Written by admin on 28th April, 2015   |   Comments

Written by David R. Hamilton, Ph.D.

Most people assume that positive thinking is just something that we do to help achieve our goals, or even to get through difficult times. But a host of exciting research has shown that attitude affects our health -- so much so, in fact, that a positive attitude can add years to our lives.

Take the following study performed at Carnegie Mellon University, for instance. In the study, each of 193 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55 was given nasal drops containing a cold or flu virus. Participants were also assessed for their emotional style -- whether they tended to experience positive emotions, like happiness, liveliness and calmness, or whether they tended to experience negative emotions, like anxiousness, hostility, and depressive tendencies. Each person's health was then monitored in quarantine.

As the volunteers developed symptoms of infection, all the tissues that they used were collected and weighed so that mucous production could be compared in each individual across the group.
The results were clear. Those who were most positive actually produced less mucous. A positive attitude had a biological impact. Positive people were also found to have fewer overall symptoms. And not everyone got sick, but fewer people who had a positive emotional style got sick than those with a negative emotional style.

But it's not just colds where attitude makes it mark.  A 30-year study of 447 people at the Mayo Clinic found that optimists had around a 50 percent lower risk of early death than pessimists. The study's conclusion? "[M]ind and body are linked and attitude has an impact on the final outcome - death." This was further compounded by a Yale study that asked 660 elderly people whether they agreed that we become less useful as we age. Those who didn't agree, and therefore had the most positive attitude about aging, lived an average of 7.5 years longer than those with the most negative attitudes, who did agree that we become less useful as we age. It was also shown in a Dutch study that examined the attitudes and longevity of 999 people over the age of 65. The study reported a "protective relationship" between optimism and mortality. People with a positive attitude, quite simply, lived longer. They even had a 77 percent lower risk of heart disease than pessimists.

So why do positive people live longer? I imagine that it is because they get less stressed in day-to-day life. When something doesn't quite go to plan, a person with a positive attitude might just deal with it, typically refocus, or even look for another solution. But a person with a negative attitude will typically complain more, get angry or frustrated, and they will expend a lot of energy going over and over in their heads what has happened and how much it is a real inconvenience for them.

Inside the body, the difference between the two people is stress. This is something we all know about. But stress is only part of the equation that describes the physical impact of a negative attitude. Regular stress causes inflammation. Everybody has heard of inflammation. If you cut yourself, the wound becomes red and swollen. That's inflammation, and it plays a key role in wound healing because it helps to draw blood and nutrients to the wound site to facilitate repair.

But inflammation also occurs on the inside of the body. You just don't see it. It is a side effect of too much stress and/or poor lifestyle choices. It has a hand in most known diseases, most typically heart disease. It even speeds up aging, so much so that it has been called a "major ager," which is a phenomenon that ages the body fast. Thus, a negative attitude, because it causes stress and inflammation, can speed up aging. This is likely why positive people live longer.

Positive people don't get stressed as much in day-to-day life, so they produce less inflammation. When stuff doesn't go to plan, they just get over it and get on with life. Less stress means less inflammation, which in turn promotes a longer life. It's a simple formula.

How do we turn our minds to more positive things? Counting blessings is a simple way. Make a list of five to ten things that you are grateful for that have happened in the last 24 hours, and do this every day for a month. Or challenge yourself to go three weeks without complaining, moaning, or criticizing.

Or do you have a tendency to "make mountains out of molehills"? If so, try out the opposite just for a week. Try making molehills out of mountains.

These simple techniques don't sound like much, but if they become a habit, they'll be some of the best habits you've ever adopted, because they might just add years to your life.

Follow David R. Hamilton, Ph.D. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DrDrHamilton

 

Written by admin on 13th April, 2015   |   Comments

Staying active as we get older is so important for our physical and mental health and chiropractic provides a way to keep your spine healthy and flexible, A recent study published in the Spine Journal confirms that chiropractic is beneficial for treating neck pain, a common complaint many of us suffer with especially as we get older.

In this study, researchers looked at 241 patients who were over 65 years old and who suffered from chronic neck pain. The patients were divided into three groups: one group received chiropractic adjustments with home exercises, another group received supervised exercises with additional home exercises, and the third group just did home exercises.

After 12 weeks of treatment, over 60% of chiropractic patients had at least a 75% improvement in pain, compared to approximately 25% of patients in the supervised exercise group, and nearly 20% of the home exercise-only group.
Maiers M, Bronfort G, Evans R, et al. Spinal manipulative therapy and exercise for seniors with chronic neck pain. Spine Journal 2014;14(9):1879-1889.
 

