Dr. Amber's Health Blog
Summer is coming to an end, and we all know about getting a healthy start back to school! Transitioning from summertime fun to schoolwork and homework can be tough. There are simple steps that you can take to help your kids and their bodies feel a bit more at ease. As you already know, the healthier the body, the easier it is to tackle the stresses and strains of everyday life, and that includes getting back to a school time routine. Two of the most important support systems of the body to focus on are proper sleep and nervous system function.
Switching from late night sleepovers to school year bedtime is one tough battle. Sleep is vital to proper health and one of the best habits you can instill in your kids is making sure they get solid, restful sleep. Though it isn’t always easy, here are some simple tips to create healthy transition to school sleep routines.
Ideally, you will start to have your kids back to their regular bedtime/wakeup time one full week before school starts. If you’re really feeling like a superhero, two weeks is even better. That gives your child’s body plenty of time to adjust. If school has already started for some of you, you can still start the slow process of getting your child back on a bedtime routine. Have them go to bed 15 minutes earlier for three to four days. Then, increase the time by 15 minutes again. For example, if school bedtime is 8:30 pm and summer bedtime is 9:30 pm, two weeks before school starts (starting on a Sunday is easiest), have your kids go to bed at 9:10 pm. After a few days, make bedtime 8:50 pm. The small changes in time will make it easier for your child to adjust and by the time school starts, they will be back on schedule!
To make this process even easier, follow these tips:
· Turn off electronics at least one hour before bedtime. Rather than play on your cell phone, have your kids partake in relaxing activities like reading a book or listening to gentle music.
· Be sure that your kids are getting plenty of exercise. Not only does this help them acquire healthy habits that will benefit them for their entire lives, it also promotes proper sleep cycles and increases levels of fatigue at bedtime.
· Keep your kids hydrated. Every cell in their body requires water and supporting those basic needs will help them achieve restorative sleep. A good rule of thumb is to drink 0.5oz of water for every pound of body weight, so if your child weighs 100lbs, they should be drinking at least 50 oz. of water.
PROPER NERVOUS SYSTEM COMMUNICATION
Most kids are active in the summertime, from summer camp to swimming to just playing tag in the neighborhood. Switching from being very active to more cognitive activities (like using their brain in a greater variety of ways) to different function requirements (more sitting) can be stressful to the body and its communication system.
The nervous system is how the brain communicates with the rest of the body. Whether you are hoping for your child’s body to adjust more easily to sitting for long periods of time in class or for them to use energy efficiently to meet the demands of increased concentration and focus, the body must be communicating optimally. And a healthy spine means just that! Additionally, when the nervous system is communicating properly with the rest of the body, your child’s chances of getting healthier sleep increases. Having your child’s spine adjusted will improve their overall health and movement.
By making small tweaks to your child’s start of school routine, you will help both your child and you get back into the swing of things! Don’t miss out on our Back to School Sports Physical Special for only $25.00 during the entire month of August. This will also include a backpack check and scoliosis screening.
Dr. Amanda Reilly
Participation in sports has been on the rise. Let’s face it in Texas sports are very big. It is estimated that three out of four American families with school ages kiddos have at least one playing in an organized sport! Undoubtedly, it’s amazing that kids are more active out on the court and on the field. Rather than being on an iPad or Xbox, but with kids getting into to competitive sports at younger and younger ages, there comes of course the risk of injury.
Reactive vs. Proactive Care
In the US, we’re often reactive when it comes to healthcare – meaning, we will head to the doctor during ear infections or sprained ankle. At Connect 2 Health Chiropractic, one of our goals is to show people the INCREDIBLE benefits of proactive and preventative healthcare. Which is why we encourage families to begin care before experiencing pain or an injury.
Spot an Injury or Weakness Before it is a Problem
Chiropractic is a great tool for preventing long-term health issues, which is why it is crucial kids are seen throughout the season, not just when an injury has occurred. Or even worse, years later when the pain is unbearable.
