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The Importance of Newborn Adjustments

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re familiar with the health benefits of chiropractic care. Perhaps you’ve experienced some of them yourself or you are interested in giving it a shot. Maybe you’ve even considered it for your spouse and/or children. But, have you thought about the youngest member of your family? Have you considered the fact that newborn adjustments may provide health benefits to your child before they even become mobile? Keep reading to learn more.

Think about the birth process. While it is stressful for both parents, and physically grueling for the mother in many cases, the entry of the child is not stress-free and relaxing either. The child experiences various forces and is forced into a new, cold, loud environment that it is not prepared for in any way. During the process, the infant’s underdeveloped spine is pulled and pushed and injuries (even if not noticed by the doctor) are possible. In some cases, abnormal patterns of movement to adjust to the birthing process can be established that could affect growth and mobility down the road.

Chiropractors recognize this. They understand the importance of maintaining proper flexibility for the spinal joints and spinal cord from the start (as opposed to waiting until potential easy-fixes become major problems down the road).

Providers who have been properly trained to work on infants can provide medical benefits that traditional medicine just cannot. They will be able to study the infant’s birth history while assessing reflexes and reporting findings to the parents.

Once a baseline is established, trained chiropractors (like Dr. Scott at Levan Chiropractic) will use an extremely low-force method to provide gentle, delicate adjustments that ensure proper positioning and growth potential for going forward.

Newborn adjustments are – in many cases – able to provide colic reduction, prevent and address breastfeeding problems (that can arise from improper spinal positioning) and immune system benefits (like those seen in adults who undergo regular chiropractic adjustments).

Like a visit to the pediatrician’s office for a wellness check, chiropractic care should become a regular part of your infant’s routine to ensure proper transitioning through life’s stages and milestone achievement.

If you’re interested in learning more about newborn adjustments, contact us today!

 

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What’s the Best Way to Protect My Family?

While it may seem completely off topic, think about it. When you purchased your most recent smart phone, you probably bought a protective case and perhaps a screen protector. In some cases, you may have gone as far as purchasing a protection plan to protect your investment should an unfortunate scrape, fall or even soaking incident occur. Why? Because you wanted to be sure you were covered and that you could avoid any unfortunate incidents going forward. You thought it through and realized the investment was well worth the price.

Now, consider your family’s health. Chances are you do what you can. Perhaps you’ve bought into the organic trend or at least have started making healthy choices. You understand the importance of physical activity and have encouraged your children to get involved in sports or outdoor activities, maybe it’s become a family focus. You probably try to think of ways to keep your stress to a minimum and have come up with back up plans for if something doesn’t go as planned.

If you’re like the majority of Americans, you also invest a solid amount of your income in health insurance. Why? Because you want to be sure you’re financially covered if and when a health incident or crisis occurs.

In each of these situations, you’re showing the importance of thinking ahead and making sure your family is covered for any circumstance. But, what if you could prevent some of those circumstances in the first place? Starting today, you can do just that.

The Benefits of Chiropractic Care

While many studies exist that demonstrate the effectiveness of preventative chiropractic care, at Levan Chiropractic, we’ve seen it firsthand. We’ve seen the lives of our patients change because they’ve decided to take an alternative route by finding a way to protect their families.

There are numerous benefits of regular chiropractic adjustments, but below are just a few:

Increased Immune System Functioning

That’s right. Regular chiropractic care has been proven to increase the functioning of the body’s immune system, the system that fights diseases and prevents many from starting in the first place. By taking the time to visit a chiropractor on a regular basis, you can protect your family from illness.

Pain Management

Doctors today (with some exceptions) are known for being medication-happy. They’re quick to prescribe drugs that interfere with the body’s functioning when it comes to pain management. While it may provide relief, chances are it’s just covering up a deeper issue. Chiropractic care is able to provide pain relief in a natural manner, that protects your family from long-term prescription drug reliance for pain management.

Increased Range of Motion

Much like physical therapy, chiropractic care has been demonstrated to increase range of motion for those who chose to go this route. This can help when rehabbing an injury, but, stronger body with an increased range of motion may be less likely to become injured in the first place. This is protection at its best.

Diagnosing Issues Before They Become Problems

Chiropractic care focuses on the body as a whole, on how each part interacts with the others. Because of this, chiropractors have been known to recognize health issues, even before they have become symptomatic; yet another form of physical protection that can be hard to find elsewhere.

