Wellness Care v. Sick Care. What is the real difference?

What is real wellness care?

Most people who live in the United States believe they are getting health care when purchasing an insurance plan or when using one.  Sadly, most insurance plans cover “sick” care.  Health care should focus on health, not on sickness.  

According to to Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), it has been proven that prevention is the main element to better health.  Disease prevention could save millions of people in the United States from pain and suffering.  

People want a system that allow them to stay well, not only treat them when they are sick.  Real wellness helps guide patients to healthy lifestyle choices that lead to a strong mind and body, not one that is dis-eased and low functioning.  Knowing what to eat and how to nourish the body, proper exercise, normal sleeping patterns,  stress relief or anything that may need to be modified to help each individual thrive as a person is real wellness. Being free from pain is not wellness, it is a holding pattern until bad habits lead to symptoms.  

Getting a dexascan, mammogram, annual exam are great to detect if anything is abnormal but finding out what is leading to any problems with the body is real prevention, health and wellness.  

According to the TFHA, americans are not as healthy as they used to be.  Rates of preventable problems like diabetes, stroke and heart disease are on the rise even though we know what causes them in most cases.  The U.S. has very high health care costs and because people are sicker (along with tons of mandatory paperwork).  

Healthy lifestyle prevention programs can help decrease costs at work, increase productivity and less days off from work.  Quality of life goes up and people are happier, energetic and more creative if they are healthy.  It can only take $10 per person per year in programs provided by the community to increase physical activity, help with nutrition and get people off of tobacco.  Doing this could save 16 billion dollars each year.  Yes, 16 billion dollars.  

Pesticides in our food, fast food, sedentary lifestyles, high stress at work and home are all leading to ill health and people are starting to think that having a headache from time to time is normal. It is not.  Digestive issues are rampant in the states and this is from the food we are eating not because our body doesn’t digest well when we get older.  Patients often tell me that pain is to be anticipated when getting older and it is not. Pain is a sign that something is wrong, not of old age.  

Staying healthy and well is hard work.  It takes dedication and education along the way.  Taking the time to give your body what it needs like bodywork, proper nutrition and exercise is a life long process.  It is work, but well worth it.  You and your body deserve it!

At Precise Moves Chiropractic, we cover the full spectrum of wellness care.  We help guide our patients along the way with any advice they may need to get them functioning at a high capacity.  Our Redwood City office is conveniently downtown and close to all methods of transportation.  Give us a call or see our 24 hour online scheduler to make an appointment.  Your body will thank you for it!

Is sun exposure enough for sufficient Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is necessary to keep your immune system functioning properly and can help everything from high blood pressure, cancer and many auto immune issues.  It also assists with bone strength.  

Vitamin D is fat-soluble which means you need to have fat in your diet in order to have it absorb efficiently.   Low vitamin D can cause many issues like depression, fatigue, weak muscles, weak bones, Rickets (bone deformity in kids) and many other issues.

We produce Vitamin D when we get ultraviolet B rays (UVB).  UVB interacts with 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) in our skin.  Even though we get this from the sun, sometimes the exposure isn’t enough and we need to take a supplement even in the summer months.  Caucasians need less sun times during the day because of the light pigment of the skin but for darker skin individuals UV alone may not be enough and can suffer from low doses of Vit D.  

Sun exposure also puts each person under risk of skin cancer, photoaging (skin aging), cataracts and eye damage.  If you are at low risk of skin cancer and get checked regularly then you should be okay with sun exposure but it is recommended to take supplements in order to get what is needed.  Recommendations are 600 IU for people ages 1-70 and 800 IU a day for 70 and older.  Kids under a year old should only get 400 IUs per day.  

