Why Vacation Time is so Important :)

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I just got back from my vacation in Mexico so I wanted to share with everyone why it is so important to take time off and for yourself!

Did you know…..

Downtime May Decrease Heart Disease

A host of studies have highlighted the potential cardiovascular-health benefits of taking a vacation, including:
The Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial for the Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease sponsored by the National Institutes of Health’s Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The trial followed 12,000 men over a nine-year period that had a high risk for coronary heart disease. The study found that any such men who take frequent annual vacations were 21 percent less likely to die from any cause and were 32 percent more likely to die from heart disease. How awesome is that!?
The landmark Framingham Heart Study – the largest and longest-running study of cardiovascular disease – revealed that men who didn’t take a vacation for several years were 30 percent more likely to have heart attacks compared to men who did not take time off. And women who took a vacation only once every six years or less were almost eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease or have a heart attack compared to women who vacationed at least twice a year.
Other Upsides of Downtime
In addition to reducing the risk of heart disease, studies have shed light on several other potential health benefits associated with vacationing, including:
Decreased depression – A study conducted by Marshfield Clinic of 1,500 women in rural Wisconsin determined that those who vacationed less often than once every two years were more likely to suffer from depression and increased stress than women who took vacations at least twice a year. Similarly, the University of Pittsburgh’s Mind Body Center surveyed some 1,400 individuals and found that leisure activities – including taking vacations – contributed to higher positive emotional levels and less depression. The benefits of vacationing also extended to lower blood pressure and smaller waistlines.
Less stress – A study released last year by the American Psychological Association concluded that vacations work to reduce stress by removing people from activities and environments that tend to be sources of stress. Similarly, a Canadian study of nearly 900 lawyers found that taking vacations helped alleviate job stress.
Improved productivity – The professional services firm Ernst & Young conducted an internal study of its employees and found that, for each additional 10 hours of vacation employees took, their year-end performance ratings improved 8 percent, and frequent vacationers also were significantly less likely to leave the firm. Additionally, research by the Boston Consulting Group found that high-level professionals who were required to take time off were significantly more productive overall than those who spent more time working.

So take your vacations and know that you are doing wonders for your health as well as enjoying yourself 🙂 

Leave questions and comments right here and don’t forget to like YFC on facebook!

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.

 

 

What are Natural Ways to Help Digestion?

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Do you have digestion issues? As it turns out, a lot of people do. But guess what? It’s not normal!

Your digestive system breaks down the foods you eat into nutrients your body needs. If you neglect your digestive health, your body could run into problems digesting foods and absorbing those nutrients.

And when your digestive system is off, your health can suffer in all sorts of ways. In addition to digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), bloating, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, or gas, you may also experience food allergies, weight gain, eczema, exhaustion, asthma, and more.

So what are some natural ways to help improve your digestive system? Let me tell you!

  1. Exercise: It takes healthy muscle tone all around the abdomen for food to digest properly to help food move through the digestive tract. Exercise can improve digestion by increasing muscle tone.
  2. Don’t over eat: Overeating can affect the digestive system and affect the rate of digestion. It causes the body to use a lot more energy, it adds stress on the digestive system and the body will try to use too many nutrients at once.
  3. Reduce or eliminate processed foods: The body has a hard time digesting these foods causing more energy and nutrients to be used for breakdown, so the body actually uses more nutrients than it receives from process foods.
  4. Chew your food: Take time to actually chew and enjoy your food. Digestion actually begins in the mouth because saliva contains digestive enzymes. Eating on the run makes digestion harder.
  5. Eat more fiber: Fiber keeps your colon healthy. Besides making stool soft and bulky, it also speeds the process through the colon, it dilutes toxins and eliminates bad bacteria from the colon.
  6. Take probiotics: We need good bacteria to help support our immune system, decrease inflammation, help heal leaky gut and aid in digestion. About 80% of our immune system comes from our gut!
  7. Drink water: The stomach needs water for digestion to help protect the lining of the stomach. Lack of water in the digestive tract can lead to ulcers, indigestion, heartburn, fatigue, brain fog, memory loss and constipation.
  8. Boost stomach acid: Most people have low stomach acid levels, which could result in heartburn, belching or gas, headaches, fatigue and much more. To help boost your stomach acid, squeeze fresh lemon juice in your water each morning.
  9. Acupuncture: Acupuncture helps improve the body’s function and promotes self-healing. I have a few acupuncture patients right now that are seeing me for this very issue!
  10. Chiropractic: The nerves that go to your digestive tract come from your spine. By removing nerve interference from misalignments in the spine, we are able to let the brain and the digestive tract communicate optimally to allow the digestive system to function like it should.
  11. Watch what you eat: A lot of us might have food sensitivities, with gluten and dairy being the most popular, that could cause digestive issues, skin issues or even asthma. Take a food sensitivity test to help narrow down specific foods that might be causing problems.

