MAINT REQD

What if a light on our foreheads flashed MAINT REQD when our bodies needed to get our attention?

We have a new car that has a helpful little light that goes on when Maintenance is Required. I believe it’s time for an oil change and a new air filter. The older car this one replaced could have always had a MAINT REQD light on. I was reflecting the other day how we never go to the mechanic any more. I don’t exactly miss him, although he was a very nice man. I’m sure he’s doing fine without us.

Seeing the MAINT REQD light made me think about the human body, my body, and the bodies I regularly work on doing massage. For a long time I’ve said that many of us walk around in our bodies the way we drive around in our cars: without a clue how they work and only paying attention when something “breaks.” Of course others of us are very body-aware and really cultivate health by carefully choosing what we eat, how we move and exercise, prioritizing sleep and rest, and including joyful activities along with all the responsibilities that characterize our lives. However, there are times when we take our bodies for granted and get a bit miffed when “something breaks” or we finally admit we carry a lot of pain around each day in our necks, shoulders, hips or feet.

MAINT: What is your Maintenance Required? For me, maintenance includes good food, laughter, chiropractic, massage, and sleep to name a few. I am really struggling these days with regular exercise, although I’ve been loving Walkahikes! What good care do you take of your precious resource of a body? Do tell in the comments below. Thanks!

Arthritis & Chiropractic Care, guest post by Dr. Rion Zimmerman

Arthritis can be confusing to people. When some people hear this word they contemplate a future with twisted and crippled joints; however, “arthritis” is an all-inclusive word that comprises many different conditions from the benign to the severe. Osteoarthritis, degenerative arthritis, or degenerative joint disease (DJD) are the terms for the most common form of arthritis, which is also called, spondylosis, if it occurs in the spine. Basically, the condition is due to the erosion of the cartilage that lines the joint surfaces.

Although some health care professionals will say arthritis cannot be reversed, studies have shown that it can. DJD or osteoarthritis in the spine is caused by unhealthy neurological patterns developed by physical, chemical and/or emotional stress. Chiropractic helps correct those unhealthy neurological patterns with gentle, specific adjustments. As the nervous system develops a healthy neurological pattern, stress is taken off the nerve roots.  As stress is removed from the nervous system, proper motion, function and balance will be restored throughout the body.

Prevention is unquestionably the best option, beginning at an early age. Making sure that

  • all injuries to joints are properly treated,
  • postural imbalances corrected and
  • joint function restored,

will prevent degenerative progression within one’s body. Chiropractic care can combat the effects of arthritis and can help someone avoid utilizing medications that cause harmful systemic effects. Chiropractic will allow one’s body to rest, relax and heal naturally!

If you’d like to learn more or talk to Dr. Zimmerman about your health, he can be reached at 818-952-0172 and on-line. Dr. Zimmerman is a Chiropractor specializing in preventative hands-on care with extensive knowledge related to athletes, pregnant and post-partum women and nutrition. He has been a patient of chiropractic since the age of eight, which continues to give him the drive to provide chiropractic care for individuals of all ages. His office is located in La Cañada, CA.

Are your nerves compromised?

Neck after neck of tight, cranky muscles made me wonder the other day: How do nearby muscles respond to spinal misalignment? Misalignment of the vertebrae is also called subluxation. I decided to find the answer for you and for me by asking our good Dr. Rion Zimmerman, D.C. Dr. Zimmerman runs a thriving family chiropractic practice in La Cañada.

Me: If vertebrae are out of alignment, how do the muscles surrounding or attaching to those vertebrae respond?

Dr. Z: I define a subluxation as an unhealthy neurological pattern or habit that creates a physical, chemical and/or emotional response. The muscles’ response could be considered a physical response and what the muscles do is increase in muscle tone, get tight or hard. This tonal increase is based on a response within the autonomic nervous system known as “fight or flight.”

Me: How do people usually experience or feel spinal misalignment?

Dr. Z: A subluxation occurs in response to stress: physical, chemical or emotional. A basic way to break neurological symptoms down is through the three main types of nerves that create these symptoms. Sensory nerves which would respond with burning or sharp pain; motor nerves which would respond with lack of coordination or weakness; and the autonomic nervous system which would respond with symptoms to the organs all throughout the body, for example digestive or respiratory dysfunction.

Me: I have often heard people wonder if after chiropractic adjustments, tight muscles just pull the vertebrae out of alignment again. Is there a negative loop that needs to be broken here? If so, how is it broken?

Dr. Z: Remember the subluxation is an unhealthy neurological pattern or habit in the body. So it is not the muscle pulling out the vertebrae but the nerve that is not properly activating the muscle. After an adjustment the nerve will fire but with time the old negative pattern will force symptoms to return. Generally there is a recommended treatment plan that involves multiple chiropractic adjustments. These multiple chiropractic adjustments are recommended to help create a new healthier pattern in the nervous system.

Me: How does targeted stretching and exercise play a positive role in our bodies being able to hold alignment properly, naturally, or effortlessly?

Dr. Z: A new healthier pattern is developed in the nervous system through chiropractic adjustments. It is then up to the patient to help maintain this pattern with a customized exercise and nutritional plan.

Me: What differences are there in misalignment of vertebrae in the neck, mid-back and low-back, if any?

Dr. Z: Chiropractic is holistic because of its effect on the nervous system. Each part of the spine houses a different part of the spinal cord which distributes to different muscles, organs and cells. An extreme example of this would be a severe spinal cord injury. If the cervical portion (neck) of the spinal cord is ruptured then everything below it is affected, both arms and legs along with all organs. If the lumbar (lower back) portion is ruptured than both legs and all organs that correlate with those levels are affected.

Dr. Zimmerman is a chiropractor specializing in preventative, hands-on care in La Cañada. He can be reached at 818-952-0172 and http://www.flintridgefamilychiropractic.com

Thanks Doc!