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Bright Is Best For Veggies

Posted by on 8:05 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

How’s your body feeling today? Do you get stomach pains? Joint pain? Headaches? Are you tired all the time? There are certain foods that cause inflammation in the body, and others which prevent and/or fight it.

What is inflammation? It’s part of the body’s immune response; it’s the body’s response to injury. If and when inflammation gets out of control, it can lead to chronic diseases. In other words, you don’t want too much inflammation in the body.

What are some foods that cause inflammation?

Table sugar and high fructose corn syrup are two “big ones.” They’re ubiquitous today. In limited quantities, you should be fine, but if your diet consists mostly of sugar and high fructose corn syrup, you’re going to have inflammation and it’s going to be bad. Is it any wonder that more and more people are drinking less sugary soda pop and opting for plain old water instead? It’s for their own good. Foods high in sugar include candy, chocolate, cakes, doughnuts and pastries. Other foods that lead to inflammation problems include: french fries, white breads, pasta, some cereals, processed meat, and excessive alcohol consumption.

What are some foods that prevent/fight inflammation? You can’t go wrong with berries! Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are so good for you. Do you like fish? Then eat more salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel and anchovies. What about avocados and broccoli? These are excellent foods to prevent/fight inflammation– enjoy! Also, if you like peppers, mushrooms, grapes, tomatoes, and dark chocolate, eat up… these are anti-inflammatory foods that will help you become healthier.

Do you need help figuring out what to eat more of and what to eat less of? Most of us do! Did you know chiropractor Dr. Jason Gerard of Lakewoods Chiropractic in Forest Lake, MN, can help you develop a healthier eating plan for your life? One of the reasons people fail in their diet is because they try to cut out everything they loved and just stick with “very healthy things” only– but that’s not sustainable. Why not have Dr. Gerard discuss options with you and come up with “little changes” that will end up bringing “big results” over time? Now’s the time to start thinking about what foods and drinks you put into your body everyday. By making some positive changes now, you’ll have less problems later in life.

The Latest Research On Depression And Exercise

Posted by on 8:03 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Feeling depressed? A lot of people are depressed these days. When someone feels depressed, what do they do? For some, they choose to ignore it and hope it goes away. They try and “work through it on their own.” Others go to doctors and ask for pills. Many Americans are on antidepressants. Some of the key names you might recognize include Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Luvox, Paxil, and Zoloft. While these pills may help people, they also include a number of side effects– including some negative ones. Plus, do most people want to be “on pills” for a long time/the rest of their lives? No.

What about exercise? Could exercise be a decent alternative to taking pills to treat depression? Recent research shows that exercise is definitely a natural, healthy way to combat depression… Not only does regular exercise help protect against heart disease and diabetes, but it also improves sleep and lowers blood pressure. Furthermore, it’s a great idea to do high-intensity exercise to battle depression– that’s when the body releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins, giving people a “natural high.” Meanwhile, even low-intensity exercise can help make a person feel better over time. Proteins get released during and after exercise causing nerve cells to grow and make new connections. In turn, the brain functions better. Specifically, neuroscientists found that the hippocampus in the brain (the region that helps regulate mood) is smaller in people who are depressed. That said, when those people make exercise part of their daily regimen, exercise supports nerve cell growth in the hippocampus. Nerve cell connections are improved, and depression is relieved. So, in conclusion, exercise is great not just for your body and health, but brain and mood as well.

If you’re someone who hasn’t exercised before, it can be hard to start. “Where do I begin?” is a question most people ask themselves. Furthermore, they need someone or something to motivate them to actually do exercise. Did you know chiropractor Dr. Jason Gerard can help coach you in this regard? He’s the kind of guide who you can be accountable to, and he’s there for you to talk with, ask questions, and to push you out of your sedentary comfort zone. If you’ve been feeling depressed and suspect that exercise is a better choice than taking pills in order to feel better, then you should definitely schedule an appointment at Lakewoods Chiropractic in Forest Lake, MN. Dr. Gerard can help you develop an action plan and stick to it, such that exercise becomes a new habit that helps you!

