How to change our gene expression

Last week, this blog presented the concept of epigenetics and how our life choices can affect the expression of our genes. Not only do our choices affect us, but they may also affect the genetics of our offspring.

the_evolution_of_man
The Evolution of Man

Along our sequences of DNA are the recipes for optimal human survival. Humans have different requirements for living than a lion or a bumblebee, yet all animals follow the same biological laws. According to biological law, the nutrients necessary to thrive as humans, or any animal for that matter, can be found on the genes.

Learning from our ancient ancestors.

So what are these genetic requirements and what exactly do we as humans actually need? Much can be learned by looking at the diet of humanity’s ancestors. Although our ancestors may have died from acute diseases, chronic disease did not exist. Hygiene may have been poor in these early humans, but they did practice ideal movement and nutrition.

The evolution of the human diet over the past 10,000 years from a more paleolithic diet (a form of eating before the agricultural revolution) to our modern diet has resulted in profound changes in feeding behavior. We have shifted from diets high in vegetables, fruit, quality, lean meats, and seafood to foods that are high in processed sugars, sodium, hydrogenated fats and low in fiber. These dietary changes have negatively affected dietary parameters, resulting in an increase in obesity and chronic disease, such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, and cancer.

The top killers in the U.S. are chronic diseases, with heart disease leading the way (National Center for Health Statistics, 2017, n.p.). Although modern medicine has found ways to combat many acute diseases, we are still lagging on ways to combat chronic diseases. Five of the top ten leading causes of death in the U.S. are chronic disease related, with the top three being only chronic disease (heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease). According to the research 95% of cancers are preventable! Including breast, cervical, colorectal, lung, oral, prostate, skin and testicular. The contribution of genetic factors and environmental factors towards cancer risk is 5–10% and 90–95% (Preetha, 2008, n.p.).

Disease Prevention Tools.

Diet is one of the most critical, yet often overlooked, prevention tools we can use towards chronic disease. The foods we consume can affect the expression of our genes through DNA methylation. According to Rettner (2013), DNA methylation is the addition of a methyl group, or a “chemical cap,” to part of the DNA molecule (n.p.). In theory, a cancer gene can be “turned off” from attachment of a methyl group. Where are many of these methyl groups found? Fruits and vegetables of course!

Familiar nutrients like folic acid, B vitamins, and SAM-e are key components of this methyl-making pathway. Diets high in these methyl giving nutrients can rapidly alter gene expression, especially during early development when the epigenome is first being established (Anand, 2008, n.p.). Thus, you can literally prevent cancer cells from reproducing with every vegetable you eat!

Many times the reason that offspring develop the same diseases as their parents is not because of genetics, but because offspring tend to grow up in the same environment and learn the same behaviors as their parents. Kids learn how to eat, how to move, how to think from their parents.

Genetics and family history can no longer be an excuse for people with chronic disease or chronic pain.  If a parent is unhealthy, the odds are their offspring will be unhealthy as well. If you want to interrupt the cycle of disease in your family, change the environment your family is living in and start to notice the changes.

What to do about it.

Rather than focusing on calorie intake and weight loss, shift your focus to a more genome centric lifestyle. Focus more on foods that our body and genes require. In doing so, your results may not be instant, but the impact will be sustainable and long lasting. You will begin to notice your clothes fitting looser, your cravings subsiding, increasing energy levels, and quicker immune responses. Most importantly, you can improve quality and length of life by preventing chronic disease.

Next week, we’ll get into more detail about what our bodies need in order to live a genome centric lifestyle. Below are links to learn more about the genome centric lifestyle as well as articles and research that support it.

Sources:

Anand, P., Kunnumakara, A. B., Sundaram, C., Harikumar, K. B., Tharakan, S. T., Lai, O. S., . . . Aggarwal, B. B. (2008, September). Cancer is a Preventable Disease that Requires Major Lifestyle Changes. Retrieved August 26, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515569/

Genetic Science Learning Center. (2013, July 15) Nutrition & the Epigenome. Retrieved August 21, 2018, from https://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/epigenetics/nutrition/

Jew, S., AbuMweis, S. S., & Jones, P. J. (2009, October 26). Evolution of the Human Diet: Linking Our Ancestral Diet to Modern Functional Foods as a Means of Chronic Disease Prevention. Retrieved August 26, 2018, from https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jmf.2008.0268

Kummer, C. (2013, December 30). Your Genomic Diet. Retrieved August 26, 2018, from https://www.technologyreview.com/s/404465/your-genomic-diet/

