Can Chiropractic Help Improve Breastfeeding?

Can Chiropractic Help Improve Breastfeeding?

As any new breastfeeding mother will tell you, breastfeeding is hard work. Not only that, but breastfeeding can frequently suffer from unexpected problems. It is recommended that you make an appointment with a certified lactation consultant if you are experiencing any struggles with breastfeeding, but what else can you do? 

Your chiropractor can also play a role in improving your breastfeeding relationship with your baby.

Chiropractic for your baby

Birth itself can be very traumatic for an infant, no matter if you had the most natural birth, or a c-section. This trauma can cause abnormal functioning in his or her spine, and musculoskeletal system. This can cause problems such as torticolis, also known as “twisted neck”, the inability to open the mouth wide enough, or muscle tightness in the jaw, and/or neck due to tongue tie. Adjustments for your baby can help to relax these muscles and allow for breastfeeding to occur more naturally. You may be concerned that an adjustment for a baby would be too rough, but your chiropractor will not use the same amount of pressure that they would on an adult. Adjustments for infants are gentle and relaxing.

Chiropractic for the mother

Sometimes a mother’s inability to make enough milk for her baby is the problem. 

 La Leche League international says, “The mother’s milk supply and let down are neurologically controlled. They may respond to chiropractic adjustment, craniosacral technique, or acupressure, as well as the more traditionally utilized herbs and medications. Ergonomics-how the mother holds her own and her baby’s body while breastfeeding-are very important. Pain may influence her let down reflex and, consequently, her milk production.” (1)

There have even been several case studies that showed mothers increasing milk supply after starting chiropractic treatment. (2)

Certainly, experiencing any problem with breastfeeding can be incredibly stressful, which can also affect milk supply. Studies have found that patients, after receiving a chiropractic neck adjustment, had altered brain activity in the parts of the brain responsible for pain processing and stress reactions. They also had significantly reduced  cortisol levels, indicating decreased stress. Participants also reported lower pain scores and a better quality of life after treatment.” (3)

Learning to breastfeed can be frustrating for you and your baby. However, most breastfeeding challenges can be overcome with patience, and adjusting subluxations to allow for the optimal functioning of the breastfeeding process.

 

Does High Intensity Exercise Backfire on you?

Does High Intensity Exercise Backfire on you?

Exercise is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory interventions. The higher the intensity of the exercise, the more antioxidants your body releases afterward to help quench inflammation.

However, one must pay attention to the intensity and duration for exercise to be inflammatory versus pro-inflammatory. The intensity will impact factors such as hormone growth factors, natural opioids, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and compounds that help regulate inflammation.

But what if you can’t engage in high-intensity exercise? Does this mean you’re forced to miss out on the benefits?

Some people are not able to engage in high-intensity exercise for various reasons. They may have an injury or permanent joint damage that makes intense exercise difficult.

What we more commonly see is the person who can’t recover, has a health setback, or sustains an injury every time they begin an exercise program. Exercise releases free radicals, which boosts antioxidant production, but some people’s systems are too beleaguered to compensate.

 

This state of poor resilience and heavy inflammation stems from factors such as:

•    Unmanaged autoimmune or chronic health conditions

•    Long-standing high blood sugar

•    Hormone imbalances

•    Electrolyte imbalance

•    Adrenal imbalances

•    Weak immunity

•    Obesity

•    Endotoxemia—when harmful bacterial byproducts leak from the gut into the bloodstream.

These factors frequently occur together. While the advice to “eat right and exercise” seems logical, the truth is some people cannot handle the additional load without falling apart.

Isometric exercises can help dampen inflammation

The solution is not to resign yourself to a sedentary lifestyle, which is very inflammatory and devastating to the brain.

Instead, we can look to promising research on myokines, immune signaling compounds released by muscles. Studies show that exercise does not have to be intense to release anti-inflammatory myokines.

Instead, simply doing isometric exercises—holding a muscle contraction—can effectively dampen inflammation.

Studies also show that daily sessions of isometric exercises can even outperform traditional aerobic exercises like running and walking when it comes to lowering blood pressure. The mechanism behind this is thought to involve improved vascular function and decreased arterial stiffness. Additionally, isometric exercises can enhance autonomic nervous system function, contributing to better blood pressure regulation.

Isometric exercises sound easy, but they’re not. However, many can still be performed in sitting or lying positions. As with all exercise, start small and build over time as strength builds.

