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The Overlooked Gap in Maternal Healthcare: Postnatal Care Disparities

The Overlooked Gap in Maternal Healthcare: Postnatal Care Disparities
Rachel Kelly, MSOTR/L, PCES, CBS, CCST-I

As a mother of two beautiful daughters, my journey appeared to be somewhat “typical.” With my first pregnancy, I found an OB associated with the hospital I wanted to deliver at, I had pretty regular pregnancy, I was told I “could” take some course, where I was then directed to the hospital to take a birthing course, I went to what seemed to be a billion doctors appointments, I was pricked what felt like several times, I peed in endless cups, I delivered and then went home. Between the delivery and going home I was overwhelmed by the amount of random strangers (medical strangers) who felt that they had to keep checking me, touching me, getting my blood pressure, asking me to go to the bathroom, oh and don’t even get me started on the hospital noise, beeps and dings and people oh my! 

Just as quick as delivery went, so did the hospital stay. Miraculously they handed me this perfect baby and off we went. No instructions or book to reference. In fact right after delivery my OB turned to me and said “great job, now this is about to feel like a bad breakup, see you in 6 weeks.”

Doesn’t it seem odd that there is NO follow-up care after birth? Well, besides that one ten-minute 6-week checkup chatting about birth control and clearing you for “$exx + exercise”. Cue the eye roll 😉 

Let’s take a bit of a dive deeper and really look at how this process looks. 

Prenatal appointments for mother = 8-12 visits 

Babies first year of life = 6 – 8 visits 

Postnatal appointments for mother = 1 visit 

Still scratching your head? THIS right here shows us the MASSIVE gap in our healthcare system. What happens to the mother? Are we forgetting about mothers? The short answer… YES. However the bigger question may appear as a question you may not have asked yourself or even thought about, are we somehow, maybe unintentionally creating a series of unnecessary pelvic floor dysfunctions, but labeling them as a “normal part of childbirth?”

The United States is one of the richest countries in the world to date, however our medical system presents as one of the worst maternal health follow-up programs, statistics, and postpartum care compared to other countries. Taking a moment to compare birth methods and healing time is eye opening, let’s check it out:

BIRTH METHODS TIMELINE FOR HEALING
Vaginal Birth (no tearing or 1st degree with no stitches) 6 week checkup & “all cleared”
Vaginal Birth (2nd degree tearing with minimal stitches) 6 week checkup & “all cleared”
Vaginal Birth (3rd or 4th degree tearing, multiple stitches, significantly impaired) 6 week checkup & “all cleared”
C- Section (7 layers cut, sutured together) 6 week checkup & “all cleared”

 

Do you see anything wrong? Possibly a gap in treatment? Let’s discuss this, if you were to need rehabilitation on your ankle, how many sessions of rehabilitation therapy would you need? I know the answer isn’t 1!

These statistics are what laid the groundwork for Nurtured Pelvic Health & Wellness. Aside from being interested in learning more about the pelvis, the GAP in care drove me to take the approach of learning more, taking an abundance of continuing education credits and becoming outspoken to better fill the gaps and support moms like you!

Making the leap from institutionalized OT to pelvic floor quite literally saved my entire occupational therapy career. PLUS, falling into a passion is way better than falling into a “good job”. I am here to say we are conquering pelvic floor dysfunction at the source, helping moms feel confident in returning to exercise, and most importantly providing YOU with the tools in your toolbox to feel empowered, educated in your rehab AND allow you to recover. 

Schedule your free consultation or discovery call TODAY!

Website: https://www.nurturedpelvichealthwellness.com/

Phone: 201-338-0727

Embracing Innovative Wellness: Introducing Ozone Treatments with UBI at Core Therapies

Embracing Innovative Wellness: Introducing Ozone Treatments with UBI at Core Therapies

In the pursuit of wellness, exploring groundbreaking approaches often leads to new avenues for optimal health. At Core Therapies we’re thrilled to announce the integration of a pioneering therapy that’s been gaining traction for its potential health benefits: Ozone Therapy also known as Major Autohemotherapy and (UBI) Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation. When used together, the synergistic effects of Ozone Therapy and UBI are purported to enhance their individual benefits. 

 

What is Major Autohemotherapy and UBI?

This procedure exposes blood to multiple light wavelengths to enhance specific biological effects. It is based on the research of Niels Ryberg Finsen, a Nobel prize winner in the field of Physiology of Medicine. The procedure has been used in Europe and the United States for decades and over 300,000 successful clinical trials have been observed. Before the advent of antibiotics, vaccines, and corticosteroids it was a main treatment for infectious diseases but now has also been shown to be effective in autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease, fatigue, depression and more

 IV Ozone Treatments with UBI

While your blood cells naturally receive oxygen through the lungs, that regular re-oxidizing may not be enough to refresh oxygen-starved blood. However, a dose of ozone can energize your bloodstream. This leads to a number of potential benefits, including:

  • Strengthening of your immune system
  • Encourage your body’s stem cells to move to the targeted area, where they can work to heal injuries
  • Stimulation of white blood cells
  • Increased circulation
  • Purifying the bloodstream
  • Promote higher levels of NAD+ in the body (NAD+ is important in the functioning of the mitochondria)
  • Increased resistance against infections, bacteria, and fungi
  • Improvement of varicose veins
  • Significantly enhance tissue oxygenation
  • Protects against cell mutation and the formation of cancers
  • Help the body cope with autoimmune disorders


UBI treatment, or Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation, exposes the blood to ultraviolet light. This weakens bacteria and viruses already in the bloodstream and increases the overall strength of the immune system. 

