COVID-19 UPDATE: WE ARE STILL OPEN DURING THESE UNIQUE TIMES.
In light of COVID19, we are aware of how this has affected many businesses and lives as stores are shutting down left and right. At the Alpha Spine Center, we are taking precautions to minimize contact while still providing the NUCCA care you need to ensure your body’s nervous system and immune system are communicating at there best! We are here to help you as long as we are allowed to stay open! Here are some procedures we are doing to ensure your health and safety during your visit as we abide by the Federal guidelines.
We have a $900 Surgical Grade Clean Air Purifier by Airpura Model UV600 HEPA to keep the air clear of pathogens and particulates. HERE is a link to the companies website. You can also purchase it on Amazon.com and other clean air companies on the web. These are the same units used in surgical centers to clean the air 99.9%. Click HERE for more details.
Social-Distancing - The recovery room will remain closed to avoid shared spaces. Each patient is brought right back to a room to help with Social-Distancing. We encourage resting in the car for 10 minutes to allow the NUCCA correction to set before departing.
All surfaces and door handles are disinfected after each patient with disinfectants.
Extensive cleaning of all surfaces throughout the day.
Most importantly, there are steps YOU can take to STAY HEALTHY!
The Immune System - The immune system consists of various biological processes that protect the body against pathogens and disease. It operates at a threshold and can be compromised when it is overloaded or the body is overly taxed. Some factors that can lower our immune system’s ability to defend against sickness are high levels of stress, lack of sleep, staying hydrated, sedentary lifestyles, alcohol and drug use, poor diet, smoking, and exposure to allergens and food sensitivities. Our body has defenses against viruses, bacteria, parasites, and other pathogens that make contact on our skin and get into our body through the mouth and nose and other orifices. The immune system is constantly protecting us from getting sick at any given moment, so here are some tips to keep it working optimally during this pandemic.
11 PRACTICAL WAYS TO STRENGTHEN YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
1) NUCCA Care - First and foremost, NUCCA treatments are essential to free the body of interference in the nervous system and decreasing physical stress on its function. The nervous system and immune system work hand-in-hand. If nerve response is compromised and less efficient, the immune system will not operate at full potential either. The NUCCA adjustment allows for increased blood flow to the brain, the control center for ALL body functions, allowing for more oxygen and nutrients to nourish this vital organ. It helps the Autonomic Nervous System to work at its full potential in order to manage the external and internal stresses of life. The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system are the two parts of the autonomic nervous system (fight/flight response to stress). When the NUCCA correction is performed it increases the abilities of these two systems to function. During this season, we will remain open as long as we are legally able to during this national crisis.
2) Exercise - The gyms may be closing! But there are plenty of alternative means to stay active and keep your body healthy and strong. Consistent exercise bolsters the immune system by reducing stress hormones that lower our immune response. It also decreases inflammation in the body, allowing our body to respond to physiological pressures from pathogens. Hiking and running are great ways to get out while still socially distancing yourself from others. Online workout programs range from cheap to free, and can be done from the comfort of your living room! I personally enjoy www.beachbody.com which is only $15 to enjoy a wide range of exercises for all types! Tight on money? YouTube is flooded with all sorts of work out routines, yoga sessions, and exercise tips! One of my favorite Yoga sites is Yoga by Adriene
3) Clean Eating - The shelves are clearing of food, but instead of hoarding all the frozen pizzas, shop for a variety of foods that our body needs. It is important to get the essential nutrients through our diet. Include fruits and vegetables with every meal, and limit inflammation increasing foods such as dairy, gluten, and red meat products.
4) Pound that Vitamin C - We recommend taking around 2000 mg per day, whether it’s a supplement or a powder packet. You can take more due to the fact Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. You know you are taking enough if you start having soft stools. Here is a link describing the difference between water-soluble vitamins versus fat-soluble.
Vitamin C is involved in many immune system processes. Chiefly, it encourages the production of pathogen and infection-fighting White Blood Cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes. It also helps our skin remain healthy, allowing for better pathogen protection on the skin's surface. Try DesignsForHealth available through the ASC.
