1. Manage stress: While there is quite a bit of uncertainty during this time, do your very best to NOT live in fear or have anxiety about the situation. Keep yourself informed but distance yourself from mass hysteria in order to not get wrapped up in the fear response. Have you ever heard of fight or flight? It is well documented that our immune system shuts down during times of high stress. Yes, this is a serious matter that requires attention, but we are able to use our intellect to make better decisions when we are levelheaded. Mindfulness and meditation are supremely helpful in relieving stress and helping us clear our minds to think clearly.
2. Get plenty of rest, fresh air & movement. Fresh air is vital to a healthy immune system. Many of us are currently working from home-try to make it a point to get outside for 10 minutes a few times per day. Sleep is also crucial to healthy immune function. Studies have shown that people who are sleep deprived have similar changes in immune function as those who have a cold/flu. Movement is essential in supporting a good immune function. Just 20 minutes of exercise each day boosts the feel-good hormones which decreases cortisol levels in the body. Lower cortisol levels mean less inflammation.
3. Avoid inflammatory foods or those foods that you are sensitive to: Highly inflammatory foods like gluten and dairy may wreak havoc on your immune system. You probably do not want to give your immune system another task to do right now. You want your immune system ready for action and not reacting to gluten, dairy, soy or other foods that are problematic for you.
4. What you eat makes a difference: Your immune system requires adequate nutrients in order to function properly. Increase your intake of brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, raspberries, spinach, arugula, sprouts, garlic, onions, ginger, parsley, cilantro, cabbage. Brightly colored foods are filled with antioxidants which may prevent viral binding and inflammation.
5. Avoid Processed Foods: As tempting as it may be to soothe our anxiety with comfort foods such as pizza, pasta, and pastries this can often weaken our immune system and suppress it for up to 6 hours. Particularly processed foods such as refined carbohydrates and sugars should be avoided and instead replaced with FRESH fruits and vegetables.
6. Your decisions matter: I cannot stress this enough! – Be wise and discerning about your lifestyle practices and choices. There are things that you can do that will boost immunity and things that you can do that will diminish it. Make smart choices. If you can stay home from work or refrain from social contact, please do. You may feel like your immune system is strong but others around you might not. It is our social responsibility to take care of others as well as ourselves.
7. Stay hydrated: Drinking lots of quality water and herbal teas are important in order to remain hydrated and healthy. Flushing toxins out of your body will help to support your immune system. Our bodies are made up of 70% water on average, all of our organs and glands depend on water to function properly. Okay but how much water should we be drinking? Studies show that half your body weight in ounces is needed to sustain optimal function. However, this means pure water and non caffeinated tea only. Anything that has caffeine or added ingredients such as coffee or soda counts AGAINST our daily intake.
ALREADY DOING THOSE THINGS? GREAT! HERE ARE SOME OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO TO IMPROVE OVERALL HEALTH
Vitamin D – 5000 IU to 10, 000 IU per day. Dosing is individual, but aggressive dosing short term supports the immune system.
OMEGAS- Not only are fish oils great at reducing inflammation and supporting cardiac function, but if taken in conjunction with Vitamin D, will actually help the body absorb and utilize vitamin D more efficiently.
Vitamin C-a lack of vitamin C is known to increase our susceptibility to infections. Did you know that humans and guinea pigs are the only mammals that do not produce their own Vitamin C? We need to get Vitamin C from food because our adrenal glands use it up when we are stressed. A higher level of Vitamin C in our bodies mean a healthier and happier immune system.
Chiropractic Adjustments- Getting an adjustment does so much more than just help with chronic neck or back pain. A chiropractic adjustment supports our nervous system by clearing out any nerve interference from brain to body, we call that interference a subluxation. By removing that nerve interference, we then allow a properly working nervous system which will in turn then support our immune function to its best ability!
** The information in this blog is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease**
Congratulations! You breezed past November and took on December like a champion. Sure, you may have over indulged a little too much during the past two hectic holiday months, but that’s what the season is for. Don’t worry because now is the time to get back on track!During the holidays, your body takes a huge beating with traveling, shopping, and even over eating. That is why it is MOST important to re-establish a self-care and wellness routine can help restore and rejuvenate your system in the new year.
Here are some tips on how establish a sense of normalcy again.
