Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Early Warning Signs-Will you Listen or Suffer the Consequnces?

Sign #1: Muscle Spasms/Tightness
Your spine is an intricate system of joints and bony canals that surround and protect your nervous system. Think of it as a flexible circuit breaker panel attached to the base of your brain. Your body will go to extreme measures to ensure the delicate nervous system operates without obstruction-with all circuits clear. Any potential interference to nerve function is countered by your body's compensational systems: meaning, if your spine misaligns or curves too much or too little, your muscles tighten and go into spasm in order to lesson and prevent further nerve-interfering distortions. Think of the bracing effects of your muscles as a cast or splint. Tight muscles after certain activity (gardening, exercise, prolonged sitting, ect.) should recover in a day or two. If the tightness or spasm is severe or lasts beyond a few days, chances are you have a more serious underlying problem. This is the time to act and see a doctor of chiropractic.

Sign #2: Pain
Pain is an outward sign that something is wrong. It's a warning, like a fire alarm or bright red dashboard "check oil" light. As with muscle tightness, it should not last more than a few days following a trigger. Patients often state that they had pain for a few weeks, but then it went away with over-the-counter pills. A month later, it came back even worst. Prescription medication made it go away again. This scenario of ignoring persistent pain allows the problem to worsen. Keep in mind, the absence of pain, especially when drugged up, does not mean the problem no longer exists. At this point, the spin may be better thought of as a ticking time-bomb. It may take just a simple activity as putting on a sock or driving for an hour and, BOOM, it goes off. This is when I often meet people. What would have been a simple fix a few months ago is now a complex problem requiring more care, potential loss of work, and far greater suffering. when pain hits (even when minor) and persists, please see a chiropractor right away.

Sign 3#: Weakness
As one of the more serious warning signs, weakness signifies many possible underlying issues. It can stem from pressure on a nerve supplying a muscle. When this is the case, you may notice specific symptoms such as loss of grip strength or difficulty on steps or getting in and out of your car with one leg. As discussed above,  muscles may be working harder than normal to compensate for underlying spinal and nerve problems. This can result in noticeable weakness localized in a single muscle or a muscle group. It may appear as strain when lifting yourself out of a chair or when your head feels heavier than usual. It may only show up as general feeling of fatigue - especially at the end of the day. Any prolonged sign of weakness (especially of one side or region of your body) lasting more than just a few days warrants immediate chiropractic evaluation.

Your body speaks to you on a regular basis. It does not use actual words, but offers little signs and symptoms. You can take your chances by ignoring these warnings, or be proactive. Chiropractic intervention early on provides an effective, inexpensive and comfortable solution. It can save you from debilitating pain and high medical bills. Although I am happy to help patients when problem are severe and may have been avoided for too long, it is also nice to help people early on. After all, no issue is too minor to justify a check-up.

Grace Bullock - Pathways Issue #55

Kind regards,

Dr. Heather

Monday, October 30, 2017

How to Describe Birth to a First-Time Pregnant Woman

I'll come straight to the point: There is a severe lack of women on this planet who enjoy their birthing experience, let alone walking away from it with a profound depth of empowerment. What is going so wrong? When I tried to talk to mothers in my life about birthing during my first pregnancy, little was shared. Time and time again I was met with an awkward smile, and these forced words: "You'll be fine." Unfortunately, to me those words only seemed to have the opposite of their intended effect.

Though the words were an attempt at comfort and support, which I appreciated, the energy behind that statement came across more like sympathy, as these women couldn't help but relive their own experiences, which to them would translate to my experience.

When we discover we are pregnant, we have access to two doors--but because so many choose the first door, or perhaps because we feel it is our only option, the second door is forgotten, even hidden. The first door opens up the status quo. The second door is unlocked when we choose to trust our abilities, our bodies, our babies, and the process, and then find the care provider who has the same belief--a care provider who believes you should be in control, and who respects that your birth will happen on its own timeline. Unless the need arises for medical attention, you have no reason to believe that your pregnancy and birth can't unfold smoothly and without medical management. That's difficult, however, when we are thwarted at every turn and told to believe the complete opposite.

