expertise of a chiropractor can help prevent common pregnancy symptoms and aid in making labor/delivery a smooth process for mom and baby.

Dr. Emily Smith, DC, DICCP, is a chiropractic pediatric/pregnancy specialist.  Her office, Smith Chiopractic, LLC, welcomes pregnant patients and families at the Eau Claire and Menomonie locations.  To schedule an appointment call 715-833-3505 or for more information visit www.myECchiro.com.

Lose Weight with ChiroThin

By Dr James Appel, DC

The ChiroThin formula is physician created and has been specially blended to aid in boosting metabolism, suppressing hunger and cravings, reducing fat cell mass (the bad fat cells), reducing insulin resistance, increasing fullness, and detoxifying your body. ChiroThin is an all-natural amino acid. This is not an HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) diet.

ChiroThin is designed to teach you how to eat healthy. We do not have shakes or pre-packaged foods. No surgery or drugs. This is a safe and effective program to lose weight and keep it off. We are teaching people how to eat correctly, how to cook, and how to manage portion control.

Maintenance is one of the most important steps after you lose weight. This program is designed for you to maintain your weight loss every six weeks, for approximately three weeks. This is when our knowledge, experience, and emotional support are valuable.

This is one of the most affordable and effective programs around. Weekly one-on-one visits are required to check your progress. Personalized recommendations and a great support system foster improved compliance for better results more safely. Check out our website at appelchiropractic.com for more information.

Here is a testimonial of the program from Kelly in our office who tested the program before we brought it to the public:

“This is a very personal journey for me. I have battled being heavier my entire life. I have been on every diet you can imagine. I lose the weight to gain it back and never learn how to maintain it. I did not want to be that example for my children and continue this same lifestyle. Shakes and meal replacement plans are not the diet plan for me as they do not teach me how to live the rest of my life and keep the weight off. I want to be able to cook for my family and teach my children the correct ways to eat. In five months I have lost seventy pounds and fifty plus inches, I have dropped five pants sizes. I have completed over two months of maintenance without a weight gain. I have learned more in this program than I have ever learned on any other diet. I am eating healthy foods from the grocery store, cooking them correctly, and losing weight. I have never felt better about my weight loss, and I am very close to my goal, which I have never accomplished before”.

Dr. James Appel has been practicing chiropractic since 1980. A graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic. His strongest attribute is his understanding of neck and back problems and how to quickly and successfully resolve these problems.

Yoga + Ayurveda = Robust Good Health in 2015

Happy New Year! Here we are again, January, a time of new beginnings and fresh starts. After all the holiday feasting, January arrives like a lovely winter stay-cation. For me it is a time to truly slow down, reflect, and to go within. It is also a time to renew and re-enliven my commitment to my good health! One way this happens for me is through yoga and her sister science, ayurveda.

Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word meaning the “the science of life”  and is a system of natural health care that like yoga originated in India over 5,000 years ago. An ayurvedic lifestyle balances body, spirit, and mind through nutrition, exercise, and other lifestyle practices fostering stronger digestion, deeper sleep, and more robust health in general. By including a few basic ayurvedic practices into your daily routine, you can begin to make changes toward a more vital, more aware life.

The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “yuj,” meaning “to join, unite, or yoke together.” By regularly including three fundamental aspects of yoga: exercise/movement (asana), breathing (pranayama), and meditation into your life you can enjoy a clear, bright mind and a strong, capable body.

Making yoga and ayurveda a regular part of your daily/weekly routine now will have direct and lasting healthful effects for the rest of your life. The best wisdom for this beginning or recommitment is simple — begin where you are now. Don’t try to begin where you wish you were, or where your friend is at. Take responsibility for your health and just start where you are. Take a weekly Beginners or Chair yoga class or starting a ten minute a day home practice, begin by picking three of the ayurvedic practices below and bringing them into the fold of your day to day.

In the beginning, it takes attention and commitment to make a new practice part of your daily life. However, as you feel better and better about the results, your priorities will naturally adjust to make space for it. Whether you’re choosing to add three morning asanas to start the day, ten minutes of breathing exercises after work, or eating regular home-cooked meals, once you have established your routine, it becomes a part of who you are and how you live!

