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senses trivia

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What are the five senses?
Sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.

Which one of your five senses is the fastest in the body? Your overall fastest sense is your sense of touch because it doesn’t need to travel up to the brain. Your sense of touch is complicated. This is because it relates your sense of balance and your reflexes which do not always go to the brain for approval before a reaction. An example of this is when you touch your hand to the hot stove. Ever notice that your hand moves before you realized it was hot? This is because your reflexes do not need that brain approval for reaction. Your other senses: sight, hearing, smell and taste do travel to the brain and out of those, hearing is the quickest.

Which sense requires the most brain power? Your sense of feeling and balance requires the most power, it’s estimated that up to 90% of your brain’s computing power is spent keeping your body up right, holding up against gravity.

If you had to guess, how many different smells can the human nose detect?

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The human nose can detect 10,000 different odors!

True or false – A woman’s sense of smell is greatly increased during pregnancy? This is true. The are several theories, one is that morning sickness can increase sense of smell due to nausea, another is  protection for the unborn child. A heightened sense of smell could help protect the baby from toxins or infection. While we’re talking about pregnant women, did you ever notice that pregnant women can have strange cravings, I am sure you did. But, have you ever thought of why? Many people believe this is because the woman may have a mineral or nutrient deficiency that is provided in a specific food. So a craving for pickles might mean she is in need of sodium.

Speaking of smell, how much of our taste is actually our sense of smell?  80%. That’s probably why as kids we all plugged our nose when eating our peas and beans!

How does this all relate to our spine? Can any of your senses be affected by abnormal joint position in the spine? The answer is yes, ALL our senses can be affected by abnormal joint position.  Abnormal position can impact your fight-or-flight response. Your fight-or-flight response can dull or heighten specific senses depending on your state. An example of this, how much do you care about your sense of taste when you’re running from a bear? I am going to guess, not very much, right? In this situation your body recognizes that your sense of taste is not important and it dulls that. Whereas your sense of balance and coordination would be heightened.


Pesky Pesticides

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T/F – Organic fruits and vegetables have higher nutritional value?
F – While there is a difference with the pesticides between organic and non-organic fruits and vegetables, studies have shown that the nutritional value is actually the same.

Why do you think it’s important for us to know about, and avoid pesticides?
Pesticides are designed to kill “pests”, but some pesticides can also cause health effects in people. The likelihood of developing health effects depends on the type of pesticide and other chemicals that are in the product you are using, as well as the amount you are exposed to and how long or often you are exposed.

  • Some short term effects of pesticide poisoning include: Nausea & Vomiting, Diarrhea, Loss of consciousness, Seizures, Coughing and sore throat and weakness.
  • Long term: Pesticides have been linked to cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, sterility and developmental disorders.

 

Researchers have created a list of the “dirty dozen” and “clean 15” to help consumers know when they should buy organic and when it is unnecessary.

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If you had to guess which fruits or vegetables were the worst offenders for pesticides, which would you guess?
– A general rule of thumb is if you eat the skin, and fruit/vegetable has  thinner skin, chances are that it has a higher pesticide count. These are known as the “dirty dozen”
         Think: Apples, Peaches, Peppers, Cucumbers, Cherry Tomatoes, Strawberries and Spinach to name a  few.

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Fruits and vegetables with thick skin, or vegetables that you peel tend to have fewer pesticides. These would be on the “Clean 15” list.
      Think: Avocado, Onions, Pineapples, Oranges, Sweetcorn, Kiwi, Mango and Grapefruit.

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The fruits and vegetables on “The Dirty Dozen” list, when conventionally grown, tested positive for at least 47 different chemicals, with some testing positive for as many as 67.

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is essential no matter how they’re grown, but for the items with the heaviest pesticide loads, we urge shoppers to buy organic.


Pain can slow you down…but why?

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We’ve all been slowed down by pain, right? But have you ever stopped and thought about why?

What is the purpose of pain?
Contrary to what you may believe, the purpose of pain isn’t to annoy you, although slowing down might be a good idea. The goal of pain is to keep you alive. Pain lets you know that you have tissue damage, which could end up ultimately being fatal. It’s a good warning system.

