The Zen Corner

Science, Art, and Philosophy of Chiropractic


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Pregnancy and Chiropractic Adjustments

 article-1016703-01045CA000000578-108_634x345Your Body, Your Baby

If you are pregnant, one of the best things you can do is set up an appointment for a chiropractic adjustment. Chiropractic adjustments provides so many benefits a pregnant woman needs: a flexible and balanced spine and pelvis, internal organs without postural stress and freedom from nerve stress. These are all essential for a healthy pregnancy and smooth delivery of the baby.

Along with better nutrients, exercise and avoiding drugs/alcohol/cigarettes, chiropractic adjustments should be an essential part a woman’s healthcare regimen during pregnancy.

What does a Doctor of Chiropractic do?

A pregnant women needs to have her body as healthy as possible and as strong as possible, in order to handle the bumpy road of pregnancy and childbirth. Chiropractic adjustments will help ensure that all body systems, especially the reproductive organs which are vital for healthy pregnancy, function properly. If there is any slight nerve interference to these systems the mother and developing fetus will be affected. Chiropractors should examine your spinal column for spinal distortions and the cause of nerve stress. These are known as vertebral subluxation. If a chiropractor finds subluxations in your body, the chiropractor will correct them with chiropractic spinal adjustments that are gentle for the pregnant mother.

Pregnancy and Chiropractic

Drugless Healthcare

Chiropractic is a drugless healthcare servie/treatment for pregnant mothers. There is no such thing as a safe drug that will not harm the growing fetus. No drugs should be prescribed during pregnancy without weighing the maternal needed against the fetal damage. Antibodies, aspirin, alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, cocaine, and even cough syrup and cold and flu medications all have been linked to fetal damage and miscarriage.

What can Chiropractic Help?

Chiropractic has demonstrated that pregnancy is maintained, controls vomiting, deliver full-term infants with ease and produces healthier infants. Chiropractic also has had success in back pain premature contractions, and back labor.

Weight gain, compensating postural changes and hormonal induced ligament laxity add to a woman’s predisposition towards pelvic misalignment during pregnancy. All lead to elevate low back pain and hip pain. Affecting quality of life and the outcome of the labor.

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One of the major contributing factors in the outcome of labor is having a condition called dystocia. Specifically it is defined by  Jeanne Ohm, DC
ICPA Executive Coordinator as:

  1. Abnormalities of the explusive forces, either uterine forces insufficiently strong enough or inappropriately coordinated to efface and dilate cervix (uterine dysfunction), or inadequate voluntary muscle effort during the second stage of labor (Power)
  2. Adnormalities of the maternal bony pelvis, that is, pelvic contraction.
  3. Abnormalities of presentation, position, or development of the fetus.

When examined from a neuromuscular and biomechanical perspective, each of these may potentially cause dystocia which may be helped with specific chiropractic adjustments of the pregnant woman’s spine and pelvis throughout the pregnancy and in preparation for birth.

Medical Interventions

Most medical interventions, including C-sections, are used as a result of “failure to progress” or dystocia. The most common interventions practiced today are the use of Cytotec, Pitocin for induction or augmentation, the use of epidurals for pain reflief, and restricted maternal positions during labor.

“In 2016, 32.2% of U.S. births were by C-section that is over a 50% increase in 20 years. As the rate of C-sections has risen, so has the rate of pregnancy-associated deaths. Current statistics show the rate of maternal morbidity is higher for cesarean as opposed to vaginal births.”

                                                                           Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention                                                                         -www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_04.pdf

Webster Technique

Chiropractic has been able to help mother’s in which the baby isn’t positioned properly for birth. Webster technique was developed by Dr. Larry Websters and he has been very successful in reducing the effects of sacral subluxation and SI joint dysfunction. In so doing neuro-biomechanical function in the pelvis is improved.

Dr. Larry Webster, founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association discovered this adjustment as a safe means to restore proper pelvic balance and function. This specific sacral analysis can be used on all weight bearing individuals to determine S/I joint dysfunction/ sacral subluxation and is therefore applicable for the entire population.

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The ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association) recognizes that in a theoretical and clinical framework of the Webster Technique in the care of pregnant women, sacral subluxation may contribute to difficult labor for the mother (i.e., dystocia).  Dystocia is caused by inadequate uterine function, pelvic contraction and baby mal-presentation. The correction of sacral subluxation may have a positive effect on all of these causes of dystocia.

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In this clinical and theoretical framework, it is proposed that sacral misalignment may contribute to these three primary causes of dystocia via uterine nerve interference, pelvic misalignment and the tightening and torsion of specific pelvic muscles and ligaments.  The resulting tense muscles and ligaments and their aberrant effect on the uterus may prevent the baby from comfortably assuming the best possible position for birth.

Summary:

Chiropractic alone is never the only solution, but can make for an easier pregnancy. Repectively, ease of pregnancy will also be influenced by dietary intake, sufficient exercise routine, sitting and sleeping postures, and the mother’s health condition. Some mothers will have go to the hospital for C-sections. All need to be taken to account for the complex process of the pregnancy of neurological, hormonal, and structural changes of the mother. Does your pregnancy include Chiropractic adjustments?

 

 

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Gait Analysis: You can run, but you can not hide!

