My Blog
It's time for December's book of the month! This was a very interesting and different book that I am glad I picked up in the year 2020!
I stumbled upon ASMR, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, this year after personally experiencing it, but at first not knowing what it was. I discovered videos on YouTube that involved pleasant scenes such as coffeeshops, cabins, beaches, and more along with the sounds that usually associate those scenes. Pretty soon, I was playing the videos every morning or night before bed. I noticed that the captions often contained ASMR in them.
So I delved into researching ASMR and discovered this book. I learned that ASMR is the sensation that we feel from seeing or hearing certain things, often due to positive effects on our brain and nervous system. The sensation is often described as body tingles, which are often felt on the head or limbs, mind-tingles, which are experienced more in the mind and emotions, or simply a total relaxation response. ASMR can greatly reduce anxiety, depression, insomnia, and even panic attacks.
ASMR is an alternative to meditation, yet often produces a similar response as meditation would.
ASMR "Triggers" as they are called, include:
*Listening to a soothing, whispering voice where words cannot made out
*Listening to sounds (rainstorms, fireplaces, and waves crashing are common but air conditioners, snoring dogs or cats, pouring coffee, writing on paper, and other unique sounds are used too)
*Seeing a pleasant scene (for me it's often a coffeeshop, cabin with crackling fire, or cozy room)
*Things that evoke happy childhood memories (I often put on videos of old games that I used to play as a kid)
*Physical sensations like brushing hair and light scratching or tickling on the skin
If you want to dabble in some ASMR, my absolute favorite resource are the videos on the YouTube channel Calmed by Nature. They just released a Home Alone themed video that is pretty cool. Especially for those of you who have difficulty simply sitting still and meditating, this may be a good alternative. Try it out!
In 1980, the first ever chiropractor served on the US Olympic Medical Committee, after chiropractors had been banned from doing so in all of the years previously. That chiropractor, Dr. George Goodheart, also happened to be THE founder of Applied Kinesiology, the system of manual muscle testing-based diagnosis and treatment that I use in the office every day.
The chairman of the committee, Dr. Irving Dardik, MD, had been outspoken about his belief that chiropractors should not serve on the committee, despite many olympic athletes using chiropractic themselves.
When Dr. Dardik himself suffered from a leg cramping issue, he reluctantly sought out Dr. Goodheart for a consult. The consult, consisting of a lot of muscle testing, quickly turned into a treatment. A couple days later, Dr. Dardik called Dr. Goodheart to let him know that he had run 10 miles two different times with zero leg cramping. The problem was fixed.
Because of this experienced, Dr. Dardik asked Dr. Goodheart to be on the 1980 US Winter Olympics medical team. Since then, chiropractors have had a place on the US Olympic medical team and in the world of professional sports.
The combo of Applied Kinesiology and Chiropractic has always been on the cutting edge. Why don't more chiropractors use AK? In my opinion, it takes more time, more studying, and a special kind of passion plus hard work to be a muscle tester. I I I I I find that the AK + Chiro combo is my absolute favorite way to treat, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
While we talk a lot about the 7 bones in the neck, the cervical vertebrae, there is another bone in the neck that holds a lot of importance, the hyoid bone. Thankfully, I have been trained in how to asses and treat hyoid bone dysfunction through my applied kinesiology training, and it's made a world of difference in my practice!
The hyoid bone is a small, horseshoe shaped bone in the front of the neck which mainly functions in swallowing and tongue movements. Over 15 muscles attach into this bone, which is significant in that if any one of them becomes either inhibited or tight, the delicate balance is thrown off. The hyoid bone is also intricately linked to the immune system as well as our emotional stressors.
The most common symptom I hear my patients tell me when there is dysfunction of this bone is that they feel a lump in their throat or feel difficulty swallowing. Believe it or not, this is a somewhat common symptom I've seen in my practice, and truly affects peoples quality of life. First of all, it can affect peoples ability to eat and talk. Also, I've had many patients who are singers, one of which was a professional singer, and was highly distressed that she had felt unable to sing properly due to a "lump in her throat". Treatment of her hyoid bone in her session greatly contributed to her ability to sing freely and to the best of her ability again. She was able to continue singing professionally for a living.
