Posture

Stand up straight!  Stop slouching!  Your Mom had it right with her constant remarks about your posture.  In my office it’s all about form and function, form and function.  You either have normal form and function or abnormal form and function.  With normal form comes normal function.  When we look at the foundation of our body, our spine, from the side view we should have 3 fluid curves- one in the neck, mid-back and low back.  When we look at the spine straight on, it should be arrow straight.   Our posture, what we look like on the outside, is a direct reflection of what we look like on the inside.  As our posture breaks down, it can make us look ugly and older, but even more importantly it is bad for one’s health.

 

Texting on our phones, slouching over the computer, sitting all day at work or in school and playing video games are all posture killers.  How many car accidents, falls while learning to snow board and/or slips on the ice have you had throughout your lifetime?  All of the above create muscle imbalance and joint dysfunction which lead to bad posture.  Since we live on planet earth we have to deal with gravity.  The force of gravity is significant, placing a constant force bearing straight down on our body.  The muscle and joint imbalances continue to worsen over time replacing normal form and function with abnormal.  This creates degenerative conditions for joints, muscles and your nervous system.  This constant barrage of stress on the nervous system causes serious health problems due to its inability to respond normally to the infinite amount of stimulation our nervous system receives.

 

As gravity is constantly working to break down our posture, we need to constantly be working to improve it.  The good news is it’s fixable.  It’s imperative to know where the causes of problems are coming from so proper procedures can be put into place to correct the issue.  At the Active Healing Center, it starts with a full evaluation which includes your Wellness Score and our motion study x-rays.  Let’s find out the form and function of your body.

We take X-rays of your back and neck first because we NEED to know…!!!

Why X-rays?

We use x-rays as a vital component of our initial consultation. X-rays give us invaluable information regarding the exact form and function of your spine. Since I don’t have x-ray vision, the only way to get the information we need is to look at your x-rays.

There are several reasons why we always look at your x-rays first:
*Evaluating your spine
Your x-rays tell us exactly what areas of your spine we want to be working on and maybe what areas we don’t want to be working on. There are times, although rare, when certain problems of the spinal cord deter us from wanting to adjust, some as serious as a tumor may have developed. It is crucial to identify any situation like this to avoid any possible complications.
*Measuring progress
We use x-rays to measure your progress. We need a definitive baseline in order to measure progress from pretreatment to posttreatment. I don’t want to just take your word on your improvement nor do I want you to just take my word. I want us both to see on your x-rays where you measurably improved and where improvement is still needed.
*Determining which joints are moving or not moving
We use motion study x-rays to show us exactly what joints in your spine and neck are moving or not moving. It’s in our analysis of motion study x-rays that we are able to determine this information and then put a specific treatment plan together in order for you to get better results faster.

Bottom line regarding the use of x-rays in our office is that if we don’t see what your spine looks like first then we ultimately are only guessing at the problem. I don’t want anyone to guess at what my spine is doing and I never want to guess at what yours is doing. For a full evaluation regarding the health of your spine, give us a call today 732-683-0200.

Why a Chiropractic Adjustment?

The spine is made up of 24 individual bones. More specifically it’s made up of 53 individual joints. Your spine is meant to move. Each bone is meant to move relative to the bone below it. This is critical to your overall health because the job of these bones and their ability to move serves to protect the ever so sensitive tissue underneath, your spinal cord. The spinal cord, along with the brain, is the most sensitive tissue in your body and its job is to be the highway of information between your brain and body. So as the bones of your spine move, so does your spinal cord.

How many times did you fall off your bike as a kid?  Remember that car accident you had when you were 17? How about the fall on the ice you had last winter?  These are all traumas and over time they will cause restriction within the bones of your spine.  Let’s paint a scenario.  You have seven bones in your neck.  The middle two bones are not moving yet the bones above and below are- which we confirm with our motion study x-rays.  Where do you think all the stress is being placed?  Obviously on the area of the spine that is not moving.  It’s the proverbial kink in the hose.  The slightest change in stress or pressure to the most sensitive tissue in the body will significantly alter the communication between brain and body.  This leads to health problems from headaches to arthritis, you name it.

It’s imperative to get these bones to move.  Even if you massage the muscles around your spine, get your trainer to stretch you, get acupuncture, do yoga, CrossFit or workout…at the end of the day these bones will not be moving (confirmed by our motion study x-ray analysis.  Only the chiropractic adjustment can get in and create motion within these bones.  The chiropractic adjustment will break up this restriction, the adhesions which lock up these bones preventing normal function.  As normal function is restored to these bones, normal communication between brain and body will be restored, allowing your body to function at its optimal level.

