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

Skin Wellness: A Closer Look at Chemical Stressors

How well do you know your skin?

Do you think about your skin when choosing products from the store? Do you read the labels to see what added chemicals are getting up close and personal with your skin? Do you pay attention to how the products you choose are affecting your skin’s appearance and touch?

If your answer is “No” to these questions, it’s time you start getting to know your skin a bit better and treating it with more love. Why, you ask? Because your skin is more complex and important than you may think… (more…)

Tongue Tie and Breastfeeding

It is completely natural for mothers and their newborns to experience any number of issues when breastfeeding, from latching problems to poor milk supply, but many do not realize that these may be linked to even large issues. One of the most significant is called TOTs, or Tethered Oral Tissues.

Here at 1st Step Family Wellness, Dr. Jeanne and Dr. Ryan Sandheinrich want to ensure that your family stays well-informed about such challenges, including how to identify if your child is Tongue Tied and what you can do to help them live a healthier, more comfortable life.

TOTS: What is it?

TOTS, or Tethered Oral Tissues, may occur when the thin portion of skin under a baby’s tongue limits movement of the tongue and/or when movement of the mouth is constrained by the upper lip being anchored to the gum.

This is found in anywhere between 0.2% and 2% of babies, believed to be genetic, and can cause a multitude of problems for both mom and baby. The condition is recognized as “tethered,” since it is the thin membrane of tissue that is meant to undergo cell death during the baby’s development in the womb, that instead becomes wrapped and remains secured to a portion of the inner mouth. (more…)

The Dirty Little Secret of PMS: What Every Woman Should Know

Ladies, we all have this one friend that we both love and hate. She’s always cranky, slow and almost unbearable at times, but you continue to make the best of all the pain she may cause from month to month with chocolate and ice cream, heartfelt romance movies while snuggled in odd positions on the couch, and long hot bubble baths. You know exactly which frenemy I’m talking about – the saboteur of your baby box – your Aunt Flow, queen of the crimson wave.

Well, despite the awkwardness you might be feeling right now, there is something you might not know. Something very important, that could change your whole relationship with your period. (more…)

Crazy Weather and Budding Trees Have Allergies Flaring: How to Handle it Without Hitting up the Pharmacy.

seasonal allergy relief

Ah, spring is in the air! Well, maybe not this past week, but it has been and will be back shortly. It’s beautiful and refreshing. Birds are chirping in the morning, trees and flowers are budding and even blooming, but oye…those allergies. Since we had a mild winter we can anticipate spring allergies to be even worse. We’ve already heard people complaining of allergy symptoms, and if you’ve been into an M.D. lately they’ve probably advised you to “get ahead” of your symptoms with your handy Claritin and Mucinex. But should you?


You see, like many other facets to your health, allergies can invade your world due to more than one cause. The cause is what we should be interested in, not the symptoms. Sure we need to rid our body of the symptoms because they can make a beautiful day unproductive and miserable. Finding the source, or cause, of those symptoms and eliminating that is the long-term solution though; eliminating the source will eliminate the symptoms. (more…)

Sensory Processing Disorder: Recognizing the Signs, and What Can Help

Recognizing and Diagnosing Sensory Processing Disorder

Our senses are what guide us through everyday life. Keeping us in tune with ourselves and the rest of the world. Yet, occasionally our sense of taste, smell, touch, hearing or sight becomes misguided by something physical or environmental.

It could be anxiety that spawns from family life, work responsibilities, or the effects of depression. It could be seasonal allergies or irritation from the tag on your new shirt. Or you maybe a picky eater, find it difficult to focus with surrounding ambient sounds, and have pain in your hands from repetitive tasks.

While such things are usually temporary for many of us and easily treated, the STAR Institute has previously found that approximately 16% of children (ages 7 to 11 years old) have a unique disorder called Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). It is unclear what percent of adults are diagnosed with SPD, considering that many times SPD is overlooked and misdiagnosed as ADD/ADHD, autism, Asperger’s, depression, or another mental disorder. This makes it important for individuals and parents to be able to recognize what everyday symptoms are associated with the disorder, and what steps may be taken to help them find greater sensory balance in everyday life.

What is Sensory Processing Disorder?

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a neurological problem that causes disruptions and over-stimulations in the sensory areas of your brain; which in turn impairs your ability to respond, process, and organize daily sensory information.

