Dr. Glenn Molin’s Tips for Increased Vitality and Wellness
We all should understand that the maintenance of good heath is far superior to trying to regain your health once it is lost. Simply changing a few bad health habits for positive ones can go a long way to staying healthy and vibrant for life.
Did you know that drinking too much soda or other carbonated beverages could interfere with calcium absorption – a problem that could eventually lead to osteoporosis? Or that slouching at a desk all day or tapping away at a computer keyboard can lead to painful strains in your wrists, shoulders, elbows and back?
These are just a few of the bad habits that can lead to musculoskeletal problems-conditions that have an enormous impact not only your health, but also on society as a whole. In the United States alone, musculoskeletal conditions cost society an estimated $254 billion every year and one out of every seven Americans reports a musculoskeletal impairment.
Doctors of Chiropractic, in particular, have long emphasized the importance of spinal health, posture and other lifestyle factors in the body’s ability to function optimally. Poor spinal health, for instance, can cause a negative chain reaction throughout the body. It can cause stress on joints, which, especially if the muscles are weak, can cause wear and permanent damage. Rockville Chiropractor Dr. Glenn Molin offers the following advice to help improve and maintain your musculoskeletal health.
At the Office
- Make sure your chair fits correctly. There should be 2 inches between the front edge of the seat and the back of your legs. Sit with your feet flat on the floor, with your knees at a 90-degree angle. If you can’t sit that way, use an angled or elevated footrest.
- Take periodic stretch breaks. Clench your hands in a fist and move your hands like this: 10 circles in, then 10 circles out. Put your hands in a praying position and squeeze together for 10 seconds and then “pray” with the backs of your hands together, fingers pointed downward for 10 seconds. Spread your fingers apart and then bring them together one by one.
- Hold the telephone with your hand or use the speakerphone. Don’t cradle the phone between your ear and shoulder. This can lock up the spinal joints in the neck and upper back, and eventually cause pain.
- Take breaks and alternate tasks that use different muscle groups.
- Arrange your desk so that everything is handy – phone, mouse, reference materials, reports – to minimize awkward stretching and reaching.
- Position your computer monitor so that the middle of your chin is aligned with the middle of your monitor. This will allow for good neck posture.
- When you wash the dishes, open the cabinet beneath the sink, bend one knee, and put your foot on the shelf under the sink. Lean against the counter so some of your weight is supported in front.
- When resting or watching TV, don’t use the sofa arm as a pillow. The angle is much too sharp for the neck.
- Don’t bend from the waist when you lift a child. Squat with your back straight. Keep the child close to you and use your legs and arms to lift.
In the Yard
- If you shovel snow, push the snow straight ahead. Don’t try to throw it and walk it to the snowbank. Avoid twisting and turning motions. Bend your knees to lift when shoveling. Let your legs and arms do the work, not your back. Take frequent rest breaks to take the strain off your muscles. Try to stand as erect as possible.
- When raking leaves, use a scissors stance: right foot forward and left foot back for a few minutes; then reverse, putting your left foot forward and your right foot back. Bend at the knees, not the waist, as you pick up leaves. Make piles small to decrease the possibility of back strain.
- For mowing, use your weight to push the mower. Whenever possible, use ergonomically correct tools for the job.
- Warm up slowly before a game. Do calisthenics, flexibility exercises, or light running to increase your heart rate.
- When sweat beads form, your body is at the proper temperature to stretch the tendons and muscles.
- When driving, adjust your car seat so you can sit firmly against the seat back without having to lean forward or stretch. Buckle your seatbelt and shoulder harness, and adjust the headrest so that it supports the center of the back of the head.
- Invest in a wheeled suitcase that has a sturdy handle.
- Don’t always carry the weight on one side – take frequent breaks and transfer the weight to the other side.
- Don’t try to carry too much. Even wheeled suitcases can cause problems to the neck, shoulders and lower back when pulled from behind.
