3 Health Tips for Your Outdoor Summer Activities

3 Health Tips for Your Outdoor Summer Activities

1)  Protect Your Back Whether you're an avid gardener who is frequently carrying mulch, weeding, or planting, or you're a camping enthusiast who is setting up camp, collecting firewood, and hiking on the weekends, protecting your back is essential. We wouldn't be doing our jobs if we didn't remind you of this fact! One of our biggest recommendations for protecting your back, is to use your legs when lifting, not your back! This concept can be applied to a wide range of activities you may partake in this summer. The proper way to lift heavy objects is to use your legs, keep your abs tight, and your back straight. This will help you avoid throwing out your back! After a day outside, it's always a good idea to do some basic stretches as well to help relieve any back pain or tension you may have acquired. Here are a few beneficial stretches for your back:
  1. Lay flat on your back. With hands behind knees, gently bring both knees to your chest and hold. You can also gently rock side to side.
  2. Twist. Lay flat on your back. Pull one knee into chest. Place opposite hand on the side of your knee. Cross knee over the opposite side of your body for a spinal twist. Other arm lays out to the side and look in the opposite direction of your twist.
  3. Hamstring Stretch. From a standing position, bend down towards the ground from your waist. Keep a micro bend in the knees. Aim for reaching your arms towards the ground, but do not strain yourself to do so. Only go to your limit.
  4. Cat-Cow Stretch. Start with your hands and knees on the floor in a tabletop position with a neutral spine. First, exhale and round your spine up towards the ceiling pulling your belly in (like a cat stretching). On the inhale, arch your back and let your belly drop to the floor, while gazing upwards (cow pose). Continue moving from cat to cow until you feel stretched enough.
2)  Natural Bug Spray There are many aspects of summer we greatly enjoy, but one thing that's not at the top list of our is BUGS and their itchy bites they so generously like to give. Mosquitoes, ants, ticks…these pesky bugs can be quite the pain when trying to enjoy the outdoors. For many, the solution is to grab that bottle of name brand bug spray to fend off those nasty buggers. However, many sprays are often filled with harsh ingredients like DEET. DEET is actually a pesticide. Products with DEET are all labeled advising users to do the following:  wash it off immediately when returning indoors, avoid using it under clothing, avoid over application, do not spray indoors, and do not apply to wounds or irritated skin. Those are a lot of warnings for something marketed as your best defense again insects. Personally, we would rather not spray ourselves with pesticide. Now, we're not saying you should discontinue your use of bug spray entirely, but rather we recommend you at least look into some of the more natural products and give them a try. There are plenty of options available these days. Most natural food stores usually carry organic and DEET free bug sprays. If you're feeling extra motivated, you can even make your own! We tested out our own bug spray last summer and it worked pretty well. You just typically have to apply it more frequently. Check out the recipe below. Natural Mosquito Repellant:  Bug Spray 16 oz spray bottle 15 drops lavender oil 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice 3-4 tbsp vanilla extract water Add lavender oil, lemon juice, and vanilla extract to spray bottle. Fill the rest of the 16 oz bottle with water. Shake bottle to combine. Mixture is ready for use! **Since there is fresh lemon juice in the mixture, keep in the refrigerator when you can. This will need to be replaced more frequently because of the fresh ingredients, but it smells great and is not sticky! 3)  Check Your Sunscreen Labels Unfortunately, these days we not only need to read our food labels extensively, but we also need to be checking the labels on our body products. Harmful ingredients can be found in an alarmingly high number of products, including name-brand sunscreens. With skin cancer on the rise, it's important to be safe with your skin, especially in the summertime. If you're going to be in the sun for long periods of time, you definitely need to have some protection on your skin. However, you can still protect your skin from burning without using products that contain harsh ingredients. There are many options of natural sunscreens available today. Let us explain why we would go the natural route and avoid many of the major sunscreen brands. First of all, there are two types of ingredients in sunscreens, mineral and chemical filters. Sunscreens with chemical filters typically include ingredients such as oxybenzone, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. Oxybenzone is the most common ingredient found in many sunscreens and one you want to avoid. It can penetrate the skin, disrupt hormones, and cause skin allergies. You typically want to look for mineral sunscreens which include zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. These are much safer and do not penetrate the skin like oxybenzone. To find quality natural sunscreens, the Environmental Working Group provides lists each year of natural sunscreen products for adults and children along with price ranges and ranks for their safety/effectiveness. It's a good place to start when looking for a new sunscreen. Also, many natural food stores will carry these kinds of products, so they're readily available and easy to find!

