Weekly update

Mental Attitude: Learning to Play Music Improves Kids’ Brains.

MRI scans of children who received musical training showed greater thickness in the areas of the brain that influence working memory, self-control, organization, and planning for the future. The research team claims their findings “underscore the vital importance of finding new and innovative ways to make music training more widely available to youths, beginning in childhood.” Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, December 2014 Health Alert:

Cancer Death Rates in the US Continue to Drop.

Death rates from cancer in the United States (US) continue to fall (down 22% since a peak in 1991), according to the annual report from the American Cancer Society (ACS). The ACS argues that continuing the fight against cancer across all segments of the population could lead to even greater reduction in cancer related deaths. Dr. John R. Seffrin, the CEO of ACS adds, “The change may be inevitable, but we can still lessen cancer’s deadly impact by making sure as many Americans as possible have access to the best tools to prevent, detect, and treat cancer.” American Cancer Society, January 2015

Diet: Eat Your Fruits and Veggies!

A 24-year study including 9,112 Japanese men and women found that those who ate the most servings of fruits and vegetables each day had a 24% lower risk for total cardiovascular disease, a 20% lower risk for stroke, and a 43% lower risk for coronary heart disease when compared with their peers who ate the fewest daily servings of fruits and vegetables. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2015

Exercise: Daily Physical Activity Helps Maintain Vascular Health.

Researchers have found that reducing daily physical activity for even a few days can lead to decreased function in the inner lining of blood vessels in the legs of healthy, young individuals. However, their work demonstrates that it’s possible to start the repair process by walking at least 10,000 steps a day. Study co-author Dr. Paul Fadel adds, “The best treatment is to become more active, and our research lends proof to that concept. If you do not realize how harmful sitting around all day and not doing any activity is to your health, this proves it.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, December 2014

Chiropractic: Lumbar Manipulation & Exercise for Knee Pain?

A new case study supports the use of lumbar spinal manipulation for anterior knee pain and quadriceps weakness. A 20-year-old man who underwent ACL reconstruction of the left knee with continued knee pain and quadriceps weakness presented for chiropractic care. He was prescribed exercises to improve his quadriceps strength and received side-lying rotational spinal manipulation. After a course of eight weekly treatments, he returned to pain-free participation in recreational sports. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, December 2014

Wellness/Prevention: Water Coolers at School Encourage Students to Drink More.

When water dispensers were installed in a few New York City schools, students drank three times more water at lunchtime than students at schools that did not install water coolers in their lunch rooms. Researchers found that 80% of students noticed the water dispensers, two-thirds of those who noticed them actually used them, and 50% who noticed the coolers actually drank more water at lunchtime. Officials plan to install water dispensers in over 1,000 New York City public schools. American Journal of Public Health, December 2014

Quote: “It is better to be alone than in bad company.” ~ George Washington

Weekly health update

Weekly Health Update

Week of: Monday, November 17th, 2014
Courtesy of:
Jennifer Skinner, D.C.

1175 W. Grand Blvd #100
Corona, CA 92882
(951) 399-9296
“Friendship improves happiness, and abates misery,
by doubling our joys, and dividing our grief.”
~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Mental Attitude: Mental Stress Affects Male and Female Hearts in Different Ways.
Past studies have suggested that mental stress can influence heart health. Now, researchers have found that women under mental stress are more likely than men to experience reduced blood flow to the heart and are also more prone to clots due to platelet aggregation. On the other hand, men experience greater changes in blood pressure and heart rate in response to mental stress. Researcher Dr. Zainab Samad adds, “The relationship between mental stress and cardiovascular disease is well-known. This study revealed that mental stress affects the cardiovascular health of men and women differently. We need to recognize this difference when evaluating and treating patients for cardiovascular disease.”
Journal of the American College of Cardiology, October 2014

