Posts Tagged ‘stress’

Habitually Grateful

by Guest Blogger

This weeks blog comes to us from guest contributor, Jan Leasure.  Currently Jan is a Senior Loan Officer in Libertyville, but previously was a teacher and nationally syndicated columnist for over 20 years.

Why was November chosen as “National Gratitude Month”? The obvious reason is because Thanksgiving happens in November and that gives everyone a reason to stop for a moment and visualize the things for which they are grateful.

When I was an English teacher, one of the things that I had my students do was keep a Gratitude Journal. Many students had a lot of ups and downs in their lives so sometimes writing down one thing was a struggle.  What we all learned from this exercise is that there were a lot of intangible things to be grateful for; love, friendship, a sunny day, trading lunches with your bestie, or the fact that Mrs. Leasure did not read your love note over the intercom!  What was the purpose of this exercise? We learned that although there was a lot to complain about in EVERYONE’S life, if we started off our day or class with just one thing for which we were grateful our entire day was more positive and it put things in perspective.

Now as I look back over my life with more perspective, I find that it is more important than ever to find gratitude in my life every day and in every way.

Ways that Gratitude can Help Us

  • Gratitude makes us healthier by making us feel more positive and fighting depression.
  • Gratitude can help your career. A positive employee makes for a more friendly workplace.
  • Gratitude helps us bounce back from stress and can physically lower blood pressure.
  • Gratitude leads to optimism which believe it or not can increase your life span.
  • Gratitude increases your energy levels. (Negativity sucks your energy).
  • Gratitude can help you look better (How many products are sold by crabby models?) If gratitude would make you look ten years younger, that’s like a free mental facelift! I’m in!
  • Gratitude can make you a better friend. I am deeply grateful for my friends and love them even more when they are grateful for me.
  • Gratitude can make you a better parent. Think about the difference between gratitude and criticism. Showering a child with gratitude has deep long lasting effects.
  • Gratitude has been proven to help the quality of your sleep. Count your blessings to stop counting sheep!
  • Gratitude increases your productivity – both in your personal life and in your work. Does that mean that gratitude is a money maker? Well maybe.

We all have a lot to be grateful for, not just at Thanksgiving, but every day that we open our eyes. I am taking this opportunity to write down one thing that I am grateful for every day on my calendar. My goal is to pay that gratitude forward. Try it, you’ll like it!

 

Transforming Health: All About Functional Medicine

by Kristin Stromberg, ATC

If you’re not feeling as happy, healthy and energetic as your could, join Dr. Jordan Leasure to learn about the possibilities!!

Functional Medicine asks how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual.

The Functional Medicine model is an individualized, patient-centered, science-based approach that empowers patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness. It relies on a detailed understanding of each patient’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors and leverages that data to direct personalized treatment plans that lead to improved patient outcomes.

Learn how Dr. Jordan can help change your life and receive 20% off your first Functional Medicine visit!

Supplement of the Month: L-Theanine

by Kristin Stromberg, ATC

September is officially here, and we all know what that means: school is back in session. For parents, this means taking your children to football, dance, cheerleading, swimming, piano lessons, tennis, tutors and much more. Your kids become overwhelmed with homework, reading, working on book reports, and studying for daunting tests. As a result, we are more vulnerable to stress and anxiety. Sometimes we need an extra boost, and luckily, L-Theanine can provide just that.

What is L-Theanine?

L-Theanine is a relaxing and non-dietary amino acid found pretty much exclusively in teas Camellia sinensis (mostly green and black tea) and is known to promote relaxation without sedation. The crucial difference seems to be not in whether the tea is green or black, but how young the tea leaves are at harvest. Theanine is found in highest concentrations in the buds and young leaves of the tea plant (1). It is available as a supplement that helps relieve anxiety. Theanine should be considered as a herbal remedy rather than a supplement, since it’s not found naturally in your body. As a result, like many herbs, it works to boost your body’s functioning in a natural way.

