Bye Bye Belly!

by Ruth A. McKinney, D.C.

After 33 years of practice I’ve noticed the physical makeup of the general population has changed.  More people are overweight at younger and younger ages, causing all sorts of physical problems.  In fact in the past twenty years there has been a 76% increase in Type 2 diabetes.  1 in 3 Americans will develop this condition, and they will lose an average of 10 to 15 years of their life.  Those are frightening statistics.  As one of the wealthiest counties in the world, how did this happen?

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According to the US Census Bureau the top ten states with the highest levels of obesity are also the states with the highest levels of poverty.  Tennessee and Georgia rank just outside this “top ten” at #11 and #14 respectively.  In the US there is a well-documented correlation between hunger and obesity.  How can someone be hungry and overweight at the same time?

The answer is simple.  Foods containing fats and oils, high fructose corn syrup and refined grains are cheap to produce.  These are exactly the foods that are most frequently linked to high obesity rates.  Healthy foods that are high in nutrition are fruits, vegetables, and lean meats.  They are also several thousand times more expensive per calorie.  People are eating high calorie food that is essentially devoid of nutrition, and they are hungry because they are literally starving for good food.

“Fast food” is junk food.  If it comes out of a can, box, package, or through a drive-through window, it’s not real food!  (The exception to this rule is that most fruits and vegetables that are canned or frozen are fairly healthy.  Watch for added sugar and sodium.)  Additives and chemicals are frequently added during processing by the food industry to make it looks and taste better.  This food is manufactured for profit, not good health.

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How do we combat against the insidious problem of obesity in the face of abundance?  

1. Shop around the perimeter of the grocery store.  In these aisles you will find fresh and frozen fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.  Stay away from the middle isles where the packaged food is located.  

2. Learn to read labels.  The products with the shortest ingredient list are usually the healthiest.  If you can’t pronounce a word you find on a label, why would you want to eat it?

3. Drink more water.  The new standard for water consumption is “body weight divided by two.”  As an example, if you weigh 200 pounds you should be drinking 100 ounces of water every day.  Drinking soft drinks, coffee and tea that contain caffeine actually make your body lose fluid.  Don’t count these types of drinks in your daily water intake. It’s water…..period.  

4.  Exercise moderately to increase circulation, lower blood pressure, remove fat from the blood, and improve blood sugar.  Just 15 minutes of brisk walking makes a difference.  If you don’t move it you lose it!

Reverse chronic malnutrition, obesity and diabetes by changing the road map of health by using the four steps above.  It starts simply with making better choices.  Life is a marathon, not a sprint.  You’ll be glad you took the first step.

To learn how Chiropractic can help you on the road to good health, call our office at 423-485-8480.

When it comes to your health, we’ve got your back!

Nervous System 101

By Ruth A. McKinney, D.C.

Your spine is made of 24 bones that allow you to move through the motions of everyday life.  It also surrounds and protects the spinal cord which is the information highway from your brain to your body.  When two or more bones aren’t correctly aligned and working together properly, you may experience discomfort or pain, decreased mobility, and a variety of symptoms.  You may not even be aware there is miscommunication between your brain and body.  Your body is very good at hiding bad news from you, and the problem may be present for months or years before you actually feel pain or symptoms.  Chiropractic care is an excellent way to treat and prevent joint and nerve malfunction.

Aside from relief of neck pain, headaches and back pain my patients regularly tell me they feel more energetic and relaxed, and that they are sleeping better at night.  Although case histories abound of people who have healed from many different conditions under chiropractic care, it was not the chiropractor who healed them.  The real healing occurred as a result of their body’s internal wisdom working more effectively after the chiropractor corrected their misalignments.

This is the essence of chiropractic:  Remove that which interferes with your natural innate or inborn expression.  What greater gift can you give to yourself, your family and others than to tap into that source of healing, health and wholeness deep within?  Is it any wonder that chiropractic has become the most popular drug-free health profession in the world?  Chiropractic works!

When it comes to your health, we’ve got your back!

Conditions Treated by Chiropractic

By Ruth A. McKinney, D.C.

LOW BACK PAIN

-Low back pain affects 31 million people at any given time.

-Back pain is the #1 reason people miss work.

-$100 Billion spent each year on low back pain treatment.

-80% of Americans will suffer from back pain at some point.

-Discussion of back pain has been found on Egyptian papyrus dating 3500 years ago.

-Weight matters – 80% of the entire body weight balances on the low back.

-Back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor, second to upper respiratory infections.

-Half of all working Americans admit to having back pain each year.

-Most cases of back pain are mechanical (non-organic) – meaning they aren’t caused by cancer, broken bones or infection.

-Treatment of low back pain by a chiropractor saves 40% on health care costs compared with care through a medical doctor.   This is according to Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance for patients in Tennessee over a two year period.  By the way, most insurance companies cover chiropractic care.


NECK PAIN

-Neck problems are about half as common as low back problems.

-Neck problems can cause other symptoms:  Headache, upper back pain, shoulder/arm/hand pain or numbness.

-Can be caused by repetitive motion (computer work) or accident (whiplash).

-90% of auto accident victims have neck pain caused by whiplash injury.

-Can be caused by poor sleep posture.

-Neck pain is less well tolerated than low back pain, and affects the ability to think clearly.


DISC PROBLEMS

-The disc is a pressurized shock absorber.

-The most common disc problems are at L4 and L5.

-Degenerative disc disease and/or bulging/herniated disc can cause pain.

-Think of a tire. It’s pressurized, and can develop a side-wall bulge or blowout.

-Sitting quadruples the pressure in the disc.

-White collar men who sit have as high an incidence of low back disc problems as do people who work manual labor.

-96% of disc problems can be resolved without surgery using conservative care such as chiropractic.


“When it comes to your health, we’ve got your back!”

Why Should I See A Chiropractor?

Chiropractic is a wonderful method of keeping your spine, nerves and energies functioning without interference so you can be at your physical and mental best.  It’s safe, effective and gentle.  It helps to turn on your body’s healing power.  People of all ages can benefit from chiropractic treatment.  It helps pregnant women be more comfortable and children experience a drug-free approach to health.  Anyone with back, hip and leg problems needs a chiropractic checkup, as should sedentary workers who suffer from headaches, neck, shoulder TMJ and wrist problems.  Artists, musicians, dentists, truck drivers, surgeons and many others benefit from chiropractic care.  After seeing a chiropractor the elderly experience more energy and mobility, and it helps prevent drug dependence.  In other words, everyone can benefit!

Perhaps you’re tired or lack energy, you just don’t feel well.  Are you under a lot of physical or emotional stress?  Look at yourself in the mirror and notice if your head, hips or shoulders are not balanced.  If you’ve had a fall (no matter how long ago) or if you’ve lost height, chiropractic might be able to help you.  Ask a friend or family member to watch you walk to check for toe-in or toe-out.  Working in the same positions for long periods is stressful on the neck, upper back, shoulders and lower back.  We can teach you how to set up your workstation to be ergonomically friendly to relieve muscular and joint strain.

When it comes to your health, we’ve got your back!