Visit our Location
17 Hanover Rd Bldg 300
Florham Park, NJ 07932
Give us a Call
Office (973) 240-7251
Fax (973) 585-6078
Send us a Message
Mon - Sat
The Importance of our “Why” Blog Photo of our baby

The Importance of our “Why”

by Dr. Melissa Sonners
July 10, 2020

Jason and I love the Summer, the time of our children’s births, and I am once again reminded of how those births were a reflection of our relationship and how we work together to get through challenges and obstacles in life and business. In this crazy time, I wanted to share with all of you my personal guideposts when it comes to setting and attaining goals and intentions. They’ve served us well and perhaps you can apply them in your own lives.

The Importance of our “Why” Blog Photo of our baby

This picture was taken during Wyatt’s birth when we were fortunate to have the beautiful home-birth that we had worked toward for so long. We researched, we studied, we understood the physiology of birth and contractions, the purpose of the surges and sensations and the role they would play in getting our baby out in the way nature intended.

Although we spent very little time researching the best stroller, we spent much time understanding the physiology of pregnancy and birth. How to prepare my body and his to be as healthy as possible before my body grew a human. How to optimize my microbiome and environment (chemical, physical and emotional). We learned about contractions and the purpose they serve, that epidurals not only knock out the sensory nerve pathway to block the pain, but also block the motor pathway meaning my body wouldn’t be able to help our babies down the birthing canal. An epidural would also require me to be on my back (no motor or muscle control), literally minimizing my pelvic opening and the space for our baby to come out.

We clearly understood that traditional medicines and interventions had roles to play—important ones—but we knew pregnancy and birth were normal physiological events. If supported correctly, and all scans and monitoring of myself and the baby were healthy, we would be medically cleared to have our baby at home and my body would know what to do.

It was hard, it was intense, there were moments when I questioned everything and felt like giving up.

But Jason and I knew what was important to us: the most natural birth possible for our baby. And as always when we have undertaken a new “venture,” we were very clear on our WHY — in this case, why we wanted the most natural birth possible. Because our WHY was clear to us, the many obstacles during my labor and delivery (or anything else we set our intentions on) were things I understood to be part of the process. I recognized and accepted the purpose contractions served in the birthing process, rather than questioning if their intensity was “normal” (it is).

Once Jason and I set our minds to something, we may not always know HOW we are going to make it happen, but we know that we will. We follow a few simple steps to help us stay on track when setting our goal, intentions, or dreams with a deadline.

These are:
1. Be clear on WHY you want this. Our WHY becomes super important as we encounter obstacles, life challenges or “opportunities” along the way.

2. Create a network of support—your partner, a friend, family member, hired coach, etc. Know your audience and who you need to surround yourself with in order to achieve your goal.

3. If it’s not your focus, don’t focus on it. We live in an age of constant pop ups, interruptions and distractions. Being clear on what our end goal is
helps us focus on the things that bring us closer to that goal, and helps us spend less time worrying about or reacting to things that don’t.

Most importantly:

4. Stay aligned and congruent. Jason and I have one MAJOR rule when making business and personal decisions for ourselves, our companies and our family. Is this congruent with our values and morals? If so, it’s an easy YES. If not, it’s an easy NO. This not only helps prevent decision fatigue from having to spend a lot of time on every single decision that comes our way, it also helps us feel good about what we are doing, confident that we are doing it for the greater good, and I truly believe when all those things are in place, things come easily not only TO us, but THROUGH us.

I would love to hear from you. How are you continuing to move forward in regards to your goals, dreams and plans during this time? Although it may be taking a (very) different path than you had intended, perhaps you can still continue your forward momentum.

A Birth Story

A Reflection of a Birth Story

by Dr. Meagan McGowan
July 2020

We have hit our run of birthday months, a time of year that we recognize with a little more excitement. My husband (August) and I (May) bookend our boys who were born in the beautiful summer months of June and July. Every year is met with a little more anticipation of a day that celebrates them and only them!

It is certainly easy to get lost in the pleasures of surprising them with gifts or the excitement that comes from transforming a living room into a Jungle theme to match their love for animals! Every year, on each of their birth-days, I find I’m reflecting on the day our boys were actually welcomed into this world, arriving Earth-side. It is well known that I have a deep love for all aspects of women’s health including the motherhood journey. I think it is that passion that helps me willingly exist in and around that conversation each day in my treatment room. I am so fortunate to witness each woman’s journey, becoming part of their team of care providers, and listening as they process their thoughts, questions, reflections, and aspirations. Although every pregnancy is unique with its own story, as I share these conversations with women, words are often said and emotions expressed that have a certain universality and would be recognizable to many women who’ve been on his journey.