- When traveling by air, check all bags heavier than 10 percent of your body weight. Overhead lifting of any significant amount of weight should be avoided to reduce the risk of pain in the lower back or neck. While lifting your bags, stand directly in front of the overhead compartment so the spine is not rotated. Do not lift your bags over your head, or turn or twist your head and neck in the process.
- While seated in an airplane, vary your position occasionally to improve circulation and avoid leg cramps. Massage legs and calves. Bring your legs in, and move your knees up and down. Prop your legs up on a book or a bag under your seat.
- Have a smaller table for them where they can do their homework, rather than force them to use a standard table and chair. If the child’s feet don’t touch the floor, place a footrest or box under the feet. Position the computer monitor so the top of the screen is at or below the child’s eye level.
- Make sure the straps of your child’s backpack are padded and worn over both shoulders, not just one. Also, the contents of the backpack should not weigh more than 10 percent of your child’s body weight.
- If your child is involved in sports, make sure all equipment, including helmets, pads and shoes, fits your child properly. If your teenage child is involved in soccer, make sure they are taught how to “head” the ball properly. A young child should not use the heading technique at all, according to ACA experts.
- Make sure your child has enough calcium included in his or her diet. ACA recommends 1 percent or skim milk for children over 2 years old, and whole milk for those younger than 2. The calcium in milk is essential for healthy bones and reduces the risk of joint and muscle-related injuries
- Make sure your child avoids sugar-loaded, caffeinated and carbonated drinks. Rather, encourage them to drink plenty of water. Caffeine can dehydrate your youngster, and the high levels of phosphorous in sodas and other carbonated beverages can interfere with calcium absorption – a problem that could lead to osteoporosis down the road.
While Dr. Glenn Molin and the entire Vitality Chiropractic team encourages you to follow these tips for better musculoskeletal health, remember that good spinal health is but one component in a healthy lifestyle. Exercising, getting a good night’s sleep, drinking plenty of water and eating a nutritious diet contribute not only to health but also to the ability to heal after an injury.
Your Chiropractor’s education is indeed rigorous
Chiropractors go through an immense amount of education prior to receiving a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree. A chiropractor’s education begins by earning a 4 year college bachelor’s degree with coursework including:
- Biology (General Biology, Anatomy, Physiology, Cell Biology, Microbiology, Human Biology)
- General Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry
- In addition to core college requirements
Upon acceptance to a graduate program at one of the 18 national chiropractic colleges, chiropractic students take a total of 3,390 hours of didactic classroom work and at least an additional 1,305 hours in a clinical residency setting for a total of 4,695 hours of advanced education.
Summary of Course Hours for a Doctor of Chiropractic at New York Chiropractic College
- Anatomy – 585 hours
- Biochemistry – 75 hours
- Physiopathology – 330 hours
- Microbiology and Public Health – 135 hours
- Diagnosis – 540 hours
- Diagnostic Imaging – 270 hours
- Clinical Laboratory – 75 hours
- Associated Studies – 150 hours
- Chiropractic Philosophy – 195 hours
- Chiropractic Technique – 615 hours
- Ancillary Therapeutic Procedures – 90 hours
- Clinical Practice Issues – 195 hours
- Clinical Experience and Outpatient Services – 1,305 hours
- Elective Courses – 135 hours
Total – 4,695 hours
Then, before a doctor of chiropractic can begin practicing, he or she must successfully pass both written and oral national boards (parts I – IV & PT) and individual State boards.
A Chiropractor’s educational requirements are rigorous and his or her education doesn’t stop after graduation. Almost all State Chiropractic Boards require advanced continuing education throughout the doctor’s career. In Maryland, the Maryland Board of Chiropractic mandates a minimum of 48 hours of approved classwork in addition to provider level CPR training every two years.
Chiropractic is the largest natural healing profession in the world. It has grown over its history because it is safe, it works and its providers, 60,000+ chiropractors nationally, are well educated in the art, science and philosophy of chiropractic.
Wanna Live for an Additional 23 Years??? And do so in Vibrantly Good Health???