Take these tips into consideration while enjoying your favorite summer activities! As always, we want to help you stay healthy and happy!

  Sources: https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/deet https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/the-trouble-with-sunscreen-chemicals/
Food of the Month:  Zucchini

Food of the Month: Zucchini

One of the reasons we love zucchini is because it's incredibly versatile. You can use it in soups, serve it as a side dish, or spiralize it into noodles (our favorite). It's incredibly easy to prepare. Not to mention, it's low in calories and carbs, but rich in beneficial nutrients such as potassium, fiber, Vitamin A & Vitamin C, and B-complex vitamins. Because of it's potassium content, zucchini can help improve cardiovascular health. Potassium helps lower blood pressure and counter the effects of foods with a high sodium content. If you're looking to shed a few pounds, zucchini is a great option to include in your diet. It's vitamins and minerals can help regulate insulin levels and as mentioned previously, it's very low in carbs and calories. Plus, if you're a pasta lover, you can substitute zucchini noodles for pasta (try the recipe below!). When buying zucchini, look for smaller to medium sizes because those typically hold more flavor. Also, the darker the green color of the zucchini, the better. The darker color signifies greater nutrients. Since zucchini doesn't have a super tough skin, you definitely want to purchase organic zucchini. If you'd like to incorporate zucchini into your next dinner, below you'll find a current favorite recipe of ours, zucchini noodles with avocado pesto sauce. It's filling, healthy, tasty, and really easy! Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto Sauce 2-3 Zucchini 1 avocado 1/2 cup pecans 1/4 cup fresh basil 1 cup spinach 1 clove garlic Fresh lemon juice (to taste) Salt & Pepper (to taste) Olive Oil 3/4 cup hot water (or pasta water if using regular pasta for this dish) Fresh grated parmesan Directions: For the zucchini noodles: Use a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles. If you don't have a spiralizer, you can use a julienne peeler or vegetable peeler, but the spiralizer is the easiest and fastest way to make the noodles. Plus, they come out looking just like pasta noodles. Some individuals prefer peeling the skin before spiralizing, which is an option. Once the noodles are made, I like to salt them and let them sit in a colander for 20min or so to let some of the excess water out. Then blot with a paper towel. Saute zucchini noodles to your liking for tenderness in a little bit of olive oil. For the avocado pesto sauce: Combine the avocado, pecans, water, lemon juice, basil, spinach, garlic, salt & pepper, and dash of olive oil in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. It will be a thicker sauce. If you need to thin it out more, just add extra water. Top the zucchini noodles with the avocado sauce and some freshly grated parmesan and you're ready to go! We also typically add sauteed chicken to this dish, which makes for a very tasty addition! You can really be creative and add more vegetables if you like. Roasted cherry tomatoes also go nice as a topping on this dish. We hope you enjoy!   Sources: http://draxe.com/zucchini-nutrition/ http://foodfacts.mercola.com/zucchini.html
Hydration Station

Hydration Station

Have you ever noticed that when you walk into a grocery store, you are frequently bombarded with infinite options of sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks and sugar filled coffee beverages? Or while eating out at restaurants, you are often offered a "coke"? Why not a water? Have we gotten away from the importance of drinking clean water? Water is life's essential liquid! The average person can go about a month without food, but only about a week without water. Even though bottled coffee beverages, sodas, sports drinks and energy drinks contain water, they are also typically filled with caffeine, sugar, fructose, and artificial ingredients, all of which can dehydrate you. Studies show that when you are dehydrated, you may experience increased anxiety, feel sluggish, suffer from a headache, or find yourself to be extra irritable. To prevent yourself from becoming dehydrated, you first need to figure out how much water is right for your body. Since we’re all different shapes, sizes, and weights, we all have different amounts of water necessary for our bodies. A general guideline you can use is to take your body weight and divide it by 2. The resulting amount is what you can aim to drink as your minimum amount of water in ounces. For example, if you weigh 100 lb., then your minimum water consumption can be 50 oz., but more may be needed if you are very active or outside in hot temperatures. It’s really best to pay attention to your body and look for signs of dehydration, such as fatigue, darker urine, low energy, or feelings of thirst. Water Glasses Keeping your body hydrated can have tremendous health benefits for your body. Did you know that drinking ample amounts of water everyday can decrease your chances of disease and cancers? And, that it also reduces joint and/or back pain? Overall, water helps your body function properly, flushes away harmful toxins, and keeps you energized. Vibrance staff member, Elizabeth, is a big advocate for proper hydration. She recently made a commitment to improve her water intake. Here’s what she has to say about her experience,