The benefits of UBI may include

  • Increased immune system response
  • Reduced tissue pain
  • Improved circulation
  • Improved metabolism
  • Stimulation of new blood cells
  • Cardiovascular protection
  • Increased pain tolerance, especially to cancer treatments
  • Greater tissue oxygenation
  • Increased resistance to infection
  • Increased homeostasis

While both IV Ozone treatments and UBI can improve your overall health, when they are used in tandem, it becomes the perfect combination for optimum health. UBI destroys all of the viruses, bacteria, and other contaminants in the bloodstream while the ozone improves overall health function.

How does Ozone Therapy work?

First, a portion of the patient’s blood is drained using gravity. Next, the blood is infused with ozone (O3) and enters back into your body. This aids in energy, immune system support and overall well being.

How long does Ozone Therapy take?

The Ozone infusion process takes about 30-45 minutes. Please allow for about 1 hour for the consultation and appointment.

How do I know if Ozone Therapy is suitable for me?

A Consultation with our Nurse Practitioner is needed as she can assess your health history, current conditions, and goals to determine if it aligns with your needs. Call the Office to schedule a consultation today!

Celebrating Your Journey to Pelvic Wellness

Celebrating Your Journey to Pelvic Wellness: A Comprehensive Guide to Nurtured Pelvic Health & Wellness
Rachel Kelly, MSOTR/L, CBS, PCES, CCST-I

Hello! It’s a pleasure to join the team and provide pelvic health therapy. If you’re still reading past the first line, perhaps you’re considering pelvic floor therapy. I can imagine you have many questions and may even feel a bit uncertain about how the process may unfold. I hope this blog can offer some background on what to expect. Pelvic floor dysfunction can be a challenging, even isolating, time in someone’s life. BUT, here you are, taking steps towards wellness and health—congratulations! Recognizing that something doesn’t feel right is one thing, but taking the time to explore solutions to help you feel better puts you on the right track. You might be wondering, is pelvic floor therapy right for me? What are the sessions like? In this blog, I’ll introduce you to what most pelvic floor treatments look like at Nurtured Pelvic Health & Wellness. If you have specific questions regarding your condition, don’t hesitate to call or schedule a free 15-minute discovery call at 201-338-0727 or email me at RachelKellyOT@nurturedpelvichealthwellness.com.

 

So What Does the First Visit Look Like?

You’ll enter the fantastically calming atmosphere of Core Therapies Family Wellness, where the receptionist desk will greet you with smiling faces. At your appointment time, we’ll spend a good amount of time talking. I understand that having an in-depth conversation with a healthcare provider may seem novel—it’s not very common in most healthcare settings. Providers often rush through history taking, but at Nurtured, we have the luxury of taking the time to truly understand your condition, its impact on you, and any relevant health history contributing to your pelvic floor dysfunction. We’ve all experienced those doctor’s appointments where you walk away feeling unseen or unheard, rushed out, or with more questions than answers. At Nurtured, our value is our clients, and we prioritize listening and putting you at ease because being seen and heard is crucial for healing. Beyond understanding you and your health history, a thorough subjective interview helps me zero in on what may be driving your symptoms and determine the most important elements to check during your physical exam.

After discussing your experiences, when they started, and most importantly, how they affect you, we’ll begin the pelvic floor therapy exam. This might be the point where some people understandably feel nervous. A typical pelvic floor exam involves checking the muscles internally and externally for tightness, spasms, weakness, and coordination. This is done as gently as possible with a gloved, lubricated finger. This exam provides valuable insights into how your pelvic floor muscles are functioning, shedding light on the potential causes of your symptoms.

Recognizing that you are the leader of your body, it’s vital to emphasize that consent and comfort are my top priorities. If you’re not ready for the pelvic floor exam, that’s okay. We can spend our time evaluating other parts of the body that affect the pelvic floor. Posture, visceral mobility, and hip strength and mobility can significantly impact the pelvic floor. For those not ready for a pelvic floor exam, these assessments can be a great starting point and go a long way toward identifying the drivers of your pelvic floor dysfunction. Interestingly, these aspects of the physical exam are so essential that I include them in many evaluations, regardless of completing an internal examination or not. The role, strength, and mobility of the hip alone in pelvic floor function merit a whole conversation!

