What will your first visit look like at YFC?

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Every chiropractic office does things a little differently. Some take x-rays on their patients and some don’t. Some do scans and some don’t I just want to share what we do here at YFC to evaluate you before beginning your treatment. 

The first thing that we do is a thorough examination.. not only on your area of complaint but of your whole spine and body. We like to look at our patients as a whole and not just at their areas of complaint. During this examination we will be looking at posture, range of motion, deep tendon reflexes, muscle strength, areas of misalignment and much more.

The second thing we do are scans to look at how your nervous system is functioning. We do organ glad and control, muscle tone and balance and heart rate variability. The instrument used for organ gland and control monitors skin temperature to assess autonomic nervous system function. The instrument used for muscle tone and balance is a highly researched chiropractic tool that provides accurate readings of paraspinal muscle activity and neuro-muscular energy expenditure. The final instrument used collects Heart Rate Variability data and monitor the balance and activity of the entire autonomic nervous system, including sympathetic (go go go nervous system) and parasympathetic (rest and digest nervous system). We want these equally balanced for proper functioning. A combination of these three scans will give us a CORE score. This score will tell us how well your nervous system is functioning as a whole. We retake these scans every 12 visits to see hows it’s changed and how you’re progressing. 

The final thing we do is take films. X-rays allow us to see the bones in your spine that we will be adjusting. We are able to see their position, the disk spaces between them, any fractures that may be present, curvatures in the spine, loss of necessary curvatures on your spine, anomalies and much more. The structure of your spine affects the function of your nervous system which is the source of EVERY process in your body. It’s how your heart knows to beat, how your lungs know breathe, how your stomach knows to break down food for digestion.. you can’t live without your nervous system, it is that important. This nervous system is housed by the bones that make up your spine. We affect your nervous system every time we adjust your spine. A good adjustment consists of finding the areas that need to be adjusted and applying the specific adjustment needed for correction. X-rays are one of the wonderful tools we have to provide the best care possible. 

So as you can see our first visit with you will include a very thorough examination so we can collect as much information about you as possible before coming up with a game plan for your health. 

For more information about our clinic visit our Yost Family Chiropractic facebook page 🙂

Pic2Dr. Nicole Davis graduated from Logan University with not only her Doctorate in Chiropractic but her Bachelors in Life Sciences. After working with hundreds of clients a week in a busy Ohio Chiropractic clinic, she decided to head home to Des Moines to be closer to her family.  She currently specializes in family wellness care with advanced training in pediatric and pregnancy care, working alongside 2 other doctors in the only Wellness Center in Iowa to offer Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Specialized Pediatric and Pregnancy Care as well as Functional Medicine.  She loves spending time with family, friends and her dog, Maci. She is here to serve her community with love, support and enthusiasm.

 

Fever: Is it Good or Bad?

A fever is good! It is actually the body’s natural way to fight infection!

Our bodies can handle and still function if our temperature is 104 degrees, whereas the bacteria or virus can’t survive with a temperature this high.  They are more comfortable and prefer when our body temperature is closer to normal or 98.6 degrees.

So if it’s completely natural, should we be trying to reduce the fever with medication?

Many of us, especially parents, feel that we need to take fever-reducing medication as soon as the fever starts, which ultimately interrupts the body’s natural ability in healing itself.  And there is a possibility that the infection will last longer and become more complicated when taking these meds. If fever-reducing medication is continually given to keep the fever down or gone, we are just leaving the door wide open, allowing the infection to stay.

When should we worry about a fever?

  • An infant 3 months old or younger with a fever over 100.4 degrees should be treated
  • A 3 month old to 3 year old with a fever higher than 102.2 degrees should be treated
  • Adults should treat a fever that goes above 104.5 degrees

What are some ways to reduce a fever naturally?