Our first son will soon be 6 years old and I can remember his birth like it was yesterday. Although this was our first time and there were a lot of unknowns, I felt my toolbox was full. His birth was relatively quick and, according to our midwives, went beautifully. I remember feeling amazed at what had just happened; I was happy, thankful, and most definitely sore. I remember thinking as the midwives left “I can’t believe you just have a baby and are immediately left with it as if you have any idea of what to do!” We learned quickly.

Our second son just turned 3. I can remember his birth just as clearly, however, not with the same elation as I remember his brother’s. He was born a very healthy blue- eyed boy who has grown a smile as bright as the sun. His birth felt like a loss of control to me, a traumatic feeling. I couldn’t find my breath, my pushing felt erratic and without rhythm, and I was yearning for something—words, advice, assistance—when all the while I was doing exactly what I should have been doing. I gave that birth every ounce of strength I had, he arrived and, again, my support team said it went beautifully.

I’ve felt confused by that ever since. I now exist with an overwhelming feeling of negativity, yet those feelings are unmatched by the others who were there. Recovery was more difficult as my body needed more time than with my first birth. Our son acclimated to the outside world well; he has a family that loves him dearly. I however was on a very different journey. I had night terrors, severe discomfort due to tearing, contractions in my breasts that were strong enough that I would have to pass off my baby until they passed while I laid in the fetal position. In my mind I was nowhere close to the shape I had been in for our first son, mentally or physically, and that was my fault. Our son had digestive struggles and needed diagnostic testing. I believed it was my fault, that I didn’t eat as cleanly as I did the first time around. His movement patterns were not developing typically—also my fault, since I didn’t exercise as regularly as I should have. He yelled a lot, especially at meal time once we started solids, he seemed angry, short fused, aggressive (yes I know he was a baby). Of course, he came out stressed, I yelled a lot while pregnant with him. At that time, we had an almost 3 year old who decided to develop a strong opinion about everything! My point is—and as irrational as some of these thoughts may be—they’re my reality, my memories, my heavy thick blanket of guilt that if given the chance to turn back time, I would have made different choices.

When I said a Mom discussing her journey often resonates with me, it is not with her specific details, but rather the general feeling of guilt, judgment, and discontent with themselves during a particular time. When we speak about it, IF we speak about, we are generally met with, “don’t feel like that,” “it’s ok,” or some other seemingly comforting line that really isn’t all that helpful. What would be helpful, in my opinion, would be if another person just held space for us, let us speak without feeling like you have to offer words of advice or solutions. Expressing thoughts in a safe space can allow for emotions to evolve, benefiting you naturally. I am excited to have that space held for me in an upcoming session with a Birth Story Mentor, a woman introduced to me by a wonderful friend who simply planted a seed of an idea a while back.

I am excited to spend time with her. She has asked me to reserve an uninterrupted hour, in a comfortable place, tea in hand if I wish as since that is what she would provide me if we were able to meet in person! She has only prepared me with the following:

The goal of a Birth Story Mentoring session is that by working with a Story Mentor trained in Birth Story Medicine, you, the Storyteller, leave with a different story than the one you came in with, as well as newly-discovered self- compassion and heart-opening perspective. 

The benefits of working through a birth story reach beyond the person who gave birth. It may benefit a spouse/partner who attended a birth, a birth provider, or other support person like a friend or parent. If you haven’t given birth yet but have thoughts or concerns heading into your birth that you’d like the opportunity to shift, this could also benefit you. Regardless of your role during a birth, if you are harnessing a moment or memory from a birth that you feel unresolved about, that maybe still weighing on your heart, when the time feels appropriate, you might consider spending time with a Birth Mentor.

For me as a mother, I am often working through feelings of guilt, or recognizing the projections of my own desires and fears. I do this so that I may allow our boys to grow up expressing themselves through the energy THEY create. I feel encouraged by the opportunity to work with a Birth Mentor, in hopes that I can bring new light to the memories of my son’s birth, although I anticipate the benefits reaching far beyond his birth alone. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you would like to discuss whether you’d like to provide yourself or someone in your life the same opportunity.

