Tag: <span>stress relief</span>

surprising conditions chiropractors treat

Surprising Conditions Chiropractors Treat with Good Results

Sometimes, chiropractors get pigeon-holed to where people think that we are only beneficial in reducing back pain. But did you know that is only a portion of the conditions we treat? In fact, you might be interested to know the surprising conditions chiropractors treat regularly that most people think can only be treated by other types of physicians.

Here are four conditions that I treat regularly – and most chiropractors see as a standard part of their practice.

 

Migraines and tension headaches

Research shows that chiropractic care, including spinal manipulation, is an effective way to treat tension headaches and headaches that begin in the neck. These chiropractic adjustments can improve spinal function and alleviate the stress on your nervous system.

I treat many patients who have chronic headaches. My goal is always to help correct any neuromusculoskeletal sources of a headache (nerves, muscles and bones of the body). When working with a patient, I like to perform a spinal exam to determine if chiropractic care could alleviate the pain. If a headache may be caused or aggravated by any misaligned vertebrae in the spine (subluxation), it could be creating undue nerve interference. Spinal manipulations often can resolve this.

 

Stress and anxiety

Stress comes from three main sources: our environment, our bodies and our emotions. We all have stress…but for some of us, stress along with anxiety are ongoing conditions. For these folks, chiropractic adjustments may help the body manage and process this stress in a healthier way.

With adjustments, I’m able to release muscle tension – one part of chronic stress. In doing so, I can return the body to a more balanced state with alignment and a reduction in the nerve irritation that created the uneven pressures on the bones to start with. Studies show that chiropractic adjustments turn down the sympathetic, or fight or flight part of the nervous system.  Adjustments also improve circulation, which also helps the brain to know to turn off the “fight or flight” response and start the healing process.

Fibromyalgia

Once a rather obscure condition, most of us today know someone suffering from Fibromyalgia (or perhaps we do ourselves). With the cause of this condition still unknown, two percent of the U.S. population have this chronic disorder, involving widespread pain and sensitivity throughout the entire musculoskeletal system.

I am able to use adjustments, along with a soft tissue technique called myofascial release, to help my Fibro patients get some relief. This helps to move out the congestion of inflammatory biproducts in the tissue, release trigger points and breaks up adhesions between the muscle and it’s casing. For my fibromyalgia patients we also give particular focus to turning down inflammatory pathways through nutrition, detoxing the liver, healing the gut, stress management and vitamin protocols.

One patient of mine has gotten relief from not one but two of her conditions (including fibromyalgia!):

“Through my chiropractic care with Dr. Sharman, my fibromyalgia has been so much more manageable. She reduces my muscle pain and uses protocols to reduce inflammation in my tissues. Also, my tension headaches have completely resolved. Before I saw Dr. Sharman, my tension headaches were debilitating. I saw so many different doctors who gave me so many different tests and types of treatments, but nothing worked until I came to Life Care. Dr. Sharman was the only one who was able to help me. It has been years since I have had a tension headache. Now, I enjoy my periodic chiropractic “tune ups” that keep me dancing at 66 years old.” – Gail Leigh

 

Allergies

surprising conditions chiropractors treatAllergies occur when the immune system encounters an irritant and mistakes it as harmful, causing inflammation. The body goes into attack mode with an often aggressive, irritating response. This generates the allergy symptoms that make us feel crummy: itching, sneezing, nausea and sometimes vomiting.

By improving the communication throughout the nervous system including the brain and spinal cord, chiropractic care can help regulate and coordinate the body’s reaction to allergens. A weak immune system can be strengthened by correcting the misalignment in the spine that disrupts the essential pathways between the brain and spine. This can de-amplify allergic responses.

A strong, well-functioning immune system can deal with irritants and take them on BEFORE they can wreak havoc in your body. So keep your spine aligned – and you’ll have taken the first step to a healthier immune system.

 

Other recommendations

Aside from the specific techniques mentioned to address headaches, stress, fibromyalgia and allergies, most chiropractors have a few more “tools” in our toolkit that may not be suggested to a sufferer by their regular physician.

I find that I’m also often recommending:

  • Nutritional supplements and sometimes an entire vitamin protocol
  • Relaxation strategies
  • Techniques for improving your back posture
  • Environmental modifications (ergonomics, especially for the work environment)
  • Exercises to be done at home to keep the improvements going

And the four conditions mentioned in this article are only some of the surprising conditions chiropractors treat with success. If you are struggling with a condition and not getting relief, let us know. We can schedule a consultation and assess if there is more we can do to help you feel your best!

