Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Road to Longevity

Harvard scientists have observed that the shortest-living Americans are Native American populations in South Dakota, living an average lifespan of 66.5 years, whereas the longest-living Americans are Asian-American women residing in Bergen County, N.J., who live to an average lifespan of 91.1 years. That's a nearly 25-year difference! Just think about what you could do with 25 "extra" years, particularly if you could enjoy them with sound body and mind. Here's what science says about the best ways to stay healthy, active and vital into your older years.

1. Choose Wisely
A study that followed 20,000 men and women, ages 45 to 79, for 13 years found that poor lifestyle choices can shorten lifespan by as many as 14 years. The researchers found that study subjects with the lowest number of healthy behaviors were four-times more likely to die during the study period, most notably from cardiovascular disease. In fact, participants with the lowest healthy lifestyle scores had the same risk of dying as someone with the highest healthy lifestyle scores who was 14 years older.

Here are four beneficial lifestyle behaviors identified as contributing to longevity: smoking cessation, associated with an 80 percent improvement in lifespan; increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables; moderate drinking; and staying physically active.

2. Why Risk It?
Adding support to the above, a study of 23,153 German men and women, ages 35 to 65 years, found that four lifestyle factors slashed the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer by 80 percent: never smoking, body mass index of 30 or less, exercising 3.5 hours a week, and eating a healthy diet. The study authors concluded: "The message is clear. Adhering to 4 simple healthy lifestyle factors can have a strong impact on the prevention of chronic diseases."

3. Don't Weight Around
A 12-year study involving more than 11,000 adult participants found that underweight people were 70 percent more likely to die during the study period compared to people of normal weight, and that the extremely obese had a 36 percent increased risk of death compared to their healthier counterparts. Interestingly, carrying a few extra pounds was found to be protective against early death; modestly overweight subjects were 17 percent less likely to die early, suggesting that when it comes to weight, eating habits, etc., moderation may be the key.

4. Maximize Movement
A study of 2,401 twins that tracked their physical activity level, lifestyle habits, and examined the length of the telomeres in their white blood cells (leukocytes) revealed that men and women who were less physically active in their leisure time had shorter leukocyte telomeres than those who were more active. The mean difference in leukocyte telomere length between the most active subjects (who performed n average of 199 minutes of physical activity per week) versus the least active subjects (16 minutes of physical activity per week) was 200 nucleotides. This translated to mean that "the most active subjects had telomeres the same length as sedentary individuals up to 10 years younger, on average."

5. Find Your Happy Place
A study that assessed personality traits among 2,359 generally healthy people who enrolled in 1958 in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging found that men and women who are emotionally calm and organized lived longer than people with less positive personality traits such as anxiousness, anger, or fearfulness.

6. Don't Tempt Cancer
A report issued jointly by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research suggests many types and cases of cancers could be prevented by not smoking, a habit estimated to cause one-third of malignancies. Further, they observe that one-third of cancers are preventable by proper diet, adequate physical activity, and avoiding obesity. "The message coming out of this report is that many, many more cancers are preventable by healthy patterns of diet, weight, and physical activity."

Optimize Your Longevity Potential
In summary, we share the findings from a study of 2,432 older adults who displayed exceptionally good health at baseline. The decade-long study, conducted by M.S. Kaplan, and colleagues and published in the Journal of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences, identified the most important predictors of excellent health as the following: absence of chronic illness, annual income over US$30,000, never smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation, and maintaining a positive outlook (managing stress levels). The researchers concluded: "Many of these factors can be modified when you are young or middle-aged. While these findings may seem like common sense, now we have evidence of which factors contribute to exceptional health [as we age]."

By Drs. Ronald Klatz and Robert Goldman. Ronald Klatz, MD, is the president of the American Academy of Anti-Aging (
www.worldhealth.net), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, detection and treatment of aging-related disease. Robert Goldman, MD, is the chairman of the American Academy of Anti-Aging (www.worldhealth.net), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, detection and treatment of aging-related disease.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Starting with Chiropractic Saves 40% on Low Back Pain Care

A new study finds that low back pain care initiated with a doctor of chiropractic (DC) saves 40 percent on health care costs when compared with care initiated through a medical doctor (MD), the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) announced recently. The study, featuring data from 85,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield beneficiaries, concludes that insurance companies that restrict access to chiropractic care for low back pain treatment may inadvertently pay more for care than they would if they removed such restrictions.

