The Best Sleeping Position for your Spine

SnoozeWise-Memory-Foam-Contour-Pillow-Relieve-Your-Pillow-Neck-Pain-Extra-Allergy-Free-Pillow-Case-SBelieve 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!

Dr. Meghan

Advertisements

Is Coconut Oil Good or Bad?

Coconut with jars of coconut oil and cosmetic cream on wooden baThere 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, can 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.

Dr. Meghan

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26545671
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26545671

Hidden Dangers of Fruit Juice

cecaff_127f1a34b11d4fca820f4477ba7f4b98Fruit 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!

Dr. Meghan

How Acupuncture Can Help You

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.

Dr. Meghan

Why I Chose to Become a Chiropractor

headshot

I began my journey with chiropractic at the young age of 10. I suffered a bad fall that resulted in a lot of back pain. Unable to play outside with friends or go to dance class because of it, I was miserable. My parents decided to take me to a chiropractor to see if I could get some relief. With his adjustments and treatments, I was soon recovering and getting back to my spunky 10 year old self. After a while, I returned to dance and was able to play without any pain. Following this accident, I went back to my chiropractor regularly for wellness care and to keep my spine healthy. As I got older, my interest in chiropractic grew as did my love of science. By the time I reached high school, I knew this was my calling. I wanted to help others, was fascinated with the sciences, and had my own personal testimony to the power of chiropractic.

When I asked for advice from my chiropractor on how to begin my journey, he told me to go check out Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis Missouri. My junior year of high school, my family and I took the trip down to check the school out. I fell in love immediately and knew this was for me. Now all I had to do was figure out the path that would get me there. I decided on Truman State University for my undergraduate school and majored in Biology there. All my focus was set on getting myself to Logan and becoming the doctor I was destined to be.

I finished my time at Truman in three years and then headed off to Logan. When I got to Logan, I had only really associated chiropractic with pain. I had pain when I was younger, I went to the chiropractor, and he got rid of my pain. My mindset did a complete 180 when I started school. Up until that point, I had suffered from terrible allergies and sinus infections. Once I started getting adjusted regularly, those problems vanished! I no longer needed allergy meds and didn’t suffer through allergy season anymore. This is when I truly began understanding the power of chiropractic. It is not all about pain; it’s about maintaining a healthy nervous system so your body functions as it should. Chiropractic is about releasing your body’s own power to heal and correct itself.

Dr. Meghan

Are You Getting all of Your Fruits and Veggies?

juicing-pic

 

Dr. Nicole and I were at a seminar this past weekend and our instructor was SO good! Her own personal story was amazing and very inspiring. We talked a lot about how the lifestyles we all live affect our health and our DNA.

One of the major lifestyle factors that plays a part in our health is our diet. We all tend to lean toward something that is quick and easy. But is it always the healthiest option?

I’m sure you all know that it is recommended that we get 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Who out there even gets that many? What if I told you that our bodies actually need 15-20 servings of fruits and vegetables per day to allow every cell, tissue, organ and organ system in your body to function at its optimal level?

I know what you are thinking… “It’s hard for me to get between 5-9 servings, how in the world can I get 15-20?” Juicing is a great way to get the majority of your servings in! I just juiced this morning for the very first time and it contained 8 carrots, 2 apples and 1 lemon. And it was delicious! I’m already looking forward to making my second one!

With juicing, the drinks don’t contain too much sugar, they contain real nutrients your body needs and you still get soluble fiber. It allows you to add different fruits and vegetables you don’t normally eat into your diet, fresh and raw produce have more nutrients than when they are cooked and juicing helps your body absorb and metabolize all the nutrients fruits and veggies have to offer.

And of course there are many health benefits that come from juicing! Here are a few:

  • Better sleep
  • Glowing, clear skin
  • More energy
  • Weight loss
  • Healthy digestive system
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Cellular detox
  • Increased immune system
  • Less “brain fog”

With getting the proper nutrients our bodies need, we can lead healthier lives! I don’t know about you, but I want a long and healthy happy life! We need to start making changes today to have a healthier tomorrow!

Dr. Jess

 

Natural ways to help with ADHD

I just wanted to put into writing a few of the suggestions I mentioned in my video about things that you can be doing for your child if they have been diagnosed with ADHD.

Being the most common childhood health problem of any kind world wide and the most common childhood mental illness, children as young as 3 years old are being put on drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall. These statistics are making headline news! Is this really what we want for our children? And for out future generations? We should be asking why AHDH is on the rise and what can we be doing to help.

First of all, what is ADHD? To put it simply, it’s a brain imbalance. The “name” for it is Functional Disconnect Syndrome. Your brain should be balanced and working as one to create proper functioning of the body. Being imbalanced simply means that the two hemispheres of the brain are not electrically balanced or synchronized which can cause problems such as ADHD, autism, asthma, allergies and many other things. So what is the goal…. FIX the disconnect. By doing this we are getting to the root of the problem and not just chasing and treating symptoms. We can address this physically, mentally and emotionally.

First- What is your child eating for breakfast?? After all, the never ending stream of commercials for sugary breakfast items such as fruitloops, lucky charms, poptarts and many others have a huge impact on what your child desires to eat for breakfast. Starting their day off with a rush of sugar will be of no help to a child struggling with a hyperactive condition. Instead replace their breakfast with items high in protein such as eggs and try to stay away from excess sugar. Sugar is like a toxin to the body and is highly addictive, see my previous blog on how sugar is affecting people every day.

Second- How much activity is your child getting on a daily basis? Making sure that they are getting plenty of physical activity in is very important in brain function and development. If your child spends more time in front of a screen than they do physically active this is also something that you can change to have a positive impact on your childs behavior.

Third- As a chiropractor I feel the deep obligation to share how wonderful chiropractic care is for these children. I adjust the vertebrae in the spine to get to the brain, with each adjustment I am sending positive information to the brain and “re-calibrating” it. Adjustments directly affect the brain in a positive way by dealing with the spine which houses the spinal cord. Get your child to a chiropractor and have their spines checked. By clearing the pathway from the brain to the body of interference, the bodies function increases!

Watch my video here to learn more!

Also, here at YFC THIS Thursday August 25th from 6PM to  7:30 PM Dr Jessica will be discussing Natural solutions to ADHD in more details! Don’t miss this FREE event! Visit our YFC facebook page for more details!

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.