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What is Drop Table (Thompson) Technique?

What is Drop Table (Thompson) Technique?

By Dr. Derek DeCagna

Chiropractic spinal manipulation is both a science and an art.  As such, it can be administered in a variety of ways to best meet the needs of a patient and the practitioner.  Drop Table Technique, a.k.a. Thompson Technique, is a form of spinal manipulation that utilizes gravity through a “drop” to make segmental corrections.  More specifically, Drop Table Technique requires the use of a special chiropractic table that is divided into various pieces.  These pieces have the ability to be raised between 1 to 2 inches relative to a neutral flat-lying surface and their “tension” or relative ability to drop back to neutral can be modified.  

 

How is a chiropractic adjustment delivered using a Drop Table?

The patient is always asked to place his or her area of focus on top of one of the drop pieces.  The practitioner will then set the desired tension of the drop piece to adequately counterbalance the patient’s weight.  The drop piece is then lifted, and a manual chiropractic adjustment is delivered to the patient so that the drop piece releases and falls back to its neutral position.  Once the drop piece comes to a rest, the momentum gathered from the drop continues through the patient for a very short period of time.  This transfer of energy creates a summative, amplifying effect on the force of the chiropractic adjustment, while creating a relatively mild sensation for the patient.    

 

What is Drop Table (Thompson) Technique?

 

What does Drop Table (Thompson) Technique feel like?

Typically, drop table adjustments are experienced as a “gentler” form of spinal manipulation because they require less power from the practitioner and less ancillary movement and/or special positioning by the patient.  Drop pieces magnify the thrust of a chiropractic adjustment in a way that minimizes the force and pressure experienced by the patient for an adjustment.

 

How is the magnifying effect of a Drop Table achieved?

A great way to examine the physics at play when a drop piece is utilized is to look at the scenario in terms of energy.  When an object is at rest, its gravitational potential energy can be represented as follows:

 

PE=mgh

 

PE = potential energy

m = mass

g = gravitational constant

h = height

 

Moreover, the potential energy of an object at rest can be transferred to another object if all of its energy is converted to kinetic energy.  In this particular hypothetical example, the potential energy of a patient lying over an elevated drop piece can be described as: 

 

PE=mgh

 

PE = potential energy

m = mass of patient 

g = gravitational constant

h = height of drop piece 

 

When a chiropractic adjustment is delivered, the energy of the thrust is added to the potential energy of the patient:

 

ETotal= EThrust+PEDrop

 

ETotal= EThrust+mgh

 

Since the drop piece must be elevated prior to a chiropractic adjustment, the energy of the chiropractic adjustment must be greater than the potential energy of the drop piece in order for the piece to fall.  The amount of energy required to make the drop piece fall is dependent upon the tension that is determined by the patient’s weight and the judgment of the chiropractor.  Taking this into consideration, one can see that the total energy exerted during a drop piece adjustment must be greater than 2x the amount of energy required to keep a patient elevated on a drop piece: 

 

ETotal  mgh+mgh

 

ETotal  2mgh

 

Takeaways:

  • Drop Table (Thompson) Technique is a viable form of chiropractic manipulation that can be used to treat the spine and extremities.
  • Drop Table (Thompson) Technique is usually experienced as a milder form of chiropractic manipulation compared to techniques that require more power and special positioning.
  • Drop Table (Thompson) Technique utilizes gravity and the patient’s own weight to make an impactful influence on the force of a chiropractic adjustment.
Child fever

Getting Sick Is An Important Part of Being Healthy

By Dr. Melissa Sonners

Getting sick is an important part of being healthy.  Our bodies are incredible self-healing, self-regulating organisms when given the proper environment with limited exposures to chemical, physical and balanced emotional stressors. 

There are many miraculous processes in our bodies that kick into gear when we get sick, that help us stay healthy.  Primary among them:  Fevers and glutathione.  My hope in writing this is that it empowers you to trust in these and perhaps step back and let the body “do its thing” the next time a fever presents itself.  

Fevers are often the solution, not the problem

From an article in Medical News Today: “Fevers are more than just a symptom of illness or infection,” claim researchers. They found that elevated body temperature sets in motion a series of mechanisms that regulate our immune system and go on to state that “an elevated body temperature triggers cellular mechanisms that ensure the immune system takes appropriate action against the offending virus or bacteria.” 

