Know Your Numbers!!!

In our society numbers are very important, in fact, you can go through a single day without needing to know a number. We live our lives by the numbers: phone numbers, pin numbers, stock market numbers, etc. Yet, many of us don’t know the numbers that SHOULD be most important to us, which are our health numbers. The health numbers that I feel are most important for this post are heart health numbers.

Knowing your heart health numbers could literally save your life. There are three key numbers that everyone needs to know that could give you a lifesaving preview of your cardiac risk.

  1. Your blood pressure
  2. Your cholesterol levels
  3. Your waist size

Healthy numbers mean a healthy heart. If you have healthy numbers then GREAT! Keep up the good work with eating a balanced diet, regular exercise, and not smoking. If your numbers are not so good, fear not, even bad numbers can get turned around by implementing the above good habits.

Do you even know what these numbers are and what they mean? Let’s take a look:

1.  Blood Pressure: Key to Heart Health

When (and if) your doctor tells you your blood pressure do you actually know what it means? If not, have you ever asked? You should.

Blood pressure consists of two numbers. Your systolic pressure measures the pressure of blood against artery walls when the heart pumps blood out during a heartbeat, while the diastolic pressure measures the same pressure between heartbeats, when the heart fills with blood.

  • Normal blood pressure is below 120/80.
  • Pre-hypertension is 120 to 139 (systolic) and/or 80 to 89 (diastolic).
  • Hypertension — also known as high blood pressure — is 140 or higher (systolic) and 90 or higher (diastolic).

2.  Cholesterol: Predictor of Heart Attack

Cholesterol isn’t ALL bad — it is a type of fat that is actually a nutrient that our body needs. Some people know that there is “good” cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol, there is a definite distinction that needs to be made between the two. So, when we measure cholesterol and blood fats, there is really three different numbers that we are talking about: HDL, LDL, and triglycerides. These combined give you your “lipid profile” score, however, the three individual scores are most important.

Here are the numbers you should strive for:

  • Total cholesterol of 200 mg/dL or lower.
  • HDL (“good” or “healthy” cholesterol) of 50 mg/dL or higher for women and for men it should be 40 mg/dL or higher.
  • Optimal LDL is 100 or lower, however, if you have other risk factors like pre-existing cardiovascular disease or diabetes then you want to shoot for closer to 70.
  • Triglycerides of less than 150 mg/dL.

**Adults 20 and older should get a lipid profile done every five years.

3.  Waist Size: The Connection to Heart Disease

This may be the easiest and most important number to remember. Your waist size predicts the risk of heart disease better than any other number. If your waist size is equal to or more than 35 inches in women and equal to or more than 40 inches in men then your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic problems, high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol is greatly increased.

These three markers can be easily monitored by your physician (and YOU). This brief overview has given you an easy, inexpensive test that you can do at home to monitor your health. The others can easily be done at your physicians office.

Knowledge is power……Be empowered!

 

Success

I read something this morning that Dr. Bernard Jenson said at one time regarding a patients success at a healthy lifestyle that really struck home with me. He said,

“The best doctor can do little for an uncooperative patient. So much depends upon the patient’s determination to get well, upon his or her willingness to make major lasting life changes, that a great deal hangs on the patient’s attitude. It is only now, in recent times that people have begun to learn that they are primarily responsible for taking care of themselves, for eating right, getting enough rest, exercising and so forth. Once a person has grasped this principle, a giant step forward has been taken.

                On the doctor’s side, I believe there is much more to take care of than the patient’s body. Especially among those with chronic conditions, every resource at the patient’s disposal, body, mind and spirit, must be considered and brought to bear on the healing process if the patient is to get well. A positive attitude is a must. Willingness to work with the doctor is a must. And perseverance through what is often a long, routine program of cleansing and rebuilding is a must. Everybody is looking for a good doctor, but I look for good patients. A good patient is one who will do whatever is necessary to leave the disease or ailment behind.

                Perhaps the most useful art a doctor can have is to touch that part of the patient, something deep inside, that engages the will to live and get well at all levels of the person. This, I believe, is one of the greatest keys to the wholistic healing art.”

In part, he is saying is that achieving a healthy, disease free life is a joint effort between the patient and the doctor. As your doctor or health care provider we cannot care more about your health than you do. It is up to the patient to care enough and love themselves enough that they WANT to get well and stay that way. However, it is up to the physician to HELP spark the patient’s fire to want to get well and stay well.

