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Why My Daughter Harlow Sees a Chiropractor

Many people come in and out of the office, and one thing they see that surprises a large number of them is just how many babies and children are getting adjusted. 

Is a baby or child adjustment the same as an adult adjustment? No way! There is very little force, if any, but the goal is the exact same. The goal is to protect the brain and spinal cord and make sure there is no pressure, allowing the body to perform at 100%. The aim is to do this from birth so they can experience what it is like to be at their healthiest without pressure on their nervous system while growing up. IMG_5484

We have been taking our daughter Harlow to a pediatric chiropractor, Dr. Savy Irby in Atlanta, since birth, and her progress has been amazing. Harlow never had any symptoms of anything wrong when she started, but our goal is to keep it that way. 

Fortunately, she has never had an ear infection, been colicky, sick for more than 24 hours, or had any digestive problems including acid reflux. We take her to get adjusted between 2 – 4 times a month depending on many factors, but instead of waiting for something to be wrong we want her to experience her truest health potential from the beginning. 

One thing that’s awesome to see when parents bring their children in early is how their health transforms, and how less sick and happier they become. I have seen kids with chronic ear infections who have been through surgery get help, babies with acid reflux feel better, and colicky babies get adjusted and instantly calm down. 

The spine is delicate when growing up, and the amount of falls Harlow will have while learning to walk will be in the thousands. Also, the birthing process itself is extremely stressful on the body, whether it’s done by cesarean, with drugs, or all natural. IMG_3546

Our family’s philosophy when it comes to health is to always be proactive and never wait for problems to happen before taking care of ourselves, but doing so before something is wrong. I have seen too many people get sick or pass way with no warning signs and our families philosophy is to do everything to be our healthiest. 

Many people live reactively, which means they wait until a problem exists before they see somebody or do something positive for their health. 

I talked last week about having a Lifestyle Team of people who care for you regularly, and these are people you see while you feel great. I talked about how amazing medical doctors are, but they are there for when we have a problem, and so it’s up to us to create better lifestyle patterns to prevent us from needing to see them.

I know my daughter will grow up in a world of lots of sports activity, tons of texting, and frequent computer usage, so our goals right now are to give her the winner’s edge to be her healthiest from birth. 

If any of you have any children you would like us to check then please reply, as this Saturday, October 31st, Dr. Savy has blocked off her entire schedule to assess kids complimentary for newsletter readers. 

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iPad

Why your kids neck is in trouble

Every day, whether I am at the office, at a restaurant, or walking around town, lo and behold there will be some kid with an iPad or iPhone in front of their face looking down. In fact, on Saturday, April 11th, I counted 7 kids under the age of 10 on some form of technology looking down.

The Kaiser Family Foundation stated that the average 8 – 18 year old will spend roughly 7 hours a day on some form of media device. This study did not include the children less than 8 years old who sit at their dinner tables on their phones, looking down and placing major stress on their necks.

Parents! If you want your kids to experience their potentially healthiest life then:

A) take away their media device, or

B) make them hold it at eye level so they are not looking down.

Yes, some of your kids may cry at first because they are dependent on those devices, but this is about their future. This is about their health and not experiencing the same issues and problems modern day America deals with, and being better than the status quo. I iPadknow that I want the best for my daughter, and having her avoid staring at TVs, phones, or any other LED lights at a young age is crucial to her not becoming dependent on those devices later on.

When your kids were born they spent months trying to lift their head up and hold it in place without you having to support their neck. They were building the C-shape curve of the neck, AKA “Arc of Life”, because that is the normal position of the body.

The curve that we were built to have is a 40-degree C-curve, similar to other famous infrastructures (Hoover Dam, Eiffel Tower, etc.). All these structures have this 40-degree C-shaped curve in place as it is the strongest support system to maintain stress, which for children would be the weight of their head. The Hoover Dam supports 656 million gallons of water, the Eiffel Tower holds 10,000 tons of weight, and your neck is holding up your 10-pound head.

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When looking down your child is putting all the stress and weight of their head on their upper back, which then translates into more problems in the lower back. Your child spent so much time working to build the C curve in their neck and then when they get technology in front of them, looking down, they reverse that C curve and put pressure on those nerves. Science has shown that for every inch forward the head goes, the weight on the upper back is increased by 10 pounds. For example, if your child’s head is looking at an iPad where their neck is 2 inches forward, then that is 20 pounds of additional weight on their spine.

This is why I love those parents who have become proactive and bring their children for chiropractic check-ups similar to how they do dental check-ups. The gentle chiropractic adjustments help to maintain the C curve and keep the nervous system functioning properly while taking stress off the nerves from improper biomechanics.

