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Healthy Habits

Date: July 17, 2017 | Time: 9:09am | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

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The University of South Carolina conducted an inspirational study that embodies everything that this column is about. They took a group of middle-aged adults to measure exactly what benefits they could gain from a healthy lifestyle. The researchers reported that adults age 45 to 64 who began eating five or more fruits and vegetables every day, exercising for at least 2 1/2 hours a week, keeping weight down and not smoking decreased their risk of heart disease by 35 percent and risk of death by 40 percent in the four years after they started.

The really exciting part about these findings is that within four years, their mortality rate and rate of heart attacks matched the people who had been doing these behaviors all along. This means that changing behavior allowed them to "catch up" with people who had always been healthy. Dr. Dana King who led the research added "even if you have not had a healthy lifestyle previously, it's not too late to adopt those healthy lifestyle habits and gain almost immediate benefits."

The four key habits are eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables everyday, exercising for 2 1/2 hours per week, not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight. A critical point learned in the study is that it took all four habits - having just three of the healthy habits yielded no heart benefits and a more modest decrease in overall risk of death. As I've said in the past, health exists on a continuum and no matter where you are on that line, information like this proves that simple changes in lifestyle will move anyone further toward health and away from disease.
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Caffeine & Water

Date: July 10, 2017 | Time: 9:00am | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

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What do Coffee, Tea, Alcohol and Soda have in common? Anything you drink with caffeine or alcohol can dehydrate you by turning off anti-diuretic hormone in your kidneys. This hormone causes your kidneys to return water back to the body. If it is shut off, you lose water. When you take water out of your body, you dry up causing: fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain, headaches, toxicity, etc. Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do to promote health!


I'm amazed with how many people "don't like water." This is equivalent to saying, "I don't like air." Our bodies are about 65% water by weight. Water is one of the least forgiving of all the nutrients - you can only survive a couple days without it. It is responsible for the transport of nutrients, oxygen, and waste products, as well as regulating your body temperature and serving as the medium in which almost all of your body's chemical reactions take place. Drinking an adequate amount of clean water is one of the most overlooked but simple ways of keeping healthy.


Most agree that you should have around 8-10 (8 oz) glasses of water each and every day. Others say you should take your weight in pounds and divide that number by '2' and this number is the amount of water in ounces you should drink daily. Regardless, it is my experience that most people could benefit from more water.


If you truly cannot learn to like the taste of water, I recommend mineral water, unsweetened green or black teas, water with lemon added or mixed with fruit juice. You can substitute a couple glasses of unsweetened fruit juice each day. However, you cannot count caffeinated tea, coffee, or soda as the water that is in these is lost through the kidneys as a result of caffeine.

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Immune Booster

Date: July 3, 2017 | Time: 9:28am | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

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In the past couple articles, I've discussed how sugar decreases a person's potential for wellness by compromising the immune system and limiting a person's defense. In this article, I'd like to point out one of the many ways to strengthen the immune system and improve defense.

One of the studies that inspired me to pursue chiropractic in the first place was performed in 1989 by Ronald Pero, Ph.D. Dr. Pero was the chief cancer prevention researcher at New YorkUniversity. Since cancer is recognized as an immune system problem, Dr. Pero decided to check the immune systems of people under chiropractic care as compared to people in the general population and to people with cancer or other serious disease. In a 3 year study of 107 individuals who had been under regular chiropractic care for at least 5 years, he found that this chiropractic group had a 200% greater immune function than the general public. More than this, he found that the chiropractic group had a 400% greater immunity than people with cancer and other disease.

In his conclusion, Dr. Pero reported, "I have never seen a group other than this chiropractic group to experience a 200% increase over the normal patients."

In addition to regular exercise, proper diet and reduced stress, maintaining the proper function of your spine and nervous system through regular chiropractic adjustments is proven to be a vital component of optimal health and wellness.

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Sugar

Date: June 26, 2017 | Time: 8:54am | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

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If you missed last week's column, I picked on sugar. If you missed it, that's o.k. because this week I'm going to do it again!

Last week I reported how cutting sugar in schools improves student performance and behavior. We all know that sugar contributes to obesity and of course is the main cause of type II diabetes. This week I'd like to talk about how sugar adversely impacts your body's defense or your immune system.

I've heard it reported that the amount of sugar in a single soda (which is about 12 teaspoons!) will virtually shut down your immune system for about two hours. This makes you much more susceptible to all types of infection.

