May 2019 Newsletter
Happy Mother’s Day to all of our beautiful mothers and anyone who has mothered anyone in any way including our fur babies! We appreciate you and are excited to celebrate you this month! We are so grateful for you!
Dr. Tablak and all of us at Los gatos Chiropractic and Wellness Center!!
How to prevent and manage knee injuries:
By Dr. Juliet Tablak, D.C.
I always think of the knee as an innocent bystander to how the hip, foot and ankle are functioning. Our knees are a simpler joint compared to the hip and the foot and ankle. The Knee is made up of three bones, the tibia (shin bone), the femur (thigh bone) and the patella ( knee cap). The knee is mostly a hinge joint meaning it bends and straightens but the knee also has about 5 degrees of rotation between the femur and the tibia. The patella moves up and down on the knee as we straighten and bend our knee. Our hip joint is a Ball and socket joint and has more range of motion and more directional movements than our knee it is also attached to our pelvis which has our sacroiliac joint the joint between the big triangular bone at the back of the pelvis (sacrum) and our hip bones (Ilium) this joint is a common area of miss alignment and can affect the mechanics of the hip (ball and socket joint) and the knee. When one side of the sacroiliac joint isn’t moving like the other side of the joint this causes changes in the mechanics of movement that translate down the leg and can affect the knee. In most patients I see that have knee pain they also have a right or left sided fixation (lack of movement) at the sacroiliac joint. This is why getting a regular adjustment can help your knee health. At the other end of the leg the foot is made up of 33 joints and 26 bones and the ankle is made up of the talus (ankle bone), tibia and fibula (shin bones) and the ankle has three joints. When we have restricted movement in our feet and ankles or a history of previous ankle/foot injuries this can affect the mechanics of our knee as well. When we have a knee injury or are actively working to prevent a knee injury we need to not only address the muscles around the knee but the muscles of our hips and the feet and ankles and of course our alignment!
Here are some exercises you can do to strengthen your hip, foot and ankle muscles:
1.Static clam shell: you can use a theraband or do this without a theraband. Lay on your side with your knees bent to a 90 degree angle. Keep the bones of your pelvis stacked on top of one another and your feet together. Open your top knee up to the ceiling and hold this for 30 seconds than rest for 30 seconds and start again. Do this for 3 cycles. I recommend setting a timer for 30 seconds sometimes this exercise can feel difficult and 30 seconds will feel like a LONG time!
2.Active clam shell: Lay on your side with your knees bent to 90 degrees and your pelvic bones stacked on top of each other. You can use a Theraband or do it without a band. Open and close your top knee ten times. Repeat three times with small rests in between each set of ten.
3.Statue of Liberty: Stand sideways to a wall a little bit away from the wall. Take your inside knee and bend it and lift it off of the ground. Press the outside part of your knee to the wall until you feel your hip muscles work. Your upper leg will be slightly turned out. Hold for one minute and then switch sides.
Foot and Ankle Exercises:
1.Put a Theraband around the bottom of your foot sitting upright. If it is hard to sit upright with your legs in front of you you can prop yourself up with a couple of pillows. Hold the band with both of your hands and point and flex through the foot. Do this 10 times and then rest. Do 3 sets all together.
2.Put the theraband around the outside of one foot sitting upright. Bring the two end pieces of the band towards the inside of your foot and take your free foot and rest it on top of the band at a tension level that will feel ok for your foot and ankle. Point your foot and then take the pinky toe side of your foot and wing it out to the side only moving your foot and ankle and not your leg and shin. Do this ten times and then rest. So 3 sets all together.
3.Switch the band to the inside of the foot with the end pieces facing the outside of the foot. Take your free foot and cross it over and place it on the band to desired tension. Take the big toe side of your foot and push it in towards the center of your body. You should feel the inner ankle muscles working. Do this ten times and then rest. Do 3 sets all together.
You can rotate between the hip and knee exercises so you are doing one or the other on different days at least three times per week. If you are feeling motivated you can do the hip, foot and knee exercises all together three times per week. Remember doing something is better than doing nothing so even if you do one of the exercises per week you will get a benefit!!
What is ecotherapy?
By Lauren Smith Conaway, MS, LMFT
What is Ecotherapy?
Ecotherapy is a form of therapy that comes from Ecopsychology, the meeting of the fields of psychology and environmentalism/ecology. Ecotherapy posits that much of our psychological distress and dysfunction can be traced to our sense of alienation from the rest of nature. It further poses that the problem of our day is an increasingly deployed defense against the stresses of living in an overbuilt industrialized civilization saturated by intrusive media, toxic chemicals, unhealthy food, parasitic business practices, time-stressed living and relentless political propaganda.
