Last time we discussed the water fountain, how it resembles the kinetic chain, and the effects it has on our bodies. Today we’ll look at how to ensure that our feet & ankles are functioning properly.

So how do we ensure that our feet/ankles are functioning properly? One of the best things we can do is to allow our feet to move in a more natural way and practice a broader range of motion than most shoes allow. Actual foot strength is a significant factor as well. A study done by researchers at Brigham Young and Harvard Medical School compared the effectiveness of two different foot strengthening protocols: One that involved specific foot strengthening exercises (heel raises and curling a towel with your toes), and one that involved walking in minimalist athletic shoes—those with zero heel-to-toe drop and a flexible, 3 millimetre out-sole.  “After eight weeks, the researchers found that runners/walkers in the foot-strengthening exercise group and the minimalist shoe walking group experienced similar increases in foot muscle size and strength over the control group.” One of the main take-aways from this study was that something as simple as walking around barefoot or in shoes that more closely resemble bare feet will allow our feet to move more naturally, improve foot/ankle strength, and ultimately result in less injury.

Bare feet and minimalist shoes are also more conducive to “grounding” and all its associated benefits. Grounding is a therapeutic technique that involves doing activities that “ground” or electrically reconnect you to the earth. According to Healthline.com, this practice relies on both earthing science and grounding physics to explain how electrical charges from the Earth can have positive effects on the body. Some of the most impressive benefits of grounding include reduced inflammation, lowered risk of cardiovascular disease, less muscle damage, reduction in chronic pain, improved quality of sleep and elevated mood.

I think it’s also fair to mention that arch supports for foot health are grossly overrated. For decades, people have bought into the idea that increased arch support in their shoes improve their overall foot health and reduce the risk of conditions such as plantar fasciitis. We’ve been told that people with flat feet should get motion control shoes, people with high arches should look for more balance or cushion, and people with normal arches but moderate pronation should go for stability shoes. While arch supports are not entirely evil and can have some positive effects in certain situations, studies have repeatedly shown that the cons to arch supports drastically outnumber the pros. Some of the most note-worthy things to consider are as follows:

  • Some running shoes or inserts can disturb the spring-like function in the feet. As a result, you will end up wasting more energy
  • You are least likely to overpronate when you are running/walking barefoot or in minimalist shoes
  • You will hit the ground with more force when wearing a padded shoe. Padded shoes result in a 12% higher impact on knees
  • No improvements were seen in the posture, strength, stability, or discomfort people experienced after using shoe inserts in a trial
  • Prescribing elevated cushioned heels or pronation control shoes according to your arch type is not evidence based
  • Short foot exercises and using minimalist shoes were more effective for flat footed students than using arch support insoles

 

In summary, we need to pay more attention to how our feet and ankles move, monitor how much foot strength we actually have and put more emphasis on the benefits of walking barefoot or in minimalist shoes. These three simple things will have a huge impact on our overall health, both physical and mental. Let us allow our feet and ankles to move more naturally and stop buying into the idea of arch supports as they tend to create more problems than they solve.

 

 

References:

-Merriam/Webster dictionary

-RunnersWorld.com (Minimalist Shoes for Running/Walking)

-RunRepeat.com (Arch Support Study)

-Healthline.com (Benefits of Grounding)

Let’s talk about feet… more specifically, how we move them. Why? Because the quality of our heel-toe motion has a direct impact on our overall health. Dorsi-flexion is the movement of the foot in an upward direction while plantar flexion is the movement of the foot/toes in a downward direction toward the sole. Dorsi-flexion is often regarded as the most important of the degrees of freedom your body has at the ankle. This type of movement allows our shins to move forward in relation to our feet, which plays a critical role in correct body positioning.

According to Dan Williams, Director of Range Of Motion, “failure to achieve sufficient ankle dorsi-flexion will either cause the absolute inability to complete a movement, or will create a flow-on effect up the chain causing injurious situations in the knee and lumbar spine.”  The chain he is referring to here is the kinetic chain (the way in which a human body moves). This concept is particularly relevant in physical therapy, sports medicine, neuro-rehabilitation and other areas of medicine that focus on the musculoskeletal system such as chiropractic.

