6 Ways to an Extraordinary Birth

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With a plethora of pregnancy guides, baby books, and resources out there, beginning a family can be both exciting and overwhelming. There is so much to learn about pregnancy and labor, we thought we would sift through all of this information and give you 6 vital ways to ensure that you and your baby have the best possible pregnancy, birth, and beyond.

1. Fuel your body with the proper nutrition! Your body requires protein, fat, carbohydrates and micronutrients for optimal health. Fulfilling these requirements becomes even more important when you are pregnant, as you need appropriate nutrients for your growing baby and your own growth, healing and repair. Remember, your baby eats what you eat, and you want to provide the best for your baby. Prioritize by purchasing organic, non-GMO fruits and vegetables that are free of harmful chemicals and pesticides, and meats, poultry, and fish that are free-range, grass-fed and wild, whenever possible. Additionally, it’s important to increase your intake of quality fats (fish oil, avocados, coconut oil) because many important functions require them, as do many organs including your baby’s brain and nerve system. Planning ahead is key – make sure you have lots of healthy snacks when you are away from home (fruit, nuts, smoothies, etc.) and plan and prepare your meals in advance. If you still have questions about what nutrients your body needs to function at its best, click here to view Dr. Rob’s Fuel Project Workshop.

2. Prepare your body for birth with various exercises that will build your endurance and make you strong. Like nutrition, movement is an important building block for human function, and pregnancy is no exception. Modification will be necessary, but it’s really helpful to maintain an exercise routine of both cardio and muscular strength. Squat, lunge, do Kegels, etc, to make sure your body is prepared for labor, which as the name implies, is a lot of work! After all, labor no longer happens just lying down on your back. Women use laboring balls, birthing tubs, squat, and all sorts of positions that feel more natural and comfortable. So think of labor like an athletic event, and get physical!

3. Get Adjusted! Your brain and nervous system coordinate and control every aspect of what goes on in your body, including growing a baby. Detecting and removing interference to the mother’s nervous system promotes a healthy pregnancy and supports the development of the baby. Chiropractic care also alleviates the pain and ailments that can surface during pregnancy. Furthermore, research shows that women receiving chiropractic care throughout their pregnancy tend to have shorter labor times, significantly less likelihood of back labor, and their need for pain medication and medical intervention is reduced. Adjusting the mother’s pelvis also helps to create more room in the uterus for the baby to develop, and allows the baby to move into the best position for birth. In the case of breeched babies, many chiropractors are certified in the Webster technique (including Dr. Rob), which is a safe and gentle correction that removes constraint in the uterus and allows the baby to turn its head down into an optimal birthing position. You can find out more about the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy, labor and beyond by visiting our website here.

4. Take time to take care of yourself mama! Growing a human is hard work and it requires incredible demands on your energy and body. Ensure that you are getting plenty of rest, and really focus on not feeling stressed or overwhelmed, because your thoughts and emotions affect your experience and the health of your baby. When you feel stressed try boosting your mood by getting a massage, getting adjusted, exercising, meditating, journaling, yoga, or engaging in any other activity you enjoy. Remember, when you are chronically stressed, scared, or depressed, these feelings are not in isolation. Research shows that your emotions set the stage for how your baby will view the world from this point forward.

5. Find out what toxins are hiding in your home! Many products we use on our skin, hair, nails and cleaning supplies are loaded with toxic chemicals. These toxins accumulate in the body, interfere with chemical and hormonal balance and can cause harm to developing babies. An easy-to-use online source for looking up what’s in your products is The Environmental Working GroupEWG.org. Replace toxic products with environmentally-friendly cleaning products and organic personal products.

