Migraine Causes and Natural Ways to Treat Them

Migraine Causes and Natural Ways to Treat ThemMigraines is a highly tedious complaint by many people. Migraines occur in unpredictable episodes that bring on a throbbing headache that is often consisted of fuzzy eyesight, susceptibility to bring light or loud sounds, and sometimes vomiting.

Some migraines are developed by the result of changes in blood pressure, neurotransmitters in the head, or muscle spasms in the neck. Blood pressure and neurotransmitters, especially serotonin, affect each other.

Migraines can also be associated with the monthly cycles. Many women suffer from hormonal migraines, which occurs when hormone levels are fluctuating and estrogen drops. As the estrogen level drops, the level of serotonin in the head drops, as well as the blood pressure, which increases the risk of migraines developing. If the level of estrogen is very high, the drops in estrogen may also be very high and this will increase the risk of hormonal migraine. The causes for high estrogen levels include high body fat percentage, high load of chemical substances (plastics and pesticides), and poor liver performance (leaky gut, high alcohol consumption and high load of chemical substances).

The thyroid gland affects the monthly cycle, serotonin level, muscles, and blood circulation inside the head, so therefore, a poor functioning thyroid gland may also cause migraines.

Healthy lifestyle changes are important to help treat migraines naturally.

Natural Treatment For Migraines

Food:

Some foods affect neurotransmitters and blood pressure. Foods that may trigger migraines: gluten, casein, chocolate (theobromine and tryptophan), alcohol, nicotine/cigarette smoking, caffeine in coffee and other drinks, and food additives: glutamates, aspartame, and nitrite.

Choose organic, whole foods to fuel your body, and limit your intake of alcohol.

Stress:

Stress has a major impact on neurotransmitters, blood pressure, and muscle tension. Chiropractic adjustments improve spinal function and alleviates the stress on your nerves/nervous system, resulting in lower stress levels.

Traumas:

Traumas to the head, jaw, and neck such as falls and car accidents, often trigger migraines. A good chiropractor can help by performing adjustments to correct spinal curves and nerve interferences.

Sleep:

Lack of sleep, or poor quality of sleep increases the risk of migraines. Be sure to get 7-9 hours of good quality sleep. Develop a nightly routine to help get your mind in the sleep mode (hot tea, shower, read a book), and sleep in a dark, quiet room.

Water:

Dehydration and lack of moisture intake causes migraines. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. At least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day is recommended to avoid dehydration.

Reference:
http://www.foodmatters.com/article/what-is-causing-your-migraines-how-you-can-treat-them-naturally

Lifetime Chiropractic Care?

“I’ve heard that if you go to a chiropractor, you will have to go for the rest of your life” is a very common statement that people have and assume when experiencing chiropractic for the first time.

If a dentist told a patient, “you need this the rest of your life, ” most people would understand because people value dental hygiene, and poor dental hygiene leads to more serious health problems.

When you get into a routine of working out, do you feel better? Yes. Most people who exercise regularly notice an increase in muscle tone, weight loss, more energy, less stress, and mood/behavior improvement.

When you eat healthy, does your body feel better? Yes. The food you consume has a direct major impact on various aspects of your physical, chemical, and emotional well-being. Individuals who choose to eat organic, whole foods enjoy a better quality of life.

When you are adjusted, do you feel better? Yes. The chiropractic adjustment allows your nervous system, the master control system of the body, to function optimally. People who are adjusted regularly experience less pain, need fewer medications, improved immune system, and increase in overall mood, sleep, energy, and quality of life.

When chiropractors tell patients that some form of maintenance care is recommended after helping them get out of pain, they are doing so because of their certainty on how important the spine is to all bodily functions. Maintenance is key to healthy living.

Why Patients CHOOSE to Make Chiropractic Care A Part of Their Healthy Lifestyle:

 

Stress Levels:

Those who face physical, chemical, or emotional stress (the majority of us) often find regular chiropractic adjustments helpful in correcting muscle tightness, discomfort, and the resulting postural changes.

Avoiding A Relapse:

Long-standing spinal problems can produce weakened areas that are susceptible to repeated problems, regular care may often help strengthen supporting muscles and ligaments, avoiding a flare-up.

