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April 29, 2020

How To Deal with the Effect of Stress on Your Immune System

How To Deal with the Effect of Stress on Your Immune System

Stress is an inevitable part of our lives. From your child’s school stress to your accumulated work stress, we deal with these things every single day. However, over the past month, our stress levels have become significantly higher with the global pandemic we’re facing.

It is paramount for us to discuss the effects of stress right now. We need to be aware of the impact of stress on our bodies and find out how we can best respond to it. The better we are at handling stress, the more capable we are at coping with our current situation.

What stress really is

Stress is simply your body’s response when changes occur. It can be positive when it makes us alert, motivated, and ready to avoid danger. But it can also be negative when you face continuous challenges and there is no relief between stressors.

This kind of negative stress happens when life events surpass your ability to cope. Our body’s sympathetic nervous system responds with an increased level of cortisol, a stress hormone that causes inflammation. It is this kind of stress that needs to be addressed and managed well. Although our “fight or flight” response is crucial for survival, it can be damaging to the body when active for a prolonged period of time. 

Effects of stress on your immune system

1. It lowers your ability to fight infection.

Stress lowers your lymphocyte count, which is the white blood cells that help your body fight off an infection. When you have a low lymphocyte count, your body’s defence is weakened and you become more susceptible to viruses. Given our current circumstances, this is the last thing you need!

This has been proven scientifically as well. A study done in the early 1980s by psychologist Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD, and immunologist Ronald Glaser, PhD, showed that the immunity of students went down every year under the stress of a three-day exam period.

2. It causes depression. 

Increased stress causes depression and anxiety. This leads to higher inflammation levels which can lead to an over-worked immune system that would otherwise be able to protect you.

A study was done in 2002 by Lyanne McGuire, PhD, of John Hopkins School of Medicine with Kiecolt-Glaser and Glaser, showing that chronic and sub-clinical mild depression may suppress an older person’s immune system. It also revealed that the key immune factor was not the severity of the depression but the duration! This means that the longer you are depressed, the more immuno-compromised you will be.

3. It can lead to harmful behaviors. 

Prolonged stress response results in a condition we know as distress. This is a negative stress reaction that can lead to harmful behaviors. Distressed people may resort to compulsive use of substances or engage in behaviors that they believe can help them reduce their stress.

This can include drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and even food. It may also lead someone to excessive gambling, shopping, sex, or internet use. However, these behaviors do not provide the relaxed state that people are looking for. It only leaves them more stressed and thus causes more problems. This often leaves the distressed person trapped in a vicious cycle.  

Coping with stress

Now that we’ve seen the harmful effects of stress, it is important that we know how to manage it especially during this time when we have stressors everywhere.

  1. Meditation – Meditate for 10 to 15 minutes a day to reduce your stress. This lowers your cortisol levels and lessens inflammation.
  2. Sleeping – Make sure to sleep 7 to 8 hours a day. Give your body time to recover from the stressful events around you.
  3. Yoga – Practicing yoga will calm your nervous system and lower your stress hormones. Deep breathing also boosts your resistance to infection.
  4. Social support – People with strong social support have better overall health. Stay connected with your friends and loved ones.
  5. Exercise – When your body is fit, you can fight stress better. A healthier body is more resistant to infection.
  6. Eat Healthy – This one goes along with exercise. Healthy, well-balanced meals will not only give you good nutrition but also help boost your immune system.
  7. Positive Thinking – Fill your mind with positive thoughts. Studies show that people who think positively fare better than those who don’t.
  8. Set Limits – You are allowed to say no. Decrease your stressors by limiting your commitments. Use your time for things you enjoy and not those that stress you.
  9. Acceptance – Accept that there are things you cannot control. This will free you up from a lot of pent-up emotions. Focus on the things that are within your control instead.
  10. Hobbies – Do something you love like a hobby or a passion project you have long shelved. It’s important to do things that make you happy!
  11. Chiropractic care – Prolonged stress takes a toll on the body’s sympathetic nervous system, it is important to get checked for subluxation and remove any nervous interference to allow the body to function at its optimal. 