Getting Started

Yoga: Start small, set moderate, realistic goals for yourself. One class a week (until June) or 10 minutes daily home practice (choose a regular time to practice each day) will be enough to experience benefits! It’s the quality of the time, not the quantity. If you miss a class or practice don’t be hard on yourself or give up altogether. Take a breath, recommit, and get back in the groove again. You may need extra support at first; set up a yoga buddy or teacher you can check in or practice with.

Ayurveda: Here are a range of great places to start including ayurveda in your life. Choose any 3-5 of these practices and commit to incorporating them into your daily routine for three months.

• Wake before dawn.

• Tongue scraping — Upon waking, gently scrape the tongue from the back forward, until you have scraped the whole surface for 7-14 strokes. This stimulates the internal organs, helps digestion, and removes dead bacteria.

• Drink a cup of warm water with a squeeze of lemon or lime first thing in the morning.

• Eliminate in the a.m. — try to sit on the toilet at around the same time each morning, this will help train the bowels.

• Yoga Asana — pick 3-5 that you enjoy, practice them 3-5 days a week.

• Pranayama — a simple 1:1 breathing exercise; inhale to the count of four, exhale to the count of four for 5 minutes a day.

• Lunch — try making lunch your main meal of the day without TV or computer.  Favor warm, cooked, and nourishing foods in the winter months. It is also best to sit while eating, eat mindfully, chew slowly (digestion begins in the mouth), enjoy light conversation or silence, sit for 5-10 minutes after eating, and enjoy a light walk afterwards.

• Supper — try eating before 6 p.m. and make supper, which comes from the word sup as in supplemental, a lighter meal followed by a little walk.

• Favor light reading, social activities, recreation in the evening and try to be off the computer by 7:30 p.m.

• Early to bed — try to be in bed, winding down by 9:30-10:00 p.m.

There are endless possibilities to growing more health and wholeness in your life. Yoga and ayurveda can help, and now is a beautiful place to begin! Here’s to your robust health in body and mind this year!

Tracy Chipman is a yoga instructor and Ayurveda Yoga Specialist based in Menomonie. Currently she teaches weekly drop-in classes at The CORE Menomonie, a {Going Within} winter yoga series, and offers Ayurveda Yoga Specialist consultations by appointment. For more information visit http://tlcyoga.weebly.com/

Adopt a Natural Strategy For Detoxing Your Body

Regularly taking time out to detoxify your body, removing all toxins from your diet and your general lifestyle, has long been considered to be beneficial to your health. An interesting recent article in New York Magazine[1] has suggested that whilst we have no idea exactly how many toxins we have in our body at any given time (because toxin testing is very expensive and can often prove to be inconclusive anyway) the number of potentially cancer-causing chemicals in use has increased tenfold since 1975. The toxin situation is only getting worse, which means that one of the best ways to protect yourself is to take matters into your own hands and start a detox. There are many difference detox products and programs available on the market right now, but one of the best (and least expensive) ways to detox is to adopt a natural strategy[2], listen to your body’s cues, and rid yourself of toxins at a pace that you are comfortable with. Here are a few hints and tips:

Change Your Diet

The easiest way to control what toxins you have in your body is to control and be mindful of what you are putting into it yourself. One of the first and most vital toxins to remove from your system is alcohol. If you tend to only drink on special occasions you will find this relatively easy. If you drink regularly and finding cutting alcohol from your diet difficult then you may need to think about your lifestyle and seek additional support with this step.[3] Replace any alcohol or other toxin filled drinks with water. Drinking at least eight glasses of water a day will help you to flush the toxins from your system. Next you need to think about the kind of food you eat: there is a difference between healthy food and toxin-free food, and many people often confuse the two. The four most common food toxins are  wheat, sugar, industrial seed oils and soy[4] so cutting these, and foods containing these from your diet is your most important dietary step.

Minimize Your Exposure to Toxins

No matter where we live, we are all exposed to toxins every day. Of course if you live in the heart of an industrial city you will be exposed to more toxins than if you live in a remote mountain range but, no matter where you live, you can work to minimize your toxin exposure[5]. The best way to minimize your toxin exposure is to only eat organically grown foods: that way no pesticides or other chemicals can enter your body via your food stream. You can source these at your local farmers market, where you’re likely to meet other like minded people concerned about the levels of toxins in their foods. Many other toxins are absorbed from our environment into our skin, and there is little we can do to stop this. However, one thing you can do to remove these toxins is to engage in regular vigorous exercise. Increased respiration, circulation, and perspiration all support healthy detoxification. If you don’t like the idea of exercise to build up a sweat[6] then regularly spending time in a sauna or steam room will have the same affect. Finally, think about anything else you regularly apply to your skin that could be absorbed into your system: sunscreen, make up, and shower gel are all great examples. Whilst it is important to wear sunscreen every day[7], and you may feel you can’t live without your make up, you can buy versions of all of these products that don’t contain harmful chemical toxins. You simply need to be mindful when you hit the shops.

