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Raising Healthy Families

Whether you are a parent, a grandparent, a future parent or a child, there are some simple guidelines you can follow to increase your chances of having the healthiest life possible. By applying some simple common sense ideas, you’ll improve your quality of life and probably extend your life while you’re doing it.

 Starting in the Sixties and for over thirty years, a study was conducted in California called the Alameda County Study, which identified seven habits people who lived long healthy lives tended to develop. They observed seven key indicators for longevity and quality of life by following Alameda County residents 60-94 years of age and recording trends among those with optimal results. They are obvious once you see them – they are easy to adopt into your life, and will more likely than not reduce the amount of time and money you have to spend on doctors over your lifetime and your family’s lifetime.

 As you have probably already guessed, these seven lifestyle choices are nothing extreme – rather they are normal daily habits which many of you already do or sometimes do. You’ll be amazed to discover how making a few changes can improve your chances of a long healthy life. And if you share these distinctions with your family, you can approach these lifestyle choices together and share in the benefits.

The Alameda Seven

1) Sleep seven or eight hours each night. The importance of sleep cannot be overemphasized. Rest and rejuvenation are critical components of a healthy metabolism, and sleeping long enough and restfully enough give your body the healing and regeneration time it needs to perform as you wish during the day. Allow sufficient time to sleep.

 Also check your sleep equipment – is your mattress comfortable, is it the right size and shape for your needs, does it support you the way you need when you are sleeping? You’ll spend between a quarter and a third of your life in your bed – make sure you have invested in the best sleep gear available. And you should be able to sleep comfortably on your pillow, not too low and not too high.

Finally, you’re better off sleeping face up or on your side, not face down, since sleeping on your stomach keeps your neck turned all night, which can lead to misalignment and pain. Get into the habit of sleeping in healthy positions.

 2) Eat breakfast. Beginning your day with a healthful, nutritious meal kick-starts your machinery and replenishes your energy storage after your night’s fast – that where the word “breakfast” comes from, breaking your fast after sleeping. Coffee and a donut are not the kind of fuel you may choose to put into your finely tuned physiology – pick breakfast foods that have less sugar and artificial ingredients, and more balanced whole foods in moderate quantities. Some people do well with fruit, some with cereals, some with eggs, but select foods in combinations that your body
processes well.

 And drink water – your body needs it after having none for seven or eight hours. Don’t make the assumption that coffee and juice are as good as water — your body treats them more like food. Drink water, and your body will thank you for it.

 3) Exercise. Scientists have an assortment of theories on exercise, many of which have merit, but the simplest exercise is just deciding to move around more as part of your lifestyle. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park on the other side of the parking lot and walk a hundred yards to your office. Walk around the block before or after dinner. Use part of your lunch hour to ride a bicycle, stretch, or do some yoga.

Some exercise experts recommend short bursts of high intensity exercise, while others say that working physical movement and activity into your daily routines is better – in fact, why not do both, and you’ll be astounded how quickly your body gets stronger, more flexible and less cranky.

4) Maintain a desirable weight for your height. There is obviously a wide range of acceptability for this, but the product of sleeping enough, eating well and exercising, the first three habits mentioned, should get you into the ball park.

 A word to the wise — don’t try to be something you’re not. Some people have slimmer body types, others have thicker body types, and regardless of your natural gifts, you have to aim at the right proportions for someone of your particular body type. Be reasonable, and if you need feedback you can easily consult height and weight charts to get an idea if you are within the desired boundaries.

 5) No smoking. If you’ve never smoked, even better. Most research shows that your body starts to repair itself once you stop smoking, and depending on the amount of damage, you’ll come all the way or part of the way back to optimal. At the very least, notice the relationship between serious chronic illness and smoking, and do everything possible to reduce or eliminate smoking in your life and your family’s life.

 Smoking is a major contributing factor to the majority of the preventable disease our society is burdened by, so it cannot be overemphasized to quit or avoid smoking and campaign for others you care about to do the same.

 6) Drink less than five drinks at one sitting. Alcohol is a matter of personal taste and conviction, but there is a correlation between health problems and excessive drinking. Where is the line for you? No one really knows for sure, but this study demonstrated that those who drank fewer than five drinks at a sitting were measurably healthier than those who drank five drinks at a sitting or more.

