Archive for Healthy Lifestyle

The Three Phases of Chiropractic Care at Texas Spine & Wellness

Plenty of patients have asked me the same question over the years: ‘Doc, how long does it take to heal?’ It’s a good question, but it differs so much from one patient to the next, that it’s challenging to give a standard answer. The fact is, we all heal at different rates and speeds.

However, with that in mind, I decided to put together a little information about the 3 phases of chiropractic care, which I believe can shed light on the question of how long it takes to heal.

Phase 1 – the relief phase

This is the first step to regaining your health and your life. When most people arrive at the Texas Spine & Wellness office they are suffering from the effects of accidents, falls, injuries, stress and bad posture that they’ve endured over many years. This relief phase of chiropractic care is designed to quickly reduce their pain and discomfort.

image of phases of chiropractic care

During this phase, a patient sometimes comes in two or three times over the course of a week. Scheduling appointments close together helps to reduce the pain and starts putting the spinal bones back in their proper position.

During Phase 1 a patient needs plenty of rest, lots of water, and, most importantly, a positive attitude.

Phase 2 – the correction phase

During Phase 2 we focus on the spinal deviations that are causing pain, the vertebral misalignments. During this phase as your chiropractor, I may choose to diversify the type of chiropractic adjustments you receive. This phase of chiropractic care is much more important than the relief phase as it is designed to put the structures of the spine into correct position and bring the benefits of long-term health. It will also continue to provide pain relief.

Phase 3 – the maintenance phase

Once you have come to Phase 3 you will be feeling much, much better and may not have any more outward symptoms. Your pain is reduced or has gone away completely, the swelling and discomfort is probably gone, and you’re feeling like your ‘old self’ again.

Keep in mind, however, the spinal misalignments, can always come back if you start to fall back into old habits.

The purpose of the maintenance phase is just that, to maintain the excellent results we have achieved and keep your spine healthy for the future. Based upon your unique situation, and my experience as a Garland Chiropractor, I will recommend future visits to maintain the health of your spine.

This is one of the most important phases, because if done correctly, it can mean a lifetime of good health and much less pain. Like your regular dental checkups, maintaining your spine is an important part of staying healthy and preventing future problems. Remember, an absence of symptoms does not always mean an absence of problems. One of the most important things you can do for your health is to maintain your spine, and the best place to do that is right here at Texas Spine & Wellness.

This is a brief explanation of the 3 phases of chiropractic care and how treatment works best. Although the timeline may vary, if you follow the advice I’ve offered and have a little patience, your results will likely be the same.

So take a tip from your chiropractor and schedule an appointment at Texas Spine & Wellness today. We’ll get you back on track as quickly as possible.

7 Warning Signs: Stress May Be Affecting Your Health

picture of a man exhibiting the warning signs of stress
Everyone knows stress is a part of life and that too much stress is bad for you. However most people have a poor understanding of the warnings signs of stress and how it affects health. To deal properly with stress you need to know what it is, how it is caused, and how many symptoms of stress mirror or mask other health issues.

What is stress?

Stress is often seen as a form of mental fatigue as in “I’m under a lot of stress right now.” The truth, however, is stress is the result of our bodies reacting to a real or perceived danger which triggers a fight or flight response. When confronted with a potential danger, our bodies automatically go into a flurry of activity in preparation for fighting or fleeing. Our heart rate increases along with our blood pressure and blood is directed away from digesting food. Less blood flows to our feet and hands (the most likely areas to be wounded) and our hearing and vision sharpen.

All of this happens so we are able to rapidly respond to a threat. This system works very well when the stress is something like a barking and potentially hostile dog or even when playing sports. However plenty of activities in modern life create prolonged periods of stress which can lead to all kinds of health problems.

Warning signs of stress

The warning signs of stress are often easy to miss because they mimic so many other health problems. So it is important for people to consider the stress in their lives when they have chronic problems which do not respond to treatment.

