Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Counteracting the Effects of Prolonged Sitting

Most individuals are dealing with some kind of postural stress and more often than not, it tends to manifest in the shoulders and neck. Advanced forms of postural stress show up as pain or weakness in the low back and gluteals caused by prolonged periods of sitting. Luckily, massage can counteract the imbalance caused from sitting, which means you can keep your desk job-as long as you schedule a regular massage.

Movement and exercise promote increased blood flow and prolonged sitting does the exact opposite, leading to high blood pressure. Massage by a professional massage therapist has the ability to reduce diastolic blood pressure. Massage also treats the underlying causes of high blood pressure by loosening tense muscles, improving blood flow, and decreasing stress and anxiety.
Depression and anxiety caused by extended sitting will spill over into your personal life and cause more damage there. Massage is regarded as effective for the reduction of depression and anxiety. For those suffering from stress, depression, and anxiety disorders, the calming effect of massage therapy as well as the resulting increased blood flow have the ability to greatly improve their mental state and subsequently their quality of life.
Massage is so much more than paying for someone to rub your back. Trained massage therapists have the ability to improve your quality of life by improving or eliminating the underlying causes for your symptoms. It is an undisputed fact that prolonged periods in a sedentary state (i.e. sitting at a desk for hours a day) cause numerous physical and mental ailments. Massage is a safe way to relieve many of these ailments simultaneously. 

Guy Lacoursiere, RMT practices at Family First Chiropractic and Wellness, located at 142 Erickson Drive. Call 403-347-3261 to book an appointment or visit us online at www.family1stchiro.ca

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

CranioSacral Therapy for Whiplash

Whiplash is classically defined as a sudden acceleration-deceleration force that causes unrestrained, rapid forward and backward movement of the head and neck. Symptoms can include a painful neck, headache, dizziness, pins and needles in the arms and hands, fatigue. These symptoms can appear immediately after the accident or even some days later. It often happens during motor vehicle accidents. Ever been rear-ended by someone or had an impact to the side or front? If your answer is ‘yes’ then you might know what I mean, or you might have been one of the lucky ones and escaped without any symptoms.

Whiplash can also occur following other types of mishaps – bungee jumping – would be an extreme example, but even falling, tripping awkwardly, being assaulted, diving, sports etc. Some people can also experience concussion along with the whiplash even though they may not have actually had an impact to the head – obviously if the neck moves the head will move too – and sometimes the energy from the sudden forward and back whip of the neck can give a jolt to the brain.

While there are also obviously many whiplashes that either get better by themselves or with the help of a skilled practitioner, I still regularly see people who come to my office because they are suffering from the effects of a whiplash that occurred months and sometimes years earlier. Sometimes things have even improved, but then progress has stalled and they are still left with pain and discomfort in many different parts of the body, not just the neck.

When someone has a whiplash injury, or indeed any kind of accident or injury, the whole body is involved in the response and in the healing process.   So if I can take into account all the different ways that the body received that injury then the healing can be much more complete.

For example, when the head is thrown suddenly forward and then back again a strain can be created through the neck and along whole spine all the way down to the pelvis and low back and unless the sacrum (tailbone) and pelvis are treated and the tension released, usually the neck will have difficulty recovering. Maybe one foot was pressed hard on the brake and a force went up the leg; maybe the person was looking in a particular direction; perhaps the air bag deployed; or the head hit the steering wheel, all of these details are useful when it comes to putting my hands on and listening to the body to determine where and how these strains and stresses need to be released.

That’s one of the great things about CranioSacral Therapy. By quietly listening to the body the therapist’s hands can help release these strains and tensions which then allows the body’s own self-correcting forces to get to work to do the healing.

Jeannette Raskin RMT, CST, practices at Family First Chiropractic, 142 Erickson Drive, Red Deer, Alberta.  403-347-3261. www.family1stchiro.ca

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Recipe for Self Care

Self care includes getting your rest staying hydrated, nourishing your body with healthy foods and staying active, and as always slowing down the mind with simple breathing techniques.

                When anxiety or frusturation creeps up take a few moments to find a place where you can gather your thoughts and when you can quiet the mind and quiet the body and sit comfortably in a chair or on the ground.
                Allowing the ground or your seat to support us, we begin to experience the natural rise and fall of the breath, we notice that after an exhale, our lungs spontaneously and organically fill again with air, the breath is simply waiting for more room so that it can fill us.

                Learning to embrace natural breathing will allow us to confidently pause and listen to our life with the support of our breath.

                Trying meditation or going for massage will help regulate the body along with chiro and yoga. Simply take those moments for yourself and feel balanced!

Amelia Seaton-Segura RMT, practices at Family First Chiropractic, 142 Erickson Drive, Red Deer, Alberta.  403-347-3261. www.family1stchiro.ca

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Tips for Choosing the Right Backpack for Your Kids

Backpacks have an important role in impacting in the growing and developing bodies of children. Due to the amount of time our kids have them on. Saying this, heavy or poorly fitted backpack can affect a child’s musculoskeletal health—both today and in the future. It’s time to review a few guiding principles to prepare your child for school, keeping their health in mind.

It’s too common to see children trotting along to school, back hunched forward to balance a heavy or over-sized bag. Unfortunately, carrying such heavy loads long-term can cause problems to a child’s musculoskeletal system, and result in back pain—among other things. For example, children may condition their bodies to lean forward, arch their backs, and lean to one side. Prolonged repetitive strain on their spine or Creep can settle in the spine. Muscle then become fatigued and strained. This type of physical stress can also alter a child’s posture and gait.

So how can these health consequences be prevented? It’s simple—help your child choose the correct backpack which will fit their body and is adjustable as they grow.

Follow these helpful tips:

1.      The backpack should be between 10 to 15 percent of the body weight of the child.
2.      Distribute the weight of the bag evenly across the back. The more spread out the load. The less strain there is on their developing body.
3.      Make sure the child wears both shoulder straps. Wearing a backpack over just one shoulder can cause leaning to one side, which over a prolonged time could curve the spine over time.
4.      Adjust shoulder straps so the backpack fits closely to the upper part of the body. The further a backpack is away from the body, the more difficult it is to achieve proper balance and the body has to over compensate.
5.      The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline.
6.      A backpack with individualized compartments helps in positioning its contents most effectively.
7.      Bigger is definitely not necessarily better. The more room there is in a backpack, the more your child will carry and the heavier the backpack will likely be.
8.      Finally, the shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body.
For more information on choosing the correct backpack, speak to your chiropractor.

Dr. Elton Clemence practices at Family First Chiropractic located at 142 Erickson drive in Red Deer. Call us today to make an appointment (403)347-3261 or visit us at www.family1stchiro.ca.