 

Isometric exercise ideas

Isometric-Chest Expander Exercise

Don’t overthink this. Contract a muscle and hold the contraction for 10–30 seconds, then move to another muscle. As your strength improves, increase the time you hold the contraction. Shoot for at least 10–15 minutes a day total.

If you work at a desk all day, set a timer to go off every 55 minutes and do a few minutes of isometric exercises to help combat “sitting disease.”

Here are some isometric ideas to get you started. Remember, even though this is gentle, don’t overdo it. Start cautiously if your health is compromised so you don’t overwhelm your system.

Hold each exercise for 10–30 seconds when starting out. Increase the duration as you get stronger.

  • Contract larger muscle groups one at a time, such as the biceps, triceps, quadriceps, glutes, and calves.

  • Wall sit: Stand with your back against a wall and slide down into a seated position as if sitting in an invisible chair, keeping your knees at a 90-degree angle.

  • Seated leg raise: Sit in a chair with your back straight. Extend one leg straight and hold it.

  • Palm Press: Sit or stand with your back straight. Press your palms together in front of your chest and push them against each other as hard as you can.

  • Seated Abdominal Squeeze: Sit upright in a chair. Tighten your abdominal muscles as if you were trying to bring your belly button closer to your spine.
  • Glute Bridge Hold: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips to form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees and hold.

  • Isometric Bicep Hold:Hold a light dumbbell or just use your own body weight by placing your hands on a table edge. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and hold.

  • Chair Squat Hold: Stand in front of a chair with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower yourself as if you were going to sit down, but stop just before you touch the chair.

  • Seated Calf Raise: Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Raise your heels off the ground and hold.

  • Hand Grip Squeeze: Use a hand grip strengthener or squeeze a stress ball as hard as you can and hold.
  • Neck Isometrics: Sit or stand with good posture. Place your hand against your forehead and press your head forward into your hand without allowing any movement an hold. Repeat by placing your hand on the back of your head and pressing backward, then on each side of your head

 

Download our Isometric Exercises >

Isometric Exercises-Beginner

Hormones out of whack since your brain injury?

Although brain injury symptoms may subside enough for you to return to daily life, trauma to the brain can continue to subtly wreak havoc on how your body functions and feels for month and even years later. For instance, many people notice their hormone function isn’t the same after a brain injury.

Your hormonal command center — the hypothalamus and pituitary gland — is in the brain. Although a head injury may occur in an isolated area, the vast networks of communication across the entire brain mean that damage to one area affects the entire brain. And because the brain runs the body, it only makes sense daily operations of the body take a hit too.

Estimates on how many people suffer from hormone disorders caused by brain injury vary, however, one study of 1,000 patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) found almost 30 percent had compromised pituitary function.

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Exercise creates good gut bacteria independent of diet

We’re learning what a vital role good gut bacteria play in immune health, brain health, mood, and, of course, gut health. We also know that the best way to beef up your good gut bacteria is through eating lots of different kinds of vegetables and fruits every day. But researchers have discovered yet another way to promote healthy gut bacteria: Regular exercise.

Our digestive tract is home to trillions of gut bacteria that weigh about three to four pounds all together, and are made up of over a 1,000 different species and 5,000 strains. Our body depends on these gut bacteria to:

  • Metabolize nutrients
  • Protect the intestinal wall
  • Produce vitamin K and short chain fatty acids (SCFA), which are important for immune health
  • Maintain health of the digestive tract
  • Regulate immunity
  • Prevent inflammation
  • Promote good brain health and function

As our understanding of healthy gut bacteria evolves, so does the information on how to cultivate your own “microbiome” while inhibiting overgrowth of “bad” bacteria that are infectious and inflammatory. Initially, fermented foods and probiotics were thought to be the main recourse.

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Canola oil worsens memory, raises Alzheimer’s risk

Canola oil worsens memory, raises Alzheimer’s risk

We’ve long been pitched canola’s health benefits. After all, Whole Foods uses it in all their prepared foods and many vegetarian and vegan products proudly promote it as a feature ingredient. But when scientists, who had shown the brain benefits of olive oil in mice, decided to run the same studies with canola oil, they uncovered a darker truth: Canola oil worsens memory and promotes amyloid plaques, a hallmark Alzheimer’s symptom.

In the olive oil study, researchers gave mice with Alzheimer’s Disease a diet enriched with extra-virgin olive oil and found that compared to the control group, the mice experienced improvements in memory as well as a reduction in amyloid plaques and phosphorylated tau, which creates the neurofibrillary tangles that degenerate the brain in Alzheimer’s.

