December 2015 - Northwest Pain Relief Centers

Monthly Archives: December 2015

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One Resolution You Should Ditch This Year

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Each year, across the nation, people make tons of New Year’s resolutions, most of which fall by the wayside by the time Valentine’s Day arrives. Maybe this is the year you quit smoking, or do more volunteer work, or learn to say no more often. It’s certainly honorable to set goals for yourself, even if they’re in the form of New Year’s resolutions.

The one resolution you might want to scrap? Losing a certain amount of weight. Whether it’s 10 pounds or 100, the number should not be the focus of your resolution.

Why is establishing a weight loss target a less worthy goal than other resolutions? Because it focuses on the wrong thing. True, you may need to lose a certain number of pounds, but a better resolution would be one based on why you need to lose weight in the first place.

  • Have you gained weight during an overindulgent holiday season? It may be time to consider why you overindulged. Often our consumption is tied to our emotional health, whether it’s consumption of food or some other commodity. Until you determine what need you’re trying to fill with food, any weight you lose will likely return later in the year. Want to lose weight and keep it off? Start by nurturing yourself, and indulging in things you love that aren’t unhealthy or fattening.
  • Is your goal to be more capable of sports or other physical activities? Focus on the sport, not the scale. Do you want to walk a 5k, but can’t seem to walk to your mailbox? Concentrate on making it to that mailbox, and once you’ve conquered that, walk all the way across the street, and every day, keep taking baby steps toward your goal. The non-scale victory you’ll experience when you participate in your first 5k will be much more thrilling than watching numbers on a scale move.
  • Are you trying to live an overall healthier lifestyle? This is probably the best resolution you can make. Get more exercise, push past your bad habits, and change your relationship with food. Once you see food as fuel, you are on your way to making good food choices, based on nutrient density and how the food makes your body feel.
  • The one time a number is important is when it’s prescribed by your doctor. If you have a medical condition for which it’s recommended that you lose a certain amount of weight, by all means, do it. Consider, though, the factors mentioned above when you’re deciding how to go about losing the weight.

Here’s the good news: you’ll lose the weight you need to lose. When you focus on meeting your goals, living your best life, and being the healthiest you can be, you’ll find you’re happier and the steps you’ve taken will help you lose the weight. By focusing on the underlying issues and desires, you’ll get to the goal you wanted to reach.

At our clinic, our goal is to help our patients live an overall healthier lifestyle. Embracing an integrated approach to wellness, we create a customized plan for each patient, to help them find their own paths to optimal health. Addressing diet, exercise, supplements, and other wellness factors, we strive to help people live their best possible lives, free from pain and illness. Call today for your free consultation, and learn what we can do for you.


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How to Avoid Common Winter Illnesses

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The winter brings with it brisk temperatures, plenty of time indoors, and an increased risk of illness. But is getting sick in winter inevitable? While winter illness is common, there are certainly steps you can take to be proactive in keeping it at bay.  

  • The common cold can be caused by any of more than 200 viruses.With all those opportunities, no wonder most people find themselves sniffling at this time of year! The best way to avoid those nasty bugs? Wash your hands! Washing your hands thoroughly and frequently, and avoiding contact with infected people will help you fight off a cold. If you do get infected, the best things to do are exactly what your mom always said: get some rest, drink plenty of fluids, eat some chicken soup, and keep washing your hands.
  • The CDC recommends that people older than six months get a flu shot, but is that the best way to avoid the flu?There are different schools of thought on this, and even the most hardcore flu shot advocates admit that the shot doesn’t cover all strains of the flu each year. As with a cold, the influenza can be avoided by hand washing and avoiding contact with those infected, but it also helps to frequently disinfect things like keyboards, telephones, doorknobs, and remote controls. If you do get the flu, baby yourself as much as you can in the beginning, and don’t treat the fever with medication if you can help it- there’s some evidence that a fever helps “burn off” the illness, because higher temperatures give white blood cells an advantage.
  • Norovirus is commonly known as the stomach flu, and it reaches its peak in winter. It’s very contagious, so again, hand washing and avoidance are the best preventative measures.
  • RSV, or Respiratory Syncytial Virus, is an extremely common upper respiratory illness. It’s like a cold, but affects the lungs and breathing passages, and can be very serious in little children. Babies should definitely be kept away from people with cold-like symptoms, and again, hand washing is extremely important.
  • Does it surprise you to learn that foodborne illness increases in winter? It may be a case of too many cooks in the kitchen during the holidays! The best way to avoid these nasty illnesses, like salmonella? Avoid cross contamination, from sharing cutting boards or wash water between produce and animal products. And remember the old food safety adage: if in doubt, throw it out!