Munro, D. (2015, February 03). U.S. Healthcare Ranked Dead Last Compared To 10 Other Countries. Retrieved August 26, 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/danmunro/2014/06/16/u-s-healthcare-ranked-dead-last-compared-to-10-other-countries/#2a805e7576fd

National Center for Health Statistics. (2017, March 17). Retrieved August 26, 2018, from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm

Preventable Cancers. (n.d.). Retrieved August 26, 2018, from https://preventcancer.org/education/preventable-cancers/

Rettner, R. (2013, June 24). Epigenetics: Definition & Examples. Retrieved August 26, 2018, from https://www.livescience.com/37703-epigenetics.html

 

Epigenetics

Have you ever wondered why some family members develop chronic diseases or cancers while others do not?  Or why identical twins are not exactly identical? The answers to these questions are not completely answered by modern medicine. New research is showing that expression of our genes comes down to the food we eat, the thoughts we think, and the environment we live in. This is a form of biology known as epigenetics.

A history of epigenetics.

Epigenetics was first theorized by Dr. Bruce Lipton, a research scientist and former professor at the University of Wisconsin. He shares his revolutionary findings in a growing field of epigenetics in his book, The Biology of Belief. Using a simple petri dish filled with stem cells, Dr. Lipton showed that the health of these cells were influenced by the medium (a.k.a. environment) they were exposed to (Ly, 2017, n.p.).

According to Rachale Rettner, senior writer for Live Science (2013), “Epigenetics means “above” or “on top of” genetics. It refers to external modifications to DNA that turn genes “on” or “off.” These modifications do not change the DNA sequence, but instead, they affect how cells “read” genes” (n.p.).  Every living organism on earth has its own specific genome. This is an organism’s complete set of DNA, including genes, found in every single cell of that organism. Each individual DNA sequence is a conglomeration of their parents, yet unique to that individual. According to Dr. Lipton’s research we may not have control of our genetics, but we can control how they’re expressed.

Controlling your genetics.

So what are these environmental factors that can affect the expression of our genes? Simply put, they are the choices we make in life: what we think, how we feel, foods we eat, relationships we make, how stressed we are, etc. All of these things influence our perceptions of the world and thus how our genes are expressed (Ly, 2017, n.p.).

What’s more, your genes aren’t just expressed through what you eat, what you drink, or how much you exercise. According to epigenetic principles, as seen in an article in The Telegraph by Chris Bell (2013) your genetic expression might also be associated with your parents’ behavior. What your mother ate, how much your father drank, and even what your grandmother smoked may affect your genetic expression. Thus, the expression of your kids’ own genes may be shaped by the choices you make and environment you live in (n.p.).

An example Bell gives of this was observed in the Netherlands (2013):

Towards the end of the Second World War, something unprecedented happened in modern Europe: a famine. The Allies’ attempt to push across the Rhine in September 1944, had failed. The Nazis had blocked towns across the western Netherlands for over six months, leading to food shortages. This became known as the Dutch Hongerwinter. Each person only had 580 calories of food per day. Over 22,000 people died from malnutrition, and thousands of babies were born underweight.

When researchers analyzed the Dutch medical records decades later, they noticed that the infants who survived were more prone to health problems. But they also found a curious anomaly. These children’s own children – born years later, and well fed – were also underweight. The famine had, it seemed, “scarred” the victims’ DNA. (n.p.)

This emerging research on epigenetics highlights why it is so important to make choices with wellness in mind. Life is not completely predetermined by our genes. Genes are no longer a crutch or an excuse. Just because your father had heart disease or your mother had diabetes, doesn’t mean that you have to. The environment you place yourself in and the corresponding affect on your genes is what determines our life outcomes. And not just our life outcomes, but the life outcomes of your children and grandchildren. This graphic shows a great representation of the epigenetic life from before conception into maturity and how not only our environment can have an affect, but how our parents environment can affect our life.

Epigentics-web1

What to do about it.

In the following weeks, we will discuss how to change our environment for better outcomes based on actual human genetic needs. It’s time to start taking control of your environment and nutrition now if you want to lead a long, healthy life, and give that sort of life to your children as well.

