The True Keys to Happiness

Posted by on 2:23 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

What are some factors that influence happiness? Most people think if they have a lot of money or possessions that those things will automatically make them happier. And while it’s true that money and things can make life easier, they don’t necessarily make life happier.

Happiness has been studied over the years. Researchers have found that life satisfaction usually increases with age– the older you get, the more likely you are to be happier. Why is this? Well, family and social relationships are key factors that correlate with happiness. Generally, married people report being happier than those who are single, divorced, or widowed. Those with “fulfilling marriages” are particularly happy. Satisfaction with marriage and family life is a strong predictor of happiness. Coupled with having a partner, a person who has several friends and a strong social support network is generally happier than a person with few/no friends and no social network. The more contact with friends and family, the happier people tend to be!

Some other factors that help increase happiness include graduating from college (being well-educated), securing meaningful and engaging employment (having a job you like), and being religious/spiritual (believing in something/someone bigger than yourself).

So what are some factors that don’t show a correlation with happiness, according to researchers? What about parenthood and physical attractiveness? You might think being a parent makes you happier than those who don’t have kids, but the research shows that people who don’t have children are generally happier than those who do! And most people think attractiveness automatically makes people happier, but a person’s objective physical attractiveness is only weakly correlated with their happiness.

If you want to be happier, some good advice is this: love yourself and love others. Those two things truly help! And do what you can to relieve stress and pain in your life. Perhaps a trip to the chiropractor is in order, to help you relax and feel better…

Healthy Holiday Foods

Posted by on 2:21 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

During the holiday season in December, most people put on a few extra pounds. That said, what are some fairly healthy holiday foods? It’s good to know some foods and drinks that aren’t “too bad” for you this time of year, right?

How about turkey? Of all the traditional “centerpiece” meats, it’s the healthiest. In a 4-ounce serving of breast meat without skin there are 168 calories and just 2 grams of fat. So, if you like turkey, enjoy it! And if you want to shave off some calories and fat, eat breast meat without skin, since skin adds 50 calories and 6 grams of fat to a typical 4-ounce piece. Check labels to see how much sodium your particular turkey has– and avoid the ones with 300 mg of sodium in 4 ounces– the less “salty,” the better!

Natural pumpkin is good for you at holiday time. It’s packed with vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants and fiber. At just 30 calories a cup, enjoy pumpkin! But watch out for “pumpkin spice,” which often has a lot of sugar added to it. And if you’re buying canned pumpkin, avoid pumpkin-pie filling (too sugary), opting for “pure pumpkin” instead.

Do you like the taste of sweet potatoes? If so, great! Like pumpkin, sweet potatoes are filled with fiber, vitamins A and C, and antioxidants. Instead of covering your potatoes with marshmallows, butter and brown sugar this year, try just baking them with a little olive oil. They’ll taste great and not have too many calories. Ideally, avoid canned sweet potatoes since they tend to be packed with heavy syrup.

Finally, there’s hot cocoa. The good thing about this holiday favorite is that it contains flavanols, which help with the brain’s blood circulation. Instead of instant mixes, it’s best to make your own hot cocoa drink using unsweetened cocoa, low-fat milk and just a teaspoon of sugar.

At holiday time, watch your portion sizes, and be careful about how much sugar, salt and fat you’re putting in your body.

Spinal Problems Can Reduce Blood Flow to the Brain

Posted by on 10:33 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

What is a cerebral hypoperfusion? It’s a term that basically means you’re not getting enough blood to your brain. A hypoperfusion can actually occur anywhere in the body, including the hands and feet or the kidneys or heart. Obviously, you don’t want one, and you especially don’t want one occurring at/near/around your brain!

A hypoperfusion can be the result of physical activities, diseases and/or spinal conditions. As you probably know, blood carries both oxygen and nutrients to cells in your body. If there’s a drop in the supply of these things, you can experience cellular damage and your body may or may not be able to recover. If blood, for some reason, wasn’t able to get to and from your brain as intended, and this happened suddenly, you’d have a stroke. Basically, a stroke is a severe hypoperfusion in the brain. Depending on the area or areas of the brain where this occurs, a person could experience all sorts of negative problems as a result!

If and when blood is not getting to the brain as it should, what are some symptoms? Dizziness, headaches, nausea, changes in vision/temporary vision loss, and fainting are some symptoms. There can also be signs of cognitive impairment, emotional instability, and uncoordinated motor functions. Basically, your brain isn’t working well, so your body isn’t working well, either.