Low back pain is a significant public health problem. Up to 85 percent of Americans have back pain at some point in their lives. In addition to its negative effects on employee productivity, back pain treatment accounts for about $50 billion annually in health care costs—making it one of the top 10 most costly conditions treated in the United States.

The study, “Cost of Care for Common Back Pain Conditions Initiated With Chiropractic Doctor vs. Medical Doctor/Doctor of Osteopathy as First Physician: Experience of One Tennessee-Based General Health Insurer,” which is available online and will also be published in the December 2010 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, looked at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee’s intermediate and large group fully insured population over a two-year span. The insured study population had open access to MDs and DCs through self-referral, and there were no limits applied to the number of MD/DC visits allowed and no differences in co-pays.

Results show that paid costs for episodes of care initiated by a DC were almost 40 percent less than care initiated through an MD. After risk-adjusting each patient’s costs, researchers still found significant savings in the chiropractic group. They estimated that allowing DC-initiated episodes of care would have led to an annual cost savings of $2.3 million for BCBS of Tennessee.

“As doctors of chiropractic, we know firsthand that our care often helps patients avoid or reduce more costly interventions such as drugs and surgery. This study supports what we see in our practices every day,” said ACA President Rick McMichael, DC. “It also demonstrates the value of chiropractic care at a critical time, when our nation is attempting to reform its health care system and contain runaway costs.”

The American Chiropractic Association, based in Arlington, Va., is the largest professional association in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic. ACA promotes the highest standards of ethics and patient care, contributing to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Watch Your Back This Holiday Season!

The holiday season is upon us and that means time to shop, decorate the house and cause stress to the body that ultimately leads to back pain and other physical ailments. The Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC), which represents over 1700 chiropractors statewide, is once again urging residents to follow their health guidelines and tips to make this holiday season a festive one and not a painful experience.

Putting up holiday lights, carrying a Christmas tree or lugging packages from the mall can cause stress to the back. In addition, raking leaves, shoveling the first snow and lunging from a ladder can also cause physical harm. These problems are all caused by performing tasks that the body is not accustomed to, according to Dr. Brett Wartenberg, the ANJC Chiropractor-of-the-Year.

“The body, at this time of year, starts to break down and performing a number of seasonal tasks that the body is not used to can cause back problems,” said Wartenberg. “During the winter holiday season chiropractors treat a variety of health injuries in addition to back problems, including sprained ankles, foot problems, slipped discs, strained muscles and wrists. All of the little things the public does beyond their normal routine can cause these problems. It’s called repetitive trauma.”

Following a year-long exercise program would help alleviate holiday physical stress. However, since many do not follow such a routine, it is essential that they take the time to prepare themselves for holiday conditions.

One of the major culprits of holiday back stress is the problems caused by holiday shopping. For shoppers and retailers the day after Thanksgiving has become the biggest shopping day of the year.

For those venturing out to do holiday shopping, the ANJC has developed some healthy pointers to reduce unneeded stress or a condition called “Back Friday.”

10 Tips for Surviving “Back Friday”

1) Warm up and do a lot of stretching before attempting to lift any packages or items.
2) Wear only your most comfortable, properly-cushioned sneakers/shoes to get you through the busy day.
3) Equally distribute the weight you’re carrying between both arms. To ensure that the weight in your shopping bags is properly balanced, repack your bags to evenly distribute it. Don’t try to be a hero by carrying all bags in one hand.
4) Don’t overreach for that item on the top shelf. Have a sales clerk use a ladder to reach your item.
5) Take several breaks and trips to unload packages to/from your car.
6) Make sure you bend your knees when searching for that item on lower shelves.
7) Don’t block your line of sight with your packages. Make sure you can see where you are walking and know where you are going to put down your packages. This will prevent tripping.
8) How heavy is it? Check out the weight before you attempt to lift a package. You can do so by pushing the object lightly or moving it with your feet to see how easily it moves. Small items sometimes are heavier than the big ones. If you can’t move it, get a sales clerk to help.
9) Pay the extra charge and have that big ticket item delivered. Large packages can not only cause damage to your vehicle but place undue stress on your back.
10) Make sure you treat Santa nice by balancing your child right in the middle of Santa’s knee.

