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


What’s best for the patient?

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think hard

“What’s best for the patient?”  I am always looking at Chiropractic from the lens of what is best for the patient.  I was going through research and I wanted to know, given the health care options in America, what is the best choice for your health.   A few questions that I will address.

– Which intervention gets patients back to work with the fewest days of missed work?

-Which healthcare intervention has the highest patient satisfaction?

-Which intervention is the most affordable?

-Which intervention is the safest, given current malpractice rates among providers?

What healthcare intervention has the fewest number of work days missed? 

According to a study in the Chiropractic Journal of Australia, Chiropractic care can get Worker’s Compensation patients back to work 4X faster than traditional medical care.  Of course that could be good or bad depending on how well you like your job.

Which healthcare intervention has the best patient satisfaction?  

According to a survey in 1989 by Dr. Cherkin, patients who received Chiropractic care were 3X more likely to report high levels of patient satisfaction than those who received traditional medical care.  Patients who also reported high levels of satisfaction with care were more likely to believe that their Chiropractor cared about them.

Which healthcare intervention is the most affordable? 

Multiple studies have demonstrated that Chiropractic provides significant cost saving to both patients as well as insurance carries.  A study from the Journal of Occupational Medicine showed that Chiropractic fees were up to 10X less expensive when compared to patients who did not receive Chiropractic care.   The average savings per patient was approximately $900.

Which healthcare intervention is the safest given current malpractice rates among providers?

The medical specialty with the highest malpractice was a neurosurgeon.   A Chiropractor was ranked as one of the lowest risk providers.   A Chiropractic adjustment is much safer than a procedure which is more invasive such as medicine, injections or surgery.

When choosing a healthcare provider the 4 key areas of interest are: how long will it take, patient satisfaction, cost and safety.   In all 4 key areas Chiropractic has the best outcome.   If you want your healthcare to be fast results, affordable, safe and highly satisfying than Chiropractic the right choice for you and your family.

Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center

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

Grand Rapids, MI 49534


Golf: Can Chiropractic help?

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tiger golf quote

“I really like golf but it’s starting to catch up with me.  I can’t hit the ball as far as I used to and it’s starting to hurt my back.”  How do the pros maintain or even improve their game?   PGA stars Tiger Woods and Zach Johnson have used Chiropractic for years to improve their game and maintain a competitive edge.  Does Chiropractic give this competitive edge to the average golfer as well?

To some, golf is a leisure sport with very little stress.  However to those who play golf competitively there is a considerable amount of stress put in the spine, hips and shoulders every game.  Golfers must go from a relaxed standing position to delivering a strong, accurate swing.   This requires balance, good posture, and fluid rotation of the hips and spine.   Poor posture, tight muscles and tension in the spine can drastically affect performance.

Spinal problems are not uncommon among golfers.   It is so common that PGA instructor Tom Ward stated “Over 50% of all golfers will experience some sort of pain due to posture and the health problems that arise from loss of proper curves in the spine.”

A simple consultation and examination are all that is needed to determine if you can benefit from Chiropractic care.  If Chiropractic is a good fit for you, your Chiropractor will gently and specifically adjust areas of the spine to improve range of motion, strength, and decrease pain. 

Research has shown that Chiropractic care is more effective than stretching alone.  2 groups were studied, with 1 group receiving Chiropractic and stretching and 1 group receiving stretching only.   After 4 weeks the stretching only group had no improvements to their swing.  The Chiropractic group noted improved swing, greater shot distance and less discomfort.

If you would like Chiropractic to help your game, give us a call for a free consultation.

Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center

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

Grand Rapids, MI 49534


What a relief! Ear Infections & Chiropractic

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“He’s had some ear infections, you know, the normal amount.”   While ear infections are common they are not normal.   Ear Infections are the 2nd most common reason children go to the doctor’s office.  Ear infections are also the most common reason children begin Chiropractic care.   As a caring parent you just want what’s best for your child, often what’s best for your children is a Chiropractic check up.

One common reason children experience ear infections is that the Eustachian tubes (tubes in the ears) are smaller than that of adults.   When the ears are draining properly, fluid (dirt, debris and, water) travel from the middle ear down the back of the throat.   If there is a misalignment at the top of the neck than the middle ear does not drain properly.   This back up of fluid and debris can contribute to an ear infection.  It is a lot like a river that has been blocked off, creating a stagnant pool of water inside the ear. 

What causes a misalignment at the top of the neck in children?  This misalignment is usually caused from the birthing process.   If there a complication, long labor time, C-section, medication used such as Pitocin, epidural or vacuum extraction, any of those can cause trauma to the infants’ neck and shoulders.    Trauma to the neck and shoulders can cause subluxation or interference to the infants’ nervous system.   This can contribute to a child’s ears not draining correctly.   Often this results in an ear infection.

A Doctor of Chiropractic is trained to analyze, identify and adjust areas of Subluxation in the spine.   An adjustment is a gentle and effective way to restore proper communication from the brain to the body.  In this case specifically the ear.   Once the nervous system is functioning properly, the ear can drain properly.   A recent study by Dr. Fallon found that of patients who completed chiropractic treatment, 80% of patients were free of ear infections for at least 6 months.

If your child has experienced recurrent ear infections, rounds of antibiotics, or had a recommendation for tubes in the ears, a Chiropractic check up could be the solution that you’re looking for.

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


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