Release your Inner Calm

Are you feeling the pressures of everyday life in the fast lane? There are plenty of ways to help yourself find the calm among the storm.

Lets look to one of the easiest things to use… YOUR BREATH!!
Controlled breathing is a great technique that can be used to help lower blood pressure, promote feelings of calmness and relaxation, helps anxiety and to de-stress.

Here are some different breathing techniques:

1. Equal Breathing
To start, Inhale for a count of four, then exhale for a count of four – all through your nose.
This is a great technique if your trying to get to sleep.

breathing

 

 

2. Abdominal Breathing
Hold one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Take a deep breath through the nose ensuring the diaphragm inflates. Count six to10 deep slow breathes per minute for 10 minutes.

3. Progressive Relaxation

To get rid of tension head to toe, close the eyes and focus on tensing and relaxing each muscle group for two or three seconds each. All while maintaining deep, slow breaths.

4. Guided Meditation and Visualisation

Go straight to your happy place using a guided recording from either a coach, teacher or podcast to enter total relaxation through visualisation.

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5. Skull Shining Breathe

Begin with a long, slow inhale followed by a quick powerful exhale generated from the lower belly. Do 10 of these every one to two seconds.

Trying these techniques can help get you to a nice and relaxing place amongst all the rush in normal life. To practice and use this at least once a day for a few minutes can help greatly in your everyday stressors.

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An Apple a Day

Putting the Apple-a-day Adage To the Test

By Robert H. Shmerling, M.D Harvard Health Publications and submitted by Krystyna A.

Okay, so maybe you’ve heard this one before: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. I wouldn’t have considered this a myth because everyone knows its not true, right?

Well not so fast. A number of studies have actually put this adage to the test, at least indirectly.

A look at the evidence: Consider the following studies published over the years:

  • In 2007, researchers from Pennsylvania state University found that study subjects who ate an apple before lunch – about 125 calories – consumed 187 fewer calories overall than subjects who didn’t eat an apple at all. Apple juice and apple sauce on the other hand, had no such effect. The researchers suggested that the work of eating the apple or the time it took to eat it somehow made study subjects think they’d eaten more than they had.
  • Researchers from Cornell University published a study in 2004 in the journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showing that the flavonoid, quercetin (found primarily in apples, berries and onions) protected the nerve tissue of rats from hydrogen peroxide, a standard oxidative stressor in laboratory preparations. Based on these findings, they theorized that apple consumption might reduce the risk of brain-damaging illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
  • In a 2007 study, researchers in the United Kingdom found that people who ate five apples a week had better lung function and a lower risk of asthma than people who did not eat apples. A prior study suggested the same thing and also linked the beneficial effects of apples to their high concentration of quercetin. Two additional studies have linked apple intake with a lower risk of lung cancer.
  • A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition linked the high intake of flavonoids (a plant based nutrient) with lower death rates from cardiovascular disease among postmenopausal women. Of course, apples weren’t the only source of flavonoids associated with dodging cardiovascular death. Bran, pears, wine, grapefruit, strawberries and chocolate are high-flavonoid foods whose intakes were associated with lower cardiovascular disease and/or death rates in this study.

So should we get aboard the apple bandwagon?

Considering the findings of these studies, is it time to make apples a bigger part of our diet? Sure, if you like apples. But I don’t think we have enough hard evidence to completely buy into the “apple cure” just yet. Some of this research is based on animals, which we know does not always apply directly to humans. And it’s notoriously difficult to perform studies of dietary intake and link them to specific health outcomes when there are so many variables to consider. For example, when compared with people who don’t like apples, maybe apples-eaters have other healthy behaviours, such as exercise, that lower their risk of heart or lung disease.