Foods high in Vitamin D are:

Food Serving Size IUs Per Serving
Cod liver oil 1 tbsp. 1,360
Vitamin D-fortified

soy milk

8 oz. Up to 120
Vitamin D-fortified orange juice 8 oz. 98
Vitamin D-fortified milk 8 oz. 98
Vitamin D-fortified yogurt 6 oz. Up to 80
Vitamin D-fortified margarine 1 tbsp. 60
Vitamin D-fortified

cereal

6-8 oz. 40
Egg yolk 1 yolk 0
Beef liver, cooked 3.5 oz. 15

It is also recommended to take vitamin B along with Vitamin D to help with absorption.

WebMD article states Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure!

In an article dated March 16, 2007, high blood pressure can be significantly decreased by a neck adjustment according to a control study.

Chiropractic treatment to the neck had the same effect as taking two medications for high blood pressure.  

George Bakris, MD, tells WebMD. “And it seems to be adverse-event free. We saw no side effects and no problems,” adds Bakris, director of the University of Chicago hypertension center.

There were two groups in this control study.  One that were given real chiropractic treatment to the neck and others with what they referred to as a “sham” adjustment (not a chiropractic treatment).  8 weeks after the chiropractic treatments to the neck, 25 patients who had early signs of high blood pressure produces much lower blood pressure.  The other 25 “sham” patients did not.  

X-rays were taken and showed that the first bone in the neck called the Atlas was realigned with the real chiropractic treatment but not in the “sham” group of patients.  

Sham v. real chiropractic treated subjects:

Real: Saw an average of a 14mm Hg greater drop in systolic blood pressure and an average of 8 mm Hg greater drop in diastolic blood pressure.  

Sham: no drop in blood pressure

In the article it was stated that “When the statistician brought me the data, I actually didn’t believe it. It was way too good to be true,” Bakris says. “The statistician said, ‘I don’t even believe it.’ But we checked for everything, and there it was.”

Why adjust the Atlas?

This bone holds up the head and is aligned with the brain stem.  

“At the base of the brain are two centers that control all the muscles of the body. If you pinch the base of the brain — if the Atlas gets locked in a position as little as a half a millimeter out of line — it doesn’t cause any pain but it upsets these centers,” Dickholtz tells WebMD.

I know most people come to see chiropractors for pain but the effects that we have on the whole body are amazing!  We can effect blood pressure, the immune system, all organ systems (GI system, Lungs etc.), glands and all tissues of the body.  We do more than just pain work, we do holistic body work.  

Our office has 24 hour scheduling available online and we are located conveniently in downtown Redwood City.

References: http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/news/20070316/chiropractic-cuts-blood-pressure#1

What sugar substitutes are the healthiest?

When wanting something sweet, here are some substitutes that will satisfy your palate and help you stay healthy:
1. Raw Honey

First we want to make sure it says raw on the label or we get it from a local organic source.

Honey is a natural food and it has amino acids, electrolytes, antioxidants and antimicrobial compounds that help and support the bodies systems. Now just because it is healthy doesn’t mean you go crazy and eat everything with honey on it. One tablespoon daily should be all you need.

It has been shown to decrease allergy symptoms for people who get the honey locally. This is because the pollen is local and the body can adapt to it.

In fact, research in the International Archives of Allergy and Immunology tested this theory and discovered that pre-seasonal use of birch pollen honey helped people with birch pollen allergies by lowering total symptoms by 60 percent.
2. Stevia

You may want to use this on a regular basis. If you have blood sugar issues, over weight or have diabetes this is a good substitute for you. It has zero calories and comes from a plant so it is natural. Green leaf stevia is the best. Make sure any stevia you get is not a GMO product. There are some out there.

In fact, a study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements performed on diabetic rats found stevia improved diabetic symptoms and insulin reactions after 30 days of stevia consumption. (4)

Again, don’t go crazy with this stuff. Moderation is always the key to health. Just a few drops in tea or morning drink should be fine.

3. Dates

Just like raisins, apricots, other dried fruit and pineapple juices these are sweet but a healthy alternative to some of the foods out there. They are high in fiber, potassium and other vitamins and minerals.