6. Envision and prepare for the birth you want to have. In order to deliver a baby, it’s imperative that you feel safe, comfortable, relaxed and have a supportive team around you during labor. Think of the birth you want to have. Who do you want present? An OBGYN? A Midwife? A Doula? Your mother-in-law? (Just kidding!) Where do you want to give birth? Be sure you and your partner take a tour of many places because you want to be comfortable where you labor, whether it’s in the hospital, a birth center, or in your home. Also think about the type of birth you want – a natural birth with natural pain relief (ex. a water birth) or birth with pain medication (ex. epidural) – and see if the facility you select supports the type of birth that you envision. You should discuss these options with your partner, include all of your must-haves in a birth plan, and ensure that the hospital/ birth center staff is aware of your wishes and can support you. When you are in labor, it’s easy to feel vulnerable and out of touch with what’s happening around you, so make sure you have someone to be your advocate and ensure that you are well informed about any side effects of potential drugs and interventions, for both you and your baby. Many of the “routine procedures” administered during labor (i.e. epidurals, Pitocin, c-sections) DO have side effects. Be familiar with the side effects, so if they occur, you are not caught by surprise. Be adequately prepared for labor by knowing the different stages, emotional signposts and needs of a laboring woman, instead of “just showing up and letting the doctor and the staff do all the work.” Lastly, take advantage of birthing preparation classes that support your vision for your child’s birth and research other types of classes such as The Bradley Method and Hypnobirthing.

Overall, the best thing you can do is trust your body. Your body grew and developed a human being from two small cells, with little thought or intervention from you. Just as it was designed to grow a baby, it’s also perfectly designed to give birth to a baby, and knows exactly what to do – always remember that!

If you have any questions or would like any recommendations on books, movies or other resources, please do not hesitate to ask. We are here to support you through your pregnancy, labor and beyond!

A great resource that we always recommend to all our moms and moms-to-be is from our Australian colleague, Dr. Jennifer Barham-Floreani, entitled Well-Adjusted Babies which can be found here.

Best Wishes,

Lea


National Pizza Day – the Paleo Way!

It was clearly a sign that our winter recipe blog release date fell on National Pizza Day. Everyone loves pizza, but unfortunately, it is not our healthiest comfort food. We thought this would be a great opportunity to share some of our favorite Paleo Pizza recipes. Yep! We are health-ifying (is that a word? – it is now!). Yes, we are health-ifying this comfort food so you no longer have to feel guilty about indulging! Happy National Pizza Day, heres to celebrating a little healthier this year!

Zucchini Breakfast “Pizza”

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A twist on the traditional “pizza,” this breakfast boasts a one-two punch of nutrition and flavor. And let’s be serious, how can you not love veggie noodles?! This pizza is a great way to start your morning with a healthy and nutrient rich meal.

Gluten Free Pesto Pizza

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With a paleo crust, and lots of green veggies on top, this is not your average pizza! Layered with pesto, zucchini, and broccoli this flatbread pizza gives you a tremendous amount of nutrients without the guilt. Add your favorite free-range meats for a little added protein.

Barbecue Chicken with Sweet Potato Crust

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Let’s face it, people love barbecue chicken pizza. It combines two all-time favorite comfort foods, pizza and barbecue. This BBQ Chicken pizza takes it to a whole new level! Using sweet potato for the crust this pizza is gluten and dairy free. Just make sure that you use a paleo BBQ sauce.

(We like this BBQ Sauce recipe!)

Roasted Fig and Caramelized Onion

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Not only is this one of the most beautiful pizzas you will ever eat, it is one of the most delicious! The sweetness of the figs and honey is perfectly balanced by the caramelized onions and the nutty walnuts. Give it a try and you won’t be sorry.

Dessert Fruit Pizza

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Since we gave you a breakfast pizza, we thought we would throw in a dessert pizza, too! You can’t go wrong with fresh berries, coconut cream, and a healthy (tasty!) walnut and cocoa crust. The dates add a perfect amount of sweetness for this beautiful, and delicious pizza!

Give them a try and let us know what you think!

Happy Pizza Day!

The Foundation Chiropractic Team


Thrive: How to Live Your Greatest Life

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Why do you go to a chiropractor? Actually, let’s back up for a minute. Why did you first start going to a chiropractor? If you are like most people, you probably had some pain or symptom that you heard chiropractic could help with. And here you are, on board the chiropractic train; maybe it’s only been a few months, maybe years – either way, we’re glad you’re here. Now, let’s rephrase the original question: why are you still seeing a chiropractor?

