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Health-E-News. August 2008
empowering you to optimal health

Chiropractic Use For Dyslexic Children

Parents of children with dyslexia are seeking chiropractic and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for their children, according to research conducted at Roehampton University in London.

The study, which enrolled 148 dyslexic school children, found that the most popular CAM approaches were nutritional supplements/special diets (63 children) followed by homeopathy (29 children) and osteopathy/chiropractic manipulation (29 children). Socio-demographic factors did not predict CAM use. In total, parents of 101 dyslexic children reported that an interest in CAM for the treatment of dyslexia was based on their preference for CAM for their families more generally. Parents who thought that dyslexia was a 'medical/health' disorder were more likely to have used CAM with their children, than other parents in this survey.

International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders - May, 2008:1-12.


Exercise May Slow Brain Loss in Alzheimer's Disease

Mild Alzheimer's disease patients with higher physical fitness had larger brains compared to mild Alzheimer's patients with lower physical fitness, according to a study published in Neurology.

For the study, 121 people age 60 and older underwent fitness tests using a treadmill as well as brain scans to measure the white matter, gray matter and total volume of their brains. Of the group, 57 were in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease while the rest of the group did not have dementia.

'People with early Alzheimer's disease who were less physically fit had four times more brain shrinkage when compared to normal older adults than those who were more physically fit, suggesting less brain shrinkage related to the Alzheimer's disease process in those with higher fitness levels,' explains study author Jeffrey M. Burns, MD.

The results remained the same regardless of age, gender, severity of dementia, physical activity and frailty. There was no relationship between higher fitness levels and brain changes in the group of people without dementia.

'People with early Alzheimer's disease may be able to preserve their brain function for a longer period of time by exercising regularly and potentially reducing the amount of brain volume lost. Evidence shows decreasing brain volume is tied to poorer cognitive performance, so preserving more brain volume may translate into better cognitive performance,' Burns adds.

Neurology - July 15, 2008;71:210-16.

Chiropractic Helps New Mothers Produce Milk

"An article in the March 2007 issue of the scientific periodical, the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics, presents three documented case studies of chiropractic care helping new mothers who were unable to produce adequate mother`s milk. A reduction in mothers milk, known as "Hypolactation" can be a serious problem that can create health issues for both the mother and child.

The first case was a woman who went to the chiropractor on the referral of her midwife. She had given birth 10 days earlier to her second child and unlike her first, she was unable to establish a milk supply for her second baby. The patient had no other medical issues other than difficulty in swallowing a glass of water.

An examination determined that she had a subluxation, and specific chiropractic care was initiated to correct that issue. After her second visit the patient commented that she found it much easier to swallow. By the third visit she noticed visible changes in her breast and the production of milk. This improvement resulted in a positive weight gain for the infant who was forced to depend on formula until the mothers milk issues were resolved.

The second patient went to the chiropractor for upper back pain but was also unable to produce sufficient milk to feed her one month old infant. Her examination showed no medical history for her problems; however, the chiropractic portion of her exam showed subluxations.

She began a series of specific chiropractic adjustments for subluxation correction. By the forth visit the patient was noticing breast enlargement and the production of milk. She also became pain free from the upper back pain she was experiencing.

The third case was a women who came into the chiropractor`s office with her daughter six days after birth. She was sent there on the recommendation of the hospital lactation consultant. As in the previous cases, subluxations were found and care was initiated to correct them. In this case it took only 24 hours for the positive results to show, and for this mother to be able to feed her infant naturally.

Based on their case studies and the volumes of previous research, these researchers concluded that subluxations and the neurological interference they cause play a major role in Hypolactation. The researchers suggest, "Chiropractic evaluation for subluxations would be a key element in the holistic assessment of the failure to establish milk supply in the post partum patient."

Chiropractic- the athlete's secret advantage is a secret no more.

For years athletes have been looking for the 'winning edge'. That extra advantage that will get them over the line a second or two faster, hit the ball harder, or jump a millimeter or two higher than their competitors. Problem is, too many athletes have made the wrong choices by artificially enhancing their performances and in so doing endanger both their careers and their health. But does a fair and healthy advantage exist? If we take a look at the number of highly successful athletes who receive regular chiropractic care, we can't help but wonder if they may receive benefits from their chiropractic care that extend far beyond pain relief alone. Shrier, Macdonald and Uchacz from the SMBD- Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, the Elite Sports Performance, and the Chiropractic Performance & Sports Therapy Center, Calgary, respectively, have pondered and then researched that very question.

In this study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2006, the authors measured jump heights and sprint speeds of 17 varsity or national athletes, pre and post chiropractic adjustments. The design of the study, was that some received adjustments on the first day whilst the others received a control intervention (to minimise placebo effect), by way of placing an electromyographic sticker on their calf having explained it as a traditional Chinese medicine 'treatment' to enhance performance. On the second day, the two groups were reversed. The results were particularly interesting for the group of sprinters whose times decreased (improved) after adjustments and increased (worsened) after the control intervention. The authors have concluded that the 'magnitude of the changes were consistent with a clinically relevant performance enhancement'. There's still much more research to be done in this area, but imagine, how all of us can achieve a fair and healthy advantage in our lives by receiving chiropractic care on a regular basis. And I am not just talking about running for the bus!

Shrier I, Macdonald D, Uchacz G A pilot study on the effects of pre-event manipulation on jump height and running velocity. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2006; 40:947-949.



A Laugh a Day Keeps You Happy All Day

laughinghorseIt's often said laughter is the universal medicine. Certainly a good chuckle can cheer us up when we're feeling blue. Now, researchers have shown that even anticipating a laugh helps reduce stress.

A group of researchers found that anticipating laughter releases two specific hormones: beta-endorphins (the family of chemicals that alleviates depression) and human growth hormone (which helps with immunity). These two hormones increased by 27 percent and 87 percent, respectively, in a group of volunteers who anticipated getting to watch a humorous film. No increase in these hormone levels was seen among volunteers who did not anticipate getting to watch the film.

In a similar study, the same researchers found there was a significant reduction in three stress hormones: cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline) and dopac (a brain chemical that helps produce epinephrine). Levels of these hormones decreased by 39 percent, 70 percent and 38 percent, respectively, among those who thought a belly laugh was imminent.

According to Dr. Lee Berk, the study team's lead researcher, "Our findings lead us to believe that by seeking out positive experiences that make us laugh, we can do a lot with our physiology to stay well."

So go ahead and guffaw - it'll do you a world of good!


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