Doing More Good Than Bad

It is easy right now to compromise our health and to rationalize poor decisions. Many patients have told me that their sleep schedule is wacked out, their diet is shot, and their workouts are not what they were. People try to fill the holes in their routines with substitutes, some good and other not-so-good. The goal in life is to consistently choose good things over “bad”, and sometimes it is just choosing less bad than bad.

I follow a health and fitness account on Instagram. They love posting “eat this, not that” type pictures. One side of the picture will be an image of a bowl of Cap’n Crunch with a slash through it, the other side a bowl of Cheerios with a banana cut up. The account is trying to help people find satisfying substitutions to help satisfy their cravings. Occasionally though, I think they have lost their minds. Today they posted a picture of a crossed out delicious Krispy Kreme original glazed donut next to a bowl of kale. No one in the history of forever has wanted a glazed donut and been satisfied with a bowl of gag food. Here is the thing, one or two glazed donuts are not going to make you fat, give you diabetes, or give you heart disease. But consistently choosing a glazed donut over a more nutritious breakfast will eventually hurt your body.

I miss my gym dearly and the home workouts are just not the same. I know that my wife misses me going to the gym too, she keeps commenting that the muscles that used to be around my chest and arms are now flab around my equator. After about six weeks of the shut down I realized that I had been stress-eating too much and my physique was showing it. Since then I have taken the time to try to walk or jog when I can, I have tried to choose healthier foods that are less calorically dense, and I have tried to drink more water. I did not notice changes right away, but after a few months they are evident (at least to me, my wife still points out my spare tire).

In the past few months, I have seen an obvious uptick in patients complains of new pains that they have never had before. In discussing things, we learn that a change in their routine has caused new habits, like sitting on the couch more, or working on a laptop instead of at their workstation. Using a laptop for five minutes on the couch is not going to cause any problems, but hours and days in a slumped over posture will certainly create issues. Pay attention to your posture during the day, and make sure that you are being good more than you are slouched, twisted, or slumped. And give us a call if you have already caused yourself aches, pains, or stiffness. We will help you get right and make it easier to starting doing more good.

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Staying Healthy During COVID-19

Life is pretty different right now. I know that is not an insightful comment, we are all aware of the strange times that we are experiencing. The change, or total lack of, a routine can cause health issues of all kinds. Obviously mental health is challenged when we have to deal with things outside of our control that affect us. Our Spiritual health is compromised when we cannot attend church or other gatherings that uplift us and unite us with others. And, of course, our physical health suffers when we cannot do the healthy things we are used to doing. Here are a few easy things we can do to find the balance in life that many feel they are lacking right now:

 

    1. REACH OUT
      Reach out to others and find ways to help them. Being social distant from others is good to slow the spread of a virus, but it also spreads us from each other. We need each other and serving is one of the easiest ways to uplift the community. It shifts our focus from ourselves and to someone else. It can help us better appreciate the good things that we have in our lives, and it brightens the day of another.

 

    1. GET OUTSIDE
      Our immune systems need the sun, wind, and fresh air. Cabin fever has been a real issue during this ordeal, and it is perfectly safe and recommended to get outside. Go for a walk, sit in the park, or jump in the lake. Your mind and body will thank you.

 

    1. SEEK OUT THE GOOD
      Seek out good media and ignore the bad. What is good media? Phone calls with friends and loved ones, well-made TV shows and movies, and good books and articles. The bad media? Well (not to sound like an old man) but most social media right now is a garbage dump. It serves a purpose, but it easily becomes a negative influence in our lives. I don’t know who needs to hear this, but you don’t need to get worked up over what your old roommate’s cousin’s husband thinks about masks. You just don’t. I’m not telling you to only talk to or listen to people that you agree with (that’s actually a terrible way to live life), but to stop mindlessly scrolling and working yourself up by what others post.

 

  1. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
    Pay attention to what your body is telling you. You are likely carrying an immense amount of stress and emotional tension in your body. That is expected during times like this. That tension causes very real physical discomfort and pain. Chiropractic is one of the best ways to help alleviate it. There are many other reasons that your body is not feeling right, like a change in your routine causing you do to activities that you normally do not do.

 

Call us at 888-477 to schedule an appointment and to help yourself feel like yourself again!

 

 

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Why Chiropractic Care is Considered an Essential Service

Why is chiropractic considered essential? There are many reasons, but here are the three biggest:

  1. We can reduce the burden at the hospital. A large number of ER visits are due to musculoskeletal problems. Almost all of those cases can be evaluated and treated at England Chiropractic instead of the hospital or clinic. It is safer for the patient to be seen in our office because it limits exposure to sick people.
  2. Your back health is essential to your overall health. Pain can wear us down, mentally and physically. It can make us more susceptible to illness. By helping you feel and function better, chiropractic care can help your immune system.
  3. We care for health care workers, first responders, and other essential services. While some of us are bored at home, others are working harder than ever. We already treat many of those hard workers, and by staying open we can help do our small part to keep things moving toward recovery.