Prevention:

Regular chiropractic checkups can often detect smaller problems before they become more serious.

Wellness:

Being our best starts with an interference-free nervous system and proper spinal curves.
Remember, how long you choose to benefit from chiropractic care is always up to you.
Blossom is here to serve. How may we help you?
Let us know what types of activities you engage in as part of your healthy lifestyle by leaving a comment below!

6 Ways To Boost Your Energy Right Now

Way to Book EnergyHappy November and Tuesday! One more day closer to Friday, but just not close enough. You may be sitting at your desk, feeling tried and drained…stuck inside a stuffy office with crappy fluorescent lighting… had a busy weekend of work and kids’ events, or a long weekend of too much fun and now back to work for the week…with a booked schedule of deadlines and appointments…

Balancing work and life is A LOT, throw school into the mix and it can be very overwhelming, and burn your energy fast. Remember to take care of yourself, even through all your schedule craziness. Care for your body and mind. Self-care is crucial to living a healthy and happy life, and we all want to be healthy and happy, right?

Let’s start November on a healthy positive note! Here we have six ways to boost your energy right now. Start working with one, then incorporate more and notice how each one makes you feel, both mentally and physically. Be mindful and listen to your body – your body knows exactly what it needs to thrive and be healthy. These will not only boost your energy but also boost your mood and productivity. Great energy is a good marker of health!

6 Ways to Boost your Energy Right Now

  1. Meditate and Breathe: Turn off your phone and computer, and disconnect with your surroundings for 10 minutes. Sit comfortably with your spine straight, eyes closed, and practice deep breathing. Focus on your breaths, inhaling and exhaling slowly.
  2. Drink a Green Machine: Skip the energy drink and go for a nutrient-packed smoothie. Nourish your body with the good stuff that Mother Nature provides for us. You can make your smoothie in the morning before work to have in the afternoon or have a blender at work (don’t worry your co-workers won’t be annoyed by the noisy blender, they will want in on your energy booster tricks).
    • Green smoothie: non-dairy milk, handful spinach/other dark leafy greens, frozen banana, handful frozen or fresh fruits (blueberries, mango, dark cherries etc.), healthy fat/super-food (coconut oil, avocado, chia, hemp, flaxseeds)!
  • Go for a Walk: Take 10-20 minutes to get outside in the sunshine and fresh air. Research shows that sunshine energizes you, boosts your mood, and provides you with your healthy daily dose of vitamin D. Your skin will be glowing after a couple days of this (and that’s always a plus)! Wear heels to work? Then, have a pair of sneakers at work to slip on for your walk.
  • Hydrate: Dehydration is the number one cause of fatigue. Fluid supports the flow of blood in your body. If there is not enough fluid in your blood, your body will over-work itself, causing fatigue, dizziness, and mental fogginess. Hydrate yourself with water, lemon infused water, and herbal teas throughout the day to supply your cells with nutrients and oxygen, and to keep your energy up!
  • Have Good Posture: Sitting at a desk all day on a computer can compromise your posture a great deal. When you sit or stand with you neck and head forward, your arteries become agitated, which restricts the blood flow to your brain (similar to dehydration). Research suggests shifting your posture to an erected spine can give you more energy and reduce stress. Your mom was right – sit up straight, no slouching!
  • Get Adjusted: Chiropractic care is a drug-free approach to wellness. Regular adjustments are vital for keeping your body balanced, flexible, and functioning at its best. Not only does chiropractic care improve your posture and physical performance, but also improves the nerve communication within your body and boosts your immune system!

Everything is more enjoyable when you are filled with energy!

6 Simple Tips To Help Make A Positive Switch In Your Life

Tips to Help Make a Positive Switch in your LifePicture a big glass goblet filled to the halfway mark with water. How do you see it – half-full or half-empty?

Consistently finding the glass half-empty, and the world as a difficult place, is a hallmark of negativity.

Research has found that a negative outlook can contribute to everything from depression to heart disease to lowered immune system function. It can affect your:

  • sleep
  • weight maintenance
  • relationships
  • social life
  • ability to hold a job

Now, imagine what it would feel like to approach life from a place of positivity, fun, connection, health, and possibility. Sounds good, right? To help wipe out negativity, try one or more of the following action steps this week.

