Why Hydration Is Important

I’m sure some of my practice members think I’m obsessed with their hydration status but there is a reason why! About two-thirds of your body is water! According to the Journal of Biological Chemistry the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, lungs 83%, skin 64%, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and bones come in at 31% water! Think it’s important yet?

Here’s some essential functions of water in your body:

  • Water is the building material of your cells.
  • Regulates body temperature by sweating and respiration
  • Assists in elimination of toxins and waste products through urination and bowel movements
  • Acts as a shock absorber
  • Forms saliva and digestive enzymes
  • Helps muscles contract
  • Makes up part of our blood that carries oxygen throughout our body
  • Lubricates joints

One study conducted by Harvard found that more than half of American children are dehydrated. One quarter of children in the US do not drink water on a daily basis.

When you have lost between one to two percent of your total water content your body will signal and you will feel thirsty. By this time it is likely that you are already in the early stages of dehydration.

Common symptoms are dehydration include:

  • Headache
  • Foggy brain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Back and joint ache
  • Dry skin
  • Constipation
  • Sugar cravings

A good goal is to drink half your body weight in ounces per day. So if you weigh 150lbs you should aim to drink approximately 75oz of water. This will vary based on activity level, heat, perspiration. So drink up!

Reaching For Your Goals!

The New Year tends to bring out the best hopes in us. Many of us make Resolutions to become healthy, exercise more, eat right, reduce sugar intake, quit smoking, meditate more, reduce stress, enjoy life more, etc! We start out strong but may fall off or fall short. Forbes published only 8% of individuals typically keep their New Year’s resolutions. Here are some tips to help you stick to those goals and have an AWESOME 2019!

Dream BIG! write down your goals and do not limit yourself! Do not feel overwhelmed by how big your goals are, just WRITE. Research shows if you tell someone your goals or write them down, you are more likely to achieve it. Find a friend who will be your accountability partner and help you stay on track to achieve your goals!

Even though your goals are MASSIVE just breath and remember you have to start somewhere. Imagine what your life will be like at the end of the year if you stick to these goals! Small steps lead to achieving those MASSIVE goals!

Use positive reinforcement. Love yourself and know that you are trying to do better for yourself. Let those self-sabotaging thoughts go! Replace them with positive, intentional reinforcing thoughts. You ARE good enough. You CAN do it! If those negative thoughts creep in, it is okay, just let them go and say a positive mantra instead.

Research shows we are less likely to stick to our goals when we are stressed or overwhelmed. There’s a great breathing exercise I’ll have to post about that calms the nervous system down, do some yoga, or go for a walk on the beach. I love John 14:27 “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” So give it to GOD and rest in his peace!

Whatever your New Year’s Resolution is just know you are already AMAZING. God made you after his own image, so you have to be amazing right?!?! If I can help in anyway with your health, wellness, and fitness goals this year please let me know!

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain in many individuals. There is usually severe pain with the first few steps taken in the morning.  It can resolve on its own, however, the faster you start treatment the quicker it can resolve. Generally, it will resolve within six to eighteen months (1).  The good news is that 90% of individuals recover with non-surgical treatments. There are treatment options available to help heal faster!

Plantar fasciitis is a collagen degeneration of the plantar fascia. Repetitive microtears in the plantar fascia cause the degeneration. The plantar fascia runs along the bottom of your foot. This fascia provides support for the arch in your foot and shock absorption. Individuals with flat feet, fallen arches, and even high arches are at increased risk for developing plantar fasciitis. Since the feet are the base of the bodies support, plantar fasciitis can lead to an altered gait pattern and places the rest of the body in misalignment. This altered gait can affect the hips, pelvis, back, and neck. Other risk factors include tight/weak calf muscles, Achilles tendon, and intrinsic foot muscles.

In athletes, plantar fasciitis is generally caused by overuse. The constant, repetitive microtrauma exceeds the body’s ability to heal. It can also result in an increase in weight-bearing activities or structural insufficiencies as mentioned above.

