Common Health Concerns

Vertigo Relief in Agoura Hills, CA

Vertigo is a symptom that people might experience on its own, or part of a larger diagnosis like Ménière's Disease. It makes you feel as though the room is literally spinning and can be triggered by something as simple as your head moving a certain way.

People with vertigo can have intense symptoms that go with it, and episodes can last from a few minutes to a few hours. If you know someone who is suffering, please have them call my office at 805-244-6769 or click the button below so we can see if upper cervical chiropractic can reset the root cause of their suffering.

Trouble Sleeping?

I keep hearing more and more people talking about having trouble with there sleep. The hardest part for me is that I know that the body only gets to heal when its in a state of rest.

If you're struggling with sleep (especially if you're going through menopause!), I'd love to have you join me for a workshop in May 2018. We'll talk about sleep challenges, the basis for sleep and healing, how to create the proper environment, and natural sleep aids for extreme cases.

Here's where I need your help! I want to make sure you can attend, so I need to know when you can make it! Comment below with if you prefer weekdays or Sundays and if you prefer, mornings, afternoons, or evenings so I can get something on the schedule ASAP!

Don't forget to take a peek a the video below too!

Upper Cervical Chiropractic May Help Reduce your Blood Pressure

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As I continue to meet more and more people in my line of work, I am always surprised to learn just how many people in today's society are on blood pressure medications.

While I've never claimed that upper cervical care will help reduce blood pressure, there is an understanding that if the brain stem and surrounding blood vessels are compromised and unable to communicate properly within the body, then our natural systems would not be able to properly maintain normal function. If there is no compromise and the atlas (first bone in the neck) is in its proper place, then the body should be able to use its natural mechanisms to regulate blood pressure.

A study completed in 2007 showed just this. Published in the Journal of Human Hypertension, the placebo-controlled study completed by an upper cervical chiropractor and an MD showed that the upper cervical procedure has the effect of not one, but two blood-pressure medications given in combination.

Those who got the real procedure saw an average 14 mm Hg greater drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure count), and an average 8 mm Hg greater drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom blood pressure number). Some of these patients were even able to get off their medications.

Upper cervical chiropractic was even featured on Good Morning America for its success with helping reduce neurological stresses leading to normalizing of blood pressure for those patients.

Make sure to share this article with anyone who is suffering from hypertension that may want to try an alternative to their current health care options!

TMJD: A Natural Solution to A Complex Problem

Your jaw is among the most complicated joints in your body.  It has a broad range of motion.  It can open and close, move side to side, and slide forward and backward.  All of these motions are utilized during talking, chewing, and yawning. The jaw joint is commonly referred to as the TMJ or temporomandibular joint.  There are many reasons why the jaw may not be functioning properly, and that can lead to pain and discomfort, as well as other associated symptoms.

The way people experience TMJ dysfunction can vary greatly:

        Toothache
        Earache
        Headache
        Neck pain
        Jaw clenching
        Tenderness in the muscles of the face and jaw

Because of the variety of symptoms that a person with TMJ problems can experience, it can be difficult to find a way to address the root cause.  Recommendations often include pain medications or anti-inflammatories, and perhaps being fitted for a bite guard.  These approaches, unfortunately, provide only surface-level relief.

Upper Cervical Care and the TMJ

The focus of upper cervical chiropractic is on the upper two vertebrae in the spine.  What many people may not realize is how closely positioned these vertebrae are to the joints of the jaw on each side.  Because of this, even a slight malposition of the atlas (C1) or axis (C2) can affect the jaw's ability to work properly.  Given the fact that many people who suffer from TMJ pain or discomfort also have neck pain and headaches, it makes sense that the jaw and the neck are connected. The upper cervical chiropractic approach is designed to be extremely specific.  Adjustments are very gentle and do not use a great deal of force to accomplish the necessary correction.   When the upper cervical spine is realigned, the surrounding nerves and soft tissues have the chance to heal.  This can lead to a jaw that moves and works the way it was designed to.

