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.

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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?

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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!

Water Fasting And The Many Benefits

So this weekend my sister and I completed a three-day water fast. I know, we party hard on the weekends. In December I completed a seven-day water fast so I knew what was up ahead. My sister was so funny trying to complete the three days.

Fasting is mentioned in the bible over 70 times! Jesus and Moses fasted for 40 days and we were struggling with three. Tiffany is convinced it was not a true 40 days because she was starving from day one.

There are many types of fasting. Some include food restrictions, intermittent fasting, and water only fast, etc.

There are so many benefits to fasting. Fasting can clear toxins, relieve anxiety, help reduce sugar cravings, increases energy, reduces inflammation, and helps promote digestion. When your fasting your body induces a cellular repair process and removes waste from the body. Because you enter a fat burning process your insulin levels are reduced (1).

Your body is made up of 60-70% water. Your cells, organs, and lymphatic system need water to function properly. By completing a water fast your lymphatic system can remove toxins from the body.

Some research has shown that intermittent fasting, when completed by cancer patients, reduced the side effects of chemotherapy (2).

When you start fasting your body switches over from burning sugar as its source of energy to burning fat. Here’s what Dr. Fung has to say about how many days you can fast:

What’s interesting is that if you take a pound of fat, that’s roughly 3,500 calories. If you eat somewhere around 1,800 to 2,000 calories a day, it takes two full days of fasting to burn a single pound of fat, which is very surprising to people. If you’re trying to lose 100 pounds, you could theoretically go 200 days of fasting just to burn all that fat … People worry about fasting for 24 hours. I’m like, ‘You could go 200 days.’ Then it’s like, ‘OK. Maybe it’s OK to go 24 hours without eating.'”

Other common obstacles people face when deciding to fast is what about starvation mode? Here is a question that gets asked a lot, “If I fast and enter starvation mode won’t my body start holding onto fat instead of burning it off?” Here is Dr. Fung’s answer,

“What they’re talking about is where the body’s metabolism starts to slow down so significantly that instead of burning 2,000 calories a day, your body might burn 1,000 calories a day. In that case, even if you’re eating only 1,500 calories a day, for example, you’re going to gain your weight back. That’s actually what happens when you reduce your calories. We know that … as you cut your calorie intake, your calorie expenditure goes down as well.

Starvation mode actually is guaranteed if you just try and cut your calories. But what’s interesting is that fasting doesn’t do that. What happens during fasting is that … after four days of fasting, the basal metabolic rate is actually 10 percent higher than when you started. The body has not shut down at all. In fact, what it’s done is it switched fuel sources. It switched from burning food to burning [body] fat. Once it’s burning [body] fat, it’s like, ‘Hey, there’s plenty of this stuff. Let’s burn our 2,000 calories’…”

Hence the increase in energy when fasting. If you start to detox then you can feel kinda drained for a few days. After that, you should feel a drastic increase in energy levels.

While fasting can benefit almost everyone, there are some people who should not do extended fasts:

  • Underweight, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 or less.
  • Malnourished (in which case you need to eat healthier, more nutritious food).
  • Children should not fast for longer than 24 hours, as they need nutrients for continued growth. If your child needs to lose weight, a far safer and more appropriate approach is to cut out refined sugars and grains. Fasting is risky for children as it cuts out ALL nutrients, including those they need a steady supply of.
  • Pregnant and/or breastfeeding women. The mother needs a steady supply of nutrients in order to assure the baby’s healthy growth and development, so fasting during pregnancy or while breastfeeding is simply too risky for the child (3).

Dr. Fung has a book The Complete Guide to Fasting which is great if you would like to learn more. This is also a great and true quote from Dr. Fung,

“The most important message, I suppose, is that health is really yours to take back, to take back from all the drug pushers and the people who just want you to take medications and who tell you that you can’t do it and you’ll always have type 2 diabetes,” Fung says.

“The solutions are all there. It’s all within your grasp. It just requires the right knowledge … As physicians, the 19th to 20th century is all about drugs because we had a lot of infections. That was a great model. You take those antibiotics, you get better.

