Get Healthy this Spring Part 2: Nerve Supply is the Key to Optimal Health.

Last week we introduced the Five Pillars of Health: sleep, nutrition, exercise, positive mental attitude and proper nerve supply.

What do we mean when we talk about nerve supply, and how is it important to achieving optimal health?

Imagine wrapping a rubber band around your wrist. Make sure it is tight. You may feel a tingling sensation, as the blood supply to the hand begins to be impaired. Your fingers may start to turn blue and numb as they do not receive what they need to function properly.

What would you do to restore your hand to health? Bandage it up? Take a pain reliever? Or have it surgically removed? Massage it? Apply a tens unit?

Although all of these may feel nice and maybe help in the short term for symptom alleviation, they will not remove the pressure or blockage that is causing your finger to be less ALIVE. Anyone looking at this problem would obviously remove the rubber band, which is putting pressure on your circulatory system and reducing your hand’s ability to function.

When you receive a chiropractic adjustment, your chiropractic doctor is working to remove pressure from your spine, by finding misalignments, or subluxations, in your spine. When you are experiencing subluxations, the misaligned vertebrae (or bones of the spine) are putting pressure on your spinal cord, or the peripheral nerves, which are the super highways for communication in your nervous system.

Depending upon where these subluxations are, they are affecting some of the many different nerves that bring signals from the brain and spinal cord into all the different organs and systems of your body.

Subluxations create a nerve flow “traffic jam” in the nerves that are affected. Guess what happens next? The organs and systems that these nerves feed cannot function at their optimal level.

Here is a simple graphic to demonstrate how nerve flow affects different organs.

So, when you come in because your back, neck, hips, or anything else hurts, the first thing we look at is where these subluxations are, and adjust you to take the pressure off.

Many times, not only does range of motion in those areas increase and pain decrease, but enhanced flow to the organs in that area increases, meaning improved sleep, improved digestion, lower blood pressure, increased immune system function, and more.

By getting adjusted, you’re not only improving the way your body FEELS, you’re improving the way your body HEALS.
Want to learn more about ways YOU can help keep your spine healthy? We give free Spinal Self-Care Workshops for the public every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month! Next one: Monday, April 14. Call 978.448.9355 to register, and feel free to bring a friend!

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

Are There Drugs in Your Water Supply? Chiropractic is a Drug Free Option for You and the Environment.

Recently, our town and surrounding towns held prescription drug drop-offs for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. People were able to drop off old prescription drugs at our local Police Department, no questions asked. We applaud the town, and all who participated!

There is ample evidence that pharmaceuticals are present in our water supply, and may cause environmental harm, and harm to humans and wildlife. Just a few weeks ago, a local lake and pond tested positive for pharmaceutical residues including tranquilizers, nicotine, insect repellent, pain relievers and anti-seizure medications. Findings suggested these may have entered the water supply by swimmers, showering, or flushing pills down the toilet. It is also important to consider that any drugs we put into our bodies are later excreted, and may also end up in our ground water and water supply. A story reported on NBC News five years ago highlighted this already widespread problem, and suggested that there may, indeed, be ill effects of waterborne pharmaceutical residues on humans and wildlife. A 2001 study of pharmaceutical levels in water in Lake Mead, Nevada, also revealed that “many of these compounds can bioaccumulate and may adversely affect aquatic organisms by disrupting physiological processes, impairing reproductive functions, increasing cancer rates, contributing to the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, and acting in undesirable ways when mixed with other substances.

We encourage you to consider drug-free options as much as possible. Clearly, pharmaceuticals are necessary and life-saving in some cases, though there are alternatives when it comes to pain and many other conditions. Chiropractic care has been proven to work better on issues like neck pain than medications, as evidenced in a 2012 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and widely reported in the media. It showed that chiropractic adjustments (or spinal manipulation) and exercise were more effective than medication in the treatment of acute and chronic neck pain. See the ABC News Report below:

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We know that it is not always possible to go off of medications, but we do know, from experience, that many people are able to reduce or eliminate some – or even avoid them altogether — when offered an alternative like chiropractic care. In this light, we hope, if possible, that we can all work to lighten the toxic load in our environment, and in our bodies, by considering drug-free options.

Your Nerve System and Chiropractic

Like the conductor of an orchestra, your nerve system ‘orchestrates’ virtually all of the functions of your body.

When an individual cell of your body or an entire system loses guidance from your nerve system, all bets are off. The drummer has the wrong beat, the woodwinds are playing too loudly, and the brass section is playing the wrong song!

That’s why we are interested in your symptoms, but we’re focused on the integrity of your nerve system.

There a difference between what you hear in the warm-up and the concert for an orchestra. Even though each musician is playing amazing things during the warm-up, it is dis-organized and sounds like a mess. Without organization, there is no harmony. But then the conductor steps up to the podium and begins organizing the musicians; directing them in a cooperative and purposeful manner that brings about harmony.

Your Life Energy is the ORGANIZER of all of the different parts of your body; the conductor if you will.

It uses your brain and nerve system as tools to coordinate and ORGANIZE all of your parts to work together harmoniously and bring about health and happiness. It requires a clear CONNECTION between your brain and your body. And, because of the intimate CONNECTION between your spine and your nerve system, you must also maintain a properly aligned and fully functioning spine in order to maintain your clear neurological CONNECTION, and that is what chiropractic care is really all about!

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!