We wish you all well and will remain open as long as it is prudent and safe to do so.

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Spring Training

Spring is a wonderful time.
The birds start singing again, the sun stays around past 4pm, and I don’t feel guilty kicking my kids out of the house. Spring is a time of hope and renewal. As the days stay lighter longer, we tend to be more active. I’m always a fan of people being more active, but it’s easy to be too gung-ho early in the year. We still remember what we were doing at the end of summer, and think we can just jump back into those activities. Unfortunately, we need to acclimate ourselves to activities if we have not done them for a few months.

Winter is long and dark, and the decreased activity can decrease our flexibility and endurance. Don’t think that you can get right back to walking five miles if you haven’t walked any farther from your couch to the fridge since October. And I know that the flower beds need prepped for planting, but please don’t try to knock them out in one long day.

Take things easy to begin the spring, and you will find that you are better off in the long run. Chiropractic care is the best way to deal with any aches or pains as you do get back into the swing of spring. Don’t let a small problem now keep you from your long evening walks later this summer.

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Staying Active in the Winter

Winter begins as a magic wonderland of snow. That only lasts until about December 26th, or maybe January 2nd, depending on the person. After that it turns into a bleak, dark, depressing string of days that get dark at 3pm and spring seems far away. Winter can wear you down mentally and physically. It’s hard to do anything when it looks like midnight by the time you get off work. That lack of activity has been shown to contribute to the winter blues. How can we stay active when the world is cold, and pitchers and catchers don’t report for another month?

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Little things do add up, for good and for bad. Take an extra lap around the kitchen before grabbing that snack. Go up and down the stairs once or twice more than you need to. Get up off the couch a few times during commercials. Those extra steps will add up more than you think.
  2. It’s never too late to pick up a new hobby. We have some great trails in the valley to try snowshoeing, snowmobiling or dog-sled racing. Start slow and don’t compare yourself against people that are already good at it. Everybody starts somewhere. A word of caution: I strongly recommend against cross-country skiing. That’s not a professional opinion, that’s just common sense because it’s boring work with no payoff at the end.
  3. A gym membership or fitness class is likely more affordable than you think. There are great options in the valley, and we are happy to help you find the best fit for you.
  4. Watch my kids for a day. Seriously, they will run you into the ground and you will feel great after all that energy is burned off. Tell you what, I’ll even make that a free service. I’m just that generous.

Staying active is an important part of our health and wellness. Chiropractic care is especially important during these winter months. It can help you feel less stiff and achy on the cold mornings, and chiropractic will help you move and feel your best. Give us a call at 888-5477 to schedule an appointment or to ask any questions that you may have.

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Holiday Health

Christmas can be a magical time of year. It can also be difficult. Family and travel can cause stress and pains, both real and emotional. There are some tricks to thriving this Christmas season.

The first thing: Take time for you. Don’t let the pressure of the season to throw you off from what you need to do. Don’t skip those workouts or other wellness needs. I know you think that you need to re-clean the house again before those visitors arrive but consider this: The only people that judge you are the ones that you don’t want to come back ever. Make sure you are getting those chiropractic adjustments and massage visits.

Second: Remember that this is supposed to be fun. There is no such thing as the “perfect Christmas”. The best Christmas I remember is the one where my wife and I were stuck in the Midwest without family nearby. It was nothing like the Christmases before or after. We ended up eating at a classy Denny’s because an ice storm had kept us from getting to the grocery store. Nothing says Christmas dinner like a Grand Slam breakfast and a waitress that didn’t want to be there. The point is, Christmas (and pretty much anything else in life) is what we make it.

Third: Get adjusted and massaged before and/or after you travel. Loading luggage, driving, flying, and sleeping in random beds are all hard on your body. Get right before you leave and get fixed when you come back. If you want, I’ll even write an official looking letter restricting your activities to watching football and eating treats all Christmas. Your wife might not honor it, but at least we tried.

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No Time Like The Present

Time travel movies have taught us that making one small change in the past can drastically alter the present. One awkward high school prom in the 1950’s drastically changed Marty McFly’s life in 1985. Doesn’t that mean that one small change now can drastically change our near future? The reality is that dramatic changes don’t usually last. It’s the simple and easy changes that allow consistency to really change us.

I follow some wellness and fitness accounts on Instagram. They love to post things that say: “eat this, not that!” and they will post a pizza with a red X through it, and next to it have a bowl of kale and thistles inside a green circle. No one in the history of forever has ever wanted a pizza but been satisfied with a nasty salad. The simple change to start is to eat two pieces of pizza instead of three. Drink water instead of soda. Walk to lunch instead of ride. Park farther away from the door. You don’t have to be perfect to be better.