Written by admin on 23rd May, 2014   |   Comments

Many women wear the wrong bra size without even realising it, the main reason being that it is easier to just buy off the peg or over the internet than wrestle around in a small cubicle and getting properly fitted.  BUT, if you knew that wearing the wrong bra size could damage your health you may make the time to find out what your true bra size is.

Wearing the wrong bra size can lead to a variety of problems from back pain, neck pain, restricted breathing and poor posture as you tend to slouch over. Hunched shoulders is a common postural issue for busty women as a direct result of them physically trying to hide their breasts.  If you have rounded shoulders then your straps can’t lie flat against your chest causing your bra to stand away from your body and your breasts to bounce up and down in the cups.  Most busty ladies opt for a smaller sized bra which may look more attractive than a ’granny-bra’ but this actually causes more problems long term and can cause unnecessary attention.

Wearing the right sized bra is important for your physical and emotional health – the way you feel about your bust is apparent in your posture, embrace your shape and stand with your shoulders back.
If you think your bra doesn’t fit properly get fitted today!

Visit your chiropractor today for a postural screening, they can also offer great advice on postural exercises

 

Written by admin on 9th May, 2014   |   Comments

Subluxations may occur when vertebrae in the spine are misaligned or move out of place.

It goes by different names: Subluxation, Vertebral Subluxation, Vertebral Subluxation Complex or simply Nerve Interference. Regardless of its name, it’s probably new to you. Turns out, chiropractors are the only registered professionals who know how to detect and reduce it. But what exactly is it?

Subluxations occur when spinal vertebrae lose their normal motion or position. This can irritate nearby nerves that pass out from the spinal column to organs and tissues of your body.

Because nerves carry messages between your brain and your body, controlling and regulating everything, subluxations are very important!

There are three main causes:

Physical causes, such as a car accident, a slip or fall, a sports injury, repetitive movements, improper lifting, inadequate sleep and bad posture.

Emotional causes, such as grief over the death of a loved one, anger and other negative emotions that affect muscle tone can produce a burden on your body.

Chemical causes, that may result from poor nutrition, smoking, alcohol and substance abuse and toxins in your external environment, food and water.

Chiropractors receive special training to adjust the spine, which is designed to help reduce the nerve interference and allow the body to function more normally. Longstanding subluxations can produce unhelpful muscle patterns that may require a series of frequent visits to strengthen and retrain.

The biggest problem with subluxations is the fact that you often don’t even know that you have them!

Regular chiropractic checkups, even without obvious symptoms, can keep your nervous system in tip-top working order; much the same as receiving regular dental care keeps your teeth and gums healthy. If you have any questions about subluxations or the effects that they can have on your health, please be sure to ask at your next visit.

Reprinted with kind Permission Perfect Patients

Written by admin on 9th May, 2014   |   Comments

 Stretch your muscles instead of stretching to reach the sugary snacks!

It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon and you’ve been sitting at your desk all day. You debate running to get yet another cup of coffee to stay alert, because what you really want to do is curl up in the corner of your cubicle and take a nap! This is the time to do some “desk stretches” to revive your energy. Without the caffeine

We often find ourselves sitting tense at our desks in front of a computer monitor for hours. Our wrists start to hurt, our necks get sore, we slump over in our chairs and our shoulders and upper backs feel tight.

Here are some stretches to do at your desk to reduce tension. Try them now:

Shoulder Stretch - Lift your shoulders up to your ears until you feel aslighttension in your neck and shoulders. Hold for 3-5 seconds and relax shoulders. Do this 2-3 times at first sign of shoulder or neck tension.

Neck Stretch - Tilt your head to one side, trying to touch your ear to your shoulder. Hold the stretch for 10-20 seconds and then return to normal. Repeat the stretch on the other side.

Spine Stretch - Raise arms over head. Stretch your right hand to the ceiling and hold for 3-5 seconds, while you exhale. Relax. Repeat with the left hand.

Lower Back Stretch - Place your hands on the edge of your desk and roll your chair back. Lower your head between your outstretched arms and arch your back while you exhale. Inhale, raise your head and arch your back in the other direction.

Do these exercises whenever you first notice the tension or stress from impending deadlines or long periods of sitting. While they’ll never take the place of your chiropractic adjustments, they’ll help keep you alert without resorting to caffeine or a sugar fix.

