12 Months of Wellness | Month 5 – Breath & Chiropractic

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Welcome to month five of our 12 Months of Wellness. We are so thrilled that you are taking these monthly steps to improve your overall wellness. If you are just now being introduced to our 12 Months of Wellness you can find the full series here.

Our breath is so much more than just an automatic response to keep us oxygenated and alive. Our breath is the simplest tool we have to calm our physical, emotional and mental states. Next time you’re running late, feeling stressed at work or anxious about an upcoming event tune into your body. You’re likely to notice that your heart is racing and your breathing is short and high in your chest. This is because you are in a heightened stress response and your body is on high alert.

The quickest way to relax your nervous system is through conscious breathing practices. This can be as simple as focusing on your breath and consciously taking several slow, deep breaths, fully filling your lungs.

The 4-7-8 Relaxation Breath, recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil, is a technique to help you relax, quiet your mind and even fall asleep easily. This practice is simple, doesn’t take much time and it’s free, so try it next time you need to calm you nerves.

The 4-7-8 Relaxation Breath technique:

  1. Exhale all of your breath through your mouth.
  2. Inhale through your nose to the count of 4.
  3. Hold your breath to the count of 7.
  4. Exhale audibly through your mouth for the count of 8.
  5. Repeat this several times and notice how it helps you relax.

Breath and Chiropractic

You may wonder what the connection is between breath and chiropractic. Well, both actually have a direct effect on the health and function of the nervous system and can affect our ability to heal, as well as feel balanced and calm.

Often times, our breath can even be a gauge for our spinal wellness. When our spine is out of balance, we may experience a shortness of breath caused by a stress response. A misaligned vertebrae at the base of our skull can create pressure on our brain causing the release of stress hormones, putting us in a flight or flight response. Chiropractic adjustments relieve pressure and help to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, our natural state of relaxation.

Use this months downloadable worksheet to tune into your breath and set intentions to address any issues you may be experiencing.

Here are my intentions so you can see how simple this can be:

12Wellness_5_BreathChiropractic_Answers

DOWNLOAD MONTH 5 – BREATH & CHIROPRACTIC

DOWNLOAD THE FULL 12 MONTH PRINTABLE BOOKLET HERE

DOWNLOAD COMPUTER FILL-IN VERSION HERE

If you commit to a regular conscious breathing practice and still find yourself anxious and out of sorts it may be time to visit a Chiropractor. Click here to read more on Chiropractic Care.

 

12 Months of Wellness | Month 4 – Sleep & Acupuncture

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Welcome to month four of our 12 Months of Wellness. We want to congratulate you if you’ve made it this far. If you are just now being introduced to our 12 Months of Wellness you can find the entire series here.

This month we are helping you understand the connection between sleep, stress and overall well-being. We invite you to check in with your sleep patterns and make some minor changes to your day if you find yourself ever having trouble sleeping.

Most adults have experienced insomnia or sleeplessness at one time in their lives. An estimated 30%-50% of the general population are affected by insomnia, and 10% have chronic insomnia. The concern is if you don’t address short term sleeplessness it may develop into chronic insomnia.

Some signs of insomnia and sleeplessness:

  • You lay in bed for hours, feeling tired but unable to fall asleep
  • You toss and turn when you sleep at night
  • You have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep
  • You feel lethargic and groggy after you wake up

In our fast-paced lifestyles, stress can often cause us to give up sleep in order to catch up on work or other responsibilities. This can cause us problems when trying to fall asleep and many of us reach for over the counter or prescription sleep aids which only put a band-aid on the problem, rather than address the root of the cause.

Many of the causes of short-term sleeplessness and insomnia are similar and they include:

  • Changes in work schedule
  • Jet lag
  • Excessive or unpleasant noise
  • Uncomfortable room temperature (too hot or too cold)
  • Stressful situations in life (exam preparation, loss of a loved one, unemployment, divorce, or separation)
  • Presence of an acute medical or surgical illness or hospitalization
  • Withdrawal from drug, alcohol, sedative, or stimulant medications
  • Insomnia related to high altitude (mountains)
  • Long hours at a computer screen

Tips to help you sleep better:

  • Keep a consistent sleeping schedule
  • Keep your room completely dark and quiet
  • Maintain the temperature of your room not hotter than 70 degrees
  • Find ways to reduce your stress levels like warm baths and meditation
  • Receive Acupuncture treatments
  • Eliminate the use of back lit screens several hours before bed

How Acupuncture can help to improve your sleep:

Acupuncture is effective in treating stress induced sleep issues by balancing the endocrine/hormone regulated activities. Chronic stress causes our stress hormones to become hyperactive, this in turn suppresses our feedback hormone. Acupuncture helps to regulate the endocrine system by needling acu-points selected for the insomnia and our bodies adjust the feedback system and normal sleeping are patterns restored.

