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simple swaps for spring cleaning

Spring Cleaning Simple Swaps
by Dr. Melissa Sonners

I don’t know about you, but the warm weather, longer days, and sunshine certainly boosts my energy and motivation for Spring cleaning here in New Jersey! Jason and I are tackling closets, attics, and clearing so much clutter this month; our home already feels so much lighter! I know Spring is also a time when many of us will do much needed deep cleaning, which feels so good for our mental health, but are you aware of the damages these products can cause to our physical health?

Check out these facts shared by the  Environmental Workers Group (

  • Fumes from some cleaning products may induce asthma in otherwise healthy individuals. A large and growing body of evidence links frequent use of many ordinary cleaning supplies at home or on the job with development of asthma and other respiratory problems. It is already known that cleaning product fumes may trigger attacks in persons previously diagnosed with asthma.

  • Common cleaning ingredients can be laced with the carcinogenic impurity 1,4-dioxane. Independent tests have detected the presence of 1,4-dioxane in numerous name-brand cleaning supplies. Other products contain preservatives that release low levels of cancer-causing formaldehyde.

  • Children born to women who held cleaning jobs while pregnant have an elevated risk of birth defects, according to a 2010 study by the New York State Department of Health.

  • Some cleaners can cause chemical burns and poisonings as well as less severe irritations and allergies. Severe physical reactions signal that consumers should take care anytime they use these products.

  • Despite these health concerns, cleaning product labels often do not give consumers enough information about their ingredients to allow people to make informed decisions on which ones are safer and which ones might harm their health.

Despite our desire to have a clean, fresh smelling home, I’m not sure anyone wants to expose their family to harmful products that could impact their health. So what do we do? Our family does “simple swaps.”

Thankfully, there are many products now available that smell good, are environmentally conscious AND pose little to no risk to our health. During the month of May, I will be sharing my tried and true as well as some new favorites on our social media platforms. I will show you simple swaps for your traditional products that can be purchased, as well as some that can be made at home for little to no cost. Be sure to follow us so you don’t miss any of these helpful and empowering tips!

Drs. Sonners Youtube:

Drs. Sonners Facebook:

Drs. Sonners Instagram:

Core Therapies Facebook:

Core Therapies Instagram:

Core Therapies Website:

“Pick me up Buttercup!”
April’s Oil Spotlight…all things Citrus!
by Dr. Meagan McGowan

At one time, one of our smallest members of Core Therapies told me that Orange Essential Oil smelled like “sunshine in a bottle.” Well he now towers over me in height and since then I have forever referenced Orange as “sunshine in a bottle!”

Citrus essential oils, including but not limited to Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, and Lime have a vast array of uses as many of the oils do.

  • They can be safely used topically to uplift your mood.
  • Try massaging a drop of Orange or Grapefruit into your scalp then cupping your hands around your nose and inhaling deeply.
  • Did you know Lemon essential oil can remove adhesive residue from a label or sticker? Rather than storing a chemical-ridden spray bottle of adhesive remover, you can feel more comfortable using a drop of lemon on a paper towel on that new toy or dish!
  • Forgot the lime at the store and making guacamole? No problem! Use a toothpick, insert it into your bottle of Lime essential oil, then give your guac a stir. Not strong enough? Grab another toothpick and repeat until your desired taste is achieved.
  • Don’t forget the kiddos! There is a beautiful line of essential oils dedicated to our kids (loved by adults as well!) and one in particular is a citrus based blend called “Kid Power.” Conveniently already diluted in a roller bottle, apply it to the inside of your kids wrist or dab it just underneath the ears to inspire and encourage feelings of strength and confidence. Its uplifting scent comes in a bottle as well and can be diffused while they do their homework or just need to relax!

Because Citrus essential oils are cold pressed from the rind, they can be safely ingested, inhaled, and applied topically. It is recommended that when using topically, that area not be immediately exposed to the sun due to photosensitivity properties. I always advise to start out with less or dilute a little bit more, because more can always be added, but essential oils are so heavily concentrated, a little goes much further than you would think!

For more information on Citrus oils, including our favorite diffusing blends, follow us on our social media pages.

Natural Approach to Seasonal Allergies

A Natural Approach to Seasonal Allergies
by Dr. Sonia Marques

As the weather warms up and spring approaches, allergy season returns for many of us with a vengeance. We all know the telltale signs: the post-nasal drip, itchy eyes, stuffy nose, congested sinuses and sneezing. It’s like having a constant cold for days, weeks, or even months on end, with no respite.

Seasonal allergies occur when the body overreacts to an environmental trigger such as pollen, dust, dander, mold, or smoke. When the exposure occurs in susceptible people, the body’s immune system releases an inflammatory chemical (histamine) that causes blood vessels to become engorged and results in redness, swelling and itchiness.

Most of us are aware of the prescription and over the counter medications that are commonly used to treat allergies. These drugs may contain active ingredients such as cetirizine, fexofenadine and diphenhydramine, which may cause common side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, muscle and back pain, headaches and dry mouth. While these do treat the symptoms of allergies and colds, they do nothing for the underlying causes.