After gathering your in-depth history and obtaining results from the physical examination, the journey toward wellness begins! Together, we’ll create a plan tailored to your lifestyle. Goals and treatment plans will be attainable, allowing you to drive your recovery. Some treatments may involve manual in-office work followed by specialized homework. In other cases, neuromuscular re-education may be necessary to teach individuals to move throughout their day without clenching their pelvic floor in response to stress or heavy physical exertion. Variety and individuality are key, as two patients with similar symptoms may have different causes, requiring specialized and thoughtful care.

At the end of your first visit, you should leave with a good understanding of what’s going on, how we plan to treat it, and a general estimation of how long it should take to feel better. I take time at the end of our first treatment to discuss exactly what we’ll be doing in follow-up visits and why these treatments are essential. It’s crucial to me that you leave treatment feeling confident in your next steps.

 

Neuromuscular Education

What a term, right? It sounds fancy, but it’s also straightforward and simple. It answers the question, “After therapy, what keeps my symptoms from coming back?” Neuromuscular education is a broad treatment modality used across different disciplines, from teaching stroke survivors to rise from a chair independently to helping office workers with sore necks sit more ergonomically at work.

In the pelvic floor world, neuromuscular education is a significant part of what we do and forms a crucial part of treatment, regardless of the practitioner’s treatment philosophy. At Nurtured, I use neuromuscular education in many ways with the goal of fostering pain-free pelvic floor function.

The first step of pelvic floor neuromuscular education is to teach the pelvic floor what “relaxed” feels like, what an effective contraction (kegel) feels like, and what an effective “push” for bowel movements feels like. In individuals with pelvic floor dysfunction, these movements can be challenging, and it’s not uncommon for them to believe they are pushing effectively when they are actually closing their anal sphincters—a phenomenon known as paradoxical contraction. By taking time to “teach” the pelvic floor how to contract and, more importantly, relax when needed, we can reduce clenching patterns that may lead to pelvic floor dysfunction in the future.

 

Strengthening

It’s so much more than kegeling! If someone tells you to “fix your pelvic floor, JUST do some kegels,” RUN! We require more complex training to meet goals like running without incontinence, jumping and dancing without the feeling of prolapse, and much more. No one should be afraid to laugh, cough, or sneeze because they might leak. You should be able to jump on the trampoline with your kids or take that run to clear your mind.

Consider someone who leaks a bit when lifting something heavy. When picking up something substantial, like your toddler, our core muscles need to stabilize our spine, requiring a lot from the pelvic floor. If the rest of our core is weak because we’ve only been doing kegels, we may find ourselves straining and holding our breath to lift our kids. Straining can put a lot of downward pressure on the bladder, resulting in leaks. To address this issue, we must treat the pelvic floor, but for the pelvic floor to have a real fighting chance to keep us dry, we must also address the rest of the core.

Additionally, strengthening outside the pelvic floor allows us to return to the activities and exercises we love, which we may have thought were causing the pelvic floor to over-tighten. As we’ve discovered, the pelvic floor is part of the core, and if the rest of the components are weak or not working at the appropriate time, the pelvic floor can overwork and over-tighten. It benefits us to approach strengthening from a holistic standpoint when rehabilitating the pelvic floor.

 

How Do I Know If Nurtured Pelvic Health & Wellness Is Right for Me?

This is the question I was hoping you would ask! First off, let’s chat—schedule the discovery call and let’s get you on the road to wellness. Pelvic floor therapy is a specialized niche in the OT/PT world. To become a diverse, well-rounded, and educated therapist, you must love to learn and carry the compassion and understanding of functional movements. Researching pelvic floor practitioners and practices can be overwhelming! I have spent years studying maternal health, pelvic floor, and developmental continuums. My philosophy is and will always be that my clients lead their treatment, with me as the guide. No one knows your body better than you. As a mother myself, I understand the overwhelming nature of pregnancy appointments, followed by the loud, overstimulating, medical delivery with nothing more than a 6-week checkup. I know that recovery and building a team of professionals are essential in your wellness and motherhood journey.

We help optimize your motherhood journey through personalized pelvic health care, taking you from a place of pain, leaking, or discomfort to a place of recovery and wellness. Becoming a mom is incredible, but it’s definitely not like the movies depict it! Recovery from childbirth can be challenging, not just physically. No one prepares you for the combination of physical and emotional challenges of birth recovery. And let’s be honest—a 6-week “checkup” just isn’t enough. Just because some symptoms are common during pregnancy and postpartum doesn’t mean they are normal and you have to live with them.

Still have questions? Call or email today for your free 15-minute discovery call at 201-338-0727 or email me at RachelKellyOT@nurturedpelvichealthwellness.com.

Unleash Your Body’s Natural Power this Winter with IV Therapy
By: Rebecca Powers, MSN, APRN, FNP-C

As winter approaches, staying healthy becomes a top priority. Your body’s immune system is its first line of defense against illness, but it needs to be strong to work effectively. This is when your body craves an extra dose of vitamins and minerals to support its immune system. Fortunately, there’s an innovative solution that can help you supercharge your natural defenses and achieve your wellness goals: Intravenous (IV) therapy.