Is having a high pain tolerance a good or bad thing?
-Unfortunately people who can only feel high levels of pain are less likely to change their behavior. This can allow more tissue to be damaged which might lead to disability or ultimately death. In rare cases  kids are born without the ability to feel pain. They often have shorter life spans. Think of a child with a small infection on a cut or scrape. Normally you address the infection because you feel pain and inflammation. Without feeling these symptoms, that infection could be fatal.
-Other times, some people’s definition of a high pain tolerance actually means that they ignore pain. This is also unhealthy. Ignoring pain can create some severe mental and physical health problems.

Speaking of mental health problems, what do you think can occur from ignoring pain? Depression and anxiety are the most common. Also you are more likely to have to smoke cigarettes, vape, or have a drug or alcohol problem.

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Along with mental problems, what physical problems are caused by ignoring pain? Digestive disorders, ulcers, acid re-flux and GERD are common. Sleep disorders such as insomnia or frequently waking up can occur as well.

Tissue damage in your body does more than just send pain signals to the brain. Tissue damage also sends messages of irritation, but not signals that you can physically feel. This can cause the brain to behave in a state of stress. Long term stress in the brain can lead to abnormal function of the heart, digestive tract, and hormones. If you know someone that has been ignoring their pain or have been covering it up with medication, let them know that it’s best to find out why the pain is there and correct the cause of the issue.

 

 


Allergy

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Spring is in the air.

Sadly for many of us, this means runny noses, itchy eyes and sneezing. We’re morel likely to reach for a box of tissues than stop and smell the roses. Did you know that over 50 million Americans suffer from allergies? Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the United States, and the most common with children.

Americans spend $18 billion annually on allergy related costs.

If our body is so smart, why do we even have these annoying allergies? The answer might surprise you. Historically, our immune system worked to keep us alive, and keep us out of danger. So itchy eyes, runny nose and sneezing were a sign of a dangerous area, possibly of toxins in the air. Humans would avoid places that made them sick for obvious reasons. Now that seems a bit dated, but our bodies still work to expel those foreign bodies. Most of the time our immune system is reacting to foreign DNA. Have you even been in a musty basement that had mold? You probably noticed those annoying symptoms, this is a prime example of your body attempting to warn you of a dangerous situation.

True/False – Our body treats bacteria/viruses the same as allergies.  True, the key difference between allergies and infection is fever. Fever isn’t typically presented with allergies. One prevalent theory on why our bodies do this is based on the size of the foreign DNA. Pollen is actually quite large compared to our white blood cells, therefore we don’t try to kill it but rather eject it from our bodies with watery eyes, runny nose, and sneezing. Viruses and bacteria are smaller, and our body attempts to kill it – this is when you notice a fever.

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So, do you think chiropractic care increases or decreases the immune response? This is actually a trick question, because depending on the person it can either increase or decrease the immune system. Chiropractic care moves your body closer to having a normal immune response. As an example, people with asthma have an over active immune system, so the purpose would be to help normalize nerve function between the lungs and the brain.

If you had to guess one household appliance which is present in households where studies have found an increased number of children with allergies, what would it be? Would you be surprised if I told you it was a dishwasher? I know, this is an appliance that most of us have, or grew up with! The theory is that our dishwashers are actually getting our dishes too clean. Kids aren’t building up the immunity to common household bacteria, so their immune system over-reacts to them all. Solution: Kids hand wash the dishes, sounds fair enough to me ;)

There are many other common activities that we do that might be affecting us.

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Chlorine in swimming pools and hot tubs – This is because breathing in the vapors inflames the airway. Contact lenses can trap smoke and pollen in the eye, so you may want to consider wearing glasses. Anything else from our everyday lives?

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Perfume, cologne and indoor air fresheners can also have an aggravate our allergies, too. They can irritate nasal passages and cause swelling, which makes breathing difficult.  Another activity which most of us could be guilty of are morning walks or jogs, the pollen count is higher before noon, so if you can put your run off until evening you may be doing your sinuses a favor.  On the flip side, not exercising can affect us too. This is because exercise temporarily dilates your nasal passages making it easier to breathe.

