Thankfulness, as a Habit

Happy Thanksgiving, folks!

In honor of this holiday I would like to spend a little time talking about Gratitude. We all know how great it feels to experience gratitude or thankfulness; it is a big rush of dopamine and serotonin to the brain. The feeling lingers even after whatever triggered it is over. So naturally, we would want to feel gratitude more often, right?

If those warm and fuzzy feelings aren’t motivation enough, we are going to discuss some major health benefits that accompany a daily practice of gratitude. Then we will lay out a path for how to implement that practice into your daily life!
 
There are a surprising number of published research articles on the benefits of practicing gratitude. There is evidence to support physical benefits such as…

  • A stronger immune system

  • Lower blood pressure

  • More restful sleep

  • Improved biomarkers such as lowered systemic inflammation


Several other mental and emotional benefits are mentioned in the literature as well. Things like…

  • Increased alertness and concentration

  • Reports of feeling more joy and optimism

  • Decreased feelings of loneliness or isolation

  • Expressing more compassion to others


The thing about these benefits, though, is that they do not come from feeling thankful only when something really great happens to us. Instead, they come from finding thankfulness in all the wonderful little things that happen throughout the day.  Those significant health and well-being changes are part of adailygratitude practice. 
So, what does that look like in real life? Here are a few ways you can begin your daily practice…

  1. Start a gratitude journal. This is a very simple way to begin your practice that can make a huge difference in your mood and your health. Get any kind of notebook and dedicate about 15 minutes every morning or evening to writing 10 things that you are thankful for. These can be big things in life, like having supportive family and friends and they can be simple joys such as the sun coming through your window or a hot cup of coffee.

  2. Say thank you to others. This can take many forms. It could be a sticky note on the desk of a co-worker, a hand-written note to your grandma, or simply taking the time to make eye contact and say thank you to someone that helped you find what you were looking for at the grocery store. Making a goal to give thanks to 10 people every day is a great way to stretch your gratitude practice.

  3. Consider what you are taking for granted. One way to level up your gratitude practice is to take some time to think of what people, places and things in your life you would miss if they were gone. Often, we make this realization too late and it is a good way to keep things in perspective.

 
Sometimes coming up with 10 things to be thankful for every day will be difficult. We all have those crappy days where nothing seems to go right. That is when having these practices in place can really make a difference. If you know that tonight you are going to have to come up with 10 different things to write down, you will be keeping an eye out all day for blessings. And that is the point.
 
Good luck with beginning your practice and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Strengthen Balance, Avoid Falls

Every year in the U.S. one third of men and women over the age of 65 will experience a fall.  Is someone in your life at risk of falling? Maybe you, yourself would like to improve your balance. Read on to learn about how your brain communicates with your body to keep you upright and safe! And if you do have friends, parents or grandparents that have a higher risk of falling, please share these tips with them.
 
There are all sorts of things that can lead to a fall- from cluttered living spaces to changes in medications to chronic disease like Parkinson’s. Some factors are easier to prevent than others. Today we will discuss our sense of balance.

Balance is a function of the brain that when working properly we hardly notice, but when it is lost, is a major contributor to falls. Let’s talk about how it works and how to keep it healthy!
 
Our brain gets messages from three systems when attempting to keep us upright and steady

  • The Visual System: our eyes see where our head and body are in relation to the world

  • The Vestibular System: organs in our inner ear tell our brain about the direction of movement of our head

  • The Proprioceptive System: cells in our muscles, tendons and ligaments respond to stretch and pressure and tell our brain where our feet, legs and body are in relation to each other and to the ground


Your brain wants harmony between all the information from those systems. The brain hates conflict. If there is an issue with the message from one of those systems, you may feel dizzy or off-balance.

There are many exercises and protocols out there to improve the specific relationships between these systems.

A simple and effective exercise to add to your daily routine if you are feeling unstable is the Stork (or One Leg Balance). Here’s how it goes 

  1. Stand up straight and lift your left knee so your foot comes off the ground. Slowly count to 30 and stop the first time you

    • Put your foot down

    • Wave your arms

    • Dance or shift your body out of alignment in order to balance

  2. NOTE: How long can you balance on your leg?

  3. Repeat on the other side


stork #1.jpg

Stork Pose

Practice daily!


If this was difficult for you, if you were not able to last 30 seconds, then PRACTICE. Do the stork for 30 seconds on each leg, three times per day with your best upright posture.

If you feel unbalanced now it does NOT mean you have to feel that way forever. It is not a “normal” part of aging, or at least it does not have to be.

If you or someone in your family is feeling a lack of balance or is worried about falls, let me know! We will make a plan to prevent that from happening!
 
As always, please email or call with questions!
 
Take care.

We Appreciate You!

You Deserve Some Thanks!

 

We are all settled into our new location inside Zeiszler Chiropractic Clinic in Apple Valley and wanted to that YOU for making the move with us. We are so excited to start taking advantage of all the new therapies and benefits of being in this new space.

