Nutrition Before the Holidays

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Nutrition Before the Holidays Flier- 10-10-13

No sleep? It’s more dangerous than you think

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sleep on booksTrouble sleeping is nothing new but how do you solve sleeping issues?   While not getting a good night’s sleep is problematic for many families, the dangers are well known.  Could a lack of sleep actually be killing you?

While there are many causes for poor sleep, the health effects are well documented.   Impaired sleep can dramatically weaken your immune system making you more vulnerable to illness.   It has also been shown that poor sleep accelerates tumor growth.   In addition a lack of sleep can cause a pre-diabetic state, triggering food cravings and low energy.   There is also the well known factor of memory loss.  A recent report from Science Daily showed that people who suffer from chronic insomnia are 2-3 times more likely to die from any cause due to sleep impairment.  In short nothing positive comes from poor sleep.

A good night’s rest not only leaves you feeling refreshed but it physically recharges and heals your body.   Think of a poor night sleep as forgetting to charge your phone and then expecting it to perform well the next day.  So what can you do, naturally, to improve sleep?

What effect does Chiropractic care have on insomnia?   Let’s answer this by first stating that Chiropractic is not a treatment for any specific condition.   Chiropractic’s goal is to relieve areas of stress and misalignment in the spine.  If the insomnia is caused by or aggravated by misalignment’s in the spine then Chiropractic care would be very helpful.   To determine whether this is a Chiropractic case simply call your local Chiropractor and get an evaluation.   I have seen many cases where the patient reports less pain and better sleep following Chiropractic care.

What can I do naturally to improve my sleep?  These 5 things will get you on the right track to a good night’s rest.

Sleep in the dark.  It is incredibly important to sleep in a room that is both quite and completely dark.  Given the increase of electronics, there are plenty of distractions such as clocks, phones, computers and TV.  These need to be turned off, out of sight or put in another room.

Exercise regularly, 30 minutes 3-5 times per week.  A good workout decreases anxiety and can improve sleep.  Try to exercise in the morning, exercising to close to bed time can actually make you more alert.

Avoid work before bed time.   It is ideal to stop doing work at least 1 hour before sleep.  That hour or so will help calm and relax your mind.  Also try not to watch TV or use electronics during your unwind time as that can stimulate your mind.

Avoid alcohol and caffeine.   While some alcohol will may help you relax, alcohol has a sedative effect which helps you close your eyes but not truly sleep.  It can disrupt your sleep wake cycle, so when you awaken you still feel tired and groggy.  Caffeine can also delay sleep or cause you to wake up before you need to and is best to be avoided.

Consider a melatonin supplement.  Melatonin is a natural chemical in your brain that regulates sleep.  This chemical is normally regulated by sunlight or the lack sunlight.   Ideally sunlight first thing in the morning would trigger wakefulness and night time would trigger sleep.  With today artificial lights and electronics our melatonin production can be impaired.  A melatonin supplement can be a gentle way to increase sleepiness and sleep for a longer period of time.

Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center

Serving the greater Grand Rapids area; Standale, Walker, Wyoming, and Grandville

Grand Rapids, MI 49534



How much weight would you like to shed?

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Are you looking for a before and after photo?

How much weight would you like to lose?   Why do you want to lose weight?   What would a successful weight loss feel like?  Many Americans spend moments of their day wondering what life would be like if they were a healthy weight.  If I could lose even 10 lbs life would be so much better!   Losing weight is easier than you think but it does help to have an experienced coach in your corner.

Weight gain doesn’t happen overnight nor is it an overnight fix but in a couple months you could be a totally different person.  First off find out what is the powerful “why?”  Weight loss never works if it’s something temporary or superficial.   Is it to be there for your kids?  To lower medication?  To regain your athletic ability? To get a better job?  There are many good reasons to lose weight but you have to find out which one is uniquely yours.

Are you looking for a before and after photo?  Let me tell you about Tom.   Tom was having trouble losing weight.  His weight was keeping him from the career he wanted, he was fatigued easily and the weight had also affected his self esteem.  He had been overweight since high school and he wanted a new life.   He tried exercise and dieting but that was slow and difficult to manage.  Then he found something that worked.

Tom and his wife started the Take Shape for Life program.   The results were fast.   With the assistance of a health coach from Take Shape for Life Tom, lost over 20 Lbs his first month.   He went on to lose 70 Lbs over 16 weeks.   Now he has his life back and is pursuing his career in Law Enforcement.   He is able to run and has  energy to play with his kids.   If you know someone that wants to make a change, we can help.

