This diagram illustrates only one chain of three compensations (backward, forward, backward) for the initial injury that moved the first spinal bone (vertebra) forward. A typical case is more complicated than this, involving the lower spine too, and the pelvis and legs, and twists in three dimensions. That’s why where-it-hurts (in this case, the neck) is never where the actual problem is but only where the body is compensating in order to pull pressure away from the actual problem area.
Forward head posture leads to long term muscle strain, disc herniations, arthritis and pinched nerves.–Mayo Clinic Health Letter, Vol. 18, #3, March of 2000
Take this in. Think about the ramifications. Look at the people around you, how they’re standing, how they’re sitting, how they’re “devicing” (you know what I mean).
Have somebody snap a picture of you from the side. Are your shoulders rolled forward? Is your head thrust out in front of your body, your ear in front of your shoulders? Is the line of your spine gracefully curved? Or is it bent and hunched?
Did you know that each inch forward the head goes, 10 lbs. of relative pressure weighs on the spine.
What to do?
Call a posture doctor, a chiropractor who fixes bones that have gone out of place in a direction the body can’t self-correct. Call me. 831-667-2211
…or Don’t Fall Into This Well if at all possible
1. Chiropractic affects the autonomic nervous system, the system responsible for hormone-mediated responses and the function of the internal organs.
The autonomic nervous system consists of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. Studies demonstrating that chiropractic adjustments have a direct effect on these systems may explain why, along with pain relief, chiropractors regularly witness improvements in respiratory function, digestion, and blood pressure levels in patients beginning chiropractic care. Adjustments down-regulate the sympathetic nervous system, our fight-or-flight response, which is overactive in many with excessive stress. When the sympathetic nervous system is active, it causes increased heart rate, shallowed breathing, and decreased digestion in the gut, which is great in an emergency, but not where you want to live. Sympathetic overactivity is also associated with decreased immune function because one’s resources are geared toward defending against more immediate physical threats than pathogens. This may contribute to why many observe a decrease in colds and the flu with chiropractic care.
2. Better balance, posture, and reaction time is achieved by improving communication with the cerebellum from the joints.
The spinal cord transmits signals from the joints of the spine to the cerebellum which are processed and combined with input from the inner ear to control posture and balance. Chiropractic has been shown to improve reaction time, improve the timing of when postural muscles switch on, and improve the ability to perform tasks requiring coordination.
3. Improved joint motion allows more nutrition and hydration to be pumped to discs or joint capsules and decreases the risk of degeneration and injury.
Whether sitting at a desk or playing sports, we don’t tend to use our muscles and joints evenly. Chronic pressure on certain joints and muscles can lead to imbalances in others, creating a long chain of joint and muscular imbalance that can eventually lead to injury. In a study on soccer players undergoing chiropractic care, it was found that chiropractic reduced the number of lower limb strains and sprains, and decreased injury recovery time and the number of weeks players missed due to injuries. Studies have also shown that chiropractic reduces the number of days of work missed by workers with low back pain compared to those being treated by a medical doctor, and that chiropractic is more effective than drugs for back and neck pain.
4. Adjustments have a regulatory effect on neurotransmitter balances and brain wave function which controls how we think, feel, and behave.
Different areas of the brain, including the hypothalamus, the substantia nigra and the amygdala, work together to help balance and regulate the production of the neurotransmitters, chemical messengers that control our state of mind. If there is a disruption in this cascade, it can lead to depression, anxiety, compulsive disorders, and addictions. When EEG scans were performed before and after patients were adjusted, they were shown to normalize the readings on brain wave maps, increasing the Alpha waves associated with a relaxed or meditative states.
The effect of a sports chiropractic manual therapy intervention on the prevention of back pain, hamstring and lower limb injuries in semi-elite Australian Rules footballers: a randomized controlled trial
Robyn O’Brien is not the most likely candidate for an antiestablishment crusade. A Houston native from a conservative family, this MBA and married mother of four was not someone who gave much thought to misguided government agencies and chemicals in our
food—until the day her youngest daughter had a violent allergic reaction to eggs, and everything changed. The Unhealthy Truth is both the story of how one brave woman chose to take on the system and a call to action that shows how each of us can do our part and keep our own families safe.
O’Brien turns to accredited research conducted in Europe that confirms the toxicity of America’s food supply, and traces the relationship between Big Food and Big Money that has ensured that the United States is one of the only developed countries in the world to allow hidden toxins in our food—toxins that can be blamed for the alarming recent increases in allergies, ADHD, cancer, and asthma among our children. Featuring recipes and an action plan for weaning your family off dangerous chemicals one step at a time The Unhealthy Truth is a must-read for every parent—and for every concerned citizen—in America today.
