COLUMN SEPT/OCT 2019
That Phone! Put Down 860.644.2437 WWW.FUNCTIONFORLIFE.COM Relieving the Stress of ‘Text Neck’
A few weeks ago, I was assisting a patient for their regular adjustment when I noticed something strange. Nothing unusual was wrong with the patient, nor did I feel off or sick. But I noticed that I left my phone in my pocket. Whenever I’m adjusting a patient, I try to keep my entire focus on them. This is their time to check in with their health, and they deserve my full attention. When I discovered that my phone was in my pocket, I was in danger of succumbing to a common condition when it comes to technology: the drive to check it. Technology, especially our cellphones, have become extensions of ourselves. Our phones are never more than 10 feet away from us, and when we can’t find them, we go into panic mode. Our phones always have to be near us or in our hands. Likewise, whenever someone sits down, is waiting, or has a moment of free time, they are likely looking down at their cellphone. Putting aside commentary on society’s obsession with screens, the constant downward stare and position of our necks is a serious health problem! Dubbed “text neck,” this strain can evoke pain in your neck, head, and limbs. The pain begins when your head is bent downward for an extended period. Your head weighs anywhere between 8–10 pounds, and as you look down, this weight and gravity can add up to 60 pounds of pressure on your neck! Think of it this way: When you pick up a bowling ball and tuck it into your body, holding it with both hands near your abdomen, it’s not very heavy. You can likely hold it for a long period of time without too much effort. But if you hold the bowling ball straight out in front of you with one hand, there’s a good chance your arm will become weaker with each passing second. It’s the same idea with your neck. It wasn’t designed to sustain the constant pressure of looking down that cellphones create. This limits a patient’s range of motion, can incite frequent and painful headaches, and ultimately puts more
pressure on your ligaments, muscles, joints, and brain. Your neck is the bridge that connects your spine to your brain, and straining it damages that relationship.
Of course, the simple answer is to put your phone down. In addition to giving your neck a break, commonly practicing this is great for your eyes, your brain, falling asleep, and your overall health. But with the ever-growing digital world we live in, having a cellphone is almost necessary — and this is where chiropractic disciplines can help. Start by asking a relative to do a simple test for you. While you stand up straight, have them look at the alignment of your ear to your shoulder. If the ear is just over your shoulder, then your neck integrity is normal. As the ear starts to move forward, that’s where the issues can arise. In chiropractic care, this is where we can gain back that neck integrity. We can strengthen the relationship between your spine and your brain by focusing on regular adjustments and the alignment of your neck. It may take more than one visit, and it can be a continual problem you have to monitor. (I even get regularly adjusted, and text neck is a common thing I watch for!) Cellphones may be ingrained into our lifestyles, but they don’t have to ruin our lives. Chiropractic care’s focus on opening up your body for proper communication is the perfect basis for treating the conditions cellphones create.
But sometimes you should just put the phone down.
(P.S. See Page 2 to learn how text neck could be even worse for your children!) –Dr. Chris Colby
“Relief today ... function for life!”
for Your Diet
What you eat and how your body performs are two intimately linked aspects of your overall fitness. That’s why distance runners carb-load on spaghetti before marathons and yogis skip breakfast before a 105-degree Bikram class. However, this nuance is easy to neglect in a world of fad diets and food trends that move at whiplash speed. If you’ve jumped on the keto, vegan, or paleo bandwagons but are still slogging through the same workout routine, it’s time to take a closer look at your body’s needs and tailor your gym time accordingly. Here are a few tips for matching your diet to the optimal workout. Keto This high-fat, low-carb diet is currently booming among athletes who relish the opportunity to chow down on pork rinds and cheese (a perk that comes at the expense of giving up chips, bread, and most fruits). Shape magazine recommends moderate-intensity workouts for people eating keto because they won’t have the ample supply of glucose the body relies on for high-intensity exercises like sprints and HIIT. On the plus side, if you go keto, you’ll burn more fat during cardio because you won’t have a store of glycogen to compete with it as an energy source. Back at It How to Match Your Routine to Your Plate Your kids may be dreading school, but chances are you are ready for them to be back in a routine. Keep their schedule going with these tips for a healthy, safe school year. Mind Their Spine Children’s bodies are in a constant state of development. This puts a lot of pressure on their bodies, and the spine can specifically feel the brunt of these changes. Children should have regular chiropractic adjustments to monitor the growth of their spine so it can develop as naturally as possible. In addition, proper posture and alignment while they use phones or tablets can prevent spine damage. Slouching or tilting their necks can lead to degeneration! Protect their spines further by ensuring they are never carrying more than 10–15% of their body weight in their backpacks, and choose bags that offer extra support. No Sick Days As kids venture back to the classroom, they bring germs with them. Give your child the best chance each day, starting the night before. Establish a bedtime routine that provides your child with at least 9–11 hours of sleep. Fuel their days with whole foods that won’t gunk up their systems with
Vegan Plant-based diets are generally associated with slow-moving exercises like yoga, but VegNews reports that short, high-intensity workouts are actually the best option for people who don’t eat meat or dairy. Choosing quick workouts means your body won’t use up as much protein (which vegans generally consume less of), and the ample glucose in a vegan diet is ideal for powering intense workouts like sprints, stairs, body-weight lifts, and CrossFit drills. Paleo The paleo diet is unique in that it actually comes with its own exercise plan, though many paleo eaters probably don’t know it. According to Paleo Leap,“The paleo lifestyle emphasizes natural movement (preferably outside) over machine-based exercises and brief but intense strength training workouts over extended sessions of steady-state cardio.”Above all, paleo advocates advise listening to your body and choosing a workout plan that leaves you feeling good. garbage, and encourage them to drink water. Increase their immunity by giving them supplements, and avoid fluoride, which has been shown to adversely affect a child’s neurological functioning. Finally, sneezing and coughing can be a body’s defense against illnesses, but monitoring their conditions and knowing what illnesses need medical attention is vital. Your chiropractor can provide natural healing techniques, too. Get Them Moving An idle body creates an idle brain, which will later lead to lethargy, poor concentration, and weakened skills. Children need at least 60 minutes of activity each day, but this movement doesn’t require a workout routine to be effective. Get out in nature and hike, bike, or explore your local park! Take up jogging together as a family, or go for a swim while it’s still warm. The sunshine will increase your serotonin and vitamin D, and your joints, muscles, and brain will thank you. Make this school year the best one yet! Set your children up for academic success by scheduling an appointment with South Windsor Neck & Back, and inquire about back-to-school health tips by calling 860.644.2437. Back-to-School Health for Your Kids
“Relief today ... function for life!”
