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!

The Best Breakfast Options For Kids

Breakfast Options for KidsIt’s the first week of school and life is chaotic! With all the new school year excitement, nutrition can easily be overlooked. However, proper food choices are crucial for these busy periods. After all, the food we put into our kids’ bodies is the fuel that gives them energy throughout the day. Should our children be running on sugar and processed foods? No, these nutrient deficient foods leads to energy crashes and developmental challenges. So, lets talk about some healthy breakfast options for these busy mornings!

When thinking about fast, easy, and nutrient dense meals, here are a few guidelines…

Guidelines:

  • Include healthy omega-3 fats (i.e. Avocado; coconut milk, coconut oil; organic grass fed meats; seeds). These fats support the brain and cellular function, and keep us full longer!
  • Include some type of protein source (i.e. organic, pasture-raised eggs; chia seeds; hemp seeds; grass fed meat). Protein helps to rebuild tissue, support the immune system, and hormone production.
  • Avoid processed grains. They are inflammatory to the body and have detrimental effects on the body and brain!

Here are my favorite breakfast recipes that are fast, easy, delicious and nutritious!

Paleo Pancakes:

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat; add butter
  • Mash banana chunks in a bowl using a fork until it becomes a wet consistency. Add egg and whisk mixture until batter is smooth.
  • Drop batter into the hot butter to make 2 pancakes. Cook for 3 minutes, and then flip for 2 minutes.
  • Add organic, pure maple syrup for a sweet treat!

Smoothie:

  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of berries
  • 2 cups of raw, organic spinach
  • Blend and enjoy!

Eggs & Avocado:

  • Scramble organic, pasture-raised eggs in coconut oil or grass fed butter
  • Slice up avocado and sprinkle some Himalayan sea salt on it
  • Toss the avocado on top of the scrambled eggs and eat!

For more easy breakfast options, check out one of my favorite bloggers, Paleo Mom. Here is one specific article with tons of information and resources on foods for kids!

http://www.thepaleomom.com/paleo-for-kids

3 Tips For Keeping Your Family Healthy Throughout The School Year

Tips for staying healthy throughout the school yearWith summer coming to an end, kids are going back to school….and we all know what that means, GERMS! First your little one comes home with a snotty nose, then mom gets it, then dad. It’s a family affair!

There are several things that I recommend families in my practice do when trying to stay healthy throughout the school year. Here are my top 3 tips.

1) Get Plenty of Sleep

Research now shows that sleep directly affects the immune system. When we sleep, our body creates and releases certain disease fighting substances. Our bodies needs these hormones, proteins, and chemicals to fight off disease and infection. Sleep deprivation decreases the availability of these substances and leaves us more susceptible to viruses and bacteria. If we are sleep deprived and become sick, we will stay sick for a longer period of time because our bodies lack the resources to fight off the bad guys!

Here is a guide as to how much sleep you and your family should be getting each night based on age:

  • 1-4 weeks: 15-16 hours per day
  • 1 -12 months: 14-15 hours per day
  • 1-3 years: 12-14 hours per day
  • 3-6 years: 10-12 hours per day
  • 7- 12 years: 10- 11 hours per day
  • 12- 18 years: 8-9 hours per day
  • 18 years- adulthood: 7-9 hours per day

2) Take A Vitamin D Supplement

Vitamin D plays a HUGE role in your health, influencing nearly 3,000 of your genes and playing critical role in your immune response. Vitamin D is being called a “miracle nutrient” for your immune system because it enables your body to produce over 200 anti-microbial peptides (these peptides help to fight a wide range of infections)! In fact, a recent Japanese study showed that school children taking vitamin D3 supplements were 58% less likely to catch the flu.

I recommend that all members of the family take a daily D3 supplement. My favorite brand is the liquid D3 drops from Innate Choice. Innate Choice is a quality, affordable brand developed by a fellow chiropractor, scientist, and nutrition expert, Dr. James Chestnut. My husband and I have been taking this for years to keep healthy!

3) Get Adjusted Regularly!