A Q&A with Robyn O’Brien
Question: What inspired you to write The Unhealthy Truth? Have you worked in nutrition or science over the years?
Robyn O’Brien: My background is motherhood and finance (I helped manage $20 billion in assets prior to having four children). When I realized that the United States recently allowed certain chemicals into the US food supply in order to enhance corporate profitability while countries around the world either banned or labeled these ingredients, I felt an obligation to convey to American eaters what eaters around the world have known for the last 15 years.
Question: Scientists claim that these ingredients have never been proven harmful. What is your response?
Robyn O’Brien: That these ingredients have never been proven safe, either, which is why governments around the world have not allowed them into their food supply. Health data presents a different picture than the one being claimed by industry funded scientists: for example, according to the American Cancer Society, the United States has the highest rates of cancer of any country in the world and migration studies show that if you move here from another country, your likelihood of developing cancer increases fourfold. Additionally, it is important to note who is funding the scientists making these claims and whether they serve on speakers bureaus for industry.
Question: Why is the U.S. the only developed country to have allowed these substances into our food supply?
Robyn O’Brien: In the United States, we allow ingredients into our food supply until they are proven dangerous. In other developed countries, substances are not allowed into the food supply until they are proven safe–a precautionary measure that puts additional burdens on corporations in the form of testing requirements and extensive research and development. This precautionary principal protects consumers, not profits.
Question: Why would the U.S. do this?
Robyn O’Brien: I think that the answer is two-fold. Looser standards and deregulation allow for enhanced corporate profitability. On top of that, I believe that we have a flawed federal policy when it comes to health care: under our commercial health care system, there is profitability in our illness. In the U.S., almost half of all Americans have at least one chronic disease. If other developed countries had populations as sick as ours, their economies would suffer given that health care is not a for-profit industry overseas.
Question: If you could speak to our government leaders about this issue, what would you say?
Robyn O’Brien: I would grab Michelle Obama and make sure that she joined us! And then I would talk about budget allocation: If we allocate $600 billion to the Pentagon and only $2.4 billion to the FDA, how can we expect the FDA to ensure the safety of the food supply?
If we allocate government and taxpayer funded subsidies to farmers growing crops laced with chemicals and then charge organic farmers fees to prove that their crops are safe and then fees to label them, how could organic food ever be affordable to everyone?
Safe food is a social justice issue. We are a nation of 300 million eaters, and I think we deserve to have the same food standards that other developed countries have.
Question: Until there is change on a national level, what can we do as individuals?
Robyn O’Brien: Take baby steps. It’s important to remember not to make “the perfect” the enemy of “the good.” We live in a real world, where kids go to Chuck E. Cheese for birthday parties and get blue cupcakes. Do what you can, when you can.
Target the 80/20 rule, as I highlight in the book: do as much as you can to try to reduce your families’ exposure to these substances 80 percent of the time, then give yourself a ‘free pass’ for the other 20. Instead of blue yogurt, opt for white yogurt and add sprinkles. Instead of using the full packet of fluorescent orange powder on your kids’ mac n’ cheese, use half of the packet. Chances are that these baby steps are going to feel so good that you will want to do more. There is a lot that we can do to protect the health of our families, we just have to get savvy about it!
(Photo © Brooks Freehill)
–This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Rachel Kranz is a novelist, nonfiction writer, and playwright who lives in New York City. Her most recent novel is Leaps of Faith (2000).
A renowned cardiologist explains how eliminating wheat from our diets can prevent fat storage, shrink unsightly bulges, and reverse myriad health problems.
Every day, over 200 million Americans consume food products made of wheat. As a result, over 100
million of them experience some form of adverse health effect, ranging from minor rashes and high blood sugar to the unattractive stomach bulges that preventive cardiologist William Davis calls “wheat bellies.” According to Davis, that excess fat has nothing to do with gluttony, sloth, or too much butter: It’s due to the whole grain wraps we eat for lunch.
disturbing conclusion that wheat is the single largest contributor to the nationwide obesity epidemic—and its elimination is key to dramatic weight loss and optimal health. In Wheat Belly, Davis exposes the harmful effects of what is actually a product of genetic tinkering and agribusiness being sold to the
American public as “wheat”—and provides readers with a user-friendly, step-by-step plan to navigate a new, wheat-free lifestyle.
have experienced life-changing transformations in their health after waving goodbye to wheat, Wheat
Belly is an illuminating look at what is truly making Americans sick and an action plan to clear our plates of this seemingly benign ingredient.