Food is Medicine

Food is Medicine Blueberry pills“Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.” -Hippocrates

Are you trying to be healthier? It starts with food. Proper gastrointestinal health is paramount in optimizing the immune system. There are many exciting discoveries being made about how our gut communicates with our brain. As it turns out, we are and have always been teaming up with beneficial bacteria to properly defend ourselves from the foreign pathogens and to properly digest and assimilate nutrients. If we count the cells of our body and compare it numerically to the cells of bacteria living on and within us, we are 90% bacteria. Scientists are excitedly analyzing and documenting the human micro-bio genome and finding out that the different types and varying ratios of bacteria in the human population are just as unique and diverse as the genetic genome.
There are many things that effect, for better or for worse, your gut micro flora bacteria. Prescription antibiotics are often given to wipe out harmful bacteria in our bodies. Unfortunately, these drugs do not differentiate between good or bad bacteria. They wipe out ALL of them, leaving you dangerously vulnerable. Chlorine in our tap water acts as an antibiotic in a similar way. Birth control and over the counter NSAIDs, diets low in fiber also contribute to unhealthy gut flora.
The foods we eat and dietary choices we make can make or break our gut micro flora. Refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods, fructose in fruits, all encourage, feed, and perpetuate an unhealthy balance of organism. One of the more common harmful yeasts is named Candida Albicans. When this type flourishes within us, it presents itself and masquerades as many different nasty symptoms including: fatigue, hyperactivity, acne, irritability, poor sleep quality, abdominal pain, joint pain, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, reflux, heartburn, postnasal drip, cough, recurrent urinary tract infections, menstrual irregularities, sinus congestion, sugar and alcohol cravings, inability to lose weight, and much more.
Conversely, there are foods and dietary choices that we can make to encourage, feed, and perpetuate helpful and beneficial bacteria within our gut. Fermented foods like pickles, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, and fermented vegetables actually have thousands of colonies of healthy bacteria on them, and we simply eat them to gain benefits that can include: increased energy levels, more comfortable digestion, better immune system, clarity of mind, improved sleep quality, and much more. There are also supplements in a pill form that can easily provide these benefits.
Many different types of medical professionals are utilizing the knowledge and treatment of the human gut micro flora to treat and manage many different conditions including: ADHD, sleeping problems, fibromylagia, asthma, allergies, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, autism, poor immune systems, depression, sinus congestion, and many others.
There are other foods and supplements that we can eat that act as “weed-killers” for harmful bacteria. These have been shown to have bacteriostatic and/or bactericidal properties. Good examples include: onions, honey, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables, sauerkraut, kim chi, and many herbs like: thyme, mint, basil, cinnamon, rosemary, cumin, chili peppers, caraway seed, coriander, dill, nutmeg, ginger, mustard, and parsley. Try to include some of these in your diet to help kill off the bad guys living in your gut.
If your diet has been poor for a long time, it is likely that you do have an abundance of Candida Albicans in your gut without much healthy bacteria.  When you begin changing your diet to promote a better balance of healthy bacteria, it is wise to gradually introduce the changes because you can get much worse before you get better with too much of an aggressive and abrupt change. Just as it is the case with all other healthy habits, a gradual change that is practiced and repeated perpetually will have a greater impact in the long run.

Enjoy your meal,
Kelly Baltuska, DC

Breech Baby Position and Chiropractic Webster Technique

breech baby chiropractic webster techniqueCall 913-283-9803 to schedule

A breech baby is when the fetus is in any position other than the preferred and optimal head down position or vertex/cephalic position. Due to complications that may arise during delivery, obstetricians often encourage the cesarean section delivery of breech babies.

The woman’s uterus is a large muscle that houses and protects the growing baby. Just like any other muscle in the body, the uterus can develop a muscle spasm for many different reasons. This spasm will prevent the baby from assuming the natural head down position.

The Webster technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and diversified adjustment. The goal of the adjustment is to reduce the effects of sacral subluxation and Sacro-Iliac joint dysfunction. In so doing neuro-biomechanical function in the pelvis is improved. This is a gentle and non-invasive way to encourage the uterus to relax and allow the baby to properly assume the head down position. With a light adjustment to the sacrum, the triangular bone at the base of the spine, along with gentle pressure on specific ligaments, the central nervous system will be restored to function to a greater potential allowing natural healing to take place.

Webster Technique is extremely safe for both mother and baby and has been practiced for many years with much success. While some cases resolve with just a few adjustments, others require many return adjustments before they respond. One study found this technique to be 82% effective.

There are other conditions that cause a breech baby position that will not respond to Webster Technique. This may be identified by the OB/GYN and this is why it is important for an open line of communication between your medical professionals.

There are numerous reasons that a natural vaginal delivery is beneficial to the optimal health of both mother and baby. If the baby is found to be in the breech position, there is much less of an opportunity for a natural vaginal delivery.

If you have a breech position baby, come in for conservative Chiropractic care before resulting to more invasive procedures like External Cephalic Version (ECV) or Cesarean section. The whole adjustment from start to finish is very comfortable for both mother and baby.

If you know someone that is pregnant, or if you know a medical professional that works closely with pregnancies, please forward this information to them or share it online.
Have a healthy baby,
-Kelly Baltuska, DC

Call 913-283-9803 to schedule

The previous information is presented in a clinical and theoretical framework. Dr. Baltuska DOES NOT practice Obstetrics or Gynecology.

Stress Relief

Stress has become a fact of life, and for some, the daily norm. Although occasional stress can help improve our focus and performance, living with chronic stress can backfire by causing anxiety, depression, and serious health problems.

