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South Orange, NJ 07079

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Wellness Blog

The blog for South Orange Chiropractic Center, South Orange NJ

Upright Posture Helps Improve Mood for Depressed Patients

Sit up straight and smile!

Upright Posture Helps Improve Mood for Depressed Patients
Published Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Several studies have already demonstrated that proper posture helps improve mood and self-esteem in healthy people, but what effect does it have on those with depressive disorders? Researchers estimate that about 10 million Americans suffer from mild to moderate depression. A new study from the University of Auckland sought to understand more about the benefits of sitting up straight for these patients.  

  • The study consisted of 61 people, all with mild to moderate depressive disorders. Before the test, the researchers noted that all participants had significantly more slumped posture than the norm, indicating that slumped posture and depression often go hand in hand.
  • Participants were randomly assigned to continue their normal posture or to adopt and maintain upright posture with the help of physiotherapy tape.
  • The researchers then put them through two tests in which they had to deliver a five-minute speech and count backwards from 1,022 in steps of 13.
  • Those with upright posture showed more enthusiasm, using more words and speaking more clearly during their speeches.  They also demonstrated less fatigue and made fewer errors when counting.
  • Those in the upright posture group also used fewer first-person singular pronouns, such as “I” and “me” in their speeches, suggesting they were less self-focused and had a more positive mood.

The report authors mention that “for severe, disabling depression, sitting posture is not likely to make much of a difference. But for mild or moderate depression, sitting up straight may help patients manage their mood and be more productive.”

Though more research needs to be done, especially with respect to those with severe depressive disorders, these findings clearly demonstrate that having upright posture can go a long way in improving one’s mood. The upright posture group showed more confidence and energy performing their tasks than those with slumped posture.  So, next time you’re feeling fatigued or down, check and adjust your posture for a mood boost. It may be just what you needed.

You can read the full study here

[VIDEO] What Does Subluxation Mean?

Dr. Levine explains what "subluxation" means and how it relates to chiropractic adjustments.

What Does Subluxation Mean?
Published Thursday, 18 May 2017

Video Transcript - What Does Subluxation Mean? 

Sub meaning less than, lux, the term "lux" is light, -ation is a condition of. So, it's a condition of less light. In essence, it's less life force. It's the life energy that goes through the body and the brain is the generator. It generates this energy and this light force which travels down the spinal cord out of every nerve root which feeds to lungs, the heart, the gallbladder, every muscle, every 660 muscles in your body needs a nerve supply. So can you imagine that if there's pressure on that nerve, there's less life force going through that muscle, and you want to know why you keep getting a spasm or a cramp or a charlie horse, maybe it's nerve related. We need to find out if it is and if it isn't. What if you have digestive problems? What if there's less nerve supply going to the digestive enzymes and now you have acid reflux? These are all part of the subluxation, less light force do to interference in the nervous system from a bone being out of place putting pressure on a nerve. Subluxation, interference.

Reducing Cancer Fatigue with Exercise and Therapy

New study shows that drugs are not as effective at treating CRF

Reducing Cancer Fatigue with Exercise and Therapy
Published Tuesday, 09 May 2017

One of the most common symptoms of cancer treatments is fatigue. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy can feel exhausted and heavy, with little to no desire to join in everyday activities. This type of fatigue oftentimes cannot be cured by simply getting more sleep. A report by The JAMA Network released in early March revealed that non-drug treatments such as exercise or psychotherapy are more effective for reducing cancer-related-fatigue (CRF) than pharmaceutical solutions.

  • The JAMA Network’s report analyzed 113 individual studies monitoring over 11,500 unique participants, in order to determine which treatment – exercise, psychological, the combination of exercise and psychological, and pharmaceutical – normally recommended for CRF is most effective.
  • Exercise and psychological treatments, as well as the combination of the two, reduced fatigue by 26 to 30 percent during and after cancer treatment.
  • Pharmaceutical treatments were only seen to reduce fatigue by 9 percent.
  • The authors of the study urge doctors to prescribe exercise or psychological interventions as first-line treatments for CRF.
  • The main author of the study, Dr. Karen Mustian of the University of Rochester Medical Center, says that the exercise therapy doesn’t necessarily have to be intense or vigorous. Most of the studies analyzed included walking and resistance training exercises. Also, the psychological treatment does not only mean structured therapy appointments with a counselor, but can also include group sessions and actively practicing mindfulness.

This report demonstrates that pharmaceutical treatments should no longer be the go-to prescription for patients dealing with CRF. Physical activity and psychological therapy can often do more to help reduce this fatigue than drugs or caffeine, even if they do not always seem like the easiest solutions.

Dr. Mustian in an interview said, “While our knee-jerk reactions might be to retreat, and to rest, and for caretakers to be very protective…actually encouraging [cancer patients] to be more active, asking them to get up and go for a 10-minute walk and walking with them – those kinds of things can make some of the most drastic positive impacts in the entire experience that someone would have with cancer.”

