NOVA Chiropractic & Acupuncture January 2019



Hours of Operation: Monday–Wednesday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday–Sunday Closed

January 2019

LOOKING BACK AT 2018 Unique Cases I’ve Faced

Over the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of treating many patients, both new and old. When I treat someone, I ensure that they are well taken care of so they can get back to their lives pain-free. Even though many of my patient’s issues are common and typical, there are some patient treatment experiences that I will always be thankful that I referred out to another provider for a more in-depth look. An example of a normal patient treatment experience is when a patient came to me with debilitating back pain. She was suffering from a herniated disk in her lower back and had shooting pain down both her legs to the point where she could barely walk, drive, or sit. During her first treatment, she experienced an instant improvement. After six treatments, she was 90 percent better — she made it through the holidays with few to no issues. This is a typical case for me at the clinic, but now and then I’m faced with a unique situation.

his hips. When I treated him, he would feel better for a short time, but the pain continued to come back. I decided to send him in for an MRI around Christmas in 2017. I received a call from the radiologist shortly afterward. He left a message telling me to call back right away, as it was highly important — never a good sign. I called him up, and he told me the patient had a large aneurysm in his aorta and needed to have surgery immediately. If it burst, the patient would die instantly. The problem was that I didn’t have the means to reach this patient easily at hand being that I was in New York for Christmas, but luckily, after some digging, I found an email he had sent a couple years ago that had a phone number in it. I got in touch with him and told him he needed to go to the nearest hospital right away. Within five or six hours, he was scheduled for surgery. He came out of it just fine and was soon vacationing in Cancun. I always remember this patient around this time of year because he was my Christmas miracle. It’s amazing that everything worked out so perfectly and we were able to save his life. My goal is to help people, and if I can’t, it’s to get them to someone who can. Even in tough cases where I have to call and tell them they need to get to the hospital right away, I know it’s to prevent the situation from worsening, and, ultimately, to save a life.

“My goal is to help people, and if I can’t, it’s to get them to someone who can”

Two patients stand out to me when I look back on 2017/2018. One was the picture of health. He had no history of major health issues and was in great shape overall. I treated him four or five times for lower back pain and pain in his ribs, but every time I treated him, the pain would come back quickly. At first, I didn’t think much of it, as his work required him to lift and manage heavy equipment. However, as it continued with no signs of fading, I knew something wasn’t right. I ordered an MRI, and the radiologist called me directly to tell me the patient had metastatic bone cancer. This was one of the more difficult cases for me — I had to call him and tell him that he needed to see a cancer specialist right away to get the treatment he needed.

The other unique case that was hard for me was when a patient I’d been seeing on and off for a couple of years for back issues started to get pain in

-Dr. Todd P. Sullivan

(703) 912-7822

GET YOUR KIDS TO EAT Healthier Than Ever

Do your kids get enough nutrients in their diet? If they’re like most kids, the answer is probably no. You want your children to eat more vegetables and less processed junk, but they certainly don’t make it easy. Even getting the average kid to chow down on a serving of broccoli can be a huge chore. In fact, food manufacturers have built an entire industry that takes advantage of our kids’ penchant for sugary cereal and fast food. However, a diet of highly processed foods can lead to a host of problems. Not only do these poor dietary habits carry over into adulthood, but a poor diet can hinder brain development and may even cause behavioral issues. A study in the American Journal of Public Health found links between poor diet and the development of depression in kids and teens. But how can you encourage your kids to eat healthier? Often, it comes down to presentation. Amound of plain old veggies is not appetizing —not to a 10-year-old and not to a 40-year-old. Instead of presenting vegetables as a boring side dish, think of them as an ingredient. Take lasagna, for instance. This tasty, familiar dish is easy to modify. Instead of using lasagna noodles, use zucchini. Simply slice the zucchini into thin, noodle-like strips, then layer them as you would typical noodles. The same can be done with other pasta dishes, such as spaghetti. Zucchini noodles — or “zoodles” — are delicious in marinara sauce and decadent in Alfredo. If push comes to shove, you can easily hide vegetables in foods your children already know and love. Did you know you can make brownies with avocado and black beans? Slipping in a few healthier ingredients here and there can deliver those nutrients in a pinch, especially during a chaotic school week. But, if you’re hoping to foster long-lasting healthy habits, the best thing you can do is offer your child a choice. Say something like “You can have the cauliflower, or you can have the broccoli. It’s up to you!” Let your child have that control. Psychologists and social scientists, including the famed Dr. Maria Montessori, argue that when kids feel in charge of a decision, they are more likely to embrace one of the options — even if it’s a vegetable.


A Perfect Fit for You

Something many people don’t address when it comes to their overall health is a full night’s rest. We all know getting a good night’s sleep is essential, but maybe you have a fitful night no matter how early you go to bed and always wake up feeling stiff and sore. This could be because of your pillow. It might not seem like a drastic change, but using the right pillow can make a big difference. At NOVA Chiropractic & Acupuncture, we use a company called Pillowise to provide our patients with a perfect pillow based on their individual needs. Pillowise uses a measuring system to match every person to one of their six different pillow sizes. No two people are alike in size or shape, nor does everyone sleep in the same way. Pillowise takes this into account, ensuring that the people who choose their product receive a pillow specifically for their needs. When you come into our office, you will be measured and can test different pillows to find the right one for you. This system has proved to have immense benefits for our patients. It allows their necks and bodies to relax and heal throughout the night, leading them to wake up feeling more refreshed than they did with the wrong pillow. When a pillow doesn’t provide proper support, it can lead to problems such as muscle tightness. When you receive your Pillowise pillow, our clinic provides a 30-day money back guarantee, and the company itself gives a two-year warranty on their products. If your pillow loses its form after a year, we will get you a new one. While the pillow can be a little expensive — running at about $119 — the quality of the pillow lasts, and the company stands firmly behind that. A few months ago Dr. Sullivan created a YouTube video on how to correctly measure and fit someone with a Pillowise pillow. We encourage you to follow the link and see this process firsthand: If you wake up with constant pain or stiffness, it just might be your pillow. Call our office today to get the quality sleep you deserve.