References: https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/Topics/TMJ/TMJDisorders.htm

Agoura Hills, California Residents Finding Natural Migraine Help

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Migraines can sap a person’s energy and leave one feeling exhausted and unable to complete a normal daily routine. Not only do migraines affect work performance but also recreation and family time. Things such as get-togethers, going to ball games, going on family vacations, and attending work events often have to be put on the back burner, so to speak, until a person is feeling better and recovered. This can take anywhere from a couple of days to an entire week. 
Research reports that as many as 9 out of every 10 migraine patients cannot complete their daily tasks while suffering from a migraine. This is further shown by the 113 million days of work missed due to migraines, costing US business approximately $13 billion a year.

Migraines are not just headaches but are neurological in origin. A headache is just one common symptom of a migraine. But not everyone has a headache as a migraine symptom. Also, some people experience chronic migraines, meaning they have 15 or more migraine days per month.

Seeking Care for Migraines

Most of the time, when one seeks care through his family physician or even a specialist, a prescription drug is offered to help alleviate the pain. Some medications try to stop a migraine before it gets severe, while others help block pain signals to help the person cope. Neither option has had a 100% success rate, and medications come along with unwanted side effects like:

  • Nausea
  • Weight gain
  • Hair loss
  • Headaches

This leaves people looking for natural, safe care. However, many do not know where to turn for reliable homeopathic relief. 

A Different Approach to Migraines

We offer a natural alternative to help migraine pain that does not involve medication. We understand that migraines are often linked to a misalignment of a person’s atlas or axis bone – the top bones of the spine. If a misalignment has occurred, pressure is placed on the blood vessels responsible for bringing oxygen-rich blood to the brain. 
Using a gentle method, we can correct this problem, thereby helping patients experience improved health. Many have seen fewer migraines after care. Some see them go away completely.

Lower Back Pain Alleviated Through Proper Spinal Alignment

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Up to 10% of people worldwide are coping with lower back pain. In fact, it is the number one reason people claim disability and time off from work. One in three disability cases is due to problems located in the lower back region, causing many to seek help in an attempt to settle matters before it gets to the point of making one disabled.

How Proper Spinal Alignment Helps Lower Back Pain

It may be surprising to learn that the top bones of the neck are responsible for the way a person’s posture is during rest, showing how vital it is for them to be properly aligned. The C1 and C2 vertebrae are susceptible to misalignment. If this occurs, then a person actually has to think about how to sit or stand straight. This is something that should come naturally, but a misalignment changes more than the bones in the neck. Since we have more important things to think about than focusing on our posture, the body often will fall into whatever position the neck bones dictate. 

Another thing to be aware of is how additional tension is created throughout the entire back, not just the neck. Since the head can weigh as much as 14 pounds, if it is off center by just 2 or 3 inches, significantly more weight begins to stress the lower back. This is why a misalignment in the upper neck causes many problems in the lower back.

How Upper Cervical Care Can Help Lower Back Pain

At our Agoura Hills, California office we are able to help many patients to cope with back pain successfully. We use a gentle method that allows the bones to move into place more naturally than twisting or cracking the spine. This method has been shown to have a success rate of up to 95%! At one practice, 77% of those with lower back pain experienced significant improvement, and 18% saw their back pain go away entirely. We strive to provide similar results for our clients.

Caring for TMJ Disorders Naturally

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Your TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is one of the more complicated joints of the body.  Located on either side of the face just in front of each ear, the TMJ connects the lower part of your jaw (the mandible) to the rest of the head.  It is designed to act as a hinge to open and close the mouth, and also to glide from side to side.
Disorders of the TMJ are fairly common.  Jaw pain and dysfunction can occur after an accident or injury or can arise over time if the jaw is not in proper alignment.  Temporomandibular joint disorders affect twice as many women as men, especially during childbearing years.  It is the most common non-dental related cause of chronic facial pain.

How Do I Know if I Have a TMJ Problem?