Now in terms of phytochemicals that heal the body, honey is the highest, but in terms of actually vitamins and minerals and fiber content dates are the highest. That fiber actually slows down sugar absorption.

Dates are good to use in baking and there are plenty of ice cream recipes out there too. The potassium in dates is great for flushing out toxins and balancing electrolytes in the body. It is a great source for athletes to take for keeping the electrolytes even. Dates have also been shown to decrease cholesterol, decrease constipation and boost energy.
4. Coconut Sugar

It is full of potassium, electrolytes and nutrients. So if you’re looking for equal comparison to sugar that’s nontoxic, non-GMO, that your body’s going to be able to digest better, organic coconut sugar is the way to go.

All of these substitutes are lower on the glycemic index than sugar. Regular table sugar scores 100 and many of these sweeteners score closer to a 50. This means your pancreas will thank you for not having to work double time. It puts you at a lower risk for diabetes.

5. Maple Syrup

100 percent pure organic maple syrup is what to look for. Get grade B or even grade C that is USDA-certified organic.

It is high on anti-oxidants and according Pharmaceutical Biology, pure maple syrup contains up to 24 different antioxidants. These antioxidants, in the form of phenolic compounds, are beneficial for reducing free radical damage that can cause inflammation and contribute to the formation of various chronic diseases like auto immune issues.

So, before reaching for that table sugar, experiment with some of these…your body will thank you for it!

Why do people get Bunions?

Have you seen anyone in sandals with their toes hanging over the side?  This is a Bunion.  Bunions are a malformed bony bump on the outside portion of the big toe.  It becomes enlarged and angles toward the second toe putting pressure on the foot.  This can be very painful.

So how does this happen?  Wearing shoes that are not supportive or move properly which leads to a person “toeing off” on the outside of the toe.

In the past, we were barefoot walking on dirt, sand and soft surfaces.  Now we walk on hard surfaces and put a lot more force on the foot leading to dropping of the arch , Plantar Fasciitis and Bunions.

Here are the symptoms of a bunion:

  • Bump or angulation on the outside of the first toe
  • Swelling, redness and tenderness of the big toe
  • Thickening of the skin on the bottom of your foot under the big toe
  • Corns or calluses
  • Pain of the first toe
  • Restricted movement

Women are more likely to get bunions because of wearing high heels or shoes that don’t fit properly. Improper shoes can cause foot problems because the big toe begins to push on other toes and tissues.

Doctors that do not specialize in the management and function of extremities may not know that bunion formation can be caused by several dysfunctions of the foot.  Bad body mechanics may go unnoticed until symptoms become more prominent.  Improper walking or standing puts added stress on the foot and prevents toes from moving and gliding the way they should.

Wearing shoes that are too tight or loose can get bones stuck together and prevent the toes from functioning normally.  Now the foot, ankle, knees and hips begin to pay the price.   Many people have been told there is nothing that can be done to change or manage this problem except tape the toe, put a divider between the big toe and second toe or have surgery where part of the toe is shaved off.  This is just a short term solution and will result in further destruction of the foot.

At Precise Moves Chiropractic we specialize in extremities and can help you relieve foot problems and help you walk and stand better resulting in less pain and stress on your foot.  We can also teach you the right things to do for your feet so you don’t continue to have problems.

Give our Redwood City Chiropractic office a call today to start your journey to long term health!

When Is Stretching Necessary?

I see a lot of athletes in my practice and one thing that is pretty common among amateur athletes is not stretching enough or not stretching the proper muscles before and after a workout.  Another big problem is people working sedentary jobs.  Sitting shortens muscles, decreases blood flow and puts added strains on the low back, neck, shoulders.