 Give or take the right amount for any particular person, observing moderation with alcohol is consistent with good health, quality of life and longevity.

 7) Avoid snacks. Sugary bursts confound and irritate your body’s regulatory mechanisms, and daily coffee, soda pop, and donuts are both a poor start to a day’s nutrition and a lousy snack along the way. It pumps the body’s energy systems, and exhausts your resources, making you crash and crave more sugar. And diet sodas have recently been linked to heart attacks and stroke, so they aren’t much better for you.

 Some diet and nutrition experts believe that several smaller meals are easier on your body, while others subscribe to the more traditional three squares – but snacking on empty calories or non-nutritious foods seems to lead to worse health and shorter life.

 There are other positive habits you can adopt to make your health and wellness even better. You can take appropriate nutritional supplements in addition to your clean, wholesome, balanced diet. You can meditate, get massage or do yoga to relieve stress. And you and your family can enjoy the miraculous healing benefits chiropractic is famous for with periodic chiropractic examinations and adjustments when necessary.

You only get one body – take good care of it and it will take good care of you. Good health is not an accident – it’s the product of good luck and good lifestyle decisions. You may not be able to control your luck, but you can improve your chances with good lifestyle decisions, so keep moving toward your ideal, and you and your family will have the best likelihood of good health.

Positive Attitude, The Secret Weapon for Better Health

It’s easy to see how being happy, upbeat and optimistic can make you fun to be around and a good friend, but did you know that a positive attitude can actually help you to be healthier?

In a recent article published by the Mayo Clinic, a clear relationship is drawn between positive mental attitude and numerous health benefits, including:

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

One explanation for these benefits is that having a positive outlook helps you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful effects of stress on your body. Another is that positive and optimistic people tend to live healthier lifestyles — they get more physical activity, follow a healthier diet, and have reduced rates of smoking and alcohol consumption.

Whatever the reason, positive people seem to live longer, healthier lives – try it and see how it works for you! Here are some tips on how to be more positive:

If your self-talk tends to be more negative, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to an unhappy or unhealthy life. You can learn to transform negative thinking into positive thinking. The process is simple, but it takes time and practice — you’re creating a new habit, after all. Here are some ways to think and behave in a more positive way:

  • Check yourself. Periodically during the day, stop and evaluate what you’re thinking. If you find that your thoughts are too negative, try to find a way to put a positive spin on them.
  • Be open to humor. Give yourself permission to smile or laugh, especially during difficult times. See humor in everyday occurrences. When you can laugh at life, you feel less stressed.
  • Follow a healthy lifestyle. Exercise at least three times a week to positively affect mood and reduce stress. Follow a healthy diet to fuel your mind and body. And learn to manage stress.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. Make sure those in your life are positive, supportive people you can depend on to give helpful advice and feedback. Negative people, those who believe they have no power over their lives, may increase your stress level and may make you doubt your ability to manage stress in healthy ways.
  • Practice positive self-talk. Start by following one simple rule: Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone else. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself. If a negative thought enters your mind, evaluate it rationally and respond with affirmations of what is good about yourself.

By recognizing the patterns of positive thinking and choosing to be upbeat and optimistic, you enhance the likelihood of health and happiness – spread the word!

Lifestyle Choices Make All The Difference

Dear Patient and Friend,

There’s a reason why America spends more money on health care than any other country, yet the overall health in the US lags behind dozens of other developed countries.

At present, America ranks 37th in overall health, a surprisingly low position, especially in spite of the massive expenditures pointed toward treating disease – and that may turn out to be what’s wrong with the system, that too much effort is directed toward treating disease, and not enough toward preventing disease, or even better, developing healthy lifestyle habits so the likelihood of disease is greatly reduced.

It would be oversimplified to say that all disease could be stopped by making better lifestyle decisions, but some scientists say that 70% of all heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other life-threatening illnesses could be avoided or reduced if people would simply accept the responsibility to make better lifestyle choices and improve the quality of their health and wellness decision-making.

