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wallet-in-back-pocket

Back Pain: An Overlooked Cause

Today we hear a lot about ergonomic chairs, and desks to avoid back pain. We practice good posture to keep us looking good. And then we wreck it all by putting a fat wallet or a cell phone in our back pocket!

 

When you sit on a wallet or cell phone, it causes your pelvis to be higher on one side than the other. This creates extra stress throughout your entire spine, including the muscles and nerves that run up your back. The stress can be the cause of many complaints:  pain anywhere in the back, neck pain, sciatica, or headaches, to name a few.

 

No matter how good your posture is, or how well designed your office furniture is, if you are sitting on a wallet or phone all day long, it will cause pain. If you are getting chiropractic adjustments, it can also limit the effectiveness of the adjustments. Likewise, exercise, yoga, or any other technique may help with symptoms as you had hoped.

 

The best solution is to put wallets and phones in your front pocket or carry them in some other way. Your back will thank you!

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/sciatic-pain/

http://maronewellness.com/low-back-pain/

http://maronewellness.com/how-are-you-sitting-while-using-your-computer/

Refined-sugar

Refined Sugar: What to Use in Its Place

Refined sugar is everywhere around us these days. In 2001 the Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter reported that Americans spent $21 billion on candy—more than the gross national products of Lithuania, Costa Rica, and Mozambique combined! There has been a rise in Type 2 diabetes that experts are now calling an “emerging epidemic.” The FDA estimates that approximately 2/3 of the sugars we eat come from those added to processed foods.

Refined Sugar Alternatives

Overuse of refined sugar is obviously an issue. And we all crave sweets, but we do not have to give them up completely. Several sweeteners available today, eaten in moderation, can quench our sweet tooth without ruining our health.

 

  • Barley Malt: Can be purchased as a powder or as a syrup. Very concentrated—1/8 tsp. replaces 2 tsp. of refined table sugar. Good for those on a weight-loss regimen or with diabetes or hypoglycemia.
  • Honey: Contains anti-oxidants. Has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Rich source of vitamins and minerals.
  • Blackstrap Molasses: Rich in iron and minerals. Is a byproduct of sugar refining. It is the “good stuff” left over after all the nutrients are refined out of regular sugar. This is one of the best sugar substitutes.
  • Brown Rice Syrup: Similar in texture to honey. Good for people with diabetes. Made by fermenting and boiling brown rice.
  • Stevia: Also known as honeyleaf. Completely safe. Calorie-free. Available in liquid or powdered form. Does not affect blood sugar metabolism. In powdered form, ¼ – ½ tsp. equals a cup of refined sugar.
  • Unsulfured dried fruit: Can be used on top of cereals instead of sugar, or the dried fruit can be cooked, pureed, and mashed to use in baking as a sugar replacement. (This can be done ahead and then when ready to use, soak in boiling water to soften and rehydrate.)

 

Sugars, in any form, should be kept to a minimum in our diet.  Some other foods that help to reduce cravings for sugar include whole grains, sweet potatoes, squash, apples, and bananas.

 

What are you doing to reduce your refined sugar consumption? We’d love to hear your comments!

 

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/13-tips-help-keep-healthier-eating-new-years-resolutions/

http://maronewellness.com/21-days-to-a-clearer-mind-and-increased-energy/

http://maronewellness.com/inflammation-a-leading-cause-of-weight-gain/

Backpack

Backpacks: Choosing Wisely for Your Child’s Well Being

The Back-to-School sales are in full swing now, and it is time to be finding the perfect backpacks for your children’s upcoming school year. While your children are probably more interested in the fashion statement they are making, parents need to be concerned about the ergonomic value of their choice. Students sometimes carry their entire locker contents on their backs every day. This frequently leads to neck and back issues as well as muscle and joint strains, especially if not carried correctly.

 

Sizing

The most important key is to choose backpacks with the right fit. Good quality backpacks use “torso length” as a sizing tool. The bag should cover your child’s torso length from the shoulder straps to the bottom of the bag. To determine this length, measure your child’s back from his C7 vertebra (the bone that sticks out when you bend your neck forward) down to the top of his hip bones (approximately waist level). If the backpack tags do not tell you the torso length, you may need to bring a tape measure with you to the store. (The torso length does not necessarily correspond with a child’s height. A tall person can have a short torso length and vice versa. Some backpacks may have an adjustable torso length; others are fixed.)

