Newsletter Archives > ChiroPlanet.com Monthly Health Newsletter: December 2015 Health Newsletter

December 2015 Health Newsletter


Current Articles

» Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure
» Avoiding the Headaches of the Season
» Curb the Bacon: Why Your Favorite Processed Meats Might Lead to Cancer
» Why is USA's Prescription Drug Use on the Rise?
» Why Decreasing Sleep Interruptions Improves Your Mood

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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Avoiding the Headaches of the Season

With the holidays upon us, headaches become very common. To avoid headaches, the following is recommended:

  • If you spend a long amount of time in one fixed position (ie in front of a computer), take a break and stretch every 30 minutes to one hour.
  • Avoid teeth clenching as this can lead to TMJ and tension headaches.
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to avoid dehydration that causes headaches.
  • Engage in low impact exercise to relieve the pain associated with primary headaches.

If headaches are chronic and persist, visit your doctor of chiropractic for treatment. He or she can provide the right course of treatment through spinal adjustments, dietary changes, and give advice on exercises, posture or relaxation techniques.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: American Chiropractic Association
Copyright: ChiroPlanet.com 2002


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Curb the Bacon: Why Your Favorite Processed Meats Might Lead to Cancer

Experts have been debating bacon for years, but could this delicious food really lead to cancer? According to a study by the World Health Organization (WHO), there's a link between the regular consumption of bacon, along with other processed meats like hot dogs, and the risk for contracting colorectal cancer, which is cancer of the bowels.  WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer also found a link between prolonged processed meat consumption and the risk for both pancreatic and prostate cancer as well. The IARC report estimated that for every 1.8 ounce of bacon consumed per day, the risk for bowel cancer rises by 18%. The findings from this report led WHO to deem processed meats as true carcinogens, just like tobacco. But not everyone is buying the argument that processed meat is as bad as tobacco. Almost a million deaths a year are caused by smoking cigarettes. While experts agree that over consumption of processed meats isn't healthy, bacon and other meats can be enjoyed in moderation without concern according to the National Resources Defense Council. The advocacy group also urges people to avoid the processed meat section and to buy fresh meat from high-quality sources instead.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Reuters. October 27, 2015.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2015


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Why is USA's Prescription Drug Use on the Rise?

Prescription drug use is a phenomenon that will continue to rise with the regular introduction of new pharmaceutical drugs. One study set out to find why prescription drug use rose by 8% percentage points with adults in 10 years. The NHANES study surveyed around 37,000 people, aged 20 and above, in the United States. Over a course of 30 days, participants were asked a series of questions about their prescription drug use habits. Researchers found that the increase in prescription drug use was much greater among the age 40 and older demographic. It's important to look at the type of prescription drugs being used by adults as well. The NHANES study discovered a general increase in prescriptions for depression, blood pressure, and cholesterol problems. One professor from the University of Illinois pointed out that an increase in prescription drug use isn't necessarily an indication of something wrong. However, we disagree. Increasing usage of prescription drugs is an indication that society is continuing to become less healthy and is putting more and more emphasis on a passive fix rather than making more natural and simple lifestyle changes such as positive dietary and physical activity changes. In fact, depression, blood pressure and cholesterol levels can all be positively influenced with rather basic changes to diet and implementation of an exercise regime.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JAMA, online November 3, 2015.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2015


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Why Decreasing Sleep Interruptions Improves Your Mood

It's always encouraged to get a full 8 hours of sleep, but the quality of that sleep is just as important. Waking up repeatedly throughout the night can put anyone in a bad mood the next morning, but one study set out to prove that disrupted sleep indeed causes mood problems. A research group from John Hopkin's University enlisted 62 individuals with no known sleep issues to participate in a special lab study. The participants were assigned a different kind of situation by random; either sporadically interrupted sleep times, continuous interrupted sleep, or sleep with no interruptions whatsoever.  Each group was given the same amount of time to sleep. By the end of the study, researchers concluded that it was a combination of both the time put into sleep and whether or not the individual was disrupted. Participants who were occasionally disturbed or completely interrupted while sleeping experienced far less moments of actual "deep" sleep, which in turn led to a negative mood the following morning. Participants who lacked sleep also reported to have less energy overall, a lack of friendliness toward others, and a decrease in empathetic feelings.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Sleep, online November 1, 2015.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2015


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