If you’re looking for a natural way to protect your family and are ready to take the first step today, contact us! We look forward to working with you to ensure you and your family receive the care that you deserve, while providing real, tangible health benefits from the start.

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Managing Stress

Stress is an inherent aspect of life. In some ways, it can even be healthy; it can motivate us to reach for our goals and to make positive changes. But, to many people, it can lead to unhealthy habits and the feeling of losing control, which causes various areas of life – health included – to spiral out of control.

How do you cope with the stress in your life? Do you have a stress management plan? If not, keep reading. Stress management is a critical part of a healthy lifestyle!

Identify Your Stressors

Different things and scenarios are stressful to different people. To some, simply walking out of the door can feel like a stressful burden. To others, bills, family problems and high-expectations of others can be incredibly stress-inducing.

However, without taking the time to identify what your stressors are (using the general “I’m stressed about everything” excuse), you’re unlikely to be able to handle them and move on.

Look at How You’re Dealing

Once you’re aware of the stressors in your life, think about how you are dealing with them. Do you use food as an outlet? Do you over think them and let depression take control? Do you hide inside avoiding exercise? Do you shut down completely?

We all handle stress in different ways. Find out your reaction and you’ll be better able to find a new way to manage your stress.

Find New Ways to Cope

When faced with a stressor that you’ve previously identified next time, think of a new way to cope. Below are a few stress management ideas:

  • Start a journal. Write about what you’re facing and think about how you could handle the situation.
  • Exercise. Not only is exercise a great way to let out frustrations, it’s a way to maintain health.
  • Call a Friend. Reach out to a loved one or friend who’s opinion you value. Share what you’re facing but then try to connect over an un-related activity. Mini-golf anyone?
  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle. By making efforts to stay healthy – physically and emotionally – you’ll be less likely to let stress slow you down.
  • Sleep well. Make it a goal to get six to eight hours of sleep every night.
  • Meditate. By making meditation a part of your daily routine, you’ll be able to focus on positives while letting negative energy drift away.

Understand that Stress Happens

There’s no way to make stress disappear. It’s a part of what makes us human, it pushes us forward and helps us reach for our goals and dreams. However, stress management is critical to a healthy lifestyle.

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Seven Secrets to Living Longer

While many people may claim to have a secret “anti-aging” formula or “guaranteed” way to improve your life and/or lifespan, there’s no magic ingredient or drug that can offer that promise in reality.

Instead, the way to live longer – in most cases – is to live healthier. It doesn’t have to be a challenge; take a look at seven secrets to living longer.

1.       Change Your Own Outlook

So often, we focus on the downfalls of getting older and the complications that life throws our way. Think about it: the things you dwell on tend to become your reality. Pay attention to the way you look at life and it’s events. If you’re a “the glass is half empty” sort of person, make an effort to shift your own outlook.

Focus on the positives that surround you and seek out encouraging conversations. By transforming your own outlook and perspective, you’ll begin to see things in a more positive light.

2.       Reduce Your Stress

It’s no secret: stress happens. It surrounds us and impacts our physical and mental health in a variety of ways. If changing the way you perceive the events around you does nothing to reduce your stress…try something new. Think about meditation.

Meditation is a way of purposely calming your body by focused breathing that lowers blood pressures and decreases heart rates. It forces the body to relax and is a natural stress reliever. Make meditation part of your daily routine.

3.       Focus on Proper Sleep Habits

Sleep that is restful is a critical part of healthy living. Inadequate sleep habits (lack of sleep, sleep reliant on medications and interrupted sleep) have been linked to poor immune systems and a variety of other health concerns.

Every adult human should have six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. You should feel energetic and ready to face the day upon waking. For best results, attempt to fall asleep around 10 p.m. and to wake around 5 a.m. Try to limit food intake in the 2 hours prior to falling asleep.

4.       Take the Time to Eat Right

Food nourishes us and is the fuel our body needs to operate properly. When we feed our bodies food that offers few nutritional benefits, we’re negatively impacting the way we operate on a daily basis.

Focus on eating fresh foods that are non-processed. Go organic when possible. Eat lean proteins. A great way to track your eating? Think of a rainbow. A healthy meal should include at least 5 colors (fruits and vegetables are an excellent way to make this happen.