Clear your space of clutter. Start your post holiday routine by taking down holiday decorations. Holiday decor not only takes up physical space but it can trigger emotions and memories, both good and bad. De-cluttering especially after the holidays can help establish a sense of accomplishment , plus it will help make spring cleaning a breeze!
Restore your body with hydration. The holidays can bring on an excessive amount of sugar and alcohol. Sometimes during the holidays, keeping up with drinking enough water can fall to the wayside. Staying hydrated is a natural way to flush and detox your system. Increasing your water intake after the holidays can provide muscle and joint flexibility, improve cardiovascular health and sharpen your concentration.
Make sleep a priority. The holidays wait for no one. Between hosting parties, attending events and prepping for the holidays, you might find yourself not getting enough sleep. Get back into a routine of going to bed and waking up at the same time. Also, you an try limiting your screen time before hitting the pillow. Blue light glasses or filters on your phone an hour or two before bed can be a huge help too! Getting enough sleep can help reduce stress, lower the risk for diabetes, and heart disease and increase endurance.
Now that you have cleaned your mental and physical space, it’s important to revisit your daily or weekly routine that was in place prior to the holiday season! Hop back on the exercise train again, and be sure to schedule your appointments for regular chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractic adjustments help clear your nervous system of extra stress on the body. Once the subluxation is removed you will feel more energized, and your immune system will be able to function at it’s best. Chiropractic adjustments actually increase resilience of the nervous system’s ability to adapt to stress. Getting back into a self-care routine is beneficial mentally, emotionally and physically. YOUR BODY WILL THANK YOU.
If you haven’t been in since before the holidays or are feeling a little extra stressed, please give us a call at 515-278-9678 we would love to see you in the office this year.
The holidays are a time to travel and visit loved ones. But the truth of the matter is, travel can be stressful not only on your body, but also your mind and your spine. We will give tips and tricks on how to keep your immune system, mind and body healthy during the holiday season. Whether you’re catching a flight, jumping on a train, or taking a road trip, keep these tips in mind for stress- less holiday travel.
Don’t forget the Vitamins. Make sure you are taking vitamin D, vitamin C and multi-vitamin as well as Omega’s and a daily probiotic to keep your immune system in tip top shape during the holiday season.
Avoid setting your bags down in public restrooms. While you might think that the toilet is the germiest spot in the place, it’s actually the floors! Instead look for the hooks on the wall or door to hang your bags instead of setting them on the floor.
Wash your hands regularly…don’t forget the kids. Sounds like common sense, but it’s easy to forget when you’re on the move. Frequent hand washing will help reduce the amount of germs on your hands. Studies have shown that frequent hand washers have fewer cold and flu symptoms.
Watch sugar intake. It’s a celebratory time of the year, but it’s important to keep an eye on too many sweet treats. Just two cans of soda can weaken white blood cells’ ability to kill germs by 40 percent!
Keep your spine in line! Proper spinal alignment not only helps you feel fine, but also gives you an immune boost. Regular chiropractic adjustments can boost your immune system by 200%!!!!
*Take a moment to breathe* It can be easy to get a little stressed out during the holidays, especially if you are traveling. Deep breathing techniques can help slow heartbeat, stabilize blood pressure and circulate more oxygen throughout the body. Try some diaphragmatic breathing techniques (previously published blog) before you take off and land, which can help keep you feeling calm and relaxed.
Practice Gratitude. The holidays are about so much more than just presents. Be mindful of where you are and who you’re with, the sights, sounds and smells of the holiday. Stay present and relax in the company of the friends and family around you. If you stay present and feel grateful for the time you get to spend with friends and family- you’ll stress less.
Get enough Sleep– It can be hard to sleep in a different place if you are traveling for the holidays, but it is SO important so get 6-8 hours even during the holidays. Our bodies cells actually talk to each other and repair when you are sleeping. The holidays can be taxing if you are traveling, so you need to get enough to sleep to counter the extra stress.
ICE ICE BABY. Dreading a long flight due to back stiffness? Plan ahead and pack a gallon size zip-lock bag in your purse or carry on bag. Once you take flight and get settled the flight attendants will be around to offer beverages. Get your zip-lock-bag out and ask for ICE to put in the bag for your back. Using ice on the flight will reduce inflammation which will prevent post flight stiffness and soreness.