So many times the beginning of a new lifestyle change or diet program or fitness program we (the general public) are fired up and ready to go full throttle. “Let’s do this!!!” is our motto. But when we sit down to see what this new change requires we get overwhelmed and quit before we even begin. Why is that? Trust me when I say we have heard all of the excuses (and yes, that is what they are). “I don’t have enough time”, “I don’t know how to cook”, “I will go to the gym when I lose weight”, “It costs too much to be healthy”, etc. Do we not love ourselves enough to want to be healthy? Do we not care enough about ourselves to be healthy? Do we not care enough for our families to want to be healthy so we don’t have to compromise their lives because of our bad choices? Those are some of the things that we need to focus on at the beginning of every lifestyle change that involves our health.

This journey is a joint effort, but it all begins with YOU!

Dry Skin Brushing

Dry Skin Brushing

When I first heard about dry skin brushing (DSB) I was kind of skeptical about it. I mean, really, how does taking a brush that looks like horse brush (or at least what I always thought a horse brush to look like) and running it over your skin help anything besides sloughing off dead skin? But it is so much more than just skin care. When you think about it, our skin is like a gateway to the inside of our body. The pores allow passage through the skin both going in and coming out. Our skin is made up layers that contain nerves and glands that are like a defense system for our body. Our skin is crucial when it comes to good detoxification. However, if the skin is bogged down then it has hard time properly eliminating waste products from the body and then, here is the gross part, all of that waste stays in our body to be re-circulated (YUCK!). This is where dry skin brushing comes into play.

DSB can stimulate your lymphatic system. The lymph system is responsible for eliminating cellular waste from the body. If you were to look at a picture of the lymph system in the human body, you would be hard pressed to find where there wasn’t a “leg” of the lymph system. It is EVERYWHERE! When the lymph system is bogged down that is when we get sick, develop inflammation and/or disease. DSB also helps improve circulation to the skin, which helps with metabolic waste elimination.

DSB is an excellent way to exfoliate the skin, improving the appearance, unclogging pores which allow your skin to “breathe”. People have also found that by starting DSB it helps soften fat deposits below the skin surface, making cellulite appear evened out or less.

The methodical act of DSB has shown to lessen stress in some people. By regularly performing DSB it can reduce muscle tension, calm one’s mind, and relieve stress. Who couldn’t use a little stress relief?

Those who are addicted (yes, it does become an addiction, albeit a good addiction) to DSB swear that it is invigorating. I believe that while it can be invigorating to one person it may not be for another person. I usually do my DSB in the evening before my shower and find it more relaxing than invigorating. With that said I recommend you trying it out for yourself and see if it does one or the other or both for you.

So, I gave you all of the good things about DSB, but how the heck do you do it? Be patient, I’m getting there. First you want to get a good quality brush. You can find one online or at our office for under $20. The bristles should be made from natural materials and should feel stiff, but not overly so. Its best to get one with a long handle or you can get the ones like our office has that has a long removable handle. The long handle allows you to reach the “hard-to-reach” areas on your body.
For best results, DSB should be done daily. Some do it twice a day; I prefer to do it once a day right before my shower. That way if there are any dry skin cell stragglers you can wash them down the drain.

So, let’s start brushing! You want to begin at your feet (don’t forget to get the soles) and work your way up to your heart as that is the direction in which lymph flows in our bodies. Using firm pressure is best; however, make sure not to “scrub” the skin. You want to have a pink glow about your skin when you are done. Some prefer to use long strokes while others like to work their way up using short circular strokes. Try both and see what works best for you. Please note that you want to avoid DSB on the face, genitals, any abrasions, and varicose veins. The average brushing session can last anywhere from 2-20 minutes.

Most importantly take this time to help yourself be a healthier happier you. The cost and time are minimal for the great benefits that are reaped. If you have any questions about DSB, feel free to call, email, or stop by and ask me. I’m not an expert, but I can always find out the answer if I don’t already know it.

Happy Brushing!

Jenny Poor, CNHP

Betrayal

One of the amazing people who works in our office received a cancer diagnosis yesterday, so this disease has now made its way directly into our path. We have already been on a mission to educate patients about what we put in our bodies and making better choices and this has just intensified our passion. While this is not a diagnosis we want for our work family member it is one that we will take on as an opportunity to learn more and be able to better treat our patients in the future.

Please send prayers and happy thoughts to Deb as she moves forward and begins her fight against cancer. The following is a Jenny’s (another work family member) thought process following the diagnosis. I would like to share with all of you because not only is this 100% true but it very well said.

Blog Post as written by Jenny Poor, CNHP

In the past 2 years three women I have known have been diagnosed with breast cancer. The first one is a lady I have known and grown close to for the last 12 years. Her cancer started in her breast and has since moved to her liver and lymph nodes. The second lady is someone I have known almost my whole life. She worked with my mom when we lived in California. She was always very sweet to both my mom and me. The third lady is a very special lady. She loves unconditionally and is more loyal than most four-legged friends. We received her diagnosis this week.

