Dark Chocolate to Lower Blood Pressure

There may be some truth to it, as suggested by a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The authors of “Effect of Cocoa and Tea Intake on Blood Pressure” (2007) report that their “meta-analysis study showed that the cocoa diets reduced systolic blood pressure by 4.7 mm Hg, and reduced diastolic blood pressure by 2.8 mm Hg. This magnitude of reduction in blood pressure is considered to be ‘statistically significant.’”

Although the authors note that “an increased consumption of fruits and vegetables is recommended as a first-line therapeutic approach in current hypertension control guidelines,” they also conclude that “current randomized dietary studies indicate that consumption of foods rich in cocoa may reduce blood pressure, while tea intake appears to have no effect.”

Yummy. Bon Apetit!

Is Your Laptop Making You Lean?

Often when we do spinal exams on new patients, we find that their heads are leaning forward in front of their bodies. Your head weighs about 11 lbs, similar to the weight of a bowling ball. Imagine trying to walk around all day carrying a bowling ball about six inches in front of you. This would take a lot more effort than carrying the bowling ball right next to your body.

Forward Head Syndrome was commonly seen in older people. However, with the widespread use of laptop computers, extended sitting, handheld video games and smart phones, we are seeing more and more patients who are beginning to show symptoms at much younger ages. Forward Head Syndrome effects much more than just posture. Dr Rene Caillet, a Medical doctor at The University of Southern California, wrote about the following effects of Forward Head Syndrome in his book, “Rejuvenation Strategy.” You might be surprised to learn how many bodily functions are affected:

1. Incorrect head positioning leads to improper spinal function.

2. The head in forward posture can add up to 30 pounds of abnormal leverage on the cervical spine.

3. Forward head posture results in loss of vital lung capacity. In fact, lung capacity is depleted by as much as 30 percent. Loss of lung capacity leads to heart and blood vascular problems.

4. The entire gastrointestinal system is affected, particularly the large intestine. Loss of good bowel peristaltic function and evacuation is a common condition that comes with forward head posture and loss of spinal lordotic curves.

5. Forward head posture causes an increase in discomfort and pain. Freedom of motion in the first four cervical vertebrae is a major source of stimuli that causes production of endorphins in production many otherwise non-painful sensations are experienced as pain.

6. Forward head posture causes loss of healthy spine-body motion. The entire body becomes rigid as the range of motion lessens. Soon, one becomes hunched.
Forward Head Syndrome can be prevented and corrected by using technology properly and in moderation, getting regular chiropractic adjustments, and doing a simple exercise to help maintain your natural cervical (neck) curve.

Use a desktop computer at a proper height as much as possible. Laptops should be reserved for occasional offsite use if possible. If you use a laptop as your primary computer, shop around for a good laptop base that props it up on a table, so the screen is closer to eye height and your head and neck can remain upright. Do not use a laptop on your lap. No matter what kind of computer you use, get up and stretch at least once every hour.

Limit the amount of time spent playing with handheld video games. This is especially important for young children whose spines are still developing! Also be conscious of the time spent using your smart phone to browse the web or text. Think about how often you are looking down while engaging in these activities.

Try this simple exercise to help restore the natural curve of your neck:
Lay on your back and put a rolled up towel beneath your neck. In the beginning of doing this exercise, use a hand towel rolled up to the size of a lemon. Rest your head back over the towel and allow it to rest there for up to five minutes. Over time you can increase the thickness of the towel and the length of time you hold the position. This exercise is most effective when done consistently over a period of a year.

If you or one of your loved ones clearly has a forward leaning head, get adjusted soon. Adjustments and a simple accompanying exercise can create a tremendous change in your spine and overall health and wellbeing!

What Was Your Most Powerful Healing Experience?

Each week at the Community Chiropractic we have the honor of witnessing people heal and transform at the level of mind, body, and soul. For some, healing takes the form of emotional release, as they let go of painful memories and beliefs and realize that they deserve to be happy.  Others experience relief from physical pain and chronic illness as they learn new ways to nurture their body and restore their balance.  For many people, healing comes from connecting to their deepest spiritual selves.

No matter what form healing takes, it always has a ripple effect. When people from our practice go home, we know that their families, co-workers, friends, and everyone with whom they connect will also be affected by the gifts of healing and transformation, in ways small and large.

In order to share the healing ripple effect, today we invite you  to post your own most powerful healing experience. Your words may be just what someone else needs to hear to encourage them on their own healing path.

+Part Three: Injuries –Think RICE

Use the RICE method to relieve pain and inflammation and speed healing. Follow these four steps immediately after injury and continue for at least 48 hours.

  • Rest. Reduce regular exercise or activities of daily living as needed. If you cannot put weight on an ankle or knee, crutches may help. If you use a cane or one crutch for an ankle injury, use it on the uninjured side to help you lean away and relieve weight on the injured ankle.
  • Ice. Apply an ice pack to the injured area for 20 minutes at a time, four to eight times a day. A cold pack, ice bag, or plastic bag filled with crushed ice and wrapped in a towel can be used. To avoid cold injury and frostbite, do not apply the ice for more than 20 minutes. (Note: Do not use heat immediately after an injury. This tends to increase internal bleeding or swelling. Heat can be used later on to relieve muscle tension and promote relaxation.)
  • Compression. Compression of the injured area may help reduce swelling. Compression can be achieved with elastic wraps, special boots, air casts, and splints. Ask your health care provider for advice on which one to use.
  • Elevation. If possible, keep the injured ankle, knee, elbow, or wrist elevated on pillow, above the level of the heart, to help decrease swelling.

If your child got significantly jolted, banged or especially, if they had a compressive or loading injury to the head or spine, it is a good idea to get their spine checked for any possible misalignments.

+Part Two: Coaches, Chillax!

I love the phrase, “Chillax!”  My son, Jackson, first introduced it to me when I was resorting to some desperate attempt to bring order to our home by alphabetizing the food in the cupboard.  This phrase bounced me out of my intensity.  I think it might help our coaches sometimes.  First, let me thank the men and women who volunteer their time and bring their passion and commitment to the fields and courts that our children come together on.

My husband, Dr. Steve, (people ask me if I call him Dr. Steve at dinner and I answer, “No, then I call him Your Highness.”) has participated in the coaching system for years and I see what a commitment it is and appreciate these coaches greatly.  I also want to encourage all of them, including my husband, to recognize that they have a responsibility to the safety of these children.  They can make a huge difference in the sustainability of the athletes in their tutelage.  I actually value winning a lot and can appreciate the zealousness which some coaches approach the courts and fields.  I also have the “mom ability” to redefine what winning means.

A winning coach teaches children the importance of team, of being decent to other players regardless of team.   A winning coach teaches gentle firm discipline and bringing your best forward.

These children are growing habits now and are watching us all as leaders.  Encourage them to listen to their bodies.  Do varied warm-ups and strengthening.  Make them listen to their young and developing bodies.  They are scared to admit injuries and weaknesses for fear of being ridiculed, dismissed or worse (in their minds) -not allowed to play.  At this stage of their athletic development, they NEED to learn to tape, stretch and strengthen.  They need advice and guidance on creating sustainability and peak performance that comes from listening and respecting their bodies.  Help them, coaches.  Make winning not just about this short time, this little season, but about a long life of learning and respect that goes beyond the playing fields and into the fields of their future companies and families.

Coaches: want more info on strengthening, lengthening and taping young athletes? Call our office and we will help you!