Here is the link to order the products we are recommending:
5) Vitamin D and Zinc - Take some time to isolate yourself on the porch or on a solo walk to soak up the rays. Sun exposure allows your body to produce much needed Vitamin D. Most Americans have a Vitamin D deficiency. We recommend supplements which are available at the links below, and are especially needed after these last two months of constant rain here in Georgia. Need access to a supplement, try Designs For Health through the ASC: — Vitamin D Supreme — Zinc-Supreme
6) Drink Plenty of Water - H20 is vital to our body. Staying hydrated aids our immune response by flushing out toxins and allowing your cells to take in nutrients. It is also the key substance in lymph. Lymph is the fluid that carries body fluids from the blood to the lymph nodes where white blood cells are amassed to fight and destroy infectious agents.
7) Allergies - Many of you, like myself, may already feel the itchy eyes and irritation of spring pollen in the air. If you are someone who suffers from seasonal allergies, limiting your outdoor time during the threat of COVID19 will allow your body to stay below its immune threat threshold.
Stay indoors and breathe in clean air!
8) Clean Air - This means stay away from smoky environments that contaminate the air with particulates and toxins. At the Alpha Spine Center, we keep the air in our office clean using a Surgical Grade air purifier by PuraAire UV600 HEPA. Clean air, and keeping up with air filter replacement and maintenance is important for reducing the concentration of foreign particles entering our bodies. The more our bodies are bombarded by dust, pollen, dander, or harmful substances, the more taxed our immune system is.
9) Wash Your Hands - Wash them like you have to put your contacts in after cutting up a bunch of jalapeños. This means a minimum of 20 seconds of rubbing the soap into your hands before rinsing it off. Also, disinfect commonly touched surfaces such as doorknobs.
Here is a good VIDEOfor you to review regarding washing your hands:
10) Pray and Meditate - The verse 2 Timothy 1:7 comes to mind during this season. “God did not give us a sprit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind.” It is important to be prepared, but not to panic. Stress is a major effector on the immune system. Keeping our hearts, minds, and spirits calm will reduce stress hormone release and keep the immune system healthy. This is a unique time for many of the economic, social, and health consequences of this pandemic are serious, but not insurmountable.
11) Bring Balance to Your Day and add Some Joy and Laughter to the Day - There is a lot of serious news out there. Balance you day with some laughter with the family, watch a comedy skit that brings a smile, play a game with the kids, play chase, or turn the news off and listen to an inspiring song. Many cultures in hardship use song and dance to help balance difficult times. The key is to Remain calm, be responsible, and take a deep breath as life slows down for the unforeseeable future.
We are here for you during this time. Correcting your spine and managing your acute pain is an “essential service” we will continue to provide during this time. We have changed our flow in our office to make sure social distancing is observed by bringing you directly to your treatment room. You can also call us from your car when you arrive so we can call you in for when we are ready for you to be seen. For further information we will use our text messaging and email system to keep you informed.
In this together, Dr. Bryan Salminen and the ASC Team
April showers bring May flowers, and getting out in the garden brings benefits for your well being and physical health! Gardening goes beyond merely beautifying your home: A 2017 research analysis of multiple studies from around the world published in the Preventive Medicine Reports shows a wide trend of gardening health benefit that range from reduced depression and anxiety, weight loss, increased satisfaction and well-being, as well as a sense of community. Roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty to enjoy the following benefits of gardening:
Vitamin D - Being outside and in the sun is crucial for our body to produce enough Vitamin D. It is one of the chief vitamins in our body that allows our body to absorb calcium and maintain healthy, strong bones! In fact, a 2009 study in the US shows a positive correlation of stronger bone density.
Weight Loss - gardening and landscaping is a moderate physical activity and burns calories at a higher rate than going on a walk the same amount of time. In a study done by the American Journal of Public Health, men and women who were involved in community gardening had lower BMI’s (body mass indexes) than those not involved.
Decreased Dementia Risk - According to a 2006 study on lifestyle factors and risks of dementia, gardening “could lower the risk of dementia by 36 %
”Improved Mood, Less Stress - A study from the Netherlands showed signs of lowered stress. After completing stressful tasks, subjects who gardened rather than read inside reported better moods and showed lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Well Being - Being in contact with nature is shown to boost the mood and relax the mind. It is also shown to provide a sense of community, as community gardening provides opportunities for social interaction.