“I recently decided to cut out all sodas and drink a gallon of water a day. As soon as I wake up in the morning, I drink a glass of water to flush out toxins, kickstart my organs, and rev up my metabolism! At first, it was challenging, but after a week I no longer craved caffeine and felt more energized than ever! Plus my bowel movements have been more regular!”

Lemon Water To stay on track with your daily water intake, we suggest carrying a glass water bottle with you everyday to help you measure the amount you’re actually drinking. If you’re someone who loves flavor in their water, then consider adding natural flavors yourself. You can add fresh fruit to your water to give it a little extra taste.

We challenge you to make a conscious effort to eliminate sugary drinks and consume more water! Once you make it a routine, it becomes a habit. We promise your body will thank you for helping it feel much more energized and refreshed!

  Sources: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/12/15/drinking-enough-water.aspx http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000982.htm http://www.webmd.com/diet/6-reasons-to-drink-water https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/other/health-benefits-of-drinking-water.html  
Get Your Hands Dirty…Literally

Get Your Hands Dirty…Literally

Gardening is one of our favorite spring time activities because it's beneficial for both the mind and body. Not to mention, depending on what you garden, it can be beneficial for your bank account as well. Here are some of the many ways, gardening can help your body and mind feel at ease and healthy. Stress Relief & Improved Mood We live in a very stressful society. We're constantly in information overload with our phones, computers, TVs, etc., and it can all be a bit too overwhelming and stressful at times. That's why getting outside and connecting with the simplicity of nature can be very beneficial for the mind. Studies have actually shown that gardening can help lower the stress hormone, cortisol. In one study, a group of individuals were given a stressful task to complete. Following the assignment, the group was randomly assigned to either 30 minutes of gardening or 30 minutes of reading. Cortisol levels were measured, as well as self reporting of mood. Each activity lowered cortisol levels, but decreases were significantly lower in the gardening group. Physical Exercise Gardening helps get your blood moving and muscles working. When gardening, you're constantly moving using a variety of different muscle groups, often over the course of a couple hours. While it's not going to be a high intensity cardio workout, it's still a great low impact form of exercise that happens to be enjoyable as well! Nutrition There's just something about eating fresh produce that tastes so much better than produce from grocery stores. Especially when it comes from your own garden! Growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs is a great way to help yourself eat more fruits and veggies while also saving you some money! It's a win-win situation when you grow your own produce. Even if you only grow a few of your favorite fruits or veggies, it's still beneficial. In our garden, we like to grow bell peppers, habaneros, tomatoes, eggplant, and select herbs because we love those foods and they come in really well!  So pick some of your favorites and give it a try!

Gardening is a wonderful way to disconnect from the constant noise and distractions present in our daily lives. So, get outside and channel your inner green thumb this spring! Your body and mind will thank you greatly.

  Sources: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20522508  
Benefits and Uses of Bee Pollen

