Stay Healthy and Balanced During this Season

As the seasons change and the holidays approach, it seems that many of us get slowed down by colds and flus.

Here are some simple tips to avoid this pitfall and maximize your performance during this season.

Nourish Yourself

Eat foods that are warming, fresh, and well cooked; avoid dry or uncooked foods (especially salads and raw fruits and vegetables).

Drink lots of warming liquids such as hot water and herbal teas to prevent dehydration. You can prepare a fresh ginger tea by placing a teaspoon of fresh grated ginger into a pint thermos bottle and filling it with hot water.

Don’t worry if your appetite seems stronger than usual as this is a natural tendency in winter. At the same time, of course, don’t eat to the point of discomfort.

Nourish Your Senses

Stay warm. Give yourself slow, gentle self-massage in the morning or before bed. Use a nourishing, warming oil such as sesame or almond.

Put a pleasantly scented herb plant, such as lavender or rosemary, on your table. As the days get darker and we come indoors more, it can soothe your senses to bring some outdoors in.

Sleep and Restful Awareness

Get enough sleep!

Learn to meditate. Life speeds up during this time so make sure you give yourself a time out and plan some quiet time, even if only for 5-10 minutes. Take time and recharge your system.

Too Much Sitting

We have become a society of sitters. We sit in our cars, at our computers, on planes and in front of tv. Prolonged periods of sitting can have an adverse affect on your spinal health.
Here are some tips to help:

  • Invest in an ergonomic chair.
  • Make sitting up straight important to you.
  • Set a periodic timer and shift your weight regularly.
  • Use a stool or phone book for your feet to relive low back pressure.
  • Get up as often as possible.
  • Set up your work station with you facing straight ahead with your head slightly down.
  • Know that this is one of the strains you are placing on your spine and make sure to give back to your body with movement, stretching, massage and your wonderful chiropractors!

    Backpack Safety: Fill it Light, Fill it Right, Wear it Right!

    For the past month, we’ve been spreading the backpack safety message far and wide. The first day of school in our town is tomorrow, and I already know that unfortunately, in the months ahead, I will see kids in my office for back pain and postural issues that might have been avoided had they learned the right way to pack and wear a backpack.

    It seems our kids are carrying more and more weight in their packs, as they set off for the school day with books, gym clothes, and gear for sports and extracurricular activities. Did you know that your backpack should weigh no more than 15% of your body weight? For a 60 lb elementary school student, that is a mere 9 lbs.

    I recommend asking your chiropractor for a backpack screening. We offer free screenings every year for our patients and the general public. A screening involves weighing a backpack (filled as you would fill it for a typical school day), checking the pack for safety (Are the shoulder straps wide enough? Is the pack too big?) and teaching your child how to pack it so weight is distributed properly.

    We are offering free screenings on Thursday, September 8 between 2 and 6 pm at our office at 300 Main Street, Groton, MA. Please call us at 978.448.9355 for the opportunity to prevent spinal problems before they start!

    Watch Dr. Steve on Around Town, talking backpack safety!

    Super Foods

    My grandmother, who is 100 years old as of this writing, raised me to believe that the only superfood in the world is PASTA. I have learned over the years that one of the keys to her longevity was not that she ate pasta all day but rather that she COOKED pasta, bread, pizza and cookies all day. She was always cooking and serving, as were several of my other successfully elder aunts. She ate very little and sat very little.

    I only realized this in my forties when I started spending one on one time with her. She nibbles and grazes but LOVES to share with others. I have often thought that our obsession with health food seemed off kilter with the fact that some many people in the world have NO food never mind “bad” food.

    Food, in our culture, as in my grandmother’s world, is often associated with pleasure and comfort. But it is important to not always let our taste buds lead the way as food is fuel. And often when we make food choices, we are actually ROBBING our body of fuel rather than adding to it.

