Keeping Inflammation out of your Christmas Plans

Inflammation park slope brooklyn

Remaining vigilant to inflammation during the holiday season

Take a look at the foods we eat during christmas: delicious, but often full of inflammatory ingredients. From sugar to unhealthy fats, it is always prudent to take a look at what we are putting into our holiday dishes. But cooking delicious food doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your health. If avoiding inflammatory ingredients is a health priority for you, a quick search on the internet can help you come up with alternatives and substitutes for your favorite recipes that include non-inflammatory ingredients in place of inflammatory ones! 

Awareness is the key to a holiday full of health

At Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture of Park Slope, we are in the business of helping people design holistic health solutions for their particular health condition. If you struggle with chronic inflammation, we can help you navigate a holiday season which is rife with inflammatory pitfalls. From keeping stress down, to managing pain and focusing on healthy alternatives to inflammatory foods, we are standing by to help you this holiday season. 

Managing Holiday Stress with Acupuncture

Holiday acupuncture park slope

Acupuncture for lowering stress this holiday season

Keeping stress down and mental function high during the holidays is a balancing act. Acupuncture helps to regulate your body’s energy flow, reduce pain, and improve mental coordination. This is an invaluable aid when you are navigating the myriad holiday engagements that define your schedule. 

Other ways you can keep stress down include

  • Focusing on getting your exercise despite the time constraints: even a brisk 10 minute walk can boost circulation and alleviate muscle tension.
  • Keeping booze consumption reasonable: alcohol is inflammatory, not to mention laden with calories that you don’t need. Let loose to a reasonable extreme this holiday season!
  • Avoiding inflammatory foods: apply the law of diminishing returns to sugar and saturated fat- yes there is a measurable effect on happiness related to pie, but it sharply declines after the first piece!
  • Making you time: just finding time to curl up in a chair and read is invaluable during a busy christmas schedule. 

We’re not asking you to forego all the pleasures of Christmas time in the city; we are simply asking that you keep sight of what really matters- your health and sanity. 

Adding acupuncture into your holiday health routine

If you are interested in taking the time to experience the benefits of acupuncture this holiday season, give our office in Park Slope a call to schedule an appointment. If you are open to it, a single session can have an amazing restorative effect on brain and body. It helps us keep things in perspective; the only things that matter during the holidays are the things that always matter- family, friends and good health. Happy Holidays to all of our neighbors in New York City.  

Don’t Forget to Treat your Muscles this Holiday Season

Muscle therapy park slope

Natural modalities for overcoming muscle pain

If you need some inspiration this holiday season, stop by our office in Park Slope to find out how we speed the recovery process for sore muscles. We do it using a dynamic approach that combines several proven modalities:

  • Deep tissue therapy: massage sparks circulation, bringing healing nutrients to a region in need of rebuilding.
  • Stretching: reinforce the pliability of your muscles and send oxygen where it is needed most.
  • Heat therapy: penetrate deep into sore muscles and improve tissue elasticity.
  • Acupuncture: as discussed in our Acupuncture for the Modern Athlete series.
  • Chiropractic: adjustments regulate the nervous system, improve range of motion and relives nerve impingement.

We believe in the power of renewal that the holiday season brings

When it’s all said and done, draw yourself a bath and let the hot water soothe those last aches and pains right out of you. The holidays are a time of treating yourself right! We want to show you how easy it can be to make improvements in your spinal health and overall wellness without resorting to medication or surgery. Give our office in Park Slope a call to schedule an appointment today. 

Improving Athletic Performance by Maximizing Mobility

Athletic performance park slope

How mechanical back pain affects athletes in Park Slope

Mechanical back pain makes us less mobile. All of your joints are designed for movement- it is essential to their maintenance and their mobility is all the more important for athletes. The most common mechanical back pain that affects athletes is caused by joint dysfunction; spinal joitns that move out of alignment and becmoe restricted in their range of motion. This could make moving the region sore, and contribute to other impairments:

  • Lost range of motion
  • Reduced strength, endurance and speed 
  • Back pain, whether local or radiating

And the problems can compound to leave you with more serious spinal conditions including herniated discs, degenerative disc disease and sciatica. Don’t let range of motion Hold you back from achieving maximum performance- read on to find out our plan for helping athletes overcome mechanical back pain in Park Slope. 

Helping athletes overcome mechanical back pain in our community

Overcoming mechanical back pain starts with a proper diagnosis. At our office in Park Slope, we provide every athlete with a full physical examination that pinpoints the source of the pain and dysfunction. From here, we create a dynamic plan that seeks to reduce pain and maximize mobility. A properly-aligned spine imparts the following benefits on athletes:

  • Body balance: even development of the musculature in the spine.
  • Muscular coordination
  • Improved endurance and strength
  • Better circulation
  • Less back pain

Using natural modalities such as chiropractic adjustment, we restore alignment to the spine and restore mobility to joints which are restricted. Deep tissue therapy, acupuncture and heat are all used to facilitate healing and improve ciruclation in the restricted region. Our goal is to get you back to full health and maximum mobility as fast as possible. If you are interested in starting this process, give our office in Brooklyn a call to schedule an appointment today. 