We will use a cascading water fountain as an analogy. At the base of the water fountain is the pump that pumps the water up through the fountain and eventually out of the top as it cascades outwards. The pump symbolizes our feet. If it is not functioning properly, the water is not going to do what it is intended to do which is coarse up through the proper tubes to ultimately get a desired effect. If your feet are consistently moving improperly, with poor heel-toe motion, your sacrum (a triangular bone in the lower back formed from fused vertebrae and situated between the two hipbones of the pelvis) will also function improperly. This can cause a multitude of those injurious situations mentioned earlier. Your sacrum dictates what moves up from that point towards the shoulders. So when the sacrum malfunctions, it is going to wreak havoc on the chain of motion up your body and ultimately result in an insult to the body of some sort. Referring back to the fountain, it is important to mention the water symbolizes our cerebrospinal fluid. CSF is a clear watery substance associated with the nervous system that is partially responsible for removing toxins and debris from our bodies. This means that if our CSF is not flowing properly, toxins will tend to build up more rapidly and not get flushed out as they should. To sum this up, if the pump (our feet) is not functioning properly, it can have grave effects on the rest of the fountain (our nervous system).

Join us next time to discuss how we can ensure that our feet/ankles are functioning properly!

 

References:

-Merriam/Webster dictionary

-RangeOfMotion.net (The Importance of Ankle Dorsiflexion)

-VeryWellHealth.com (Open and Closed Kinetic Chain)

It’s no secret that a comfortable workspace can help you feel your best and improve overall productivity. Sedentary lifestyles are already notorious for posing tremendous risks on one’s body, without the added effect of sitting poorly. In the last blog, we found out that up to 71% of all full-time office workers practice poor workspace ergonomics. The havoc this can wreak on the body includes, but is not limited to:
• Your posture can permanently suffer
• You tend to become fatigued more easily
• Your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease drastically increase
• You’re much more likely to develop a musculoskeletal disorder such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and degenerative disc disease
• You could experience weight gain

According to studies conducted by the Mayo Clinic, here are the most helpful tips to clean up your workspace ergonomics hygiene:

Chair
Choose a chair that supports your spinal curves. Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet rest flat on the floor or on a footrest and your thighs are parallel to the floor. Adjust armrests so your arms gently rest on them with your shoulders relaxed.
Key objects
Keep key objects — such as your telephone, stapler, or printed materials — close to your body to minimize reaching. Stand up to reach anything that cannot be comfortably reached while sitting.
Keyboard and mouse
Place your mouse within easy reach and on the same surface as your keyboard. While typing or using your mouse, keep your wrists straight, your upper arms close to your body, and your hands at or slightly below the level of your elbows. Use keyboard shortcuts to reduce extended mouse use. If possible, adjust the sensitivity of the mouse so you can use a light touch to operate it. Alternate the hand you use to operate the mouse by moving the mouse to the other side of your keyboard.
Telephone
If you frequently talk on the phone and type or write at the same time, place your phone on speaker or use a headset rather than cradling the phone between your head and neck.
Footrest
If your chair is too high for you to rest your feet flat on the floor — or the height of your desk requires you to raise the height of your chair — use a footrest. If a footrest is not available, try using a small stool or a stack of sturdy books instead.
Desk
Under the desk, make sure there’s clearance for your knees, thighs, and feet. If the desk is too low and can’t be adjusted, place sturdy boards or blocks under the desk legs. If the desk is too high and can’t be adjusted, raise your chair. Use a footrest to support your feet as needed. If your desk has a hard edge, pad the edge or use a wrist rest. Don’t store items under your desk.
Monitor
Place the monitor directly in front of you, about an arm’s length away. The top of the screen should be at or slightly below eye level. The monitor should be directly behind your keyboard. If you wear bifocals, lower the monitor an additional 1 to 2 inches for more comfortable viewing. Place your monitor so that the brightest light source is to the side.

So as you can see, just because you sit in front of a computer for many hours each day does not mean you are doomed to a lifetime of pain, fatigue, and poor posture. All it takes is a little effort and a few adjustments. Speaking of adjustments, proper chiropractic care is a great way to realign your spine and help assure that your body is functioning optimally whether you sit at a desk or work on your feet. I think we can all agree that taking the measures to avoid illness and dis-ease makes more sense than treating illness and dis-ease.