Sleep problems due to medication and some other physiological causes span from circadian rhythm disorders, sleep-wake imbalance, to a variety of medical conditions are more complex to treat. This will take a longer period of time to treat the underlying conditions and causes of the sleep issues.

You do not have to put up with sleepless nights. Simple changes in your daily habits like getting to bed at the same time every night and turning off the computer and tv screen well before bed can resolve short-term sleeplessness and restore your much needed rest. Use this months downloadable worksheet to assess your sleeping patterns and set intentions to get a better night’s sleep.

Here are my intentions so you can see how simple this can be:

12Wellness_4_SleepAcupuncture_Answers

DOWNLOAD MONTH 4 – SLEEP & ACUPUNCTURE

DOWNLOAD THE FULL 12 MONTH PRINTABLE BOOKLET HERE

DOWNLOAD COMPUTER FILL-IN VERSION HERE

Dr. Tsai is our on-site Acupuncturist and she can help you with any sleeping issues you may be experiencing. Remember short term sleep problems can develop into chronic insomnia, schedule a session today. Click here to learn more about Dr. Tsai.

Click here for more information on sleep and insomnia.

 

12 Months of Wellness  |  Month 3 – Nutrition

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This month we encourage you to set some intentions around healthy nutrition. What we ingest has a direct and sometimes profound impact on how we feel, how our body resists disease and ages over the years. Start tuning into how food can support your heart and soul, what you want to fuel your body with and why, and make choices based on what feels right for you and your body type.

There are so many philosophies in the nutrition field and it can be overwhelming to keep up with the latest fads and research. That’s why we suggest you start with an intention to make small shifts in your diet. This will help you follow through long-term and see huge benefits in the way you look and feel.

The Mayo Clinic talks about a “Heart-Healthy Diet: 8 steps to prevent heart disease” that is a great place to start when making small changes to your diet. They outline the following topics with some great basic information. Please read the article with an open mind and remember our two-cents to this rather Western perspective.

  1. Limit unhealthy fats and cholesterol – of course, but don’t get suckered by the gimmicky products promising to reduce cholesterol like Benecol Promise Margarine. Yuck. Olive oil and even butter (used sparingly) are better choices.
  2. Choose low-fat protein sources – but skip the fat free dairy and soy products all together.
  3. Eat more vegetables and fruits – FRESH fruits and vegetables that is. High heats during canning can turn these gems into nutrient-less mush.
  4. Select whole grains – The words “whole grains” have been bastardized by cereal and other packaged food advertisers. We are talking about the actual whole grains of brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, barley, oats.
  5. Reduce the sodium in your food – by NOT eating foods laden with salt like most processed items including canned, boxed, frozen and otherwise.
  6. Control your portion size – basic but true.
  7. Plan ahead: Create daily/weekly menus – fabulous for keeping you on track and abreast of what you have already consumed over the course of a week
  8. Allow yourself an occasional treat – such a great way to stay balanced and not in a place of deprivation

Changing your eating habits can be tough. Make sure you are kind to yourself and set your intentions at an attainable level. Maybe include a new step every few weeks so you are continually working towards a goal. Download this month’s intention setting guide to set healthy nutrition intentions for yourself.


Here are my intentions so you can see how simple this can be:

12Wellness_3_NutritionAnswers

DOWNLOAD MONTH 3 – NUTRITION

DOWNLOAD THE FULL 12 MONTH PRINTABLE BOOKLET HERE

DOWNLOAD COMPUTER FILL-IN VERSION HERE

12 Months of Wellness | Month 2 – The Benefits of Massage

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This month’s intention is all about the healing benefits of regular massage. It’s a well documented fact that touch is essential for human beings. Infants who are deprived of touch do not thrive as those who experience regular touch from care takers, even if all of their other needs have been met. Many of us live a touch deprived life. It is less allowable in our culture to touch one another, to make simple physical contact.

Massage is one way to meet our need for touch, and it has many other benefits as well. Massage can benefit almost any condition weather physical, mental or emotional. The general benefits of massage are that it:

  • Reduces pain
  • Increases attentiveness
  • Reduces stress hormones
  • Improves immune function
  • Decreases symptoms of depression
  • Improves sleep patterns (quantity and quality)

The benefits of massage are measured subjectively, meaning that the recipient of the massage perceives a change in their pain, emotional state, or the symptoms of their condition. The benefits of massage are also measured in objective terms, meaning that other people are able to observe the result or changes, or that there are tests that measure the changes.

