Why I chose to become of Doctor of Chiropractic

Layna FAHi everyone, I thought that I would take this week to talk about what drove me to become a Doctor of Chiropractic. When exiting high school and entering college I will admit that I was a little unsure of exactly what I wanted to do. The only thing I really knew was that I wanted to help people. Well wanting to help people isn’t very specific as there are so many ways to go about doing this.

I started my education at UNI very indecisive. Feeling ambitious I signed up for all science classes along with my general education classes. I have always loved science…chemistry, biology, anatomy.. you name it… those were my favorite classes to take in high school so I gave it a go. Shortly after signing up for these classes I became terrified of taking on such a heavy load my freshman year of college, with 3 of my classes having labs as well. I ended up in tears accompanying my anxiety about what I was getting myself into. At this point my parents set up a meeting with an adviser so I could go over my schedule and make it less scary. I ended up changing everything! I went from science to business classes because I figured that was “safer” and easier than what I was getting myself into before.

Upon starting my new schedule I did well in the business classes and enjoyed them for a while but became bored quickly. At this point I wanted something more fun, so I signed up for fashion classes my sophomore year. As much as I loved these classes and enjoyed them they just weren’t for me. My second semester sophomore year I decided to give those science classes another go, after all I had survived my freshman year and felt much more confident in my abilities as a college student. After beginning these classes I began to excel quickly being at the top of my classes in biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology…etc. For the first time since my college career began I felt like I was finally in the right place. I loved was I was learning and I was good at it! Soon my friends starting making comments… you’re so smart you should be a doctor or something! Hearing this comment was the very first time that I had even thought of trying to achieve something that seemed so out of reach. That seed that was planted by my dear friends at UNI began to grow and my thoughts changed rapidly from negative and fear based to positive and motivational! I thought to myself,  how cool would it be if I could actually become a doctor.. I could help so many people! At this time my goal became to become a pediatric medical doctor because I wanted to work with kids and grew up in a medically based family.

In pursuing this goal I decided to work at a nursing home full time over the summer as a CNA. I loved working in a nursing home, every day I got to help people do the things they could no longer do on their own. These included things like helping them eat, helping them get dressed, and helping them bathe…to me this was the ultimate way of serving people.

That fall I got into a car accident that totaled my car. As you can imagine I had pretty bad whiplash and didn’t feel well at all. After going to urgent care I was given a pain prescription and told to rest. A few days later as I was eating a sandwich I was unable to swallow without difficulty, this scared me as I had no idea what was going on. I called up the doctor from the urgent care clinic that I went to after my accident and went in for another evaluation. The doctor wanted to test me for strep. Now I have had strep before and knew this was no what was going on but I complied knowing that the test would be negative and hoping for a better diagnosis after. Of course the test was negative, and instead of further evaluating me (he didn’t even examine me at all) he told me to eat ice cream and cough drops as it was nothing. This seriously happened! I was distraught and smart enough to know that there was something going on, probably related to the accident that he didn’t bother to look into.

At this point I was advised to go see a chiropractor by a friend so I did. And guess what, I was given a wonderful explanation as to why my throat was in spasm and why I couldn’t swallow food easily… AND it WAS related to my whiplash injury. This is how it was explained to me at the time so that I could understand…..turns out, the nerves to your throat and mouth come out of your neck, and because I had a significant injury to all the structures in my neck causing hyper-excitability and muscle spasms in my neck my throat was unable to function properly.

I was blown away, not only by the attentiveness of the doctor to my concerns but also through his thorough evaluation. Through that he was able to arrive at an explanation for what was going on instead of trying to chase the symptoms and treat those with.. ice cream  and cough drops lol. Once I started treatment not only were adjustments helping the neck pain and upper back pain that I was experiencing from the accident but the headaches and migraines I had suffered from for years were decreasing in severity and frequency. Chiropractic adjustments had helped me in more ways than medicine ever did and that is when I knew that I wanted to become a Doctor of Chiropractic. Two months into treatment I transferred to Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis and finished my bachelor’s degree in life sciences there while working on my doctorates in chiropractic.

There is a time and place for medicine and people’s lives are saved every day because of it. But when facing situations like the one I was in I think that medicine and drugs should be the last resort… not the first. And I am so blessed to have found my passion and a way to serve people in the very best way possible.

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.

What is Innate Intelligence?

innate intelligence pic 2

 

I’m sure you remember from biology class that you started out as two cells, one from your mother and one from your father, and these cells continually multiply. Eventually these cells go off in different directions and form different tissues, muscles or organs and each has its own job instructed by an unseen intelligence.

This unseen intelligence, or innate intelligence, stays with us every second of every day and is in charge of everything that goes on in our bodies. If we cut ourselves, if we break a bone, if we have a cold or the flu or any other symptom or disease, it’s our own Innate Intelligence that does the healing. It just knows how to do it. The main goal of chiropractic adjustments is to remove the interference to healing, to allow the body’s own innate potential to function optimally. Healing always flows from above down, and from the inside out.