Ultimately, as a parent, you are in charge of your child’s diet. Help them explore new foods and foster a positive culinary

environment. Your kids will develop a taste for healthy eating in no time!

(703) 912-7822

The month of January kicks off by welcoming the new year — there are countdowns, fireworks, and of course, the ball drop in a freezing-cold Times Square. But why? Why do we start our calendars when much of the U.S. is in the dead of winter? Why January? The short answer is Julius Caesar and Roman politics. The calendar had long been a political tool in Rome. Depending on who was in power, Roman pontifices would add or subtract entire weeks from the year, manually adjusting the term limits of elected officials. As you could imagine, this caused a lot of chaos, because months frequently slipped out of time with the changing seasons. After becoming emperor, Julius Caesar brought about some much-needed reforms. Inspired by the Egyptian solar calendar, Caesar fixed the Roman year at 365 days and instituted the leap year to keep months aligned with the solstices. He moved the new year from the spring to the day that elected officials traditionally began their year-long terms, Jan. 1. The Origin of New Year’s Day WHY JANUARY? This choice carried spiritual significance, since January was named for Janus, god of doors and gates. What better month to celebrate new beginnings? Under Caesar and subsequent rulers, the Roman Empire expanded its reach, carrying its calendar with it. While much of Europe adopted Caesar’s calendar, New Year’s Day remained a hot-button issue for centuries.

Thanks in part to the spread of Christianity and to the colder

conditions in Northern Europe, there was a lot of resistance to the January start date. Religious leaders saw it as a pagan holiday, and much of Europe chose to restart the calendar on March 25, during the

Feast of Annunciation. Much of Catholic Europe officially recognized Jan. 1 as the start of the new year after Pope Gregory reformed the solar calendar again, correcting certain mathematical errors made in Caesar’s day. There were still holdouts, however. In fact, England and its American colonies continued to celebrate New Year’s Day in March until 1752. So there you have it —we were very close to having our fireworks celebrations in lovely spring weather. Ultimately, the ubiquity of the Gregorian calendar won out, as the demands of our increasingly interconnected world made a shared calendar a necessity. So if you struggle to start your New Year’s resolutions this winter, blame Julius Caesar.

Citrus & Avocado Salad Ingredients


Inspired by Bon Appétit

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 blood, cara cara, or navel orange, sliced 1/8-inch thick and deseeded 1 Meyer or regular lemon, sliced 1/8-inch thick and deseeded

1 bunch arugula

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

1 avocado, cut into wedges

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced


1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. In a rimmed baking sheet, toss citrus slices with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast citrus until lightly charred and caramelized, about 10–15 minutes. Let cool. 3. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine onion and lemon juice. Season with salt and let sit for 5 minutes. 4. Add citrus, arugula, and mint to onion mixture. Drizzle with remaining oil, season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss thoroughly. 5. Add avocado, combing very gently to not crush avocado.

(703) 912-7822


5288 Lyngate Court Burke, VA 22015

Inside Issue THIS

Unique Cases

Trick Your Kids Into Healthy Eating

• Healing and Recovery in Your Sleep

Why Start the New Year in Winter?

• Citrus and Avocado Salad

Events Near You

their $25 Comedy Show Dinner Special, you’ll receive the comedy ticket, one appetizer, one dessert, and one special entre é . For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

SUSHI THURSDAYS Where: The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, McLean When: Every Thursday, 5:30–8:30 p.m.

Admission: Prices Vary Website:

If you’re a lover of all things sushi, or if you want to try it for the first time, reserve your Thursday evenings for the Ritz-Carlton. Diners will have a chance to watch as an expert guest sushi chef nimbly creates sashimi, maki, and specialty rolls. Sip on a glass from the drink specials menu, socialize with your friends, and delight in the fresh sushi made right before your eyes. LULULEMON RUN CLUB Where: Mosaic District, 2920, District Ave, Fairfax When: Every Thursday, 6:30–8 p.m. Admission: Free! Website: Join your fellow joggers and runners every Thursday on District Avenue as they take to the streets. The course will loop two miles and is updated each run via the Facebook page. The public is invited to join the club at any comfortable pace or level, whether you’re a pro or just starting out. For more information or to see weekly posts about this event, visit the link above.

Take the Time and Enjoy Yourself START THE YEAR RIGHT!

Looking to get out of your house and start the new year right? You’re in luck! Here are some exciting events that’ll get you on your feet and out enjoying yourself this January.

COMEDY SHOWAT THE BISTRO Where: Lebanese Bistro, Burke When: Every Friday, 9 p.m. Admission: $12–$35 Website:

Head over to the Lebanese Bistro for a weekly laugh. Settle in and watch local and visiting comedians as they take the stage. The bistro offers food and drinks at happy-hour prices from 9 p.m. through the end of the event. If you purchase

(703) 912-7822

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