July 5, 2011 [Volume 5, Issue 13]
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In this issue of To Your Health:
Growing Up With Chiropractic
Tackling Anxiety Naturally
The Joy of Juicing

Growing Up With Chiropractic

Remember that children have a spine, just like you and I do as adults. Kids go through their daily activities of playing, running, riding their bikes, playing sports, falling down and roughhousing with their friends. Their spines and the bones that make up their joints can move out of alignment, just like adults; sometimes even more so, since they are so active and often "throw caution to the wind" in terms of personal safety.

Just as you believe in getting regular tune-ups from your dentist, medical doctor and your optometrist, make sure your children benefit from that type of thinking as well. Most of the aches and pains that we go through as children (and as adults) can be greatly helped by getting adjustments from a doctor of chiropractic.

The youngest patients could see the biggest benefit from chiropractic care. Think of an infant who, during birth, has their head, shoulders or neck pushed against the mom's pelvic bones. Or perhaps the child had a difficult birth and was stuck in the birth canal at an odd angle. There is spinal stress associated with those scenarios, and the baby can be born with their spine out of alignment as a consequence.

Babies respond quickly to adjustments. Often common infant/toddler conditions like ear infections, colic and irritability can be improved with adjustments to their spine. Start them off right while they are young and they will keep those good habits into adulthood.

Our children are truly amazing beings; as we watch them grow from infancy to adulthood, the wonders never cease. Their bodies are constantly changing, and it is often challenging to keep them functioning in a healthy, happy manner. Take the time to establish good health patterns, including spinal health, for your whole family. Talk to your chiropractor for more information.

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Tackling Anxiety Naturally

Why is it that our society thinks it is abnormal to have some level of anxiety when the modern American life is so stressful? This anxiety is a natural response to alert us to the fact that there is something in our life that is causing ongoing stress to our body. It is an adaptive response to protect ourselves so that we can alter the trigger to prevent long-term damage to or drain on our body and health.

What we do with this physiological signal is what determines whether the anxiety ends up being harmful long-term or being helpful in altering the stressful event so as to maintain health. In short, what we do with anxiety is what's important. Here are a few suggestions in that regard.

Our adrenal gland is one of the organs that act almost like a battery in your body. When it is exhausted from chronic stress and anxiety, its overall function diminishes and your body's inflammatory status worsens, leading to a decrease in overall health and endurance.

By implementing intentional moments during the day of mind-body techniques, you can keep the adrenal strain and anxiety from being a constant drain on your health and give your body necessary periods of respite from the stress.

There are numerous versions of mind-body techniques, but some examples include breath work, self-hypnosis, imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback, journaling, and music therapy. Other treatment options such as manual therapies, including chiropractic and massage; and energy medicine options, like healing touch therapy, may decrease anxiety in some patients.

There are also a wide variety of herbs and supplements that may help with anxiety. For example, chamomile tea is calming, as is passionflower and hops teas, just to name a few. Certain supplements are also helpful for anxiety such as L-theanine, other amino acids, and various minerals, herbs, and vitamins.

Keep in mind that just because some of these are sold over the counter does not mean they should be used unsupervised. As a general rule, you should always inform your doctor of any and all supplements and herbs you are taking. Some of these will require regular monitoring of liver and kidney function just like medications.

Another reason to inform your doctor about anxiety is that chronic stress can lead to worsening of many chronic conditions including heart disease, hypertension, and autoimmune diseases, just to name a few. This way, your doctor knows to keep a closer eye on these issues in case they arise; or if you already have these health issues, they can monitor you more closely.

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The Joy of Juicing

Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of micronutrients, and for the most part, they're readily available throughout the year. Yet despite their availability and public-awareness initiatives such as the "5 A Day" campaign (www.5aday.gov) and other similar endeavors, many Americans struggle to consume an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.

Enter juicing, an increasingly popular option for people who don't have the time, energy and/or palate to get their recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables. If you can't stomach squash, spinach or cucumber whole, then try juicing them with a few apples and a handful of carrots, and drink your daily micronutrients straight from the glass.

By combining juiced fruits and vegetables, you can soften (or even mask completely) the taste of less- enticing vegetables with some of your favorites – and get nutrition you'd be hard pressed (no pun intended) to get otherwise.

Some juicers separate the pulp from the juice, while others juice the entire fruit or vegetable. If pulp isn't your thing, you won't get the fiber present in whole fruits and vegetables, but you can always blend the residual into your favorite soup or casserole, ensuring you get the health benefits of the entire food.

Whether you eat your fruits and vegetables whole or juice them is more a question of preference than nutritional benefit, but one thing is clear: If you can't stand zucchini, won't touch kale and run screaming from beets, juicing them with other fruits and veggies that you do like is an infinitely healthier option than avoiding them altogether. This may be particularly beneficial if you have children, who can be the pickiest eaters of all.

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The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of chiropractic, acupuncture, massage therapy, medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. MPA Media is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

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