Enjoy for Good Health!

melonWe now find ourselves eating melons and other fruits throughout the year that were once traditionally known as “summer” fruits since produce grown from all over the world is now readily available in our local markets any time of the year.

Yet, watermelon seems to be the epitome of summer as the local harvest peaks during July.

This summer, be sure to include watermelon in your diet (in moderation of course) not only for the sheer pleasure of its refreshing and delicious nature but for its incredible benefits. You may be familiar with the list of benefits that watermelon offers but most likely, you may be surprised… so let’s dig in:

• L-citrulline, an amino acid in watermelon, seems to protect against muscle pain.

• Watermelon works similarly as COX-2 inhibitor drugs as it contains cucurbitacin E or tripterpenoid which blocks the activity of the pain and inflammation-causing enzyme, cyclooxygenase.

• New research showed citrulline and arginine supplements derived from watermelon extract lead to significant improvements in blood pressure and cardiac stress in obese study participants.

• Watermelon contains more of the antioxidant, lycopene, than fresh tomatoes.

• Black watermelon seeds are edible and actually quite healthy. They contain iron, zinc, protein, and fiber. (In case you were wondering, seedless watermelons aren’t genetically modified, as they’re the result of hybridization.)

• Watermelon rinds are edible and contain chlorophyll, therefore, very healthy.

• Watermelon contains 91% water and is great for keeping you hydrated.

Eat Healthy and Get Adjusted

Eating healthy foods, maintaining a good weight and getting regular adjustments can be the answer to a happy life for you and all your family. Call us at Valley Spinal Care Kierland in Scottsdale to schedule wellness care, corrective care and relief care. All natural methods don’t cause side effects and can fix a problem not just the symptom.


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Back Pain In Golfers

Couple Enjoying A Game Of GolfI’m sure that you are familiar with the saying, “It’s all in the swing.”

Your golf game may depend on it. So, how is your back affecting your golf game? Maybe, the more appropriate question is “How is golf affecting your back?”

The modern swing is one of the most unnatural positions for the body to be in. To swing correctly, you have to separate your hips and shoulders during the backswing. At the end of the swing, you are in a position of lumbar hyperextension. By contracting your abdominal muscles during the follow-up phase and rotating your trunk with feet planted in one place, the intervertebral disc is highly stressed.

Back injuries are common in golfers because of the increased pressure in the spine. The pressure is enough to cause serious injury especially in older adults since spinal mobility becomes an issue with age. A common golf injury is low back pain that comes on suddenly or pain that creeps up over time and can last 2-4 weeks.

Muscle tears are common with younger golfers. Treatment for this type of sports injury is rest and relaxation, core muscle strengthening sessions, and correcting the incorrect movement pattern that caused the injury to begin with.

Sports Health explains that lower back pain is very prevalent in golf even though the sport looks to be non-strenuous. The 26 million golfers can account for how grueling the game can be. To avoid low back pain and injury we put together a few pointers:

  • Make sure your club fits your body.
  • Try to play regularly to prevent the “de-conditioning” of your muscles. On the other hand, avoid sprees of 5x a week as well.
  • Push the golf cart. Don’t pull it.
  • Use a long putter during a round. This will decrease stress on the spine.
  • Use a dual backpack strap golf bag for carrying.
  • Lose any excess weight to help prevent injury.

    See Valley Spinal Care Kierland to ensure you’re using proper body mechanics to prevent back injuries from golf and everyday activities. Chiropractic care can keep your spine properly aligned to reduce your risk of herniated discs and pain from osteoarthritis.


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    Joint Pain

    Injury is an obvious cause for joint pain. However, a less obvious cause for joint pain is inflammation. Millions of Americans suffer from joint pain caused by inflammation and this isn’t triggered by overuse or abuse. The pain is real and yet there is no evidence of a break or damage to a joint such as a hip, elbow, wrist, knee, etc. The culprit may be inflammation brought on by diet. Your diet can be causing your joint pain. We are all vulnerable to inflammation which can become chronic unless we understand what causes inflammation and we make choices every day to keep our bodies in balance.

    What is inflammation and how can we control inflammation in our bodies?

