Healthy Living

Five steps to identify and eliminate headache triggers

Last month on the blog, we discussed the impact that your diet has on your headaches. We covered different additives and chemicals in food that are common culprits amongst my migraine patients. Now that you have an idea of the types of ingredients to look out for, you can begin tracking your diet and identifying your individual triggers. Here are five steps to identify and eliminate your headache triggers.

Step 1: seven day tracking

For seven consecutive days, track:

  • Headaches
    • Time of day
    • Where you are
    • Severity on a scale of 0-10 (“0” being no headache and “10” being the worst)
  • All food
    • Be specific! Instead of “burger and fries”, write “beef burger with tomato, lettuce, Mesquite’s BBQ sauce, brioche bun, yam fries and garlic aioli.”
  • All beverages 
    •  This includes water! Aim to drink at least ½ your body weight in ounces daily. For example, a 150 lb individual would need to drink 75 ounces per day.

Step 2: read all food labels

While the easiest way to do this would be to avoid all processed and packaged food, I understand that’s not always possible. When you find yourself reaching for those package staples, focus on the ingredient list. Ingredients are listed in order of quantity, so if an ingredient appears first on the list, there’s a lot of that in it. If it’s last, there’s not much in it. This fact is important for step three.

Step 3:  eliminate all foods high in amines, MSG, aspartame and nitrites for four to six weeks

While this may seem daunting, less intense and frequent headaches is worth the effort. Once you spend some time familiarizing yourself with ingredient lists, you’ll be able to quickly identify which foods to avoid.

Step 4: reintroduce one food at a time

  • Start with fruits and vegetables
    • Items like avocados and dried cranberries on your salad will be an easier transition than soda or cheese.
  • Wait three to four days between reintroducing more foods.
    • If one of the foods causes a headache, having several days in-between introductions will make it easier to identify the culprit.

If you are symptom-free for three to four days, it’s safe to say you tolerate that food well. If you experience symptoms within that time, it’s best to avoid those foods in the future.

Step 5: consider common food allergens and intolerances

  • No headache relief?
    • If you don’t experience less frequent headaches over the four- to six-week testing, consider four to six weeks of eliminating common food intolerances and allergies, such as peanuts, gluten, dairy, eggs, soy and corn. You can also visit a naturopath or dietitian for specific guidance on this elimination diet.

I hope that these five steps have helped guide you to less frequent headaches and an improved quality of life!


ORIGINALLY POSTED: https://albertachiro.com/ACAC/Chiropractic_in_Alberta/BLOG/Five_steps_to_identify_and_eliminate_headache_triggers.aspx

Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

How many of these road trip troubles have you experienced?

Life can be a little strange in 2020, but summer road trips don’t have to go away. We maybe can’t spend much time exploring the world on foot this year, but we can still drive! If taking an extended road trip is new territory for you, there may be some unpleasant aches just around the bend.

How many of these painful “long-haul” driving experiences have you encountered? Check out our tips to mitigate them!

 

Comfortable Position Dilemma

Your favorite podcast is playing, and the AC is blasting. You’ve been driving down a nice, long stretch of road for awhile. You’re comfortable and have settled into the groove… literally! Enter the Comfortable Position Dilemma – you’re comfortable now, but the minute you get out of the vehicle you’re going to feel stiff and achy. You might not be able to escape the stiffness, but you can reduce its effects.

Solution – Take a driving break every two hours, even if it’s just for five minutes. Your chiropractor will have accessible suggestions on stretches you can do during breaks.

 

Sore Hip Conundrum

Not everyone has a roomy driver’s seat. Sometimes you need to drive for some time with your right leg and hip at a slightly bent angle. While you can’t necessarily change the dimensions of your vehicle’s driver side, you can do something about the sore hips!

Solution – Before you start your trip and during breaks, briefly do a couple of sets of lunges, hip flexors, or leg swings. Ask your chiropractor for advice on improving your hip’s range of motion.