This article was provided by the ANJC.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Breakfast With Santa!

Santa is coming to the Budd Lake Fire Station on Sunday, November 28, 2010. Doors open at 9:00am. Santa arrives at 9:30am.

Sponsored by the Mount Olive Township Kiwanis, Breakfast With Santa will provide a delicious, made to order breakfast of waffles, donuts, bagels, hot and cold cereal, juice, milk, coffee and tea. Crafts and entertainment will be provided for children plus a gift for each child from Santa! Santa is looking forward to having his picture taken with each child; pictures can be purchased on-site. Remember to bring your letter for Santa!

Advance ticket sales are $6.00 per Adult/Senior and $4.00 per child (1-12 yrs). An additional $1.00 will be charged at the door.

Optimal Family Chiropractic, LLC is the Premium Sponsor of Breakfast with Santa.

Tickets may be purchased at Optimal Family Chiropractic, LLC, 230 Route 206 South, Bldg 3, 2nd Floor, Flanders, 973-584-4888 and George's Liquors, Route 46 West, in Budd Lake.

For more information please call Adele Perkins at 973-978-6067 or contact her at adeleperkins@hotmail.com.

If you would like to share your spirit of generosity, Kiwanis is accepting donations of canned and nonperishable foods for the Mt. Olive Food Pantry. These can be brought to the event.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Understanding Wellness

Many have attributed the term wellness to Dr. Halbert Dumn, who wrote a booklet in 1961 titled High-Level Wellness, in which he basically defined it as a lifestyle approach for pursuing elevated states of physical and psychological well-being.

While the reality is that the term wellness was actually coined in the year 1654 by a Scottish physician, the true meaning has evolved beyond what they both intended.

Defining Wellness
Chiropractors are the originators of the wellness movement, being the only health care professionals who recognize the body's natural ability to heal itself. This is why they have spent more than 50 years educating their patients on the benefits of a wellness lifestyle. Proper nutrition, exercise and routine chiropractic care help the body to perform at maximum efficiency, resulting in improved function.

Wellness: Improving Function
The term improved function has been used by chiropractors for years to help patients understand the benefits of chiropractic care and the role it plays in true wellness. The body is made up of muscles, organs and glands that are controlled by the nervous system, and the nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord and nerves.

The brain sends signals down the spine and to the nerves, which tell the heart to beat, the lungs to breathe, the stomach to digest, the glands to produce necessary hormones, and so on. It's when the signals don't get from the spinal cord to the nerves and then from the nerves to the muscles, organs and glands that the body begins to lose proper function and symptoms begin to occur.

Mainstream medicine doesn't recognize these symptoms as simple alerts from the body that there's something amiss, but instead as something that must be eliminated through chemicals or pharmaceuticals. They don't seek wellness, but rather a lack of symptoms.

Medical vs. Wellness Care
The biggest difference between mainstream medicine and wellness care is just that: medicine. Today's medical professionals are still treating symptoms instead of the cause of the problem. The bigger problem lies with the fact that the medicines usually begin to create their own list of symptoms that must be treated with more medicines. It's a domino effect leading not to health and wellness, but to illness and dependence.

By focusing on symptoms instead of body function, they avoid having to look at the root cause and can ignore the lifestyle habits or outside influences that are the underlying problem. A drug-induced lack of symptoms leads to a false sense of security and avoids the lifestyle changes truly necessary for wellness.

On the other hand, the wellness chiropractic practitioner recognizes that the symptoms are there for a reason, an alert from your body that something isn't right, and begins to seek the cause of the problem.

How Stressors Affect Wellness
What you may not realize is that your body is constantly adapting; when something isn't quite right, the body will try to compensate. Physical, emotional and chemical stressors, or as they are called by chiropractors, the three T's (traumas, thoughts and toxins), begin to cause the body to try to balance itself out or acclimate to the stress. Problems arise when the body, in a constant state of instability, begins to wear down; this is when our wellness or well-being is compromised.

The more obvious examples of stressors are physical; falls, jolts or sudden impacts to the spine. However, even micro-traumas caused by improper posture or one-sided repetitive movements can stress our system.

