Secondhand smoke can increase risk of cavities

There are many side effects to smoking including increased risk of cancer, emphysema, heart disease and many more. A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that secondhand smoke can have deleterious effects to those around it. Researchers found that young children living in smoking households tend to get more cavities. The study, involving 3,500 children ages 4 to 11, concluded that the incidence of cavities in deciduous teeth among children exposed to smoke daily was almost double that of children from nonsmoking households.

There are many factors that can increase the risk of disease when exposed to secondhand smoke. Scientists believe that cigarette smoke lowers the immune response, which allows bacteria to proliferate. Another theory for the increased incidence of cavities is that smoke irritates nasal passages, which leads to mouth breathing. When children breathe through their mouth, it becomes dry and there is less saliva, which counteracts lactic acid build up. Therefore, lactic acid levels are higher in the mouth, which leads to cavities.
Smoking is a difficult habit to quit, but the positive effects start almost immediately. Your health improves with each minute that you do not smoke. If choosing to increase your health and quality of life is not important enough to decide to quit smoking, then maybe the health of your children will emphasize the need to quit. If quitting smoking is not an option, try not to smoke when others are in close proximity.

There are many successful smoking cessation programs and treatments, including acupuncture and hypnotherapy. Talk with others who have quit smoking, it may provide the motivation that you need. The most important aspect that leads to a successful smoking cessation program is the personal desire to quit.

posted on February 26, 2010

Back Pack Safety

Did you know that there are almost 5,000 injuries reported each year from backpack usage? According to the journal Pediatrics (2003), the majority of these injuries are caused by carrying a backpack (59%), followed by tripping (28%) and getting hit (13%) by backpacks. For the most part, these injuries can be prevented by teaching our children proper backpack safety techniques.

  • Distribute the weight evenly with the biggest, heaviest items in the rear of the backpack, nearest your back.
  • Wear both shoulder straps unless the pack is designed for use on one shoulder. When children carry a heavy backpack using one strap, it creates an imbalance which can lead to neck and muscle spasms, lower back pain and improper walking patterns.
  • Choose backpacks with heavily padded shoulder straps. The shoulder straps prevent excessive compression on the shoulder joints and collar bone.
  • Choose a backpack with a lumbar cushion, which will evenly distribute the weight and help maintain an upright standing posture.
  • Lift the pack correctly, making sure to bend at the knees.
  • Carry only what is needed with the backpack weighing less than 15% of the child's weight.

By following these simple rules, children can help to prevent spinal damage.

Although there are no long-term studies to determine the effects of repetitive, excessive weight on the back, we do know that it affects posture and muscular balance. When the backpack weighs greater than 15% of the child's weight, the student must lean forward to maintain balance, which causes postural changes. The child's chest muscles tighten, shoulders roll forward, and they cannot breathe correctly. The lower back is forced to take on the excessive weight. It even changes the length of their walk because they must take smaller steps to maintain balance.

Talk with your child or children regarding backpack safety. The more knowledge we share with them, the healthier they will become as they grow. Make sure you are checking the contents of their backpack occasionally. By only carrying necessary items, children are in less danger of injury. And set a good example by implementing these rules to the loads that you are carrying.

posted on February 26, 2010

Kids and Chirpractic Care

A sign in one chiropractor's office states, "Go ahead and leave your kids at home so they can feel as good as you do when they grow up." The sign is blunt but true. Many problems that we experience as adults can be traced back to incidences during our childhood, for example, the birthing process, learning to walk, falling off bikes, and bumping into things.

During the birthing process, there are tremendous stresses placed on the head and neck of a newborn. When the bones, muscles, and ligaments undergo this stress, many things can happen in the body. Infants may only sleep for short periods of time, are irritable, or feed poorly because they are uncomfortable in a certain feeding position. These are all signs that their body was stressed too much during birth.

Another sign that they are not comfortable or something is not correct in their body is infantile colic, which usually occurs around three to four months of age. It means an otherwise healthy infant who exhibits persistent, forceful crying for no apparent reason. The crying usually continues for several hours each day, most of the days of the week. When parents attempt to calm the child by feeding, holding, changing their diaper, or rocking them, it has little to no effect on the child. These infants typically respond well to chiropractic care. In a study conducted with children affected by colic, 316 infants with colic were evaluated by a chiropractor and adjusted. Improvement was noted within a two week period in 94 percent of the infants treated. On average, improvement was seen in three treatments.

