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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.


stress

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We all handle stress a bit differently, right? How do you think our bodies differentiate between physical stress and mental stress?

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This is actually sort of a trick question because in fact, our bodies don’t differentiate between the two. It turns out that our brain treats a stressful interview or exam equal to imminent danger like, say, a close encounter with a bear.

Did you know that chronic stress can turn your hair gray, cause wrinkles and also contribute to weight gain? This is because stress accelerates the aging process and limits your cells ability to repair the body. When your body is under chronic stress your body does not prioritize repairing itself, instead it is worried about removing yourself from instant danger.

As it turns out, Americans have reported being under an increased amount of stress, what do you think it contributing to American’s stress level is going up? It might be surprising to you that #1 isn’t money or job, it’s actually the future of our nation. This is different than in years past. Here are the top three reported by Americans.
#1 Fate of our nation
#2 Money
#3 Job

Now that we know what Americans are stressing about, what percentage of people in the US do you think reported lying awake at night due to stress?
- Answer: 48%

So if you talk to two people today, chances are that at least 1 of them was laying awake last night due to stress!

 

SOURCE: Daily Life Stress

http://time.com/5005076/stress-anxiety-symptoms/

 

 


Posture

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A while back when we talked about stress, we spoke about how many people who are stressed may have bad posture. We had a few patients ask us: What are some tips for improving posture? We talked so much about the results of bad posture and what can cause it, but we realized we didn’t address how to fix it. We wanted something that would easy and comfortable for anyone, but quick enough that most of us could find time in our day.

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Here are four easy steps to improve your posture.

1. 90% of readers will not do this step. Set an alarm in your phone for spinal hygiene 1x per day, 7 days a week. You spend 5 minutes a day taking care of your teeth, the least you can do is spend 5 minutes taking care of your spine.

2. Spinal Hygiene in 5 minutes a day.
a. Cat/cow – on all fours, arch back up and down slowly for 2 minutes
b. Stretch front of neck (both sides) for 30 seconds each
c. Kneeling stretch for upper thigh (hip flexors) (both sides) for 30 seconds each
d. Chest stretch (Pectoral muscles) stretch (both sides) for 30 seconds each

3. Have a good Chiropractor in your corner. Similar to having a good dental health expert or a tax expert this practical. A good Chiropractor can steer you clear of bad habits and answers questions you might have.
a. Friendly reminders on spinal hygiene
b. Questions answered correctly and quickly

4. See step 1 and make sure the reminder is in your phone :)

At our office, we printed these steps out for patients to put on their fridge as a gentle reminder. So feel free to print this post to bookmark it. One of the better strategies is to perform these exercises when you brush your teeth. Then you can do two healthy things in just 10 minutes a day. Feel free to add more activity as you become more aware of your spine. In the first 90 days just focus on setting these activities as a habit, your awareness of your posture will improve as you get more used to the activities.


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.

Sources


Life can be a real beach, if you’re not really at the beach.

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What if we told you that there’s one healthy activity you could do to keep your heart healthy, improve work production, enjoy less stress in your relationships, feel happier and live longer. What would you guess?

When asked most people guessed some form of exercise or sleep. Those are pretty good guesses, but it’s something even easier, and even more fun! Anymore ideas?

I’ll give you a hint:
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Vacation.

It’s true, but did you know that a large percentage of people who have access to PTO (paid time off) either don’t use it, or just use it as sick time? On top of that, how many of us use our vacation days for our kid’s school breaks or even when our kids get sick? Life can get so busy and it seems the first thing to be put on the back burner is vacation. We’ve all done it, said we’d wait until the kids are a bit older, or the weather is nicer. How many of us feel guilty leaving work? We put vacation off until the new employees are trained; just to have new employees follow them and so on and so forth. Many people find the solution is to take work with them on vacation. This seems like the best of both worlds, right? Studies have showed that up to 61% of people take their work with them when they leave the office. This is actually counterproductive, ideally you would be leaving the work behind as it’s important to switch off. Taking a technology break during this time would be a great idea as well.

Rest, relaxation, and stress reduction are very important for our health and well-being. Some much needed time off has significant health benefits such as; decreasing risk of heart disease and fewer arguments with your spouse. Additional benefits of vacations are more positive emotions and lower risk of a major depressive episode.

