Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The importance of sleep

Importance of sleep:
Lack of sleep has many consequences, from minor to major, depending on your accumulated sleep debt. Short term, lack of sleep tends to have an immediate effect on your mental and emotional states.
Over the long term, poor sleep can contribute to a whole host of chronic health problems, from obesity and diabetes to immune problems and an increased risk for cancer. Plus it raises your risk of accidents and occupational errors.
Part of the problem is our propensity for using artificial lighting and electronics at night, in combination with getting insufficient exposure to full, bright, and natural sunlight during the day.
This disconnect from the natural cycles of day and night, activity and sleep, can turn into a chronic problem where you’re constantly struggling to sleep well.
It is essential to re-establish a healthy sleep pattern.
Even a single night without sleep can have health implications.
Going just one night without proper sleep starts to impair your physical movements and mental focus, comparable to having a blood alcohol level of 0.10 percent.
In essence, if you haven’t slept, your level of impairment is on par with someone who’s drunk.
According to researchers, 24 hours’ worth of sleeplessness breaks down cognitive faculties to such a degree that you’ll be 4.5 times more likely to sign a false confession.
Overall, you become more susceptible to "suggested" memories, and start having trouble discerning the true source of your memories. You might confuse something you read somewhere with a first-hand experience.
Lack of Sleep Linked to Internet Surfing and Poor Grades
Other research has linked lack of sleep to more extended internet usage, such as browsing through Facebook rather than studying or working. The reason for this is again related to impaired cognition and the inability to focus, making you more prone to distraction.
Not surprisingly, academic performance also suffers. In one recent study, the less sleep high school students reported getting, the lower their average grades were.

Sleeping well is also important for maintaining emotional balance. Fatigue compromises your brain’s ability to regulate emotions, making you more prone to crankiness, anxiety, and unwarranted emotional outbursts.
Recent research also shows that when you haven’t slept well, you’re more apt to overreact to neutral events; you may feel provoked when no provocation actually exists, and you may lose your ability to sort out the unimportant from the important, which can result in bias and poor judgment.
After 48 hours of no sleep, your oxygen intake is lessened and anaerobic power is impaired, which affects your athletic potential. You may also lose coordination, and start to forget words when speaking. It’s all downhill from there.
After the 72 hour-mark of no sleep, concentration takes a major hit, and emotional agitation and heart rate increases. Your chances of falling asleep during the day increases as does your risk of having an accident. 
In some cases, hallucinations and sleep deprivation psychosis can set in — a condition in which you can no longer interpret reality. Recent research suggests psychosis can occur after as little as 24 hours without sleep, effectively mimicking symptoms observed in those with schizophrenia. 
Sleep Deprivation Decreases Your Immune Function
Research published in the journal Sleep, reports that sleep deprivation has the same effect on your immune system as physical stress.
In a nutshell, whether you’re physically stressed, sick, or sleep-deprived, your immune system becomes hyperactive and starts producing white blood cells — your body’s first line of defense against foreign invaders like infectious agents. So your body reacts to sleep deprivation in much the same way it reacts to illness.
Unfortunately, sleep is one of the most overlooked factors of optimal health in general, and immune function in particular.
Sleeping Poorly Raises Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
A number of studies have demonstrated that lack of sleep can play a significant role in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. In earlier research, women who slept five hours or less every night were 34 percent more likely to develop diabetes symptoms than women who slept for seven or eight hours each night.
The Many Health Hazards of Sleep Deprivation
Aside from directly impacting your immune function, another explanation for why poor sleep can have such varied detrimental effects on your health is that your circadian system "drives" the rhythms of biological activity at the cellular level.
For example, during sleep your brain cells shrink by about 60 percent, which allows for more efficient waste removal. This nightly detoxification of your brain appears to be very important for the prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Sleep is also intricately tied to important hormone levels, including melatonin, the production of which is disturbed by lack of sleep.

Tips to Improve Your Sleep Habits
Small adjustments to your daily routine and sleeping area can go a long way toward ensuring you uninterrupted, restful sleep — and thereby better health.

Optimize your light exposure during the day. Your pineal gland produces melatonin roughly in approximation to the contrast of bright sun exposure in the day and complete darkness at night. 

Take a hot bath 90 to 120 minutes before bedtime. This raises your core body temperature, and when you get out of the bath it abruptly drops, signaling your body that you’re ready for sleep.
Avoid watching TV or using electronics in the evening, at least an hour or so before going to bed. Electronic devices emit blue light, which tricks your brain into thinking it's still daytime. Normally, your brain starts secreting melatonin between 9 pm and 10 pm, and these devices may stifle that process.
Develop a relaxing pre-sleep routine. Going to bed and getting up at the same time each day helps keep your sleep on track, but having a consistent pre-sleep routine or “sleep ritual” is also important.

