Is Chiropractic Safe for Children?

At Aligned for Life Chiropractic, we take pride in specializing in full family spinal health and wellness. We don’t believe in waiting for symptoms and conditions to occur. We believe in promoting optimal health from the beginning of life! At Aligned for Life Chiropractic, we encourage patients to bring in their children for spinal check-ups so they can grow up with optimal health instead of waiting for symptoms.

The majority of us receive our first subluxation or spinal misalignment during the birthing process itself as it can be traumatic to both mother and child. The most common area of subluxation in a child is the upper cervical (C1/2 joint) region which has been proven by research to have the most brain stimulation neurologically and is detrimental for neurological development and growth. Subluxation to this area can cause a variety of childhood issues from restlessness to ear infections. The doctor at Aligned for Life Chiropractic has been trained to evaluate and treat children. We have been privileged to see many children of all ages in our office.

Chiropractic is very safe for children even as small as minutes old. Chiropractic adjustments for children are very gentle and yet extremely effective for promoting a healthier nervous system. Miracles happen every day with the children adjusted in our office!

Worried about finances? No problem! Our office has cost effective family care plans to make sure your whole family can benefit from chiropractic care for better health.

Whether your child suffers from any health conditions such as ear infectionsheadaches, neurological disorders (ie. speech delay, sensory issues, autism, etc.) or has not presented with any symptoms, it is still important to have their spine and nervous system checked throughout their lives. Call today to schedule your child for a free consultation!

Why X-rays?!

Would you fix a car without looking under the hood? Would you allow a dentist to drill into your tooth without an x-ray?

In order to give our patients the best possible care, the doctor may have spinal x-rays taken on the first visit. The chiropractors at Aligned for Life Chiropractic specifically adjust the spine for optimal spinal correction and better full body health. The doctors would never play guess and check when it comes to your spine. Your spine and nervous system are far too important to play roulette with! All chiropractors are fully trained to both take and analyze x-rays. The doctor will analyze each patient’s findings and x-rays in order to design the best possible treatment plan for the best possible outcome.

Did you know that the first spinal x-rays were brought to the United States by one of chiropractic founders BJ Palmer? Spinal x-rays have a low dose of radiation exposure compared to other diagnostic tools. Radiation dose is measured in a unit called millisievert. In the United States, we are exposed to about 3mSv per year naturally. Spinal bone x-rays expose a patient to 1.5 mSv as compared to a CT scan of the spine which exposes a patient to 6mSv ( http://www.radiologyinfo.org/ ). At Aligned for Life Chiropracticwe take precautions to make sure our patients have as little exposure as possible. We strive for the best possible care overall for every patient that walks into our office!

If you have any questions about x-rays and their safety in clinical use, feel free to contact our office and we will be glad to answer any questions you may have.

Relief from Chiropractic Care after 2 Back Surgeries

Dear Interested Patients,

If you are looking for a quick adjustment for your back or a quick fix for your pain, you can stop reading now.  If you are committed to feeling better and are willing to work hard, keep reading.  You’re in the right place.  Here is my story.

I have a history of back pain.  I had 2 back surgeries and a third operation for nerve pain in my left leg.  I had intermittent pain and had become afraid that too much movement would re-injure my back.  Work was a challenge and exercise was non- existent.  Although I was functioning, I had lost a lot in terms of my lifestyle because of pain and fear.  Consequently, my confidence in myself had suffered as well.

A year and a half ago, I came to Dr. Jamie for a consultation.  I was skeptical of chiropractors due to poor experiences in the past but I had a recommendation from a good and trustworthy friend.  The consultation was covered by insurance and was also very reasonably priced.  What I discovered in Jamie was a talented doctor who wanted to help me get better.  After a detailed and extensive consultation and x-rays, Jamie gave me her evaluation and treatment plan.  I decided to sign on.

Dr. Jamie  was clear that my role and willingness to take responsibility in healing would be key.  We were both equally motivated and committed to increasing my strength and functioning and decreasing my pain.  We set to work.

I met Jamie frequently for adjustments and did the assigned home stretching and exercises.  As the months progressed,  my pain was decreasing. I was moving with more confidence and less fear, particularly my back. My posture was becoming tall and strong.  Jamie’s upbeat disposition and positive attitude was contagious.  Her confidence and skillful treatment were reaping tangible benefits.