    Inflammation is the body’s immune response to an allergen in diet. It is a biological response to try to remove it and heal- specifically with acute inflammation. Through trial and error, you can find what foods trigger your pain and inflammation markers. While there is no definitive diet for arthritis and joint point sufferers since triggers are unique to an individual, there are inflammatory foods that should be avoided or at least limited for a trial and error diet plan.

    Inflammatory Trigger Foods

    Fried Foods
    Processed Foods
    Sugar
    Refined Carbohydrates
    Dairy Products
    Alcohol
    Tobacco
    Salt
    Preservatives
    Corn Oil

    What can we do to counter inflammation?

    Adding more vegetables and fruits is usually a good diet for most individuals. Keeping your diet as pure and unprocessed as possible will help avoid various health concerns. There are foods with anti-inflammatory content that can be added to diet to see improvement in general health.

    Anti-Inflammatory Foods

    Omega-3 fatty acid fish such as salmon, mackeral, tuna & sardines
    Dark leafy greens
    Colorful vegetables such as peppers
    Nuts, particularly almonds
    Soy
    Tomatoes
    Ginger and turmeric
    Garlic and onions
    Olive Oil
    Berries
    Tart cherries – In a 2012 presentation, Oregon Health & Science University researchers suggested that tart cherries have the “highest anti-inflammatory content of any food.”

    Contact Us For Joint Pain

    As your chiropractor, Valley Spinal Care Kierland can help you determine what is causing your joint pain and offer solutions that are all natural and will get to the root of the problem. Masking the pain with drugs will not fix the cause of the problem. Contact us at (480) 443-7678 for real solutions.

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    Good Posture

    Posture is something that we tend to not give too much thought to, but in fact, posture is crucial to how we feel and how we present ourselves to the world.

    The American Chiropractic Association posts information on posture and it is worth reading and adhering to for good overall wellness and attitude.

    Their “Tips To Maintain Good Posture” is informative and can help you make a difference in your posture. Read below and make good posture part of your routine.

    As your chiropractor, we can help you with your specific lifestyle and habits. Reach out to us for more specific tips and treatments.

    Tips to Maintain Good Posture

    We often hear that good posture is essential for good health. We recognize poor posture when we see it formed as a result of bad habits carried out over years and evident in many adults. But only few people have a real grasp of the importance and necessity of good posture.

    Why is good posture important?

    Good posture helps us stand, walk, sit, and lie in positions that place the least strain on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement and weight-bearing activities. Correct posture:

    • Helps us keep bones and joints in correct alignment so that our muscles are used correctly, decreasing the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in degenerative arthritis and joint pain.
    • Reduces the stress on the ligaments holding the spinal joints together, minimizing the likelihood of injury.
    • Allows muscles to work more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy and, therefore, preventing muscle fatigue.
    • Helps prevent muscle strain, overuse disorders, and even back and muscular pain.

    Several factors contribute to poor posture-most commonly, stress, obesity, pregnancy, weak postural muscles, abnormally tight muscles, and high-heeled shoes. In addition, decreased flexibility, a poor work environment, incorrect working posture, and unhealthy sitting and standing habits can also contribute to poor body positioning.

    How do I sit properly?

    • Keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest, if they don’t reach the floor.
    • Don’t cross your legs. Your ankles should be in front of your knees.
    • Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.
    • Your knees should be at or below the level of your hips.
    • Adjust the backrest of your chair to support your low- and mid-back or use a back support.
    • Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground.
    • Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time.

    How do I stand properly?

    • Bear your weight primarily on the balls of your feet.
    • Keep your knees slightly bent.
    • Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart.
    • Let your arms hang naturally down the sides of the body.
    • Stand straight and tall with your shoulders pulled backward.
    • Tuck your stomach in.
    • Keep your head level-your earlobes should be in line with your shoulders. Do not push your head forward, backward, or to the side.
    • Shift your weight from your toes to your heels, or one foot to the other, if you have to stand for a long time.

    What is the proper lying position?

    • Find the mattress that is right for you. While a firm mattress is generally recommended, some people find that softer mattresses reduce their back pain. Your comfort is important.
    • Sleep with a pillow. Special pillows are available to help with postural problems resulting from a poor sleeping position.
    • Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
    • Sleeping on your side or back is more often helpful for back pain.
    • If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your legs.
    • If you sleep on your back, keep a pillow under your knees.