True/False – Patients with asthma who use Chiropractic Care had higher quality of life and use less medication. TRUE Chiropractic care can be very helpful in specific instances, but not every asthma patient will benefit from care as asthma can have multiple causes. An evaluation is important.

 

 


Can getting adjusted really help you dunk?

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If you play basketball, then you know the toll it can take on your body. Aches, pain, and injuries are part of the game right? It doesn’t have to be.

Although there are many injuries that commonly affect basketball players the most common are ankles, knees and fingers. Although not everyone has the same risk of injury. It might surprise you to know that a misalignment in your lower back increases your risk of a knee or ankle injury. This is something we regularly test for to keep our athletes at peak performance.

Whether it’s rolling an ankle, taking a hit scrambling for the ball, or getting stepped on, basketball players are prone to all kinds of injuries. For different types of ankle and foot injuries, a chiropractor can do ankle and foot adjustments. Adjusting the bones and muscles of the foot restore function, decrease inflammation and relieve pain . Apart from foot problems, basketball players are vulnerable to knee injuries. Repetitive knee movements, like jumping and changing direction, can wear down this body part as well as expose it to constant blunt forces from other players. Ligaments and tendons of the knee may also be damaged during competitive play.

Although both men and women experience injuries, they don’t always get injured the same way. Among basketball players who is more likely to have a knee injury? If you guessed female, you’re correct! Female basketball players have a higher risk of knee injury than men. If you have a female athlete in your family it is especially important for them to get their spine checked to reduce their risk of injury and keep them in the game.

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So can Chiropractic care really help you dunk a basketball? This is true, although there is a catch. Chiropractic care has been shown to increase athletes vertical jump height as well as increase their grip strength. Vertical jump height and grip strength are both necessary to a great dunk. The fine print is that you have to already be fairly close to the rim before chiropractic care, but it does give you an edge.

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Do this, not that for joint pain.

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Last week in the office we spoke with our patients about healthy foods to eat to avoid inflammation. Inflammation can not only be uncomfortable due to the bloating it causes, but also painful.

Other than the foods you eat, it may surprise you that many of our daily activities are causing us to be in pain as well. Most people associate their sore back and neck to the jog they completed this morning, or when they helped their friend move last weekend. While exercising without proper stretching and poor lifting form can cause pain, there are things we do each day that are contributing to our back and next pain as well.

How many of us have desk jobs? We spend 8 hours, 5 days week sitting at our desk and then we can’t wait to get home and plop down on the couch to watch TV or read a good book. And let’s be honest, isn’t the perfect Saturday one where we didn’t even have to change out of our pajamas? Netflix marathon, anyone?

What most of us don’t realize is that prolonged sitting all day, followed by more sitting/slouching at night is wreaking havoc on our backs. The leading cause of back pain is a sedentary lifestyle with poor posture.

A few of the most common posture mistakes happen when we’re:

Looking down at your phone screen, iPad or Kindle.
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Leaning forward playing video games in front of the big screen.
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Sitting at a computer desk.
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Talking on the phone (holding our phones to our ears).
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Let’s be honest – how many of us are guilty? Now that we’ve determined how easy it is to fall into posture habits that harm our back. Lets work on getting back on track! First and foremost, get moving! If you have a desk job, consider getting up once every 1/2 hour and walk around the office. When using your iPad or Kindle, how about getting a case that allows you to position the screen at different angles. You can adjust as needed. When sitting at the computer desk, avoid strain on your shoulders and upper back by keeping the keyboard and mouse closer to you.

Those are just a few suggestions on how to ease the strain on your back, but another huge aspect is exercise in general. Exercising not only reduces stiffness in your back, it also stretches, strengthens and repairs muscles that help support your back.