6 Simple Tips to Help Make a Positive Switch in your Life:

  1. Go complaint-free. Try going an hour without complaining and see the positive things in your life. Next, try a day, a week, and so on.
  2. Keep a gratitude journal. Each evening, list 10 or more things that you are grateful for.
  3. Give compliments freely. Notice the good in others. Praise your loved ones and others you interact with.
  4. Find the beauty everywhere. Notice its gorgeousness.
  5. Share your good news. Studies show that sharing happy events brings even more happiness within yourself and to others around you.
  6. Focus on what you want. Do not focus on what you don’t want or have.

Maintaining a positive outlook takes practice, and the more you do it, the easier it gets. The payoff – a happier and healthier life – is absolutely worth the effort!

Reasons to Take Omega-3s Daily

Reason to Take Omega-3Omega-3 is a type of fatty acid. Fatty acids are small molecular component found in all fats, but their type and structure differs between foods. They are part of the process of building new cells, which is the key to developing the central nervous and cardiovascular systems, supporting the health of your brain, and helping the body absorb nutrients.

Omega-6 is another essential fat for human health. However, the typical American consumes far too much omega-6 fat, and consumes far too little omega-3 fat. Omega-6 is primarily sourced from corn, soy, safflower oil, and sunflower oil. Consuming exceeding amounts of omega-6s encourages the production of inflammation in your body. Many scientists believe that the imbalance of omega-3 and omega 6 is one reason that there is high incidence of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, premature aging, and cancers today.

Omega-3 comes from both plant and animal sources. The primary plant sources are flaxseed, walnuts, seaweed, chia, and hemp. The primary animal sources are krill oil and fish oil.

The body cannot make Omega-3’s alone; we can only get it from the food that we eat. Therefore, it is essential to make sure we have a daily dose of omega-3 through whole foods.

3 Main Types of Omega-3s:

  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)

5 Reasons to Take Omega-3s Daily:

  1. Brain cells: Omega-3s support healthy brain cell structure. There are over 100 billion cells in our brain, which are responsible for powering our bodies. The human brain is about 60% fat, and each cell has an outer membrane, which is made up of fats (lipids). Creative thinking, planning and following your goals and dreams rely on our brain to function properly.
  2. Fetal brain development: Research shows that children of those women who consumed Omega-3s while pregnant scored very well in developmental and behavioral testing. Omega-3s are critical building blocks of fetal brain and retina development.
  3. Anti-aging: Omega-3s have incredible anti-aging effects on the brain. Research suggests that since the brain metabolizes DHA into anti-inflammatory compounds, it may be effectively slowing cell death (which naturally occurs with age). Insufficient omega-3 intake impairs learning memory as you age.
  4. Mental health and happiness: Omega-3s not only help in the formation of healthy brain cell membranes, but also the flexibility and fluidity of the membranes. They help regulate the flow of proteins and neurotransmitters, which act chemical messengers and are directly related to mood. Omega-3s also helps increase the levels of dopamine, which is an important neurotransmitter associated with our “reward response,” and serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with our ability to access feelings of well being.
  5. Hormone balancing: As omega-3s act build healthy cell membranes, enabling effective communication between cells; it makes it possible for hormones to adhere to cells more easily. Omega-3s also aid the body in keeping the cellular receptor sites repaired (where hormones are) and in optimal condition, which is key for premenopausal/menopausal women. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3s also eases the symptoms of PMS and dysmenorrhea.

Omega-3s and Children’s Brains:

  • Improves children’s literacy level and academic performance
  • Helps children with ADHD
  • Improves emotional processing and social skills of children
  • Improves children’s mood and memory
  • Improves short bowel syndrome (SBS) in children

From the time of your pregnancy through your child’s later life, omega-3 fats have a radically important role in their brain health and other functions. It is crucial to maintain an adequate intake of omega-3s through whole foods or supplementation during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Babies receive DHA through mother’s breast milk, so continuing to breastfeed through the first year will give your child a great head start for health and success.