Do you ever notice how people walk while you are at the mall? Some people have different walking pattern. Some walk like penguins, some walk with a huge arm swinging like they are fighting someone, and some are unable to bend their joints. It is obvious that there are different movement in people’s walking. Some are caused by injuries, body structure and or level of fitness.

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Most people think that if they can walk or run so they are functionally doing fine. Yes, you can run, but you cannot hide from your problems in your gait. These type of dysfunctional running and walking creates impact to all of your joints resulting in instability, eventual degeneration and arthritis. When people think they can still walk, just wait. One little impact can force you into possible surgery or permanent disability. Too many people wait until the last minute to correct their problems and by then it is already too late.

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Before it is too late, there is an assessment tool called “Gait Analysis”. In the scientific study of Gait analysis, they dissect the motion from the step off to arm swinging. Firstly, to understand it, what is Gait analysis?

Gait Analysis: A Scientific Study

Gait analysis is the systematic study of human motion, using the eye and the brain of observers,  measuring body movements, body mechanics, and the activity of the muscles.

The parameters taken into account for the Gait analysis are as follows:

  • Step Length
  • Stride Length
  • Cadence
  • Speed
  • Dynamic Base
  • Progression Line
  • Foot Angle
  • Hip Angle
  • Squat Performance

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The Gait analysis is modulated or modified by many factors, and changes in the normal gait pattern can be transient or permanent. The factors can be of various types:

  • Extrinsic: such as terrain, footwear, clothing, cargo
  • Intrinsic: sex (male or female), weight, height, age, etc.
  • Physical: such as weight, height, physique
  • Psychological: personality type, emotions
  • Physiological: anthropometric characteristics, i.e., measurements and proportions of body
  • Pathological: for example trauma, neurological diseases, musculoskeletal anomalies, psychiatric disorders

 

Chiropractic Analysis of Gait:

This gait analysis gives many detailed information about a person’s functional capacity to survive. There are many healthcare professions that use this analysis to diagnose health conditions and disorders. For Chiropractors, it is a topic of objective assessment that yields almost immediate results in their chiropractic adjustment.

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Chiropractic Observation of Gait Analysis:

During walking/running there is effect of gravity where your body weight the musculoskeletal structures to keep your body upright. After wear and tear from minor to major injuries our bodies and our proper mechanics change. The impact of the body weight and gravity, eventually force those into our gait.

Without consciously thinking about changing the gait, we walk or run with the assumption that everything is functionally good unless there is enough a dramatic injury that causes us to have difficulty walking. Take limping for example. As well as chiropractor, we realize these gait mechanisms are crucial and are a matter of survival to walk or run as well as be able to go to place to place.

For chiropractors, watching the dynamics of walking/running shows the functionality of the spine and joints that are working in unison. There should be good elasticity and recoil in each stride from all the extremities so that the motion of our walking/running is forward instead of wasting energy by unnecessary movements.

Why Bother?

We all walk to places and the more mobile we are the healthier we are. Once people are static and stationary our lives deteriorate significantly. Being able to walk and run helps the circulation and neurological stimulation of the brain. When we are sedentary, our body degenerates and atrophies and our ability to survive is gone. For our survival, walking and running is a important factor in our lives. Our body is made to enjoy and live life instead of surviving life.

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There are two major factors that will catch your attention. It is acceleration of degeneration of your joints and neurological degeneration.

Acceleration of Degeneration

For those who have bombarded their joints with so much impact the joint tends to wear down faster. After wearing down the joints, eventually the bone on bone starts to grind on each other causing osteoarthritis. People who can have this can be as young as teenager an elderly depending on how they stress their body. Some people will ruin their body with extreme sports and improper body mechanics in their athletic training.

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The improper mechanics begins when joints are injured and become unstable. When this unstable joint is not taken care of and properly stabilized, the impact of the joint will cause further damage and eventual because bone deformation. The constant impact of wear and tear eventually will change the joints and further bone degeneration. Most often times the joints become very loose after streching of the muscle tendons and ligaments which it is termed “hypermobile.” When the joint is having muscle spasm and increased edema it will be stiff, and be termed “hypomobile”. These damaged joints initially starts with many clicks and cracks into the joint.

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The cracking in the joint happens because it is the body’s way to create a balance (based upon gravity) and to create motion where the usual mechanics are changed. (Please do not think that inducing cracking of the joint will help alleviate the problem because it may worsen the joint mechanics even more) By analyzing an individuals gait, joint mechanics are quickly investigated to identify where these audible cracks and clicks are coming from. Most often times it is the muscles grinding on other muscle or bones because of the joint instability. The best way to avoid bone degeneration is to create a smooth transition of arm and leg swing that will not create improper impact in each step. Consequently, the brain will not have additional pain signals coming from our joints.

Neurological Degeneration

Our joints uses nerve receptors called proprioceptors to send information of orientation in space while you are in dynamic motion or static stand still. Having good joint alignment helps the body in proper body mechanics and proper neuro-physiology that influence our body chemistry. If any of these receptors are shut down nociceptors send pain signals instead.

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Nociception is the sensory nervous system’s response to certain harmful or potentially harmful stimuli. In nociception, mechanical (e.g., cutting, crushing) stimulation of sensory nerve cells (nociceptors) produces a signals that travel along a chain of nerve fibers via the spinal cord and brain. Nociception triggers a variety of biological and behavioral responses and may also result in a subjective experience of pain.