In our home, we have noticed that a fever often means we are going to have a more intense, but quicker period of illness, whereas a cold may linger for days or weeks at a time.  To us, fevers mean rest, fluids, movies, snuggles and books.  We watch our kids and ensure they are hydrated and resting, but are not quick to give fever reducers just for the sake of “making them comfortable.”  We find they do just fine under our watchful eyes without the need of outside interference.  

According to an article in the Journal of Thoracic Disease, “treatment of fever is common in the ICU setting and likely related to standard dogma rather than evidence-based practice.”  

Although much is still unknown and science is always evolving, in our family we tend to give the body space to heal itself.  We also know that giving fever reducers inhibits one of our bodies main regulating antioxidants—glutathione.  Glutathione, an antioxidant in plants, animals, fungi, and some bacteria and archaea, has crucial anti-inflammatory and immune regulating properties and, according to Wikipedia, is capable of preventing damage to important cellular components caused by reactive oxygen species such as free radicals, peroxides, lipid peroxides, and heavy metals.

Glutathione Fights Inflammation

High levels of inflammation are present in virtually every chronic illness including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. However, inflammation in short bursts is also healthy and necessary to fight infectious invaders.

Injury can also incite an inflammatory response. Whether you are talking about trauma, infection, toxins, or allergies, your immune system answers the same way.  First, the blood vessels in the injured area begin to expand and open wide to allow your body’s natural healing compounds to reach the injured site as quickly as possible. Because of this increased blood flow, fluid and immune cells flood the area often in overwhelming amounts.

This increase in permeability of the blood and lymph vessels is what causes the physical manifestations of acute inflammation, namely redness, pain, stiffness, and swelling.  After the infection or injury is repaired, the acute inflammatory response normally subsides and goes away. 

In an ideal world, the inflammatory response comes to your rescue when it’s needed and cools itself off once the healing is complete. 

But we don’t live in an ideal world.

In the real world, environmental toxins, your diet, stress, and other lifestyle issues have disabled the checks and balances of this system and inflammation doesn’t subside and go away as it is meant to. As a result, many people suffer from chronic, systemic inflammation.

When this happens, you’re in trouble. You’ll need a lot of extra protection and that’s where glutathione can help.

Glutathione (GSH) controls needed inflammation increases or decreases, by instructing and influencing our immune white cells. This is a completely separate mechanism from glutathione’s antioxidant properties.

Rebalancing glutathione levels reduces chronic inflammation and restores immune function.

Glutathione and the Immune System

Glutathione helps your immune system stay strong and ready to fight infections. While vitamin C seems to get all the accolades when it comes to immunity, glutathione is the under-recognized supporting actor who deserves the starring role.

Research shows that active glutathione (GSH) primes white cells such as natural killer (NK) and t-cells, your body’s front-line infection fighters.  GSH-enhanced t-cells are able to produce more infection-fighting substances, controlling both bacterial and viral infections.

One clinical trial in particular found that GSH doubled NK cells’ ability to be cytotoxic (kill invaders) after just six months of use. Glutathione actually has a potent antibacterial effect as it helps the immune cells called macrophages fight the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (mycobacterium tuberculosis).

In another study, researchers found that GSH modulates the behavior of many immune system cells, affecting adaptive immunity and protecting against microbial, viral and parasitic infections.

There are many chronic infections such as EBV, hepatitis, herpes viruses and Lyme, to name a few, which can deregulate and suppress the immune system. Glutathione can modulate and reverse this suppression. Autoimmune diseases also appear to be hallmarked by imbalanced glutathione levels.  There are just so many ways in which glutathione levels can support our overall health.

Unfortunately, commonly-used acetaminophen (Tylenol) actually inhibits glutathione, as do many other external factors from artificial sweeteners like aspartame to alcohol and household chemicals.  

If fever and glutathione both play an important role in our immune regulation, would giving fever reducers negate that system?  Quite possibly so. Letting the fever run and permitting glutathione to do what it does may just be what we all need to effectively fight off viruses and bacterium. 

