Grand Strand Health and Wellness - October 2019

October 2019

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Improving the Health of Your Neurological and MSK Systems A t Grand Strand Health and Wellness, we try to convey the “why” behind the “how” by letting our patients know why we recommend certain exercises,

the major muscle groups. These stretches combined give patients a way to holistically strengthen their joints and muscles. If you’re in a place where you can exercise, we always recommend low impact activities, such as swimming or biking, to get a cardio workout without putting unnecessary strain on your knees, ankles, and other joints. Along with stretching and exercising, you should make sure you have a properly supplemented diet. Dietary supplementation is very individualized because it revolves around your metabolism, your chemical makeup, and your diet. You’ll get most of the vitamins and minerals you need from the food you eat, provided you have a healthy, well-balanced diet. That being said, vitamin D3, vitamin B12, and alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) supplements do benefit a lot of people. Taking these supplements directly can be an easier way for some people to get all the vitamins they need. For example, the primary source of vitamin D3 is sunlight, so, if you’re indoors for most of the day, a D3 supplement could really help you. High impact exercises may benefit your physical health in the short run, but I tend to recommend against them for our patients’ long-term health. Steer clear of any type of plyometrics, or exercises that involve a lot of jumping, like P90X. All that up-and-down motion is not good for your joints. Even running in the long term will wear them out over time. My wife was a marathon runner for a long time, and for about a week after one of her races, she had persistent back

diets, and other lifestyle choices. But, in case you don’t already know the “why,” this month is National Chiropractic Health Month, and the American Chiropractic Association is focusing on how the health of your musculoskeletal (MSK) and nervous systems leads to strength, stability, and, ultimately, success. Because of that focus, we thought this month’s newsletter would be a good opportunity to talk about how you can improve your MSK and nervous systems outside the clinic, and why these things work. When it comes to helping improve our patients’ strength and balance, we often prescribe a series of eight stretches for them to do at home: the doorway stretch, the calf stretch, shoulder rolls, knee to chest stretches, ankle rolls, heel to toe walking, sitting to standing, and bicep curls. This list isn’t meant to be a magical cure-all for your MSK and neurological ailments, but it is a fairly comprehensive list of stretches that target “Ultimately, what I want our patients to understand is that holistic health is not about how good you feel today, tomorrow, or next month. It’s about what’s going to help your health decades from now.”

pain as a result of the long miles and rigorous training. She was in her 30s at the time. That was her last marathon. Ultimately, what I want our patients to understand is that holistic health is not about how good you feel today, tomorrow, or next month. It’s about what’s going to help your health decades from now. Over time, high-impact exercises and insufficient diets can wear people out and break them down. Don’t wait until you’re old and in pain to start caring about your MSK health. Get a head start on it today. –Dr. Chris Garner

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Grand Strand’s Patient of the Month

When you’re a parent with active kids, you don’t want your body to stop you from taking part in their activities. That’s what Christine Atchison decided when she started coming to Grand Strand, and she has seen nothing but progress. After first being referred to us by another patient of ours, Christine has come into our office every two weeks — and she never leaves her positivity at home! Christine understands the value of being health conscious not only for herself, but also for the other important people in her life. She originally came to Grand Strand so she could spend more time with her sons who liked playing sports like soccer. Because of that goal, Christine doesn’t hesitate to do everything we ask of her to get on the road to recovery and wellness. Whether it’s in person or on the phone, Christine is an absolute joy to talk to. She has even earned the nickname “Giggles” around the office because she always has a smile on her face and she never stops making us laugh. But she doesn’t just voice her happiness to us. She tells everyone she can about her results, and she’s referred several patients to our office, so they too can experience a pain-free life.

When she’s not at Grand Strand, Christine works as a dental hygienist, and

she enjoys swimming,

walking on the beach, reading, and doing crafts.

She is married, and she and her husband Thomas have four kids who are now all in their 20s.

Do you want to lead an active lifestyle, but you’re held back by pain in your muscles, joints, or nerves? Do you have kids or other family members you want to keep up with in their favorite sports and activities? Don’t hesitate to call the number listed on our website. We hope to see you soon!


