Symmetry

My art teacher in middle school, Mr. Thomas, was the first to recognize my lack of artistic ability. This was right before Mr. Garret, the music teacher, noticed the same lack of musical talent, but that is a story for another day. My lack of talent was mostly due to my lack of effort, but my lack of coordination did not help. I did still learn a lot from Mr. Thomas, like when he said that symmetry is beauty. Faces that we perceive to be beautiful are the ones that are most symmetrical.

The crazy thing about our bodies is that we aren’t normally symmetrical, and the difference between the left and right sides can sometimes cause us problems. It’s not uncommon for someone to tell me that they have a “good side” and/or a “bad side”. This may be due to the way we develop and grow, but it also is because of our actions. Walk yourself through your typical morning. What way do you get out of bed? Is it always to the same side? What leg do you wash first in the shower? Is it always the same one? Which hand holds your toothbrush? Your coffee mug? The steering wheel? We favor one side a lot more than we notice, and over time that creates an imbalance.

Chiropractic is a great way to treat that imbalance. The adjustments help mobilize the joint that is constantly only moving in one direction, and the muscle work that we do helps balance out the tissues around those joints. Give us a call and let us help balance you out.

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The Little Things

The human body is an amazing thing, it is capable of lifting hundreds of pounds, running miles and miles, and swimming across lakes. When we think of how our bodies do those things, the big muscles and strong back usually come to mind. That’s not wrong, but it overlooks the millions of tiny processes that occur inside our organs, and inside our cells, to make those amazing accomplishments possible.

Let us take weight loss for example. The big goal is to lose weight by shedding fat. Do you know how we actually lose the fat? We don’t sweat it out, we do not defecate it out either. It does not just disappear; I am sure that would break some law of thermodynamics. We lose weight through the metabolic process that involves breathing. We breathe in O2, the body does its things (that I was told were too boring to include here) and turns that O2 into CO2 which we breathe out. Basically, we lose weight one carbon atom at a time. Do you know how much one carbon atom weighs? Me neither but google says it is 1.9×10-23 grams, which is basically nothing. However, with continued efforts, we can slowly lose weight and change our bodies.

If one carbon atom after another can lead to massive weight loss, what other small habits can create big results? Think how effective doing just one minute of core exercises would be compared to doing nothing. What about one minute of stretching? Your body might not be where you want it to be right now, but by starting small you can accomplish almost any goal. Chiropractic care is a great way to keep yourself on the path to greater overall health. It will help increase mobility, decrease pain, and help stop any small aches from becoming monster pains.

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The “Magic” Fix

Being in pain is miserable. It can change your mood and alter your personality. People get grumpy, irritable, and start to lose hope. They become desperate. They are willing to pay too much money for a gadget on late night TV that promises to fix what ails them. Maybe it is a copper infused back brace, or an amazing herbal supplement derived from the hair of a unicorn. A patient once told me that they purchased some magic spiritual spring water from a televangelist because they felt like they were out of options.

Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet when it comes to pain, but there is hope. Pain is your body communicating with itself that something is not right. Discovering what is wrong and treating it is the only sure way to deal with pain. Chiropractic care focuses on allowing the body to heal itself. A saying that I saw every day at school stated, “the power that made the body can heal the body”. I tried to find the original source of the quote, but everyone on the internet takes credit for it. Regardless, the principle has shown to be true time and time again. When we can diagnose the dysfunction, we can then address and remove the dysfunction, allowing the body to function how it is designed to do.

Chiropractic care can effectively treat a variety of ailments, from headaches and neck pain to low back pain and sciatica. Give England Chiropractic a call and find out how we can help you feel better, and avoid the embarrassment of explaining why you ordered a magnetic powered crystal massager from the internet.

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Summer of Health

Summer as a kid was the greatest thing in the world. You slept in, swam in the lake all day, and played Goldeneye on the N64 until way too late. It is not as cool as an adult, I get to wake up to a house full of sleeping kids (and wife) that complain that I am making too much noise while getting ready for work, I receive updates of all the fun that they are having at the lake or water slides, and when I come home they are all tired bumps on the couch.

The other problem with being an adult during summer is my kids keep egging me on to do stuff that I have not done in years. In my mind, I can still do the flip off the dock or slalom on one ski like I did back when I was a teenager. Unfortunately, it has been over twenty years since I have done either of those. I might be able to complete the task, but it would make my body move in ways that it is no longer used to moving. That will likely result in aches, pains, and my wife trying to tell me that I am too old to do stuff like that anymore.