Chiropractic and Acupuncture for Chronic Pain

chronic pain

Chronic pain is down to the brain 

When you have been experiencing pain for more than 6 months without cessation, you know that your condition is deeper than the acute effects of an injury. Most doctors agree that chronic pain has a neuropathic element; much of the pain is perceived through a misfiring nervous system. When nerves in the spine are impeded or otherwise not functioning correctly, they begin to act abnormally. This neuropathic element is at the heart of chronic pain, contributing to conditions such as:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Headaches 
  • Repetitive use injuries 
  • Neck pain

Chronic pain is a distress signal: chiropractic and acupuncture respond

Chronic pain is your body telling you that something is wrong and it’s time to act. And while medication and surgery have their places in the treatment spectrum, they often fall short because they fail to address the root cause of your chronic pain. Acupuncture and chiropractic take a different approach: both modalities release endorphins, your body’s natural painkillers, during treatment. 

  • Chiropractic focuses on reducing tension within the body. By restoring your spine’s alignment, we restore balance to overworked and underworked muscles, thereby reducing muscle tension and contraction. Chiropractic adjustment further alleviates impingement from spinal nerves, decreasing the sensitivity of your nerves
  • Acupuncture is another great modality for releasing tension and restoring balance to the body. Indeed, many acupoints align with key motor points in the body, meaning that a well-inserted needle can have an immediate stimulatory and pain-relieving effect.

A holistic plan for treating chronic pain in Park Slope

At Community Chiropractic and Acupuncture of Park Slope, our job is to stimulate your body’s natural ability to heal. Let us provide you with the modalities that matter to kick start your body’s healing process. If you are interested in finding out more about how we treat chronic pain, give our office in Brooklyn a call to schedule an appointment today. 

Returning You to your Best: Rehabilitating Sports Injuries in Park Slope

Sports injuries rehab park slope

Chiropractic and acupuncture for sports injuries in Park Slope

These two therapies offer a holistic approach to healing that seeks to facilitate the body’s natural healing capacities. Given the appropriate mix of rest and rehabilitation, we can return sports injuries to a state of stability, allowing you to focus on reintroducing execise into your life. Our modalities have been proven to treat the following sports injuries: 

  • Back pain
  • Joint dysfunction
  • Sciatica
  • Neck pain 
  • Tennis elbow
  • Groin and thigh sprains

Moving forward from sports injuries in Park Slope

From here, we work alongside you to ensure your spine is properly aligned as we reestablish a full range of motion to the site of injury. By maintaining spinal alignment going forward, we improve performance and function both in the body and brain. This is a crucial factor in preventing reinjury. If you are interested in implementing a more dynamic approach to rehabilitating your sports injury, give our office in Park Slope a call to schedule an appointment today. 

Acupuncture for the Modern Athlete: Using Acupuncture to Boost Immunity

acupuncture immunity

Acupuncture’s effect on immunity

Acupuncture boosts the body’s immune response by increasing circulation and fighting off inflammation. From the Traditiona Chinese Medicine perspective, acupuncture regulates the body’s energy pathways. In Western Medicine, this effect is experienced as improving blood flow throughout the body. Furthermore, acupuncture has powerful anti-inflammatory capacities. Because inflammation is now thought to be the base of so many diseases, the anti-inflammatory effect of acupuncture is seen as an effective aid for the body’s immune response in battling off illness when energy reserves are low. 

What slow’s an athlete down more than illness?

During any interval of training, acupuncture is recognized as an effective aid for improving immunity and resistance to illness. Receiving treatments in the hours following intense exercise increases circulation, oxygen and nutrient flow and allows your body to rest and recuperate effectively for the training ahead. If you are interested in using acupuncture to improve athletic performance, give our office in Park Slope a call to schedule an appointment today. 

Posture Hacks

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.


Deskercise: Fitness on the Job



Deskercise is about being a fitness ninja

The first step is realizing how harmful a sit-heavy lifestyle is, especially for your spine. Studies show that even 2.5 hours of vigorous exercise a week does not fully offset the harm done by sitting 70% of every weekday. So let’s be sneaky: add in a bit of strengthening and movement without even standing up by deskercising. 

When the thought occurs to you, try running through this deskercise checklist. 

  • Ab squeeze: tighten abdominal muscles, hold 5-10 seconds, release. Repeat 15 times. 

  • Glute squeeze: tighten glutes, hold 5-10 seconds, release. Repeat 15 times.

  • Shoulder shrug: raise shoulders up to ears, hold 5 seconds, let them down. Repeat 10 times.

  • Neck resistance: Put head in hands and push against it, using neck muscles to resist. Then put hands on back of head and push, using neck muscles to resist in the opposite direction. Hold each for 5 seconds and repeat up to 5 times. 

  • Leg raises: while seated, straighten legs up in the air, hold 5-10 seconds. Repeat 15 times. 

You don’t have to get up from your chair and you don’t even have to stop working. As a chiropractor, I chose to focus on deskercises that target muscle groups in the core, the upper legs and upper back. These are the areas which incur the most stress throughout the work day and will leave you feeling tight. To add some relaxation into the party, practice simultaneous deep breathing to circulate oxygen through all your cells. 

Deskercise is about changing attitude. 

It’s not the be-all, end-all and it should certainly not serve as your sole work out routine. However, it trains your brain and body to appreciate the benefits of a little muscle stimulation during a day of heavy stagnation. This should set you on a trajectory toward moving more and relieving your body from the ill-effects of a sit heavy lifestyle. 

Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C. 

Making the Low Back your Best Friend

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.