Have you noticed when a child falls, he or she will just bounce right back up? Often, it is hard to spot an injury in a child with your naked eye and it can remain unseen for years. Subluxations can be silent in the early stages. It can take years to see or feel damage caused by subluxations, and at that point more serious conditions may have developed, like degeneration or bone spurs. This is a HUGE reason why we encourage patients to bring in their children for regular adjustments.
Pinpointing the Problem
Good Chiropractors can also help to locate the problem before it becomes a long-term issue. During school I had the opportunity to work with college athletes during season and their off season. One patient suddenly began experiencing intense ankle pain. During my time with this patient there were a lot of questions asked, health history was thoroughly reviewed, orthopedic exams, and full spine x-rays were taken. With this process, I uncovered the root of his problem; his pelvis. X-rays indicated his overall alignment was affecting his ankles and even his knees. If this situation was not caught when it was, this patient’s injury could have developed into a long-term problem – potentially taking him away from the sport he loved.
As you gear up for the practices and games, find some time to visit us for a spinal evaluation, to keep you at your fullest potential throughout the season and beyond. Your body is your biggest and best asset!
Dr. Amber R Smith
In the moment of conception two cells become four, become eight, and so on and so forth. In about 280 days a fully functioning human is created with approximately 100 trillion cells. The pregnant woman does not have to organize or tell the body what to do or how to create the cells; the process is done automatically by the innate intelligence of the body. The innate intelligence flows from the Central nervous system which includes the brain, spinal cord and spinal nerves. All the functions in the body from the heart beating, digestive system, lungs and every cell communicates via this system.
How important do you think it is to have the Central nervous system communicating properly?
It is the key to health. The Central nervous system is proven in every scientific research to be the link that makes the body, immune system and circulatory system work effectively.
The next logical question, how do you keep your Central Nervous system communicating properly?
As a Chiropractor I am privileged to have the skills and ability to check the spine for any areas that may have a disconnection between the brain and body. We use specific test to analyze and detect any misalignment's in the spine that could decrease the nervous systems ability to keep the body healthy. We start on a series of adjustment that are gentle and safe, Our job is to put the body in the best position and then allow the body to do what it is designed to do. The body is designed to be self-healing, self-regulating and to heal from the inside.
Many people ask “Do I have to keep coming forever to get adjustments?”
The purpose of the adjustment is to restore and then maintain the integrity of the Central nervous system (brain body connection). The answer is yes most of our patients choose to make Chiropractic care a regular part of their life.
My purpose and mission in life to help every man, woman and child live a healthy and full life through regular Chiropractic adjustments. If you have been thinking about telling someone about us I urge you to do it now. It could change their life.
You never know how far reaching what you think, say or do will affect millions of lives tomorrow.
Dr. Amanda Reilly
Slow Down Your Life
When we come into the new year some of us have our to-do lists that hit the ground, and you’re not alone. It seems that people are only getting busier, but why? We’ve had this surge in technology to make life easier and decrease the amount of time spent on tasks- but do we capitalize on the free time it creates?
The Guilt Trip- Ever feel guilty for sitting back with your feet up? Or curling up on the couch for a midday movie? Tons of people feel guilty for spending time relaxing or doing nothing at all. And we’re guessing this has to do with our GO GO GO culture where laziness is frowned upon – we work hard, pull ourselves up and get things done. We’re here to tell you it’s OK to slow down, in fact, its more than OK – it’s good for you. So go ahead, clear your schedule, cozy up on the couch with a good book, your friends, and family.
The Why- There is a ton of research out there that benefits relaxation – some is a bit more obvious like stress relief, but other reasons may surprise you. Below are just the few benefits; we encourage you to research more on this topic also.
Research has shown relaxation and relaxation techniques can:
· Strengthen your immune system
· Ward off disease
· Lower blood pressure
· Improve the body’s ability to regulate blood glucose
· Lessen severe pain
· Boost your memory
· Lower stroke risk
The How- For many it is hard to unwind, and if you’ve always felt guilty for having some “me time”, it can be really difficult to change the way you think about relaxing. Here are a few ways to get you started:
Rethink downtime. Don’t look at downtime as time wasted or lost, but an investment in yourself. If you’re working yourself into the ground, your work, your health and happiness will suffer.