There are natural ways to help with your digestive problems so you don’t have to reach for over-the-counter medications and maybe even help skin problems! So start treating your body by treating your gut!

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.

What Does Sunlight Do For My Body?

Now that spring is here, the sun is shining bright and we finally have nice weather, we should be outside enjoying it! So I thought I would mention the health benefits that the sun has. It does more than give us a nice tan (or for some, a nice sunburn) and vitamin D. We get these amazing benefits from 10-15 minutes of sunlight each day:

  • The sun’s light kills bad bacteria.
  • Sunlight has a beneficial effect on skin disorders, such as psoriasis, acne, eczema and fungal infections of the skin.
  • Sunlight lowers cholesterol. The sun converts high cholesterol in the blood into steroid hormones and the sex hormones we need for reproduction. In the absence of sunlight, the opposite happens; substances convert to cholesterol.
  • The sun’s rays lower blood pressure. Even a single exposure significantly lowers blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure.
  • Sunlight penetrates deep into the skin to cleanse the blood and blood vessels preventing or improving atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
  • Sunlight increases oxygen content in human blood. And, it also enhances the body’s capacity to deliver oxygen to the tissues; very similar to the effects of exercise. The sun has a great effect on stamina, fitness and muscular development.
  • Sunlight builds the immune system. The white blood cells, which increase with sun exposure, are called lymphocytes, and these play a major role in defending the body against infections.
  • Regular sunlight exposure increases the growth and height of children, especially babies.
  • Sunlight can cure depression. Sunlight deprivation can cause a condition called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a form of depression. It is more common in winter months, but also common in people who work long hours in office buildings.
  • Sunlight can improve sleep quality. Exposure to sunlight during the day increases the natural production of melatonin (hormone that helps you sleep) at night. Low levels of melatonin production are linked to poor sleep quality.

So go outside, relax and soak up these benefits!

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.

Why should I get checked by a Chiropractor after a car accident??

Have you or someone you know been involved in a car accident? One of the most common injuries from a car crash is the damaging effect of whiplash. Whiplash occurs when a sudden, jarring movement of the head is sustained backward, forward or even to the side. Whiplash can cause the spine to lose stability and can also cause severe pain. These are a few other indicators to be aware of:

• Blurred vision
• Neck pain
• Headaches
• Dizziness
• Shoulder pain
• Reduced range of motion in the neck
• Arm pain
• Neck stiffness
• Low back pain

It is critical that chiropractic care is sought immediately, no more than 72 hours after the accident because if the effects of whiplash go untreated it can induce long-term pain and damage. The seriousness of the physical effects of an accident on the body is not always known or felt right away. It can take days, weeks or even months for major symptoms to show up, which is why chiropractic care is essential to maintaining the health of a spine that has been through a trauma.

Any body part that is jarred or thrown forward unexpectedly and beyond normal limits can sustain stretched ligaments and even tears. Those supporting the head and neck are especially vulnerable to this kind of tearing during a collision. Since chiropractors specialize in the care of bones, muscles, nerves and connective tissue, they are crucial to visit after an accident. All those major parts of the body are important to keep in optimal health and correct alignment so they can function properly and all body systems can operate seamlessly.

Early care and treatment means the potential for full healing and recovery. Even a car crash that is seemingly minor with limited damage to the car itself can cause serious injury to the driver and passengers. Chiropractic treatments are the right step toward not only restoring the body but also to remove any interference that may present in the communication of the brain with the body. Chiropractic care can reduce pain by making the necessary adjustments to the spine for correction of misalignment’s and hypo mobility of the joints. Here at Yost Family Chiropractic we also offer massage therapy and acupuncture as well to help care for you.

Questions or concerns!? Don’t hesitate to comment or email me directly at drnicole@yostfamilychiropractic.com

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.

Vitamin B12: How Does it Benefit My Body?