Nociceptors are found in the skin, on internal surfaces such as the periosteum, joint surfaces, and in some internal organs. The concentration of nociceptors varies throughout the body; they are found in greater numbers in the skin than in deep internal surfaces such as muscle, joint, skin, cornea, bladder, gut, dorsal root ganglia and trigeminal neuralgia. Mechanical nociceptors respond to excess pressure or mechanical deformation.

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Once these nociceptors are over stimulated they start to cause over stimulation in the spinal cord and brain. The chronic pain, for most individuals, causes sedentary life style. They are not able to exercise or end up with little to no motion. Eventual atrophy of muscles and nerve will be a indirect result of overstimulation of the pains signals from mechanical deformation or degeneration.

You can run but you can’t hide.

Many people think that the are healthy and walking by running, but in some causes difficulty in gait may be evident. Once our joints are having mechanical problems, there are spasms and adhesion in the joints. When there is less recoil and motion in a joint the muscles atrophy and bones degenerate. Once they overstimulate the nerves with pain, eventual sedentary life style progresses. Less motion in the joints means less nutrients going to all the muscles and joints and eventual degeneration of the nerve, muscle, and bone follows.

Just because you think you can move with walking or running, it doesn’t mean you are in an optimal, functional state. The eventual degeneration is apparent with a trained person’s clinical observation of an individual and walking, running patterns. This is also apparent in any athletic activities.

At our office, we every possible way to observe the problem so that we can be as specific as possible with the chiropractic adjustment. Not only gait but also x-rays, neurological examinations, and taking oral history. If any of you would like to address their problems, please contact us at info@zenchiropracticinc.com.

 

 

 


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Meditate in Ease

“Zazen, wabi/sabi and then Chiropractic,” the previous blog, was written about posture in Zazen and how crucial in proper meditation. Improper posture will make the meditation called Zazen more difficult or harder than normal. Improper posture can be caused by many things such as a condition called subluxation in Chiropractic. In this blog, there will be additional information about posture, breathing, and mental state and how it can influence the quality of your meditation experience. To have the best meditation in ease is to eliminate conditions of dysponesis.

Before we talk about dysponesis, here is one fact. The human nervous system is innately geared towards survival of the whole entire body. This ability to survive manifests itself by efficient use of energy for all the metabolic and physiological process. These processes of survival are all based upon the input from the environment that the body receives. Conserving energy or efficient use of energy to optimal function to express life.

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Our body has sensory nerve endings that will take in information and adapt to any environmental changes. Lack of proper integration of this information will lead to mis-information to the brain and leads to dysponesis. Dysponesis is described by Dr. Christopher Kent,

“Dysponesis is a reversible pathophysiologic state. It is composed of neurophysiologic reactions to various agents, and the repercussions of these reactions throughout the organism. The neurophysiologic reactions consist mainly of covert errors in energy expenditure. To the chiropractor, it is essential to develop clinical strategies which are effective in disclosing these covert errors in energy expenditure and correcting them.”

Dysponesis will lead to improper sensory integration, inefficient/imbalance in muscle coordination, disability, disease states, symptoms, and loss of optimal function to the human body.

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There are many measurements that are able to detect dysponesis. Being able to visualize the body provides tangible measurements, although there might be some information will be missed. Traditional techniques such as plum line or bilateral body weights were used to make observable postural changes and weight distributions. Our body has a reflex, called the righting reflex, utilized by our eyes to make sure our eyes are horizontal to the plane for the most efficient energy expenditure. The plum line analysis and bilateral body weight distributions can show the muscle that are being over-utilized or underperforming for an energy efficient structure. (Dynamic posture in walking and running will be considered in future blog posts.) This method will reach its limits due to the complex and abstract nature of our dynamic body structure.

Modern technology has found a way to measure complex and dynamic body structure. Modern surface EMG equipment are able to display real time action of muscle groups for excess energy expenditure. As we are sitting still, all of our muscles are contracting and relaxing to adapt to the sitting posture. Modern surface EMGs are very sensitive and able to read and measure every small contraction that is made by the muscle. With this measurement we are able to assess efficient energy expenditure and in turn measure dysponesis.

The next measurement that is a bit more difficult to understand is the reflex control of breathing. For the purpose of this blog, breathing reflex will be discussed in simpler terms and the physiology will not be discussed. It is important to not, however, that breathing reflex is a very complex set of several reflexes and when there are inefficient breathing patterns the nervous system to shift a negative state of conserving energy for oxygen. Due to the importance in oxygen for our brain and body, breathing reflex is a highly controlled mechanism and this reflex is a primary concern for all physiological processes.

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Breathing reflex is well known in many meditation techniques. Breathing from the belly instead of chest breathing. Chest breathing increases the speed of oxygen but less oxygen is taken in. In turn you expel less CO2 and create hyperventilation and increase the fight or flight responses. If belly breathing is done properly, oxygen intake is increased as is the expelling of CO2. This will stimulate the parasympathetic system which induces rest and digest and promote a relaxing state for a better meditative state.

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Further research has been conducted to analyze breathing patterns. There are many patterns that are induced from uncoordinated muscle control of the breathing muscles. Most belly breathing does not emphasize on which muscles to contract. There can be compartmentalized breathing that is observable in the spine that is concomitant with breathing. Normal breathing should not be compartmentalized, decreased, or incomplete in the breathing pattern. The pattern in breathing should start from the pelvis. A respiratory wave moves smoothly towards the neck and moves back down the spine to the pelvis. If in any way this pattern is obstructed, there creates a lack of coordination in the breathing reflex and this results in dysponesis.