Treatment

There are treatment options available. Getting adjusted is very important. Chiropractors can evaluate your posture/gait and give corrective exercises to help rehab the weak areas. By getting adjustments you are correcting the biomechanical risk factors and decreasing the stress on the feet. Successful treatments must focus not only on pain relief, but must also address the underlying causes such as: muscular imbalances; biomechanical deficiencies; improper sporting techniques; and improper conditioning, to name a few.

Orthotics are also important. By supporting the arches in the foot orthotics will place the foot in an anatomically correct position, relaxing the stress on the plantar fascia and calf muscles. I personally wear and recommend Foot-levelers. This type of orthotic uses a 3D scanner and makes a custom orthotic based on your scan. They make a moveable orthotic that builds up the arch support where you need it. I wear mine every day and they are life changing!

K-laser therapy is a non-drug, non-invasive option for healing. A study in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery demonstrated promising results using laser therapy. Patients with chronic plantar fasciitis were split into two groups. One group was treated with low-level 635 nm lasers and the other patients received placebo treatments. Patients received treatments twice a week over a three-week period. At the final follow-up visit, the laser patients demonstrated a mean improvement in heel pain with a Visual Analog Scale score of 29.6 in comparison with a mean improvement of 5.4 in the placebo patients (2). In addition to being non-invasive, low-level laser therapy is a form of regenerative medicine as the modality’s mitochondrial stimulation initiates a low-grade inflammatory cascade of events that can stimulate revascularization of the thickened fascial tissue, according to study co-author Kerry Zang, DPM, FACFAS.

Supplements

Supplements can also be added to help facilitate healing. Magnesium has a lot of beneficial use in the body including: the production of glutathione (an antioxidant); improving nerve function; relaxing tight muscles; and decreasing anxiety. Soaking in a warm Epsom salt bath is a great way to get magnesium to relieve pain and inflammation.

Proteolytic enzymes help decrease inflammation and swelling. Proteolytic enzymes actually reduce healing times by blocking metabolites that cause swelling. For many individuals reducing inflammation helps reduce the pain they feel from plantar fasciitis.

Colostrum comes from the breast of humans and other mammals after giving birth, before true milk appears. Colostrum contains proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, growth hormone, and specific proteins that can fight diseases such as bacteria and viruses. Athletes use bovine colostrum to improve athletic performance. Medically it is used to boost the immune system, heal injuries, repair nervous system damage, improve mood, slowing/reversing aging, kill bacteria, and fungus. The source of colostrum is important! The colostrum needs to come from organic cows on organic farms, eat natural grass, and never receive any antibiotics.

Stretch/Strengthen

Stretching/Strengthening the muscles in your legs (calf and Achilles tendon) and intrinsic foot muscles are very important! Even with treatment, you can perform stretching/strengthening exercises at home to help with healing. After stretching, one thing I like to do is massage the plantar fascia with essential oils such as lavender or peppermint.

 

Increase Your Vitality And Add Years To Your Life!

 

 

Posture can be related to chronic pain, chronic disease, make you look, and feel old.

The Journal of American Geriatric Society published a study that found, “Older men and woman with a hyperkyphotic posture have higher mortality rates.” So what does this mean? Having bad posture increases your risk of death by almost 1.5 times. This research found that the increased death rate was due to atherosclerosis.

Bad-Posture-and-Death

Poor posture leads to extra wear and tear on your joints and ligaments, tension headaches, breathing issues, chronic low back, shoulder, neck, and/or wrist pain.

So what leads to poor posture? Well, you use 640 muscles to balance! If you have a weakness or imbalance it may affect your posture. If you have ever injured yourself and did not properly rehab this could lead to an altered gait pattern. Essentially that old injury could be affecting your posture today!

Do you have “text neck?” or “tech neck?” This type of posture affects many many individuals. We are such a technology-driven society that it is creating poor posture habits.

BlogBody_ART_2

This picture is a great visual to show how heavy your head becomes when you increase the angle. Do you see why you might have neck pain now?

BlogBody_ART_1

For every inch forward your head moves it increases the weight of your head by 10 pounds! It is important to be mindful of how our posture is when using our phones, tablets, and even computers. This can help prevent future problems/pain!