If you’re wanting to boost GABA levels in your brain (which will reduce anxiety for many people) then taking theanine might just be the perfect way to do it. Not only does theanine boost GABA (an inhibitory neurotransmitter), it also tones down some of the stimulating neurotransmitters that make you anxious (2). Moreover, it boosts brain dopamine – which is one of the “feel good” neurotransmitters – which may be the reason many people report feelings of well-being and mental focus when they take theanine.

Can’t I just drink tea instead??? Of course you can!! Some people do not like the taste of tea or they do not have the ability to make tea (at work or out and about throughout their day) and prefer to take a capsule or in liquid form. It is easy to travel with and you do not have to worry about carrying tea bags.

What are the Side Effects?

After 50 years of continual research, there are no known side effects(3). Thus, the only precaution would be if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or wanting to become pregnant. However, this applies to any supplement or vitamin, and therefore, you should always consult with your doctor. There have been no known interactions of theanine with other prescriptions or over the counter drugs. Past studies have found that theanine helps improve the efficacy of anti-cancer drugs by enhancing their effectiveness and reducing their side effects. Altogether, once a patient is able to relax mentally,  they will allow their bodies to focus on self-healing.

 

Dr. Jordan and Dr. Jade are offering a FREE consultation to see if taking L-Theanine can work for you. By mentioning this blog you can receive our L-Theanine liquid for 20% off until the 30th of September!! Call today at 847-362-4476.

 

  1. Liu, Zhi-Wei, et al. “L-Theanine Content and Related Gene Expression: Novel Insights into Theanine Biosynthesis and Hydrolysis among Different Tea Plant (Camellia Sinensis L.) Tissues and Cultivars.” Frontiers in Plant Science, Frontiers Media S.A., 7 Apr. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5383724/.
  2. Nobre, A C, et al. “L-Theanine, a Natural Constituent in Tea, and Its Effect on Mental State.” Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition., U.S. National Library of Medicine, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18296328.
  3. “L-Theanine Uses, Benefits & Side Effects – Drugs.com Herbal Database.” Drugs.com, Drugs.com, www.drugs.com/npc/l-theanine.html.

Muscle of the Month: Pec Major & Minor

by Kristin Stromberg, ATC

When people want to start exercising more, one of the first muscles they want to work on is their chest. Most people have heard of large muscle pectoralis major but seem to forget about pectoralis minor. Both need to work together in order to function at their highest capacity.

The pectoralis major muscle is a large muscle in the upper chest, fanning across the chest from the shoulder to the breastbone. The two pectoralis major muscles, commonly referred to as the “pecs,” are the muscles that create the bulk of the chest. The pectorals are predominantly used to control the movement of the arm and also play a part in deep inhalation, pulling the ribcage to create room for the lungs to expand. Six separate sets of muscle fibers are identified within the pectoralis major muscle. This enables each portion of the pectoralis major muscle to be moved separately by the nervous system.

The pectoralis minor is a thin, flat muscle found immediately underneath the pectoralis major. This is the smaller of the two pectoral muscles, or muscles of the chest. This muscle extends from three origins on the third, fourth, and fifth ribs on each side of the ribcage to the coracoid process (a small, hook-like structure) of the scapula, or shoulder blade.

The following events listed below can aggravate the Pec Major:

  • Unusual postures like head leaned forward for a long time, shoulders deliberately pushed forward, sunken-chest posture
  • Sitting in front of computer or working at a stretch on a desk may cause distorted postures
  • Sudden jerks during weight lifting with the arms out in front of the body
  • Already fatigued muscles if further used for heavy jobs may lead to simple to severe pain in the muscles.
  • Intensive anxiety over a long period of time or recurring panic attacks

The following events listed below can aggravate the Pec Minor:

  • Trauma to the chest caused by a car accident, such as whiplash
  • Major or minor fracture or strain of the upper ribs.
  • Use of crutches for a long time
  • Hyperventilation or heavy breathing
  • Mental stress for a long time
  • Carrying heavy backpack or similar things over a period of time.
  • Keeping the head forward for a long time, and sunken-chest posture that are common in people who work on computers for longer periods
  • Previous or irregular cardiac pain from a heart attack or angina pectoris

Here are some common symptoms for Pec Major and Pec Minor:

  • Pectoralis major pain may occur in the form of chest pain, shoulder pain particularly frontal part, and pain in the inside of arm to the elbow. This pain may sometimes be confused as cardiac pain which can be confirmed by medical experts
  • Impaired lymphatic drainage may cause the breast to enlarge
  • Pain may spread into the ring finger and little finger of the hand for pec major
  • A pain in between the shoulder blade may occur simultaneously
  • Pain may be felt while stretching the hands on two sides
  • Severe pain may cause a feeling of constriction in the chest which much resembles to that of angina pectoris
  • Pain may be irregular which is felt while actively using the upper arms
  • Pain may be one-sided initially, but if not treated may spread to the other side of the chest
  • A feeling of pain coming from the inside part of the elbow that is often confused with the pain of “golfer’s elbow” or medial epicondylitis may be a symptom of pec minor
  • Pain that is originating in the inside of the arm and extending up to the middle, ring and little finger may be a symptom of pec minor as well as numbness in the hand and forearm
  • Difficulty in stretching the arm forward and up may be painful

*If you think you are having chest pain and is not sure if it is muscle related or if you are having a heart attack please go to emergency room and/or check in with your medical doctor

If your symptoms are related more to pec major or pec minor here are some things to do.

  • Rest would be very important since these muscle do so much work
  • Icing the area a few times a day for 15-20 minutes at each session
  • Some sort of anti-inflammatory to control the inflammation
  • Treatment at our office would be with Low Level Light Therapy, chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy for stretching and to start implementing an exercises routine. Massage therapy to try and relax the tight and aggravated muscles. As well as a posture program to make sure the correct muscles are working properly

Mention this blog to receive your New Patient exam for only $55!! Call today at 847-362-4476

Conquering Stress in 5 Steps

by Dr. Jordan Leasure

Join Dr. Jordan for a beginning approach to tackling stress. It is a compound issue that affects all of us. We will discuss how your nutrition and physical activity play key roles in how your body handles every day stressors. Do you currently experience headaches, back pain or have trouble sleeping? It may be due to your emotional stressors!

We will cover topics from breathing exercises and gratitude journals to the importance of gut health, B vitamins and de-stressing techniques. Dr. Jordan will share some of her personal experiences with tackling stress and how her wellness training has allowed her to help thousands across the country with their challenges.

Walk away with the tools knowing you can handle anything that has been thrown at you. We will be at the Cook Public Library right down the street from our office. If you can not make it to the event then call for a FREE consultation with Dr. Jordan to see how we can help you today!

The Trapezius : Muscle of the Month

by Kristin Stromberg, ATC

The trapezius is one of the major muscles of the back and is responsible for moving, rotating, and stabilizing the scapula (shoulder blade) and extending the head at the neck. It is a wide, flat, superficial muscle that covers most of the upper back and the posterior of the neck. Like most other muscles, there are two trapezius muscles – a left and a right trapezius – that are symmetrical and meet at the vertebral column

The trapezius starts at the occipital bone and the spinous processes of the cervical and thoracic vertebrae. Then extends across the neck and back to insert via tendons on the clavicle, acromion, and spine of the scapula. The name trapezius is given to this muscle due to its roughly trapezoidal shape. The trapezius can be divided into three bands of muscle fibers that have distinct structures and functions within the muscle:

Upper Trapezius, Middle Trapezius and Lower Trapezius

 Upper Trapezius

This portion helps with elevating (shrugging) the scapula or by bracing the shoulder when weight is carried; ie purses, grocery bags, backpacks, laptop bags. The action of this muscle also helps to extend the neck. Symptoms of having issues with the upper trapezius muscle are; headaches, facial/temple/jaw pain, pain behind the eye, dizziness, stiffness and limited range of motion

Middle Trapezius

These muscle fibers help to retract and adduct the scapula by pulling the shoulder blade closer to the spine. Symptoms can be mid back pain, headaches at the base of the sku
ll, a “burning” sensation that is close to the spine, and pain referring to the shoulder

Lower Trapezius

The inferior fibers depress the scapula by pulling it closer to the lower part of the thoracic vertebrae. To rotate the scapula, the lower and upper fibers work together to  rotate the shoulder blade upward. All three sections help to stabilize the shoulder blade to prevent irrelevant movement. Symptoms can be mid-back, neck, and/or upper shoulder region pain, possibly referral pain on the back of the shoulder blade, down the inside of the arm, and into the ring and little fingers, a deep ache and tenderness over the top of the shoulder

 

Causes of Trapezius Symptoms

  • a purse or daypack that is too heavy and on just one shoulder
  • fatigue
  • tensing your shoulders
  • cradling a phone between your ear and shoulder
  • a chair without armrests, or the armrests are too high
  • typing with a keyboard too high
  • sleeping on your front or back with your head rotated to the side for a long period
  • sitting without a firm back support (sitting slumped)
  • Backpacking, bike riding
  • any profession or activity that requires you to bend over for extended periods
  • large breasts and not wearing a supportive bra
  • whiplash (a car accident, falling on your head, or any sudden jerk of the head)
  • head-forward posture
  • turning your head to one side for long periods to have a conversation
  • tight pectoralis major muscles

 

Treatment

Treatment to help reduce the pain in any of these three sections of the trapezius is thru physical therapy to increase range of motion and to help strengthen the neck. Also thru chiropractic care to make sure there are no subluxations and that the body is in proper alignment. Massage therapy will help relax the muscles from spasming and also using Low Level Light Therapy (Cold Laser) to reduce any inflammation that is being caused in the body.

If you are not sure if you are experiencing any of these symptoms mentioned above and is not sure what to do we are offering a free consultation with one of our doctors to see if we can help. Please call the office at 847-362-4476 so we can help you to start feeling better today!

Understanding Burnout and Mental Health

by Dr. Jade Dellinger

Have you ever been tired, irritable, restless and have a hard time sleeping?? These can be possible signs that you are burned out!!! People are busier than ever with work, children and everyday life. Sometimes we forget when to take breaks and just relax and take one thing at a time.

Here are some signs and symptoms that you may be burning out:

  • Problems with concentration, memory or the ability to think clearly
  • Changes in eating habits (overeating or loss of appetite)
  • Unable to complete tasks
  • Feeling sad, overly worried, worthless
  • Irritability and restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities that you have enjoyed in the past
  • Withdrawn or disconnected from others
  • Changes in energy or sleep patterns

Well what can you do about it?

  • Talk to your chiropractor, doctor, friends and family
  • Local mental health centers
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Churches or worship centers
  • If you or someone needs immediate crisis intervention then call 1-800-273- TALK (8255)

Signs that require immediate attention are:

  • Thoughts or plans to hurting themselves or others
  • Hearing voices or seeing things no one else can hear or see
  • Drop in school performance, work or any type of activity
  • Sudden personality changes that are out of character

Discussing these concerns sooner rather than later may help you or someone you know from further burnout.  There are dietary, supplemental, alternative and allopathic ways to help get over the hump and start feeling back to your self again!  Remember if you or someone you know is suffering from these symptoms and you have signs that require immediate attention such as thoughts of hurting yourself, please call 800-273-TALK or 9-1-1 for immediate assistance.

By: Kristin Stromberg, Licensed Athletic Trainer