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7 Reasons Why a Balance Ball Chair Is Good for Your Spine

Many of us spend eight hours a day sitting at a desk. And many of us experience a good deal of back and neck pain as well as headaches during that time. One reason is because those who design office chairs are not building them to fit our bodies; they are thinking of them as furniture to fit a particular “look.” Add to that the keyboard and monitor heights which are typically not appropriate for the user, and you have a perfect opportunity for spine issues to creep in.

Just because you must stay at a desk doesn’t mean you have to deal with these issues, however. Recently some designers have developed chairs that can alleviate many of these concerns. The chair consists of an balance ball in a stationary base. (The ball may also be known as a stability ball, yoga ball, Swiss ball, or physioball.) If a full chair will not work for you, a balance wedge or disk that sits on the seat of your chair is another alternative. The downside of the balance ball chairs and disks is that they need to be re-inflated periodically and have a weight limit of 300 pounds. However, the benefits may outweigh those issues. These are some of the benefits that researchers are finding.


Balance Ball Benefits

  • Engages Your Core Muscles

Because the balance ball is not stationary, it forces you to keep making small movements to stay balanced. This movement engages the core muscles of your back, abdomen, and pelvic floor.


  • Improves Posture

As you build those core muscles, your posture will  improve. When your head, spine, and pelvis are all in alignment, you will both look better and feel better.


  • Increases Circulation

Because you are constantly moving, circulation is improved.


  • Relieves Back Pain

As your core muscles become stronger, you will be less likely to slouch as you get tired. In fact, the chair makes slouching at a desk almost impossible.


  • Gives You an Opportunity for Mini Exercise Breaks

If you have opportunities to take little breaks in your work day, you can use the balance ball in or out of its frame to provide a quick chance for some good exercise.


  • Helps You to Maintain Focus

We work better when we are not sitting completely still. There is a pathway in our nervous system between the area that controls movement/balance and the area that controls our ability to focus. Studies show that the bit of movement we get from sitting on a balance ball increases our attentiveness and focus.


  • Helps Children with Attention Deficit

Researchers are finding that students who have ADD, ADHD, a sensory processing disorder, or those who just need to fidget are helped by these chairs because the chairs give the students a “productive” outlet for that need to move. When they are moving, they are also better able to focus.


No chair can provide all the movement that we need. We still need to engage the larger muscles of our extremities, which we can do only by walking or stretching. A good rule of thumb is to get up and move about at least once every hour. No chair is perfect for everyone, but a balance ball chair can be a good option for many people.

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What is Nutrition Response Testing?

One of the primary ways we assist patients in achieving better health is through Nutrition Response Testing (NRT). It is a precise, non-invasive method using the body’s natural reflexes to analyze organs and systems of the body. Reflex analysis techniques, such as NRT, rely on two of the body’s communication systems: the nervous system and the ancient Chinese acupuncture meridian system.


The nervous system provides a reflex. (A reflex is a weak or strong muscle response to a stimulus). If the practitioner puts pressure on a muscle and it remains strong, this indicates that the point is functioning properly. If the muscle is weak, this shows that there is an issue that needs to be addressed.


The Chinese meridian system provides non-invasive access to organs, tissues, glands, and all systems of the body. This works because of the electromagnetic fields that run through and around our bodies. These fields have either a positive or negative influence on each other. This electromagnetic influence is what the testing uses.


What is Involved in a Nutrition Response Testing Visit

NRT begins with an analysis using muscle testing. Each point tested relates to a specific organ or function within the body. In the testing, the practitioner is looking for weakened organs or systems; he is also looking for specific stressors such as food sensitivities, immune challenges, scars, metals, and chemicals in the body which may prevent the body from healing. These reflexes are able to show a weakness in the body before there is actual manifestation of disease through symptoms.


Based on the results of the testing, the NRT practitioner will make recommendations for dietary/lifestyle modifications. These can include whole food supplements, herbs, or homeopathic remedies to bring the body back to balance. By using reflex testing, each issue is dealt with as the body reveals it is ready to tackle the issue.


If you are suffering from allergies, headaches, fatigue or even a chronic health complication such as diabetes or heart disease, chances are you could benefit from Nutrition Response Testing (NRT). Call us for a free consultation at 864-963-9304.


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Flu: How Can Chiropractic Help?

This year we have seen an exceptionally high number of flu cases, including deaths. Exactly 100 years ago, during the winter of 1917-1918, the world experienced an epidemic much worse than usual as well. The best estimates say that there were approximately 100 million deaths around the world due to the flu, with 500,000 of them being here in America.