In conclusion

When dealing with a virus that presents a fever or when post-vaccination, it is important to let our glutathione levels remain high for the sake of inflammation, immune regulation and detoxification.  Oral levels of glutathione can be taken and levels should be determined by your alternative health practitioner.   For further questions or comments feel free to email me at DrMelissa@CoreTherapies.net.

 

Chiropractic Is A Lifestyle

Chiropractic Is A Lifestyle

by Dr. Jason Sonners

 

“The body is self-healing and self-regulating.” 

This basic tenet of chiropractic has been the philosophy behind Core Therapies’ approach to patient care since the very beginning.  

When we break a bone, cut ourselves, shiver when it’s cold, sweat when it’s hot and sleep when we are tired, we’re seeing all 70 trillion of our cells working together to try and keep us functioning optimally.  Those cells rely on signals from the world around us telling our body what to do; we then need to coordinate a plan and respond appropriately. The nervous system (our brain and all of our nerves) is primarily in charge of this process of sensing changes in our environment, communicating these changes and responding. As long as this system is working well without any interruption or interference, we can assume our cell signaling is intact.

The quality of our lives is directly related to the quality of this cell signaling. The faster and more accurately we can perceive environmental changes (stimuli), process them and coordinate a plan of response, the healthier we are and the better we feel and function. Whether these signals are telling us about temperature change, food we’ve just eaten, infection that has snuck into our system, the stress of an argument or an injury we just sustained, the efficiency with which this complex cascade of cell interactions and communication occurs is often the difference between a positive or negative outcome.

At this point you might be asking, “What does this have to do with Core Therapies or chiropractic?” The answer is… everything!  As chiropractors, we understand the nervous system controls this entire series of events and that interruption of this process often stems from inflammation and irritation of the nervous system. The more sources of inflammation or irritation we have, the more divided the attention of our cells becomes.  Think of it this way:  In our lives, the more divided our attention becomes, the more multitasking we try to do, and the less likely we are to do any one thing really well. 

These irritations of the nervous system can come from physical issues (the movement or stiffness of our bodies), emotional issues (what we think about) and even chemical issues (all the things we eat, drink and pills we take). 

As chiropractors, our primary role is to look for as many of these sources of irritation as possible and help remove them and the resulting stress. We know that by alleviating stress from the system, your body will immediately and more effectively process and respond to other stimuli. Reducing the toll these stressors have on our bodies is a sure path to improved health.

As many of you know, the chiropractors and other providers at Core Therapies have different specialties, different techniques and different approaches to the things we focus on when you are in the room with us.  That said, we all agree that the body is self-healing and self-regulating. We all agree that taking care of your body and finding outlets for your stress will lead you to a higher quality of life.  And we all agree that working together on that—making chiropractic care, massage, acupuncture, body work, emotional counseling, nutrition and exercise a priority for you and your family—will be a pivotal component of ensuring you get well and stay well for many years to come.

If you are not sure who you should see for some of your health goals or health concerns, please reach out and ask. Email us or ask our front desk staff. We love helping patients find the right match and try a new provider or service to make sure everyone is getting the results they need and want.

 

This Women’s Retreat could not have come at a better time. 

This Women’s Retreat could not have come at a better time. 

by Dr. Melissa Sonners

As a mama, woman, friend, healer, and entrepreneur, my bucket was full.  Being there for everyone and everything that needed my attention left me with little time or energy for myself. I needed a little (BIG) something just for me. 

So, this past weekend I attended a women’s retreat in Sedona.  I, along with 32 other Ultimate Achiever Women Chiropractic Entrepreneurs, embarked on a weekend of personal and  professional growth. 

Our workshops and empowering lectures were interspersed with time to integrate and process amidst the beauty and magic of Sedona. The “sound healing” – forever part of my new routine – vortex hikes, and fireside chats were incredibly restorative, but the endless incredible conversations with strong and impactful leaders were inspirational. 

Hands down, my favorite part of the Retreat was The Strength Finders Assessment

If you haven’t yet done this, I highly recommend it.  This is an assessment meant to reveal your distinct “talent DNA” ranked in order based on your responses.  The goal is to help you maximize your infinite potential.

We can become better versions of ourselves by working on our weaknesses.  We can also understand our strengths on a deeper level.  For me, this has created a much greater understanding of myself, the boundaries that I felt I needed and now know I need, and so much more.

This Women’s Retreat could not have come at a better time. 

