Wellness

Live Whole-Heartedly

By | @ | 3 days ago

wholeheartedlydivider2“I whole-heartedly agree”  

How many times have you said that in your life? A bunch, I bet. After all, it’s an extremely common phrase. But do you ever stop and wonder what exactly it really means?

One of my favorite yoga instructors was focusing on ‘heart openers’ in class the other day. For those of you who don’t have a clue to what that means, heart openers look like shoulder stretches and backbends. You see, we spend so much of our day in postures that protect our heart – hunched over a desk, our chests sinking in. Yoga undoes this with extension exercises – exercises that stretch the front of your body, and allow your heart to move forward, opening it up to endless possibilities.

Deep, I know, right?

But what exactly does living whole-heartedly mean? On that day, Suzanne talked about the three C’s of living with your whole heart: Connection, courage, and compassion. That really resonated with me.

Connection. To others, and to a higher purpose. That is truly food for the soul, isn’t it?

Compassion. The ability to see the world through another’s eyes. Well, that’ll give you perspective, won’t it?  

And Courage. That’s really personal. Courage to take a scary next step, be honest with yourself, or to confront a difficult situation. That can make your heart beat faster, can’t it?

I took the message from that day to heart – literally. I find myself seeking out more connection with others, having more compassion, and digging deep for the courage to do the difficult work that results in a much more fulfilled life.

Why don’t you marinate on that for a while, and see if living whole-heartedly doesn’t bring you just a little more peace and joy, like it has for me.

Namaste. And hey Suzanne, thanks!

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Health

Erection vs. Protection

By | @ | 4 days ago

erectiondivider2Boy, did I stir the pot with our readers when I re-posted a graphic about the recent Supreme Court decision regarding insurance coverage for certain birth control methods. If you missed my post, here it is again:

divider2

10484427_10152362978804213_8587225242674062025_odivider2I love a good controversy, don’t you?

A reader was kind enough to point me in the direction of an article that offered some clarification on the subject, and I have to say, the information in that article soothed this savage beast (a little). The company in question does provide for many methods of birth control, but disallows forms of birth control that some believe can cause or are akin to abortion, like IUD’s and the ‘morning after pill’ or Plan B.

I do appreciate that the 16 types of female contraception will work for many women, but if you are like me, that just may not be enough.

My body just cannot tolerate hormonal birth control like the pill. As for barrier methods like condoms or a diaphragm? Well, let’s just say that I had two kids in two years thanks to those! “So get a different job!”, you might say? Uh – have you been out there lately? Jobs with benefits are tough to come by. If you want to read for yourself on the subject, well then, here you go.

This particular incident aside, my bigger gripe about this subject is the hilarious (not!) fact that for many years, some health insurance companies have provided benefits for erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra and Cialis, while denying coverage for birth control. (The recent Affordable Care Act does mandate that contraception be covered, so thankfully, those days are over. But can you tell them I’m still a little bitter?)

So they helped men get erections, but as women, we were on our own to prevent unwanted pregnancies?

Does it not take two to tango? 

Whatever your religious or philosophical beliefs, don’t you find that a bit odd???

I know there are passionate people on every side of this issue, and I love that about my readers. Talk amongst yourselves – but keep me in the loop – I love to hear what you have to say. This is just one of those things that make me go, “Hmmmmm”, so I thought I’d share!

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Inspiration

Go The Extra Mile…

By | @ | 5 days ago

GOTTHEEXTRAMILEdivider2The next time you want to stop – instead, listen to this quote, and go the extra mile.

In life, in love, in work, in parenting; find it inside of yourself to push through, even if you don’t know why, you just have that feeling in your gut that it’s the right thing to do.

Every person in history that was or is successful, or notable went the extra mile to achieve a goal that most thought could not be achieved. As Einstein says, “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” The reason why most people don’t go the extra mile is because of the many obstacles that mile often comes with. Don’t be discouraged, and realize that your dream is yours and no one else’s, and there is no reason why you can’t achieve it. And if those around you are bringing you down, realize it’s because they, themselves, don’t have it inside of them to see their dreams to reality.

