Boost Your Immune System This Winter

Keeping our immune system healthy should be a yearly habit; however it is even more important when you approach the winter season.  There are so many different attributes which can affect the immune system including, stress, viruses, sleep deprivation or not eating the proper foods.  The great news is there are so many easy things you can do to keep your immune system fighting off those nasty viruses. 

Keeping stress levels low is so important when dealing with your immune system.  When your stress levels rise your cortisol levels rise, this tends to weaken the immune system.  I understand it is not always easy to control your stress levels however when you start to feel stressed, step away from the situation and take a few deep breaths.  Mediation has also been known to reduce stress levels.  Making sure you get enough sleep can also help to reduce stress levels and keep your immune system strong.  When you are sick sleep is the best way to allow the body to fight off the virus and renew the body. 

Stocking up on your multivitamin supplements and taking extra vitamin C during cold and flu system.  Vitamin C is an antioxidant which can help to support the function of immune cells.  You can take a supplement for vitamin C or you can also add foods which are high in vitamin C like; berries, broccoli, citrus fruits and peppers.   You also want to make sure you are upping your intake of leafy greens.  In the winter months you can add your greens into your soup and in the summer add them to your smoothie.  I recently made a soup and added some kale and it was delicious!

Staying hydrated is also super important to the health of your immune system.  Your body needs water to be able to function properly and fight off those viruses.  Getting adjusted with your local San Diego Chiropractor can also help to keep your immune system healthy.  Many San Diego Chiropractors agree their patients get sick less often and recover faster when they are getting adjusted on a regular basis because their nervous system is functioning without interference.   

Stay healthy friends!

How To Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s response to factors such as; stress, toxic chemicals, infections and the foods we consume.  When the immune system senses any of the above factors it responds and activates proteins meant to protect our cells and tissues.  Inflammation can be harmful to the body and affect your health short and long-term.  A major cause of inflammation can be directly correlated to the foods we eat.  Getting the right nutrients is a major key in keeping inflammation levels low and sometimes we can’t get all the nutrients we need from food alone.   Finding a well-chosen supplement(s) is usually a requirement to ensure your body is getting the most optimal vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and omegas.   Finding a liquid supplement is usually better received by the body and doesn’t take as long as to break down like pill form. 

Reducing your toxin exposure can also help to reduce inflammation in the body.  We are exposed to toxins everyday without even leaving our home.  Toxins can be found in household cleaners, personal care products and our food.  Doing a detoxification for your body and your home a few times a year can be beneficial.  Doing intermittent fasting and eating a wide range of colorful, organic produce is an important step in helping your cells detoxify.  Managing your stress levels is also important in keeping inflammation levels low.  Studies have shown chronic stress can trigger inflammation.  If you have trouble keeping stress at bay I would recommend adding meditation into your daily regime as well as massage at least once a month.  Local San Diego Chiropractor, Dr. Henry Wong offers massage services in his wellness office, not only to help with sore or tight muscles, but to help remove toxins trapped in the muscles and to help maintain blood flow and reduce blood clots.  Getting adjusted on a regular basis can also help with inflammation and joint pain.  Many San Diego Chiropractors agree getting adjusted is not enough to help with inflammation and also recommend daily stretching, exercise and drinking and eating more alkaline foods. 

Remember you can help to reduce inflammation!!

Signs You May Be Ready For A Detox

Your body sends you signals and talks to you all day long.  It can tell you when you are thirsty, tired or even ready to get toxins flushed from the body.  The foods we eat, environmental factors as well as mental stresses can also cause toxins to build up in the body.  Here are a few signs which may suggest you are ready for a detox.

Digestive distress can be one of the most obvious signs you need to change your diet and remove toxins from the body.  Constipation, gas, bloating and diarrhea can be signs you give your gut an overhaul.  When your body is functioning properly these are the last things you should be experiencing.   Craving sugar can also be a sign you are ready for a detox.  A diet that consists of processed foods and refined sugars can put your leptin hormones and blood sugar on high and low peaks, which can cause you to crave more junk.  Having toxins in your body can also affect your mental state and may cause you to feel stressed out all the time, fatigue and feeling foggy or groggy.  It can also cause anxiety and depression and make you feel on edge and unhappy.  Joint pain can also be another sign you are in need of a detox.  When the body is experiencing ongoing inflammation (and you are not pushing yourself physically) it can be big warning sign. 