  • Rest and hydration are the most important – We need to drink plenty of cool fluids to prevent dehydration, which can occur more easily during a fever
  • Warm baths can be relaxing and provide relief – Do not do a cold bath because it can actually raise the body temperature even high because you are trying to warm up
  • Avoid having too many layers on to allow the heat to be released
  • Essential oils: I have had a few patients tell me they use lavender, eucalyptus or peppermint oil to help with a fever! (I have some pretty smart patients!)
  • And of course, chiropractic adjustments! Adjustments relieve the nervous system and allow the body to heal itself (and it also boosts the immune system 200-400%!)

Next time you or the kids have a fever, try to give the body a chance to do what it does best: Heal itself! It’s so amazing what we are capable of!

Dr. Jess

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2Dr. Jessica Stensland is a busy family wellness Chiropractor in Urbandale, Iowa. She spends her weeks taking care of dozens of families.  Not only does Dr. Jessica specialize in pediatric and pregnancy chiropractic care, but she’s a board certified Acupuncturist.  Dr. Jessica believes that a healthier community means taking care of all ages.   She is a Minnesota native and enjoys seeing family and friends in her free time, in addition to staying active and reading the many books she has on her kindle

Can Chiropractic care help with Asthma?

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Absolutely!! Did you know that researchers in several studies have shown that spinal adjustments improve respiratory function and improve chest mobility better than conventional bronchodilators, expectorants, and corticosteroids? Also, in recent studies children with asthma showed an overall improvement in lung capacity after only 15 chiropractic adjustments! How amazing is that!?

Asthma can be a very serious disease that can even be life threatening in some cases. Attacks are caused by irritants such as allergens or over-exertion that cause the bronchioles, the smallest air passage ways in the lungs, to spasm and become congested with mucus. This causes a decrease in the size and patency of the airways causing difficulty in breathing and an increase in wheezing and coughing. 

Chiropractic adjustments can help both bio mechanically and neurologically. 

First, let’s start with the bio mechanics. When you breath in and out your lungs expand and contract. Your ribs surround your lungs and move simultaneously with every breath. Your ribs are connected in the back to your thoracic vertebrae and in the front to your sternum. So what do you think would happen if these ribs didn’t move the way they are supposed to? It would affect your ability to breathe properly. If your thoracic vertebrae are restricted or out of place it would directly affect the attaching rib. Chiropractors are trained to locate these areas of restriction, correct them and increase joint mobility through adjustments. With increased mobility of the bones and ribs surrounding the lungs it becomes easier to breathe. 

Now lets talk about how adjustments  can help neurologically. The primary muscle in respiration is the diaphragm. This muscle sits below your chest and above your belly. It is controlled by the phrenic nerve which is composed of nerves that exit from the 3rd, 4th, and 5th vertebrae in the neck. If the nerve supply to this muscle is interfered with, as may be the case with a subluxation in the neck, the diaphragm may not function optimally and breathing may be impaired. By adjusting the neck we can remove this nerve inference to allow for optimum functioning of the diaphragm and removing breathing impairment. 

Vertebral subluxations in the neck can also result in associated spasm of the musculature in the neck. When the muscles in the neck become tight, the normal flow of the lymphatic system which helps our immune system to function normally can be interrupted. Because of this stasis in the lymph system, the immune system can become overloaded. Chiropractic adjustments in many cases will produce immediate relaxation of the neck muscles and allow normal lymph drainage to re-occur.

Know anyone suffering from asthma? Share this blog post with them, better yet share it to your facebook page to help spread the word 🙂 

Questions are encouraged so don’t hesitate to ask! If you don’t want to post a question publicly email me directly at DrNicole@yostfamilychiropractic.com and I would be happy to answer them. 

Pic2   Dr. Nicole Davis DC

Dr. Nicole Davis graduated from Logan University with not only her Doctorate in Chiropractic but her Bachelors in Life Sciences. After working with hundreds of clients a week in a busy Ohio Chiropractic clinic, she decided to head home to Des Moines to be closer to her family.  She currently specializes in family wellness care with advanced training in pediatric and pregnancy care, working alongside 2 other doctors in the only Wellness Center in Iowa to offer Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Specialized Pediatric and Pregnancy Care as well as Functional Medicine.  She loves spending time with family, friends and her dog, Maci. She is here to serve her community with love, support and enthusiasm.