Here is what this test helped me understand about myself:

I am futuristic:  I am a dreamer who sees visions of what could be. I cherish these visions. The future fascinates me.  I love dreaming, visualizing and creating. I was so missing carving out this space for myself to just be, dream and create. 

I love and need input: I eagerly welcome opportunities to think out loud about ideas, theories or philosophies.  So true!  I love being surrounded by big thinkers and creators.  I could spend all day talking about ideas.  I despise small talk, gossip and talking endlessly about problems. 

I am responsible: I take ownership of what I say I will do.  I am committed to honesty and loyalty.  I need to get better at saying “no” and not taking on too much as I give 100% to everything I commit to. 

I am fascinated by ideas: I thrive in environments where I must deal with unexpected requests, unanticipated problems or changing priorities.  I have a hard time understanding when people say “because we have always done it this way.” 

I am extraordinarily positive:  I have contagious enthusiasm and get people excited about what they do. People are attracted to me and I positively impact those around me. I now also realize I need to carve out more space for myself where I can just be and recharge. 

This assessment has taught me so much about myself, especially things I instinctively knew I needed, but haven’t been the best at creating boundaries for or honoring. I hope that in sharing this, it inspires others to take this online quiz to learn more about themselves and those around them. 

When we understand each other’s strengths, I believe we naturally have greater compassion and understanding of our own and each other’s behaviors and areas of opportunity for growth. 

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” -A. Lorde 

This Women’s Retreat could not have come at a better time. 

To take the Strength Finders Quiz go to: 

https://store.gallup.com/p/en-us/10108/top-5-cliftonstrengths

 

 

How can you get rid of a side stitch?

A Side Stitch Fix

By: Dr. Matt McGowan, DC

 

Most people who have run for fun or sport are familiar with the dreaded “side stitch.”  When present, a side stitch can be down right debilitating to the runner. It presents as pain located along either side of the torso near the lower ribs that can be described as a tightness, a cramping, or even a stabbing sensation.  

So what actually causes a side stitch?  How can we treat it?  More importantly, how can we avoid it?

A side stitch is actually a spasm or contraction of a section of your Diaphragm muscle which sits inside of your ribs and spans across your trunk like a trampoline. Its job is to separate the lungs from your intestines, but more importantly to aid in the inhalation and exhalation of air from your lungs.  As you inhale, the diaphragm has to relax and expand down into your abdomen to let the lungs fill with air.  As the diaphragm contracts it presses upwards on the lungs helping to expel air.  When the diaphragm goes into spasm or contracture, it pulls hard on the lower two ribs causing pain and difficulty breathing.  

There are several reasons why the diaphragm would go into such a contracture, but they are all caused by the same thing – improper breathing technique.  Many of us are “chest breathers,” meaning that we only inhale and exhale shallow breaths expanding the lungs to only a portion of their true capacity.  In this situation, the diaphragm is not relaxing and contracting through its full range of motion.  If we do this day in and day out, we are over-using the diaphragm in a suboptimal way.  It’s analogous to me giving you a weight and having you do a bicep curl, but only the top third of the range of motion. Obviously, this would not be the best way to use that bicep muscle.  Same thing with shallow breathing and the diaphragm muscle.

Many athletes seem to get side stitches only during a game or race and the reason for this is likely psychosomatic, meaning the increased level of anxiety of being in a game or race is making breathing more rapid and shallow than it was during a relaxed practice. Others seem to get side stitches only when running in the cold when, again, improper breathing and the failure of the lungs to maximally expand due to cold air can trigger the spasm.  Sometimes having eaten a larger meal too close to race time can make it more likely that you’ll experience a side stitch. The presence of food in your stomach affects the ability of the diaphragm to expand and contract.  

So how can you get rid of a side stitch?  Suggestions include pressing on the spot, stretching, and cessation of activity, but ultimately the correct answer depends on the situation you are in.

The best thing to do if you are simply running for exercise or at a practice is to stop the activity momentarily and practice some deeper slower breathing.  If it doesn’t subside, I would suggest lying on your back with your knees bent (like the start of a sit up) and practice taking slow deep breaths while expanding your abdomen out 360 degrees in all directions.  You can check for this by feeling the tension build in your abdomen and lower back with your hands.  Usually after two minutes of deep diaphragmatic breathing you will be good to go. 