Final measurement will be our mental state in dysponesis. Meditation should be an exercise to help distressed mental states, although there can be an underlying condition that will hinder towards performing meditation for individuals. According to Doreland’s Medical Dictionary, dysponesis is a misdirected neurophysiological reaction to various agents such as environmental events, bodily sensations, emotions, and thoughts. Individuals with PTSD, ADHD, anxiety or other mental conditions may have difficult a time performing meditation.

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To measure mental state, there are many ways to measure such as EEG or HRV. eeg-brain-imageElectroencephalogram or EEG measures electrical wave from the brain for the state of being which is mentioned in another blog “Stress.” EEG measures the state of the brain by stimulating the brain waves into a certain pattern, it will help the mental state into being more calm and meditative. It may help to see that meditative state but there are very specific requirements to fulfill the test and many things can cause inaccurate reading if the assessment is not prepared properly and professionally. Also EEG measurements are not readily available because it is very expensive and healthcare specialists are needed to perform the test.

Heart Rate Variability or HRV on the other hand is less expensive and measures the state of mental conditions like the EEG. HRV measures the real time measurement of the cardiac rhythm and provides quantitative assessment of variation in time interval between heartbeats. HRV is able to show how your body is responding to stressors, overall balance of the nervous system, and even fitness performance. Compared to EEGs, HRV tests shows more information of the overall function and energy expenditure which is dysponesis.HRV

After finding dysponesis, addressing them properly with chiropractic adjustments will be much more specific and scientific.  Does your chiropractor have all these assessments to address dysponesis?

 


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Our Gift

Every year at Christmastime we are given a gift. We always take this gift for granted because it has always been given to us and we hardly notice. This gift is our body. We are given this one body for our whole lifetime.
housetoolsYou may like your body or you may hate it, but it is yours. You are expected to make alterations, improvements, and maintenance on a regular basis. Our body is in a constant state of break down so keeping up with every part of our body is very important. Many people’s biological age is much older and damaged compared to their chronological age. For example, you will see people with many health conditions such as degeneration/arthritis in the spine. Some people’s spines are severely degenerated from doing vigorous and strenuous physical activity such as football, landscaping, construction work, and much more.

We tend to think we are indestructible in our youth, but once we get to a certain age that unlimited energy and vitality start to fade. Many people would say that the reason our bodies start to deteriorate is because of age. That is true — just like any car, if it gets older it starts to break down. If that car has been treated poorly and has not kept up with regular maintenance such as oil changes or tire rotations, the car will fall about faster and easier.

morris-minor_2825700aPicture of a Rusty Old Car

 

 

 

 

 

What would be maintenance care similar to oil changes and tire rotations for our human, biological body?

One detail about our human, biological body is that there are 65 trillion chemicals in the brain processed and produced every second of our life. The pharmaceutical industry knows 11,000 that are on the market. From just that ratio, we can definitely conclude that our body has very complex body chemistry. How does our body regulate, alert, and repair all at the same time?

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There is a inborn intelligence installed in a human baby at the moment of conception. This innate intelligence repairs cuts, damages and kills cancer cells, regenerates old cells to new, and puts in the perfect amount of chemicals needed for your body to be in full function and balance. Innate intelligence has been known from many discipline of healthcare, although medical medicine failed to understand or quantify this mechanism.

From many disciplines, it is well known that if we help this innate intelligence to freely operate on our body, the better our body regenerates, regulates, and reproduces in optimal function. How can we help this innate intelligence?

 

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“Ninety per cent of the diseases known to man are caused by cheap foodstuffs. You are what you eat.”  Victor Lindlahr

Food is Medicine

During this seasonal holidays, we are in a time crunch to fit in everything. Our tendencies are to depend on prepackaged, instant foods in the grocery store. Or we go out to order food from fast food restaurants. It may be a quick solution for good tasting food that everyone will enjoy…everyone, except your body. Mass produced prepackaged instant food in grocery stores and fast food restaurants always cuts corners, using cheap ingredients and chemicals to improve the shelf life of the ingredients. It is now known that these chemicals and cheaply made ingredients have consequences. America has been plagued by obesity, diabetes, and digestive problems that medical professions are unable to solve.

It is well known that highly processed, concentrated carbohydrates turn into fat in our body. So if we lower the carbohydrates we do better! Right? Well, there are highly concentrated carbohydrates in many seasonal holiday meals and snacks. It is almost impossible to take out all the sugars and carbohydrates out of meals. It seems like there is nothing to eat. In our conventional cheap grocery stores there will be hardly any solutions, but in other places that are more health conscious, such as grocery co-ops, now have many solutions to this problem. There are many vegetables that have carbohydrates but not in a form that will be highly processed into concentrated carbohydrates. The complex carbohydrates from plants give you small amount of sugar but also fill your stomach so that you do not crave more. There are more and more recipes for low-sugar diets in the categories of Paleolithic diet, Ketogenic diet, and Gluten Free Diet.

grassfedmeatIncreasing amounts of good grass-fed/grass finish proteins and good healthy fats are also a way to fill our stomachs other than just eating plants. Many people complain how hard it is to get good quality proteins and fats. But if we research enough and make the right decisions, many people can afford these proteins and fats. There are many farmers that are gravitating towards good quality grass fed/finished proteins. It is much cheaper to obtain quality meats than going through the convenient stores. The key is to find out how they grow their animals..

