Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture of Park Slope

(718) 398-3100

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workout

"No time for a workout," you say?

On days when you can't make it to the gym or you wake up with no ambition to go for that run, there are still things you can be doing to stimulate your brain and body. It just takes a little bit of creativity: workouts can be done in small doses (1-10 minutes) that still capture the same benefits as a full workout.

A quick workout should:

  • Get your heart rate up

  • Move your muscles to remove them from a state of constant contraction 

  • Encourage blood to flow more freely to all parts of the brain and body.

Micro-workouts serve a purpose

They do serve a very important purpose of bailing you out on days when a full workout is not on the cards. Focus on simplicity: you should be able to jump up from your seat at work and dive into a workout within your personal space. Examples of this include 5 minute yoga or pilates routines, 60 seconds of jumping jacks or 20 push-ups in an hour. Planking is great because all it asks is for you to get into and hold a position for as long as you can! The weight of your body and the position will condition the parts of your core which count for maintaining good posture throughout the day. 

Make your space workout-accessible 

Keeping a set of dumbbells, a yoga mat or a jumping rope stowed underneath your desk allows you to jump in and out of a workout whenever you have a spare moment. Workouts are about discipline so it makes sense to start small and work your way up- the important part is that you get your body moving throughout the day when you would otherwise be sedentary. 

Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C.

seasonal depression

From winter fatigue to seasonal affective disorder, the grey months have a tendency of getting us down. 

And there is a perfectly logical biological explanation: the shortage of daylight hours upends the hormone that controls sleep and waking cycles and leaves you feeling less energetic toward life. The hormone, known as melatonin, may be produced in greater quantities due to the lack of light, and this has a direct effect on mood and energy. There is nothing we can do about the quality of light during winter, so managing your seasonal depression demands a multi-dimensional strategy.

Exercising the factors that are within our control to fight seasonal depression: addressing your lifestyle.  

  • Diet: a major factor in seasonal depression is a lowering of energy. There are foods we can use to add energy in and substances we can limit that take energy out. 

  • Exercise: besides getting your heart rate up and your endorphins rushing, exercise gets you outside to reap what little natural light is available and this goes a long way toward fighting seasonal depression. 

  • Environment: sit next to open windows, light candles and relax; fight stress on all fronts! This is the best way you can keep the incursions of seasonal depression at bay. 

Boosting vitality with chiropractic and acupuncture in order to fend off seasonal depression.

Limiting the effect or degree to which seasonal depression affects your life comes down to making healthy decisions and managing stress; these are two major ways we specialize in helping you adjust your lifestyle for the change of season. If seasonal depression has got you feeling listless or apathetic, click here to find out how our treatments balance the body and energize the mind

Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C.

low back

The anatomy of the lumbar region is the key to its importance.

Located in the lower back are the five largest vertebrae by diameter in the spinal column. These five bones are the literal backbone of a region whose primary importance is bearing the weight of the upper body. Exiting the spinal column at this level is a network of nerves called the lumbar plexus which influences the very basis of movement- the mechanics of the abdomen and legs.

Why is the lumbar region so often injured? 

There are many answers to this question but it is most often a question of degredation: over time, the thousands of micro-movements that we put our bodies through on a daily basis compound and cause degredation of the structures and muscles which provide our stability and weight-bearing duties. This phenomenon of age is often exacerbated when we don't take proper care of our bodies; by carrying extra weight; by letting our muscles fall by the wayside; by succumbuing to almost constant poor posture. The most common underlying causes for low back pain include: 

  • Muscle strain 
  • Disc herniation 
  • Disc degneration 
  • Bone spurs
  • Breakdown of the cartilage

How we help at Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture in Park Slope

We want to first focus on prevention. If you are lucky enough to have a lower back that doesn't cause you too much trouble, NOW is the time to start strengthening it to prevent a future of dysfunction and potential pain. Through strengthening the auxiliary muscles, teaching awareness and application of proper posture and teaching good body mechanics, we can ensure that the lower back is not overburdened. And if it is, we provide you with the chiropractic adjustment, decompression and muscle treatment therapies that make a difference in helping speed up recovery from injury. Give our office a call to schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C. 

vitality

Vitality is a state of strength and passion for life

Tied up in the concept of human vitality is energy, your capacity to prosper in the face of life's ups and down; your ability to renew and move forward; your enthusiasm for life. When we are young, our minds and bodies are endlessly vital and respond to the demands of life with imagination and perseverence. As we age, our bodies begin to slow and require maintenance while our minds think less creatively- we tend to fall into rhythms. Often these rhythms ebb and flow between the demands of work and home, sleep and diet, being social and alone time; it's a balancing act that sometimes stacks odds against us. In moments both high and low, your vitality determines your reaction and shapes how you move forward. Chiropractic and acupuncture are complementary practices that target this vitality: bringing out the best in you; helping you heal; preventing your body from letting you down.