Recommended Omega-3 Intake for Kids:

  • 0 to 12 months: 0.5 grams/day
  • 1 to 3 years: 0.7 grams/day
  • 4 to 8 years: 0.9 grams/day
  • 9 to13 years (boys): 1.2 grams/day
  • 9 to 13 years (girls): 1.0 grams/day
  • 14 to 18 years (boys): 1.6 grams/day
  • 14 to 18 years (girls): 1.1 grams/day

“When your cells contain equal amounts of Omega-6s and Omega-3s, as was the case with early humans, this promotes less inflammation, less constrictive blood vessels, and prevents clot formation, all important functions in preventing many diseases.”

– Artemis Simopoulos, President of the Center for Genetics, Nutrition, and Health.

Best Plants to Purify the Air in Your Home

Best Plants to Purify the Air in Your HomeFACT: 90% of the world’s population breathes dirty air!

The World Health Organization (WHO) released an air quality model which showed that more than 9 in 10 people live in areas that have unsafe levels of air pollution. Some air pollutants are 100 times more concentrated in your home than they are outside. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the levels of indoor air pollution in your home may be 2 to 5 times higher than they are outside. Indoor air pollution comes from more hidden sources than outdoor sources like car and traffic pollution.

The air in our homes can be polluted by toxic gases that are released from common, everyday household items such as:

  • cleaning products
  • cement
  • paint
  • carpet
  • mattresses
  • furniture
  • particleboard

The use of home insulation also means that once these gases are released, they are more likely to be trapped within your walls. This can cause unpleasant side effects experienced immediately or several years later, such as memory and cognitive issues, fatigue, respiratory problems, skin complaints, irritated eyes, headaches, asthma, and allergies. Both the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC) have established that 80% of all cancers may be attributed to factors from your environment. Therefore, exposure to these carcinogenic chemicals and toxins are among the causative factors of cancer.

There are a number of different contributors to the rise in poor air quality indoors. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is listed as one contributor, which is a dangerous type of pollution from products such as aerosol sprays, cleaning products, and wood preservatives. Familiar VOCs names are benzene, formaldehyde and toluene. The variety of other contributors to indoor pollution include asbestos, carbon monoxide, cockroaches, lead, secondhand smoke, bacteria and viruses, carpets, dust mites and dust, pet dander, building and paint products, cleaning chemicals, formaldehyde, radon, and fire retardants.

Sociologists revealed that the average person in the U.S. spends 92% of their day indoors. People who are employed spend 2% of their time outside and 6% in transit between home and work. This means that the quality of the indoor air your breathe is very important to your health. The EPA states that poor indoor air quality is one of top public health risks people face each day.

You are dependent on good quality air to support your respiratory system and overall health. There are many ways that we can take measures into our own hands to make a difference in our personal environments. So, one great way to purify the air in your home and office is having beautiful green plants! Here are a few of my favorite air-purifying houseplants.

The Best Plants to Clean the Air in your Home

Gerbera Daisy

This plant may be a little higher maintenance by needing lots of sunlight and well-drained soil.

Good For: Removing airborne chemicals that are released from inks and dry cleaning including benzene and trichloroethylene.

Snake Plant

This plant does not need much light or water to survive, so they are an easy choice for your home.

Good For: Absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen during the night (while most plants do so during the day).

Spider Plant

This plant is super resilient and requires very little maintenance. This long leafed ornamental plant has a high performance rate of removing 80% of p-Xylenes o-Xylene and ethylbenzene from the air.

Good For: Removing the chemicals that are released from artificial rubbers, pesticides, paint, paint thinners, and ink, including benzene, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide.

Bromeliad

This broad-leafed plant is excellent at filtering out six types of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and can filter up to 80% of these chemicals from the air in just 12 hours.

Good For: clearing away the toxic chemicals that are released from paraffin candles and car exhaust fumes.

Red-Edged Dracaena

This vibrant plant can grow to be ceiling height, making it a great plant for filling up space. It grows best in sunlight.

Good For: Sucking up the toxic acetone released from nail polishes, nail polish removers, and other household items, and removing formaldehyde.