If you have questions about different types of detox and what is best for you I would recommend talking to your local dietician or nutritionist like San Diego Chiropractor, Dr. Henry Wong.  Unlike many other San Diego Chiropractors, Dr. Wong also provides nutritional counseling for his patients and offers detox cleansing kits at his office for purchase.  Remember you are what you eat and preventative measures are always the best.  Be aware of the food you consume and how you feel after you eat it.  You can also keep a food journal and record your meals and how you feel after eating.  Most important, listen to your body!  Take the warning signs seriously and make changes when necessary.  

What You Should Know About Antibiotics

With the cold weather arriving so is cold and flu season.  The best way to try and stay healthy is to make sure we are washing our hands and taking a multi-vitamin to keep our immune system healthy.  Keeping stress levels low and continuing our healthy habits is also another way to keep us healthy this winter season.  If you do get sick and your immune system is on the healthier side you should be able to recover rather quickly however, sometimes you can get a bacterial infection and are prescribed antibiotics.  These antibiotics are used for bacterial infections only; you should not take them for sinus or ear infections, viruses (colds/flu) or sore throats.  The uses of antibiotics are not a quick fix for an illness and taking them when unnecessary can cause unwanted side effects and delay recovery.

Side effects from antibiotics can include but are not limited to; diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain or colitis.  Although diarrhea may be the most common side effect if you do have a fever or abdominal pain after taking antibiotics, contact your doctor immediately.  Antibiotics can help to kill off the bacterial infection but it can also kill off good bacteria.  Taking a probiotic can be helpful to help replenish any of the bacteria your gut needs.  Make sure you tell your doctor any other medications you are taking, including birth control.  Taking antibiotics can interfere with oral birth control.

Taking preventative measures to keep your immune system healthy is always the best way to fight off viruses.  Getting adjusted with your local San Diego Chiropractor are a great way to keep the nervous system functioning properly and your immune system working at its most optimal.  Many San Diego Chiropractors agree getting adjusted, taking a multivitamin, daily exercise and eating healthy is the best way to stay healthy all year long!

 

How To Eat Healthy On A Budget

Recently I decided I needed to change my eating habits and make better choices which are healthier for my overall well being.  The first thing I decided to do was go to my local health food store.  The prices seemed to be a little more than what my typical budget for food is and I realized I needed to do a little more research on how to make the healthiest choices on a budget.  Here are a few tips I have come across and wanted to share with you.

Cooking at home is one of the ways I save the most money.  Not only do I have control over what I eat but making the food at home has cut my food budget in half.  When you eat out all of the time it really starts to add up, especially if you are eating at sit down restaurants when you also have to tip.  Cooking at home also means you will spend more time in the grocery store, usually a few times a week.  I prefer to shop in smaller portions, getting what I need, than spend $80-$100 on one trip and having food go to waste.  I also choose to shop seasonal which means I am purchasing things that are in season and at their peak for eating.  Shopping at the local farmers market is a great way to shop seasonal as well as support local farmers and vendors.  I will say I can get carried away at the farmers market and can over spend, so I always take cash and only $20-$30. This helps me to choose more thoughtfully on my purchases and not over spend. 

One thing I love about my San Diego Chiropractor is he holds workshops that teach you how to shop and different ways you can save money.  I appreciate how many San Diego Chiropractors and wellness providers offer guidance on healthy eating, what’s in season and nutritional value of different foods.  Remember eating healthy doesn’t have to break the bank, it may take a little more commitment and thought but you can find ways to stretch your dollar.

Keeping Your Neck In Proper Alignment: Text Neck

The dreaded text neck!  With a cellphone in almost everyone’s hands the shoulders are rolling in and the neck is going against its natural “C” curvature.  When the neck and shoulders roll forward it can cause your posture to be out of alignment, muscles tighten and pull, as well as possible compression on nerves.  It is important to ensure the body is in proper alignment, especially when our heads are down all day looking at our phones.  When the head is in proper alignment it puts about 10-12 pounds of pressure on the spine, when the head is flexed forward 30 degrees it adds 30 pounds of pressure on the spine!  Some symptoms can include headaches, neck pain, back pain and tingling in the arms or fingers.  Instead of reaching for the pain relieving medications, which come with side effects, try giving yoga a try!