Did you know that about 75 years ago the Nobel Prize was given to Dr. Warburg of Germanywhen he discovered that sugar caused cancer? Dr. Warburg reported that almost anything can cause cancer, but that there is only one prime cause and that is the fermentation of sugar in normal body cells.

A similar 2004 study concluded that women who ate more sugar-laden foods were nearly three times more likely to develop colon cancer.

We all know that sugar is bad for us, but hopefully this information can serve as motivation to avoid the sweets more often for better health.

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ADD, ADHD & Sugar

Date: June 19, 2017 | Time: 9:40am | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

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Despite the reported side effects of psychosis, mania, and hallucinations, over 4 million children in the U.S. are using prescriptions of ADD and ADHD medications.

An Atlanta, Georgia school principal has taken on an alternative approach. What did he do in his school . . . banned all sugar. After overcoming his own health problems with diet and exercise, Principal Butler requires physical exercise in his school and they have enforced a policy of no sugar. Instead, the lunch room serves healthy lunches and snacks.

According to Butler, after adopting this simple policy in his school, just in the first year standardized test scores improved 15% and discipline problems decreased by 23%. As an added benefit, student health has improved dramatically and obesity is virtually non-existent in his school.


Principal Butler also notes, "In nine years we have saved $425,000. We've done that not by cutting back, but by having more fruits and vegetables."

Hopefully, in time, all schools will follow the practical lead being taken by this Atlantaschool. But until that happens, we can all develop similar policies in our own homes. If you want to see changes in your kids, start with yourself - be the example that you want to see in them!

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Roots of Illness

Date: June 12, 2017 | Time: 9:58am | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

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A study released by the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at the childhood roots of disease. The researchers expressed that everything that happens to us from conception to early childhood and on through life has a profound effect on adult health! They concluded that adult disease is often the result of two sources: accumulation of unhealthy stressors over the years or from adversities during sensitive developmental periods in childhood. In both cases, they often found a delay of years or even decades before disease was expressed later in life. They found that autism and even cardiovascular disease later in life can be linked to poor prenatal nutrition before we were born! They believe that chronic stressors over time accumulate and change both the function and the structure of the brain in order to adapt to an abundance of physical, chemical and emotional stress.



What's the message here? If you've followed this column, you've heard about the term epigenetics which is rapidly replacing the former model of traditional genetics. This research is the essence of epigenetics - meaning that it is not the DNA that we inherit from our parents that determines our future health or disease. Rather, it is the environment that we are exposed to over time including childhood years and even prior to birth that will unfold the expression of our genes either for health or disease. This is why I always teach that everything we do, everything we eat or drink, and everything we think is either moving us closer to wellness or closer to disease. This study merely proves that we need to think of health in these terms for the future of our children as well. The good news is that a great deal of research shows it's never too late to improve health by making better choices but hopefully you also understand that it may be even more important to teach and support our children on the importance of healthy diet, exercise and positive thinking.

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Chocolate

Date: June 5, 2017 | Time: 9:37am | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

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Here's one I didn't see coming! A study at The Johns Hopkins was focused on blood platelets and blood clots. The study participants, some of whom were fond of eating chocolate, were given a list of foods to avoid including chocolate. Some of them couldn't resist and ended up eating chocolate during the study anyway.

Amazingly, their indulgence led the researchers to an important discovery which is believed to be the first of its kind. The researchers now believe just a few squares of chocolate a day can reduce the risk of heart attack death in some men and women by almost 50%. It turns out that the chocolate (similar to aspirin) decreases the tendency of platelets to clot in narrow blood vessels. The lead researcher cautions that her work is not intended as a prescription to gobble up chocolate candy, containing large amounts of sugar, butter and cream. But as little as 2 tablespoons a day of dark chocolate - the purest form, made from the dried extract of roasted cocoa beans - may be just what the doctor ordered.

I did some research and the key to this is that the chocolate must be unadulterated and pure. We're talking about the bitterer, dark chocolate. Remember the real cacao is a vegetable (or legume). And this bean, unprocessed and without sugar, can be a stronger antioxidant than raspberries, blueberries, or even the acai berry that has received so much attention lately. As a snack, try a couple pieces of dark chocolate with a few raw almonds and some dried cranberries. The antioxidant combination could help reduce the risk of various illnesses.
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Sleep

Date: May 22, 2017 | Time: 8:58am | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

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According to an article I read from the medical journal The Lancet reporting that too little sleep can accelerate aging and contribute to the incidence of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, memory loss, and obesity. These are the very conditions that have risen to epidemic levels in our society. Scientists found that sleep debt resulted in hormone imbalances of insulin and cortisol levels that are critical for proper energy, metabolism and balanced blood sugar. In addition to these, thyroid stimulating hormone was also decreased contributing to lower energy and weight gain. The researchers concluded that consistent lack of sleep can be as detrimental as severe stress and they found that as little as one week of sleep deprivation can affect the hormone balances.