 

Stiff-Necked Quandary

Your passengers in the car have every opportunity to “ooh” and “ahh” at the sites, but not you! You’re laser-focused on your duties as the driver. You need to make sure to keep your neck muscles unstrained so your watchful gaze can continue to smoothly scan the horizon.

Solution – The best way to stay ahead of the curve is to be proactive. Work with your chiropractor to develop plans to strengthen and stretch your neck muscles. Until then, try out an upper trapezius stretch to get the ball rolling!

 

If you do any extended driving this summer, talk to your chiropractor! They can give you some excellent advice on battling the sedentary nature of the open road. Remember: your chiropractor has a wealth of knowledge to help you be proactive instead of reactive about your health.

Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

Heat vs. Ice: Which Works Best for Treating Injuries?

Originally posted by the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

 

Heat vs. Ice … It may sound like the title of an upcoming blockbuster movie, but it’s a question most active people have mulled over during their life after they’ve sustained an injury. Like most dilemmas, there isn’t really an easy answer to this question. Whether to treat an injury with a hot pad or an ice pack depends largely on the situation.

 

Ice

How cooling an injury works

Applying ice or a cold pack works by reducing blood flow and pain sensation to a particular area. Cooling an injured area, especially a tendon or joint, can reduce inflammation and swelling that causes pain.

 

When is it best to apply ice to my injury?

Ice is meant to calm down damaged surface tissues that are inflamed, red, hot and swollen. Think of icing as a way to simply dull the pain, and reduce inflammation, nothing more or nothing less.  Ice therapy is most beneficial in the first 24-72 hours of sustaining an injury.

After you’ve sustained your injury, you should aim to apply ice to the inflamed area as soon as possible.

Use cold therapy for short periods of time, several times a day.

It’s important not to treat an area with ice for too long. Ten to fifteen minutes is fine, but no more than 20 minutes of cold therapy should be used at a time.

Also, don’t cool an area to the point where you are shivering. If you are already shivering, you should discontinue applying ice until you warm up. The brain interprets an excess of cold as a threat and when the brain thinks there’s something wrong going on it may actually amp up your area of pain as a defense mechanism.

 

How to apply cooling therapy

Before you apply ice or a cooling pack to the injured area, always make sure there is some sort of barrier between the ice and your skin. Whether it be a Ziploc bag or a washcloth, it’s imperative that the barrier exists. Applying ice directly on the skin can cause damage to the skin and tissues.

 

Heat

How Applying Heat to an Injury Works

Heat therapy works by improving circulation and blood flow to a particular area. Heating an affected area can soothe discomfort, increase muscle flexibility and help heal damaged tissue.

 

When is it best to apply heat to my injury?

Heat therapy is most effective for sore muscles, chronic pain and repetitive stress injuries. A comfortable, not scalding, heat can take the edge off symptoms like muscle aching and stiffness.  Heat can be most beneficial 36-72 hours after the injury is sustained.

 

 How to apply heat therapy

When applying heat therapy to a small, afflicted area you could use small heated gel packs or a hot water bottle.

There are certain cases where heat therapy should not be used. If the area is bruised or swollen, it may be better to use an ice pack. Heat therapy also shouldn’t be applied to an area with an open wound.

Heat therapy, unlike cold therapy, is most beneficial when used for long periods of time.

Minor stiffness can benefit with only 15 to 20 minutes of heat therapy. Moderate to severe pain can benefit from longer sessions of heat therapy lasting between 30 minutes and two hours.

 

When to see a chiropractor

Whether you go the ice or heat route, both treatments are meant only to mask the discomfort of your injury. If your pain hasn’t subsided after a few days of either heat or cold treatment seek advice from a chiropractor.

Doctors of Chiropractic are highly educated and specially trained musculoskeletal experts. If you experience stiffness or pain related to sport or active living, consult your chiropractor. If you don’t have a chiropractor, visit here to find one near you.

