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Posted by on Aug 6, 2013 | 0 comments

Simple Holistic Ways to Keep Your Kids Healthy

BACK TO SCHOOL
Simple Holistic Ways to Keep Your Kids Healthy
FACT: Nearly 22 million school days are lost annually due to the common cold. One of the most common ways children get colds is by rubbing their nose or eyes. And children often don’t wash their hands often or well enough at school. In one study of middle and high school students, about half washed their hands after using the bathroom – and only 33% of the girls and 8% of the boys used soap!  Yikes!
  • TIP: Wash Well! Make sure your child knows to use soap and warm water.  They need to scrub all over – including the back of hands, between fingers, and around nails. Tell them to sing the Happy Birthday song twice before they are through.

FACT: In 2001 backpacks were the cause of 7,000 emergency room visits!  In today’s school system, with heavy school books and overstuffed bags, many kids end up carrying over a quarter of their body weight on their backs (that’s equivalent to an 180 pound man carrying over 45 pounds on his back all day). Backpack weight can cause muscle spasms, nerve and circulation problems, and severe neck and shoulder pain.

  • TIPUrge your child to wear both shoulder straps and buy a backpack with multiple compartments. Lugging the backpack around by one strap can cause a disproportionate shift of weight, leading to neck and muscle spasms. Using both straps and a backpack with multiple compartments can help to more evenly distribute the weight. Make sure that bulky objects are packed away from the back, and try to place the heaviest items closest to the body.

FACT: Most children do not get the nutrition they needEmpty calories from added sugars and solid fats contribute to 40% of daily calories for children and adolescents aged 2–18 years. Approximately half of these empty calories come from: soda, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, grain desserts, pizza, and whole milk.

  • TIP: Pack healthy balanced lunches for your children to bring to school. Include fruits and veggies, and substitute soda and juices for water. If your child eats from the cafeteria, check to make sure your school provides healthy options and educate your children on what choices to make.

FACT: According to the CDC, as much as 90% of all illness can be directly tied to stress. Stress breaks down the defenses of the immune system and opens the doorway to a host of injurious invaders.

  • TIP: Relax, and have a little fun! Just like you, your child can experience harmful stress that weighs on their immune systems. Make sure they get plenty of sleep and help your kids to manage their time so homework gets completed but relaxation and fun don’t get buried beneath the schoolbooks.
FACT: Healthy children are more active and productive in school! You can’t perform well when you don’t feel good. To help your child have the best chance at doing well in school, make sure they follow healthy habits. Take our tips to heart and, of course, nothing helps keep you child healthy like a strong immune system and a spine that is aligned.
  • TIP: MAINTAIN GOOD HEALTH WITH CHIROPRACTIC! Chiropractic Spinal abnormalities called “vertebral subluxations” interfere with the functioning of the nervous system by placing pressure on the nerves. When your spine is misaligned, your immune system suffers. Getting regular chiropractic adjustments not only makes your body feel better, but makes your immune systems up to 200% stronger!
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Posted by on Sep 25, 2012 | 0 comments

The Toxic Home

By Claudia Anrig, DC

No one can deny that industrialization has created quite a few conveniences. But with these modern-day conveniences have come modern-day health hazards – the worst being those that are potentially toxic to ourselves and our children.

Let’s learn more about the toxic dangers in your home and a few common household items that may be putting you and your family at risk.

Off-Gassing

This word was first used in 1966 to describe the release of gaseous chemicals from a solid. For instance,
the Construction Dictionary defines “off-gassing” as the release of airborne particulates, often from installed construction materials such as carpeting, cabinetry, or paint that can cause allergic reactions and other health problems in building occupants. Off-gassing, while commonly attributed to carpeting, can be caused by several unexpected sources. [1]

The top 10 sources of off-gassing in order of concern include common household items/products:
mattresses, stains and varnishes, carpet, insulation, flooring materials (vinyl, glues, finishes, adhesives), countertops, cabinets, particle board, paint strippers and cleaning supplies. [2]

The Environmental Protection Agency defines “off-gassing” as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. The typical symptoms of exposure to VOCs include eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, and/or worsening of asthma symptoms. For those who have long-term exposure to VOCs there is an increased risk of cancer, liver and kidney damage or central nervous system damage.

The elderly and very young, or anyone with a history of asthma, allergies or lung problems, will generally be more susceptible to the effects of off-gassing. With regards to the off-gassing of carpeting, flooring or other building materials, infants, toddlers and even pets may be more quickly affected due to prolonged, close proximity to the materials that are off-gassing.