 

Sources:

Bell, C. (2013, October 16). Epigenetics: How to alter your genes. Retrieved August 26, 2018, from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/10369861/Epigenetics-How-to-alter-your-genes.html

Ennis, C. (2014, April 25). Epigenetics 101: A beginner’s guide to explaining everything | Cath Ennis. Retrieved August 26, 2018, from https://www.theguardian.com/science/occams-corner/2014/apr/25/epigenetics-beginners-guide-to-everything

Ly, J. (2017, December 07). Can We Change Our Genes? Retrieved August 26, 2018, from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/jess-ly/can-we-change-our-genes_b_6306046.html

Q&A with Dr. Alfredo Galvez. (2013, November 25). Retrieved August 26, 2018, from https://blog.reliv.com/2013/11/25/qa-with-dr-alfredo-galvez/

Rettner, R. (2013, June 24). Epigenetics: Definition & Examples. Retrieved August 26, 2018, from https://www.livescience.com/37703-epigenetics.html.

 

 

Testimonial -Ruth Eckert

I first started seeing Dr. Melinda in early 2015.  Before that, I saw a chiropractor in St. Joseph & an acupuncturist in Overland Park.  I had heard wonderful things about Dr. Melinda – and it turns out they are all true!  At my first visit, Dr. Melinda took a great amount of time to go over my medical history, which at that time included numerous prescriptions for allergies and a history of lower back, neck and daily facial pain.  Dr. Melinda gave me my Wellness Plan at my second visit and suggested trying the Paleo food plan – she thought I may have food allergies in addition to seasonal allergies.

After several chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture sessions, plus converting to the Paleo lifestyle, I was able to stop using numerous nasal sprays & other prescription medicines. I now know what my “trigger” foods are, and I feel great!  My  allergist & ear/nose/throat doctors are amazed that I am no longer visiting them several times a year for infections.  Both have told me they are encouraging their other patients to try chiropractic and acupuncture.  My previous chiropractor had told me I have arthritis in my lower back – but after Dr. Melinda’s adjustments I rarely have any lower back pain.

If anyone is skeptical about trying acupuncture – give it a try!  It is painless – and I consider it a 20 minute nap.

Ruth Eckert

Testimonial – Ruth Finnegan

Around 34 or 35 weeks, my lower back began to hurt terribly. I couldn’t sleep in my bed, couldn’t bend over, couldn’t lift things. It was even hard to sit in a chair. My midwife recommended that I see a chiropractor. I was very hesitant, because I had never been to one before and was under the mistaken impression that once you see a chiropractor, you have to keep seeing them forever. The pain got to be so bad that I broke down and made an appointment with Dr. Melinda. What a good decision it turned out to be!
I’m a huge fan of holistic and natural medicine. So,  when I walked in to the office the day of my appointment and saw essential oils on the counter,  I was greatly encouraged and my hesitation about seeing a chiropractor lessened.  Dr. Melinda was,  from the start, warm and inviting.  Her demeanor was calm and caring and she put me immediately at ease. She was interested in a complete picture of my health and the cause of my back pain. We spoke about diet, exercise,  treatment options, pregnancy, and more. I really felt as though she not only wanted to take care of my back issue, but also to make sure that I was living well. She made it clear that her goal was to fix the real problem so I didn’t need her any more. I loved the honesty of that attitude and her whole body approach to her work.
The adjustment was so easy for me as a patient.  She explained everything before she did anything and talked me through it as she worked.  She warned me that I would be sore the next day, and sure enough, I was.  I thought perhaps the treatment hadn’t worked.  But, by the following day, I was totally pain free and have been ever since!
I am so glad that I decided to make that appointment.  I highly recommend Dr. Melinda any chance I get.  I’m so grateful that she made my last few weeks of pregnancy bearable!
– Ruth Finnegan

photo via http://newwavecarlsbad.com/chiropractic-care-during-pregnancy-in-carlsbad/

Testimonial – Lofy Family

While I (Emily) was pregnant with Ella, I had looked into some chiropractic care for myself as I neared the end of my pregnancy. I had gotten several recommendations from people about Dr. Melinda, so I had planned to schedule an appointment with her towards the end of the pregnancy to make sure everything was lined up correctly before labor. However, Miss Ella had other plans, and decided to show up before I could do any of that! After Ella was born, we started noticing some signs of acid reflux, including severe projectile vomiting, which was so scary to watch. We had heard of people bringing their newborn babies to a chiropractor for adjustments, which makes sense when you think about how crunched up they are in the womb and the stress they undergo during labor and birth, so after a very friendly and informative discussion with Dr. Melinda outside of her practice one day, we decided to set up an appointment and give it a try.

unnamed (2)

The day of Ella’s first appointment, we were very ready to have Dr. Melinda do some adjustments on her. She was projectile vomiting a couple times a day and was quite fussy. Dr. Melinda was so gentle with her! She held her for part of the adjustment, made sure that Ella could see me throughout the whole appointment, and explained everything as she worked. We brought our son with us to each adjustment as well, and Trusted Care’s awesome office manager, Erin, was wonderful at keeping him entertained and occupied during Ella’s appointments! It’s such a great feeling to know that you’re respected and appreciated as a patient there.  In fact, Dr. Melinda even gave me a follow up call the day after Ella’s first adjustment to make sure she was doing well!