    Chiropractic Care

    Valley Spinal Care Kierland can assist you with proper posture, including recommending exercises to strengthen your core postural muscles. We can also assist you with choosing proper postures during your activities and helping reduce your risk of injury. Call Dr. Serafini at (480) 443-7678 for more information.


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    Allergies and Chiropractic

    Seasonal allergies affect many of us. As spring blossoms, the pollen, ragweed, grass, and mold may cause us to sneeze and have watery eyes. These allergic reactions are obvious and we consider these as typical allergy symptoms.

    However, there are other factors that we are exposed to daily such as foods and chemicals that may cause allergic reactions in our bodies. Allergic responses can show as joint pain, stomach issues, and other conditions that we don’t always relate to an allergy. Let’s see why the body reacts the way it does and how we can treat these symptoms with chiropractic care.

    A subluxation is a miscommunication between the spine and the nervous system. Three types of nervous system stressors cause subluxations: physical, emotional and biochemical. Eliminating subluxation may be key to reducing an allergic response.

    We encounter many biochemical stressors in our everyday lives – bad air quality to certain types of food. Every time we ingest a food source, our immune systems are activated and create antibodies. If these antibodies react adversely with the food, histamine and other chemicals can cause allergic reactions such as hives, asthma, facial swelling, stomach issues or other symptoms.

    If the body is exposed to stressors that cause subluxation, chiropractors help correct them through adjustments so the body can begin to heal itself. By combining the removal of subluxations with a patient’s better food choices, there will be a significantly reduced histamine responses throughout the body. Commonly problematic foods are soy, wheat, eggs, peanuts, milk and seafood, especially shellfish.

    Valley Spinal Care Kierland

    Chiropractic care provided by Valley Spinal Care Kierland can help you and your family with allergy symptoms. The time to get started is now so you can live your live fully! Call us at (480) 443-7678 for a consultation.

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    The Power of Herbs

    Getting through the cold and flu season, you may inquire about herbs as natural remedies for your ailments. Herbs are so beneficial to our heath in so many ways and they should be recognized. Use herbs in your cooking and remember to incorporate them into your diet for overall health and wellness.

    Basil – This aromatic herb doesn’t just smell good, it is a great source for energy, reducing inflammation, and protecting cell DNA from radiation. Basil is rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium. Basil contains high quantitites of (E)-beta-caryophyllene (BCP), which may be useful in treating arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases.

    Rosemary – This unique herb has been used in Chinese medicine for many years and is known to improve cognitive function, increase energy, and boost digestion and the immune system. It is also a good source of iron, calcium, and vitamin B6. Rosemary contains an ingredient, carnosic acid, that is able to fight off free radical damage in the brain. A major component of rosemary, carnosic acid, can significantly promote eye health.

    Oregano - This herb is used to treat respiratory tract disorders, gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, menstrual cramps, and urinary tract disorders. The herb is also applied topically to help treat a number of skin conditions, such as acne and dandruff. Oregano contains fiber, iron, manganese, vitamin E, iron, calcium, omega fatty acids, manganese, and typtophan. The essential oil of Himalayan oregano has strong antibacterial properties that can even kill the hospital superbug MRSA.

    Mint – This tasty herbal remedy is a fantastic tool for improving overall digestion, intestinal absorption, and relieving stomach discomfort. It is beneficial for asthma patients as it is a good relaxant and relieves congestion. Mint increases alertness, retention, and cognitive function and stimulates digestive enzymes.

    Chives – This onion relative is a source of vitamin C, calcium, and iron. It’s allicin content can lower cholesterol and blood pressure, which improves your overall health, particularly that of your heart.

    Bay leaves – Traditionally the true bay leaf, Laurus nobilis, has been used as a diuretic to increase urination and remove excess water and an emetic to induce vomiting, bay leaves have astringent properties that help stop secretions due to infection and reduce excessive sweating brought on by illness.

    Recently, a 2009 study found that bay leaf can affect blood glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides. This is great news for diabetes patients who commonly have the risk of heart disease.

    Beware of Umbellularia californica, sometimes sold as “California bay leaves,” since they look like the true bay leaf but they can damage the central nervous system and cause respiratory distress when inhaled.