A professional study was done to see how spinal health and cerebral hypoperfusion are linked. People with chronic neck and/or upper back pain were examined with a CT imaging system so blood flow to their brain could be noted. Then researchers checked eight areas of the brain to see if there was any correlation between vertebral subluxation (misaligned spine) and cerebral hypoperfusion. The results showed that people with neck and/or upper back pain had scores that strongly predicted cerebral hypoperfusion.

So what should you make of this? If you have chronic neck and/or upper back pain, you should see a chiropractor who can align your spine and relieve that pain. Otherwise, you’re more at risk for having a stroke and all the problems associated with the aftermath of a stroke.

Take charge of your health and be proactive. Don’t let your pain just keep going on and on. Call 651-464-0800 to make an appointment at Lakewoods Chiropractic in Forest Lake, MN.

The Healing Powers Of Peppermint

Posted by on 10:32 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

What do you know about peppermint oil? If you’re like most people, you know you like peppermint patties (to eat) or chocolate ice cream mixed with mint flavor. But did you know that peppermint is actually an aromatic herb that can be found naturally in both North America and Europe? Peppermint oil can be extracted from the leaves of the peppermint plant and then used for several purposes. Some people take it in capsules as a dietary supplement. Others use a very concentrated form applied to their skin (after being diluted with some water) or for “aromatherapy,” where they breathe in that cool, refreshing smell. Chemically-speaking, peppermint oil contains menthol and menthone.

Many people have experienced the healing power of peppermint oil. It has been used as a topical application for relief from muscle pain and headaches. People with digestive issues, nausea, and/or irritable bowel syndrome have used peppermint oil to feel better. Peppermint oil isn’t some new fad. Even in ancient times, people were using peppermint oil for health/medicinal purposes.

In modern times, research has been done to see how peppermint oil helps people. With regards to irritable bowel syndrome, peppermint oil is thought to have an anti-inflammatory effect, helping relax the smooth muscles of the GI tract. It’s also thought to decrease the pain sensation in the GI tract, according to research studies. People with nausea have inhaled peppermint oil and reported feeling less nauseous. Studies have been done where people rub some diluted peppermint oil on their forehead and temples when dealing with headaches. The results? Well, they experienced less nausea, less light sensitivity, and more pain relief. When you’re looking for some natural pain relief, peppermint oil could be just what you’re looking for! It’s definitely worth researching on your own, and you can talk to your chiropractor about it, as well.

Essential oils can have many health benefits. Besides peppermint, there’s lavender, which helps calm people down, rosemary, which helps with joint pain, and frankincense, which acts as a stress-reducer and mood-enhancer.

If you’re not too familiar with essential oils like peppermint and the aforementioned goodies, why not make an appointment at Lakewoods Chiropractic? With chiropractic care, you’ll learn about pill-free pain relief, with good advice on diet, exercise, and holistic natural healing methods.

Call 651-464-0800 to make an appointment at Lakewoods Chiropractic in Forest Lake, MN.

Spine 101

Posted by on 10:30 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

What role does your spine play regarding your health? You’d be surprised to know that your spine is vital to whatever’s going on in your body! When a chiropractor adjusts your spine, he or she can help relieve all sorts of problems, from digestion troubles to your ability to breathe better. Researchers have found that there’s a direct correlation between the spine’s vertebrae (bones) and nerves that go to your organs.

Sometimes tension or inflammation occurs in a region of the spine due to physical, chemical or emotional issues, such as stress. The spine can then go “out of alignment.” When this happens, your nervous system doesn’t work as intended. It’s kind of like if you were driving a car on a highway but suddenly the highway has a traffic jam and you tried to go around it on the side of the road through the dirt and grass– that wouldn’t be as smooth a ride, right? Exactly.

A spine that’s out of alignment can cause problems with the way your brain communicates with your body. When this happens, certain parts of your body might have pain and/or not work well. Take, for instance, someone who is in a car crash. Their body moves in an awkward position forcefully and quickly, and damage to the spinal vertebrae can occur. Depending on which vertebrae are affected, a person could then experience problems. For example, if a certain vertebrae is negatively affected by an injury, a person could experience bad leg pain and/or numbness in the foot or certain toes. Sometimes the body can heal on its own. Sometimes a chiropractor can help the body heal itself. And sometimes the damage is so bad that major surgery has to be done for the good of the patient.

In most cases, people who have pain typically have misaligned spines that can be corrected by hands-on adjustments made by a knowledgeable chiropractor.