 How we help 

  • Chiropractic adjustment: the regularity of internal and external stressors demands that we regularly re-align the body so that the nervous system can work optimally and healing is maximized.
  • Therapeutic massage: for increasing blood circulation to stiff, sore muscles, helping them heal and provoking the body's release of feel good chemicals that fight pain and stress.
  • Exercise & Rehabilitation: stretching and strengthening are two of the most important tools in our arsenal when it comes to rehabiliation and prevention moving forward. 
  • Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine: to ease pain, fight stress, improve circulation and increase well-being. 

Realizing your full potential is about letting go of those things that are holding you back. 

At Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture, we are your allies in the fight to keep you vital and on top of life. If you think your body and mind could benefit, give our office in Park Slope a call to schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C. 

shoulder pain

Chronically tight shoulders

What does it mean to have chronically tight shoulders? It means leaving work every day with that twinge of tightness at the base of the neck; that slight bit of pain that can be felt when we articulate our shoulders overhead. We become so used to it because we can function without fixing it, but is this how we go about other problems? Maintenance of our body is like the maintenance of a house or car: pain and stiffness are the signals that tell your brain something needs to be fixed.

The role of the trapezius

The trapezius is essentially the central muscle in the upper back, and it is divided into three parts: upper, middle and lower. The upper trapezius connects from the lower back of the head to the clavicle and is the most active in a sit-heavy lifestyle. Are you familiar with that hunched over look that is so common in the office? It is a definitive posture of the desk-bound worker in which the upper trap is constantly contracted, pulling the shoulders up and inwards. Simultaneously, the middle and lower traps, which usually play a role in shoulder stabilization, are not being called upon to do anything so they weaken from lack of use, further shifting the burden of stabilization and articulation onto the upper trap. And voila, your shoulders are stiff and sore. 

Shoulder tightness is a vicious cycle

If we let it go on long enough, chances are that something will give, and it could happen with even the most basic daily motion. Fortunately, chiropractic is tailor made for addressing tight shoulders. Because the problem is of a mechanical and muscular nature, we focus on releasing them muscles of the upper back from tension by using trigger point therapy. Using chiropractic adjustment, we restore balance to the thoracic spine, removing nerve irritation and improving range of motion. From here, it is a matter of strengthening and stretching the right muscles to ensure that they work in harmony to help you maintain good, pain free posture. Shoulder and upper back tightness are not normal and should not be treated as such; if you need help reversing this vicious cycle, give our office in Park Slope a call to schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C.

hipsters

The posterior chain is a group of oft-neglected, yet crucial muscles that define the backside of your body, including muscles of the lower back, the glutes, hamstrings and calves. Sit-heavy lifestyles conspire to wreak havoc with this muscle chain, leaving our hip flexors and quads shorter and tighter and creating a domino effect which destabilizes the lower back. The glutes are key muscles in this process- when they become weak or inhibited, it is a clear sign that the posterior chain is at least partially compromised. Range of motion must be accounted for somewhere, and the lower back, a region already well known for the burden it supports, is called upon to take on even more responsibility. While rotating and lifting should be done with the hips, many people use their lower backs to initiate these movements, which is a perilous proposition. 

No matter the object, whether it be a cat toy or a dumbbell, lifting is an action that should be performed with the legs and not the back. To be more specific, it should begin by sitting or squatting with the hips to lower, then lifting with a hip thrust forward. At Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture, we focus on helping people restore function and range of motion to the posterior chain so that the hips can be fully utilized as the powerful force that they are.

This means relearning what has been lost: proper body mechanics so that you know how to move. This means awareness that sitting for hours on end causes chronic tightness and the shortening of muscles that need to be mobile. This means treating those tight muscles with soft tissue work and, finally, it means strengthening and stretching these muscles regularly to keep them in prime condition so that they don't burden the lower back further. All of these elements will make a difference in pain that is caused by the lower back compensating for muscles that are firing short in the posterior chain. 

Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C. 

Contact Information

Phone: (718) 398-3100
alt phone: 347-201-5624

Email: ParkSlopeChiropractic@gmail.com

Address:
71 8th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11217

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Office Hours

 Monday:    10:00 am - 8:00 pm
 Tuesday:    9:00 am - 8:00 pm
 Wednesday:    9:00 am - 8:00 pm
 Thursday:    9:00 am - 7:00 pm
 Friday:    10:00 am - 7:00 pm
 Saturday:    9:00 am - 2:00 pm
 Sunday:    Closed