Bring your own pillow. If you’re flying or using public transportation, you can rest easy knowing your pillow is clean and ready to go. Also, if you’re staying at a friend or family members home, you can never really predict what someone else’s bed or couch is going to do to your back. An ergonomic pillow designed for better sleep posture can make a huge difference.
Don’t put things in your back pockets. If you’re sitting for a long period of time, keep posture in mind. Your wallet, cellphone or other devices stored in your pants pocket can cause unbalanced sitting posture, throwing off the alignment of your hips and spine. The sciatic nerve lives in that region and can become impinged if you are placing items on top of it and sitting for hours at a time.
Use a rolling suitcase. We know how heavy those suitcases can get around the holiday season. Don’t risk a lifting injury! Instead of carrying al that weight on one side of your body, while booking through the airport, try investing in a rolling suitcase if possible. A rolling suitcase can vastly increase your ease of travel and decreases your risk of injury.
Schedule a homecoming visit with your chiropractor Even if you take precautions, travel can be incredibly hard on the body. Fear not- we are here to help! When you return home, schedule an appointment with your chiropractor they’ll be able to address any travel-induced pain and discomfort you may have. It’s a great idea to stop in right before and after traveling for a spinal tune up.
If you need to get in to see us before the holiday season give us a call at 515-278-9678 to get scheduled today!
When winter weather arrives, it’s time to protect yourself from the hazards that can accompany the cold. Slips, trips, and falls are more frequent due to icy conditions. Back injuries from falling on ice are likely to occur. Need some help to avoid this or advice on what to do if it does happen- Yost Family Chiropractic can help!
How Common are Back
Injuries From Falling On Ice?
According to the National Institutes of Health, back injuries from falling on ice were the most common fall related injury, outnumbering ankle, wrist or hip injuries. With statistics like that, avoiding falls becomes a top priority! Almost all back injuries involve strains of the deep muscles of the back. An acute injury refers to something that happens suddenly and gets better over time, whereas a chronic injury is a long-term condition. Following a fall, you should keep track of your pain level, because that if it goes above and beyond general aches and pains you may need imaging to rule out a fracture. The spine is a complex structure that provides both mobility and strength to your body. When there is an injury to the spine such as a fall, common activities such as bending, twisting or stretching often become painful.
What to do after falling on your back?
Most acute back injuries should get better within a few days. If the pain persists longer than that, you should be evaluated by your chiropractor or a physician right away. If you fall on your back and experience severe pain that makes breathing or standing difficult, you should have a thorough examination by a chiropractor immediately. A thorough evaluation will reveal any specific structural problem like a misalignment or nerve irritation, which we can correct. Adjustments are used in conjunction with a basic exercise program focusing on stretching, strengthening, and conditioning of the back and leg muscles. For those who have risk factors like thinning of the bones or osteoporosis, a fall on ice might pose a serious threat. If you fit this category, use extreme caution when traveling outdoors in icy conditions.
Tips for Preventing Ice Related Falls
Implement the following
tips for a safer winter:
Wear appropriate footwear. Soles that are sturdy and grip the ground will give you stability.
Keep sand or de-icer in your car for slippery parking lots or streets where you might have to park your car.
Use caution, and slow down. Don’t hurry!
Back Pain Injury From Falls; what to expect
Symptoms of back injury
from falling involve pain. This can occur to varying degrees depending on the
extent of the injury and can affect different parts of the spine. Back injuries
from falling on ice commonly fall into one of two categories:
Lower back injury. Lower back or tailbone injury occurs when falling backwards onto the backside. An injury to the tailbone can be quite painful and also be accompanied by swelling and bruising.
Upper back or neck injury. This can be attributed to muscle or ligament strains that occur during a fall.
Can have both- sometimes following a slip and fall you can have an increase in BOTH neck and lower back pain depending on the mechanism of injury during the fall itself.