Health Alert: Possible Link Between Breast Implants and Cancer.
An international research group has concluded that breast implants can cause a new subtype of rare, yet malignant, lymphoma known as anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). This type of cancer is usually found in lymph nodes, skin, lung, liver, and soft tissue, but is not usually found in the breast. The researchers found that cases in which ALCL developed in the breast were almost exclusively involved individuals with breast implants. The actual reasons why breast implants can cause lymphoma are currently unknown, but the research team suspects the cause is an abnormal immune response. In many cases, the lymphoma subsided once the implants were removed.
Mutation Research, August 2014

Diet: A Chemical in Broccoli May Help Treat Autism.
Sulforaphane, a chemical found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, shows promise for improving some behavioral symptoms of autism. Researchers found that about two thirds of participants who received sulforaphane saw their scores on the Aberrant Behavior Checklist reduced by 34%, while their scores on the Social Responsiveness Scale fell 17%. They hope to discover the biology underlying the effects observed and to study them at a cellular level.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, October 2014

Exercise: Heavy Exercise Can Produce Asthma-Like Symptoms in Healthy Kids.
Researchers have found that children who undergo brief periods of intense exercise can exhibit lung dysfunction and other symptoms similar to those experienced by asthma patients. These symptoms can happen even when the child has no history of asthma. Lead researcher Dr. Alladdin Abosaida adds, “We did not expect to see pulmonary function abnormalities after short periods of heavy exercise in such a large number of healthy children in our subject population.” Further research is needed to determine the mechanism of lung dysfunction in children following heavy exercise and identify possible interventions.
American Thoracic Society 2010 International Conference, May 2010

Chiropractic: Immediate Changes in Brain After Manual Therapy in Patients with Pain.
New research focused on the effects of manual therapies on pain modulation has revealed that therapies such as chiropractic spinal manipulation, spinal mobilization, and therapeutic touch have an immediate effect on the functional connectivity between brain regions involved in processing and modulating the pain experience. The results were gathered by using functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain combined with measurements of pain sensitivity and intensity. The findings suggest that manual therapies may lead to neurophysiologic changes that result in pain relief.
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, October 2014

Wellness/Prevention: Babies Benefit if Mothers Follow Lifestyle Advice During Pregnancy.
In the largest study of its kind, researchers gave nutrition and exercise advice to pregnant women who were either overweight or obese. Women who received such advice increased their fruit and vegetable intake and reduced saturated fat intake. They also engaged in 15-20 minutes of brisk walking on most days of the week. Their babies were more likely to have a healthier birth weight, less likely to have a moderate to severe respiratory distress syndrome, and were able to go home sooner than babies born from mothers in a control group that did not receive any diet or exercise advice. The researchers hope that by following some simple, practical, and achievable lifestyle advice, overweight pregnant women can improve both their own health and the health of their babies.
BMC Medicine, October 2014