The nervous system controls every system in our bodies including our immune system. When the spine is misaligned, it places stress on our nervous system and our immune system is weakened. Research shows that chiropractic adjustments increase white blood cell counts and boost overall immune function by 200%. In order for us to be as healthy as possible, we need regular chiropractic adjustments to ensure that our body is functioning optimally.

Taking Probiotics While On Antibotics

Probiotics While On AntibioticsWhenever we feel sinus or cold like symptoms start to kick in, many people turn to antibiotics to clear things up. While antibiotics destroy the harmful bacteria that is intruding our system, they also destroy the healthy bacteria that keep our gut and immune system strong. In fact, if we break down the word antibiotic, “anti” means against and “biotic” referring to living organisms. So, antibiotics fight all bacteria (both the good and the bad)!

What Happens In Our Gut While Taking Antibiotics:

  1. Antibiotics wipe out all the good and bad bacteria in our gut/li>
  2. There is no good bacteria left to fight off the viruses/ disease/li>
  3. Our immune system is compromised/li>
  4. Bacteria becomes stronger and resistant to future antibiotics

Don’t get me wrong- I believe antibiotics are a good thing in emergency or life threatening situations. However, when we take them, we should be intentional about replenishing the good gut bacteria with probiotics (“pro- in favor of and “biotic”- living organisms).

Since 70% of our immune system lies within our gut, our bodies depend on good gut bacteria to stay healthy. In addition to decreasing inflammation, balancing gut flora, and supporting our gut’s natural ability to fight illnesses and disease, probiotics also line the intestinal walls to ensure that harmful bacteria cannot escape to the rest of our body! They act as our body’s own shield!

Probiotics naturally occur in fermented food/drinks like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha. However, many Americans need a little extra intestinal support and take a probiotic supplement. When taking a probiotic supplement, you will want to ensure that it is a good quality product that is actually supporting your gut. Brands that I recommend to my practice members include: Klaire Labs (infant probiotic) and Standard Process’s Prosymbiotic (for adults).

If you have any questions regarding your families health, please contact our office at blossomfamilychiro@gmail.com or call us at 727-498-5643.

Chiropractic Care, Just like Brushing Your Teeth

Chiropractic Care,     Just like Brushing Your TeethThe majority of people know how important proper dental hygiene is. From a young age, we have been taught to brush our teeth twice a day, floss, and visit the dentist twice a year. This ensures that we have bright white smiles, that we prevent cavities, and tooth decay. We know that in order to keep our smile perfect, it requires maintenance.

What About Spinal Hygiene?

We all understand the importance of oral hygiene….but what about spinal hygiene? Do we give our spine the same attention that we do teeth? Most individuals have never thought about spinal hygiene, what it means, or how it can affect our body. However, if we can understand how important our spine is, we will understand EVERYONE should be under regular chiropractic care throughout his/her life.

Your spine is incredibly important because it houses the nervous system which controls virtually every aspect of your body’s ability to function. In the same way that you get your oil changed, or your teeth cleaned, your spine requires the same maintenance with chiropractic adjustments. While you don’t need to be adjusted twice a day, you should be adjusted routinely to keep your spine in the proper alignment so that your body can function optimally!

When misalignments (subluxations) occur in your spine, it places stress onto your nervous system and can not only cause pain, but other health conditions like migraines, sciatic pain, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia, digestive problems, dizziness, etc. Just like brushing removes unwanted particles from your teeth, chiropractic adjustments remove these unwanted subluxations. By placing the spine into the correct alignment, your body is able to function properly, and prevent many health conditions from ever occurring!

Being Proactive vs. Reactive

It is important to keep proper spinal maintenance in mind when it comes to being proactive with your health and taking care of your body. Many people will wait to visit a chiropractor until they are in pain, only to find that they have multiple subluxations and issues that could have been prevented with regular chiropractic care. Often times, if people wait until they are in pain, they have already done a great deal of damage to their spine; some that may not be reversible.