There are a variety of signs and symptoms of a TMJ problem.  These symptoms may arise with any jaw movement – opening, closing, or moving the jaw from side to side:

  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Earaches or ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
  • Clicking or popping noises when opening the mouth
  • Pain when biting, chewing, talking or yawning
  • Tenderness of the muscles of the jaw on the sides of the face

What Are My Care Options?

There are many options available to try and minimize TMJ pain and discomfort.  Oftentimes, over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories are recommended to help reduce the pain.  Sometimes muscle relaxants are recommended to address unequal muscle tension on the sides of the face and jaw that are contributing to the dysfunction.  Another common solution is mouth guards, usually worn at night to try and reduce teeth grinding and associated pain.

While most people think to visit either their medical doctor or dentist, there is another option available that is providing lasting relief to TMJD sufferers.  Upper cervical chiropractic addresses very specific misalignments of the uppermost vertebra of the spine, the atlas.  A misalignment of the atlas can affect the TMJ in several ways – it can cause unequal muscle tension in the face affecting the resting position of the jaw, and it can also interrupt nerve signals that tell the jaw how to move and function.  Frequently, all that is needed are gentle adjustments to realign the atlas and time for any damaged soft tissue to heal.

Five Fibromyalgia Facts for Agoura Hills Residents

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Fibromyalgia is a condition that is becoming increasingly common, and it could be because we are better able to recognize it now than ever before.  The persistent symptoms of fibromyalgia have the potential to disrupt normal, everyday life.  With it being such a common condition, here are five facts that might be helpful to know:  

  1. 5 million Americans age 18 and over are affected.  80%-90% of these fibromyalgia sufferers are female.
  2. Fibromyalgia has been linked to certain diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus), illnesses, repetitive injuries, and stressful or traumatic life events.
  3. The most common fibromyalgia symptoms are widespread muscle pain and extreme fatigue, but sufferers can also experience headaches, memory problems, and tingling in the hands and feet.
  4. Fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose and treat, particularly because its symptoms can mimic many other health conditions.
  5. Research being conducted on fibromyalgia is focused on better understanding why people with fibromyalgia have an increased sensitivity to pain, if there is a genetic connection, and what role chronic inflammation might play.

Fibromyalgia Hope Found Through Upper Cervical Chiropractic

Many fibromyalgia sufferers and their families are hoping to find a solution – nobody wants to live with chronic pain and extreme fatigue day in and day out.  Unfortunately, most treatment approaches are aimed at medicating symptoms, which only serves to provide short-term relief.  People with fibromyalgia are finding hope and long-lasting relief with upper cervical chiropractic care, which is a unique niche within the greater chiropractic profession.

Upper cervical chiropractors look at a very specific area of the spine – the upper two vertebrae – and how it relates to the body's overall ability to function normally.  The atlas and axis vertebrae protect the brainstem, a critical component of the body's central nervous system.  Since fibromyalgia sufferers process pain differently, it only makes sense to examine the pathways over which pain signals travel.  An upper cervical misalignment can interfere with the normal transmission of pain signals and can lead to fibromyalgia symptoms.  Upper cervical chiropractic care is gentle, natural, and can be a lasting solution for those who are coping with fibromyalgia.

Lower Back Pain—A Common Concern when Heavy Lifting

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Lower back pain is the bane of the existence of anyone doing heavy lifting. Whether you are shoveling snow in the winter, gardening in the summer, or working out at the gym, lifting properly is important. We’re going to look at a few suggestions for keeping your lower back healthy while working or enjoying a hobby that involves lifting, and then we will consider a natural way to seek lower back treatment. 
 