The Bottom Line:

Apples may be even better for you than previously appreciated. They are a healthy food choice, especially if eaten instead of less nutritious snacks. But even if apples can’t keep the doctor away , eating more apples are unlikely to cause you harm.  Regardless of how you feel about apples, this is a good example of how some “myths” are just waiting to be transformed into fact. Good research and an open mind is all that lies between the apple-a-day myth and “the next big thing” in healthy diets.

Apple Facts:

  • Adding apples to the diet is a healthy option that increases weight loss. Just three apples a day (one before each meal) not only helped women lose weight but improved their overall health profile.
  • Make sure you always include the skin of apples- in 2007 researchers discovered a dozen compounds in apple peel that inhibit or kill cancer cells in the laboratory, which may help explain the anti-cancer activity of whole apples.
  • Red Delicious apple has almost four times the antioxidant content of brewed tea.
  • After harvest, apples continue to be a living entity and maintain the vital processes of each living cell, with some studies actually showing an increase in antioxidant activity and phytochemical levels after storage.
  • In addition to being antioxidant rich, apples are rich in nutrients such as fibre, potassium, Vitamin C, B vitamins and have a low GI.

 

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Adjusting the Subluxated Spine changes brain function

New Research is now out about adjusting the subluxated spine changes brain function.

Below is an article recently out with the new research.

We are very excited to announce that another Spinal Research Foundation facilitated research has been published in a highly reputable journal [1]. The study, undertaken by Heidi Haavik, Kelly Holt, Bernadette Murphy and others is published in the Journal of Neural Plasticity. And the results are very exciting for chiropractic!

The Journal of Neural Plasticity boasts an impact factor of 3.5 (as a comparison, The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics has an impact factor of 1.5.)

This from Heidi Haavik [2]:

“WE DO KNOW THAT SPINAL FUNCTION DOES AFFECT BRAIN FUNCTION. THERE’S NOW SOLID EVIDENCE THAT ADJUSTING THE SPINE CHANGES BRAIN FUNCTION.
THIS IS THE FOURTH TIME THAT THE EFFECT OF ADJUSTING THE SPINE HAS ON THE BRAIN HAS BEEN STUDIED. THIS LAST TIME IT WAS STUDIED AND CONFIRMED BY AN INDEPENDENT MEDICAL RESEARCHER.”

This study was conducted in an independent medical professor’s lab, where his bioengineer collected and analyzed the data. This is an important bonus for this study – that all data was collected and analysed by scientists who had no preconceived ideas about chiropractic. This greatly lowers the level of bias.  These were scientists from Aalborg University Hospital in Denmark.

A Vitally Important Implication

More than just confirming once again that adjusting the spine has an effect on the brain, this study indicates that adjustments impact the function of the prefrontal cortex. Haavik is particularly excited about what this implies:

“The latest study suggests that the changes that we do see in the brain when we adjust the spine do occur in the prefrontal cortex. That part of the brain is like the conductor in the brain.”

The research shows that when we adjust the spine, we significantly increase activity in the prefrontal cortex. “The study showed a change in brain function by almost 20% on frontal-lobesaverage”. The prefrontal cortex is the area in the brain where higher learning and cognition happens. Haavik explains:

“An effect on the function of the prefrontal cortex could explain many previous research results, such as improvements in sensorimotor function relevant to falls-prevention; better joint-position sense in both the upper limb and the lower limb; improved muscle strength in lower limb muscles; better pelvic floor control; and better ability to carry out mental rotation of objects.”

Chiropractors have long observed a wide variety of changes in the people under their care following adjustments. Along the wide spectrum of claims from those under care are those who say they feel better or focus better and those who notice improvements in movement and coordination. This study takes us a little further down the path of understanding why this could be.

These are important control mechanisms run by the prefrontal cortex. For example, joint position sense is the brain’s ability to know where the arms and legs are in space. And mental rotation is important, because as Haavik explains:

“Being able to accurately perceive the world around you is a vital skill we need all day every day. To recognize some objects you may need to mentally rotate them. For example to recognize the letter p versus b if they were not upright you would need to rotate them in your mind to figure out which letter it was. We all do mentally rotate shapes and objects we see, but we may not often think about that we do it, or how important this is in our daily life.”