SPD helpThis not only includes the five senses you were taught throughout upper elementary school and middle school, but also the most significant elements of your sensory processing system – the vestibular and proprioceptive systems – that you most likely have never heard of if you’ve never studied anatomy at some point in your life. The vestibular sensory system is in your middle ear and is what balances how your sense of smell, taste, sight, hearing and touch interact with themselves and the space around you. Meanwhile, the proprioceptive system controls the reactions, sensations and motions of your joints and muscles that may become imbalanced or disoriented. In other words, it’s what controls each of your body parts and is your physical awareness.

What Causes Sensory Processing Disorder?

Studies have found that Sensory Processing Disorder can often develop when, if, and how a child has successfully reached primary developmental milestones. If the senses are underdeveloped, such as with infants in the first four-months of life, then what is called the Moro reflex may become activated. By definition the Moro reflex is losing partial or full control of your body – the same feeling you get when you have a shiver up your spine, or are startled by a person or unexpected sound.

If these milestones are not readily developed and practiced, then they remain under-developed throughout our lifetime; often increasing the likelihood of being more stressed, depressed, introverted, under-achieving, anxious, and unhappy on a daily or consistent basis.

In addition, other common factors have been found to also contribute to the 16% prevalence of SPD in children and adults. The physical and social environments that surround us have a direct effect on our growth and evolution as individuals, such as a heavily polluted city or a neglectful and hateful family life. It also includes the type of labor and stress-level of your child’s birth; such as natural, medicated, cesarean, and any correlating problems before, during or after. In addition to the elements of your DNA, the primitive nature retained from our ancestors, and spinal misalignments that affect your joints and range of motion can also cause Sensory Processing Disorder.

Red Flags of SPD to Remember

The evidence of your child having Sensory Processing Disorder is likely to be different from the signs another person with SPD has, however it is likely that – depending on the affected sense and area – all signs are severe across the spectrum. Not only is it possible for only one or all five of the senses to be over- or under-stimulated, signs may appear at different times in one’s lifetime.

Generally, here are the most common red flag symptoms that you should watch for:

Touch: Social anxiety, poor concentration, poor academic grades, aversion to touching others or craves a need to be touched, overly-controlling, easily irritated, hates being dirty or messy, can’t sit still, uses mouth to explore objects, and poor dexterity.

Smell: Excessive food or environmental allergies, often smells objects or other people, does not like new objects due to odd smells, and poor behavior or health around certain chemicals.

Taste: Picky towards many foods, show signs of pica, and problems eating.

Auditory: Becomes easily angry or irritated towards certain sounds, makes particular and repetitive sounds towards technological or other environmental noises, has issues following directions, hypersensitivity, consistently messes with ears and speaks loudly,  little or no vocalization, and difficulty understanding speech.

Visual: Poor hand-eye coordination, visual pain or discomfort, consistent headaches, problems reading by themselves or in-front of others, difficulties walking up or down stairs, etc.

Vestibular: Dislikes certain physical or environmental movements, likes watching repetitive movements (such as fans), issues reading and writing in cursive, poor listening skills while active, poor balance, motion sickness, or consistent and violent head banging.

Proprioception: Has a need for physical contact, dislikes having their head touched, sleep problems, inability to keep eyes closed for lengthy periods of time, sleepwalking, restlessness, need to be covered by heavy materials, dislike of team sports, poor math skills, extreme clumsiness, and so on.

Recommended SPD Treatments

When your vestibular sensory system is out of balance with one or more of your senses, it is directly linked to a physical imbalance or stress in your upper neck. Thus, if you are injured, sick, stiff or stressed your Moro reflex becomes activated and your nervous system goes in overdrive. If left untreated, this begins to reduce the support, stability and strength felt throughout the rest of your body. It is something you will easily recognize, due to the overall discomfort it brings, and will need to sway you towards effective at-home and chiropractic treatments.

Before taking matters into your own hands, it is best that you speak with your general physician and licensed chiropractor about your symptoms and the right treatment options for you or your child.

Generally, it is important that you practice a consistent stress-free lifestyle that keeps you mentally and pediatric chiro adjustment for SPDphysically active, to ensure that your sensory pathways remain strong and well-balanced. This includes stretching and exercising daily, particularly in the morning after you wake up to open and re-align your body from the day and night before. Many practice tai chi, yoga and/or meditation, take moderate outdoor walks or runs, body-strengthening exercises, hula-hooping, dance, and any other strong therapeutic movements. While also eating well, like reducing or eliminating sugar, artificial ingredients and caffeine. I know, the latter may seem impossible!

