Fatigue

The Mind & Body Connection To Stress & How To Manage It

Posted on October 4, 2018. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Chiropractic, Fatigue, Healing, Stress | Tags: , , , |

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Dr. Greg & Monica beating stress & having fun at the same time!

~by Dr. Greg Steiner

Everyone encounters stress; it’s just a part of daily life.  Some have more than others but understanding how it impacts us physically and emotionally and building resilience and knowledge of how to combat it are keys to a healthier and happier existence.  Our mind and body are connected in that our minds control our thoughts and how we think affects how we feel.  Ever see someone who’s angry?  Usually their body is tense, with an aggressive type of posture.  Someone who is sad or depressed usually exhibits a slumping posture with shoulders rolled forward and chin downward.

Stress affects the body by influencing hormones.  If a tense situation occurs, hormones are released controlling heart rate, adrenaline, and breathing and getting the body ready for “flight or fight”.  The release of these hormones can result in a wide range of reactions to stress such as a decrease in testosterone (which decreases the ability to build or keep muscle) or increase in cortisol (which is often seen as fat around the midsection).  It can also cause fatigue, loss of appetite, pains in the body including headaches, lowered immune system, stomach problems, insomnia, and muscle tension.

Stress also affects our mind by causing us anxiety, restlessness, lack of emotion, inability to focus, anger, sadness and depression.  These type thoughts influence behavior and can lead to over/under eating, drug or alcohol use and social withdrawal.

Fortunately, stress can be controlled! We can decide to think in a way that will yield a positive outcome.  When you start to get control over something, no matter how small, you have a foundation of success to build upon.  When you adopt an optimistic attitude, organize yourself and tasks and work towards some type of end goal, you are able to get a handle over stress.  Some additional ways to manage stress include:

  • Get good, non-interrupted sleep
  • Exercise-running, weight training, any physical activity that makes you feel good
  • Find a support system- getting help from others, talking to a friend or loved one
  • Nutrition-eat foods with omega oils, include greens and nuts. Stay away from refined flours and sugars
  • Relaxation-yoga, meditation, deep breathing
  • Find a Hobby
  • Use a Planner-prioritize and make check lists
  • Listen to music
  • Play with a pet
  • Acupuncture

Changing our mindset can do wonders on combating the effects of stress on ourselves.  Instead of thinking of stress as a threat, view it as a challenge.  Instead of pressure, see it as an opportunity.  Instead of it being debilitating, see it as energizing.  All in all, by focusing on possibilities instead of problems, we change how we see things and can change our life for the better.

Dr Greg is an active resident of Twin Creeks and his background is in acupuncture, health psychology, and chiropractic. He is with CA Acupuncture and Chiropractic Clinic located at 1101 Raintree Circle, Suite # 288, and can be reached for questions or appointments by phoning 972-747-0928.

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Is Sitting at the Computer Wrecking Your Health?

Posted on August 26, 2014. Filed under: Chiropractic, Exercise, Fatigue, Health, Pain | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

sitting at desk~by Dr. Gregory Steiner
CA Acupuncture & Chiropractic Clinic

 

In today’s society, more and more job positions are computer centralized requiring extended amounts of time sitting at a desk.  And it’s not only on the job, but at home and practically everywhere we go. Whether for work or pleasure, we spend a lot of time on the computer (including tablets and smartphones) and in turn spend a lot of time sitting in a stationary position.  Sitting down all day long can be terrible for your health, as it increases the likelihood of heart disease, weight gain, back aches and pain – among other ills.  Think about how much we sit – we sit at the office, we sit in the car, we sit to eat and even to watch tv!

Twenty years ago, the chiropractic issues I treated resulted from overwork of the spinal discs, usually brought about from manual type labor.  Now these discs in the back are becoming underworked.  The discs in your back function like a sponge.  Their job is to create a cushion between your bones but they must be nourished.  They need to flex and bend.  If they become undernourished and underused, decay sets in faster and they become more narrow and brittle.  The end result leads to increased back & joint pain.

Another result of “over-sitting” at a desk all day is incredibly poor posture.  I see patients starting to have an exaggeration of the head tipped forward with shoulders rolled inward and rounded. This forward tipping creates huge tensions on the neck.  Muscles become very imbalanced & the ones in the back of the neck are under strain all the time because things are rolled forward.  This creates weakness on one part of the body and tightness on the other part.  In the short run, this creates muscle tension.  If not corrected, the ligaments that hold the bones together actually over-stretch and the bones actually start to change shape.  If the neck and head are tilted just an inch forward, it can increase the weight of the head on the neck by 10 pounds.  A decade later that inch may have become more like 3 inches, increasing the weight of the head on the neck by 30 pounds.  This forward head position has become one of the most common causes of neck, head and shoulder tension and pain.