What if, one by one, we felt that pregnancy and birth was ours, and not something to hand over? What if we thought of pregnancy and birth as the ultimate expression of our power--something to protect, not give up? What if we all started to openly acknowledge our intuition, which is especially heightened during pregnancy, and what it means for guiding ourselves and our babies safely through our pregnancy journeys?

The word "risk" places a dark shadow over the word "birth." Why has this come to be? How differently would we feel about birth if we were exposed to the truth on a daily basis? The ratings just aren't there for the tabloid headlines which read: "Mother gives birth to healthy baby--again" Or "Mother went into labor spontaneously, listened to her body and her baby, and gave birth in a position that felt right to her in home." Or "Mother calmly breathed through her contractions and birthed her baby with joy." What if we received a notification on social media every time a birth just unfolded on its own-- mother and baby healthy, ecstatically happy, and now bonding and getting to know each other? Yes, complications happen, but if we truly knew of the multitude of births that just flow, our view of birth would change over night.

As more of us go into pregnancy and birth with open hearts, an acceptance of the process, and true appreciation of our bodies and how beautifully they facilitate labor and birth, the more of us will emerge from the experience forever changed for the better. When a woman in our lives asks us about birth and how it felt, we won't just say "you'll be fine." We'll want to jump onto the couch, Tom Cruise--style, bursting with love, happiness, and enthusiasm that can't be bottled, unable to keep up with all the magnificent words that come to mind to describe the experience as best as possible. We can describe the experience for this woman, too!

I loved, absolutely loved, every single part of my homebirth-- it was a portal to power, unwavering trust, transcendence, bliss, and total euphoria. It showed me facets of myself I did not know existed, and taught me that I can draw on this strength and power whenever I need it in life. It taught me that I am limitless. It fills me with utter delight to think of all women feeling this way about birth.

I'll just climb down from the couch now. Or join me up here and tell everyone how beautiful birth is, what they have to look forward to, and how giving birth has changed you!

-Alison Howley, Pathways #53

Such a great article from Alison.  I couldn't agree more with what she has to share.

Kind regards,

Dr. Heather

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hyperactivity + Attention Deficit Disorders

It is estimated that as many as 5 million children in the United states alone are afflicted with attention deficit disorders in varying degrees. 1 Symptoms often cluster with hyperactivity to include lack of concentration, short attention span, impulsivity, fidgetiness, low frustration tolerance, difficulty with compliance, and poor social interaction.

Medical Treatment
Traditional methods of medical intervention are aimed at turning down the child's level of activity through the use of drugs. Years ago it was discovered that children react to stimulating drugs, such as Ritalin and amphetamines, in an opposite manner from adults. Nowadays, children and young teenagers are commonly placed on these drugs for years to suppress their activity level. Unfortunately, this response in not without drawbacks. The know side effects of these drugs include nervousness, insomnia, stomachache, and skin rashes. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, leading to weight loss, and accelerated heart beat. Perhaps the most serious side effect in controlling behavior with drugs, however, is that it can become a psychological crutch. Some children become very drug dependent and experience episodes of anxiety if dosage is changes or terminated.

Dr. Ben Feingold, M.D., a renowned pediatrician and allergist, recommends cessation of drug treatment combined with elimination of food synthetics as a healthier alternative.

What is a chiropractic adjustment?
Vertebrae (the bones in your back) fit together so that LIFE (nerve supply) produced in your brain may filter down your spinal cord and out over your nerves. This LIFE is responsible for growth, repair, and healing in your entire body. When vertebrae are out of their natural alignment, nerves become stretched or twisted (commonly referred to as a nerve "pinch"), and this vital communication system in the body is disrupted.

This neurological disturbance is called a subluxation. The Doctor of Chiropractic specializes in the detection and correction of subluxations. This is done by laying our hands on your back and gently lining up the vertebrae in their natural position. This process may take weeks or months , depending on the amount of misalignment. LIFE may then be restored throughout the body, and healing can take place. As your body heals, the symptoms begin to diminish.

A New Approach
All body functions are controlled by the brain sending and receiving messages over nerves. When vertebral subluxations disrupt this vital communication system, one or more parts of the body may begin to fail, as well as health in general. subluxations can also foster the onset of sickness and disease as the child's body weakens. That's how vertebral subluxations can lead to all kinds of neurological, emotional, and physical disorders, and that's why chiropractors are concerned with restoring normal body function, not treating the symptoms of the disease.