Lessons From A Pandemic - Part 1 By Dr. Jason Sonners

Lessons From A Pandemic – Part One

by Dr. Jason Sonners

As we welcome June and hope for some nice weather, we also finally see some of New Jersey’s shelter-in-place restrictions lifting. While the health and economic effects of COVID-19 are far from over, the intensity of the spreading seems to at least be slowing.

I literally have hundreds of thoughts regarding this situation that I hope to share over the next few months, but I’ll begin with this blog post.

There are still so many unanswered questions. Where did this virus come from? Are there things we could have done differently? What can we learn from our national response? Was it appropriate? Not enough? Too aggressive? Why did other countries seem to have better infection and death rates? What did other countries do in terms of sheltering or not, and what were the results of those responses?

These answers are so important because, unfortunately, this is probably not the last time something like this happens. The more we discuss the answers to these questions the more likely we will have improved responses in the future. In the meantime, what can YOU do right NOW to improve your personal possibilities?

While the list of unknowns is very long, the list of knowns is quite short, so let’s begin there. We know this is a virus. We know where in your lungs and epithelium it attacks. We know the stronger our immune system is, the better our response will be; and we know the more “other” conditions we have, the poorer our outcomes will be. Is this a black and white approach? No. Like so many illnesses it is about hedging your bets and doing the best you can to improve your odds and outcomes.

Since the onset of this virus, I have been asked by hundreds of patients what they should or could be doing. My answers today are the same as they were three months ago and focus on two conditions guaranteed to weaken your immune system:

Increased Stress – There is tons of research showing prolonged stress responses weaken our ability to handle infections. While we cannot simply remove our stress, we can work on our responses to stress. Hobbies, meditation, breathing exercises are all great ways to reduce our stress response. We offer guidance at Core Therapies, so please talk with your provider to explore options that may work for you.

Blood Glucose imbalance – This is true at all times, but specifically for COVID-19, which seems to have a much worse response in those with obesity and diabetes. Learning how to balance your blood sugar properly through diet is critical for improving the immune system and helping to improve your body’s response to infection. We offer guidance here too, so again talk with your provider to explore these options as well. We do have a variety of solutions.

In these times, there are also specific supplements to consider that will help BUILD a healthy immune response. These recommendations are very similar to the strategies we use during flu seasons.

For building a strong immune system:

Vitamin D – improves our body’s ability to fight infection (among many other roles)
Vitamin C – plays a huge role in improving our ability to fight infection and balance inflammation
and oxidation
Zinc – another key player in immune function and fighting viral infections

For improving your ability to fight infection:

AHCC – one of our favorite immune system stimulants
Zinca Stop – a specific form of zinc utilized for fighting viral infections
Glutathione – helps keep our inflammatory response more balanced
Quercetin – improves our inflammatory response as well as our ability to move zinc into our cells

Ask us about the types and amounts of supplements that should be used to help ensure a strong immune system.

Watch for Part Two of Lessons From A Pandemic coming soon!

hand sanitizer

Maintaining Bacterial Balance in an Over Sanitized World

by Dr. Melissa Sonners 

Bacteria, viruses and fungi are important.  They are, and will always be, a part of our world.  We have to work with them, not against them.  

Amidst coronavirus, it is obviously an important time to implement drastic cleansing protocols, etc.  At the same time, I can’t help but wonder about the long term effects all of this will cause, and want to help people implement strategies now to help prevent any damage caused by destroying our microbiome. 

The microbiome is the genetic material of all the microbes – bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses – that live on and inside the human body. The number of genes in all the microbes in one person’s microbiome is 200 times the number of genes in the human genome.  What does this mean? Many are now saying that even more than our genes, the health of a person’s microbiome dictates their overall health.

Conclusion: Our microbiome is pretty important. 

We have “good” bacteria and “bad” bacteria and the symbiosis of both is essential for our health.  Studies show that a healthy balance of bacteria is not only essential for our immune system, but plays a major role in anxiety, depression, autism, cancer and much more. (  The sole purpose of probiotic supplements is to help our “good” bacteria flourish. Over sanitizing and overusing antibiotics has wreaked havoc on our microbiome and gut flora, and has caused major damage to our immune system.

So, during this time, what can we do to stay safe, limit exposure and also maintain balance in our microbiome? 

