health

5 Natural Remedies for Stress and Anxiety

Stress is becoming more common in today’s world with the fast paced lifestyle. No one is immune from the effects of living in that type of lifestyle. It will catch up. Stress has been shown to increase the risk for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and other metabolic diseases. This should make you perk up and pay attention to the alarming rates of these diseases today. There are medications out there that help to calm and control stress and anxiety but they are short lived and the side effects are a list long.

More and more people are turning to natural treatments for stress and anxiety for good reason. There are many benefits to go with the natural option. Those being it works and there are hardly any side effects from the natural route.

Here are 5 ways to combat stress naturally.

  1. Theanine

This compound is found in high concentrations in green tea. If you don’t like green tea then getting it in supplement form is a good option. There are many supplements that have a combination of herbs and theanine. It can cross the blood-brain-barrier fairly good so you will notice the calming effects on the brain.

2. Exercise

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Exercise has shown many times over that it is good for overall health and well-being. This includes in that a stress reducing and anxiety reducing effect. Getting plenty of exercise each day will help boost up your mood and make stress…well less stressful. A simple 30 minute walk everyday can boost your bodies natural stress reliever.

3. Full Spectrum Hemp Oil

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With all the buzz surrounding CBD and Hemp oil there is a lot to filter out. The verdict is that this stuff works and works well. It works on the endocanninioid system. This system helps to regulate the bodies ability to keep things in balance. So it balances out all the systems of your body. It also has great anti-anxiety benefits. Getting the right dose and content is crucial. So make sure when you are trying out a product get it from a reputable chiropractor or physician.

4. Adrenal Supplements

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Stress depletes your adrenal glands due to the adrenal glands main function to combat the chemical stress of the body. By using supplements targeted toward boosting up your adrenals then you can better handle stress and anxiety.

5. Lavendar

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Using Lavendar essential oil either by diffusing or using it as a steam can greatly help with relaxing the stress away. It has been used for years for calming. It can also help you sleep better. The compounds work on the brain for a calming effect.

These used alone or in combination will help you to feel less stress and anxiety so that you can get back to living!

Diet Dos and Don'ts for a Problem Gallbladder

Many people experience gallbladder problems in the form of stones or other pain symptoms where the gallbladder contracts tremendously to cause pain. These problems can be alleviated with the proper diet. With this blog post we will go through the problems of the gallbladder how they are causing you trouble and how to fix them.

What is the gallbladder exactly?

It is a small sac located near your liver. Right side of your body near the lower edge of your ribs. This small sac is what holds bile. It doesn’t make it, your liver does that for you. The gallbladder is storing the bile for quick release when you need it after a fatty meal. This is super important because you can better digest the fat you are ingesting.

So what are the reasons behind the formation of gallstones?

It can be tied to hereditary factors which is something to keep in mind. But the most important is bile composition. In other words what makes up your specific bile composition. And that is directly tied to what you are ingesting in your food. Cholesterol content in your blood actually increases the risk of gallstones because it is the “sticky” stuff. So anything that can decrease the formation of too much cholesterol is good. I say too much cholesterol because you need that too to function. A healthy amount.

Who gets gallstones?

The studies show that certain people are more commonly getting gallstones. Overweight women, Diabetics and people who have inflammation of the intestinal tract caused by the wrong foods. Processed foods especially. This can include infections as well.

Is Prevention Possible?

If you have diabetes and have a family history of gallstones and you are taking medications that make gallstone formation more likely then you may develop gallstones now matter how hard you try to prevent. So talking with your doctor about the medications you take is important factor. But nutrition has proven to be super beneficial in the prevention of gallstone formation. According to Scott Grundy, M.D. ,”the intake of calories, fat, cholesterol and fiber have been shown to affect bile composition.” So getting the right amount of nutrient intake is crucial to preventing these things. Sugar and processed foods have shown in studies to increase the probability of the formation of gallstones. So with all that being said let’s talk about the Dos and Don’ts of gallstone formation.

Food Type: Allowed

Vegetables: All kinds, cooked, raw in any form. Vegetables will help you to get fiber which helps to help with the transport of the bile.

Fish: All non-fatty varieties

Cheeses: cottage only

Breads: all kinds except those with added fat

Meats: Broiled, baked roasted or stewed. Lean beef, chicken, lamb, pork, veal

Fats: Vegetable oil especially extra virgin olive oil

Seasonings: In moderation: salt, pepper, spices

The best way to prevent gallstone formation is to get a variety of vegetables in your diet to increase the fiber intake. This will allow your body to process the bile more efficiently.