I only need to lose 10 Lbs will this program work for me?   It will, I have used it myself.  Before going on vacation in 2011 I used TSFL to lose 11 Lbs in 2 weeks.   It was fast and easy to follow.    Losing 11Lbs without exercising is usually quite a challenge but with training and nutrition it was quite simple.


Tom Hungerford side by sideTom Hungerford final


Whether you are losing a couple pounds or making a significant change, we can help.  Give us a call today.

How did I gain this weight?  Here are the top 5 ways to quickly gain body fat.  If you wish to lose weight simply reverse or avoid these 5 things.  If you have questions please call our office, we would be happy to help.

-Eating food that is packaged and has a long shelf life.   Boxed food that can stay on the shelves for a while often is dense in Carbohydrates which trigger weight gain.  These foods are usually made with very little fiber which is necessary for healthy blood sugar.  This includes pop tarts, chips, crackers, pizza, and pasta’s to name a few.

- A food allergy or sensitivity.  Irritation from food sensitivities can cause weight gain, swelling and inflammation.  The 2 most common food sensitivities are dairy as well as gluten.  Dairy can be found in milk, yogurt, and cheese.  Gluten can found in anything with bread, dough or pasta.  To find out if your body is sensitive to these foods try eliminating them for a month and monitor the outcome.  

-A lack of sleep or poor sleep.  Sleep essentially recharges the body.   Depriving yourself of sleep can increase the stress hormone cortisol, which triggers weight gain.  It is important to allow 7-8 hours of sleep per 24 hour period.   If you are having trouble sleeping, talk to your Wellness Doctor to figure out a natural solution.

-Lack of exercise.  Exercise is vital for maintaining or losing weight.   At a minimum 15 minutes of exercise 3 times a week.  No time?  Try working out before you start your day.   30 minutes of exercise in the morning stimulates your metabolism as well as lowers anxiety and insomnia.

- Stress or depression.  Stress alters your body in all kinds of ways.  One way is to trigger excessive appetite and store body fat.  The key to breaking this cycle is first to identify what the stress is and then working with a Wellness Doctor to make a game plan.  It could be stress on your nervous system, chemical stress from food or medication or you could be physically drained from home or work.   Lowering or adapting to your stress can side step weight gain. 


Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center

Serving the greater Grand Rapids area; Standale, Walker, Wyoming, and Grandville

Grand Rapids, MI 49534


What’s stress go to do with it?

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bang head here

“Humans today experience more stress in one day than their ancestors did in their entire lives. “  What effect is stress having on your life?  Are you noticing high blood pressure, food cravings, sleep disturbances, pain, trouble losing weight, or mental confusion?   How is stress changing your energy, mood, or posture?   If your stress is not where you want it to be, don’t worry improving your stress is easier than you think.

Your body is a reflection of how well you are adapting to all the stresses in your life.   Unresolved or uncontrolled stress always will lead to illness and disease.   We are told today that illness is caused by bad luck, bad germs or bad genes.    This is not true.   We are the product of our lifestyle choices, only a small percentage of poor health is genetic.  

The vast majority of health problems today are based in our environment and lifestyle choices.   We have more mental stress than ever before between the internet, email, phones, and television.   We have more chemical stress from environmental toxins, cheap food, always eating and drinking as well over-medication.  We also have more physical stress much of it revolving around long hours, poor posture and electronics.

So what is the solution?  Chiropractic, right?  Chiropractic is part of the solution but not the complete picture.   Chiropractic will help your body function better, which a large step in the right direction.   To truly get a grip on stress you need to lead a proactive lifestyle with proper nutrition, regular exercise, a good Chiropractic office, and constant social support.

If you would like to learn more about wellness stop by .   Here is a list of 5 easy things that can get you started on the right path, courtesy of Dr. James Chestnut.

Dr Chestnut’s Rules of Getting Started

- Start by adding sufficiency NOT removing toxicity.  It is much easier to add something good to your life than it is to take away something that is bad but desirable.

-  Eat fresh fiber first.   At each meal eat raw fruit or vegetables before consuming unhealthy food. You can still eat some junk food but just supplement it with healthy food at the same time.

- Incorporate activity into you work, family and social lives. Meet friends for walks or activities not coffee shops.

- Always shop on a full stomach. There is less chance of buying junk food and you won’t eat it if you don’t have it.

- Always judge your choices based on how you feel AFTER the choice, not before or during.

Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center

Serving the greater Grand Rapids area; Standale, Walker, Wyoming, and Grandville

Grand Rapids, MI 49534


Breathing easy past asthma

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“Mom I’m having trouble breathing.”   This is not something any parent wants to hear.   Asthma is one of America’s fast growing chronic health conditions.  In the US alone there are more than 15 million cases of asthma.  Asthma is also the #1 cause of childhood hospitalizations.   While the cause of asthma is not fully known, what is known is that asthma cases have doubled since 1994.  With new research coming out that traditional medical care for asthma may be making the problem worse, many doctors and concerned parents are turning to Chiropractic.

What is asthma?  Asthma is defined as “A respiratory condition marked by spasms in the bronchi of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing, usually resulting from an allergic reaction.”  Essentially the vessels in the lungs that are used to take in oxygen are swelled and closed off.  In essence the body is choking from the inside.

What causes asthma?  While the cause is not well known it is believed to be a combination of factors including genetics and contact with allergens in the environment.   While genetics and environmental allergens do play a role, the body’s response   is regulated by the nervous system.   Interference to the nervous system may cause asthma or make it worse.   Breathing is controlled by the brain which sends signals through the spine and into muscle in the lungs.   A disturbance to the nerves from the brain to the lungs can cause the lungs to contract inappropriately, contributing to symptoms of asthma.

A chiropractor is specially trained to look for areas of the spine that are not working correctly.   This is called a Subluxation.   When a subluxation is located and analyzed then a Chiropractor may gently adjust the spine and restore proper function.   Although some cases of asthma will not respond to Chiropractic care the majority of cases have a shown a benefit.   Research has shown that Chiropractic is effective regarding asthma is over 76% of cases.   Additional research from the Chiropractic Research Journal concluded that children under Chiropractic care enjoyed less ear infections, less asthma, fewer allergies and fewer cases of tonsillitis.

Here are some nutrition and supplemental changes to consider regarding asthma.  For more information please visit

Vitamin D- Vitamin D has health benefits beyond strong bones.  It is a vital nutrient to building a stronger immune system.   Patients who experience asthma often are deficient in Vitamin D.

Exercise with sunlight- Patients who Exercise on a regular basis have been shown to increase maximum ventilation and maximum heart rate.   Sunlight is a natural means of producing vitamin D.

Breast milk- For mothers who want children with a lower incidence of allergies and asthma, breast feeding is a must.   Breast feeding essentially gives the infant the mother’s immune system.

Omega 3 fish oil- Omega 3 fish oil is useful for restoring the proper balance of omega 3 to omega 6.   Diets that are higher in Omega 3 fish oil have been shown to have less incidence of asthma.

Avoid dairy- Dairy in almost all cases except for raw milk aggravates symptoms of asthma.  Avoid dairy if possible.

Butterbur- Butterbur is a naturally occurring plant that has been shown to decrease the symptoms of asthma.

Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center

Serving the greater Grand Rapids area; Standale, Walker, Wyoming, and Grandville

Grand Rapids, MI 49534


Gaining attention from the mile-a-minute kid

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“Please just sit still!  Honestly, I just don’t understand why you can’t sit still for 2 minutes.”  Rambunctious children often frustrate their parents but can it be helped?   While most children have decent amount of energy, some kids are genuinely hyperactive.  However does hyperactivity mean your child needs to be labeled ADHD?

Is your child simply energetic or do they have a neurological disorder?  Do they have a disorder characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity?  Just for sake of discussing let’s say your child does have ADHD.   What are the possible causes and what can you do to improve their condition.

Hyperactivity can be caused by many different things.   One of the reasons is that children who have been diagnosed with ADHD also have been shown to have under developed brains, specifically in the frontal lobe.   One of the ways you can stimulate the brain to develop is by stimulating the cerebellum, an area of the brain which is responsible for balance, movement and coordination.   The cerebellum receives input from proprioceptors (pronounced Pro-prio-ceptors).   Proprioceptors are little bundles of nerve fibers that tell your brain where you body is in space.

An example of your body using proprioceptors, would the reason you don’t need to look at your feet when you walk, because you know where your feet are.   Proprioceptors are in every joint in your body.   However the highest concentration of these fibers is in the neck, right under the skull.

The location of proprioceptive fibers is the reason that Chiropractic care is so effective.  Tension and misalignments to the neck interfere with the information received in the brain. Chiropractic care gently realigns the spine allowing for proper communication.  Proper communication can improve brain development.  Although Chiropractic is not a treatment specifically for ADHD, many cases of ADHD improve as a result of Chiropractic care.

It’s also possible that your child is being misdiagnosed.  Age, for example, is one example of how a child may receive a misdiagnosis of ADHD. According to study reported in Science Daily “If a child is behaving poorly, if he’s inattentive, if he can’t sit still, it may simply be because he’s 5 and the other kids are 6.  There’s a big difference between a 5-year-old and a 6-year-old, and teachers and medical practitioners need to take that into account when evaluating whether children have ADHD.”