Age does not have as much to do with it as our level of activity. Start today by moving, doing strengthening exercises, and improving flexibility. Gradually build back up to what you used to do, and you will be surprised at how young you might actually feel. Be patient with yourself, you are not going to regain overnight the mobility that you have neglected for years, but it will start to return. Chiropractic is a great way to help undo those years of neglect. Adjustments help mobilize joints that have become dysfunctional, and massage therapy will help improve that tension that you are carrying in your muscles. Give us a call, 888-5477, and start today to reclaim your summer activities!

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Common Conditions

I often get asked what are the most common issues that I see in the office. Here’s a little David Letterman style Top Five List (yes, I’m old enough to remember when David Letterman was funny and not a crazy old man).

  1. FRONT RIB PAIN. I see this often enough that I’m never surprised that it is an issue. The pain usually occurs along the chest bone or an inch or two outside of there. It can be a sharp pain when you breath or move, and it usually is quite painful. A specific adjustment can help fix this condition and make it not scary to sneeze.
  2. SHOULDER PAIN. Shoulders fickle by nature. Nolan Ryan could throw a bajillion pitches in his career, but my shoulder aches after one snowball. The shoulder pain can start after a trauma, or it can come out of seemingly nowhere. Whatever the cause, chiropractic treatments, massage techniques, and exercises can help you rehab.
  3. HEADACHES. Headaches are terrible. They can shut you down. They can make you irritable, grumpy, and cranky. I hate to hear someone tell me that they have “normal” headaches. There is no such thing as a normal headache and that tells me that they are so used to pain that it has become a normal, expected part of their life. Many headaches are caused by dysfunctional joints in the neck that create pain and tension that leads to headaches. Adjustments are a great way to treat most headaches.
  4. NECK PAIN. Neck pain is usually accompanied by headaches, but not always. Sometimes there is pain traveling into the shoulder or arm, or shooting into the back and shoulder blade. Neck pain can make it hard to think, drive, or even sleep. Chiropractic care has been shown to be an effective and safe treatment for neck pain.
  5. BACK PAIN. There is a reason that chiropractors are readily associated with back pain. It’s what we do, and we do it pretty well. Studies have shown that chiropractic treatments are effective on low back pain, and chiropractic can even help prevent surgeries. Workers tend to miss less time from work if they seek chiropractic as their first line of defense.

There are many other conditions that we see at the office, but these are the most common (at least I think so. I haven’t really kept track and I don’t know how to look it up). Give us a call if you have an issue from this list. Give us a call if you have something going on that is not on the list and we can talk about whether or not chiropractic care can help!

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Spring Cleaning Without Pain

This is a great time of year. The snow is leaving, the birds are returning, and it is time to start spending time outside. Growing up, my bossy wonderful aunts loved to include us cousins in the spring-cleaning chores. By include us, I mean they would point at something that needed cleaned and then they would go inside and do aunt stuff. If one of my aunts is reading this and getting offended, then I guess the truth hurts a little bit, doesn’t it?

Every year, I see a surge in patients that hurt themselves cleaning up for the warm weather ahead. These injuries can almost always be avoided. Here are a few tips:

  1. WARMUP AND START SLOW. You likely have not been lifting or moving a lot this winter, especially with the gyms and pools being closed for way too long. You know that you can not just start running without getting back in shape, and you hopefully wouldn’t walk into the gym and rack up your max weight and try to lift it. Chores around the house deserve the same reasonable approach. Start with lighter jobs and work your way toward heavier ones.
  2. TAKE SMALL BITES. Make the extra trip instead of trying to carry it all at one time. Take frequent breaks when doing jobs that require you to be bent over, that involve repetitive movements, or that put you in an awkward position. Don’t be a hero, or you’ll find yourself on the couch with an achy back.
  3. MAINTAIN GOOD POSTURE. So many chores inside and outside of the house can put you in a position that hard on your back, neck, knees or shoulders. As I mentioned above, being bent over, or doing repetitive back movements can cause injury. Your back is the only one you have, and those weeds will still be there after your break.
  4. TAKE BREAKS! Breaks will help you break up (ha! Get it?) your movements and will give your body a chance to recover. You can do other less physically demanding chores during the breaks to stay on schedule, and that would help keep you from cooling down and getting stiff.

As always, getting adjusted will help your body move better before you do physical work and will help prevent injuries. Getting adjusted after will help you recover and alleviate any aches or pains that you might have acquired from your hard work.

 

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Chiropractic and Heart Health

I think most of us know how important our heart is. We are in a world of hurt if it stops beating. The brain is important, but congress has shown that people can function just fine without one. Heart health should be a priority for all of us. You hopefully are wondering how chiropractic can help keep your heart strong and healthy.