References

-MayoClinic.org: Office Ergonomics, Your How-To Guide, April 27, 2019
-UnCagedErgonomics.com: How Poor Ergonomics Impact Your Health, April 6, 2017
-DrCaram.com: Quotes from DD Palmer- The Founder of Chiropractic

What Does Your Posture Say About You?
By definition, “posture” most commonly means: the position in which one holds his/her body while sitting or standing. While this is true, your posture has many more layers than just the position of your physical body. In humans, posture can provide a significant amount of important information through nonverbal cues. Studies have also demonstrated the effects of body posture on emotions. This research can be traced back to Charles Darwin’s studies of emotion and movement in humans and animals.
Let us begin by taking a quick look at the physical impacts of poor posture. It’s no secret that many aspects of modern-day life can easily contribute to poor posture. Some of these include the way we hold our heads while we text, the ergonomics we gravitate toward while sitting in front of a computer and wearing high heels. Did you know according to a 2019 study, the average person in the U.S. sends/receives 94 text messages every single day? When texting on a phone, it is common to bend the head forward and look down at a 45- or 60-degree angle, which places about 50 to 60 pounds of force on the neck. The neck is not able to withstand this amount of pressure over a prolonged period. While that statistic may be alarming, another recent study shows that up to 71% of full-time office workers practice poor ergonomics while at work. This means that most of us are more susceptible to musculoskeletal disorders. These are debilitating, painful conditions affecting muscles, tendons, tendon sheaths and nerves. The most common of these are carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and bursitis. Poor workspace ergonomics can also be responsible for causing headaches, stiff neck, and ganglion cysts (hard, pea- or larger- sized lumps which develop on joints or in tendon sheaths).
And ladies, let us just skip the high heels! We all know that they make our “dogs bark” but they can also cause serious long-term damage. Walking in high heels causes your spine to sway unnaturally, and stresses your lumbar erector spinae muscle, leading to a sore lower back. Heels put extra weight on the inner side of the knees and knee joints, leading to the risk of twisting injuries to the knees. They are also known to damage toenails, worsen bunions, and increase your chance of experiencing muscle spasms. Do yourself a solid and save those 3-inchers for an occasional night out.
The good news is you do have control over practicing good posture and properly caring for your spinal health. Just don’t wait until it’s too late! Be cautious of the things we’ve discussed here and seek/maintain proper chiropractic care. According to joint.com, some of the top benefits of chiro care include:
• Improved Nerve Communication in the Body
• Improved Physical Function and Performance
• Relief from Back and Neck Pain
• Relief from Stress and Tension Disorders
• Relief from Chronic Injuries
We’ve looked at posture and the body. It’s time to look at what else posture means. As I said earlier, posture can provide a significant amount of important information through nonverbal cues. It also reflects upon one’s emotional state. Many studies have shown that certain patterns of body movements are indicative of specific emotions. Anger, sadness, and disgust are by far the most recognized body postures that are indicative of emotions. For example, anger is often expressed in forward, whole body movement while sadness is expressed with sunken shoulders and a drooping neck position. In contrast, though, standing tall with a strong posture reflects confidence and a proper state of mind. According to Stanford neuroscientist, Joseph Wielgosz, “change your posture, change your mood.” As a devoted meditator myself, I know that practicing good body posture is a significant part of establishing a solid state of mindfulness which heavily impacts the way in which I view the world around me.
In summary, when I hold myself tall, strong, and confidently, I am far less likely to assume the role of a victim. I will have a better, more positive outlook and believe that I can conquer more of life’s hurdles. If I choose to engage in regular activities that focus on strengthening both my physical and mental wellbeing such as yoga and meditation, the more able I am to live in the moment instead of getting wound up in worry and fear. You know what they say… “worries are just prayers for things you do not want.” Take control of your life by mindfully practicing good posture and making both physical and mental wellbeing a priority.

Here are a few products we offer that can be used in conjunction with good posture, proper chiropractic care and intentional mindfulness:

• CHIROFLOW PREMIUM WATERBASE PILLOW: Chiroflow Waterbase Pillow provides outstanding comfort and responsive support for the head and neck with its water layer at the base. It features thermal insulator to fully encase the water layer to prevent body heat from being drawn from the head, neck and shoulders. It adjusts to head movement, providing continuous cervical support while sleeping. Many experience improved neck pain relief and a better quality of sleep with this product.

• LIGAPLEX: Ligaplex I from Standard Process is a natural joint and connective tissue supplement that contains a blend of key nutrients that provide acute ligament and muscle support.

• DEEP BLUE: doTERRA Deep Blue is perfect for a soothing massage after a long day of work. Wintergreen, Camphor, Peppermint, Ylang Ylang, Helichrysum, Blue Tansy, Blue Chamomile, and Osmanthus work together to soothe and cool. After long hours on the computer, try rubbing Deep Blue proprietary blend on your fingers, wrists, shoulders, and neck. A few drops of Deep Blue Soothing Blend diluted in doTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil can be part of a cooling and comforting massage.
*also see doTERRA DEEP BLUE RUB*

“Those who think they don’t have time for Chiropractic care will sooner or later have to make time for illness.”

