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What IS Chiropractic?

Let’s take a refresher look at chiropractic, shall we?

First, let’s talk about what chiropractic is. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, chiropractic is,

A system of noninvasive therapy which holds that certain musculoskeletal disorders result from nervous system dysfunction arising from misalignment of the spine and joints and that focuses treatment especially on the manual adjustment or manipulation of the spinal vertebrae.

The Palmer College of Chiropractic says,

Chiropractic is a health-care profession that focuses on the spine and other joints of the body, and their connection to the nervous system. The word “chiropractic” means “to be done by hand.” Chiropractors use adjustments to restore joint function and support the nervous system. They help patients maintain optimal health while avoiding unnecessary drugs or surgery. An estimated 50 million Americans see a chiropractor each year.

And finally, the American Chiropractic Association defines chiropractic as,

A health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic services are used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.

Next, we’ll take a look at what chiropractors do!

 

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Chiropractic: Good for Your Heart?

We all know high blood pressure is a bad thing. Having it increases your risk factor for heart disease and stroke, which are two of the major causes of death.

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) is when your blood pressure, the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels, is consistently too high.

There are multiple ways to treat high blood pressure. These include regular exercise, a healthy diet, not smoking and maintaining a healthy body weight.

However, rather than do those things, many, many people instead turn to medication to keep their blood pressure under control.

But! A visit to your chiropractor may also be an effective way to control your blood pressure.

A recent study serves as the latest evidence that chiropractic adjustments may improve blood pressure in the short term. It found that specific instrument-assisted adjustments to the thoracic spine positively affected blood pressure. It also had a positive impact on pulse rate and classification of high blood pressure compared to placebo manipulation or no intervention.

In addition to being good for your back, for your ears, for your headaches, for your anxiety and stress, chiropractic care may also be good for your heart!

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Is it Too Hot to Exercise?

Y’all, it’s hot outside. It’s really, really hot.

So, what does that mean for those of you who ONLY like to exercise?

Unfortunately, the health risks often outweigh the benefits.

According to Women’s Health magazine, “When you work out in super hot temperatures, your body sweats a lot to cool itself. Then your blood rushes to the skin to cool it, which means there’s less blood in your muscles. That makes your blood pressure drop and your heart rate go up, which can sometimes cause you to feel lightheaded. As your body temperature climbs higher, you might feel nauseous and put yourself at risk for heat stroke, seizures, and heart rhythm problems. Overall, pushing yourself in this kind of heat is just a bad idea.”

When does hot become TOO hot?

When the head index hits 90 degrees, head inside to do your exercises in an air conditioned space. 

And in case you’re curious how the whole heat index thing works, the National Weather Service defines it as:

The heat index, also known as the apparent temperature, is what the temperature feels like to the human body when relative humidity is combined with the air temperature.  This has important considerations for the human body’s comfort. When the body gets too hot, it begins to perspire or sweat to cool itself off. If the perspiration is not able to evaporate, the body cannot regulate its temperature.  Evaporation is a cooling process. When perspiration is evaporated off the body, it effectively reduces the body’s temperature. When the atmospheric moisture content (i.e. relative humidity) is high, the rate of perspiration from the body decreases.  In other words, the human body feels warmer in humid conditions.

While exercise is important, it’s also important to know the limits of your body in this type of weather. Keep that in mind when you step out for a run in the next couple of months!

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Yes, massages feel fantastic. They’re rejuvenating and relaxing and all-around terrific.

But did you know they’re actually really, REALLY good for you?

It’s true!

There’s not shortage of science to back us up. They ease muscle soreness after a trip to the gym AND they reduce stress, among many other benefits. For example, one study found that levels of the stress hormone cortisol dropped 31% following a rubdown, while levels of feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin increased roughly 30%.

Pain reduction, along with depression relief, is one of the benefits that research has most consistently linked to massage.

While having access to a professional masseuse is ideal, research on different forms of self-massage, including foam rolling, have found that giving yourself a good kneading can reduce muscle soreness and improve pain symptoms, even among people with osteoarthritis.

Not only can massage encourage a restful sleep-it also helps those who can’t otherwise comfortably rest.

“Massage promotes relaxation and sleep in those undergoing chemo or radiation therapy,” says Lisa Marie de Miranda, registered massage therapist and kinesiologist at Paleolife Massage Therapy.

Also, massages help infants sleep more, cry less and be less stressed, according to research from the University of Warwick.

“Most individuals are dealing with some kind of postural stress,” says Aaron Tanason, registered massage therapist, kinesiologist and owner at Paleolife Massage Therapy in Toronto. “More often than not [that stress] tends to manifest in the shoulders and neck.”

Desk workers, beware. More advanced forms of postural stress “show up as pain or weakness in the low back and gluteals caused by prolonged periods of sitting.”

Luckily, massage can counteract the imbalance caused from sitting, which means you can keep your desk job-as long as you schedule a regular massage.

Oh, and hey – have you heard that Case Chiropractic is now offering massages? 🙂

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Take Care of YOU This Spring

Hello, longer days. Hello, warmer weather. Hello, Spring!

Spring feels like a fresh start for many of us. It feels like a great opportunity to fling our closet doors open and remove the things we no longer want nor need. We clean, we dust, we mop – we spring clean!

But, what about us? We should use spring as a reminder to take care of ourselves as well as we take care of our homes.

And here are a few ways to do just that…

Unplug and take a break from the online world! It’s a great way to decompress and unwind. Be more aware of the world around you as opposed to what’s happening on your phone. “Spring is my seasonal reminder to slow down and practice more mindfulness in everyday mundane tasks,” says Ashley Rose Howard, meditation teacher at Exubrancy, a national wellness provider.

Get more/better sleep! The recommended seven to nine hours of sleep are an extremely important time for your brain and body. In fact, cutting your sleep short by just one hour can directly affect your health. Everything from your mood to your immune system to your risk of weight gain can get thrown off kilter if you aren’t getting enough sleep.

Sit in the sunshine! It’s assumed that by the time spring rolls around, most of us have a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is linked to helping prevent everything from osteoporosis, to heart disease and certain types of cancer. Plus, it plain old feels fantastic!

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