If you’re never tried a detox before then you are likely to be amazed by just how good it makes you feel: you should find yourself less fatigued and more full of energy, and detoxification can also help to reduce the impact of headaches and other minor ailments. Why don’t you give it a try today?


[1] “Should I be trying to rid my body of toxins?”, New York Magazinehttp://nymag.com/thecut/2014/04/should-i-be-trying-to-rid-my-body-of-toxins.html

[2] “Five things to know before you start a detox diet”, Chicago Nowhttp://www.chicagonow.com/get-fit-chicago/2014/01/5-things-to-know-before-you-start-a-detox-diet/

[3] “Find the best luxury 12 step recovery programmes”, Rehabshttp://luxury.rehabs.com/12-step-programs/

[4] “Nine common foods that contain toxic ingredients”, Shapehttp://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/9-common-foods-contain-toxic-ingredients

[6] “Take advantage of sweat to release an avalanche of toxins”, Cancer Defeatedhttp://www.cancerdefeated.com/newsletters/Take-Advantage-of-Sweat-to-Release-an-Avalanche%20of-Toxins-from-Your-Body.html

[7] “Sunscreens explained” The Skin Cancer Foundationhttp://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/sunscreen/sunscreens-explained

More Than Just Water

Even though we know that washing our hands before we eat protects us against unhealthy toxins and bacteria, we don’t always think about also washing fruit and vegetables thoroughly before we eat them.

Did you know that a quick rinse under running water doesn’t really remove much of what is on most produce? Even organic or sustainably grown produce can have hidden dangers lurking on their surfaces. And even if you grow your own fruits and vegetables, fertilizers, animals, and unhealthy soil can contaminate even homegrown produce. Washing with a good fruit and vegetable cleanser can help eliminate surface toxic chemical residues, but it’s still better if you can buy organic versions of these twelve fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Peeling a piece of fruit or vegetable is sometimes an option, but that often removes beneficial nutrients.

The Threat of Fertilizers

Pesticides aren’t the only unhealthy element that may be in your fruits and vegetables. Fertilizers are also potentially dangerous. Although they increase the yield of produce, there are often adverse effects from them. At one time, the EPA decided that unwanted, treated sewage sludge from municipal wastewater treatment facilities was legal to give to farmers and anyone else to use as inexpensive “fertilizer” or “compost”. Farms and homes across the country unknowingly spread this sludge-derived fertilizer on their fields, lawns, and gardens. But, it’s been found to be loaded with chemicals and heavy metals.

The Environmental Working Group, who analyzed samples of this sewage sludge, found:

? Over 100 synthetic organic compounds including phthalates, toluene, and chlorobenzene
? Dioxins in sludge from 80 percent or 179 out of 208 systems
? Forty-two different pesticides
? Nine heavy metals, often at high concentrations

Why Rinsing Isn’t Enough Protection

It is impossible to remove all the contaminants mentioned above with just water. Plus, produce is often waxed after harvest to withstand the long time it takes to get to market and to protect it as many hands touch it. The wax seals in pesticide residue and debris, and this makes them very difficult to remove with just water. Thus, to get to and remove the contaminants buried beneath the surface of your vegetables and fruits, you need a cleanser that also removes the wax.

Products

The two-sided Veggie and Fruit Cloth is perfect for scrubbing and polishing fruit and veggies. Rough side for scrubbing, smooth side for polishing. www.Norwex.com

SunSmile® Fruit & Vegetable Rinse cleans dirt, waxy coatings, oily substances, and other undesirable residues from your fruits and vegetables. It even cleans delicate produce like broccoli heads, field greens, and herbs. www.Sunrider.com

Vermont Soap’s Fruit & Veggie Wash For the past hundred years or so we have bombarded ourselves with new chemical combinations on our food, now it’s time to get them clean again.  Apply directly to foods and rinse. Apply to a brush — scrub and rinse. Add to a container of water for root crops and larger volumes. Add just enough Produce Magic to the water to work up a hint of foam. www.vermontsoap.com