Chiropractic for Sciatic Pain: Does it work?

Sciatic can be a pain in the butt…literally. Sciatic pain is no fun. If you have experienced it then you know what I am talking about. With this type of pain the sciatic nerve which is the largest nerve in the body, can become entrapped or not move correctly thus causing pain. There are many structures involved that could be affecting this nerve and we will get into the hows soon. Chiropractic is one solution to this type of pain. Adjustments are one facet of chiropractic care. Other treatments include trigger point therapy and forms of nerve mobilization that helps to mobilize the nerve.

Getting to the nitty gritty now. The how behind why you feel sciatic nerve pain.

NERVE ENTRAPMENT

The sciatic nerve is formed from lumbar and sacral nerves. So understanding anatomy in detail will help to understand why this nerve gets impacted the way it does. Below is a picture of where the sciatic nerves come together to form.

Sciatic nerve formation

Sciatic nerve formation

This is super important to know because if you notice the muscle near the nerve on the left as you are looking at the picture, it is very near the sciatic nerve. This is one area where the nerve can get entrapped and you start to feel the tingling and pain. This type of pain can be really bad when you sit for long periods of time because the pressure is being applied even more when you sit down.

One way to get rid of this entrapment is to get trigger point therapy specifically geared towards the piriformis muscle. This doesn’t feel the greatest at first but it will lessen the tingling and pain from the entrapment.

BULGING/HERNIATED DISC

Another way that the sciatic nerve can be affected is bulging or herniated discs. This type of pain is specific to the level of the disc. So if the disc affected is L5 then the S1 nerve will be affected which follows a certain path into the leg and foot. This type of pain can be debilitation because you have the back pain from the disc as well as the leg pain. Conservative treatment should be tried first to help the disc heal and the nerve. It is said that at any given time roughly 50% of people walk around with disc bulges or herniations, but some don’t feel pain at all besides discomfort.

Certain chiropractic techniques, such as flexion distraction, focus on the low back and disc pain. These types of treatments will take about 8-12 visits to see noticeable results but it can help with the really sharp acute pain of a disc herniation.

Along with adjustments certain maneuvers can be utilized to free up the nerve. Nerve mobilizations help to free up the restrictions that may be present with the bulging/herniated disc.


These types of treatments should be tried first before considering surgery. Surgery is an option for this type of pain but with chiropractic or physical therapy the surgery can be abated. Conservative treatments are successful most of the time if performed by a competent Doctor. Finding the right fit is key for your condition!

I would love to know your thoughts on the subject!

CrossFit and Chiropractic

Injuries can set us all back even if not competing. It drags us down so that we have to rest and recover. Without the rest and recovery phase you might not get back into top shape or even compete at all. That is why it is super important to prevent these injuries and when they do happen treat them quickly.

More and more research is saying that the quicker you provide healthy movement in care the quicker the injury can heal. What does this mean for CrossFit athletes? First by getting chiropractic care on a maintenance basis, the chiropractor can assess to see if you are at an increase risk for injury by range of motion, tissue function and pain. Second, once identified those movement hindrances can be corrected with care. Third, if you get injured seeing a chiropractor first thing can help speed up recovery and healing. Fourth, It can improve your performance.

All of this means you can get back to training and competing. So let’s delve into each of those aspects.

ASSESSING FOR INJURY

If you knew that you could injure yourself if you kept it up would you prevent it? Of course. An injury can set you back from getting in the gym. That is no bueno. By getting regular chiropractic care you can easily see if there is an increased risk of injury from faulty movement and biomechanical alterations. A chiropractor trained to see these things in athletes will better to help form a plan to prevent these things.

TREATING INJURIES

Once an injury occurs, which if you are an athlete more than likely has happened, you want quick treatment that is effective. Chiropractic can help to treat these injuries quickly and naturally so you are not out for long periods of time. Injuries don’t have to keep you out for long if you get it treated quickly. We try to prevent surgeries because that can be an even bigger set back or career ending. The point is to get quick and effective treatment of these injuries so that you can get back to doing work.