5.       Exercise

Just because exercise is important does not mean that you need to start running marathons. Simply increasing your activity on a regular basis can go a long way.

For a complete fitness program, focus on exercises that increase flexibility and include cardiovascular work and moderate strength training. Variety matters! Try to complete your workouts three to four times a week for approximately 20 to 30 minutes to start.

Think about exercises you enjoy as a starting point and enlist the help of a friend or family member to make exercise a part of your routine.

6.       Realize that Relationships Matter

Friendships are a critical aspect of a healthy, long life. Connections keep us moving and give us purpose, even during times of loss and high stress. Look for a way to reconnect with those you may have lost touch with and make spending time with others a part of your regular routine.

It’s been proven that death rates are higher among those going through difficult times (loss of a spouse, loss of a job, etc.) without a strong support network. Find time to build relationships that last.

7.       Stay Young

While many of the above techniques require action on your part, there’s on that can start right now, today. Focus on youth. Think of things from your childhood that made you happy, times when you were carefree. As you think of them, think about how it felt to be able to relax and feel young.

By forcing yourself to focus on your youth, you’ll train your brain to think young, thereby reducing stress and helping yourself live a better, longer life.

 

 

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Degenerative Disc Disease: An Overview

Degenerative Disc Disease: An Overview

You may have heard a doctor mention degenerative disc disease at one point or another, and may wonder what it refers to and how to treat it.

To start, it’s important to understand what it means. Degenerative disc disease is an widely used term to describe changes in spinal discs that happen as an individual ages. These discs are small and compressible; they separate the vertebrae that comprise the spine and act as shock absorbers. They make it possible to flex, bend and even twist.

What Causes It?

Aging causes these discs to break down, resulting in problems for some individuals. These issues include the loss of fluid in the spinal discs (making them less able to act as shock absorbers and to flex properly) and tears and/or cracks (which causes bulging discs, ruptures and complete breaks).

Those most likely to experience degenerative disc disease include smokers, those who are obese and individuals who perform heavy manual labor and lifting for a living. Injuries may also cause injuries that begin the process.

Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease

Symptoms of degenerative disc disease vary from one person to another but can include:

  • Sudden onset back or neck pain following a fall or other injury,
  • Gradual onset pain that worsens over time and limits activity,
  • Pain in the back, buttocks or legs that becomes worse when reaching, bending or twisting,
  • Tingling or numbness in the legs or arms, and more.

Treatment of Degenerative Disc Disease

While extreme medical options, such as surgery, may be required in some cases, starting with natural treatment options is often recommended.

In many situations, experienced chiropractors are able to provide exercises and adjustments that can relieve the pain associated with degenerative disc disease. Heat and over the counter pain relievers are frequently recommended.

If you are experiencing back pain and are ready for relief, contact Dr. Scott Levan of Levan Chiropractic today. He will work with you to ensure the best possible outcome and to free you from the pain degenerative disc disease may be causing.

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Managing Stress

Managing Stress

It’s no secret that stress interferes with healthy living and can manifest itself in physical ways. In fact, stress is a known factor in many emotional disorders, obesity, heart disease and other serious disorders. For this reason, it’s important to recognize the stressors in your life and to find ways to manage them today.

If you are dealing with chronic stress, follow some of the techniques below to start reducing the effects it may be causing in your life.

Organization

One of the most common factors leading to stress is the feeling of being overwhelmed. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but one of the most common is a lack of organization.

More and more, people are pulled in a million different directions. From work to home to extra activities, trips and travel, we’ve all had the feeling that there is more to do than can be done in a single day. The best way to combat this feeling is to stay organized.

  • Make a to-do list. List out everything that must be done and prioritize it. When you complete each task, cross it off and move on to the next.
  • Keep a schedule or calendar and update it regularly.
  • Prioritize activities and say no when something just won’t work out.

By staying organized, you’ll have a more realistic view of what needs to be done, and will eliminate some of the feelings associated with becoming overwhelmed.

Relaxation

It seems obvious, but it can be hard to come by; managing stress properly requires relaxation. By taking the time to speak with a professional (like an experienced chiropractor), you’ll be able to learn relaxation techniques to relax the mind and body.

Relaxation lowers heart rates and blood pressures, increases blood flow to vital organs and allows us to feel more in control of our surroundings.