Later that evening, after we received lady #3’s diagnosis, I was still reeling from the shock and becoming angrier. I thought about how unfair it was that this disease picks anyone it wants. Why can’t it go to the people who “deserve” it? You know, the bad people who hurt other people. Not the people in my life!! As I was showering that night, I wondered what did these 3 women think when they were showering and felt their breasts and knew there was an “invader” in there? If it were me, I would feel like my body betrayed me. How could it do this to me? And then the light bulb shown its bright light…you could probably see it from space.

Our bodies don’t betray us when there is a cancer diagnosis. Don’t worry I’m not going to go into how one’s body is just doing what it needs to do to get rid of the bad stuff, that’s not where I’m going here. The cancer happens when there have been years and years of betrayal from US! Yes, I said it. We betray our bodies, not the other way around. “How can this crazy natural chick say that!?!?” you ask. It’s true when you think about it. Our body doesn’t choose the foods we put in it. It doesn’t decide to choose alcohol over water. It doesn’t choose staying up late instead of sleeping. It doesn’t choose to hold stress in instead of releasing it. We are the ones making the choices!!

This post isn’t me telling you to quit making bad lifestyle choices. The Lord knows I make bad choices where lifestyle is concerned too (hence the pizza and rum I had the night lady #3 was diagnosed). This also isn’t me pointing a finger at anyone with cancer. That’s the last thing they need right now. This is me sharing my “ah-ha” moment. I know after having that light bulb glare in my eyes, I will be making healthier lifestyle choices. I will think about how what I’m doing or eating will affect my body. Will I be perfect at it? Absolutely not! Who is perfect? But I am going to be more aware of what choices I am making. Will it be easy? Nope, but it is doable.

Lastly, I encourage you to take care of yourself and to love yourself enough to realize what choices you are making and how they are affecting your body. Your body deserves it.

Life’s Path

This blog was written by Jenny Poor, CNHP. She has worked in our office for the last 4 and half years as our lab administrator. She is an amazing person and a natural born caregiver (almost to a fault), I can not wait to see how she takes her education and changes our little part of the world. 

 

It’s funny where life takes you and the path that God has planned out for you. If you were to tell me 5 years ago that I would be working at HLWC, studying to be a Naturopathic Doctor, and staying in a Las Vegas hotel for 8 days to earn my Certified Natural Health Profession (CNHP) certification, I would have told you that you were nuts. However, these past 4 ½ years have been more than I could imagine. I have enjoyed learning different methods of healing. I believe that constantly learning helps keep the mind young (at this point mine mind should be a teenager!)

While in Las Vegas we learned more on the legalities of what we do, water, general health, pH, how emotions effect our health, food, sleep, exercise, digestion, elimination, detoxification, nutrition, individual systems of the body, herbs, circulation, cholesterol, cooking and shopping, skin, biblical perspective, cleaning, emergency preparedness, finding the cause of disease, headaches, energy exhaustion and weight control. My fingers are tired from just typing all of that…imagine ones brain with all of that information! Do I now know everything about everything? Absolutely not! However, I do have a better grasp on the things listed above, which in turn makes me a better provider for you, our patient.

My goal is to have our office be your first stop when your body is not functioning they way God intended. Is HLWC the only place you should go? No, there is a time when we will not know what to do or we have exhausted all of our means to help you and you will need to see your MD. There is a time and place for allopathic medicine, but why not try what we have to offer first. Let’s make allopathic/western medicine the “alternative” care.

I look forward to sharing with you all that I have learned in the last 8 days, not to mention what I have learned in the last 4 years of Naturopathic studies. When you come into our office please test me. I may not have the answer instantly, but I will look it up and find what the best solution should be.

Motivation vs. Inspiration

Motivation seems to be something that everyone wants and yet we all have a hard time getting it. What is interesting is that people seem to think that motivation and inspiration are the same thing. People seem to think that the two have the same meaning and the two words are often used interchangeably. This is not an accurate assumption.

Let’s look at the meanings of each of these words.

Motivation: (as taken from the Dictionary)

1. the act or an instance of motivating, or providing with a reason to act in a certain way
2. the state or condition of being motivated or having a strong reason to act or accomplish something
3. something that motivates; inducement; incentive

Inspiration: (as taken from the Dictionary)

1. an inspiring or animating action or influence
2. something inspired, as an idea.
3. a result of inspired activity.
4. a thing or person that inspires.

By looking at the definitions you can see that motivation seems to imply that there is a goal to reach. So the goal has a pulling force on the individual creating motivation. The individual has a “motive” to reach that goal, whether it be to lose weight to look good in their swimsuit or have financial freedom to have a retirement home.

Inspiration on the other hand, is more of a process. If something or someone inspires you, it touches you on the inside and connects you to a state of being more excited, productive, purposeful or anything that comes as a result of being inspired.