  1. Physical Pain: This usually manifests as headaches or muscle tension or pain. In this case stress acts much like stress does in an engineering sense. When muscles are kept at a state of heightened readiness, they tire quickly. Gripping the wheel of your car during a bad commute is a good example of this, as the tension causes you to grip the wheel far tighter than you normally would. Higher blood pressure and a change in blood flow translates into headaches and even chest pains as the heart works harder to keep the blood pumping. Sadly, pain is also one of the leading causes of stress.
  2. Fatigue: One of the ways the body reacts to danger/stress is to release adrenalin into the blood stream. Like getting hyped up on caffeine then crashing, the lack of the adrenaline can worsen the fatigue factor. Long periods of stress will tire the body out quicker and lead to sleeping problems due to the body being still at a higher level of alertness. This usually leads to a ‘crash-and-burn’ problem of insomnia followed by trouble waking up.
  3. Anxiety: Our mind responds poorly to long periods of stress since the source of stress is often hard to pin down such as in a bad commute. Without an obvious source, we quickly become anxious. This leads to lack of motivation, lack of focus and restlessness.
  4. Anger: When not anxious, people under stress are often irritable and quick to anger. This can either be in angry outbursts or the slow burn where small things can set off a violent reaction.
  5. Depression: As with anxiety, the lack of a clear target of our stress can lead to feelings of helplessness, sadness, and depression. By being unable to avoid stress, one feels powerless which can feed depressive states.
  6. Substance Abuse: While we may not consciously realize we’re stressed, often people will take actions to try to make themselves feel better. This can lead to overuse of tobacco, alcohol and food as well as abuse of over-the-counter medications. Feelings of anxiety or depression can lead to drug use as a form of escapism. Heavy alcohol use can rapidly cause feelings of anger to spiral out of control.
  7. Withdrawal: Being unable to deal with stress can cause people to try to avoid it by avoiding people. This can cause them to turn away from friends and family. This often makes the problem worse due to avoiding many activities like sex which are very positive in nature.

What can you do?

At Texas Spine & Wellness, our Garland chiropractors understand the warning signs of stress and how it affects health. We can also help you manage one of the leading causes of stress: chronic pain. Whether from an old injury or poor posture while putting in long hours in front of a computer, untreated pain can create stress.

We offer several ways to treat stress and chronic pain. Many people find our pharmaceutical grade CBD oil very useful in combating chronic pain along with the anxiety and tension that often accompany it.

For the physical symptoms of stress and chronic pain, our chiropractic treatments, physical rehab, massage therapy and spinal decompression can help you feel better fast.

So, if you feel chronic pain is keeping you in a state of constant stress, contact our Garland chiropractors today to schedule a visit. We can help you regain control of your life.

7 Immune Boosting Foods You Need This Season

The first cases of flu are already making the rounds here in Dallas, Texas. So, it’s time to remind our family and friends of the natural ways to improve the immune system, your body’s first line of defense against nasty bugs and viruses.

While the hospital and ER room are a vital resource for health emergencies, the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” comes to mind. We can lower our chance of ending up in the doctor’s office or emergency room with a severe cold or the flu by keeping our immune systems strong.

Here are 7 foods and herbs that deserve to take a place in your “natural” medicine cabinet.

Garlic

This is one of the most readily available immune system boosters. For centuries, garlic has been used as a natural medicine. Garlic has sulfur compounds that act as antibacterial and antiviral agents.

Garlic, when taken as a tea sweetened with honey, is an excellent treatment for respiratory infections, colds, cough, and influenza. You can sweeten “garlic tea” with real honey, which also acts a throat soother. To try this recipe, simply add one crushed glove of garlic to a cup of hot water. Squeeze in the juice of half a fresh lemon and a teaspoon of raw, unfiltered honey and your home remedy for coughs and cold is ready to drink.

If having “garlicky” breath isn’t appealing, there are also natural garlic supplements. Kyolic brand products are one of our favorites because they are “de-odorized”.

Echinacea

immune boosting tea
Echinacea is a natural flowering herb that has been used in natural medicine for centuries. Chinese herbalists often recommend this herb for its immune-boosting properties. At the first signs of a cold or flu, try drinking echinacea tea.