Options for Back Injuries
Fortunately, you can take the above measures to prevent or relieve back pain episodes. If prevention fails, then chiropractic treatment and proper body mechanics often will heal your back and keep it functional. Here at Yost Family Chiropractic we not only treat the structure of the spine itself, but we also treat the soft tissue such as muscles and ligaments that surround the bones. We can’t promise that you will never have a slip or fall, but we can promise you faster healing afterwards! For more information call us today at 515-278-9678 to speak with our office or get a consultation scheduled with one of our doctors. You can even send us as email at email@example.com
When it comes to avoiding back injuries, your fate is largely in your own hands. It’s true that an unexpected fall or auto accident may cause an injury that’s beyond your control, but a large percentage of back injuries are caused by your own actions, which means you can take measures to prevent them or stop them from getting worse. While its important to maintain spinal alignment with regular adjustments, what you do outside of the office is equally important! Here are a few tips for avoiding back injuries on your own.
you are lifting weighs or boxes, books, babies, or just about anything else, they
all have an impact on the health of your spine. When you lift correctly your
spine is in proper alignment and there is no added stress placed on your back. The
proper way to lift means you should bend your knees and keep your back as
straight as possible when you pick anything up off the floor. This going for
bending down to put on socks or shoes as well.
you have a lot of lifting to do try to place items on a table or chair so there
isn’t as much bending needed. Your back is not designed to work like a crane so
anytime you use it that way you are putting tons of stress on your back that
doesn’t need to be there. Try using a balanced stance, with your legs a little
wider apart, lift with your legs and move your feet if you need to change
direction while holding the object.
activities with your spinal alignment in mind is a great way to help you avoid
back injuries in the first place. That means stretching before any type of
physical activity, taking it slow if you have a lot of repetitive lifting to
do, and even taking breaks to rest and stretch during the activity or prolonged
periods of time in one position such as a desk job. Posture breaks are a great
way to stay mindful of your posture throughout the day. Try setting an alarm on
your watch or phone to go off once an hour during your workday to remind you to
unwind your shoulders, get up and do a few stretches for 1 minute an hour. At
the end of an 8 hour workday, you’ve taken 8 minutes out of your busy day to
prevent a back injury.
Sleeping on a supportive firm mattress is another way to keep your spine in line between adjustments. Side sleeping with a supportive pillow is what our doctors recommend here at YFC. Getting yourself in good physical shape also protects your back and helps to avoid injuries. This includes strengthening core muscles as well as back muscles which will make lifting and general movement less stressful on your back.
DON’T LET INJURIES LINGER
you end up with a back injury despite your efforts to avoid it, you should seek
treatment with a chiropractor as soon as you can. Spinal misalignment, bulging
discs, herniated discs, and other injuries often only get worse if you let them
linger without treatment. Prompt treatment will restore blood flow to the area,
relieve any compressed nerves and get you back to normal in the shortest time
possible. At Yost Family Chiropractic our team is here to help answer your
questions. Please feel free to contact us today at 515-278-9678.
Feeling Stressed? It’s normal to feel overwhelmed sometimes, but too much stress can throw a wrench in your overall health and wellness. Being in fight or flight mode more than 20% of the time can lead to mental health problems, increased risk of cardiovascular disease and even poor gut health…. which in turn, heightens levels of stress! Staying hydrated, eating healthy meals and routine chiropractic care all help in the long term, but what can you do right now to manage your stress and anxiety?
Most people are breathing the wrong way and don’t even realize it. As a chiropractor, while observing the general population, what we notice is that most people are using their chest and shoulders to breath instead of the diaphragm. Go ahead…TRY IT! Take a BIG deep breath in and blow it all the way out; did your shoulders move? If you’ve ever watched a baby breathe you will notice they don’t move their shoulders at all, but instead breath with their BELLIES. The proper way to breathe without stressing your neck and shoulder muscles is called diaphragmatic breathing.
How-To: Diaphragmatic Breathe
This relaxation style deep breathing technique helps slow the heartbeat, stabilize blood pressure and get more oxygen circulating throughout the body. Here’s how you do it:
Sit or lay comfortably making sure your spine is straight and most importantly that your head and neck are relaxed.
Put one hand on your chest and one hand on your stomach just above your belly button.
Inhale slowly through your nose for a count of 4 seconds, so that your stomach pushes against your hand. Now the hard part-try to keep the hand on your chest as still as possible.
Breathe out slowly through your mouth for 5 seconds by tightening your stomach muscles. Again, trying to keep the hand on your stomach still.
Repeat for several minutes.
This type of breathing should be practiced daily starting with just 2 minute per day and working up to 30 minute sessions- eventually your brain convert your “normal” breathing pattern to diaphragmatic breathing resulting in less stress and a feeling of overall relaxation. This technique is great for both adults and kids that struggle with stress or anxiety. If you have any questions or concerns about this, feel free to talk to the doctors next time you’re in the office or schedule a free consultation today at 515-278-9678