Chiropractic care is an important part of the health care team for overall improvement of your child's well being.

posted on February 26, 2010

Turn off the TV

Did you know that the average American family watches 35 to 40 hours of television each week? That is comparable to the average time spent at the workplace each week! Imagine what you could accomplish by cutting TV viewing time in half. There would be 20 more hours each week to accomplish tasks, play with children, write letters, learn a new skill or hobby, or read.

With the warmer weather, you can be outside, playing and working in the yard. Visit parks and nature trails to enjoy the outdoors. You or your children and grandchildren can learn a new sport or improve on one that you already enjoy. It is a beautiful time to turn off the television and turn on life.

By reading a book, you can learn about new places, people and things. Whatever your interests are, there is probably a book to read. In your mind, you can travel to far off places, maybe even imaginary places. As Mason Cooley said, "Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are." You can open your mind to new opinions, increase your knowledge, and expand your horizons. You may even rediscover interests. Reading is a powerful tool.

Although it is good to be quiet and comfortable with silence, if you like to have background noise, listen to the radio or your favorite music. You will be amazed at the level of communication that happens when the television is not distracting people's attention. The creativity that flows when you allow your mind and body uninterrupted concentration is unfathomable.

Time with your loved ones becomes quality time where people are sharing and having fun. Instead of sitting in front of the television with an occasional shared laugh, you can play a board game and have many interactions with each other. Use the creative thoughts to make up a new game that everyone enjoys. By turning on life, you are making good habits and memories that will last a lifetime.

posted on February 26, 2010

Start Today

How many times have you said, "I will do it tomorrow" when talking about working out, joining a gym or health class, or just taking a walk. Then tomorrow comes, and another event presents itself and soon the whole year has gone by without increasing your quality of life or health. Waiting to get motivation is a trap. Motivation is not something that strikes you like lightening one day. It is something that sneaks up on you after you have worked consistently toward a goal. Health is much like motivation. It does not magically appear one day; you have to work for it.

New research has been reported on the benefits of walking to prevent stroke and heart attack. The scientists followed about 74,000 ladies for six years and found that the incidence of stroke or heart attack decreased by 30% for the ladies that worked out for at least 2 ½ hours each week. Working out is described as walking or other type of similar exercise that does not need to be strenuous. By completing 2 ½ hours of activity each week, their risk of heart attack and stroke decreased by one-third. This research provides motivation to increase health.

Instead of tomorrow, do it today. Do it without motivation. After you start just doing it, that is when motivation comes and makes it easier for you to continue. Motivation happens in many ways. For example, people are motivated when they feel better, have more energy, lose weight, lower blood pressure or cholesterol, and decrease their risk of heart disease. There are many opportunities to enjoy a workout, take a walk around the block or park, join a class that you enjoy, run, or swim. With the change of seasons upon us, it is a beautiful time to enjoy the outdoors. Then, reward your actions with a healthier you.

posted on February 26, 2010

Good posture does a body good

Try to take a deep breath in while slouching with your head forward or looking down, then sit up nice and tall with your shoulders back and head up looking straight ahead. Feel how deeply you can breathe with appropriate posture. Most people think that bad posture just looks bad, but there are many other negative side effects of bad posture.

By rolling the shoulders forward and slouching, it is more difficult to breathe. When people sit like this for eight hours in a day, the body is not getting enough oxygen. The cells in the body tell the brain that they need more oxygen, so the person has to take more breaths. This vicious cycle continues because the breaths are not deep enough to fulfill the need of the cells and the person ends up with a subclinical hyperventilation state in their body. This can present as general aches and pains that are not brought on by activity or trauma, tight chest muscles, and shoulder pain.

To counteract this problem, the person needs to begin by stretching the chest muscles and strengthening the middle back muscles. Concentrate on sitting in good posture and breathing with the belly, not the chest.

Being able to take deep breaths allows the body to get more oxygen to needed tissues, which helps to prevent chronic pain. It helps to create relaxation in the muscles and maintains the body in a normal state.

