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South Orange, NJ 07079

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60 1st St  |  South Orange, NJ 07079  |  973-761-0022

Wellness Blog

The blog for South Orange Chiropractic Center, South Orange NJ

PET Scans Show Stress-Relieving Changes in the Brain after Chiropractic Adjustments

PET Scans Show Stress-Relieving Changes
Published Tuesday, 18 July 2017

What’s got you stressed today? Crazy traffic? A lengthy to-do list? A needy family member or friend? You’re not alone. In everyday life, there’s good and bad stress. Good stress, also termed eustress, challenges you to adapt to situations in order to succeed. Bad stress, or distress, activates the “fight or flight” response in your brain, gets your heart pumping, promotes confusion, and often causes performance anxiety.

 

Stress and Chiropractic Care

A 2008 study demonstrated that chronic stress can attack and weaken the immune system, making people more susceptible to some diseases, such as diabetes mellitus or ulcerative colitis. Some people are easily able to reduce their stress and cope due to their personalities, genetics, or support system, but it’s not always that simple. Luckily, researchers have found that chiropractic adjustments are a great way to naturally help reduce stress in the body and promote wellness overall.

  • A 2011 study, “Cerebral metabolic changes in men after chiropractic spinal manipulation for neck pain,” used positron emission tomography (PET) scans to record brain activity in men before and after chiropractic spinal manipulation (CSM).
  • The PET scans found that the CSM altered brain activity in the areas of the brain responsible for processing pain and stress, as well as greatly reduced cortisol levels, the chemical that is released in response to stress.
  • More recently, a 2017 study expanded on this research. Researchers tracked the PET scans of 21 male participants taken before and after spinal manipulation therapy (SMT).
  • The PET scans showed metabolic changes in brain and skeletal muscles.  These changes are associated with reduced sympathetic nerve activity, which induces relaxation.
  • The results of this study shows that the chiropractic adjustments actually reduced patients’ stress by changing their brains, and that regular chiropractic care could boost the body’s natural defense against chronic stress and disease.

Healthy, Drug-Free Stress Relief

“Millions of people receive medical advice that links stress relief to pharmaceutical drug use. Safe, long-term health care demands that attention be turned to the proper reduction and management of stress using science and research that point to a healthy alternative,” says an article on dailyrx.com.

Chiropractic care could be that ultimate healthy alternative. Stress is a natural part of life, but when it starts to consume your life, it quickly becomes threat to your health, physically and mentally. Chiropractic adjustments can help return the skeletal system to a more balanced, relaxed state and quiet the “fight or flight” impulses in your mind, relieving stress and keeping you healthy in the long run.

You can read the full 2017 study, “Glucose metabolic changes in the brain and muscles of patients with nonspecific neck pain treated by spinal manipulation therapy” here to learn more. 

[VIDEO] How Does Chiropractic Work?

Dr. Levine talks about how chiropractic care fits into healthcare and how it helps promote wellness

Chiropractic
Published Thursday, 13 July 2017

Video Transcript - How Does Chiropractic Work? 

If you have not gotten the Searching for Health booklet from South Orange Chiropractic, this will explain what we do and why it works. Because the most beautiful thing is the definition of health. If you don't know what health is, how can you achieve it? We go into great detail on what health is. My question to you is, would you rather be healthy or just not sick? Well, a lot of people just don't want to be sick. They say they want to be healthy but their behavior is, "I just don't want to be sick." Because they do nothing. I'm not exercising more, I'm not watching my diet, I'm not supplementing, I'm not getting my nervous system checked. It's a false sense of health.

To be health you have to be proactive. Right? That's why we talk about consistency and frequency and anything that we do will breed success. You never get to the end of the book unless you read a little bit each day, or go from chapter to chapter. You never are successful in a gym unless you're going there frequently. You're never successful in your golf, getting your score down, if you're not practicing and hitting hundreds of balls each week. The things that we put our attention to and where our energy goes, the success will flow.

I always say be healthy by choice, not by chance. Too many people leave it to chance. I always say that be healthy by choice, choose to be healthy and do not leave it to chance. Too many people leave health to chance, that I'm okay today, I'll just wait till I break down tomorrow.

Daily Yogurt Consumption Improves Bone Health

Daily Yogurt Consumption
Published Tuesday, 04 July 2017

Many people do not realize that bone is living tissue. Over a lifetime, the body removes old bone tissue to make way for new bone tissue.  When the creation of new bone slows and can’t keep up with the removal of the old bone, bones become weak and brittle, causing them to break more easily. About 54 million Americans deal with this condition, osteoporosis, and studies suggest that 50% of women and 25% of men age 50 and up will break a bone due to osteoporosis. This condition can cause significant physical and emotional troubles for those who suffer from it. Luckily, by making one addition to your daily meals, you may be able to considerably improve your bone health and reduce your risk for osteoporosis.