You will also want to schedule a session with your chiropractor, like Dr. Ryan and Dr. Jeanne Sandheinrich of First Step Family Wellness in Kirkwood, Missouri; who will be able to tell you which receptors (electrical impulses) in your cervical spine are being negatively affected, reducing your control and increasing your discomfort. Having regular chiropractic adjustments to fit your needs will effectively rebalance your seven senses and gradually improve your sense of control in your daily life.

How First Step Family Wellness Can Help

Since mid-2013, Dr. Ryan and Dr. Jeanne of First Step Family Wellness, have successfully treated individuals of all ages suffering from general pain and discomfort to disorders like Sensory Processing Disorder. If your main complaint is an over-abundance of allergies, consistent headaches or migraines, and neck or back pain; then Dr. Ryan uses his chiropractic skills to help your body heal and re-balance itself. Alternatively, if your child suffers from similar issues or has shown any of the symptoms discussed above, then Dr. Jeanne uses her expertise in chiropractic care and acupuncture techniques to balance their sensitive sensory pathways.

If you spot SPD symptoms in you or your child, come visit us at First Step Family Wellness in Kirkwood, MO today to start living a more balanced and content life.

Holiday Stress and How to Cope

For most households, the turkey has been carved and served, and it’s time to plan for the next holiday. Be it planning for a party, searching for that perfect gift or prepping for the next family meal, the holidays tend to put pressure on a person. The stress we feel during this time of year can stem from a couple of different places.  One example is when we try to meet or exceed our own or others’ expectations. Those expectations can be created from what we see on TV and social media, from warm memories of a previous holiday, or from our faith community. A poll by the American Psychological Association has shown that during the holiday season, 69% of people are stressed by lack of time and money.  The other 51% are stressed from the pressure of giving and getting gifts.  For a time that is supposed to be “Merry”, there is a lot of stress associated with it.

The Dangers of Stress

Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is to blame for that nagging headache, or that neck and back pain you just can’t rid yourself of. But stress may actually be the culprit.  Stress can negatively affect your spine, it causes the muscles in the back and neck to tense, which can cause the vertebrae in the spine to shift.  This shift can potentially cause subluxation or nerve interference.  The symptoms are those of common illnesses, such as a stuffed up or runny nose, or difficulties with digestion.

Stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can give you a jump on managing them. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high cortisol levels leading to weight gain, sleep interference, metabolic disorders, gastrointestinal distress, heart disease, and many more.  With the average person having a modest amount of stress on any other day of the year, try not to add to it this holiday season.

Using Technology to Create A Stress Free Holiday


 Most people these days use Facebook, take advantage of the “Events” option on Facebook.  You can easily create your holiday event and invite those who are on Facebook, this will limit the time needed to reach out to everyone individually.  Using a Facebook Event, you will be able to see all who has accepted your invitation and not frantically scrounging around looking for the random names you have wrote down throughout the house trying to get an accurate head count.

 A second option using Facebook, is the fan page or create a group.  This allows the invited guest to post onto the page regarding their attendance, what they will be bringing, or if they will bring a guest with them.  With creating a page, you are able to post image or document with the menu items and a list of what is needed for the event or other areas you need assistance with.

Using your smartphone or other forms of technology, create a shopping list.  51% of people are stressed from giving and getting gifts, ease your stress by first creating your budget.  Figure out what you can afford and what you want to spend this holiday season and stick with it.  Then find an app that you like the best and create your shopping list.  There are many apps out there such as: Santa’s Bag, Gift List, Gift Plan, and more found at iTunes.  Available for Androids are Gift List Manager, Christmas Gift List, and more.  Check out which one is best for you and start your holiday season off with as little stress as possible.

How Technology Can Create Stress During the Holiday

 Technology can be very useful during your holiday season, but don’t let it become a stress factor.   Overstimulation can become stressful; time spent in front of Facebook or on your phone is time that can be more productive elsewhere.  Having your smart phone at all times can become stressful when you are making yourself available to be contacted at all times of the day and night.  Set time limits on your phone, it may be hard, but stress is harder.  Try to pick a specific time when you turn your phone off for the evening and focus on the more valuable aspects of life.  If you find yourself constantly scrolling on Facebook, maybe just send your holiday greetings and see you next years instead.  If social media is adding stress, take a break from it. It will be there when you get back.