Ella had about five adjustments with Dr. Melinda, and we have seen such great improvement! After the first adjustment, Ella no longer experienced projectile vomiting. Her breathing was also improved, along with an exceptional ability to move gas out of her body quickly (the girl burps like it’s her job!). Our son experienced terrible acid reflux during his whole first year of life and the only treatment we sought for him was medication. Ella showed similar symptoms to his right away, but she is a completely different baby, and so much of that I think is due to the treatment she received from Dr. Melinda.

Testimonial – Myra Harwood

Growing up on the farm I always wanted to be out working with my older brother and my dad. I was also very competitive in sports. Both of those things meant various injuries to my joints and my back. When I was about 22, I suffered a significant injury to my right leg, hip and lower back while serving in the Navy. Additionally, I have been a nurse for over 25 years and we all know the work of a nurse takes it’s toll on the back, knees, hips and shoulders. After years of punishing my body I came to a point that I could no longer do the work I loved in the ER. It was simply too painful to continue. I had been to various chiropractors for 30 years. I had done physical therapy and had my back and hip injected but nothing worked long term. I also suffered from headaches and seasonal allergies that have gotten worse each year. Much to my dismay, in 2010 I had to take a nursing job that did not involve all the physical work as well as a job that could accommodate my absence due to severe headaches that occurred at least monthly.

unnamed (1)

In August of 2014 a friend told me about Dr. Melinda at Trusted Care Chiropractic. I made the appointment that changed my life. First I was welcomed in like a dear friend by Erin. Then Dr. Melinda took an extensive health history. Then she performed a physical evaluation unlike any I had ever had before. Dr. Melinda developed a holistic plan of healing, recovery and maintenance for me and we set to work. I had chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture treatments and exercises to do at home. I was also encouraged to eat better, stay well hydrated and walk every day. The positivity in the office really makes me want to do better and be better! Plus they work very diligently to get everyone worked into appointments.

By December of 2014 I was able to return to the ER full time! I can meet and exceed all the physical demands of the job. I rarely have a headache! On those rare occasions the headaches are not nearly as intense, they are no longer accompanied by debilitating nausea and they may last an hour or so, not up to an entire day. My hip pain has been completely resolved and my back is better than it was in my 30s! I continue to get adjusted and receive acupuncture about every six weeks. The treatment I receive at Trusted Care Chiropractic has given me back the job I love and tremendously improved the quality of my life! I will always be grateful to Dr. Melinda.

– Myra Harwood

 

Testimonial

leg-pain“In July of 2013 I injured my right leg, causing extreme pain which affected its use. I received advice, care, encouragement, exercises, and understanding from many sources. With time, I walked better but still with a random pain.

In January 2014, I returned to Trusted Care to see Dr. Melinda. As we talked and I shared my story of continued minor pain, she carefully explored and found it’s location. I was so excited because I knew she had it! She explained what it was and what needed to be done. From my treatments, I’m beginning to use my leg with no pain, a positive I questioned would ever happen.

I learned much during this time. I’m so appreciative to Dr. Melinda for her continued effort and time to work with and heal my pain.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

– Becky Reynolds

Image from http://mnphysicalmedicine.com/category/leg-pain/

The Problem With Counting Calories

In American culture, we have become so focused on counting calories that we don’t pay any attention to what we are actually putting into our bodies. We’re all guilty of it. We see those yummy packaged cake rolls that say “50% fewer Calories” or that cereal bar with the “light” frosting, or only “100 calories”. This seems too good to be true! I can eat my favorite guilty pleasure foods without increasing my calorie count?! Why not!?

Sadly, it’s far too good to be true. Where you gain in one area, you sacrifice in another, and with these types of “calorie-saving” foods, you sacrifice REAL nutrition.