I’ve been working with Dr. Jamie now for one and a half years.  I am moving and functioning well without pain because of her consistent and intelligent care. I had no idea of the gains I would make when I first walked into Dr. Jamie’s office.  I have a renewed confidence in my health and my body and it’s ability to move and function well.  I am lifting my grandchildren without thinking, exercising regularly without pain and even shoveled snow throughout our worst winter ever.  When I do have a set back, it is short lived.  Unexpected benefits of my chiropractic care include fewer sinus infections and increased energy.  The negative effects of back pain, surgeries and frozen muscles have all but been erased.

Dr. Jamie is one in a million. She is a talented doctor who loves her job and is obviously dedicated to making people feel better.  If you have pain in your back, neck or somewhere in your spine, I hope you’ll come and meet Dr. Jamie.  I know she will be honest and thorough and most likely, with your commitment, she will turn your pain and fear into comfort and strength.  I hope you’ll come and see for yourself!


Thank you for reading!  

- Laurie

 

Why is Losing Weight So Difficult for Americans?

During many patient consultations, I have heard my poor patients say with frustration: “I cannot lose weight… I have tried everything.”

It makes me sad how much bad information is out there. Our society has become so calorie and point obsessed, but in reality where has it gotten us? Americans still have the highest obesity rates in the world yet the so-called health industry makes a fortune telling us what to eat, not eat, what to supplement, etc. First there was the no fat/low fat diet, then there was no carbs diet, and now people are as confused as ever. In my opinion, it is simply madness.

During my workshops at Aligned for Life Chiropractic in Beverly, I teach my patients that health should always be our main focus. Losing weight, having more energy, feeling good are just side effects. We need to stop dieting and start making better lifestyle choices.

Why is it that we can travel to places like Italy, where they eat breads, pastas, and cheeses, but are not fat? I recently travelled to Ireland where I was shocked to see the amount of food (especially meats) and alcohol they consume and yet they are not nearly as overweight as the typical American… except for the “beer belly” found in many men. As I drove across the country, I loved how green the country was: simply beautiful! Interestingly enough, everywhere I looked, I would see cows and sheep roaming around while grazing along the pastures. Five years ago, I drove across America and guess what I saw… corn, corn and more corn. It is very rare that you see animals grazing like they do in Ireland. This was a major ah-ha moment for me.

The Major Anti Weight Loss Problem: Pesticides & Hormones

The problem is not the food itself… It’s the way we process, grow, and feed it! It’s our own fault! The old adage is right: “You are what you eat” but I will go one step further: You are also what you eat eats!

Our meat: Go for Grass!

There are plenty of books and documentaries that show the disgusting process of how American meat goes from the farm to your plate ie. Supersize Me, Forks to Knives, Food Inc, etc. The images are so gruesome that it will make you a Vegetarian. American livestock does not roam nor eat grass. American cows are pumped with hormones (to get them bigger and have more milk production), pumped with Antibiotics (because the conditions are so bad), and fed corn (not grass). Cows are not supposed to eat corn. In fact, the gas they produce when they eat corn is so toxic that it pollutes our atmosphere… grass fed cows don’t create this problem. Corn is EXTREMELY inflammatory in our bodies which is the basis for all chronic diseases. On a weight loss note, corn is sprayed with pesticides which I will get into more detail later why it’s so bad for you. So if you are a Paleo diet person eating non grass fed organic meat… you are defeating the purpose of a healthy diet.

Hormones makes us Fat!

If you have ever known anyone who has gone off synthetic hormone Birth Control Pills, she will tell you that she dropped weight instantly. In the American diet, there are two nasty hormone inducing culprits: pesticides and meat/dairy. Like stated earlier, cows are given synthetic hormones so that they produce more milk. When you eat red meat, drink milk, or nosh on cheese you are consuming these hormones. Free hormones in the body have been linked not only to cancer but will prevent you from losing weight. It’s one of the reasons why preteens are starting their menstrual cycle earlier than ever before and why we see many men with the unfortunate side effect of “man boobs.” Even small amounts can add up. Eating a piece of hormone filled cheese here, a scoop of ice cream there is just the same as taking small amounts of hormones for birth control. And we wonder why infertility has become such a problem???