Unfortunately for seafood, unless it is caught in the wild, the quality  of the food drops significantly. It may be cheap at typical grocery stores, but that is because the fish are farm raised. They have less nutrients, such as Omega fatty acids and Vitamin B complexes.  Also there are mercury in deep sea fish, which only allows us to consume once a week. And it is only harder to get seafood if you live inland. However, there are fishers that go fishing all season, freeze their catch and sell it much cheaper than what you can buy from common grocery stores. Check out your farmer’s markets and ask around.

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“Physical inactivity produces an abnormal gene expression and is a direct causal factor of most chronic health conditions by its direct alteration of gene expression from normal phenotype to a preclinical or clinical phenotype.” F.W. Booth Ph. D. J. of Applied Physiology 2002

Physical Activity

Immobility is poison. Exercise is nutrition! When the holidays come, our schedules are tighter and it’s harder to get physical activity. That is why by next year in January, people have tight atrophied muscles and increased body fat. Many people’s ideas of getting physically active is running around miles and miles and lifting tons and tons of weight. Getting 20-30 minutes of physical activity that involve some cardio, some minor weights or exercises, and topping it off with yoga every day is a good start to maintain a sufficient amount of physical activity.

Once you get to a certain level of strength and agility, you start needing harder physical activity to build up more muscle strength. As you notice when you get older, the amount of muscle build up significantly slows down and it is harder to maintain muscle mass. Once muscles begin to atrophy, our mobility significantly decreases. Also the neurological connection between the muscles and brain start to degenerate, making coordination harder. Eventually, we are in bed all the time, slowly degenerating.

This can be all prevented with physical activity that we can maintain early on in our lives. More stimulation of muscles means more activity and growth for the nerves in the brain and body. Then the body starts to increase blood flow and to gain muscles, grow nerves, and detoxify your body from harmful toxins.

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Meditation

Stress has been a great contributor of hormones that damage our bodies. Stress can cause excess amounts of hormones such as cortisol. These hormones stimulate fight or flight responses and increase anxiety, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, high blood sugar levels, and many more. To decrease this stress hormone, we need to be able to manage our stress and relax our brains. Research has shown that stress is strongly related to brain wave patterns.

Brain waves

Brain waves are pattern of neuronal activity in the section of the brain which can be recorded.  The record is known as the electroencephalogram (EEG). Brain waves are broken up into four main categories, determined by the frequency of the wave.

Brain waves are patterns of neuronal activity in the section of the brain which can be recorded.  The record is known as the electroencephalogram (EEG). Brain waves are broken up into four main categories, determined by the frequency of the wave.

Beta: This is a conscious brain wave. It is characterized as a state of being awake, alert, and concentrating. If this stage is maintained for a prolonged period, it becomes associated with feelings of tension, worry, fear, or anxiety.

Alpha: This is also a conscious state, but identified with the mental experience where images are not identified. It has come to be associated with feelings of pleasure, pleasantness, tranquillity, serenity and relaxation. It can also imply a relaxed concentration.

Theta: Theta has come to be associate with such things as hypnogogic imagery, day dreaming, sleep, cognition of problem solving, future planning, remembering, switching thoughts, and creativity.

Delta: This state is predominately associated with no-dreaming sleep or deep sleep. There are some reports of individuals achieving this set of brain wave patterns while still retaining consciousness.

Things which lower the EEG frequency are:

  • LSD, sedative drugs

  • Large doses of alcohol

  • Very low blood sugar

  • Lack of oxygen

Things which raise the EEG frequency are

  • Caffeine

  • Small doses of alcohol, barbiturates

  • Low blood sugar

  • Excess of carbon dioxide (CO2)

As you can see, breathing affects our EEG frequency.

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The deeper you breathe, the more oxygen you get into your lungs. More oxygen getting into your lungs means more oxygen getting into your blood; because of this, most systems in your body are going to work much more efficiently than they would if you breathed shallowly.

Inhaling slowly and deeply sends more energy to heal your sympathetic nervous system, which is concerned with preparing your body to react to situations of stress or emergency by accelerating your heart rate, constricting your blood vessels, and raising your blood pressure.

Exhaling slowly and completely gives a signal to your parasympathetic nervous system to help it detoxify more deeply. This system serves to slow the rate and force of your heartbeat, decrease your blood pressure, and enhance your digestion.

The slower you inhale the more oxygen you take in, creating more energy and helping your body to detoxify and cleanse itself better. When you exhale slowly, more energy reaches your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps you relax and also helps to detoxify and cleanse your body. Simply breathing hard will not help; you can hyperventilate and cause an excess of CO2 and stimulate the sympathetic nervous system. This will stimulate the brain to emit Beta waves and cause a stress response.

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There are many different Meditations that consists with breathing techniques. Starting with Zazen Meditation would be a good start.  (Here is a instruction link from Dharma Field):

http://dharmafield.org/meditation/online-meditation-instruction/

 


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Heel Lifts and Inserts

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Many people heard of heel lifts or inserts and some people were prescribed them from medical doctors. There are many experiences regarding heel lifts or inserts to help balance the leg length differences. Most often times they are used inappropriately. Some people have a functionally short leg which does not require heel lifts or inserts. Only to those who have a anatomically short leg with specific conditions may be helpful. Not all the time can the heel lifts can be helpful. How do we know when you have functionally short leg or an anatomically short leg?