Family Time

The shadow side of this period of light and hope, is darkness and despair. Many people fall into darkness at this time of year.  Adam Anderson, Ph. D., associate professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, has hypothesized, the effect media has taken on those during the holiday season.  With the joy and cheer flaunted throughout the commercials and shows, this can trigger those who are lonely throughout the season.  A Canadian study of patients that had received emergency psychiatric care during the holidays, found that the most common stressor was the feeling of being alone or not having family.   The feeling of melancholy during this time is not uncommon.  Below are a few causes of holiday depression.

Family-Related Issues: Some people rarely see their families outside of the holidays, which may make this particular season a little more difficult to deal with than others. Spending time with parents, siblings and other relatives can cause tension in some families, and the anxiety of these get-togethers can also be a trigger for depression.

Loneliness: While some are experiencing family issues, other people have trouble during the holidays for the opposite reason. Not being able to spend time with loved ones due to financial constraints, distance, or other reasons can cause severe loneliness during the holidays. Also, those who have family members or friends who have passed away may miss them even more during special times like the holidays.

Unrealistic Expectations: Some people get overly excited about the holidays, but when the reality of the events set in, they may find themselves disappointed with the actual outcome. Whether it’s holiday parties not being as much fun as hoped for, loved ones not getting as excited about their gifts as you’d hoped or other bad experiences, the sadness of a holiday season sometimes doesn’t match up with an individual’s idea of what a picture-perfect holiday season should be like.

How To Use Meditation as an Outlet

holiday meditationThink of a pressure cooker when thinking about stress.  Your feelings are building up with the pressure of the holiday and you need to release steam before the whole thing blows up.  The best step to de-stressing is to recognize when you need to take a breather and step away for a moment.

 Try stepping away for 5 minutes, make a list of three things you’re grateful for and focus your energy on those three things and why they are important, how they came to be in your life and what makes them so special to you.  Researchers have found that gratitude has both physical and mental health benefits.
 Use these helpful tips to make this holiday season stress free and enjoy what the holidays are about.  This is the time to be joyous and merry!

Posture: What is it, and what really affects it?

Posture. It’s something our mothers ragged on us about from the time we were small children. How many of your moms told you, “If you don’t stop slouching you’ll grow up to be a hunchback”? Being told continuously we need sit up straight, or to stop hunching our shoulders, seems to almost be a right of passage from childhood to adulthood.

So is there really something to this whole posture thing? Is it really that bad for you? Or is somewhat of an old wives’ tale?

posture analysis

What is Posture?

Posture is defined as: the position of the body or the position of several parts of the body with respect to each other for a particular purpose. Posture is not, regardless of what we have been led to believe, simply a matter of sitting or standing up straight. Instead, it is the actual and proper alignment of the parts of the body in relation to the spine, and the proper use of the body at all times.


 While slouching over at your computer, or your kids being hunched over a tablet screen, is not doing either of you any favors, it is not the primary contributor to your posture. Rather, ensuring your body is in correct alignment is the essential factor to this. At 1st Step Family Wellness,  in Kirkwood, we try to drill this education point in. Sitting up straight is not going to correct your posture. Remembering to get routine chiropractic care to ensure your body is in proper alignment will!


Posture and Your Little Tikes

 It’s often oversighted that even very young children can have misalignment issues. It is believed that as soon as a child is weight bearing, that improper posture can be detected, and show signs of misalignments.  You might be thinking, “Yeah, it’s not like we were in an accident, or like my kiddo is doing heavy lifting. There’s no way she has any misalignments. Her posture has to be fine.” While that seems like a logical assumption, it is an incorrect assumption.
 How many times did your little tike fall on her bottom abruptly, obviously jarring her body upon landing? How was your birth? Well, even if all went smoothly, just the natural process of childbirth can wreak havoc on a baby’s body. Think of how they are born! There is quite a bit of twisting and contorting just to make it into this world.


 Posture and Your Older Kiddos

This age group starts to endure more injuries, even if minor, due to their activities. If your child is active in sports it is anticipated these injuries, or minor traumas to the spine will occur. Accidentally colliding into another soccer player while running full gusto is not only going to sting a bit, but it is also going to cause some misalignments without a doubt!

  Although I mentioned above that slouching isn’t the main cause of poor posture, it certainly doesn’t help. This age group tends to have more than their fair share of screen time too. Inevitably, we naturally sit or lie in positions that aren’t conducive to posture. Children also tend to lie on their stomachs when using electronics as well; which can be bad for your spine.

