Health-E-News August 2011
empowering you to optimal health
Keys to Keep Your Muscular Strength
After the age of 40, we tend to lose about 0.5 to 2 percent of our muscle each year. If you aren't concerned about looking good, then also realize that this loss is a large factor in falls in older age, which can most often lead to fractures and even death. The good news is that there's an answer to helping fight this. Follow these steps and you will find yourself getting in shape for life:
Step 1: Don't sit too long
The first goal is to avoid sitting or resting for long periods of time. A study in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that people who sit for most of the day are 54 percent more likely to die of a heart attack. The shocking fact is that this is independent on whether you smoke or exercise! It doesn't matter if you exercise or smoke. Sitting long periods still increase the risk.
Step 2: Start a Walking Program
Start with small steps. The best way to do this is get a simple pedometer. Those cost a few dollars and are well worth it. Stick to your regular routine for the first week and record how many steps you walk every day. Do this every week until you can get to a goal of 10,000 steps per day. This is the big goal so don't aim for it from the start. It's about aiming for smaller goals first and then reaching them.
Step 3: Start a stretching (warm up) program
Good news is that you don't need to spend as much time holding a stretched position as we previously thought. That's because we are often confused between stretching and warming up. Warming up is about moving body parts slowly and through a full range of motion until your muscles get warmed up. This is the best thing to do before you start any exercise program. Research has shown that static stretching, those positions that you hold for several seconds, can sometimes be responsible for increasing injuries, not decreasing them.
Step 4: Start a strengthening program
Researchers at University of Michigan Health System found that an adult can add 2.42 pounds of lean muscle and increase overall strength by 25 to 30 percent after 18 weeks of resistance training. This can occur well into the 80's and 90's so its never too late to start.
Exercise and diet can prevent one-third of cancers
About one third of the most common cancers could be prevented through healthy diets, physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight.
This was the main message from a host of global organisations yesterday on World Cancer Day which this year focused on cancer prevention.
Dr Susan Higginbotham, director of research at the American Institute for Cancer, said making even small changes in the right direction could help lower the risk of cancer.
The institute has distilled the learning from thousands of studies on the subject of diet, weight, physical activity and cancer into the following recommendations: be physically active for at least 30 minutes a day; eat more of a variety of fruit and vegetables as well as whole grains and beans; avoid sugary drinks; limit the consumption of salty and processed foods and red meat; limit alcoholic drinks to two for men and one for women each day; be as lean as possible without becoming underweight; do not use supplements to protect against cancer; mothers should breast feed exclusively for up to six months, and, after treatment, cancer survivors should follow the recommendations for cancer prevention.
"When it comes to cancer, there are no guarantees," Dr Higginbotham said, adding that the recommendations represent "the best advice available anywhere".
Certified Nurse-midwives Give Chiropractic The Thumbs-Up
87 certified nurse-midwives filled out an on-line, self-administered survey designed to gather their opinions on the safety of chiropractic, and the scope of chiropractic practice. It also captured demographic information relating to their professional training and their personal and professional clinical experiences with chiropractors.
The results were most revealing:
- Responders were aware that chiropractors worked with "birthing professionals"
- They were aware that DCs attended to patients for both musculoskeletal and non-musculoskeletal disorders
- The vast majority indicated a positive personal and clinical experience with chiropractic
- They also believed that chiropractic was safe for pregnant patients and for children
Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Aug;17(3):135-40. Epub 2010 Dec 3.
Manipulation or Microdiskectomy for Sciatica?
If you suffer from a disk herniation causing sciatica, should you try Chiropractic or surgery first? Research agrees - try Chiropractic first! Always start with the safest treatment option first.
Forty people, suffering from low back pain, due to a herniated disk. for at least 3 months of either received surgical microdiskectomy or chiropractic care.
Significant improvement in both treatment groups occurred.
Sixty percent of patients with sciatica who had failed other medical management benefited from spinal manipulation to the same degree as if they underwent surgical intervention. Patients with symptomatic disk hernication failing medical management should consider spinal manipulation followed by surgery if warranted.
J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2010 Oct;33(8):576-84.
Adjusting to a New Life
Parents often ask why a newborn baby should be checked by a chiropractor. Adjustments help alleviate spinal subluxations (misalignments of the vertebrae) caused by intrauterine constraint, abnormal positioning in the uterus, and spinal distress from the journey through the birth canal or during the delivery process itself. Ideally, babies should be checked and adjusted as soon as possible after birth.
Incidence of Need
M.S. Gottleib, a well-published researcher, reviewed the effects of the birth process and concluded, "The trauma from the birth process remains an under-publicized, and therefore significantly under-treated, problem."
"Survival of the newborn is governed mainly by the integrity and function of the vital centers in the brain stem," writes Andrew Towbin, a prominent researcher on birth trauma. "Yet paradoxically, the importance of injury at birth to the brain stem and spinal cord are matters which have generally escaped lasting attention."
Another published researcher, G. Gutmann, documented a study of more than one thousand infants. He found that approximately 80 percent of all newborns had some form of nerve dysfunction. Gutmann concluded that many health problems can arise from misalignment of the first vertebrae in the neck, resulting in a lowered resistance to infections in the ears, nose and throat. He also noted, however, that even an adjustment using the lightest pressure of the index finger could normalize an infant's clinical picture.
His colleague, V. Fryman, examined 1,250 babies five days after birth and found that 95 percent of this group were not only misaligned, but also had cervical strain. He also noted that the infants responded to specific spinal adjustments with immediate muscular relaxation and a greater ability to sleep. Another renowned researcher and practitioner, Heiner Biedermann, has done numerous clinical studies relating upper cervical misalignment in the newborn to prolonged labor and the use of extraction devices. He, too, has recorded significant improvements in the health of infants who receive specific adjustments after birth.
Nerve dysfunction associated with birth trauma may result in problems such as breathing weakness, mood irritability, digestive disorders, difficulty with feeding and attachment, sleeping problems, immunity deficits and neurological impairment. Left uncorrected, subluxations and their resulting nerve system dysfunction may develop into numerous health issues for the baby.
Recently the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association published the preliminary results of its study in Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, in an article entitled, "The Safety and Effectiveness of Pediatric Chiropractic: A Survey of Chiropractors and Parents in a Practice- Based Research Network." The preliminary data confirms what chiropractors have known for over 100 years: Chiropractic care for children is safe and effective.
On the issue of safety, out of 5,438 office visits, there were only three adverse events reported from the adjustments - a .00055 percent chance of negative reaction. Demonstrating a risk factor well below 1 percent, this study shows that children have a greater than 99 percent chance of suffering no problems when receiving chiropractic care. Furthermore, the three adverse events reported in the study were minor discomfort following the adjustment. Each was readily resolved with continued adjustments.
In the study, over 90 percent of the chiropractors and parents reported an adjustment-related improvement with respect to the children's presenting complaints. Even more interesting is the discovery of benefits unrelated to the initial problems. Both parents and doctors reported better sleeping patterns, improved behavior and more robust immune system function while under chiropractic care.
Increasingly, scientific research is supporting the clinical experience of chiropractors. Chiropractic care is growing in acceptance as a viable necessity for newborns.
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