Based on the results of a 50 year longitudinal study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it seems that the cost of an unhealthy lifestyle as defined by little exercise, poor diet, and smoking, has been quantified to reduce lifespan by 23 years. Lifestyle choices offer the best of all the anti aging treatments and wellness care options.
Diseases of lifestyle such as cardiovascular diseases (heart disease and stroke), type two diabetes, osteoporosis, and poor posture are cutting people’s lives short by decades. Further, it was estimated that about 80% of lifestyle diseases could be prevented by keeping weight under control, exercising more, eating a healthy diet, and not smoking or drinking in excess.
Chiropractic has always held that the maintenance health is far superior to treating diseases and this is especially true in largely preventable conditions created by poor lifestyle choices.
An awareness of the risk of developing any of these conditions, and how to reduce that risk, is paramount in living a healthy and vibrant life. If you wait until you develop disease before establishing healthy lifestyle choices, you may have already have reduced your life expectancy needlessly.
Start with reasonable diet choices, getting a bit more rest and exercise, and of course, chiropractic care to ensure your spine and nervous system are functioning at peak performance. Then, go live a long healthy, vibrant and fun filled life!!!
My time is about 3:45 PM – How about you???
You need to be at your best to do your best – but how can you avoid those afternoon doldrums?
The reality is that it is just not feasible to be 100% all day long. Even if you could sustain a frantic pace for hours on end, something would have to give; productivity, mental acuity, health.
Below are some helpful tips to help get you through the afternoon sluggishness and to help feel more energized throughout the day.
- Get more sleep at night. Generally, people need between 6 and 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night in order to function optimally. Surveys have shown that Americans come to work with less than 6 hours of sleep about 1/3 of the time. That is just not enough rejuvenation time to effectively deal with the rigors of the day; especially in the hectic pace of Rockville, MD and the Washington, DC metro region. Adequate rest is vital for success, good health and proper function
- Adjust your tasks to meet your energy levels. Optimize your “to-do” list around your hours of peak performance. Choose to work on more demanding and focus driven activities when you feel at your best and save the more mundane tasks for when your energy wanes.
- Get up and get moving. Higher energy directly correlates with regular exercise. Integrate exercise regularly into your daily schedule. See Vitality Chiropractic and Medical Wellness blog on “ Staying Fit While You Sit ” for proper posture and ergonomics you can do while at your desk. It is also a good strategy to get up and move for 10 minutes or so during the day. Get up and stretch, do some jumping jacks or push-ups, go for a quick walk around the office. Movement gets oxygen flowing to your brain and body helping to overcome fatigue. Rather than sitting at a table for a meeting, would it possible to take your colleague for a walk and meet instead? Try it, your body and mind will thank you.
- Deep Breathing at your desk. Taking 5 – 7 deep belly breaths a few times a day will give you a boost throughout the day. It also helps to drop anxiety and focus the mind.
- Do not make a habit of drinking caffeinated beverages in the afternoon. Caffeine may provide a quick boost by blocking the chemicals in your brain that tell you that you are tired, but the effects are generally short lived and may make you even more tired near term. It is best to avoid making a habit of that 3:00 coffee and save it for when you really need it like before a big meeting or after a particularly poor night’s sleep. Used strategically, caffeine may work to your benefit, but when it becomes a habit, it can become detrimental.
- Listen to music. Musical preferences may differ, but the effects are the same. Music can energize the body, mind, and spirit.
- Get your nervous system flowing. Chiropractic care is great at treating back pain, neck pain, headaches, sciatica, fibromyalgia, and other aches and pains – at this point, that’s a given. Chiropractic also enables the body to function at its highest and best by facilitating proper nervous system function. Simply, chiropractic care provides the body the very best chance at being healthy and well by creating an environment where the spine, nervous system and body are balanced, coordinated, and free from interference. If you want to increase your energy and vitality, chiropractic care should be foundational in your plan to be vibrant for life!!!
