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TO DE-STRESS, EAT MORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Most of us know we should pay more attention to our nutrition, but it’s hard to break the burger and fries habits of a lifetime. Research by a Warrington chiropractor is finding more evidence, however, that good nutrition habits can affect many areas of our physical and mental health. Now there’s research that shows loading up on the fruits and vegetables can help you lower your stress levels. A recent study carried out in Australia involving 60,000 people aged 45 and older found that eating more fruits and vegetables can reduce stress.

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The numbers are pretty impressive. The study referred to by a Central Bucks chiropractic office showed that folks who ate 3-4 servings of vegetables every day had a 12 percent lower risk of stress than those who ate 0-1 servings daily. The results are even more striking when you focus on women. Females who ate 5-7 daily servings of fruit and vegetables had 23 percent lower stress than their counterparts who ate 0-1 servings each day.

The study clearly shows that eating fruits and vegetables every day plays a role in stress reduction, but perhaps the biggest surprise is that as you increase the amount, it keeps lowering your stress level. People who ate 5-7 daily servings of fruit and vegetables had lower stress than those who ate 3-4 servings, and the ones who ate 3-4 servings had lower stress than the ones who ate only 0-1 servings daily. However, it appears that there is an upper limit — if you increase your fruit and vegetable intake to more than 7 times a day, it does not lower your stress levels any further.

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The bottom line is that if you want a good remedy for the high levels of stress in today’s world, eat more fruit and veggies!

SIMPLE WAYS TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR BACK

If you’ve experienced back pain as an adult, you’re not in the minority. Studies show that as many as 80 percent of people have an episode of back pain that lasts more than three days at some point in their lives. The spine is a complex organ that bears a heavy load, and the stresses on it can result in pain and injury. The good news is that most back pain can be treated successfully with simple methods, including non-prescription painkillers, ice and heat treatments, physical therapy, and Doylestown chiropractic treatments. The more serious cases may need surgical treatment, but most of us are not in that category.

Even better news is that there are simple lifestyle adjustments that can go a long way toward preventing back problems. Here are some things recommended by experts.

Lose weight. Excess weight, especially in the midsection, puts stress on the muscles, tendons, and spinal structure. Shedding as little as five or ten pounds can make a difference, and many people find that their back pain ceases altogether if they lose enough weight.

Exercise. Spending time every day to do yoga, Pilates, or even simple stretching exercises can increase your overall strength and flexibility, which will ease the pressure on your back.

Follow sound ergonomics principles. Many people spend hours a day in front of a computer screen, and that’s a recipe for back trouble. Sitting or standing in the same position for too long weakens the back muscles and can compress the discs in your spine. If you remember to move around and stretch at regular intervals, you’ll have better back health.

If you invest the time in taking care of your back with a Doylestown Chiropractor, you’ll feel better and avoid pain.

Two Exercises to Prevent Running Injuries

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Running is a wonderful exercise and has many benefits — it builds endurance, increases cardiovascular health, and helps to maintain optimum physical health as we age. However, runners can develop injuries if they don’t pay attention to their form. An improper running technique can put stress on various parts of the body, leading to back pain and injury. Some common problems are caused by putting too much weight on the heel when our foot hits the ground, and leaning forward when we run. Here are two simple exercises from a Doylestown chiropractor that will release muscles affected by those running styles.

Squats. This particular type of squat, according to a local Doylestown chiropractor, works your hip adductor and gluteus maximus muscles, which will correct for the problem of putting too much pressure on your heels when you run. Stand erect with your feet shoulder-width apart, weight back on your heels, and your toes pointed out slightly (about a 45 degree angle). Go down into a squat, but do it as if you were trying to sit in a chair that is slightly behind you. As you lower yourself, move your knees slightly outward. Then, shift your balance forward on your feet. After you reach your lowest point, push back up to a standing position with your heels. Repeat several times.

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Step backs. This simple exercise works the gluteus medius muscles, and helps to counteract a habit of shifting your weight forward as you run. Stand with your feet placed shoulder width apart. Place your weight on one leg and bend it slightly, taking care to keep your knee over your heel. Step back with your other leg and place it behind the first one. Repeat several times.

These two exercises will help you maintain proper running form and avoid injuries.

NEW STUDY SHOWS PROMISE FOR ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

If you’ve ever had pain that lasts for several weeks, you may be surprised to know that you are not alone.

Not by a long shot. In a typical year, around 100 million adults in the United States have episodes of pain that that last for 12 or more weeks. Of those, 40 million are classified as in severe chronic pain.

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According to Dr. Jeff McQuaite, millions of people rely on pain medications to help them deal with these episodes, but those medications can have significant side effects — including, the risk of addiction. Because of that, a lot of pain sufferers have been investigating alternative methods of pain relief, including yoga, Tai Chi, and acupuncture, among others.