IMPROVED PERFORMANCE

When there is an imbalance in the structures of the body you won’t be able to get the performance that you want. When the pelvis is misaligned it shifts the center of gravity to the side shifting the body mechanics. Try having that lack of movement in that plane and then go PR squat. You will not be able to get the best range of motion as well as muscle power. When the pelvis is sitting right then you can get deeper squat and more power coming out of the squat. This equals better performance in lifting.

In short CrossFit and Chiropractic goes hand in hand when improving performance and decreasing injuries. This equals more time training and competing and less time sitting around.

Stress 101: Feeling burnt out

Stress affects us all in varying degrees. When the feelings of stress override our natural ability to bounce back we are drained and even more stressed. In this post we will talk about what is called HPA axis dysfunction and the progression of burnout.

Stress is actually a good thing. It becomes bad when it is chronic and we don’t get the rest we need to for our bodies to continue keeping on. There are many ways to talk about stress but today we are specifically talking about the HPA axis and it’s role in the chemical control of stress.

When stress is perceived, our hypothalamus, a part of the brain, releases a hormone called CRH which stimulates another part of the brain, pituitary gland, to secrete ACTH. ACTH is another hormone, that directly acts on the adrenal gland to secrete cortisol. Cortisol is one of the main indicators of a stress response in the body that can be measured within saliva.

Normally these hormones are kept in a fine balance so that there are no extremes. This is mostly performed on circadian cycle, or your sleep cycle. Cortisol normally should be dominant in the morning to wake up and taper off throughout the day for when you sleep. Cortisol acts mainly to shunt activity away from long term metabolic processes such as digestion toward those that mainly keep you alive, like finding something to eat. When cortisol is secreted on a chronic basis it literally shuts off activity to places that help to regulate homeostasis. Such things as digestion gets messed up and doesn’t function right. It suppresses immune system function as well.

So if you are under chronic stress for a long time even though you may feel like everything is going okay, your cells say a different matter. So that feeling of burn out is literally true you are burning through your bodies cells and tissues in this state.

So when thinking of stress it is not just, “ I feel stressed all the time”, it is literally breaking down tissues in your body that helps you to function normally such as brain tissue.

As we go further in depth into the physiology of the stress response I want to point your attention to the fact that cortisol is great when it is regulated the right way. Further blog posts will discuss the solution to the feeling of burnt out.

Cheers!

Dr. K

How to Heal Tendinitis and tendinopathies with specific oils

Tendinitis can be very painful condition and is seen a lot in overuse type injuries such as in sports where they are doing the same motion over and over again. It can also be seen in the workplace where there is a repetitive motion. Whatever the case conservative management of this condition is well documented with certain exercises and stretches. Combining certain oils with a treatment plan can help increase the success rate of the tendon healing.

One of the greatest oil to use for tendon injuries is lemongrass. This oil has been used for a long time in the flavoring industry but has great properties that allow it to heal tendons. It consists of Geranial, Neral, Geraniol, and Farnesol. Those are some fancy words! Specifically Geranial and Neral are compounds that have potent anti-inflammatory effects on tissues. This means decreased inflammation in the tendons that are being overused so that they can heal.

Another oil that has great benefits for the tissues of the body is helichrysum. This powerful oil has neuroprotective affects on the nerve tissue. The tendons that are inflammed are hitting on the nerves surrounding the sheath which causes pain. This can further damage the nerves as well as the tendons. By using this oil it can protect and provide some pain relief to the nerves.

Mixing the oils:

Using both of the oils in a mix can greatly improve the health of your tendons along with a stretching and treatment program. This will speed up recovery so that you can get back to doing what you love.

I mix 10 drops of each oil in a little baby food jar and fill it up halfway with MCT oil. This will dilute is so that it is easier to apply and the oil will last longer. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to me!

Cheers!

Dr. K

Shoulder Pain! UGH! Ways to help with that nagging shoulder pain.

Shoulders. Gotta love em! We take our most mobile joint for granted until…you can’t lift your hand over your head. I’ve been there. Trust me not fun. But why does it get this way and how can we keep it from getting to that point? This little blog is here to help with that problem. So keep reading!

As I said the shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in our body. Go ahead try it. Move it around. See if you can do all that with you low back. No? I thought so. So with this being the most mobile joint we have to keep it moving in order to pick up that drink in front of you, or do your hair.

One of the ways it gets stuck is what is called micro trauma that adds up over time. We slightly damage the shoulder and voila it heals but not the way it should have. Healthy movement after something is damaged is key. It allows the joint and tissues to heal properly. The important thing being “healing properly”. If that doesn’t happen then it continues to not work the way it should.