IV therapy offers a unique approach to health and well-being by delivering concentrated doses of vital compounds, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other essential nutrients, more effectively than oral supplements. At Core Therapies, we believe in the power of personalized IV therapy to help you become the healthiest version of yourself. In this blog, we’ll explore how IV therapy can boost your body’s natural power, detoxify your system, and improve your overall well-being.

The Immune System and IV Therapy

Your immune system plays a crucial role in keeping you healthy, but it needs constant support to function at its best. IV therapy can help bolster your body’s natural defenses by providing it with the nutrients it needs to combat viruses and bacteria effectively. At Core Therapies, we customize each IV infusion to meet your unique needs, ensuring that your body gets the right mix of vitamins and minerals to enhance your immune system’s strength.

IV therapy is not just reserved for times when you’re feeling under the weather. These infusions can be tailored to address various health concerns and goals. Whether you’re looking to recover from an illness, prevent sickness, or simply optimize your well-being, IV therapy is a versatile tool to help you achieve your desired outcomes.

 

Detoxification and the Importance of IV Therapy

Our bodies are constantly bombarded with toxins, from environmental pollutants to natural toxins produced by everyday bodily functions. Over time, these toxins can accumulate, compromising our overall health and well-being. IV therapy offers a solution to this problem by aiding in the efficient removal of these harmful substances from our bodies.

Regular IV infusions help flush out accumulated toxins, resulting in a range of benefits. Firstly, you’ll likely notice an improvement in how you feel. Detoxification reduces inflammation, enhances cognitive function, and strengthens the immune system. These combined effects contribute to an overall sense of well-being, making you feel healthier, more energetic, and mentally sharp.

 

IV Therapy at Your Convenience

At Core Therapies, we understand that traveling can sometimes be a challenge, especially when you’re not feeling your best. That’s why we’ve introduced our mobile concierge team at NJ Mobile IV. With our service, you can bring the power of IV hydration and wellness therapy right to your doorstep, whether you’re at home, the office, or a hotel. Our goal is to make health and wellness more accessible to everyone in New Jersey, ensuring that you have easy access to the rejuvenating benefits of IV therapy.

As winter approaches, taking care of your health becomes paramount. IV therapy offers a powerful way to boost your body’s natural power by delivering concentrated nutrients to strengthen your immune system, enhance your overall well-being, and detoxify your body. At Core Therapies, we’re dedicated to providing personalized IV therapy that caters to your unique needs and goals. With our mobile concierge team at NJ Mobile IV, you can now enjoy the benefits of IV therapy from the comfort of your own space. Take your wellness to the next level and give your immune system the boost it deserves. 

Contact us today to book an in-house or at-home IV infusion at www.njmobileiv.com, and step into a healthier, revitalized you this winter.

 

Hello Motherhood
By: Dr. Katie Gleisner

As many of you know, my husband and I recently welcomed our first baby earthside. We are soaking up every moment with Baby Leif, and are in awe of this new little life. Motherhood is a new and wild ride. During pregnancy, we visualize our ideal birth, care for our growing bodies and babies, and prepare our nest for their arrival. We read books, seek support and wisdom, and receive a lot of  advice. Once our babies arrive we embark upon a new journey as mothers. As a new mama, this is uncharted terrain and I wanted to share a few things that have eased the transition and been helpful for Leif and I. 

1. Nursing Lying Down

Breastfeeding is the greatest nest I have created for Leif. Through my pregnancy I prepared our physical nest, as well as my  breasts for they would be his greatest source of comfort, warmth, security, love, and nourishment. I read La Leche League’s The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and took a class offered by International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC). Both were invaluable resources for Leif and I.  

Nursing is an intricate dance between mother and baby. Our anatomy and baby’s influence comfort and positioning preferences. There are a variety of nursing positions, cradle, cross cradle, football hold, semi-reclined, and side lying, with subtle variations for each mother-baby dyad. Leif and I have found nursing lying down in both semi-reclined and side lying positions to be comfortable and easeful. We nurse most often in a semi-reclined position, as it is comfortable for me, and easy for him to latch and release gas. I create a fortress of pillows, two behind my head and bolsters beneath my arms and knees. This support creates a gentle angle keeping Leif’s head higher than his feet, which is essential for proper circulation and gastrointestinal motility. Most newborns nurse and rest well on the sloping chest of their mothers. Side lying is our other favorite position. We face one another on our sides in the cuddle curl position. I place a bolster in between my knees, behind each of our backs, and rest my head on a pillow to keep us supported. Then I scooch Leif down, so his eyes are level with my nipple and I apply gentle pressure in between his shoulder blades to arch his back. This elicits the gape reflex, tipping his head back so his chin contacts my breast, for a deep latch. We alternate sides throughout our daytime and evening rests. Leif and I have found semi-reclined and side lying breastfeeding to be wonderfully comfortable alternatives positions to incorporate while nursing. 