While these are all great benefits that can come from gardening, be aware of potential risks to your spinal health! Bending over and manual labor puts stress on the spine. Gardening with proper posture and alignment to protect the nervous system, improving your body’s physical strength, and maintain a strong core through exercise will allow you to garden longer with less risk of injury. Ask you ASC doctor for care and tips to enjoy the benefits of gardening without putting your back and body at risk!
NATURE'S SUPPLEMENTS: FOR ALERGY RELIEF
Finally! All that cold weather is going away, and the flowers are blooming, the grass is growing, and many of us are finally ready to get outside! But for many of you, Spring means weeks of sneezing, runny nose, and coughing!
Allergies are caused by an overreaction of the immune system to foreign substances in the body. This could be pollen, pet dander, dust, or some foods. These allergens build up in the body until a threshold is reached. When the threshold is triggered, the immune system kicks in and has specialized white blood cells that release histamine into the body (the hormone responsible for the inflammation we experience). Everyone’s immune response and level of thresholds to different allergenic substances vary from person to person, which is why some people have different food allergies, or get hit worse when the trees start to bloom! When the sniffles hit, and the eyes scratch, your relief can sometimes be just a drugstore counter away. However, an increasing number of allergy sufferers say the road to relief is through a variety of all-natural ingredients and supplements that studies show can help, all without the side effects of antihistamine drugs (such as drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, moodiness). Here are some researched natural remedies you can check out!
Butterbur - One of these natural treatments is using herbal and nutrient supplements! One such herb is the European butterbur. The extract from the root of the butterbur shrub has been used since the Middle Ages to treat fevers and more recently for coughs, asthma, headaches, and hay fever. It is safe and most people tolerate it well! In a study performed by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, a group of British researchers found that butterbur was is effective at reducing symptoms for grass allergies!
Grape Seed Extract– Nutrients that help fight allergy symptoms are also found in grape seed extract, and a compound called quercetin. Both of these are especially abundant in red wine, but can also be taken as a supplement, and are “most effective when in conjunction with Vitamin C.” It is said to reduce our body’s histamine production, the primary cause of inflammation during an allergic reaction. Some other helpful herbal supplements are dried nettles and goldenseal.
Spice Up Your Meals - Another method to battle allergies is looking to the kitchen to cook up some relief in the form of spicy foods! “Experts say the spicier the dish, the more likely it is to clear nasal passages” Use spices such as cayenne pepper, hot ginger, fenugreek, or just onion and garlic to help clear up those sinuses!
Omega-3s - Break out the nuts and cook up some fish! In a German study published in an allergy journal, they found that those who ate foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids were less likely to suffer allergy symptoms. Omega-3s help fight inflammation and are found in cold-water fish, walnuts, flaxseed, and grass-fed meat, and eggs!
Foods to Avoid - Gluten and Dairy products are known to increase mucus production in our bodies. People find relief from runny noses and congestion by limiting intake of these foods. Gluten sensitivities can show symptoms such as headaches, indigestion, stomach cramping, drowsiness, and general inflammation of the body. It is found in processed wheat, rye, and barley, products such as pastas, breads, pastries, crackers, and other processed snacks. Dairy comes in many forms from cheeses, butter, milk, cream and yogurt. Luckily, these days it is easy to find nondairy and gluten free substitutes at the grocery store. Other foods to avoid are processed foods, alcohol, peanuts, wheat, chocolate, and sugar are known culprits that act as a catalyst for hay fever. Be Aware of Your Sensitivities - Finally, try cutting out foods that provoke mild sensitivities or upset stomach. Cutting out food that you are intolerant to better keep your body under the allergic threshold, especially while you are bombarded with that spring tree pollen. Common insensitivities range from person to person. Some of these include intolerance to eggs, gluten, dairy, and soy products.
Be Aware of Your Sensitivities- Finally, try cutting out foods that provoke mild sensitivities or upset stomach. Cutting out food that you are intolerant to better keep your body under the allergic threshold, especially while you are bombarded with that spring tree pollen. Some common food sensitivities to be aware of are gluten allergies and lactose intolerance in pasteurize dairy products.