Believe it or not, what you do in your sleep can greatly affect your spine! While it is hard to control what you do in your sleep, sleeping in optimal positions can help reduce stress on your spine.
The most common sleeping position is on your side. About 69% of people say they are side sleepers. There are many benefits to sleeping on your side but it can put your neck or low back at as disadvantage. When sleeping on your side, make sure to keep a pillow between your knees. This will level out your pelvis and neutralize your low back. You also want to make sure your neck is in a neutral position. You don’t want it propped up too high or too low. That is why we suggest the contoured pillows we carry here in the office at YFC. The contour follows the natural curve of the neck and allows perfect support throughout the night.
Another great sleeping position is on the back. This actually places the least amount of stress on the spine. Just like with side sleeping, you also want to make sure you have the proper support for your neck. Again, our contoured pillows are perfectly made to fully support your neck while on your back as well. When sleeping on your back, it’s also a good idea to have a pillow under your knees. This will take even more pressure of of your low back and give you a perfectly restful night’s sleep.
The worst sleeping position for your spine is sleeping on your stomach. This is harmful for your spine in a few different ways. First, it places a lot of stress and pressure on your neck because you are forced to turn your head to one side. More stress and pressure is also placed on your low back because it forces it into a hyper-extended position. While sleeping on your stomach may feel comfortable, it is actually harming your spine every night. So if you are a stomach sleeper, try to start training yourself to sleep on your side or back!
There has been a lot talk about coconut oil lately and if it is actually good or bad for you. A study was recently published by the American Heart Association (AHA) connecting saturated fats to heart disease. The AHA is stating that coconut oil raises cholesterol, which in turn will cause heart disease. This is actually true, but only partly. Coconut oil will increase your HDL cholesterol (“good cholesterol”). So while the overall total cholesterol does go up, it is only due to the rise in HDL numbers.
Studies in Brazil have shown that increased levels of HDL cholesterol actually help those with heart disease lose weight and protect the heart (1). Other studies have actually proven that low cholesterol, not high, an increase a person’s risk of early death (2).
Instead of looking at cholesterol as the culprit to heart disease, we should start looking to inflammation. Chronic inflammation causes damage to the arteries over time. This damage leads to plaquing and hardening, and eventually to heart disease.
The overall takeaway here is that coconut oil is actually great for you. When you consider if a fat or oil is healthy, you really just need to think about where it is coming from. Coconut oil, olive oil, butter, etc. can all be traced back to their sources. Oils such as Canola oil, vegetable oil, and margarine are synthetically processed and produced. So please consider this next time you’re shopping at the store. Natural is always better.
Fruit juice is one of the most common drinks given to children. Did you know that it could actually be harming your child? Just this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics warned parents that children under the age of 1 should not be given fruit juice at all. They reported that too large of quantities of juice can lead to energy imbalances, digestive issues, tooth decay, and metabolic distress.
For children ages 4-6, it’s recommended they be given no more than 4-6 oz a day. Children ages 7 to 18 shouldn’t consume more than 8 oz a day. When comparing those servings to typical bottle sizes you can buy at the store, children are getting 2 or 3 servings!
Back in 2012, Consumer Reports found that 10% of apple and grape juices contained arsenic levels higher than US drinking water standards. These harmful levels of arsenic get into the fruit juice via insecticides that are unable to be removed from the fruit.
When it all comes down to it, the risks of obesity, arsenic levels, and digestive side effects appear to outweigh the benefits of drinking fruit juice for children. To get the nutritional benefit from fruit, it’s much simpler to eat fresh fruit! If you’re still looking for a juice that would be safe for your child, there are some options.
Pomegranate juice is packed full of antioxidants and small amounts can actually reduce inflammation. Vegetable-based juices are also an excellent alternative. These juices will be free of the high sugar levels.
Like all things, juice should be consumed in moderation. Make sure you educate yourself on the quality of the juice and where exactly it’s coming from!
While acupuncture is relatively new to the United States, it is actually an ancient practice that dates back thousands of years. The study of acupuncture is very complex and diverse but to break it down simply; your body is made up of many meridians o f energy that flow throughout it. This flow of energy keeps you healthy and well. When you get a blockage of energy in a meridian it can lead to health problems or various conditions. By placing a needle in a point along that meridian, it will draw more energy there and remove the blockage.
Acupuncture can be used to treat countless things such as: headaches, low back pain, digestive problems, anxiety, and appetite control. During the needling process, endorphins are released as well which elevate the mood and reduce pain. Not only is acupuncture great for physical health, it is also fantastic for mental health. During the 20 minute treatment time, you get to relax and take some well deserved time for yourself. Chiropractic and acupuncture go together amazingly to help treat the whole mind and body.