Ecotherapy suggests addressing the resulting depression, anxiety and mental stress through reconnecting with nature and one’s own body, working with our plant and animal friends, detaching from rigidly artificial time schedules, changing our home/work environments, and participating in wilderness retreats and healing spiritual practices. Categories of Ecotherapy include horticultural therapy, animal-assisted therapy, wilderness work, nature reconnection and responding to eco-grief. Some examples of these categories include equine facilitated psychotherapy, gardening, psychotherapy on the land, wilderness therapy/rites of passage, or simply mindfully connecting to nature with bare feet on the earth.
The research consistently supports the connection between getting outside and improved psychological and physical health. For example, wilderness therapy is widely acknowledged as one of the most effective interventions with delinquent, addicted and struggling teens. Animal assisted therapy has been found to reduce blood pressure, anxiety, loneliness and ground people in a special way through limbic resonance. In hospitals, preoperative anxiety drops, postoperative recovery shortens and painkiller use declines for patients who can look out a window at natural scenery (Buzzell & Chalquist, 2009). Touching the earth with bare skin reduces the effects of stress and can help you sleep, is anti-inflammatory, and helps keep your blood flowing freely through absorption of negative electrons from the earth’s surface.
I have both personally and professionally seen the profound effects of Ecotherapy and the healing power of nature both instantaneously and long term. If you’re interested in more resources, information or participating in Ecotherapy please feel free to contact me.
Elements of spring
By Kim Silsby, L.ac.
Ahh, finally some warmth and sun! As we welcome in the spring, we want to share with you a bit of Eastern medical philosophy; sit back and keep an open mind, it may sound different than what you have learned!
The ancient Eastern cultures lived according to the seasons, and observed closely the workings of nature. From that study, they explained how our bodies work. So we talk about "elements" like water, wood, earth, metal, and fire, and how these correlate to our bodies. Each season corresponds to one or two organs and their influence on our health and well being. Spring is the season of wood, representative of the liver and gallbladder organs, which are linked to the eyes, tendons, and nails in eastern medical philosophy. In spring, all trees and plants are sprouting new growth. One of the liver's many functions is to move upward and outward with a smooth cadence, such as that of a growing plant or tree. If that cadence is interrupted by illness, or a lack of nutrients, or too much of the wrong nutrients, we can have health problems.
Another function of the liver is to store blood and regulate the volume of blood within the body. We tend to feel better when our blood is circulating equally throughout the body, and this is something that we don't really put too much thought or effort into. But we do put effort into expressing our emotions, moving our bodies regularly, and eating quality nourishing foods and beverages. These are all daily actions that if tended to allow us greater health. A diet which supports the liver's function are: greens, vegetable broths, sprouts, low glycemic fruits, nuts, seeds, water, and green or herbal teas. Foods to moderate are grains, dairy, meat products, fried food, processed foods, alcohol and coffee.
With every season and element there is also a corresponding emotion, color, and physical vulnerability. Anger is the emotion associated with the wood element, it's color is green, and it's vulnerability is wind. The main thing to understand about the emotional aspect of anger is that it needs to be expressed in some way. We have all experienced what anger feels like, and what trying to hold anger in feels like. If bottled up over time, unexpressed anger can cause a list of health problems such as elevated blood pressure, diarrhea or other gastric problems, headaches, women's complaints such as PMS symptoms, irregular and painful menses, insomnia, and depression. And what about wind? Wind affects our respiratory and immune systems, can contribute to tremors, strokes, headaches, colds, skin problems, flus, and allergies. After all the rain we've had, we are seeing a "super bloom" and following that for many people "super allergies".
The last couple things I want to leave you with are this cookbook by the bay area's own Rebecca Katz called"The Longevity Kitchen- Satisfying, big-flavor recipes featuring the top 16 age-busting power foods" Check it out, you will not be disappointed! https://www.rebeccakatz.com/the-longevity-kitchen
And finally, have you seen the Netflix documentary, "Heal"? Director Kelly Noonan's documentary takes us on a scientific and spiritual journey where we discover that our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions have a huge impact on our health and ability to heal. http://www.healdocumentary.com/about.html
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Los Gatos Chiropractic and Wellness Center Hours:
Monday 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wednesday 2:00 am - 6:00 pm
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