14507 Ramona Ave, Chino CA 91710 (909) 393-0762
Health Tips

A few months ago, I was training with one of our members and we were talking about how many Americans have developed such sedentary lifestyles. That’s when the thought came into my mind: Have we as humans become like a tiger in the zoo? Have we created a sort of “enclosure” for ourselves with our cubicles, offices, and cars? That is a question I would like to discuss with you today.

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Health Tips
woman sleeping   We don’t usually think about our back when we sleep. Only when it is bothering us and we are in pain. Certain positions tend to ease the pain and sometimes we develop sleeping habits, not considering whether it is healthy or not for our back in the long run. I would like to go through some of the tips I share with our members about the best sleeping position for your spine. So, before you go and buy an expensive mattress, find out if your sleeping position is correct. There are only three main positions that you can sleep in: on your back, side, or stomach. Of course there are some that somehow manage to end up in strange positions like hanging off the side of the mattress, but we won’t go there.

Sleeping on your side

This is by far the worst position you can sleep in. Why? Take a look at the image below. When you are sleeping on your side, your support comes from your hips and your shoulders. Based on which is wider, one part of your body is higher than the other. a-woman-asleep-in-bed-edited   Also, the part of your spine that is in between your shoulders and hips is left with no support and therefore arches down. This causes a curve in your spine that can lead to problems such as scoliosis, unnecessary strain on the muscles on one side of your spine, as well as uneven pressure on your discs.

Sleeping on your stomach

This is not as bad for your back as it is for your neck. When you sleep on your stomach, you’re forced to turn your head either to the right or to the left. Throughout the night you have to keep turning your head from one side to the other because it eventually becomes uncomfortable. When your head is turned, the muscles on one side of your neck are contracted, while the other side is stretched out. What this is doing is creating an imbalance in the muscles of your neck. This may lead to pain and tightness, herniated and bulging discs, and pinched nerves. I have personally experienced a pinched nerve in the neck from falling asleep on my stomach. I woke up and when I turned my head to the left I felt a sharp pain. Luckily, I knew some exercises that I could do at our center, and the pain went away completely.

Sleeping on your back

This is the best position to sleep in. Why? Because your spine is in a neutral, relaxed state. It is being supported all the way from your neck to your hips. It is not curved to the side in any way. The best way to think about your sleeping position is to imagine your posture when you are standing up and looking straight ahead. Are your hips and shoulders parallel? Yes. Is your head hunched forward? No. In a comfortable standing position, your shoulders and hips are parallel and your head is straight up. Now try to mimick this posture laying down on your back with your hands at your sides. That is the best sleeping position. One thing to remember is to stay away from big pillows that force your head to hunch forward. Instead, go with a small, thin pillow, or no pillow at all. Long, cylindrical pillows that fit underneath your neck work as well.

Develop a habit

Sleeping on your back may feel strange at first but that is simply because you are most likely used to sleeping another way and have developed a habit. Start by forcing yourself to sleep on your back for 30 minutes at night. As it gets easier, increase the time until you have developed the habit of sleeping on your back. Many people fall into the categories of side and stomach sleepers. Combined with a lack of exercise for their spines, this is a recipe for disaster. If you already sleep on your back, great! A multitude of things can contribute to back pain. Not just a lack of exercising. What I have found through working with many people is that back pain relief always requires a lifestyle change. This is one of those things that simply can’t be overlooked because we do it on a day to day basis and it has a direct impact on our spine. Develop healthy sleeping habits and your back will thank you later.
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Health Tips
water in a glass As many of you may know, water plays a crucial role in your bodies. You yourselves are around 56-60% water. You can’t live without it. You know that not having enough water can result in tiredness, headaches, and even dry skin. But, what some of you might not know, is that your level of hydration has an effect on your discs as well. Read on to find out how.

The Structure of our Discs

Discs are your body’s natural shock absorbers. They connect the vertebrae together and act like joints. Discs are comprised of two main parts: 1) the outer layer: made up of many gelatinous and tough rings 2) the inside (nucleolus): a jelly like substance that is about 80% water

Water and Your Discs

Water plays a big role in the function of your discs. It is responsible for lubrication, delivery of nutrients, and eliminating waste. It also helps maintain the height of discs. Dehydrated discs will shrink in size and can cause pinched nerves. One of the ways water is absorbed in the spine is through something called imbibition. This happens when your vertebrae move and create a sort of pumping motion. Think of a sponge that takes water in and out when you push down on it. Because of this, it is important for your spine to be moving and not sedentary throughout the day. During your sessions at our center you exercise and help improve the imbibition in your spine. In the case of herniated or bulging discs, this movement helps to move the necessary nutrients to your discs in order for them to heal. If you stay sedentary, the flow of nutrients slows down and discs heal much slower. Another way to rehydrate your discs is through sleep. Discs lose some of their water throughout the day, and sleeping helps get some of it back. Provided, you stay hydrated throughout the day. You generally need about 7.5-9 hours of sleep per day. Now how much do you need? Doctors recommend eight 8-oz glasses per day, which is about a half gallon. Not only will it help regenerate discs, but it will also help to flush out many toxins from your body. I hope that this post has been helpful for you and may be an encouragment to stay hydrated throughout the day. Small things that may seem not too important, like drinking enough water, can have a big impact on your spinal health.
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Health Tips, Our Story
Learning about back health     This week we will be celebrating our 1 year anniversary. That year has been filled with many blessings as well as challenges. I am a firm believer that we should never stop learning. Schooling, no matter which degree we may hold, will never teach us all that there is to know. It is only the beginning. This year taught as well as confirmed for me a few important facts in regards to back health. I would like to share them here.