They replicated the study with canola oil, one of the cheapest and most widely used oils in the world, to see what effects it might have on the brain.

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Autism rates continue to rise, setting new record highs

Autism rates continue to rise, setting new record highs

There was a time many people — who are not yet that old — can remember when autism was relatively uncommon. Today it’s so common special education classes have exploded in numbers many parents have a child on the autism spectrum. Although we’d like to blame increased diagnoses, the fact is overall childhood brain development disorders have been skyrocketing in the last two decades and now stand at a shocking 1 in 14 children. These disorders include autism spectrum disorder, an intellectual disability, or a developmental delay

According to the National Health Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), rates of autism have been rising sharply:

2000: 1 in 150 children

2007: 1 in 91 children

2010: 1 in 68 children

2016: 1 in 36 children

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How to talk to an overweight child about their weight

How to talk to an overweight child about their weight

Ours is a tricky culture in which to raise a child. We idolize thinness, shame the fat, yet live in a society that constantly begs — if not harasses — us to over indulge in sugary, fattening foods. Also, thanks to busy working parents, many kids are left to their own devices when it comes to meals and it’s no surprise they go for junk food and sodas. As a result, about 20 percent of America’s children are now obese and rates of type 2 diabetes among children are on the rise.

Children who are obese are more likely to be bullied. Research shows that not only does bullying impact a child’s mental health and self-esteem, it also further promotes obesity. The bullied kid eats more and is further sedentary in an attempt to cope with the painful emotions of being bullied.

The way children are spoken to, or in front of, by doctors and by their parents, as well as teased by family members, can also further promote obesity, according to research.

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A functional neurology look at migraines and migraine relief

A functional neurology look at migraines and migraine relief

About one in four Americans suffer from migraines, or head pain that lasts four to 72 hours, in the United States and it’s a leading cause of disability. Fortunately, by understanding how metabolic disorders affect the brain, we can use functional neurology and neurochemistry to help many people with migraines find lasting and significant relief.

Many migraine sufferers feel they miss out on much of their lives. It’s hard to make commitments to social events, concerts, picnics, or other events because they never know when they’ll be felled by a migraine. Many migraine patients are also dependent on one or more drugs to function, and some of these drugs can cause rebound migraines!

When a migraine is coming on or hits, symptoms may include not only pain but also inability to tolerate light or sound, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, numbness and tingling in different parts of the body, visual auras, déjà vu, hallucinations, and more. These symptoms are important clues in functional neurology to help us determine which part of the brain is affected during the migraine. For instance, visual auras indicate an issue in the occipital lobe, which governs vision, while déjà vu signals a migraine affecting the temporal lobe, which plays a role in time perception.

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Balancing chronic autoimmune illness with raising children

Balancing chronic autoimmune illness with raising children

Because women make up about 75 percent of autoimmune disease diagnoses, this means many sufferers of chronic illness are also raising children. It’s common for women to feel disappointed or inferior because they are not the kind of mom they had envisioned. But the perfect mom is an unattainable myth, and it’s possible your illness is even cultivating good qualities in your children. In fact, some of the world’s greatest functional medicine researchers and innovators who have helped countless numbers of people discovered their passion because of their mother’s autoimmune illnesses.

A chronic autoimmune illness means days when energy is low or non-existent, or when brain fog, pain, anxiety, or depression rule. Regular life may include long treks to other cities or states to see a doctor who understands your condition and can help. Your diet is restricted and the house is void of junk food and sodas. Weekends may be devoted to batch cooking meals for the week and your autoimmune disease may require you to delegate chores to your kids. But none of this has to stand in the way of loving your kids and it may even make them better people.

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CTE found in living NFL player but affects many types of people

CTE found in living NFL player but affects many types of people

The first case of CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, was identified in NFL player Fred McNeill and confirmed after his death in 2015. However, CTE, which causes brain degeneration and dementia, is not confined just to football players. Anyone whose body receives repeated blows is at risk. This includes boxers, wrestlers, MMA fighters, extreme athletes, military troops, and more. You don’t even have to receive a concussion for your brain to suffer injury and damage from repeated falls, crashes, and body slams.

A recent study of the brains of deceased NFL players showed 110 out of 111 had CTE disease, a bitter pill for a sport that is a staple of American culture.

CTE causes symptoms of depression, memory loss, confusion, anger, loss of impulse control, and overall decline and changes in personality. Many former NFL players succumb to chronic mood, behavioral, and pain disorders that devastates their personal lives. A number have committed suicide.

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