Modified from the ICPA
By Dr. Hannah Anderson
“Ouch! My legs hurt!”
Have you ever had your child wake up in the middle of the night complaining of leg pains?
Do you remember having them as a child?
These are commonly referred to as “growing pains” and can be defined as recurrent leg pain in children ages 2–12 years. The term “growing pains” was first seen in medical literature in 1823. And back then, there were many different explanations for these pains. Some said they were a symptom of rheumatic fever, but were proved wrong later.
So, what are Growing Pains?
Although there are no known medical causes, theories range from muscle fatigue to juvenile arthritis. A South Australian study published in the August 2004 issue of the Journal of Pediatrics found that approximately 36.9% of children 4–6 years of age experienced growing pains. Nearly one third of the children in the population! These leg pains are usually brushed off as normal occurrences by medical doctors who contribute them to daily physical activity. Parents are given few to no options for treatment from pediatricians (occasionally they will suggest massaging the legs and using tylenol). Parents are told this is normal during the growth process and it will pass.
Most parents would like a little more comfort that this, especially when they’ve awoken to their child’s cries night after night. Should we accept this weak diagnosis of “growing pains” that affect 25%– 40% of children?
Are there other options available to alleviate these leg pains?
What about chiropractic care? From a chiropractic standpoint, we look at biomechanics and use our understanding of the growth process. The first five years of a child’s life is the time of greatest spinal growth. During the first year of life, the spine increases 12 cm in length and another 15 cm between 1 and 5 years of age. That’s a lot of growing in a small amount of time!
Between 5 and 10 years of age, the growth rate decreases to 10 cm. There’s another increase at puberty between approximately 10 and 18 years of age with 20 cm of spinal grown in males and 15 cm in females. Logically, if something interferes with this growth process, there may be problems. Here’s a few possible ways the growth process can be disturbed:
1.What if a child was put into a baby walker before his/ her body was ready to walk?
a.This premature walking assistance can alter biomechanics, leading to postural abnormalities, disruption of proper locomotion skills, and also injury to the child.
2.Birth trauma (all that pushing and pulling during a hospital birth can do a number on our joints!).
5.Overly sedentary lifestyles
These are common things, but they should be addressed by a chiropractor, rather than leaving them to do spinal damage.
Many children also have complaints of spinal pain in addition to the leg pain. There is little medical research tends to focus only on growing in the legs. Chiropractors look at the body as a whole and not as separate parts. Chiropractors recognize that, if there’s stress in one area of the body, the rest of the body will somehow compensate for this stress.
How Does Chiropractic Help?
Chiropractors work with the spine and nervous system. The nervous system controls every system, organ, and cell in the body. The spinal column houses the nerves, with nerve roots exiting between each spinal bone, called vertebrae. Stress overload, such as physical, emotional, or chemical stress affects the function of the nervous system. And the nervous system can affect any system or organ of the body. The doctor of chiropractic performs a thorough exam of the child’s spine and locates areas of misalignment contributing to this nerve system stress. The specific chiropractic adjustment restores nervous system function and the child’s WHOLE body benefits!
Growing pains is one common disorder resulting from nerve system stress. The child may feel leg pain, which can range from an achy, throbbing feeling to a sharp pain. Wacky biomechanics and spinal misalignments creates imbalances in the leg muscles, which may contribute to leg pain. See how this is coming full circle?!
Additionally, pelvic misalignment can lead to leg-length inequalities; so the child is unevenly distributing his or her weight, placing additional stress and strain not only on the spine, but feet, ankles, and knees as well.
If you child has leg pains both day or night, and rubbing his legs, give little to no relief, visit a pediatric chiropractor (like Dr. Anderson)!
For more information visit: www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org and www.icpa4kids.org.
Aug 5, 2014
Dr. Travis Bradburry, Coauthor Emotional Intelligence 2.0 & President at TalentSmart
The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control.