Pesticides also mimic estrogens in the body. Eating fruits and veg are great but go for organic. It’s really not that much more expensive. I am tired of people standing in line for the next $100/month phone but won’t spend 50 cents more on organic produce… give me a break! If finances are tight, you can always google “the dirty dozen” and see what you can get away with buying conventional. Don’t forget about Coffee! Have you ever noticed how bugs just love coffee? That’s why it’s one of the most pesticide soaked products ever grown. Think about the pesticide coated beans that you blend up and soak in hot water. Guess what you are drinking? Switching to organic coffee is crucial and less expensive than buying it in a coffee shop/cafe. Organic produce and coffee are now more available and more affordable than ever.

Stop drinking yourself fat!

Did you know a frozen ice blended coffee drink runs around 500 calories? Love splurging on sugary cocktails? A margarita has the same amount of calories. Now, like I said before, it’s not the calories that are the problem… it’s the emptiness of these calories. There is nothing healthy in soda! Sodas and even some juices contain high fructose corn syrup. Your body does not know what to do with this chemical and eventually stores it as fat. HFCS is also found in many products from sodas to ketch-up to applesauce. Sodas, in particular, not only cause Cancer, Diabetes, and Osteoporosis but they are way more expensive than water! Diet sodas are even worse. Aspartame, Nutrasweet, found in diet soda stimulates the parts of your brain that makes you hungry so studies show that you are actually going to consume more calories in the long run. Oh p.s. it is also a Neurotoxin meaning that it kills your brain cells, causes brain cancer and is extremely addictive. There is NOTHING diet about diet soda!!!!  Bottom-line: drink water with lemon. Use the money you save from buying these drinks and spend it on organic products!

Don’t forget about your spine!

A healthy spine and nervous system is even important for weight loss. I would never claim that adjustments will make you lose weight; however, a side effect from decreasing the stress response in your body is a decrease in cortisol. High cortisol levels will make you prone to excess body fat in your mid section. By increasing proprioceptive input to your brain through the healthy movement of your spine, chiropractic adjustments will decrease the stress response in the body! If you have misalignments or subluxation in your spine, the stress response will be activated in your body thus making it difficult to lose weight. Chiropractors are spine doctors that are trained to check your spine for subluxation. Get checked by a chiropractor today!

I hope you enjoyed this article. Please feel free to share it or give feedback!

Yours In Health,

Dr. Jamie

The Secret to 70 Years of Marriage

After getting a picture message from my sister today, I could not help but laugh. The picture was of the gag gift we are going to give to our grandparents for their 70th Wedding Anniversary today. The gift consists of two medals each congratulating them on putting up with each other for 70 years. The whole gift idea started when I was back on the west coast having breakfast with my family. Somehow, a joke started about their anniversary coming up and how they should receive awards for being married so long. Then, the conversation turned into a debate over who deserves the medal for putting up with the other one. My sister and I just could not resist; hence the joke present. Then I started thinking…

I would have to get married tomorrow and live until I was 100 years old to get to where my grandparents are today. After talking about it to my patients yesterday, I have come to realize how rare it is to find a partnership that lasts 70 years. To my family, it really did not seem like such a big deal. My grandparents have just always been together. I hadn’t really thought about it until I was talking to my patients who are amazed by their long lasting successful marriage.

So of course, I had to do the cliche thing… I called my grandparents last night and asked them to tell me the secret to being married 70 years. My grandmother’s answer: “I don’t know… we fight a lot.” Then, followed by “we tolerate each other.”

One time in high school, my grandparents were compared to George Costanza’s parents from Seinfeld. The cute Jewish New Yorkers who always loved feeding my visiting friends and always opened their house to anyone I brought home to visit. Over the years, they have had countless “adopted grandkids” aka. friends of mine who had no grandparents of their own.

My grandparents have this amazing dynamic. They are real. Just like my grandmother’s answers.

I always have wondered why marriage success stories are at an all time low. There are so many of my friends getting married but also so many of my friends going through awful divorces. Do movies and television shows give us a false sense of what marriage should be? Are we neurologically programmed to think that every first kiss will end up being a happily ever after without any fights or quarrels? Or every fight is going to end up with an audience laugh like a sitcom? Is my generation striving for a perfection that does not exist?

I don’t know. What I do know is that my grandparents have the most realistic relationship I know. And yes, they do fight… a lot… as my grandmother pointed out but I remember reading that when couples fight, they grow. If a couple is not growing, their relationship is dying. My sister and I have grown up loving to hear my grandmother loudly screech my grandfather’s name. We even give her a 1 to 10 score and laugh about it with her. My grandfather would yell back her name as well. They did not falsely address each other with a pretense of politeness. They did not pose as an impossible “perfect” relationship.