So, inspiration is something that you feel on the inside, while motivation is something from the outside that compels you to take action. Inspiration is a driving force, while motivation is a pulling force. They both can help propel you forward.

New Year’s Resolutions

So how did New Year’s Resolutions come to be? I have often asked myself this very question. The very next question I ask myself is why do I “resolve” to do something every year and then fail? 

New Year’s resolution is a tradition found throughout the world dating back to ancient times. A person makes a promise to do an act of self-improvement. The origin of making New Year’s resolution rests with the Babylonians, who reportedly made promises to the gods in hopes that would earn good favor in the coming year. Turns out that they often resolved to get out of debt. Hmmmmmmm. That sounds familiar to me. I don’t know about you but I have “resolved” to get out of debt and I am pretty sure you can guess how that has worked out for me……I am still in debt! I have also “resolved” to lose weight and guess what? I am still trying lose weight. 

I have found that I make New Year’s resolutions and then never stick to them, so this year I am resolving to NOT make New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I have decided, to make goals that I would like to accomplish this year. Realistic goals, using baby steps. And as I reflect on 2015 I hope to see progress in each area that I have created a goal. Why beat myself up at the end of the year only to make more unrealistic resolutions? It is a vicious cycle and for me it ends now. I encourage everyone to try this with me. If you must make resolutions then enlist your friends to keep you accountable. When you keep your resolutions to yourself then there is no one there to keep you accountable. You are more likely to stay accountable to someone else than you are to yourself. It is sad truth but one we must all face. So set goals or shout your resolutions from the rooftops. Either way let’s be “partners in progress” this year. Expect nothing more than progress. Progress will eventually get you to your goal!  

Getting Back on the Wagon

Last year I had decided I was going to start a blog and use it to educate my patients and my community. Well…..I did not do as well as I had hoped. I didn’t realize how much thought and planning went into a blog let alone just getting one set up! I have a whole new respect for people who post on a daily basis! Anyway this time I have done a bit more planning. This past year was also a huge learning curve for me. Now I can better navigate my way through a blog and know how to work them a little better. I hope in the coming year (and many more after that) that I can utilize this media to educate people on their health. I want this to be an arena where people can feel like they can ask any question they want and get responses (whether it be by me or other followers) that are helpful to them and their situation. While I realize that health and fitness can bring up many topics of debate I don’t want this to be a platform in which people feel like they may ridiculed (we get enough of that on a regular basis). I hope the topics I discuss will empower people insert themselves as a part of their own healthcare team. I welcome any suggestions on topics that you are curious about. I want this to be a learning experience for everyone that follows this blog. So join me. Knowledge is power…..Be empowered!

The Benefits of Chiropractic During Pregnancy

Pregnancy and Birth as a Natural Process

With Chiropractic Care Supporting this Process

Chiropractors work with the body’s ability to adapt and function the way it is designed to. Chiropractic care in pregnancy is vital to the normal physiological function of both the mother and baby in pregnancy and birth. Here are the potential benefits:

In the mother:

  • Prepares the pelvis for an easier pregnancy and birth by creating a state of balance in pelvic bony structures, muscles and ligaments.
  • Removes torsion of the ligaments that support the uterus thus potentially reducing aberrant tension to the woman’s uterus.
  • Reduces interference to the mother’s vital nerve system which controls and co-ordinates all of her systems and functions.
  • By improving maternal function we are decreasing the potential for unnecessary intervention.

 

To the infant:

  • Reduces interference to the mother’s nerve system allowing for better baby development.
  • Pelvic balance allows the baby greater room to develop without restrictions to its forming cranium, spine and other skeletal structures.
  • Offers the baby the room to move into the best possible position for birth.
  • With proper fetal positioning, there is a significant decrease in dystocia and the resulting birth trauma caused by intervention.

     

15 Ways To Love Your Child

  1. Take time to listen to your children. Consider their point of view and respect it.
  2. Focus on your children’s good qualities and praise them. Avoid negative labels.
  3. Encourage individual differences between your children; point out their special talents. Avoid comparing your child to others.
  4. Hug your children even when they’ve done something wrong. Hugs help chase the little hurts away.
  5. Read together. Even older kids enjoy hearing a good story.
  6. Praise your children for all the good things they did today and every day. Recognize effort and improvement with a kind word.
  7. Say “I love you” to your kids daily. You can never tell your children you love them too many times.
  8. Remember to love your children just as they are.
  9. Encourage your kids to participate in family talks.
  10. Talk over problems; it makes them easier to handle.
  11. Be open and honest about your feelings; your children will learn these qualities from you.
  12. Follow through on your promises. When you can’t, explain why.
  13. Apologize when you are wrong. Parents don’t have to be perfect.
  14. Respect your children and their needs. Children will learn respect if they are treated with respect.
  15. Listen to your kids…Laugh…and laugh with them.