If you follow our newsletter, you’ve read some startling research summaries that explore the havoc stress can wreak on one’s physical and mental health (such as the Yale study, which found that prolonged stress causes degeneration in the area of the brain responsible for self-control). The tricky thing about stress (and the anxiety that comes with it) is that it’s an absolutely necessary emotion. Our brains are wired such that it’s difficult to take action until we feel at least some level of this emotional state. In fact, performance peaks under the heightened activation that comes with moderate levels of stress. As long as the stress isn’t prolonged, it’s harmless.
Research from the University of California, Berkeley, reveals an upside to experiencing moderate levels of stress. But it also reinforces how important it is to keep stress under control. The study, led by post-doctoral fellow Elizabeth Kirby, found that the onset of stress entices the brain into growing new cells responsible for improved memory. However, this effect is only seen when stress is intermittent. As soon as the stress continues beyond a few moments into a prolonged state, it suppresses the brain’s ability to develop new cells.
“I think intermittent stressful events are probably what keeps the brain more alert, and you perform better when you are alert,” Kirby says. For animals, intermittent stress is the bulk of what they experience, in the form of physical threats in their immediate environment. Long ago, this was also the case for humans. As the human brain evolved and increased in complexity, we’ve developed the ability to worry and perseverate on events, which creates frequent experiences of prolonged stress.
Besides increasing your risk of heart disease, depression, and obesity, stress decreases your cognitive performance. Fortunately, though, unless a lion is chasing you, the bulk of your stress is subjective and under your control. Top performers have well-honed coping strategies that they employ under stressful circumstances. This lowers their stress levels regardless of what’s happening in their environment, ensuring that the stress they experience is intermittent and not prolonged.
While I’ve run across numerous effective strategies that successful people employ when faced with stress, what follows are ten of the best. Some of these strategies may seem obvious, but the real challenge lies in recognizing when you need to use them and having the wherewithal to actually do so in spite of your stress.
They Appreciate What They Have
Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the “right” thing to do. It also improves your mood, because it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23%. Research conducted at the University of California, Davis found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood, energy, and physical well-being. It’s likely that lower levels of cortisol played a major role in this.
They Avoid Asking “What If?”
“What if?” statements throw fuel on the fire of stress and worry. Things can go in a million different directions, and the more time you spend worrying about the possibilities, the less time you’ll spend focusing on taking action that will calm you down and keep your stress under control. Calm people know that asking “what if? will only take them to a place they don’t want—or need—to go.
They Stay Positive
Positive thoughts help make stress intermittent by focusing your brain’s attention onto something that is completely stress-free. You have to give your wandering brain a little help by consciously selecting something positive to think about. Any positive thought will do to refocus your attention. When things are going well, and your mood is good, this is relatively easy. When things are going poorly, and your mind is flooded with negative thoughts, this can be a challenge. In these moments, think about your day and identify one positive thing that happened, no matter how small. If you can't think of something from the current day, reflect on the previous day or even the previous week. Or perhaps you’re looking forward to an exciting event that you can focus your attention on. The point here is that you must have something positive that you're ready to shift your attention to when your thoughts turn negative.
Given the importance of keeping stress intermittent, it’s easy to see how taking regular time off the grid can help keep your stress under control. When you make yourself available to your work 24/7, you expose yourself to a constant barrage of stressors. Forcing yourself offline and even—gulp!—turning off your phone gives your body a break from a constant source of stress. Studies have shown that something as simple as an email break can lower stress levels.
Technology enables constant communication and the expectation that you should be available 24/7. It is extremely difficult to enjoy a stress-free moment outside of work when an email that will change your train of thought and get you thinking (read: stressing) about work can drop onto your phone at any moment. If detaching yourself from work-related communication on weekday evenings is too big a challenge, then how about the weekend? Choose blocks of time where you cut the cord and go offline. You’ll be amazed at how refreshing these breaks are and how they reduce stress by putting a mental recharge into your weekly schedule. If you’re worried about the negative repercussions of taking this step, first try doing it at times when you’re unlikely to be contacted—maybe Sunday morning. As you grow more comfortable with it, and as your coworkers begin to accept the time you spend offline, gradually expand the amount of time you spend away from technology.