I think the best part of my grandparents relationship is their unconditional love and acceptance of each other. Yes, they have been through struggles just as bad as any other couple, but they stuck by each other accepting the other person for who they are even with their flaws. Trying to find a perfect person is impossible. Trying to change a person is even worse. Finding someone that you love and accept no matter what is the key. Like my grandmother said, “tolerate” them even their faults.

Tolerance is a huge lesson in itself. When you hear the word “tolerate,” there seems to be a negative connotation but let’s explore this further. We all love our significant others but they all have faults. No one is perfect… we are human. By tolerating someone’s faults, meaning accepting who they are and not trying to change them, we can truly love them wholly. You do not have to love their faults… come on, realistically that’s why they are called “faults.” Trying to love someone’s faults is not realistic and putting that unattainable standard in a marriage makes them doomed to fail. However, if you can tolerate the faults, then you are accepting the person fully. Now that is love.

After some more chatting, my grandmother added “he takes care of me.” I have always loved watching the way my grandfather cares for my grandmother. Through small actions of kindness, he shows without saying how much he loves her. My grandmother had a heart attack due to a complication from surgery last fall and I flew out to California to say goodbye to her praying on the plane that she would make it so I could say goodbye. I still cannot talk about it without getting choked up. Miraculously, the moment I showed up, her health started to stabilize but she was not out of the woods. I decided that I was going to stay until she improved. At one point, I sent my exhausted family members home and just my grandfather and I were by her side. Those few days, we rode the worst roller coaster that I have ever been on. There were times that she was losing her will to live. It was at that moment, watching and listening to my grandfather, that I realized another important key to their marriage. I will never forget what he said to her during her bad moments… “You are my girl… You are not going anywhere… We are a team.” That was exactly it. My grandparents are a team. Just like any team, there will be players with strengths and weakness. You must accept each player and focus on their strengths.

Simply: Love and accept, tolerate and take care of each other.

I am so grateful to have my grandparents in my life and I admire them so much for what they have accomplished. They have been such important role models and I love them so much. I want to congratulate them today, on their 70th Anniversary, and thank them for teaching us all about love and acceptance. Congratulations Alex and Mimi! I look forward to celebrating many more anniversaries!

All About Allergies

Allergies

Do you dread spring while everyone else is counting the days until sunshine? Are you overdosing on over-the-counter allergy medications just to make your symptoms tolerable? With our New England spring in full effect, you cannot be outside without hearing someone complain about their allergies. Everyone seems to be sneezing and sniffling this time of year, but why are allergies more common nowadays than ever before?

What are Allergies?

Ever wonder why most people cannot tell if they have a cold or allergies? Itching eyes, congestion/stuffy nose, sneezing, and fatigue are all common symptoms of both allergies and a common cold. Why it that? Most people do not realize that allergies are actually an overactive immune system response. Your immune system responses to an intruder or foreign agent in the body by attacking it with antibodies kinda like Pac Man when the ghosts appear. A healthy body should recognize when it needs to go into attack mode. When a body has a healthy immune system, it will be able to differentiate between a problematic intruder versus something that will not harm the body (ie. Pollen, dust, etc.) When a body can not differentiate between dust and a pathogenic bacteria, we now have an unnecessary immune system attack; thus, an allergic (immune system) response.

Why are Allergies so common?

There are many theories about why allergies are so common nowadays. As my patients will tell you, I love to remind everyone how amazing our bodies are and how everything in our body has a purpose. Our immune system is no different. I believe that our problem is not our immune system but the environment we put ourselves in. We have become so out of sync with “normal” health due to our lack of good nutrition, proper movement, and childhood germ exposure that we are not allowing our bodies to naturally build our immune systems in childhood and keep our immune system healthy as an adult. Most importantly, a baby needs to build an immune system through contact with germs and of course through nutrition (ie. Breast Milk). A young immune system needs to be exposed to pathogens to know how to respond to it as an adult. Unfortunately, many parents I meet are “germaphobes” and don’t let their children come in contact with anything remotely “dirty.”  Also, I am amazed by how many people carry around antibacterial soaps in their purses. We are so afraid of germs, thank you media and movies, that our immune systems do not know what they are supposed to react to anymore.  This is why allergies are way too common!

The Cure for Seasonal Allergies:

Because allergy symptoms occur due to an overactive immune system, the best defense is to create a healthier immune environment. We can accomplish this through diet and avoiding allergy causing toxins. Basically, my tips for preventing allergies are very similar to “boosting your immune system” but with a few allergies fighting tips as well.