To adjust to these habits, the body will typically begin to adapt to the improper alignment and cause postural deviations that you can see. These can include a tilting of the head, which may reflect a misalignment in the neck. A shoulder tilt might indicate a mid-back issue, and a tilted hip can mean a misalignment of the hip, sacrum or lower back. If a child’s foot is turned  out or in, this can indicate a problem in the pelvic area.

The scary part of this, is that often times these misalignments that form, do not cause pain. Not that we want them to be in pain, but because there is no pain it typically leads to problems compounding before any detection without regular chiropractic care.

 Pre-Teens, Teens, and Posture

The same issues that occur with your older children also occur in this age group. Except now, they have been continuing with bad habits and injuries for a few years, and  now the compounding effects can become visible to the eye. They may even cause pain at this point.

Often times, their backpacks have become the demise of their spine as well. Aside from the actual weight, they tend to wear their backpacks improperly; which only multiplies the harm being caused to their spines.

Be sure to listen to your pre-teens and teens closely about discomfort and know they could be developing a problem that will only become worse and cause more problems over time. Pain may appear in the form of headaches, shoulder tension, or menstruation issues in girls.

 Don’t Forget About You!

You think childhood issues have ventured into real-time problems for your teen? Just think about the compounding effect on you since childhood! Chances are you do feel at least occasional discomfort and shrug it off. However, your future (senior) self will thank you in multitude for correcting any deviations now. You don’t want to be the next, “Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercial, do you?!

  So how can you tell if you have spinal deviations?

Surprisingly, if you’re looking for the right clues, it is fairly evident. Here’s two easy tests to check out your status:

Test One-Four Steps to Performing a Postural Exam

Step one – look at bottom of ears; if one is higher than the other, this is head tilt and a sign of a possible neck misalignment.

  Step two – look at the shoulders; they should be level, if they are not, shoulder tilt is a sign of a possible mid-back issue.

Step three – place your hands on the wing bones or scapula; if one is moved toward you more than the other, this could be the sign of mid back issue.

Step four – place your hands on your child’s hips; if one hand is higher than the other, this is hip tilt and can be an indicator of a misalignment of the hip, sacrum or lower back.

Test Two-Side View Analysis

When looking at a side view there are two signs of possible postural deviations or spinal misalignments. The first sign is the earlobes; are they directly over the shoulder or slightly forward? The second sign of a potential problem are shoulders hunched or rolled forward. If you see either of these signs it is wise to contact your current chiropractor, or 1st Step Family Wellness  for an appointment.

Concerns about your kiddos or teens? We specialize in pediatric chiropractic!





21 Day Detox

The fall hump. You know that time in between not reaching your summer weight loss goals, and still wanting to shed the pounds before your winter hibernation mode kicks in. You know what you need? No, the answer is not some “metabolism booster” from a big box supplement store. A detox. That’s what you need. It doesn’t have to be spring or summer to take control of your health. In fact, utilizing a detox that focuses on a lifestyle change, and not just a quick weight loss fix, is strongly recommended anytime of the year.


21 Day Detox

Today I want to share with you the success my wife (Dr. Jeanne) and I had with our 21 day detox. I want to enlighten you on how our bodies detox normally, and how they detox abnormally; most people’s bodies are detoxing abnormally. I’ll also cover why you should detox, the detox process, and a couple tips and tricks for doing a 21 Day Detox. You won’t believe what food can do for your body!


Why detox?

You definitely need to understand WHY you need to detox in the first place. So let me ask you a few questions:

Do you have trouble losing weight?

Do you get headaches?

How about digestive issues?

Do you eat fast food?

I could continue on to ask you more questions, but these are four quick ones that would lead you to answer yes to needing to detox. We need to detox in order to remove the toxins that end up stored in our bodies.


Feeling tipsy?

I often explain toxins in the body, by comparing it to being drunk. When we consume more alcohol than our bodies can process in that specific amount of time, alcohol goes into our bloodstream because it cannot be processed at that time. This is how that blood-alcohol level creeps up on you, making you unable to drive a vehicle!


You’re like a machine.

You could also compare it to your body being a piece of machinery. To keep a machine running smoothly, and efficiently, you need clean it, right? If you don’t goop gets caught up in it, it starts to slow down, be less efficient, and over time will start to break down on you and stop working altogether! So much like machinery, sometimes we need to clean ourselves out, and give ourselves a system restart. As toxins become too much for your body to process, they store themselves in fat and nervous system tissue.