Avoid alcohol, caffeine and other drugs, including nicotine before bed time.
Two of the biggest sleep saboteurs are caffeine and alcohol, both of which also increase anxiety. Caffeine’s effects can last four to seven hours. Tea and chocolate also contain caffeine.

Alcohol can help you fall asleep faster, but it makes sleep more fragmented, less restorative and restful.
Nicotine in all its forms is also a stimulant, so lighting up too close to bedtime can worsen insomnia. Many other drugs can also interfere with sleep.

Chiropractic can help with sleep by optimizing your nervous system and helping with all those aches and pains that keep you up at night.

Dr. Stephen Kelly

Dr, Kelly works at Family First Chiropractic located at 142 Erickson drive in Red Deer. Call us today to book an appointment (403)347-3261 or visit us at www.family1stchiro.ca

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

CranioSacral Therapy and Women

CranioSacral Therapy and Women

One of the greatest benefits of CranioSacral therapy is its effectiveness in dealing with the many natural cycles, conditions and related complications that we women go through as we journey through life.
Conditions such as:
·       Puberty.
·       Attempting to get pregnant.
·       Pregnancy.
·       Pregnancy and birth complications.
·       Infant and toddler care and nurturing.
·       Menopause.
·       Conditions attached to later in life.
It is also in the area of Women's Health that conventional medicine and complementary health approaches are often found working side-by-side.
It is interesting to note that I notice the following:
  • The majority of people who make health decisions in the households tend to be the women (booking children, husbands for treatments).
  • While women are very happy to put enormous time and energy into looking after others (their unborn children when pregnant, baby infants, toddlers, children, Husbands/partners) - they seem to put themselves last in line when it comes to good old preventative and early treatment of many ailments!
I feel it is important for women to learn to take better care of themselves.
Working with CranioSacral Therapy myself over the last number of years has helped me to get more in touch with my own natural health rhythm - and I have found that while many of my female clients may have come for a specific ailment - over time they start to listen more to their own body and learn just what it needs to get back to health and stay there for the long term. Book with Jeanneatte Raskin RMT, CST 403-347-3261 at Family First Chiropractic and Wellness 142 Erickson Drive, Red Deer T4R 2C3 www.family1stchiro.ca

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is the most common of the “entrapment neuropathies”—compression or trauma of the body’s nerves in the extremities and the cause of patients loses in medical bill and time off work.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a condition involving the median nerve. The median nerve originates in the cervical spine and runs into the forearm then the hand. If the median nerve were to get compressed somewhere along the nerve path CTS occurs. It is commonly thought that the nerve only gets trapped at the carpal ligament. This is a narrow tunnel at the wrist made up of bones and soft tissues, such as nerves, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. However, the nerve can also become impinged in the neck, elbow, or forearm. This could be a reason why all carpal tunnel surgeries sometimes don’t get the results as expected. The compression may result in pain, weakness, and/or numbness in the hand and wrist, which radiates up into the forearm. CTS is the most common of the “entrapment neuropathies”—compression or trauma of the body’s nerves in the extremities.

Patient’s experience burning, tingling, itching, and/or numbness in the palm of the hand, thumb, index, and middle fingers. These are the most common symptoms. Since many people sleep with wrists flexed. Symptoms often first appear while sleeping. As symptoms progress, they may feel tingling during the day. In addition, weakened grip strength may make it difficult to form a fist or grasp small objects. Some people muscle atrophy at the base of the thumb,  and are unable to distinguish hot from cold by touch. Usually occurs in adults, with women 3 times more likely to develop it than men. The dominant hand is usually affected first, and the pain is typically severe. CTS is common in assembly-line workers in manufacturing, sewing, finishing, cleaning, meatpacking, and similar industries, as well as pregnant women.

In addition patients that have smaller carpal tunnels than others, which makes the median nerve compression more likely. CTS can also develop because of an injury to the wrist that causes swelling. Over activity of the pituitary gland, hypothyroidism, diabetes, inflammatory arthritis, mechanical problems in the wrist joint, poor work ergonomics, repeated use of vibrating hand tools, and fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause. All of which could cause CTS.

CTS should be diagnosed and treated early. A Chiropractic examination of the hands, arms, shoulders, and neck can help determine if your symptoms are related to daily activities or to an underlying structural disorder. Doctors of Chiropractic are able to use other specific tests to try to reproduce the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Chiropractic adjustments of the spine and extremities where the nerve pressure occurring is the treatment of choice. Other recommendations include stretching and strengthening exercises soft tissue mobilization techniques, resting the affected hand or wrist. Immobilization of the wrist through a splint and applying cold packs to reduce swelling due to inflammation is also recommended.
Proper posture and movement as instructed by your doctor of chiropractic can help prevent CTS recurrences .For the majority of carpal tunnel cases come into Family First. If you or someone you know is suffering from CTS, feel free to email Dr. Elton Clemence at the clinic at
www.family1stchiro.ca or call us at 403-347-3261 for consultation and to set up a time to have your spine and nervous system checked.