 

In addition to this, we wanted to create a Patient Appreciation Week as a thank you for your loyalty to Dakota Chiropractic. This will take place the week of Monday, July 30th to Friday, August 3rd. To honor our patients, we are doing a couple GIVEAWAYS, because who doesn’t like free stuff?!

 

Each day that week we will give away a Caribou Coffee gift card to 1 patient that is on the schedule for THAT DAY. The patient will be chosen at random and will be notified at the end of each day.

 

We will also be giving away a bottle of Lavender Essential Oil that week!! Lavender is the “swiss army knife” of oils as it is used for assistance in sleep, relaxation during times of stress, calming skin irritations and many more uses! To be entered to win this prize all you need to do is write a Google Review for Dakota Chiropractic between now and Friday, August 3rd. This takes only a couple minutes. Just click on the link below, click on the blue “Write a Review” button in the right upper corner, select a rating and write a brief review of your experience at Dakota Chiropractic. You will be automatically entered to win the Lavender!

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=dakota+chiropractic+reviews&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS723US723&oq=dakota+chiropractic+reviews&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i60j69i61l2.6107j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#lrd=0x87f62dcf2edff0af:0x68ae4eca6082d850,1,,,

 

There will be samples and freebies available at the clinic all week as well. If you haven’t been in to the clinic for a while or if you are trying to decide when to schedule your wellness visit, THIS WILL BE THE WEEK TO DO IT!

 

Call (612) 562-6694 to schedule. We look forward to seeing you in Apple Valley!!

Clear the Static

Patients often want to know about what they can do when the leave the chiropractic clinic to continue healing their musculoskeletal system. They know that their chiropractic treatments assist in eliminating nerve interference, but what causes the interference in the first place?
 
There are three types of stressors that can put a strain on your nervous system. Those are chemical stress (the foods we eat, products we use), mechanical stress (injuries, posture, etc.) and emotional stress. One way to combat emotional stress is meditation.
 
I am not an expert on meditation, but I have found benefit from using it to manage stress. The goal of meditation is to be fully present and focus on your breathing.  In, out. In, out. In, out.  Thoughts will inevitably enter your mind, that is fine. The goal of meditation is not to have no thoughts. The goal is to detach from your thoughts somewhat. To know that a thought does not define you.
 
Since we always have our phones on us, one simple way to have easy access to guided meditation is to download an app. I use the Calm App. There are several others out there that have their own benefits.
 
The thought of trying to cram one more thing into your morning routine may sound counterproductive but taking an extra 10 minutes in the morning to mediate can make the rest of the day more efficient. By clearing some of the static of our negative thoughts we find more space to do the things we have to do and want to do throughout the day.

Give it a try and let me know what you think. As always, you can schedule your next chiropractic treatment by calling 612-562-6694.
 



Be well.

Essential oil solutions

As essential oils have gained popularity in the last couple of years, you have probably heard of them and seen them around. We now have more and more access to these tools, but not necessarily more understanding on how to use them.

 

There is a TON of information out there explaining how essential oils are extracted and how something that was meant to protect a plant can protect and heal our bodies. If you have questions or want to go more in depth, I would love to chat about that! Today we are just going to focus on a few of the most versatile oils and how you can use them in your daily routines.

 

Before we get into specifics, I want to make clear that when it comes to essential oils, quality matters! There are companies out there that take the time use high quality plants and extract the oils in a way where their powerful benefits are not lost. I use DoTerra oils because of their high standards on creating products that are safe and effective. This is not the only company out there, but it is the one I trust.

 

I got interested in oils because I wanted another tool to empower patients to improve their health when they step out of my office. There are so many solutions to everyday problems that live in those bottles. Let’s take a look at a few of them:

 

First off, Lemon

Lemon oil is used to clean and purify the air and surfaces. It aids in digestion when taken internally and can also support healthy respiratory function.

Tips for use:

·         Add a drop or two to your water to aid in digestion of meals

·         Mix 2 drops in a spray bottle with 10 oz. of water to clean tables, countertops and other surfaces

·         Diffuse to uplift your mood

 

Next, Lavender

The queen of oils! Lavender has a long history of soothing skin irritations, relaxing mood, and promoting restful sleep

Tips for use:

·         Add a few drops to your pillows, bedding or bottom of feet to aid in sleep

·         Keep a bottle of Lavender on hand to soothe occasional skin irritations

·         Add a drop or two to your water to reduce anxious feelings

 

Lastly, Peppermint

Peppermint is another familiar oil with many uses.

Tips for uses:

·         Take a drop or two internally to help alleviate an upset stomach

·         Add a drop to your water to promote healthy respiratory function

·         Rub a drop in your hands and inhale for a refreshing pick me up

 

If you have any interest in learning more about how essential oils can be a safe and effective replacement to harsher chemicals in your life, let’s chat!