 

Are You TOO Stressed?

When I say stressed, I mean anything physical, chemical or emotional that is having a negative effect on your nervous system. Many of us get stressed and we know it and there are those who might not know they are. It is actually pretty crazy what too much stress can do to your nervous system!

Did you know?

Our nervous system is divided into two parts: the voluntary and the involuntary or the autonomic nervous systems. The voluntary system is in charge of movement and sensation in which we have control over, so it consists of motor and sensory nerves. The autonomic system mainly controls functions over which we have less conscious control, which include the digestion of food, blood pressure and heart rate. These nerves leave the spine and connect to all the major organs and glands, either inhibiting or stimulating their activity.

The autonomic nervous system maintains a balance by regulating the internal organs, blood vessels and hormones. It is divided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.  The sympathetic is the “gas pedal” and controls functions associated with the fight-or-flight response. And for those of you who have never heard of the fight-or-flight response, let me explain! Let’s say you are out camping in the woods and bear comes up to you, your body automatically knows you need to run in order to be safe – that’s the fight-or-flight.   The parasympathetic is the “brake pedal” and controls the functions of rest, relaxation and repair. A lot of us seem to be using our “gas pedal” way too much, and eventually you run out of gas, which causes your body and nervous system to be drained and tired.

When we are in fight-or-flight mode, the sympathetic stimulates the glands and organs in the body that defend the body against attack. It causes more blood to go to the muscles and the brain.  Your heart rate and blood pressure increase, while it decreases the blood flow to the digestive system.  It also activates the thyroid and adrenal glands to provide extra energy for fighting or running away.  Nervousness, stress or feelings of panic are what we feel when our sympathetic nervous system is stimulated.

In our society, we all are on the go constantly, stressed about finances or family issues. There always seems to be something! The United States is actually one of the most chronically ill countries. Do you think there is a link between these?

A constantly active sympathetic nervous system results in sympathetic dominance and puts the individual at risk for increased disease and illness. What drives a person into sympathetic dominance?  Some of the most common causes are chronic stress (physical, chemical, emotional or diet), overworking or worrying too much. It is completely normal to use this fight-or-flight occasionally or when it is needed, what is not normal is constantly overusing it and causing the nervous system to become exhausted.

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Some of the symptoms and illnesses associated with sympathetic nervous system dominance are those of fight-or-flight could include:

  • Excessive worry, anxiousness and nervousness
  • Inability to relax
  • A strong self-will to “keep going
  • Chronic pain and inflammation
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia or other sleep issues
  • Sick with the cold/flu or other illnesses consistently
  • Digestive problems
  • Migraine headaches
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Depression
  • Forgetfulness
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Hypertension, heart disease or high cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Decreased libido

If after reading this you think you may be sympathetic dominant, take a look at the kind of stressors you have in your life and make some lifestyle changes, even small ones can make a difference. It’s never too late! You can start with a few of these:

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables or stay away from foods that cause inflammation (AI Paleo, gluten-free and an alkaline diet are great to look into!)
  • Take some “me” time doing something you love, a massage or having quiet time where you can shut your mind off and relax
  • Exercising – even 10-15 minutes a day will help de-stress you (as long as it’s not too vigorous of a workout – it can sometimes stimulate the sympathetic nervous system even more)
  • Go see a chiropractor! There are many different techniques out there, including ones that stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which those who are sympathetic dominant need to help balance the nervous system
  • Acupuncture also helps balance the nervous system

When the sympathetic dominance cycle is broken, and balance is restored between the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, the body is able to restore you to an optimal level of health and wellness! Who wouldn’t want that?!