But now as we go onto the 21st century, it’s all metabolic diseases. They’re all dietary diseases. The problem is we’re trying to use drugs for dietary diseases. Then we wonder why our drugs are no good. It’s because the premise is entirely wrong. It’s like bringing a snorkel to a bicycle race. It’s just the wrong thing. We’ve got to move on.”

Everyone has their reasons for completing a fast. For me, I’ve been struggling with Eczema for two years. I had it under control and it has recently flared up. I am going to start an herbal supplement regimen that kills fungus. So I started with a three-day water fast. I added lemons and lemon essential oils to my water as lemon is great to help detox. The first day or two is the worse and you really do feel hungry. After that, it is amazing how you do not really feel hungry anymore. As I start the herbal supplements I will keep ya’ll posted on how it goes.

Since completing our water fast we are now doing vegetables only this week. Last night we had an amazing salad with Tessemae’s Organic Avocado Ranch Dressing and butternut squash zoodles with peppers, onions, and zucchini on top. This tasted like heaven in the mouth! Fasting makes you appreciate healthy food so much more! Everything will taste delicious!

If you have not tried Tessemae’s dressings you so should! It is dairy-free, gluten-free, cage-free eggs, and sugar-free dressing.

As fun as water fasts are, I’m going to enjoy my vegetables this week! I want to know have you tried a fast before? What kind of fast? How did it go and how did you feel afterwards?

This is the fast that I have chosen … to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke. Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth.” – Isaiah 58:6

Summer Wellness- UnMazed Magazine

It is always wonderful to be a contributor for amazing causes. This UnMazed Magazine is a wonderful resource for teens and their parents. There is information available from study tips, academic planning, high school programs, extracurrulars, and academics to supports your students success. There is some amazing content so be sure to take a look!

My article is featured on page 36

 

Nerve Function and Peripheral Neuropathy

I heard a great podcast by Ben Greenfield this week and someone asked a question about supplementation for nerve function. There are many conditions affecting nerve function and one that we treat in our office is Peripheral Neuropathy.

Peripheral Neuropathy is a condition characterized by extremity pain, numbness, burning pain, and weakness, usually of the hands, arms, legs, and/or feet. Peripheral Neuropathy refers to a condition that results when there is damage to the Peripheral Nervous System, the network of nerves outside the spinal cord. Symptoms can include numbness or tingling, pricking sensations, muscle weakness, paralysis, extreme sensitivity to touch, burning pain (especially at night), and in extreme cases organ or gland dysfunction. Peripheral Neuropathy can be acute (symptoms occur suddenly, progress rapidly, and resolve slowly) or chronic (symptoms are slight, progress slowly, may take months or years to resolve, and can be recurrent and worsening over time.)

There are many causes of Peripheral Neuropathy including physical injury or sudden trauma, diseases or disorders, exposure to toxins in medications, hazardous environmental and industrial materials, and heavy alcohol consumption. Diabetes, Chemotherapy Treatment, Spinal Stenosis, and Spinal Disc Degeneration are all common underlying conditions of Peripheral Neuropathy.

We treat Peripheral Neuropathy in our office with K-Laser. K-Laser treatment has seen a 90% improvement in symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy which is huge! K-laser is a class IV laser and a 30-minute treatment with a class IV laser is equivalent to 12 hours of continuous treatment with a class III laser. Below are some awesome studies on Peripheral Neuropathy and treatment with the K-laser

  • (K-Laser) patients experienced significant reduction in modified total neuropathy scores at all time points. There were no observed complications among patient treated with (K-Laser). (K-Laser) may improve neuropathy symptoms through a number of plausible mechanisms including prevention of neural apoptosis and enhancement of neurite outgrowth. Among patients with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, (K-Laser) produced a significant reduction in neuropathy symptoms. Click here for full study.
  • Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is one of the most common types of peripheral neuropathy. It is considered to be progressive and irreversible. However, treatment with K-Laser has shown that may not be true. In this 4-week study patients treated with the laser had a significant increase in nerve conduction. Microcirculation (skin blood perfusion) was increased by 35.8% at the heel, big toe, and little toes. Patients reported a 26.4% decrease in pain levels. The results showed motor, sensory, and circulation improvements in just 4 weeks of treatment with the laser. Click here for full study.
  • Laser is showing promising results to treat pain in the extremities. The laser produces an anti-inflammatory effect and increases microcirculation resulting in increased healing. The increased microcirculation induces tissue repair processes and helps reduce pain. This allows increased oxygen and nutrition to the damaged area. Click here for full study.