Dr. Sharman

prevent heart disease

Prevent Heart Disease: Ways Less Often Discussed

February is a great time to focus on the heart.

Earlier in the month, we marked Valentine’s Day – a time to celebrate love, be kind to others and be kind to ourselves. We get to connect and reflect on feelings within the heart. However, it is also a great time to literally reflect on your physical heart and its wellbeing. In fact, February is officially Heart Health Month.

Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States?

It affects both men and women…and thankfully it can be prevented! There are the obvious ways to prevent heart disease: don’t smoke, eat an anti-inflammatory low grain diet, with plenty of fruits and vegetables and exercise. Is there more you can do? I’d like to explore some of the less talked about ways to prevent heart disease.

Start by looking at the word disease. Break that word down and it is dis-ease. In other words, NOT ease. So at least a part of heart disease is related to not being in a state of ease. Stress plays a huge role in heart disease, often causing an increase blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms and increased levels of adrenaline and cortisol. So start with managing your stress as the first step to prevent heart disease.

 

Stress Reducers

Meditation

Remember meditation is not a one-time activity. It takes practice. No one tries it once and achieves a state of clear-minded calmness. Try downloading a guided meditation app. Start with a short, 5-minute guided meditation and go from there. Daily practice can lower blood pressure, improve mood and reduce damaging stress hormones in the body.

 

Biofeedback

Another alternative to meditation is biofeedback. Biofeedback is the process of gaining greater awareness of physiological functions by using instruments that provide information on the activity of those same systems, with a goal of being able to manipulate them at will. I love the products from Heart Math Institute. They have a device called the EmWave which helps to raise your awareness of when you are in a stressful state. The technology then helps you to shift back into a more relaxed and content state. The company has similar technologies as a phone app that couple with an ear sensor.

 

Yoga

Yoga is a great way to relieve stress through centeredness, focus and calming breath work.

 

RELATED: Ten Wonderful Ways Yoga Improves Your Health 

 

Slowing down  

The reality is that the world is on fast forward these days. But just because things seem to happen at lightning speed these days does not mean that you have to keep up that pace. Plan some time to relax for a bit every single day, no matter how busy you are. Give yourself permission to say no when you want or sense that you need to say no.

 

Be true to your heart  

People are simply less stressed and more resilient when they are living their life congruent with their own values. When our actions are in alignment with our authentic selves – our purpose and values – life just seems less stressful even when there are challenges. Keep this in mind.

 

Nutritional Considerations

prevent heart diseaseReduce sugar

In a study published in Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine in January 2014, researchers found that the odds of dying from heart disease rose in tandem with the percentage of sugar in one’s diet. This was regardless of a person’s age, sex, physical activity level and body-mass index (a measure of weight).

My advice is to avoid the obvious worst offenders! We hear a lot about what we should eat, but do you realize the true damage occurring when you make poor choices? Know the worst offenders and steer clear of them.

 

Stay hydrated

It probably seems like I think hydration is the answer for every health issue. The truth is, it impacts a great deal of our health. Staying hydrated allows the heart to pump the blood through the vessels more easily, allows the heart muscles to work more efficiently and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.

 

Drink red wine

A single glass of red wine each day will give you a good dose of resveratrol, which lowers cholesterol, reduces risk of blood clots and prevents damage to blood vessels. One glass is enough to gain benefits – but keep it to one glass most days.

 

Supplements

Finally, we can’t talk about heart disease prevention without at least mentioning supplements. There are many great ones you can take for heart health, but I have narrowed it down to what I would consider the top three most important.

  1. CoQ10 – Take 200 mg daily if you are over 50 years of age or on a statin drug. Otherwise, take 100 mg. The heart is constantly working and never takes a break as long as you are living. This requires a lot of energy for the heart muscles. CoQ10 is critical for the mitochondria in the heart muscle cells to make energy so they can keep working. As you age, you are less able to make CoQ10. Statin drugs deplete your CoQ10.  
  2. Omega 3’s – Omega 3’s turn down your inflammatory pathways. Since inflammation is tied to all chronic diseases of aging including plaquing of the arteries, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, Omega 3’s are just what the doctor ordered in lowering the risk of heart disease. Eat plenty of Omega 3-packed fish too! To learn if you are deficient in Omega 3, we can test you.
  3. Magnesium –  This supplement lowers blood pressure, helps the heart to beat more regularly and improves sleep. It is a great distress-type of nutrient.

I hope this blog has helped you to zero in on a least a few strategies to prevent heart disease! Be kind to yourself and have a great February.

Dr. Sharman