What To Expect When You Visit A Chiropractor

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If it’s your first time meeting a chiropractor, here are a few things you should keep in mind to make sure your visit runs smoothly.

 

Medical history:

When you first visit the doctor’s office, you will have to fill out paperwork about your medical history. These forms will also ask your reason of visit and ask where you are in pain, if any. Make sure you can identify what you feel and the reason why you are there to see a chiropractor. They are there to help you. The more information you can give to them about the problem, the more they can help.

 

Appropriate Attire

The chiropractic office is not for suits or dresses. Make sure when you go to get adjusted you are wearing comfortable clothing; pants are best! The doctor may have you do some physical tests to check your posture and alignment. Also, make sure you’re not wearing a lot of jewelry, sometimes the doctor requests for you to remove jewelry that will interfere with your adjustment. Additionally, on your first visit, they will likely take x-rays and all jewelry needs to be removed for x-rays.

 

Doctor’s Advice

After your adjustment, your doctor will give you advice on how to take care of your body and flush the newly released toxins from your body. Depending if you get an adjustment or not, the doctor will instruct not to do certain things to prevent any injury or misalignment. Take note and ask questions whenever you have time with your doctor to understand the process and see how your progression is going.

Importance of Eating Breakfast

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When you are sleeping the body is considered to be in a fasting period. Therefore, when you wake up you must eat something in order to break the fasting. Breakfast helps you recharge your muscles and brain. Eating breakfast will give you the boost of energy that you will need until lunch time. However, if you do not eat breakfast, it is possible that you might feel sluggish and you may be more likely to overeat throughout the day.

Many individuals tend to skip breakfast because we live in a fast past environment where we want to be on the go and when we do eat breakfast, it is usually cereals or pastries that are high in sugar. So, when choosing a healthy breakfast you want to choose foods from the following food groups: fruits, vegetables, protein foods, and dairy. Eating a nutritious breakfast allows you to get the vitamins that you need for the day.

If you are not a big breakfast eater, it is okay. You can start off with something simple such as a banana with peanut butter, yogurt, or even a smoothie with fresh fruit. And if you are someone that enjoys the extra five minutes of sleep maybe try making your breakfast the day before like overnight oats, yogurt, homemade breakfast bars, or an overnight smoothie.  

Eating a nutritious breakfast should be an essential part of your day because it gives you the boost of energy that you will need to start your day.

Is Cracking Knuckles Good for You?

Some individuals have the tendency to crack their bones because of stress, frustration, or pure satisfaction. However, a widely led misconception is that people who crack their bones will further their likelihood of having arthritis. Luckily that is not the case.

When people crack their bones they are releasing nitrogen bubbles within the synovial fluid. Synovial fluid is the fluid that is found between the cavities of the bones that lubricates joints. Think of it as this way, synovial fluid is the tin man’s oil from Wizard of Oz. When you crack your bones you are just releasing pressure between your joints.

In the end, cracking your joints is not bad for you and it has nothing to do with arthritis. However, if you do have pain, swelling, or stiffness in any of your joints, then you should consult with a doctor. These may be signs of arthritis unrelated to releasing these nitrogen bubbles.

Benefits of Eating Green

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Incorporating vegetables to your diet can decrease the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and different types of cancer. Vegetables are an important part of a well-balanced meal because they already have all the nutrients and vitamins that you need.

It is recommended that people eat one to four cups of vegetable every day, depending on how many calories you need.

Here are some healthy vegetables that you can incorporate into your everyday diet:

Broccoli: Also known as, superfood because of its high amount of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C. Eating broccoli can help lower cholesterol levels due to its high amount of fiber. Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, meaning that it contains various bioactive compounds that help reduce cell damage caused by chronic diseases such as cancer. It is also a great source for vitamin K.

Asparagus: Eating half a cup of asparagus can help your digestive system because of its high amount of fiber. It is a great source of antioxidants that help prevent the risk of chronic diseases. Also, the slight purple pigmentation of asparagus helps reduce blood pressure and the risk of heart failure.

Spinach: Is high on antioxidants that help lower glucose levels. People who suffer from high blood pressure are highly recommended to eat spinach because of its high level of potassium and its ability to reduce sodium in the body. It is also great for the skin and hair.