It’s pretty obvious that the best way to keep well this winter is to wash your hands and stay away from sick people. It’s also wise to take care of yourself, even during this busy time of year, by eating healthy foods, taking immune system boosting supplements, and getting plenty of rest. At our clinic, we work with our patients to help them live their healthiest lives, free from illness and pain. Call today for your free consultation, and see what we can do for you!


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Is Paleo for You?

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Certainly, by now everyone has heard of the Paleo diet. Unless you yourself have been living in a cave for the past few years, the chances are good that you know someone who follows this so-called “caveman diet”, and many people find it very rewarding. Paleo devotees say that their diet brings them many health benefits, including weight loss, reduction of cellular inflammation, and more. So is a Paleo diet right for you? Read on to learn more. 

  • What, exactly, is a Paleo diet? Touted as a “primal” diet, the Paleo diet is actually an updated approximation of the diet of the Paleolithic era, before agriculture was developed. It’s updated because the much of the food we have available to us did not exist during the Paleolithic era, and approximated because the reality is that people in different places ate different things. The basic idea is to eat like a hunter-gatherer, eating vegetables, fruit, seafood, meat, poultry, eggs, nuts, and seeds.
  • What’s the benefit of eating like that? This kind of diet, which eschews grains and processed foods, is naturally gluten free and low in high-glycemic carbs and added sugars. The Paleo diet is also rich in antioxidants, phytochemicals, omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fat, low-glycemic carbohydrates, and soluble fiber. Consuming these nutrients, while avoiding processed foods, is likely to make a person feel healthier. Remember, Paleolithic people got plenty of exercise and fresh air, too, which is an important part of any healthy lifestyle.
  • Are there any drawbacks? Well, yes. First, if you were truly able to go back to the diet of your Paleolithic ancestors, you might reconsider when you realized their lifespan was only about 20 years. Obviously, that was not entirely due to their diet, but our modern diet does contain some nutrients, like vitamin D and calcium, that are in short supply in the Paleo diet. In addition, Paleolithic meat animals were much leaner than the meat we eat today, which means that those who try to follow the Paleo diet may be unintentionally ingesting too much unhealthy fat. The assertion made by some proponents of the Paleo diet, that our bodies are not designed to process foods developed beyond the Paleolithic era is inaccurate, as our digestive systems have certainly evolved.
  • What’s the best way to design a diet plan? Even though it’s not true to say that our digestive systems haven’t gotten past the Paleolithic era, there are many things that Paleo enthusiasts have gotten right. The modern diet, full of processed foods and sugar, is not the healthiest way to eat. Focusing on lean proteins, fresh produce, nuts, and seeds is not a bad idea, though there are beneficial nutrients to be gained from whole grains, dairy products, and legumes as well. Seeking balance in your diet is important, as is getting plenty of exercise. If you’re confused about how to make the right dietary choices, consult a nutritionist for advice.

At our clinic, we strive to help our patients lead balanced lives, striving for healthy consistency rather than jumping onto each new diet plan that comes along. Our nutritionists are happy to help you determine the right kind of diet for your particular body type, lifestyle, and health factors, in order to set you on your own path to optimal wellness. To learn more about how we can help you live a healthier life, visit our website for call today for a free consultation.


 
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