We’re not talking about extreme changes like running ten miles everyday or eliminating all your favorite foods. Something as simple as drinking more water, taking a walk for a half hour three times a week, or taking some vitamin supplements could produce significant and beneficial shifts in blood chemistry, physical fitness and even attitude.

In fact, many researchers believe that regular exercise, even moderately applied, can be the best of all the stress reducers, with little or no side effects that could accompany chemical stress management through drugs.

Look at your own lifestyle, and consider choosing two or three small habits you could change or adopt – eating fresh wholesome foods in reasonable quantities, sleeping better, simple exercises like stretching, walking or yoga, limiting empty calories like sweets, especially early in the day or right before bed, including massage, or meditation, or being more diligent about keeping your spine and nerve system healthy – many people need only minor changes, while others need more of an overhaul, but one thing is for sure – taking the responsibility to make such decisions and choices will come back to reward you in a greater probability of good health and longer life.

The odds are in your favor, if you’ll choose healthy habits – it’s up to you to make such decisions, so ask us for some advice on how and where to start, and you’ll be glad you did.

25 Little Acts of Kindness … One Thoughtful Gesture

  1. Take a minute to direct someone who is lost, even though you are rushing.
  2. Write a letter to a child who could use some extra attention. Kids love getting mail.
  3. Offer to pick up groceries for an elderly neighbor.
  4. Give a homeless person your doggie bag.
  5. Say “I love you” to someone you love.
  6. Put a coin in an expired meter.
  7. Help a mother carry her baby stroller up the stairs, or hold a door open for her.
  8. Each time you get a new item of clothing, give away something old.
  9. Take someone’s shift as the carpool parent.
  10. Bring your assistant coffee.
  11. Out of the blue, send flowers to a friend.
  12. Say “please” and “thank you” and really mean it.
  13. When you are on a crowded train, offer your seat to an elderly, disabled or pregnant person.
  14. Don’t interrupt when someone is explaining herself.
  15. Offer to babysit for a single mom.
  16. Let a fellow driver merge into your lane.
  17. Put your shopping cart back into its place.
  18. Call or write a teacher who changed your life.
  19. Bring a healthy snack to share at the office.
  20. Forgive someone a debt and never bring it up again.
  21. Listen with all your senses.
  22. Encourage someone who seems despondent.
  23. Volunteer to take care of a friend’s dog while he or she is vacationing.
  24. Help a friend pack for a move.
  25. Pass along a great book you’ve just finished reading.

September Is… “National Backpack Safety Awareness Month”

It’s back to school time and kids are getting ready to fill up their backpacks. Today, more and more schoolwork is given to kids and as a result, their backpacks get heavier and heavier. The heavier the backpack is, the more unnecessary stress is placed on the child’s spine. This can cause the misalignment of vertebrae of the spine (vertebral subluxations), which if left uncorrected can have serious health consequences.

It may be difficult to control the amount of schoolwork your child receives. However, there are things that you can do to ensure that their backpack does not cause damage to their spine.

First … Limit the amount of weight that is placed in the child’s backpack at one time. Usually ten percent of the child’s body weight is appropriate. Occasionally, schools will allow you to purchase a second set of books so that it is not necessary for the child to carry the books back and forth between home and school.

Second … Get you child a spinal checkup on a regular basis. Carrying heavy backpacks can cause poor posture. Posture is one of the most overlooked keys to best health and performance. Good posture improves fitness, thinking ability, emotional state and general vitality. Parents who appreciate the importance of checkups for their child’s teeth, hearing, eyes, ears, nose and throat often draw a blank when it comes to their child’s spine. In fact, a spinal checkup could be one of the most important of your child’s life. Schedule an appointment with your family chiropractor today. Start the school year off on a healthy note. Bring your children in for a spinal checkup and give them the best chance to get healthy and stay healthy throughout the school year.