 

Helpful Books:

La Leche League’s The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, and Teresa Pitman

 

2. Rest Well 

Sleep at the end of pregnancy often can become challenging due to physical discomfort, shifting hormones, and anticipation to meet our babies. It seems to be our body’s way of preparing us for newborn sleep. After the birthing marathon and joy of meeting our new little one, we are emotionally and physically fatigued. As new moms, we are told to “rest when baby rests,” which can be easier said than done. However, being horizontal and cuddling with Leif when he rests is both restorative and grounding for us both. 

While prepping our nest for Leif’s arrival we set up his bassinet, and created a safe bedsharing set up. I anticipated that he would join me in bed for nursing and naps. Since joining us earthside, Leif prefers and only sleeps when on or cuddled against me. Our babies derive comfort and security from our warmth, smell, rhythmic heartbeat and breathing patterns. For ten months, they were surrounded and protected by our bodies. It is quite an adjustment entering this bright, loud, and cold world. For most of human history, babies have safely slept alongside their moms, just as other mammalian mother-baby dyads, for comfort, nourishment, and protection. In the Western world, over the past hundred years there has been a shift away from bedsharing; however, bedsharing is a safe option to support the mother-baby connection, breastfeeding, and our newborn’s developing nervous and respiratory systems. We follow The La Leche League’s Safe Sleep Seven for sweet sleep together.

The Safe Sleep Seven are simple steps to prepare a safe sleeping arrangement for you and your babe. The La Leche League’s guidelines for safe bedsharing are the following. Mom needs to be a non-smoker, sober (no alcohol, drugs, or medications that make her drowsy), and breastfeeding. Baby needs to be full-term and healthy, kept on their back when not nursing, and unswaddled in a light pair of jammies. Both mom and baby need to be on a safe, firm surface. We follow the Safe Sleep Seven and nurse in the cuddle curl position, side lying for daytime and evening sleep. The cuddle curl position is a natural, protective position that all mamas find themselves in, as it is an innate, natural way to protect your baby while sleeping. Mom lays on her side facing her baby with her knees up and arm tucked under her head or pillow to curl around her baby, creating a protected space. Another mother-baby connection that provides a fascinating layer of bedsharing protection is breastfeeding hormones synching mom up to her baby’s sleep cycle. I often wake before Leif does, and am able to gaze at his beautiful face as he exits his light sleep cycle. Together we nurse and gently fall back to sleep for a few more hours, thus allowing us to wake for the day feeling rested and connected. 

 

Helpful Books:

La Leche League’s Sweet Sleep: Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family by Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, Linda J. Smith, and Teresa Pitman

Safe Infant Sleep: Expert Answers to Your Cosleeping Questions by James J. McKenna, PhD

 

3. Wrapped in Love 

Baby wearing in a wrap, ring sling, or soft structured carrier keeps our babies snuggled close and allows us mamas to be hands free. Mothers around the world, and other mammals, have always carried their babies. It allows us to move freely, an opportunity to complete a few tasks, nurse, and creates a perfect nap location for our babies. Leif enjoys being worn in a soft wrap, which is cozy for us both and easier on my body to carry him centered on my chest. 

Wearing our babies is an innate mammalian activity. A study found that when infants under six months old are carried, they react like a baby mouse being carried by his mother. Our baby’s natural response is to settle and relax when carried, which makes sense that a baby needs to respond calmly and quietly when his mother is moving him around. We move our babies for a reason, and this reason could be for survival or an opportunity to vacuum. Our urge to carry and wear our babies, and their response to it are hardwired to the mother-baby dyad. Whether Leif is in a content or fussy mood, wrapping him against my chest is soothing to his nervous system, calming to an upset belly, and perfect for napping. 

Our babies are growing and changing daily, and we as moms learn their cues and fine nuances to meet their needs. I approach each day with grace as Leif and I learn more about one another, and fall deeper in love. With each of his cues, coos, and cries I am able to respond, cuddle, nurse, and chat to care for my little one. The mother-baby connection is a beautiful, unique relationship that allows us to be attuned to our baby’s needs and strengthens our attachment to one another. Some days there are more tears, spit up, gas and blow outs, but the sweet milky smiles and bright loving eyes are everything. I am enjoying each moment with Leif, as his mama.

Chiropractic Care for Men Unlocking Strength

Chiropractic Care for Men: Unlocking Strength and Performance
by Dr. Sebastian Poma

At Core Therapies, we understand that our patient base is likely to consist of more women than men. It’s not because men experience fewer pain ailments, but rather because they often tend to wait it out, believing that the pain will disappear on its own. However, we want to emphasize the importance of addressing these issues sooner rather than later.