    Because our soils are depleted and factories are processing our foods more often than the earth, we may be depleted in the nutrients our bodies crave. If you feel that you would like your body to heal more quickly, or function at a higher level, consider adding one or more of the following foods in this link.

    http://www.oprah.com/health/Dr-Perricones-10-Superfoods

    Some great reading on this topic is:

    http://www.amazon.com/Omnivores-Dilemma-Natural-History-Meals/dp/1594200823

    http://www.amazon.com/Animal-Vegetable-Miracle-Year-Food/dp/0060852550/ref=pd_sim_b_8

    http://www.amazon.com/Nourishing-Traditions-Challenges-Politically-Dictocrats/dp/0967089735/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1306248417&sr=1-2-spell

    Nourish yourself and give your body what it needs to function optimally and heal faster!

    Your Body is smaaaaaaaahhht

    When I was pregnant with my oldest son, Jackson, I went to the Martin Luther King memorial where they had a statue of a man holding his baby up to the sky with an inscription below that read: “behold the only thing greater than you.” This seemed like an amazing message to give to a child, reminding them that they are powerful and great just the way they are. I thought about the baby inside me and hoped to be able to instill a visceral sense of this in him. In the years that followed, I saw the children that he was surrounded by who stood in line in preschool to receive their medications. I knew deeply that NOONE would look at a baby and think to make it healthier by adding prescription strength chemicals. And yet, i was surrounded by a culture that seemed to deem this a good idea. (Know that I understand that in very rare cases, these prescription chemicals save lives but it is very rare that it is NECESSARY).

    In our country we are acting as if health comes in a pill , or a surgery. We are always trying to buy more time to abuse and neglect ourselves. We overlook the POWER that lies within and in JUST seeing it, we can enhance it. A teacher who sees the Potential in their student amplifies that potential just through their vision. I am encouraging you to read through these following facts with respect and appreciation for your body REGARDLESS of how you may currently be annoyed by its appearance or seeming lack of performance. By truly seeing the incredible potential of your body, you will change your own physiological performance.

    Two cells came together to form you.
    They divided only 50 times and created 100 trillion cells. That is more than the number of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy.
    You came complete with 100 Billion Brain Neurons that can send impulses at lightening speed to every cell, tissue, organ and system in your body.
    You came complete with a very sophisticated nerve system that stretches for miles and stores over 100 Trillion bits of information.
    Your body Produces 8 Million new red blood cells every second.
    100,000 genes with more than 50% designated to the structure and function of your nervous system!
    You are made up of 60 trillion cells.
    You have 600 muscles & 206 bones.
    Red Blood Cell’s live approximately 120 days and make 300,000 trips through the blood stream; that’s almost 2 trips per minute!
    If all of your blood vessels were placed end to end, they would stretch around the world 12 times!
    The heart weighs less than one pound and yet beats approximately 40 million times per year.
    The heart pumps 2.5 gallons per minute or 1,314,000 gallons per year.
    The energy output of the heartbeat in a 24 hour period alone is enough to raise three fully-loaded Greyhound buses off the ground.
    The lungs use about 90 gallons of pure oxygen per day.
    Because of the alveoli (tiny projections in the lungs), the surface area of the lungs is approximately 40-60 miles.
    We take approximately 9 million breaths per year
    Our lungs pump approximately 2 gallons of air per minute while at rest and approximately 26 gallons of air per minute while exercising.
    Stomach acid (hydrochloric acid) is so strong, that one drop of it on the skin will leave a painful blister, but the stomach is left unharmed.
    The stomach produces 2.5 quarts of acid per day
    Over the course of a 70 year life span, the stomach will have produced 60,000 quarts of acid to help digest 40 tons of food
    Nerves transmit their signals at 300 m.p.h.
    There are 100 billion neurons (nerve cells) in your body. If you were going to count all 100 billion cells at the rate of 1 per second, it would take 3,171 year.
    Light pressure on a spinal nerve root can lessen your nerve transmission as much as 40%. This can negatively affect any part of your health.

    Your amazing body will have the chance to be more ALIVE, more fully functioning if you keep your nerve system healthy!