Kale: The high level of potassium found in kale can help reduce the risk of heart disease. The fiber and antioxidants in kale can prevent diabetes and constipation. It also contains chlorophyll that helps the body from retaining heterocyclic amines that are associated with cancer.

Lettuce: It is known for its high antioxidant level. It is one of the best foods to have if one is trying to lose weight. It is rich in omega 3’s which helps enhance cardiovascular function. Lettuce is also a great neuro-protector that helps improve memory retention.

Vegetables: some of us love them and some of us hate them. In the end, including vegetables into each and every meal is very beneficial for your physical and mental well being.

 

The Power of Yoga

 

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6 popular types of yoga:

Hatha yoga:

Hatha yoga focuses on posture and breathing exercises, that help bring peace to the mind and body. If you are a beginner it is best to start off with the Hatha yoga because of the slower pace and the simplicity of poses.

Vinyasa yoga:

Vinyasa is the study of synchronizing your movements with your breathing. Vinyasa is also a great form of cardio. Even though you are moving at a relatively slow pace, the movements and challenges still get the heart rate up with the exception of the resting poses, such as the downward dog. With the water-like poses and common music, students feel relaxed and ready to conquer the day. Vinyasa yoga is a great class if you are a beginner to yoga!

Kundalini yoga:

Kundalini yoga is a blend of the physical and spiritual that focuses on expression through chanting and meditating. It also focuses on strengthening your core and breathing techniques with fast poses and breathing exercises. This type of yoga is great for the intermediate yogi.

Iyengar yoga:

If you are an intermediate yogi and want to start incorporating more challenging poses, then this class is for you! Iyengar yoga focuses on the alignment of the body through various body poses. These poses are held for a long period of time and it is often modified with the help of props to perfect and to maintain a pose for a longer time. This style is designed to develop strength, stability, and flexibility.

Ashtanga yoga:

If you enjoy a challenge, then the Ashtanga yoga is for you! Similar to the Vinyasa yoga, the Ashtanga yoga focuses on the synchronization of your breathing through the various poses. Through its challenging yoga poses, Ashtanga will help improve circulation, strengthen your core, and calm your mind.

Aerial yoga
Aerial yoga is a relatively new style of yoga that became popular in 2014. It uses the combination of traditional yoga poses, pilates, and dance with the use of a silk-like hammock. Aerial yoga can be taken by anyone at any level because it will still give you the same benefits of any other yoga.

Yoga is meant to be fun and relaxing. No matter what type of yoga you choose, just know that you are working on your physical and mental health.

How to Take Care of Skin for Long Term Benefits

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Aging is part of the natural human condition. While all of us will experience wrinkles, there are a few factors such as genetics and lifestyle choices that can affect just how many or when we begin to see them show on our skin.

Establishing a proper skincare routine, whether you are a man or a woman, can go a long way in showing long term benefits when it comes to skin health. Caring for your skin is not just about beauty and aesthetics, as skin cancer and other issues can affect all genders alike.

The following are some of the most important steps you can start taking today in order to maintain healthy skin for a long time and age gracefully with a reduced risk of skin disease.

  1. Use sunscreen: Always remember this rule, sun exposure can cause sunburn and skin cancer. Remembering to wear sunscreen whenever you go to the beach or spend days at the park is important, but applying sunscreen day to day is also necessary. A helpful tip is to keep your sunscreen near your toothbrush so you can easily develop this habit.
  2. Cover up: In addition to wearing sunscreen, remember to wear protective clothing if you will be out all day and to stay in an area with shade whenever possible.
  3. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water throughout the day, every day, will keep your skin looking hydrated and supple.
  4. Eat healthily: Eating healthy is beneficial to your overall health, but when it comes to skin, eating plenty of fruits and veggies full of antioxidants can help keep your skin glowing, clear, and young.
  5. Quit smoking: Smoking affects the production of collagen and elastin, the proteins that keep your skin looking young. It also decreases blood flow to the skin and increases the risk of certain types of cancer, so it’s best to avoid smoking and to find help in order to quit as soon as possible.
  6. Establish a skin care routine: Establishing a routine that fits your skin type, and actually sticking to it regularly, can have long term benefits for your skin’s health.
  7. Relax: Stress can have a huge impact on your skin by causing premature wrinkles. Try to keep stress at bay by practicing relaxation techniques and both your skin and your mental health will reap the benefits!