Back then medical science knew almost nothing about how to care for the victims. There were no drugs to use for prevention or treatment. At that time chiropractic was just an emerging science, but since traditional methods of care were not effective, many chiropractors were called into service to help with the epidemic. They saw some amazing statistics:


Flu Treated with Medical Care vs. Chiropractic


In the state of Iowa, medical doctors treated 93,590 people for the flu. Out of those, 6116 died—or 1 in 15. Also in Iowa, excluding the city of Davenport, chiropractors treated 4,735 people. Of those, only 6 died–or 1 in 789.


In New York City, out of every 10,000 treated medically for the flu, 950 died. For every 10,000 treated for pneumonia, 6400 died. In the same city, out of every 10,000 who were treated with chiropractic care, only 25 flu victims died, and only 100 pneumonia victims died. Medical doctors lost 1 in 10 patients; chiropractors only lost 1 in 400 patients.


How Chiropractic Helps with the Flu


A very important part of keeping our immunity strong is the lymphatic system. It consists of a network of lymph nodes, ducts and vessels that move the lymph (a fluid made of white blood cells and chyle) from various parts of the body into the bloodstream. The lymph nodes are responsible for making immune cells which help to fight infections.The better the lymph is able to travel through the body, the more it is able to carry the infection-fighting cells to every part.


The lymphatic system is connected to both the central nervous system and the musculoskeletal system. A chiropractic adjustment helps the central nervous system by removing subluxations which prevent proper communication throughout the body. The musculoskeletal system transports the lymph through the body as we move and contract our muscles.  Adjustments allow for more movement in the muscles, which increases movement of the lymph.


Today we have much better knowledge of how to prevent and care for the flu through medical means. However, even without drugs, the statistics above show that chiropractic care can make a huge difference in keeping our bodies resilient through a bad flu year—no matter which strain is prevalent!




Your Super Bowl Party Food “Playbook”

The Super Bowl is soon upon us, and no matter which team you are rooting for, you can enjoy the party without missing the goal of your healthy eating plans. Even if you are a rookie to healthy eating, here is a game plan that is sure to win the eating game for you Sunday night.


  • Kick off the afternoon with some exercise to get you in a health-conscious state of mind.
  • Your opponent is the high-fat pizza, the greasy chicken wings slathered with sauce, and the nachos dripping with cheese. Don’t get tackled by them.
  • Take and offensive approach and scout out the table before you fill your plate. Look for the nutritious foods such as the veggie tray, fruits, nuts, or salads.
  • On your first down (first trip to the snack table), be sure to load up on healthy foods that are also filling so you will be less tempted to eat more later.
  • Don’t huddle around the snack table. Get your food and then move away.
  • Call a time out before going back for seconds. Give yourself time to assess whether or not you are still actually hungry. When everyone around you is eating, it is a whole lot easier to eat just to be sociable, even though you have had all the food your body needs.
  • Don’t end up with a flag on the play. Calories in drinks can add up more quickly than you realize, especially when there are salty foods on the menu. Alcohol will also affect decision-making and cause you to overeat.
  • Throw a pass on the desserts. At most parties there will not be anything on the dessert table that will help you in your health goals.


Use these strategies in your food game plan to help you win a victory at the Super Bowl snack table this year!


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13 Tips to Help You Keep Your “Healthier Eating” New Year’s Resolutions

Have your New Year’s Resolutions included healthier eating? Do you want to eat better but don’t want to give up your comfort foods? Thinking of substitutions rather than cutting things out of your diet can make the whole process a lot more pleasant. Here are some ideas to get you started. The sky is the limit with your own creativity to add to these!