So what to do? Great question. Healthy movement! Okay I won’t leave you hanging on that one. Healthy movement is doing movement that makes the joint feel better. Usually you can find a movement that makes the joint not feel like it is on fire. So doing repetitions like moving your shoulder back behind your back over and over 10 times will help reduce the pain.

Sometimes it needs a little bit more tender loving care and that is where seeing a chiropractor or someone who can really dig into the muscles to find the culprit is good. It not only helps correct what is wrong but monitoring it for improvements is awesome as well.

Another way to decrease the pain is taking a supplement that has bromelain or turmeric in it. This helps tremendously to get the right type of healing and clear away all the bad stuff. It really is great stuff!

So those are a couple ways to help with that nagging pain in the shoulder. If you have more questions about shoulder pain then let me know in the comments! Ask away! Really I love answering questions!

Cheers!

Dr. K

On-Site Chiropractic's Role in Occupational Health

Over the past 10 months I have had the privilege to work with a manufacturing company to meet their needs in the healthcare realm. Chiropractic is a great service to provide a long with prevention of injuries and ergonomics into the workplace to better help the rising health care costs of musculoskeletal injuries. These types of injuries are most common in manufacturing, construction work as well as professions such as dental assistants and office workers. The growing need for companies to provide better health options is on the rise and I believe on-site chiropractic care can help with those needs.

It is not a one-size-fits-all type of healthcare as each company is in need of specific areas. But overall wellness can be achieved in workplaces and decreasing the amount of workplace injuries. One of the main goals of the program I am a part of is to prevent things from occurring and early treatment of those injuries. This means that the employees are getting to go home feeling better all while never leaving work.

I believe this a growing trend for companies who find themselves spending more and more on healthcare costs for their employees. The process for finding what the company is in need of can be long but like anything you want to measure you have to have a starting point. This gives the company something to go on as well as myself. Starting out by goal setting such as, “we want workplace injuries to decrease”, is a good place to start. It can be something like increasing the morale of the company as a whole. Whatever the goal it needs to be written out and how to attain it.

These types of programs can evolve as well. What was once a goal might change into something more specific of more broad so flexibility with this is key. Expertise in the field is a requirement as the needs of the company are diverse and require professional qualifications. A win-win-win strategy for all involved is at the heart of these programs and in the future this type of healthcare will be the model to go on.

What I do to heal tendons and ligaments

I use my hands a lot not only in my practice treating people but I like to garden which includes pulling a lot of weeds. Not a fun part of gardening but worth the sowing. So as you can imagine my hands develop a lot of tenderness and the tendons and ligaments can become inflamed and hurt. Quite a bit sometimes. So what are my go to remedies for this type of condition? Essential oils. I will talk about how I do that and what oils to use. You can use this on any part of your body where tendons and ligaments are at.

The anatomy of tendons and ligaments differ from muscle in that they don't contract much. they inhibit movement or help guide it. So they have to be pretty strong. If you have ever had tendinitis or have torn a ligament, like myself, then you know the pain and discomfort that it causes. So here are a few oils that I go to every day to help with my hands. 

Lemongrass

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Lemongrass is all things tendon and ligament. It has properties that help them heal and regenerate so that they are healthy. It smells similar to lemon but with a little different scent. It has an uplifting type of scent that is good to diffuse as well. I use 2 drops on my hands 4 times a day. It can turn your hands a little yellow from doing this but if you don't mind that then it is a wonderful way to heal your tendons. 

Marjoram

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Next on the list is marjoram. Marjoram is a part of the mint family usually grown in Europe but found elsewhere as well. This powerful plant and the essential oil packs a punch when it comes to muscle spasms and nerve pain. I often will mix 2 drops with 2 drops of lemongrass to combat two different conditions of muscle and ligament pain in my hands. Again you can use this anywhere in the body that you are experiencing pain. In can assist in calming nerves down so you don't experience pain. 

Helichrysum

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The last one on this list is helichrysum. This oil is from the family daisy and has many properties of healing. The oil itself is a little pricier but you won't want to be without this oil because of the many benefits. What I use it for is for regeneration of unhealthy or damaged nerves. This can work anywhere and especially well near the spine. It works great for healing the nerves that may have been damaged when the tendons and ligaments have become thickened in the hands or anywhere in the body. An example would be carpal tunnel syndrome. This tunnel becomes narrower due to thickening of the fascia in the wrist. This oil will help to heal the nerve damage. Apply 1 drop to area in need of nerve regeneration twice a day. 