Let’s hope one day they find the courage, too.

Today’s hump day inspiration goes out to all of you who are already doing this everyday. For getting up early, or staying up late to see things through. You inspire the rest of us to work harder, and be more than we are right now.

And for that, we recognize you!

Tags: Inspiration

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Parenting Pregnancy

Thumb-Sucking, Nose-Hooking

By | @ | 6 days ago

nose-hookingdivider2Isn’t this picture adorable?  

This little munchkin is sucking her thumb and hooking her nose; can you imagine why?

It’s because she’s trying to pull her nose out of her brain!

Yup, really.

The birth process can be tough for babies – and that’s if all goes well. And by well, I mean that mama goes into labor naturally and has a vaginal birth with no intervention. With each intervention (like Pitocin, an epidural, vacuum or forcep extraction), the stress on baby increases.

When a Mom has a precipitous delivery (labor lasting only 3 hours or less), or if Pitocin is used to induce labor, baby can come down the birth canal in a fast and furious way. Though it might sound lovely to have such a short labor, please trust me when I tell you that it is not. It results in much more stress for mom and baby alike.

One of the common presentations we see in babies that have endured a precipitous or induced labor is that the frontal (forehead) bone collapses onto the nasal (nose) bone during the birth process. These babies typically have a pronounced horizontal line at the bridge of the nose, and will often exhibit this thumb-sucking, nose-hooking behavior in an attempt to decompress the cranium.

In other words, they are attempting to pull their nose out of their head in the only way they can see how!

These babies are often fussy – can you blame them? – and exhibit insatiable sucking. Though all newborns like to nurse and suckle often, these babies typically won’t ever seem to get enough. Gentle craniosacral adjustments performed by a pediatric chiropractor can often resolve this very quickly and very gently.

I think thumb-sucking is really cute, too, but if your baby hooks his or her nose, or seems to suck insatiably, a chiropractic check-up is the order of the day!

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Health Wellness

Is That a Wallet in Your Pocket or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

By | @ | 7 days ago

walletdivider2Seeing me, being a chiropractor, that is.  

Today’s post is in honor of #MCM – otherwise known as, Man Crush Monday. We love our men, so we need to see that they take care of themselves, and today it starts with their wallet. You see, if your guy (or you!) wears a wallet in his (or your) back pocket, it’s quite likely that he (or you) will end up in a chiropractor’s office.

Want to know why? Even the slimmest of wallets will throw off pelvic alignment if they remain in the back pocket while the wearer sits down. Sitting on a wallet is comparable to walking around with one heeled-shoe and one flat-soled shoe, simultaneously. And if your wallet looks like this guy’s, well let’s just say it’s like walking around with a platform shoe and a bare foot.

Not. Good. At. All. Kinda makes your back hurt just thinking about it, doesn’t it? Check this out:

stop sitting

Many back problems are very complex and can be difficult to diagnose and treat. This fix is easy-peasy. Just take the damn wallet out! It can be as simple as keeping it on your desk at work, or in the console of your car as you drive. If you’ve been wearing that wallet for a long time, you might need some re-alignments (“adjustments”) to get things straight again.

And – back pain is only the beginning.  

Most of the nerves in your body are not pain sensitive. So if you are lucky enough to ‘feel good’ despite the wallet, you are most likely irritating nerves that affect your health. That prostate or digestive issue that won’t seem to go away, just might be related to nerve irritation from a crooked spine.

Take it from me, guys. Ditch the wallet, and you just might save some of the cash in it instead of spending it at the doctor’s office.

Ladies, if you know a man that is guilty of this, please pass along the message (and the link!).

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Pregnancy

Epidurals: Worth the Trip?

By | @ | 10 days ago

epiduralsdivider2Epidurals are not all that they are cracked up to be.

Yeah sure, they are great for pain management in childbirth. But how many of you realize that there are A LOT of potential downsides to epidurals many of them serious and long-lasting – for an upside of short-term pain management?