It’s possible to make changes in just one day!  Best-selling author Dr. Christiane Northrup says that the average lifespan of bacteria in your gut is just 20 minutes, so you have the opportunity to replenish and enhance your bacteria with every meal.  Read more at

Another simple tip:  Use soap and water whenever possible instead of hand sanitizer.  Our skin is one of our largest and most absorptive organs, meaning whatever goes on us, goes in us. If you aren’t near a sink and must use hand sanitizer, be sure to select one that is free of fragrance and free of triclosan, a known endocrine (hormone disruptor) that contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Using hand sanitizers may actually lower your resistance to diseases by killing good bacteria, which helps protect against bad bacteria.  More about hand sanitizers can be read here:

And here are my five easy ways to enhance your microbiome: 

  1. Eat a variety of foods.  It’s not the amount of each healthy food, it’s the variety.  In our home, we “eat the rainbow” and aim to get all the colors of the rainbow each day, if not at every meal. This helps limit (especially for kids) the “beige- only” typical American diet of chicken fingers, crackers, bread, fries, etc.  For adults, have a goal of incorporating new vegetables into your salad, or chop up a variety of vegetables, keep them in a big baggie in your freezer and each day add a handful of them to a smoothie.  It’s an easy and effective way to get in a variety of fiber sources for your microbiome. If you can get your kids to do this as well (ahem, hide it while blending like I do) it will also help minimize food sensitivities, allergies and picky eating.
  2. As much as possible, lower your stress – at a time like this that can be tricky.  My favorite way to lower stress is to pick a couple of things each day that make me happy and be sure to carve out time for them.  Going for a walk, sitting in nature, phoning a friend, meditation, breathing, watching a funny show, laughing, coloring, etc., are all great ways to lower our stress. 
  3. Eat fermented foods.  Fermented foods help seed the gut with healthy bacteria.  Some great options are sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, kefir and kombucha. 
  4. Avoid antacids.  We need our stomach acid for digestion of our nutrients.  If you have gas, bloating and other symptoms of acidic stomach you can try a digestive enzyme.
  5. Limit sugar and processed foods.  These foods are often digested too quickly and don’t allow the microbiome to “eat.” The microbiome and bacteria then become hungry and essentially feed on the cells and lining of your gut contributing to leaky gut.  Be sure to get your carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables whenever possible. 

As I have often said, this isn’t the first time we are dealing with a major virus and it won’t be the last.  I hope we are all realizing that we can’t sit around and wait for a magic pill to save us.  There are many things we can do each day to help optimize our health, enhance our immune system and increase our chances of being able to handle the viruses we are constantly exposed to.  




What To Do During Coronavirus

When All You Have is TIME

Dr. Melissa Sonners

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” ~ Buddha.

We have each experienced the last few weeks through our own “lens:”

  • Parents who are now homeschooling are more thankful than ever for the incredible jobs our teachers do. 
  • Our patients who are invested in the stock market are considering what choices to make about investing today and in the future.  
  • At Core Therapies, our lens is obviously on health and we have already learned very powerful lessons from this whole process. 

Health has always been our number one value.  When you ask people what their number one value is, they may say things like family or freedom or financial stability.  In times like this we realize that if we don’t have our health, literally none of the rest matters.  As a leader in this industry, my message and my conviction has grown even stronger.  We owe it to ourselves to do everything we can to continue to increase our health and vitality.  That is what we at Core Therapies do every day. We help build our patients’ health through chiropractic, specific functional medicine and blood labs, acupuncture, breathwork, bodywork, regenerative medicine, hyperbaric oxygen and so much more.

What To Do During Coronavirus

This isn’t the first time we have been exposed to something like this and I can guarantee it won’t be the last.  So, what do we do? Do we sit around in fear and pray we don’t get it? Do we shut down our lives in order to prevent spread?  I support the moves that are being made at
this time, but I also know this isn’t a healthy long-term answer. It’s not mentally healthy and it has the potential to destroy our economy.  There is a better way.

The best way to prepare for something like this in the future is to focus on and build our health now.  You have a choice. 

Will you let this paralyze you with fear and anxiety just waiting for it to impact you or someone you love?  Or will you choose to take active steps (no matter how small) to start building your health today? 

Even now, there are so many healthy steps we can take in and around our homes:  Going on walks, getting sunshine, stretching, doing yoga, taking time to breathe, getting more sleep, etc. You have been given the gift of time and it is one of our greatest gifts.  Embrace this time and make small steps every day to improve your health.