In fact, I do not think it’s coincidental that more children come to my office with headaches because of the damage they are doing early on. The long-term effects on these children is too early to tell, but adults who come to the office with computer jobs tend to have earlier stages of degeneration way before my clients who stand or walk throughout the day. The degeneration happens due to the body adapting to the excess weight for many years. If our children lose their C curve too early, then imagine the age at which degeneration could start happening in the spine.

Unfortunately, if this happens America will blame the problem on their 2 favorite excuses: age & genetics.

If our children never fully get to experience this world with the ‘arc of life’in their neck, then they will be missing out on so much life has to offer.

No one knows exactly what symptoms and diagnoses are that contribute to the loss of curve, but what is confirmed is that stress on nerves equates to lower quality of life.

Wake up people! There is a major problem happening literally right in front of our eyes, and we need to be the adults and parents of our children and guide them in healthier decisions. All of us want the best for our children and sometimes we need to do things that our children may not want to hear, but must.

Let your child live their life out to their full expression and be the healthiest version of themselves!

 

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Health Insurance vs Medical Insurance – Two different products with two different goals

A key question I get from people daily is why their insurance does not cover chiropractic. I have to explain high deductibles and high co-pays on a daily basis, and I also add that their medical insurance is truly designed for the medical world. 

Medical insurance is something my wife and I pay $145 a month for, with an $8,000 deductible, and it’s something I hope to never use. 

I don’t consider it “health insurance”because my Humana card does not keep me healthy or prevent disease and illness. If I break a bone, develop an illness, or get extremely sick, then my medical insurance is there to save me from the outrageous and growing cost of medicine. My medical doctors are excellent providers and are there for crisis intervention.   

My health insurance is the expense I have every month that allows me to maintain high levels health while staying in great physical shape. Doctors are always amazed by my health “for my age” because my medical numbers are well above normal: bone scans are extremely strong; body fat is very low, and VO2 max is high. This happens because my wife and I get that, in order to STAY healthy, we need to invest in ourselves: chiropractic adjustments, massages, acupuncture, whole food supplements, organic nutrition, and functional fitness. chiro-health-insurance

You have to shift your mindset NOW if you want to be healthy in the future and realize that your medical insurance is there for medical interventions and that your health insurance, which is the expenses to keep you healthy, is a separate entity from your medical insurance. Each has a goal and serves a purpose, but blending the two and thinking your medical insurance is a credit card that will keep you healthy is a sentence waiting to go down the medical disease model. 

Before anyone starts to say “Well, I don’t have that kind of money,” then let’s look at your entertainment, cable, restaurant, alcohol, retail, and travel bills. I get that it would be expensive for some people to afford every health service, but most of the time it comes down to values. For example, my wife and I recently found $60 a month we were wasting on cable TV and $29 a month we were wasting on our phone bill. Some people value having DVR, HD TV, shopping, flat screens, traveling, going out to eat, and drinking alcohol more than they do investing in their health. For us, we prefer to invest our hard-earned dollars on health insurance; then, anything left goes into the fun and entertainment.

Your health insurance is an investment that will provide significant returns, but your medical insurance is an expense that hopefully you will never use. 

Here is an example of my health insurance vs. my medical insurance: 

MEDICAL INSURANCE                            HEALTH INSURANCE
$145 month – Humana                                   $150 – Crossfit membership

$175 – Chiropractic (weekly adjustments)

$70 – Acupuncture      

$100 – Massage

Varies based on what we get – Organic food

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Chiropractic is crucial for athletes because of this (especially for golfers and crossfitters)

In March 2014, Tiger Woods underwent a medical procedure to relieve tension on the spinal nerve in his lower back. Tiger has been dealing with spinal problems for many years and likely not because he was born with a bad back but mostly because of all the stress loading from different forces. When Tiger swings a driver, he generates 140 mph of swing, and intense forces are loaded on his spine. In 2006, he would use a 2 iron and a 3 wood for some holes because they would create less force than the driver when swinging.

When a golfer swings a club, this create two forces: torque and axial loading.

Torque is when the body creates rotational or twisting movements. Excessive torque on the spine, combined with a lack of proper spinal care, can result in weakened discs, early degeneration, and herniation of the disc spaces. Torque is very common for baseball players, tennis players, and golfers, as they rotate their bodies a lot, creating the stress.

For people who do crossfit, they do not create a lot of torque on their body, but they do create the second force, known as axial loading. When a crossfitter does any olympic or power lift, they are placing a load on the spine, and this is usually negative. It’s not that lifting is negative, but people who have a misaligned spine make the lift negative. A person with a spine that is rotated or out of alignment is creating negative stresses placed upon the spine, and these can ultimately lead to disc herniations or bulging discs. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of the spinal nerves perceive pain, so feeling whether something is in or out of alignment is impossible.tigerhu1-0_standard_352-0

The only way to know whether the structure of your spine is in proper alignment is by seeing a chiropractor who is trained in biomechanics and corrective work.