Here are Dr. Jamie’s 9 Tips on How to Alleviate Allergy Symptoms Naturally:

  1. Take Digestive Proteolytic Enzymes during flare-ups: Digestive Enzymes help your body breakdown the food you ingest. Here’s the thing… an allergic response is usually due to a protein that the body cannot breakdown. Enzymes such as trypsin and chymotrypsin help aid protein digestion but also help with allergies when taken on an empty stomach. You can find them at a local Natural Foods store in a digestive enzyme supplement. Look for trypsin and/or chymotrypsin in the ingredients.
  2. Throw out your antibacterial soaps and lotions: Did you know that your body has more bacterial colonies in it than organ mass? Yup, sorry Germaphobes! Don’t fret though! These aren’t “bad guys”; they are actually “good guys.” They create a symbiotic relationship that aids us in digestion, vitamin production, and of course are our first line of defense for invaders. By using too many products with antibacterials (and of course consuming antibiotics), we are wiping clean our pro-health friends! Check out this article on a study that was done on children with allergies who are exposed to antibacterial products!
  3. Supplement with Probiotics for your immune system: As stated above, our body’s first line of defense is actually the “good” bacterial colonies that line your digestive tract and skin. Because of the overuse of antibiotics whether taken medicinally or found in our meats, our bodies are seriously lacking this important symbiotic “good” bacteria. If you were on antibiotics as a child or have not been eating “antibiotic-free” meats, you must take a probiotic supplement.
  4. Optimize your Vitamin D levels: Vitamin D is essential building block for a healthy immune system. The best way to get this vitamin is by proper sunlight. Unfortunately, parents are so afraid of skin cancer that they drench their children in sunblock which blocks your body’s absorption of Vitamin D. If you do not spend time outside, you must supplement with this vitamin. I absolutely recommend supplementing with this Vitamin especially in the winter. Check out my products page to learn what probiotics I take every day.
  5. Stop getting the flu vaccine… yeah I said it. I have many issues with the Flu vaccine from the statistically poor results to the massive politics behind it. I feel badly for the many people I meet who get the vaccine and still get horribly sick. Disclaimer: if getting the vaccine is your thing, and you feel that it helps you, go for it… it’s your body. I don’t get the flu and I have never gotten the vaccine. Whether you believe me or not, a study published in the Journal of Virology demonstrates that the children that annual receive flu vaccines have less healthy antibodies to protect them against a variety of flu strains than unvaccinated children. The less antibodies one has the less responsive their immune system is. The problem with vaccines is that naturally a foreign agent enters our body through our nose or mouth not straight into our blood. We are skipping an important step in building the immune system.
  6. Avoid Immune Destroying foods: Dairy, wheat/gluten, and GMO soy have all clinically demonstrated to weaken a healthy immune system. Dairy is a big culprit for exacerbating allergies. Don’t believe me: Avoid these foods and watch your allergies, immune system and whole body change.
  7. Eat raw organic local honey: Bees make honey out of pollen. Pollen is a culprit for a “seasonal” allergic reaction in most people. It would make sense that exposing your immune system to this natural super food through ingestion would help alleviate an overactive immune response. A cool honey fact: Honey is the only food that never goes bad! Stock up on a good quality one and make sure it’s local! (Pollen from California won’t help your body recognize New England pollen right?)
  8. Follow my tips for boosting your immune system naturally!
  9. Get adjusted! Chiropractic adjustments can help alleviate allergy sensitivity by promoting a better immune system. Many of my patients have found that their chiropractic adjustments have helped to alleviate their seasonal allergies. Gotta love a healthy nervous system! Check out my blog on Chiropractic and the Immune System.

Hope you enjoy my 9 Tips for Allergy Relief! Now, get out there and enjoy the sunshine!

Much Love,

Dr. Jamie

Top 5 Chemicals to Avoid in Personal Care Products

Toxic Chemicals in our hair products, skin care, make-up and other personal products

Did you know that if you use cosmetics on a regular basis, you can absorb about 5 pounds of toxic chemicals every year? Did you know that the average woman uses 12 products containing 168 different ingredients daily?