A vitamin B12 deficiency is thought to be one of the leading nutrient deficiencies in the world, and it’s a major health concern in many parts of the world, including the U.S and several other countries.

Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that’s crucial for addressing adrenal fatigue, multiple metabolic functions — including enzyme production, DNA synthesis and hormonal balance — and maintaining healthy nervous and cardiovascular systems. There are actually many symptoms that occur with vitamin B12 deficiency, such as potential chronic fatigue, mood disorders like depression or chronic stress.

Vitamin B12 benefits the central nervous system in many important ways: It helps maintain the health of nerve cells — including those needed for neurotransmitter signaling — and helps form the protective covering of nerves, called the cell’s myelin sheath. This means that when vitamin B12 levels are low, almost every cognitive function can suffer.

So what are the benefits of Vitamin B12?

  • Helps Maintain Energy Levels
    • Vitamin B12 helps your metabolism because it’s needed to convert carbohydrates into useable glucose in the body. Glucose from carbohydrate foods is used as a form of energy, which is why people with vitamin B12 deficiencies often experience fatigue.
  • Prevents Memory Loss and Lowers Risk of Neurodegenerative Disease
    • Because of its role in nerve health and neurotransmitter signaling, vitamin B12 helps cognitive function and is used to lower the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
  • Boosts Mood and Helps the Nervous System to Function Properly
    • One of the most researched vitamin B12 benefits is its ability to help in healthy regulation of the nervous system, including reducing such mood disorders as depression and anxiety. Vitamin B12, along with folinic acid or folate, is beneficial for neurological function, dealing with stress and mood regulation. Vitamin B12 is also needed for concentration and cognitive processes, such as learning.
  • Plays a Role in Maintaining Heart Health
    • Vitamin B12 helps to reduce elevated homocysteine levels, which is now considered a major risk factor for heart disease. It protects against heart disease, like a heart attack or stroke, by lowering high levels of homocysteine in the blood. There is also some evidence that B12 can help control high cholesterol and high blood pressure levels.
  • Needed for Healthy Skin and Hair
    • Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy skin, hair and nails because it plays a major part in cell reproduction. Vitamin B12 benefits skin health by reducing redness, dryness, inflammation and acne blemishes. It can also reduce hair breakage and help nails to become stronger.
  • Aids in Digestion
    • Vitamin B12 helps promote healthy bacteria within the gut environment. The elimination of harmful bacteria in the digestive tract — and simultaneously the presence of “good” bacteria. Also, with supporting gut health, it will also boost the immune system, since 80% of your immune system comes from your gut.
  • Needed for a Healthy Pregnancy
    • Vitamin B12 is needed to create nucleic acid, or DNA, which is the basic genetic material that’s used to create our entire bodies. Therefore, vitamin B12 is not only a key nutrient for growth and development, but a vital component of a healthy pregnancy. Vitamin B12 also interacts with folate in the body, so it may help lower the risk of birth defects, such as neural tube defects.
  • May Help Prevent Cancer
    • Vitamin B12 supplementation is now being studied as a way to help lower the risk of certain kinds of cancers, especially when taken with folate. Some preliminary research shows that vitamin B12 benefits the immune system enough to potentially help prevent cancer, including cervical, prostate and colon cancers.
  • Helps Produce Red Blood Cells and Prevent Anemia
    • Vitamin B12 is needed to help produce a healthy level of red blood cells. It helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia, which results in symptoms like chronic fatigue and weakness.

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Signs and symptoms of possible B12 deficiency:

  • Constantly feeling tired or chronic fatigue
  • Muscle aches and weakness
  • Joint pain
  • Tingling in your extremities
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Poor memory
  • Inability to concentrate well
  • Mood changes, like increased depression and anxiety
  • Having abnormal heart problems, such as palpitations
  • Poor dental health, including bleeding gums and mouth sores
  • Digestive problems like nausea, diarrhea or cramping
  • A poor appetite
  • A more serious deficiency can also cause a form of anemia called pernicious anemia, a serious condition that can cause memory loss, confusion and even long-term dementia

Compared to other vitamins, we don’t need high levels of vitamin B12 — but we do need to replenish our supply each day. B vitamins are water-soluble and are easily flushed out of the body, so to maintain levels of the recommended amount within our bloodstream and prevent a vitamin B12 deficiency; we need to eat food sources of B vitamins often.

If you think you might have a B12 deficiency, check with your primary care physician; a simple blood test will be done to check the levels of B12 in your blood.

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.