When it comes to acute low back pain, which is commonly experienced by men due to their demanding physical activities or strenuous work, it’s essential to recognize that strong backs don’t simply “blow out” without a significant injury. Instead, what often happens is that the structures in the back gradually tighten up over time, accumulating stress. This, in turn, leads to weakened core back muscles and the emergence of “fragile back” syndrome. The result? A seemingly minor movement like bending over to pick up a golf club or a child can suddenly trigger excruciating pain.

This is where specifically applied chiropractic adjustments come into play. Our chiropractors are skilled at realigning and mobilizing the tight joints, restoring proper movement and functionality. By addressing structural alignment and mobility, these adjustments enable the deep core muscles to engage and strengthen, providing the necessary support for the back.

Energy, agility, and endurance are crucial for most activities we engage in daily. However, misalignments in the body, impaired nerve function, and weak muscles can drain your energy and limit your performance. With chiropractic care, your body can regain its ability to focus its energy on the things you want and need to do. Even after just a few visits, many men report noticeable improvements in their energy levels and overall performance.

It’s important to recognize that prevention is key. Many men tend to adopt the mindset of “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” Unfortunately, this often leads to delayed treatment when the problem could have been easily prevented. In fact, studies show that one-third of untreated lower back problems eventually escalate to become persistent and disabling. By seeking chiropractic care, you can take a proactive approach to your health and well-being.

At Core Therapies, our chiropractors will provide you with a comprehensive assessment of your condition before embarking on a mutually agreed-upon course of treatment. Our approach extends beyond pain relief. We develop a strategy to improve movement, prevent the recurrence of injuries, and promote healing and strengthening of the back.

Don’t let pain hold you back or wait until it becomes a chronic issue. Take charge of your health and schedule a consultation with our experienced chiropractors today. Let us help you regain your strength, energy, and overall well-being, so you can live life to its fullest potential.

Motherhood

Motherhood
by Dr. Melissa Sonners, DC

Motherhood is a beautiful journey, but it can also be incredibly challenging. As a mama, you are responsible for taking care of your children, managing the household, and often working outside the home as well. With so many responsibilities, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself.  At the same time, with all we juggle there is really not much wiggle room for feeling sub-par or letting our health slip and this is where I feel daily self-care (even if JUST for a few minutes) is so incredibly crucial.  

Here are just SOME of the MANY benefits of self-care: 

  1. Reduced stress: Self-care activities can help mothers reduce stress levels and improve their overall well-being. When mothers take time to care for themselves, they can better manage the demands of motherhood and avoid burnout.
  2. Improved physical health: Regular exercise and a healthy diet are important components of self-care. These activities can improve physical health, boost energy levels, and prevent chronic illnesses.
  3. Better mental health: Self-care activities such as meditation and journaling can help mothers manage their emotions and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Taking the time to care for oneself can also improve self-esteem and promote positive body image.
  4. Improved relationships: When mothers take care of themselves, they are better equipped to care for their families. By prioritizing self-care, mothers can build stronger relationships with their partners, children, and friends.

We are all super busy so HOW do we MAKE TIME for this daily ritual?

  1. Schedule time each day for self-care activities, even if it’s just 10 or 15 minutes.  I do this in the morning before the house is awake.  Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier.  Getting 15 minutes less sleep won’t negatively impact you much and getting 15 minutes to YOURSELF at the beginning of your day WILL DEFINITELY positively impact you and everyone around you.  This could be as simple as taking a walk around the block, meditating for a few minutes, or enjoying a cup of tea alone with no disturbance.  Keep your phone on airplane mode. JUST BE.  Check out My FREE Magical Mornings Challenge if you need help getting started.  In it I share the 5 tools I use daily to take care of myself.  This can literally all be done in 15 minutes. Click here for all the info!
  2. Ask for help: This is honestly still a work in progress for me and at the same time it’s so very important.  It truly takes a village and we NEED to lean on others to help. We aren’t meant to be able to juggle it all and when we try to it impacts our physical AND mental health. Work on RECEIVING by saying “Thank you” when someone compliments you or offers to hold the door, or help you in any way.  This will help strengthen your “receiving” and your “ask for help” muscle :p 
  3. Prioritize sleep: Getting enough sleep is essential for physical and mental health. Try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night.  I cannot stress this one enough! Aim to be in bed, lights out by 10pm.  Need help with your sleep hygiene? Check out a recent blog I wrote on the subject here https://beinspiredmama.com/sleep-hygiene/ 
  4. Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and focusing on the here and now.  This is so simple as it literally is the act of doing NOTHING but 100% focusing on what you are doing.  Yet for many (including myself) it’s not always easy and takes some practice.  I flex this muscle while doing the dishes.  Try it. Focus only on what you are doing… “I’m soaping the plate, scrubbing the plate, making circles etc” and anytime you catch your mind drifting away from the present moment, bring it back.  Notice how often throughout the day our mind wanders from what we are actually PRESENTLY engaged in.  Paying attention to and focusing on your breathing is another great way to get you into the PRESENT moment.  

Self-care is essential for EVERYONE.  Neglecting ourselves can have negative impacts not just on us, but all those around us.