Psychosocial Factors And Back Pain

Posted by on 7:59 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

The word “psychosocial” is a fancy word that some people use to describe various factors that can relate to a person’s physical health. For instance, depression, hopelessness, stress, anger/hostility, and feeling out of control are examples of psychosocial factors… and some of these things may influence how a person feels, specifically related to their aches and pains.

Take, for instance, depression. Is a depressed person more likely to feel pain? Perhaps. Depression might cause pain, and pain might cause depression– it can become a vicious cycle. Though it’s not clearly understood “why,” research has shown that people with depression often suffer with physical problems such as back pain and/or headaches. Over time, a person feels worse– they get “worn down” and “moody.” If they’re bothered by chronic pain, that can lead to more problems, like trouble sleeping and a more stressful life. If the pain is “so bad,” a person might not exercise like they used to/wanted to, and they might give up doing the social activities or hobbies they liked. Furthermore, this mix of problems can lower a person’s self-esteem to the point where they lose friends, lose interest in work, and suffer financial setbacks, too.

When a person is stressed, they manifest that stress in their body– usually they experience tension, stiffness, and, yes, back pain. If and when a person is stressed out to the point where they’re keeping their back muscles tighter than they should be, they’ll experience a variety of aches and pains.

Did you know that some people think back pain is a somatic symptom created by the unconscious to distract a person from emotional issues they want to repress? Think about it this way– if you’re an angry person but you’re not allowing yourself to express that anger (through something healthy like a kickboxing class or swimming), your back pain could be the direct result of the rage within you having nowhere to release!

Psychosocial factors can definitely play a role in back pain. If you think you might be going through some tough things like depression or stress, consider meeting with a chiropractor. Dr. Jason Gerard of Lakewoods Chiropractic in Forest Lake, MN, can help you find solutions to such problems with the intent to relieve your pain naturally.

Drug Free Approaches To Headache Prevention

Posted by on 10:24 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Most people who get a lot of headaches rely on pills to take away the pain. Ask around and you’re likely going to hear, “I take Ibuprofen every time I get a headache.” But what about taking a drug-free approach to headache prevention?

Consider why you might be getting headaches in the first place. Oftentimes it has to do with what you put into your body. What do you regularly eat and drink? Some things that trigger headaches include caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, cheese, and foods/drinks made with artificial sweeteners. Avoiding these things can lessen or eliminate the number of/severity of headaches you experience. Meanwhile, other headache triggers can include foods high in histamines, tyramine and/or nitrates. Read more labels, be more aware of what the ingredients are in the foods and drinks you consume, and avoid the ones that seem to bother you the most.

Another drug-free approach to headache prevention is the anti-inflammatory diet. Basically, increase your intake of foods containing monounsaturated fats and omega-3s. Reduce your intake of foods with omega-6 fats. Practically-speaking, eat more avocados, nuts, olive oil and fish and eat less corn, soy and vegetable oils (and processed foods containing these things).

Do you skip meals? If so, don’t do that. When you skip meals, low blood sugar and dehydration can bring on headaches. If you ever see people who carry water bottles around with them everywhere they go, they’re on to something good– staying well hydrated during the day! Meanwhile, when you’ve got to pee, go to the bathroom rather than holding it or else risk suffering with a headache.

Other ways to prevent or lessen headaches include taking time out of your day to stretch, relax, and do exercises such as yoga to help get the blood flowing and/or applying a cold ice pack to the spot on your head where it hurts. You might also consider regular visits to Lakewoods Chiropractic as chiropractic care regularly aids in the prevention of and reduction of headaches; call 651-464-0800 to make an appointment or email [email protected] Lakewoods Chiropractic, of Forest Lake, MN, is conveniently located at 255 Highway 97 in Suite #2A.