Benefits and Uses of Bee Pollen

Bee pollen is a tiny, yet powerful food that contains numerous healthy benefits for our bodies. It’s rich in proteins, minerals, vitamins, free amino acids, carotenoids and bioflavonoids. This superfood essentially contains almost all nutrients needed by humans. Take a look below at how bee pollen is created, what nutritional properties it contains, and how it should be consumed. What is Bee Pollen? Bees collect pollen from plants and combine it with a very small amount of their saliva, which is then stored in pollen baskets on their hind legs. The combination of pollen and saliva form into granules. They take the pollen to their hives and pack it into honeycomb cells. Nutritional Benefits of Bee Pollen
  • Reduces Inflammation:  Studies have found that bee pollen has high anti-inflammatory activity. It's comparable to anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen, analgin, phenylbutazone, or indomethacin. Some studies suggest that it can be helpful for certain cases of acute and chronic-inflammation, initial degenerative diseases, and liver diseases.
  • Boosts Mood/Relieves Stress:  Because of it's nutritional properties, bee pollen is able to help improve blood supply to nervous tissue, which helps boost mental capacity and strengthens the nervous system. A boost in mental capacity can help lighten your mood and ease your tired, stressed mind.
  • Helps Minimize Allergies:  Research has shown that bee pollen does have anti-allergic properties. It can help mast cells from releasing histamine, which is what causes allergic reactions. Local bee pollen is really the best if you're going to use it for allergies. Since the bees are gathering pollen from the area you live in, it's typically more effective with allergies.
How Do You Use Bee Pollen? If you're looking to incorporate bee pollen into your diet, you need to make sure you're purchasing high-quality bee pollen. We recommend buying local when it comes to bee pollen, and preferably from bee keepers who do not use pesticides. You can generally find good bee pollen at your local farmer's market or natural food stores. As for how much to consume...it's typically recommended that you start out with a small dosage, you could try about 1 tsp, especially if you've never consumed bee pollen. Some individuals may have allergic reactions, so if you start to notice any kind of allergy symptoms after consuming bee pollen, discontinue use. Also, pregnant women are advised to not consume bee pollen. Bee pollen can be added to a number of foods. The most common way to consume it, is to add ground pollen to items like smoothies (our favorite), yogurt, cottage cheese, honey, jams, and more. Typically, when you purchase bee pollen it's in granule form, so you can blend it to create ground pollen.

While bee pollen may not look like much, the benefits are immense. We have only listed a few of the benefits, but there are many more! If you don't already use it, it's worth looking into.

Sources: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4377380/
Can Chiropractic Help with Allergies?

Can Chiropractic Help with Allergies?

Birds chirping, warm weather, sunshine, flowers blooming....all wonderful signs that spring has finally arrived! Everything seems to come to life again after winter has subsided. However, with the warmer weather and blooming flowers, also comes the dreaded spring allergies for many. Spring is the time to enjoy the outdoors while the weather is nice, and we know allergies can restrict your enjoyment of such activities. That's why we're here to provide you with one way you can build your body's immune system to combat allergies, and that's through chiropractic care.

What are Allergies?

To understand how to relieve allergies, it’s best to know exactly what you’re dealing with first. So, what is an allergy? An allergy occurs when your immune system reacts abnormally to a particular foreign substance, such as fur, pollen, dust, or certain foods, that your body has become oversensitive to. Why do some people react abnormally and others don’t? Your body is designed to keep out foreign substances with its natural defense mechanisms. If these substances make it past the general line of defense, then your body goes into alert mode. When your immune system is lowered and working too hard, it can’t keep those allergens out. Thus, the coughing, sneezing, mucus, tears, etc. begin as part of your body’s way of clearing out the unwanted junk that has entered your system.

Typical Treatments for Allergies

Typical treatments for allergies usually involve over-the-counter or prescription medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, eye drops, nasal sprays, etc. While these medications ease the symptoms of allergies and make them more tolerable, the problem is they do just that and nothing else. These medications don’t go to the source of the problem for what’s causing the allergies in the first place; they simply mask your symptoms.

How Can Chiropractic Care Help with Allergies?

Chiropractic care has helped many individuals find relief from their allergies. Many of whom originally intended to utilize chiropractic care for other issues like back pain or neck pain, only to find that they also experienced relief from allergies.  One of the main ways chiropractic helps with allergies is by strengthening the body's immune and respiratory systems. Proper communication from the brain to spinal cord helps control these systems and ensure they function correctly. However, when joints and bones become misaligned, especially in the upper cervical (neck) region, it can sometimes worsen allergic reactions. What chiropractic does, through manual adjustments, is help maintain proper alignment of the spine so that the brain is able to properly send messages through the spine and nerves to keep everything in the body functioning correctly. A healthy immune system can combat foreign substances much more effectively, which in turn can decrease the severity of your allergies. It's important to note that while chiropractic can be effective for many people, it's not the end-all solution for everyone. An overall healthy lifestyle including nutrition and exercise are also very important when it comes to you strengthening your body's immune system. Our chiropractors are able to discuss lifestyle habits with you as well, to help you develop the best plan for diminishing your allergies.