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To determine a anatomically short leg, the easiest way to find out is to get a ruler to put on the top of the knees parallel to the floor and then on front of the knee while you are sitting. If the knees are even on the top but one leg is short on the front of the knees, it is a good possibility that there pelvic misalignment that can be corrected by a Chiropractor. If both top and front of the knee indicates a short leg on one side, then there is a pelvic misalignment or an anatomical short leg. If the ruler show that it is only a slight difference, then most likely it will be a pelvic misalignment.
When it is a pelvic misalignment, it is considered a functionally short and chiropractic adjustments will help to regain balance. When it is a true anatomically short leg, there are conditions for giving heel lifts.

Dr. Gonstead’s Conditions for Heel Lifts:
  1. There must be a leg length deficiency of 6 mm on the radiological film.
  2. A rotary scoliosis must be toward the side of the leg in question.
  3. There must not be any hip joint degeneration to a marked degree nor a knee problem on that side.
  4. The client should not be older than 35 years of age. Never give heel lifts until growth has ceased, which would never be before 18 years of age.

After the first radiological x-ray film, chiropractic adjustments to correct the spine and using heel lifts, retake the radiological x-ray film after 30-60 days to make sure that the condition is not getting worse. The most area you will see changes in the most is the upper neck and the junction between the middle to low back will change for better or worse.

When the client gets a burning sensation in back after wearing the heel lift, don’t worry because it is a compensation and eventually the body will get used to the heel lift. Heel lift should not be given if there is pain involved, only after the pain is gone. The heel lift is for stabilization of the spine and hips and the heel lift itself does not correct anything.

The leg measurement from the crest of the ilium to the malleolus is worthless, but it is commonly used medically to determine if a built up shoe is indicated.wpid-photo-12-jan-2014-0134

Potential Long-Term Side Effects of Using Heel Lifts:

If a lift raises only the heel, then there can be “bridging” between the heel and the ball of the foot. This lack of mid-foot support can cause arch problems, particularly if a soft lift is constantly pushing the foot upward against the tongue of the shoe. This can be avoided by using a lift which is long enough to support the mid-foot almost all the way forward to the metatarsal area, and which does not compress when walking. A well-designed heel lift should effectively tilt the foot bed or insole forward as if it were part of the last of the shoe, rather than leaving the mid-foot unsupported. In heel lifts, longer is better.high-heel

The addition of a lift in the heel of a shoe causes the foot to be resting on a slope downward toward the toes. This can cause fore-and-aft slippage in the shoe when walking, and can result in calluses under the metatarsal or ball of the foot or the large toe. This effect is very dependent on the person’s gait and stride, and is seldom serious unless the calluses become corns, but they can be annoying. Such calluses can be avoided or reduced by the use of cushioned or silk socks, to reduce skin friction while walking.

Achilles tendon issues since a heel lift raises the foot within the shoe, it can cause inflammation of the tendon due to the pressure and rubbing of the narrower top part of the heel cup or heel counter pressing against the tendon, and it can cause shortening of the tendon and hamstrings due to the reduced angle at the ankle from the steeper slope on which the foot rests. Tendons which are not stretched regularly tend to shorten. The reduction in tension on the Achilles’ caused by use of a heel lift can be beneficial, if the therapeutic goal is to allow for tendon healing. Achilles’ tendon shortening can be counteracted by regular stretching exercises which stretch the calf and bend the foot and ankle gently upward under light tension.

All molded foam in-shoe lifts are soft enough to create appreciable vertical motion in the shoe when walking or running, and the increased rubbing of the heel can cause calluses and blisters, inflammation of the Achilles tendon, and excessive wear on socks and shoes. Also, the constant pressure of a soft shoe lift pressing upward against the foot has the potential to cause or aggravate mid-foot and arch problems. Unless you are trying to cushion or reduce impact on inflamed pressure points such as plantar warts or heel spurs, the use of compressible gel or foam heel lifts should be avoided.

A Short-Term Issue

In the short term, the most acute problem likely to come from using shoe lifts is associated with “height-enhancing” heel lifts, which are placed more than 1/2″ inside common types of shoes. If the height inserted is more than 1/2″, the heel will not be firmly held in place by the shoe and the wearer will tend to walk out of the shoe, and be prone to sprain or break an ankle after losing control when the ankle rolls to the side with the foot tucked under. Shoe inserts which add more than 1/2″ of height should be avoided, due to this risk.

Only you can determine whether possible issues resulting from the use of therapeutic or height-enhancing shoes or lifts are acceptable for you and your body, but the use of in-shoe heel inserts is probably best prescribed and monitored by a Chiropractor.


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Stress

There are 65 trillion chemicals in the brain processed and produced every second of your life. The Pharmaceutical industry knows 11,000 that are on the market. Just from that ratio, we can definitely say that our body has very complex body chemistry. The process of chemicals or messages from the brain to the body can be influenced by many things such as stress! This blog is going to talk about how the body works with stress, and how we can maintain our healing in our body and help the healing process by simple things we can do at home.

