Spring into Health!

With spring around the corner, this is the time of year most people get more active, eat better and feel more healthy. So do you consider yourself in the best health possible? Most people think that by feeling good, their body is fine and probably in the best condition it can be. However, this is not completely true. The reason being, symptoms unfortunately don’t tell us everything. Feeling pain or discomfort is a good indication that our body is not functioning well but sometimes we feel no pain or have no symptoms at all, therefore leaving us with no indication that our body is not in perfect health.

The nervous system is an important part of our body and tells us a lot about our health. The brain and spinal cord are the two most important parts of the body. The spinal cord is incased in bones called vertebrae, which protect the cord. Our nerves exit the spinal cord from between the vertebrae. These nerves run to every part of our body carrying information to and from the brain. This is how the brain communicates with our whole body.

Everyday movement and stress can cause these vertebrae to become rotated or moved out of their natural location. This can cause the nerves to be choked or impinged, which may depress or reduce their function. This is called a Subluxation. The pressure on the nerve can cause a reduction in the amount of information that the nerves can send out to their target organs, therefore possibly decreasing the functions of these organs or other parts of the body. This can occur without any pain or symptoms and at any time.

In order to restore these vertebrae back to their proper position, for the nerves to fully function again, and the body to return to its highest level of health, chiropractic care is required. Chiropractors use various hand adjustments to return the vertebrae back to its correct position. There are many types of adjustments ranging from low force techniques, which use very little force and pressure on the patients’ body to quick force adjustments. Through these adjustments, the nerves are once again allowed to function at their best.

Most people go to the dentist every six months to keep their teeth healthy, but don’t get their spine checked regularly, which has a greater impact on the bodies overall health. By seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis and making sure your spine is in proper alignment and functioning well, you can ensure a better, healthier and longer life.

Chiropractic Care May Improve Infants’ Sleep

A pilot study conducted by Joyce Miller and Matts Klemsdal evaluated whether routine chiropractic care in infants had also improved the patients’ sleep pattern.

Sleep problems plague about 25 percent of all infants; they are measured by the time it takes the child to settle down, the amount of consecutive sleep hours the child accumulates and the quality of sleep. All this can add a great amount of stress to new parents. In many cases, a disturbed sleep pattern is usually also accompanied by an infant’s excessive crying.

A pilot study was published in the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics. In the study, 116 infants, who were in chiropractic care for various health challenges, were rated on their sleep behavior during the course of their care. Of the infants, only 10 percent had initially come to the chiropractor because of dysomnia or sleep disturbances, while the majority of the children received chiropractic care for excessive crying.

The parents were asked to complete a questionnaire on their child’s sleep pattern after the 1st, 4th and 7th visit to the chiropractor on the amount of hours the child slept, the quality of sleep and the time it took for the child to fall asleep.

The data was analyzed and showed a significant improvement in the children’s sleep pattern after the adjustments.

After the 1st visit, almost 40 percent of infants slept deeper. That percentage jumped to more than 60 percent after the 7th visit. The percentage of children who had difficulty falling asleep fell from more than 65 percent after the 1st visit to just over 22 percent after the 7th visit. Most children had received adjustments to the upper cervical spine.

This is an important finding that warrants more scientific and clinical research. Chiropractic care seems not only to help children get a better night’s sleep, it also reduces the stress on parents. And stress, as we all know, has its own health challenges.

Reference: “Can Chiropractic Care Improve Infants’ Sleep?” by Joyce Miller and Matts Klemsdal, Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics, Volume 9, No. 1, 2008.

Dr. Jillka Kapadia is a member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. Dr. Jillka Kapadia of Unique Family Chiropractic uses the latest technology in her office. Please call 416-342-1932 to schedule your family’s free consultation today.

The Benefits of Proper Ergonomics

Many of us have jobs that require sitting for long periods of time, usually in front of a computer. Most students study for hours on end, quite often sitting with poor posture for prolonged periods of time as well. And most of us don’t realize that posture and position is critical to the health and wellness of our bodies. Bad posture tends to put more pressure on our spine and nerves and causes the muscles around the spine to compensate and work differently and inefficiently. Research has shown that bad posture can cause headaches, shoulder pain, reduced lung function and poor digestion. One study found that those who sit most of the day experienced a 147% increase in developing cardiovascular disease, due to the change in their posture and pressure on their spine.

So, how can we fix this? Let’s first talk about the set up of our desks and workstations. The first thing to focus on is the chair. Our chairs should be set at a level that allows our feet to rest completely flat on the floor. If for some reason, your feet don’t reach the floor, it’s important to put a stool under your feet to provide support and reduce the pressure on your spine. If you don’t have a stool, you can use a phonebook, magazines or anything else that will elevate your feet. You also want to make sure that your chair provides proper lumbar support. This means, that the curve in your lower back is supported to avoid pressure. Many chairs come with adjustable lumbar supports, or you can use a lumbar support pillow or even a rolled up towel or small blanket will provide the same support to your lower back.