  1. Add vegetables to many of your foods—spinach to smoothies, green peppers to scrambled eggs, broccoli to pasta dishes, etc. You’ll get more nutrition without totally changing your menu.
  2. Exchange French fries for Carrot Fries. Cut carrots to the size and shape of traditional French fries. Toss with olive oil plus salt or any herbs you like. Bake them at 425° until crisp.
  3. Replace white rice with cauliflower “rice.” Cut a head of cauliflower into manageable pieces. Pulse in a blender or food processor. Press out moisture with paper towels. Microwave for 5-7 minutes and add seasonings to taste.
  4. Instead of pasta, use shredded zucchini or spaghetti squash.
  5. Rather than drinking a glass of fruit juice, eat the fruit instead. You will get more fiber and more nutritional value with fewer calories.
  6. Swap the potato chips for air-popped popcorn.
  7. Take fruit for a snack rather than high-calorie, high-sugar processed snacks.
  8. Exchange white breads for whole wheat bread. The additional fiber in the whole wheat will help you to feel more full so you’ll be less tempted to overeat. (Fiber also has zero calories!)
  9. Oatmeal will stick with you longer than processed cereals. Just add berries, cinnamon or nuts to add flavor.
  10. Replace the fancy coffee drinks with a green tea. It has no calories but will still boost your metabolism.
  11. Instead of a packaged salad dressing, use olive oil and a flavored vinegar.
  12. Exchange iceberg lettuce for romaine, spring mix, or spinach. The iceberg lettuce is almost devoid of nutrients, while the other greens are packed with good things such as folic acid and iron, not to mention more flavor.
  13. Replace high-sugar sodas (or even diet sodas) with lemon/lime sparking water.


We hope your New Year’s Resolutions for healthier eating are going well. If any of these ideas are helpful, we’d love to hear from you!

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7 Tips for Success in Your Weight Loss This Year

We’ve begun a new year! Have you set weight loss as a part of your new goals? Follow these tips to help you in your new endeavor.


  • Write down all of the reasons why you want to lose weight—all of the things that will keep you motivated and focused. Read the list every day. Post it on the fridge and other places where you will see it throughout the day.
  • All diets come to an end. Prepare for the end of the diet as well as you prepare for the beginning. Be sure you have plans in place to adopt a healthy lifestyle after the diet is completed.
  • Develop habits that can help, not hinder, you in your goals. If your goal is to exercise first thing in the morning, lay out your exercise clothes the night before. If you want to eat healthier, be sure that you have healthy foods at arm’s reach. Put a bowl of fruit on the counter at home or healthy snacks in your top desk drawer at work.
  • Keep tabs on your hunger level. Rate it on a scale of 1-10. When you are about a 5, eat a snack. The goal is to keep you from getting overly hungry where you will be more tempted to binge.
  • Studies show that when we are sleep deprived, hormonal changes take place that make us feel hungrier. Be sure to get enough sleep. Seven to nine hours is ideal.
  • Eat at home as much as possible. Restaurants design their food to taste good, not to help you lose weight!
  • Serve your food in courses. Rather than piling all your food on a plate at the same time, serve them one at a time. Begin with a soup and filling vegetables, such as a salad. By the time you have finished with these and are ready for the more calorie-dense foods (meat and dessert), you will already be near full or already full.


And, here is a bonus tip: Use a lot of blue—on tablecloths, dishes, the walls, etc. Blue acts as an appetite suppressant. (How many fast-food restaurants do you see using blue? They’re going to use yellow, red, and orange to encourage you to eat, so these are the colors you should avoid in your own eating areas.)


If you are looking for a plan to shed those extra holiday pounds or more, please give our office a call to see if our ChiroThin Weight Loss Program would be right for you. Our patients average 20-35 pound weight loss in just 42 days! We would love to have you join the ranks of successful newly-thin people.

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*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.

Eating Healthy Even Through the Holidays

The holidays will soon be upon us, and that can wreak havoc on our diet and eating habits! Have you ever decided to eat healthier —“This year is going to be different”? A typical scenario might look something like this: You know you need to watch your diet and weight. You choose a super-strict regimen which then takes all the pleasure out of eating. This forces you to avoid social opportunities because you know you’ll blow it. How well does that work? Probably not very well.

“Weight management really should be about focusing on eating healthy foods that you like, rather than trying to stay away from foods that you like,” says Katie Rickel, PhD, a clinical psychologist and weight-loss expert in Durham, North Carolina. A diet that will work must contain both foods that are healthy for us and foods that we enjoy eating.  The secret is knowing when you can indulge, and when it is time to stop.1

Steps to Help You Eat Healthier

  1. Rather than choosing a rigid diet that is focusing on the foods you cannot eat, instead focus on the foods that you will According to Vanessa Patrick, PhD (University of Houston), “’I can’t’ signals deprivation, which makes you more likely to cave, whereas ‘I don’t’ signals determination and empowerment, making your refusal more effective.”
  2. You need guidelines, but allow flexibility within those guidelines. Don’t be too specific, as in “I’m going to eat 3 oz. of Brussels sprouts every night.” Instead think of what those foods have—antioxidants, vitamins, etc. What else also has those same nutrients that your body needs?
  3. Only eat at meal times or at planned snack times.
  4. Forgive yourself when you slip.
  5. If your foods of choice are not available, find the closest substitute that will fill you up–and enjoy the meal.