Humans didn’t even start counting calories until we started processing our foods. There was no need. Even 40 to 50 years ago we were still eating REAL food, not synthetic, processed “food”. For those of you who like numbers and charts, below is a link from businessinsider.com showing 11 charts comparing the consumption of food over the past 50+ years. My favorite chart is the last one – #11. It links the start of the obesity epidemic to the publishing of low-fat dietary guidelines. We ate food that was digestible by our bodies and obesity was not an issue. As soon as we started processing and adding refined sugars to our food, the rate of obesity, heart disease and certain cancers increased. Our bodies are not meant to eat these processed, boxed, fake foods! According to Joe Rigonlas:

“The correlation between obesity and disease with the consumption of things like refined sugar, grains and processed vegetable oils is crystal clear. Simply put, we have evolved to eat foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. When your diet is centered around basic foods like veggies, fruits, quality sources of protein and natural fats, there’s no need to count calories (or “points”). These foods will nourish you and naturally make you feel satisfied making you less likely to over-eat. More importantly you become healthier as your body begins to learn how to run on this better source of fuel for energy rather than relying so heavily of sugar.”

Counting calories will work to an extent, but if you want to drop the size of your waist, and build a sustainable, healthy lifestyle, you must first drop the processed foods. I tell all my clients to get rid of the scales and stay away from “diets”. You aren’t likely to succeed with them and even if you do, you’ll likely struggle to maintain that combination of weight and lifestyle. If you are serious about getting healthy, start by eating REAL food. Below is a diagram called the “Real Food Pyramid” that shows what your daily food consumption SHOULD be. Your body will pay it forward by trimming inches from your waist, giving you more energy, and putting you in a better mood!

Paleo-Food-Pyramid (1)

I tell my clients to give yourself a 30 day trial when making a significant lifestyle change. That’s how long it takes to “retrain the brain” and build new habits. Be patient with yourself and know it’s okay if you falter at first – but stick with it and you’ll see the results you desire.

So stop. Stop counting those calories. Throw out the weight scale and start eating REAL food.

http://commack.patch.com/groups/joe-rignolas-blog/p/bp–dont-count-your-calories-make-your-calories-count-4a6201f4

http://www.businessinsider.com/whats-wrong-with-the-modern-diet-charts-2014-2

Fat Myths

Everything you think you know about fats is probably wrong… so forget what you thought you knew! For so long we’ve been told that fats are bad, that they cause heart disease, and that they make us fat. In reality, most fats are good for you, decrease your risk of heart disease and will help trim the waist!

fats-3As most of us correctly know, some fats are better than others. What a lot of us don’t know is that many of the “fatty” foods that we have been told NOT to eat are actually nutritious and essential to bodily health. Fats are vital in the making of vitamins A, D, E, and K, all of which are necessary for maintaining healthy skin, promoting proper eyesight, brain development in babies and children. In fact,  our brains are 65% fat! When it comes to losing weight, fats help us reach satiety, meaning you actually feel full when you’ve had your fill. They can also help curb those overpowering cravings!

A trick that really helped me to stop the sugar cravings was to eat a handful of tree nuts, such as almonds, cashews, macadamia, and pistachios. They are a filling snack and after eating them, I didn’t crave the sugar anymore!

Not shown on the “Fat Facts:” chart above are the dreaded trans fats. If listed, they would be labeled “bad for you”. These are the fast, deep fried, guilty pleasure foods that should be avoided, such as potato chips, donuts, french fries, just to name a few. These are the fats that lead to heart disease and obesity.

6a00e39823747b88330148c6c3c180970cSaturated fats seem to get a bad rap when it comes to nutrition, but there are actually some saturated fats that are fine to eat in moderation. When it comes to saturated fats, you must look at the source (see “Which to Eat” diagram to the right).  Just like in humans, animals store toxins in their fats. Thus, animals raised commercially, those given steroids and antibiotics, will store these toxins in their fats, making them less healthy than the animal fats of grass-fed, organically raised animals. If the meat you eat is grass-fed and/or organic, there is not much to be concerned about when eating the animal fat.

To sum this up, do not fear fats! They are an essential part of a healthy diet as humans and necessary for good health. Always know the source and try to keep your fats of choice clean, unprocessed and free of steroids or antibiotics. Following these guidelines should help you choose wisely when it comes to fats. Good luck and remember, DON’T FEAR THE FATS!

Next week, I will be expanding on this fat topic and talking about how to make your calories count when it comes to healthy eating! Below are links to give you more information on good and bad fats.

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/good-fats-bad-fats

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/

Graphic 1: http://colorsnspirits.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/fats-3.jpg

Graphic 2: http://www.windycitycrossfit.com/.a/6a00e39823747b88330148c6c3c180970c-pi  via http://www.balancedbites.com

Is Sitting the New Smoking?