For more blogs and information like this, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

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The Webster Technique for Expectant Mothers

Expectant mothers are often prone to health concerns due to the tremendous changes their bodies are undergoing. As their bodies prepare to bring a new life into the world, pregnant women experience profound transitions in hormone levels, neurotransmitter balance, and biomechanics. Added to these challenges is the stress that often accompanies the preparation for a new baby’s arrival.

It is no wonder that many women have issues with pain and discomfort during pregnancy. Additionally, it is not uncommon for new mothers to encounter dystocia, the medical term for a difficult birth. Fortunately, chiropractic medicine offers several methods of easing pregnancy and labor. Among these is the Webster Technique.

 

History of the Webster Technique

Dr. Larry Webster was a pediatric chiropractor who pioneered many chiropractic treatments for children. As a natural extension of his interest in pediatric chiropractic, Dr. Webster developed a diversified approach to helping women with their pregnancies and deliveries. He went on to found the International Pediatric Chiropractic Association (ICPA) as well as serve as the clinical director of Life Chiropractic College.

 

What is the Webster Technique?

Chiropractors use the Webster Technique to relieve an expectant mother’s discomfort during pregnancy and hopefully make her labor and delivery progress more smoothly. Due to the weight of the developing baby as well as hormonal changes, many women develop sacral and pelvic subluxations. These subluxations are small misalignments in the bones that make up the pelvic girdle as well as the bones of the lower spine.

Such misalignments can be painful and also interfere with the conduction of nerve signals through these areas. Of course, the lower spine and pelvis are integral to labor and delivery, so it is important that nerve signals travel freely in these regions. The Webster Technique uses a series of specialized adjustments to correct subluxations, allowing for proper muscle movement and improvement in pain levels.

 

Limitations

To date, no clinical studies have been performed that show the Webster Technique is beneficial for correcting improper fetal position. In other words, we cannot say that the technique will help with breech presentations or other fetal presentation problems as this has not yet been definitively proven.

Rob Weaver

From Toasty Toes to Giving Tuesday

Nothing chases the chill out of the bones and warms the heart during the winter months quite like kindness. For many people, this is the time they begin looking at ways of spreading a little cheer. At the beginning of fall, chiropractors, their clinics and their patients collected new sock donations from Lethbridge to Grand Prairie for our annual Toasty Toes Sock Drive.

They were not only successful in collecting these donations; they collected past the initial goal of 25,000 pairs to a total of 25,625.  Donated to the United Way and Wood’s Home, these socks will go a long way in keeping Albertans experiencing homelessness warm. An additional bonus for participating clinics was the opportunity to win a $500 donation and blog spotlight for a charity of choice from the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors. This year’s winner is the Powers & Jans Centre in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

For the clinic team, choosing a charity was easy.

“The Santa Claus Fund has been making Christmas better for families in our community for over 30 years. They have shown to be good stewards of the donations they receive and are worthy of our support,” explained Dr. Jans.

The Medicine Hat News Santa Claus Fund is a cause the Powers & Jans Centre supports and keeps in mind every time winter rolls around.

“Every Christmas season, our office decides on a local charity to support. Because of their invaluable service, the Santa Claus Fund is always one of our prime considerations. In the past, we collected toys in the clinic, which is an activity our patients like to participate in. Other times, we went as a group to wrap and deliver gifts. We are happy to support them again this year with the donation prize we won.”

A $500 donation may not seem like a lot of money but for a family going through tough times, it can mean the difference between whether or not they can have a Christmas at all.

Deanna Doerksen, Executive Director of the Santa Claus Fund, puts it into context.

“Donations like this help us stock our shelves with toys and gifts and ensures there is holiday food on the table for our families. The donation from the chiropractic clinic will go towards our grocery voucher program, which allows all our local families have a hot Christmas meal.”

The Santa Claus Fund not only provides gifts and meals; they provide them in a way that gives families dignity.

“Christmas is a time for community, generosity and kindness. We want our participants to feel embraced by those values and the true ‘Spirit of Giving’,” explains Doerkson.