Last year, I had a woman come into the office with severe neck pain. She told me that the pain had only started last week after she slept funny. However, when we took an x-ray of her spine, she had stage 4 degeneration. The disc spaces were severely narrowed, she had massive amounts of arthritis formed, and her neck was fused together due to the massive amount of bone spurs. Although she only started feeling pain the week before, she had waited too long to come into the office. There was nothing chiropractic could do to help. At that point, she was facing surgery. After I explained that the degeneration started when she was a child, the woman cried and said that she wished she had come into the office 20 years earlier.

If people came to see a chiropractor at the same age they started taking care of their teeth (as an infant), many of these issues could be prevented. Just like your teeth, car, or relationship, if we don’t maintain our spine, it will fall apart.

If you are ready to take control of your health and see how your spine and nervous system are functioning, contact our office to schedule a new patient appointment at blossomfamilychiro@gmail.com or at 727-498-5643.

Your body will thank you 🙂

The Best Way to Treat a Fever

Best Way to Treat a FeverWith school starting back soon, parents fear their child coming home “sick”. These kids go back to school, start playing with their friends, and share everything (including viruses and bacteria)! First comes the sniffle, then the cough, then the achy-ness and fever. Sound familiar?

As parents, we want to do everything in our power to get our child healthy again. To accomplish this, most parents rush for medication to try and “break” the fever when it strikes. However, research has shown that these medications are doing more harm than good. Studies have found that Tylenol and other fever-reducing medications actually suppress the body’s production of antibodies which causes the infection to last up to 50% longer.

So Is Fever A Good Or Bad Thing?

Many people are surprised to hear that fever is actually our friend! Fever is the body’s natural response to fight off infection. In fact, our bodies are so intelligent that when they detect a “bad guy”, our internal temperature rises to kill of the invading bacteria or virus. When the body’s immune system is able to go through this natural defense process, it creates a stronger and quicker immune response the next time that your child comes in contact with nasty viruses or bacteria.

If your child has a fever, there are several things that you can do to boost his/her immune system to give him/her the best chance at fighting an infection:

1) Get Adjusted

The Nervous System is the air-traffic controller for our body. It controls and coordinates all systems in our body, including our immune system. By getting adjusted, it ensures that our nervous system is working optimally so we can fight the infection as fast as possible! Research shows that chiropractic adjustments boost the immune system by 200%. Who doesn’t want to heal quicker?

2) Breastfeed

If you are able to breastfeed your child, do so! Mother’s milk contains antibodies that will help to fight your baby’s infection.

3) Lots of Sleep

Encourage your child to stay home and rest. Instead of expending energy on activities, sleep so that your body can concentrate on fighting this infection by letting the fever run its course.

4) Avoid Sugar

Sugar suppresses the immune systems’ ability to fight the infection. Try to avoid sugary liquids (i.e. Gatorade, Orange Juice) and foods. Avoid trying to force your child to eat as they will eat when they are ready. A good made chicken broth is a great alternative full of pro-biotics and easily digestible!

So, instead of thinking your child is “sick” when he/she has a fever, have faith that his/her body is expressing health optimally! The body is doing EXACTLY what it needs to do to rid the body of the infection quickly, safely, and effectively. Let’s take confidence in our body because the best way to treat a fever is to let it run its course!

Natural Ways to Help Infertility

Natural Ways to Help InfertilityIn the United States, nearly 13% of couples struggle with infertility. This heartache and emotional turmoil continues to effect more and more people every year. As society becomes more focused on health and wellness, many couples are steering away from conventional medical treatments and looking for holistic or natural options, like chiropractic care, to become pregnant.

The conventional medical management of fertility includes medication (clomid or letrozole), IUI, or IVF options. Although these treatments yield a 10-35% success rate, many couples worry about the unwanted side effects and the chemical influence from the medication, and the significant cost involved for conventional treatment. With medical costs ranging from $6,000 – $20,000 per menstrual cycle, costs can add up quickly and make these treatment options unaffordable for many couples. Due to these circumstances, many couples have turned to chiropractic care as a viable and natural alternative for infertility. In fact, research proves that traditional medical care is no more effective than chiropractic care for the treatment of infertility.