Our goal is to become an ever greater health and wellness resource for the people of Montgomery County including Rockville, Bethesda, North Potomac, Potomac, Silver Spring, Gaithersburg, and the entire Washington DC metro region. The chiropractors, acupuncturist, and all the staff at Vitality Chiropractic and Medical Wellness in Rockville, MD are here to help you achieve the very best health and vitality for life.
Chiropractic Keeps You Healthy & Now Science Discovers How
Doctors at the University of the Virginia School of Medicine have determined what the Chiropractic profession has known to exist since 1895. The brain and nervous system are directly connected to the immune system. This “new” awareness has huge implications on long-term health and living a long life with exceptional wellness and vitality.
Chiropractors are educated to look to the spine and nervous system’s function as it relates to whole body function and health. The nervous system controls and coordinates every single tissue, cell, and organ in the body. As a profession, we have understood that to include the immune system. Simply, if the brain and nervous system are not functioning 100%, body systems will suffer. Chiropractors affect the nervous system by adjusting the spinal segments that house the nervous system.
I believe that this new awareness will fundamentally change the way people look at the central nervous system’s relationship with the immune system. This understanding will likely have profound impact on the study and treatment of neurological and auto-immune diseases ranging from Autism to Alzheimer’s disease to Multiple Sclerosis and beyond.
Can Money Buy Happiness? Maybe, but a recent study found good health is far more important relative to happiness.
As it turns out, money can buy happiness; or at the very least, help support a happy life. However, money doesn’t seem to be the greatest driver of happiness; being healthy is. A consumer insight consulting group polled over 250,000 people about what helps to create happiness. The goal of the project was to further the collective understanding of happiness and its root causes.
In part, the survey found that happiness is all around. The polled US population was found to be six times more likely to say they are happy vs. unhappy.
Although money can’t really buy happiness, the study found that it does seem to help. For many, financial success is closely associated with greater feelings of happiness, especially when considering the ways we splurge on ourselves. For example, people who buy jewelry, eat at upscale restaurants, or make luxury purchases are 23 times more likely to report being generally happy in life.
Good health, however, was the greatest winner on the “happy quotient”. Being healthy seems to go a long way towards overall happiness. Those who say they are healthy are 143 times more likely to be happy than those who report being unhealthy.
So common sense seems to dictate, if you want to be happy, be healthy. I know, that is not always easy and that sometimes, optimal health is just not possible. That said, I firmly believe that regardless of the overall state of your body and your health, you can take actions to move towards being as healthy as possible within the frame of your overall personal situation.
Why not commit to being healthier (and therefore, happier)? Start with these simple steps:
- Drink more fresh clean water. The goal is to drink 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, try to drink 150 ounces of clean filtered water daily
- Move your body. Depending upon your current health, you may not be able to do all that much at first, and that’s okay, but do something. Start by moving your body a little and then build up to 20 minutes of sustained activity 6 days a week
- Rest. Resting allows your body to heal and replenish. Most people do best with 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. A cool dark room is best and remember to turn off anything with a “blue screen” about ½ before retiring. This practice will allow important decompression and relaxation of the mind in preparation for deep healing sleep
- Finally, eat a few additional servings of healthy fresh fruit, vegetables, and proteins. Again, nothing drastic, just slowly start adding in high quality food choices throughout the day
Remember that Vitality Chiropractic and Medical Wellness’s chiropractors, acupuncturist, and nutritionist are in the office in Rockville, MD to help you meet your health and wellness goals. No matter what is going on with your current health, we want to work with you to help you move towards higher levels of health, wellness, and increased vibrancy for life…
Health, Wisdom, Art, Strength, & Wealth
“When Health is absent, Wisdom cannot reveal itself, Art cannot become manifest, Strength cannot be exerted, Wealth is useless and Reason is Powerless.” –Herophiles, 300 BC
Health and wellness is a precious commodity.
Chiropractic care is an important natural approach to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Vitality Chiropractic and Medical Wellness, Rockville Maryland, strives to help our patients claim vibrant health and wellness naturally.