Stress is something that can be managed. It is vital that you recognize your stressors, avoid them, and do something that will counter the stress you’re feeling. Stay connected with your loved ones especially during this time. Whether you’re experiencing mild or chronic stress, it’s important that you cope with the help of people around you. 

April 29, 2020

Diet and Joint Inflammation: Are They Connected?

Diet and Joint Inflammation: Are They Connected?

Diet and Joint Inflammation: Are They Connected?

The foods you eat have a significant effect on your general health and wellbeing. This fact is common knowledge – and probably the anthem of several doctors worldwide. But can your diet affect specific conditions – like joint inflammation? This is one of the most common questions asked by people suffering from or prone to joint pain and inflammation.

The truth is, your food choices strongly influence the rate at which your body retains fluids and inflammation results from the accumulation of these fluids. Knowing the foods to include in your diet and those to avoid is vital to keeping a healthy, inflammation-free body.

Although there are medical treatments for joint inflammation, research shows that including anti-inflammatory foods in your diet significantly reduces the chances of developing the issue. These anti-inflammatory foods can equally help prevent and control several other health conditions like diabetes, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and even heart disease, so adding them to your diet is a win-win.

What is an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

An anti-inflammatory diet is made up of foods with high levels of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Your diet should contain fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, beans, fish, and healthy oils. Whole grains and well-processed foods should be part of meals too. Some foods high in anti-oxidants include apples, berries, cherries, spinach, walnuts, almonds, sweet potatoes, brown rice, beans, and artichokes. 

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats, meaning that our body is not able to produce them. They possess anti-inflammatory properties and have shown to increase HDL cholesterol. Examples of foods containing omega-3 fatty acids include omega-3 fatty acid fortified eggs and milk, fish oil, flaxseed oil, olive oil, ground flax, salmon, and pumpkin seeds. 

Spices like turmeric and ginger have also been shown to have some anti-inflammatory properties. 

Although there’s no magical diet to stop joint inflammation, these anti-inflammatory foods go a long way in preventing or relieving pain and swelling in joints.

What Foods Should You Avoid?

Some foods can increase the possibility of developing joint inflammations when added to your diet. They include: 

  1. Fried Foods

Fried foods may contain an advanced glycation end product (AGE), which can cause a release of cytokines in the body when consumed. These cytokines are inflammatory markers and will eventually cause inflammation. So, consider reducing your intake of fried foods. 

  1. Refined Carbohydrates and Sugar

Food substances high in sugar like baked pastries, candies, sugary drinks, processed foods, and desserts can also trigger the release of cytokines in the body and should be avoided. Refined carbohydrates like white rice, white bread, and many more have also been shown to have similar effects in the body. It would help to reduce consumption of such foods.

  1. Saturated Fat and Dairy Products

Generally, saturated fats are solid at room temperature, and they are in food substances like cheese, butter, pizza, and red meat. These foods – as well as vegetable oils and dairy products – contain omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids help control metabolism and increase brain functions, but they’re also inflammatory markers in the body. As a result, saturated fats and dairy products should not be removed entirely from your diet. Instead, they should be controlled and alternated with foods containing omega-3 fatty acids. The optimal ratio of Omega-6 and Omega-3 is 4:1 but the average American has been found to be as high as 20:1. 

Can Chiropractic Care Help with Inflammation?

The main aim of chiropractic care is offering a natural, drug-free way of achieving optimal health while increasing brain and body function. Chiropractic medicine equally involves supporting and enhancing the proper functioning of the body’s immune and nervous system.

So, while changing your diet may address the cause of your joint inflammation, chiropractic care helps to treat and rectify its effects.

A chiropractor checks for any obstruction – called vertebral subluxations – that may be causing blockage or nerve pressure along your spine and removes it by applying gentle pressure to vital parts of the body. This simple adjustment to your spine will help your body biomechanics return to normal and reduce any inflammation significantly.

