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- by Dr. Michael Rosen, D.C. BioVeda Health & Wellness Center of West Loop, IL
Sweeter Dreams Await!
It’s important to make an overall commitment to healthy, restorative sleep. Here are some tips from the Better Sleep Council for maintaining a healthy sleep cycle and ensuring the best night’s rest:
- Make sleep a priority by keeping a consistent sleep (bedtime) and wake schedule, including weekends
- Create a bedtime routine that is relaxing. Experts recommend reading a book, listening to soothing music or soaking in a hot bath.
- Transform your bedroom into a haven of comfort. Create a room that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool for the best possible sleep.
- Evaluate your mattress and pillow to ensure proper comfort and support. If your mattress is five to seven years old, it may be time for a new one. In general, pillows should be replaced every year.
- Keep work materials, computers and televisions out of the bedroom; it should be used for sleep and sex only.
- Exercise regularly, but complete workouts at least two hours before bedtime.
- If you sleep with a partner, your mattress should allow each of you enough space to move easily. Couples who’ve been sleeping on a “double” (full size) may think they have enough room, until they learn that each person has only as much sleeping space as a baby’s crib!
- Avoid nicotine (e.g., cigarettes, tobacco products). Used close to bedtime, it can lead to poor sleep.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol (e.g., coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate) close to bedtime. It can keep you awake.
- Finish eating at least two to three hours before bedtime.
Forget plain, boring white rice! These healthier options not only taste better, they pack a serious nutritional punch. Try something new and start “reaping” their wholesome benefits!
- Quinoa: This grain is rich in magnesium, a mineral that helps relax constricted blood vessels which can cause headaches and migraines. The mild, nutty flavor of quinoa tastes great in soups or salads. Be sure to rinse it well before cooking.
- Black Rice: Brown rice is SO last season! This “forbidden rice,” once only eaten by Chinese nobles, can help soothe inflammation associated with allergies and asthma. Try substituting black rice for white in rice pudding for a healthier, delicious dessert.
- Amaranth: Considered sacred by the Aztecs, this grain contains high amounts of lysine, an amino acid that Italian researchers have found can help women absorb calcium more efficiently. Amaranth is a great popcorn alternative – just prepare in a covered saucepan over medium heat. No oil necessary!
- Bulgur (A.K.A. Cracked Wheat): Easily the superstar of grains with 8 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat, bulgur is available in several grades from fine to extra-coarse. Use coarser grades in casseroles and soups. Prepare and add finer grades to yogurt for a quick breakfast, or use it as a satisfying side-dish at dinner.
- by Dr. Jean Gibson, D.C. BioVeda Health & Wellness Center of Fayetteville, AR
Have you experienced neck pain after a long day at work? There are many cause of neck pain, but one of the most common causes is related to poor posture, muscle fatigue and stress while in front of your computer or while at your desk. Your head, which weighs approximately 10 pounds, is balanced on your cervical spine (the neck) and is controlled by muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It’s like balancing a bowling ball on a broom stick using dental floss and twine – if you don’t keep the bowling ball perfectly balanced on the stick, the ball will pull on the floss and twine, which will stretch and ultimately the ball will not stay in place! While your head will not fall off your neck, the damage done to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments by poor posture does require intervention. Many of us have our work stations set up for us by either our employer or the previous person in the office. We never think to personalize the placement of our computer keyboard, mouse, monitor and telephone to fit our body. Just a few changes in the set up of your office can make a big difference in your neck pain:
- Make sure your desk, chair, table and work station are at the right height for you.
- Position your computer at eye level or just below eye level. You do not want to be looking up at the screen or looking down at a sharp angle at the screen.
- Keep all paperwork as close to eye level as possible. Try not to look up or down at sharp angles or look to the side and back at the monitor.
- Take frequent breaks from your work station. Get up, stretch tired muscles and allow your eyes a rest from your monitor.
- Use a hands free headset or speaker phone. Cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder quickly tires shoulder muscles and leads to issues with not only your neck, but your shoulder also.
If you are already experiencing pain in the shoulder or neck, treatment is necessary. Pain relievers only mask the problem, and you may inadvertently aggravate the problem because your body’s warning system – pain – has been temporarily turned off. A Doctor of Chiropractic will incorporate various techniques to fix any issues with your cervical spine, as well as the muscles and ligaments involved. They can also advise your on stress reduction and posture issues to help your body to function at its peak.
- by Dr. James Augustine, BioVeda Health & Wellness Center of Cerritos, CA
So it’s up to you. Fluoride for you? Your dental health has everything to do with your full body health, therefore, there is way more that you can do to improve and protect your dental health than using fluoride. - Dr. Augustine
At the end of the two-day hearing to evaluate the safety of amalgam, the FDA’s own scientific panel – including neurologists, toxicologists, epidemiologists, and environmental health specialists – told the agency to stop amalgam use in children, pregnant women, and hypersensitive populations.
After reviewing the available scientific studies and the presentations of researchers, experts, dentists, and injured consumers, the scientists concluded that – contrary to the claims of the FDA’s in-house dentist Susan Runner – amalgam is not safe for everybody.