Core Therapies is here for you now more than ever.  The form of our support may be a bit different, but there is one thing that never changes for us:

We exist to lead the change that transforms the health of our community for generations to come.

Purple Laser Therapy NJ

How to Get Over a Cold Quicker…and Without Lifting a Finger

by Dr. Noémie Long
March 2020

As many of our patients have come to know, chiropractic adjustments help boost the immune system. Who wouldn’t want that when the winter flu makes its rounds? Many patients who have worked with the doctors here also know our favorite supplement combinations, teas, essential oils and nebulizer protocols. But what about light? Light therapies have many uses. We use it for everything from neonatal jaundice for our sickest kids in the NICU, to laser hair and scar removal. We use light therapy for filtering our organic local cider and for tanning.

Many of you know about cold laser therapy for healing, but what about when you’re sick? That’s where Purple Laser therapy comes in. Unlike the red wavelengths which help with healing, the purple light works by killing viruses, bacteria, candida and other small pathogens. This laser also has the added effect of boosting your own white blood cells and also busting biofilms. Biofilms are a slimy layer that forms on surfaces. In your home, they form in the tub and sink. In our bodies, biofilms form on your teeth (plaque), in your nose, throat, intestines, even on surgical implants like replacement hips, the screws from when you broke your wrist, and dental implants. The slime layer protects the bacteria living inside from medications (natural, herbal, or otherwise) that we may take. This is one of the ways that pathogens hide from detection. All of my patients know about my passion for medical research.

So here’s the list of pathogens that Purple Laser therapy has been shown to fight against:

Staph aureus e. coli and LPS toxins p. Gingivalis (causes cavities, gum disease)

P. Acnes (causes acne) Strep mutans (strep throat, cavities) MRSA

Pseudomonas H. Pylori Actinomyces naeslundii

cryptococcus Fusobacterium nucleatum Prevotella

Candida Saccharomyces HSV-1

CMV (cytomegalovirus) Hepatitis C Herpes zoster (chickenpox/shingles)

So, is the purple laser safe? Absolutely. There is no known risk from using this laser and it is safe for all ages. This light frequency will not hurt your own human cells. Most people feel nothing as they have the laser used on them. A typical treatment lasts about 5 minutes. For more information, don’t hesitate to ask your provider or call the office.

Do posture improving devices really work?

Do posture improving devices really work?

By: Sonia Marques D.C.
February 2020

Poor posture is a very common issue that many of us are aware of and actively trying to correct. Even with regular exercise, including Pilates and other core strengthening specific exercises, the current digital age has all of us looking at our phones or tablets or laptops. As we spend much of our day sitting and looking at various screens, we catch ourselves slouching and hunching with our chins jutting forwards. Hunching forward to get our faces close to the screen causes an imbalance in the muscles in the neck and back. The anterior muscles contract and shorten and the posterior muscles lengthen and weaken. A few minutes in an awkward position wouldn’t cause too much of an impact, but it’s easy to spend hours like this, which leads to spasms and pain and can ultimately cause permanent changes, like arthritis.

Although support braces have been around for a while, there has been an uptick in devices and sensors to correct posture. The harness style devices usually fit like a backpack and have adjustable padded straps looped over your shoulders to pull your body into better alignment. They are designed to be worn for short periods of time to retrain your musculature. The most beneficial element to these posture-correcting braces may be the increased self-awareness that comes from wearing one. Braces can be great reminders, especially in the short term for short periods of time, but the danger of relying on the brace would be that it weakens the very muscles you are trying to strengthen.

Higher tech devices that monitor your posture and buzz when you fall out of correct posture (known as “tech wearables”) can be more effective in correcting posture than support braces. The goal over time with these is to train your body to maintain proper posture without any external aids. They remind you to engage your musculature for correction and typically have metrics that allow you to monitor your progress. Although a neat device, tech wearables don’t do anything other than remind you of what you should be doing. Performing daily stretches and setting timers to limit screen time can have a similar outcome to using a gadget. Additionally, the long-term results of using tech wearables are unknown at this time. However, using a tech wearable can be the helpful little tap on the shoulder that someone might need and seeing progress on the app always has a greater outcome for success.