Depression, anxiety, aggression, ADHD, sleep disorders, and self/body satisfaction have all been shown to improve with the application of regular massage. People in studies are shown to have decreased symptoms by subjective report as well as measuring biochemical indicators such as lower levels of the stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine, lower diastolic blood pressure, and increased levels of dopamine.

Sleep disturbances and insomnia can range from mild to severe in their effect on our lives. Inability to function well at work, irritability, lowered immune function, and depression can all result. Luckily massage can also help us sleep better. By treating some of the most common causes of sleep disturbances like pain, anxiety, and stress, massage has been shown to allow people to fall asleep earlier and stay asleep longer.

Massage alters the biochemistry of the body. Massage has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol, norepinephrine, and epinephrine – all stress related hormones, and increase the levels of feel good hormones dopamine and serotonin. Another one of the benefits of massage is that it boosts the immune system by elevating the amounts of natural killer cells.

Some of the benefits of massage are more well known like its ability to soften, lengthen, and relax muscle tissue, thereby increasing relaxation and preventing injury. Massage is also a great reliever of pain whether chronic or acute. And don’t underestimate the power of the most well known benefit of massage – it feels good!!!

This month we welcome you to experience the benefits of massage. Introduce massage one or two times this month or if you receive regular massage try a different kind and see what it can do for your well-being. Download this month’s  intention setting guide to help you set your massage intentions.

Here are my intentions so you can see how simple this can be:

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DOWNLOAD MONTH 2 – MASSAGE

DOWNLOAD THE FULL 12 MONTH PRINTABLE BOOKLET HERE

DOWNLOAD COMPUTER FILL-IN VERSION HERE

Set Healthy, Achievable Intentions All Year Long

It’s the new year and you’re probably thinking about all the ways you can be healthier and happier in 2017. Imagine being reminded every month to take small actions toward your health and wellness. What if you also had a community to share your intentions and help keep you accountable?

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The Wellness Center created a program to help you improve your life all year long. We call it 12 Months of Wellness and we’re kicking it off again for the third year. This time around we are gifting you an entire Digital Intention Booklet to keep your intentions in one place. We invite you to use this booklet as a monthly practice to set clear intentions each month and to take small steps toward your health goals. Also, printed booklets will be available for purchase at the front desk soon, ask next time you come in for an appointment.

The sad truth is that only 8% of people are able to achieve their resolutions each year. Our 12 Months of Wellness program encourages you to set small achievable goals each month. Small daily lifestyle changes add up to make a huge difference in your overall health and well-being.

Each month we focus on a new self care theme and encourage you to stay focused on that area of your life that month. Use your Intention Booklet to set your own intentions each month. Then share your intention on our Facebook page to receive support and encouragement to reach your healthy goals all year long.

 

Start today by downloading your Intention Booklet and set your overall intention for how you want to feel in your daily life.

DOWNLOAD PRINTABLE BOOKLET HERE

DOWNLOAD COMPUTER FILL-IN VERSION HERE

Did you participate in the 12 Months of Wellness in 2016? We want to hear from you. Share your biggest take-away or favorite month in the comments below.

12 Months of Wellness | Month 1 – Setting Intentions…Small Changes Make a Big Difference

12Wellness_1_IntentionSetting-Answers-Web2If you’re like most people you set several big New Year’s resolutions to improve yourself in some way. As much as the good intentions are there, studies have shown that only 8% of people are able to achieve their resolutions. That got us thinking…what if we shifted the way we think about resolutions so that we can actually implement our goals and make real change, a little bit at a time? Part of our mission at The Wellness Center is to help people improve their overall health and wellness. What if we encouraged you to commit to small changes each and every month? Imagine what your life will look like this time next year!

We are excited to continue our concept alive for the yearly resolution: 12 Months of Wellness. Because so many resolutions end up falling through the cracks a few months into the year, our challenge to you is to set small, realistic and healthy intentions every month.  Even though big goals are inspiring to have, in terms of daily health and well-being, the truth is: Small changes make a big difference.

So, each month we will have a new self care theme and you will receive an intention setting guide that you can download, print out and keep on your fridge or somewhere else visible, to remind and inspire you how you want to feel in your body and in your life. Set your intentions at the beginning of the month and we will give you the tools and support on our blog and Facebook Page to accomplish them throughout the year. We are excited to see how you transform!

Here are my intentions so you can see how simple this can be:

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Sign-up for our newsletter, visit our blog or check our FB page every month to receive your 12 Months of Wellness Guide.