Causes for Insomnia

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Sleeping disorders affect many people in today’s fast-paced world. Whether it’s stress, work-related issues, children, or just everyday life, there are many factors that can affect the quality of your sleep.

Insomnia is one of the most common sleeping disorders, and most people will experience an acute version of it at some point in their life due to stress or trauma. Insomnia is characterized by a difficult ability to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night. In some instances, people may wake up too early and find it difficult to continue sleeping.

Symptoms of insomnia:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Waking up multiple times during the course of the night
  • Worrying about not being able to sleep
  • Not feeling well rested
  • Waking up too early
  • Low energy throughout the day
  • Decreased alertness

Insomnia can be frustrating and can feel like a never-ending cycle. It’s important to note whether your insomnia is caused by worry and is acute or if it has been going on for months in order to properly seek help. Many cases of insomnia are caused by stress or anxiety, which can be treated through different methods. Additionally, medications or other factors can cause insomnia including the following:

  • Using your smartphone right before bed, the blue light emitted by electronic devices can interrupt the production of melatonin
  • Leaving your phone on vibrate or loud can cause interruptions throughout the night as texts or calls come in- powering down your phone is the best option to ensure no interruptions
  • Drinking caffeine past noon can interrupt your sleep cycle even if your body is used to consuming caffeine, this includes coffee, tea, and caffeine-rich foods such as dark chocolate
  • Skipping your bedtime routine can affect your quality of sleep, it’s important to have time dedicated to wind your body down and prepare it for relaxation
  • Checking your email or participating in other mentally stimulating activities such as watching tv
  • Eating certain types of food such as spicy, fatty, or sugary foods
  • Sleeping with your pet, who moves around and causes sleep disturbances
  • Drinking too much water before bed resulting in frequent trips to the bathroom

If you do any of these or perhaps other little habits that you haven’t pinpointed, they may be the cause of your insomnia. If you believe your insomnia is affecting your day to day life or may be caused by a more serious condition, do not hesitate to seek professional help in order to address the issue and be able to sleep better in no time.

Effects of Stress on the Body

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Stress is a part of everyday life, and a little stress here and there is nothing to worry about. It’s when stress becomes chronic, though, that it begins to affect both your mental and physical health. If you feel you’re reaching a breaking point, it might be that stress is affecting your health in a negative way.

 

Sometimes, the effects of stress may go unnoticed because people tend to blame chronic pain and discomfort on diseases or other factors. What they may not realize is that the effects of stress on the body are serious, oftentimes even more serious than the actual situation they tend to stress over.

Stress and the body

Stress affects every part of the body, from the musculoskeletal system to the gut. The following are ways stress takes a toll on your physical health:

  • Muscle tension
  • Chronic pain
  • Migraines
  • Shortness of breath and rapid breathing
  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, heart palpitations, cardiovascular disease
  • Increased inflammation
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Decreased sex drive in men and women
  • Complications with menstruation and pregnancy
  • Changes in appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Sleeping problems
  • Weakened immune system and more frequent colds

Stress and the mind

Although stress has many ways of manifesting itself physically, the mind does not fall behind. In fact, the root cause of many mental health issues is directly related to stress. The following are ways stress can affect the mind:

  • Increased production of cortisol or “stress hormones”
  • Anxiety, depression, nervousness
  • Mental fatigue
  • Irritability, forgetfulness, racing thoughts
  • Lack of motivation
  • Social seclusion
  • Trouble with focus and decision making
  • Substance abuse

How to cope

Chronic stress can contribute to long term issues and can result in major health concerns. If you are experiencing signs of chronic stress, consider making changes in order to feel better. There are many ways to cope including:

  • Talking to a professional therapist who can help you identify triggers and ways of coping
  • Massage therapy
  • Breathing techniques and meditation
  • Relaxing exercises with mental health benefits such as yoga and tai chi
  • Creative therapy

 

Benefits of Reducing Caffeine Consumption

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Millions of Americans have a daily habit of consuming some form of caffeine, many of whom are doing it multiple times a day. Although caffeine is known to have some health benefits, it’s easy to become addicted. What’s worse? Withdrawal symptoms are very real and many people don’t want to endure them.

Caffeine can help you stay alert and can be a beneficial substance for some, but drinking it in moderation is key. While some people are better off staying away from caffeine, everyone can benefit from reducing its’ consumption. Keep reading to find out the benefits of reducing caffeine intake!