Admittedly, sleep is a necessary health element that I often neglect and I find many of my clients neglect as well. Numerous other studies have been done showing how lack of sleep contributes to decreased brain function, but this is the first study I've seen that looked at these crucial hormone levels. Most experts agree that 7 hours of sleep is the bare minimum, but that many people could benefit from as many as 9 hours every night and that 10 pm is the ideal bedtime. For us night owls, the only good news from this study is that it appears that the hormone imbalance from sleep debt can be made up with a few nights of sleep recovery. Sleep well!

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Maintaining Balance

Date: May 15, 2017 | Time: 9:02am | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

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Since chiropractic is about restoring proper alignment and motion to the spine to remove pressure and tension off the nervous system, once you're aligned or adjusted, why do you go back out of alignment? This is one of the best questions I'm frequently asked and the answer is not only the key to success with your chiropractic care, but success with health in general. Just like everything else in the body, the spine and nervous system are dynamic and in a state of constant adaptation. I've written in the past that we are designed for health. This is not 100% true. We are designed to maintain a state of balance or homeostasis and health is related to your ability to maintain that homeostasis. Maintaining homeostasis is directly related to the ability to adapt to your individual level of physical, chemical and emotional stress.

In terms of spinal alignment, the physical conditions that may get you out of balance can be traumas, repetitive activities at work, poor posture or something as simple as a poor mattress or chair. Many times what prevents people from "holding" their adjustments especially as we age is a lack of muscle tone and stability. This is why spinal exercises are such an important part of your care. Chemically, different toxins can insult and imbalance the body. We are what we eat. A great deal of research has proven that people will not hold their adjustments or maintain other aspects of homeostasis when they are acidic. When you are acidic, you become more easily inflamed. To reduce acidity, minerals are required which means you must eat the proper amounts of fruits and vegetables. Emotional stress can often be the biggest one. Feelings such as worry, guilt, anger, and frustration put us in a state of stress physiology which alters the function of our organs, hormones, muscles, and joints. Replacing these feelings with positive thoughts and practicing stress reduction is critical.

Understanding these guidelines of homeostasis and health are relatively simple. Making change and putting them into practice can sometimes be a challenge. Your doctors should act as a coach to help guide you, but applying these principles is up to you. If you're interested in more information on making lifestyle changes for better health, call our office to attend a free Better Results Faster Orientation where all the details are provided.

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DNA & Positive Thoughts

Date: May 8, 2017 | Time: 7:18am | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

Benefits of Positive Thinking
For those of you who are regular followers of this article, I hope that you've grasped the concept that health exists on a continuum and that everything you do; everything you eat, drink, or breath are all either moving you toward health and away from dis-ease or moving you toward dis-ease and away from health. I found an outstanding article that suggests that one of the biggest factors on this continuum is our own thoughts.

The article identified several research studies that show how we think can actually change the behavior of our DNA. In one study performed by the military, DNA from white blood cells was taken from people, placed in a vial and moved to be monitored in another room. The people were subjected to different emotional stimuli while their DNA was monitored. As the donors were stimulated, they found that their DNA exhibited similar electrical responses at precisely the same time in the other room.

In a similar study done by the Institute of Heartmath, 28 scientists took DNA from other people and were taught to generate strong emotions in the presence of the DNA samples. When the scientists generated feelings of joy, love, and gratitude, the DNA relaxed, unwound, and lengthened. While they generated feelings of anger, fear, and frustration, the DNA tightened, shortened and shut off many of its codes. The researchers applied this discovery to HIV-positive patients and discovered that when the AIDS patients generated feelings of joy, love, and gratitude their immune systems became 300,000 times more resistant to the virus than when they were not feeling this way. Put simply, our thoughts affect our physiology and can have as great an impact on our health and wellness as any other factor. Think about what you think about!

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What makes this oil so special?