Detox Process

Alright, so we covered the “why” you need to detox. Now let’s bring you back to your high school science class, and give you a little pop quiz (ok so not really a quiz because I’m going to give you the answers.)

Q: How does your body detox when it’s functioning normally?

A: Most toxins are eliminated through fecal matter. Gut flora, the good bacteria in your intestines, helps break down toxins for elimination. It’s commonly thought that the liver does most of this work. The liver is important, but is actually the secondary system for removing toxins. The liver helps with overflow of toxins. The liver actually utilizes antioxidant materials to change toxins to water-soluble substances. From there the toxins are transferred in their new form to the kidneys, where they are excreted through urination (now you know why the bathroom stall becomes your new best friend at the bar!).

Q:How does your body detox when it’s functionally abnormally?

A: Well, the short answer is it doesn’t. I mean it puts up a real good fight, and absolutely is smart enough to take measures to protect your health.

With abnormal detoxing our bodies develop “leaky gut”. This is when the lining of the small intestines become permeable (develops small gaps), where toxins can leak out into the bloodstream.


So what happens then…

Then because there are already too many toxins in the body, the liver doesn’t pick them up for processing. So where do they go? At first, they sit in your bloodstream; which obviously isn’t healthy and cannot be a long term solution. No worries though, your body is highly intelligent, and proceeds to move them for storage in your fat and nervous system tissue.

This may sound like your body has it all figured out, and you can keep piling the junk food in, but not so fast. You know those headaches, and inability to lose weight, and digestive issues? Well, you can thank your abnormal detox process for that.

This means it’s a good possibility the reason why you just spent three days a week at the gym for the last month, and only lost a single pound, is due to the fact that there are toxins stored in your fat. Once there are toxins stored in the fat, the body tends to want to hold on to the fat as means of protecting your body from the toxins. This is why you need to detox. I would recommend a cleanse that is a whole body cleanse, and not just liver cleanse. I recommend this because of what I explained above. While our liver is an instrumental component to our detox, it is NOT the primary. So you need a whole body cleanse.


The “1st Step”

Cut out all the crap food! No sugars, no artificial sweeteners, no junk food, and yes, sorry to say you will have ditch the pumpkin spice lattes for now too!

Tips & Tricks

#1 Be prepared-You’re going to need to go all Boy Scout on this. Always be prepared. How are you always prepared when on a detox? You plan ahead. We make all sorts of plans in life: business plans, weekend plans, financial plans, but seem to leave out food plans. You need to strategize your plan of attack (with food).


#2 Meal/snack prep- Yup. More preparation. You may feel like you’ve earned some sort of scout badge by the time your done, but you’ll be happy you did it, and the results will mirror your hard work.

So here’s what we did for our cleanse…

Days 1-7:  Ate fruits, veggies, fish, and plant-based protein shakes (avoid whey).


Days 8-10: Removed fruit for 3 days.


Day 11: Added in organic chicken and eggs.


Days 15-21:  Added nuts, seeds, and grass fed beef back into diet.


*We consumed at least 80 ounces of purified water each day.


*We also used a few support products (if interested, these can be purchased through our office):


1-Digestive Enzyme (Loomis)

2-Probiotic (Metagenics)

3-Essential Fatty Acids (Biotics)

4-Detox Powder (Metagenics)

5-Detox Capsule (Metagenics)

If you have more questions please feel free to reach out to us!


Donut vs. Broccoli: The Enzyme Effect

fruits and veggies


Keeping our families healthy. It is absolutely a forethought in all parents minds. Sometimes though, it seems like we’re implementing things because we know we should be, or think we should be, but without a real comprehension as to the way things help our bodies. Understanding is just as crucial as taking the action. Why? Well, because when we can explain to children WHY they need to eat their vegetables, and not just because we said so, it motivates them to do something good for their bodies. The same thing is true for adults; it’s simply human nature. This is why knowing the role of enzymes, and what they do for your body is so important. They are vital to our well-being. At 1st Step Family Wellness in Kirkwood, we strive to continue to educate our patients on the why.


Dinner table banter

Here’s an example of how a simple explanation can make all the difference with children:

Mom: “Sweetie, you need to finish all your broccoli before you can get up from the table.”

Boy: “Why?! I hate broccoli!

Mom: “Because it gives your body the nutrients it needs to grow up to be big and strong like Daddy. Without good nutrients your body won’t be as healthy, or grow as big and strong.”