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Weekly Health Update

Mental Attitude: Dementia is a Significant Problem for Those Under Age 65. Younger onset dementia (YOD) is defined as the onset of dementia symptoms before age 65. Researchers in Sydney, Australia contacted local health professionals and hospitals to determine how many patients were classified as having YOD. Then, they compared that information with recent census data. The
research team found that YOD affects 11.6 per 100,000 people ages 30-44 years and 132.9 per 100,000 people ages 45-64 years, with an overall prevalence rate of 68.2 per 100,000 people for ages 30-64. International Psychogeriatrics, October 2014
Health Alert: No Proof Vitamin D Prevents Development of Type 2 Diabetes. Previous research has suggested that high levels of vitamin D may protect individuals from developing type 2 diabetes; however, a new study has found no evidence that high levels of vitamin D can prevent type 2 diabetes and that the only proven way to prevent type 2 diabetes is through a combination of diet and
exercise. Study author Dr. Nita Forouhi writes, “Our findings suggest that interventions to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by increasing concentrations of vitamin D are not currently justified. Observational studies that show a strong and consistent higher risk of type 2 diabetes with lower levels of vitamin D may do so because they have thus far not been able to adequately control for distorting or confounding factors, such as physical activity levels.” The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, September 2014
Diet: Organic Foods May Offer Greater Health & Safety. A survey of prior research concludes that organically grown foods are about 48% lower in cadmium than conventionally grown foods. Cadmium is a heavy metal that has become a major cause of vascular disorders, common cancers, osteoporosis, kidney disease, and can damage the reproductive and neurological systems. Researcher Dr. James J. DiNicolantonio adds, “For years, nutritionists and consumers have struggled with the question, ‘is organic really better?’… What analysis of this research reveals is that, due to the serious health impacts of cadmium exposure and the markedly lower levels of [cadmium] in organically grown foods, the long-term consumption of such foods is likely to be notably protective with respect to a
wide range of common pathologies.” British Journal of Nutrition, September 2014
Exercise: Exercise Less Daunting When Focused on Target. Physiology researchers have found that having your ‘eye on the prize’ makes exercise less of a chore. They found that when walking, individuals who stay focused on a specific target ahead of them feel the distance is shorter and they walk faster towards it. Researcher Dr. Shana Cole writes, “Interventions that train people to keep their
‘eyes on the prize’ may play an important role in health and fitness. When goals appear within reach, and when people move faster and experience exercise as easier, they may be especially motivated to continue exercising. Given the alarming obesity epidemic in America, strategies that encourage or improve exercise may be particularly important for aiding the nationwide effort to combat
obesity and promote healthier living.” Motivation and Emotion, October 2014
Chiropractic: Joint Stiffness Associated with Higher Risk for Disability in Older Population. Using data provided by 680 seniors (age > 70 years) regarding mobility limitations and joint stiffness upon waking, researchers say that morning joint stiffness more than one body site is associated with a 64% greater risk developing new or worsening mobility problems over the following 18 months.
The authors of the study recommend that doctors discuss strategies for improving joint mobility with their patients to prevent or slow the progression of age-related disability. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, October 2014 Wellness/Prevention: Living Close to a Highway May Raise Your Blood Pressure. If you have high blood pressure and you live close to a major highway, you may want to move. According to a new report, participants in a study who lived within 109 yards (~100 meters) of a busy road had a 22% higher risk for developing high blood pressure compared with those who lived at least a half a mile away (~.8 km). Further research is needed to determine if reducing exposure to traffic noise and traffic-related air pollution can reduce a nearby resident’s risk of high blood pressure. Journal of the American Heart Association, October 2014
Quote: “Don’t confuse poor decision-making with destiny. Own your mistakes. It’s ok; we all make them. Learn from them so they can empower you!” ~ Steve Maraboli

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What’s the most effective thing you’ve done to sleep better?

Insomnia is one of the most frequent problems my patients talk to me about.  It plagues almost everyone at some point in life.  Some have insomnia off and on their entire lives.  For others, it may last for a few days at a time when the person is very stressed or ill.

What have you found effective to treat insomnia?

Do you have a magic formula that prevents another round of insomnia?

Over the next several weeks, I’m going to share some of the ways my patients have found relief from this symptom that if left untreated, can severely affect every aspect of life.  Hopefully, if we work together, we can help many others not have to deal with prolonged insomnia and its consequences.

Please share your ideas.  We never know what little pearl of wisdom might create a major benefit for someone else.

What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done in the past week?

Seriously.  I have to know!