The best bet for posture correction is to be properly assessed and have your chiropractor or therapist come up with a unique and individualized treatment plan, including home care and proper ergonomics. Using a tech wearable during the initial stages could be a helpful tool to have in your arsenal as well.

Man In Pain

Why Does it Hurt? 

The Science Behind Pain
By Dr. Shannon Connolly


Why does it hurt? I am asked this question on a daily basis. In the treatment room, I try to simplify it as much as possible, but the real answer is quite a bit more complex. To really get an understanding of why, it would be best to start with understanding how essentially our brain and nervous system works. The complexity of pain makes it a very difficult thing to treat and work with. On a positive note, it also means that some factors are more treatable or manageable than others, but only if you have a true understanding of how pain really works.


Here are the basics:  We have sensors called nociceptors that respond to stimulus. When activated, these sensors send warning signals from the body to the spinal cord via nerves. The signals from the nerves within tissues alert that there is a potential for tissue damage. The nociceptors then send that signal to the spinal cord for further processing. Your spinal cord is like a middle man who can decide to send the signal up to the brain or to leave that nociceptive alert at the spinal cord. This means there could potentially be something “dangerous” going on, and you might not have a clue!


So with that basic understanding of how the pain response system works, now it is time to change our mindset – when we first think of “pain” or when we even feel “pain.”  We really need to stop thinking of pain in terms of causes or cures. We’re all guilty of saying to ourselves “It’s all coming from the ____, I know it!” I’ve done this myself, but sadly, we’re almost always wrong.


We have many non-specific sensitivities to pain. Pain is purely an alarm. It is a very unreliable sign of what’s really happening. Is it a fire? Is it the carbon monoxide detector? Is it the neighbor’s alarm? We have no idea!


We have assumed for a very long time that the most common cause of musculoskeletal pain, such as a “structural” or biomechanical problem – a slipped disc, a short leg, etc. – is the root cause and only explanation for that pain. For decades we’ve been told that the structural problem is causing the pain, but that explanation is also evidence that there is a lot more to pain than just screwed up tissue.


Patients are often given the alarming idea that the slightest crookedness/out-of-place joint is “serious.”  As humans, we are designed to compensate, designed to figure out how to go about our days with no concept or feeling of pain so we can survive. Did you know the world record holder for the deadlift has idiopathic scoliosis! (Lamar Gant in 1974!) If humans weren’t designed to compensate and not be “perfectly” aligned, would a 123 lb human with scoliosis be able to deadlift 524.5 lbs?


Here are a few more statistics that make this “structuralism as the answer to our pain” more questionable:

  • 96% of athletes younger than 22 will show changes on an MRI that some people call “abnormal.” But since everyone has them, how “abnormal” can they be? (Rajaswaran 2014)
  • 37% of 20 year olds with no pain have disc degeneration in their spine (Brinjikji 2015)
  • 57% of 20-50 year olds with no hip pain will have cartilage and ligament tears (Tresch 2016)


Structural problems aren’t the only pain-related theories I hear from patients.  Many come in talking about “inflammation” or “tissue damage.” This can certainly be a contributing factor in pain, but it is generally not the only factor. And you don’t need to have damage to have chronic pain. Your nervous system can become sensitized. This sensitivity can come from a number of areas in your life. Depression, anxiety, fear of movement, a low sense of self control, the loss of meaningful activities…all are factors that might influence your sensitivity and chronic pain.

To understand injuries and pain problems and to recover from them more effectively, we need to stop thinking about the body as a machine that is inevitably going to break down and start thinking about the body as one big crazy system of neurology and biochemistry, and even crazier psychology and lifestyle factors. Throw in curve balls like poor dietary habits, medication side effects, exhaustion, emotional distress, smoking/pollutants, and being really out-of-shape or having inefficient biomechanics. These are more important indicators for pain than any “structural” issue. The body is strong and truly adaptable. You just need to give it the right stuff! Sleep, water, good nutritious food, movement, etc. All the things you know it really needs.

The bottom line is, pain is much more about sensitivity rather than injury. Any information that convinces your brain that you might need protection or that increases your danger alarm can contribute to your pain. We need to teach ourselves how to be more resilient to the external factors that are most of the time beyond our control.


Your Child and a Substance More Addictive than Cocaine: Should You Be Concerned?

by Dr. Marc Funderlich

One of the most confusing statements I hear from parents is “I don’t want my child to be deprived if I keep them from eating substances more addictive than cocaine.”  Now they don’t actually say “more addictive than cocaine.” They usually replace that phrase with “cake” or “cookies.”