According to reports from a recent study, having frequent chiropractic treatments can help significantly reduce the level at which your body produces inflammatory markers like cytokines.    

Conclusion

There’s a direct line of connection between diet and joint inflammation. It is advisable to adopt a healthy diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods to help reduce the occurrence and effects of joint swelling and pain. However, for the best possible results and relief, we advise that you combine a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and anti-oxidants with proper chiropractic treatment. 

Do not allow joint inflammation to get the best of you. Give us a call at (925)255-5805 or schedule an appointment for an evaluation examination and treatment plan.

April 27, 2020

8 Ways Chiropractic Care Can Boost Your Athletic Ability

8 Ways Chiropractic Care Can Boost Your Athletic Ability

8 Ways Chiropractic Care Can Boost Your Athletic Ability

Chiropractic care has come a long way from being known as a treatment for neuromuscular disorders to being used by professional and amateur athletes for their advanced preventive care and overall wellness. 

According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), 90% of all world-class athletes use chiropractic care to prevent injuries and increase their performance potential. If your favorite athlete benefits from chiropractic care, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t!   

Today we’re giving you 8 reasons why chiropractic care can help improve your athleticism. We are going to look at how you can boost your athletic ability with the help of your trusted chiropractor.

  1. It strengthens your muscles.

Chiropractic care makes your muscles stronger. Studies have shown that athletes who practice chiropractic care are stronger than those who don’t. If you keep your body properly aligned, each muscle can do what it is designed to do. Hence, they don’t compensate for weak areas. This lessens the stress on your other muscles, allowing them to perform efficiently and making them stronger over time.      

  1. It improves range of motion.

Whether you’re an athlete or just an ordinary Joe who loves to exercise, you have the tendency to put extra pressure on your body when engaging in intense physical activities. This can create problems in your movement and spinal alignment. Chiropractic care can improve your range of motion by removing the stiffness and pain in your joints. Spinal alignment also allows your joints and muscles to work more efficiently. 

Even world-renowned boxer Evander Holyfield needed his regular alignment saying, “I have to have an adjustment before I go into the ring. I do believe in chiropractic. I found that going to a Chiropractor three times a week helps my performance. The majority of boxers go to get that edge.”

  1. It reduces and prevents pain.

Since chiropractic care focuses on spinal manipulation, chiropractors can align your spine to reduce the pain on your neck, back, and joints. It also restores and improves joint function while decreasing inflammation and pain. Chiropractic care can also reduce soreness after a workout, making your feel refreshed. 

  1. It improves performance.

Your spinal column anchors your muscles and by extension, your joints. Hence, whatever stresses and impacts your spine can affect the rest of your body. This ultimately affects your physical performance. Your chiropractor can alleviate these stressors and clear your imbalances. This results in a healthier spine, which means better body weight support and better overall performance.

Michael Jordan, considered by many as the greatest NBA player of all time credits chiropractic care for his improved athleticism saying, “I didn’t know how much I could improve until I started seeing a chiropractor. I’ve improved leaps and bounds, both mentally and physically.”

  1. It decreases your recovery time. 

Adjustments that are done during chiropractic care help relax your muscles and correct the vertebrae that may have shifted during a strenuous activity. As your muscles relax, necessary body fluids are directed to your spinal area, allowing oxygen and other essential nutrients to be directed towards the injured part. Alignments and soft tissue manipulation also help increase elasticity, flexibility, and strength during recovery.

  1. It treats injuries.

As mentioned earlier, chiropractic care is originally used for treating neuromuscular disorders. Thus, it is an excellent option for treating major and minor injuries. Chiropractic care helps enhance blood circulation through muscle relaxation and spinal manipulation. It heals joint pains and spinal pains. 

Dallas Cowboys icon and one of the best running backs in the NFL, Emmitt Smith, credits his chiropractor for his regular recovery. He said, “I go see the chiropractor when I get bent out of shape on Sundays. Playing in a football game is like being in 30-40 car accidents.” 