In everyday life, we get tight.  This is because we get tighter as we get older but we also have emotional (work/family), chemical (toxins in food/junk food) and physical stress on a daily basis.  We have to stretch just to get some of this out of our system.  So sitting or standing all day stretches some muscles and tightens others.  This leads to asymmetry in the body and can lead to injuries.  Just bending down and picking something up from the ground or lifting a light object can create the last straw on the camels back.  Stretch everyday, even if you aren’t working out.  It gets the body moving freely and oxygen flowing!

For those of you who do work out, it is recommended to warm up before and after lifting weights, running, zumba class, bootcamp even yoga. It helps to get your muscle ready for the load you are about to put on it and can help work out any knots that may have accumulated during the workout.

At our Redwood City Wellness Center, we can guide you with proper exercises and stretches to help you get the body aligned properly as well as help your joints move properly with our treatments.  We want you to continue to live the happy, healthy life you are used to! We can also help you to be at the peak of your game!

Call us today for an appointment!

Do Cell Phones Cause Cancer?

I have been hearing about a large increase in brain tumors and since the invention of a cell phone I have been an advocate of using a headset when talking on the phone.  Now, a federal study suggests that radio-frequency (RF) radiation used with cellphones, can cause cancer.

A two and a half year study by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), showed male rats exposed to two types of RF radiation had a higher chance than unexposed rats to develop glioma (a brain cancer) and schwannoma (malignant tumor of the heart).

This radiation is not very different than what humans receive when talking on the phone.

Increased intensity of the radiation increased the incidence of cancer in the rats. Although cell phone companies have been denying the risks of RF Radiation, gamma rays and x-rays are known to be carcinogens.  ionizing radiation, which includes gamma rays and X-rays, is widely accepted as a carcinogens.  This study now support that RF radiation should be added as a carcinogen.

“The NTP does the best animal bioassays in the word,” said Chris Portier, a former associate director of the NTP who commissioned the study.  “Their reputation is stellar. So if they are telling us this was positive in this study, that’s a concern.”

The NTP decided to investigate the possible carcinogen capacity of cellphone radiation in 2001, because of studies showing a correlation between gliomas and cellphone use. Some of the studies showed that the cancers were on the same side of the head where users held their phones. But other epidemiological studies haven’t found links between cancer and cellphones.

The Food and Drug Administration, disagrees and only mentions a risk of brain tumors if carrying cellphones too close to the body.

In the United States, of about 25,000 malignant brain tumors diagnosed each year, 80 percent are gliomas. Malignant brain tumors are the most common cause of cancer deaths in adolescents and adults ages 15 to 39.  Why is this?  Why are kids getting brain cancer.  This has to be more than a coincidence.

The wireless industry and high tech sites who benefit from such use, state that the science on cellphone safety is not factual but hypothetical and not proven.

We spend a lot of time on cell phones, Ipad etc. and we should be studying the affects to our bodies.  We need to in order to find out what risks there are with this technology and what we can do to avoid risk.  Our health depends on it.

References: Mother Jones 2016: Federal study links cell phone radiation to cancer.

 

Why I choose not to use Groupon or Yelp Deals.

Everyone loves a deal right? Groupon is a great way to get a deal and to experience what a business has to offer.  The hopes of the owner is to have you love the business so much that you refer other people and come back again when needed.  The hopes of the patron is to get quality service at a fair price.  Making both the business and the customer happy can be tricky.  Here are some Pros and Cons to using Groupon from a business perspective.

First lets talk about how Groupon works. Groupon allows businesses to use their database which is high on search engines to find discounts. Most times this is a 50% discount which is only offered for a limited time.  Groupon provides a way to get new people to the business at the same time the customer gets a deal. Sounds like a win, win situation right? Well, it can be for some, but it may not be for others.

Here are the Pros:
1. Immediate increase in business because everyone likes a deal.
2. Increased visibility to your business.
3. New customers that you may not have already seen before.

Cons:

1. Don’t know how much of a surge of business there will be and if your business can handle such an influx.

2. Groupon keeps 50% of business profits so if you are already discounting the price by 50% now the business makes no profit at all on services and can actually lose a lot of money.

