Ventura Spine & Nerve Center March 2019

(805) 648-7987 | The Vertebral Column Health Transformations Without Toxic Medications

MARCH 2019


Consciously build your network of friends, family, and community. They’re your most powerful allies in achieving long-term health.

can cause acid reflux as well as exacerbate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. Many studies show that stress messes with your immune system, which may be why you’re likely to come down with a cold after a crunch time at school or work — or even on the first day of your vacation. Stress can even muddle your brain. You can see that it’s important to consistently monitor your stress level. Besides hugging a dog, here are other ways to manage stress. • When you eat the right foods, you balance blood sugar, restore hormonal robbing molecules like caffeine, alcohol, and refined sugars. Replace those foods with clean protein, healthy fats, leafy and cruciferous vegetables, berries, and nongluten grains. balance, and reduce the damaging impact of stress. Eliminate mind- Find and correct the biological or chemical sources of problems with the mind. This can include mercury toxicity, magnesium and vitamin B12 deficiencies, and gluten allergies. Find active relaxation that works for you. Whether that means deep breathing or a simple leisurely walk, do it. Make movement your drug: Exercise is a powerful, well-studied way to burn off stress chemicals and heal the mind. Take multivitamins and nutrients to help balance the stress response, such as vitamin C; the B-complex vitamins; zinc; and most importantly, magnesium, the relaxation mineral. • • • •

On Valentine’s Day, Susan and I celebrated the two-year anniversary of rescuing our dog, Pippi, from the animal shelter. It’s an appropriate day to receive the gift of unconditional love. She has brought us so much happiness, and there’s nothing better than seeing her wagging her tail, full of joy, when we arrive home. All the stresses of the day melt away. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, most of us have too much stress in our lives, especially during the prime productivity and child-rearing ages of 18–55. Life is about creating your own happiness by finding elements of joy wherever you can. It’s all about managing the ebb and flow of being a human being. As we have seen with Pippi, dogs can be an incredibly powerful part of weaving consistent delight into your daily life — the kind of delight that allays insecurities, calms worry, and lifts your spirits when hope seems elusive. At the Ventura Spine & Nerve Center, we’re on a quest to restore hope and health to others and help people battle the physical, chemical, and emotional stresses that can wreak havoc on a person’s health and take away the desires of a quality-filled life. Severe stress — the kind that continues for months or years — is more likely to lead to serious illness than short-term stressors are if left unchecked. Studies have shown that chronic stress is linked to increased inflammation in the body, which is thought to underlie many diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders. Stress also affects your digestive tract. As a result, stress


Prioritize sleep, and if you feel like you’re not getting high-quality shut-eye, find strategies to improve it. Proper spinal alignment with consistent chiropractic care helps negate some of the effects of stress and prevents long- term damage to the body. When the spine is misaligned, the nervous system is unable to properly send messages through the body. Better spinal alignment means better communication and increased system efficiency. You may also see other changes such as a better mood, less insomnia, and improved posture and self-image. Chiropractic adjustments release muscle tension, soothe irritated spinal nerves, and improve blood circulation. These changes can often alert the brain to switch off the fight-or-flight response so the body can return to a more relaxed state. While it’s impossible to completely eliminate stress, it’s important to do everything you can to negate the effects of stress on your body so you can live a drug-free, quality- filled life. We’re here to help. –Dr. Steven Alff, D.C. 1 (805) 648-7987

Tips to Keep Memory Sharp and Improve Cognitive Function STRENGTH OF MIND

in greater retention of neural matter — particularly in the hippocampus.” In short, exercises like swimming and running keep the part of our brain responsible for memory from shrinking. Spend Time With Friends and Family Humans are social creatures. Many studies have shown that being a part of a supportive social group can significantly benefit our physical and mental health. In fact, the American Journal of Public Health reports that people who have daily contact with friends and family cut their risk of dementia and mental impairment almost in half. Our mental diaries may be longer and fuller than they were in Wilde’s day, but if we fill those pages with hobbies, exercise, and close friends, our memories will remain sharp and vivid for the rest of our days.

Irish poet Oscar Wilde once called memory “the diary that we all carry about with us.” Of course, in Wilde’s time, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years old. As modern medicine continues to enable people to live longer, these “diaries” tend to become muddled. Fortunately, there are ways to counteract the natural dulling of our memory that comes with time.

retirement, often to make up for the loss of stimulating challenges that work used to provide. Get Physical Taking care of our physical health has also been shown to help brain function. According to a study by Sydney University in Australia, aerobic exercise is particularly good at jogging our memory. The researchers note that “aerobic exercise acts by preventing the usual decrease in neurogenesis associated with aging, thus resulting

Puzzle Yourself Just like any other muscle, our brain needs a workout in order to stay strong. As Dr. Celeste Robb- Nicholson of Harvard Medical School writes, “Challenging your brain with mental exercise is believed to activate processes that help maintain individual brain cells.” Activities like solving puzzles, learning a musical instrument, or picking up a new hobby work wonders to keep your mind active and your memory sharp. These mental exercises are especially important after

Bill Shares His Story What Our Patients Say

“I was a complete mess when I contacted Dr. Alff. I had burning and tingling in both feet and was suffering from zero use of my left shoulder. I even had gout in my right wrist and hand. When asked what my pain level was between 1–10, I was a 15! I was taking about 14 pain pills a day. The change after undergoing care with Dr. Alff was an amazing thing! After being deaf for 40 years, I went to my doctor, and he told me that I now have 35 percent hearing in my right ear!

