June 2018 Newsletter

In this month’s newsletter:

  • Baby Coming Soon
  • Choosing the Right Sunscreen: Protect Yourself and the Coral Reefs
  • Spinal Dysfunction in Healthy Newborns
  • Texting and Musculoskeletal Disorders in Young Adults
  • How To Declutter your Life and Mind
  • Podcast: Essential Oils Expert Eric Zielinski
  • Recipe of the Month: Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Baby Coming Soon

Dina and I are expecting our third baby in this early part of June. Once the baby arrives, I will be taking a few days off to be with my family at this special time.

Shawna and Laura will be calling to reschedule people as soon as we are able to let you know. Thanks for your understanding!


Sunscreen: Protect Your Skin and the Coral Reefs

Sunlight is absolutely good for us and our health. We often hear that sunlight can cause skin cancer. Overexposure and burning of the skin can cause changes that lead to skin cancer. However, being outside in the sunshine is one of the best things you can do for your health.

The key is being outside enough to benefit, but not too much to burn! Of course there are occasions when we may not be able to limit our time outside and need some help. Loose clothing and hats are the best choice. Sunscreens are another option we can use for prolonged time out in the sun. Unfortunately, there are concerns with both traditional and ‘natural’ sunscreens. It seems that some of the chemicals in traditional sunscreens can be harmful and that titanium dioxide, found in many natural sunscreens, may cause problems as well. 

Furthermore, you may have read recently that coral reefs are damaged from traditional sunscreen chemicals.  Hawaii has just passed a ban on sunscreens that can harm coral reefs. Scientists have found that sunscreen gets washed off in the ocean and contributes to coral bleaching, killing the coral. It is estimated that 14,000 tons of sunscreen get washed off in oceans each year. 

There are ‘make your own’ sunscreen options using coconut oil as a primary ingredient. I have used the make your own variety and the EWG releases a list of safer sunscreen options each year.Three brands I have used recently are Raw Elements USABadger and thinkBaby


Study: Spinal Dysfunction in “Healthy” Newborns

As I mentioned, Dina and I will be welcoming our new baby soon. I will look forward to checking our baby for spinal dysfunction, aka subluxations, after birth. We know that the birth process is a physically challenging process for moms and babies. Strain and pressure during this process can cause spinal dysfunction and impact growth, development and health.

A 2015 study looked at patterns of somatic dysfunction in newborns 6-72 hours old. “Incidence of Somatic Dysfunction in Healthy Newborns” was published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.  Osteopaths use the term “somatic dysfunction” which is synonymous to chiropractic subluxation. This study looked for patterns and correlations of somatic dysfunction of 100 newborns based on the mother’s history, length of labor and the newborn assessment immediately upon birth. The study also found:

  • A correlation between a longer labor and the total somatic dysfunctions in the newborn.
  • “Somatic dysfunction of the cranial, cervical, lumbar and sacral regions was common in healthy newborns and the total somatic dysfunction was related to the length of labor.” Over 90% of the babies studied had cervical, lumbar and/or sacral spine dysfunction.
  • Treatment of newborn somatic dysfunctions can lead to better health for the baby. ​

Let me know any questions you have about evaluating and adjusting babies. The techniques are different than for adults. Helping my littlest patients get off to a healthy start is on the most satisfying parts of my work!

Texting and Musculoskeletal Disorders in Young Adults 

A recent study published in Applied Ergonomics examined whether mobile phone texting was a risk factor in neck and upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders in young adults. The study followed men and women between the ages of 20-24 for five years.  

Young adults grew up with mobile phones and text messaging is their most common form of communication. Other studies have already found  that due to texting, this age group has musculoskeletal disorders in the thumb and forearm as well as tendonitis in the hand and wrist. Neck flexion and repetitive movements, both of which are done when texting, contribute to musculoskeletal disorders.

The study found associations between texting and pain in the neck and upper back as well as numbness and tingling in the hands and fingers. There is a 40% increased risk for women and a 100% increase for men. The incidence for women is lower because women typically text faster than men, therefore spending less time on the task.  

Texting has a higher risk of musculoskeletal disorders in the neck and upper extremities than web browsing or watching videos on a phone. This is because the angles of head flexion are larger when texting. Sitting with the head bent and the arms not supported while texting is also attributed to upper neck/back pain.  

The highest association of pain was for those who sent over twenty texts a day however those who sent as little as six per day had upper neck/back pain. 

To avoid developing a musculoskeletal disorder, be aware of your posture when texting. Raise your phone up to your face instead of looking down at it.  If sitting, support your forearms. Be aware of how much time you are spending on your phone for non-texting activities. Could you do these on a laptop or desktop? Are there some actions on your phone you could eliminate altogether to improve the quality of your life?   

Five Tips to Declutter Your Life and Mind

“Clutter is a pile of decisions that has yet to be made.”

Do the piles of papers on your desk you’ve been meaning to sort feel overwhelming?  Are the toys all over the floor starting to stress you out? You are not alone. The clutter in your home and workplace can increase your stress level and make you less productive. Decluttering can help increase your quality of life and your overall health.

But where to start? 
This article from from the Bulletproof Blog offers five tips to declutter your life. These include:

1. The one touch rule – When you pick up an object, immediately get rid of it or put it in its proper place. Moving it to another pile won’t help the process. 

2. Be Proactive- Before you bring anything new into your space, make sure you have carefully considered if it will bring added value to your life and if you will have a place to put it. 

3. Get it Out- Boxing up items and putting them away won’t help with the clutter. It will just create neatly stacked clutter. Instead, donate the items to a thrift store where they can be put to good use. 

4.  Interrogate your clutter- Don’t let guilt or sentimentality persuade you to keep something that has no other value. By being ruthless you are practicing self care. 

5.  Declutter your calendar- Busy schedules and long to-do lists can also create incredible stress. Focus on 1-2 big projects at a time instead of lots of little tasks.

Podcast: Essential Oils Expert Dr. Erik Zielinski


In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast, Ben talks all about essential oils with Erik Zielinski, D.C.  Dr. Zielinski is the author of “The Healing Power of Essential Oils” and in the podcast he discusses how essential oils can benefit your overall health, from hormone regulation to decreasing inflammation.  
One important point Dr. Eric makes early in the podcast is that rarely do you want to apply essential oils to your skin without diluting first in a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil. It may seem counterintuitive, but your body actually absorbs the oils better when diluted and you end up with a more effective dosage and you save money! Listen for more great tips.


Recipe of the Month: Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Summer is here! Gardens and farmers markets will be brimming with juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers and fragrant herbs.  Put those delicious fresh foods to good use by making this Tomato and Cucumber Salad from the cooking blog Tastes Better From Scratch. The salad is easy to make and is the perfect side dish for whatever you throw on the grill.