If you’re in a game or race situation and cannot stop the activity, you need to focus on slowing your breath down and elongating the breath until the spasm stops.  During a side stitch, do not  drink a ton of water thinking the spasm is from dehydration, again the presence of extra water will fill your stomach and negatively affect the diaphragm.

If you’re someone who gets frequent side stitches, you need to re-evaluate your breathing techniques.  There are lots of great videos out there on youtube about “diaphragmatic breathing.”  I encourage you to check them out and see how you can incorporate some of those techniques into your activity.  If you have any questions about whether or not you breathe incorrectly, you can also come in and have one of us check it out for you.

 

Postpartum Care for Mom and Baby

By Dr. Meagan McGowan
August 2021

Happy BIRTH-day!!  You’ve just accomplished the greatest physical and mentally challenging event of your life, you birthed your baby!  Now what?  Most women are unaware that in the United States we lack a standard of care for the postpartum woman.  Most consider postpartum to be a period of time much less than even the first year of their baby’s life.  This misunderstanding has unfortunately led to “normalizing” challenges faced physically, chemically, and emotionally as if they just come with the territory of birth.  At Core Therapies, we not only support this postpartum transition, we strive to bring understanding to the misconception that once a woman is no longer postpartum, her stress will resolve itself.  If you have birthed a baby, you are forever postpartum.

Throughout a woman’s prenatal care, our goal is to address any concerns she may have in the physical space, but beyond that, understand and support her in achieving her most optimal birth.  As she approaches the conclusion of her third trimester, the conversation shifts as we address her most present thoughts, but also introduce ideas for the postpartum transition.

Again, birth is the most physically challenging event of a woman’s life.  The transition to postpartum happens as soon as the placenta is birthed.  Her body preps for birth for months, and postpartum within minutes.  Chiropractic care can be extremely beneficial in helping this recovery as the body works to regulate itself again.

  • We conduct a gentle treatment assessing the body, both joint and soft tissue, for imbalances since birth is deeply strenuous on the musculoskeletal system.
  • We discuss what rest looks like and how the act of breath-work is the first step toward recovery.
  • We assess a baseline of diastasis recti while also discussing pelvic floor recovery and what signs of stress look like.
  • We have an important conversation around nutrition and refueling during the months following her birth.
  • I personally recommend that every woman receive an assessment of blood work at 3 months and 6 months postpartum. Deficiencies that show up as physical or mental stress could be revealed preventing a woman from experiencing months or years of fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, depression, etc.

As care progresses, we support Mom’s recovery through deeply intentional active care to help her reestablish core stability and allow her to handle the demands of daily life.  This creates a foundation that will support her as she returns to the level of activity she desires.

We always encourage Mom to schedule baby for their Birth-day adjustment, as growth in utero and the birthing process can leave baby with their own versions of stress.  All too often, baby is actually scheduled before Mom due to struggles with one or more of their systems.  Babies most often present with difficulty surrounding feeds, digestion, or rest.  In that moment, the baby is our priority, but we are checking in with Mom if she’s present, getting a sense of how she’s feeling/healing, and also checking in with her partner because all too often their stress is overshadowed.

Over the years, we have developed an incredible network of support professionals surrounding the birth world and beyond.  Chiropractic care is truly beneficial in many facets and with the collaboration of others, the family can more easily navigate Mom’s recovery and baby’s development.

Interested in Stem Cell Injections?

Interested in Stem Cell Injections? Increase your Chance for Success

By Dr. Noémie Long
August 2021

Stem cell injections are one of the most interesting options for those seeking help with chronic joint issues. People from all over are resting their hopes on this expensive and potentially life-altering procedure and its success. There are all kinds of stem cell injection and varied opinions about which form of regenerative therapy is the best. The point of this article is not to opine on which option is best, but rather to provide ideas for how to make your stem cells go the extra mile, improving your chances for success.

Think about if you were blind folded, taken from your home, and dropped in the middle of the Short Hills Mall during the busiest time of the year. As you opened your eyes, you’d see people running in all directions. Where should you go? Similar things happen with stem cells. They are injected into the body with the hopes that they survive, end up in the right place, and then become the right kind of cells. Quite often stem cells get carried to the most metabolically active sites and that means the heart and lungs which may not be where they are needed.