In Forest Lake, MN, call 651-464-0800 and make an appointment at Lakewoods Chiropractic. See how an adjustment works, in person, and how it makes you feel afterward. Many people with lower back problems, as well as neck and shoulder issues, utilize chiropractic care in order to feel better. Chiropractors know how much the spine matters to every part of a person’s body and their overall well-being!

The Chiropractic Approach To Insomnia

Posted by on 10:26 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

How have you been sleeping lately? Have you been dealing with insomnia? It’s a common sleep disorder where you have a hard time falling asleep or find it hard to stay asleep. It can also include waking up early and not being able to easily get back to sleep. The result of insomnia is feeling tired when you do wake up and have to deal with the day ahead. Insomnia usually makes people feel moody and irritable. This affects a person’s health, their quality of life, and their work performance.

People often experience insomnia because they have unmanageable stress in their lives. Their heart beats fast, they have muscle tension, and they have a hard time relaxing or sleeping. Those who are anxious or in pain can also experience insomnia. Even little things like lights in a room, noises, “the wrong temperature in the room,” and the lack of comfort in a bed can cause or exacerbate insomnia.

Can chiropractic care help with insomnia? Yes, it can. Chiropractic care helps relieve stress. Through stretches and exercises, people can “work out” their stress, getting rid of tension in their muscles. A good massage can help relax the body. Chiropractic adjustments, which are literally “hands-on,” can improve the body’s systems, including the immune system which helps reduce inflammation and stress. When a chiropractor does a spinal adjustment, he or she is helping reduce a person’s pain by treating it at its source. Spinal adjustments help improve blood flow and can improve the nervous system’s function, too.

If you’re someone who suffers from insomnia to the point where it’s interfering with your quality of life, consider chiropractic care at Lakewoods. This is a holistic, pill-free way of dealing with your condition. Your chiropractor can help you identify what’s going on with your body as well as help you make environmental changes so you can sleep better. Chiropractors offer smart lifestyle advice that can literally change the way you sleep– for the better!

Call 651-464-0800 and make an appointment at Lakewoods Chiropractic in Forest Lake, MN. There is help available when it comes to dealing with insomnia.

Why Visit A Chiropractor If You’re Not In Pain?

Posted by on 2:25 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Most people visit a dentist at least twice a year. They do so to get their teeth cleaned and to have their dentist check for any cavities or other issues. Chances are you’ve gone to the dentist before and were not in pain, right? But you went because you wanted to avoid future pain and problems– correct? That’s how it is with chiropractic care. Not everyone who visits a chiropractor is in pain. Sometimes they’re there for “preventative maintenance,” taking a proactive approach to their overall health and wellness. It’s better to find a problem early and adjust as needed than to wait too long and the pain becomes overwhelmingly bad.

While chiropractic care is mostly known for bringing pain relief to patients with back pain, it’s also much more than that… Chiropractors examine people’s bodies with an emphasis on their spinal columns. They make manual adjustments on the spine in order to put it “back into alignment.” You might be having issues that aren’t particularly painful, but they are related to your nerves as well as your muscles, joints and various organs. Regular chiropractic adjustments are designed to help your nervous system optimally function in order to improve your overall health. Want to improve your flexibility and range of motion? Want to reduce your muscle tension? See a chiropractor.

Even if you’re not in pain, chiropractic care offers benefits such as reduced stress, improved athletic performance, better digestion and better posture. Chiropractic care also encourages people to improve their nutritional intake and to exercise in ways that help the body feel better.

In Forest Lake, MN, people who care about their overall health and wellness should make an appointment to see Dr. Gerard and staff at Lakewoods Chiropractic. Please call 651-464-0800 or email for more information about regular chiropractic care appointments.

Don’t Let Computer Use Be A Pain In The Neck

Posted by on 2:23 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Who do you know who works at a computer all day long? Think about that for a minute. Perhaps you’ve got quite the list! And maybe you’re one of “those people” who have a desk job and utilize a computer screen for 8 or more hours daily. If so, don’t let computer use be a pain in the neck.

It can be easy to experience neck stiffness if you sit in a fixed position for a long period of time. Indeed, working at a desk can lead to neck and back pain. The monitor could be too far away, too low, too high, too small, or too dim. And when that happens, your posture suffers. You end up bending your neck in such a way that your head is exerting too much force on your neck. Your joints and muscles get strained. Your breathing suffers, and, in the end, even your mood is affected– and not for the better!