Symptoms from food sensitivity may mimic ADHD.  Here are some examples.   For more information please go to

Eliminate most grains and sugars from your child’s diet. Grains (especially breads, cereals, chips , cookies) and sugars both tend to cause allergies in sensitive individuals. Even if the grains are organic, whole grain can cause problems in many children so it would be wise to give them a grain vacation and see if their behavior improves.

Replace soft drinks (whether diet and regular), fruit juices, and pasteurized milk with pure, clean non-fluoridated water. While you may believe fruit juices are a healthy option to soda, they aren’t and need to be avoided as strictly as soda does.  Vitamins are best obtained through eating fruits and vegetables.

Increase Omega-3 oil by taking high quality animal-based omega-3 oil. Research has confirmed that Omega-3 has been shown to be more effective than stimulant medication like Ritalin and Concerta.

Minimize your use of nearly all processed fats, especially trans fats as they can disrupt nerve cell communication.

Avoid all processed foods, especially those containing artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, which may trigger or worsen symptoms.  Artificial dyes have been shown to mimic ADHD symptoms.

Clear your house of dangerous pesticides and other commercial chemicals. Pesticide exposure has been shown to increase symptoms of ADHD.

Avoid commercial washing detergents and cleaning products used on clothes, and replace them with naturally derived cleaning products with no added perfumes, softeners, etc.

As always please share with your friends and families.  If you would like to hear more about a specific topic, please feel free to email me.

Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center

Serving the greater Grand Rapids area; Standale, Walker, Wyoming, and Grandville

Grand Rapids, MI 49534


Sick and tired of being sick and tired?

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“I constantly feel run down.  I have sinus trouble, congestion, headaches and always feel sick and tired.     I know that pills are not the answer, so what can I do?”

The first thing to look at is what is causing the problem in the first place.  One of the most common causes is that your nervous system and your body are not on the same page.  If your body’s communication is poor then your ability to fight off infection is also decreased.   Tension in your spine can cause Subluxation (pronounced Sub-lux-ation) also known as a disturbance to the nervous system.

Your body is constantly fighting off bacteria, viruses and even cancerous cells.   The times when you experience illness is when your body is in a weakened state making a good environment for the bacteria or virus.  A weakened immune system can occur for a number of reasons including fatigue, stress, vitamin deficiency, Subluxation, poor nutrition or from environmental toxins.

A solution to being sick and tired could be as easy as a trip to your Chiropractor.  If your’ poor health is caused by tension to your nervous system then getting your spine checked and adjusted is a good solution.   A Doctor of Chiropractic is trained to identify, locate and adjust areas of the spine that are Subluxated. Research from Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College has shown that after a single Chiropractic adjustment the immunoregulator Interleukin 2 was elevated within 20 minutes of an adjustment.  A second study from Life College of Chiropractic measured CD4 levels in subjects who were HIV positive.  The study showed a 48% increase in CD4 levels with Chiropractic care. 

As a compliment to Chiropractic care what are some natural ways to improve my immune system?  For more information check out

Get enough sleep.  Adults require 7-8 hrs and children require 8-10 hrs per night.   Loss of sleep increases your chance of illness.  In addition to illness, sleep deprivation increases your risk of heart disease, ulcers, as well as death from any other cause.

Hold the sugar.  Sugar has been shown to be an immunosuppressant.   In addition to making you more vulnerable to illness, a diet high in sugar can lead to heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and mood swings.

Talk about your problems.   Keeping stressful situations internal has a dramatic effect on your health.   It’s important that you have strong social support, be it a spouse, friend or family member.

Exercise daily.   Daily exercise boosts immune system function.  Try to do at least 15 minutes per day.   Not only does exercise help the immune system, it reduces heart disease, increases energy and reduces mental stress.

Vitamins and supplements to note are Vitamin D, probiotics, zinc, Vitamin C and Omega 3 fish oil.

Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center

Serving the greater Grand Rapids area; Standale, Walker, Wyoming, and Grandville

Grand Rapids, MI 49534


Interview with Dr. Dan – What can Hungerford Wellness do for you?

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What to do when life’s got you by the temples

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“I would do anything to get rid of this headache.”   I have heard this statement many times as I grew up.   The good news is that usually it’s not that complicated.  In fact the solution might be as simple as seeing your Chiropractor.