This all boils down to the fact that what we think about our food may be just as important to weight loss as what we actually eat in the long run. Have you found ideas that help you in your weight loss journey that will help you to eat healthier? We’d love for you to share them with us!


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1 The idea of eating healthy without obsessing over it comes from the ­ book 20 Pounds Younger by Michele Promaulayko with Laura Tedesco, Rodale, 2015.


*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.

ACX: Relief for Colds, Flu, and Seasonal Allergies

With the winter cold/flu season upon us, we wanted you to be aware of a product that has shown great results with our patients. We have seen reduction in the severity and length of symptoms associated with viruses and seasonal allergies with ACX. (Made by Systemic Formulas.) As soon as patients begin feeling symptoms, we recommend taking this product. ACX is helpful for people who have chronic low resistance to fevers, colds, infections, etc.ACX


ACX is abroad spectrum, all-natural, gluten-free product. It provides drainage to cleanse and detoxify the organs, specifically the liver, spleen, and kidneys. ACX helps a healthy body to remove the pathogens that the body is battling. This product is high in Vitamins A, C, and E and includes many herbs as well as RNA.


We recommend having a bottle of this on hand to avert any type of virus or seasonal allergy that may decide to come your way. Call our office at 864-963-9304 to see if this would be best for you.


*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.

Image courtesy of marin at


Warning: May Contain Gluten

By Diane Irving


Millions of Americans have gluten sensitivity or suffer from full-fledged Celiac Disease, which can conjure up severe health problems. Simple food indulgences could be harmless in moderation, but it could also have substantial impacts on the body. Symptoms from Celiac or gluten sensitivity can start out with headaches or less serious reactions, then autoimmune diseases, organ or brain dysfunction may occur over time. A warning to consumers: allergy awareness is crucial to health. Avoid consuming gluten contents and you could lessen the severity of symptoms or prevent serious illness.


Knowing the difference between a sensitivity and Celiac Disease can be tricky. According to the Celiac Center, the disease affects 1 percent of the population, and 18 million suffer from sensitivity. Celiac Disease can evoke harmful problems including intense stomach pain, bloating, brain fog, headaches, and a multitude of other symptoms. Sensitivity may also induce brain fog, tiredness, stomach issues, joint pain, and more. BeyondCeliac.Org claims Celiac is mostly genetic, and the disease “damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.” According to the site, about 5-22% of diagnosed Celiac sufferers have a relative who also experiences symptoms of the disease. They claim that other possible outcomes from a diagnosis are reduced bone density and possibly even some cancers!


The Body’s Internal Reaction to Gluten


Dr. Amy Myers, a respected functional medicine practitioner has done extensive research on the impact gluten has on the body’s food process: “In sensitive people, gluten can cause the gut cells to release zonulin, a protein that can break apart the tight junctions holding your intestines together.” She calls this process leaky gut, which allows harmful bodily byproducts including toxins, microbes, food particles and anti-bodies to spread throughout the body by the blood. From her studies, she believes leaky gut is a pre-condition of autoimmune diseases. The body’s response leads to inflammation, which causes the body to start attacking itself.


Besides foods that can cause a reaction, there are some bodily tissues that have a similar molecular make-up as gluten. The protein in gluten (gliadin) has similar properties as the thyroid. Once gluten is identified as a harmful substance in the body, the immune system begins to attack anything comparable. Other foods that could be confused as gluten by the body are: dairy, corn, millet, oats, rice, and yeast for their similar properties. Dr. Myers has identified this as, “molecular mimicry, when you eat dairy your body can get confused and think you just ate a bowl of pasta and trigger an immune reaction.”



Attack of the Antibodies


Surprisingly, gluten is found everywhere. Not just in foods, but in hair and body products as well. With consumption coming from all directions, cells can get overloaded and overworked. Year after year of an overfilled body could overwhelm the system. Dr. Myers explains that about one in thirty people have gluten sensitivity, and eating it consistently generates constant inflammation. Inflammation, if not controlled, can eventually turn into a full blown autoimmune disease. The connection of gluten and inflammation/autoimmune diseases is that gliadin antibodies get confused and attack organs, nervous systems, and other important systems. Dr. Myers reveals that approximately 55 diseases are associated with gluten sensitivity. Sensitive consumers may experience autoimmune diseases (Hashimoto’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and more), neurological issues (depression, ADD, MS, bi-polar, etc), infertility, diabetes, arthritis, skin disorders, IBS, acid reflux, muscle pain, and other serious medical problems.