I am not done with my treatment yet, but the burning and tingling in my feet is almost gone! I can use my left shoulder 50 percent more than I could before! My gout has vanished, and my pain level is way down. Even in just the short time I have known Dr. Alff and his outstanding staff, I’ve grown to look forward to my appointments. I feel like I am going to see my

friends each time!” - Bill H., Ventura 2


Only From Food Is a Bad Idea

lack of calories can all cause nutrient deficiencies. There is evidence that consuming nutrients from food is more beneficial than from supplements, which is why you should focus on a nutrient-rich diet first, but that shouldn’t be the end of the story. Supplementation May Help You Live Longer Aging is a natural process, but it’s not fun. There is good reason to believe a higher intake of nutrients may prolong life. If supplements can buy you a few more years of quality life, why not take them? Don’t shy away from them because of the confusing information we mentioned in the first paragraph! After 40 years of studying nutrition, we wanted to offer our practice members top-quality, professional-grade nutritional supplementation formulated and manufactured according to a “science first” approach. That’s why we have chosen the Designs for Health company. Their philosophy is most evident in their commitment to research and science,

You’ve likely heard conflicting information about nutrient supplementation. With thousands of multivitamins, minerals, and other supplements lining health food store shelves, it’s no wonder people are confused. Which of these pills and potions are legit, if any? Are the people who buy these just investing in really expensive pee? Even worse, can supplements damage your body? As the standard American diet (SAD) shifts farther and farther away from nutrient-dense foods like high-quality animal proteins and vegetables, nutrient deficiency is becoming a widespread epidemic. Even if you’re following a more nutrient-dense diet full of quality protein and fats, you can no longer rely on getting all of your nutrients from food . Nutrient deficiencies hurt your performance, cause DNA damage, make you age faster, and can contribute to chronic diseases. The idea that you can get all your nutrients from food is fine in theory but virtually impossible in practice. Soil and water depletion, food and environmental toxins, poor absorption, pesticides, and TAKE A BREAK

and they manufacture a product that is superior in both quality and efficacy. When we recommend one of Design for Health’s supplement products, we are confident that you will receive a superior product every time. I am so confident that I have opened an online e-store so you can order these quality supplements from the comfort of your home. To order, go to Use the coupon code FIRST25 and you will receive 25 percent off your first order! If you order over $49 in supplements, shipping is free. You can order these on Amazon, but their prices are 10 percent higher than at our store. Please do not hesitate to contact us at 805-648-7987 if you have any questions about which supplements you should be adding to your health plan.



• 2 bone-in porterhouse steaks • 1/4 cup olive oil • 2 sprigs rosemary • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste • Lemon wedges, for serving


1. 30 minutes before cooking, remove steaks from fridge to bring them to room temperature. 2. Heat a grill or large cast-iron skillet to high. While heating, brush steaks with half the oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. 3. Place steaks on the hottest part of the grill or pan and cook for 5 minutes. 4. Flip steaks and baste with remaining oil, using rosemary sprigs as a brush. If cooking in a pan, place sprigs next to steaks after basting. 5. Cook for 5–6 minutes for medium-rare. 6. Let steaks sit for at least 5 minutes, slice against the grain, and serve with bone.


What if you devoted this year to simply loving yourself more? If you are starting this year not quite feeling like yourself and wishing you felt better, please give us a call and schedule a free, no obligation consultation. 805-648-7987

Inspired by Saveur magazine 3 (805) 648-7987

(805) 648-7987


1590 E. Main Street Ventura, CA 93001


inside this issue

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Our Dog Pippi 3 Ways to Improve Your Memory Hear From Our Patients! Don’t Only Rely on Your Food Bistecca Alla Fiorentina Getting Important Greens on Your Plate

The Importance of Green Foods ADDING NUTRIENTS TO YOUR MEALS

Being healthy is at the forefront of many Americans’ minds. The nutrients you put into your system are critical to keeping your mind and body healthy. Everyone knows that staying away from junk, fried, and sugary foods is a good start, but knowing what to add to your diet is equally crucial.

weight, multiply your weight in pounds by 12. If you want to lose weight, start by subtracting 500 calories per week to lose approximately 1 pound per week. You can start adding greens into your diet by adding them as side dishes. For dinner, serve a bowl of steamed broccoli or green beans. Instead of grabbing a burger at lunchtime, pack a leafy green salad topped with protein, such as nuts or chicken. This time of year, soups and stews that contain leafy greens will warm you up. If you don’t enjoy eating greens, hide them in smoothies and juices. The more you eat leafy greens, the more you’ll develop a taste for them. Who knows? Before long, you might find yourself reaching for the broccoli instead of the potato chips when you’re craving a snack!

Leafy greens, such as kale, mizuna, and spinach, are rich in dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, and iron. They also contain

vitamins C, K, and E. Adding these greens into your diet can support weight loss and reduce your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. To make sure you’re eating enough greens, divide your plate up between fruits, vegetables, and meats. Vegetables or fruits should take up half of your plate. The other half should be lean proteins. This guarantees that you’re eating a well-balanced meal and not overloading yourself with large portions of unnecessary calories.

When you eat a well-balanced meal, you provide your body with the right nutrients and the calories it needs. If you’re unsure how many calories you should eat to maintain your current 4

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