They Limit Their Caffeine Intake
Drinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the “fight-or-flight” response, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re responding to a curt email. When caffeine puts your brain and body into this hyperaroused state of stress, your emotions overrun your behavior. The stress that caffeine creates is far from intermittent, as its long half-life ensures that it takes its sweet time working its way out of your body.
I’ve beaten this one to death over the years and can’t say enough about the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams), so that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough—or the right kind—of sleep. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present. Stressful projects often make you feel as if you have no time to sleep, but taking the time to get a decent night’s sleep is often the one thing keeping you from getting things under control.
They Squash Negative Self-Talk
A big step in managing stress involves stopping negative self-talk in its tracks. The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts. When you find yourself believing the negative and pessimistic things your inner voice says, it's time to stop and write them down. Literally stop what you're doing and write down what you're thinking. Once you've taken a moment to slow down the negative momentum of your thoughts, you will be more rational and clear-headed in evaluating their veracity.
You can bet that your statements aren’t true any time you use words like “never,” “worst,” “ever,” etc. If your statements still look like facts once they’re on paper, take them to a friend or colleague you trust and see if he or she agrees with you. Then the truth will surely come out. When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain’s natural threat tendency inflating the perceived frequency or severity of an event. Identifying and labeling your thoughts as thoughts by separating them from the facts will help you escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive new outlook.
They Reframe Their Perspective
Stress and worry are fueled by our own skewed perception of events. It’s easy to think that unrealistic deadlines, unforgiving bosses, and out-of-control traffic are the reasons we’re so stressed all the time. You can’t control your circumstances, but you can control how you respond to them. So before you spend too much time dwelling on something, take a minute to put the situation in perspective. If you aren’t sure when you need to do this, try looking for clues that your anxiety may not be proportional to the stressor. If you’re thinking in broad, sweeping statements such as “Everything is going wrong” or “Nothing will work out,” then you need to reframe the situation. A great way to correct this unproductive thought pattern is to list the specific things that actually are going wrong or not working out. Most likely you will come up with just some things—not everything—and the scope of these stressors will look much more limited than it initially appeared.
The easiest way to make stress intermittent lies in something that you have to do everyday anyway: breathing. The practice of being in the moment with your breathing will begin to train your brain to focus solely on the task at hand and get the stress monkey off your back. When you’re feeling stressed, take a couple of minutes to focus on your breathing. Close the door, put away all other distractions, and just sit in a chair and breathe. The goal is to spend the entire time focused only on your breathing, which will prevent your mind from wandering. Think about how it feels to breathe in and out. This sounds simple, but it’s hard to do for more than a minute or two. It’s all right if you get sidetracked by another thought; this is sure to happen at the beginning, and you just need to bring your focus back to your breathing. If staying focused on your breathing proves to be a real struggle, try counting each breath in and out until you get to 20, and then start again from 1. Don’t worry if you lose count; you can always just start over.
This task may seem too easy or even a little silly, but you’ll be surprised by how calm you feel afterward and how much easier it is to let go of distracting thoughts that otherwise seem to have lodged permanently inside your brain.
They Use Their Support System
It’s tempting, yet entirely ineffective, to attempt tackling everything by yourself. To be calm and productive, you need to recognize your weaknesses and ask for help when you need it. This means tapping into your support system when a situation is challenging enough for you to feel overwhelmed. Everyone has someone at work and/or outside work who is on their team, rooting for them, and ready to help them get the best from a difficult situation. Identify these individuals in your life and make an effort to seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Something as simple as talking about your worries will provide an outlet for your anxiety and stress and supply you with a new perspective on the situation. Most of the time, other people can see a solution that you can’t because they are not as emotionally invested in the situation. Asking for help will mitigate your stress and strengthen your relationships with those you rely upon.
Taken from: http://familysponge.com/simple-green-smoothies/10-kid-friendly-green-smoothie-tips/
How do I get my kids to eat well?
How do I get my kids to eat their green veggies?
How do I make a smoothie that my child will like?
As a parent, I know how challenging it can be to get kids to eat their veggies – especially the green ones. The answer for me came in a tasty cup of a fruit smoothie packed with fresh leafy greens, a green smoothie. Most kids love a sweet cold treat, so making this dessert-like beverage for breakfast has been the best healthy habit my family and I have made this year.