Reprinted with kind Permission Perfect Patients

Written by admin on 9th May, 2014   |   Comments

The Art of Lifting For healthy lifting, lift with your legs, keep the load close to your body and get help.

One of the best ways to keep your back pain-free, and one that all too many people overlook, is the fine art of proper lifting.

Think about how you lift a heavy object, for example, a box filled with books. Do you just bend over from the waist to lift it? If so, you are putting yourself at serious risk for pain and damage.

Here are the steps required for proper lifting:

1. Sizing up the situation– Do you know where you’re going? Do you know the weight of the object to be lifted? Do you have a clear path from Point A to Point B? Do you need a partner to help you, based on the weight and/ or shape of the object to be lifted? Get the “lay of the land” before you begin.

2. Keep it close– When lifting any object, it’s best to carry it close to your body, rather than holding it out in front of you with your arms extended. This keeps you, and the object you are lifting, more balanced

3. Spread your feet shoulder-width apart– Again, this makes it easier for you to stay balanced and provides the firm foundation and footing needed to maneuver an object safely.

4. Bend at the knees– This is critical. When getting ready to actually lift an object, bend at the knees and keep your back straight. The same holds for putting the object back down.

5. Tighten up those abs– Holding your stomach muscles tight helps transfer some of the load from your back.

6. Make your legs do the work – Your legs have some very strong muscles – use them to help you lift an object. This also helps prevent too much stress on your back.

7. Give yourself a break– If heavy lifting is a regular part of your job, take frequent breaks. The muscles in your arms and legs get tired, and when they do, you are at greater risk for injury. Master the art of proper lifting and you will be doing your back a huge favor. However, as with any activity, if you strain your back or feel pain, call us right away to schedule an appointment for a thorough chiropractic examination and necessary care. Waiting usually lengthens the healing process and rarely makes a painful situation better.

Reprinted with kind Permission Perfect Patients

Written by admin on 9th May, 2014   |   Comments

By Tom Swingewood (Doctor of Chiropractic)

What do Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Usain Bolt and David Beckham all have in common?

They all used Chiropractors to get the best out of their bodies.

These athletes obviously are not going to see their chiropractor for “a bad back” - they are going to get that extra few percent out of their bodies.

A fully working spine enables the athlete to: 

  • Move better through their full range of motion Tom Brady- “[Chiropractic] just makes you feel so much better,” he adds. “When I walk out of [the clinic], I feel like I’m about three inches taller and everything’s in place. And as long as I see the chiropractor, I feel like I’m one step ahead of the game.”
  • Helps prevent a wide variety of injury, A Randomized controlled trial (RCT) 2010 examining semi elite Aussie Rules Footballers- When chiropractic care was added to conventional management, there was a significant reduction in lower limb strain injuries, time missed as a result of knee injuries, lower low back pain, and there was improvement in health status. “In addition, although not statistically significant, there was a trend towards prevention of hamstring and primary non-contact knee injuries and there were no reported adverse outcomes from the intervention.”
  • Strengthens even top level athletes, A study into grip strength on national level athletes 2011- “study suggests that the grip strength of national level judo athletes receiving chiropractic SMT improved compared to those receiving sham.”
  • Improving performance, Tiger Woods – "I’ve been going to a Chiropractor for as long as I can remember. It is as important to my training as the practice of my swing."

Chiropractic is an important part of elite athlete performance and injury prevention. The benefits seen with chiropractic are not exclusive to the top sportsmen and women however, patients under chiropractic care will likely experience changes to their fitness and strength as their biomechanics improve.

A teenager will consider “a good level of fitness” a very different thing to someone in their 90’s but the fundamentals remain the same. Fitness has many definitions but a good definition that I have lived by is having the strength and energy to do what you wish to do day to day with minimal effort. This means that fitness is a unique and personal thing; please do not be dismayed by another’s achievements - their bodies and goals will be completely different to yours.

It is better to ask yourself; what do I want to be able to achieve? What do I enjoy doing (e.g. gardening, etc.) but find strenuous? What can I do now with no effort but would still like to do in the future? We find that some patients in later years struggle to get in or out of a bath, or other activities which are sometimes taken for granted. The answers to these questions are bespoke to the individual and so the strength and fitness requirements are also unique. Thankfully most people know the phrase, “if you don’t use it you lose it”. Often people will try to achieve something, move a cabinet or walk up a hill, and exclaim that it was difficult or they couldn’t do it. Often they haven’t done that activity or similar in quite some time. Usually this strength and stamina can be regained but it will take time.