Techniques to Protect Your Lower Back

Maintaining proper posture is a vital part of keeping your lower back healthy and avoiding conditions such as sciatica. Here are a few suggestions:  

  • Lift with your legs – To do this, you need to be close to whatever you are picking up and bend at the knees instead of the waist.
  • Position feet properly – When you lift with your legs, it is important to keep your feet approximately the width of your shoulders apart.
  • Team lift when necessary – Some loads are too heavy for one person to lift even with the proper technique. Don’t be afraid to ask a coworker or friend for assistance. You’ll need even more help if you hurt yourself.
  • Strengthen your core – Your core is very important to maintaining a straight back when lifting. When your core is strong, you can lift more weight without involving your back.
  • Take breaks – don’t stay bent over for hours at a time. This holds true with any activity that requires a person to get close to the ground, even if heavy lifting is not involved.
  • Stretch before and after – Stretching is important for warming up muscles and keeping them from being sore. 

Blair Upper Cervical Care for Lower Back Pain

How can an upper neck adjustment help your lower back? Posture is key to lower back health, and the alignment of your C1 and C2 are vital to posture. Even a slight misalignment of the upper neck can cause one shoulder to drop, a hip to turn, and even one leg to be shorter. Upper cervical care is a great way to maintain your spine health and posture.

Finding Natural Migraine Relief Has to Start with the Brain Stem

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Most people who suffer from migraines have their first one in their teens or early 20s. 9 out of 10 experience the first attack before age 40. In some cases, women who experience migraines may see a connection between this condition and their menstruation cycle. About half of female migraine patients find this to be true. Therefore, one may conclude that hormones can be connected to the onset of migraines in some patients.

How Changing Hormone Levels Increase Migraines

Interestingly, nearly half of female responders who have migraines stated that their condition worsened when they went through menopause and afterward. Once again, there may be a link to a change in hormone levels. Women report that both severity and frequency of attacks increased during this time. 

Something else to consider, however, is that the brain stem has been seen to play a part in migraines. This is important because the brain stem has the important job of controlling breathing, digestion, and regulating hormones, among other things. Therefore, if the brain stem has stopped working at its optimum, migraines may be the end result. What causes a problem with the brain stem?

Finding Help for Migraines

A study compiled the results for 101 headache and migraine patients who received upper cervical chiropractic care. They reported seeing improvement in as little as one or two adjustments. Yes, all of them saw a decrease in the amount and severity of headaches or migraines. Some even saw the problem completely resolved. 

The issue here has to do with the C1 and C2 vertebrae. If they are misaligned, they can be putting undue pressure on the brain stem, causing it no longer to work properly. Communication between the brain and body breaks down, culminating in migraines and other health problems. 

Using a gentle technique to help the bones of the neck to move back into place naturally, allows the body to take over and repair any damage. Once normal function of the brain stem is restored, many have found that migraines are greatly helped. 

3 Categories of Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

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The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the joint on each side of the face that connects the mandible (lower jaw bone) with the rest of the skull.  These jaw joints are heavily utilized – they move every time we talk, yawn, or chew our food.  However, when one or both sides of the jaw are not functioning properly, it can lead to pain and discomfort while doing simple day to day activities.  While exact numbers are not known, it is estimated that over 10 million Americans are affected by disorders of the TMJ.

Disorders of the jaw can be placed into three main categories:

  1. Problems with the muscles that control jaw movement and function.
  2. Issues within the joint, such as with the disc or condyle of the jaw.
  3. Arthritis that causes degeneration, inflammation, or both within the TMJ

TMJ Problems Can Start in the Neck

Many people don't realize how close the joints of the jaw are on either side of the face to the uppermost vertebra in the spine (the atlas).  The way the head is able to sit on the neck has a large influence on both the resting position and the movement of the jaw.  The atlas can shift out of normal alignment as a result of an accident or injury, or from daily wear and tear.  When this happens, it can affect jaw alignment as well as compromise the nerves that control the function of the muscles of the jaw and face.

Correcting the root cause, in this case the atlas misalignment, can begin the healing process, which may lead to lasting relief from TMJ disorders.  Upper cervical chiropractic care focuses specifically on atlas alignment and how it relates to the body's overall ability to function normally.  Once we identify the problem, correcting the atlas is gentle and precise. Some patients even report an immediate improvement in their level of jaw discomfort.