How can Chiropractic Help Infertility?

Chiropractic care works to restore proper nerve function between the brain and the body, which is essential for good health. The spinal cord, which transmits these nerve impulses, is protected by the spinal column. When spinal misalignments or subluxations are present, they disturb normal nerve function and cause dysfunction within the body. This dysfunction can appear as pain, hormonal imbalances, high blood pressure, infertility, etc. Chiropractic adjustments restore proper alignment to the spine, and increase the ability of your nervous system (master control system) to adapt and function optimally. Although chiropractic is not specifically designed to “treat” infertility, many couples are able to conceive naturally as their body functions properly.

With my specialty in pre-conception, and passion for infertility cases, I have noticed a common theme among the majority of women struggling with infertility. They are usually successful women who have a high standard of self-achievement, put other’s needs ahead of their own, and are constantly on the go! These women’s lives are so fast paced, that they do not even realize how much emotional stress that they are constantly under. This constant level of stress puts their nervous system into “fight or flight” or survival mode. The problem is, the body cannot be in survival/stress mode while also growing and developing a baby. Chiropractic adjustments combat this stress by activating the part of the nervous system that is needed for conception and growth of a baby.

In our office, many women who have struggled with infrequent or irregular periods have been able to establish a regular period under routine chiropractic care. After restoring normal ovulation, many of those women have been able to conceive naturally without the use of drugs or surgery.

Recent research documented two case studies in which patients presented to the chiropractic office with complaints of infertility. Both women saw positive physiological changes, with one case resulting in a healthy pregnancy. Although chiropractic was never intended to “treat” the infertility, the adjustments restored proper neurological function and allowed the body to adapt to various chemical, physical, and emotional stressors the women were dealing with.

In our office, we joke that when couples are under regular chiropractic care, pregnancy just happens. When stress on the nervous system is removed, the body is able to function the way it was designed to, allowing for proper hormone regulation, ovulation, and reproduction function.

If you are preparing for pregnancy, or have been struggling with infertility issues, give your body the best chance at conception by getting your nervous system checked. Our office, Blossom Family Chiropractic, focuses on pre-conception, pre-natal, post-partum, and pediatric care, and provides quality chiropractic care to those in the Saint Petersburg, Tampa, and Clearwater areas. If you have any questions regarding infertility and chiropractic, or if you would like to make an appointment, please contact our office at 727-498-5643 or email blossomfamilychiro@gmail.com.

Alternative Ways To Help Child With ADHD

Alternative Ways To Help Child With ADHDADHD is a prominent diagnosis these days. In fact, the newest statistics show that 1 in 7 children are diagnosed with ADHD, and these numbers are rising drastically with each year. Many teachers have told me me that 25% or more of their students are taking Ritalin on Adderall so that they can sit still and concentrate through the day.

The truth is, ADHD is misunderstood. Many people think that ADHD is a problem, when in fact, it is a superhero power in and of itself. ADHD is a simple condition to understand. Once we understand what the CAUSE of ADHD is, we understand that the symptoms we see are simply the EFFECTS of that cause.

ADHD is like a Ferrari

Children and adults with ADHD have “Ferrari brains.” This means that their brains like to go fast; they are stuck on the gas pedal at all times! These Ferraris get places MUCH faster than other cars. This is the child’s superhero power and the reason why so many of our famous inventors, artists, and innovators have been described as having ADHD.

However, If you are looking at a Ferrari, you will notice that they not only have a huge engine (fast brain), but that they also have very large brakes and a sophisticated suspension and handling system. Essentially, the Ferrari can go really fast because it can take corners fast and brakes quickly!

Although a child with ADHD has the fast engine (fast moving brain), they have small brakes and poor handling. In today’s world, that means these kids have a hard time slowing down and sitting still, difficulty paying attention in slow moving environments (i.e. class), and a tough time moving from one activity to another.

Are Drugs the Only Option?