Gluten must be removed from the diet completely. Dr. Myers suggests, “recent research has shown that eating gluten can elevate your gluten antibodies for up to three months, meaning that even if you only ate gluten four times a year, you would be in a state of inflammation year-round.” Dr. Myers warns that 99% of people with gluten intolerance have never been diagnosed! There is hope though; Dr. Myers believes that healing the gut with a special diet program can reverse most autoimmune diseases.


Gluten is labeled on ingredient lists as wheat, rye, malt and barley. It is described as a protein, gives food its consistency, and is used as a filler in many foods. Anyone who suffers from this intolerance should stay away from breads, pastas, and desserts, and even soy sauce! However, there are gluten-free alternatives for those who still want to enjoy carb indulgences or sauces. Most grocery stores offer gluten-free breads, pastas, dessert mixes, and soy sauces for anyone who wishes to follow the diet. Tastes may be slightly or exponentially different, but the benefits may be worth it.


Studies have shown that gluten can negatively impact those who are sensitive to it. The best proactive approach is to get tested for Celiac or gluten sensitivity. Dr. Marone can provide tests to help decipher individual allergy causes. In the meantime, forgo gluten-filled food indulgences and check the contents of each product. Label readers could not only enjoy positive health benefits, but could avoid serious debilitating illnesses.


*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.

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SOURCES: – Dr. Osborne



Your Child’s Studying Posture: 5 Tips to Help Improve It

The school year is well under way by now. Have you noticed your children’s posture as they do their homework (or watch TV or play video games, for that matter)? When we are focused on the project at hand, we often do not think about our bodies. It is all too common to see children slouching, leaning against the arm of the couch, or propping their heads up with one or both hands. Children don’t see the long-term danger in poor posture, because they are not experiencing pain yet. It has even become “cool” to be seen this way and “uncool” to use good posture. All of this can make trying to change their bad habits difficult for parents. There are some things you as a parent can do, however, to help them with their posture.


  • Lead by Example: Show by your own good example what good posture looks like.
  • Show Them: A mirror is a great tool to show your child what his/her posture looks like vs. healthy posture. Have your child stand looking sideways into a mirror. Point out how the ear, shoulder, hip and ankle should be in alignment. How far from that is their posture? Which areas need the most correction?
  • Chair: The chair your child uses can either help or hinder their posture. The most important aspect of a chair is that it will allow his/her feet to rest flat on the floor while their knees are bent at approximately 90 degrees. This way their back does not have to try to balance with the weight of dangling feet. If all of your chairs are too tall, try putting a foot stool or wooden block under his feet. Back support is another issue. If the seat is too deep, your child is likely to slouch to try to reach the back of the chair. If you don’t have a chair that fits his body correctly, try putting a pillow behind him as he sits.
  • Desk:  Check the height of the desk he/she is using. Watch your child as he works. Where does the table meet his body? The desk tabletop should be at a level slightly above your child’s belly button in the middle of his torso.  If the table is too low, your child will tend to slouch forward while working.  If the table is too high, he/she will have to raise the shoulders (like shrugging) in order for their arms to reach their books and papers. This can cause overuse syndromes in the neck and shoulders. If the table is too high, try putting pillows under your child as he/she works. If the table is too low, try finding a lower chair to compensate. Then check to be sure this has not thrown his legs off balance. (See the last tip.)
  • Set Limits: What about the other activities—video games and TV?  Since most seating in our family rooms is not conducive to good posture, it is important to set time limits on these activities. Try limiting gaming to 20 minutes at a time. Set a timer; at the end of each 20 minutes, have your child get up and move around for a few minutes before going back to their game.

If you try these tips and still do not see improvement in your child’s posture, or if your child complains of pain, or has difficulty sitting still for longer periods of time, it may be that there is some underlying muscular tightness or weakness that is making it difficult for him to practice good posture. Dr.Marone can help in diagnosing the problem and help to get the body back to anatomical neutral through adjusting the spine and by recommending exercises for strengthening or stretching. It is this neutral positioning that puts the least pressure on the joints, reduces tension in our muscles, and optimizes circulation.


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*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.