According to the panel, the FDA’s amalgam risk assessments were not adequate to protect hypersensitive adults, children, and unborn babies. Repeatedly, panel members expressed their concern about amalgam use in children. Pediatric neurologist Dr. Suresh Kotagal of the Mayo Clinic summed it up for the entire panel:
“There is really no place for mercury in children.”
Other panelists went on to explain that dental mercury is like lead. The panel urged the FDA to quickly contraindicate amalgam for these vulnerable populations and insisted that the FDA provide consumers with labeling containing clear warnings.
- by Dr. Fred Southard, BioVeda Health & Wellness Center of Hamilton, OH
Often throughout my career I have been asked what is the difference between a herniated and a bulging disc. The way that I like to explain the difference is to compare the discs, or the cushions between the bones in your back, to jelly doughnuts (had one at the Y this morning after I finished my workout. One of the guys who comes in to the Y brought in some doughnuts to celebrate his return to health and I couldn’t resist replacing the calories I had just spent approximately an hour exercising off!). To get back to business, the annulus, or wall of the disc though much harder and much firmer, is like the dough of the doughnut. Inside the annulus, or wall of the disc, is a gel material, the nucleus of the disc, which, again, is much harder and much firmer than the jelly inside the disc. For numerous reasons, the wall of the disc develops a small tear and that tear grows and grows due to the strains associated with everyday life. Gradually, the nucleaus, the gel inside the disc, fills in the tear and such simple things as coughing or sneezing cause the tear to become bigger and thus more of the gel fills in the enlarged tear. Gradually, over a period of time, the tear works its way from the center to the outer edge of the wall of the disc and causes the outer wall of the disc to bulge, thus what is known as a bulging disc. Or, for comparison to the jelly doughnut, as long as the jelly in the doughnut is contained within the dough of the doughnut, but the outer part of the dough is stretched or distended, it is a bulging doughnut! When the gel breaks all of the way through the wall of the disc, or the jelly begins to leak outside of the doughnut, it is known as a herniated disc. Either way, a foreign material, either the wall of the disc or the nucleus (gel) of the disc, may enter into the opening where the nerve exits from the spinal cord, causing a pressure to be placed on the exiting nerve.
There are many effective treatments for both bulging and/or herniated discs, and the neuritis (neur = nerve and itis = inflammation or inflammation of the nerve) or neuralgia (algia = pain, nerve pain or pain in the nerve) associated with the bulging or herniated disc. Treatments range from conservative care all the way to surgery. That will be the topic of another blog, but as a chiropractor I would encourage anyone to try conservative care before resorting to surgical intervention. I will just mention here that through the more than thirty years that I have been in practice we have had a very high success rate with the conservative care that we provide in our office. We now use the most incredible technology that I have seen for the treatment of lower back (lumbar spine) herniations, that being spinal decompression with the DRX9000. I have available for viewing pre and post MRI’s of one of our patients who was treated with the DRX9000 and the associated reports from Fort Hamilton Hospital which show the largest herniation I have seen in my years of practice on the pre spinal decompression treatment with the DRX9000 and show the herniation being essentially gone on the post MRI. I also have the patient’s permission to show his MRI’s to anyone who would like to see them. But, as I said, that is the topic for another blog.
We follow the health sections of mainstream media sources such as The New York Times, CNN and WebMD, and lately we’ve been seeing more and more stories related to Complementary Alternative Medicine. It’s exciting to see this adoption of holistic remedies by conventional health practitioners and hope that it continues to become more commonplace as we enter 2011. Here are a few of the latest articles:
WebMD: Acupuncture, which has been practiced for millennia in China, is a small part of her own practice. But she makes frequent referrals to the clinic’s Center for Integrative Medicine. There, acupuncture, which uses needles to stimulate specific parts of the body, is increasingly popular for problems like chronic pain, allergies, and asthma. Five thousand patients underwent acupuncture at the facility in 2009, up from 3,600 in 2007.
The New York Times: Antidepressants like Prozac and Paxil are widely used to treat depression, but a much less costly alternative called bright light therapy, in which a patient sits under an artificial light for a set period of time each day, is not. Light therapy is typically recommended for seasonal affective disorder, the “winter blues” brought on by shorter days and limited sun. Some psychiatrists prescribe it for this condition, often as a last resort when patients fail to respond to drugs.
WebMD: Regular consumption of green tea may offer protection against Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and may also slow growth of cancer cells, new research indicates. Green tea, an ancient Chinese remedy, has been shown to have protective properties in undigested, freshly brewed forms. But a research team at Newcastle University in the U.K. set out to determine whether the protective substances remained active after digestion. And in the study, they did.
The New York Times: “Garlic has long been considered a powerful natural antifungal,” said Dr. Lawrence D. Rosen, chief of pediatric integrative medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey and a pediatrician at the Whole Child Center in nearby Oradell. Dr. Rosen pointed out that studies have found garlic effective against a number of fungal infections, including those caused by Candida and other common pathogens.