For instance, did you know that an epidural increases your need for interventions like vacuum extraction and forceps to be used during childbirth?forceps 

And how about the increased likelihood that you will end up with a C-section? Had you heard of that one?

It can also cause long-term back pain and nerve damage – we see this a lot in our practice!

Oh! And let’s not forget about fetal heart rate changes and potentially dangerous drops in blood pressure – scary stuff!

Those are just a few. For a more comprehensive list of pros and cons, check this out: http://www.epidural.net/prosandcons.html

There is even some talk that when you have an epidural, you rob your baby of endorphins to protect them against the stress and pain of childbirth. Let me explain: when you or I have a painful stimulus, our bodies secret endorphins to help manage that pain (which is why sharkbite or accident victims often report not feeling pain at first). Those endorphins flow throughout our body, and allow baby to benefit from them as well.

If we artificially numb that pain with anesthesia, we no longer secrete endorphins. So though we don’t feel pain, the anesthesia does not numb baby, so he or she does feel pain.

vaccuumIn my article Natural Childbirth, I talk about how cool it really is to have an active part in your birth. And to be honest with you, though my two unmedicated births were, uh, not particularly comfortable – it was very transient, and very manageable pain with a purpose.

And for you guys? Let me give you an example of why epidurals might not be a good idea. Let’s say you’re constipated. Really, really constipated, and you’re determined that today is the day – you’re going to finally poop. Let’s put you in bed, on your back, with your feet up in the air. And, yeah, let’s numb you from the waist down.

How successful do you think you’ll be? Not. At. All.

Which is why it makes no sense at all to me that we would put a pregnant woman on her back, numb her from the waist down, and expect her to push out a baby. Which is ultimately why this one intervention often leads to many others.

So in answer to my question, is an epidural worth the trip? No way in hell.

But thanks for coming!

Tags: Pregnancy

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Parenting

Quench Your Summer Hair

By | @ | 11 days ago

quenchdivider2I spend a lot of time at the beach in the summer, and my hair can easily suffer the consequences if I don’t watch out.

Chlorinated pool water, salty ocean waves, and the sun’s rays will suck the life right out of even the healthiest of hair. If you’ve colored, straightened or otherwise processed your hair, yours is even more vulnerable.

Thankfully, over the years I’ve picked up a few tricks that have saved my locks, and I thought I’d share them with you.

divider2So, here you go…36390

  1. I enjoy swimming laps all summer, but pool chemicals dry and discolor my hair. To pre-empt that, I wet and condition my hair before I put my swim cap on, and rinse immediately after. As an added bonus, the conditioner helps the cap to slide on easily so the dry rubber doesn’t pull on my sensitive scalp.
  2. The sun will fade your hair color faster than you can say “brassy highlights”. So, before I hit the beach I comb a rich, UV protecting conditioner in (like this one from Alterna) and slick it back into a bun or braid. Wearing a hat over your slicked-back concoction will also help, but I love how the sun’s heat really makes the conditioner soak in – so I go sans hat. After a day on the beach like this, my hair actually looks better than before!
  3. I appreciate how salt water can give hair its glorious beach waves but it can also make hair so brittle that it breaks off like a dry twig. Even the smallest amount of salt can wreak havoc. So, when you get out of the ocean, either stand under the shower or dump a water bottle over your head, and run some conditioner-laden hands through your hair to moisten it up. This will keep the waves from looking frizzy, and help to lock them in.

divider2The moral of my story?

To quench your summer hair, keep some conditioner, a wide-toothed comb and some ponytail holders in your swim and beach bags at all times. If you’re diligent about it, you might just find that your hair comes out the other end of summer looking even more shiny and lustrous than before.

XO!

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Everything Else Mirror Mirror

Tattoo You

By | @ | 12 days ago

tattoo

divider2I got my first tattoo at age 18.  

heartsThree tiny red hearts on my hip, and I’ve loved it ever since. Flash forward 18 years to when I got my second: a ring around my second toe. I loved the look of toe rings, but they pinched inside my running shoes, and I always seemed to lose them – so it made sense.

