Health Report, February 27th, 2014.

Taking care of the whole you includes your heart.
The same healthy basics that reduce your risk of other diseases also help to keep your heart strong.

* A healthy heart starts with eating right. Heart-healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins (such as fish, beans, chicken, nuts and low-fat dairy), and whole grains will help keep your heart and blood vessels in good shape.

* Drinking too much alcohol can raise your total cholesterol levels and your blood pressure. Limit alcohol to no more than 1 drink a day for women or 2 drinks a day for men.

* Brisk walking, swimming, or cycling are especially good for the heart, but choose any activity you enjoy for a fun exercise routine. Start at your comfort level, and build up gradually.

* Lowering your weight by just 10 percent can make a significant difference in reducing your heart disease risk. If you need to lose weight, learn ways to change your eating habits and be more physically active. Doing a cleanse is an excellent way to jump start detox, get some rapid weight loss for motivation, and helps to break some bad eating habits.

* Stress, anger, anxiety, and depression may keep your blood pressure high and increase your risk for heart attack, stroke, and other illnesses. Doing activities like yoga, meditation, or even spending time with a good friend each week helps to lower the cortisol released during stress.

* If you smoke, now's the time to quit.

* Drink plenty of water. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces each day.

* Visit your chiropractor. Chiropractic adjustments correct vertebral subluxations (irritated nerves causing a loss of function), but that’s not all! When your body is working as it should, your hormone levels even out, your body handles stress in an easier way, and you are able to get more exercise because you feel better.

Because chiropractic care is a drug-free approach to healing, you will find yourself adjusting your way of thinking when it comes to your health. Our purpose is to help as many people as possible achieve health naturally and help them educate others. Take some time this month to help at least one other person to better their heart.

Our next home healthcare class will be held on Tuesday, March 11, at 6:30pm. We will be talking about trigger points and how they affect your life, how they reduce your stress, and how to treat them at home, with a little help from a friend and family member. Cost of attendance is a guest or two that can work on you outside the office at home or work. We know that many people are interested in joining the class, and seats are limited. Let us know as soon as possible that you will be attending and how many you will bring with you. It is here at the office and we will be providing dinner so that you have one less thing to worry about. We will save you a seat!

"It always seems impossible until it is done" - Nelson Mandela

Regular Moderate Exercise Helps Seniors Prevent Heart Failure
Volume 16 - Issue 120

Heart failure, sometimes called congestive heart failure, occurs when the heart is too weak to pump the volume of blood the body needs to function properly.

Heart failure isn’t a heart attack, it’s a chronic and progressive weakening of the heart muscles that affects mostly elderly people, and carries a high mortality rate. Heart failure almost always worsens over time, causing many symptoms such as shortness of breath, inability to exercise, and swelling of the lower legs and ankles due to fluid retention. It can create such a negative impact on physical and mental health that it ruins the quality of life, leaving its victims bedridden for months or years.

Because heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization for people over the age of 65, has no truly effective treatment, and costs America more than $35 billion a year, anything that can prevent heart failure is good news – especially if it isn’t expensive or difficult to do.

A group of researchers at the University of Maryland have announced just such good news recently in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The group found clear scientific evidence that the more exercise seniors do, the less chance they have of developing heart failure. The scientists studied 2,933 individuals 65 years of age or older who had never been diagnosed with heart failure. These people were part of a larger Cardiovascular Health Study done in four U.S. communities over a decade. The Maryland scientists recorded the levels of two biochemical “markers” in the seniors’ blood that indicate cardiac damage, always present when heart failure develops. They recorded the markers at the beginning of the study and compared marker levels again 2 to 3 years later.

Increases in the markers were 50 percent to 70 percent less among the most physically active seniors, compared to more sedentary people. And during the following decade, new cases of heart failure were found to be directly related to a lack of physical activity.

“These findings suggest that moderate physical activity has protective effects on early heart failure...preventing cardiac injury,” the study authors said. Heart failure is diagnosed using echocardiography and various blood tests, including the biomarkers mentioned above. Heart failure patients are generally told to modify their lifestyles, since little else can be done. Quitting smoking, of course, is the number one thing to do. Light exercise with special breathing methods can help, and special directions for changes in diet, including less salt, are almost always part of treatment. Medications are often used, and as the condition worsens, devices such as pacemakers can be implanted to force the heart to beat properly.

If warranted, heart transplants are a last resort. According to the study, a simple regimen of regular, light exercise seems to be an acceptable alternative to the slow death of heart failure. Your health care practitioner can help you determine what kind of exercise, and how much, would be best for you.