Get checked to find out how your spine is functioning!

Motion I

I was talking with a patient who comes regularly to the Active Healing Center for his adjustment and 8 Weeks to Wellness fitness training.  He’s heard me talk both in and outside of the office about the importance of the form and function of the spine and the importance of proper motion.  After he finished his spinal warm-ups he came to me to get adjusted and with a smile on his face he told me what he did the previous day.

He started by saying, “Dr. Tom I want to tell you about my day yesterday.”  His day went like this.  After taking a shower and eating breakfast he jumped into his car.  He drove one hour to a meeting with clients where they sat for three hours.  After the meeting, he got back into the car and drove one hour to his office where he proceeded to sit at the computer for the remainder of the day.  He got back into the car to pick up his daughter and take her to Karate.  While his daughter was at her lesson he chose to get some physical activity instead of sitting and watching the lesson, but he had to drive to get there.  An hour later, he drove back to pick up his daughter, drove home to sit down for dinner, then sat and watched some television and went to bed.

The vast majority of his waking moments of the day were spent sitting.  The vast majority of our population spends their lives sitting.  Whether it’s behind the wheel, at the computer, or watching television it does not matter.  Take a good look at what you do all day, everyday.   Sitting is the worst position not only for your spine but for your entire body and most importantly for your brain.

Our goal is to get you to move with great form and function and then get you to move more often.  If you are not moving enough, have difficulty moving due to pain or muscle and joint limitations give us a call.  An hour of your time can save you from months or even years of debilitation.

The View at the Top is Awesome!

I had a tough week.  Business was slow.  Two employees quit.  The doctor had to up my blood pressure meds.  The car is in the shop.  It’s finally Friday so I pick up a bag of chips and a bottle of wine.  I get home, pour myself a glass and rip open the bag.  I eat one chip and take a sip of wine.  I fold up and put the bag away and pour the rest of the wine down the drain.  Does anybody do this?

Hell No!  We eat the bag of chips and finish the bottle of wine.  Why?  Because we are human beings.  We are surrounded by all of these temptations.  Chips taste good!  Wine tastes good!  Let’s face it, crappy food tastes good.  That’s why these companies make so much money.  They make bad things taste really good.

Monday rolls around and you do great.  You eat healthy foods and exercise.  Tuesday comes and you do the same, sticking to the new plan.  Wednesday is a little harder but you still follow through.  Thursday is the hardest yet, but you make all the right choices.  Finally it’s Friday.  You did it!  You went the whole week doing the right thing, so time to celebrate.  Friday night is pizza night and a few too many beers.  Saturday you wake up feeling sluggish but friends are coming over later.  The wine and cheese flow freely.  Sunday is family dinner day.  More wine.  More food.  By Sunday night, your body is drained and crashing.  But tomorrow is Monday so time to get back on track.

Doing the right thing half of the time is called half-assed.  Half-assed effort gets half-assed results.  Getting your body to function at its highest level, its optimal level, requires a lot of discipline, but the end result will have you feeling great.  It may take some effort, some tough decisions and some pain to get to the point where your body is functioning great and you’re feeling great, but I promise you it’s worth it.  I promise you the view at the top is awesome!  There is no better feeling than waking up in the morning energized and excited for another great day.

Find out how The Active Healing Center can help you achieve your optimal health.  Make an appointment today. Call (732) 683-0200.

Time

Getting the kids off to baseball and softball practice.  Grocery shopping.  Weeding the garden and mowing the lawn.  Dinner with friends.  Work.  Laundry. Cleaning  the house.  What do all of these things have in common?  Time.  It takes time to do all of these things that are so important to our existence.  Take care of the family.  Have some fun.  Keep a nice place to live.  It’s all good.  These are all common everyday things that we fill our days with.  These all take up precious time.

Time for prayer.  Time for quiet meditation/mindfulness.  Time for visualization about your day ahead.  Time for exercise in all different forms- strength, cardiovascular/interval/ mobility/flexibility training.  Time for journaling.  Time for reading or listening to meaningful/helpful books.  Quality time with family, no phones or television, only good conversation and fun.  Time to prepare healthy foods to properly fuel your body.  Time to get to your chiropractor to clear out your nervous system.  These are all things commonly missing in people’s lives on a daily basis.

Time to get to your medical doctor for yet another sinus infection.  Time to get to the pharmacist to refill your blood pressure medication.  Time off work because you are sick.  Time you cannot be outside playing with your children/grandchildren because you are in pain.  Time in the hospital from your heart attack.  Time spent getting your chemo and radiation therapy.  Time sitting in dialysis.  Time you will no longer have if you don’t get your health back on track.

