October 2012 Newsletter

In this month’s newsletter:

Here is the October e-newsletter with info and news on healthy living. Enjoy!

Office Hours for Mount Adams will be Shortened on October 4th

Please be aware that on Thursday, October 4th, the Mt. Adams office will be open from 10:30 am – 11:45 am rather than 10:30 am -1:30 pm. Office hours in Oakley on Thursday the 4th will remain from 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm.

Which Posture Are You?

As seen above, Forward Head Posture can be recognized by the positioning of the ear being forward of the shoulder, rather than sitting directly over it. Poor neck posture leads to a forward head position which is one of the most common causes of neck, head and shoulder tension and pain. This postural distortion is seen in between 66% and 90% of the population. It can be a result of long term habits of slumping at the computer or while driving, sitting poorly on the couch, or poor sleeping posture. These habits can be worsened if strains,  sprains, and injuries in the past have damaged the tissues in the neck.

For every inch your head posture is forward, an additional 10 pounds of weight must be absorbed by the neck. This forces the muscles in your upper back and neck to work much harder to keep the head from dropping forwards onto your chest. With your muscles in constant contraction to achieve this, pressure is added to the nerves at the base of the skull, which can cause tension-type headaches and increased blood pressure. Long term forward head posture leads to muscle strain, disc herniations, arthritis, pinched nerves and instability. Other negative consequences of this poor posture include:

  • Loss of cervical (neck) curve stretches the spinal cord 5 to 7 cm and produces pathological tension, putting the body in a state of disease. (Alfred Breig, MD)
  • The loss of cervical lordosis (curve) reduces the patients lung capacity by up to 30% (Davis, 1996; Korr, 1975; Bernini, Wiesel and Rothman, 1982)
  • Faulty posture causes weak immune system, organ disease, muscle tension, and increased sensitivity to pain. Korr 1979:
  • Normal motion of the first four cervical vertebral joint mechanoreceptors stimulates endorphin production by the CNS. Forward head posture, loss of cervical curve and atlas mal-positions blocks normal neck motion and dramatically reduces the amount of endorphin production. With inadequate endorphin production, many otherwise non-painful sensations are experienced as pain. (Davis 1996; Molina and Wyke 1965; Evidence for Spinal Cord Hypersensitivity in Chronic Pain after Whiplash injury and in fibromyalgia. Pain, January 2004, pg 7-15)
  •  Altering the afferent input from the upper cervical region (loss of cervical curve) can result in disturbances in gait, dizziness, loss of balance and ataxia etc. (Neurology India, 49, December 2001: 355-359)

This article details some of the most common causes of FHP. Fortunately there are ways to correct and improve forward head posture. A combination of chiropractic adjustments and exercises can absolutely improve your posture and your health. Ask me for details!

Recipe of the Month: Slow-Cooked Pork Roast

A simple, slow-cooked meal made with as little preparation as possible.

3 lbs boneless pork loin roast
2 tbsp coconut oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 ½ cups water or homemade stock
1 14oz can whole tomatoes, with juices
2 bay leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Sprinkle all sides of the pork roast with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
2. In a large skillet over a medium-high heat, add the cooking fat and then sear the meat on all sides until it begins to turn slightly golden brown. Once finished, place in the slow-cooker.
3. In the same skillet used above, combine the garlic, onion, chili powder coriander, and cumin. Mix well, while scraping up the left over meat bits in the pan (adds great flavor!).
4. Add the vinegar to the skillet and allow it to come to a boil. Continue cook until the liquid is nearly all evaporated.
5. Finally add the water or stock to the skillet, using it to whisk up all the drippings and spices in the pan. Pour the whole thing into the slow-cooker with the pork roast.
6. Crush the tomatoes over the roast, followed by the tomato juices. Add the bay leaves, give it a good stir and adjust the seasoning by adding more salt and pepper, if needed.
7. Set your slow-cooker to low and cook for about 8 hours. Once the meat pulls apart easily and it is not too pink in the center it is ready to serve.
8. Discard the bay leaves, carve the roast in thick slices and serve with the cooking liquid as a sauce.

Tart Cherry Juice: A Natural Alternative Joint Pain Reliever

Many studies have documented that eating cherries can boost a body’s health significantly. Cherries contain plenty of anti-oxidants including, Anthocyanin, which is an anti-inflammatory agent. There are more than 300 kinds of Anthocyanins, but the specific kind cherries offer is uniquely powerful when it comes to fighting off inflammation – that’s why it’s particularly effective in joint pain. Anthocyanin seems to be able to block the brain’s pain signals that can cause certain parts of the body to become inflamed. The highest dosage can have the same effect as two over the counter pills!

Around 8-16 ounces of cherry juice will help reduce symptoms significantly if taken daily. Trader Joe’s offers 100% Tart Cherry Juice made from freshly-pressed, whole, red, tart Montmorency cherries. If you prefer not to drink tart cherry juice, you can now buy it in capsule or tablet form.

October = Time to Increase Vitamin D Intake

During the sunny and warm months of the year, our bodies create sufficient Vitamin D through about 30 minutes per day of sun exposure. Here in the midwest, we lack enough sunshine in October through April to meet these requirements. Studies have shown that most Americans are deficient in this nutrient.

I recommend supplementation with Vitamin D3 during these months to keep healthy levels of this important vitamin year round. This article summarizes the dosage recommendations. In short, 1000 IU per day for kids, 2000 IU per day for adults, and 4000 IU per day for pregnant or lactating women. For some people who have had chronically low levels of Vitamin D, it is necessary to take much higher doses to over several months to normalize levels.

Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption and maintains blood levels of calcium and phosphate for proper bone development and muscle action. Vitamin D also helps regulate cell growth, immune function, neuromuscular action, and regulation of inflammation. It assists the action of insulin and has been shown to have a significant role in cancer prevention.

We have Innate Choice Vitamin D available at the office. Each bottle contains 500,000 IU and the cost is $29. At 2000 IU per day, this bottle contains 250 adult servings.

How do you Breathe when at your Computer?

As most of us settle into our work day, one of the first things we do is check email. Next time, take notice: are you holding your breath? “Email apnea” is a term created by Linda Stone that refers to a temporary absence or suspension of breathing, or shallow breathing, while doing email, or while working or playing in front of a screen.

Be aware of your breathing and take advantage of full, conscious breaths throughout the day to improve your health!