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March 2016 Health Newsletter


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» Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure
» Choose Chiropractic First For Chronic Pain
» Nighttime Needs To Be Nighttime
» Lowering Stress In Childhood Improves Heart Health In Adulthood

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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Choose Chiropractic First For Chronic Pain

According to new proposed guidelines for opioids and chronic pain set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the CDC is recommending conservative forms of pain management for those suffering from chronic pain as an initial treatment option, such as chiropractic care. The side effects associated with opioid usage for chronic pain can be severe and at times even deadly. Thus, the CDC is now advising physicians to first recommend conservative care in the treatment of chronic pain. Fortunately, chronic pain associated with the back, neck, spine and extremities can often times can be managed very successfully through safe, natural chiropractic care when delivered by a licensed doctor of chiropractic. If you are suffering from chronic pain, we urge you to call your local doctor of chiropractic today and schedule a no-obligation consultation to see if chiropractic care may be able to help, without all the negative side effects associated with drugs and surgery.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Proposed 2016 Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, online 12/9/15
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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Nighttime Needs To Be Nighttime

Artificial nighttime light may be a significant contributor to obesity, according to new research. In the study, researchers found that nighttime light along with lack of exercise and poor diet accounted for approximately 73 percent of the variation in rates of obesity and excess weight among women and 68 percent among men. Another very recent study found those using tablets for 30 minutes prior to attempting sleep were not only less tired, but their electrical brain activity was also modified. Researchers believe artificial light later in the evening contributes to both unhealthy weight gain and lack of tiredness by suppressing melatonin – a hormone essential in regulating sleep cycles as it anticipates the daily onset of darkness. Using artificial light later in the day when your body begins preparing for sleep confuses the body and as shown by new research, is associated with negative consequences including both unhealthy weight gain and difficulty in getting to sleep. If you’re experiencing unwelcomed weight gain and difficulty in getting and staying asleep, try cutting out all computer work and exposure to bright lights at least 1-2 hours prior to bedtime.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: International Journal of Obesity, online 2/23/16. Sleep Medicine, online 3/1/16.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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Lowering Stress In Childhood Improves Heart Health In Adulthood

Want to lower your child’s risk for heart disease later in life? Provide them with a happy, low stress environment and you will have done so, according to a new study. In the study, adults who stated to experiencing less stress in their childhood years were 15 percent less likely to have calcium deposits in their arteries - calcium deposits contribute to narrowing of blood vessels and increase the risk for heart attacks. While researchers have a few theories as to why stress in childhood appears to lead to increased cardiovascular disease later in life, the important thing is to provide your child with a low stress environment. After all, there’s plenty of time for stress later in life, as many of us know!

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JAMA Pediatrics, online March 14, 2016.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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