Date: May 1, 2017 | Time: 9:30am | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

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I've discussed the importance of fish oil in the past. But I recently learned more and wanted to share. Fish oil is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids that have been proven to do all the following: improve the heart, normalize cholesterol and blood sugar levels, improve memory and concentration while decreasing mood swings and depression, reduce arthritis and joint pain, improve brain and liver function, and support immune function and decrease general aging. Sounds like pretty great stuff! You should know that not all fish oils are created equal. Some lower quality oils are tainted with PCB's, mercury and other heavy metals. The biggest complaint of taking some lower quality oils is the "fishy burps." While these are unpleasant for the victim (and all those around him), they also are a sign of a rancid oil. Fish oil does have the tendency to perish and oxidize quickly. Rancid oil will give off free radicals which are very damaging to the body and undermine the benefits of taking the product in the first place.


What about skipping the oil and just eating more fish? While this strategy used to be sound, today most fish is tainted with mercury and other toxins. Unless you're getting isolated sources of wild Alaskan salmon, many say it's not even safe to eat fish more than 2 times per week. Most other fish sources are farm-raised unnaturally and fed on grains. These sources still contain the toxins and lack much of the omega 3 content that you're wanting from fish to begin with.

These omega 3 fatty acids are truly essential because they cannot be produced in the body and must come from outside sources. Other dietary sources include flax seed, walnuts, most green vegetables, some beans and seeds and other meat sources that were raised "free-range" on grasses. While it can be accomplished with diet, this is one situation where I find it easier to simply take the pill!

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Is Your Vitamin of Value?

Date: April 24, 2017 | Time: 6:47am | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

vitamins for eyelash growthOne of the most common questions I'm asked is, "What is a good vitamin?" Before I share advice on this, why should you take a vitamin in the first place? Our bodies require many building blocks and of the most important of these are vitamins and minerals. Normally, we should get these building blocks from our diet in the form of fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, it is estimated that even if you are eating the recommended amount, because of mass production farming methods and excessive herbicides and pesticides, our conventional fruit/vegetable sources provide only around 40% of the nutrients that they should. Likewise, most of our diet is made of processed food devoid of nutrients. Similarly, chemicals such as caffeine, nicotine, excessive sugars, and most medications are known to bind to our vitamins and minerals and deplete our system of these nutrients as the chemicals are detoxified. A good quality vitamin is critical to supplement these lost or lacking nutrients.



Unfortunately, not all vitamins are created equal. The highest quality vitamins are usually derived from whole food sources. Most the vitamins you find in the store are synthetics and their ingredients are incomplete parts bound together. A whole food vitamin will be made of natural ingredients that work synergistically as nature intended. Many of the popular vitamins have two other shortcomings. First they focus only on vitamins and lack adequate mineral sources. Think of minerals as the catalyst that turns the vitamins on allowing them to work. Secondly, many vitamins do not digest or assimilate into the body effectively. This means they are not even being absorbed and are wasting your money! While it is impossible to know if your vitamin is completely being absorbed, at the least you should see a color change in your urine to a bright (almost fluorescent) yellow once you've been taking one for awhile. If you truly want the best vitamin, you need to do some research and I assure you the popular ones will not be on the top of the list. Look to the "Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements" to learn more.
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Water Bottles & the Dangers of Plastic

Date: April 17, 2017 | Time: 7:16am | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

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Water is essential for our joints, muscles and nearly all the millions of chemical reactions going on in our bodies. In order to stay hydrated, many of us use plastic water bottles. Some of us also reuse these water bottles. Unfortunately, research has revealed some alarming information about this habit.

Nearly all disposable bottles are made from a type of plastic called PET that does not stand up to repeated use, washing, heat, or harsh handling. After a few uses, the plastic starts to break down and leach into the water we drink and we digest this undesirable chemical. Some believe this toxin can contribute to different cancers. The longer the bottle is used, the more likely the breakdown can occur. If you keep a bottle in your car, the summer heat will further speed up the process. Other studies have found that even if you wash your bottles frequently, you may not be able to prevent bacteria from building up on them.

Check the bottom of your plastic bottles; if there's a "1" inside the recycling symbol, it's only meant for one-time use and keep it out of the heat. When reusing plastic bottles, you want the number to be greater than "3". Even a better solution is to put your daily water supply into glass or invest in a stainless steel water bottle. Either way, keep drinking your water!

For more information about each type of plastic, check out this article on Mercola.com http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/04/11/plastic-use.aspx.