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Electric Conducting Gel

First of all, we need to talk about how doe the brain function with stress. When a specific command travels down the spinal cord from the brain to the body, or when sensory information is being transmitted back up the spinal cord to the brain, there is a “flash” of “electricity” that carries the messages. Quick body responses and sensory perceptions are the result.

At the same time though, there is also a low-grade “wave” of radio frequency traveling up and down your spinal cord that determines the “mood” or “tone” of your central nervous system. This affects your level of consciousness and awareness, your mood, and the slower metabolic and hormonal functions of your body.

Scientifically speaking, your spinal cord is a thick string of pizo-electric gel (electricity conducting jelly). The frequency it is working at is determined by the amount of tension and/or torsion being placed at either end of the “string”. Just like the guitar string, the tightness of the cord determines the tune that is being played.

Brain Waves

During the transmission of electrical signals from the brain down the spinal cord, there is certain measurements that can be made with relation to stress, relaxation, and rest.

The pattern of neuronal activity in the cerebral cortical section of the brain can be recorded electrically. This is done by measuring the electrical potential difference between two points on the scalp. The record is known as the electroencephalogram (EEG). Brain waves manifest themselves as oscillating voltage. They have two main dimensions: the frequency of oscillation and the amplitude.

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The EEG is considered to monitor “gross” neuronal activity. It does not monitor individual neuron, but large groupings. Whenever rhythms are seen in the EEG, it is the net result of many thousands of neurons “in unison.”

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The frequency predominately determines the amplitude of the brain wave, but there can be fluctuations of amplitude at a given frequency. Brain waves are broken up into four main categories, determined by the frequency of the wave. The borders of these categories are more or less arbitrary. The following table is approximately correct:

Beta: This is a conscious brain wave. It is characterized as a state of being awake, alert, and concentrating. If this stage is maintained for a prolonged period, it becomes associated with feelings of tension, worry, fear, or anxiety.

Alpha: This is also a conscious state, but identified with the mental experience where images are not identified. It has come to be associated with feelings of pleasure, pleasantness, tranquillity, serenity and relaxation. It can also imply a relaxed concentration.

Theta: Theta has come to be associated with such things as hypnogogic imagery, day dreaming, sleep, cognition of problem solving, future planning, remembering, switching thoughts, and creativity.

Delta: This state is predominately associated with no-dreaming sleep or deep sleep. There are some reports of individuals achieving this set of brain wave patterns and still retain consciousness.

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Sleep Cycle

The EEG pattern changes throughout the night. These changes can determine when dreaming occurs. The chart below is an average sleep cycle during those eight hours.

Stage one is the drowsy period of sleep, characterized by what is known as sleep spindles (spindle-alpha).

Stage two is a sleep where responses to external and/or internal stimulation can occur.

Stage three means you are on your way to Stage 4.

Stage four is deep sleep. It is also delta state and is not associated with dreaming. REM states (Rapid Eye Movement) is where most dreams occur.

Things which lower the EEG frequency are:

  • LSD, sedative drugs
  • Large doses of alcohol
  • Very low blood sugar
  • Lack of oxygen

Things which raise the EEG frequency are

  • Caffeine
  • Small doses of alcohol, barbiturates
  • Low blood sugar
  • Excess of carbon dioxide (CO2)

Hypnosis has little effect on the EEG. What is contained in the hypnotic suggestion is what change frequencies and make the difference. However, influencing your breathing patterns does change and affect the EEG frequency. The key is to change the pattern of electrical frequency from the brain and spinal cord. There are simple exercises that will help to control this which you saw above is to control your breathing!

Breath

The deeper you breathe, the more oxygen you get into your lungs. More oxygen getting into your lungs means more oxygen getting into your blood; because of this, most systems in your body are going to work much more efficiently than they would if you breathed shallowly.

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Inhaling slowly and deeply sends more energy to heal your sympathetic nervous system, which is concerned with preparing your body to react to situations of stress or emergency by accelerating your heart rate, constricting your blood vessels, and raising your blood pressure.

Exhaling slowly and completely gives a signal to your parasympathetic nervous system to help it detoxify more deeply. This system serves to slow the rate and force of your heartbeat, decrease your blood pressure, and enhance your digestion.

The slower you inhale the more oxygen you take in, creating more energy and helping your body to detoxify and cleanse itself better. When you exhale slowly, more energy reaches your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps you relax and also helps to detoxify and cleanse your body.

A good way to control your breathing is through meditation. There are many forms of meditation but if you can find a local Zen Center that will teach you Zen Meditation, that will be a great way to start and they don’t charge you for learning Zen Meditation. Qigong, Tai Chi is another way to learning breathing exercises. There are many Qigong/Tai Chi schools in most cities since they are more popular. Look up a Qigong/Tai Chi school that will teach you the exercises or find some good reputable videos online or library that will teach you a good easy method for beginners. Sometimes these exercises will not be enough. Then we need to look at more deeper which can be a spinal problem.

Chiropractic and Nervous System

Subluxation (misalignment in the spine) affects the sympathetic nervous system is the most likely to create a vulnerable system in which psycho-physiologic disorders may develop. The imbalance between sympathetic and parasympathetic systems leads to dysfunction and pathology.The removal of subluxation may either relieve or diminish the symptomatic intensity of the psychological problem.