You should think about ergonomics– the efficiency and comfort level associated with a workstation. There are certain desk chairs that are ergonomically designed to lessen your neck/back strain… and there are things to think about when it comes to where you sit and how you sit. For instance, is the monitor positioned so you’re not straining to see things on it? Are the mouse and keyboard in a position so you’re not reaching up to use them? Does the chair you sit in/on allow you to maintain the normal curves in your spine? When seated, do your feet touch the ground as they should? These are all things to consider when sitting for long periods of time at a desk job.

In order to support good health and posture, you should make sure to get up from your seated position every half hour or so. Perhaps set a timer to remind you to get out of your seat and move around. Take a walk if you can. Stretch and loosen up your muscles. Look at something else for a couple minutes so you’re not always having your eyes on the screen for hours on end. And, if possible, create a standing workstation. These are all good ways to avoid neck and back strain at work!

“Squash” Poor Nutrition This Winter

Posted by on 2:22 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Oh how the months fly by… and when winter comes, it’s time to consider eating winter squash because of its many health benefits. Not only is winter squash delicious, but it’s also easy to store and to prepare, too.

Winter squash are actually squash varieties which are harvested in the fall. These are some of the darker varieties such as pumpkin, spaghetti squash, acorn squash and butternut squash.
All have shells, which make them harder to cut/peel, but also contribute to their longer storage life.

So why bother eating winter squash? Well, if you want to reduce the risk of arthritis, cancer, diabetes and/or heart disease, squash helps!

Winter squash is nutritious, and contains high levels of both alpha-carotene and beta-carotene (which converts to Vitamin A). Meanwhile, squash is a good source of Vitamin C (especially important in the winter) as well as antioxidant/anti-inflammatory compounds. Did you know winter squash contains polysaccharides which help regulate blood sugar? Nice! And, to top it off, winter squash is a good source of fiber– something most people could use more of, right?

Now if you’re not that familiar with winter squash, here’s the deal: it can be baked, boiled or steamed. If you’re looking for the quickest and healthiest way to prepare it, steam the squash. When you do, it needs to have been peeled with the seeds removed; Cut the squash into cube pieces. Steaming squash takes about 7 minutes. If you choose to bake it, instead, there’s no need to peel the squash. Take off the ends, cut the squash in half (lengthwise down the middle), use a fork to pierce the meat a few times, and then bake it in the oven ‘til it’s tender. After it comes out of the oven, you can remove the seeds and skin if you’d like.

Squash seeds are a healthy snack. You can prepare them the way you would prepare pumpkin seeds. Just keep in mind that seeds need to be separated from the pulp before baking.

If you’re looking for the healthiest of winter squash, choose acorn squash, which is rich in folate, calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Managing COPD Naturally

Posted by on 2:15 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

How’s your breathing? If you’ve been experiencing shortness of breath, chest tightening, coughing and/or wheezing, you may have a condition that falls under the umbrella term of “COPD,” aka Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Those with COPD might have asthma, chronic bronchitis, or emphysema. No matter what your problem is called, one thing’s for sure: having trouble breathing can make for difficult days.

For those with breathing disorders, consider chiropractic care. A chiropractor can help improve your body mechanics, allowing for increased chest expansion and flexibility. In other words, chiropractic adjustments can help you breathe better. If and when your lungs have more movement, they can take in more air. Chiropractic care improves lung function and also allows people to increase their exercise performance.

If you or someone you know has lung disease, what are some treatment options? Medications and lung transplants are options, but if you don’t want to be on pills and you don’t want to go under the knife in a surgery, consider chiropractic treatments as an alternative. Studies have been conducted on people with lung disease to see what helped most… and those who combined soft tissue therapy, manipulation and exercise did the best. They were able to walk longer distances with better lung capacity.

Basically, chest wall impairment is a factor in the prognosis of COPD and/or lung disease. A chiropractor works to reduce this impairment. Visiting a chiropractor can result in increased joint mobility and decreased muscle tension. These two things can contribute to reducing chest wall rigidity– and then a person can breathe easier.

If you want to naturally improve your lungs, don’t smoke… or stop smoking. In addition, take deeper breaths, exercise in order to breathe harder on occasion, and avoid exposure to pollutants as best you can. Sometimes, despite all your best efforts, you still develop breathing problems.

In Forest Lake, MN, people with breathing issues should make an appointment to see Dr. Gerard and staff at Lakewoods Chiropractic. Please call 651-464-0800 or email for more information.