Life Exercises

  • Every so often push your luck.
  • Never underestimate the power of a kind word or deed.
  • Never give up on anybody; miracles happen every day.
  • Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
  • Learn to listen.
  • Think big thoughts, but relish small pleasures.
  • Don’t expect others to listen to your advice and ignore your example.
  • Opportunity sometimes knocks softly.
  • Leave everything a little better than you found it.
  • Don’t forget a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.
  • Never waste an opportunity to tell someone that you love him or her.
  • Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
  • Make new friends but cherish the old ones.
  • Don’t use time or words carelessly; neither can be retrieved.
  • Judge your success by the degree that you’re enjoying peace, health and love.
  • Smile a lot; it costs nothing and is beyond price.


It is time that you recognize how wonderful, powerful and perfect you already are. All of the answers you will ever need are right inside of you. All you need to do is trust your inner wisdom. Set your goals, raise your standards, and choose to show up as the “Best YOU Ever!” Decide to live in the present and live an “EXTRAORDINARY” life. Share this valuable information with those you care about so they can transform their lives too!

When Chiropractors Act As Primary Care Providers, Costs Drop

A study in the May 2007 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reports health plans that use Chiropractors as Primary Care Providers (PCPs) reduce their health care utilization costs significantly.

The study covers the seven-year period from 1999 to 2005. Researchers compared costs and utilization data from an Independent Physicians Association (IPA) that uses Chiropractors as PCPs and a traditional HMO that doesn’t.

The Chiropractic PCPs had 59 percent fewer hospitalizations, 62 percent fewer outpatient surgical cases and 85 percent lower drug costs compared with the HMO plans.

The patients in the Chiropractic PCP group also reported higher satisfaction with their care than the HMO group. Over the seven-year period, Chiropractic patients consistently demonstrated a high degree of satisfaction with their care that ranged from 89 percent to 100 percent.

Study co-author James Winterstein, D.C. says that patients using Chiropractic PCP health care groups “experienced fewer hospitalizations, underwent fewer surgeries and used considerably fewer pharmaceuticals than HMO patients who received traditional medical care.”

“The escalation of medical expenditures remains an urgent problem in the United States and it’s becoming quite clear that cost containment strategies by conventional medical providers are failing to achieve even mediocre results,” he said. “This study confirms that the integration of [medical], chiropractic and other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) providers can positively impact patient quality of care while limiting costs. This approach to patient care has great potential to improve the U.S. healthcare system.”

The Importance Of Following Instructions

When we can’t figure out just how to use our new computer, digital camera, cell phone or any other machine for that matter, it is usually because we haven’t read the instructions. An automobile, a computer, a fax machine- these are all complex mechanical devices requiring instructions. We can learn how to use them effectively by reading the instructions or by allowing somebody to teach us how to use them.  Sometimes, if we haven’t used these machines in a while we have to go back and review the instructions all over again. These complex machines are a very important part of our lives. In fact, sometimes we feel lost or out of control if we lose the ability to use them.

Are you aware that the human body is defined as a “machine”? We generally think of a machine as made of metal and moving parts, but a “machine” can also be defined as “an intricate natural system or organism, such as the human body.” Unfortunately our bodies don’t come with an instruction manual when we are born.  And it is true, our bodies are the most important machines we will ever own in our lifetime.  It is very wise to learn as much as we can about it.

Let’s focus first on the terms “natural system” and “manmade systems.” Computers and cars are not natural systems. They are manmade and come with a set of instructions to learn from. The human body is a natural system and does not come with instructions. Instead, the body comes fully equipped with its own natural ability to heal itself. When we are experiencing a health issue, it is important to understand that symptoms of illness are our body’s intelligent way of letting us know that something is wrong.  Something is interfering with the body’s natural ability to heal itself.

Chiropractic care is so effective because it works with the body’s natural healing ability. Pills will simply mask the symptoms of an illness without ever locating and correcting the cause of the problem. Chiropractors do not rely on pills but rather focus on enabling the body’s natural system to restore health.

The most amazing aspect of this “natural system” is that it works with no conscious thought. Our body works perfectly without us even thinking about it or reading an instructions manual to operate it. We don’t have to tell our heart when to beat or how to digest food or how to grow hair. When there is no interference in communication between the brain and the rest of the body, each system works optimally.