Doctors of Chiropractic have reported success with attention deficit disorders for years, and this has been supported by recent studies on the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments. In one study, chiropractic care was more effective in treating the wide range of symptoms common in a neurological dysfunction syndrome in which 13 symptom problem areas were considered. 5 The statistics showed that chiropractic care was 20 to 40 percent more effective than commonly used medications. Another study suggested an overall improvement in seven hyperactive children who had received specific chiropractic care. 2

If children with serious attention deficit disorders can benefit from chiropractic care - with improved attention span, lower activity level, and general well being - it's reasonable to assume that even the average child would benefit, with improved health and well-being. By having subluxations corrected throughout childhood, your child will have a better opportunity to be as healthy as possible.

The chiropractic approach to health care in natural. It does not try to stimulate or inhibit normal body function. Instead, the chiropractor addresses the important relationship between the nervous system and disease. The systemic effect of vertebral subluxations is complex. Many childhood illnesses may be manifested in the pediatric patient due to abnormal body function caused by subluxations. 3,4 In light of this, your chiropractor may be the best doctor to help your child.

Children should be checked frequently for subluxations to ensure good health.

1. Feingold, B.F.:Why Is your Child Hyperactive? New York: Random House, Inc., 1975
2. Giesen, J.M., Center, D.B., and Leach, R.A.: An Evaluation of Chiropractic Manipulation as a treatment of Hyperactivity  in Children,  Journal of Manipulation and Physiological Therapeutics,  October 1989;12:353-363.
3. Kunert, W.: Functional Disorders of Internal Organs Due to Vetebral Lesions. CIBA Symposium 13 (3): 85-966, 1965.
4. Peet, J.B.: Subluxation Detection in Infants, Today's Chiropractic, February/March 1990.
5. Walton, E.V.: Chiropractic Effectiveness with Emotional Learning and Behavioral Impairments, International Review of Chiropractic; 29:2--, 21-22, September, 1975.

Kind regards,

Dr. Heather

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Can Chiropractic Improve How the Body Handles Stress?

The human body and its functions are incredibly complex. We have the ability to adapt to physical, mental, and chemical stress at a fundamental level. Our lifestyles create or diminish stress depending on diet, physical activity, attitude, posture, past history of trauma, and the environment we live in. the automatic operating system(aOS) is the primary portion of the nervous system that helps the body recognize the interactions we have with our environment in the form of short-term stress and long-term or chronic stress.

We have a particular response pattern to sudden or severe stress called the "fight-or-flight" mechanism. This is the primary portion of the aOS that helps us deal with or adapt to changes in our environment. The responsibility of the aOS in times of stress is to allow our bodies to continue to self-regulate. The best way to evaluate stress is by intensity, frequency, and duration.

In a healthy individual, the nervous system will adapt to stress based on its intensity or severity, the frequency of exposure, and the duration of the stress. In severe cases, the aOS will create the fight-or-flight response. During fight-or-flight, the body will go into a defensive mode and out of a growth mode. This is a very beneficial state during short-term stress, but a very bad state to be in throughout life.

during a stressful event, our bodies will release stress hormones, primarily adrenaline and cortisol, for increased energy and short bursts of physical activity. The blood vessels will constrict around our organs and blood will be delivered to the muscles to help us get away from stress quickly and efficiently. Our heart rate will increase and our breathing will become shallow.

We will become more acutely aware of our environment, but have less ability to consciously make decisions. The body and mind at this time are not in a normal state because the order of the moment is to survive the event- not to thrive, grow, or repair tissue.

The problem we run into is when we have chronic long-term, low-intensity stress and the nervous system adopts a prolonged fight-or-flight state.

When the body has accumulated stress ant the nervous system learns a pattern of prolonged stress responses, the only outcome can and will be a state of imbalance and eventual disease. Most of the diseases that affect people are caused by the stress response, not a lack of medicine or pills.