3. A high percentage of these first time people do not return. Research has shown that only about 19% of customers come back for a second visit. In 2011, it was estimated that 87% of people who use Groupon don’t come back to pay full price at a business and expect the same low price if they do decide to return.

4. It may appear that the business is desperate which is not what any business wants.

I decided a while ago to use a Yelp deal. This deal gave a discount to new customers and gave me a higher ranking on yelp. Not only did I lose money but the people who were using this services wanted a lot more than was offered on the deal. If they decided it wasn’t what they wanted as far as a bargain was concerned, they wrote bad reviews. I learned quickly that this was not for me or my business. My prices are competitive already and I offer the range of care with no extra charges for helping those in need.

I do know some business owners who use Groupon and they like having an influx of new people to spread the word about their business. Don’t get me wrong, my sole motivation in life and in business is to help others and money is not a large factor for me but working harder and getting paid less just doesn’t seem in my best interests or in anyone that is coming in the door. I want to spend quality time with each person and help, not have time constraints because of an influx of people.

I love what I do and I love to help, I just don’t think Groupon should take 50% of my income and because I am a doctor who wants people to stay healthy, this means one visit will probably not do the trick.  Just like going to a gym, you are not in shape by going once.

So, to make sure everyone is happy, I offer quality services at a competitive price. Now that is a win, win! If you are interested in getting the full spectrum of health, give our Redwood City Chiropractic office a call. We can help!

Natural ways to reduce Appendicitis inflammation and pain

Appendicitis is an swelling or inflammation of of the appendix, Your appendix is a small extension of the ascending colon right above right hip in the front of the body.

Appendicitis commonly affects people between ages 10 to 30. Males are more likely to have appendicitis than women. Annually, in the United States, over 250,000 people have surgery to remove their appendix due to appendicitis. It can be fatal so understanding what is going on is pretty important.

The appendix used to be considered a left over part from our early history but researchers are now finding that it may hold bacteria for the digestion tract necessary for digestion. In my opinion, any organ you have is there for a reason so if it is in the body, it is doing something.

Appendicitis can occur if there is an obstruction in the intestine causing fecal matter to accumulate, lymph follicles, intestinal worms, tumors and trauma to the abdomen.

Symptoms:
– pain in the right lower side of the abdomen
– decreased appetite
– nausea
– vomiting
– diarrhea or constipation
– unable to pass gas
– swelling of the abdomen
– low grade fever

As stated above, the appendix can rupture and become fatal so understanding the signs and symptoms can be helpful. Commonly the appendix is removed surgically to avoid a rupture. Any organ can become inflamed and there are different natural remedies for all of them which can save you a lot of pain and even save you from surgery.

Here are some home remedies which can help if your appendix becomes inflamed and painful. Note: Do not rely solely on these remedies.

1. Castor Oil: This is good for any abdominal pain really and helps with appendicitis. It can help relieve the blockage and take down inflammation. Put 2 tablespoons of Castor Oil on a towel place it on your abdomen, lie down and put a flannel cloth on your abdomen.
Repeat this remedy 3 times a week for 2 to 3 months.

2. Garlic: Garlic works as an anti-inflammatory which can decrease pain.

Eating 2-3 raw garlic cloves per day can help. You can also get garlic capsules (consult with your doctor first).

3. Ginger: This is a very well known anti-inflammatory. It can reduce pain and inflammation of the appendix as well as decrease instances of vomiting and nausea.

Drink ginger tea 2 or 3 times daily. I like to put it in my smoothie in the morning. Ginger tea is great and massaging your abdomen with ginger oil a couple times per day can take down the inflammation in the abdomen.

4. Fenugreek Seeds: These seeds can prevent the accumulation of waste and excess mucus in the appendix. There are also supplements that can be purchased at health food stores.