Are you ready to make small changes each month to create healthy habits all year long? Leave a comment and let us know what you will do this month to live healthier and happier. We look forward to guiding you along the way! Download the first 2 guides below to get started!

Download the Annual TheMe Guide

DOWNLOAD MONTH 1 – INTENTION SETTING

DOWNLOAD THE FULL 12 MONTH PRINTABLE BOOKLET HERE

DOWNLOAD COMPUTER FILL-IN VERSION HERE

12 Months of Wellness | Month 12 Community & Connection

12 Months of Wellness | Community & Connection

The holidays, to stress or connect? Although it can be a stressful time of year, it’s also a wonderful time to spend with your loved ones. This month we remind you how important community and connection is to your wellbeing. Humans are social creatures whose health and happiness depends on connecting with others.

People have basic emotional needs to feel safe, loved and accepted. Studies have shown that people are happier when they have a community they connect with. Community allows you to feel loved and supported while also giving you the sense of being part of something larger. Having a supportive community gives you the safety to try new things knowing that your basic survival needs are taken care of.

Research also shows that people are physically healthier when they have a strong social network. Loving connections boost our immune systems by reducing stress, and quicker recovery times are reported when we do get sick.

What’s so interesting is your sense of community and connection is directly related to your own inner sense of connection, not the number of people you have in your life. Through having a positive mindset in social situations and setting an intention of building strong social bonds you can nurture and build your internal sense of connection.

Here are a few suggestions for building a strong internal sense of connection:

  • Plan a date with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.
  • Start up a conversation with someone new at a social gathering.
  • Play an icebreaker game at a family holiday celebration.
  • Find an accountability partner to talk with regularly and support each other in following through with goals.
  • Give out compliments freely to all the people in your life.

Here are my intentions for the month to build my sense of community:

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Your sense of connection depends on you. What will you do to build and strengthen your community? Download this month’s Intention Setting Guide to get started.

DOWNLOAD MONTH 12 – COMMUNITY & CONNECTION

DOWNLOAD THE FULL 12 MONTH PRINTABLE BOOKLET HERE

DOWNLOAD COMPUTER FILL-IN VERSION HERE

Sources:
http://www.hopetocope.com/tis-a-gift-to-be-thankful/
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456

12 Months of Wellness | Month 11 Gratitude & Laughter

Laughter & Gratitude

We all want to be happy. What’s the simplest way to a happier life? Gratitude and laughter. With Thanksgiving right around the corner we’re sharing the amazing health benefits of laughing and expressing your gratitude and encourage you to work them into your daily routine.

Gratitude and laughter are great allies in making you happier and improving your overall mental and physical health. Aside from being fun, both have stress reducing effects and are some of the simplest and effective ways to improve your mood.

Expressing your gratitude isn’t just about counting your blessings. There are many positive health benefits that include reducing stress and changing your brain chemistry to make you happier. People who express their gratitude regularly are much happier than those who keep it to themselves. The simple act of expressing your appreciation creates new pathways in your brain and produces serotonin and dopamine, two chemicals that are responsible for making you happier.

Laughter has similar mental and physiological effects. Laughing releases endorphins in your brain making you feel peaceful, calm and euphoric. The short-term effect of laughter can increase circulation and make you feel much more relaxed. Over the long-term, these positive benefits can strengthen your immune system and increase your ability to deal with stressful situations.

Here are a few suggestions for adding more gratitude and laughter to your daily life:

  • Start a gratitude journal and write three things you’re grateful for every morning and every night. This can be as simple as “I’m thankful for the sunshine”. Allow whatever comes up each day and don’t over think it.
  • Use your social media accounts to share what you’re grateful for and inspire others. Do this consistently and invite others to do the same.
  • Express your gratitude for the people in your life on a regular basis through email, in person or, to make it extra special, through snail mail.
  • Surround yourself with people who make you laugh.
  • Make someone laugh everyday.

Here are my intentions for the month to keep me healthy all season:

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Laughter and gratitude really are the best medicine because they not only calm the mind, they heal the body as well. What will you do to add more happiness to your life? Download this month’s Intention Setting Guide to get started.

Download Month 11 – Gratitude & Laughter

 

Sources:
http://www.hopetocope.com/tis-a-gift-to-be-thankful/
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456

12 Months of Wellness | Month 10 – Immune System

It’s officially fall and that means shorter days and dropping temperatures. It also means cold and flu season is upon us. So how do you protect yourself and your family from catching the crud that’s inevitably going around? Tending to your immune system is your first defense against the aches and pains and stuffy noses of the colder months. This month we wanted to share advice from our Naturopathic Doctors, Dr. Tiffany Binder  and Dr. Paris Stevens, to help you stay healthy this fall and winter.