Check your family for correct posture by having them stand at a mirror with their shoulder facing the mirror. Imagine a line from their ear, to the shoulder, to the hip, knee and ankle. If these are not in a straight line, then the posture is not correct and there are stresses on the body in certain areas.

posted on February 26, 2010

Beat Stress - Maintain your sanity

We are in uncertain times right now. Many pieces of our environment are in turmoil. It is times like these that we need to depend on healthy coping mechanisms to get us through, prevail, and even grow from the experiences.

By depending on a social support system, like your family, colleagues, coworkers, and friends, you can voice concerns that are important to you on a regular basis. Saying your concerns out loud and knowing that others are empathetic with you creates a feeling of belonging. Knowing that you are not alone in the world can decrease many stresses. Think about a time in your past when you were feeling a crisis situation. After talking with someone that had been in a similar situation and seeing him or her succeed increased the hope and lessened the stress. Spend more quality time with those you love.

Journaling is a great way to relieve stress in a personal aspect without any interpretations and interactions with others. If there are things that you do not feel comfortable sharing with others, get a piece of paper and write it down. It is very liberating.

Burn off stress by working out. An ideal way to prevent stress from building up and to help clear your thoughts is to do something that you love. By exercising, you are increasing oxygen and blood flow to muscles and your brain. This allows you to think more clearly and process thoughts more effectively. It gives you time to cool down and is one of the healthiest things you can do to prevent stress-provoked diseases like heart disease and cancer.

Create predictability in some aspects of your life. When the external environment becomes unsteady, you need to have safe places to relieve stress. Have routines in your daily life, which will generate consistency in some aspects of your life.

posted on February 26, 2010

Combating the common cold

This year, approximately 62 million people will require medical attention for treatment of their cold and cold symptoms. The groups most affected by this illness are children and elderly because their immune systems are not strong enough to combat the cold.

One way to reduce the duration of a cold and decrease antibiotic use is to take zinc lozenges at the beginning of a cold. Zinc helps to decrease cough and runny nose along with other cold symptoms. Studies have shown that people who consume zinc lozenges on a regular basis reduce their frequency of colds. It is recommended that females take in 12 mg and males take in15 mg of zinc in their diet each day. The body cannot make zinc, so it must be consumed in the diet. Other good sources of zinc include high protein foods like beef, pork and chicken. A vegetarian diet must get zinc from supplements because fruits and vegetables are not high in zinc.

Another preventive measure is to take Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that helps to boost the immune system and reduce the length and severity of colds. The recommended amount of Vitamin C to take each day is 75 mg for females and 90 mg for males (add 40 mg if you smoke). To increase the amount of Vitamin C in your diet, eat more green peppers, citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, sweet and white potatoes, and cantaloupe. Vitamin C is present in small amounts in many foods including fish and milk.

Taking precautions and keeping yourself healthy with a balanced diet and exercise is the best way to have a wonderful winter.

posted on February 26, 2010

Fibromyalgia: Tenderness in the body, fatigue, sleep disorders, and irritable bowel syndrome

Fibromyalgia is a common condition that is difficult to endure and treat. It is characterized by tenderness in the body, fatigue, sleep disorders, and irritable bowel syndrome. Many people have other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. It is the third most commonly diagnosed inflammatory joint disorder following osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. However, a case study published in the Annals of Pharmacology in June 2001 had promising results for those suffering with fibromyalgia. Some fibromyalgia patients are getting relief from eliminating monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame from their diet. It found that four particular patients with different presenting complaints of fibromyalgia all had complete, or nearly complete resolution of their symptoms within months of eliminating these two elements from their diet.

Scientists are relating the relief of symptoms to the reduction of excitotoxins in the patients' bodies. MSG and aspartate (a byproduct of aspartame) act as excitatory neurotransmitters, which can overstimulate the nervous system and cause chronic pain syndromes. By eliminating these chemicals from the body, chronic pain decreased or went away completely and many other symptoms the patients were experiencing were relieved or reduced. If the patients consumed MSG or aspartame again, the symptoms returned.

MSG is used to enhance the flavor in most processed foods. It can be listed as gelatin, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, textured protein, and yeast extract. Aspartame is the most common artificial sweetener on the market since the early 1980's.

The sensitivity to MSG and aspartame is not the cause of all fibromyalgia cases because many people were not helped when they eliminated these chemicals from their diet. It is a positive step that fibromyalgia sufferers can take to see if it works for them. Therefore, pay attention to the food labels and try to avoid processed foods when possible. Eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables can fill you up and help you curb the craving for processed foods.

posted on February 25, 2010

Have you hugged someone today?