“Our Christmas operation is based out of a warehouse called the ‘Holiday Home’.  Families come into the Holiday Home and apply for assistance, which is granted based on financial situation.  Once approved, participants are then welcome to come in and choose gifts for their children. Each child receives 2 gifts, a book, a stuffed animal as well as a board game for families as we believe it is important for families to play together”

“Then, when the families leave, they leave with a voucher for the local grocery store so they can buy food for a Christmas meal.”

The Powers & Jans Centre will be visiting the Holiday Home themselves and are hoping others feel encouraged to support the Santa Claus Fund.

“If you have the ability to give a few dollars or volunteer your time, this is an organization that is worth supporting.” Dr. Jans says.

Thank you again, to all the chiropractors who participated in the Toasty Toes Sock Drive.

The Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors is proud to support this cause, as well as the hard work and community effort of chiropractors across Alberta.

The Medicine Hat News Santa Claus Fund accepts donations throughout the year and will be providing their Holiday Home services and crisis assistance throughout November and December.

Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

Setting the record straight: Scoliosis and Chiropractic

You don’t have to be a chiropractor to know that our backbones are some of the most important bones in our bodies. They protect our spinal cord and for most people, they keep us walking straight and tall. For a person with scoliosis, however, the spine can also be the source of a number of challenges.

While scoliosis is a common condition, affecting 1 in every 25 people, there is not a lot of awareness about the condition. In recognition of this month being Scoliosis Awareness Month, we are taking this opportunity to shed some light on scoliosis and how chiropractic can provide support and relief to those who have it.

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a common spinal deformity in which the spine develops with one or more abnormal curves. While most cases of scoliosis are mild, severe cases can require surgery to prevent the condition from worsening. Depending on how badly the spine is misaligned, symptoms of scoliosis can include uneven posture, pain, reduced flexibility, difficulty breathing, organ damage and in severe cases, death.

Who can get it?

Anyone can get scoliosis. The most common type of scoliosis, idiopathic scoliosis, generally develops in children and more often in girls than boys. There are a number of factors that can prompt scoliosis to develop, such as neuromuscular conditions, birth defects and old age but there is uncertainty about what causes idiopathic scoliosis.

Who can screen for scoliosis?

A physician, chiropractor or other healthcare professional can assess whether or not you have scoliosis.

Scoliosis care

There are three main components to scoliosis care; assessment, diagnosis and treatment.

Assessment: This is composed of a screening to determine if a patient has scoliosis, and if they do, how severe. A scoliosis screening is a non-invasive physical exam that can take as little as 30 seconds. The healthcare professional examines the patient’s body for any signs of uneven posture or irregular curves in the spine.

Diagnosis: Once a scoliosis of the spine is detected, healthcare professionals can begin conversations about ongoing monitoring, and treatment. Ongoing monitoring of scoliosis is a critical component of scoliosis care.

Treatment: The primary goal of scoliosis treatment is to maximize the mobility and function of the patient’s body. The abnormal curves associated with scoliosis can cause stresses on weight-bearing joints. This can cause pain throughout the patient’s body, not just the spine. Some examples of treatments include bracing, exercise and chiropractic adjustments. Very severe cases of scoliosis may require surgery to correct the curve.

Scoliosis and Chiropractic

With a condition that causes the backbone to develop abnormally, it begs the question of whether or not chiropractic treatment is safe and effective. Dr. Brian Gushaty, Registrar of the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors provided the following explanation about how chiropractic can help.

“With their educational background, chiropractors are especially well-equipped to work with individuals with scoliosis,” Dr. Gushaty says. “They can assess and safely treat people with scoliosis. They can also monitor the scoliosis, order x-rays and refer patients directly to a medical specialist when necessary.”

How can chiropractic help people with scoliosis?

Chiropractors spend over seven years studying how to assess, diagnose, treat and prevent problems of the spine and musculoskeletal (MSK) system (joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves). This educational background can make them ideal healthcare providers for the management or co-management of conditions like scoliosis.