Lucky Bamboo (Bamboo Palm)

This stylish plant is very low maintenance and needs indirect sunlight. It’s believed to help put moisture back into the atmosphere, which is a great for air-conditioned homes.

Good For: Clearing away benzene and trichloroethylene.

Aloe Vera

This succulent has been used for thousands of years as a laxative, natural antidote to skin burns, and other healing properties. It grows best with lots of sun.

Good For: Clearing benzene, formaldehyde, and other chemicals found in cleaning products.

Peace Lily

This beautiful plant is relatively easy to grow indoors and requires very little TLC. It does well in shade and cooler temperatures.

Good For: Removing formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzenes, and ammonia from the air.

FYI: The lily flower is toxic to cats and dogs.

Golden Pothos

This plant is a great hanging plant for your kitchen, living room or office, as the leaves will grow down in cascading vines. It grows easily in cool temperatures and low levels of sunlight.

Good For: Clearing away formaldehyde from the air.

It’s also important to consider using good quality potting mix and materials for your plants. Using clay or non-toxic pots, organic soil, and not using any artificial fertilizers and sprays. With a few small investments for these beautiful plants, you can truly clean the air and have great décor in your home!

What type of indoor plants do you like? Leave comments below!

Reference:
Please see foodmatters.com for other great tips.

Fats: Good or Bad?

Fats - Good or BadThe answer is both!

Not all fats are created equal! Highly processed, hydrogenated fats which are used in packaged foods are extremely dangerous to our bodies. These bad fats can lead to problems with your immune system, cardiovascular system, and even your behavior and mood. They contribute to weight gain, skin conditions, high blood pressure, and liver damage. Unhealthy fats includes trans-fat and inflammatory vegetable oils. Unfortunately, these fats have increased in our diet as they make us fatter and contribute to inflammation, which plays a role in nearly every chronic disease on the planet.

So, Where is the Good Part?

Well, our body needs healthy fats for insulation, vitamin and mineral absorption, organ protection, and most importantly for brain health. These fats can steady our metabolism, maintain hormone levels, nourish our skin, hair and nails, and provide lubrication to keep our body functioning properly.

Healthy fat is required for calcium to be effectively incorporated into bone as key bone-building vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, meaning they rely on fats to be absorbed and transported within the body. In order to have proper lung function, the airspaces of the lungs have to be coated with a thin layer of lung surfactant, which is 100 percent saturated fatty acids. Your brain is mainly made of fat (60%) and cholesterol (40%). A diet without healthy fats robs your brain of raw materials it needs to function optimally. A diet with healthy fats supports memory and is critical for overall brain function. Certain healthy fats, such as coconut oil and oily fish are necessary for proper nerve function and protection. These nerves influence everything in the body from metabolism and muscle movement to the appropriate release of insulin.

What are the Healthy Fats?

  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Coconuts
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Nut Butters (such as, almond butter and tahini)
  • Wild-caught salmon and cod
  • Organic pasture-raised eggs
  • High quality organic oils: Organic cold-pressed extra virgin and unrefined (such as, olive oil and coconut oil)

There are so many benefits for including more healthy fats into your diet, therefore, it’s important to include a variety of sources as they all offer a variety of benefits. The right fats can improve your mood, skin, and hair, while protecting you against diabetes, dementia, cancer, and much more. Try a new fat today!

Tips on How to Use Healthy Fats

  • For cooking at high temperatures (stir frying or baking) use coconut oil.
  • For sautéing, use olive or coconut oil.
  • Use avocado as a wonderful dressing to a salad or a spread on a sandwich.
  • Add a spoonful of coconut oil to a smoothie.
  • Cook eggs in coconut oil for the ultimate healthy fat dish.

If you have any questions, contact our office by emailing blossomfamilychiro@gmail.com or calling 727-498-5643.

What Are the Benefits of Breastfeeding?

Benefits of Breastfeeding

According to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, breast milk is thought of as nectar and breastfeeding is considered the primary method of giving love to your child. It is through breastfeeding that the child forms his/her first understanding of, and bond, with the mother – a relationship that will impact all that follows. Fortunately, breastfeeding does more than create a connection between mom and baby.