So there you have it a short little list of what I do to keep my tendons and ligaments especially in my hands healthy and functioning the right way. Let me know if you have any questions I would be more than happy to discuss it! 

Why knee pain might not be coming from the knee

If you have ever had knee pain then you know it can be troublesome to deal with. I myself have had multiple knee surgeries to repair meniscus as well as ACL tears. I'll be the first to tell you they are not fun...at all. But why do we get knee pain or tear ligaments in the first place? Through my journey through chiropractic and gait analysis as well as learning the biomechanics of all the joints in the body I have a better understanding of why I tore those ligaments in the first place and how chiropractic can help with knee pain. 

The knee is one of the joints in the body that allows walking to occur. It swings front to back when we walk, run, or jump. This is such an important joint because it allows us to interact with our environment. When we get knee pain or even worse a tear, we don't feel like moving around much. The knee joint should be stable. Meaning it should have movement but not too much movement. What I mean by that is that there should not be movement like you have in your shoulder or your hips. If that happens then the ligaments have become lax and you are more prone to injury. 

The cause of so much laxity in the joint doesn't necessarily mean that it started in the knee. What I find most often is tightness in the hips as well as the SI joints that cause the knee to move more. Think of it like this, we are supposed to be able to move our hips in a wide range. It is a ball and socket joint, which is meant and designed to move in all planes of motion. When that ball and socket joint can't do what it was designed to do then other joints in your body have to make up for that lack of movement. Usually it is the knees and low back. When the knees and low back have more stress out on them, then pain begins to creep in. 

What we usually think is coming from the knee can actually be from lack of movement in the hips and SI joint. You do this for years and you start to get decreased joint space in the knees and you're looking at a knee replacement down the road. We want to prevent this from occurring. It all begins in the hips and SI joint. 

So getting movement out of the hip joints is a must. Stop sitting so much! But really sitting can cause your hips to get stiff and lose that normal movement. Getting out and walking a little bit even 5 minutes is going to be beneficial for you if you do it regularly. Also getting your SI joint aligned will benefit greatly from this. I always think if I would have had my SI joint checked every month while playing sports would my knee injuries have been different? Who knows it might not have but I think that it would have helped the severity of it. So next time you get knee pain get it checked by a good chiropractor that knows how to check the pelvis and its structures because it could save you in the long run. 

Why doing this one thing will help with your pain

Pain. We all have had it at some point. Hate it or love it it teaches us what damages our bodies. But what happens when it becomes a long term thing? We get so used to having it that it's always there. Does that cause damage as well? We will discover the one thing that will help with pain and how you can get do more of it. 

I'll start with a story. It is a story out of my life that I will share. I tore my ACL...twice. So had the surgery and afterwards they want you to put you leg on this device that moves it constantly, for 24 hours a day for a week, only resting it when you do your exercises. I mean you have this thing on you when you sleep so it's not the greatest  to be able to sleep. But why would they do something like that? One word. Movement. If you don't move the joint that was injured it becomes stuck and scar tissue forms and then you have more problems than when you started. 

The importance of movement especially joints that have been injured is crucial. Pain tells us to stop for good reason but movement that is controlled is actually a type of therapy. What does this have to do with health? Actually a lot. See when we experience pain we want to sit down and rest which is good for really acute pain. Like spraining your ankle you probably want to rest and ice it but once that period of rest and ice is over you gotta move it. Slowly walking getting the joint fluid to move around and drain is key. 

I see this everyday. Joints that are not properly moving cause pain and can lead to degeneration of the spine or other joints of the body. It is my job to free up joints and get them to move better so pain does not set in long term. I am so passionate about seeing people moving well and getting better because they get to experience life again the way that they used to know it. They get to play with their kids or play that sport with a little more ease. When we have people that are not in pain their mood improves which is a fantastic benefit to getting adjusted. The list goes on and on. 

So even after getting adjusted it is good to rest but taking a short walk of 5-10 minutes can help keep the joints free and moving correctly. This one thing of getting movement and not sitting down all the time will help to ease the pain you are experiencing. When you experience movement and what it is supposed to feel like you will get to enjoy life again!