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» Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure
» Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Could Help Your Low Back Pain
» Slow and Steady Is the Best Way to Lose Weight

Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure

Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure

March 16, 2007 -- A special chiropractic adjustment can significantly lower high blood pressure, a placebo-controlled study suggests.

"This procedure has the effect of not one, but two blood-pressure medications given in combination," study leader George Bakris, MD, tells WebMD. "And it seems to be adverse-event free. We saw no side effects and no problems," adds Bakris, director of the University of Chicago hypertension center.

Eight weeks after undergoing the procedure, 25 patients with early-stage high blood pressure had significantly lower blood pressure than 25 similar patients who underwent a sham chiropractic adjustment. Because patients can't feel the technique, they were unable to tell which group they were in.

X-rays showed that the procedure realigned the Atlas vertebra -- the doughnut-like bone at the very top of the spine -- with the spine in the treated patients, but not in the sham-treated patients.

Compared to the sham-treated patients, those who got the real procedure saw an average 14 mm Hg greater drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure count), and an average 8 mm Hg greater drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom blood pressure number).

None of the patients took blood pressure medicine during the eight-week study.

"When the statistician brought me the data, I actually didn't believe it. It was way too good to be true," Bakris says. "The statistician said, 'I don't even believe it.' But we checked for everything, and there it was."

Bakris and colleagues report their findings in the advance online issue of the Journal of Human Hypertension.

Atlas Adjustment and Hypertension

The procedure calls for adjustment of the C-1 vertebra. It's called the Atlas vertebra because it holds up the head, just as the titan Atlas holds up the world in Greek mythology.

Marshall Dickholtz Sr., DC, of the Chiropractic Health Center, in Chicago, is the 84-year-old chiropractor who performed all the procedures in the study. He calls the Atlas vertebra "the fuse box to the body."

"At the base of the brain are two centers that control all the muscles of the body. If you pinch the base of the brain -- if the Atlas gets locked in a position as little as a half a millimeter out of line -- it doesn't cause any pain but it upsets these centers," Dickholtz tells WebMD.

The subtle adjustment is practiced by the very small subgroup of chiropractors certified in National Upper Cervical Chiropractic (NUCCA) techniques. The procedure employs precise measurements to determine a patient's Atlas vertebra alignment. If realignment is deemed necessary, the chiropractor uses his or her hands to gently manipulate the vertebra.

"We are not doctors. We are spinal engineers," Dickholtz says. "We use mathematics, geometry, and physics to learn how to slide everything back into place."

What does this have to do with high blood pressure pressure?

Bakris notes that some researchers have suggested that injury to the Atlas vertebra can affect blood flow in the arteries at the base of the skull. Dickholtz thinks the misaligned Atlas triggers release of signals that make the arteries contract. Whether the procedure actually fixes such injuries is unknown, Bakris says.

Bakris began the study after a fellow doctor told him that something strange was happening in his family practice. The doctor had been sending some of his patients to a chiropractor. Some of these patients had high blood pressure. 

Yet after seeing the chiropractor, the patients' blood pressure had normalized -- and a few of them were able to stop taking their blood pressure medications.

So Bakris, then at Rush University, designed the pilot study with 50 patients. He's now organizing a much bigger clinical trial.

"Is it going to be for everybody with high blood pressure? No," Bakris says. "We clearly need to identify those who can benefit. It is pretty clear that some kind of head or neck trauma early in life is related to this. This is really a work in progress. It is certainly in the early stages of research."

Dickholtz has been teaching, practicing, and studying the NUCCA technique for 50 years. He says high blood pressure is far from the only thing an Atlas misalignment causes.

"On the other hand, if people have high blood pressure, there is a tremendous possibility they need an Atlas adjustment," he says.

 

 

Author: www.WebMD.com Health News by Daniel J. DeNoon
Source: Rush University Hypertension Center Chicago IL
Copyright: Journal Of Human Hypertension 3


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Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Could Help Your Low Back Pain

If you struggle with back pain, you may be surprised to learn that there’s a very popular, nonintrusive practice that could help you realize real relief. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) programs have grown in popularity lately, but they’ve been in use all over the world for decades. As a mind-based approach to the problem, MBSR can also be used as a complement to other physical methodologies for improving back pain.

What Is MBSR?

MBSR is a mental practice whereby people discipline themselves to only focus on the present moment, not the past or future. It’s an offshoot of mindfulness meditation that shares certain tenets with cognitive behavioral therapy. Practitioners use meditation to practice “staying present” and then incorporate this ability into their everyday lives. This form of treatment usually involves some version of yoga, as well.

Does MBSR Work?

Dennis Anheyer of the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany and a team of researchers looked at seven previously published studies on MBSR. In total, these studies involved 864 patients. They concluded that participants enjoyed small improvements after MBSR treatments for short periods of time. Some studies even resulted in patients experiencing meaningful improvements to their mobility, though they didn’t necessarily last for the long term. When MBSR was paired with yoga, the results for those with disabilities and other physical limitations were even better than when MBSR was used on its own. Dr. Judith A. Turner from the University of Washington in Seattle has also studied MBSR’s benefits. She points out that, compared to other low back pain treatments (e.g. opioid medication and surgery), MBSR involves minimal risks. It can also teach patients new ways to approach their chronic pain that can help lower its perceived severity. While more research into MBSR may be necessary, there’s certainly no reason not to try it. Countless other people have over the past several decades and, as Dr. Anheyer mentioned, it’s certainly safe. He did add, though, that if you meditate or exercise, you should do so regularly.

Spinal Manipulation Helps Relieve Back Pain

Another way you can definitely experience pain relief in your low back – or any area surrounding your spinal column – is to visit your local chiropractor. Spinal manipulation is proven to work, so, after just a single adjustment from a chiropractor, many experience reduced pain and improved mobility, in many cases even after struggling with chronic pain for years.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Annals of Internal Medicine, online April 25, 2017.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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Slow and Steady Is the Best Way to Lose Weight

We all know about the story of the tortoise and the hare and how steady and consistent pacing wins the race.  Well it turns out that applies to long-term weight loss as well. Individuals who lose small amounts of weight over a consistent period of time show more sustained overall weight loss than those who crash diet.

Successful Dieters Lose Consistent Amounts of Weight Weekly

Researchers out of Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA examined data on 183 overweight and obese adults who were participating in a weight loss program. The program offered meal replacement and structure for calorie monitoring and exercise. Over the course of the two-year program, the most successful dieters were those who showed a steady, consistent weight loss in the first three months, as opposed to those participants who had more variable weight loss on a week-to-week basis.

According to psychology researchers at Drexel, some participants go into the program trying to lose as much weight as possible right way. However, despite showing big losses one week, they are typically hungry and anxious and unable to sustain the diet program for more than a week or so. Frustrated, they regain some of the weight, get upset and try to lose as much as they can again, creating a cycles of losing and gaining.

Those dieters who set more modest goals typically were able to sustain their calorie and exercise goals over a prolonged period of time, leading to greater weight loss and improved health.

Consistent Behavior May Be the Key to Success

The study further showed that participants who were emotional eaters, binge eaters, or preoccupied with food at the beginning of the program tended to have greater weight loss variability and generally lost less weight overall. This suggests that effectively losing weight may have more to do with steady consistent behavior than changing one’s relationship with food.

While sometimes the best you can do is get back on track, it may be better in the long run to set modest, attainable goals rather than try to completely change beliefs and ideologies in the pursuit of improved health.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Obesity. September 2017. Volume 25, Issue 9, Pages 1461–1640.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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