How does the spine affect Innate Intelligence? Our innate intelligence expresses itself largely through the nervous system, and that system controls EVERYTHING in your body – for instance the digestive system, the reproductive system and even the immune system. All the nerves that connect to all areas of the body come out the side of your spine. Science has now confirmed that any distortion or restriction of the spine can interfere with the communication between the brain and different areas of the body, depending on what nerve is affected.

Nerve root compression from spinal misalignments can alter gene expression, which affects how likely we are to actually develop the conditions or diseases that our parents have. This means that we won’t necessarily have the same problems they had – much of our future can be influenced by the choices we make in our own lives, including how we choose to care for our spines.

The same intelligence that formed you is also able to heal you. So in able for your innate intelligence to function optimally, misalignments in the spine need to be corrected.

So why not give chiropractic care a chance?! It is for so much more than treating pain!

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 a chiropractor do?

In the simplest form, we correct subluxations found in the spine.

What does this word mean? Subluxation….

A subluxation is an area in the spine that is misaligned enough or not moving enough to cause stress on the nervous system.

Contrary to what most people think we don’t “treat” low back pain, headaches, neck pain or any other symptom that may come along with poor health. We adjust your spine to correct subluxations. We are removing interference from the nervous system that these subluxations cause. So why do people get relief from things like low back pain and headaches? Your body is a self-healing organism and given the right environment it will heal itself. Think about when you cut yourself…. Your body heals it right?? Well what if you aren’t alive and you have a cut? It won’t heal. Why is this? Because when you are not alive your nervous system (brain, brainstem, all exiting nerves) isn’t either. And without them you cannot live. So if you literally can’t live without your nervous system just how important is it? Should you be taking care of it? What do you think happens when there is a negative impact on your spinal cord through subluxation? Not only can you get symptoms like back pain, neck pain, headaches, numbness and tingling in the arms and hands.. etc. But you are in a state of dis-ease. You are not well. And this alone can set you up for serious health problems in the future leading to a shorter and less enjoyable life.

This is why EVERYONE in your family needs to get their spines checked by a chiropractor….including children! Why wait for a crisis situation to take place before beginning care? Do you wait for your cavity to start hurting before you get it filled?? Do you brush your teeth to prevent cavities from arriving in the first place? That is what I thought. So get adjusted, prevent the onset of disease and keep your spine and nervous system healthy.

What cause these subluxations in the spine to occur? Physical, chemical and emotional stress.

So instead of sitting (negative physical stress), get up and move around (positive physical stress).

Instead of snacking on processed foods (negative chemical stress), eat whole organic foods and drink a lot of water (positive chemical stress).

Instead of letting your emotional stress build (negative emotional stress), do what you love to feel good and happy, take time for yourself (positive emotional stress).

 There are a lot of ways to care for your health to prevent subluxations from occurring. Please please comment and ask questions if you aren’t sure what you could be doing different.

If this blog has been helpful for you at all please click the like button and tag people in the comments section of facebook so they can read this as well!

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.

How Chiropractic care can help knee pain

Hey everyone 🙂 I just wanted to share some information about knee pain and how chiropractic care and adjustments can help!

Unfortunately the most basic of daily activities from bending down to pick up the grocery bag, climbing the stairs, walking from your car to the office, or just getting out of bed can feel so difficult when you are experiencing knee pain. Knee pain definitely has a negative effect on your ability to function optimally and isn’t fun at all.

I have great news for you! You do not have to decide to live with the pain, reduce your activity level, or even start taking more pain medication. Have you considered taking a new route and trying chiropractic care??? Chiropractic care is safe and very effective. 

The knee is a complex joint that relies heavily on ligaments and muscles for stability. When pain is perceived as coming from the knee, all the anatomical components need to be examined, and in addition to the knee joint, the low back, pelvis, hip, ankle and foot need to be examined due to the direct influence they have on the knee, and vice versa.
 
Our approach to assessing and treating the knee includes the evaluation of the other joints and muscles relating to the knee. This is for several reasons:

  • Pain can often be referred from other structures in the low back, pelvis and hip into the knee.
  • If other joints in the lower limbs are not working correctly they can put increased stress on the knee joint, resulting in injury over time. Therefore to resolve the knee pain, we may also treat other areas, to maximize long-term improvement.

So what do we do for you when you come into our office with knee pain!? Good question… our goals are:
Reduce joint inflammation and reduce pain.

  • Avoid aggravating factors
  • Use of support
  • Ice to reduce inflammation, muscle spasm and pain
  • Soft tissue healing with  ultrasound and interferential therapy

Normalize joint function.

  • Specific chiropractic manipulation techniques to areas of restricted movement in the knee and surrounding joints, to increase movement, improve the function and reduce pain. Here at YFC we like to analyze the knee using the activator technique, it is very neurologically specific and the activator moves 300 times faster than anything that can be done with the hands! Check out my video on youtube demonstrating a knee adjustment at:
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vr-zTL1E2gA    

The video can also be found on our YFC facebook page! Feel free to like the video on facebook if the information was helpful for you! If you know anyone struggling with knee pain please tag them in the comments section below so they can check it out too!!

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.

