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Today I was back in the office for a Saturday work day, and I started my day with the awesome Erin, a special case for me. 

Erin had never seen a chiropractor before coming to me, but heard that chiropractic could possibly help with Multiple Sclerosis, which she was diagnosed with 8 years ago. She began experiencing significant symptoms of MS about 6 years ago, including paresthesia (numbness, tingling, "falling asleep" sensation or hot/cold sensation, etc.) in extremities, and brain fog and lowered cognition. 

Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease of the brain and nervous system. Specifically, the body attacks and inflames the sheath surrounding the nerves and spinal cord.

With Erin, we have done a lot of work to support her spinal health, brain and nervous system function, immune system function (since MS is an autoimmune condition involving the immune system), her gastrointestinal system, her detoxification system, her diet and lifestyle, and her mental/emotional well-being, all to aid in decreasing her symptoms, preventing further lesions or flares of MS, and aid in optimizing her overall health.

Every visit with Erin is different! I assess and then direct my treatment to whatever Erin's body reveals to me. Through history and muscle testing today for example, we determined that Erin's spleen (a major immune system organ and blood filterer) needed support. We performed some adjustments, worked some spleen reflex points, and more. Adjustments alone work wonders for people with autoimmune disease and neurological disease as chiropractic adjustments have been shown to up-regulate the nervous system and improve immune system modulation. We performed some neurological testing including muscle testing Erin in various eye positions to see how her brain and nervous system were working. We call this "Neurologic Disorganization" when someone exhibits neuromuscular weakness with the eyes held in a certain position, as it can indicate decreased and "confused" brain and nervous system signaling. I also identified an emotional stressor that was weakening her through muscle testing. We used pelvic blocking to increase cerebrospinal fluid flow and reduce spinal cord tension. At the end of our visit, we tested Erin's current dietary inflammatory triggers (which can change from visit to visit), so that Erin knows what to work on avoiding. And I know that I am leaving a few things out!

In short, through a proper assessment and employment of the many holistic health techniques we use here, including chiropractic manipulation, reflex point work, muscle therapy, cranio-sacral, mind-body techniques, and more, we can greatly help someone like Erin! Erin has made regular holistic chiropractic care a part of her life for 2 years now. We always have a great time in the office together, working towards Erin's optimal health and having some great conversation while we're at it! Thanks Erin for sharing your story with us!


Today is our last day in the office seeing patients before we take off on our annual family vacation! *We will be out of the office Friday, August 9th through Thursday, August 15th, and return to the office on Friday, August 16th.* 

Over the years, as life has gotten busier and various responsibilities have piled on, I have recognized the need for self-care. When my batteries start to become depleted, I simply don't function as well, don't do my best work in the office, and can become unhappy. This is one reason why I have made getaways and this annual family trip a priority.

I love the infographic I found below on rest. It can come in many forms, and doesn't mean you have to spend a lot of money or take vacations all of the time. Rest and rejuvenation can include: taking a walk outside, taking a bath, shutting off your phone for an hour, catching up on sleep, laying on the grass watching the sky, heading to the beach, or getting your chiropractic treatment, and more! 

What does self-care look like to you? Are you taking the time to nourish your body and mind so that you can be at your best for yourself and others every day?





*Awesome podcast alert! Check link below*

I listened to this podcast just yesterday. It's all about the feet, and, while we often neglect them, how they are absolutely fundamental. In fact, they are often the exact remedy for correcting musculoskeletal issues throughout the entire body, particularly in the lower extremities and hips and even in the upper body.

This podcast features Dr Philip Maffetone, sports medicine and endurance training expert, researcher, and health coach and practitioner. 

You can listen to the podcast to learn all about why the feet are so important, what the typical issues are, and how to fix them! I'll give you my takeaways in the meantime:

*The feet send critical info to the brain and system, second only to the spine in terms of sites of most nerve activity in the body

*Nothing influences the feet, and does more harm to the feet, than shoes

*While shoes are important at times for protection, we need to TAKE THEM OFF way more often. This allows the many intrinsic muscles of the feet to strengthen.

*Improve function of the feet from the inside out. Don't use shoes that overly cushion them, rather use minimalist shoes. Orthotics and supports should only be worn when the feet have already begun to deform.

*Without the restriction of shoes, your feet can begin to strengthen and return to optimal, natural function

*We are designed to go barefoot

*Have your feet assessed for muscle imbalances and misalignments (Side note: I adjust all of my patients feet on almost every visit because foot misalignments are that common. Find a DC who adjusts feet!)