In cases where stem cells fail, a multitude of factors play into the failure. Did the stem cells go to the right spot (the knee versus the lungs)? Did they become the right kind of cell, or did they not survive? If your toxic body chemistry or a neurochemical shift caused the degeneration in the first place, did the new cells suffer the same fate as the original joints/cells? As an analogy, if we put roses in the garden and forget to water them, what will happen? The soil will dry up killing the roses. And if we plant new roses in the sandy dry soil, will they survive?

If you’re thinking about stem cell injections, how can you stack the odds in favor of success? The best answer is to be properly evaluated. See a provider who specializes in Neurochemical Shifts. The more pre-injection groundwork you lay, the better your odds of success. What else can you do? You can consider laser treatments before and after stem cell injections. We use the Erchonia FX635 laser which contains an advanced frequency that increases the probability that stem cells will go to the “right” place. It’s a safe and painless option with no side effects.

I’m happy to answer questions about Neurochemical Shifts and prepping your body pre-injections. If you need additional information about stem cells, cord blood or PRP, our Dr. Marc Funderlich, who has worked in regenerative medicine clinics, could be an excellent resource.

Core Therapies is a complete health solution. We are here to help answer any and all questions. Don’t hesitate to set up a consult and learn more about the cutting-edge tools we offer for those looking to improve their health.

Less Stress

Are You Addicted to Stress?

by Dr. Sonia Marques

July 2021 

 

While we all like to say that we’re trying to lower our stress levels, the reality is that, as much as we try, many of us just can’t seem to shake our stress.  We know how harmful it is to our long-term physical and emotional wellbeing, and yet it seems that despite our best intentions we cannot seem to overcome it and this leads to even higher levels of stress.

The reason for this, according to many prominent researchers and psychologists, is that, yes, we really can become addicted to our own stress. Research shows that cortisol, known as the stress hormone, can make a region in the brain called the nucleus accumbens become more sensitive to dopamine, a neurotransmitter that gives us the feeling of pleasure and satisfaction. A fast-paced environment can lend itself to unchecked cortisol levels, which, if prolonged, can be a problem.  Rather than tapering off after the perceived threat has passed, chronic stress causes a drippy tap of cortisol and adrenaline to continuously pollute our system. Not only does this wreak havoc on your hair, skin, weight, heart and digestive system, it gets you hooked—and looking for more.

If this is true, how can we actually combat and eliminate stress in our lives?

Step 1

The first step, as with every addiction, is recognizing that you have an addiction to stress. For a lot of people, this can be very difficult. Many of us use our stress as a crutch to avoid deeper and more intimate self-reflection.  But when you start to recognize that there’s a pattern of stress in your life and that, more often than not, you can choose how you respond to an event, you can start to recognize your own addiction.

Step 2

Trick your mind into thinking relaxation is just another task to be accomplished and checked off the list. Once it becomes an assignment, it will no longer be associated with guilt and idleness, but be more a duty.

Step 3

Unplug from one of the most prevalent stress sources in modern society: your phone. Set internal rules, such as no checking the phone at dinner, or no email for an entire weekend day.

Step 4

Exercising is one of the absolute best ways to relieve stress while giving you the chance to unleash pent up aggression. Exercise releases a flood of endorphins that can replace the stress hormones you’ve been bingeing on.

Step 5

Make yourself your top priority and set aside “you time.”  Whatever you choose to do— walking in nature, reading a book, taking an exercise class, etc.—make sure you’re doing it just for yourself. Stress addicted people often use their extra time to catch up on chores or to do extra work, not to relax.  Stress can rob you of your identity, but you can reclaim it doing what you love. 

It’s important to remember that relaxation isn’t a luxury nor is living in a state of stress a badge of success or accomplishment. You can make the choice to approach each day of your life in a relaxed state of mind because, just like stress, relaxation is ultimately a choice.

 

 

 

ADHD in children

Understanding a Diagnosis of ADHD

by: Dr. Marc Funderlich

 

ADHD is the most common mood-related disorder in children and is being diagnosed more frequently, and at earlier ages than ever before. It affects about 10% of school age children (boys at a 4x higher rate than girls), an increase of 43% since 2003. Unfortunately, as high as 70% of these children will continue to be affected as adults. ADHD costs the United States $42.5 billion a year or about $14,000 per child. 