As always if you have any further questions about chiropractic & allergies, please don't hesitate to ask! We currently have two locations, East Nashville and Rivergate, feel free to contact us at either of these offices.

Headache & Migraine Relief – Nashville TN

Headache & Migraine Relief – Nashville TN

Are you one of the millions who suffers from headaches or migraines on a regular basis? Do your headaches or migraines affect your work or daily life? Do you often find yourself taking pain medications to relieve the pain? Well, we're here to provide you with a natural solution to ease and eliminate your pain without the use of medications. We know it can be tempting to take pain medications for temporary pain relief, however pain pills don't get to the source of what's causing your headaches or migraines. They simply mask your symptoms, and your headaches or migraines will subsequently return. At Vibrance Family Chiropractic, we don't want to just cover up your symptoms; we want to fix the issue that's causing these problems to occur in the first place.

What Causes Headaches or Migraines to Occur?

Headaches and migraines can be caused by a number of issues such as certain foods you eat, alcohol or smoking, stress, or worst/least likely scenario, disease. However, many headaches and migraines can be traced back to some form of nerve irritation in the cervical spine. Nerve irritation that would cause a headache or migraine to occur is typically caused by some form of misalignment in the spine that is placing pressure on the nerves in your neck area. Misalignments are common and can happen for a number of reasons. You may have had a bad fall in the past, sports injury, car accident, or simply stress, that caused your bones to slightly shift out of proper alignment, which in turn caused nerve irritation to occur.

Tension Headaches vs. Migraines

Tension headaches are typically the most common type of headaches. They can feel like tight pressure around your forehead, side of your head, or back of your head. You may also have tender neck and shoulder muscles. Stress is often a big culprit of causing tension headaches. Migraines are more severe. Migraines can cause an intense pain in one area of the head and often are accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.

How Can Chiropractic Help with Tension Headaches and Migraines?

Chiropractors can help with both tension headaches and migraines. At our office, we first fully evaluate and assess your body with x-rays and other methods to determine where you may have misalignments in the spine that are causing your headaches. From there, we're able to administer very specific adjustments to those regions to help restore alignment in your spine. Once your alignment begins to become restored and the nerve irritation is removed, you'll start to see the frequency of those headaches and migraines decrease significantly. It typically takes several adjustments to start noticing a difference. We often remind individuals, that if you stop experiencing pain early on, it does not necessarily mean the issue is fully resolved. Your body typically still has more healing to do. That's why we recommend you stay on some form of chiropractic maintenance care after you've completed your initial corrective care. That will help your body hold it's proper alignment and help you to continue avoiding pain.

Take Action Now

Are you ready to say goodbye to pain medications and try a natural approach to eliminate your headaches or migraines? If so, we encourage you to check out Vibrance to see how we can help you. With our FREE CONSULTATION, you'll be able to speak with our chiropractor one-on-one about your headaches and learn how we can help you feel better. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at 615-915-1255.
Top 7 Foods to Combat Inflammation

Top 7 Foods to Combat Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to an infection or injury during the healing process. The most common example is the swelling that occurs when someone sprains an ankle. This swelling is the first step in the healing process. However, if the body can’t finish up the inflammatory response, this becomes problematic. This unresolved inflammatory response then goes from acute inflammation to chronic inflammation. This can happen throughout the entire body and create an environment that makes us vulnerable to other serious health conditions, such as atherosclerosis, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune disorders, cancer and a whole other host of chronic issues. However, there are many foods that can help the body combat inflammation. Below our chiropractors have provided you with 7 of their favorite foods to help fight inflammation.
Coconut Oil
Not only does coconut oil fight inflammation, it helps boost your metabolism, balance hormone levels, and has anti fungal, microbial and viral properties as well.
Avocados
Avocados are a great source of healthy unsaturated fat and antioxidants. The anti-inflammatory properties of avocados are so strong that they may actually offset less healthy food choices. A 2013 study in the journal Food & Function looked at the amount of inflammation that followed eating a hamburger with and without the addition of avocado. Researchers found that eating the hamburger with about 2 ounces of avocado limited the inflammatory response seen after eating the hamburger alone.
Walnuts
Walnuts, as well as almonds and cashew are all good choices for their natural anti-inflammatory properties. Walnuts have been shown to be effective in treating arthritis
Turmeric
Curcumin, turmeric’s active ingredient, is a potent cancer-fighter. This is mostly due to its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. One recent study from Germany found that curcumin was able to prevent the formation of tumors and prevent them from metastasizing if they had already formed. This is because it has been shown to suppress a certain growth factor necessary for tumors to grow and spread
Garlic
Research has shown that garlic acts in the same way as anti-inflammatory pain medications by helping shut off the pathways that cause inflammation. Garlic also has strong anti-bacterial properties. It has been used throughout history as a natural antibiotic and recent studies have found that a compound inherent to garlic, Diallyl disulfide, is 100 times more effective against bacteria than antibiotics such as erythromycin and ciprofloxacin.
Citrus Fruits
Most citrus fruits contain powerful anti-inflammatory nutrients. We are big fans of lemons. Lemons are great for improving digestion, are rich in vitamin C to help boost your immune system, help remove uric acid (common cause of inflammation) from your joints, and alkalize the body.
Cherry Juice
Cherries contin anthocyanins, queritrin and polyphenols. According to published research the anthocyanins found in cherry juice have anti-inflammatory effects that are 10 times stronger than aspirin.