First, I want to make it clear that chiropractic cannot cure heart disease, it won’t lower your cholesterol and definitely doesn’t replace your cardiologist. But it can help keep our heart healthy. Often, heart issues are associated with obesity. One of the major reasons for obesity is chronic pain. If people hurt, they tend not to move as much as they should. Not moving tends to cause weight gain. Weight gain kills.

Don’t let an ache, pain, or injury keep you on the couch. Chiropractic is a drug-free way to address the pain that is often the root cause of issues like weight gain, depression, and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. Chiropractic adjustments and other treatments like massage therapy can help you feel better without worrying about pharmaceutical interactions or side effects. Call 888-5477 to get feeling better and moving more today.

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Cold Weather Aches

The first week of January is always interesting. The Holidays are mostly behind us and it is about now that we realize that winter just started. The cold and darkness can be difficult on us mentally and physically. The ice, snow, and cold can make it dangerous to do things outside. This is not the time of year to be puttering around the garden or to be going on relaxing evening walks as the sun sets. How do we manage the tightness, aches, and pains that are so common in winter?

We must find a way to move, even if most of our avenues to do that are taken away. Thankfully, we live in 2021 and there are options available to us that did not exist 20 years ago. We can look up anything from yoga sessions and low-impact workouts to high-intensity-interval-training options. Shoot, Richard Simmons’ routines are still out there on the internet. It might not be what we want to do, or what we are used to doing, but it is better than sitting around and turning into Jabba the Hutt.

Nutrition is another way to help with the cold weather issues. Our bodies still have an evolutionary tendency to crave “comfort foods” during cold weather. They warm us and help us store fat during what historically were lean times. We can find a placate our instincts but still help ourselves by eating healthy stews and soups instead of delicious roasts covered in scrumptious gravy. An occasional soup bone or hambone can help provide our bodies with nutrients that help our joints.

Getting adjusted regularly is a great way to feel better during these cold months. The adjustment will help the joints move, it will help us feel looser, and will alleviate those aches and pains. Call 888-5477 to schedule your adjustment or massage, or both!

I love going to the gym, it helps with my mental stress as much or more than it helps me physically.

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The Chiropractic Treatment

Many people are familiar with chiropractic care, but they are not quite sure what that means. When they come into the office for the first time, they usually ask questions like “what should I expect?”, “will this hurt?” or “you look more professional and handsome online that you do in person”. I guess that last one was not a question, but I do hear that a lot. They think that I photoshopped the pictures on the website. Basically, what people want to know is what the treatment entails and how will it help.

The main component of a chiropractic treatment is the adjustment. The adjustment is a way of introducing motion into a joint that is stuck or dysfunctional. This can be done a few ways, the most common is when the chiropractor uses his hands to quickly manipulate the joint. This can create a pop or cracking sound, called a cavitation. That cavitation occurs because the movement in the joint releases pressure, and that quick release causes an audible noise. Some people cannot stand that sound or feeling, so they prefer a tool called an Activator. It does the same thing but is gentler and does not create the cavitation.

The adjustment is important because it helps restore proper motion and allows the body to correct itself. We almost always couple the adjustment with muscle work that may include massage therapy, trigger point therapy, Graston Technique, and others. The goal is to reduce tension, swelling, and inflammation in the muscles, which can all help decrease the muscle pull on the joints and make the adjustment more effective.

Chiropractic visits should be relieving, relaxing, and rejuvenating. They can help a variety of ailments, from headaches and neck pain to back pain and sciatica. Call the office at 888-5477 to schedule your relieving appointment today.

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Modern Fitness

When DeA and I were engaged, we created a gift registry. This is a convenient way to let people know that they should get you a present for your wedding. And it cannot be just any present, it has to be one from the list. One of the items that DeA picked was a Jack LaLanne Juicer. She was so excited to turn $12 of grapes into $5 of grape juice. Thankfully, someone did buy us the juicer, and we tried it out. I was amazed that carrots turned into carrot juice, apples turned into apple juice, and peaches clogged the thing up.

It was probably five years later that I found out that Jack LaLanne was more than a juicer magnate. He was a fitness pioneer, so much so that Arnold Schwarzenegger called him the “Godfather of Modern Fitness”. He started one of the first gyms in the US, he had a TV show for over 30 years, and he advocated for women to strength train, something that has proven to be essential for their bone and metabolic health. But you know the coolest thing about Jack? He was a Doctor of Chiropractic!

It should not be surprising that someone so focused on health, fitness, and function was a chiropractor. That is what we do. We help your body function how it should and keep you moving. This care has helped many patients stay active as they age. It is never too late to get moving. You might not get as jacked and swoll Jack or me, but even little improvements now will pay huge dividends down the road. Call today to get yourself feeling, moving, and being better.

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