“Because we love coming here!” Well thank you, we love you too. “It’s a part of my health routine.” Awesome! We love that too. “Adjustments feel great!” We wholeheartedly agree (our whole office gets adjusted regularly, even Dr. Rob). All of these statements are true and inarguable, but there is so much more going on thanks to your regular chiropractic routine.

In our last post, we discussed different perspectives of health, and how your choices today dictate your health in the future (read it here). You’ve made the choice to continue regular chiropractic care! Welcome to team salutogenesis! Since you’re here, we want to remind you of some core ideas.

Think of this week’s blog as a Chiro Refresher Course. We are going to cover the core ideas that we establish during each phase of care. Whether you are new to chiropractic, or have been a longtime devotee, this information is imperative to your health journey. Whether these concepts are new to you or you kind of remember Dr. Rob saying something about them during one of his “What does this have to do with your health?” posts that are displayed right in front of you at every visit, you may find it SUPER IMPORTANT to familiarize yourself again!

Restorative Phase Core Concepts

In the first phase of care, Restorative Care, we begin removing irritation from your nervous system and introduce the importance of a freely functioning nerve system. The three core concepts are:

  1. The Brain and Nerve System are the master system and control everything. Every organ, gland, tissue, cell, thought, feeling are controlled by your brain and nerve system. You have billions upon billions of nerve cells throughout your body that are in constant communication with each other and your brain. If one of these lines of communication is interfered with or interrupted, the messages from your brain will not make it to that organ or tissue, significantly contributing to malfunction or disease. Think about the last time your communication with a loved one was lacking, did that end up as a healthy thing for that relationship or a disastrous thing?
  2. There are 3 Stressors that cause subluxation (nerve irritation) and the problem is not the same as the symptom.What causes subluxation? There are three main stressors: physical, chemical, and mental. The problem is the stressor is the cause. The effect is symptoms. Stressors cause subluxation; subluxation results in interrupted nerve function leading to global internal miscommunication, which if unchecked will lead to a loss of health on some level. Subluxation is your body’s intelligent attempt to adapt to stress.
  3. The body is self-regulating and programmed for success. Our bodies are innately brilliant. We do not need to tell our lungs to inhale, or our heart to beat, or our cuts to heal. We do not need to tell our bodies to be healthy, they strive for it! Our job is simply to provide the right tools to allow our bodies to express optimal health.

Strength & Rebuilding Core Concepts

The Strength & Rebuilding phase builds on the concepts from Restorative Care. During this phase, you are strengthening the communication between your body and brain, and allowing for long-term healing to begin. Strength & Rebuilding is characterized by these core ideas:

  1. Subluxation changes the chemistry of the brain/body to adapt to stress. As we learned in the Restorative Phase, subluxation is our body’s attempt to adapt to stress. In order to make these adaptations, the body changes its chemistry; this is called Adaptive Stress Physiology. Your body essentially gets locked in a state of fight or flight. You are stuck in survival mode. When you’re in a chronic state of stress response, you see changes to basic functions like increased cholesterol and heart rate; decreased sleep, focus, digestion, and reproduction.
  2. Neuroplasticity: Better optimized, better organized, greater efficiency. Think of two forest paths. One is clearly well-travelled but longer, the other is covered in leaves and forest debris, barely visible but shorter. If you are like most people (or just less adventurous) you would probably choose the easier path. Your body does the same thing. In response to constant stress, in its brilliance, your body creates new pathways finding the easiest, clearest path – often at the expense of other systems. By providing your nerve system clear pathways, and regularly clearing away the leaves, you are allowing for greater efficiency and better optimization of your systems.
  3. There are 4 core requirements to thrive. We know that we all need things like air and water to survive. But who wants to merely survive, when we can thrive? These are the 4 requirements:
    1. Brain-body communication. Your nerve system is a highway. When there is no traffic, everyone can zip right along, arriving at their destination in a timely, efficient manner. Subluxation is like a giant tree in the road; cars can get by for a little while, one at a time, but eventually things will start to back up, then there will have to be a detour. Until that tree is cleared, traffic will be slowed or stopped. Until the subluxation is removed, communication will be slowed or redirected, resulting in symptoms and disease.
    2. Movement. Our bodies are built to move. Every organ, muscle, joint, and nerve thrive on movement. In fact, another word for this is animation; the Latin root, “anima-“, literally means: to give life. Your body is designed to feed your brain with the vital information it needs to perform every function through movement. Simply, you cannot be on a path toward greater health without regular movement.
    3. Nutrition. We said earlier that our job is to provide our bodies with the right tools to allow them to express optimal health. Nutrition is one of those tools. When you feed your body, you feed your cells. Healthy cells make healthy bodies. You don’t put low quality “regular” gas in a high performance sports car. Why give your body low quality sustenance and expect it to perform at the highest levels?
    4. Optimal Thought. Your mind is the most powerful organ in your body. There have been experiments done in which researchers plant two seeds. The first seed, they speak to with love and positivity, complementing the little plant regularly. The second seed, they pepper with insults and negativity. The first plant thrived and grew strong. The second plant grew slowly and spindly. Positivity begets growth.