These are just a few of the food options you can consume to help with inflammation. We suggest you try incorporating some of these into your weekly meal plans. As always, if you have any questions regarding inflammation and what foods you should eat, feel free to contact us to speak with one of our chiropractors.

Give us a call at 615-915-1255. 

Your Need to Know Info About Detoxes

Your Need to Know Info About Detoxes

Detoxing your body a few times a year can be a good way to rejuvenate your systems and organs, and replenish your body with healthy nutrients it may be lacking.  Some of you may be wondering though, what exactly is a detox, what all is involved in one, doesn't that mean you don't eat for a week or only drink juice? There are many different kinds of detoxes being promoted constantly, many of which are not healthy, and it can all be a little overwhelming. What you need to know is that a detox is not meant to starve your body; it is simply a way to cleanse your body of unwanted toxins and replace those with healthy nutrients. This is done through eliminating certain harmful foods, typically those that are highly processed, high in sugar, and bad carbohydrates, and instead consuming whole fresh foods. Signs Your Body May Need a Detox In this day in age, we are constantly exposed to toxins in our food, environment, and various products. Just about everyone can benefit from some kind of detox, but if you notice that you regularly have some of the symptoms below, than it may be a good idea to look into a detox sooner than later.
  • Feeling Sluggish or Fatigued
  • Brain Fog
  • Allergies
  • Gas
  • Achy Joints or Muscles
  • Headaches
  • Bloating
  • Skin Irritations
  • Reflux
Tips for Detoxing If you're looking to detox your body, you don't have to follow a crazy strict diet of barely eating or only juicing. There are certain foods you can incorporate and foods you'll want to eliminate. Basically, one of the biggest rules of thumb, is if the food is in a box, can or bag, then skip it for detox purposes. Dairy, caffeine, processed sugar, grains, and alcohol are also items you'll want to avoid. Whole, fresh foods like fruits & veggies, nuts & seeds, fish, eggs, and organic hormone-free chicken are all good options for detox. If you are looking to follow an actual plan, than we suggest following one that still requires you to eat whole meals. At the office, we tried The 10-Day Detox by Dr. Mark Hyman and that provides you with complete meal plans/recipes for each day of the detox and tells you how to prepare all of the food. Detoxing can definitely be challenging, and depending on how many toxic foods you already consume, you may experience withdrawal symptoms before you start feeling better. It's typical to feel worse before you feel better, but your body will definitely thank you for it in the end!

If you're thinking a detox may be good for you, then feel free to ask us any questions you may have! We'd be happy to help guide you on how long to detox and how you should prepare. Give us a call at 615-915-1255.

5 Surprising Ways Your Posture is Harming Your Health

5 Surprising Ways Your Posture is Harming Your Health

Ever find yourself slouching at your desk, on the couch, on the computer, or while reading? If yes, than that's a habit you'll want to kick to the curb. When we think about improving our overall health, posture usually isn't the first thing that comes to mind. Exercising and eating healthy are typically the areas we direct our focus to. Both are incredibly important, but improving your posture should be ranked just as high as nutrition and exercise. Poor posture does much more harm than just affect your outward appearance.  It adds extra pressure and strain on your body causing dysfunction to occur. When your posture starts coming forward, it can restrict your muscles, joints, and various bodily systems from working properly. As chiropractors, focusing on posture is one of our specialties, and we want you to understand just how big of a role proper posture plays in your overall health.