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Stress

Date: April 10, 2017 | Time: 9:07am | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

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I recently found some new stats on stress. In a survey of 30,000 people in 30 countries, it was reported that women who work full-time and have children have the greatest level of stress. Half of the population reports that their stress level has gone up in the last year. Eighty-one percent of Americans report that money is their number one source of stress. As I've reported in the past, this chronic stress takes a toll. The six leading causes of death have been linked to stress including cancer, heart disease, lung disease, suicide, accidents and cirrhosis of the liver. Add to this the other diseases related to stress (diabetes, stroke, digestive disorders, depression/anxiety, hormone and reproductive problems and immune disorders) and stress is the greatest cause of death and disease we are facing. Medical researchers estimate that stress is the underlying cause of 80% of all illness. But I somehow doubt this comes as much of a shock to most people.



So what do we do about stress? The first thing is to realize that stress is a perception that occurs in the brain. I've heard it said, "It's not the stress, it's how we respond or react to the stress." We need to realize that the stress response is a programmed reaction that starts in the brain and is carried through different hormones and chemicals to change our physiology so that we can better respond to a threat. This cascade of chemical reactions is measurable, reproducible, and predictable - it happens to some degree every time we perceive stress. You also need to realize that the stress response is a perfect reaction! The response is programmed in all of us in order to increase our chances of survival. The problem is that when stress is perceived the process starts and the brain does not know or care whether we are threatened by money and taxes or confronted by a tiger - the reaction is the same. The response that would be of benefit if we were running from a tiger is devastating over time with daily stresses of modern life. The other problem is that our brain and nervous system is always learning and adapting. In the same way that practicing the piano will make us a better player, practicing the perception of stress will send us more easily into the stress response. Realize that stress is a habit that must be interrupted and then retrained and this takes practice. Please check in next week and I will share several strategies on how to start this process that can make the biggest difference between health and disease.

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No More Excuses

Date: April 3, 2017 | Time: 11:56am | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

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The weather is nice again, the daylight hours are longer, and the excuses to put off exercising are running thin. Exercise is well known to decrease pain, reduce stress, improve immune function, boost the brain, lower blood pressure, improve cardiac function, lower risk of cancer, boost energy, improve sleep and maintain body weight. If there were a pill that did all this, they couldn't charge enough for it or be able to keep it on the shelves. But exercise is available to all of us and it's free!

Perhaps you just need a little more motivation. A 2005 study showed that ten months of moderate exercise was more effective in decreasing depression than prescription anti-depressants; cutting depression symptoms over 50%. In 2001, researchers concluded that people with the highest level of physical activity were half as likely to develop Alzheimer's or dementia. In 2005 they found that women who had already had breast cancer and exercised 3-5 hours per week were half as likely to die from the disease as those who were inactive. Exercisers typically fall asleep a half hour faster and get an extra hour of quality sleep. In a 2002 diabetes study they found that those who exercised had double the results in controlling blood sugar as those who were taking a medication for diabetes. A 1997 study done in nursing homes found that those who participated in lifting weights for two months tripled their walking speed and improved their balance by half. The simple fact is that regardless of your age and current level of health, you are not as good as you could be if you were exercising more.


There are more options and opportunities in this area than ever before with exercise. My only advice is to plan out your time in advance and commit to something you actually enjoy because a different study showed that forced exercise that people did not like actually had a negative effect by increasing their stress level.

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Fruits & Vegetables

Date: March 20, 2017 | Time: 10:38am | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

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Recently, a couple studies came out regarding diet that recommended what we should already know. The first study performed by Harvard nurses, monitored the diets of 110,000 people for 14 years. They found that the people who ate more fruits and vegetables had lower risk of developing heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S.accounting for almost 1 out of every 2 deaths! The nurses concluded that increasing your daily fruit/vegetable intake will decrease your risk of heart disease by 4 percent per serving.

A similar study done at University College London found that diets including plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish help decrease the risk of depression. In the study, those who ate a diet based on fresh, whole foods had a 26% lower risk of depression. Furthermore, those who ate diets high in fried food, processed meat, high-fat dairy and sugar had a 58% higher incidence of depression. Despite their risk of suicide, deeper depression and outcomes that are often not any better than placebos, anti-depression drugs are one of the most common prescriptions in the U.S. What if simple changes in diet along with regular exercise could eliminate depression for most people?