Another perk of vacations are improved relationships. According to Wisconsin Medical Journal – women who take vacations twice a year are “less likely to become tense, depressed, or tired and are more satisfied with their marriage,” and that the “odds of marital satisfaction decreased as the frequency of vacations decreased. These personal psychological benefits that lead to increased quality of life may also lead to improved work performance.”

Speaking of work, there are many benefits of taking a vacation at the work place too. Skipping out on vacation may be hindering you from completing your tasks. Working day in and day out without taking a moment to step out and disconnect can lead to no enjoyment or connection at work. Studies have also shown that not taking vacation causes people to feel resentment toward coworkers and increases likelihood of mistakes in the work place. Taking a vacation can help refresh motivation, boost productivity, improve memory skills and increase levels of happiness.

So next time you get the chance to get away, do it. Studies do show that by the third day of vacation most people will improve sleep quality and gain an hour of sleep by the 3rd day. Those effects can hold on for a minimum of 5 weeks after you return. Are you ready for a vacation?


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!

Foods that fight inflammation-infograph
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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Is your head on straight?

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Do you enjoy people watching? I know I do. If you watch a large number of people you will inevitably see a variety of behaviors and patterns. Humans all walk, talk, and eat differently. One unique thing you can look for is head tilt. Cute in puppies but very unhealthy in people. If someone literally does not have their head on straight, then that is a neurological finding indicating a structural problem.

Head tilt is a sign that the person’s brain is receiving insufficient information from the rest of the body. The brain will always attempt to keep your eyes level with the horizon, however if it cannot, that indicates a problem. Misalignment of the skull on the first bone in the neck can cause abnormal function of the nerves exiting the brain stem. Nerves in that region go to the eyes and ears.

A lack of normal function of the nerves going to the ears can cause or aggravate symptoms of tinnitus (ringing in the ear) and vertigo. Problems with the nerves going to the eyes can increase eye fatigue and make changing from long to short vision blurry. Irritation of these nerves can also increase the frequency of migraines or headaches.

Most cases of head tilt come from everyday activities with repetition. Some examples of these activities include: extended phone use, repeated use of computers, and sports such as soccer and basketball. Head tilt can also be caused by trauma such as trips, falls, and auto accidents.

If you notice someone experiencing these problems or showing signs of head tilt, consider a chiropractor who focuses on functional correction. The functional correction protocol along with state of the art technology allows our office to pinpoint problems, correct them, and track your improvement with progress evaluations. This allows for transparency between the doctor and patient, which is of utmost importance to us.

 

Hungerford Chiropractic

4172 Lake Michigan Drive

Grand Rapids, MI 49534


An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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Do Americans more commonly hurt themselves from repetitive strain injuries or from trauma like a slip and fall?

Americans overwhelmingly hurt themselves from repetitive strain injuries such as extended computer use or mechanical labor. While it’s commonly thought of that people visit the Chiropractor for heavy lifting or car accidents, the majority of injuries are actually from everyday tasks.

Have you ever heard someone say they hurt their back by bending down to tie their shoes or by spitting out their toothpaste? It doesn’t sound realistic does it?

Injuries from common everyday tasks are often a sign of pre-existing injury or degeneration. Someone thinking that bending down to tie their shoes is what caused their injury is about as reasonable as someone feeling pain from a cavity and thinking that it was caused by their last can of pop.

Keeping up with your dental check-ups is one of the best things you can do for your teeth. A Dentist who has your best interest in mind is also going to give complimentary recommendations for in between check-ups. These recommendations will vary but generally include brushing your teeth daily, flossing, and avoiding soda, sugary and acidic foods.

Dentists and Chiropractors agree that avoiding sugary foods and limiting soda is good for your health. Check-ups with your Chiropractor are one of the best things you can do for your spine. Chiropractors will also give complimentary recommendations to keep you healthy in between visits. These recommendations include exercise, stretches for your neck and back, avoiding extended computer use and limiting time on the couch.

Maintaining the bones in your body, whether they are in your mouth or spine, is an important part of your family’s health. Regular check-ups with your Chiropractor and Dentist can prevent many of life’s little, annoying problems.