Optimizing Care and Beyond Core Concepts

Optimizing Care and Beyond continues the healing that began during the first two phases, and allows you to intentionally and consistently increase your health and quality of life year after year. Our core concepts are:

  1. Greater expression of life in every way. By the time you have reached Optimizing Care, you are fully entrenched in the chiropractic way. You have no doubt seen result that are expected and unexpected. The single greatest “side effect” of chiropractic is a greater expression of life. In. Every. Way. Your body is able to express health in its innate, brilliant way. Your mood is improved. Your relationships have improved. You have no limitations! You are able to fully live your purpose!
  2. The body just works better and heals faster with no stress on the Nerve System. You are a well-oiled machine. Your nerve system is free of junk, rust, and build up. You’re firing on all cylinders. You are performing regular nerve system maintenance by getting checked and adjusted. Keeping your nerve system clear of stress allows your body to function at its best.

Everyone is seeking greater health. The problem is, very few people know what health, true health, really is. We hope that through the last few weeks we have helped to clear away some of the ambiguity around what it means to be healthy. Our goal is to quiet some of the noise and give you the information and tools you need to feel empowered to make the best decisions for your health. Trust your body. It knows what it’s doing.

Go Thrive,

The Foundation Chiropractic Team

 


A Different Perspective on Health

In the vein of making positive life changes, for our third post of 2017, we want to provide you with a different perspective on how you approach your health. One of our main goals at The Foundation Chiropractic, is to help provide some clarity, to remove the noise, so that you may feel empowered to make the best health decisions for you and your family.

graph-23We are constantly striving to remind you of what it means to be healthy; how each of your health decisions today dictate your future health. We want to introduce you to the concept of salutogenesis or “salus,” Latin for health, and “genesis” meaning birth is the study of the origins of health and focuses on factors that create, grow, and support human health. The opposite approach, pathogenesis (“pathos” = disease) is the study of the origin of disease. It seeks to avoid, eliminate, and treat disease, taking the view that treatment and elimination of disease are equitable to health. But, consider this: the avoidance of something does not automatically mean the presence of the opposite. You are avoiding disease, but are you finding health? The distinction is an important one.

Salutogenesis is a pro-active approach to health. If you develop and grow positive health and lifestyle choices, you will create an internal environment that is not supportive of disease. Pathogenesis is based on the centuries old concept of “germ theory” which suggests that microorganisms cause disease and illness. If this were true, why do no two people respond to illness exactly the same? Germ theory was countered by several later studies to show that the health of the environment dictated whether the microorganisms could proliferate. It stands to reason that by creating a healthy internal environment and healthy cells, disease will not be able to thrive.

The key differences between pathogenesis and salutogenesis are illustrated to the right.

Pathogenesis begins by identifying the disease or problem, with the express goal of early detection. When you go to a primary care doctor, they take blood to check for high cholesterol, take your blood pressure, listen to your heart and lungs. All the while checking for abnormalities that could be indicative of a problem. Salutogenesis starts by looking for health potential, with the goal of maximizing its expression. You are seeking opportunities to obtain and improve your health and well-being over the long term, with the understanding that future health is determined by the decisions you make now.