What happens to our muscles if we do not take breaks to stretch/strengthen our posture?

upper cross

This picture shows which muscles become weak and which muscles tighten. This imbalance creates joint dysfunction at the base of the skull, down the neck, into the upper back, and shoulders. “Tech Neck” causes imbalances that affect your entire musculoskeletal system.

According to the CDC low back pain was the most common pain complaint reported by patients in 2010. In the US 6 million people are dealing with chronic back pain. Opioids have been shown to only be effective for 2 weeks when treating low back pain. 89% of Primary Care Physicians consider biomechanical risk factors like posture to be the single most important short-term trigger for sudden onset of low back pain, AKA your posture!

Sitting for more than 12 hours a day puts you at greater risk for diabetes, heart disease, life-threatening falls, respiratory problems, and cardiopulmonary problems.

Here are three exercises you can implement to start strengthening your posture.

  1. Stork- 1 minute a day can help with strength and postural balance
  2. Ball circles- this is great to strengthen your core! You want to make sure your upper body and knees remain still. Only move your pelvis in small circles
  3. Bruegger’s- this one can be performed sitting, standing, with or without a theraband. Hold for 3 seconds, come back to starting and repeat for 2 minutes.

It is important to move/stretch every hour! Studies have shown that sitting motionless reduces blood flow to the legs, increases the risk for atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaques in the arteries). Standing up and walking around for five minutes every hour during the workday could lift your mood, combat lethargy without reducing focus and attention. Frequent brief walking breaks are more effective than a single long walk before work. Sitting for more than eight hours places you at a greater risk factor for diabetes, depress, and obesity.

Your goal should be to get up and move every 30 minutes for at least 5 minutes. Set a timer to remind you throughout your day. You can stretch, strengthen, walk, or complete a 4-minute nitric oxide dump! The nitric oxide dump was created by Dr. Zach Bush. Nitric oxide dilates the blood vessels, reduces blood pressure, improves immune function, decreases the viscosity of blood (stickiness and platelet aggregation), increases lean muscle mass and it only takes 4 minutes. You try to complete it 2-3 times a day. Click Here to learn how to perform the Nitric Oxide Dump!

Getting adjusted is an important factor in strengthening your posture. Adjustments help reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, enhance pulmonary function, decrease mental and oxidative stress, relieves muscle tension, and can naturally increase energy levels. We can also evaluate your posture and give specific rehab exercises tailored to you.

Losing 1 inch in height makes you 1.45 times more at risk of dying. Regular chiropractic visits and strengthening your posture, especially the core and the muscles along the spine can help prevent a loss in height.

I like to think about posture like a savings account. Most people would agree that having a savings account is a great investment in your future. If we all had the money we would deposit into that account daily. Your posture is a savings account. You can deposit a little bit into it each day and live a vibrant life, healthy life! Invest in your posture each day and maybe when you are 98 you will be skiing like this man!

 

Fasting! Is it dangerous? Will you lose muscle? Will you go into starvation?

Continuing with the previous post on fasting we are going to dive a little deeper. I also completed a Facebook live video covering this information so if you missed it be sure to check it out https://www.facebook.com/DrSandraBuffkin/videos/1882594955373607/ 

Two weeks ago my sister and I completed a 3-day water fast. The longest fast I’ve completed is 7-days and that was back in December. I knew fasting had many health benefits and was very scriptural. Jesus and Moses fasted for 40 days. After my fast when I was researching more about the health benefits I came across Dr. Jason Fung and his book The Complete Guide To Fasting. I wanted this book. While I was sharing the information with the other doctors at work one actually had his book! So that has been my reading this week and his book is awesome! I highly highly recommend everyone should read it!

Dr. Fung is a nephrologist who has treated many diabetic patients. In all his years of formal medical training, he reports only having 4 hours of lectures on nutrition. So when he started learning about nutrition he was starting from ground zero. The Atkins diet was popular then and he thought, like most physicians, that everyone on Atkins would clog up their arteries and eventually pay the price. However, when research started coming out in prestigious medical journals that Randomized control trials were all showing the same results; the low-carb diet was significantly better for weight loss than the low-fat diet. It also showed that important risk factors for cardiovascular disease- including cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure were also improving. This is where Dr. Fung started looking into diet and now has a clinic that focuses on nutrition and fasting with obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes.