Dr. Jess

 

2Dr. Jessica Stensland is a busy family wellness Chiropractor in Urbandale, Iowa. She spends her weeks taking care of dozens of families.  Not only does Dr. Jessica specialize in pediatric and pregnancy chiropractic care, but she’s a board certified Acupuncturist.  Dr. Jessica believes that a healthier community means taking care of all ages.   She is a Minnesota native and enjoys seeing family and friends in her free time, in addition to staying active and reading the many books she has on her kindle.

5 Hidden Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Pregnancy

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The first thing people do when I tell them I’m a Doctor of Chiropractic is point out an area of concern and ask me for my advice.   This is typically followed up with a story about someone they know and something they have heard about chiropractic care.  It never ceases to amaze me how misunderstood chiropractic is.  I don’t mind the questions and stories.  Over the years it has been somewhat humorous to hear all the things people think about the profession I have devoted my life to.

When I include in the conversation how I adjust children and pregnant women, I’m usually met with silence or a feeling of uncertainty.  On the other hand, there are the pleasant times I’m met with the enthusiastic response of “I’ve used chiropractic care” or “My daughter’s ear infection was gone after an adjustment!” or “I can’t live through a pregnancy without my chiropractor.”  Oddly enough, it seems to be that the pendulum swings either one way or the other when it comes to chiropractic care for pregnancy and children.  I have asked myself why this is.  I have to assume it’s a lack of knowledge, because if people knew what I know about the benefits of chiropractic care, they would not hesitate to include this type of care in their healthcare toolbox (ideally by calling our office of course – lol).

So with your permission, let me tell you the truth about Chiropractic Care, as well as 5 Hidden Benefits.  After reading this article, you can make an educated decision if chiropractic care is right for you and your family by basing your decision on knowledge instead of fear or concern.  If you’re not currently pregnant, educate yourself anyway.  You could potentially help someone else someday.

Let’s start with the basics.  Your body is controlled by….. (guess)

Your brain!  Everything in your body is controlled by your brain.  Your brain connects to your body through nerves.

Your spine is made up of 24 moveable bones (called vertebrae), plus the sacrum (ending in the tailbone), and the pelvis and skull.  From the brain, information travels down the spinal cord and then branches into nerve roots which exit through these bones or vertebrae.  When the bones are misaligned or not moving like they are designed to, the nerve information can get slowed or even sped up at times.  These misalignments are called “subluxations”.  If the information sent from your brain is telling your body to slow down or even speed up the vital muscles, tissues and organs of your body because of misalignment, what is going to happen?  Will you be healthier or sicker?  Stronger or weaker?  Will you have better health potential or less?  Will you be richer or poorer?  (I threw the last one in there just to make sure you’re still paying attention, but you get the picture right?)

Here’s the million dollar question – How do you know if your spine is misaligned and the messages being sent are not creating health?

You don’t unless you’re getting checked by a Doctor of Chiropractic.

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So let’s think about this one for a second.  Why wouldn’t you know simply by how you are feeling?  The same question could be asked why one wouldn’t know they have heart disease, cancer or even tooth decay right.  Your body isn’t designed to be sick.  Your body is designed to be healthy.  Let me say that again.  Your body isn’t designed to be sick, your body is designed to be healthy.  This means that your body has to be really sick in order for you to “feel the effects of your sickness”.  If there is an accident or injury then that is an exception to this, however, as far as overall health goes, it would be pretty nice if we knew the minute a cancer cell got out of control or our arteries began to plaque.  It would be nice to know when the slightest bit of tooth decay was present, but the pain typically comes when the problem has been around for a while.  If your body was spending time trying to figure out what’s wrong inside, it would lose precious time correcting the body so it could function the way it’s supposed to.

These are just the facts.  You can’t possibly know how health you are, unless a chiropractor is checking you.  I have many doctors that help to keep my family and me healthy.  My primary care physician is a chiropractor, but I have an eye doctor, a dentist, a functional medicine doctor, a midwife, and yes, even a medical doctor.  It is important to have lots of tools in our toolbox, but leaving out chiropractic care leaves out the ability to see what is going on inside the body before your only option is to treat the symptoms.