Read more about the report and real life success stories here

[VIDEO] When Will I Get My First Adjustment?

Dr. Roczey discusses when the first chiropractic adjustment occurs and what you can expect.

When Will I Get My First Adjustment?
Published Thursday, 04 May 2017

Video Transcript - When Will I Get My First Adjustment? 

Normally, patients get adjusted on the second visit for the first time because the problem's been there for months, sometimes even years. So is it fair for me to make an adjustment just because you're in pain? A lot of people are in pain. However, we don't know where the problem is. We don't know what caused it. We might be doing more harm. Most patients understand after our thorough consultation examination that it's so important that we find out where it is, what it is, and can we move it, and is it safe for us to adjust?


Arthritis a Growing Pain for US Adults

CDC recommends physical activity and self-management education interventions

Arthritis a Growing Pain for US Adults
Published Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Arthritis is a painful and sometimes debilitating condition caused by inflammation of the joints. Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that over 54 million adults are suffering from doctor-diagnosed arthritis in the United States.  Almost half of those diagnosed also described some sort of activity limitations attributed to arthritis pain, a 20 percent increase from 2002.

CDC Report Highlights:

  • Approximately 50 percent of adults with heart disease and diabetes and 30 percent of adults with obesity were also diagnosed with arthritis. Arthritis pain can cause even more complications for patients dealing with such preexisting conditions.
  • Medical expenses, including hip and knee joint replacements, stemming from arthritis pain cost the nation about $81 billion annually.
  • Adults diagnosed with arthritis are often prescribed opioids to help deal with the pain; however, the CDC recommends physical activity which can help reduce pain and improve physical function by almost 40 percent.
  • The CDC also endorses self-management education interventions, which are programs aimed to improve patients’ confidence and teach them skills to manage their condition. These courses have been shown to reduce pain, fatigue, and depression by 10 to 20 percent, but only 11 percent of adults diagnosed with arthritis have ever reported taking them.
  • People were more likely to attend a self-management education program when their healthcare provider recommended one.

Arthritis seems to be a growing and expensive problem in the United States, one that is causing many adults to have trouble completing simple, everyday tasks. Due to the scarcity of patients participating in self-management education interventions or treatment plans which prioritize physical activity over opioids, the CDC report also calls for further research to encourage these types of strategies.

In a teleconference with reporters, the acting director of the CDC, Anne Schuchat, M.D., “called on healthcare providers to do more to encourage patients to slowly increase their physical activity – such as with a short walk or a lap in the pool – and to strive for a healthy weight to reduce pressure on joints.”

You can read the CDC’s full report here

[VIDEO] Walk Me Through the Steps for My First Chiropractic Visit

Dr. Roczey explains what you can expect at your first visit to the chiropractor

Walk Me Through the Steps for My First Chiropractic Visit
Published Thursday, 20 April 2017

Video Transcript - Walk Me Through the Steps for My First Chiropractic Visit

Yeah. You know, the basic thing is most people find us through an internet, a loved one, a family member, somebody who's had a great experience at South Orange Chiropractic Center. Normally, when a patient calls up, they're going to ask "Do you take my insurance?" We participate with so many insurances. If you have chiropractic benefits, we're going to tell you. If you don't, we're going to tell you that, too, and make sure that we provide you with the cash plan. Upon verifying all of the benefits before coming into the office, we're also going to email you our paperwork, fax the paperwork, or mail you the paperwork, whichever's most convenient. Some patients maybe want to fill it out in the waiting room. All right?

Upon arrival, when you walk through the door, we're going to greet you with a friendly smile. You're going to sign in, and we're going to instruct you on what is to come. After you fill out your paperwork, either Dr. Levine or myself is going to bring you into a consultation. We want to do a thorough history. We don't know what you've done, where you've been, what the problem is, because most people choose chiropractic, unfortunately, as the last choice. The most important thing is knowing where the problem is, how we're going to fix it, and what a solution will be for the patient.

After that thorough consultation, we're going to take you into exam room. We're going to provide you with the chiropractic, neurologic, orthopedic consultation. It's a series of test that are going to determine exactly can we help you. After that, we usually take digital films. Digital films are hospital grade, they're current, and they're going to allow us to see exactly the structure of the spine within, because if we can't see it, how can we fix it? Then, after that, we're going to give you a series of home care instructions. It's important that you follow it. Icing, stretching, bending, twisting, turning the proper way, ways that aren't going to exacerbate the problem and make you worse. Give us a day to determine exactly where and how we're going to fix the problem.

When a patient comes back in for the consultation, we're going to sit them down and go over everything that occurred the day before. It's important that they're a part of the process, because either they know where the problem is and take an active role, or the same thing's going to happen, and they're going to just continue down the path towards pain and discomfort. When a patient comes into my office, we're going to do a thorough consultation, a review of findings. That review of findings is going to go over the X-ray, their thermal imaging, all of the exam findings, and we're going to tell the patient how to get well. It's so important that they follow the instructions, the protocols, the patient appointments, the stretching, the exercise, because if they take an active role, they're going to get the results their friends or loved ones did before them.