The recommendation on fruits/vegetables is five-to-thirteen servings per day depending on whether your sources are organic or lower quality mass produced sources. As I've discussed in the past, fruits, vegetables, and fish are the foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids that reduce the inflammation associated with heart disease, depression and most other common ailments. One of the best health tips you could ever implement is to include a fruit or a vegetable with every meal. Plan this for yourself and your family and you will see the results within a very short time. I don't care if it's the same vegetable every single meal; just do it! The only thing I would recommend is that you try to keep your fruit/vegetable sources raw or lightly cooked. Heavy cooking, freezing and canning can destroy the fiber, enzymes, and vitamin/mineral complexes you are trying to gain by eating these foods.
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Sauna Benefits

Date: March 15, 2017 | Time: 4:42am | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

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We have recently added an infrared sauna to our office and are excited about the potential benefits this can offer to our patients. Perhaps you have used a sauna in the past. Most of us are familiar with steam saunas which generally operate at a lower temperature than a dry sauna. An infrared sauna simply relies on heat and not steam for its overall effects. A traditional sauna heats you from the outside in. Infrared saunas heat you from the inside out. "By heating your tissues several inches deep, the infrared sauna can enhance your natural metabolic processes and blood circulation." There are numerous reasons to implement sauna use in your wellness routine.

Researchers in Finland did extensive studies to discover multiple benefits of sauna use. In relation to brain health, they "found that men who used a sauna four to seven times a week for an average length of 15 minutes had a 66 percent lower risk of developing dementia, and a 65 percent lower risk of Alzheimer's." An added benefit is that the stress hormones, norepinephrine and prolactin were released increasing focus and attention as well as repairing nerve cell damage.


In addition to brain health, the Finnish researchers also found numerous benefits to the heart. "Men who used the dry heat sauna seven times per week cut their risk of death from fatal health problems in half." The stress placed on the body during a sauna session can mimic that of exercise. Athletic endurance is increased due to the blood flow to the heart and other muscles.

Use of the sauna can aide in detoxification and skin purification by increasing blood circulation which stimulates sweat glands. Heavy metals such as cadmium, arsenic and mercury are excreted from the body while sweating.


One of the most popular reasons for sauna use is weight loss. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, "regular use of a sauna imparts a similar boost on the cardiovascular system to running. As you relax in the gentle infrared heat, your body is hard at work producing sweat, pumping blood and burning calories."


Additionally, sauna use reduced pain in fibromyalgia and arthritis. "In one small study, 44 patients with fibromyalgia found a reduction in pain between 33 and 77 percent."


The information contained in this week's article was derived from the following Mercola.com article and Clearlight Infrared Sauna website:



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Think Happy Thoughts

Date: March 6, 2017 | Time: 12:19pm | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

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Several times, I've discussed the importance of lowering stress and monitoring your thoughts to promote health and prevent disease. I even cited the studies showing negative thinking changed the expression of our DNA (in a bad way). Massive amounts of medical research have been performed in the last few years looking at this brain-body connection. The basis of this research is that the brain runs the body and what the brain puts out will be expressed in the body. This is precisely why many experts are now coming to believe that our thinking may be themost important lifestyle factor even over diet and exercise.

With the use of functional MRI, they have identified the origin of negative and positive thinking and have discovered that positive thoughts originate in the front of the left side of the brain and negative thoughts originate from the same spot on the right side. The importance of this discovery is when they had someone think a negative thought and then asked them to stop thinking that, nothing changed on the MRI. Researchers quickly learned that the only way to turn off the right side of the brain associated with negative thinking is to turn on the left side associated with positive thinking. This means that feelings of depression, anger, frustration, fear, and regret cannot just be turned off! They have to be replaced with feelings of joy, peace, love, faith, and gratitude. My belief is that these thought patterns, positive or negative, are habit forming. Like anything, we get better at repeating these patterns with practice. What are you practicing? Even if you are practicing the negative thoughts that have a devastating effect on your health, you have the choice to change even just a little at a time. Next week, I will share some tested strategies on how to start making this change.

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Antibiotics & Probiotics

Date: February 27, 2017 | Time: 2:24pm | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

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With flu and the immune system being such a hot subject, it's important to address my concern of taking antibiotics. I often explain to the members of our practice that taking an antibiotic will work like a nuclear bomb - it will often kill the bad bacteria, but it can eliminate all the good bacteria as well.