 

ADHD almost never lives alone. Two-thirds of children with ADHD have what is called a co-morbidity, meaning they have another symptom such as:

 

  • 50% dyscalculia, dyslectic
  • 50% movement disorder 
  • 40% oppositional behavior
  • 34% fear disorder
  • 25% autism, Asperger, PDDNOS 
  • 14% behavioral disorders
  • 11% tics
  • 4%   depression

 

It is important to note that children cannot be truly diagnosed with ADHD until the age of six.  If your child is under six and a provider wants to diagnosis them with ADHD, I would suggest this is ill-advised.  Taking medication at very young ages may do more harm than good. 

 

ADHD is defined as a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development, and characterized as Type 1 and Type 2. 

 

Type 1 ADHD: Inattention. Diagnosed when six (or more) symptoms have persisted for at least six months to a degree that is inconsistent with developmental level and that negatively impacts directly on social and academic/occupational activities.  Examples might be: 

 

  • Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work or during other activities (e.g., overlooks or misses details, work is inaccurate)
  • Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities (e.g., has difficulty remaining focused during lectures, conversations or lengthy reading)
  • Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly (e.g., mind seems elsewhere even in the absence of any obvious distraction) 
  • Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (e.g., starts tasks but quickly loses focus and is easily sidetracked). 

 

Type 2 ADHD: Hyperactivity and impulsivity.  Diagnosed when six (or more) of the following symptoms have persisted for at least six months to a degree that is inconsistent with developmental level and that negatively impacts directly on social and academic/occupational activities:  

 

  • Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet or squirms in seat
  • Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected (e.g., leaves his or her place in the classroom, office or other workplace, or in other situations that require remaining in place)
  • Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is inappropriate. (Note: In adolescents or adults, may be limited to feeling restless)
  • Often unable to play or engage quietly in leisure activities, often “on the go,” acting as if “driven by a motor” (e.g., unable to be or uncomfortable being still for extended time, as in restaurants, meetings; may be experienced by others as being restless or difficult to keep up with) 
  • Often talks excessively 

 

Type 3 ADHD will be diagnosed when the child exhibits symptoms of both Type 1 and 2.

 

Your doctor will rate the symptoms based on current severity: 

  • MILD: Few, if any, symptoms in excess of those required to make the diagnosis are present, and symptoms result in only minor functional impairments. 
  • MODERATE: Symptoms or functional impairment between “mild” and “severe” are present. 
  • SEVERE: Many symptoms in excess of those required to make the diagnosis or several symptoms that are particularly severe are present, or the symptoms result in marked impairment in social or occupational functioning. 

 

A complete diagnosis of ADHD should read like this: Patient Name exhibits a moderate combined Type 3 ADHD diagnosis. 

 

If your child has many of the symptoms from the above list or you have any questions about ADHD, give us a call and set up a complimentary consultation.  Let’s discuss what can be done for your child from a natural perspective!  

 

Why Sleep Is So Important?

Sleep Reset: Simple Steps to get Intentional about your Sleep

By: Dr. Katie Gleisner

Every night is a good night to sleep well. However, one in three of us struggles on a nightly basis with sleep. Whether falling or staying asleep is challenging, a poor night of sleep impacts every facet of your wellbeing. Your health is based on your movement, nutrition, and sleep. We spend a third of life sleeping, and it is a fundamental aspect of our physical, emotional, and chemical wellbeing. 

It seems everywhere I look there is another idea to improve sleep. As someone who loves and values my rest, I explore these ideas. Should I meditate? Should I take melatonin? Should I work out before bedtime? Should I read? And as a chiropractor, I care deeply about my patients’ sleep because those 7 to 9 hours of rest are essential for our bodies to detoxify, heal, and function optimally. Let’s explore the science of sleep and simple steps to catch some ZZZs with greater ease. 