Mattresses

Petroleum-based chemicals are used in some foam mattresses, and synthetic fabrics are treated with chemical fire retardants. Mattresses and bedding made using these particular chemicals can potentially cause reactions in people with chemical sensitivities. The majority of these chemicals have not been tested on young children and have rarely been tested for long-term exposure.

Dr. Jim Sprott, a New Zealand scientist and chemist, has studied the possibility of a relationship between off-gassing baby mattresses and SIDS. [3] Chemical compounds containing phosphorus, arsenic and antimony have been added to mattresses as fire retardants and for other purposes since the early 1950s.

For the concerned consumer, there are actually many good choices for non-off-gassing mattresses, but it’s important to research for a knowledgeable retailer. One should not assume that the average salesperson has been trained appropriately or has optional products to offer. For those without a latex allergy, many memory foam mattresses made with latex are gas and chemical free; however, it should be specified that they are chemical free. Not all memory foam mattresses are the same.

Others might consider a 100 percent organic cotton mattress that are made intentionally without chemicals and are not treated with chemicals at the factory. For those concerned about the firmness of a typical cotton mattress, consider a pure wool or rubber mattress topper. [4-5]

“Green” Light Bulbs

Highly efficient fluorescent light bulbs are supposedly environmentally friendly, but this is one of those times when “going green” comes with a caution. These bulbs contain mercury and are not supposed to be disposed of in the garbage, but instead at an approved recycling facility or a toxic waste dump. If these bulbs are going to be thrown in the trash (because approved facilities are rare and may not be available in your community), they are to be sealed and double-wrapped in plastic bags.

References:

  1. Volatile Organic Compounds in Your Home.
    Minnesota Department of Health.
  2. 20 Off-Gassing Culprits
    (CalFinder.com, online post)
  3. Sprott TJ.
    Cot Death – Cause and Prevention. Experiences in New Zealand 1995-2004 (special report).
    J Nutr Envir Med, Sept 2004;14(3):221-32.
  4. Chamberlin C. 10 Steps to an Organic Bedroom.
    TheCleanBedroom.com (originally published on Organic.com, January 2006).
  5. Prevent Toxic Off-Gassing When You Can’t Afford to Buy an Organic Mattress.
    Published on HealthyChild.com.

Read the rest of the article at Chiro.org

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Posted by on Sep 13, 2012 | 0 comments

Getting Treated for Torticollis (Twisted Neck)


Torticollis is a term used to describe a handful of conditions affecting the neck.  They look similar but have different causes.  Torticollis typically involves a tilt of the head, reduced range of motion and sharp pain in the back of the neck.  Often the patient can turn their head one way, with limitation and have restricted lateral flexion as well.

What Is Torticollis?

Torticollis is a form of dystonia (prolonged muscle contractions) in which the neck muscles contract involuntarily causing the head to turn. Torticollis may occur without known cause (idiopathic), be genetic (inherited), or be acquired secondary to damage to the nervous system or muscles. It may develop in childhood or adulthood.

Congenital torticollis (present at birth) may be caused by malpositioning of the head in the uterus, or be prenatal injury of the muscles or blood supply in the neck. Torticollis is a condition that may cause mild neck discomfort in infants and affects approximately 2% of newborns. There is no way to prevent this condition, it is a result of the position of the baby in-utero, too little amniotic fluid, trauma at birth or lack of space while in-utero. An infant will exhibit symptoms that include the head and neck tilted to one side. Although it looks uncomfortable, torticollis produces no severe pain. Generally, torticollis will not be noticed immediately as a newborn will have a typically wobbly head. Within the first week to the first few months, however, the condition will become more noticeable and may be diagnosed by a pediatrician.

What Causes Congenital Torticollis?

Torticollis is not a diagnosis but rather a sign of some other underlying disorder. Leading obstetric and pediatric medical journals states that most torticollis seen in new babies is due to birth trauma. Torticollis following birth stress will typically appear at birth or within the first several weeks following birth. Congenital torticollis is usually due to misalignment (subluxation) of the first few bones in the neck and/or injury to neck muscles resulting in a “knot or spasm” in one of the neck muscles. Birthing trauma is the most common cause of torticollis. These traumas are commonly found in a breech delivery and the use of forceps and/or vacuum extraction aids in the delivery process. Additionally, a prolonged abnormal position in the womb during pregnancy (intra-uterine constraint) can cause injury resulting in torticollis at birth or shortly thereafter. According to recent medical research, misalignment of spinal bones in the neck, known as subluxation, is responsible for up to 50% of congenital torticollis. The subluxation irritates nearby nerve structures and causes the muscle spasm and postural changes characteristic of torticollis.

