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Blog - First Step Family Wellness - St. Louis Chiropractic Care

Why what you Learned in Kindergarten, is all you need to know About your Nervous System!

Many people are familiar with the children’s song, “Dem Bones”. You know the one.” The toe bone’s connected to the foot bone, the foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone”…and so on. Thinking of that song really makes me believe that everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten. Kindergarteners understand that everything in our body is connected, and has an effect on the rest of our body! Somewhere along the way though, we forget what we learned in kindergarten. It all of sudden becomes crazy that something wrong in “your back” could be affecting your stomach. This is why chiropractic is vital to your overall health, not just your back.

nervous sytem

How your nervous system works

As you go about your day, your body is constantly sending messages to other parts of your body, in order to keep you functioning and alive. The central nervous system is the complex system of nerve tissues that control the body’s activities.  Both your brain and your spinal cord are a part of this system.Your nervous system is your body’s communication system in essence. Without your nervous system parts of your body wouldn’t be able to communicate with each other to keep you breathing, digesting, and pumping blood through you.

Autonomic Nervous System

The nervous system is so complex, that there are multiple systems within the nervous system itself. The most awe-inspiring is the autonomic nervous system. This system is responsible for all the things our body handles involuntarily; meaning that you don’t have to think about doing these functions; your body does it automatically! The autonomic nervous system (ANS), controls things like heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate. salivation, pupillary dilation, perspiration, and urination. Could you imagine if you had to stop in the middle of eating lunch and tell your brain, “I think I need more saliva to help me eat this food.” Or if you’re forgetful, it wouldn’t go well to have to tell your heart to pump, or remind yourself to breathe! Thankfully, our bodies just handle this on their own. Otherwise it would be really difficult to get anything done during the day.

 

Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten

I know, right now you’re thinking, “This is all fascinating, but why does this mean that my toe bone’s connected to my foot bone? And why does this mean chiropractic is vital to more than my back?” Great question!

If our bodies were a puppet show, our nervous system would be the puppet master; pulling all the strings, and making the show a success. The puppet master is the control system. With us, our nervous systems are the puppet masters, and our bodies functioning are the show. You see, when the brain sends messages to our organs, the message travels down through our spinal cord, out through our nerves, and then to our organs. This is how our organs know what to do, and function at 100%.
Now imagine that at the puppet show someone cut one of the strings on the puppet. What would happen? That part of the puppet attached to that specific string would stop working, right? The same thing happens in our bodies.

 

Vertebral subluxations

There are things that interfere with our nerves. Now, nobody is coming up to us and cutting our nerve, like the puppet master’s string; but falls, exercise, sports, sleeping wrong, poor posture, all of these things can cause vertebrae (bones in your spine) to move from their proper alignment. When they move, they can irritate and the nerves that run between the vertebrae. This causes a problem with our body’s communication system! Now when a message goes from the brain, to the spinal cord, to the nerve, that nerve can’t properly relay the communication to the attached organ. That nerve is now malfunctioning, and can cause that organ to malfunction. THIS is why chiropractic is vital to your overall health, and not just your back.

If you look at a diagram of the nervous system, you will see how the nerves branch out, and wrap around to your organs. This is why it is not uncommon for someone who has been experiencing stomach issues to have pain in their mid back! Chances are a vertebrae  is out of place (vertebral subluxation) in your mid-back.

Why you need to get help

Leaving vertebral subluxations untreated can lead to a slew of problems; both minor and major. Think about it. All the other bodily systems are controlled by the nervous system: digestive, respiratory, circulatory, and even immune. So if the nerve that is meant to communicate with one of those systems can’t do so properly, that is a problem!

For example, did you know an improperly functioning nervous system is the cause of most allergies? This includes seasonal allergies, respiratory allergies and food allergies. How many people do you know with one or more of those?! As a matter of fact, you probably have at least one of those!

I hope this article helped you get back to your kindergarten self! Everything in your body is connected; even beyond your bones! The nervous system is an amazing puppet master, and we want everyone to see your best show. If you’ve been having allergies, stomach issues, headaches, of course back pain, or any other ongoing issue, schedule to see a chiropractor today! Chiropractors are the only health care professionals trained in detection, and correction, of vertebral subluxation. Let’s get this show on the road!

 

 

 

 

Increase Your Water Intake, and Increase Your Health

Benefits of Drinking Water

Benefits of drinking water

Did you know that until recently, soda was the most popular beverage in the US for nearly 2 decades? It wasn’t until soda started to be blamed for the rise in obesity that our old faithful friend, WATER, rose back to the top in 2013.

