Top
 

Blog

St. Louis chiropractic blog & videos by Dr. Jeffrey S. O'Guin

Optimal Health: Mental Health a.k.a. the Root of All Health

We can’t talk about Optimal Health without bringing up mental health. Mental health is the root of all health. For decades studies have shown that our mindset, attitudes, and beliefs have a profound impact on our overall health. Along those lines, things like stress anxiety, and depression can alter brain physiology and immune system function which increases your risk of getting sick, experiencing poor digestion, inadequate sleep and much more. Here are some tips to improve your mental health.   Stay inspired. Inspiration feels good and creates motivation. Our attitudes, beliefs, and emotions are heavily influenced by what we watch and listen to most frequently. To this end, consider a mental diet. Avoid the junk and gravitate towards media that keeps you inspired.   Increase your self-confidence. An easy way to do this is by following through with goals. Being motivated by a goal leads to dedication which then offers gratification after achieving it....

Optimal Health: Exercise

If there is a fountain of youth, it’s probably through correct and adequate movement. Exercise can decrease risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and it can increase your mood, energy levels, and (as if that’s not enough) it can ramp up your sex drive! We all know that exercise and optimal health go hand in hand but now what?   I wish it were a simple, one-size-fits-all answer- but it’s not. The answer to this question is entirely goal specific. But to come up with an effective strategy we should learn more about the types of exercise. Generally speaking, there are two categories of exercise: cardiovascular and resistance training. Cardiovascular Exercise The recommendation for cardio is about 2.5 hours of moderate intensity every week. The intensity can be difficult to figure out at first, but a good rule of thumb for testing intensity is being able to talk but not sing. There are...

Optimal Health Series: Nutrition

This is a tough one for most. Our love-hate relationship with food can make achieving any health related goal very difficult. In the first two videos of this Optimal Health series I outline what I have found to be the most important things to consider when tackling nutrition. Mindset The contradictions within the realm of nutrition are endless, which is part of what makes this the most difficult part of building a healthier lifestyle. So before we talk specifics, let’s start with the best way to approach the subject. This involves mostly just changing your mindset. Every single thing that we do in life begins with intention so I would recommend spending a decent amount of time developing that intention. This should include your purpose for wanting to make changes, what obstacles you might face, and the specific (and realistic) goals you hope to achieve. There are no wrong answers, but the...

Breathe Like a Marine

Many imagine Marine Corps Boot camp as a feat of strength and toughness. While you wouldn’t be wrong to assume that, it is much more of a mental challenge than anything else. The boot camp is designed to prepare recruits to function at a high level under extreme amounts of stress, just as they will need to during war. The Marine Corps, along with being all-around badass, has a reputation for having great accuracy with shooting. What’s their secret? The breath. During the boot camp, recruits are trained to breathe in a way that helps them to relax through high pressure situations and extreme fatigue. Here is how it goes: Inhale into the belly Slowly exhale (longer than you usually would) Pause at the end of the exhale Repeat I recommend this technique to everyone as it facilitates a meditative state and can reduce stress and anxiety for anyone, not just Marines....

Secret Formula for Joint health

There are hundreds of supplements out there that promise to improve joint health, but i’m here to tell you that there is no magical supplement that will solve all your joint problems. In fact, most supplements will have little (if any) impact on your joint health. The good news is that there are things you can start doing today to get on track to healthier joints and they won’t cost you a dime. The first part of this secret formula is likely no secret at all: diet and exercise. Exercise If you don’t use it, you lose it. This sentiment rings true when it comes to joint health. To maintain the elasticity and resiliency of joints, we need to keep them doing what they were designed to do, and that is move. Our modern lifestyles of sitting at work, in the car, and on the couch in front of the T.V. all cause...

Rethinking What it Means to Feel Stiff

Does Feeling Stiff Correlate to Being Stiff? This might surprise you, but not always and usually not ever. Current research shows that there is no correlation between feeling stiff and actually being stiff. However, the people who reported feeling stiff had a protective mechanism in which their bodies over-responded to forces applied to the body. This suggests lack of coordination and almost definitely an instability of some kind. Essentially, their body doesn’t trust itself to hold everything together and upright so it responds to certain movements but tightening and tensing in order to protect itself. The instinct of most people who experience this faux “tightness” is to stretch, stretch, and stretch some more. This may even offer some temporary relief but the sensation of being tight all the time will likely be relentless until the underlying problem is addressed. And the constant stretching is likely making the problem worse, so before...

Functional Rehabilitation

What It Is Functional rehabilitation is a way of assessing and correcting musculoskeletal imbalances and faulty movement patterns. Movement screens are used to discover imbalances or inadequate movement, and exercises are given based on each patient’s individual needs. Additionally, limiting activities are evaluated, with exercises being tailored to enhance the performance of necessary activities of daily living. The primary objective of functional rehabilitation is to educate patients on how to move their bodies more effectively and efficiently in order to maintain better posture and alignment. A good sense of body awareness, posture, balance and coordination are continuously stressed and encouraged. How It’s Different This approach differs from traditional physical therapy in that less emphasis is placed on finding and treating specific injured tissues. Finding an exact diagnosis can be difficult due to the close proximity of possible pain generators, this being especially true for spinal pain. Also, false negatives are very common with orthopedic...

Physical Therapy vs. Chiropractic; Which is Right for You?

Choosing a healthcare professional to work with on your treatment is an important decision and the more you know about your options, the easier that decision can be to make. In this video we learn the differences (or lack thereof) between Physical Therapy and modern-day Chiropractic.   What’s the difference? Traditionally chiropractic includes mostly the hands-on therapies: manual adjustments, myofascial release, stretching, etc.  These therapies are focused on loosening up the body and improving mobility. Physical Therapy, on the other hand, focuses on finding areas of instability and using exercises to improve stability in those areas. Although traditionally these treatments are very different, the modern practice of both Chiropractic and Physical Therapy is very similar. There is a vast amount of research out there touting the benefits of both the manual therapies of Chiropractic and the stability exercises of Physical Therapy. The trick of a good treatment plan is implementing the right therapy in...

Simple Stability Exercise; For the Pain In Your Neck

We are constantly striving for stability in our core with the hopes of improving posture and relieving back pain. Don’t get me wrong, core stability is the foundation of all movements and should be a major focus for everyone. However, let’s stop neglecting neck stability. Neck stability not only helps to maintain correct posture but can help relieve neck pain, upper back pain, and even headaches. Strengthening and Stabilizing Exercises Before I go over specific exercises, I would like to differentiate between the concept of strengthening and stabilizing as it pertains to exercising your neck. Strengthening involves moving against a force while stabilizing requires resisting movement under a similar force. When it comes to your neck, and the spine in general, it’s a good idea to focus on stabilizing exercises. Simple Neck Stability Exercises It is important to start any movement or exercise with good posture. For your neck this means shifting your head back...

The Gift of Injury; Rehab Low Back Pain on Your Own

Once upon a time there was a power lifter, Brian Carroll, who was trying to recover from a low back injury. He sought out specialists in the field including a number of orthopedists, all of which said that he would need surgery and that he would have to stop power lifting. However, lifting was too important to him to call it quits. So he found Stuart Mcgill and they worked together on rehabilitating his back. Within a year and a half he came back stronger than ever and went on to break several world records. In an effort to help others with the same age old problem of low back pain they wrote a book together, The Gift of Injury. They went on to live happily ever after- pain free! This book goes over several key components of rehabbing low back pain. Although the book is geared toward power lifters and...