I know – and you know – that parents generally want “the best” for their children. The best schools, the best toys, the best life partner, etc.  What about the best nutrition? I think we can all agree that nutrition is important and we want our kids to grow up to reach their full potential.  And yet many parents tell me they are doing “Whole 30” or trying paleo or keto, but then they say “it’s just so hard to cook two meals every night.”. My question is always why cook two meals? Why should your children eat toxic, fake chemicals pretending to be food while you eat real food? You would never feed your child a yoga mat (although in some cases it may be more nutritious than what they are eating), so why feed them polyethylene glycol, carrageenan, partially hydrogenated oils, sucrose, yellow dye number 5 and other chemicals that are not food? The usual answer I get back: “Because they like it.”

Of course they like it.  They’ve been fed a steady diet of sugar and it’s incredibly addictive.

One thing to keep in mind is that sugar alters how the brain works. It is in fact more addictive than cocaine, and when you mix addictive, neurologically-altering substances with a child’s immature brain, you can expect non-optimal brain development. You can also expect addictive behaviors (i.e. “because they like it”). Typically, you should also expect bad behavior as you try to change a child’s diet. Often, withdrawal symptoms include tantrums, screaming, crying, etc.

The good news is that these behavior issues only last 1-2 weeks. After this time, the brain recovers and rewires. From this point on children’s taste preferences may open up, they may want to try all sorts of new foods they disliked before, and their development will significantly benefit from your tough, yet loving dietary directives. The food habits they learn as kids carve out a blueprint of their future health.

If you want to see how your child is responding to toxic chemicals, foods or additives, we can run specific and advanced laboratory testing to find out how these things may be impacting your child.  Call the office to learn more.

Woman rubbing neck pain area

What’s the Best Pillow for my Sleep Position?

by Matt McGowan D.C.

November 2019


I get asked often about the best type of pillow to use at night.  The answer can be complicated because it ultimately depends on how you spend the majority of your night’s sleep.  This can be a difficult thing for a patient to pinpoint as we often flip and flop around throughout the night. For a truly restless sleeper who moves a lot, sometimes the best answer is to have a combination of pillows that fit your various needs.  My advice to patients is to determine what position you wake up in since this is often the position of choice that you spend the majority of your night in.

Here are a few notes on pillow choice based on position:

Back Sleeper:  When lying on our backs we should be able to draw a straight line from out ear through our shoulder, through our hip joint, and through the malleolus (bone that sticks out on the side of your ankle).  Often times back sleepers use too high or thick of a pillow flexing their neck too far forward causing a misalignment in their body. There is certainly a benefit to filling the space in the curve of your neck, but the thickness of the pillow should not displace your head forward of that imaginary straight line.

Side Sleeper:  With side sleeping it is a different imaginary line we are concerned with.  This line starts at your nose and should continue straight and uninterrupted through your sternum (chest plate), belly button, and eventually pubic bone.  In order for this to occur, the thickness of the pillow must offset the distance measured between your ear and the tip of your shoulder. Often times side sleepers go wrong with having too thin a pillow that does not fill the necessary space from ear to shoulder.  In this case, the body often tries to compensate by placing their hand or wrist under the pillow or chin. Conversely you can have too thick a pillow which forces your head to be laterally flexed all night.

Stomach Sleeper:  My first recommendation is always to avoid this position if at all possible.  This position forces you to spend a portion of the night with your head turned all the way in one direction, placing a lot of strain on the muscles of the neck as well as a lot of lateral pressure on the jaw.  Furthermore, it is a bad position for your lower back as gravity will press your lower back further into extension causing a lot of lower back tightness in the morning. If you cannot give up this position, the next best scenario is to have a very thin pillow if one at all, and you can also place a pillow under your hip bones and pelvic area to keep your lower back from hyperextending.

If you find yourself waking up in the morning with more neck tightness or discomfort than you had when you went to bed, it is worth investigating if a more suitable pillow can be part of your solution.  The best way to go about it is to have a spouse or partner look at your sleeping position and check for the lines we discussed. If you fall into a complicated case due to multiple sleeping positions, there are some specialty pillows out there that offer a combination of options.  If you have any difficulty determining if this is an issue for you, any of the chiropractors here at Core Therapies would be happy to help you out.