How can we fix this?  Small changes practiced consistently over a long period of time can make a big difference.  Try some of these:

Take hourly breaks.  Every hour, get up from the desk and walk around or stretch.  Do this for at least 2-5 minutes.  Set your mobile device or computer to alert you as a reminder to just move.

Optimize your workstation.  Fix your chair so that your legs bend at a 90 degree angle.  Have support for your upper and lower back.   Make sure your computer screen isn’t too low so that you need to bend your head down to look at it.

Sit the right way.  Try to sit tall with your shoulders back and stomach muscles engaged.  Tilt your pelvis forward and arch your lower back.  Don’t slouch or lean forward.

Exercise while at the desk.  Raise your legs while seated on your chair to stretch out your hip flexors.  Raise your arms over your head and then stretch to the left or right.  You can even do isolated isometric glute squeezes.

If you can multi-task while performing your office duties, you can teach your body to multi-task as well.  You don’t need to sit still like a statue as you work.  Ever hear of “getting those juices flowing”?  Your body will thank you for it!

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Increasing Your Longevity – Are You Moving in the Right Direction?

Posted on June 18, 2014. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Aging, Exercise, Fatigue, Healing, Health, Weightloss | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Will you live a long & healthy life?

Will you live a long & healthy life?

By Dr. Greg Steiner
CA Acupuncture & Chiropractic Clinic

Living a long life sounds like a great thing, right? Fortunately, our society has made leaps and bounds in finding ways to preserve the lifespan (medical procedures, devices, medications, etc…) but what is truly important is the quality of the life you have left.  In this case, quality can lead to quantity (translated: living better=longer # years alive).  There are many ways to deal with the aging process, and following a pro-active approach to optimal health and fitness can be your means to extended longevity.

The “Quality” of food you eat can make a big difference in your health.  Much of our food today has been grown with a considerable amount of pesticides and chemicals.  Opting for organic whenever possible can increase the quality of the food you consume.

The “Quantity” of food you eat can also determine how overweight you may be.  I firmly believe that if the diet is right, our appetites should be as well.  If diet is correct and we are sedentary and not expending much energy, then our appetite should be less.  We should require a lower quantity of sustenance than if we were exercising regularly.

The “Composition” of our food, or the type of food we eat, also affects health.  I personally follow a lowered carb approach.  Choosing the right type of carb is important.  I prefer broccoli and spinach along with a lot of vegetable carbs, but not much corn or potatoes (too starchy).  If a person follows a solid diet with protein like chicken & fish, they can get full and be satiated for a while but if they stuff themselves with bread or potato chips until they’re half sick, 30 minutes later they’ll want to eat again when their blood sugar spikes.

The “Structure” of our bodies, how we’re put together, our skeletal structure, muscles and joints can define how we move and the quality of our bones & cartilage as we age.  It can also determine how comfortable you are when you try to become more fit.  If you hurt too much, you’re not going to want to exercise too much, and if you can’t exercise enough, you won’t be able to take care of yourself the way you should.

All in all, the older individuals who look good, live good.  If you decide you want to increase your longevity, some of the aforementioned suggestions can help.  Consider undergoing a thorough chiropractic examination by a qualified professional to determine how fit you currently are and to make sure to catch any potential structural problems before they develop or to correct issues you may already have. Also, modifying your nutrition and eating habits can result in more youthful skin, increased vitality, and subsequent weight loss.  And lastly, I’ve found that acupuncture is a great therapy to tie everything together increasing energy and overall balance.

 

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Why Cleanse & Detox Your Body?

Posted on January 2, 2013. Filed under: Fatigue, Healing, Weightloss | Tags: , , , , , , |

detoxingThe body is like a highly complex engine.  It runs on whatever we feed it.  If we feed it what it needs, it runs great, if we feed it what we shouldn’t, it starts to malfunction and break down.   Just like our car, we also need tune-ups. unfortunately, most people tune up their car more often than their body.  A car expels its waste products through the exhaust system,  our bodies do the same via the bloodstream, respiration, and other processes.

What is Nutritional Cleansing?

In short, Nutritional Cleansing involves nourishing the body with the perfect combination of nutrients that assist in clearing out the unwanted substances in your body.  It’s not a colon cleanse which is based on using fiber laxatives or diuretics.  Instead, it involves using nutrition to help the body perform at its best by ridding it of harmful substances, naturally.  Natural ingredients are used to assist the liver and cells in ridding the body of harmful chemicals and impurities.  This helps offset the effects of toxins, which can accelerate the aging process.

Why do we need to Cleanse & Detox?