The conventional approach to health is really based on elimination. Take the fitness industry, for example. We are told that exercise is imperative in helping to make you healthy, true, but the reasons you are given are all rooted in the avoidance of something (i.e. reduce the risk of heart disease, lose weight, disease management, avoid diabetes). This is a pathogenic approach – you are working to eliminate a risk factor. By contrast, salutogenesis works to create health factors. Salutogenesis highlights the importance of exercise in its ability to increase your health – creating new neural pathways, increasing good hormones like serotonin and dopamine, making more brain cells, and increasing brain power, to name a few.

Pathogenesis holds the perspective of treating disease. The approach centers upon the idea that the treatment, elimination, and avoidance of disease equals health. A conventional nutritionist may recommend that person cut down on or eliminate fats from their diet to avoid heart disease and high cholesterol. You don’t have heart disease and high blood pressure, you’re healthy! Right? Pathogenesis says yes. But Salutogenesis comes from the perspective of obtaining health. Salutogenesis encourages actions and decisions that help to increase your health. A holistic nutritionist, who subscribes to a salutogenic approach, may recommend eliminating sugary foods from your diet so as to help reduce inflammation, and improve your internal environment. Healthy cells = healthy you!

Preventing pain and loss, mitigating a situation, and minimizing problems are the focus of pathogenesis. Doctors recommend medicine for high blood pressure; the medication is not intended to fix the problem, but to keep it from getting worse. Salutogenesis focuses promoting gain and growth, continuous improvement, and the optimization of potential. The focus lies on finding ways for the body to express its optimal health.

The single greatest human instinct is fear. It is what motivated our ancestors to run from the sabretooth tiger, and what makes a mother able to lift a car off of her child. But, what does fear have to do with your health? When you have a fever, do you reach for the medicine to get rid of it, or do you ride it out and let your body work its magic by elevating the temperature of its internal environment killing off the troubling bacteria or viruses within? The pathogenic approach tells us to fear sickness. We look at disease and illness as a terrible, potentially dangerous, problem that needs to be fixed and eliminated. The motive of salutogenesis is empowerment; we are encouraged to take ownership of our health seeing our bodies as an ever-adapting ecosystem. Often this ownership comes with knowing that the only way our bodies get stronger is if they are challenged. This principle applies 100% to your immune system as well (although we are taught that somehow this is an exception). It is seen in how our bodies learn, grow, and become stronger with such occurrences as childhood illness, the flu, or a cold because when symptoms arise, the battle is typically already won with coughing, chills, fever being the final elimination process. Symptoms are part of health. Our bodies must learn to adapt, grow stronger, and healthier. What motivates your health?

Pathogenesis is a reactive approach to health care if only after signs, symptoms or disease presents itself does a person seek treatment. The delivery is based on an event, or episodically. Salutogenesis, on the other hand, is pro-active in nature, encouraging people to seek and create conditions of mental, physical, and social well-being. Because of the nature of salutogenesis, the delivery takes place over a lifetime. It is a process of education, and compounding decisions that ultimately dictate how your body exemplifies health.

The outcome of a pathogenic approach is simply for an absence of a problem. A person with osteoarthritis takes pain medication, and the pain goes away; from a pathogenic standpoint, this would be a successful outcome. Salutogenesis seeks an outcome of the presence of gain. If the same person with osteoarthritis engaged a salutogenic approach by eliminating inflammatory causing foods, keeping regular chiropractic appointments, and exercising regularly, they would see gains in mobility, strength, independence, and more.

The practitioner plays an important role in each approach. Salutogenesis sees the practitioner as a partner or a coach in your health journey. Someone who helps to support and guide your decisions and direct you toward greater health. The pathogenic practitioner is dominant in the relationship, enforcing policies and mandates about your health, what drugs to take, what procedures to have done, what therapies are needed.

Our challenge to you is this: take a moment to reflect on your recent health decisions. Are your decisions moving you in the direction of greater health? Or are they moving you towards sickness, disease, and death? Are your decisions motivated by fear of disease or empowerment to be healthy?

No matter where on the spectrum you fall, you can take a step toward greater health by contacting our office for an appointment.

Be Well,

The Foundation Chiropractic Team