Give yourself some credit. Instead of looking at what’s always left on your plate at the end of day, review what you have accomplished. Give yourself a high five and wrap it up for the day. You heard me, put the to do list away! It will still be there tomorrow.
Schedule time for nothing. Seriously, set times during the week where you have the freedom to choose what you would like to do – read a book, go for a walk with your family, your options are limitless. Your health and sanity is far more important than a list.
Dr. Amber R Smith
In the corner of the room lays a giant white canvas stretched across what once was a tall oak tree in the forest. This room dimly lit with dust and dirt covering the walls and the floors, turns into so much more with this blank canvas. The paper now stretched across the wood, once a living form of matter now blank and ready to tell a story of a life, of love, of triumph, of heartache and of course success. What does this canvas tell? What does it whisper in the darkness of the night ? What is the significances of this simple and single blank canvas.
When I look into this canvas I see the untapped potential of us all, the unlimited ability that every single person in society possess. We are all this blank canvas. In this magical moment as I blink my eyes the dust disappears from the room and brushes and paint are in front of me. We all have choices in life and in this moment you can choose to paint a new beginning, a new future, a new reality or keep the old. Every single day that we live we choose each brush stroke we make and each stroke leads to the next always in the purposeful order we need it in. The colors and how we choose to live make a difference. We can choose to live brightly and with all the life and love we can. As I stroke on a vibrant orange and yellow flowing lines like the wind and like the sun rays from millions of miles away. Or we can choose to live is dismay and defeat in the dark and sad colors.
The choice is always up to you.
Dr. Amber R Smith D.C.
The brain is the master control system to the entire body. Nothing happens in the body without first firing off in the different parts of the brain. The amazing design of the human body has a spinal cord about the size of a pinky finger that houses all the fibers from the brain and it’s the communication highway to every function in the entire body. This is billions and billions of signals every second of every day. How important do you think it is to have this highway so to speak properly communicating? I’d say it is the most important function of the body.
The simple safety pen analogy shows how if that pathway is disconnected in any way you have mis-alignment, mis-communication, un-natural, mal-function and DIS-EASE. The SUBLUXATION is a misalignment of one of the bones in the spine, the misalignment causes a disconnection. As chiropractors we are highly trained to detect and correct the SUBLUXATION, this allows the body to function at 100% and restores health to the body. After over 10 years in practice I have seen miracles upon miracles working with men, women, children and babies.
If you have not been checked for SUBLUXATIONS NOW is the time, why live life at less than 100% function?!?!?
Dr. Amber Smith
Living in the “NOW” is the single, most important step we can make to improve our present and future lives. We all get wrapped up in our problems, planning and the emotional roller coaster of LIFE. I have noticed that when I am able to focus all my energy on the present moment, my life is so much richer and more vibrant. I’ve found that the key to improving tomorrow starts by living now.
Have you ever been so worried about future events that you can’t even see the joy of your child laughing or feel the connection to your family, friends or spouse? Have you ever been so preoccupied that you completely pass up your exit or feel like you are driving on autopilot? These are signs that you are NOT living in the NOW.
As a mother, wife, chiropractor, and business owner, I am grateful to experience the benefits of living in the now. I’ve learned that the key to a work and home life balance is not based on the amount of time I spend in each part of my life, but rather my ability to be fully present in each part. When I direct my undivided attention to my spouse and daughter, they feel the connection and life is beautiful.
The same holds true in the workplace. When I am serving my patients in the office, I am focused 100% on the one patient I have in front of me. No matter how busy our office is, each patient gets my full attention when I am working with them.
I was introduced to the concept of living a fulfilled life by living in the now when I read the inspiring book, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. By learning the tools of being fully present to the moment I am in, I am able to balance all aspects of my life. This book changed my life for the better and I truly believe everyone can benefit from this practice.
Here are two of the key practices that helped me from the book:
Try today to focus on all the good that you have in your life.
Live an attitude of gratitude every morning when you wake up. The more you shift your focus to the beauty and blessing around you the more the beauty will be shifted into your life.