If any of this sounds way too familiar to you, please give us a call at 732-683-0200 to schedule an appointment. We promise it will be time well spent.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

You are out for the evening enjoying a special night with the family, or perhaps you are out on a hike for the day, when suddenly out of nowhere it feels like your bowels are about to explode.  You have to get to a bathroom and stat!  It’s happened to all of us at some point in time, but for 10-15% of the population this is a common occurrence that happens on a daily basis.  This is a symptom of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).  Since April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome awareness month, I wanted to address this topic.

The American Medical Association classifies IBS as a functional disorder which means there is a functional problem causing it as opposed to an inflammatory problem such as the case with ulcerative colitis or Crohns Disease.  We live in a world of cause and effect which means for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  IBS is the effect or reaction of an underlying functional problem causing these symptoms.  The medical model has no answer for IBS.  The standard treatment revolves around symptomatic management.  Why not find the cause?

In pharmaceutical commercials, IBS is depicted as a cute, pink intestine running around to find a bathroom.  Yet for millions of Americans, this problem is far from cute.  It is a major disruption to one’s quality of life.  Many people are satisfied with managing the problem.  But, if you are somebody who likes to fix problems, come visit the Active Healing Center for a consultation.  It all starts by conducting a personalized Wellness Score. Your Wellness Score looks at how your body is functioning by analyzing the following health components:

  • Functional fitness: core strength, core flexibility, body fat percentage.
  • Nutritional Health: blood glucose, cholesterol, C-reactive protein, etc.
  • General Health: blood pressure, waist circumference, body mass index, etc.
  • Neurological/Spinal Health: spinal degeneration, a.k.a arthritis, motion restriction, etc.

Based on the function of your body and any areas of breakdown or degeneration, a corrective program can be implemented to fix your problems.  IBS is a serious health problem that can disrupt your entire life.  Find out how your body is functioning and what you can do to improve your overall health.

Why am I so tired?

There are four primary factors that contribute to fatigue. These same four major factors also determine your overall health:

  • Physical Form and Function – The overall structure (form) of your body and how well it moves and works at all levels (function) is vital to your overall health.
  • Nutrition – The quality of the food going into your body impacts your health.
  • Stress – Your ability to cope with and manage the stress in your life greatly affects your overall health.
  • Sleep – The quality of your sleep is a major factor in determining your health.

All four of these factors play primary roles in how healthy you are. Fortunately, you have control over these factors and the ability to change each one of them.

Let’s examine each factor more closely to see how they relate to fatigue:

Physical Form and Function

The vast majority of energy used by your brain and body is for one job: holding your head/body upright against gravity. There has been research stating that upwards of 90% of the energy output of your brain is for this sole purpose. When the body is balanced and symmetrical, this system works extremely well and efficiently, keeping us healthy and happy. However, when proper balance and symmetry is lost, more energy output is required to hold us upright. This makes less energy available to do everything else, including keeping your eyes open.

Nutrition

Look at what you are eating. In general, the lower the quality of food you are consuming (processed foods; foods with high sugar/salt/flour content; foods high in industrial-agricultural chemicals; and foods comprised of any man-made substances) the harder your body has to work to digest and eliminate it from your body. A substance that is not meant to be in your body will have to be eliminated and your body will have to detoxify itself. The more energy your body has to use to digest/cleanse itself on a daily basis, the more fatigued you will be.

Stress

How much stress do you have in your life? More importantly, how well do you handle that stress? Quick, short bursts of stress are healthy for your body. Long, drawn-out periods of stress are draining. It wears your nervous system down, which diminishes your entire body’s ability to function. When the nervous system is constantly overworked, your energy levels plummet. Therefore, it’s so important to look for healthy ways to cope with those stressors in your life. Meditation, prayer, exercise, and breathing exercises are all good coping mechanisms.

Sleep

How much sleep do you get per night? A better question: how much quality sleep do you get per night, every night? A lack of quality sleep results in waking up tired, as well as waking with headaches, soreness and irritability. Obviously, a lack of quality sleep means you will be tired, but it also leads to other more serious health issues, including weight gain, heart disease, chronic illness and depression, just to name a few. The general goal is to improve your overall health (mentally, physically, and spiritually) which will lead to better quality sleep.

Take a good look at your life and your health, and you will understand why you are so tired. When you are ready to improve your quality of life, give us a call. To schedule an appointment, contact us at (732) 683-0200 or via e-mail at tom@activehealingcenternj.com.