Until just recently, if you exercised for at least 60 minutes a day, you were considered physically active. Now, new research suggests it is entirely possible to meet current physical activity guidelines while still being incredibly sedentary. Furthermore,  that simply the act of excessive sitting increases your risk of disease and even death, even with regular exercise. In the same way that smoking is bad for you even with regular exercise, so too is the simple inaction of sitting.

Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns, including obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, abnormal cholesterol levels, and increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. One recent study compared adults who spent less than two hours a day in front of the TV with those who logged more than four hours a day of recreational screen time. Those with greater screen time had:

  1. Nearly 50% increased risk of death from any cause!

  2. 125% increased risk of events associated with cardiovascular disease, such as chest pain (angina) or heart attack!

I think it’s clear that sitting for too long is bad for us, but with many desk jobs or jobs that require a lot of driving or flying, what are we to do? What options do we have?

Here are some ideas to help:

  1. Stand while talking on the phone or eating lunch.

  2. If you work at a desk for long periods of time, try a standing desk — or improvise with a high table or counter.

  3. Walk laps with your colleagues for meetings rather than sitting in conference rooms.

  4. Make sure to take “standing breaks” every 30 minutes throughout the day.

  5. Walk around your house during the commercials of your favorite television show.

Movement is the key to health. Breaks, even as short as one minute, can make drastic changes in how you feel and prevention from a number of illnesses.

So stand up already!

Sources and More Info:

http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/national/the-health-hazards-of-sitting/750/

http://www.runnersworld.com/health/sitting-is-the-new-smoking-even-for-runners?page=single

http://www.mayoclinic.org/sitting/expert-answers/faq-20058005

New Year’s Resolution Got You Down?

We are just three weeks into the new year and I find myself wondering how many of us have sustained our new year’s resolutions, even for this short time? A study from the University of Scranton showed that 92% of people do not keep their New Year’s Resolution. “That means that only 8% of people who make resolutions actually keep them—only 8%! And of that 8%, only 46% of people keep their resolutions for longer than six months.” *

It’s pretty clear we could all use a little help when it comes to our efforts for personal betterment in the new year. Here are a few simple ways to get started again and improve your chances for sticking it out this second (or third) time around:

  1. Ask yourself:

*Is my goal realistic?

*Can I measure this goal to see my progress?

*Is my goal achievable?

*Is my goal logical – does it make sense for me?

If you answer “no” to any of these questions, then your goals need to be revised. Without a “yes” to each of these, your goals will be counter productive by negatively affecting your self-esteem and self-confidence. Trust me, you will need both your self-esteem and self confidence to be soaring in order to successfully and persistently pursue your goals.

  1. Now, take some time to rewrite your goals, making sure you are able to answer “yes” to each of the questions above.

  1. Lastly, review your goals with someone else. Someone who can verify that these goals are realistic, measurable, achievable and logical. Having another perspective can help clarify your goals. Not only should this person be a support system for you, but they should also be there to hold you accountable. If these goals are something you’re serious about, you’ll need support and accountability to stay on track for the long haul.

Following these few simple steps can help put you in the 8% of successful resolutions. One of my favorite quotes is an old chinese proverb that provides a beautiful metaphor for this exact topic:

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now.”

Do not give up on the goals that you started January 1, simply begin them anew today.

 

* http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/simple-steps-to-keeping-new-years-resolutions-011414

Chiropractic and Reduced Labor Pains

Rather than being wholly excited about the upcoming birth of their little one, many pregnant women develop anxiety over the act of giving birth. What if there were a way to help decrease not only the pains of labor, but the duration of labor? Regular chiropractic adjustments throughout the pregnancy have been found to not only decrease labor pains and labor time, but also helped mothers in their third trimester carry their baby more comfortably.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, along with reduced labor times and pain, chiropractic care throughout the pregnancy helps to maintain a healthier pregnancy, control symptoms of nausea, relieve back, neck and joint pain and also prevent a potential cesarean delivery. There are no known contraindications of chiropractic during pregnancy.

While all chiropractors are trained in the treatment and care of pregnant women, some take a particular interest in prenatal and postnatal care, including Dr. Melinda. She has gained close to 200 extra hours outside of the standard chiropractic education curriculum to specialize in prenatal, postnatal and pediatric care. If you are interested in how chiropractic can benefit you throughout your pregnancy, stop by the office at 310 Commercial Street, Atchison KS or call 913.367.5103 for more information! Below the photo are a few links to give more information on chiropractic during pregnancy.