Back Pain is Relatively Easy to Eliminate

The ACA states that “most cases of back pain are mechanical… meaning they are not caused by serious conditions.” The vast majority of back pain is really just caused by weak spinal muscles that tighten up over time. Some of us expect that the answer to back pain has to be technical and complicated. Go to most PT clinics and chiropractors and you will find a vast array of fancy machines and workout stations. But, I found that our one simple station, because of the way it’s been designed, is able to produce better, and quicker, results. These aren’t my words, but comments I’ve received from so many of our members that have already tried PT and other back pain approaches. The majority of conditions can be cured with simply exercising. Not constant stretching, inversion, or adjustments but, the right kind of exercise that targets the spine effectively. It’s actually quite simple and improves your back health drastically.

Many Don’t Want to Put in the Work

I believe that many people are starting to become more lazy. They would rather sit down and watch the game, than go spend an hour exercising. Because of this, they are constantly looking for the shortcut/easiest solution to their problem, even if it isn’t a true solution. For example, medication, using the newest gizmo that claims to relax the spine, or a pill that claims to relieve your pain in just a matter of hours. They steer away from anything that requires commitment and effort to get results. In the case of back pain, it takes consistency: coming in regularly for your sessions. Even though many members get relief in a few sessions, for others it may take a few months to completely eliminate their pain, because of how severe their situation is. If we don’t want to put in the work, we shouldn’t be surprised when we see no results and have to go through the consequences of poor back health. Just like at the gym: we shouldn’t expect to get in shape in just a few weeks. It takes months! And when we get there, we need to maintain it. Same with the spine. If it had no muscles at all, we wouldn’t need to exercise it repeatedly. But, it does. So it is crucial to keep excercising our spinal muscles for optimal back health. Luckily, the muscles we need to strengthen are small and don’t need alot to maintain their strength.

The Old Way of Doing Things Just Isn’t Improving Back Health

The most common thing I hear from new members is “I’m sick and tired of constantly stretching”, or “going to get an adjustment constantly.” And you should be. Alot of these approaches just keep the back pain at bay for a short while longer. They don’t completely eliminate pain for good or improve your back health. The fault is in the approach. Now some may laugh at me for saying this, but I believe that the whole medical arena has become just a giant business. Don’t believe me? Look at pharmaceuticals. The first thing many of our members recieved from their doctors/therapists was a package of prescription drugs and pain killers. It would do more harm than good most of the time. One member even said he got medicine for cancer patients, for his back pain. All it did was make him woozy and still in much pain. The industry is packed with things that just mask pain and do very little to eliminate it. Why? Because when you cure someone of their problem, they don’t need to come back to you anymore. I will be going through a series very soon that will cover all of the current options available out there for back pain and spinal issues, and their pros and cons. With all these options for back pain out there, you would think that we should’t have so many people with back pain. In fact, studies show that cases of chronic Lower Back Pain are increasing every year. “Half of all working Americans claim to have back pain each year.” (ACA) That is just ridiculous and just shows that the way we deal with back pain has to change and the public should be educated about how to maintain proper back health. Which leads me to my next point.

Being Uneducated Will Hurt Us in the End

We need to start learning to take care of our bodies. We can’t simply rely on others to tell us what to eat, or help us in exercise. Reality is, not everyone is correct when it comes to health. A person that has very little knowledge about their back and overall health can be easily decieved by a marketer trying to sell them a new treatment. Always do your homework beforehand. Also, a doctor/therapist won’t live your life for you, or experience your pain. You may just be another patient in a vast group of patients. A few of our members told me that they had spent hours researching about their spine because doctors simply weren’t helping at all. Each physician had their own varying opinion. You yourself need to know how to take care of your body. This information isn’t locked up in some secret vault that only doctors and surgeons can access. No. There is a bigger than ever pool of information available online and in books. The only barrier between you and that knowledge is a willingness to learn and get educated. You might say, “I don’t have time for this.” All I can say is that you better MAKE time! You’ll thank yourself when you’re 70, living a healthy lifestyle, and not in a hospital. What you do right now will affect your health in the future. Neglect your back now, and you’ll pay for it in a matter of years. Guaranteed.  
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