How does pregnancy fit into all this?  As you gain weight in the abdomen (and anywhere really), this causes a downward and, forward pull on your spine.  The weight then combines with the change in gait and center of gravity, setting you up for back and neck pain.  In addition, you secrete a beautiful hormone called, “relaxin”.  This hormone loosens your ligaments so your baby can exit easier, but it also exaggerates the effects of the extra weight and any existing spinal problems.  What happens to your breasts when you’re pregnant, well, let’s not even go there.  For some of us the breast changes were an added pregnancy “perk” (literally and figuratively), but for others, not so much.

Can you see how all this combined can affect your spine, pelvis and most importantly your body’s control system (your nervous system)?

So here are the 5 benefits of Chiropractic Care.

  • Studies show that women receiving chiropractic care through their first pregnancy had 24% reduction in labor times and a 39% reduction in subsequent pregnancies!
    1. My twin labor and delivery time was 5 ½ hours until Baby A and 34 minutes later Baby B were born.
  • Another amazing study showed the need for analgesics was reduced by 50% in the patients receiving chiropractic care.
  • 84% of women report relief of back pain during pregnancy with chiropractic care. (Why suffer with pain when you can find a Chiropractor trained in pregnancy care?)
  • Chiropractic care has helped new mothers become more comfortable breastfeeding (due to their posture being better), as well, as to produce more milk.
  • Chiropractic care has been shown to reduce the likelihood of postpartum depression. (please take omega 3’s as well)

My best advice is to make Chiropractic Care a part of your prenatal care.  Find a clinic that makes you feel at home and treats a lot of pregnant women.  One thing that we absolutely know for certain is that the team of doctors you choose and how you prepare for this beautiful time in your life will affect your birth and post-partum experience.  My desire is that this will be a time you will cherish and remember fondly forever.

Dr. Heather Yost DACCP, CFMP

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Your Body on Love

What’s love got to do with it? Valentine’s Day is just around the corner so I thought it would be fitting to see exactly how love affects us.

Love causes an overload in the brain of chemicals and hormones that produce feelings of pleasure, attachment and obsession. Here a few ways love affects our brain:

  • Hormones go haywire: There are 3 phases of love – lust, attraction and attachment. During the lust phase, hormones flood the body with feelings of intense desire. Adrenaline and norepinephrine make the heart race and the palms sweat, while the brain chemical dopamine creates feelings of euphoria, which can be called the “lover’s high.”
  • Works like a drug: When seeing an attractive face, even before we fall in love, the same part of the brain is activated as with painkillers: the opioid system. This part of the brain is responsible for feelings of “liking.”
  • Makes the blood pump: Being in love increases blood flow to the brain’s pleasure center. The surge in blood flow usually happens during the attraction phase, when partners become fixated on each other.
  • Causes us to act a little “OCD”: Love lowers levels of the brain chemical serotonin, a common attribute of obsessive-compulsive disorders. This drop in serotonin could explain why lovers display such single-minded focus on the object of their affection. It can also cause lovers to be “blind” to their partner’s undesirable traits in the early stages of a relationship, choosing to focus only on the good qualities.
  • Hormones create attachment: After people have been in love for some time, the body develops a tolerance to the pleasurable chemicals. The attraction phase leads to the attachment phase: the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin flood the brain and produce feelings of well-being and security.

Love not only has many health benefits, but it also makes us feel younger and live longer. So what are some of the health benefits of love?

  • Reduces stress
  • Promotes mental health
  • Boosts immunity
  • Lowers the chances of having cancer
  • Lessens pain
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease
  • Improves our memory
  • Provides a sense of security
  • Raises your confidence

Who knew love could be so great for our health?! So don’t just celebrate your love on Valentine’s Day, it should be done everyday!

