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September 17, 2021
I just spent the last three days at the Grand Canyon and......WOW. All I can say is WOW.
This post doubles as a sharing of my experience at the Grand Canyon as well as a total plug for taking time off for self-care. We ALL need to take time off to nourish our body, mind, and soul. That is what this trip was for me.
I spent 3 nights "glamping" in a tent in the middle of nowhere Arizona (shoutout to Under Canvas Grand Canyon for an epic stay). Thanks to the certified Dark Skies land we were on, I slept like a baby for ten hours each night and saw the amazing Milky Way. I meditated and journaled in their little zen garden (photos below) while overlooking the Arizona mountains. We listened to guitar music and live singing around fire pits at night.
Then comes the Grand Canyon. We did two hikes. I pushed myself with one hike that was the toughest hike I've ever done in my life. The one thing about hiking the canyon- the further down you go, the more you have to climb out. My heart was pounding and I was resting every 5 minutes on the way out of the canyon. My heart got its best workout in a while. My body feels fantastic and I am inspired to exercise it once again.
We completed another hike at a different part of the canyon, just slightly more gentler than the previous days hike, followed by a driving tour with stop-offs at about 4 or 5 incredible lookouts. All in all: driving around the rim is definitely awesome. Hiking into the rim is another story...surrounded by panoramic Grand Canyon views, I truly experienced the enormity and the indescribability of this wonder of nature. It brought me so much calm and peace, and at the same time, totally blew my mind to the point of tears!
The messages that are clear to me after this trip: Mother Nature is a BEAST of insane magnitude and it is here that we can find SO much peace, grounding, healing and guidance for our lives. Get out into nature and away from the chaos. Also, we are totally okay. We have access to this peace always. And finally, by BEING peace and joy in the world, we help bring and spread peace and joy throughout our world.
Thank you for reading!
September 10, 2021
This has been a hot topic. I am currently reading the book Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, by James Nestor, a bestseller you may or may not have heard of (post to come on this book later!), and it's reminded me so much of the incredible importance of breathing, that I just had to write up a post on it now!
The diaphragm muscle, a sheet of muscle that extends across the underside of the lower 6-12 ribs, is our most important breathing muscle, which is why I have always muscle tested both sides of the diaphragm muscle on every patient at every visit. It's that important; and, I very often find weakness in it. If you're a patient, you likely know this! Not only does the diaphragm help us breath, it acts as a second heart by pumping blood as well as lymphatic fluid. From a Chinese medicine standpoint, the diphragm muscle acts as a mover of chi, or energy, and balances acupuncture meridian energy. Woah.
Hypofunction, inhibition, or fascial adhesions in our diaphgram muscle can negatively impact our breathing, our spinal motion, and our energy. This is why I muscle test and fix this as needed on every patient! The fix is easy but involves manual activation to the diaphragm muscle. Again, my current patients likely know this well! We also often perform chiropractic adjustments to the ribs, thoracic (mid and upper spine), and upper lumbars (lower back vertebrae).
Dysfunction of the diaphgram can also contribute to hiatal hernia, where part the stomach herniates up through the hole in our diaphgram where our stomach meets the espohagus, or hiatal-hernia like symptoms, such as acid reflux, burping and burning, and indigeston. In this case, I have to adjust the top of the stomach downwards through the diaphgram again to its rightful place after I have activated the diphragm muscles.
The diaphgram muscle, along with the lungs, can often be weak due to nutritional deficiencies as well! A little know fact. The vital nutrients that support diaphragm and breathing function are:
Lung tissue extract (Pneumotrophin PMG by Standard Process)
The benefits of proper breathing and diaphragm function go way beyond this post, as I am learning as I read my current book, Breath. I will share all of the juicy info from this book in a later post, as soon as I finish the book! In the meantime, I will diligently continue checking diaphragm muscle function in all of my patients!
August 22, 2021
This past week I listened to a holistic health podcast episode that was all about sleep, and I thought it was time to do a post on this vital topic to share what I learned!
Sleep is one of THE BEST tools at our disposable for increasing our health and well-being. It's free, it's achievable, and it arguably packs some of the most powerful and effective healing capabilities we know of.
While many things can effect our ability to sleep as well as the quality of our sleep, I am going to go through a few of the basic yet important ones.
*CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS HELP IMPROVE SLEEP: Chiropractic adjustments most obviously alleviate pain and tension in the body that may be contributing to poor sleep. Adjustments also help improve our central nervous system function and balance, which aids the body in shifting to a more relaxed state when it comes time to sleep. Chiropractic adjustments improve blood flow and circulation throughout the body, helping to relax the body and improve function. Adjustments help to open and reduce compression on our airways, reducing snoring and sleep apnea.
STRESS: Mind-body techniques such as Neuro-Emotional Technique, which I have taken multiple seminars in, in the office are how I address the negative impact that stress has on my patients' bodies. Anxiety and emotional stressors can greatly disrupt our sleep. In the office, we can use muscle testing to identify emotional stressors and a variety of manual techniques to help process those stressors. I always believe this should be combined with at-home stress management, including meditation, talk therapy, journaling, or whatever works for you! If you need ideas, just ask at your next session!
AMOUNT OF SLEEP: Sleep Journal states that we need 7-9 hours of sleep per night as adults. A comforting reminder: even if you are not asleep the entire 7-9 hours, JUST laying in bed in the darkness, resting your body and your eyes, is very restorative for your body. Do not worry if you cannot fall asleep, for even just laying in bed resting is very helpful for your health. I encourage those who cannot fall asleep to view just laying there as a restorative and restful thing. This also helps eliminate the anxiety around not being able to sleep. If you must get up, try to do something that does NOT involve screens or lights.
*EXERCISE AND SLEEP: Lack of exercise/sufficient activity during the daytime is one of the biggest contributors to poor sleep. What you do during the day LARGELY determines how well you will fall asleep and stay asleep at night. Ensure that you are getting enough physical activity during the day or just before bed, even if this means simply walking around your neighborhood. Get moving!
*MEALS AND SLEEP: It makes more sense to eat our larger meals before we are active, and our smaller meals before bedtime/rest. We tend to do the opposite and make dinner our biggest meal. Try eating more during the day, before you are most active, and eating a smaller meal for dinner. This reduces nighttime reflux and GI activity. Cut out alcohol and caffeine before bed.
*CONSISTENT ROUTINE: The key to better sleep is to stick to a consistent routine. Perhaps this includes cutting screen time at X amount of time before bed (suggested 1-2 hours), doing X restful activity before bed (reading, meditating, listening to quiet music) and having lights out by X time.
I hope you find this post helpful, and sweet dreams!
August 07, 2021
This weeks patient post is with fellow girl boss Sabina of Yoga Bliss Studios in Gaithersburg, MD!
I have known Sabina for years, and she has been coming in for holistic chiropractic care for some years now as well! I have also paid her yoga studio a visit on a number of occasions, as have some of my patients.
In my most recent visit with Sabina, we of course did some head-to-toe adjusting, but we also focused on some mind-body work. I captured some photos of us doing Neuro-Emotional Technique, a mind-body stress reduction technique that I have taken trainings in.
When I asked her for a few words about our sessions, Sabina has to say:
“I love visiting Dr. Amanda to balance the demands of modern life as a mama, small business owner, and yoga teacher. Dr. Amanda is warm, attentive, and receptive. Her care helps me stay balanced and healthy inside and out!”
Check out her studio Yoga Bliss in downtown Kentlands, Gaithersburg! Yoga Bliss offers in-person, outdoor, and online classes.
July 17, 2021
Thanks to my patient for sharing this basic yet vital post-adjustment information!
After a holistic chiropractic session, many toxins will be released from the tissues, muscles, and joints. This is a good thing, except that we then must move these toxins out of our bloodstream and out of the body. This requires A LOT of water, more than what is normally required, which is half our body weight in ounces of water per day.
If we do not drink enough water and keep our bodies moving via exercise or simply walking to eliminate these toxins, we can develop a number of nasty post-adjustment symptoms. These symptoms include muscle and joint soreness, headaches, fatigue, nausea, brain fog, and even cold and flu-like symptoms.
Over the years I have heard many of my patients report post-adjustment symptoms like these. They often wonder what is going on. Drinking plenty of water after an adjustment can drastically reduce all of the above symptoms. So can moving your body and exercising. I recommend to all of my patients going on a walk at some point after their session that day.
Check out the article below for more info!