What can a Chiropractor do for headaches?  It’s not so much the headache as it is the cause of the headache that the Chiropractor can help with.   From Canadian Family Physician “Over 70% of headaches arise from the spine and its related structures.”  The spine contains the nerves that relay information from the brain to the body.   Interference in the spinal cord, also called Subluxation (pronounced Sub-lux-ation), causes abnormal signals to be sent and received.   One of the many effects of tension in the spine can be a headache. 

By identifying and adjusting areas of the spine a Chiropractor can assist the body in staying healthy and headache free.

However simply getting adjusted may not prevent all headaches in the future.   There are some simple things you can do decrease the number of headaches you experience.   The easiest to do is making sure you have good neck posture.   If you were to look at yourself from the side, your ears should line up over your shoulders.   If your head is so far forward that your ears are in front of your shoulders, then that is straining your neck and over time will damage your joints and could trigger headaches.    As stated by Dr. Kapandji   “For every inch of forward head posture, it increases the weight of the head by an additional 10 pounds.”  Essentially the farther your head is past your shoulders, the heavier your head becomes.

Another common cause of headaches is dehydration.  When the body is low on water is can trigger a headache.   A basic guideline for the amount of water to drink in a day is this formula; your body weight divided by 2 and put in ounces.  Example if you were to weigh 200 Lbs, then divide 200/2= 100 Lbs and put that into ounces or drink approximately 100 oz of water per day.  Things to be aware of; food with high salt, coffee, soda, and some medications may cause you to become dehydrated.

What is caffeine’s relationship to headaches?   Caffeine can decrease or increase your chances of a headache.  How does caffeine reduce a headache?  The science of it; Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor (causes blood vessels to decrease in size) as well as blocks the chemical adenosine.  Adenosine is a natural chemical that everyone has in their bodies.   Regular or excessive caffeine use can cause both a caffeine tolerance and adenosine sensitivity.   After caffeine wears off, adenosines presence can cause dilation of blood vessels (blood vessel expansion) and pain.

Additionally Caffeine is also a diuretic.  This means that caffeine can cause you to use the bathroom more frequently, thereby losing water.  Regular or excessive caffeine use can cause chronic dehydration, contributing to headaches.

So to recap regular or excessive caffeine use (2 or more cups of coffee per day) can cause headaches after the caffeine wears off.  Caffeine can also help a headache by temporarily decreasing the size of blood vessels in the head and neck.

In conclusion use caffeine sparingly (less than 2 cups of coffee per day for adults).   Overuse and extended use can set you up for headaches.

Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center

Serving the greater Grand Rapids area; Standale, Walker, Wyoming, and Grandville

Grand Rapids, MI 49534


Allergies –How to run past the sniffles

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sick-child-sneezingCoughing, sneezing, watery eyes and difficulty breathing can be quite a hurdle when you want to enjoy time outside.   In the US alone there are over 35-40 million people suffering from allergies.   Seasonal Allergies include – a reaction to pollen, dust mites, feathers, and animal dander.  These reactions can occur throughout the year but generally are seen in the spring and fall seasons.

The immune system, the body’s natural defense, recognizes threats and eliminates intruders to the body.   Sometimes the body treats something safe as a foreign invader, thus triggering an allergic response.  The immune response is helpful when the invader is a bacteria or a virus but not very useful when the substance is harmless.

The nervous system is in charge of everything in the body including the immune system.   When the nervous system is under stress, one of the effects is an over active immune system.  Simply put – mild to moderate allergies may get significantly worse.   A doctor of Chiropractic knows how to gently adjust the nervous system thereby removing stress and enhancing proper function.   Chiropractic is not a treatment for allergies but Chiropractic is a safe and effective means of improving health and improving immune system response.

As a compliment to Chiropractic care there are natural foods and supplements that can help with allergies.  For more natural health tips visit

Raw honey: Raw honey contains pollen in small amounts and if used regularly the body may develop immunity to the spores, reducing allergic reactions.  Note this is not for infants and small children as their immune systems are not developed enough.

Omega 3 fish oil: Omega 3 fish oil has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body.  Children who ate fish on the regular basis before 1 year of age, fish contain omega 3 oil, had fewer allergies by age 4.

Butterbur: Butterbur is a natural antihistamine.  In comparison studies, Butterbur was shown to be as effective as zyrtec.

Vitamin D:  Vitamin D is essential for a healthy immune system.  Deficiency of vitamin D has been linked to allergies and asthma.

Probiotics:  Probiotics or “good “bacteria are fantastic for improving allergy responses.   Infants who are given probiotics have been shown to have fewer allergic reactions.

Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center

Serving the greater Grand Rapids area; Standale, Walker, Wyoming, and Grandville

Grand Rapids, MI 49534