When doing yoga it is important to be aware of your posture and the alignment of your neck.  I can speak from experience when doing certain poses if my neck is not properly aligned it can cause some added pain and pressure in my body.  When doing sun salutations you are told to follow your forward fold with a “half way lift, flat back.”  In this pose many students seem to bring their head up towards the ceiling or to view themselves in a mirror.  This causes the neck to crunch up, make sure that your gaze is kept towards the floor and your neck is aligned with your spine. If requested, most teachers can come over and check your posture when in this, or any pose.  Down dog is also a pose that is done in most yoga classes and can also contribute to text neck if not done properly.  When you are in this pose make sure you head does not hang down, your ears should be in alignment with your arms and the gaze should be in between your legs.

If you are suffering from text neck or neck pain I would also recommend seeing your local San Deigo Chiropractor.  Many San Diego Chiropractors can take x-rays and see if the structure of your neck has been compromised and give adjustments as well as offer stretches to help bring the neck back into proper alignment.  Like any activity talk to your yoga instructor if you have any questions regarding proper neck alignment.   

 

A Healthy Heart And Spine From Yoga

Yoga is not only a great way to gain flexibility and strength but it also helps our internal functioning as well.  When our spine is healthy our central nervous system is able to function properly, keeping the body at optimum health.   For those who don’t know, our central nervous system helps to control all functions of your body and when the nerves are compressed they are unable to do their job.  For example if the nerves that function your digestive system are blocked you may have issues digesting food.  Doing yoga is a great way to keep the spine healthy and that allows the body to function properly.   Studies have shown that those with a health spine also have healthy arterial functioning. 

Many yoga studios offer many different types of yoga and some even offer classes that are specific to back and spine strengthening.  Let the instructor know if you have any injuries and make sure to listen to your body.  Many people I have come across are intimidated by yoga and believe they need to be flexible before starting the class.  This couldn’t be further from the truth!  Many people who start going to yoga are not flexible, but with consistency and daily practice you will be more flexible over time.  Even if you are unable to make a class 20 minutes a day at home will help to ensure you are stretching your body every day.

Spinal health is key to keeping your body healthy.  I would recommend seeing your local San Diego Chiropractor and start getting adjusted regularly to ensure a healthy spine.  Most  San Deigo Chiropractors are able to take initial x-rays to see if there are any areas of your spine that are misaligned.  There are even some offices that offer yoga classes that are designed to help strengthen and support your spine.  Remember when your spine is healthy it helps to ensure you have a healthy heart and body!

 

What You May Not Know After Spinal Surgery

Any kind of surgery can be a scary process for anyone.  It is also expensive, time consuming and takes a lot of time for recovery.  Spinal surgery is usually a last resort when other methods of pain relief haven’t worked.  There are many different reasons why someone would need surgery such as; when there is fusion of the vertebras or a need for disc replacement.  Recovery time for spinal surgery can vary depending on different factors but a usual recovery time is about one to three months and take up to a year to fully heal.  The benefits to back surgery is usually less pain, improved movement for physical activities, increased productivity, improved mood and need for less medications and drugs.  There are also risks involved with getting surgery such as; nerve damage, heart attack, recurrent disc herniation, infection and reactions to anesthesia. 

When you get surgery on your spine usually there is some kind of hardware that is placed against the spine to ensure there is no movement.  I have a friend of mine who is 26 years old and had spondylolisthesis.  Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which one bone/vertebrae in your back slides forward over the bone below it.  It usually has symptoms such as pain or numbness in your legs.  She had to get surgery when she was only 25 and has had over a year of recovery time.  When they performed the surgery in order to correct the problem the surgeon added two rods and six screws into the area that had shifted.  Although this worked wonders in helping some of the pre-surgery pain she was feeling, the area no longer has freedom to move as the spine should and now has pain in other areas of her body which compensate for the lack of movement.

Getting adjusted with her local San Diego Chiropractor has done wonders for her post-surgery.  The chiropractor explained to her that she was feeling pain after her recovery because she no longer has movement in her body where the rods and screws were and that her hips were compensating and shifting for the lack of movement.  Getting adjusted has helped to relieve some of that post-surgery pain and allowed her to be even more active.  She also stated that if she would have went to a chiropractor when she was first feeling the pain (pre-surgery) she might have been able to avoid surgery all together.  If you have questions regarding pain in your body or want to check to see if you suffer from any misalignments of the spine contact your local San Diego Chiropractors office and make an appointment to get checked!