We have become a society obsessed with germs, but the reality is that there are over 70 trillion cells in the body and for every one of these cells, there should be about 10 "good" bacteria to support our system. In a healthy individual there should be approximately eight pounds of these good germs just in the colon alone! They exist in the body to digest waste products and toxins and to assist the digestive system by breaking down waste in the bowel. Most importantly, these good germs seem to act as a first line of defense for the immune system by attacking any bad germs that enter our body when we eat, drink, or swallow. When these good germs are killed off by excessive antibiotics, the immune system will be compromised leaving us even more susceptible to the bad germs.

My standard recommendation to people is to use antibiotics sparingly and only when the body is unable to fight off infection on its own with the help of a healthy lifestyle. If antibiotics are used, try following them up with a protocol of probiotics. These are the good bacteria that should be in our systems. You can find these in a liquid or capsule form and what you will be looking for is something that contains lactobacillus acidophilus. Yes, you can get some of this by eating natural yogurt, but many of the commercial yogurts are so laden with sugars that undermine the function of the immune system and promote yeast.

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Eating Late

Date: February 20, 2017 | Time: 11:36am | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

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Certainly there are several effective strategies out there to help with weight loss and promote a healthy way of eating. I came across this recent study and wanted to share it with you to prevent self-sabotage when it comes to preventing weight gain.
Researchers from NorthwesternUniversity have found that eating at the wrong time leads to more than twice as much weight gain as when eating at appropriate times. These findings were consistent in all the subjects studied. So what is the wrong time to eat? Apparently eating after dark is the problem. While still uncertain to the ultimate cause, they believe that metabolism slows at night in response to darkness and circadian rhythms in the body. Calories taken in after dark will not be burned up and will be moved to storage instead. While we all have different sleep patterns, nighttime is a time for rest and for the body to repair and recharge. Regardless what time you actually go to sleep, at night your thyroid functions at a lower level dropping your body temperature, lowering your metabolism and encouraging sleep. This lowered thyroid function and metabolism is likely the cause of this dramatic difference in weight gain at night.
I suspect many of us are guilty of late dinners and evening snacks, but hopefully knowing that these habits deliver twice the punch will make us all modify our habits and plan meals accordingly.
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Could you live to be 100?

Date: February 13, 2017 | Time: 1:16pm | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

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How old are you going to live? More importantly, what will your life look like in the later years? The average American lives to be 78 years of age. However, scientists believe that one in ten thousand people can and will live to be 100 years and they can do this without complications of so many age-related diseases. In fact, some research has shown that our bodies and organs are designed to function normally up to 135 years! This means that most Americans are living 30 to 60 years short of their potential.



Why are we aging less than our potential? A recent study identified two factors that may dramatically increase our age and decrease risk of disease. Not surprisingly, both of these are related to diet. The researchers found that decreasing our daily caloric intake by 30-40% can extend life by up to 60%! This is consistent with other studies that report daily caloric intake should be less than 2000 calories in order to control insulin levels and enhance DNA repair. The second factor identified in greater longevity is again related to omega 3 fatty acids. They found that people who lived longer typically had very high levels of HDL (good cholesterol). The thought is that high amounts of large molecule HDL helps remove free radicals that damage DNA. If you've been reading these articles, you know that you get a higher HDL from omega 3 sources such as fish, fish oil and green vegetables. For more secrets of longevity, check out the book, "Healthy at 100" by John Robbins.

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What is Out of Balance in Your Life

Date: February 6, 2017 | Time: 12:42pm | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

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As a chiropractor, I see all kinds of physical complaints and pains especially involving the back. I recently heard a speaker ask the question, "Is back pain really a back problem, or is it a health problem?" The point he was making is that pain is not really the problem. Pain is a programmed response that the body provides to let us know that there is a problem. Pain is an electrical signal received in the brain. You see, pain is like the smoke alarm that tells us there is a fire. We spend money, time and effort fighting aches and pains without ever uncovering or even looking for the real problem. We should be looking for cause rather than fighting the symptoms of pain.



The body is designed to heal on its own and when we have pain, especially chronic pain, this is the result of a problem that is failing to heal. In other words, this is a health problem. If you've been following this column, you know by now that most health problems can be linked to improper choices regarding lifestyle. For this reason, when someone is having a pain, symptom, or health problem, I like to ask the question, "What is out of balance in your life?" The common answers to this question include excess emotional stress, lack of exercise, poor diet, dehydration, poor posture, excessive caffeine, reactions to medications, lack of sleep, and all the other things discussed in this column. The point is that many times the ultimate cause of problems is simple and yet we turn to complicated solutions rather than make changes. I can't tell you how many times a person's pains are the result of a bad chair, pillow or mattress. If you are dealing with any kind of health problem, please take time to analyze your lifestyle - more often than not the answer is right in front of you.