Emotional stressors are more difficult to avoid, but can be equally damaging to our wellness. Some well-known effects of emotional stress include increased blood pressure and gastrointestinal difficulties. But consider for a moment the pressure put on the spine by the physiological response to stress. Emotional stress can cause the muscles of the neck and back to tighten in response, potentially affecting the alignment of the spine.

Finally, chemical stressors or toxins are one of the leading causes of distress to the nervous system and interference to wellness, with diet and nutrition as one of the most frequently discussed underlying factors. From the chemicals in sodas and energy drinks to processed foods and preservatives, our body is constantly adapting to a chemical attack, working overtime to remove toxins and chemicals in an attempt to maintain balance.

Finding True Wellness
These days, the term wellness is being overused and abused by a society that recognizes its importance but doesn't understand its application.

Marketing departments around the globe are throwing the word around because it's popular, but often it's simply being used as a gimmick to improve sales of products that have nothing to do with improved health and function.

True wellness is achieved when all of the body's systems are receiving their signals from the brain and are properly providing the body with what it needs to not only survive, but thrive. Too often, we mistake an absence of symptoms as the presence of health, when the reality is that the two are not even related.

We live in a society that's been conditioned to believe there's a medication or a surgical procedure to fix every problem. Is that really the way you want to live your life? Now that you understand wellness, start doing something to ensure you can enjoy it. Talk to your chiropractor to learn more.

Top Five Truths About Wellness Care

5. Symptoms are not the problem, but an alert to an underlying cause and should be heeded, not silenced with chemicals.

4. The body has an inborn ability to restore itself and will adapt to outside stressors, whether they are physical, emotional or chemical. When these stressors become too much, the body will eventually wear itself down trying to maintain balance; this results in an absence of health and wellness.

3. Wellness practitioners do not diagnose or treat conditions and diseases, but instead identify and remove outside stressors.

2. Wellness care focuses on improving function rather than hiding symptoms.

1. Doctors of chiropractic recognize the value of preventative care compared to symptom-based care. With regular adjustments, spinal health is maintained, encouraging proper nervous system function and allowing for the body to perform at its best.

By Dr. Claudia Anrig who practices in Fresno, Calif., and is on the board of directors of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, an organization that can answer your questions regarding the value of chiropractic care during and after pregnancy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Come Visit the Sandshore Elementary School's 6th Annual Vendor/Craft Fair

The Home & School Partnership of Sandshore Elementary School is hosting its 6th Annual Vendor / Craft Fair at the school in Budd Lake on Saturday, November 20 from 10:30am to 4:30pm. Crafts for sale will range from homemade items and wood carvings to goods from vendors such as Partylite, Tupperware and Pampered Chef. Service providers will also attend.

Optimal Family Chiropractic will provide educational information about chiropractic care and its contribution to overall wellness. Complimentary, noninvasive neck and foot scans, which take but a minute, will be offered. Neck scans will show possible subluxations (spinal misalignments) of the neck. Foot scans will identify flat or high arches. Both conditions can negatively affect the body, disrupting balance, hip alignment and eventually the spine. Dr. Brenda Rooney will be at the booth to discuss these issues with attendees.

Admission is $1 or a bag of clothes or food. Vendors and crafters still needed. For information, e-mail sescott79@msn.com or call (908) 269-5618.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Holiday Shopping Bazaar! Start the Season with the Ladies Auxiliary!

The Ladies Auxiliary of the Budd Lake Fire House will sponsor a Holiday Shopping Bazaar this Saturday, November 6 from 9:00am to 3:30pm. The Fire House is located at 378 Route 46 in Budd Lake. The Ladies Auxiliary anticipates over 50 vendors strategically placed throughout the activity hall and the 5 bay fire house. This year's show will consist of a variety of vendors from homemade crafts, jewelery, pottery, and candles to service providers and much more. Product price points will range from $3.00 to around $100.00 with a variety in the types of products available.

The Ladies Auxiliary will have their kitchen open for visitors to purchase refreshments throughout the day.

Optimal Family Chiropractic will provide noninvasive neck and foot scans to detect subluxations (spinal misalignments) and flat feet or high arches. As the foundation for the body, either of these latter conditions can cause foot pain, back pain and affect posture. Educational literature will be available explaining how chiropractic care improves many health conditions in addition to neck or back pain. Visit our booth and talk to Dr. Brenda Rooney.

The event will be held rain or shine.