Haavik and her team are excited about the evidence regarding the location of changes post-adjustment.

“THIS IS SOLID SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE THAT ADJUSTING THE SPINE CHANGES THE WAY THE PREFRONTAL CORTEX OF THE BRAIN IS PROCESSING INFORMATION FROM THE ARM. IT DEMONSTRATES WE CHANGE THE WAY THE BRAIN WORKS AND SHOWS THAT SPINAL FUNCTION IMPACTS BRAIN FUNCTION. ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT THE CHANGES WE OBSERVED WAS THAT THE PREFRONTAL CORTEX IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BEHAVIOR, GOAL DIRECTED TASKS, DECISION MAKING, MEMORY AND ATTENTION, INTELLIGENCE, PROCESSING OF PAIN AND EMOTIONAL RESPONSE TO IT, AUTONOMIC FUNCTION, MOTOR CONTROL, EYE MOVEMENTS AND SPATIAL AWARENESS.”

If, as this research suggests, adjusting improves prefrontal cortex activity, a part of the brain that is responsible for just so much higher level function, then what does this mean in terms of chiropractic’s impact on things like behavior, decision making, memory and attention, intelligence, processing of pain and emotional response to it, autonomic function, motor control, eye movements and spatial awareness?

We already know that adjustments cause improvements in sensorimotor function relevant to falls-prevention; better joint-position sense in both the upper limb and the lower limb; improve muscle strength in lower limb muscles; better pelvic floor control; and better ability to carry out mental rotation of objects.

Why This Study Matters

Again, this study not only shows that when we adjust subluxations we change brain function. It changes activity by 20% just by adjusting.

And this effect may be on the conductor in the brain.
This shows us that every time we’re adjusting someone, we’re having a big, positive effect on the brain. And a brain that’s functioning differently and conducting its activities better is sure to have an effect on the body.

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Is your Spine ready for Summer?

Is your spine ready for summer?

With summer upon us it is important to remember that as we shake off the winter dust and start to do more outdoor activities and get back into different sports and fun activities, it is important to prepare our bodies and spines before just jumping in head first and going for gold. There are important supporting muscles and ligaments around the spine that if we prepare them first before major activity or loading we can decrease the chance of injury and make sure you stay strong. If these stabilizers are being lazy this can cause the spine to become misaligned (known as subluxation) and this can then cause the body to get pain and stiffness in certain areas, seize up, repair much slower and decay faster. To prevent this from happening there are a couple of things you can do to strengthen these stabilizers. As with any exercises you should always consult a professional before proceeding and if you have any discomfort you should stop immediately and speak to your chiropractor.

There are three specific exercises I would recommend for getting these stabilizers strong:

1. Superman: With this exercise lie on your stomach with your forehead supported by a towel

to relieve and pressure on the neck. Slowly raise your right arm and left leg at the same time off the groundsuperman and hold for three deep breaths. Then lower them down and repeat with the left arm and the right leg.

It’s not about how high you lift the limbs it’s about keeping your whole body still and level as you raise them. Pretend you have a glass of water sitting on your lower back and you don’t want to let any of the water spill. Repeat
5 times.

2. Posterior bridge: Lying on your back, bend your knees, keepithe-bridge-exerciseng your feet on the floor. In that position tighten your buttocks. Slowly raise your buttocks off the floor and keep the pelvis level so there is no rotation left

or right. Hold for 3 deep breaths then slowly lower the buttocks back to the floor. Repeat 5 times.

 

 

3. Side bridge. Start on your side and come up onto your elbow so it is on the floor directly below your shoulder. Bend your knees but keep your body in a straight line. Slowly raise your hips off the floor so you are lifting your body up and resting side_plank2your weight between your arm and your knees.