A constant increase in insulin can cause insulin resistance. It is just like alcohol, the more you drink the more you increase your tolerance and need more. Excessive insulin causes weight gain leading to obesity. How can we address this problem naturally? Through diet and fasting! A diet lower in carbohydrates, specifically refined carbohydrates, helps reduce insulin levels.

Jimmy Moore is featured in this book. Jimmy weighed 410lbs and has lost 180lbs. He has come off his prescription medication for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and respiratory problems by addressing his diet and fasting. He is hilarious in this book as he describes his success and failures with fasting. He eventually completed a 17-day fast and his total cholesterol dropped 100 points! His risk factor to developing cardiovascular disease went from being extremely high to normal.

Jimmy later completed a one month fast. This time he had a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry or DXA scan completed before so he could monitor if he lost any muscle mass during this fast. At the end of the fast, he had another DXA scan that showed he lost 10 lbs of body fat and 10 lbs of lean tissue. Dr. Fung believes the lean tissue lost was not muscle but rather fat around the organs, so a really good thing! He actually gained muscles in his arms and legs.

So what happens when we eat? The short version is that the increase in energy (food) triggers insulin, so we get an increase in insulin levels. Insulin has two functions

  1. Allows the body to immediately start using food as energy
  2. Helps store excess energy
    1. Excess energy is first stored in the liver as glycogen
    2. Once glycogen stores are full then it will store as fat

When we fast insulin decreases. This signals the body to burn stored energy. Glycogen stored in the liver will be broke down first. This will give energy for approximately 24 hours. Then the body starts breaking down stored body fat for energy.

During days 2-3 of a fast, you are in ketosis. This means instead of using glucose (sugar) as a fuel source you are now using fat for energy-producing ketones.

A 4-day fast actually increases resting energy expenditure by 12%, meaning it increases your metabolism.

During day 5 growth hormone increases. Growth hormone helps maintain muscle mass and lean tissue.

Research shows that while fasting electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, all remain stable.

Why is an increase in Growth Hormone a big deal?

Growth hormone is made by the pituitary gland. It helps in the normal development of children and adolescence. Growth hormone starts to decline after puberty. A decrease in growth hormone leads to an increase in body fat, a decrease in muscle mass, and a decrease in bone density (osteopenia). Growth hormone also has major anti-aging benefits!

So why can you not just take growth hormone instead of fasting? Exogenous growth hormone (meaning your body doesn’t make it) has actually shown to increase blood sugar levels, increase blood pressure, and possibly lead to an increase in heart problems. So fasting to reap the benefits is a much safer way to increase growth hormone levels naturally.

When we continuously eat, growth hormone gets suppressed. So eating three meals a day means you produce almost no growth hormone. Overeating suppresses growth hormone production by 80%.

By fasting for 5-days growth hormone more than doubles! Researchers found that a 40-day fast had a 1,250% increase in growth hormone. This is great for everyone but particularly beneficial for athletes. This increase in growth hormone will help them maintain lean muscle mass and improve recovery time from intense workouts.

Dr. Seyfried recommends completing a 7-10 day water fast annually as a tool to prevent cancer.

There are no side effects to fasting but so many benefits including; decreased glucose levels, decreased blood pressure, decreased the risk of cancer, anti-aging benefits, decrease in inflammation. Fasting does not make you tired it actually has the opposite effect and gives a boost of energy. Fasting does not burn muscle but it does burn fat!

It is important to maintain a balanced nutritionally rich diet after fasting. Fasting is awesome and I think everyone should incorporate it into their health regimen but you have to continue after the fast with a healthy diet. What does that mean?

  • Avoid processed foods (isle of the grocery store)
  • Avoid sugar (isle of the grocery store)
  • Avoid refined grains  (isle of the grocery store— are you starting to see a pattern?)
  • Add natural fats
  • Balance feeding with fasting.