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/chiropracticcare.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2647084/

http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=85

http://www.amplifeied.com/Post/chiropractic-during-pregnancy-has-been-shown-reduce-labor-times/da710f1b-3f81-427d-85e7-fa8bc378354a (photo)

 

Diet & ADHD

More children in the U.S. are being diagnosed with ADHD than ever before — 10.4 million in 2010 — a 66 percent increase since the year 2000! *

The majority of these millions of children will be prescribed mood altering drugs by default, some of them as young as four years old.

With growing concerns of over-diagnosis and the impacts of mood altering drugs on children and teenagers, many parents are now looking for non-drug treatment options. In a previous post, I discussed how chiropractic could potentially benefit kids diagnosed with ADHD and today I will introduce another effective non-drug treatment: diet.

So many of the “foods” (I put quotations around “food”, because is it really food that we now feed children?) are now processed and packaged in factories where scientists have manipulated the chemical composition to improve shelf life, injected artificial dyes to improve eye appeal, and inserted artificial flavors to create addictive tastes. Most “food” has become so processed that regular people stumble to pronounce more than a few items on the product ingredients list. For example, the ingredients list from a package of Wonder 100% Whole Wheat bread:

  

All kids, and especially those who are hyperactive, need real, nutritious food. I encourage parents when going to the grocery store to stay to the outside edges of the store – that’s where you find the real food: fruits, veggies, proteins, and nuts.

Here are a few guidelines to follow when choosing food for your kids:

1. At the grocery store – stay to the outside!

2. Stick to foods with 10 or fewer ingredients

3. Understand and be able to pronounce all the ingredients.

Remember, even if you don’t feel like you can follow all these guidelines right away, know that just following one of them is greatly helping you, your child, and your entire family!

A healthy diet is important for everyone, but for children experiencing symptoms of ADHD, improving the nutritional value of their diet can help improve behavior at home, in school, and in their interactions with other children and adults.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”

Hippocrates

Below are links that provide more information on what diets are appropriate for kids with ADHD, along with peer reviewed research on ADHD and diet.

ADHD & Diet – WebMD

ADHD & Diet – A Collection of Research 

*Huffington Post Article on ADHD Diagnosis Patterns

The Paleo Challenge

I frequently see clients who ask,  “What can I do to help myself lose weight?”

My response, “Go paleo.”

Or they may ask, “What can I do to help with my digestive system?”

Go paleo.

Help with food allergies?

Go paleo.

Help improve my mood and have more energy?

Go paleo.

The paleolithic diet, abbreviated paleo diet, is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era before the development of agriculture and grain-based diets.

Put most simply, the idea is to eat what our ancestors ate thousands of years ago.

Meaning…

NO: grains, legumes, dairy, refined salt OR sugar, and processed oils.

YES: fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, eggs, veggies, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts

Before I decided to take the paleo challenge, I was working out and I thought I was eating healthy – a bowl of cereal for breakfast with 2% milk, a turkey sandwich loaded with veggies for lunch, and a light pasta dish for dinner (notice all the grains), yet I felt stuck at the weight and size of clothes I was at. Then I took the challenge. And wow what a change! After just a few weeks I had lost a size, had more muscle definition and had more energy. I also noticed I wasn’t as bloated, my digestion regulated and I was more focused at school and with clients.

I am very weary of calling this a diet – to me diets are fads that run their course and eventually fall out of favor. Rather, going paleo is a lifestyle change. One must be mentally prepared to change their lifestyle in order for this way of eating to be successful.

To learn more about going paleo and the pros and cons of going paleo, check out these websites. Also, included is a website to one of my good friends in Kansas City who is a personal paleo chef who can help keep variety in your meals! Enjoy!

Pros and Cons of Paleo
Caleb Summers – Personal Paleo Chef
Delicious Paleo Recipes:

Boneless Pork Short Rib Breakfast Tacos

Sweet Sexy Wings

Coffee Marinated Steak Fajitas

Cinnamon Caramel Brownie Fruit Dip

Acupuncture Testimonial

“I had spent almost two years with Achilles tendon and calf pain, which prevented me from doing many things I loved.  It was a constant nagging pain that I had resigned myself to having to live with… then I met Dr. Melinda.  She told me about acupuncture treatments and her belief that she could improve my situation. After treatment from Dr. Melinda my pain is gone.  I have started running again, something I didn’t think I’d be able to do.  Dr. Melinda took the time to fully understand my situation, did an excellent job of explaining the process and made sure I was comfortable and relaxed as she worked.  Dr. Melinda’s acupuncture treatments are amazing and my quality of life has dramatically improved.”