Every day our bodies ingest a multitude of chemicals, toxins, and impurities from the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink as well as the personal care products (including lotions, cosmetics, and toothpaste) we use.  Free radicals are everywhere.  When we cleanse & detox, we help eliminate these toxins from our system and provide it with antioxidants, which combat the free radicals.

What Benefits does Cleansing Provide?

Many people who’ve tried cleansing have experienced one or most often more of the following results:

Weight loss
Improved Mental Performance
Better Physical Fitness
More Energy
More Restful Sleep

What to Try?

We’ve had great success with the Isagenix program’s “Cleanse for Life” product.  In liquid or powder formulations, it is easy to take, palatable and reasonably priced.

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Sleep – the Natural Fountain of Youth

Posted on October 19, 2011. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Aging, Chiropractic, Exercise, Fatigue, Healing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

 ~By Dr. Gregory Steiner

If you can sleep, you can heal. Maybe better is to say that if you can sleep naturally, fully and well, then you can heal. Lots of people sleep – if that’s what you want to call it: go to bed late after taking medication, awaken a short time later with your mind whirling overtime; sleep another hour, awaken again – then it’s time to get up, feed the children and get ready to start the day after the one-or-more cups of coffee.

A day that comes after such a night will no doubt be a long one. The first slump may hit about 10, and the worse one in mid-afternoon. I have some people tell me that their energetic goal for the day is to survive until noon, then again until dinner. The rub is that whether executive, developer, or stay-at-home mom, you are expected and required to think, organize, decide and perform without fail each and every day. Not so easy on drug induced sleep, or no sleep at all.

Sleep is a very good invention, and I’m sorry I didn’t patent it. If I were to recommend one and only one thing I believe is paramount for health, energy and long-term well-being, sleep it would be. There’s an interesting observation differentiating kids and adults. Have you noticed that if a child is ill, eats the wrong thing, or generally gets out of sorts that he or she usually goes hyper? It’s as though the default program for kids is to rev up all the more, get wired and never, never go to bed!

At some age the see-saw tips the other direction. Have you noticed that if an adult is ill, eats the wrong thing, or generally gets out of sorts he or she gets oh-so-tired? I’m not it’s as thought the default program is for the body to get heavy and sluggish, and thinking either dulled repetitive with endless worry. And when you make it to bed you can’t sleep anyway. I’m not sure the age where this change occurs, but it seems early, almost certainly in the late 20’s.

The causes? As a physician with another degree in psychology and years of a fitness background, I don’t for a minute believe that this is normal for people. Common – yes, normal no. It’s important to spend a minute on the distinction; tooth decay is common, heart attacks are common, and so are speeding tickets and library fines. There is a common cause here – negligence! Don’t for a minute buy into the notion that so much of the discomfort associated with age is normal. We have 100,000 miles bodies but with improper balance, over-inflation and bad alignment so many of us are looking for patches at a tenth of that number.

Sleep and Healing

Sleep is a profound healer. If you can sleep you can heal. You might have read about growth hormone – it’s a great favorite of the young-forever Hollywood crowd, and no less a hunk than Sylvester Stallone was arrested for bringing a case-full into Australia a year or two ago. (He did have a prescription, by the way). Growth hormone turns on the repair process of your body, and helps keep the skin young, muscles strong and brain in good shape. But it’s produced when you reach a certain state of restful sleep, and not at other times! Therefore, if you want natural growth hormone production you need to sleep.

What if you can’t sleep? Lately with all the economic turmoil and worry in the neighborhood lots and lots of people aren’t sleeping very well at all. Surprisingly enough this can be quite easy to help with acupuncture; two key points by the crease of the wrist work wonders. Herbs can be of use, and don’t forget the other favorite – regular exercise.

Basics are best, because they come closest to working with your body as it was designed to be used.

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Chronic Fatigue – Causes and Corrections

Posted on October 11, 2011. Filed under: Fatigue, Pain | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

By Dr. Gregory Steiner~

Tired woman yawningEvery single week a new patient enters my clinic, and we’re not talking about ordinary “pain the neck” patients. These patients are suffering in a particularly difficult way, with a combination of extreme loss of energy and pain in multiple areas of their bodies.

The foremost symptom is never-ending, unrelenting fatigue. The second symptom is unending pain and stiffness, day-after-miserable-day. The fatigue and pain often appear together, but a person may suffer from one or the other. However, in my professional life I’ve never met a chronically tired person who didn’t hurt all the time, and I’ve never met a person who hurt all the time who wasn’t tired.

On the subject of energy, have you noticed that when you are energetic, there is no task that can’t be done, no problem that can’t be solved, and that pain – whatever the level – is tolerable. Have you also noticed that when you are not energetic that everything is difficult – – that slipping on your shoes becomes a major ordeal? These two syndromes are often confused, often ignored, and most unfortunately denied.