5. Lemon: Helps boost your immune system and help with proper digestion. This will help you eliminate any waste accumulated or blocked in the system.

6. Basil: This can help with the fever and helps with digestion and passage of gas. Add basil to food, put it in some tea.

7. Mint: Helps with relieving gas, decrease vomiting and nausea. Mint tea works well. Drink mint tea 2-3 times per day for a couple of weeks to get your system running better.
Make mint tea by adding 1 tablespoon of fresh mint leaves to a cup of boiling water and

8. Ginseng: Anti-inflammatory. Again, tea is great twice daily.

9. Eat a fibrous diet: If constipated, this will help you eliminate and reduce an inflammation. Beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, beetroots, carrots, broccoli, peas, prunes, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and other fresh fruits green leafy vegetables are recommended. Adding flax seed can help as well.
10. Drink more water: Promotes proper bowel movements and flushes toxins out of the body. In addition, water helps flush toxins out of your body.

Do not drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages as both cause dehydration and can make your condition worse.

All of these remedies will work well with digestion in general and are good to do even if you don’t have appendicitis. Keeping your GI tract healthy is the key to great health.

Note:  Do consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of this condition. Use home remedies just as an adjunct treatment.

Our Redwood City Chiropractic Center is here to answer any questions you may have about health during all of our treatment times. Call us if you would like to make an appointment and start your journey to health!

Reasons why people bite their nails, pull their own hair and pick skin

Do you have a “bad” habit like biting nails, pulling out your hair or picking at your skin on your feet?

Why do you do this? Is it anxiety?, boredom?, for an interesting flaw?

I was a nail biter for 50 years and one day decided to stop biting after listening to Tony Robbins. He told a story about negotiating a contract with a multimillion dollar company. When the paperwork was presented to him to sign, a business woman refused the deal because she thought if he didn’t have the discipline to not bite his nails, he was not the right man for the job. This really hit me over the head and I stopped biting my nails and have not bitten them since.

These behaviors are repetitive type behaviors and research has been done to figure out why people have these habits even when they know it is bad for their nails, skin, hair, feet and hands.

According to Researchers from the Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal and the University of Montreal, Canada, women that bite their nails occurred when they were stressed, frustrated or bored. They did not bite their nails when they were not anxiety ridden or busy.

However, even though these habits are repetitive, they also seem to give each person a reward. A researcher by the name of O’Connor (and colleagues) studied 24 individuals with these who bit their nails, pulled out their hair and picked at their skin. They then compared this group to 24 people who did not.

After filling out questionnaires which attempted to promote boredom, anger, anxiety, guilt and irritability and having phone conversations with each individual

Participants completed questionnaires to assess emotions such as boredom, anger, guilt, irritability and anxiety and also took part in a clinical evaluation over the phone.

After that, these individuals were then exposed to different situations, to stir one of four emotions:

1. Stress
2. Relaxation
3. Frustration
4. Boredom.

Videos for some such as of a plane crash or waves on a beach. To promote frustration, the researchers gave tasks to individuals and told them it was quick and easy when it was really difficult. Boredom was tested by leaving the participant alone in a room by themselves for around 6 minutes.

What they found was subjects with that exhibited nail biting, pulling hair and picking their skin reported a higher eagerness to engage in such behaviors when bored or frustrated but not when relaxed.

Researchers then assumed by these results that these individuals only engaged in these behaviors when under stress or bored but stated it was not simply a nervous habit.
O’Connor concluded that people who engage in such behaviors have perfectionist traits. He believed that “they are unable to relax and to perform tasks at a ‘normal’ pace. They are therefore prone to frustration, impatience and dissatisfaction when they do not reach their goals”.

He also stated that these individuals get bored quicker than non-perfectionists.

Even being a perfectionist (I am one myself), there are tools you can use to stop these behaviors. Meditation, exercise, patience practices can all be used to help stop these behaviors if you want to.

Good luck!