Written by admin on 9th May, 2014   |   Comments

Arthritis comes in over 100 varieties, but it doesn’t have to strike you!

As we age, many of us start to feel pain in certain joints, particularly in the hands, hips, knees, feet and spine. This seems especially common in women. A doctor might make the broad diagnosis of arthritis, an inflammation of the joint that causes pain and stiffness, but do you know that there are at least 100 different types of arthritis that fall under this very broad umbrella?

The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which occurs when the cartilage between the bones in the joint breaks down, causing pain as the bones grind against one another. Typical causes are aging, repetitive use, being overweight and a family history of the disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder of the joints that usually begins between the ages of 30 – 50, is also quite common. Symptoms that include swelling, redness and a feeling of warmth usually begin in the small joints of the fingers, wrists and feet. More common in women than men, this condition can be very disabling, affecting one’s ability to work and lead a normal life.

Other common types of arthritis include gout, lupus, fibromyalgia, Scleroderma and carpal tunnel syndrome. Depending on the type and severity of the condition, physical therapy and different combinations of drugs may be prescribed to relieve pain and reduce swelling.

Can Chiropractic Help Your Joint Pain?

Chiropractic care may be helpful in reducing pain and lack of mobility in those who already have the condition. How? When a person has arthritis, pain keeps them from moving. Lack of movement reduces the use of the joint and decreases range of motion, which makes the condition worse.

Chiropractic adjustments may help to increase mobility in the joints, causing more movement and a reduction in pain. They also may help slow down the progression of the arthritic condition.

Chiropractic care may also help prevent arthritic conditions because it encourages specific behaviors and habits that contribute to an overall healthy lifestyle, such as diet, proper weight maintenance and exercise.

In addition, chiropractic adjustments help to keep the spine properly aligned and the nervous system, which controls the immune system, functioning optimally

Reprinted with kind Permission Perfect Patients

Written by admin on 31st January, 2014   |   Comments

Many of us set New Year Health resolutions but struggle to keep them – Why is that you ask?

The resolutions you set are often unrealistic or you are not truly committed to change. If you were why wouldn’t you make these changes today?

Forget the New Year’s Resolutions you have made and broken and set a goal today to make a lifestyle change for a more healthier you. It is important for that any goal you set is SMART for it to be successful.

To start with stick with one goal at a time, master it, continue with it and move onto the next. It is best to start with the one that’s easiest so that you can be successful.
Things such as what we eat, how we exercise, how much rest we get, our posture and what stress we carry around are all factors to consider when making lifestyle changes for better health.

Below are some Examples when setting your SMART Health Goals

Diet :

  • SDrink more Water and Avoid any Fizzy Drinks
  • MThis is easy enough to measure
  • AYou have the ability to do this
  • RThis is relevant to your goal of a healthier diet and you can do this without any major hurdles
  • TSet a time frame of a week initially

Exercise:

  • S Take the stairs instead of the lift or Elevator at work or out shopping
  • MEasy enough to Measure that you have done it
  • AYou have the ability to do this and it is easy enough to incorporate into your daily life
  • RRelevant to your goal of a healthier lifestyle
  • TSet an initial timeframe of a week but you will probably find that you will make this change continuously.

Posture

  • SSitting Posture, pull up out of your spine and your shoulders should be back and down
  • MYou should be able to notice a difference
  • AEveryone has the ability to do this
  • RImproving posture is relevant to your main health goal
  • TThis is a goal that could be open-ended as it may be difficult initially to remember to change your sitting position from a slouch position that you had previously been used to.

“The groundwork for all happiness is good health.”

Written by admin on 18th December, 2013   |   Comments

Most people have a tendency to plop down on the floor with boxes, paper, ribbons, scissors and tape spread all around them and go on a wrapping frenzy. This can cause you to hunch over, sit at an awkward angle or suddenly stretch for an out-of-reach ribbon, leading to tension and strain in the neck and the shoulders leaving you stiff and sore.

We recommend that you should sit in a chair at a table, pull up out of your spine making yourself straight and tall, rolling your shoulders back rather than hunched over. Keep all your materials within easy reach to avoid any awkward stretches.

Visit your local UCA chiropractor as they can also help to ease aches and pains caused by stress and over-doing the Christmas shopping – they’ll have advice, too, on staying healthy and well over the festive period.

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