A Three Part Breathing Exercise to Help Reduce Stress
Step One:
Through the nose, breathe into your abdomen and allow the air to enter into the depths of the abdomen. The belly should expand outward.
Step Two:
Then breathe into the chest, allowing the air to widen the sides of your chest. You may feel an expansion in your back which is excellent as well.
Step Three:
Finally let the air fill the upper chest to the collar bone.
With relaxation as the fundamental principle, exhale the breath to a natural pause and begin again.
The beauty of this exercise is the downward movement of air into the sole of the abdomen and the later push or air against the sides of the lower chest. Such a technique honors the deep in deep breathing. There are hundreds of benefits to deep breathing, not just to reduce stress:
Massage of the Organs ● Oxygenation ● Circulation ● Relaxation ● Expansion of Lung Capacity ● Clears Mucus and Bronchial Obstructions ● Assists Posture ● Clearer Thinking ● Sleep Aid ● Enhances Digestion Releases Tension in the Spine ● Grounding ● Increased Blood Flow ● Reduces Toxic Buildup ● Helps Clear Infection ● Increased Energy

Written by Adam Ries, DC
For more information, visit

Kind regards,

Dr. Heather

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Use of Chiropractic Services in the Care of Pregnant Women: A Survey of Midwives

"To change the world, we must first change the way babies are being born." -Dr. Michel Odent

Did you know that pregnant women can benefit most from the collaboration between chiropractors and midwives? The chiropractic community has long recognized the impact midwives can have in supporting wellness care during pregnancy and birth, and many practitioners seek collaboration for this reason.

From the point of view from the midwifery profession, midwives have had positive experiences from collaboration overall. Research shows that pregnant women who are under the care of midwives are more likely to seek chiropractic care and less likely to visit walk-in clinics or emergency rooms compared with women under traditional healthcare services.According to a 2011 survey of midwives, all viewed chiropractic as safe for pregnant mothers, and 92.5% were knowledgeable about the role of chiropractors in perinatal care. 2

Both midwives and chiropractors recognize the importance of optimal biomechanics for the best outcomes in pregnant mothers and infants. The care provided by both types of practitioners emphasizes trust, emotional wellness, and a natural process or pregnancy and delivery.

In the same survey, midwives reported 97% positive experience with chiropractors and over half refer to chiropractors for pregnancy-related health concerns. 2

With increased awareness of the safety and efficacy of chiropractic, as well as its role in perinatal wellness, more midwives are likely to recommend that pregnant mothers seek chiropractic care.

The ICPA strives to promote family wellness through their research projects, PBRN #10 is a survey-based study that will collect further information on midwives views and attitudes about chiropractic. We anticipate that the results of this study will further demonstrate midwives' perception of chiropractic collaboration as a beneficial component of perinatal care.

1. Metcalfe A, Grabowska K, Weller C, Tough SC. Impact or prenatal care provider on the use of ancillary health services during pregnancy. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2013 Mar;11;13:62.doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-62.

2.Mullin L, Alcantara J, Barton D, Dever L. Attitudes and views on chiropractic: a survey of United States midwives. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Aug;17(3):135-40.

For more information, visit

This is why I hold a certification in Webster Technique.  I have extra training in working with pregnant moms to help make pregnancy safer and more enjoyable.

Kind regards,

Dr. Heather

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

All Right Kids, Line up!!!

It seems like kids in school are always lining up for something. You line up for lunch. You line up to go outside for recess. You line up basically to go anywhere at all. when I was a kid there were only two ways we lined up, either in alphabetical order or by height, and the second was far more common.

I was the tallest girl in my class, and I was taller than most of the boys throughout elementary school, so as it were, I was always in the back of the line. Maybe you are like me or maybe you are the exact opposite. Maybe you are always in the front of the line. Either way, you should know that you are perfect just the way you are, although it might not feel like it right now. In fact, most kids wonder: "When will I get taller?" and "How tall am I going to be?"

Here are a few things you should know: You mostly grow little by little except for a couple of' 'spurts.' Your first spurt happens as a baby in your first year of life when you may grow 10 inches. After that, your next spurt is during puberty(when your body starts changing into what it will be as an adult.) This results in a growth spurt for girls between the age of 10 and 14, while boys can continue to grow until around age 16 and some even a few years later.

How tall you are going to be is mostly determined by your genes. That means your parents set the maximum potential for your height and you will likely not be taller than that. One way to get a close estimate of your adult height is to double the height you were at two years (if you are a boy) or 18 months (if you are a girl.)