Unfortunately, as much as we would like to hope that our government regulates all these chemicals in our products, they just don’t.  According to the FDA’s website: “FDA’s legal authority over cosmetics is different from other products regulated by the agency, such as drugs, biologics, and medical devices. Cosmetic products and ingredients are not subject to FDA premarket approval authority, with the exception of color additives.” Because products are not regulated before going on the market, it is extremely important to understand what is in our everyday products before using it on ourselves and even more so our children!

As a woman, I believe it is extremely important to be well informed when it comes to personal care products. As a result, I am going to keep it simple and list the top 5 toxins that I avoid when shopping for products.

Here are my top 5 chemicals to avoid in personal care products

1. Polyethylene (aka. PEG, Polyethylene Glycol, Polyoxyethylene, -eth, -oxynol)

According to “The Secret History of the War on Cancer” by Devra Davis, polyethylene is a dangerous carcinogen. Studies have shown that the chemical causes breast cancer. Sadly enough, the chemical is only legal in US and Canada. It is completely banned by European Union due to its direct link to cancer.

2. Parabens

This toxic compound usually comes with a prefix: methyl/ethyl/propyl parabens. This artificial preservative is a known carcinogen. It’s frightening when I find this carcinogen in “organic” products. Physiologically, parabens mimic estrogen in our bodies which cause cancer. During one particular study, this preservative was found in 19 out of 20 breast cancer tumors of the women studied. Due to the estrogen mimicking effect, it also causes early puberty and decreased sperm levels. Stay clear of it!

3. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

This one is controversial. There are many rumors of this chemical being a carcinogen; however, the research states that the main problem is it gets into your tissues including your brain and allows other toxic chemicals into your body. Some research has even demonstrated that this chemical creates neurotoxicity aka. killing brain cells! Controversial or not, I am going with the old adage: When in doubt, throw it out.

4. Phthalates

These compounds are known to block male hormones which will in turn cause male reproductive disorders. All women should absolutely avoid this pregnant especially when giving birth to a male. It is commonly found in nail polish but also in flexible plastics. Metabolites of this toxic compound is readily found in American tested urine. Ew…

5. Oxybenzone

Found in sunscreen. Studies suggest that this chemical interferes with hormone regulation in pregnant women. It has been linked to irritation and allergies.

When looking for products, go with natural personal care products but beware of so-called “vegan” or “organic” products that still contain these toxins. There are some amazing brands out there for cosmetics and wonderful websites dedicated to natural ways to maintain personal hygiene. For more information, there is a great website database on personal care products: 

Our Holistic Chiropractic Wellness Office in Beverly

At Aligned for Life Chiropractic, my goal is simple: To teach our patients how to obtain and maintain optimal health through a well-functioning nervous system, diet and healthy thoughts. Every day, the choices you make determine your health.  Join our community of promoting health from within instead of numbing symptoms. Make an appointment today 978-969-6105!

Yours In Health,

Dr. Jamie

Back Pain

As I like to say, low back pain is a chiropractor’s bread and butter.  I have seen many patients come into the office with horrible acute or chronic low back pain and after the first few adjustments have significant improvement in both the frequency and intensity of the pain. Although a healthy spine should not cause a person trouble, as a healthy tooth should not cause pain either, it is extremely important to find the root cause of the problem and correct it rather than simply masking the pain.

I like to half joke that the patients who have low back pain are the lucky ones. They know there is a problem in their spine. Most of the spine is not pain sensitive meaning that a spine can be literally degenerating or decaying without you knowing or feeling it. Approximately 25% of all people who hop into a MRI machine will have a disc bulge but no symptoms. This means that it is possible that low back symptoms are most likely to be caused by something other than the disc. Also, it means that pain is not a good indicator of spinal health.

A bulging disc, even without pain, is not healthy. Contrary to popular belief, discs are not unhealthy, squishy jelly donuts. Healthy discs are stronger than bone.  Intervertebral discs solely rely on movement to maintain their health. When we are younger, we have vessels that provide discs with nutrients and pull out the wastes. We lose these vessels with age and a process called “imbibition” takes over. This process is a lot like squeezing a sponge. When a sponge is squeezed, fluid flows out; when released it sucks fluid in. Your discs stay hydrated by this process. When subluxation or misalignment occurs, the joints become immobile which inhibits this natural process. Healthy spinal movement and alignment are crucial for maintaining the health of the discs.

