Formerly Shea Family Chiropractic

Before I begin, let me be clear, I am not an expert in yoga, mindfulness or mediation. That being said, I am a Certified Chiropractic Wellness Practitioner.  This means that according to the International Chiropractic Association, I am an expert in all things that cause stress to the human body, how the body adapts to those stressors and what drives the body away from health and towards disease.  With these ideas in mind, I want to talk with you about why I believe having a yoga practice is a must for anyone looking to live a long, injury free life. Three years ago, myself and two of my neighbors started meeting in a garage at 5:15 AM in order to do some weight lifting and 30 minutes of yoga.  We used an app called Yoga Studio which can be purchased through the App Store and acts as your guide.  We liked the app because it allowed us to customize our routine in intensity, the types of poses and length of the session.  We dubbed this morning workout which we completed on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays as “Groga” (this is not a typo).  The reason for this was we were practicing yoga, it was done in a garage and we were always incredibly groggy (haha). As a life long athlete and someone who played division one college athletics, I have always been extremely tight.  I was never able to touch my toes, extend my spine backwards very far or stretch my extremities for fear of cramping up.  That being said, although the initial few months of my "Groga" practice was difficult and mainly uncomfortable, I began to notice some enormous changes in the flexibility of my body.  I also fell in love with the way my body felt after completing a session. My favorite part of doing yoga was the time at the end of the session when your body is fatigued, you are completely focused on the movements and you have stopped thinking about your to do list.  I loved coming into present time consciousness by completing the session with a guided meditation.  Albeit in the beginning I really struggled with clearing my thoughts, and still to this day struggle continue to have challenge with this from time to time, I was able to progressively improve how quickly and deeply I was able to meditate. The practice of yoga for me eliminated two of the

Over the last three months, I have noticed a recurring theme in the mindset of many of the patients of Aligned Life Chiropractic and Wellness.  I have also noticed this same mindset in myself lately.  This theme, I believe, stems from a lack of understanding of who we really are as human beings.  An inability to look inward and recognize our own brilliance.  I believe it also comes from a lack of maintaining a long term focus and instead, getting caught up in the short term details.  The theme I am speaking of is not loving yourself during a time period in which you are struggling physically or emotionally. As someone who regularly comes in direct contact with people who have either recently been injured or who are dealing with a chronic problem, I see the mental and physical challenge of keeping a positive outlook about ourselves.  For myself, I have identified that when I am injured, I will commonly resent my body. I will feel as if my body is letting me down and that it is inhibiting me from being my best.  Due to these negative feelings, I also notice that my emotional health suffers too.  I am writing this not to sound like a complainer, but to let you know that if you have similar feelings that these are common emotions. That being said, what can we do when our bodies are not running in pristine condition (or even average condition)?  The first step in eliminating this downward cycle is recognizing that we as human beings are not just our bodies.  We are blessed to have many different pieces of ourselves, all of which are capable of giving us joy.  What I mean by this is if your physical body is weakened, then it may be a time period to use your mind to bring you joy.  For example, it may be a perfect opportunity for internal reflection, for preparing for your future by setting goals, by getting clear on what you can do for other people and for using your mind to bring you happiness.  It may also be the perfect time to focus on getting back to basics with your nutrition, your journaling, your stretching routine, your date nights with your spouse or any other non-physical action that breeds the feeling of progress. Secondly, I recommend changing the story in your head that is trying to have you focus

Over the last year I have been recording a weekly podcast with my cohost Rachel Freeman, interviewing people from all different specialties within healthcare.  We have developed five principles that I want share with you that have changed my life.  The key, and the challenge associated with these five principles, is attempting to implement and balance all five of these at the same time. When you are able to do so, we call this living an Aligned Life.  Shea Family Chiropractic's theme of the month is “balance” so I thought this would be a great time to unveil this concept!  That being said, the name is not important.  You can call this state of being anything you like.  Some people have called it having their mojo, or being in a flow state, being in a sweet spot, being on purpose or having their chakras aligned.  What is important however, are the steps associated with getting to that place as often as possible and attempting to stay in that space for as long as you can. I want you to know that living an Aligned Life is not a destination.  In fact, it is rare to being completely aligned. It is fleeting.  It is much more about the journey because what I have found is that what will help me feel alignedat one point in my life will not get me there later on because I have evolved and often my goals have changed. 1.  The first principle of living an Aligned Life is you must Know Yourself.  You must understand who you are at a very deep level.  The reason why this is the first principle is because the only person who can determine if your current actions are balanced is who?  You.  For some people, taking a nap in the middle of the day is a way to find balance and for others it is an avoidance tactic.   For some people working out super hard 6 days a week is great exercise in work life balance and for others it is a recipe for disaster.  For something to be seen as balancing, it must be viewed as such by the person doing the activity at that time.  Knowing yourself also helps you establish balance-based practices through creating 2 things; boundaries and self-worth. Boundaries are standards of living that we set up for ourselves and uphold even in the presence of others.  Examples of boundaries are saying no