Why Get A Chiropractic Evaluation After A Motor Vehicle Collision

Posted by on 10:21 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Why should someone visit a chiropractor after they’ve been in a car crash? Typically, a car crash jolts a person’s body in a sudden and forced way, which could cause injury to the neck or back. However, symptoms of these problems might not manifest until several days later. That said, a chiropractor is the right person to treat “invisible injuries,” especially the kind stemming from a car crash, “right away.” In other words, don’t put off seeing a chiropractor for weeks or months after a crash– get attention quickly to fix the problems before they get out of hand and you’re in excruciating pain.

What are some of the invisible injuries associated with car crashes which chiropractors treat? Well, there’s whiplash, which can include headaches, nausea, soreness, dizziness and, of course, pain in the neck (and or shoulders/upper back). To avoid long-term pain, see a chiropractor right after a car crash. He or she can adjust your bones, muscles and tissues to relieve whatever’s “out of whack.”

Speaking of chiropractors and car crashes, did you know micro-tears can occur in ligaments and muscles? This is the reason accident victims feel sore even if X-rays “look normal.” A chiropractor makes spinal manipulations to realign the spinal column in order to reduce inflammation and pain naturally. This “without drugs” approach surely beats having to take all sorts of pills and drugs!

A chiropractor’s care after a car crash will ultimately help reduce scar tissue, pain in the body, and improve or restore a person’s range of motion. Your body wants to heal itself naturally– sometimes it just needs the healing hands of a chiropractor to “kickstart” the process.

Finally, if you need to file an insurance claim after a crash, it’s a good idea to see a chiropractor who will then record all your injuries and write up a report detailing what he or she found wrong with you.

In Forest Lake, MN, the chiropractor to visit immediately after a car crash is Dr. Jason Gerard at Lakewoods Chiropractic, located at 255 Highway 97 in Suite #2A. Please call the office at 651-464-0800 or email [email protected] to schedule your appointment.

Eat Smart for Healthy Weight

Posted by on 10:18 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

There comes a time in most people’s lives when they look at the scale and shake their heads almost in disbelief. “Wait, how much does that say?” is usually said out loud, in a frustrated and exasperated tone.

What do you do when you reach “the highest weight” you’ve ever been? If you’re like most people, you panic a little. Then you decide, “I am not going to stay this weight. I am determined to lose weight.”

Here are two words to think about over and over as you challenge yourself to lose weight: “eat smart.”

When you want to get to your healthy weight, you can eat smart in order to lose pounds.

First, consider what you currently eat and drink every day. Literally make a list of all the things you put into your mouth and then take a good, long look at that list.

Next, start to come up with substitutions for things. For example, instead of eating M&Ms, try blueberries. Instead of eating french fries, order broccoli as your side when you get dinner at a restaurant. Replace soda pop like Coke and Pepsi with carbonated flavored water. Ideally, you’ll want to find foods/drinks that both “fill you up” and have “fewer calories” than what you used to consume.

Also, in order to eat smart, consider “when you eat” and “quantities you eat.” For instance, a lot of people skip breakfast, but that’s not a good idea. Their body is literally starving for food in the morning after a long night’s sleep. Make a new habit of starting everyday with a healthy breakfast that includes one or two protein-rich eggs, a “superfood.” Meanwhile, try to keep the time you eat each meal fairly consistent everyday. Have three to five healthy meals a day and limit your snacking in between meals. If there’s a particular food you love to eat but you know it’ll pack on pounds, then try eating less of it– so, for instance, eat three Hershey kisses instead of 20 at a time– three should be just enough to satisfy your sweet tooth craving(s)! Oh, and avoid eating foods after 8 at night if you can.

Finally, get someone in your corner to serve as your accountability person during this process. Could that someone be your chiropractor at Lakewoods? Most certainly yes! It’s so helpful to have someone to “check in” with on a regular basis, which helps hold you accountable as you make positive changes in your life. When you eat smart, you ultimately move your body toward its healthy weight.

Neck Injuries Impact Overall Health

Posted by on 6:36 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Neck injuries can occur for any number of reasons, including a person’s involvement in sports or the fact that they sit so rigidly staring at a computer or phone screen for a dozen hours daily.