    Contact Us

    Good health and wellness is living a healthy lifestyle to prevent long term issues. Valley Spinal Care Kierland offers resources for good health and to stay on top of your game! Call us at (480) 443-7678 for quality chiropractic services!


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    Chiropractic Boosts Effects of Super Foods

    We all know that adding fresh fruits and vegetables to our daily diets is a smart way to improve heath and well-being. Fresh fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, broccoli, and kale are categorized as “super foods” since they provide numerous health benefits based on the actions of biochemicals known as phytonutrients.

    Phytonutrients are powerful antioxidants that circulate throughout the body, scooping up and neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are a normal byproduct of cellular metabolism, but too many of them will cause a lot of problems. An excess of free radicals have been linked to development of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.

    With sufficient phytonutrients, you can help prevent chronic disease, strengthen the immune system, combat the effects of obesity, and obtain numerous anti-aging benefits

    Good nutrition provides the necessary raw materials for a healthy physiology. But in order to properly utilize these nutritional building blocks, the physiological processes themselves must be functioning effectively. This is where regular chiropractic care comes in.

    In order to put your dietary greens, berries, nuts, citrus fruits, root vegetables, grains, and proteins to good use, a complex array of networks needs to be working in harmony. Organs, tissues, and cells of your digestive, circulatory, and hormonal systems all need to exchange information smoothly and effectively.

    Your nervous system is the master system coordinating all this activity, and regular chiropractic care helps ensure that your nervous system is functioning at its best. Regular chiropractic care helps you get the most out of your good nutritional choices and helps ensure the overall health and well-being of you and your family.

    Valley Spinal Care Kierland Can Help

    Contact Valley Spinal Care Kierland at (480) 443-7678 for your family’s regular chiropractic care. Our staff is warm and caring and we take the time to explain all procedures and their benefits. A healthy lifestyle with good nutrition, exercise, and regular chiropractic care can prevent chronic disease and ensure the the overall health and well-being of you and your family.


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    Be Well in 2014!

    The New Year is the perfect time to commit to a healthier way of life. Whether you’re just getting started or returning to a wellness-based lifestyle, boost your motivation and chances for success with our wellness tips for 2014.

    It’s time to make health and wellness a priority for you and yours! Contact us today for support at every stage of your wellness journey.

    Embrace Alternatives

    Chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage provide big wellness benefits. If you haven’t tried them yet, branch out this year and test the waters. As ongoing components of wellness, regular treatments like these allow your body to function at peak performance.

    Hang With Healthy Crowd

    Your social networks have a huge impact on your life. This year, surround yourself with people who you admire and build you up. If you’re embarking on a health and wellness journey, join a walking club or health food co-op. The influence of these new groups can increase your chance of success.

    Manage Stress

    It’s unavoidable—our lives are full of stress. Ward off its harmful effects by getting regular exercise, eating healthy, and making ongoing chiropractic adjustments as part of your lifestyle.

    Get Sleep

    Adults need their sleep! It is reported that 50 to 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder. This year, commit to getting the six to eight hours your body needs to rejuvenate and heal each night.

    Get Moving

    Several recent studies show a clear relationship between how many hours we sit each day and a decreased life expectancy. You don’t need a gym membership or fancy equipment to be active. Park farther away from your destination or take the stairs. If you sit at a desk each day, walk around your office for at least five minutes every hour.

    Eat Breakfast and Add a Healthy Item To Meals

    Studies show that a fiber packed breakfast gets your metabolism going and may also lower cholesterol levels. At every meal, make just one healthy choice. If you’re eating fast food, this might mean skipping the fries or choosing water instead of soda. If you’re eating at home, bump up your fiber intake by adding a veggie or fruit to your plate.

    Change Your Mindset

    No one likes change; it rarely comes easy. Slowly incorporating small steps toward your goals over time leads to huge changes in the long run. Many people jump, headfirst, onto the diet bandwagon around the New Year, but don’t. Adopting too much change at once often leads to burnout. Instead, outline your short-term goals, achieve them slowly, and you’ll soon find success.

    Call Us

    We can help you and yours be well in 2014. Call Valley Spinal Care Kierland at (480) 443-7678 for complete wellness services. Our staff is ready to help you achieve your goals!


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    Headache?

    If you have a headache, you’re not alone. Nine out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches. Some headaches are occasional, some are more frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea.