Understanding who we are, knowing our major struggles, putting them in perspective, and taking action can help us deal with stress. The following strategies can also improve stress tolerance and help lessen the effects of stress on our health.

Think Positively

“Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into positive,” said Hans Selye, author of the groundbreaking work around stress theory. When optimism is hard to muster, cognitive-behavioral therapy, which trains people to recognize negative thinking patterns and replace them with more constructive ones, can also help reduce the risk of chronic stress and depression.

Get Out and Enjoy Nature

While modern civilization has made our lives more convenient, it has deprived us of an essential source of stress relief—connection with nature. Studies show that interacting with nature can help lessen the effects of stress on the nervous system, reduce attention deficits, decrease aggression, and enhance spiritual well-being.

“Smell the Roses” for Better Mood

Aromatherapy, or smelling essential plant oils, recognized worldwide as a complementary therapy for managing chronic pain, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and stress-related disorders, can help you unwind. Orange and lavender scents, in particular, have been shown to enhance relaxation and reduce anxiety.

Relax with a Cup of Tea

During stressful times, coffee helps us keep going. To give yourself a break, however, consider drinking tea. Research shows that drinking tea for 6 weeks helps lower post-stress cortisol and increase relaxation. Habitual tea drinking may also reduce inflammation, potentially benefiting your heart health.

Laugh It Off

Humor relieves stress and anxiety and prevents depression, helping put our troubles in perspective. Laughter can help boost the immune system, increase pain tolerance, enhance mood and creativity, and lower blood pressure, potentially improving treatment outcomes for many health problems, including cancer and HIV. Humor may also be related to happiness, which has been linked to high self-esteem, extroversion, and feeling in control.

Build a Support System

Relationships are also key to health and happiness, especially for women. Women with low social support, for example, are more likely to increase blood pressure under stress. Loneliness may also contribute to stress in both men and women, also leading to poorer outcomes after a stroke or congestive heart failure. On the other hand, active and socially involved seniors are at lower risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Social support also helps cancer patients to boost the immune system and maintain a higher quality of life.

Employ the Relaxing Power of Music

Music, especially classical, can also serve as a powerful stress-relief tool. Listening to Pachelbel’s famous Canon in D major while preparing a public speech helps avoid anxiety, heart rate, and blood pressure, which usually accompany public speaking.

Singing and listening to music can also relieve pain and reduce anxiety and depression caused by lowback pain. Group drumming also showed positive effects on stress relief and the immune system. Music therapy can also elevate mood and positively affect the immune system in cancer patients and reduce fatigue and improve self-acceptance in people with multiple sclerosis.

To help people deal with stressful medical procedures, music can help reduce anxiety before surgery. When played during surgery, it can decrease the patient’s post-operative pain. Aiding recovery, a dose of calming music may lower anxiety, pain, and the need for painkillers.

Calm Your Mind

In recent decades, many forms of meditation have gained popularity as relaxation and pain relief tools. Focusing on our breath, looking at a candle, or practicing a non-judgmental awareness of our thoughts and actions can help tune out distractions, reduce anxiety and depression, and accept our circumstances. In cancer patients, meditation-based stress reduction enhances quality of life, lowers stress symptoms, and potentially benefits the immune system.

Guided imagery, such as visualizing pictures prompted by an audiotape recording, also shows promise in stress relief and pain reduction. Based on the idea that the mind can affect the body, guided imagery can be a useful adjunct to cancer therapy, focusing patients on positive images to help heal their bodies.

Enjoy the Warmth of Human Touch

Just as the mind can affect the body, the body can influence the mind. Virginia Satir, a famous American psychotherapist, once said that people need 4 hugs a day to help prevent depression, 8 for psychological stability, and 12 for growth. While asking for hugs may not work for some, massage can help us relieve stress and reduce anxiety and depression. Massage has also been shown to reduce aggression and hostility in violent adolescents, to improve mood and behavior in students with ADHD, and to lead to better sleep and behavior in children with autism.

Massage has other therapeutic properties, as well. Regular massage may reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension and may lead to less pain, depression, and anxiety and better sleep in patients with chronic low-back pain. Compared to relaxation, massage therapy also causes greater reduction in depression and anger, and more significant effects on the immune system in breast cancer patients.

Give Exercise a Shot

To get the best of both worlds, affecting the mind through the body while getting into good physical shape, try exercise. In one study, a group of lung cancer patients increased their hope due to exercise. Exercise can also reduce depression and improve wound healing in the elderly. Tai chi, which works for people of all ages, may enhance heart and lung function, improve balance and posture, and prevent falls, while reducing stress.
No matter what stress-relief methods you choose, make it a habit to use them—especially if you feel too stressed out to do it. As someone once said, the time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.

Reference: The previous information was brought to you by the American Chiropractic Association

Chiropractic Care for Stress Relief

Our central nervous system cycles between two primary modes or settings. First, the sympathetic or “fight or flight” stage is one that is utilized during the most active part of our days. Second, the parasympathetic or “rest and digest” stage is one that is utilized when winding down, using the bowel and bladder, and sleeping. It is very common that the patient in acute pain or crisis has been stuck in the sympathetic “fight or flight” stage for too long without properly switching over to the parasympathetic “rest and digest” stage. This patient can receive great benefit from chiropractic adjustments and may experience sudden and profuse perspiration or a “flop-sweat” immediately after a spinal adjustment, right on the chiropractic table. This is a tell-tale sign that a truly natural healing process is taking place and that the innate responsibility of the body’s self regulating system is returning to balance.

-Kelly Baltuska, DC