After that, we're going to have somebody come in here and schedule them. They're going to explain more of the insurance if they have any questions. We want to make sure every patient is scheduled out a month in advance. It's important that we keep the frequency, because we know what works. After they go, after they've been spoken to about their scheduling, we're going to start care right away. Our first goal is to take pressure off that nerve, get them moving better, feeling better, thinking better, so that they walk out with a wow experience. After every patient's adjusted on the first day, I always want to follow up with a phone call. I think it's so important that they have somebody to ask questions to. All right? How to ice, where to ice, how to stretch. All that information is always given in detail before every patient leaves their first day. However, it's great that we reinforce it, and most patients appreciate the phone call.

The Dirty Dozen Updated for 2017

(The list, not the movie.)

The Dirty Dozen Updated for 2017
Published Tuesday, 11 April 2017

In early March, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released its annual Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists. Using data from US Department of Agriculture tests, the EWG ranks conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables based on how many pesticides remain on the produce after it is prepared for consumption. Often the synthetic chemicals found in pesticides can stay on produce even after it is washed or peeled, and even low levels of pesticide exposure can be detrimental to young children’s development.

  • Strawberries remained in the number one spot in the Dirty Dozen this year due to the high out-of-season demand for them. Ninety-nine percent of the USDA samples in 2014 and 2015 had detectable residue of at least one pesticide.
  • Spinach moved from eighth to second place this year. Seventy-five percent of the samples were found to have residues of permethrin, a neurotoxic insecticide which is banned in the EU.
  • Pears and potatoes joined the list this year in the sixth and twelfth spots, respectively.
  • Sweet corn moved to the top spot on the Clean Fifteen list, knocking avocados down to number two. The Clean Fifteen list tracks produce whose samples were found to have the least amount of pesticide residues, if any.
  • The EWG’s lists rank fruits and vegetables based on the amount of pesticides found on them, not the toxicity of the pesticides themselves. Therefore, while produce high on the Dirty Dozen list may have a lot of pesticide residue, that residue could possibly be less harmful than residue found on a fruit or vegetable from the Clean Fifteen list.

However, according to the EWG website, “Since researchers are constantly developing new insights into how pesticides act on living organisms, no one can say that concentrations of pesticides assumed to be safe today are, in fact, harmless.”

While the EWG’s lists do help to limit your family’s intake of pesticides, this doesn’t mean that you should never buy strawberries again. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to maintain a balanced diet and to avoid consuming too much of one harmful chemical. Buy organic when it’s accessible and affordable for you. A shopper’s guide is available to help you buy foods with fewer types of pesticides when buying organic isn’t an option.

See the full Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists here.  

[VIDEO] Can You Explain Life Energy?

Dr. Levine describes Life Energy and the innate health of the human body

Can You Explain Life Energy?
Published Thursday, 06 April 2017

Video Transcript - Can You Explain Life Energy? 

Life energy is the energy that heals the body, there's a constant energy force. Your body is a self-healing, self-regulating organism. It needs that life energy to help heal and to help regulate. If I ran up the block and ran down the street and my heart rate starting increasing, my respiration started increasing, and my whole visual acuity changed that's all a result of self-regulation. Now, do I time that? Do I say, "Okay, I'm going to run for the next 10 minutes. I need to elevate my heart rate from 68 beats per minute to 98. I can't, the body is self-regulating. It does that with the life force. The life force starts at the brain, runs down the spinal cord and goes out to every organ in the body.

How about self-healing? If I cut myself and I start bleeding, well what am I going to do? I might put a little antiseptic on there, maybe a bandaid. Now, is the bandaid doing the healing, did the antiseptic do the healing? No, the life force did the healing, it'll heal that. I can go down the butcher shop, get a rib eye, put a cut in it and then put antiseptic and a bandaid on, it's not going to heal. Why, because it's missing life force. The life force is the energy that's self-healing, self-regulating.

Chiropractors take the nervous system and elevate the function of that nervous system so the body's self-regulating ability and self-healing is increased. Better nerve supply, better nerve function, better immune system, better regulation, better healing. If you had a choice of running at peak performance or running at sub-level performance where would you be? You'd always choose to be better but how would you know? We don't know that our life and our health and our function can be better unless we get a checkup.

How is my nervous system functioning now? I have no idea. I mean, I feel okay but feeling okay is not a good indication of health. That's why health care's failing dramatically, it's based on how you feel. You go to the doctor, he says, "How do you feel?" "Oh, I feel fine." "Okay, see yeah." You know, we can run some blood work, we can take your blood pressure which measures one system but unless those things are registering high nothing is done. What if we can see it before it happens? We can do that with the technology that we have, it's called a chiropractic checkup.


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