Moving your body on a regular basis is 100% an absolute must in order for you to express health and maintain homeostasis.  There are no shortcuts or substitutes for this required nutrient.  Looking back at how our genes were formed, in order for a human being to survive, we had to move in order to provide shelter, hunt and gather food and procreate.  The more movement a person did, the more likely they were to survive and create the next generation.  Due to thousands of years of evolutionary encouragement for regular movement, your genes have become hard wired this way.  Through advancements in healthcare and technology, we now understand that movement must occur in two different categories in order to express optimal health. The first type of movement is called “global movement.”  This is movement of the entire body, which is typically accomplished through full body exercise such as running, swimming or hiking.  The second type of movement, which is not commonly understood by the general public, is called “segmental joint movement.”  This type of movement takes place at one individual joint.  It has long been understood that in order to keep each joint of the human body healthy, they must move through a full range of motion and on a regular basis.  This is due to the body constantly adapting to the environment we put it in.  The scientific community is able to document scar tissue formation occurring within 30 MINUTES of lack of movement at a joint!  This means while you watch a movie, go on a long car ride, take a flight across country or even sleep, your body is laying down adhesions in your joints to stabilize and adapt to this lack of movement. In order to eliminate the progressive and eventually permanent rigidity, maintenance of segmental joint movement is an essential.  In the modern world this type of movement is best provided through regular chiropractic care.  Without constant upkeep to continue the full range of motion at our joints, the body becomes more likely to incur sprains, strains, disc herniations, fractures and radiating pain.  Besides receiving regular chiropractic adjustments, providing your body with on-going self-care such as massage therapy, yoga, and other stretching techniques is necessary to decrease muscle rigidity.  Despite the challenge of committing to a lifetime to taking care of the physical body, there are no other options if you wish to live a life that is relatively free from pain, disability and regret. In hopes of providing an easy, convenient and

“As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.”  One way to interpret this quote from Alexander Pope is to understandhow events that occur early in our life truly shape our adult years.  This is exactly the case when it comes to the developing spine.  The bones of the spine do not entirely fuse into hard structures until the age of approximately 20 years old.  Prior to fusion the bones are made from cartilage, like the tip of your nose.  This is a huge advantage for a human being that takes countless falls during the learning to crawl, walk and run phases of life.  However, despite this advantage sudden trauma through sports injuries, slips, falls, car accidents and now repetitive exposure to poor postures while using tablets and phones cause the young spine to misalign.  When this alignment problem begins early in life the likelihood that it will progress into a chronic condition increases significantly.  Structural problems such as scoliosis, leg length differences, and severe upper back rounding are common outcomes.  Another condition known as degenerative disc disease, which was previously thought to only exist in people after the age of 40, is now being found in 10% of ten year olds and 37% of 20 year olds.   Symptoms such as headaches, sciatica, neck pain and slipped discs as well as sinus problems, digestive issues and asthma can all be directly tied back into a chronic spine problem.  Traditional, adjustment only chiropractic, has been effective in providing only short term relief of the aforementioned symptoms.  Luckily, through state of the art treatment methods such as the use of specifically recommended spinal traction in the office and at home spinal traction, patients of Shea Family Chiropractic not only resolve these conditions during their formative years but maintain the correction for the rest of lives.  A common question I receive from patients is when can my son or daughter begin traction?  The answer is around the age of eight.  At this age they are able to lie still long enough to create lasting change to the spine.   By using an at home Pediatric Denneroll (the name brand) a child can work to correct or ideally maintain their spinal alignment which results in significantly better health and reduced susceptibility to disease for the rest of their life.  To find out if your son or daughter would benefit from the use of a Pediatric

As we move from the spring time into the summer months our children regain idle time in their daily schedule.  For many, this means a greater requirement for parents to come up with camps, activities, sports and play dates to keep our young one’s occupied.  Although in the beginning, a lack of routine can be a God sent, especially when that means not having to get everyone up and out of bed, dressed, lunch box and homework done.   As the summer months wane so do our ability to keep our kiddos engaged.  This is when we often turn to iPads, iPhones, tablets, computers, video games and such to give us all a little break from the action.  For many children, this is where bad postural habits are formed, which will ultimately force you to eventually pay thousands of dollars to repair damage to their spine and health. It might even lead to helping me in paying for my children’s college fund unless… As you have obviously heard by now, the seated posture is pretty terrible for the human frame.  As the pillar of strength within the body, the spine is the most affected by this posture.  Although the obvious detrimental changes associated with bad posture over time are severe (i.e. early onset osteoarthritis, cosmetic deformities, degenerative disc disease, pain and disability) the greatest harm caused by spending the summer months sitting like a turtle with your head of your shell is the stress placed upon the developing Nervous System.  This lesser known, but far more devastating side effect of sitting in the typical American posture (loss of the lower spinal curve, exaggerated upper back rounding and forward head posture) is created with repetitive postures. The spine has two major functions.  #1 is to keep you upright and support you (i.e. your posture) and #2 is to protect and house your spinal cord.  A healthy functioning spinal cord is essential to you being healthy overall.  The spinal cord is the continuation of the brain as it moves down into the body.  It has the enormous task of controlling all the functions in the body.  Think of the spinal cord and brain as the air traffic controller of you body.  It tells everything where to go, what to do, how long to do it for and when to turn on and off.  When your spine is in a healthy posture it appears straight