Here are 5 Surprising Ways Your Posture Could be Harming Your Health:

  1 - Increase in Depression & Stress:  Often times when we're feeling depressed, sad, afraid, or uncomfortable, we tend to curl up and slouch our posture, as if we're trying to retreat or hide from our troubles. However, studies are now starting to suggest that not only does this kind of posture reflect our current mood, but it can actually cause us to feel depressed, stressful emotions as well. One study conducted, assessed a random group of individuals where half of the group was asked to be in an upright seated position, while the other half was in a slouched position. Their backs were strapped with physiotherapy tape to maintain this position. They completed various reading tasks and speech tasks throughout the study and were unaware that their emotional responses to the tasks were being evaluated.  The study concluded that those in the upright position reported higher self-esteem, better mood, and lower fear than the slouched group. They also found that during the tasks, the slouched group used more negative words and emotions when speaking. This is just one of several studies that has been conducted in this manner, where one group of individuals is asked to basically stand up straight, while the other group slouches while doing a certain task, and all studies produced the same results. This shows us that how we carry ourselves can instantly influence how we feel and act emotionally. So, this kind of posture on a regular basis, can really have a significant impact on our longterm emotional health. Try sitting/standing up straight for a day and see if you notice a difference in your mood and confidence! 2 - Digestion Problems:  When you sit or stand hunched over constantly, you're adding extra pressure on your body and compressing your inner bodily functions, such as your digestive system. That compression can make it harder for food and excretions to flow properly through the gastrointestinal tract, which can lead to issues such as constipation, indigestion, gas, or acid reflux. 3 - Decreased Lung Function:  Slouching over restricts the amount of oxygen that your lungs receive. By bending forward, you're placing added pressure on the lungs making it harder for them to function correctly and decreasing the volume of oxygen entering your body. Think about when you bend over...it's more difficult to breathe right? You're folding your body over, making it harder to receive oxygen. That's the same thing that happens when your posture starts to come forward. 4 - Causes Back Pain, Headaches, Shoulder Pain, & Neck Pain: Did you know that when your head is upright in proper alignment, it weighs about 12 lb.? And, for every inch that comes forward, an additional 10 lb. of head weight is added to your spine? That's a lot of strain pulling on various parts of your body and can lead to muscle contractions and spasms that cause pain. Slumping over regularly is not how your body is meant to be properly positioned and it will cause pain in various regions whether that be your back, neck, head, shoulders, arms or legs! 5 - Fatigue: Your muscles have to work extra hard when you have poor posture because as you slouch, strain and pressure are placed on the muscles that is not natural to your body. That extra stress placed on the muscles drains away energy, often making you feel tired and fatigued much easier.

Lifestyle Tips for Improving Your Posture

  Now that you've seen what poor posture can do to your body, we want to give you some resources and tips for how you can improve your posture. Provided below are what we consider to be some of the best methods for reestablishing a strong confident posture.
  • Chiropractic Adjustments:  Chiropractic adjustments are vital to developing a healthy posture.  As chiropractors, we are able to evaluate your body for any kind of misalignments in your spine caused by poor posture.  We work to adjust those misalignments, help your body get back to it's natural posture, and restore function to your body. It's really one of the best steps you can take to help your body feel and function correctly again.
  • Yoga & Pilates:  Yoga and Pilates are both great forms of exercise that work to lengthen, stretch and strengthen your entire body. They're also very good at working your core. A strong core is essential to improving your posture, as your core really holds up your entire body. Once you start to let your core go, the easier it is to start slumping and slouching down. Try activating your core while sitting and we guarantee you'll notice your posture gets straighter!
  • Be Aware:  You really need to be mentally aware of your posture in order to retrain your body to sit and stand up straight. When you're working at any technological device, always try to keep it at eye level and avoid bending forward at all costs. Take breaks every hour to stretch while you're at work. It's not going to be an overnight fix, but being aware of how you hold yourself will help you reestablish your natural proper posture over time.

As always, we are here to help if you need it. If you would like to speak to one of our chiropractors about your posture, feel free to contact one of our two locations, East Nashville or Madison/Rivergate!

  Sources: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25222091