When seeking a holistic option to combat common allergens, minimizing exposure to the triggering factors will help to minimize the effects of allergies. Ways to mitigate the body’s response by reducing the triggers include avoiding carpet and upholstered furniture that oftentimes harbors dust mites, regularly washing rugs/sheets/blankets/pillowcases, vacuuming daily with a high efficiency air filter (HEPA) style filter and utilizing a HEPA air purifier. When outdoors for prolonged periods, bathing and washing your hair as well as changing your clothes will help minimize spreading pollen indoors.

Diet also plays a vital role in our body’s response to external stimuli in at least two ways: first by preparing the body’s immune system to better fight (or prevent) the allergic response and second by helping to alleviate the symptoms of the response. Although maintaining healthy nutrition habits is always important to our wellbeing, during allergy season the following tips are especially important: eat whole, home prepared meals as often as possible to help build the body’s immune response; avoid sugars, particularly added sugars, which lead to inflammation in the body and can cause or worsen the effects of allergies and avoid dairy products, which promote mucus production and exacerbate allergy symptoms.

In addition to the avoidance of environmental triggers and dietary guidelines, chiropractic treatment is another wonderful and natural method of treating the cause of allergies. Spine misalignments prevent proper brain to body communication, which can reduce your immune system’s ability to work properly. When your immune system is not working as it should, your body will continue to overreact to perceived allergens. Receiving a safe, gentle and effective chiropractic adjustment to correct the misalignments will reduce the interference to the nervous system and improve your immune health. Your immune system will then stop overreacting to perceived allergens and can help your body naturally fight off those spring allergies.

How to Body Balance during Pregnancy – Dr. Katie Gleisner

How to Body Balance during Pregnancy
by Dr. Katie Gleisner

The motherhood transition, first through the fourth trimester, shifts a woman’s physical, emotional, and energetic being.  As your body undergoes the herculean task of growing a human and a new organ, the placenta, from scratch, your bones, muscles, ligaments, and fascia shift to compensate and adapt.  These adaptations impact mom’s physical comfort during pregnancy and birth, as well as her baby’s ability to move freely in utero and descend optimally into the pelvis.  Body balancing techniques focus on gentle unwinding and myofascial release to achieve a state of balance and harmony.  These poses are simple and safe to practice on a regular basis during your pregnancy, and incorporated as birthing positions.  


Our body is dynamic and resilient, but trauma is absorbed and held in the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. We accumulate trauma as we experience life.  Torsion injuries from birth, car accidents, and falls, as well as ingrained daily movement patterns impact our structural balance.  As traumas are locked in, the body develops imbalances or biomechanical distortion patterns to compensate.  These structural imbalances create tension throughout the spine, muscles, connective tissue, and fascia.  Chiropractic, craniosacral, and myofascial techniques detect imbalances and release tension, which allows the body to unwind physical and emotional energy, and reset body balance.  Clearing biomechanical distortion patterns through bodywork and body balancing poses helps to establish healthier posture, movement patterns, nerve and musculoskeletal function, and overall well-being.


Pregnancy and birth are normal, physiological experiences for the body.  You may anticipate incremental changes throughout your pregnancy as your body grows and nurtures your baby.  Some moms experience energy shifts, headaches, sickness, breast tenderness, cramping, low back and pelvic pain during pregnancy.  Others don’t.  An individual’s “symptoms” are evidence of unique hormonal and physical changes, as well as possible body imbalances.  Uterine, fetal, and breast growth during pregnancy shift the body’s center of gravity forward, into flexion.  Simultaneously, the pelvis is tilted anteriorly, as relaxin loosens the ligaments and joints throughout the body.  These changes distort posture, biomechanics, and movement patterns, resulting in further body imbalance.  Any biomechanical distortion pattern in the mom’s structure impacts the baby’s structure.  Therefore, clearing imbalances and unwinding tension through the neuromusculoskeletal system helps to establish dynamic body balance, which during pregnancy increases comfort and ease with birth, as well as creating space for the baby to maneuver into the pelvis.


The pregnancy body balancing poses seek to balance the diaphragm, pelvic floor, and fascia of the musculoskeletal system to support a healthy pregnancy and optimal birth positioning.  They are gentle movements that should feel comfortable to breathe and settle into.  All you need to get started is your body, breath, a partner, sofa/bed, and pillow.

Diaphragm Release

Intention: Gentle release of the diaphragm and pelvic floor through broad ligament relaxation.  Diaphragm release can be safely performed throughout pregnancy.


How To:

  1. Start laying on your back or side. Place a pillow behind your head.
  2. Have your partner place one hand with their thumb pointing towards your belly button on your lower abdomen.  Their second hand contacts your sacrum.  Initially, your partner is not applying pressure, but holding space for relaxation.
  3. Begin diaphragmatic/belly breathing.  Focus on inhaling through your nose, feel your breath fill up your abdomen, and exhale through your mouth. Your partner may apply light pressure with their top hand.
  4. Be attentive for subtle movements, flutters or waves, as your body relaxes and unwinds.  Allow yourself 10-30 minutes to release and reset your body balance.