Chiropractors can provide support to patients on a number of different fronts, from lifestyle counselling to alleviating pain and restoring levels of mobility. Here are three specific ways that chiropractic treatment is beneficial:

  1. Expertise in monitoring scoliosis.

In some cases, the scoliosis can worsen and cause additional challenges to a patient’s quality of life. A chiropractor has the ability to track the progression of the scoliosis, which is especially important in adolescents. Since their bodies are still growing, there is a chance that their scoliosis will become more severe during growth spurts. If this is identified, chiropractors can refer directly to the appropriate medical specialist.

  1. Treatment for functional support.

“Functional support refers to other related conditions that may present in relation to scoliosis, not just the treatment of the spine,” Dr. Gushaty explains, “For example, a patient with scoliosis may experience more discomfort in one side of their hip due to an uneven posture. Chiropractic treatment can alleviate that pain and support full function of these other joints.”

  1. Direct referral to medical specialists when appropriate

Chiropractors regularly work in collaboration with other healthcare professionals. If a chiropractor notices a condition worsening or if their patient requires specialized care, they will refer them to other professionals in the medical community who can provide additional support or optional treatment.

If you have scoliosis and are interested in trying chiropractic, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Let the chiropractor know that you have scoliosis and any prior treatment you have received.

In most cases, the adjustments are nearly identical to what a patient without scoliosis will receive, but special consideration is given to immobilized parts of the spine and weight-bearing joints.

“Your chiropractor will be able to treat you more efficiently and effectively if they know ahead of time that you have scoliosis,” says Dr. Gushaty, “In addition, patients who have had corrective surgery and have implants in their spine will need to have their treatments customized to fit their needs.”

  • Ask about the chiropractor’s approach to treating scoliosis and their relationship with related medical professionals.

Asking this question will help you understand what kinds of treatment the chiropractor can offer you and will demonstrate their understanding of scoliosis management. You will also be able to determine whether they have the resources to refer you directly to the appropriate medical specialist if you require specialized treatment.

  • Listen to the chiropractors’ recommendations for care.

Recommendations should sound sensible and include specific re-evaluation intervals. Re-evaluation is important because it will help track whether the scoliosis is progressing. It also helps ascertain whether the patient is gaining function and eased ability to perform daily activities.

For more information about how chiropractic can change pain and help people with scoliosis, consult with a chiropractor, or click here to find one near you.

 

Resources

http://www.scoliosissos.com/news/post/scoliosis-awareness-month

https://www.srs.org/patients-and-families/common-questions-and-glossary/frequently-asked-questions

https://myhealth.alberta.ca/health/Pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=hw72376

Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

Get Ready for Spring! Cleaning Safely

Originally posted by the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

As of March 20, spring is upon us. You can almost smell the grass under the snow, feel the warmth in the breeze, taste the Easter chocolate you will inevitably sneak out of your child’s basket. And if that extra dose of sunshine is giving you the urge to clean, you are not alone.

Every year, thousands of Albertans hear the siren call of spring cleaning. Here are some tips to keep you able and spry until your house is spotless:

  1. Warm Up. It can be tempting to just jump in and start tackling items off of your to-do list, but it’s important to take a few moments to warm up first. Cleaning can be a huge undertaking, not unlike a strenuous workout, so prepare your body the same way. If you are looking for a quick and easy stretch, try Straighten Up Alberta.
  2. Take Your Time. You’ve heard the one about the hare and the tortoise, haven’t you? Choose a pace that is sustainable and be sure to take breaks when you need them. Taking the slow and steady approach to cleaning is likely to get you across the finish line. Taking a fast, hard run at it may tire you out quickly, and can even lead to injury.
  3. Stay Hydrated. Dehydration can make you weak and dizzy, which will in turn hinder your ability to clean. Be sure to drink lots of water and/or have water-rich foods on hands to snack on, such as fruit.
  4. Get Help. If you are climbing ladders or moving couches, always have another adult on hand to spot or help you. Even the strongest of us can suffer from falling injuries or pulled muscles.