Health Report,February 10th, 2014.

February is American Heart Month.
Heart disease continues to be our nation’s #1 killer and is the greatest burden on our health care system today, costing the US billions of dollars each year in health care costs with no signs of stopping! Although your family history and genetics do have a part, most of the risk factors are lifestyle choices under your control, including smoking, excessive weight, stress, lack of physical activity, and diets high in saturated fat.
Most people are aware that diet and exercise are key factors in preventing heart disease. However, not many know that chiropractic treatment may also be used to fight against heart disease! Research has shown that:

“Chiropractic Adjustments to the upper part of the neck can have a positive effect on significantly lowering your blood pressure for an extended period of time.”

While other studies have shown that adjustments of the bones in your neck and lower back can stimulate particular nervous system reflexes, causing a decrease in overall heart rate and blood pressure. In addition to this, there are many other positive effects for the whole body when you engage in regular chiropractic treatments. Regular chiropractic care can relieve your stress, which is also great for your heart! Because massage therapy helps reduce stress on the mind and body, this is a great addition to a regular chiropractic treatment plan. So, regular chiropractic treatment combined with positive lifestyle changes of proper nutrition, exercise, and massage therapy can prove to be a powerful ally in the fight against heart disease! Our purpose is to help as many people as possible in their quest for natural health. Let us help you and those you care about in all aspects of your healthcare!

Does you treatment care plan include massage therapy? Do you or a friend and family member need some time to reduce stress? We can help you with that! JaNan, our office massage therapist, is ready to help even more people get healthy. VALENTINE'S SPECIAL: purchase a 1 hour massage and receive a second 1 hour massage for a friend who hasn't been seen by JaNan for half price! But, you need to schedule these massages this week so don't delay!

We will be having a home healthcare class on Tuesday, February 11 at 6:30pm. We will be talking about trigger points and how they affect your life. We will also be showing you how to treat them at home with a little help from a friend or family member. Cost of attendance is a guest or two that can work on you from time to time at home or work. We know that many people are interested in joining the class, and seats are limited. Let us know as soon as possible that you will be attending and how many you will bring with you. It is here at the office and we will be providing dinner so that you have one less thing to worry about. We will save you a seat!

"The thousand mysteries around us would not trouble but interest us, if only we had cheerful, healthy hearts."
- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Volume 10 - Issue 133

The apparent dangers of high blood pressure and the frequent recommendation of prescription drugs to reduce the problem create a seemingly constant flood of both media warnings and advertising.
Now, the results of a recent study could shed an entirely different light on the source of the problem.

A study recently concluded in Chicago found that a one time Chiropractic adjustment could produce a quite dramatic blood pressure reduction. The decrease in pressure was equal to a person taking two blood pressure reducing drugs at the same time.

Fifty persons were selected for the study. The requirements to participate were a high blood pressure condition and a misalignment of the Atlas vertebra. The Atlas is the top vertebra, the highest one in the body, located in the top of the neck.

George Bakris, MD, is the director of the hypertension (high blood pressure) center at the University of Chicago Medical Center and served as the lead author of the study. He pointed out that the Atlas, unlike the rest of the vertebrae in the body, relies only on soft tissue (muscles and ligaments) to hold it in place. For this reason, displacement can occur without pain, so misalignment often goes undetected and untreated.

Patients for the study were all treated by a Chicago area Doctor of Chiropractic. Prior to treatment he preformed a variety of tests, including X-rays, to determine the exact adjustment needed for each patient. the subjects were then divided into two groups. Half received an actual adjustment while the other half received a very similar "sham adjustment".

Each participant was fully assessed after their alignment at the end of 8 weeks. The study authors said those receiving the actual adjustment had their blood pressure lowered by the same amount of someone taking two different blood pressure-lowering drugs at the same time. the reduction continued through the 8 week period of the test. No significant heart rate change was noticed in this group.

Why blood pressure changed occurred to this degree was beyond the scope of the study. "the mechanism as to why this improvement in blood pressure occurs is unknown and cannot be determined by this study," they said. More study in needed to see exactly how a misaligned Atlas might cause hypertension. Also, more work in needed to see if an incorrectly aligned Atlas is an additional risk factor for the development of hypertension."

Health Report, January 24th, 2014.

Air pollution, inside and out, is a major environmental health concern affecting everyone on the planet.

