Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture of Park Slope

(718) 398-3100

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pro inflammatory

Inflammation is an individual struggle 

As we age, our bodies will face their fair share of degradation and, for many of us, this will include a modicum of painful inflammation; this is a reality of nature. What is not inherent in nature is the choices we are making as a society and on an individual level that actually encourage inflammation when it doesn't need to be there. Obesity and diabetes are the current epidemics of our age and the kind of diets that contribute to those conditions are the ones that are sure to contribute to inflammation as well. 

Take stock of your habits to see if you are living a pro-inflammation lifestyle 

Below you will find factors that contribute to inflammation, but only those that are within your control; genetics, autoimmune diseases, virus and injury are not included.

  • Smoking
  • High-sugar foods: raise the presence of an inflammatory markers called cytokines 
  • Saturated fats: increase adipose (fat tissue) inflammation and can simultaneously affect chronic or acute inflammation
  • Too much stress and too little sleep: raise your level of cortisol, a stress hormone which is linked to inflammation. 
  • A sedentary lifestyle: When your muscles move, they produce anti-inflammatory substances; if you're not moving, this isn't happening for you. 

How we help reduce inflammation in Park Slope

Chiropractic targets inflammation at the source: when joints are misaligned, inflammation is never far behind. When a joint remains misaligned, and inflammation is allowed to subside, it can create pain in the affected area. Correcting misaligned joints and reducing inflammatory cytokines are two key ways that chiropractic helps reduce the presence of inflammation. Give our office a call to schedule an appointment and start turning around a pro-inflammatory lifestyle today!

Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C.

 

junk food

Define: Junk Food

It's the kind of food that gets your mouth watering at the very thought. We can all think of our favorite junk food, but what does the term really entail? From McDonald's to freezer pizza to donuts, junk food is pre-prepared food that has little to no nutritional value. It is usually high in processed ingredients, sugar and bad fats. It is formulated to taste great and treat your brain's reward complex, make you feel full and give you the baseline of nutrition to stay alive but not much more! 

Junk food is not your friend

All that sugar: 

  • Spikes blood-sugar levels
  • Inflames tissues
  • Raises blood pressure 
  • Raises and drops insulin levels

The fat raises levels of undesirable cholesterol and your risk for type 2 diabetes while the sodium causes your body to retain water, making you feel bloated but also contributing to an enlarged heart muscle. 

Balancing out the junk food diet 

So you've gone on a junk food bender and you are looking to recover. Don't feel bad- with our on-the-go lifestyle, the drive-thru or ready made meal is almost an essential from time to time. However, it is important to not make this your only source of fuel. Below we have come up with ways to balance a junk-food bender. 

  • Anti-inflammatory ingredients: junk food has a tendency to raise inflammatory markers in the blood, which makes it important to balance this by eating anti-inflammatory ingredients. Adding turmeric to your next stir fry is a great place tos tart. 
  • Water, water, water! to fight inflammation and nourish the cells of your body. 
  • High-fiber foods: to balance blood sugar and optimize the function of your gut. 
  • Healthy starches: rather than the good-for-nothing starches that characterize junk food. 

Food is fuel so therefore food should be your friend! 

At our office in Park Slope, we are aware of the difficulties inherent in a fast paced lifestyle; we are often at the mercy of the clock which leaves us little room for choice when its time to eat. If eating is a constant challenge, let us help you find the time to eat right and make healthy decisions across the board. 

Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C. 

goal-setting

Goal-setting helps you figure out where to start

Spring, the season of renewal, is right around the corner and there is no better time than spring to make powerful changes in your fitness routine. While it is more common to make fitness resolutions at New Years, we think it makes more sense to start when the weather is warming and the colors are getting brighter- there just seems to be more energy to tap into. For people looking to shed their winter skin and join in the movement of spring, it can help to focus on realistic goal-setting. Start by finding yourself on the fitness spectrum, with no shame: are you a no-fitness-fanatic, a dedicated gymrat, or something in-between. Before you set any goals, it is important to be honest with yourself and know just where you stand. 

A checklist for success in goal-setting

  1. Choose an appropriate time frame
  2. Start with just one goal
  3. Write it down
  4. Schedule the time

Make goal-setting easier with our help at Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture

The feeling of fully achieving a goal can be a powerful incentive to continue with more ambitious goal-setting in the future. Let's leave the winter in the rear view mirror and reap the benefits of the season to get our bodies feeling their healthiest. If you need help addressing long-standing limitations such as muscle pain or problems stemming from spinal conditions, we are your resource! At our office in Park Slope, we will help detect the true cause of your dsyfunction and create a plan for healing that will allow you to focus on successful goal-setting. Give our office a call to schedule an appointment today!

Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C.

commuting

If commuting is an inevitable part of your lifestyle, keep the damage at bay...

...by being proactive. There is no use denying it: commuting is a stress inducer- to the body and to the brain, it can be hard to find positives for sitting in traffic twice a day besides the fact that it gets you to work to earn your daily bread. If we must commute, let's be smart about it: here are some ways that we came up with to negate the effects of a commuter lifestyle. 

In the car, keep the zen alive.

  • Driving posture: stay upright with hands at 9 and 3. Use a rolled up jacket to support the lumbar
  • Deep breathing: Use this time to focus on establishing a pattern of deep breathing and get the oxygen you need to stay sane. 
  • Podcasts: while the news is important, it can add to your stress level. Switch it up and focus on a subject you love with a podcast; it will keep your brain engaged and happy.
  • Comfortable shoes: wait til you reach the office to put on those stiff shoes! Slippers can be a comfortable way to commute. 
  • Stretching: the neck and lower back are the regions which take the most damage during a drive- simple stretches can reverse this damage.

On the train, take a deep breath. 

  • Focus on relaxing activities: reading, listening to your favorite music or a podcast. 
  • Progressive relaxation: tense a different muscle group with each inhale and release on the exhale. 
  • Massage yourself: focus on trigger points to release muscles from tension.

Don't let stress sink you before you reach the office 

These techniques can help you stay balanced as you enter the workplace and this sets you off on the right foot. One way that we help at Park Slope Chiropractic is by reversing the damage that may have been wrought from years of commuting. By focusing on keeping the spine in balance and reversing muscle tension, we can help you experience less pain which is sure to take a bit of stress out of the picture. 

Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C. 

forward head posture

Forward head posture is a modern conundrum

When interacting with a mobile device, chances are your posture is less than perfect. Unless you have the perfect ergonomic set up at all times of the day, you are likely to slip into a position where you are slumped forward or craning down over a cell phone. This behavior conditions the muscles of our neck into a forward head posture, away from its center of gravity, the spine.

Forward head posture is problematic because for each inch your head is held forward, another 10 pounds of pressure is added to the spine. 

Now consider that many people we see are walking around with their heads forward 2-3 inches without even realizing and you begin to see how pervasive the problem is in our society. If you carry this kind of weight around, you are also carrying a greater likelihood for degenerative spinal conditions and painful muscle strain. 

Adapting for our spine's sake

Do you have forward head posture? Perform the wall test by standing straight up against a wall with heels shoulder-width apart and shoulder blades touching the wall. Does the back of your head touch the wall? Be honest. If not, this is a good indicator that you are carrying your head forward throughout the day. If this is the case, don't freak out! It is a reversible problem; the sooner you start the better! 

Approaching the Forward Head Problem 

Because you have repetitively trained your neck muscles into holding your head forward, we need to train them differently. There is a likelihood that certain muscles such as the occipitals and sternocleidomastoid are overly-tight. We focus on releasing these muscles from tension and strengthening the muscles that matter for holding your head centered atop the spine. Behavior and awareness are equally important- if you notice your head creeping forward throughout the day, make a correction. Soon enough your head will naturally rest where it is supposed to be-atop your body! 

Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C. 

posture challenge

Posture is a constant challenge

Even if we know the basics of "perfect posture," we still find ourselves slumped over at different points of the day. What we fail to realize is that we are fighting a losing battle. Of course the human body was never meant to sit for so many hours, so even if you could maintain perfect posture for 8 straight hours, your body would still be incurring some damage. 

The trick is to change your position regularly throughout the day

But this is highly unrealistic for many workers, so instead we have come up with a list of tricks to keep posture on your side.

  • #1 most important: pull your shoulders back and let them relax. The computer has a way of making us look like hunched over gremlins, and pulling your shoulders back defeats this position completely. 
  • Following this, check that your ears are aligned with your shoulders. This will stop your head from creeping forward and destabilizing the spine. 
  • Place a pillow or a jacket in the curvature of your lower back to help maintain a neutral posture. 

What you will notice right away is that your body, even in this new position, begins to feel stiffer even more quickly than when you were slouching. It's OK! This is your body adjusting to a normal position and the transition period is a small price to pay for the benefits of proper posture.

Most important of all, listen to your body.

If it feels stiff, stretch. If you notice your shoulders creeping, adjust. If your circulation feels stagnant, get up and have a quick walk. You get the idea! But will you act on it? 

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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Map & Directions

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