How to support your immune system:

  • Make it a habit to have your vitamin D tested every fall/winter. Good vitamin D levels will keep your immune system in tip top shape. For the fall and winter take Vitamin D daily, if your level is low take Vitamin D Supreme (1 capsule with food).  If your levels are normal take Vitamin D Synergy (1 daily with food).
  • Make sure you are taking a high quality multi-vitamin daily. If you are skipping out on this your body is missing out on essential nutrients that keep you healthy and ward off any unwanted viruses from attacking your system. Not all multi-vitamins are created equal, be sure you buy a high grade multi-vitamin. We recommend our Twice daily multi from Designs for Health (take 2 per day). NOTE: It is important to get a multi-vitamin without iron unless you are anemic. If you are a female add a calcium supplement, such as Osteoforce (take 2 per day).
  • Take a daily probiotic. Probiotics help boost your immune system and help with gut health. Take Probiotic Synergy once a day with food. NOTE: Don’t take if on a blood thinning medication.
  • Take fish oil daily and quality matters, there are so many brands on the market that are low grade fish oils. Omega Avail Marine by Designs for Health is a top notch fish oil (take 2 per day).

This is also a great time to test to find out which micronutrients you are deficient in.  At The Wellness Center, we offer the Comprehensive Micronutrient Panel by Spectracell Laboratories.  It is a wonderful test, that measures the function of 35 nutritional components including vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and amino acids within our white blood cells. For more information visit Spectracell. If you are interested in finding out more information on the test please call us at 303-357-9355 to schedule a 30 minute consultation with one of our Doctors.

What to do if you still catch a cold or virus:

Even after taking and doing all of the above, if you still feel a cold coming on (symptoms: sore/scratchy throat), the best thing to do is treat it ASAP. Take the following at the 1st onset of any symptoms within a few hours, don’t wait.

  • Silvercillin (take ¼ cup orally, 4xs per day or can be put in a nasal spray for the sinuses, spray into the nose after you properly netti pot)
  • Cold Arrest I or Chinese Tea (3 scoops/capsules- 3 to 4xs per day)
  • Septonsil (take 25 drops 4x per day, may take with Chinese Tea)
  • Syinfect (take 1 every 30 minutes under the tongue)
  • Netti Pot with warm salt (sold in Whole Foods)

And REST, REST, REST, drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and sugar at all costs. Once the virus has set in, it is much harder to treat.

Here are my intentions for the month to keep me healthy all season:

If you have any other questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to book an appointment with Dr. Binder or Dr. Stephens at our office or call: 303-357-9355 and we can address any questions over the phone.

Please note if you are pregnant please consult Dr. Binder or Sr. Stephens before taking any supplements

Download Month 10 – Immune System

DOWNLOAD THE FULL 12 MONTH PRINTABLE BOOKLET HERE

DOWNLOAD COMPUTER FILL-IN VERSION HERE

12 Months of Wellness | Month 9 – Yoga & Stretching

12Wellness_9_StretchingYoga-HeaderSeptember is National Yoga Month and we’re inspired to help educate you about the health benefits of yoga and stretching. Yoga is a mind-body practice. What this means is yoga helps to strengthen the interconnection between your mind and body. Research shows the importance of your mind on your overall health and vise versa. Your thoughts, beliefs and emotions can directly affect your physical health. This can be a positive or negative influence depending on the quality of your mind. The connection goes both ways. The condition of your body, what you eat and how often you exercise can have a direct affect on your mental state.

Let’s first take a look at how yoga and stretching affect your body. In a yoga class you are lead through a series of poses to stretch and strengthen your body. Consistent stretching exercises are important to your physical health because your entire body is interconnected. Tightness in the muscles and ligaments can cause back pain, improper alignment, and poor posture.

Beyond just stretching and increasing your flexibility; yoga strengthens your muscles, increases blood flow, helps to prevent joint degeneration, reduces blood pressure, and ups your immune function.

Yoga also affects your mental well-being in positive ways. It improves your overall mood, reduces stress and increases your self esteem. Yoga benefits your mind and body making it a wonderful practice to incorporate into your healthy lifestyle.

Here are my intentions for the month:

September-Answers

*Sources: Yoga Journal & University of Minnesota

Download Month 9 – Yoga & Stretching

DOWNLOAD THE FULL 12 MONTH PRINTABLE BOOKLET HERE

DOWNLOAD COMPUTER FILL-IN VERSION HERE

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