 

The width of the backpack is also important. The backpack should not be wider than your child’s back. Click this link for a chart which gives general guidelines for sizes vs. age. Remember, however, that each body is different, and children do not all grow at the same pace.

 

 

Style

The next key to good backpacks is the style. They should have broad shoulder straps with good padding. Be sure the pack has straps for both shoulders so that the weight can be distributed evenly on both sides of the body. You also want to see that the weight inside the pack is evenly distributed. Choosing one with lots of dividers, pockets, and extra compartments will keep the contents stationary and well balanced and will also make the load feel lighter.

 

 

Loading

The total weight of a filled backpack should not exceed 15% of your child’s weight. For example, a 60 lb. child should not carry a load of more than 9 lbs. (For small children, 10% of their weight should be the upper limit.) If you see your child bending forward when he is wearing his backpack, it is overloaded.

 

Where each item is placed in the bag is also important. Put the heaviest items so they will be closest to your child’s body; put the lighter items toward the outside. Use the various compartments as much as possible rather than dumping everything in the larger central compartment. It is a good idea when you go shopping to carry some extra items with you to put in the pack to see how comfortable it feels before you purchase.

 

Backpacks tend to accumulate junk from day to day. Be sure your child is cleaning it out regularly so that he is not carrying any more weight than is actually necessary. Each day have him take inventory to see what items he needs for that day and leave everything else out of the bag.

 

 

Wearing

The backpack should not go below the waist. Shoulder straps need to be adjusted to keep the pack close to the body and high on the back. Be sure your child is actually using both straps so that the weight inside is evenly spread to both sides of his body. A waist strap is also good to help relieve shoulder pressure and to keep the pack from swaying. Your child should use this strap as well if his backpack has one.

 

Backpacks have become an indispensable part of school life. Choosing one wisely makes a big difference in so many aspects of your child’s school day. Wishing you and your children a great, pain-free school year!

 

Photo by Austin Nicomedez on Unsplas

banana-ice-cream

One-Ingredient Ice Cream

 

 

It has been a hot summer so far! So a cold dessert sure hits the spot–and you can get one without sacrificing your health. A very quick and easy ice cream can be made from only one ingredient: bananas!

 

How to Make Banana Ice Cream

 

Get some bananas which are ripe enough to be sweet. Cut them into slices and freeze overnight, or at least 4 hours. Take them out and put them into a food processor. It will take a bit, so be patient. It will go through stages: crumbly, then gooey, then smooth but with chunks in it. Periodically scrape down the food processor. Eventually the chunks will smooth out, and you will end up with a rich, creamy ice cream.

 

This dessert can be eaten right away, but it will be soft. If you prefer your ice cream more solid, transfer it to an airtight container and put it in the freezer until it firms up.

 

For Some Variety:

 

This basic recipe can be spiced up by adding other ingredients to change the flavor. Here are a few ideas:

 

Toward the end of the blending of the ice cream, add in one of these:

 

  • A tablespoon or so of peanut butter or Nutella.
  • Some chopped almonds or other nuts.
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon, cardamom, or ginger.
  • Honey (Or combine peanut butter and honey)
  • Frozen strawberries, peaches, or other fruit. (You can also add more fruit on top.)
  • 2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder per banana and ¾ tsp. of vanilla.

 

We hope you enjoy your summer. Let us know your favorite “flavor” of ice cream!

 

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/13-tips-help-keep-healthier-eating-new-years-resolutions/

http://maronewellness.com/health-improvement-program/

quick-meal-ideas

Meal Maker: A Tool to Make Cooking Easier

We recently came across a website that we thought you might find helpful. It is hosted by Nimali Fernando, M.D., M.P.H, or “Dr. Yum,” as she calls herself. She has a pediatric office in Fredericksburg, VA where she focuses on helping children eat healthier through her Dr. Yum Project. To learn more about her program, check out her website at https://www.doctoryum.org/.