5 Facts About Migraines in Agoura Hills, CA

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For those who have not experienced the terrible pain of a migraine episode, you may think that it just feels like a really bad headache.  There is definitely more than meets the eye when it comes to migraines, and there are many myths circulating out there.  The truth is that migraines are an extremely common neurological condition – over 1 billion people worldwide are affected.

  1. 1 out of 4 migraine sufferers experience aura – visual disturbances that will accompany an attack.  An aura can cause a person to see spots, wavy lines, or flashes of light.
  2. Migraines tend to run in families – about 90% of those affected have a family history of migraine.
  3. Children are impacted by migraines too – half of all migraine sufferers experienced their first attack before the age of 12.
  4. $36 billion a year is spent on healthcare costs associated with migraines across the United States.
  5. Migraines disproportionately affect women – 3 times more women than men deal with migraines at some point in life.

Dealing with Migraines the Natural Way

In order to address migraines on any ongoing basis, the root cause must be identified and addressed.  Otherwise, you get stuck in a symptom-chasing game that leaves you scrambling for solutions when you're feeling bad.  Migraines can often be linked to a small misalignment of the vertebra that sits at the very top of the neck just beneath the skull.  When the atlas is not aligned properly, it can contribute to migraines in at least three ways – pressure on the brainstem hindering normal brain-body signals, disruption of normal blood flow to and from the head, and an interruption of normal cerebrospinal fluid flow.


As an upper cervical chiropractor, I am specifically trained to analyze for and correct misalignments of the atlas.  The atlas can move in more complex ways than any other vertebra in the spine, and this requires a different level of expertise to address thoroughly.  Our atlas corrections are gentle, specific, and designed to hold.  This restores your body's ability to heal and function normally, which can ultimately give you the lasting migraine relief you've been looking for.

How the Upper Cervical Spine is Related to Lower Back Pain

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A large number of people have experienced lower back pain at one time or another. Gravity plays a role in this as it causes the lower back to carry the majority of a person’s weight. Therefore, it makes sense that one would experience some pain or discomfort after lifting a heavy object or sitting still for an extended period of time. However, when this pain becomes chronic, it is time to do something about it. 

In some cases, the pain continues from the lower back down the sciatic nerve into the buttocks and then on into one of the legs. This pain can become extreme, limiting a person’s ability to perform simple daily tasks such as dressing and taking a shower.

Where to Find Help for Lower Back Pain

Chiropractic care has been known for many years to be able to help with lower back pain. In our office, we take an alternative approach to this type of care. It may sound strange at first, but we focus on the top bone of the spine that lies in the upper neck. However, the link between the lower back and neck is very strong.

Due to the mobility of the upper neck and the shape of the atlas or C1 vertebra, this bone is susceptible to misalignment. This can be due to an injury or even daily repetitive actions. In turn, muscle spasms, posture changes, and pain can occur. If the muscles on one side of the body tighten up, this often leads to one hip becoming elevated causing the leg on that side to be shorter than the other side. This creates an imbalance in the spine that stresses the sciatic nerve and the lower back in general.

I consider the atlas bone to be the key to the health of the entire back. By readjusting this bone using a gentle, specific technique that is tailored to each individual person, I am able to help those suffering from pain to find lasting relief that really works.

Fibromyalgia – What Are the Symptoms and How Common Is It?

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Fibromyalgia is a painful condition that affects the entire body. It is now recognized that, rather than being a musculoskeletal condition, fibromyalgia is connected to the function of the central nervous system as well as some vascular factors. What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia? How prevalent is the occurrence of this condition in the US? Read on to learn more.

What Are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

If you were to ask a person what he or she thought the symptoms of fibromyalgia are, most people could only come up with pain. However, fibromyalgia is so much more than just a chronic pain condition. Consider the following list of other symptoms:

  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Cognitive difficulties (i.e. concentration and memory)
  • Headaches or migraines
  • IBS
  • Stiffness in the morning
  • Numbness or tingling in the feet and hands

While some fibromyalgia patients may only experience some of the symptoms note above along with their pain, any or all of these symptoms may be experienced at some time.