*Use "barefoot time" as part of your foot treatment

*Strengthen your feet with specific exercises (a health practitioner can help with this) right down to learning how to move each toe separately

*Do specific foot stretches (again given by a health practitioner)

*Most feet problems have no diagnosis, rather only dysfunction

*Most feet issues result from musculoskeletal imbalances often due to excessive sitting, poor footwear, wearing shoes too much, postural stressors and other stressors

Check out the podcast below for more details!

Today I want to share the amazing resource that is the nonprofit Environmental Working Group- "Know Your Environment, Protect Your Health"
I am on a three day getaway to Ocean City to recharge my batteries a bit, and when I was purchasing sunscreen this past week, I used EWG's amazing app to check the toxicity level of the various sunscreens I was thinking of purchasing.
Sunscreens are just one of the thousands of personal hygiene, beauty, and cleaning products that we use in our every day lives. But did you know that sunscreens can be incredibly toxic due to their ingredients? Sunscreens can actually contain cancer-causing ingredients, unless you purchase one that is formulated without harsh, unhealthy chemicals.
In fact, many of our every consumer products contain toxic, manmade chemicals, carcinogens, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, asbestos, bacteria, fungus, and more. There are over 25,000 registered chemicals in use in our products in the US and it is estimated that this number could in reality be upwards of 100,000. Unfortunately, due to profits, ease of use, etc. these chemicals are allowed to be in use.
These chemicals found in beauty products, cleaning products, foods, tap water, and more are disruptive to our health. Our body is designed to eliminate toxins through our detoxification systems, however when our body becomes inundated with these chemicals, we can become increasingly toxic. This can contribute to various cancers, organ damage, skin issues, toxicity symptoms such as low energy levels, body odor, physical aches and pains, brain fog, and more.
So how do you know which products are clean and health-promoting and which ones aren't? Use EWG's website and app! They have an amazing tool that can be found under Consumer Products. They have a registry of over 70,000 products and brands, and have evaluated and rated each on a 1-10 scale, 0-3 being low hazard, 3-6 moderate hazard, and 7-10 high hazard. Start using them to evaluate the products in your life. You would be surprised at what you find! I currently assess most products I purchase with their app on my phone. I have linked to the product checker below:

It's common conditions week here at Synergy and today it's plantar fasciitis, another health issue that many people see me for! Sometimes it is the primary complaint, and sometimes it is a problem that comes along with other complaints. In either case, I am always being asked if I can help with plantar fasciitis. Here's how I can!

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the fascia, or connective tissue sheath, that runs from the heel bone to the bottom of the toes gets inflamed, taught, and painful. The patient will often feel sharp and uncomfortable pain along the bottom of the foot and at the heel bone upon waking and first walking in the morning. It can last throughout the day.

So the question is- why does the plantar fascia get inflamed and tight? As usual, there are a number of factors that play into this!

Let's start in the foot. Weakness in the tibialis posterior and/or gastroc (calf) muscles usually cause the arch to drop and tension to occur on the plantar fascia. Both muscles are related to the adrenal glands. This is super important. The adrenals handle the stress on the body- physical, chemical, and emotional. They also aid in controlling inflammation by modulating cortisol (stress hormone) output. Anytime you see a condition end in "itis" it simply=inflammation. Anytime you see inflammation- think adrenal glands! We can rehab the adrenal glands with chiropractic manipulation, reflex point work, nutritional supplements, stress reduction techniques, meditation, and more. Oftentimes, when patients seek medical care for plantar fasciitis, oral or injected steroids may be recommended. Did you know that your body produces its own endogenous steroids? This happens in-ta-da! The adrenal glands.

I can perform certain adjustments to help facilitate the weak muscles allowing the fascia to become painful. This often includes a manipulation to lift the arch of the foot, to lift the toes as they often drop, to move the heel bone aka calcaneus, and more. Oftentimes, there are misalignments at the knee, hip, and lower back/pelvis which cause uneven pressure and torque throughout the lower body, resulting in foot issues. The feet are the foundation of the body and must absorb all of these imbalances. Honestly, I check every patient head to toe for misalignments as everything is super connected, for example something off in the neck can cause a problem in the foot.

Other important factors for plantar fasciits- proper footwear! Improper footwear or unnecessary orthotics often cause problems. Wear good shoes with a wide toe box, no gel or springs. Whenever possible, do NOT wear shoes so that you can allow the muscles of the feet to strengthen, stabilize your foot, and do their job better. Wearing too much support can cause the muscles of your feet to get lazy. Also, a clean, anti-inflammatory diet is important. This generally means decreased gluten/grains, dairy, corn, soy, and sugar. Stress management is also paramount. At-home exercises and stretches can also be done.

This is just a glimpse into what we can do for this condition, but I hope it has been enlightening!