 

Meal Maker Machine

 

On her website she has a helpful tool for your own kitchen. She calls it a Meal Maker Machine–it helps you make a quick, nutritious meal with the ingredients you already have in your kitchen or can readily find. When you open up the Meal Maker Machine page, it presents you with several types of meals: Stir-Fry Maker, Curry in a Hurry, Super Soup Maker, Busy Night Bake, Salad Maker, Power Pasta, and Yum Bowl.

 

To use it, begin by clicking on the type of meal that sounds good to you. For example, if you choose the Stir Fry Maker button, you are given several options. You can choose the oil you want to use. Next you choose the aromatics, then the protein source, any veggies, which type of sauce and seasonings you would like, as well as some additional options to “yum-ify” your meal further. When you have completed the options, a recipe is created with the specific ingredients that you chose. Below the recipe, they have even provided a short 2-3 minute video with tips on how to make the recipe.

 

Recipes

 

If you don’t want to make your own recipe, you can go to the Meal Maker Machine Recipes section. There you have options to choose recipes that are already created. You are able to narrow the search by dietary restrictions if you have any. Some of the options include gluten free, allergy-friendly, vegan, vegetarian, carb-conscious, or budget-friendly. Once you have made your choices, you will see several pages of photos of food. Just click on any photo to get the recipe.

 

We can all use a little extra time these days. Hopefully this will make your meal planning and preparation a little easier. Try it out, and let us know how you liked it!

 

osteoporosis

Osteoporosis: Some Tips to Help

Osteoporosis is a diagnosis that many of us fear as we age. It causes our bones to become weak and brittle. Just a minor stressor such as coughing or bending can cause a fracture. This happens because old bone tissue is being broken down and removed faster than new tissue is being produced. Our hips, spine and wrist tend to be most prone to fractures. Weight bearing bones such as the pelvis, femur (leg bone) and the lower back vertebrae are also very likely to be injured. Although anyone can be affected, osteoporosis tends to show up in Asian and Caucasian women the most frequently.

 

Indicators That You May Be Suffering from Osteoporosis

 

  • Bone fractures
  • Collapsed vertebrae
  • Chronic back pain
  • Loss of height
  • Stooped posture

 

Osteoporosis Solutions

 

The leading cause of osteoporosis is lack of exercise. To help reduce the chance of getting osteoporosis, three specific types of exercise are best: weight bearing, resistance, and flexibility exercises. If you already have symptoms, exercise will help to slow the progression. Weight bearing exercises include activities such as hiking, jogging, jumping rope, and high-impact aerobics. Resistance exercises make your muscles work against a force or weight. Examples of resistance exercise include planks, straight leg raises, or weight lifting. Flexibility exercises allow your joints to maintain their full range of motion. These may include stretching exercises, yoga, or swimming, for example.

 

Proper nutrition will also help your body to produce the new tissue that it needs to stay healthy. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, the two most important nutrients for preventing and managing the disease are calcium and Vitamin D. They also said, however, that “there are a number of foods, nutrients and vitamins, besides calcium and vitamin D, that help to prevent osteoporosis and contribute to bone, muscle and joint health, including protein, fruits and vegetables, and other vitamins and minerals.”

 

Nutrition Response Testing® is a system that reveals what nutrients your body is lacking. Dr. Marone can do an assessment and recommend the nutritional supplements that will give your body exactly what it needs.  Both chiropractic care and Nutrition Response Testing are very helpful in the fight against osteoporosis. If you are dealing with the disease or are wanting to prevent the devastating effects of it, please call our office at 864-963-9304 to see how we can help you.

See also: http://maronewellness.com/muscle-testing/

*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.
Balance-ball

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.

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/childs-posture-5-tips-help-improve/

http://maronewellness.com/a-forgotten-source-of-support-while-you-work/

Vegetables-for-Good-Health

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.

 

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/services/nutrition-response-testing/

 

 

Flu-Epidemic

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!

 

http://maronewellness.com/pasteur-vs-bechamp-an-alternative-view-of-infectious-disease/

 

 

Super-Bowl-Party-Food

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!

 

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/13-tips-help-keep-healthier-eating-new-years-resolutions/

http://maronewellness.com/15-tips-for-lowering-the-fat-in-your-diet-without-losing-the-flavor/