In addition, if you have bad spinal biomechanics, poor pressure distribution in your body, with a disc that is already unhealthy due to lack of motion, you will have degeneration and deterioration. Let’s make this easy: think of your car. If I put a ten pound weight on the right side of your car, what would happen to the tires? It would wear out more on the right correct? The same thing happens to your body! If you have spinal misalignments, called subluxations, throughout your spine, you are putting unequal weight on one side. Ever wonder why one knee or hip degenerates not both? Bad biomechanics!

Chiropractic and Back Aches

Chiropractic adjustments are known to alleviate back pain by restoring proper biomechanics and motion in the spine. A series of chiropractic treatment called adjustments realign the spine which creates optimal motion and pressure in the body. According to the Manga report, which was commissioned by the Ontario Ministry of Health, chiropractic is more effective than medical treatments for low back pain. Even more amazing is the fact that they state that it is less expensive, has less side effects, and also has better patient satisfaction. According to the editors in Lancet regarding a low back study by Meade in the British Medical Journal in 1990, there is a “strong and clear advantage” for patients who utilize chiropractic care. Chiropractic has shown positive clinical results for people with low back pain.

Better Health Overall

There is so much more to chiropractic than just correcting back pain. Remember, pain is the last symptom to show up and first symptom to go away. Just because the pain went away, does not mean the problem is fixed or won’t come back with vengeance. Numbing pain is just as silly as spraying a fire extinguisher at the fire alarm. Your body is telling you that a problem needs to fixed.

Our office, Aligned for Life Chiropractic in Beverly, MA specializes in correcting spinal biomechanics!

The chiropractic technique used in our office is called Chiropractic Biophysics. This technique  is very effective and gentle. We look at the spine as a whole and correct it! We also teach our patients how to take care of their spines through healthy stretching and strengthening that is as easy as brushing your teeth. Doing specific spinal stretches and exercises along with regular chiropractic adjustments restore healthy biomechanics in a person’s spine. It brings me great pleasure to see a patient do all the activities he or she couldn’t do prior to care due to back pain. I also love that these patients do not just have better low back pain but some have better digestion, sleep better, better reproductive health or a better golf game!

If you have back pain and are tired of numbing the pain and want to fix the problem once and for all, give us a call today 978-969-6105!

Let’s get your spine healthy and get you back to the activities you enjoy in life!

Ear Infection?

How to cure an Ear Infection naturally.

“My child just had her ears checked and they are CLEAR!”

This is a statement that I never get tired of hearing from the parents in our office! Chiropractic has been known throughout the century as a safe and effective way to clear the fluid in a child’s ear and restore better overall health. First,  I would like to discuss the other options out there for treatment of otitis media.

What are the conventional options for Ear Infection treatment? Antibiotics: Are we antibiotic resistant?

When a child has an ear infection, the conventional allopathic approach is antibiotics and then tube surgery. The problem with antibiotics is that humans have over-consumed antibiotics. Because of the overuse of antibiotics in conventional medicine and in our food, most of our bacterial invaders are now resistant to the medication. If the bacteria are resistant, the antibiotic will not work and in turn create other problems within the body. We are very dependent on the good bacteria in our body for a stronger immune and digestive system. Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria in the body so if the bad bacteria is resistant, only the good bacteria will be killed in the process. The medication will essentially decrease immunity in the body due to the elimination of the good bacteria. Children, who are just barely building their immune system need these healthy bacteria colonies for immune support. The antibiotics are literally wiping out the good bacteria in their bodies especially when taking multiple doses. The good bacterial colonies, also called probiotics, are crucial for a healthy immune system. It would be like burning down your entire house to eliminate a pest problem and not killing the pests!

Ear Tubes for Fluid in the Ear:

Surgical tubes for Ear Infections in children are very popular. It is estimated that 700,000 ear tube insertions are done every year in the US. Parents are told that a variety of problems can occur like hearing loss if this surgical procedure is not performed. The problem with tube surgery is that it is usually a procedure that has to be done repeatedly because the tubes fall out. Also, the child needs general anesthesia which has side effects of its own. Parents are afraid of the long-term potential damage that fluid in the ear may cause so they elect to having the surgery.

Although, how factual are these claims of long-term damage? In a long term study published in The Archives of Pedatric and Adolescent Medicine (2005), Dr. Stenstrom and collegues demonstrated that children with tubes suffered more damage to hearing later in life. A study from the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh showed no long term effect of lingering fluid in the ear. There have been more recent studies showing that surgical tubes are no longer necessary for children with ear fluid unless loss of hearing below 40 decibels is noted. Why put your child through this surgery if there are other safe and effective treatments to try first?