I started off the week by having to confess to my patients that I broke my thumb. Now you may ask…why is that embarrassing?  I have my reasons.  For starters, let’s just admit that I’m not the most graceful person on the planet.  This is why I choose sports like softball and kickboxing instead of sports like dancing or gymnastics.  However, when asked the most popular question of my week…”How did you break your thumb?”  I had to give the honest answer that I fell…getting into a truck.  This answer was generally responded to by silence and my patients looking at me with a bit of a blank stare while likely thinking I obviously wasn’t finished with my story yet.  After a few seconds of awkward silence, I would respond “And that is all.”  See…I told you I am not graceful.  I am many things…strong, fast, athletic, intelligent, determined and honest…but not graceful.  Then, of course, I got asked “How are you going to possibly adjust my neck or back with a broken thumb?”  And this was when I got to acknowledge that all those professors in chiropractic school really did know something important when they made us learn hundreds of ways to adjust the spine and extremities.  That was smart of you professors/doctors!!!  I appreciate it now even though I would have liked to believe that my favorite adjustments are the only ones I need to perfect.  Well…now I get to put that knowledge to excellent use for the next 4-6 weeks!

So…as I asked in the beginning…What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done in the past week?

There is no such thing as “normal” pain

I hear statements such as “I have normal headaches” or “I have normal back pain” or “I have normal knee pain” almost every day.  I want to wear a t-shirt to work that says “we don’t believe in normal pain”.  Yes, pain is a normal physiological and emotional response.  It’s a normal response to injury or irritation.  Pain tells us that something is going on with the body.  Pain is an like an indicator light on the dashboard of your car that starts flashing so that you pay attention to it.  We need to pay attention to our pain and listen to wait it is saying about the body.  With my office, as with many of my colleagues offices, you will hear us say that we do not treat pain.  This concept can get confusing so let’s look at it like this:  Just as with your car and that annoying, flashing indicator light…if you decide to reset the flashing light so that it doesn’t bother you but you ignore the problem causing the light to flash, eventually something really bad generally happens.  This concept in your body is no different.  If your body is flashing that pain indicator light and you continually “reset the flashing light” by taking over-the-counter or prescription meds that treat the pain without treating the cause of the pain, then something generally bad happens.  That “normal” back pain is later discovered to be moderate of severe arthritic changes.  That “normal” headache is later discovered to be coming from rising blood pressure, low blood sugar, diminished blood flow, vision changes, degenerative changes in the neck or a lot of other underlying issues.  Please don’t ignore your pain.  It isn’t “normal pain”.  One of the things I love about my job are these statements that I hear at least once a week from a patient.  I hear things like “When I came in here my neck was really bothering me.  I didn’t know that after two treatments, my elbow pain that I thought was just normal because of my job would all be gone.”  I hear statements like “I don’t know what’s going on with me but for the past two weeks, I don’t have that normal stomach pain anymore when I eat salad.”  I love it!  So the next time you catch yourself or a loved one say “oh that’s my normal … pain,” ask them (or yourself) why you’ve decided that pain is normal.  Then take a step to get that “normal” pain evaluated by your Doctor of Chiropractic and discover what living without “normal” pain feels like.

Breaking the stress cycle

Why would we possibly by stressed? We all know that too much stress is unhealthy but are we really paying attention to all the stress that we are under on a daily basis.  I know personally that if I don’t actively engage in things that reduce my stress, I feel tired, my memory isn’t as sharp, I make poor food choices and just about everything takes a lot more effort to do than when I’m feeling well.  I have several de-stressing routines that work for different types of stressors.  If I’m feeling stressed after the first half of my workday, I get on the treadmill for 20-30 minutes and walk while either reading a book or watching a funny Netflix show.  If I’m getting stressed behind the wheel of the car or after a long day of work, I turn off the music and pay attention to my breathing and thoughts.  Sometimes I repeat a positive thought while slowing and deepening my breathing.  This helps me feel centered and calm.  When I’m at home and feeling stressed, I go stand on the grass barefoot and take a few deep breaths.  This makes me feel grounded and secure.  And of course, I get adjusted every other week (more if I’m feeling stressed).  This helps my body become restored to its normal state so I stay healthy.  What are your de-stressing routines? Need some ideas? Click on the following link and check out this latest newsletter to see what you can do to break the stress cycle.   Sep14