  • Researchers at Trinity College, Dublin conducted a study of over 4,000 Irish adults, age 60 and up, which determined a positive association between daily yogurt consumption and increased bone health.
  • Researchers measured the bone mineral density (BMD) as well as the physical function of the participants in order to determine their results. Traditional risk factors of osteoporosis including age, physical activity, smoking and alcohol consumption were taken into account when finalizing their conclusions.
  • Women who ate yogurt every day had a 39% lower risk of developing osteoporosis when compared with those who did not eat yogurt. The study authors observed a 52% lower risk in men.
  • Researchers also noted a 31% lower risk in women of osteopenia, a condition which is often a precursor to osteoporosis and involves the old bone being reabsorbed into the body faster than new bone can be created.
  • Vitamin D supplements were also associated with markedly reduced risks in the participants, though other dairy products did not seem to produce similar effects.

Eamon J. Laird, the lead author and a research fellow at the Centre for Medical Gerontology, Trinity, said, “Yogurt is a rich source of different bone promoting nutrients and thus our findings in some ways are not surprising. The suggest that improving yogurt intakes could be a strategy for maintaining bone health, but it needs verification through future research as it is observational.”

Besides promoting bone health, yogurt has numerous other health benefits. A 2016 UCLA study found that a Lactobacillus strain of bacteria, which you can find in yogurt, kombucha, and sauerkraut, can help reduce the risk of some types of cancer. Some yogurts can contain a lot of sugar, however, so it’s important to look for servings that contain 20 grams or fewer, according to Fitness Magazine.

Read more about the study in Osteoporosis International. 

[VIDEO] What Interferes with Nerve Impulses

Dr. Levine presents different factors that interrupt normal nerve function

What Interferes with Nerve Impulses
Published Thursday, 29 June 2017

Video Transcript - What Interferes with Nerve Impulses

Nerve impulses, life energy is affected by stress. Stress is huge. We think of stress generally in something that's bothering us or that we're thinking about. Stress comes in three forms. It's physical, it's chemical, it's emotional. Many of us have all three forms in play. Those three forms of stress will breakdown the nervous system. Increases the adrenal function. Increases blood pressure. Increases cortisol into the system, and that will break down neural function and your immune system. It's important that we identify the stresses.

Here in the office, not only are we dealing with the effects of stress which might be neck pain, back pain, headaches, but we're also identifying the causes of that stress. Maybe it's poor diet. Maybe it's lack of exercises which is probably number one. Maybe it's an old injury or fall that wasn't treated properly. Family stress especially around the holidays. Financial stress.

Either you live within your means or you don't. There's many people, regardless of their income, that have a great deal of stress and has no bearing on the dollar amount. It's how they manage it. Emotional, physical, chemical stresses. That's why our job is to get to the cause of the problem. Not just functionally, but on an emotional level, physical and chemical level.

There is good stress. Stress forces us to wake up every day and make a difference in society. The time I spent working with Seton Hall University and their basketball team, there was stress every time there was a tournament game. It was stress before each game. When that bell rang at the end and the two hands were over, the stress was over until we prepared for the next game. In sports, there's stress. In life, there's stress, but that forces us to produce and it forces us to rise to the occasion. Sometimes, we need to get uncomfortable in ourselves to grow to the next level.

An Apple a Day Keeps Diabetes at Bay

An Apple a Day Keeps Diabetes at Bay
Published Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Need another reason to eat some fruit every day? A new study from British and Chinese researchers shows a definite correlation between eating fresh fruit and a lower risk of developing diabetes. Many diabetics tend to avoid consuming fruit, opting for vegetables instead because of some fruits’ high sugar content. However, the results of this study share a different story.

  • Published on April 11th of this year, the study followed a half million Chinese adults between the ages of 30 and 79 for seven years.
  • About 19% of the participants reported consuming fresh fruit daily.  Participants who had been previously diagnosed with diabetes were three times as likely to report never or rarely eating fruit.
  • At the end of the study, researchers found that those participants without diabetes at the start had a 12% lower risk of developing diabetes when compared with those who ate no fruit. Across the study, more frequent consumption of fruit was associated with a lower risk.
  • For participants who were already diabetic when the study started, those who consumed fruit at least three times a week had a 17% lower risk of fatality and a 13%-28% lower risk of developing of complications associated with diabetes such as heart and kidney disease.
  • This study was purely observational, so there is no clear reason why this correlation exists and results may have been affected by other factors such as the participants’ dietary and behavioral habits. Further research is needed.

