brain stem

Are You Stuck or Are You Adapting?

Every time a patient comes to my office, I’m interested in one crucial question: Is your body stuck or is it adapting? 

That information gives me a snapshot of where you are from a musculoskeletal standpoint. And that’s what determines whether an upper cervical adjustment will be helpful or not at that time.
 
Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal and adapt when the upper cervical vertebrae are aligned. But when the top two vertebrae, the atlas and axis, are out of alignment, they can put pressure on the brainstem.

This interferes with the nervous system and inhibits communication between the brain and the body, causing pain and health concerns for many people.
 
At any point, your body may be on its way to correcting a skeletal misalignment (adapting), or it may be stuck. That’s why the specific, scientific approach of upper cervical chiropractic is so helpful. Every time I see a patient, I’m able to use objective tools to evaluate if an adjustment is needed.
 
I believe my patients benefit most from a “minimalist” approach to chiropractic care. Simply put, that means:  
 
Your body naturally tries to adapt and find the alignment that’s right for you. When your body is doing what it’s supposed to do, I leave it alone -- and help you find ways to feel better while your body is healing. When it’s stuck, I provide a very specific, small correction. Then I allow that to sink in and see if your body will continue adapting on its own. 

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I explained this to one of my riding patients the other day, and she said, “Horse people will definitely understand that philosophy!”
 
Do you give an aid or correction to your horse regardless of whether it’s needed? Of course not. And, you probably adhere to the “less is more” approach, using the smallest aid that gets the result you’re looking for. 
 
In the chiropractic arena, the minimalist approach means that you will get an evaluation every time you see me, but you’ll only receive a chiropractic adjustment if you need one, and any correction will be as small and specific as possible to achieve the desired effect. We’re looking for a change over time...the goal is to get lasting results that hold, by allowing your body to do its job.

How Can I Tell If You Need an Adjustment? 

Sometimes when we’re faced with the “Are you stuck or adapting?” dilemma, the answer correlates with how you feel. Sometimes, it doesn’t. That’s why I use several objective methods of evaluation each time I see you, including infrared thermography and functional leg checks, as well as a subjective assessment based on how you feel to gauge your progress.
 
There are times when your body is working its way toward better alignment and healing on its own – even if you can’t feel the progress yet. Alternatively, you may be “stuck” and will benefit from an adjustment, even if you’re feeling relatively pain-free that day.

Small Shift, Dramatic Results

As an equestrian athlete, you enjoy a sport where tiny modifications make a big difference in how you feel while you’re riding and how effective you are.

But unlike most athletes, your control over your own body affects more than just you.

Not all my chiropractic patients have a 1,200-pound partner who can tell when you’ve just tipped your head forward, slumped your shoulders or leaned a bit to your left. 

A tiny shift can make a big difference when you ride. And not surprisingly, the most minute shift in your skeletal structure has a dramatic effect on your body too. Even small misalignments can cause big problems.
 
Feel free to schedule a no-obligation phone call with me to learn more about upper cervical care, regardless of your goals -- whether you have ongoing aches and pains, an injury that’s preventing you from riding as you did before, or even if you’re just interested in remaining injury free and staying in the saddle as long as possible.
 
Let me put the MINIMALIST chiropractic approach to work for you…specific, small corrections for lasting results.

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. 

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.

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.