Making green smoothies is so much fun! Plus you get all these great benefits: lots of green veggies, plenty of fruits, an abundant amount of nature’s vitamins, and you get what your body needs— like live enzymes and essential amino acids (protein).
Image from: Happy foody
10 Kid-friendly green smoothie tipsHere are 10 tips and tricks to transition your child to drink green smoothies every day that I have used with my own child.
1. Make a Transition Smoothie: Being bold and extra green on your first smoothie attempt will not win new green smoothie lovers. Baby steps are the key to making a smooth transition to developing a taste for greens in your child’s smoothie. So make those first few smoothies creamy with a lot of fruit and just a hint of green veggies. Then with each smoothie you serve, add a little less fruit and a little more green leaves. Also a little less juice and milk and a lot more filtered water. Your goal is to pack in your child’s daily needs for green vegetables.
Great smoothie starter: Strawberries and Cream Smoothie
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen mixed berries (the more berries you add, the more purple it looks)
1 cup low-fat milk
1 cup V8 fusion fruit juice
1/4 cup fresh baby spinach
Hint: Make yourself a more green smoothie, and they may wonder why their smoothie is not the same color as yours. It worked for me, but may not work for all kids.
2. Be a Model Smoothie Drinker: I was guilty of not getting my daily green veggies, so it’s no surprise that greens were not in my child’s daily eating habits. Now that I am drinking my green smoothie for breakfast everyday (I get most of my recipes from our sister website Simple Green Smoothies), I am leading by example for my child. Green smoothie drinking is no longer an option, but a routine and healthy lifestyle choice in our household.
3. Start a Smoothie Race: Kids love a challenge, and a smoothie race is a great way for you and your child to gulp those nutrient packed smoothies down super fast. This is the best fast food you could ever have. My daughter, husband or I say,”Smoothie Race!” and we all know the race is on. After a few sips, we put our cups together to see who is in the lead. This is actually a great motivator for adults to finish their smoothies quickly before they go off to work.
4. Name Your Smoothies: Got a favorite green or purple character? Why not name it after them? Our green smoothie is called The Green Hulk (My husband can’t help but impart his love of comics with our daughter).
5. Add a Straw: Silly Straws are a hit in our house. Just make sure to rinse them right after, so the smoothie doesn’t dry out in the straw.
6. Add Something Special on Top: Missed blending a smoothie for breakfast? Make a special after-school snack treat with a little Soy Whip Cream or garnish it with a flower, sliced strawberries or a paper parasol. But make sure they know this is a very special treat.
7. Focus on the Easy Greens: Fresh baby spinach and kale seem to be the mildest of the greens, and they are easy to find at your local grocery store.
8. Prep Together: Let your child participate in the whole smoothie preparation from the grocery store to blending. Have your child help pick out which fruits and veggies to buy, wash the fruits and veggies in a colander, and measure and pour the water into the blender.
9. Serve It with Style: Present the smoothie in a pretty dessert glass and serve it with a spoon.
10. Encourage Healthy Choices: Add the term “growing food” to their vocabulary. Set a routine and boundaries for healthy eating. When your child is looking to indulge in a not-so-healthy snack, ask them, “Did you finish your smoothie today (answer: no). That’s so sad; I give treats, to kids who finish their growing food and drinks. Are you ready to finish your smoothie? (answer: yes). Great, that’s a healthy choice you made!”
When you blend leafy green vegetables, they are a lot easier to digest. The fibers are liquified making the nutrients absorb super easy. Studies have shown that children and adults alike generally accept a new food by the eleventh try. So join the Family Sponge community in a smoothie challenge and make a healthy habit last a lifetime!
And once your child is ready for a little more green, go ahead and try some of thesegreen smoothie recipes.
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Back in Line BLOG
Drs. Nate, CJ, and Hannah will take turns sharing information they stumble across from certain research, publications, or may just post a quick healthy tidbit to keep you motivated to leading a happier, healthier lifestyle!