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.

image-23

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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Pubic Pain in Pregnancy

This week I thought I would touch on a subject that I have only very recently encountered.. With being pregnant, sometimes you feel like your body is still the same as before you were pregnant. It is not until something happens and you get some severe pain that you know your body is changing dramatically.

This happened to me a short while ago with the gym, doing my usual routine, it wasn’t until I got home a relaxed and sat in a strange position that it all fell apart. As I tried to stand up and walk my pubic bone had separated and twisted, due to my expanding muscles a changes in the “Relaxin” hormone changing those muscles.

This is called Symphosis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD). Pubic Dysfunction in pregnancy happens because of the hormone “Relaxin” that causes the muscles to soften in the pelvic area to help get the uterus ready for the baby to move down through the birth canal. Relaxin starts coming into play from about 12 weeks, so anytime from here it is important to be careful of those ever softening muscles.

The Symphysis pubis plays a huge part in holding the pelvis steady during activity, so you can imagine the pain you can suffer when that is not aligned properly (whilst also carrying a very heavy load).

Some of the symptoms that can come with this condition vary from women to women. The pain may just stay in one place at the front of the pelvis, in other cases it can move from different areas in your pelvis.

  • Pain over the front joint
  • Pain described as deep bruising, burning or stabbing
  • Tender to touch
  • Lower back pain, especially in sacro area
  • Hip, groin and lower abdominal pain
  • Reduced hip range of motion
  • Radiating pain to inner thigh
  • Waddling/shuffling gait
  • Increased pubic pain on normal activity eg. walking, parting and lifting legs
  • Audible clicking/grinding sound coming from the pelvis (at the symphysis joint)
  • Bladder dysfunction (temporary incontinence with changes in position)

Chiropractors often hear from their patients that they have difficulty rolling over in bed, going up or down stairs, getting in or out of the car, bending over to put clothes on, lifting legs, getting in and out of the bath.

Getting Treatment:

As I have had this problem during my pregnancy the help of Chiropractor has been evidently beneficial.

The majority of women who receive Chiropractic treatment for SPD, will experience a positive response. Chiropractic aims to address the root cause of the problem. It is recommended that you start getting treatment early on to prevent the the problem from becoming more severe later in your pregnancy.

Treatment may involve:

  • Work on the soft tissues
  • Ligament release techniques
  • blocking techniques (using a wedge shaped blocks placed under pelvis to relieve pressure)
  • Activator techniques
  • Webster’s Technique
  • Exercise advice
  • recommendation of a pelvic joint stability belt

Some self help techniques for at home may be:

  • Resting
  • Using a body pillow between legs whilst lying on side in bed
  • Not sitting with your legs crossed
  • Keeping legs symmetrical when moving and sitting
  • Avoid lifting, twisting, prolonged standing, vacuuming
  • Avoid straddling or squatting
  • Move both legs whilst getting out of car, do not separate
  • Avoid breaststroke

Your Chiropractor can advise more techniques to help after they have assessed your case.

pelvis-symphysis-pubis

For more information or to book an appointment give us a call on (02) 9418 9031 or visit our website http://www.chiropracticcentral.com.au

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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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Spinal Health Week 2016

As 2016 is progressing, we are also coming up to 2016 Spinal Health Week. This years theme is Back you Inner Athlete. Leading up to the Rio Olympics this year, we are wanting Back-Your-Inner-Athleteto inspire people to release your own inner athlete. You don’t need to be world class athlete to release your inner potential. There are so many ways you can be doing this yourself and we want to help!

Over this month we will be celebrating in our office, as well as doing Spinal Screens in our local gyms and events within our community. We would like all of our Chiropractic Community to get involved and get your family and friends to come in and check out what Chiropractic has to offer.

Studies have found that Chiropractic and Exercise work hand in hand together, and by getting adjusted helps recovery time from strenuous exercise. We also know that adjusting subluxations removes interference to blocked nerves, which in turns helps our body function at a higher level. And doesn’t everyone want their body to working at optimum?

In this day and age we are moving less, eating more and creating much more disease in our bodies. Luckily we are slowly waking up to these scary statistics and starting to do something about it. By changing what we eat and the way we eat, getting into better exercise routines and researching self care to look after our own bodies so we can prevent disease rather than working with symptoms of diseases we have created.

We are urging our local community to do this and get experienced in your own health and wellness. Visit your local Chiropractor to learn more about the health of your spine and awareness of your body. These are the first steps forward into a world where you take control. Nobody else is going to do this for you.

 

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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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