“My son, Braxtin, has been coming to get adjusted since hewas a baby to help clear up his ear infections. Andmy daughter, Marzena, when she gets a cold, adjustments clear her sinuses. They both do stunt classes and play rough and tumble, and adjustments keep them in good shape.” –Sara
“Chiropractic care has been helpingmewith injuries tomy neck and back. It has also helped my daughter, Haylie, with headaches andmy son, Andrew, with earaches.” –Julie
Julie, Haylie, and Andrew
Broccoli Cheddar Soup With
As theweather cools down, warmupwith this Colby family favorite.
• • •
1/2 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 large garlic cloves, sliced thin 1 tsp dried crumbled oregano 1 tsp crumbled dried basil 1 tsp crumbled dried thyme
1 loaf Italian bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
• • • • •
• • • • •
8 oz russet potatoes
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 large broccoli head
2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt and to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp pepper Directions
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
2 tbsp sour cream
Croutons: 1. In a small saucepan, combine the garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, salt, pepper, and oil. Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes, then discard the garlic. 2. Pour the mixture over the bread cubes, and toss until all cubes evenly coated. 3. Spread the bread cubes across a baking pan, and bake at 350 F for 8 minutes. 4. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top of the bread and bake for another 7 minutes.
Soup: 1. Cut half of the broccoli florets into 1-inch pieces, and place them in a large bowl. Cut the other florets into 1/4-inch pieces and place in a small bowl. 2. Cut the bottom of the broccoli stalk, and use a vegetable peeler to trim away the woody outer layer. Cut the stalk into 1-inch pieces and place them in the large bowl with the florets. 3. In a large saucepan, heat oil to a simmer over medium heat, and add onion, salt, and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.
4. Peel and cut the potato into 1-inch pieces. 5. Add potatoes, broth, water, and broccoli stalk mixture to the oil mixture and bring to a boil. Cook for 20 minutes. 6. Purée the soup until smooth. Return the blended soup to the saucepan and keep on low heat. 7. Add the reserved broccoli florets and simmer for 10 minutes. 8. Stir in cheese and sour cream, and season the mixture with salt and pepper. 9. Top the soup with the croutons, and enjoy a hearty fall classic!
“Relief today ... function for life!”
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Inside This Issue
1 2 3 4
How Your Cellphone Is Hurting Your Neck
Finding the Right Workout for Your Diet Tips for a Healthy Back-to- School Season Back Talk
The Vibrant Colors of America’s National Parks
Have you ever wanted to experience the colors of a Boston fall while enjoying the peace and tranquility of the great outdoors? Autumn leaves are a universally appreciated sign of the changing seasons, and there’s no better place to see those vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds on display than in one of America’s national parks. So, if you’ve got some free time this autumn, here are some parks worth seeing. Acadia National Park, Maine While the maple, birch, and poplar trees of Acadia begin to change color in September, mid-October is the best time to witness autumn in full swing. The park is crisscrossed with unpaved trails that date back to a time of horse-drawn carriages, preserving an idyllic setting. If you want to see the colors in full effect, take a drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard, and watch the sun crest over the vibrant leaves. To fully experience fall in the Northeastern U.S., Acadia National Park is a must-see. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina Further south, the autumn colors of the Smoky Mountains are no less breathtaking than those in the Northeast. This park offers many scenic lookout points accessible to Visit This Fall National Parks
by car, so don’t worry about hoofing it into the forest if that’s not your thing. Park wherever you like and watch the warm colors of ancient maples, oaks, and cedars change before your eyes. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming While theWest might typically be associated with evergreen pines, the deciduous trees of the relatively small Grand Teton National Park pack a colorful punch starting around the third week of September. It’s also breeding season for elk in the area, and their high, eerie whistles can be heard in the evenings. Popular destinations in the park include the Christian Pond Loop and String Lake. Just because the weather is cooling down doesn’t mean you have to abandon your favorite national parks until next summer. The natural beauty of America can be experienced at any time of the year, so start planning your next autumn outdoor excursion!
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