How Many People Have Fibromyalgia?

According to the CDC website, fibromyalgia affects about 5 million people in the US. However, that information is admittedly outdated as being from 2005. According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, 10 million people are estimated to be dealing with fibromyalgia in the US. Both sites note that the number of women with fibromyalgia outnumbers men by about 7 to 1. However, it has been suggested by researchers that men may just be less likely to be willing to go through the many doctor’s visits and tests to a get a diagnosis that requires eliminating the possibility of many other conditions first. As a result, many men may simply be diagnosed with several symptomatic conditions like IBS and depression. 

Natural Relief from the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

n many cases, the onset of fibromyalgia follows head or neck trauma. This makes sense because such a trauma can cause an upper cervical misalignment. This, in turn, can affect the way the body processes pain. How? Pressure placed on the brainstem may disrupt the proper sending and receiving of pain signals between the brain and body. Additionally, inhibited vertebral blood flow can result in certain parts of the brain getting too much or too little blood (both are factors noted in fibromyalgia patients by researchers). 


To learn more, schedule an appointment for a consultation today. A gentle adjustment to correct an upper cervical misalignment may be the first step on the road to less fibromyalgia pain.

The Calm Before the Storm...

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October is one of those special months I notice every year.

The craziness of back to school has finally settled and there is this quiet, calm feeling as everyone gears up for the holiday chaos that begins the week of Thanksgiving.

It's also one of my busiest months. Just as everyone prepares the physical buildings they live in when they know a storm is approaching with sandbags and supplies for living comfortably, many people are actually preparing their bodies for the same crazy, stressful storm of the holidays that they're going to experience.

It makes sense right? If you're going to prepare your space, you should probably also prepare yourself? To be adaptable and ready to take on all the meetings, and deadlines, and parties, and family time that while very enjoyable, is also pretty taxing on the body.

Making sure your body is adaptable to stress will keep you calm, pain free, have stronger immune function, and full of the energy you need to get through the holidays. Know what determines how adaptable you are? The brain and nervous system!

And a bonus? On New Years Eve you won't have to prep a resolution to take care of yourself better next year. You already will be 3 months ahead, cruising through the first of the year already on your way to accomplishing a resolution that may never have happened "one day".

So, if you're like many of my other clients and you want a leg up on the crazy season that's about to be upon us, give me a call at 805-244-6769 to set up a phone consultation. We can see where you're at and put together your plan for getting through the next few months with ease. 

Connect soon, October will be over before you know it!

Taking Control of Asthma

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Asthma is one of the fastest growing chronic conditions in the United States.

An asthma attack can be triggered by different types of types of irritants including dust, pollen, perfume, stress, pet hair, and food additives, but they are not the primary cause of the attack.

So what should we be looking for?

The focus on medical science has shifted from managing symptoms of asthma to controlling the mechanism as a means of solving and preventing asthma and other respiratory related conditions.

Breathing is controlled by centers in the brain, the main one being the respiratory center which is found in the medulla oblongata. From here, the nerve impulses are sent to the respiratory muscles, causing them to expand or contract.

Nerve impulses also control the tone of the bronchial tubes. The sympathetic system opens or dilates the bronchial tubes, and the parasympathetic system closes or constricts them.

If the brain and nervous system messaging is STUCK due to interference of the atlas, the top bone in the neck, function of respiration will become impaired and the body will loose its ability to ADAPT and function as designed.

Getting checked for to see if your body is stuck and unable to work properly should be the first step to healing your body and seeing if lack of proper messaging is the reason for your asthma as well as the solution to a easy breathing future.

For more information and the full health report, CLICK HERE.

If you have any questions or concerns, remember I'm always here for you. The journey to better health and lasting quality of life should be filled with love, laughter, and support.