Have you hugged someone today? Everyone needs human contact. As many people know, if a baby is not touched and held daily, there are detrimental effects. The results can be mild, like nonsocial behavior, or as severe as death. As children, we are hugged and touched constantly, but as we age, it decreases dramatically. Although the need for love and acceptance does not change as we age, our human contact decreases. Unlike a child, we are probably not going to die if we do not get a hug today, but the day would be a lot better if we hugged.

Webster defines hug as a close embrace. Hugging is a simple, safe gesture to show you care for someone. It is not necessarily intimate, but always friendly. Think of all the ways to show support for loved ones and friends, the easiest and best way is a hug. We always hug at weddings and funerals, but there is no need to wait for a special occasion. Everyday that we are alive is a special day, start it with a hug.

If hugging is too intimate for you, try a smile. They are a free way to spread happiness daily. You will likely find that smiling is contagious; there are not many people who do not smile back. It is an easy way to look beautiful and confident. Look another person in the eyes and smile. You will be amazed at the response. If you are having a bad day, where nothing is going right, just look in the mirror and smile or make a funny face. This may help to lighten your spirit and decrease stress. Children smile hundreds to thousands of times a day. They communicate through smiles. We can follow their example and share our happiness with others by smiling.

posted on February 25, 2010

Sleep is one of the most important and healthiest things we can do for our bodies

Sleep is one of the most important and healthiest things we can do for our bodies. During rest, our bodies are repairing and regenerating cells that maintain our health. It is imperative that we use good posture when we are sleeping to prevent aches and pains in the morning.

Sleeping on your back or side are the best positions to use. When lying on your back, your body is supported evenly. This equal support allows even blood flow to all areas of your body and maintains equal muscle lengths. Try to maintain a neutral spinal posture by using pillows that are not too thick or too thin. If the pillows are too high, it can create muscle imbalance and joint immobility in your neck or upper back area. When in a side lying posture, use a pillow between your knees to keep the upper leg at the same level in your hip joint. Otherwise, your leg will fall toward the floor, causing a lengthening of the outer leg muscles and shortening of the inner leg muscles. Over time, this can add strain to your ankles, knees, hips, and lower back.

If you absolutely cannot fall asleep unless you lay on your stomach, then sleep on your stomach. It is more important that you sleep than how you sleep. Make attempts to sleep in better positions; it may work with some effort. One of the many reasons to avoid sleeping in a prone position is that your head is turned to one side for an extended period of time. Think of the effects of this as walking around with your head turned to the left for two, four, six, or eight hours everyday! Imagine what this is doing to your body. You are creating imbalances in the body. Making small changes in your health everyday will create big changes for a healthier future.

posted on February 25, 2010

Winter 2008

  • Getting Ready For Baby
  • Life Is a Balancing Act
  • Your Heart Knows
  • Heavy Business, This Snow!
  • Hip, Hip, Hooray!
  • Winter 2008 - Download
  • posted on February 26, 2008

    Summer 2007

  • Up On Blood Pressure
  • Water Worldwide
  • Sunny D
  • Kids & Mud Pies
  • Summer 2007 - Download
  • posted on February 26, 2008

    Winter 2007

  • Chiro Power
  • Time Flies
  • Eat Like A Bird
  • Funny Bone
  • New Table
  • Winter 2007 - Download
  • posted on February 26, 2007

    Fall 2006

  • Backpacks...could they be damaging to your child's spine?
  • It's as simple as a glass of orange juice
  • Oils, not drugs, please!
  • Fall 2006 - Download
  • posted on February 26, 2006

    Summer 2006

  • Mommy! Daddy! My ear hurts!
  • Three cheers for multi-tasking
  • What a laugh! Giggle your way to health
  • Summer 2006 - Download
  • posted on February 26, 2006

    Spring 2006

  • Don't mess with whiplash
  • Happy ears to you!
  • Got the Bottom Blues?
  • Spring 2006 - Download
  • posted on February 26, 2006

    Winter 2006

    • Oh, my aching head! A look into migraine headaches
    • Making Exercise Part of your daily routine
    • Flax seed - discover this "Miracle Food"
    • Winter 2006 - Download

    posted on February 26, 2006

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