How Chiropractic helps Ear Infections in Kids:

I see a huge clinical link between upper neck subluxation and ear infections. The majority of children in our office who had chronic ear infections have also had severe immobility and misalignment in their upper cervical region due to a traumatic birthing process (C-section, forceps, or vacuum) or a fall impacting their head. When a child has upper cervical subluxation, or misalignment, the nervous system is interfered with and the child’s health is compromised. The upper cervical region is extremely important because it has the most stimulation to the brain for growth and neurological development called proprioception. When the healthy signaling from the upper cervical region gets compromised, the body elicits a stress response and the health of the child decreases significantly. Thus, misalignment of the upper cervical region can cause a decrease immune response in the child by increasing that stress response in the whole body.  By correcting the upper cervical subluxation, children will have a healthier nervous system preventing them from further illness and ear infections. When upper cervical subluxation is not corrected, even if the ear infections resolve, problems can occur later on in life such as allergies, migraine headaches, and other neurological disorders.

It is so wonderful to see hear parents proudly state that their child no longer has fluid in their ear or chronic ear infections due to the chiropractic care they receive in our office. Our parents also love that their child is getting sick less, sleeping better, and has better digestion. I want the same for your child! It is so important to start them off with good health. Call today for a free consultation with the doctor to find out if subluxation is blocking your child’s innate ability for optimal health and healing!

Finally Relief from Migraines

 My Own Migraine Headache Experience

All of a sudden the left side of my body went numb. At first, I thought it was from the pressure of the hair tie around my left wrist that was cutting into my circulation. Even after taking the hair tie off, the numbness got worse. Shortly after, my eyes got sensitive and I started to feel a pulsating pain at my right temple. My best friend looked at me, knew something was not right, and told the teacher she was taking me to the nurse’s office. The pain started to feel like someone was stabbing me in the head. At the nurse’s office, the pain was so unbearable that I started vomiting. I had no idea what was wrong with me and unfortunately the doctors didn’t help much either. I remember having two bottles of prescriptions: one for catching it in the beginning and one for when the headache occurred. Honestly, neither worked and I had no faith in either bottle.

This personal story was one of my most memorable migraine experiences when I was only 12 years old. I truly believe that no one can understand the severity of a true migraine headache other than a migraine patient. I was one of the lucky ones. My parents started taking me to a chiropractor when I was about 14 years old, but didn’t know it could help me with my headaches. I have not had one migraine since. In fact, I rarely ever get a headache at all. I am so lucky that I fell out of the vicious cycle of pain medications that have rough side effects and simply did not work; even better, dietary modifications or “triggers” that did nothing. I found the source of my condition, corrected it, and let my body regain its health.

What causes Migraines? How can Chiropractic care help Migraines?

In my practice, we joke about having a “Headache Club” which consists of patients, and of course myself, who have not had one migraine since they started care. Many headache patients, like me, have subluxation or misalignment to the upper cervical portion of the spine. Upper cervical subluxation is most likely caused by birthing trauma or any type of hit to the head at a young age. This subluxation interferes with the blood supply to the brain which can lead to migraine headaches. The chiropractic treatment, called an adjustment, will affect the blood supply to the brain. This is the process that Migraine medications try to mimic but of course with side effects.

Upper neck subluxation can affect health to any part of the head region including ears (children with ear infections), nose, throat, face, and even circulation to the hands. Every nerve in your body must pass through the upper cervical portion of your spine so it is imperative to the health and communication of your nervous system to make sure it is well aligned.

The health of the upper cervical portion of the spine is also imperative for proper brain function. You see, your brain is mush when you are born and movement in your spine allows the brain to grow. The most stimulation to the brain comes from the upper cervical portion of your spine. Subluxation prevents movement in a joint and thus interferes with the healthy brain stimulation. This is why I see amazing results with children who have neurological disorders such as ADHD, speech delay, and even Autism.

Is correcting subluxation the end all to Migraine Headache relief?

No, not necessarily. However, if you have tried other treatments and have had no relief, it could definitely be stemming from problems in your spine. If you have had a traumatic birthing process or impact to the head, your headaches are most likely due to subluxation. A full examination will determine if we can help you relieve your headaches.

I, and many of my patients, will never have to experience that pain ever again. Will you be the next to join the club? Call us and schedule a free consultation today 978-969-6105!

Do you know anyone who suffers from migraine headaches? Share this blog with your friends and family to teach them that there is a natural solution!