The lead author of this study and a research fellow at the University of Oxford, Dr. Huaidong Du said, “The sugar in fruit is not the same as the sugar in manufactured foods and may be metabolized differently. And there are other nutrients in fruit that may benefit in other ways.”  So despite some fruits’ high sugar content, this study shows that a daily dose of sweet, fresh fruit could actually prove beneficial for those already diagnosed with diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association website recommends fruit as a healthy dessert option for those with diabetes, and Diabetes.co.uk offers a handy guide for choosing fruits with low carbohydrate/sugar content. With its high fiber content and nutrients, fresh fruit is always a good choice!

You can read more about the study in PLoS Medicine

[VIDEO] Misunderstandings about Life Energy

Dr. Levine chats with us about Life Energy...what it means, what it doesn't, and how it relates to chiropractic care

Misunderstandings about Life Energy
Published Thursday, 15 June 2017

Video Transcript - Misunderstandings about Life Energy

I think we're so indoctrinated into how we feel. The expression, if it ain't broke don't fix it, is not relevant to healthcare. It's not relevant to the things that we take pride in, or things that we respect, or things that we want to have longevity. What if we took care of our cars that way? My car's not broke, it keeps running so don't do anything. Don't change the oil, don't get a tuneup, don't change the brakes, just wait till it stops running. How about our homes? Do we prepare them for the seasonal change? It's preparation, it's planning, and if we don't do that with the body, because the human body is the greatest gift that we've ever received and it runs optimally if we help take care of it. It's important that we eat well, think well, and move well. Chiropractors help people move well. We can coach you on how to eat well and what type of supplementation you might need to help the chemistry in the body so it functions at optimal. We talk to our patients who want to get well faster about doing affirmations and visualizations and helping them think that they can be well, because no one gets well unless they want to.

Spinal Manipulation Effective for Relieving Low Back Pain

Spinal Manipulation Effective for Relieving Low Back Pain
Published Tuesday, 06 June 2017

If you visit the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange this weekend, there’s a good chance any visitor you randomly start chatting to by the otter exhibit has experienced low back pain. That’s because a study in 2001 found that 2 out of 3 adults in the United States suffer from low back pain at some point in their lives. Most acute low back pain eventually goes away on its own, but it can be a real problem for some when it comes to day-to-day function. Earlier this year, the American College of Physicians (ACP) released a report recommending that patients skip the drugs when treating back pain and look for alternative, noninvasive remedies. Now, a study from The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests that the spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) often performed by chiropractors provides moderate pain relief and improvements in function for those suffering from acute low back pain.

  • Published on April 11, 2017, the study, “Association of Spinal Manipulative Therapy with Clinical Benefit and Harm for Acute Low Back Pain”, analyzed 26 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) from 2011 to the present.
  • Fifteen RCTs, which followed about 1,700 patients with low back pain demonstrated that SMT is associated with moderate improvements in patients’ pain ratings. Twelve of the RCTs also showed improvement in day-to-day function for their patients.
  • Side effects from SMT affected more than half of the patients tested and included temporary muscle stiffness, increased pain, and headaches. However, the authors of the report said that in all the studies, no patients reported any really serious side effects.
  • In an editorial released with the report, Dr. Richard A. Deyo suggests that many doctors are hesitant to refer patients to chiropractors because it is still unclear in the science community how exactly SMT relieves low back pain. However, he says out of 200 treatments for low back pain, there really is no treatment that stands out as the most effective, though this report may change that.
  • This report supports the results of the ACP report from earlier this year, which urges patients to seek out non-drug, non-invasive options for treating their low back pain. These options seem to have less severe and fewer long-term side effects than pharmaceutical treatments.

The American Chiropractic Association President, David Herd, DC, said, “As the nation struggles to overcome the opioid crisis, research supporting non-drug treatments for pain should give patients and health care providers confidence that there are options that help avoid the risks and dependency associated with prescription medications.”

Next time the pain in your lower back flares up or you overhear a neighbor griping about their aches, we hope you’ll consider chiropractic therapy instead of turning to the medicine cabinet. The evidence suggests that chiropractic care is the more effective and safer option.

You can read more about the JAMA report here and here

[VIDEO] What is Bad Stress vs. Good Stress?

Sometimes stress is good, but good stress can easily become "bad" stress

What is Bad Stress vs. Good Stress?
Published Thursday, 01 June 2017

Video Transcript - What is Bad Stress vs. Good Stress? 

The difference between good stress and bad stress. You know, good stress motivates us to a certain extent, and if there's no end point to the stress, there's no resolution. There's no conclusion. You know, if you're building a house it might be stressful going through different contractors and bringing different implements into the house for different situations, but there's an endpoint. When that stress is ongoing and there is no endpoint, and it breaks you down over time. Day in, day out, week in, week out, month in, month out will break you down.

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