Hold for 10-15 seconds. Build that up to 1 minute. When you get comfortable with that straighten your legs and come up onto your feet rather than your knees and build up to 1 minute in that position. Do this exercise on both sides.

If you have concerns about the stability of your spine or would like more information about these exercises and how you can get a stronger spine to be doing the things that you love, Say Hello at adminlc@chiropracticcentral.com.au or (02) 9418 9031

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Do you want to Boost your Immune System?

 

Today we came across this fantastic article from Pathways Magazine, just felt we needed to share this with all of our families and friends.
Knowledge is a great thing and e definitely are passionate about using as many natural forms of self healing as possible.
So have a read below at this great article written by Jeanne Ohm, DC, Editor of Pathways Magazine, Issue #10

FEVER: A HEALING RETREAT

I just spent the last several days in bed, with a flu and raging fever. The first day I sulked. Who needs this? The second day I fasted on fruit and water. Temperatures were elevating and there were moments of delirium. I anxiously awaited the pinnacle of letting a fever run its course—the break into a full body sweat. I am a firIMG_9884-1024x789m believer in allowing symptoms to run their course and avoiding suppression with drugs, because that suppression only drives the illness deeper. The flu is a viral overload. The body raises the temperature to the specific degree it needs to be at to address that overload. A healthy system is able to handle these temperature elevations and they are a sign of normal body function. The more toxicity in the body, however, the more difficult the whole process becomes.

By the third day, I was still in the dry heat/chills stage. I was becoming a bit concerned. Where was the sweat? Where was the breaking point? I couldn’t last too much longer with these elevating temperatures. What is the boiling point of human body fluids?

I began to consume ginger root tea by the jarful. Somehow the burning sensation of the ginger was mild compared to the heat of my body. It was soothing to the chills. The flavor, the warmth, the liquid—it was the first drink that my body kept craving. Several, spicy jars later, I intimately experienced visceral effects of ginger. It aided in heat production! My skin temperature reached a level comparable to a hot griddle. And then finally, the glorious sweat came—oceans of it poured out of me. Now I craved water. I was envious of fish. Truly they lived the glorious life. Then I knew to restore my electrolyte balance and I selected miso soup.

Here is my purpose in sharing this. All in all I had four days of what could be considered “an awful illness”. In reality, I was given an opportunity to do a complete cleansing fast, experience what was very comparable to a sweat lodge, to be alone, reflect on old patterns that needed to change – wow—very similar to some of the healing retreats out there all in the comforts of my own home!

The reason why I was hit so hard by this was because my body was in need of a housecleaning. Do you remember Dr. Phil Incao’s article, “Not a Battle but a Housecleaning” (Pathways Issue 6)? In his article he discusses the importance of these “house cleanings” and when we neglect to initiate them on our own, our bodies will do us the service. I had innately known this, and was planning a time of pulling myself “away from it all” and do a major meditative, restorative detox. As life would have it, I kept saying “next week”, “soon”, “after this project”. The wonderful wisdom of my body had a clearer insight into my needs and seized this time as perfect. How fulfilling to allow my body to complete this process without suppressing and hindering it.

This is most important point I want to leave you with: the huge value of allowing an “illness” to run its course without suppressing its symptoms. Reread Dr. Incao’s article. His perspective may be life saving in your ability to turn “illness” into “a healing retreat”. Also, in this issue of Pathways, pay close attention to Dr. Moskowitz’s article. He explains vaccines do not enhance immunity, but through suppression actually hinder normal immune system function. When “choosing to vaccinate or not” our concerns about the thimerosal, the age of the child, the amount of dosages per shot, or selectively choosing shots are minor compared to the effects of irreversibly altering this wonderful mechanism we call the immune system.

Many Blessings,
Jeanne Ohm, DC

– See more at: http://pathwaystofamilywellness.org/Letters-from-the-Editor/a-message-from-our-editor-issue-10.html#sthash.BPH6qxPC.dpuf

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