When there’s pain, it may feel like a “kink” or “stiffness.” Pain can cause a headache, as well as even more pain that spreads to the shoulders, arms and/or upper back. Usually, neck pain is more pronounced on one side.

The neck is made up of vertebrae, which include the bones and joints of the cervical spine. Then there are discs that separate the cervical vertebrae. They absorb shock as you move. Add in the muscles and ligaments in your neck– they hold the cervical spine together. If any of these parts are strained, you’ve got problems. For instance, neck muscles may spasm. Neck joints may experience inflammation. If so, you’ve got pain. Ugh.

Did you know that neck and shoulder pain so commonly overlap that there’s a name for it? It’s called “shneck pain.” Basically, your neck and shoulder are connected by multiple nerve pathways. Sometimes the brain can’t trace pain pathways back to the source so what you think is neck pain is really shoulder pain or vice versa. It’s a good idea to have a professional chiropractor examine you to determine what’s truly going on.

Now here’s where it gets even more interesting: neck problems can affect other parts of your body. You might also experience arm or leg weakness/numbness. Some people also experience loss of bladder/bowel control, and in some rare cases they lose the ability to walk. If you have an infection in your neck, you might also experience a headache, fever, skin redness, nausea, and vomiting.

Have you felt a tingling in your limbs? Do you have difficulty swallowing? What about problems with motor control? If so, your neck problem is turning out to be a whole body problem. It can become serious and immobilizing if left untreated.

In most cases, a visit to the chiropractor can help relieve the pain you have in your neck, which will then calm down the rest of your body. Therefore, please make an appointment to see Dr. Gerard at Lakewoods Chiropractic in Forest Lake, MN; call 651-464-0800.

Chiropractic: Not Just For Backs

Posted by on 6:34 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

If you ask most people what a chiropractor does, they’ll say, “They fix bad backs.” While that is true, chiropractors do a lot more, actually. They’re more than just back fixers… for instance, chiropractors can help people improve their immune response and get fewer colds.

Immune response is defined as the reaction of cells and fluids of the body to the presence of a substance which is not recognized as a constituent of the body itself. Basically, your body, when working well, fights off troublemakers, “bad guys,” infections, and diseases– thankfully!

For years chiropractors have noticed their patients demonstrating improvements of complaints related to immune problems. Those who receive regular chiropractic care report less frequent/less severe colds. If they do get a cold, they recover quickly. Meanwhile, if they have allergy symptoms, they’re lessened or disappear altogether. And other respiratory problems aren’t “as bad” for those who see a chiropractor. Thanks to “hands-on” treatment involving spinal adjustments and such, people’s inner body parts are put into their proper place– “alignment”– so they can function properly. When a person’s systems are all working as they should, they feel better!

Besides a person’s back, what are some other parts of the body chiropractors work on in order to relieve pain? At Lakewoods Chiropractic in Forest Lake, MN, Dr. Gerard works on the neck and shoulders. He also deals with arm pain and numbness, as well as arthritis and fibromyalgia. He even works with patients who have asthma, allergies and ear infections. Do you suffer from headaches or sciatica or other bothersome pains? You should try chiropractic care– a natural way to heal and feel better.

If you’re into health and wellness, and you don’t want to automatically resort to pills, prescriptions and drugs to feel better, then consider chiropractic care. Dr. Gerard and staff work with you to help figure out what’s going on and how it can be treated effectively, safely, and fairly quickly. It’s not uncommon for a person to walk out of the office feeling completely better after just one visit!

Make an appointment at Lakewoods Chiropractic of Forest Lake, MN, today; call us at 651-464-0800.

Preventing Heartburn Naturally

Posted by on 6:32 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

If you have bad heartburn and ask your doctor for a prescription, you’re likely to get a “proton pump inhibitor (PPI)” drug. About 15 million Americans use PPIs and it’s a $10 billion business!