Standing Release

Intention: Gentle release of the fascia of the diaphragm and pelvic floor.  It helps to release pressure of your low back and hips, as well as balance spinal muscles.  Standing release can be used throughout pregnancy and during early labor.  It is great to do after a long car ride to relax and loosen up the muscles, fascia, and joints of the low back and pelvis. 


How To:

  1. Stand facing a wall, and place your hands or forearms against it.  Soften your knees and close your eyes, if comfortable. 
  2. Have your partner stand to your side and place their dominant hand on your sacrum.  Their fingers should be facing down on your sacrum.  Their second hand cradles your lower abdomen.
  3. Using light pressure your partner will feel for any “buckle” or “ledge” of tension in the sacrum.  They will hold gentle sustained pressure on the area, until your body releases.
  4. Breathe and allow your body to unwind tension throughout your pelvis and body.   Allow 2-5 minutes for this release. 


Side Lying Release

Intention:  A static stretch to open and soften the muscles of the pelvis and spine, as well as release sacroiliac (SI) joints.  Side Lying Release can be performed on a regular basis during pregnancy to support better fetal positioning, and during labor to reduce pain and duration.


How To:

  1. Lay on one side on a supportive surface (bed, couch).  Place a pillow beneath your head to keep your spine straight.
  2. Have your partner stand in front of you, with their leg/hip firmly against the edge of the bed to keep you stable.  Your partner will place their hands around your hip.
  3. Lift and drop your leg off the bed.  Let your leg relax and hang for 2-3 minutes.  Breathe.
  4. Repeat on the opposite side to create balance and stability in the pelvis.
  5. Stand up and walk around your space to allow for further unwinding of your pelvis.


Forward Leaning Inversion

Intention: Create space in your pelvis to help your baby get into an optimal position for birth through uterine ligament unwinding.  It can be helpful at reducing back, sacrum, and pubic bone discomfort.


How To:

  1. Kneel and hold onto the edge of your couch or top of the stairs.
  2. Carefully, lower yourself to rest your hands on the floor.  Move to your forearms.
  3. Gently tuck your chin to align your head and neck. Allow your head to hang freely.
  4. Keep your knees to the edge of the surface, and your hips up high. Listen to your body and gently tilt, sway, or circle your hips.
  5. Breathe (3 breaths or 30 seconds).
  6. Return to your hands, and lift yourself to a kneeling position. Use a partner or stool if you need help.
  7. Breathe in a high kneeling position. 
  8. Sit on your heels. Breathe.  Keep your feet together, move like a mermaid, as you swing your legs to the side and down to the floor. 
  9. Sit and breathe, as your pelvic ligaments settle into a more balanced, aligned position.


For further comfort and balancing during pregnancy, explore Spinning Babies website at, and get regular prenatal chiropractic adjustments. 



Carol Phillips, DC, Better Birth with Body Balancing 

Back pain treatments in NJ

A Natural and Effective Chiropractic Treatment for Spinal Pain

by Dr. Sebastian Poma

The vast majority of us experience pain and discomfort around our spine, muscles and joints at times. For certain individuals, pain turns into a constant condition that endures weeks, months or even years.

Prescription pain relievers can be useful at times; however, they often help only to address the symptoms and not the cause of the pain. Flexion-Distraction treatment (F&D), provides care to the joints and muscles naturally to remove discomfort and pain. 


What Is Flexion-Distraction Treatment?

Flexion-distraction treatment is performed on a sectioned table that moves as your doctor gradually puts the table into specific positions while stabilizing your spine in order to release segments, decompress the disc space and stretch the muscles. The table is used to stretch and depressurize your spine, thereby alleviating your back and radiating leg pain.

F&D can be used effectively with patients exhibiting at least one of the following:

  • sacroiliac condition
  • ankylosing spondylitis
  • sciatica
  • spondylolisthesis
  • disc herniations

But Flexion-Distraction can also be exceptionally impactful in treating muscle related issues or low back pain where there is no obvious precipitating condition. The procedure is delicate enough to be used following spinal medical procedures and can be a significant piece of a post-procedure therapy plan. 


Potential outcomes of Flexion-Distraction treatment

Patients receiving F&D are likely to experience:

  • less strain on spinal nerves and discs
  • reduced swelling of herniated discs
  • greater scope of movement and versatility
  • relief from constant back pain
  • reduced neck and low pain and migraines
  • less need for medical procedures (cortisone injections or surgery)
  • decreased back, glute and leg pain/discomfort
  • advanced overall well-being

Used frequently by chiropractors to mitigate effects of spinal stenosis, Flexion-Distraction treatment can be utilized to lessen pain and discomfort in the spine and muscles around it. It’s a great way to preserve our bodies and assist healing naturally. 


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 = 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 = 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



  • 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


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:



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.