If you’re experiencing low back pain, then it’s time to come on in for a check. Chiropractors work hard not only to treat your pain but help find the cause of it. As with many other areas of your life prevention is key. Just like checking up with the dentist every six months and doing a yearly physical, a check up with your chiropractor can help keep you and your back in tip top shape! Visiting the chiropractor regularly can help to keep your spine in perfect alignment and prevent future aches and pains. We also retrain your muscles so you can hold the correct alignment longer.

PHOTO CREDIT:Start Standing


Got Inflammation?

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Do you ever feel like you’re doing everything right with your diet, and yet you can’t seem to button your favorite pants? Let me guess; you’ve been working out, cutting calories, avoiding those late night cravings and you even joined a yoga class at the YMCA? It’s defeating to try so hard with little to no result.

Did you know that certain foods can actually work against your efforts and cause chronic inflammation? Inflammation can being annoying, especially when over time you notice that not only have you packed on weight, but it hurts. It’s true; there are certain foods that in addition to weight gain can actually cause inflammation and pain.

Inflammation is our body’s natural response to protecting itself against harm. There is more than one form of inflammation, first is acute. Acute inflammation occurs when you hit your elbow or worse…a paper cut! What we’re talking about in this case though, is chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation occurs in response to unwanted substances in the body. These substances can be found in number of foods that I am sure you could easily find on your daily menu.

I’m sure it’s no surprise that at the top of the list of foods that cause inflammation we see refined carbohydrates (this includes flour, white rice, processed cereals, chips, crackers and french fries). Also, I’m sure you wouldn’t be surprised if I said that sugar, caffeine and alcohol were on the list too. But would it shock you a little if I said lactose (milk and other dairy products), yeast and meats (beef, pork and less commonly poultry) were among the culprits too?

I know what you’re thinking, what’s left, right? Although there are many foods that we should avoid there are still plenty of healthy foods to enjoy. Consider the following:

     Breakfast – Try to avoid sugary processed cereal, cereal bars and bakery items. Instead try an egg, plain Greek yogurt, or      a daily shake. Instead of a glass of 2% milk, try coconut milk or almond milk.

     Lunch – Instead of having a sandwich with highly processed white bread, consider a wrap with fresh veggies and chicken.

     Snack – Try some mixed nuts or a handful of blueberries.

     Dinner – A nice salad topped with fruit, veggies, avocado or nuts could be a great way to end your day. Also a stir fry with      brown rice and vegetables is a wonderful choice.

When choosing foods, think about whole foods and don’t be afraid of colors. How about taking an alcohol or caffeine vacation? You may find that by eliminating some of the processed foods (even foods that say “low calorie or low fat), artificial sweeteners (diet sodas!), and refined carbs you may not only be able to squeeze into those pants but also feel better and more pain free at the same time!

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Photo Credit:Harvard health


If it isn’t my heart, what is it?

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Life is busy, right? If you’re not busy at work then you’re home chasing after kiddos all night. All while simultaneously cleaning the house, making dinner and packing lunches. Does this sound familiar?

So when you notice sharp pains in your back and chest it can stop you in your tracks. Thoughts of a heart attack go racing though your head and your anxiety is at the max. You rush to the hospital just to find out your heart is okay, no problems were detected, but you’re frustrated when the pain persists. It can be discouraging to be unable to keep up with your daily routine.

After you’ve had your heart checked and you are still feeling discomfort, consider calling your Chiropractor. It might be surprising to learn that having a rib out of place can actually mimic the symptoms of a heart attack. The most common symptom of a shifted rib is sharp pain in your chest or back that increases with deep breathing. Other symptoms can include shortness of breath and pain with bending forward at the waist or lifting. Generally, a shifted rib is usually only several millimeters and may not be obvious to the average person.

So how does a rib go out of place? It’s more common than you may think! We see cases like this every week. Some everyday causes include coughing, sneezing, vomiting, repetitive lifting including childcare, high stress jobs and extended computer use.

If this describes you to a T, then it might be time for a spinal check-up. Your spine encounters a lot of stress every day and a check-up with the Chiropractor is recommended at least every 6 months.