Most of us experience some kind of outside air pollution-related symptoms weekly, such as watery eyes, coughing, or wheezing. Even for healthy people, polluted air can cause respiratory irritation or breathing difficulties during exercise and outdoor activities. Your personal actual risk depends on your current health status, the type of pollutant, level of concentration, and the length of your exposure to the polluted air. The two most dangerous and widespread outside pollutants are ozone and particle pollution. Don't know what particle pollution is? Well, ever look at dirty truck exhaust?

The "smog" you see coming out is particle pollution. There is overwhelming evidence showing that this type of pollution can kill. Particle pollution can increase the risk of heart disease, lung cancer, asthma attacks, and interferes with the growth and work of the lungs. Even more scary is that ozone is invisible to the naked eye thereby exposing millions without them even knowing it.
Hundreds of research studies have confirmed that ozone can cause lung issues, heart issues, and even shorten your life span. However, air pollution is not found only outside. The air inside your home may be polluted by lead (in house dust), formaldehyde, fire-retardants, radon, and even volatile chemicals from fragrances used in conventional cleaners.

Some pollutants are tracked into the home via a new mattress or new furniture, carpet cleaners, or a coat of paint on the walls. A wide range of interventions are available to reduce air pollution and associated health effects. Reduce your usage of household chemicals (speak with a staff member about how we clean in the office), use alternate fuels for your house and vehicle, and cleanse your body. Cleansing helps the body remove those toxins that are regularly bombarding your system and help it work more effectively! There are many options to choose from for cleansing. We are here to help each person achieve the highest level of health possible for them. Let us find the right method of cleansing for you!

Do you have a fun pair of slippers? We are having a slipper contest during the month of January. We will be posting a picture of your slippers on our Facebook page and who ever has the most "Likes" at the end of the month will win either a free foot scrub or a box of Organo Gold coffee - your choice! So, wear your shiniest, fuzziest, most whimsical slippers.

February 4th at 12pm, we are hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony for our new office! The Ankeny Chamber of Commerce will attend and we want to show others how excited our patients are about our new space! There will be food to share so come out and join us!

"Life does not happen to us, it happens from us." -Anonymous


Air Pollution and Health

What is air pollution?

Air pollution is the name for the mixture of substances in the atmosphere (the air around us that we breathe). Air pollution can cause health problems, by inhaling particles, such as reactive chemicals like ozone, and biological materials like pollens. Air pollution is produced both by human activity (such as combustion of fossil fuels from burning coal) and naturally occurring events (such as volcanoes, dust storms, and wild fires).

It is important to remember that; air pollution is a mixture of many agents, can come from many sources, and varies depending on weather conditions. While
many pollutants can affect our health, ozone and particulate matter (soot) have a major impact on the public’s health. Ozone can cause chest discomfort, decreases in lung function, and airway inflammation (i.e., irritation and injury to the tissue lining the airways). People with asthma can develop breathing problems after exposure to ozone. Particulate matter (PM) also can cause respiratory problems, and has been shown to increase the risk of heart problems in older people, especially those with a prior history of heart disease. Exposures to both ozone and PM have been shown to increase the risk of premature death.

How can I prevent the health effects of air pollution?

There are several things that you can do to
reduce air pollution in and around your home
and the areas where you live and work.

*Advocate for stricter air quality

*Decrease your personal contribution to air pollution by reducing energy consumption through the use of cleaner, more efficient appliances in your home.

*Use public or active (walking or bicycling) transportation.

*Avoid heavy exercise near busy roadways or on smoggy days

*Eat a healthy diet that contains fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants (shown to prevent the health effects of pollutants like ozone)

*Seek care for proper management oflung and heart conditions.

What problems might I have if air pollution is affecting me?

You may experience any of the following

*Chest discomfort like trouble taking a deep breath or feeling like you are having a heart attack.

*Shortness of breath.

*Phlegm/mucus production.

*A cough where you may or may not bring up mucus.

*Wheezing which may worsen with activity.

*Decreased lung function on breathing tests, electrocardiogram (ECG) changes, including irregular heart beat (arrhythmia) or changes showing your heart is being damaged (ischemia).

How can I prevent the health effects of air pollution?

Reduce your exposure to air pollution by following the warnings giving during "smog" alerts, especially if you or your child have conditions such as asthma or ischemic heart disease.

*Stay indoors on smoggy days.

*Keep windows closed and use air conditions on hot, smoggy days.

*Use your asthma and heart medications as directed to treat heart attacks on smoggy days.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

Get immediate help is your breathing suddenly gets worse or you have symptoms on a heart attack or heart problems.

John R. Balmes, MD, on behalf of the Environmental and Occupational Health Assembly.
ATS Patient Health Series
©2011 American Thoracic Society

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