Pregnancy: Expect it to be great

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Would a pain free pregnancy followed by an easy, uncomplicated delivery sound good?  Pregnancy does not have to be uncomfortable or nerve wracking.   There are safe and effective care options that can lead to a more enjoyable pregnancy.   If you’re looking for options that are safe, effective and natural then Chiropractic care is just what you’re looking for.

A common question we hear is, “is Chiropractic care safe while I’m pregnant?”   Yes.  There are no contraindications to Chiropractic care while expecting.  On your first visit the Chiropractor the doctor will sit down with you, go over your health history and discuss your health goals.  Following your consultation the doctor will perform a chiropractic exam to determine which areas of the spine may need adjusting.   Our office will complete your first visit with several diagnostic scans to measure how well your nervous system is working.   On your second visit you will see the results of your tests and discuss care options.

A common effect of pregnancy is low back pain.  This can happen for several reasons.   First is the bio mechanics of being pregnant.   The position of the internal organs can change as well as the stress and position of the spine.   This discomfort is relieved with gentle adjustments to the spine that realign and reduce pressure on nerves in the spine.

Another common ailment associated with pregnancy is nasal congestion or having a stuffy nose.   This can happen for a couple reasons.  One being increased blood pressure and the other from the increase in the hormone estrogen.   Both can cause swelling that can lead to congestion.  Chiropractic care is well known to help with sinus problems.   The nerves that control the ears, eyes, nose and throat come from the top of the neck.   If you’re experiencing sinus problems then a Chiropractic check up could be what you’re searching for.

“I toss and turn all night and just can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep.”   Sleep difficulties are not uncommon with pregnancy.  This can be due to many causes including; pain or discomfort as well hormone changes.   One of the most common effects that Chiropractic patients report, is an easier time falling asleep and staying asleep.   This could be due to Chiropractic’s effect of restoring communication to the nervous system.

A final note on Chiropractic care during pregnancy, it’s good for both the mother and the child.  Pregnant patients noticed an 82% decrease in back pain with Chiropractic care.  First time mothers noted a 24% shorter labor time and 39% shorter labor time for women with 2 more pregnancies.   If labor is shorter and less complicated the risk for C Section and medical intervention goes down.   Chiropractic it’s the essential choice for the health minded mother.

Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center

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


A Step Up: Chiropractic in the NFL

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Jerry Rice quote

How can a football player run the weekly gauntlet of hits and still show up the next week?  Did you know that all 32 NFL teams utilize the services of a Chiropractor to keep their athletes in peak condition?   It has been described that playing in an NFL game is the equivalent to experiencing a car accident every week for 16 weeks.   With that kind of physical stress on the body, performance and staying free of injury become much more of challenge.  What was the key to maintaining peak performance and longevity in the NFL?  NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice declared “Chiropractic was the key to keeping me in the game.”

How in the world does Chiropractic care improve athletic performance?  The science behind this phenomenon is quite fascinating.  First there are 2 concepts needed to understanding the benefits of Chiropractic care.

First is that the body is always self healing and self regulating.  If you have experienced a bruise or cut, you have also seen the body heal these injuries.  The body is also constantly regulating and adapting your body to the environment.   You will notice this when you experience a temperature change.  If the temperature is to hot you will sweat (cooling yourself) or if it is to cold you will shiver (warming yourself).  The body is constantly healing and adapting.

Second the nervous system is the master system for all the other functions of the body.  This includes touch, taste, movement, coordination, hormone regulation, healing, and organ function.  Everything you experience is because of your nervous system relaying information.

If you interfere with the nervous system then interfere with the body’s ability to regulate and heal.  This is especially true with the impacts experienced by football players.  Regular trauma to the back, spine, shoulders and hips can impair the body’s ability to communicate (regulation and healing).   Disturbances to the spine and nervous system are called subluxations (pronounced Sub-lux-ation).   Correction of subluxation by a Chiropractor puts your brain and your body on the same page.

The average NFL career is about 2-4 years.  How was it the Jerry Rice was able maintain a fantastic 20 year career as a wide receiver?  Jerry Rice went on to state “I have been blessed with a long and healthy career as a professional athlete and as I move forward into the next stage of my life, chiropractic care will continue to be an important part of my game.”

Make chiropractic part of your training and recovery today.  If you need a recommendation for a chiropractor in your area Dr. Dan would be happy to recommend a great office.


Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center

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

Grand Rapids, MI 49534


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