Sleep is an important factor in being able to relax. Ensuring you receive the optimal amount of sleep (your parents were right, 8 hours a night are important!), you’ll feel more rested and relaxed in facing each new day.

Exercise

Exercise isn’t just a weight-management tool; it’s also a way to manage stress.

It may seem counterintuitive to try to fit something else into your schedule, but exercise is worth it. Raising the heart rate and using the muscles needed for proper exercise releases endorphins that boost confidence and lower overall feelings of stress. It also decreases the production of stress hormones (natural benefit).

This doesn’t mean that you need to become a marathon runner. Instead, find what interests you: go swimming, go for a walk, schedule a family bike ride or start a garden. Whatever you decide, just get moving and work on getting your heart rate up for 20-30 minutes a day.

If you’re ready to face your stress head on and eliminate as much as possible, reach out to a chiropractor for natural remedies today. Dr. Scott Levan has years of experience helping clients reduce stress, set up an appointment today.

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Pediatric and Chiropractic Joining Forces

Pediatric and Chiropractic Joining Forces

Maybe you’ve never been to a chiropractor. Perhaps you go on a regular basis and understand the health benefits of living in a regularly-adjusted body. Whatever the case, you know that, as an adult, chiropractic care can work wonders. But, have you thought about the health benefits to children?

For so long, chiropractic care was seen as something designed and meant for adults. But, that view is quickly changing as doctors, parents and healthcare providers are recognizing the health benefits available to children through regular, professional chiropractic care.

Parents are starting to understand that gentle, noninvasive, drug free chiropractic treatments are able to prevent, treat and resolve various conditions. In fact, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, or, ICPA has found spinal manipulative therapy a save and successful method for treating a variety of conditions in children of all ages.

These conditions include (but are not limited to):

  • Birth traumas,
  • Sports injuries,
  • Nerve conditions,
  • Muscle conditions,
  • Earaches,
  • Upper respiratory infections,
  • Colic in newborn babies,
  • Digestive disorders,
  • Asthma,
  • Allergies,
  • ADHD, and more.

Regular chiropractic care has also been demonstrated to prevent sports injuries by strengthening the muscular-skeletal system of young athletes.

For young children, spinal adjustments are different than those performed on adults. They include light finger-tip adjustments to correct misaligned spinal structures and to restore joint mobility. Unlike adult chiropractic care, the loud cracks and “pops” are not always heard. These safe, effective treatments can lead to long term health benefits along with the correction of the disorders mentioned above.

If you’d like to learn more about chiropractic care for your child, contact Dr. Scott Levan of Levan Chiropractic today.

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Posture Matters

Posture Matters

You probably heard it over and over again as a child…“Sit up straight!” “Stop slouching!” Chances are it became more of an annoyance than a life lesson. But, it may be time to reexamine these important statements; your health may depend on it.

Good posture matters, but before we look into the reasons why, it’s critical to understand what it refers to. By definition, posture references the body’s alignment with respect to gravity while sitting, standing or lying down. Good posture means redistributing the way gravity puts force on the body so no one structure (joint, ligament, muscle, etc.) is overstressed.

At first, good posture requires work, but, in the long run it can become second nature. Chiropractors make it their mission to examine their patients’ posture and to find ways to make it better. In a perfect posture, the spine should have no lateral curvature and the legs should be symmetrical without unnecessary angulations of the knees or ankles when looking from the back. From the side, think of anatomy class spine models. The spine should form an S-curve that allow gravity to be centered and evenly distributed throughout the body with minimal muscular effort.

Because many individuals sit for a living, it’s where good posture matters most (think: driving, working at a computer, eating dinner, watching television, etc.). It’s easy to become accustomed to allowing the head and neck to angle forward while concentrating on something in front of us. This causes imbalance and can lead to long-term pain and even injury. To reverse this, practice sitting in straight-backed chairs with a small pillow in the lower back’s arch. This forces you to straighten up and to work on keeping your head more centered above your spine, while maintaining the optimal S-curve (mentioned above). Once you’ve mastered sitting, practice good posture while standing as well, with your neck straight and shoulders back, the rest of your body will follow suit.

Good posture matters, it’s the foundation for a healthy body free of undue stress, pain and fatigue. Have questions? Contact Dr. Scott Levan at Levan Chiropractic today!

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