Sleep is a biological necessity for your brain and body. It is Mother Nature’s built-in recovery and restoration system. The brain needs sleep to learn, be productive, and adapt to stress. However, humans are the only species that deprive themselves of sleep with little benefit. Many of us struggle with sleep deficiency, which seriously impacts our ability to focus, learn, create memories, fight off infections, and age well. Sleep expert and neuroscientist Dr. Matthew Walker has dedicated his research to the importance of sleep and its health benefits. Through his research it is recommended that adults get a minimum of 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Your brain requires this period of rest after learning to save memories, and to prepare for the next day’s learning. Studies comparing well-rested to sleep deprived participants found a 40% decline in learning—the difference between passing and failing an exam, due to hippocampus activity. The hippocampus is the information campus of the brain. It collects and holds onto our memories. When we are sleep deprived our hippocampus shuts down, thereby negatively impacting our ability to focus and learn. 

Your ability to cope with daily stress and handle anxiety or depression symptoms is impacted by your sleep. A lack of sleep causes the brain to revert to a primitive pattern of uncontrolled reactivity. We produce unmetered, emotional reactions due to heightened amygdala activity. The amygdala is responsible for processing fear and activating our sympathetic “fight, flight, or freeze” response. Less sleep creates a heightened amygdala response, resulting in increased sympathetic response and emotional outbursts. Decreased sleep leads to oxidative stress and inflammation, the root cause of ill health and disease. The hippocampus and amygdala are initial structures to suffer from this oxidative stress. Whether you slept poorly last night or you are suffering from chronic sleep deprivation, each evening with less rest decreases your ability to form new memories and cope with daily stress, as well as increases your risk to develop Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease. 

Beyond the brain, your body needs sleep. Your genetic, immune, and cardiovascular systems all rely on sleep for proper function. Additional studies comparing well-rested to sleep deprived participants found a correlation between less sleep and upregulated gene activity. These activated genes are related to inflammatory and tumor promoting conditions. Also, decreased sleep is directly correlated with weaker immune system function. Our Natural Killer cells are your immune system assassins that identify and eliminate unwanted elements from your body. There is a 70% drop in Natural Killer cell activity with 4 hours of sleep, which studies correlate with higher rates of breast and colon cancer. While we sleep, our heart rate slows, blood pressure drops, and breathing stabilizes. Fragmented sleep negatively impacts the cardiovascular system, and every hour of sleep counts. Daylight Savings Time sleep studies found a 24% increase in heart attacks the day following springing ahead, and a 21% reduction in heart attacks after falling back.  Sleep impacts every aspect of your physiology and health. The shorter duration you sleep, the shorter your life expectancy. 

Sleep, just as every other facet of health, requires intentionality and commitment. So, let’s tuck in and discover simple steps to improve your sleep quality. 

  1. Regularity and Routine. Your body prefers routine. Creating a consistent bed and wake time helps establish a healthy sleep-wake rhythm. Whether weeknight or weekend, aim to be in bed and rise at the same time to improve the quantity and quality of your sleep. 
  2. Keep it Cool. Turn down the thermostat to 65-68 degrees, the optimal sleeping temperature. Your body needs to drop its core temperature 2 to 3 degrees to initiate sleep and stay asleep.
  3. Reduce Caffeine and Alcohol. Caffeine is a stimulant and blocks adenosine, an essential sleep chemical in the brain. Avoid drinking caffeine after lunch to fall asleep easier. A cocktail or glass of wine can be relaxing in the evening, but limit alcohol consumption four hours before bedtime. Alcohol sedates the body and inhibits deep REM sleep, which relates to frequent wake ups and prevents optimal brain restoration. 
  4. Prioritize Unwind Time. Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Whether you journal, take a bath, listen to soothing music, do some yoga stretches, or follow a guided meditation, take time to connect to your brain, body, and breath. Avoid high intensity workouts 2-3 hours before bed as it can inhibit your brain’s ability to relax.
  5. Don’t Lie in Bed. Avoid lying in bed for too long, as it can increase frustration and anxiety around falling asleep. Your brain will associate the bed with being awake. If you continue to feel awake after lying down for 25-30 minutes, get up, move to another room, and do a relaxing activity until you start to feel sleepy.

Sleep is a biological necessity that you depend on to heal and restore on a nightly basis. Hopefully, this post brings awareness around your sleep habits and some simple tips to create a healthier sleep routine tonight. By prioritizing your rest, you boost your mental and physical stamina to take on the following day and achieve optimal health.  


Sweet dreams.