  1. You’ll sleep better: Caffeine can reduce your quality of sleep, particularly if consumed later in the day. Reducing caffeine consumption can benefit your sleep overall as it won’t alter your brain chemicals in any way that can impact your rest.
  2. Less anxiety: Those who are more prone to suffering from anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues typically see a spike in their symptoms when they consume caffeine regularly. Eliminating caffeine can help keep you calmer.
  3. Lower blood pressure: Caffeine raises your blood pressure, those who suffer from high blood pressure are better off avoiding it altogether.
  4. Whiter teeth: Coffee and black tea can stain your teeth, eliminating caffeine from your diet can result in overall healthier tooth enamel and whiter teeth.
  5. Healthier digestion: Due to the laxative properties in coffee, high consumption can impact your gut health and cause more frequent bowel movements. In order to regulate your gut health, lower consumption of caffeine is highly recommended.
  6. Balanced hormones: For women, a high caffeine intake can cause hormonal disbalance. This is particularly important for women who suffer from conditions such as endometriosis and certain types of cancer.

You’ll feel energized: Caffeine can cause a disruptive cycle of affecting the quality of sleep and thus creating a dependency in order to feel energized. Eliminating caffeine consumption can help to regulate your sleep cycle and feel long lasting energy the natural way.

Best Techniques to Relieve Muscle Tension

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Muscle tension is a common but not normal condition experienced by many adults in today’s fast-paced world. It is caused when muscles contract and do not release, and is often a result of high levels of stress or overuse. If prolonged, muscle tension can lead to pain throughout the body, tightness, and tension headaches.

The good news is that there are myriad of ways to relax the muscles in order to ease muscle tension and reduce pain associated with it, and the best part is that many of the techniques can be practiced right at home. So what are you waiting for? If you are experiencing any type of muscle tension or mental stress, try out one of the following techniques!

  1. Meditate: Meditation is a proven way to calm the mind and reduce both mental and physical stress. The best part? Practicing for a few minutes a day can show improvement. Incorporating breathing techniques throughout the day or during moments of high stress can also help your heart rate go down and relax.
  2. Do yoga: Yoga helps you practice mind and body connection, which in turn has mental health benefits that can lead to an increasingly calm state of being. Stretching the body with different poses and using breathing techniques while doing so can also help alleviate tension.
  3. Keep Moving: Continual movement is important for reducing tension in the body. Leading a sedentary lifestyle can cause muscles to contract, such as sitting at your desk all day without taking constant breaks. Additionally, exercise releases the feel-good chemicals in the brain called endorphins which help you stay happy and release mental and physical tension!
  4. Foam roll: Foam rolling and stretching is an excellent way to easily reduce muscle tension after a workout or even as a workout itself, and can be done at home.
  5. Sleep: Getting enough rest is important for the body and mind to feel relaxed and recovered. Skipping sleep can lead to mental and physical exhaustion, stress, and tension.
  6. Massage Therapy: Getting a massage from a professional is the best way to target knots, tightness, and other problem areas throughout the body. Massage therapy can be expensive, though. There are techniques that can be done at home such as foam rolling or using a lacrosse ball that can also work to target specific areas of tension.
  7. Acupuncture: A trained acupuncturist can help reduce tension in the body by using a pain-free technique.
  8. Warm bath: Taking a warm Epsom salt bath, shower, or even hitting the sauna can alleviate stress and tension. Warmth increases circulation and calms the body and the mind. Keep in mind to drink plenty of fluids after hot therapy in order to replenish your body.
  9. Drink Tea: Warm drinks and tea such as chamomile help relieve muscle spasms and have anti-inflammatory benefits. Try drinking a cup at night for a restful and relaxed sleep.
  10. Apply heat: Applying a warm compress to a problem area is an immediate way to reduce muscle pain by increasing blood flow and reducing lactic acid buildup.
  11. Aromatherapy: Our sense of smell can greatly aid in reducing stress and keeping calm. Essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, and lemongrass are all known to help reduce feelings of stress and work as muscle relaxants.
  12. Eat more antioxidants: Eating a diet high in antioxidants helps to lower levels of inflammation in the body and supports with a healthy response to stress and tension in the muscles.