Arms, back and shoulders aching?

Even with all the right preparation, spring cleaning works your arm, back and shoulder muscles in ways that they are not used to. If your pain hasn’t subsided after a few days, seek advice from a chiropractor.

Chiropractors are highly educated and specially trained musculoskeletal experts. Your chiropractor can also give you nutritional advice and whole-body wellness strategies in conjunction with your chiropractic treatment. Consult with your chiropractor, or click here to find one near you.

For more news and tips, visit us on Twitter or Facebook.

Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

From Kids to Seniors: Fun for the Whole Family

Originally posted by the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

 

Life only ever gets busier – at least, that’s what it feels like sometimes. Between work, caring for dependents, keeping the house clean, getting the car in for maintenance, taking your dog to the groomer’s and on and on …

With all of life’s demands, family time can be hard to prioritize, which is why it’s so important to make the most of the time you have together. With Family Day in Alberta (Feb 19) just around the corner, you may be racking your brain to find a child-friendly, senior-accessible, affordable activity that everybody can enjoy. What to do?

Here are some activities to consider for your multigenerational family:

  1. Get into nature. If you are lucky enough to live close to a botanic garden, river valley, or public park, why not take your family? Experiencing nature (even just trees) can be a refreshing change of pace in the midwinter, and these facilities are typically designed to be stroller and wheelchair-friendly. Plus, even light walking will contribute to your weekly physical activity goal. Indoor options include the Calgary Zoo and Edmonton’s Muttart Conservatory; outdoor options include Olds College Botanic Gardens, the Botanical Gardens of Silver Springs near Calgary, St. Albert Botanic Park and the Cascades Of Time Gardens in Banff.
  1. Cook together. “The party always ends up in the kitchen” is an old adage, and there’s good reason for that: nothing bonds people together quite like food does. If your family members are delighted by tasty food, take the opportunity to instill those great cooking habits early and get the whole family to contribute to the chopping, stirring and tasting! If you have children, this is a great moment to teach them how important and easy it is to cook healthy meals. You can get lots of recipes online, at the library or bookstore. For extra points, get an older adult to teach their “specialty” to the family.
  1. Play cards. If your body is injured or needs rest, never fear – you can always enjoy some game time with your family! Playing cards or board games allows you to build precious memories, while also sitting down and resting. If you are sore in any particular place, it’s easy to strap an ice or heat pack to yourself in this position, as well (click here to find out which temperature is better for your injury).
  1. Stretch it out. Unless you have space or mobility restrictions, stretching together can be a really relaxing, healthy way to spend time with your family. Straighten Up Alberta offers a program that is easy for both kids and adults to participate in – and it’s so short that you can integrate it into your daily or weekly routine, long after the events of Family Day conclude.

 

Fit Chiropractic into your Lifestyle

Your chiropractor is trained to do more than diagnose and treat injuries. Chiropractic students complete classes in physiology, biochemistry and nutrition as part of their core curriculum. As a result, your chiropractor can also give you nutritional advice and whole-body wellness strategies in conjunction with your chiropractic treatment.

For more news and tips, visit us on Twitter and Facebook.

Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

Staying Active During Winter

Originally posted by the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

 

You go outside, only to find your hands freezing and nose running. You drive to work in the pitch-black of darkness and step outside after a long day on the job, only for it to be dark again. It can be hard to stay motivated and committed to fitness and activity during the winter months.

While it can be easy to lose sight of your activity levels until you’ve thawed out a little, research has shown it’s important to exert yourself in the winter months. As the darkness and cold creeps in, your serotonin (or feel-good chemical) levels drop. Consistent exercise and activity is a great way to combat this. Getting up and moving in the winter also boosts immunity by keeping the lymphatic system active.

With the Olympic Winter Games and Alberta Winter Games on the horizon, winter activities are going to be top of mind as well!

