Chiropractic Care for Veterans

As we honor our Veterans and active military for their service and sacrifices on Monday, those of us in the chiropractic field are actively pursuing ways to try to alleviate the suffering caused by rampant musculoskeletal conditions, traumatic brain injuries, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in our returning troops.

One-in-five, or some 440,000 of the 2.2 million Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans, are still fighting a battle here at home. For combat veterans experiencing the symptoms of PTSD — nightmares, anxiety, depression, flashbacks, hyper-vigilance, and hyper-arousal, and its ripple effects – social isolation, family, job, and economic difficulties, and suicidal thoughts – treatment options may seem out of reach.

Soldiers are also suffering the effects of chronic physical stress. According to a report from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Office of Public health and Occupational Hazards, 42.7 % of veterans who sought VA health care after returning from duty in the Middle East or Southwest Asia were diagnosed with a musculoskeletal condition, making it the most common diagnosis among the subject population.

Factors such as carrying heavy equipment, poor sleeping conditions, extreme temperature changes and the constant threat of attack are primary reasons for musculoskeletal pain and misalignments, and a tax on the nervous system.

Retired Brigadier General Rebecca (Becky) Halstead is an outgoing advocate for military chiropractic care, having benefitted from it herself. She talks about it in this interview.

Chiropractic care can help prepare active duty combat personnel for the extreme physical and mental strain that they endure when deployed, and to help alleviate pain, tension, spinal misalignments and mental and emotional stress upon return, so they can cope more successfully with the challenges of transitioning back to civilian life, and improve their overall quality of life. By reducing pressure on the spine, chiropractic care activates the relaxation response through the parasympathetic nervous system, igniting the body’s own healing mechanisms so the patient may function better on all levels.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) currently provides Chiropractic care at over 40 VA facilities across the US. They do not yet offer the program in Massachusetts. Bills have been introduced in the House and the Senate to require the government to offer chiropractic care at all VA facilities by 2016. For more information on these bills and other information on chiropractic care for military veterans, click here.

Those who are out of reach of a participating VA hospital may join the chiropractic outpatient program, with a referral from their primary care provider and authorization by the department. If you have been denied authorization, click here for more information on how to receive services.

Community Chiropractic is pleased to offer reduced rates for active military and veterans in our Groton, MA office, as part of our commitment to improving the health and quality of life of all members of our community. For more information, please contact our office at 978.448.9355.

View and track the progress of the bills, take action, and share with others:
S.422
H.R. 921
H.R. 741

Giving Thanks

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

One of the original chiropractic teachers talked about the light within us as our Innate Intelligence. He proposed that lack of adaptation to our life stresses — physical, chemical, mental and emotional — block this Intelligence from being expressed. He hoped that chiropractic would be a means for people to express more of their inborn potential or to shine their light. Today we, Dr. Steve and I, give thanks to our many mentors who have helped our lights to shine so that we can bring our very best to you, our community.

May your light shine through today and every day of your life. May you find ways to remove any of the “clouds” that block your light. May you find tools that amplify the gifts that you were innately born with. As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, 2011, Community Chiropractic offers gratitude for our community and our ability to participate and be of service to it.

May all of us be well, happy, and in peace on this day and every day.

About Vitamin D – Part Three

As we wrote about last week, vitamin D is an important ingredient of human nutrition, which is in the form of vitamin D2 and D3. Vitamin D is required by the human body in small quantities; but, a regular intake of the foods containing vitamin D is necessary for good overall health. Because we spend so much more time indoors or blocking sunlight when we are outside, the production of vitamin D in the human skin has reduced drastically.

Foods That Contain Vitamin D

• One of the biggest food sources of vitamin D is the oil that is derived from fish such as Cod. Most of the fish that contain a generous amount of fat prove to be a good source of vitamin D.
• The cod liver oil that is derived from the cod fish, if consumed regularly and periodically proves to be very healthy for the body, especially for the skin.
• Herring also provides a good quantity of vitamin D.
• Some fish become good sources of vitamin D, only when they are cooked. Some of the prominent examples are: Salmon, Mackerel and Eel.
• Canned Sardine and Tuna are also very good sources of vitamin D.
• Some people are always surprised to hear this, but an egg consumed every day also provides the required quantity of vitamin D in the human body.
• Cooked beef, liver and some specific types of mushrooms are also very good vitamin D food sources.
• It is also advisable that if possible, one should stand in the fresh morning sunlight for about 10 to 15 minutes every day, in order to generate natural and adequate quantities of vitamin D in the skin itself.

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!