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Chronic muscle tension created by imbalances in the nervous system has been intimately associated with neurosis and psychosis. Re-education of proprioceptive feedback from muscles, ligaments and fascia to the spinal cord, reduces cortical excitation, which diminishes the barrage of impulses to the muscles and viscera. Organization and integration of cognitive and cognitive function is restored and a corrective emotional response takes place. Dr. Gonstead noticed that subluxation has caused hormonal imbalances and caused many mental conditions such as depression, nervousness, nervous breakdowns, emotional outbursts, loss of memory, alcoholism, and other miscellaneous mental illnesses.

The cause of subluxation can be complex and hard to pin point the event, but we know that subluxation can cause the inability to mentally adapt to stress. When breathing, Tai Chi/Qigong, Zen meditation, and other conventional therapy doesn’t work, then send them this blog because it might answer a lot of questions regarding stress.


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Stressed or Lethargic

Stressed or Lethargic

Our body goes through various sign and symptoms such as panic attacks, anxiety, depression, dizziness. These are a sign of imbalance within the nervous system called the Autonomic Nervous system. This system controls your everyday body funtion. The well known sympathetic nervous system regulates the fight or flight. The opposite parasympathetics nervous system regulates rest and digest. Each of these system constantly regulating each other to keep the balance. If one system gets predominant, then you start experiencing different signs and symptoms. I have a common list of situations causing symptoms, and illness that will experience. Most people have a multiple combination of health conditions that are going on, so it will not always be clear as black and white. This list shall give you an example and if you have any of the following list and have questions about them, please contact our office at info@zenchiropracticinc.com for more information.

People who have imbalances in these systems may have a clinic situation that may helped with Chiropractic. In our office we monitor these autonomic nervous systems and find a solution to create balance between to the two systems.

Under Normal Circumstances, the Sympathetic Nervous System promotes the ability to be active and the defense mechanism of fight or flight.

Sympathetic Nervous System increases vigilance and arousal to quickly notice and respond to danger.

Symptoms: Hyper-vigilance; startling easily ;nervousness ;anxiety; fear

Illness: Chronic or severe anxiety; panic attacks


Sympathetic Nervous System increases blood pressure to get blood to the brain and vital organs

Symptoms: White coat high blood pressure

Illness: Hypertension, strokes from prolonged high blood pressure, heart disease; heart attacks


Sympathetic Nervous System increases heart rate to circulate fuel and oxygen to vital organs for activity and defense

Symptoms: Fast heart rate

Illness: Fast arrhythmia


Sympathetic Nervous System increases fuel availability (sugar, fats…) to the brain, muscles and other organs you need it during exercise and defense. Because insulin promotes food storage

Symptoms: High blood sugar; high cholesterol; low insulin

Illness: Type 1 diabetes, with increased risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease,…; hypercholesterolemia


Sympathetic Nervous System increases adrenaline to facilitate changes in blood pressure, heart rate etc

Symptoms: shakiness; palpitations; butterflies in the stomach; difficulty concentrating

Illness: chronic anxiety, panic, hypertension, and others listed here


Sympathetic Nervous System increases oxygen circulation to vital organs to provide fuel for activity and defense while decreasing circulation to non-vital organs such as skin, the extremities

Symptoms: Cold hands and feet ;headaches

Illness: Peripheral neuropathy


Sympathetic Nervous System increases blood clotting ,which minimizes blood loss if wounded during defense such as fight/flight

Symptoms: Strokes; clotting disorders

Illness: Strokes


Sympathetic Nervous System increases pupil size and peripheral vision to maximize awareness of sources of potential danger

Symptoms: Blurry vision when trying to focus on narrow vision

Illness: Prolonged visual changes


Under Normal Circumstances, the Parasympathetic Nervous System promotes the ability for rest and digest. Such as recover, digest, play, and create. The symptoms and illnesses include: depression, weight gain, dizziness and light headedness, low blood pressure, low heart rate, fatigue, diarrhea.


Parasympathetic Nervous System decreases clarity of thought as a part of a numbing process to avoid pain and overwhelming emotions.

Symptoms: foggy thinking, confusion, slowed thinking, difficulty organizing thoughts

Illness: depression, numbness


Parasympathetic Nervous System decreases blood pressure in times of safety, and decreases
it even further to save energy when survival is at stake.

Symptoms: low blood pressure; dizziness – light headedness


Parasympathetic Nervous System decreases heart rate, which is associated with the ability to feel calm, to bond, and to be in relationship. In times of grave threat, heart rate is decreased further to save energy through a state of immobility.

Symptoms: slow heart rate

Illness: slow arrhythmia; sudden death; ventricular fibrillation


Parasympathetic Nervous System increases fuel storage (sugar, fats…) in the body, 
which​serves as a reserve for times of scarcity. The Parasympathetic Nervous system promotes the secretion of insulin and makes tissues sensitive to insulin to promote the storage of glucose in particular.

Symptoms: low blood sugar; low cholesterol; high insulin; weight gain

Illness: obesity; hypoglycemia


Parasympathetic Nervous System increases oxygen circulation to non-vital organs in times of safety. Provides fuel and removes wastes from the skin, the extremities, the digestive tract, reproductive organs….; In times of grave threat, shuts down metabolism to save energy until the threat is gone. Some of these activities are similar to Sympathetic nervous system processes and may be difficult to differentiate.

Symptoms: difficulty thinking; increased or decreased intestinal activity (diarrhea; slowed gastric emptying)

Illness: peripheral neuropathy