I’ve been intermittent fasting for over a year now. I try to stop eating around 7pm each night. In the mornings I have my bulletproof coffee and don’t eat until lunch sometime between 1-3pm. This gives my digestive tract a break from constantly digesting food and the benefits of intermittent fasting. The last fast I completed I had lemon water all day, 1 cup of green tea, and bone broth when I felt hungry. I generally add a kombucha in there however, I went without it this time. There is no wrong way to fast. I challenge you to complete a fast. If you have tried a fast before let me know how it went for you!

Chicken Pot Pie- Grain Free

Boy oh boy do I have ya’ll a comfort food recipe! I tried this recipe out this weekend and I have to say it is probably my favorite one that I’ve tried in a while! You get amazing vegetables which you can change up with all the comfort food taste! What is even better is it makes a great meal prepping option and taste even better the next day!

Here’s what you’ll need;

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil or
  • onion, minced
  • yellow squash, thinly sliced
  • 16 asparagus spears, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup kale
  • cups bone broth
  • ¼ cup coconut milk (can)
  • Tbsp arrowroot powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, cubed
  • Tbsp parsley

For the Topping;

  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • eggs
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup coconut milk (can)
  • tsp apple cider vinegar
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, yellow squash, kale, and asparagus. Sauté until tender. Add 2 cups chicken broth and coconut milk.
  2. In a small bowl, add arrowroot powder, a tablespoon of cold water and mix. Add to vegetable skillet, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. If your mixture becomes too thick, add a bit more bone broth, stirring until you reach desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in cooked chicken and parsley. Pour pot pie filling into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish, set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. In a large bowl, add coconut flour, baking soda, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. In a medium bowl, add eggs, coconut oil, coconut milk, apple cider vinegar and 2 teaspoons of water, then whisk until frothy. Pour liquid ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients, and stir to combine.
  5. Spoon topping batter over pot pie filling in equal portions. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until topping is golden and a little crusty.

You’re done! Enjoy! I want to know what you think when you try it!

What is Chiropractic?

So many have heard Chiropractors are great at “cracking your back” but chiropractic is about so much more. Yes, adjustments can help with back and neck pain but it can also help with so much more. Chiropractic Physicians spend three plus years learning anatomy, physiology, nutrition, biochemistry and more. So in addition to helping with chronic pain, we can also address nutritional concerns, supplementation, and help with many chronic diseases.

When you have a vertebral subluxation (misalignment in your spine) this causes interference with your central nervous system. The nervous system is our bodies control system. It helps us adapt to physical, chemical, and emotional stressors. A vertebral subluxation can compromise the nervous system interfering with its ability to regulate, coordinate, and heal. This can lead to physical pain, emotional instability, digestive problems, decreased immune system, or interfere with overall well being. Only 10% of the nerves in the body actually sense pain. This leaves 90% that do not. So instead of chasing symptoms we focus on the relationship between the spine and nervous system, restore normal function and allow you to live well and heal.

Chiropractic can help improve breathing, digestion, headaches, sciatica, disc issues, scoliosis, organ function, and so much more! This chart demonstrates how much influence your nerves have on the entire body!j

Chiropractic is very safe. Chiropractors have gone through extensive training and examinations to ensure safety. Chiropractic Physicians are required to pass four national board examinations in addition to state licensing exams. According to The National Institute of Health, “A 2007 study of treatment outcomes for 19,722 chiropractic patients in the United Kingdom concluded that minor side effects (such as temporary soreness similar to that which can be experienced after a workout) after cervical spine manipulation were relatively common, but that the risk of a serious adverse event was ‘low to very low’ immediately or up to 7 days after treatment.” Another study found that, “There was no evidence that visiting a Chiropractor put people at greater risk than visiting a primary care physician” (1).

Chiropractic care is one of the best ways to prevent problems in the future so be sure to see your Chiropractor regularly! If you are in need of a Chiropractor please give me a call 321-444-6750. How has Chiropractic helped you and your family???

DSC_0170 copy copy