The bottom line, though, is there are lots of differences among people, some are tall and some are short and lots are somewhere in between. But all of them are perfectly OK.

For the most part, there's not a whole lot you can do about your height except wait and see. In the meantime, you should do everything you can to be your healthiest self, including eating right, getting the proper amount of sleep, exercising regularly, and of course seeing your chiropractor regularly. If you do all these things you will likely not only reach your maximum height potential but your maximum potential in every area in life.

Remember everyone grows differently and the beauty is there is no one just like YOU. You are amazing just the way you are. So celebrate and have a great school year, no matter where you stand in the lineup.

Written by Judy Nutz Campanale, DC, ACP, FCSC (hon)
For more information, visit

Kind regards,

Dr. Heather

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A New Attitude Toward Fevers

We have a tyranny of fear in the U.S. about fevers and infections, which is understandable, but which is a terrible obstacle to healing what ails us as individuals and as a society.

We have a mindset that says it's bad to have an illness, and that health is the absence of illness. This isn't always true. Fever is the healing flame, the great cleanser of the body, and a critical part of developing a child's immune system. An immune system that is vigorously exercised through fevers in childhood will become a much stronger and more able adult immune system than one that has been artificially suppressed since birth with vaccinations, antibiotics and fever-reducing medications. The "use it or lose it" adage applies well here. 

In other words, it's very important to understand that it's our own immune system that creates our fevers, and that fevers are our main defense against our body's toxicity and the germs which feed on that toxicity. Parents are overanxious to lower a fever, and assume that when we artificially bring it down the child is healthy, which is often not the case. 

Children often get fevers when they are stressed. Childhood is the time of rapid growth and dramatic change, and a child will remodel and renew his body many times as he grows. Every remodeling job requires some demolition, a breaking down of old cells and tissues that results in toxic waste and debris, which the body normally cleans up as it rebuilds new cells and tissues. This demolition, cleansing and rebuilding is silently going on in all the time through our immune system, but more so in growing children. Every so often this ongoing remodeling of the immune system shifts into high gear, either because we are unknowingly taking a bigger developmental step than usual, or because we've become toxic from too much stress. 

this inward shifting into high gear of our immune system has an unwelcome outer result--it makes us sick with inflammation, fever and discharge of mucus. thus, we come down with a flu, vomiting, diarrhea, strep throat, ect. In this way the immune system expels from the body mucus, pus, germs, and other toxic waste and debris that have been nourishing the opportunistic germs. The crucial fact is that the symptoms of the illness are also the healing of the illness. That is because the symptoms are caused by inflammation, and inflammation is what our immune system uses in order to detoxify and heal.

When we diminish symptoms with Tylenol, ibuprofen, decongestants or antibiotics, at the same time we diminish the healing, cleansing, expulsive power of our innate immune systems. Every inflammation, in  children or adults, every cold, sore throat, earache, fever and rash, is a "healing crisis." A healing crisis is an intense action of the immune system to cleanse and detoxify the body. It is a strong effort by the human spirit to remodel the body so it can be a more suitable dwelling.

It's amazing what a different parental attitudes toward fevers can do for a child's healing process. Children seem to intuitively know this is something they need.  children usually don't have severe aches and pains with their fevers that adults suffer, because children's bodies are less dense and hardened than adult bodies, and offer less resistance to the fever surge of warmth flowing through them. A 5-year old boy I knew said to his worried mom during his fever,"Don't worry, Mom, I'm just growing." But that doesn't mean they should be running around outside. This is a time when children should rest and it's extremely important for them to stay warm. My general rule of thumb is to dress them warmly enough so that their cheeks are rosy, and their hands and feet are warm, but there is no sweat or perspiration. the body needs to be hot to burn out all the illness. If the body is harboring toxicity, then a discharging fever with a runny nose, vomiting or diarrhea, for example, could be just the housecleaning that the body needs. The discharge is a sign that the fever and inflammation produced by the immune system are"digesting" toxic waste and debris and releasing them from the body, making most people healthier after they've had a fever.

Written by Philip Incao, MD
Provided by Pathways to Family Wellness #34
For more information, visit

Kind regards,

Dr. Heather