You’d assume PPIs are safe, right? Research has found that some people who take PPIs are likely to experience chronic kidney disease and/or kidney failure, among other health issues. If you or someone you know has taken/is taking “Prilosec,” “Nexium,” or “Prevacid,” you’re taking medications that aim to reduce the production of gastric acid… thus reducing the heartburn that acid can cause. Mild side effects can include headaches, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, dizziness, itching, and flatulence in the short term. If you take no more than three 14-day treatment courses in a one-year time period, you should be okay according to FDA recommendations. However, if you are on PPIs for a long time, problems can occur.

Because PPIs block the creation of gastric acids in the stomach, they also essentially block the absorption of minerals into the body. The result? Kidney problems! Other potential problems include dementia, pneumonia, and bone fractures. Yikes.

When people experience heartburn, they usually have “acid reflux,” whereas acidic gastric fluid flows backward into the esophagus, resulting in heartburn. In other words, the acidic fluid is going where it shouldn’t go. Besides PPIs, drug companies make tons of money on antacids (like Tums, Maalox, Rolaids and Mylanta) and H-2 receptor blockers (like Pepcid AC and Zantac). While drugs can cover up the symptom(s), what about a natural way to heal heartburn?

Chiropractic care can help heal your heartburn troubles. A chiropractor, for instance, might treat your hiatal hernia, which is when the top part of your stomach “pops through” your diaphragm. When this happens, the diaphragm muscle pinches the top part of your stomach which can lead to reflux. Your chiropractor can reduce the hiatal hernia and eliminate reflux with hands-on adjustments. Also, there’s the manipulation of the spine. Adjustments can be made to your upper back to “reconnect” the broken nerve supply to the esophagus and stomach, which will help you heal.

Want to get rid of painful, annoying heartburn through chiropractic care? Make an appointment at Lakewoods Chiropractic of Forest Lake, MN, today; call us at 651-464-0800.

Stress and Health

Posted by on 6:30 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

One way the word “stress” is defined is this: “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.”

What are some things that cause a person to be “stressed out?” It can be pressure on the job from the boss or co-workers or customers. It can be financial difficulties, such as “How am I going to pay my rent this month? Will I be homeless?” Stress can come from relationship troubles. Watching TV, listening to the radio, and seeing/hearing constant “bad news” from the media can cause stress. And, of course, health crises are stressful. Meanwhile, stress is exacerbated by poor nutrition (such as pizza and soda pop for most meals everyday) and sleep deprivation (getting four hours of sleep a night versus a more normal eight)…

Chiropractors regularly see people who are experiencing stressful situations in their lives. Oftentimes patients’ minds are exhausted and their bodies feel bad.

Did you know stress activates the body’s “fight-or-flight” response? Your brain rouses your sympathetic nervous system. When that happens, heart rate, blood volume and blood pressure increase. Blood is diverted away from your digestive system and limbs. Meanwhile, your adrenal glands send out adrenaline, epinephrine and norepinephrine– too much of which over time messes with one’s health!

When a person gets stressed they often contract their muscles– they get “tight.” The spine becomes locked in an abnormal position. Then the body’s nervous system doesn’t function properly. When that happens, expect slower healing and an impaired immune response.

Stress is bad for a person in so many ways. It often leads to weight gain. Stressed out people typically don’t sleep well, they don’t exercise, and they turn to junk food and sugary drinks or cigarettes to deal with the tension.

Can a chiropractor help someone deal with stress in their life? Definitely. First they’ll put the spine into proper alignment which will help the nervous system do its job sending messages throughout the body. Then they’ll make chiropractic adjustments on the body to help relieve muscle tension. In addition, irritated spinal nerves will be soothed and blood circulation will improve. This, in turn, tells the brain to turn off the “fight-or-flight” response. Even simple things like postural changes, deep-tissue massage and nutritional supplementation can be part of a chiropractor’s tool box to help people de-stress.

Want to reduce your blood pressure and more? Need help combating stress? Make an appointment at Lakewoods Chiropractic of Forest Lake, MN, today; call us at 651-464-0800.