References

-Oxford English Dictionary, https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/posture
-Mayoclinic.org, Posture: Align Yourself for Good Health, December 14, 2016
-Armed Forces of Medical College, AFMC.org: What Your Posture Says About You by Anne Wasson, June 28, 2019
-Tenpercent.com: meditation weekly blog, Change Your Posture, Change Your Mood by Joseph Wielgosz, May 7, 2019
-Healthproductsforyou.com: Chiroflow Waterbase Pillow
-Doterra.com: Deep Blue and Deep Blue Rub
-TheJoint.com

Sciatica is more than just a literal pain in the butt (and back and legs). When it strikes, it can cause misery and debilitating pain, instantly putting a damper on your life.

The sciatic nerve runs right through the piriformis, a tiny but powerful muscle deep in your glutes that helps laterally rotate your hips. If it gets too tight, it can impinge the sciatic nerve that runs through or under it, causing tremendous pain, tingling and numbness in your lower extremities.

If you find yourself the victim of sciatica (especially if it’s caused by a sedentary lifestyle), try these for stretches to help relieve the pain:

1. Piriformis Stretch

Laying on your back, place both feet flat on the floor with knees bent. Rest your right ankle over the left knee and pull the left thigh toward your chest.

Hold stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Remember to keep the top foot flexed to protect your knee.

2. Seated Hip Stretch

While in a seated position, cross your right leg over your straightened left leg. Hug your right knee with your left arm, making sure to keep your back straight.

Hold this stretch for 30-60 seconds, and then repeat on the opposite side.

3. Pigeon Pose

Start in Downward-Facing Dog pose with your feet together. Draw your right knee forward and turn it out to the right so your right leg is bent and your left leg is extended straight behind you. Slowly lower both legs.

Hold the position for five to ten breaths, then switch to the other side.

4. Self-Trigger Point Therapy

Performing self trigger-point therapy using a lacrosse or tennis ball can be very effective at delivering sciatica pain relief. All you have to do is find a painful spot in the glutes, place the ball at that location and then relax your body into the ball.

Hold this position for 30-60 seconds or until you notice a significant reduction in pain. Move to the next painful spot. The total time spent on this exercise should be between 5-10 minutes.

Please read previous blogs for tips on how to prepare.

Apple cider vinegar (raw and unfiltered) can be used as a salad dressing when you are in a hurry.

If you are a coffee drinker or you just need a pick me up, add fresh ginger to a shake!

Standard process has recently put together a booklet with recipes for 21 days with each day focusing on a different food. I DO NOT recommend starting this during this first week of the cleanse due to the amount of preparation it involves on a daily basis. However I do feel that it would be a great idea to start on day 8 of the cleanse. You can skip the veggies you are less thrilled about or you can keep going and make it a 28 day cleanse! This booklet has a ton of great nutrition information- in my opinion, probably the best put together source of info on nutrition today. (The recipes start on pg 30). Purification Cookbook

There are a bunch of  salad dressing receipes listed in the back of the purication booklet that you recieved with the kits.  There are also some suggestions in the link above.

Smoothies/shakes

-if you are premaking a day or two ahead of time, wait until you are about to drink to blend in the protein powder. -Bananas and blueberries tend to not “sit” very well. Drink these right away.

-disguise veggies that you don’t normally like in a smoothie with pineapple, pomegranate, oranges,and grapefruit as they tend to overpower.

These reciepes are approximations. Add more or less to increase viscosity.

Add 2 tbsp of the protein powder to any of these or just enjoy without. Remember you can have 2-3 with protein per day.

Basic Green Smoothie

1 banana

1 apple (or pear, orange, peach, mango)

1 knob ginger

1 tbsp flax seeds

2 cups kale (or spinach, romaine, celery, parsley)

20 oz water

My favorite Original SP Complete Shake

2 Tbsp of SP Complete protein

8 oz water

1 TBsp Flax seed

1-2 cup strawberries and bananas

For juicing the rainbow:

RED

½ small beet

4 red cabbage leaves

5 strawberries

1 lg grapefruit

7 raspberries

Pink

Watermelon

½ lime

Handful of mint

½ cucumber

Purple

Beets

pomegranite

cauliflower

Yellow

½ yellow bell pepper

3 flourettes cauliflower

Pineapple

Banana

Green

Green onions

2 kiwis

2 apples

4 celery

basil

Blue

-let me know if you find a good one!

Sinus clearing juice

1 lg orange

1/2 lemon

1 apple

1 inch ginger

pinch of cayenne pepper

Good Luck!!

Orange

3 cutie oranges

½ orange bell pepper

2 Pineapple chunks