 –Karla Kautz

Chiropractic and ADHD

Not many people realize that chiropractic can be very beneficial for kids. Whoa! Did she just put kids and chiropractic in the same sentence?! I absolutely did. Kids need chiropractic for many reasons, but the focus of this post is kids with ADHD and other learning and behavioral impairments.

Doctors of chiropractic are trained to identify neurological problems and find individual non-invasive treatment options. They can also assess your nutritional status and help you find the diet that will help you manage your condition. Below is a summary of a case study looking at chiropractic and ADHD:

A 2 year old is prescribed methylphenidate (Ritalin), Adderall, and Haldol for three years. This combination of drugs was unsuccessful in helping the child.

At the age of 5 he is taken to a chiropractor where it was noted that there were complications during his birth process. The results of this trauma and complications resulted in a 4-day stay in the neonatal intensive care unit. The child’s mother reported no other incidence of trauma since. Having completed a full physical and evaluation, the child began chiropractic care.

According to his mother, positive changes in her son’s general behavior become noticeable around the twelfth visit. By the 27th visit the patient had experienced considerable improvement.

The child went for a follow up visit to his original prescribing MD and his mother questioned the usage of the Ritalin. The medical doctor reviewed and examined the child and decided he could be taken off the medications that he had been taking for 3 years with no success.

I will not say that chiropractic can cure ADHD – it cannot. Rather, it is a very low risk alternative and/or complement to other forms of ADHD treatment. Many parents are turning to non-drug alternative treatments to help their children and chiropractic care along with some simple changes in diet may be just what your kid needs. The risks and side effects are negligible compared to prescription drugs, so I ask you, why not?  Why not try something different, yet completely safe, that could potentially be life changing for you and your child.

For more information about the case study above and about how chiropractic can help you or someone you love check out these websites:

ADHD – Alternative treatment utilizing a Chiropractor

The Effects of Chiropractic Treatment on Students with Learning and Behavioral Impairments due to Neurological Dysfunction

Acupuncture & Weight Loss

I have had a number of people come to me and ask if acupuncture can help with weight loss. I ask them if they remember the saying for smartphone applications, “There’s an app for that” – just like with apps, there’s an acupuncture point for that. So yes, weight loss is one of a wide range of conditions that may be assisted with acupuncture treatments.

The acupuncture points used in weight loss are mostly found in the ear (aka auricular acupuncture). Auricular acupuncture is used to reduce the stress and anxiety that can trigger overeating, reduce cravings and help balance the digestive system. These specific points in the ear also help your metabolism to function optimally, food to be digested properly and nutrients to be absorbed correctly.

Although acupuncture can play a helpful part in losing weight, it is most important that the person be holistically dedicated to the cause. A well-rounded approach including a healthy nutrition plan and increased physical activity is also vital to the overall weight loss plan!

If you are interested in trying acupuncture, come visit us at 310 Commercial St, Atchison KS, right across from the YMCA or call 913.367.5103 to schedule an appointment. Hope to see you soon and be well!

Check out these websites for more information on auricular acupuncture and how it can help with weight loss:

From Livestrong – Auricular Acupuncture for Weight Loss

From the Dr. Oz Show – Acupuncture and Weight Loss

Kinesio Tape Working for Local Marathon Runner

A patient presented having suffered chronic knee pain for several years, having to wear braces on both of her knees in order to run. After applying Kinesio Tape at Trusted Care Chiropractic in Atchison, she was able to run Warrior Dash and a marathon the following weekend without braces AND without pain. She just recently completed the Hospital Hill Marathon and had this to say:

223116_467836853299205_140295360_n

“I ran hospital hill with my best time ever! 2 hours and 17 minutes! About two months ago I started having horrible knee pain. It was so bad that I went to the doctor who told me I would not be able to run hills because that aggravated my knee. Running wasn’t the problem but I was told hills were not a good idea. I went to Melinda for a shot in the dark with KT tape. She wrapped me for warrior dash and I was amazed I had no pain! I ran 3 miles the next day on hills to see if it was just a coincidence and still no pain! She wrapped me with RockTape for my full 26.2 Marathon in Lincoln and it worked. Less than a month later I ran hospital hill with this snazzy blue argyle print RockTape and was able to do what I thought was going to be almost impossible for me again. I also wear it when I do crossfit like workouts at Kôr Gym which allows me to do all the moves I want to be able to handle! Thanks Melinda!”

– Randa Falk

      970994_469480349801522_402235540_n