Next, the computer monitor. Make sure your eyes are looking at the middle of the screen. If your posture makes your eye level above or below the middle of the screen that can create a strain in your neck. So, adjust your monitor to the correct level to reduce strain on your neck muscles.

The third thing we want to focus on is wrist position. When typing, or using a mouse, it is important that your wrists remain in a neutral position. Using a gel pack wrist pad or by placing a small towel rolled up under your wrists, can also help provide support to your wrists.

Finally, make sure you are giving your body the rest it needs. Take a short break every 20 to 30 minutes. Stand up, stretch and going through different ranges of motions. Get some fresh air if you can, and don’t forget your water! Keeping yourself hydrated with 8 to 10 glasses of water a day will help energize your muscles, and increase your energy throughout the day. Do these things daily and you’ll keep your spine, body and brain healthy.

Girl with father

The Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Children

Chiropractic care is important for all of us, adults and children. A chiropractic adjustment helps keep our spine aligned. This allows our central nervous system to perform at its peak. The nervous system is our body’s communication mechanism, and the most critical function of our body. We definitely want our nervous system to be working at 100% because a healthy nervous system translates into proper blood circulation, brain function, heart health, digestion, immune system function, and so much more.

We see children in our office for many different reasons, some just for overall health and wellness and others for specific conditions. Research has shown that chiropractic can greatly improve immune system function, focus in school, proper posture, ear infections, scoliosis, and headaches to just name a few.

During labour and delivery a newborn’s spine experiences significant force and trauma. The amount of force on the spine of a baby being born can be upwards of 50lbs. This can cause misalignments in a newborns spine, especially in the neck region. Research has shown that 85% of babies that are born have some sort of strain in their upper spine. Adjusting a newborn baby is a very healthy and safe practice, and I do it all the time for many of our cuddly patients. It’s a very healthy way for the baby to be introduced into the world and both my kids were adjusted right from birth as well!

As a child grows the spine can be put through a lot of trauma from every day life, including learning to crawl and walk, to playing sports, to sitting and studying for many hours at a time. Bad posture and falls can impact our back significantly and directly effects our body’s ability to function fully. Through chiropractic adjustments, we are able to correct the misalignments, improve their posture and increase the function of their nervous system. Again, leading to better physical and mental development and growth.

15 Ways to Supercharge Your Immune System

With the cold weather approaching, it is very important for us to learn ways to naturally boost our immune system and keep ourselves healthy.

  1. Optimize Your Vitamin D Level. Vitamin D has been shown to be essential for a healthy and active immune system. Vitamin D allows your body to activate the immune system to any viral response, therefore allowing your body to fight against any virus. Since Vitamin D is naturally found in sardines, salmon, breast milk as well as sunlight, this is the most natural way to keep your body healthy without any side effects.
  2. Drink Lots of Water. Drinking water allows your body to flush out different toxins and also keeps your mucus membranes moist to fight against viruses.
  3. Get Adequate Sleep. Our bodies heal best when we rest. Putting your body in a state of exhaustion, stops your body from healing, and can cause illness.
  4. Get Adequate Exercise. Exercise helps your body boost your immune system, and therefore helps fight against viruses and bacteria that may enter your body.
  5. Take Actions to Lower Your Stress Levels. Stress tends to lower your immune systems functioning. Therefore by lowering your stress you can increase your body’s ability to keep healthy.
  6. Wash Your Hands Frequently. Washing your hands or using hand sanitizer is a great way to keep yourself clean and healthy. When purchasing a hand sanitizer, make sure the active ingredient is ethanol or isopropanol, at a percentage over 60.
  7. Avoid Sugar and Processed Foods.Sugars and processed food can decrease your immune systems function dramatically.
  8. Eat Phytonutrient Rich Meals (lots of colorful salads and dark greens). Phytonutrients serve as antioxidants and enhance immune system function.
  9. Eat Lots of Garlic. Garlic works as a broad spectrum antibiotic within the body.
  10. Take a Probiotic Daily (look for one with 10-20 billion organisms). A strong immune system relies heavily on having a strong foundation in the gut.
  11. Keep a Supply of Antiviral Herbal Supplements on Hand. Echinacea is one of the best general herbal remedies against viruses. Echinacea destroys viruses & boosts the immune system naturally.
  12. Eat a Healthy Balanced Diet. It is very important that our body receives nutrients from all the food groups to keep us healthy and strong. Eating on time is also crucial to staying healthy.
  13. Take 1-2 Grams of Fish Oils Daily. Fish oils are beneficial for immune function and boost the body’s overall immunity.
  14. Take 2+ Grams of Vitamin C Daily. Vitamin C increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and prevents the entry of viruses.
  15. Get adjusted on a regular basis. Research shows that Chiropractic adjustments boost your immune system 60%-200%!

Use these 15 tips to help boost your immune system and keep your family healthy during this winter season.