Don’t let little things be true for the worse. Often people stop doing something because it hurts, or they are worried that it will cause pain. They stop doing specific exercises, and eventually they stop doing almost all exercises. Eventually they consider the walk to the mailbox as their daily workout. It does not have to be that way. Chiropractic care can prevent this negative slide. It helps reduce or prevent pain, and can improve function and motion. Give us a call today, make that positive change to make your life better.

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How To Sleep Better

How great is a good night’s sleep? It is amazing! Americans spend a lot of money searching for the wonderful coffee commercial morning. The one with that feeling of waking up to the morning sunbeams, having a relaxing stretch and starting the day feeling great. How do we normally feel in the morning? Like a dog’s chew toy that was left in the yard overnight. It is absurd how many patients I see that tell me that their pains happened after sleeping. It an embarrassing answer when someone asks how you got hurt:

“How did you hurt yourself? Did you do a sick trick on your skateboard?”

“No, I was sleeping.”

We should get seven to nine hours a night sleeping, but to a lot of people that sounds miserable. They know that that much time laying in bed will bring aches in the hips and shoulders, tightness in the back and a kink in the neck. Sleep is meant to be rejuvenating, not punishing. Here are some tips to help you get that coffee commercial morning that you crave:

  1. Make sure you have a good bed. That sounds easy enough, but what is a good bed? A good bed is a mattress that is firm enough to support your weight, but soft enough that it does not create pressure points in the hips and shoulders. Everyone is different with different needs. I suggest trying a lot of beds and finding your personal sweet spot. It is easier to make a firm bed soft than it is to make a soft bed firm.
  2. Relax physically and mentally before bed. The tension that we carry during the day is going to try and go somewhere at night. I recommend turning off all the screens that you can. Watching TV, using a computer and scrolling on your phone all create eye strain and muscle tension. Read a book, meditate, stretch, sit on the porch and watch the sunset, or take a bath. Do something that relaxes you and gets you away from electronics.
  3. Try to create a dark and cool sleeping environment, the kind that our ancestors enjoyed not that many generations ago. We don’t have to sleep outside under the stars, but creating a safe, quiet and cool resting space will help our natural sleep cycle.
  4. Chiropractic care can help relieve any aches, pains and other issues that accumulate during our daily lives. Our modern habits create tension in our shoulders, neck, and back. Chiropractic is the safe, effective remedy.

Sleep can be restful and wonderful. Hopefully these tips can re-kindle your love of sleep!

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Warming Up For Summer

I think we all love summer. The cold, dark days of winter are mostly behind us. The flowers are blooming, the days are longer, and the grass is growing. It’s a wonderful time to shake off the winter rust and return to an active lifestyle. Walking, hiking, gardening, biking, golfing…there are a lot of -ings that we do! These things are all great for our physical and mental wellbeing. As we start to get ready for summer, it is smart to follow the example of Major League Baseball.

I always look forward to the Mariners starting their Spring Training. The players return from their winter whatever and start to get ready for their summer jobs. The first few days are spent jogging, stretching and lightly throwing. These professional baseball players gradually get their bodies ready for activities. If these pros need a few days or weeks to get ready for summer, how important is it for us weekend warriors to prepare ourselves? Too many injuries occur in the summer because we have been sitting on the couch for the last five months, binge watching Game of Thrones and suddenly we think that we can walk five miles up and down hills.

Just like any other activity, we must allow our bodies time to adapt and build up its strength and stamina. Start slow, take appropriate breaks and do not think that you can suddenly jump back into an activity that you haven’t done since fall. As you do this, you will avoid major problems and injuries. Minor aches are expected and normal but give us a call before they become major issues. Chiropractic care should be an essential part to your summer activities.

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Chiropractic care can help you kick your pain killer habit

Anyone who has been in severe pain, like after a surgery or bad accident, can attest that there are some great pain killers available. There are times when ice, rest, and a little Advil just won’t do the trick. That excruciating pain is what prescription pain killers, or opioids, are designed to help. They are not bad things when used correctly. People get in trouble, even to the point of a crippling addiction, when they use these medications longer than intended. It usually happens gradually, often because the pain becomes a daily companion. They need something to help them get out of bed, or to be able to work. They don’t have another answer, and the strong drug has been the only effective solution to that point. They are usually thinking about just getting through the day, and plan to deal with the long-term issues later.

Thankfully, research and experience is showing that there is a way to prevent and to break out of pain killer dependency. Chiropractic care has been shown time and time again to be a powerful tool to deal with pain, both new and chronic. It gets to the cause of the pain and corrects it instead of just hiding it.

I have had the privilege to see this work in many lives. I have seen patients that consider their pain killers to be a daily supplement. Some dread a visit from the grandkids because playing with them is just too much to take. Others that plan their day around their afternoon headache. It does not have to be that way!

Call 888-5477 and set up your visit today. We will talk about how your new or old pains became a part of your life, and then start the process of making them go away.

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