Remember, taking care of yourself is not selfish—it’s necessary for being the best mama you can be.

I’d love to hear from you.  What’s the ONE thing you will do for yourself today? 

Email inspiredmama@beinspiredmama.com and connect with Dr. Melissa!

“The Secret to Health & Longevity — The Blue Zone Perspective”
by Dr. Sonia Marques

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” – Leo Tolstoy

As the seasons shift, the springtime rebirth inspires and motivates us to become the best and healthiest versions of ourselves.  Long sunny days and warmer weather encourage us to emerge into the outdoors and come out of our hibernating states.  When I envision what an ideal life looks like, in the simplest terms, I imagine a long life filled with robust physical, mental and emotional health.  This has led me to revisit the phenomena known as ‘The Blue Zones’. 

Blue zones are regions in the world where people live, or have recently lived, longer than average. The 5 blue zones are Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Icaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California. Although genetics cannot be discounted, lifestyle choices are far more important when determining health and longevity.  A 2018 article published in the journal Genetics cites that heritability of human genetics may be as low as 10%.  Despite the genetic, geographical and cultural differences between the different zones, there are common threads that run throughout them:

  • Move naturally — Whether it’s walking to the local grocery store or walking to a friend’s house, movement is key. Many Blue Zone centenarians maintain high levels of physical activity and frequently engage in manual labor.  An example is Sardinia’s community of shepherds, who are known to walk more than 5 miles a day.
  • Know your purpose — Individuals who express a clear goal in life live longer than those who do not.  This sense of purpose is deemed to be the source of life satisfaction, which leads to a longer and happier life.
  • Sleep/DownShift — Chronic stress leads to chronic inflammation, which is associated with every major age-related disease.  Taking naps, reflecting through prayer or a day of rest are all examples of routines Blue Zoners use to mitigate stress in their lives.
  • 80% Rule — This strategy focuses on not overeating.  Whether it’s repeating a mantra before meals as a reminder to eat until 80% full like the Okinawans or eating the last and smallest meal in the late afternoon or early evening, moderation and awareness are key.
  • Plant-based diet — The diet of Blue Zone Centenarians is based largely on plants. The cornerstone of most centenarian diets is beans, including fava, black, soy and lentils. Small amounts of lean, high quality meats are consumed on occasion.
  • Moderate alcohol consumption — Thanks to healthy antioxidants, wine consumed in moderation (1 glass daily) and ideally with friends at mealtime can reduce the risk of heart disease and slow the progression of neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s Disease. (Although there are many studies that promote the health benefits of wine polyphenols, it has not been conclusively determined that they contribute to longevity as per Molecule 2020). 
  • Sense of Community — All but 5 of the 263 centenarians interviewed in the original Blue Zones areas studies (2004) belonged to some faith-based community.  Being a member of a civic or faith-based organization can provide a sense of belonging and create strong social relationships and add years to life. 
  • Loved ones first — The cornerstone of all Blue Zone communities are strong family ties. 
  • Right Tribe — The world’s longest-lived people are either born into or choose to create social circles that support and promote healthy behaviors. 

While our own journeys to good health, longevity and happiness are unique, there is no denying that many, if not all, Blue Zone tenets can lead to a life of satisfaction, fulfillment and wellness. 

 

Benefits of Chiropractic for Kids: Babies to Young Athletes

Benefits of Chiropractic for Kids: Babies to Young Athletes
By: Dr. Meagan McGowan

Children are some of our most frequent visitors at Core Therapies, however we are often asked by adults “why would a child need to be adjusted?” 

It is often thought that Chiropractic care is used solely to help relieve pain or injury.  It can certainly help with that, however getting adjusted helps restore and improve the balance of the many intricate systems within the body.  The human body, whether big or small, is intricately designed with communication highways, check and balance systems, reflexes and in the presence of stress learned compensation patterns.  

A Doctor of Chiropractic who specializes in treating children can identify a child’s stress or imbalance when they cannot verbalize how they are feeling.  Let’s go through a couple of examples!

Babies – A baby may present irritable, unsettled, or seemingly uncomfortable in a given position, either on their back or stomach.  A baby may even, innately, writhe their head back and forth.  When this presents to us in the office, oftentimes the baby has tension or a fixation in the neck (cervical spine), preventing them from settling in comfortably in certain postures. Now a baby cannot tell you they have a sore or stiff neck, so they may settle into a position with a head tilt away from discomfort (most noticeable when sleeping, or in carseat), they may have trouble latching on a specific side because of their restriction, they may present with poor digestion or motility in their belly, ear infections due to poor drainage within the ear canal, etc.  Causes are vast, some of which include, fixed posture in utero, interventions at birth, oral ties like upper lip or tongue ties or teething.  Chiropractic can help relieve the tension, restore movement to the restricted joints, all by applying very light manual vibration or soft tissue massage.  