If you’ve ever picked up a health magazine while waiting at the doctor’s office, then you’re probably familiar with the term “free radicals” — at least enough to know that they get a bad rap from doctors and beauticians alike. But what are they, exactly? According to Live Science, free radicals are atoms with unpaired electrons that have split off from oxygen molecules in the body and started to “scavenge” for other electrons to pair with. That wouldn’t be problematic, except that these atoms tend to damage cells, lipids, proteins, and even DNA along the way, and that destruction has serious consequences. As Live Science puts it, “Free radicals are associated with human disease, including cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and many others. They also may have a link to aging, which has been defined as a gradual accumulation of free-radical damage.” Unfortunately, it’s impossible to entirely avoid free radicals and the havoc they wreak. The process that forms free radicals, called oxidative stress, can be kick-started by a variety of different substances found in food, water, medicine, and even the air we breathe, according to the Huntington’s Outreach Project

for Education at Stanford University. Unsurprisingly, these substances are things already considered unhealthy, like alcohol, exposure to X-rays, ozone, fried food, chemical pesticides, air pollutants, and tobacco smoke. That said, there is one molecule that is stable enough to stand up to and reduce free radicals: the antioxidant. According to a study published by Pharmacognosy Reviews, antioxidants can “donate an electron to a rampaging free radical and neutralize it, thus reducing its ability to damage.” Synthetic antioxidants exist but can sometimes have harmful side effects, so scientists advise protecting yourself by avoiding free radical triggers like alcohol, processed foods, and red meat, and ingesting natural antioxidants in the form of berries, stone fruits, olives, onions, garlic, and green and black teas. Herbs and spices like cinnamon, basil, turmeric, and fenugreek can ratchet up your antioxidant levels too. While it can’t guarantee immortality, the right diet can certainly help you stave off aging and disease, so why not start today?


Grand Strand’s Teammate of the Month Celebrating Lee Pritchett

While I always recommend people refrain from exercises with a lot of jumping, I am so thankful that Lee Pritchett made the leap of faith to become our human resources specialist here at Grand Strand. We didn’t have an HR Specialist position until May of this year, but Lee has stepped into it seamlessly. Every day she dedicates her entire heart and soul into making sure our team is winning and growing. Her listening skills are top tier, and she knows exactly how to be efficient and easy to understand. She has also become an incredibly capable leader. She doesn’t hesitate to do a job that needs doing, and, if she doesn’t have tools to get a certain job done, she knows how to rely on her team to finish the task. Because she has become so In the few months Lee has been with us, she has proven to be an expert communicator.

adept at helping our team grow and achieve their goals, I sometimes think of her as the once-missing link in our office. It didn’t take long for us to adore Lee. She has played a part in making us all better at our jobs which, in turn, positively impacts our patients’ lives. So, even though most of our patients have never met Lee, she still plays a key role in making their experience at Grand Strand better. With her experience as a manager at big- box stores like Kohl’s, Gander Mountain, and Lowe’s Home Improvement, it’s no wonder she works so well with our team. We’re glad she has adapted well to our small business setting.

old grandson named Colton and a 2-year- old granddaughter named Leah. Her fiancé is Dale, and she has two daughters: Patricia, who is going into the Army after she graduates, and Kayla, who is a private transport EMT. Lee is a lifetime animal rescuer, and she currently has two cats, two birds, and three dogs — all of them rescues.

Outside of work, Lee loves to spend time with her grandchildren. She has a 6-year-


Client Success

“Before I started massage care, I was experiencing tension headaches and stiffness in my shoulders and neck. Since having regular care, I am experiencing fewer headaches and ‘knots’ in my muscles. I absolutely recommend this practice. It helps in maintaining a well-balanced body and benefiting my overall health. When your body is relaxed and working properly, everything else falls into place.” –Liz B.

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Inside This Issue It’s National Chiropractic Health Month!

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Grand Strand’s Patient of the Month Tips for Fighting Free Radicals


Grand Strand’s Team Member of the Month Client Success Stories


Learn About Your Gut-Brain Axis

The Amazing Connection Between Your Stomach and Your Brain

While it may seem strange to think about, the human stomach is truly a thing of wonder. Most humans only acknowledge its digestive processes, but the gut plays a much more influential role in our day-to- day lives than simply breaking down food for nutrient production; it is closely connected to our emotional states, as well. Think about it. Have you ever felt butterflies before a date, intestinal pain during moments of stress, or nausea before an important presentation? Have you ever told someone to “follow their gut” before making a big decision? These physical symptoms are not a coincidence; they are known in the scientific world as the gut-brain axis . Your gut is connected to the limbic system, the part of the brain that processes emotions. The brain sends messages to all other organs in your body, so it’s not surprising it communicates with your stomach, too. What is surprising, however, is that the connection goes both ways. Just as your brain can relay information to your gut about excitement and anxiety, your gut can have a direct impact on the way you feel.

good and bad bacteria living in the GI tract — becomes significantly altered or imbalanced, psychological or neurological issues can arise. In response to these emerging findings, dietary approaches and probiotics are being explored to see how well they can modulate a person’s microbiome and address symptoms. While research is still being conducted to determine the extent of the stomach’s influence over emotional and mental states, plenty of evidence proves the connection is real.

Your stomach “talks” to you all the time, and, if you didn’t have enough reasons to pay attention to the food you eat, now you have one more thing to keep in mind. If you start thinking a bit more with your gut, your health will thank you for it!

According to a recent study published by the National Library of Medicine, when a person’s microbiome — the diverse population of


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