Read the rest of this article at Georgia Chiropractic

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Posted by on Aug 30, 2012 | 0 comments

Six Natural Ways To Boost Your Child’s Immune System

Now that the school year is in full swing, those nasty cold and flu germs are making their way through the classrooms and into your home. But just because everybody else is getting sick doesn’t mean that you and your children have to as well. There are a few simple tricks that can help keep the immune system strong and reduce the chance of your children catching the stuck-in-bed blues.
1) SLEEP: Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep.  Most children require at least 9 hours of sleep at night to maintain optimal health. Besides keeping the immune system healthy, adequate sleep will increase efficiency and performance in academics and other activities.

2) HYDRATION: Drinking plenty of fluids (H20 is best) is key to preventing infection. Staying hydrated keeps mucous membranes moist, which lowers the chance of a cold or flu taking hold in your nose or lungs.

3) FRUITS & VEGGIES: Carrots, green beans, kiwi, oranges, strawberries: They all contain immunity-boosting goodies. Eating a balanced diet, including healthy snacks, can ensure adequate nutrition and also keep the digestive system healthy. A balanced diet should include at least 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies and below in processed and refined foods.

4) STRESS LESS: Just like you, your children can experience harmful stress that weighs on their immune system. Children still need time to play and enjoy their childhood. Help your kids to manage their time so homework gets completed but relaxation and fun don’t get buried beneath the schoolbooks.

5) GET OUTSIDE: Whatever the weather, spend more time outdoors and take the opportunity to exercise while you are there. Between soaking in some Vitamin D from the sun and staying active, your child can increase the number of germ-killing cells in their body.  Fun family activities include bike riding, hiking, skating, swimming, sports…etc.

6GET ADJUSTED! Spinal abnormalities called “vertebral subluxations” interfere with the functioning of the nervous system by placing pressure on the nerves. When your spine is misaligned, your immune system can suffer. Getting regular chiropractic adjustments can make you and your child’s immune systems up to 200% stronger!

If you can boost your immune system by following many of these suggestions, you are much less likely to become sick. Stay healthy and happy this school year!

Yours In Health,
John J. Koc, D.C.
16429 N. Tatum Blvd., Suite 200
Phoenix, AZ. 85032

 

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Posted by on Aug 16, 2012 | 0 comments

Is a heavy backpack weighing down your child?

In 2001 backpacks were the cause of 7,000 emergency room visits! In today’s school system, with heavy school books and overstuffed bags, many kids end up carrying over a quarter of their body weight on their backs (that’s equivalent to an 180 pound man carrying over 45 pounds on his back all day!). Backpack weight can cause muscle spasms, nerve and circulation problems, and severe neck and shoulder pain.

How does a backpack damage the spine? When a heavy weight, such as a backpack filled with books, is placed on the back, the weight’s force can pull a child backward. To compensate, a child may stoop forward at the hips or arch their back, which can cause the spine to compress unnaturally.

The many kids who wear their backpacks slung over just one shoulder (because of course, its the “cooler” way to wear a backpack) may end up trying to offset the extra weight by unintentionally leaning the other way. This can lead to the development of lower and upper back pain and strain on their shoulders and neck.

As well, backpacks with tight, thin straps that dig into the shoulders can interfere with circulation and nerves.

What to do? Dr. John offers complimentary backpack screening for kids of all ages during the month of August! Below are some other helpful tips on how to use a backpack safely!
Backpack Tips

Your child’s backpack should never weigh more than 10% of his or her body weight!

The backpack should never hang more than 4 inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases weight on the shoulders.

Buy a backpack with multiple compartments. Multiple compartments can help to more evenly distribute the weight. Make sure that bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child’s back, and try to place the heaviest items closest to the body.

Urge your child to wear both shoulder straps! Lugging the backpack around by one strap can cause a disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, as well as low-back pain.

The shoulder straps should be wide and padded. Straps that are too thin and too loose can cause the backpack to dangle uncomfortably and cause spinal misalignment and pain.

Talk to your child’s teacher. If the backpack is still too heavy, ask if your child could leave the heaviest books at school, and bring home only lighter handout materials or workbooks.

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Yours In Health,
John J. Koc, D.C.
16429 N. Tatum Blvd., Suite 200
Phoenix, AZ. 85032
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