Many herb teas will include additional immune-system boosting herbs and spices, such as licorice, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. For best results you should continue to take echinacea tea for a few days after your recovery.

Echinacea is also available in a tincture form and in a variety of immune support supplements. Tinctures can be taken in water. Don’t be surprised if you feel a slightly unusual sensation after swallowing. This is echinacea’s trademark “tingle’.

Vitamin C

Early sailors would spend months at sea without any fresh fruit. These sailors often suffered from scurvy, a very serious nutritional deficiency caused by a lack of vitamin C. The condition left them with bleeding gums and a shortage of energy. Fortunately, most of us don’t face anything this severe, however, since our bodies are unable to produce vitamin C on their own, it’s critical we get an adequate supply through food or supplements.  Surprisingly, you don’t need to rely on citrus fruit to supply your daily serving of Vitamin C. Green and red bell peppers, broccoli and kale all contain more vitamin C per serving than an orange! By ensuring an abundant intake of vitamin C, you’re supplying your body with strong antioxidants that can strengthen your body’s natural defenses.

Yogurt and Probiotics

The bacteria located in our gut is absolutely essential for effective and healthy digestion. The good gut flora breaks down the food for assimilation into our system.

Unfortunately, even a single dose of a powerful antibiotic can kill all the bacteria in our gut, both good and bad. To ensure proper and healthy digestion, it’s important to add good probiotics to your diet.

Probiotics or live active cultures, can dramatically increase white blood cells, which are part of the immune system’s “attack team”. The white blood cells search and destroy bad bacteria and viruses.

You can get probiotics by eating a daily serving of yogurt or kefir. If you’re choosing yogurt from a grocery store, avoid those with a high amount of sugar. One of the best ways to receive a therapeutic dose of probiotics is to buy a high-quality supplement.

Green Tea

picture of immune-boosting green tea.
The benefits of green tea in protecting our bodies and boosting the immune system are well documented. Green tea contains an important contains theanine, an important amino acid helpful in fighting illness. Teas are also a good source of antioxidants, which are another critical component of our immune systems. One added benefit of L-theanine is its ability to calm frazzled nerves.

Protein

Protein contains zinc, which the body uses to fight off infections. Zinc is also necessary for that critical immune system agent — white blood cells.

Pharmacies and drug stores will often have an entire row reserved solely for this important mineral supplement. Even a mild zinc deficiency reduces our immune protection.

High quality protein mixes added to milk or milk substitutes can add a substantial boost to your diet. Better yet, add the protein blend to a smoothie made with fruits and vegetables. For vegetarians, look for protein powders derived from peas.

Healthy Oils

Our bodies require healthy fats to function optimally. Without getting into too many technical details, health-conscious consumers should focus on heart healthy oils, such as olive oil and coconut oil. These two oils provide excellent sources of omega 3 fats. Avoid the “cooked” oils such as canola, safflower, vegetable, etc. These oils interfere with cell metabolism of sugar compounds, which can increase your odds of contracting diabetes. Many of these oils have also been produced from genetically modified foods.

Also check out the fatty fish sources of omega-3’s, such as sardines and herring. To boost your heart health, consider supplementing your diet with a professional grade fish oil.

Summing up

As you experiment with adding these natural immune-boosting foods to your diet, remember to avoid foods that may slow down your efforts. Drinking too much alcohol, as well as a diet high-sugar diet can be very detrimental to your overall health.

Keep your immune system healthy and happy, and your body will sail through the year without a sneeze or a sniffle!

Garland chiropractor, Dr. Mixon and the staff of Texas Spine & Wellness take a holistic approach to health. In addition to the treatment of neck and back, and joint pain issues, we also offer bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and nutritional programs.  We stock a wide range of professional grade supplements at the clinic. If you would like more information about our chiropractic care or if we can help you with your nutritional needs, please give us a call at 972-840-2520.

Our Garland chiropractic office is centrally located and is easily accessible by Dallas, Richardson, Mesquite, Rowlett and Rockwall residents.