Below are some tips to keep active during the winter months:

  1. Get outside and move. This option embraces the cold. Alberta is full of opportunities to use the frigid weather to your advantage. Skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing or skating are all great options to keep you moving outside. You can also check what’s going on locally, as most communities regularly host fun events during the winter months. For instance, on February 7, you can take part in Winter Walk Day, an Alberta-wide initiative which encourages people of all ages to get outside and move during winter. Last year saw over 100,000 participants – take a winter stroll, join a chiropractic clinic or organize your own walk.
  2. Activity in your day-to-day life. Being active doesn’t always have to mean sweating it out. Making little, conscious decisions to get up and move can do wonders for your overall health. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get out and shovel the snow by hand (using the correct technique, of course). Get up from your desk and take a short walk every few hours. It’s little activities like these that can help break up the monotony your body can feel during the winter months.
  3. Join a gym. A great indoor option is to join a gym. Joining a gym doesn’t just have to mean running on a treadmill or lifting weights. A lot of fitness facilities offer a variety of indoor activities and classes for you to participate in. This may include basketball, swimming, squash, yoga, etc. This may be cost prohibitive for many, but still remains a great option.

 

Exercise your best with the right advice
Chiropractors are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the musculoskeletal system (the body’s bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, joints and connective tissue). Visits to your chiropractor can identify potential dysfunction that may be occurring to ensure your bones, muscles, joints and nerves are working together properly, which reduces stress placed on ligaments. Your chiropractor can tell you what type of exercise best suits you before you embark on a new exercise regimen. They can also help work with you to identify areas of weakness to work on and activities you should avoid, to keep yourself strong and healthy.

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Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

Beat Blue Monday – Reset your New Year’s Resolutions

Originally posted by the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

 

It has been two short weeks since the start of the new year. Two short weeks since you promised yourself you would learn to love kale salads, commit to going to bed early and finally learn how to work those intimidating machines at the gym. Have you?

Blue Monday, the day that is deemed the most depressing day of the year due to broken resolutions, cold weather and seasonal debt, falls on January 15th this year. If you are feeling the gloom setting in, don’t fret – it’s not too late to press reset on your health-related resolutions. Here are some tips:

 

1. Start Small
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Adequate sleep, healthy eating and exercise are healthy choices that become healthy habits with enough practice. So start by making small healthy choices every day, such as choosing to drink one more glass of water every morning or taking a five minute walk at lunch.

 

2. Set SMART Goals

Resolutions can seem like goals, but they often lack the necessary strategy to get you moving. Re-evaluate your resolutions and turn them into SMART goals, meaning:

  • Specific – what are you going to do?
  • Measurable – how often are you going to do it, or to what end?
  • Achievable – is it realistic?
  • Relevant – why do you want to do it, and/or how will it change your life?
  • Time-bound – what is your deadline?

For example, instead of saying “I’m going to work out more”, say “I will commit to 30-60 minutes of activity 2-3 times a week for the next six months, in order to increase my level of energy and feel healthy”.

 

3. Have a Reward System

Because we don’t often see immediate results from changes to our healthy habits, rewards can be an important tool to keep you motivated in the meantime. Whenever you reach an important milestone, reward yourself with something that makes you feel good – just try to make it something that doesn’t work too much against your goals and efforts.

 

4. Forgive Yourself

If you are like most people, breaking resolutions will make you stress out and feel guilty – which actually works against you. Stress is unhealthy for both your body and your mind. If you have a bad week where it feels like you have worked against your progress, just take a deep breath, reset and try to put it in perspective. You will have many more weeks until the year is over. Each week is a fresh opportunity to try.

 

Your Chiropractor Can Help

Your chiropractor is trained to do more than diagnose and treat injuries. Your DC (Doctor of Chiropractic) can also give you nutritional advice and whole-body wellness strategies in conjunction with your chiropractic treatment.

Students on the road to becoming DCs will receive classes in physiology, biochemistry and nutrition as part of the core curriculum. Your chiropractor can be an excellent resource to assist you in your quest for healthy choices and better all-around health.

For more blogs and information like this, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors
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