Toddlers & Young Children – Many times toddlers present in the office because parents are concerned about how they’re moving, why they aren’t sleeping, constipation, energy level (too high or too low), immune system stress, and the occasional bump or bruise.  However the child presents, we look at the whole child, meaning, a parent may provide a history with the focus on one of the above, but as mentioned, their little body is a network of systems. If one area is affected, other areas will show imbalance or measures of compensation.  Sometimes children this age can help explain how they feel, and deciphering or decoding the noises they use, to do so, can take a degree in itself!!…However, when they experience relief and they smile, settle, melt into your table, or pop up without a second thought, the body has restored its balance and all systems go!

The Active Child or Young Athlete – Kids are on the move and there is no shortage of opportunity or activity to sign up for.  Some kids need to decompress from their schedule alone!  Add in the demand of performance on their young body, whether they are subject to repetitive practice or physical stress from a contact sport, rest and recovery efforts are necessary.  Even though kids seem to bounce back faster, every little microtrauma leaves a mark on their body’s overall blueprint.  Repetitive stress at any age can lead to breakdown or injury.  Receiving regular manual therapy, whether that be adjustments or soft tissue work, not only identifies signs of overuse/disuse, but can aid in injury prevention long term.  Recommended active care exercises continue recovery outside of the treatment room, like foot drills for the sprained ankle, core exercises for the weak low back, or rotational exercises for the sports that favor a dominant side.

Chiropractic care for children goes far beyond the stereotype of back pain and supports development at every stage. Those who specialize in treating children understand the intricate check and balance systems of the body and the speed at which the body matures.  Identifying and treating small stressors in these growing bodies can help children grow with the most optimal health! 

To schedule an appointment with a provider who is certified through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) with extensive training and experience, please call our office at 973-240-7251

Dr. Meagan McGowan, Dr. Sonia Marques, and Dr. Katie Gleisner is certified through the ICPA.

Tendon Health

Tendon Health
By: Dr. Matt McGowan, D.C

As I reflect on my journey back from a ruptured bicep tendon over the last 4 months, I felt it imperative to pass along important information regarding tendon health. My injury was 100% due to overuse. “Overuse is often synonymous with terms like ‘Chronic Degeneration or  Repetitive Stress’.” Over time if we continually use a joint in the same repeated patterns under any load, we can be causing a long term negative effect on our tendons integrity at that joint.  A person can be very active, and in relatively good health and have unknown problems brewing at their tendons. Statistically, males in their 40’s-50’s tend to be subject to tendon failures the most, but it can honestly happen to anyone who repeatedly loads their tendons.  

So what does it mean to cause repetitive stress on a joint?  It can be a multitude of scenarios; an example can be someone who works with their hands often, a mason lifting and cutting stones over and over again. It can be the pickleball newbie that is so excited about the game that they play 4 times a week for several hours at a clip. It can be the person who has been doing the same exercise routine in the gym for the last 30 years with little to no variation. Any of these scenarios can demonstrate how simple activities that we take for granted can be causing a long term overload on the tendon.  

The hardest part about these injuries is that there are often no warning signs. I never had any pain in my bicep, it never felt tight. In fact most people who rupture their Achilles tendon, never have any warning sign until it pops. The good news is that there are ways we can alter our training to help avoid these tendon issues and ruptures. The most challenging part is staying self aware of our activities and loading patterns and being self accountable to make ourselves do the preventative work. This is where I failed myself. I did not respect the amount of load I was putting on my biceps on a daily basis. If I had taken certain steps in how I train, this may have been avoided.

What I feel are the most three most effective ways to avoid major tendon failure are:

  1. Proper nutrition. Avoid any foods that have an inflammatory effect on your body. Try to limit cheat meals and highly processed foods.
  2. Vary your activity as much as you can control it. Obviously if your job is working on a factory line, you cannot change this, but if you are a runner who loves to jog on a treadmill 5-6 times a week and you never change from that, then adding in other forms of exercises in replacement on 1-2 days can go a long way. 
  3. The most important thing you can do is include eccentric loaded exercises to your routine. The eccentric phase of the exercise is commonly known as the negative phase. The most simple way to explain a negative phase is the phase in which you return the weight back to its starting point. It is when the muscle is elongating. For example with my bicep, normally when people lift weights for biceps there is a smooth cadence of 1-2 seconds pulling up, and often 1 second going down. The key for tendon health is loading the muscle on the way down in a slow and controlled manner.  

A great start for anyone who feels that they may find themselves undergoing repetitive load or stress should take the following steps:

  1. Figure out what joint/tendons may be under repeated stress.
  2. Figure out what exercise can be done to load that tendon directly.
  3. Perform 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions of that exercise with following cadence:

2 second concentric phase (shortening phase)/ 5-7 second eccentric

(lengthening phase)

Not every exercise of every workout has to be done in this manner, but adding this in every few weeks is very important to preventing tendon breakdown. If you feel like you may be exposing yourself to tendon overload but do not know where to start or what exercises to do, come in and get it evaluated and we can certainly help you out.