I’ll always, always remember the mountain of a man who became my patient in N. Ireland while living there a few years ago. He was a traditional man – strong, a good provider, a devoted husband and father, and he knew what is to gain and achieve through hard work. I’ll always remember the day he came to my clinic – dead tired and barely able to stay awake more than a few hours a day. He was unable to work, and had lost much of his self-esteem.

Up to that point in my career I was uncertain whether chronic fatigue (formerly called “Yuppie Flu” even existed. Some doctors thought it was a very bad reaction to viral infection; others thought it was depression under another name, and many didn’t believe it existed at all; after working with him I finally understood that chronic fatigue certainly does exist, and that in its harsher forms it can be debilitating.

The symptoms of chronic fatigue are physical, mental and emotional. A “typical” patient will tell me that usually everything feels heavy and sluggish to move. They often feel very stiff all over. Mental symptoms are quite interesting – patients tell me that that they their thinking is equally sluggish, and that they feel themselves in a state in-between sleep and wakefulness – not really awake, but not really asleep. Sleep quality is typically poor and these patients can hardly remember the last night of restful sleep they had. I’ve also had many say that they are unusually vivid dreamers, and that the dreaming seems to tire them out in an unusual way.

The condition can have dramatic effects on a person’s lifestyle. Some people are unable to work, and others underperform. People with mild but significant cases have enough energy to work, but usually come home, flop on the couch and have little energy for family or recreation.

In my experience there is no one cause for chronic fatigue, but there are several that appear with frequency. Post-viral syndromes do exist, but blood sugar handling issues involving poor carbohydrate metabolism are perhaps the most common cause or complicating factor. Some people have thyroid issues, and others are suffering form multiple allergies. Occasionally someone – usually a heavy person – suffers from sleep apnea. In Oriental medicine we look to the energetic function of the liver, spleen and kidney, as these organs and pathways are seen to be particularly influential in overall body energetics.

The real complicating factor is that several of these can occur together, and over time can lead to depression which makes correction harder yet again. Still, chronic fatigue is treatable and it is possible to regain lost energy. The corrections involve accurately figuring out where the pieces of the puzzle fit, and incorporating such nutritional intervention, acupuncture points, herbs, or medications as needed.

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Tired all the Time….

Posted on September 13, 2011. Filed under: Fatigue |

Often people who suffer from chronic fatigue – whatever the cause – experience an additional burden of dealing with a problematic family or work dynamic. Often again, family members don’t know what happened to the energetic, vivacious person they now see lying in bed at every opportunity. As might be expected the addition of interpersonal stress only increases the fatigue problem; people who suffer from chronic fatigue feel guilty that they are neglecting friends and loved ones; that their work isn’t up to its usual quantity or quality; and sooner or later they start to feel self-judgmental in a negative way.

While there is a linkage to depression – many chronic fatigue patients feel depressed – these same patients feel that their doctors often put the cart before the horse. I’ve been told from countless patients that on meeting with their physician – whether allopathic, osteopathic, or chiropractic – that they are many times assessed as depressed, and thereby treated accordingly. While this diagnosis certainly is valid at times, many of the patients state quite adamantly that they weren’t depressed before feeling tired, pained and just plain “cruddy” so much of the time.

No one wants to carry around the self-label of “depressed person,” or at least very few people do. However once a person’s self-image changes and the chronic fatigue patient accepts that image healing will either accelerate or come to a screeching halt; it depends on that person’s individual character traits, values and how others treat him or her.

In the negative sense, a person who deeply and truly accepts the “depressed” label adopts the beliefs and actions of a depressed person even more – hopelessness fuels helplessness. Such a person attempts little in the way of self-help, and those efforts are rarely whole-hearted.

In the positive sense some people feel utterly annoyed with their situation and embark on a path of learning and self-healing to the extent they are able. Though I don’t see this as much as the negative expression, it’s people cut from this cloth that stand a real chance of whole or partial healing. In other words, any doctor can only work with what the patient gives him to work with.

In acupuncture terms chronic fatigue describes a condition in which the body’s energetics are out of balance and stuck in that unbalanced state. Over the years I’ve noticed that adults act just opposite of kids – when kids get out of balance they often go “hyper,” and adults get tired. If I see the opposite – a listless child or a hyper adult I sense that there is a really big imbalance working below the surface; this will likely be harder to treat.

In Oriental medicine health is all about motion and balance; balance in motion; balanced motion. If the energy system is balanced and moving sure, an “invader” (as the ancient texts describe those things that create illness) will attack the body, but the body will adapt. If it gets sick, it will heal. If injured, it will repair. If stressed, it will cope. Such is

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