Water makes up for about 60% of the human body.

We NEED water to function properly. I think one of the reasons that people undervalue the necessity of water for their bodies, is because they don’t truly understand everything that their bodies rely on water to accomplish for them. If I were to ask someone if they wanted their body to be able to regulate their body temperature, digest food, and carry oxygen to their cells, I guarantee the answer would be yes! These are all important and necessary functions of the human body for survival.

Did you also know, that the human body can go weeks without food, but can’t go for more than three days without water? Crazy, right?! That is how vital water is to our health and well-being.

In my practice in St. Louis, I often find that people do not drink enough water. When I tell them the amount that they should be drinking daily, I get a jaw dropping response from most people. It is actually really rare for me to find that someone consumes the recommended daily amount of water needed. The amount of water needed is a simple calculation. Drink half your bodyweight in ounces. As an example, a person that weighs 150 lbs should be drinking 75 ounces of pure water daily.

There are numerous things our bodies do everyday that cause us to lose fluids, and require a need to rehydrate ourselves. There are the obvious ones that occur when we are sick. For example, vomiting, diarrhea, and sweating. Of course, sweating is a function that occurs while sick, or well, but it does increase during bouts of illness.

Water has an astounding amount of benefits in the human body. They are as follows:

  • Water is needed to form saliva in your mouth for digestion.

  • Water is also needed to break food down into smaller parts, to be used properly by the body—absorption of nutrients.

  • The brain needs water for the neurotransmitters and hormones needed throughout the body.

  • The body regulates temperature using water. This is another reason why it is essential to stay hydrated when you are sick.

  • There is water in the blood which helps deliver oxygen to all the tissues.

  • Water makes up the fluid that surrounds and cushions the brain and spinal cord.

  • Your joints need water to cushion and lubricate, in order to move properly.

  • Cells in the body need water to regenerate and grow.

  • It keeps the mucous membranes moist.

  • Fluids help to flush the waste products out of the body, that are naturally made in the body, and the toxins that we are exposed to daily.

  • Water is in Lymph. Lymph is the fluid that is part of your immune system.

  • Energy! Lack of water is the number one reason for daytime fatigue.

Dehydration

Given all of the functions water helps with, you can imagine the negative impact dehydration can cause to the body. We even need water to breathe properly. When fluids become scarce in our bodies, they try to limit the amount of fluid they lose to breathing!

Our bodies need humid air to breathe effectively. We need water in order for our mucous membranes to moisturize the air we breath before it hits our lungs. When our bodies become dehydrated, mucous membranes become drier. This leads to the lungs being more easily irritated by common allergens, such as, mold, dust, and cigarette smoke. Lack of moisture leads to dry, unproductive coughs, and further irritation to the lungs.

This is one of the reasons it is extremely important for people with allergies to consume enough water on a daily basis! Aside from allergens, dehydration also lowers the body’s immune response. This makes the body more prone to viruses and bacteria.

Signs that your body needs more water:
  • Headaches

  • Achy joints

  • Dry skin

  • Slow digestion

  • Brain Fog

  • Sluggishness

  • Muscle cramps

Many patients of mine, that follow the above recommendations for water, come back into my St. Louis office, and report that they have more energy, less pain, better looking skin, and better digestion.

Take the water challenge, and find a water bottle!

Preferably glass or BPA free plastic. Measure how many ounces, and figure out how many of them you need to drink in a day. With all the health benefits you gain by staying well hydrated, why not add more water to your day. Not to mention it is amazingly refreshing, and calorie free. I’d say water is a much better option than a soda, that will dehydrate your body, cause a sugar spike, and pack on 150 calories per can! (Remember, bathing suit weather is just around the corner.)

Water is the most essential element of survival!

Drink Up!

Grand Opening!

GO

 

Dr. Ryan and Dr. Jeanne Sandheinrich are a husband and wife team that have been active in the Kirkwood community for the last 5 years. Now they are opening a Chiropractic Wellness Center to serve Kirkwood and the surrounding communities treating infants to adults and everyone in between.

Dr. Ryan focuses on treating individuals with general back pain, headaches, and allergies. He uses general chiropractic and nutrition to help the body heal itself.

Dr. Jeanne focused her education on treating pediatrics and pregnant women, as well as general women’s health issues. She treats with low force chiropractic, acupuncture, and nutrition to balance the body’s nervous system for healing.

All families are welcome to come meet the doctors and see the new office. The first 20 families to come to the Open House will receive a complimentary children’s book. There will be light appetizers and water served all day, and a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 11:30am. At 6pm there will be a wine toast. Come out and meet us!