Friday, May 27, 2005

Pain in the Neck

Neck pain, naturally, is caused by subtle shifts in the alignment of the cervical vertebra. These misaligned, subluxated neck bones will stress muscles, fixate joints and irritate nerves. The big question is, what can cause the neck bones to subluxate? Here is a list of some of the more common activities that are a "pain in the neck." 1. Lying on your stomach with your head turned to one side. 2. Lying on your back with your head propped up too much. 3. Holding the telephone between your neck and shoulder. 4. Propping your chin up with your hands too long. 5. Holding a heavy shoulder bag on the same shoulder for long periods. 6. Doing work that requires you to look up, like painting a ceiling. 7. Wearing high heeled shoes. The good news is that a chiropractic adjustment can help to re-align the vertebra. (But it can't stop you from hurting yourself again, only you can do that!)

Forget me not!

According to Prevention magazine, the average American in the course of their lifetime, will spend one full year looking for misplaced objects. Forgetfulness is not always a disease, like Alzheimer's. Memory can be trained just like the muscles in your body. Tell yourself out loud what it is that you want to remember. Talking to yourself helps to retain the facts. Take a mental picture. Pretend yur mind is a camera and snap a few shots. If you have to remember numbers, chunk them together into groups of three. Reading is another very important activity for keeping the mind sharp. There are around 200,000 words in English alone. The average person only uses less than 5000 a day. Reading good books expands the vocabulary and may help you to remember words. As far as vitamins go, the B vitamins, potassium, zinc and lecithin are all important brain vitamins associated with memory.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Kojack, not!

Hairloss is not a popular topic with males. I know I am sensitive to it, so don't mention the growing empty spot on the back of my head. Hairloss in general is called alopecia. Men can lose their hair from a variety of reasons. Heredity, hormones and aging all play a factor. Women can also suffer from hair loss. This usually occurs after menopause and or during the last few months of pregnancy. Other factors that influence hair loss in both sexes could be from stress, poor circulation, poor diet and vitamin deficiency. For healthy, happy hair it is important to make sure your hair is getting the proper amount of nutrients. Unsaturated fatty acids (think omega 3's: Fish oil, flax seed oil) is very important for healthy hair. The B vitamins also play a crucial part in hair growth. One reason people could suffer from hair loss is clogged pores in the scalp. A scalp brush from the dermatologist can help clean and invigorate the scalp which may lead to renewed hair growth.

Ticks scare me!

Gardening season means bug season. Bug season means ticks. Lyme disease is the main reason to protect yourself from tick bites. Did you know Lyme disease takes its name from the town of Lyme, Connecticut? (Not the best when they name the disease after your town) The Northeastern United States has the highest percentage of Lyme disease in the country. The disease is found where white tail deer are present. The tick bites often go undetected, but leave a circular, bullseye rash. Symptoms include fatigue, flu-like symptoms, headaches, back and neck pain, nausea and vomiting. The best way of fighting Lyme disease is not to get it. Protect yourself by covering up unprotected skin. Put suspicious clothes in a hot dryer for one half hour. The heat dehydrates the ticks and kills them. Washing the clothes, even in hot, soapy, bleechy water may not even kill the ticks.

Shinny, Shin, Shin.

Shin splints are the nasty little pains one gets in the front of the leg, over the shin bone. Most are associated with running activities, but they are also very common with dancers. Many different causes can be behind this nasty affliction. Hard running surface, poor posture, fallen arches, insufficient warm-up, poor running and walking mechanics and over training. Once you have the pain, the best thing to do is rest the shin muscles. Ice massage, compression (wrapping) and elevation are all helpful starts to healing. The best method for helping is to actually prevent them by developing the anterior shin muscles. Any activity that raises your foot or toes off the ground will exercise the shin muscles. For instance, ride a bike with a foot strap and concentrate on pulling the pedal up to you, rather than pushing it down. If you don't have a bike, try walking around on your heals for 10-15 minutes a few times a week.

Immunity First

The immune system is the body's defense against germs, bacteria, viruses and disease. The immune system produces antibodies that attack these foreign invaders using white blood cells. When the immune system is weakened the body is prone to infection. It is vitally important for health to keep the immune system functioning at its best. Immune system function can be compromised by poor diet, stress, lack of sleep and spinal misalignment (the nervous system controls the immune system). Vitamins A, C, E and B help keep the immune system on its toes. Regular exercise also helps boost immune capacity.

Spinal adjustments to the thoracic region cause an immediate release of white blood cells. Perfect for when some one has a cold or illness. A jumpstart to the immune system.