I usually muscle test for dysfunction of the hyoid bone by manually, gently shifting the bone in different directions to find restriction. The fix usually includes manual muscle treatment as well as cervical adjustments.
The hyoid bone check and fix is just another tool that I am so happy to have in my toolkit, and I would not know how to treat it without Applied Kinesiology!
Today's post covers something close to my heart. It's about the beginnings of a breakthrough in the inclusion of chiropractic care in a very important system, and that system is our military health care system.
The American Chiropractic Association and other organizations have long championed for the inclusion of chiropractic care for active military as well as veterans, often taking their fight to Congress. They have succeeded as the VA now offers chiropractic care in numerous facilities across the country, and more are being added every year, both in VA and non-VA facilities.
The benefits of chiropractic care for those in the armed forces are vast. They include not only the treatment and support for physical injuries, some common ones of which include neck and traumatic brain injuries, ankle sprains, musculoskeletal injuries, hearing loss and tinnitus, arthritis, chronic pain and more, but also the psychological support inherently found in a chiropractic treatment as well as from the inclusion of mind-body techniques.
Today I am highlighting a respected and admired patient of mine, Robert, who is a war veteran. Robert joined the US Navy in 1987 as an Aviation Electronics Technician, which took him all over the US. He then cross-trained to a Hospital Corpsman in VA, and finally he served as a Bio-Medical Technician in Panama City, FL, working in the Navy Experimental Diving Unit.
I have been treating Rob for over 5 years now, and it's always a pleasure. We cover everything from the physical to the internal to the emotional aspects of health in our sessions!
And Robert's time serving as a bio-medical technician has benefited us ALL as you can thank him for installing the brand new motor in my chiropractic table when it completely died about a year ago!
Thank you Rob, for your service and for allowing me to be your chiropractor!
Holiday Season 2020 is here, and this year I felt a total need to share my top "survival tips" with you all.
While the holiday season is often a source of much joy (just check out our over-the-top office Christmas decor this year as I was determined to make the office a seasonally cheerful place), for many, this year in particular, it can be at times not-so-cheerful....
This may be due to personal loss, family stress, financial strain, an overwhelming to-do list, loneliness, etc. Even if your holidays are happy as can be, the excitement itself is what we call a eustress- a type of stress which is beneficial yet still considered a stress. Whatever this holiday season is for you, here are my personal top 4 tips for having a healthy, supported holiday season:
Okay, I am obsessed with my weighted blanket. I pulled it out of its trunk the other day and immediately questioned why I didn't pull it out sooner. Weighted blankets are incredible at relieving anxiety, depression, restlessness, and insomnia. The weight of the blanket replicates a hug, stimulating our bodies pressure points and calming our bodies nervous system. The pressure also causes the release of serotonin and melatonin from our brain. You can see mine in blue in the photo below. Weights vary, mine is 12lb.
I am going to recommend 2 and only 2 supplements to take this holiday season- a digestive enzyme and a natural calmative. The digestive is for your terrible but so enjoyable holiday diet. The natural calmative is to calm our stressed out selves. My favorite digestive enzyme product is Zypan by and my favorite calmatives are Orchex or Min-Chex by SP as well.
Spurred by COVID, I bought an essential oil diffuser for the office and my home this year. I have been diffusing Thieves, which is antimicrobial, into the space. Thieves are great for its pathogen-killing effects. Some others that are good for their stress-relieving effects are lavender, lemongrass, cedar wood, and frankincense.
It might be a journal, or it may be meditation, prayer, art, walking, etc. but do something, anything, to process emotions. Emotions are our inner guides and when we pay attention to them, we can grow and navigate our lives better. When we ignore them or put them by the wayside, we often don't feel the true authenticity of our feelings and/or experience emotional overwhelm. Unprocessed emotions manifest in unhealthy ways. I practice freestyle journaling and affirmative journaling. On average, I only spend about 5-10 minutes per journal session. It doesn't take a lot!

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