Dr. Jess

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2Dr. Jessica Stensland is a busy family wellness Chiropractor in Urbandale, Iowa. She spends her weeks taking care of dozens of families.  Not only does Dr. Jessica specialize in pediatric and pregnancy chiropractic care, but she’s a board certified Acupuncturist.  Dr. Jessica believes that a healthier community means taking care of all ages.   She is a Minnesota native and enjoys seeing family and friends in her free time, in addition to staying active and reading the many books she has on her kindle.

How Healthy is Your Heart?

I’m sure some of you know that February is American Heart Month. And if you didn’t know, now you do! We all need to know how to keep our hearts healthy!

But first, a few fun facts about your heart!

  • The size of your heart is about the size of your fist
  • Your heart pumps 1.5 gallons of blood each minute
  • Your heart beats about 100,000 times per day
  • A woman’s heart is smaller than a man’s but it beats faster.
  • Your heart will work harder than any other muscle in your body in a lifetime
  • It only takes about 16 seconds for blood to be pumped from the heart to the toes and then back up to the heart

If your heart can do all of that and more, don’t you think we should take care of it and keep it healthy so we can live long and healthy lives? I certainly do!

So how do we take care of our hearts? Well, let me tell you!

  • Get active! Just 30 minutes of physical activity 5-7 days a week can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. It is also a great to boost your mood and relieve stress. Your heart is a muscle and it needs exercise to help keep it fit so that it can pump blood efficiently around your body. Without regular physical activity, the body slowly loses its strength, stamina and ability to function well.
  • Eat your fruits and veggies! Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber – and they’re low in calories.  Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help you control your weight and blood pressure. Healthy foods are the fuel our bodies use to make new cells and create the energy we need to survive and fight diseases.
  • Limit the salt! Too much salt in our diets can increase blood pressure. Salt makes your body hold on to water. If you eat too much salt, the extra water stored in your body raises your blood pressure. So, the more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure. And the higher your blood pressure, the greater the strain on your heart, arteries, kidneys and brain.
  • Relax! Stress happens! It is not what the circumstances are that affect our health, it is how we respond to them. When we’re under a lot of stress, our body ramps up adrenaline, which can overwork our hearts and cause high blood pressure or hypertension.
  • Get some sleep! Sleep is when our body relaxes, reboots and recovers, which is important for all aspects of our health, not just the heart. When you’re asleep, your heart rate and blood pressure go down, and gives your heart a much-needed break.
  • Eat healthy fats! What are the healthy fats? Omega-3-fattys acids and unsaturated fats are considered the “good” fats and help decrease cholesterol and heart disease. Omega-3-fatty acids are the superfast for the heart and brain. These healthy fats help protect the heart and support overall health.
  • Stop smoking! Smoking actually damages your entire circulatory system, and increases your risk for coronary heart disease, hardened arteries, aneurysm and blood clots. A year after giving up smoking, your risk of a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.

Did you know? 80% of heart disease can be prevented by lifestyle choices! So start making those choices today! Your heart will be thanking you!

Since February is heart awareness month and Valentine’s Day is around the corner, here are a few ways positive emotions are good for you heart!

  • Laughter makes blood flow more freely
  • Hugs release oxytocin and removes stress from the body
  • When you meet someone your heart goes crazy for, your heart gets a workout
  • Spending time with a loved one lowers blood pressure
  • Holding hands calms nerves
  • A positive attitude lowers the risks of heart attack

But don’t just take advantage of these on Valentine’s Day – these are great for everyday!

Dr. Jess

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2Dr. Jessica Stensland is a busy family wellness Chiropractor in Urbandale, Iowa. She spends her weeks taking care of dozens of families.  Not only does Dr. Jessica specialize in pediatric and pregnancy chiropractic care, but she’s a board certified Acupuncturist.  Dr. Jessica believes that a healthier community means taking care of all ages.   She is a Minnesota native and enjoys seeing family and friends in her free time, in addition to staying active and reading the many books she has on her kindle.