Shifted ribs are common; however the most serious potential problem could be your heart. If you are experiencing rib pain and shortness of breath make sure you get your heart checked out by an emergency medical professional first.

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Worst top 10 for your spine

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In our attempt to educate our patients we have found that sometimes humor works better than relaying research papers or how to be healthy tips.  We decided to take a sarcastic approach this week and list all the worst things you can do to your spine and assemble it into a “What not to do to your spine top 10 list.  We hope you enjoy and please do not actually do any of the behaviors in the following list.

  1.  Do your best not to follow the care plan recommended by your Chiropractor.  Ideally miss at least every other appointment and do so without contacting the office so we have no idea what happened to you.
  2. Forget the recommendations for that your Chiropractor gave you to do at home. If it was really important you would be doing it in the office.  You definitely do not want to stretch tight muscles or strengthen your core.  You want to keep your joints nice and vulnerable to re-injury.
  3. We know that normal range of motion is beneficial to the healing process for injuries so try to remain as immobile as possible.  Sitting for extended periods, no less than 4 hours is a great starting point.  For added injury try using a laptop that is set well below your eye line, that way you can strain your neck and back at the same time.
  4. Following your extended sitting of no less than 4 hours, immediately scan the room and locate the largest and heaviest piece of furniture you can find.  Next try lifting it all by yourself, preferably without using your legs, just your low back.  When lifting make sure to pull upwards in a quick twisting motion, that way your low back has no protection and you are more likely to have severe pain shortly.
  5. If you’re not injured by now try this.  As soon as you feel the slightest improvement in pain, immediately stop Chiropractic care, and resume all your previous physical activity.  Rock climbing, water skiing and bull riding are all fine choices.  There’s no reason to wait for your body to fully heal, you’re probably fine.
  6. If you do feel any soreness or stiffness, consider cracking your own neck or back.  You’re basically your own Chiropractor, no diploma needed.  Use as much force as possible and attempt to get as many “pops” as you can.   This will ensure your injuries never heal in correctly and that you will have a nice arthritis base as you get older.
  7. Hydration is important for injury healing as your tissues are mainly water.  So it would be best if you stopped drinking water completely.  Make sure to get most of your fluids from soda, coffee, the occasional energy drink and alcohol (assuming you’re of age, of course).  This will ensure that you are dehydrated, inflamed and in as much pain as possible.  Good for you.
  8. Being well rested is a key component to healing.  With that in mind make yourself as sleep deprived as possible.  Sleep no more than 5 hours per day.  In addition watch something unsettling prior to bed such as the 10 o’clock news.  Also play on your phone or tablet just before getting shut eye, that way your brain will be nice and alert when you try to relax.
  9. We know that proper blood flow is necessary for healing tissue damage.  Therefore consider limiting your oxygen intake by smoking cigarettes.  Smoking will ensure that your injuries heal at a snail’s pace.  As a bonus you get to increase your risk of cancer and false teeth.
  10. Keeping your inflammation low is important to manage pain sensitivity.  With this in mind eat only foods that are highly processed and full of sugar. Consider starting your day off with a balanced breakfast of pop tarts, fruit loops, and sugary juice.

If you find yourself chuckling while reading this list then there’s a chance you can relate to at least some of these or know someone who does. Identifying bad habits is part of the solution. Do your very best to not do any of the behaviors listed in our not top ten and if you have any questions, consult your healthcare provider. This list is satire and not to be taken as medical advice.


How fast does your body send information?

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The nervous system has to send information incredibly fast to coordinate all the systems in the body. If your brain sent a message to move your big toe how fast would that message travel in miles per hour?

The human nervous system communicates at approximately 270 mph. This is what allows your body to coordinate all of your organs at the same time.  Even with all that speed it seems like a daunting task to coordinate every organ and tissue at the same time.  Well the good thing is that you don’t have to think about it.  The Autonomic Nervous System does all this for you.  This system runs everything from digestion to body temperature.

This is why it’s important to have a nervous system that is free of interference. Nerve interference can slow down or interrupt the nerve impulses that keep your body running smoothly.