December 2017 Health Newsletter

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» Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure
» A Cure For The Holiday Blues
» Tips To Stay Healthy During The Holiday Season
» Skipping Breakfast May Lead to Essential Nutrient Shortfall

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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A Cure For The Holiday Blues  


The holidays can be a wonderful time for family and friends to relax and spend time together. For some, it can also be a time of increased stress and heightened depression. Research suggests those seeking relief from a case of the holiday blues could add exercise into their routine. According to a new review of current research including 35 past trials, moderate exercise provides moderate relief in those with depressive symptoms. Although more studies are required, the current findings suggest that over time, moderate exercise reduces depressive symptoms as much as psychotherapy or antidepressant medications. Researchers state that the frequency and intensity of exercise is important. For instance, walking at a slow pace has no positive effect on depression. So if the holidays are bringing you down or you are just looking for a mood and energy boost, put down the cookies and get exercising!


Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:The Cochrane Library, online September 11, 2013.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2013


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Tips To Stay Healthy During The Holiday Season  

Whether you're scheduled for a long road trip, shopping for a small army of friends and family members, wrapping dozens and dozens of gifts or camping out in the kitchen to get all your cooking complete, major holidays can easily put your body at risk of injury. Prolonged sitting, prolonged standing, extensive walking, awkward positions, overeating and plain old mental exhaustion are all common when the holiday season comes into full swing. Here are a few common sense tips to assist in keeping you healthy and pain-free this holiday season:

  • Traveling: bring water and small snacks to stay well hydrated and to keep your blood sugar levels stable, wear comfortable shoes and clothing, bring along a small blanket and travel pillow, bring all required travel documents as well as any maps or reservations for rental cars and hotels, be careful and obtain assistance when handling heavy/bulky luggage and gifts - use a push cart or dolly and obtain assistance whenever appropriate and/or possible
  • Shopping: bring water and small snacks to stay well hydrated and to keep your blood sugar stable, wear comfortable shoes and clothing, have your shopping day pre-planned in regards to locations to visit and gifts to purchase, use shopping carts when available and take gifts to your vehicle frequently rather than risking injury by lugging pounds of gifts from store to store, be careful and obtain assistance when handling heavy/bulky gifts
  • Cooking: maintain proper posture while at the counter/sink, alternate between sitting and standing positions, take frequent breaks, stretch often, careful when using knives and other sharp objects
  • Gift Wrapping: maintain proper posture, stretch frequently, be careful not to leave scissors or sharp cutting objects on the floor where they can be accidentally stepped on or where they can be accessed by small children or animals, be careful and obtain assistance when moving or wrapping larger or bulky gifts
  • Holiday Eats and Treats: do your best to avoid over indulgence of those holiday eats and treats, maintain activity levels to counter act all that holiday feasting, avoid driving when you've consumed those holiday spirits
  • Treat Your Body To A Holiday Gift: if you find those aches and pains creeping in or just want to be in tiptop shape this holiday season, stop by your chiropractor's office and treat your body to the most valuable gift of all... the gift of health!

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:ChiroPlanet.com
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2014


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Skipping Breakfast May Lead to Essential Nutrient Shortfall  

It is commonly held that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but until recently the prevailing argument was simply that breakfast eaters started the day with sounder cognitive function and set themselves up for overall better performance and achievement as the day progressed.

However, a recent study out of Kings College London in the UK suggests that children who skip breakfast on a regular basis are likely missing out on all recommended essential nutrients throughout the day.

In general studies conducted over many years, skipping breakfast has been proven to increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, reduced memory function, and weight gain. However, only recently have studies of nutrition shown the effects of missing out on micronutrients such as vitamins C, D, E, B-complex and K, folic acid and beta-carotene, and the correlation of obtaining these nutrients beginning with a meal at breakfast.

Iron and Calcium Deficiencies May Be Linked to Skipping Breakfast
Detailed statistics of participants in the Kings College study show that more than 30% of children who skip breakfast are low on iron, and more than 20% of the children are deficient in calcium. Comparatively, only 3% of children who eat breakfast regularly were low in iron and or calcium. Not surprisingly, fat intake throughout the day was higher when children did not eat breakfast.

Researchers determined that older children, those aged 11 to 18 years, were more likely than their younger peers (ages 4 -10 years) to skip breakfast. And girls were more likely than boys to begin their day without a meal. But the missing micronutrients in the younger breakfast skippers was greater than in the older group, indicating that the younger you are, the more important it is to eat breakfast so that your body can derive and process nutrition throughout the day.

Even children in the study who ate a nutritionally balanced diet despite not eating breakfast were still found, when tested, to be lacking in essential nutrients, further indicating that breakfast may be key to establishing efficient and balanced dietary intake. The study also indicated that children who did not eat breakfast ended up consuming the same number or fewer total calories as children who ate breakfast every day.

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:British Journal of Nutrition, online August 17, 2017.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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