  1. It promotes relaxation.

It is paramount that your muscles get to relax after engaging in highly athletic activities. Chiropractic care relaxes them through careful massaging of pressure points which enhances blood flow throughout the body. It also relieves pressure on stressed areas, allowing you to experience unique relaxation that recharges your body.    

  1. It is drug-free and non-invasive.

Most people would settle for non-invasive treatments. Athletes, in particular, are very careful with the drugs they use. Thus, it comes as no surprise that they prefer therapeutic treatments like chiropractic care because of its safety and efficacy. More importantly, it does not have harmful side effects on the body. Being non-invasive, chiropractic care also allows you to get back into action quicker, unlike invasive procedures which give your body a longer time to recover. 

Multi-awarded bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger has promoted chiropractic care throughout his career, crediting it for his success as an athlete. He even promoted it as a governor of California, “We’ve got to let the people know that there is a necessity—it’s not even an option; it’s a necessity—to have a chiropractor. As much as it is a necessity to have a dentist. If you have a dentist for the family, you should have a chiropractor for the family.”

These are just some of the many ways that chiropractic care can boost your athletic ability. With consistency, you will get the best results for your body including increased strength, better performance, and faster recovery. 

Set an appointment today with a trusted, professional chiropractor. Your road to peak athleticism begins today!

April 22, 2020

10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day at Home

10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day at Home

10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day at Home

There’s something extra special about Earth Day this year.

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the holiday. Time flies, doesn’t it!

This Earth Day is also a little different because we won’t be celebrating it with
parades or public gatherings.

But, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take this day to celebrate Mother Nature and
show our support for protecting the environment. After all, the intent of this
holiday was to raise awareness about our role in protecting the environment. We
don’t need a public gathering to do that!

There’s a surprising number of things you can do from home that can help save the
earth.

Here’s a list of ten ideas to get you started.

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April 20, 2020

Are you wearing your masks and gloves the right way?

Are you wearing your masks and gloves the right away?

Are you wearing you masks and gloves correctly?

To this date, more than 2 million people in 210 countries have been infected with COVID -19.

Since the outbreak, people have been doing preventive measures to protect themselves from getting infected. These include maintaining physical distancing, thoroughly cleaning hands with soap and water or alcohol-based rub, constantly disinfecting and even wearing gloves and masks when there’s a need to go to public places. But the latter has been controversial. Does wearing a mask or gloves an effective way to prevent yourself from getting infected?

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April 9, 2020

Productivity Tip: Your Bed is NOT an Office

Productivity Tip: Your Bed is NOT an Office

The world has turned upside down from the Coronavirus, and companies are scrambling to adapt to a “new normal.” For many of us, that means working from home.

There’s no shortage of entertaining memes about spending your day sans pants or drinking wine at lunch, but being at home instead of the office isn’t all fun and games. It can be tough to stay focused, especially if you’re trying to homeschool your kids, or you have a partner who’s also working remotely during the quarantine. If you’re struggling to be (and stay) productive, these 10 tips are for you!

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It’s Not Social Distancing. It’s Distant Socializing.

It’s Not Social Distancing. It’s Distant Socializing.

Now that all 50 U.S. states (and much of the world) have some sort of “stay at home” or “shelter in place” order, it’s becoming apparent that the era of social distancing is far from over. It is likely to last until at least the end of April, and maybe even longer.

There’s no doubt about it – being isolated from friends, family, and your normal routine is stressful. Even healthy people can suffer physically (as well as mentally) from not being around others. People already prone to loneliness, anxiety, and depression are even more vulnerable to feeling the effects of social isolation.

The news isn’t all bad, though! There is a silver lining to what is an otherwise bleak situation. Pollution levels are at all-time lows, and there’s no shortage of “quarantine memes” that remind us that we’re all in this together while bringing wry smiles to our faces.

To help you survive social distancing we’ve compiled 9 tips:

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