*Little boy makes a begrudging face, but proceeds to eat the broccoli*

Sure it’s true eating proper food to get essential nutrition is about more than growing big and strong, but that is something, say a 5 year old boy can understand and relate to. For adults we need a more detailed explanation to help us stay on track, and remind us why we want to opt for the veggie tray at the office, over the donut box. Our inner 5 year old wants to grab that donut, because obviously, it’s delicious. We know the veggies are a more ideal option because they are healthier. Today I want to give you more information on what healthier choices have to do with the enzymes in our bodies, and why that is important, because the child in all of us needs that extra information to keep us on track and make good choices.

What are enzymes?

Enzymes are proteins that act as a catalyst in our bodies by breaking down the food we eat. The food is broken into particles small enough to be absorbed by the cells that line the intestinal tract.

Raw fruits and vegetables contain the enzymes necessary to break down the food themselves without requiring much assistance from our bodies to produce them. Therefore, eating raw fruits and vegetables is much less taxing on our digestive system. By consuming large amounts of processed foods that do not offer any enzymatic assistance, our bodies can become enzyme deficient over time. While digestion is a huge component of the job enzymes perform, it is not the only one! Enzymes are extremely complex biomechanical substances. Enzymes play a role in almost all aspects of our health and well-being. They make our hearts beat, help us breathe, aid in thought process, energy production, healing wounds, dissolving blood clots, slowing the aging process, and even help with muscle and nerve function!


What types of enzymes are there?

1-Food enzymes-found in raw foods

2-Digestive enzymes-produced by the body in order to break down foods

3-Mechanical enzymes-run biomechanical processes in our bodies

The 4 essential food enzymes

1-Proteases- These enzymes are responsible for breaking down proteins (meats, beans, dairy etc.)

2-Amylases-These enzymes handle breaking down carbohydrates into simple carbohydrates (pasta, potatoes, cookies, etc.) The amylases are essential to breaking down milk sugar, refined sugar, and malt sugar.

3-Lipases- These enzymes break down fats (olives, avocados, etc.)

4- Cellulases-These enzymes break down fiber (celery, carrots, etc.)

It can be hard to grasp how complex our bodies are! Quite literally, without enzymes, we would cease to exist. This is why we have to be incredibly conscious of what we are putting in our bodies. We need to ensure we are providing the proper nutrition to keep things operating. Not putting the right nutrition in our bodies, is like putting diesel in a car that takes unleaded gasoline, and then wondering why the car broke down! The greasy processed foods, overcooked foods, and refined sugars, are our equivalent to putting diesel in a vehicle that takes unleaded.


How do I know if if I am enzyme deficient?

This is a great question, and it’s actually much easier to unravel than one may expect. There are often times when patients come into 1st Step Family Wellness in Kirkwood, suffering from things like:


  • heartburn

  • acid reflux

  • gas

  • bloating

  • cramping

  • constipation

  • diarrhea

  • anxiety

  • stiff, sore joints

  • irritability

  • restlessness

  • insomnia

These can all be signs of enzyme deficiency. Of course, it should always be evaluated to ensure there isn’t something else occurring, but these are signs of enzyme deficiency.

It’s unfortunate to see so many people that are forever on antacids because they simply do not know they only need to increase their enzyme-rich food intake, and possibly need a supplement to boost the enzymatic processes back up. Doing these two things will work wonders for relieving the above listed digestive issues people complain off!


So, what happens if I don’t handle my enzyme deficiency?

This is where the marvel of how food and nutrition can truly heal a body is awesome in the truest sense of the word. However there are an enormous amount of people who suffer from enzyme deficiency. In fact, over $80 billion per year is spent to relieve digestive issue like irregularity, fatigue, gas, and headaches.

By merely, adjusting your diet, and perhaps some enzyme therapy through nutritional supplements, you can prevent these more pesky, and sometime debilitating issues that can occur as a direct result from enzyme deficiency:

  • Crohn’s disease

  • Diabetes

  • Colitis

  • High cholesterol

  • Weight gain/loss

  • Excessive bloating


What’s the best way to fix my enzyme deficiency?

As mentioned a few times through this article, consuming raw fruits and vegetables are the first step in restoring the efficiency of your enzymatic processes. Sometimes though, a person’s body may be so deprived, and overworked, that enzyme therapy is also necessary to restore a body back to full health. This is a simple process of consuming recommended whole food supplements that will aid your recovery.