The spine is meant to act as a shock absorber when dealing with both forces, and when it is in proper position, it can handle the loading. When the spine is not in its proper position, the forces act as a negative stress and place A LOT of heavy loading on the spine.

Enterovirus-68

3 REAL Strategies to Combat Enterovirus 68

Ever since I found out I was going to be a dad in April 2014, my attention to news about children has risen. I notice back-to-school articles, articles on parenting and families, and anything health-related for children I particularly focus on.

In recent news many parents have been coming to my office asking about Enterovirus 68 and how they can protect themselves and their children. Enterovirus-68Enterovirus is common amongst children, affecting –ten to fifteen million, but this strain is extremely rare and does not usually spread.

The children this virus affects are mostly those who have respiratory issues or weakened immune systems. If the cause is weaker immunity, then guess what a great solution would be to avoid this. Exactly! A healthier immune system.

This virus would send warning signals to me, as a soon-to-be parent, that I need to do everything possible to boost my child’s immune system. Especially with flu season around the corner, the kids with weak immune systems will be the ones who contract these viruses more commonly. As of September 11, 2014, only eighty-four cases in six states were listed, but the numbers are supposed to increase as the cooler months come around. 

As of now, here are the five recommendations I have seen online for avoiding Enterovirus: 

1) Wash hands with soap and water.
2) Avoid contact with ill people.
3) Do not go to day care, school, or work while ill.
4) Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing utensils.
5) Disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

Great suggestions but not really proactive advice as none of these educate on building the immune system, which is the whole reason someone even contracts this virus. 

Listen to the obvious five that the typical “health care”world suggested, but here are three REAL suggestions to actually AVOID getting the virus and building the immune system for the fall/winter:

1) Load your kids up on vitamin D3 – Many researchers think the reason why people get sick more often in the colder months is because of being indoors more and a lack of sunshine. The sun promotes D3, which has been shown to exponentially increase immunity, so be sure to supplement your child with D3 daily. http://www.nordicnaturals.com/en/Products/Product_Details/514/?ProdID=1683

2) Get them off sugar – Sugar is one of the worst, if not the worst food for your body as far as weakened immunity. As fall and winter approach, people are more inclined to feed their children warm sugary drinks, increased candy intake with Halloween, and other toxic products. Right now would be the best time to focus on cooking more at home and loading your children up with green leafy and colorful vegetables loaded with antioxidants. Check out http://paleoparents.com/ for free and healthy recipes for kids.

3) Get them adjusted – I know I sound like a broken record, but chiropractic boosts the immune system, and the kids who get adjusted regularly get sick less often. We have kids coming in with headaches, asthma, allergies, and sinus troubles who are all getting amazing results because we are facilitating and allowing their body to create health from the inside out. Does chiropractic cure any of those symptoms or illnesses? No! Chiropractic allows for a freer expression of life by removing nerve pressure and simply allowing the body to work better. 

Rib Humping

This Could Be Negatively Affecting Your Workout

Rib Humping

Let’s play detective for 30 seconds! What do you see wrong when you look at this bicyclist’s back?

Answer: If you said a high right side, then you would be correct. This gentleman is dealing with something known as a rib hump, and it affects a lot of athletes who have no clue they even have this.

This past Sunday, I went for an 81-mile bike ride, and 81 miles can get pretty boring unless you find some way to entertain yourself. Since I am a structural chiropractor and I love finding ways people can be healthier and perform better, I decided to analyze people and see what they could change to enhance their performance.

This guy stood out like a sore thumb!

In fact, I hope he finds this blog post, as he could get helped if he is not already seeing somebody for this.

Why is this important?

A rib hump is an indicator of scoliosis (abnormal curvature of the spine), which affects mostly women, but still effects 6–9 million people in our country. I would bet this number is higher, but this stat is based on how many people get diagnosed with scoliosis.

For those who want to be elite performers and function at high levels then, this should not be OK. In fact, what I have seen is that people with scoliosis have increased digestive problems, more pronounced lower back pain, decreased spirometer (lung capacity) readings, and higher numbers of forward head posture (the head sticks out over the shoulders).

This means that, even if you have the best technique in the gym and the best form, because of your abnormal biomechanics and weak structure, your likelihood of injury is higher.

Most people would wait until they display symptoms before getting this checked, which I commonly see, but people who follow this blog tend to be more proactive, which is why I have posted this article.

How do you know if you have a rib hump?

To find out if your rib humps, you will want to take your shirt off and bend forward to try and touch your toes. Have someone take a picture of your back, and post it to the comments below. If we see something that suggests rib humping, the next step is to find a structural chiropractor and someone who focuses on athletes.

They would do a structural examination, which may include x-rays, and this would determine if you’re a candidate for their care and if you in fact have any curvature to the spine or scoliosis.