That second made me yearn for a third, so a few years later I got the words “True North” inked on my left foot. It’s a little thing my husband and I feel for each other – like our inner compasses lead us to each other. He put it on my wedding ring, and I put it on my foot.

I’ve been jones-ing for more ever since.

But – and this is a big but – I’m not crazy about how tattoos look on aging skin, and my skin is not going to get any less wrinkled, is it?

I didn’t think so.

I’m pretty okay with aging gracefully – the alternative stinks, btw – so I choose to love aging instead of hate it. I’m a little sad, though, that some things are just better on the young. My nurse friends confirmed this for me, explaining that they see all kinds of tattoos that have seen better days, and it ain’t pretty.

Maybe I’ll feel better about my decision to stop at three tattoos when all the Gen X’ers start to sag and droop like the rest of us, and their ink starts to resemble a Dali painting.

Until then, I’ll just be a little envious.

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Parenting

Cultivating Boredom

By | @ | 13 days ago

cultivating-bore

divider2Moooooom, I’m bored!  

How many times have you heard that (and/or said that!) in your lifetime??! A bunch, I’m sure, especially if you are of a certain age.

Sometime in the last few decades, though, we have made an art out of busy-ness. Kids start pre-school at 18 months, and soccer or dance at two. Two-years-old?!  

Once kindergarten hits, watch out! The time I had to enjoy after-school snacks and riding bikes with my friends when I was a kid is non-existent now. Today, we shuttle between activities, sometimes two or three per day, often including snacks and meals in the car, on-the-go.

What a shame.

I tried to buck the system with my own kids. They chose one or two activities per week, not per day. Problem was, there were no kids to play with at home! They had each other, sure, but there’s nothing like a neighborhood gang of friends to play hide-and-seek and hopscotch with, is there?

We found a balance of sorts, but along the way, I did my best to continue cultivating boredom.

487961141How did I do that? Well, I just let them be. No activities, no outings, no new toys, TV or electronics. And if they said they were bored, they had to clean the bathroom.

Sure enough, I’d peek out the window to find them engrossed in making fairy houses out of twigs, or playing house in the gazebo.

Now, flash-forward almost two decades, and I am watching my girls cultivating their own boredom. Tan and lean, they play backgammon on the porch, and make candles in old seashells. They read, and we have impromptu “book club” where we share our stories and trade books.

Maybe, just maybe, I did a few things right?

I won’t know for sure, though, until some day in the future, when my grandchildren-to-be whine, “I’m borrrrrrred”, and my girls get the look in their eyes that they got from me, right before they hand them a toilet bowl brush.

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Inspiration

Someone Else’s Plan

By | @ | 14 days ago

174551741

divider2Don’t get caught up in living someone else’s life.

Make a plan – a dream board - whatever it takes to solidify what you want out of this life.

Your life!

Sure it’s fine to help someone else achieve their dreams, especially if it pays the bills, but never stop planning in the process. So many people give up on their dreams thinking they’re unlikely, invalid, or undeserved. But I’ve got news for you. People are achieving their dreams daily, and at every age. I was just watching Shark Tank the other night (if you know me, then you know I love that show!) and a woman was selling the investors on an idea for Puppy Cakes.

Puppy Cakes. They’re edible cakes for dogs that won’t harm them. The board didn’t even up investing, but the woman did disclose that she had profited $80,000 since launching the idea.

Come on people! If she can make $80k selling flour for dogs – you can make your dreams happen, too. And maybe it’s not measured monetarily – maybe your dream is to climb Mount Everest. Well then, make a plan, and make time for it. No excuses.

Imagine if everyone lived the life of their dreams…

                 …this world would sure be a beautiful place!

 

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Thumb-sucking, nose-hooking behavior can be a sign of #birthtrauma to the baby. #pregnancy #childbirth #intervention http://t.co/mTeDR3gLWd