One of the most popular events surrounding the annual New Year’s celebration is the Polar Bear Plunge. Thousands of people brave the icy cold water for the thrill and celebration of the new year. As crazy as this seems to people observing on television from the warmth of their living room, science confirms there are many benefits to a daily ice bath or taking a cold shower. Athletes around the world use ice baths for muscle recovery and professional sports leagues all utilize the ice bath (NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB). One of the major non-sports related benefits has to do with mental and emotional health. Ice baths release neurotransmitters (hormones such as serotonin, cortisol, dopamine, norepinephrine and B-endorphin). These chemicals play a crucial role in emotion regulation, stress regulation and reward processing (which helps in the engagement of goal directed behavior). Ice baths will increase the dopamine concentration levels in the body. Dopamine is the happiness hormone. Studies show that 30 days of cold showers will equip your body to better handle stress, leading to an increase in resilience. Ice baths and cold showers may help reduce anxiety symptoms over time.
Raw carrots are a popular, sweet and healthy snack that is easy to prepare. They not only go great with dips and sauces, but are enjoyable as is. Carrots are low in calories, nutrient dense and have a significant amount of fiber. Most people choose a bag of baby carrots for their convenience, unfortunately baby carrots are bathed in chlorine before sale which increases your risk of chemical byproduct exposure. The best carrots to enjoy are organic whole carrots. Science shows that the act of actually cutting the carrots with your kitchen knife increases the release of healthy antioxidants in the vegetable.
On the topic of healthy snacks, sweet cherries are high in potassium which is important in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Cherries also contain a number of strong anticancer nutrients. Tart cherries help with inflammation and can help prevent arthritis and relieve symptoms of gout. To avoid harmful pesticides, purchase organic cherries. Or better yet, plant your own cherry tree.
One of the more common conditions that presents in our chiropractic office, is plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is foot pain that occurs on the bottom of the foot. This condition develops in runners and people who walk a lot or stand on their feet all day. The fascia is a soft tissue covering of the bottom of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation or microtears in the fascia. Fasciitis can also be caused by stress fractures in the foot, a tight Achillies tendon and a decrease in the arch support of your feet. Typically, the onset of symptoms is gradual and noticeable on your first few steps getting out of bed in the morning. The condition can worsen to the point that every step is a sharp, constant pain. Treatment for plantar fasciitis is based around stretches, ice massage or wearing a splint that prevents foot flexion. In our chiropractic office we treat fasciitis with adjustments of the bones in the foot that make up the arch (metatarsals). Ice massage performed at home involves freezing a plastic water bottle or a golf ball and rolling your foot over top.
Pregnancy Prenatal Chiropractic Care Info: People may use the terms “unmedicated” or “natural” birth to refer to a vaginal birth without an epidural or other pain medication. An epidural involves a healthcare professional placing a catheter in between the vertebra in the space below the spinal cord to administer doses of anesthetic. The anesthetic blocks pain signals from the spine to the brain, preventing the person from feeling pain in the lower body during labor and delivery. The pros of epidural injection include: Fast, effective pain relief. Pain relief is adjustable. An epidural with a preplanned cesarean delivery may be less stressful than a vaginal birth or emergency cesarean delivery. An epidural may help a person have a less stressful, traumatic, and exhausting birth experience. The cons of a pregnancy epidural injection include: Inability to walk around, risk of low blood pressure (which may affect the baby’s heartbeat), headaches, backaches, nausea, risk of higher risk of medical intervention and assisted birth, difficult to push during the final stages of a vaginal birth, risk of nerve damage, puncture of the spinal cord dura mater, temporary loss of bladder control, difficulty urinating, fever, itchy skin, very low risk of convulsions, difficulty breathing, and death. Published research papers show that regular prenatal chiropractic pregnancy care can shorten labor and lessen the need for medication, including the risk of side effects mentioned above from epidural injections.