Sitting up straight... When we think of it, we instinctively feel a sense of guilt that takes us back to our childhood. Maybe it was a parent, a piano teacher, or a random old lady that, even though they had our best interest in mind, nagged us into better physical health. But it doesn't have to be that way... First, we should try to figure out why we naturally, instinctively, bend forward while sitting. Why do we flex our entire spine, round our shoulders and crane our head back when we sit in front of a computer?
Our brain is always trying to make things easier on our muscles, because they are the structures that move us. If we need to expel a lot of energy to get things done, then the brain will naturally try to conserve energy in order to have enough left over to complete the big tasks that might come in the future. What the brain hasn't yet realized is that in this day in age, our bodies need very little energy to survive anymore. We use a washing machine to wash clothes, a different one to wash dishes, our food can be easily provided to us with the swipe of a credit card, even traveling hundreds of miles takes no more than a slight rotation of the shoulder and light push of the right foot. So when we do recline, a good way to restore some reserves between strenuous activity, we let our muscles rest and put all of the strain of our body weight onto the structures that don't move us - bones, ligaments and joints. In short intervals, this is a perfectly good way to recoup, but because we spend more time resting (sitting in front of a desk) than moving to stay alive, we strain those structures and stiffen the muscles that should be active all day long.
So we need to change with the times...
In this day in age, we should use these advances in modern life but we need to change our behavior, to compensate for the lack of activity that our bodies were designed to do. We need to sit up straight now. This will activate those spinal muscles that are normally used when standing, walking, bending and working. We need to exercise 6 days a week to use muscles throughout the entire body that would have normally (100 to 1,000s of years ago) been used just to stay alive and thrive.
So when someone pushes you with those guilt-ridden words, "Sit up straight!" Just smile and say thank you for the reminder, because you know that we all need it... Then remind them when they slouch!
Author: Abe Medlong, DC
There are numerous reasons for wanting to eat a healthy and balanced diet. The well-known ones are weight loss and all around general health, but the advantages to eating healthy go beyond that.
According to the Center for Disease Control, almost everyone needs to eat more fruits and vegetables. Research shows they are critical for promoting good health.
Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that may help protect you from chronic diseases. Compared with people who consume a diet with only small amounts of fruits and vegetables, those who eat more generous amounts as part of a healthful diet are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases, including stroke and perhaps other cardiovascular diseases, and certain cancers.
Substituting fruits and vegetables for higher-calorie foods can be part of a
weight loss strategy.
Those with busy lifestyles can benefit from food that's nutritious, yet easy to eat on-the-go, like fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are a natural source of energy and give the body many nutrients you need to keep going.
Fruits and vegetables come in terrific colors and flavors, but their real beauty lies in what's inside. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of many vitamins, minerals and other natural substances that may help protect you from chronic diseases.
To get a healthy variety, think color. Eating fruits and vegetables of different colors gives your body a wide range of valuable nutrients, like fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C. Some examples include green spinach, orange sweet potatoes, black beans, yellow corn, purple plums, red watermelon, and white onions. For more variety, try new fruits and vegetables regularly.
Stay tuned for my next post to see even more benefits to eating healthy!!
Author: Pam McMillan
There’s not much that ages us faster, both internally and
externally, than high levels of stress. But in today’s fast-paced world, it’s
nearly impossible to eliminate stress and anxiety completely. Massage therapy is one way to combat the toll that stress takes on our bodies. In fact, there are so many benefits of massage therapy that if you’ve never had a massage before, now is definitely the time to get one.
Besides its feel-good effects, massage therapy can translate into striking improvements in medical conditions ranging from asthma to rheumatoid arthritis to burns.
Research continues to show the enormous benefits of massage therapy. The medical community is actively embracing and advising patients to include massage in their health care treatment plans. Many hospitals are also incorporating massage to treat post surgery or pain patients as part of
the recovery process.
Massage can play an important role in treating illness or chronic ailments, and contribute to a higher sense of general well-being. It is generally considered a part of complementary and alternative medicine. It's increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations. Some studies have found massage helpful for:
● Stress relief ·
● Managing anxiety and depression ·
● Pain ·
● Blood pressure control ·
● Infant growth ·
● Sports- /work-/automobile accident-related injuries ·
● Boosting immunity ·
● Cancer treatment
But beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, massage just plain feels good!!
After one of the wettest springs in the history of Northeast Ohio, the sun is finally shining!! In fact, there have been a few days this past week that have been downright hot. But, hey, no complaints here!
The warm weather provides an excellent opportunity for everyone to get outside, increase their activity, and have some fun. But being outdoors in hot weather can be dangerous if we don’t take the right precautions.
Preventing heat exhaustion and heat stroke:
Those that are at the highest risk are infants and children up to 4 years old and people 65 and older. People who are overweight or who are ill are also at a higher risk.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, the best way to avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke is to drink plenty of fluids, avoiding alcohol and caffeine because they tend to dehydrate the body and increase the effects of heat illness. It’s also important to avoid outdoor chores and activities during the hottest parts of the day, which is normally in the mid- to late afternoon hours.
The symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
The best thing to do is to cool off as soon as possible by getting into a cool environment and drinking a cool, non-alcoholic beverage. You can also take a cool bath or shower.
Note: If heat exhaustion goes untreated, it may progress to heat stroke, which is a medical emergency. If you suspect heat stroke, seek medical attention immediately, especially if the victim has heart problems or high blood pressure.
Skin cancer is the most-commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States; it accounts for about half of all cancers in the United States. Here are some helpful tips to protect you from the sun:
fAlmost all of us deal with some sort of stress on a daily basis. And for some, that stress can be so severe that it has a negative affect on both our mental and physical health.
Stress can come in almost any form – from good things such as an upcoming wedding or job promotion – to bad, such as debt or legal problems.
But either way, stress can cause physical ailments such as headache, backache, fatigue, upset stomach or high blood pressure and mental and emotional symptoms such as depression and anxiety.
Here at Chiro Cleveland, we often see patients that have tight muscles in the upper part of the back, lower neck and tops of the shoulders, all which are caused from stress. These tight muscles often cause a deep, achy pain. A lot of patients even say they feel as though their muscles are knotted.
Chiropractic treatment is very successful in treating these affects of stress. Using chiropractic manipulation, Dr. Medlong is able to bring motion back to the joints in the neck and back that are often restricted from the tight muscles. We also do stretching and massage to relieve the tight muscles and focus on exercises to bring back strength.
Although we are very successful of relieving the physical symptoms of stress, we here at Chiro Cleveland care about your health and want to help you prevent problems from stress.
Listed below are some tips to help reduce and manage the stressors in your life:
■ Make a list of things in your life that cause you stress. Becoming aware of your stressors can give you an idea of what causes you to tense up. You can then try to avoid those situations or handle them differently in the future.
■ Make fitness a priority. Exercise several days a week, but make it enjoyable. Aerobic workouts, walking, cycling, swimming, or running - can all help relax those too-tight muscles and produce endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that help counteract stress.
■ Learn how to relax. Deep-breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, visualization, or listening to relaxation tapes can help you decompress.
■ Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep can add to stress levels by increasing fatigue and
reducing your ability to cope.
■ Avoid alcohol and drugs.Using them to unwind only masks symptoms and can
■ Build loving relationships and supportive networks. The warmth of human connection to family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers is a great buffer for stress.
■ Don’t procrastinate. If you put off daunting tasks, it often adds to your stress level.
■ Plan early and often. Break big goals into smaller, more manageable ones. And put it in writing. That will help you feel like you’ve started and are on your way to accomplishing your goal.
Author: Pam McMillan
Strong abdominal muscles can go a long way in avoiding back problems. And if you’ve already suffered an injury, strengthening your abdominal muscles can help prevent you from reinjuring yourself.
Why is that? Because the complicated network of muscles and ligaments that connect to the spinal column provide important support, strength and stability for the spine, and well-conditioned abdominal muscles help decrease stress on the spine. Unlike muscles in our arms and legs, which get some exercise just from daily activities, our abdominal muscles don’t often get much of a workout. That’s all the more reason we need to incorporate exercise into our daily routine.
Walking Walking has a wealth of benefits. It helps build strength in muscle groups that hold your body upright, improving flexibility and increasing the production of pain-fighting endorphins. If you have ongoing back pain, balanced and stable walking enhances your ability to continue doing everyday activities, while reducing the likelihood of additional back pain.
Walking is low-impact, allowing the muscles to be worked without causing much stress or impact on the spine. If you decide to incorporate walking into your daily routine, remember to keep a brisk pace, good form and try to walk for about 30 minutes (or 2 miles) three or four times a week.
Water therapy exercise An even gentler form of exercise if water therapy. That’s because the water counteracts gravity and helps support your weight. Water also provides friction against movement, allowing strengthening and conditioning, while reducing the risk of further injury from losing your balance. The support provided by water can be very helpful for anyone who is overweight because the water counteracts the extra body weight, allowing free movement in the water. Water therapy is also a great form of exercise for anyone suffering from osteoarthritis.
Calm and quiet For some people, additional benefits can be enjoyed from calm and quiet forms of exercise like yoga or tai chi. Yoga, for example, involves a lot of gentle stretching, which increases blood flow, allowing nutrients to flow in, toxins to flow out, and providing overall nourishment of the muscles and soft tissues in the lower back. Tai Chi involves a lot of movement, but they are slow, gentle, flowing movements of the body; not jarring motions that create impact on the spine. Both forms of exercise incorporate meditative techniques that can help ease stress and anxiety, which can also help in easing back pain. And according to the Mayo Clinic, regular exercise can: ■ Put you in a better mood by stimulating your brain chemicals and leave you feeling happier than you were before you worked out.
■ Help combat – or manage chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Type 2 Diabetes.
■ Help you control your weight.
■ Boost your energy level.
■ Promote better sleep.