Most children with ADHD are given a class II controlled substance (the same class as cocaine) to control symptoms. However, many people don’t understand that these drugs can stunt and impair normal brain growth and development, and can have many unwanted side effects including sudden death. Although these drugs have been prescribed for 50 years, there has never been a study that compares the benefits and risks of taking these prescription drugs.

So how can we help kids with ADHD “apply the brakes” and “navigate the corners?” How can we help them better copy with stress, school and the changing demands of life? Are addictive stimulant and psychoactive prescription drugs the only options? The answer is no! Drugs are not the only answer or option for these kids. For parents searching for alternative ways to help your child with ADHD, chiropractic care can help!

What is ADHD?

As we know, ADHD is a neurological disorder that is dealing with a dysfunction in the nervous system. Within the nervous system, there are two modes of operation:

  • There is the “gas pedal” mode which is the fight or flight stress response, or sympathetic state. This stress response is responsible for survival. This kicks on when you are in danger or when you are scared. It should turn on (when needed) to keep you alive, and then turn back off again after danger is out of the way.
  • There is also “brake pedal” mode, or the parasympathetic state, where growth and development happens.

Many children with ADHD are stuck on “gas pedal” mode. They just can’t slow down and are missing out on these growth and developmental phases because the “brakes” won’t turn on. But why?

The Birth Process

The birth process can be very tough on the child especially if there is a c-section, or stressful birth or delivery. The pulling and twisting of the child’s head can easily misalign the top bone in the neck (the atlas) which sits right next to the Vagus nerve. The Vagus nerve is responsible for the entire braking system in the body. If this top bone is misaligned, it will shut down the brakes and keep the child in “gas pedal” mode.

How can Chiropractic Help with ADHD?

Gentle and specific pediatric chiropractic adjustments can help with ADHD by restoring proper structure to the spine and taking pressure off the nervous system (specifically the vagus nerve) so that the “brake pedal” can turn on and slow the child down. Although chiropractic doesn’t treat ADHD, it allows the body to function appropriately so that kids can live a normal and symptom free life.

If you are wondering if chiropractic can help you or your child with ADHD, please give contact Blossom Family Chiropractic at 727-498-5643 or email blossomfamilychiro@gmail.com.

Can Chiropractic Fix Bedwetting?

Can Chiropractic Fix BedwettingAt least once a week, I have a parent ask me, “Hey Doc, can chiropractic help my child with bedwetting?” The answer is yes! While chiropractic care is not a treatment for bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis), thousands of children have seen improvements or resolution of bedwetting while under regular pediatric chiropractic care.

Up to the age of four of five, most children have poor bladder control at night. However, if the child is not able to stay dry during the night after that point, there may be an underlying problem. Bedwetting can take an emotional toll on these children causing self-esteem and embarrassment issues. This is when parents may want to consider having their child checked by a pediatric chiropractor.

Physiological Problem

There are two muscles that control the emptying of the bladder; the detrusor and trigone muscles. The nerves that innervate these muscles exit the spine in the lower back and tailbone (sacrum) areas.

While in the early years of life, the tailbone has five individual segments. In your 20’s, these individual segments fuse together to form the triangular shaped bone that you have at the base of your spine. If these segments misalign from learning to crawl, walk, or ride a bike, they can place stress onto the nerves that are responsible for bladder control. In this situation, many children experience bedwetting at night.

Chiropractic works to re-align these individual segments and take stress off the nerves that innervate the bladder. When these misalignments are corrected with gentle and safe pediatric adjustments, nervous system control and regulation of the bladder may often be restored!

Chiropractic Research

A study in The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics followed 46 children with enuresis undergoing chiropractic care over a 10 week period. A quarter of those who received chiropractic care showed a 50% or more reduction in bedwetting frequency, while the control group did not see any reduction in incidences

Will Chiropractic Care Help With Bedwetting?

Many children see a resolution or reduction of bedwedding incidences with regular pediatric chiropractic care. However, since chiropractic care is not a treatment for bedwetting, a thorough examination is necessary to see if the bedwetting is caused by nerve interference from the spine. If your child suffers with bedwetting, please contact our office Blossom Family Chiropractic at 727-498-5643 to see if we can help!