A mother’s milk is one of the most precious sources of vitamins for mammals. Breastfeeding assists in the development of an intricate immune system and most importantly, a healthy gastrointestinal tract, which houses 70% of our immune system. Breast milk is easier to digest than formula. The proteins in formula are made from cow’s milk, and it takes time for babies’ stomachs to adjust to digesting them. Moreover, by holding and breastfeeding your baby, you are teaching him/her how to regulate their body temperature through your breath and heart beat.

Tips for Breastfeeding:

  • Breastfeed for at least 12 months.
  • Breastfeed as soon as possible and often, and as long as your baby needs to.
  • Don’t feel like you have enough milk? Breastfeed more often! Breast milk is supply and demand.
  • Food before one is just for fun. It is encouraged to be exclusively breastfeeding for the first year.

The body develops a miraculous predecessor called colostrum, also known as liquid gold, during pregnancy and just after birth for the baby. This substance is super-rich in antibodies, protein, and minerals, all which lead the baby’s immune system off to the best possible start. The immune system is the body’s best defense mechanism for maintaining a healthy body; therefore colostrum promotes a strong immune system that is equipped to fight against cancer. Colostrum contains antimicrobial properties, which aids in reducing the frequency of infections and respiratory problems.

Breast milk changes as your baby grows. Colostrum changes into what is called mature milk. By the third to fifth day after birth, this mature breast milk has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein to help your baby continue to grow.

Health Benefits of Breastfeeding:

  • Protects your baby from a long list of illnesses
  • Protects your baby from developing allergies
  • Lower your baby’s risk of SIDS
  • Boosts your child’s intelligence
  • Protects your child from obesity
  • Reduce your stress level
  • Reduce your risk of postpartum depression
  • Reduce your risk of some types of cancers and diabetes

For more information about the health benefits, common questions, and learning to breastfeed, visit womenshealth.gov or breastfeedingusa.org, or speak to your local Birth Doula or Lactation Counselor.

Birth Center of St. Pete and Breath of Life Women’s Health Center are great local resources.

Tampa Bay Birth Network is a great support and educational resource.

Text Neck – A New Epidemic

Text NeckWhen you walk around town, how many people do you notice walking around while looking down at their iPad or iPhone? The other night my husband and I went out for dinner and noticed seven children playing games on an iPad and ten adults checking email or texting.
It is estimated that the average child spends 7 hours a day on some sort of media device while teens and adults spend approximately 9 hours per day. With an increase in technology, what impact is this having on the spine and nervous system? And, is the “text neck” caused by constantly looking down at devices becoming an epidemic?

Effects of Increased Usage

When children are born, they spend the first few months trying to lift and hold their head up. This is a critical time during development because this action forms the C-shaped curve in the neck. This C-shaped curve is designed to support the weight of the head.

When or your child looks down at the computer, iPad, phone, etc. this reverses the c shaped curve that we developed as an infant, and places stress onto the nerves going into the neck and upper back. Overtime, this can lead to headaches, sinus/allergy issues, decreased immunity, neck pain, back pain, stiffness, carpal tunnel, or arthritis.

Impact of Heading Being Forward

In fact, research has shown that for every inch forward that the head goes, the weight on the upper back is increased by ten pounds. So, if your child’s head is looking down at the iPad, and the head is positioned two inches forward, this adds 20 pounds of additional weight onto their developing spine.
As a chiropractor, I am seeing individuals in their 20’s come in with massive amount of degeneration and arthritis forming in the neck because of this new epidemic of “text neck”. Think about it- Millennials are the first generation to grow up with technology in front of them!
Since we become more dependent on technology as time evolves, here are top 2 tips to maintain your spine and nervous system:

  1. Hold the technology at eye level so that you and your kids are not looking down
  2. Get under chiropractic care from an early age! Gentle and specific chiropractic adjustments allow you to maintain the C-shape curve in the neck, and relieve any stress that is placed onto the nervous system, and prevent future health challenges from occurring!

If you know anyone with “text neck”, have them contact our office by emailing blossomfamilychiro@gmail.com or calling 727-498-5643. We can help!