These methods have not been studied as thoroughly as traditional medicine strategies, but recently the results of a major study were released that were promising.  Richard L. Nahin, Ph.D., of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and a team of researchers published their results in a leading medical journal, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, and here is what they found.

After studying the results of 150 U.S. clinical trials of non-drug therapies for chronic pain, Dr. Nahin and his team found there was evidence to conclude that yoga and acupuncture are effective for back pain. In addition, they found that acupuncture and tai chi have some beneficial effects for people with pain triggered by osteoarthritis of the knee.

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These are encouraging findings for people who are seeking non-drug solutions to chronic pain management, like those offered by a chiropractor in Central Bucks County and hopefully there will be more studies in the future that demonstrate even stronger links between these alternative therapies and pain relief.

MAGNESIUM MAY HELP WITH MIGRAINES

Migraine headaches can be very debilitating, and even though millions of people suffer from them, there is no foolproof method for getting relief. Migraine sufferers try medications, herbal remedies, and various alternative therapies offered by a chiropractor in the area, but there is no single thing that works for everyone.

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Now, however, there is some evidence that magnesium supplements from a local chiropractor may help. According to Richard Lipton, M.D., vice chair of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a neurologist with the American Migraine Foundation, scientists think that migraine headaches may be related to a deficiency of the mineral magnesium. Studies have shown that during a migraine attack, people have low levels of magnesium in their bodies. In addition, magnesium is known to block certain neurotransmitters that cause a state of excitability in the brain, which has been theorized to be the cause of migraines.

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The results are not 100 percent conclusive, and more research needs to be done, but at this point some headache specialists are recommending  that people with a history of migraines take oral magnesium supplements, up to 500 mg a day. You can also get your magnesium from eating a healthy diet, of course — foods with a lot of magnesium include dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, almonds, avocados, and figs.

This is not an overnight cure, because it can take a month or more for magnesium levels to build up in the body. If you stick with it, though, you could lessen the frequency and intensity of your migraines, which is certainly a good reason to supplement your diet.

AROMATHERAPY FOR YOUR STRESS

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We live in an increasingly stressful world, and yet science tells us that stress can be bad for our health. Stress has been linked to a range of physical ailments, including hypertension, headaches, asthma, diabetes, depression, and anxiety, to name just a few.

There are many remedies for dealing with stress, and things like meditation, yoga, exercise, massage at your local chiropractor office and even a cup of herbal tea work for various people. Aromatherapy is another stress reliever, and many people swear by its calming properties.

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The aroma from essential oils is believed to penetrate cell membranes in the brain and reach the emotional centers quickly. Certain smells can trigger feelings of peace and serenity, and they can bring you back to calmer times in your life, which immediately slows your heartbeat and breathing, and makes your mind more peaceful.

There are many varieties of essential oils available, each with its own properties. The ones most commonly associated with stress relief are: Lavender, Patchouli, Citrus Oils, Clary Sage, and Ylang-Ylang.

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However, the very best way to find a good de-stressing oil is to simply sample it. Smell the oil, and pay attention to how it makes your body and mind feel. The ultimate test is how it affects you, not what the label says. Once you find an oil that works, purchase it from a Jamison chiropractor and put a few drops of it on a handkerchief. That way you can carry it around with you all day long, and pull it out for a sniff whenever you need to de-stress.

TIPS FOR BACK AND SHOULDER HEALTH

There’s no question that Americans lead sedentary lifestyles, and that we spend way too much time sitting in front of our computers and TVs, or hunched over our phones. Because of this, we can sometimes experience back and shoulder problems that cause pain and limit our mobility.

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Here are some tips for dealing with back and shoulder pain when it comes.

. Back pain. Sitting at a desk that is too low or too high can often cause strain on the back. The solution is to use ergonomically designed chairs and desks that you can adjust for the least amount of strain, but you should also make sure you get up and walk around at regular intervals throughout the day. Sitting for long periods has been proven to cause many health problems says a local chiropractor.  Another remedy is to strengthen your core muscles through planking-type exercises.

. Shoulder pain. Our shoulders are subject to a lot of stress in our daily movements, and they can be vulnerable to strain and injury. Regular stretching exercises for the shoulders and pectoral muscles will enhance shoulder rotation and lessen pain. Making sure your spine is flexible and mobile (which a warrington chiropractor treatment can do) will ease the pressure on the shoulders also. Certain exercises will help, including sub scapular pushups, side lying external shoulder rotations, and the woodchop, which is a cable exercise.

Our modern lifestyle is definitely causing more pain and discomfort in certain parts of our bodies, and we need to pay attention to these signals and address them in order to get relief before the problem gets worse and wreaks havoc on our daily life.