Chiropractors restore the body’s communication system by removing interference caused by spinal misalignments (subluxations). When the vertebrae of the spine are misaligned, this can cause a breakdown in communication of nerves to other parts of the body. This is when symptoms can arise. Chiropractors correct subluxations with an adjustment and help to restore the body’s natural ability to heal itself. 

Chiropractic care is a health care approach based upon the body’s natural ability to heal itself and is a very important step in a commitment to optimal health. Optimal health is one of our most valuable possessions. We should value ourselves enough to strive for the highest level of health. When we take responsibility for the choices we make regarding health, we give ourselves the best opportunity to achieve all of our health goals. Chiropractic care can help give us the natural health we deserve when we commit to learning more about our body and take all of the necessary steps to stay well.

Closing Thoughts… Lifetime Resolutions

No one ever gets out of this world alive.

Resolve therefore to maintain a good sense of values.

Take care of yourself.

Good health is everyone’s major source of wealth.

Without it, happiness is virtually impossible. 

Resolve to be cheerful and helpful.

What you give to the world comes back to you.

Resolve to listen more and talk less.

No one ever learns anything by talking. 

Be cautious in giving advice.

Wise men don’t need it and fools won’t heed it.

Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and wrong.

Some time in life, you will have been all of these.

Do not equate money with success.

The world abounds with big money-makers who are miserable failures as human beings.

Resolve to not procrastinate another day, for it is the thief of today’s peace of mind and tomorrow’s happiness.

Resolve to be the person you want to be … today!

Making Promises

Making a promise is a very powerful action to take.  Many times during our lives, we are asked to make promises to do certain things.  For example, at age 16, we receive a driver’s license that requires us to make a commitment to obey the laws of the road.  If we fail to obey these laws, we may pay a price.  We might pay a fine or lose our driver’s license for a while.  Many lessons can be learned through experiencing loss.  We learn quickly to pay close attention to speed limit signs and reduce speed when necessary.  Experiencing loss can teach us a practical lesson such as this; however, it also helps us change behavior in other ways. 

Have you ever experienced the unfortunate loss of a loved one?  

Grief is a common and expected emotion to feel at this time; however, in addition, we frequently feel a sense of regret that we did not fully appreciate and value the relationship we had with our loved one until it was lost.

Regret is a very difficult emotion to deal with.  Usually we can choose to celebrate the wonderful memories; however, sometimes we may choose to change our future behavior with our loved ones who are still with us.  We make promises to spend more time with the people who are important to us and tell them how much we value and appreciate the relationship.  Loss has taught us a valuable life lesson.

In other words, sometimes we tend to take things for granted until we lose them.  It is when we lose them that we truly understand their value in our lives.  We can understand this concept in other areas of our lives as well:  financial independence, health and happiness.  We can promise ourselves that we will reach specific goals regarding financial independence and even happiness.  These promises have little value if we don’t have good health to follow through with them.  It seems unfortunate to me that our own health frequently seems to be the personal asset we take most for granted.  Because we take our health for granted, we may never have set an effective plan to insure optimal health today and in the future.

The best promise you can make TODAY is to make the health of you and your family top priority.  Promises are powerful.  A promise means that we state an action that we will take and not allow anything to stop us.  We can use this powerful tool of making a promise to create and implement a health plan that focuses on the body’s natural ability to heal itself.  Make a promise to yourself to prevent health problems before they arise by eating well, exercising, getting enough rest and committing to a chiropractic corrective and wellness care plan. 

Chiropractic care focuses on YOU and your body’s ability to heal itself.    Chiropractic emphasizes the necessity of having a healthy spine in order to insure optimal health.  The brain, the body’s central command center, sends messages to every tissue, organ and cell of the body through the nerve system.  These messages can be interrupted through misalignments of the spinal vertebrae (subluxation) caused by activities of daily life including falls, sports and accidents. 

Traditional medicine utilizes drugs to treat and mask the symptoms, while chiropractors realign the vertebrae of the spine, restoring the body’s natural communication system.  Chiropractors locate and correct the cause of the problem so true health can be restored.

Don’t make an unfortunate mistake that so many people make.  Don’t take your health and your family’s health for granted.  Make a promise to yourself TODAY to make chiropractic a part of your healthy lifestyle and insure yourself and your family a healthy future.

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