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Osteoporosis Part 3

Date: January 30, 2017 | Time: 12:37pm | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

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As we end the discussion on preventing osteoporosis and maintaining strong bones, let's review what we know so far. In the last two weeks we have discussed that you need to keep your pH alkaline rather than acidic and we said you need the right balance of other nutrients including magnesium, and vitamins D and C to truly benefit from the calcium that you take in. To satisfy both of these criteria, your best choice of dietary calcium will be from the dark green vegetables.

I've saved the most important factor for last. Several years ago Harvard did a study on calcium and strong bones. In this study they took four groups of people. The first group took prescription grade calcium and did nothing else. The second group took the same prescription and exercised five times each week. The third group took placebo (fake) calcium and did nothing else. And the final group took the placebo and exercised five times each week. The researchers believed that the two prescription groups would get the best results. However, after several months, the only two groups that showed an increase in bone density were the two groups who exercised. Of these two groups, the ones taking the calcium did slightly better than the placebo, but the difference was not considered significant. Their conclusion was that moderate exercise for at least 20 minutes three times per week was critical for proper bone strength.


In the end, the key to healthy bones in the body is the same key as healthy anything else - eat a natural diet high in fruits and vegetables and exercise regularly!

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Osteoporosis Part 2

Date: January 23, 2017 | Time: 12:10pm | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

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Last week I closed by questioning the value of dairy in preventing osteoporosis. While it is true that all milk products are a rich source of calcium, there is still great debate as to whether dairy consumption truly maintains strong bones. One of the problems with dairy is that it is relatively high in protein and last week we shared the research that high protein diets tend to cause calcium to be dumped in the urine.

To increase bone strength you need other ingredients in addition to calcium. For instance you need vitamin D3 which helps move calcium out of the gut and into the blood. You also need magnesium to get calcium out of the blood and into the bone. Dairy is relatively low in magnesium, so unless you're getting this mineral from other sources, your milk calcium will be relatively ineffective. I realize this information may be shocking to some because we've been conditioned to drink milk for strong bones. However, while milk is rich in calcium, there has never been a study proving that dairy reduces the risk of osteoporosis. When you think about it, we are the only mammals on the planet who drink milk after we are weaned. To my knowledge there is not an epidemic of osteoporosis in horses or elephants related to their lack of dairy!


But you still need calcium, so what should you do? The foods that have the best balance of calcium and the other necessary nutrients are once again, the "greens". We should all be getting our calcium from sources such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, romaine lettuce, and spinach. Believe it or not, turnip and collard greens seem to be one of the healthiest sources. Next week I will discuss the most important factor for strong bones.
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Osteoporosis

Date: January 16, 2017 | Time: 9:06am | Posted By: Rivertown Chiropractic Wellness

osteoporosis
Nearly 25 million Americans suffer with osteoporosis and the related complications of thin, porous bones prone to fracture. Today, I'd like to start a series on the subject of calcium and strong bones.

Everyone believes that strong bones are merely the result of how much calcium you can pour down. In reality, there are numerous factors such as the type of calcium, other vitamins and minerals, physical activity and your own internal chemistry that will undermine your efforts regardless of your calcium intake. Many researchers believe that your chemistry, specifically your pH, may be one of the most important factors. pH in your body is the same as in your swimming pool - it's the balance of acid and base. By design, we are meant to be slightly basic or "alkaline" and many believe that all disease exists only in an acidic environment.

In terms of strong bones, as we become more acidic (pH less than 7.3) the activity of the cells that break down bone (osteoclasts) is increased and the activity of the cells that build bone (osteoblasts) is decreased. This means in an acidic environment, you will continuously be losing bone strength. However, the opposite phenomenon seems to happen in an alkaline environment and you gain bone strength. The question then should be how do we stay alkaline, and what would make our bodies acidic?

The key to staying alkaline is the same as the key to reducing inflammation in the body. You must eat a diet high in alkaline foods such as fruits and vegetables. The primary things that increase acidity in our bodies are diets high in protein and excessive amounts of emotional stress. Do you know what food is relatively high in dietary protein . . . dairy. Ooops! More on this next week.

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