Speak to your chiropractor today, or contact us for a consultation if you have more questions or concerns. Also remember to teach your children now the importance of good nutrition by explaining things in an age appropriate manner. As children get older, revisit the subject with more specific detail that they will then understand. Knowledge is powerful, and so are our bodies when properly cared for!

Sports Injury Prevention: What Parents and Coaches Need to Know!

sports injury prevention

Participation in sports offers tremendous social, emotional, and physical benefits for children. We know that one of the worst things for kids is being on the sidelines with an injury. As parents and coaches, there are simple things we can do to help reduce preventable injuries – so our kids can continue playing the games they love.

While there are amazing benefits to having children participate in sports, it is definitely critical to prepare children properly. The risk of injury can be greatly reduced, by educating ourselves and our children how to treat their bodies when playing sports, and what we need to be on the look for as parents and coaches.


Prior to your kiddos hitting the field, be sure to bring them into their physician for a sports physical. Doing this can help detect any concerns that may cause more serious conditions if proper precautions aren’t taken.

If there are any health conditions that a coach needs to be aware of, such as asthma, be sure the coach is made aware before the first practice or game.

Whether there are health concerns or not, it is a good practice to give the coach your emergency contact information in case any other sports related injuries occur.

Warm up

This is something many players and coaches skip. Before exerting their bodies, children should do a light warm up, and then stretch out. Doing this can prevent serious injuries due to muscle tension.

It is advisable for coaches to oversee this, and can help to have a set warm up and dynamic stretching routine. This way children develop a habit of warm ups and stretching, and know that it is an essential activity before participating in sports!


While it is important to always stay hydrated, particularly in the Summer months, it is especially important when participating in sports and recreational activities.

Encourage kids to drink water to rehydrate 30 minutes before playing sports. Not only can your body become more easily exhausted if you’re not hydrated, but it increases the chances of muscle injuries.

During games and practices, coaches should incorporate water breaks in order for children to stay hydrated and reduce the risk of sport injuries. Whether it is practices or games, players should be rehydrating every 20 minutes during physical exercise. Be sure they are taking more than just a sip or two. To properly rehydrate an 88 pound child should be drinking 5 ounces every 20 minutes, and an older child around 135 pounds, should be drinking 9 ounces every 20 minutes.

If kids are unsure if they have been drinking enough water, you can teach them that their urine should be either clear, or only slightly yellow (like lemonade).

If at any point a player feels light-headed, dizzy, or nauseous in the heat, they should be moved to a shaded area. Then make sure any unnecessary equipment is removed, and give them cold water. If symptoms do not dissipate, seek medical attention.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

Instilling a strong communication triangle between player, parent, and coach is vital to helping maintain a player’s health. It will also help in  preventing both mild and serious injuries alike.

Sometimes, in fear of not being able to continue to play in a game, kids will not communicate to parents or coaches if they are not feeling well. This is also true when they believe they may have injured themselves. Make sure to have a conversation with your children with the importance of speaking up when they are not feeling well.

“It is estimated that one-third of childhood injuries are sports-related.”

Wear Safety Equipment

Making sure your child wears proper safety equipment can prevent serious injuries. Just wearing equipment isn’t enough. You need to make sure things such as helmets are also fitted correctly. If you’re playing baseball and a helmet falls off while running it will not do much good in preventing an injury.


A common misunderstanding is that a child will be knocked unconscious if they have suffered a concussion. This is not always the case. It is fairly common for a child to “brush it off” and keep playing because they don’t realize the severity of their injuries.

Coaches and parents should participate in learning CPR and First AId so they can recognize these types of sports injuries. A child should not continue to play if it is believed they may have suffered from a concussion, and should seek medical attention. If it is unclear if the player has suffered a concussion, it is best to not put them back in the game until they are cleared by a medical professional.

A Little R&R Goes a Long Way!

As players get older, it can be hard to make sure they are getting the rest they need. Making sure all their muscles are developing evenly can become a concern as well; particularly if they are playing the same sport year-round.

Players should be getting at least one to two days of rest each week. This gives their bodies the required time to recover before exerting muscles again.

It is also a good idea to have kids participate in different sports during different seasons; rather than playing the same sport all year around. Not only does this ensure well-rounded muscle development, but it also make kids well-rounded athletes!

Chiropractic Care

Of course, whether you are an athlete or not, we always recommend regular chiropractic care. However, it is especially important for our pint size (and larger) athletes to receive regular chiropractic care. A chiropractor can ensure any minor traumas to the spine and body are corrected before they become more serious problems or injuries down the line.