    It is wise to look for triggers that may cause a headache to start so future headaches can be avoided. Common headache triggers can be foods, things in the environment, or behaviors.

    Ninety five percent of headaches are “primary headaches” such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches. Primary headaches aren’t caused by disease and the headache itself is the primary concern. A great majority of headaches are associated with muscle tension in the neck.

    Research shows that spinal manipulation may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck. Chiropractic care can help alleviate stress, tension, and the aches and pains that often accompany them. Instead of popping a pill to rid yourself of the next headache, find relief naturally.

    Sedentary activities and long hours in a fixed position or posture can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck, upper back, and scalp and can cause your head to ache.

    As a society and across all generations, we are spending longer hours in front of a computer or other piece of technology. Whether it be for work or school or in our leisure time, we are sedentary in a fixed position for long stretches of time. It is good practice to stretch or take a walk every 30 minutes to relieve the tension in our neck, back, and shoulders.

    Teeth clenching is common when we are stressed and it can lead to a form of tension headache. The upper teeth should never touch the lowers, except when swallowing. Clenching results in stress at the temporomandibular joints (TMJ)—the two joints that connect your jaw to your skull—leading to TMJ irritation and a form of tension headaches.

    Chiropractic care is all natural and has helped many people see a decrease in the frequency and length of tension headaches. The holidays are approaching and along with the good cheer comes stress and heachaches. We advise that you hydrate often, avoid triggers, and visit our office to maintain good alignment and good health. Call Valley Spinal Care Kierland at (480) 443-7678 to give the gift of chiropractic to yourself and those you love.


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    Lung Cancer Awareness

    November is Lung Cancer Awareness month. During the month, many people throughout the country and the world come together for the lung cancer community. Events are held; articles are written; Facebook statuses are updated, videos are created; and proclamations are issued.

    In our own lives, we can be mindful of staying healthy by eating good whole foods, incorporating exercise in our days, and keeping our bodies in line with regular holistic chiropractic care. Good nutrition keeps excess weight off and provides energy to deal with the stressors of everyday life. See the list below for foods that offer benefits in preventing and healing disease:

    Top 5 Foods to Fight Lung Cancer

    Broccoli: Broccoli tops the list of green, cruciferous vegetables that help fight lung cancer. It contains sulforaphane, which increases the production of enzymes that can eliminate carcinogens from cells. Broccoli consumed in any form is fine, but raw or juiced is believed to be optimal in order to ingest the vegetable in its purest form.

    Green tea: Studies have shown that heavy smokers who drank decaffeinated green tea had a 31% decrease in their urinary levels of 8-OHdG (a marker of oxidative stress in DNA that is higher in people with lung cancer as opposed to other cancers). Green tea has long been touted for its powerful antioxidant properties, namely catechins, for its ability to diminish cancer risks and contribute to longer lives. Quite simply, the properties of tea have been found to stop a tumor from even forming in the first place.

    Whole grains: According the University of Maryland Medical Center, foods high in iron and zinc, such as whole grains, play a large factor in reducing the severity of lung cancer symptoms.

    Salmon: This fish is an important source of Omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy fat that helps maintain a strong system. Omega-3 helps regulate circulatory and nervous system functions and is especially beneficial for those with a compromised system due to lung cancer complications. The fatty acid is also responsible for delivering proper vitamins throughout the body. It contains protein which the American Cancer Society says people with cancer need more of than those without the illness. In fact, low protein consumption can actually delay lung cancer healing. All of this, along with a balanced diet, plays a role in preventing lung cancer cell growth.

    Finding wild caught fish that promotes health might be a challenge. Additional choices for healthy fats include chia and flax in whole seed, ground, or oil form.

    Garlic: One of garlic’s potent ingredients, diallyl sulphide, acts like an antibiotic in the body and is often sought after by lung cancer patients because it may help reduce the production of cancer-causing chemicals. Garlic can also increase the white blood cells in the body, responsible for fighting toxins and helping prevent lung cancer.

    Valley Spinal Care Kierland’s Dr. Chris Serafini is dedicated to helping you achieve your health and wellness objectives.

    Call us today at (480) 443-7678 to schedule your visit and learn how chiropractic care and good nutrition can keep you healthy and in shape!


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