Your Brain-Gut Connection

brain-gut-connection pic

I’m sure most of you have heard of probiotics. If not, probiotics are “good” bacteria that live in your gut to support gut and immune system health. What if I told you it has been shown that these good bacteria, or microflora, also support brain health? Pretty crazy!

As reported by research done at UCLA and published in the peer-reviewed journal Gastroenterology: “Researchers have known that the brain sends signals to your gut, which is why stress and other emotions can contribute to gastrointestinal symptoms. This study shows what has been suspected but until now had been proved only in animal studies: that signals travel the opposite way as well.”

So if you experience stress, depression, anxiety or other negative emotions have you noticed changes in digestive health? Or have changes in digestive health led to these same negative emotions?

How do the brain and the gut communicate?

You actually have two nervous systems:

  • Central Nervous System: composed of your brain and spinal cord
  • Enteric Nervous System: which is the intrinsic nervous system of your gastrointestinal tract

These two systems are connected via the vagus nerve, the tenth cranial nerve that runs from your brain stem down to your abdomen. It is now recognized that the vagus nerve is the main route your gut bacteria use to transmit information to your brain.

So you may think that your brain is the organ in charge, your gut actually sends way more information to your brain than your brain sends to your gut. For example, you’ve probably experienced the visceral sensation of “butterflies” in your stomach when you’re nervous, or had an upset stomach when you were very angry or stressed. The opposite is also true, in that problems in your gut can directly influence your mental health, leading to issues like anxiety and depression.

Neurons, which are specialized nerve cells that carry “messages” throughout the body and brain to allow the brain and body to communicate, are found in the gut as well as in the brain. For example, neurons that produce neurotransmitters like serotonin, are found in your brain and in your gut. Serotonin is involved in mood control, depression and aggression, and in fact has the highest concentration in your intestines, not your brain.

Besides research connecting gut bacteria in mental health and behavior, other research has shown that your microflora also has an effect on:

  • Immune system function
  • Gene expression
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Autism

Your gut bacteria are constantly under attack from antibiotics, processed foods (which are loaded with sugar), agricultural chemicals, chlorinated or fluoridated water, conventionally-raised meats and animal products and genetically enhanced grains.

To help optimize your gut bacteria avoid processed or refined foods, eat fermented and unpasteurized foods and take a good quality probiotic (which are usually available at health food stores).

Hopefully by reading this you realize that nourishing your gut flora is extremely important, including infants and kids, because essentially you have two brains, one inside your skull and one in your gut, and each needs to be well nourished and healthy for optimal function.

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.

Chiropractic Care and Low Back Pain

Did you know that among people seeking back pain relief alternatives, most choose chiropractic treatment!? About 22 million Americans visit chiropractors annually. Of these, 7.7 million, or 35%, are seeking relief from back pain from various causes, including accidents, sports injuries, and muscle strains. Other complaints include pain in the neck, arms, and legs, and headaches.

As chiropractors we use hands-on spinal adjustments and other alternative treatments, proper alignment of the body’s musculoskeletal structure, particularly the spine (the house of the spinal cord), will enable the body to heal itself without surgery or medication. Adjustments are used to restore mobility to joints restricted by tissue injury caused by a traumatic event, such as falling, or repetitive stress, such as sitting without proper back support.

Research has also shown chiropractic to be helpful in treating neck pain and headaches. In addition, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia may respond to the moderate pressure used both by chiropractors and practitioners of deep tissue massage.

So as you can see chiropractic is wonderful relief of symptoms by enhancing the bodies natural ability to heal itself! So if you or someone you know fall into the 80% of people suffering from low back pain make an appointment with your chiropractor! Don’t have one?? We would love to serve you here at Yost Family Chiropractic! 

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.

Do You Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

HandPainfromCarpalTunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome is very common nowadays, especially with so many people using computers and any repetitive activity with the hands and wrists.

So what is a carpal tunnel?

Carpals are eight bones that make up the wrist. And we all know what a tunnel is. There is a ligament, called the transverse ligament, that goes over these bones and they form the carpal tunnel. Through this carpal tunnel, there are several tendons and the median nerve that pass through it. When the median nerve is compressed it can cause pain, numbness, tingling or burning into the wrist and down into the fingers. Since the median nerve passes through the carpal tunnel, many people suspect that problem is coming from this nerve being compressed in the carpal tunnel in the wrist. Which in many cases, this is not the cause.

All the nerves that supply the arm, wrist and hand all come from the cervical spine or the neck, specifically the median nerve in this case. If there are subluxations or restrictions in the spine, meaning the spine is not in alignment, it adds stress or pressure on that nerve and can lead to pain, numbness or tingling down the arm into the fingers.

As chiropractors, we remove these subluxations to take the stress off the nerves and allow the body to function optimally while decreasing pain and inflammation. Not only will we look at the spine, but we also look at the wrist, elbow and shoulder for carpal tunnel syndrome because decreased motion in these joints can also cause the symptoms into the hand.

I think it is really important that people know that there is another option, a more conservative option, for treating carpal tunnel syndrome than surgery. In over half of these surgeries, the symptoms reoccur after about 2 years. Why do you think that is?

So if you have carpal tunnel syndrome or know someone who does, give chiropractic a try!

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.