There are supplements that you can take to help assist with nerve function and healing.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine is involved in lipid transport (important for mitochondrial function). Acetyl-L-Carnitine is neuroprotective in the central nervous system and has been shown to increase peripheral nerve regeneration. Clinically it has been shown to help with diabetic neuropathy and chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy(1).

R-Lipoic Acid which is the most active form of alpha-lipoic acid. Alpha-lipoic acid seems to delay or reverse peripheral neuropathy through its antioxidant properties. It can increase glutathione which is an endogenous antioxidant. Alpha-lipoic acid has been shown to improve motor-nerve conduction velocity and also to protect peripheral nerves from ischemia in rats.  Patients treated with 600mg of alpha-lipoic acid had reduced pain, numbness, and hypersensitivity(2). 

Co-Q10 is great for a lot of condition. A study completed on rats showed treatment with Co-Q10 prevented nerve impairment, improved sensory symptoms. Co-Q10 has sown to improve endothelial function and blood flow so it improves oxygen to the peripheral nerves. Another study showed significant improvements in diabetics with peripheral neuropathies in patients with type two diabetes(3).

B-Complex which I personally love for many things including energy! One study found that higher doses of vitamin B complex resulted in significant short-term pain reduced and decreased hypersensitivity (4).

Boosting Your Immune System

According to the CDC this seasons influenza activity has been increased than in years past. There are steps you can take to boost your immune system and defend yourself against infections including the flu. Research is showing that optimizing your vitamin D levels may be far more effective in protecting against the flu than the flu shot.

Dr. John Cannell, introduced the idea that vitamin D deficiency may actually be the reason for someone contracting the flu. One study showed that in individuals who had significant vitamin D deficiency and began taking a vitamin D supplement they reduced their risk of respiratory infections such as the flu by 50%! Individuals who already had high vitamin D levels still reduced their risk of the flu by 10%.

There are blood tests that can be ordered to see where your vitamin D levels are.

Vitamin C  and Zinc are also important in boosting your immune system. There are also some great essential oils that help combat cold symptoms. Oregano and Frankincense are great to keep on hand!

This article is a great read! I encourage everyone to take some time to read through it. Educating yourself is so important to protect yourself and your family. Doctors are wonderful, educated individuals but they are also human. Research information for yourself in order to make a decision.

https://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/1281.cfm

Whipped Body Butter!

I recently starting making my own body butter and it has done wonders for my skin! I’m all for using more natural ingredients but only if it doesn’t require a long list and all day to make. When I started looking at all the additives in common lotions it made me think twice about applying it to my skin. Luckily this body butter does not require a long list of ingredients, it is not time-consuming, and it is healthy for your skin! You can use this base recipe and substitute any essential oil you would like!

What you will need:

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup raw shea butter
  • 1/8 cup jojoba oil
  • 20-30 drops essential oils, I mixed geranium, frankincense, and lavender

Jojoba oil has many benefits for healthy skin. It is rich in vitamin B and E. Jojoba oil along with coconut oil and shea butter are great moisturizers. Frankincense contains Boswellia that is an anti-inflammatory compound. Lavender is very calming and helps reduce stress. Geranium is great at helping relieve skin irritation and can also tone! You can switch these oils out to create a different scent in the lotion.

You will add your coconut oil, shea butter, and jojoba oil into a glass container and place inside a pot filled with water. Heat until mixture melts. Now place into the refrigerator until solid (usually 1-2 hours). Remove from refrigerator, add essential oils, and use a mixer to blend all ingredients together. Now enjoy and feel the difference in your skin!

 

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