Monday, May 26, 2008

Prevent Housework Related Back Troubles

Household chores can literally be a pain in the backside.

Unless you're careful, routine activities around the home- washing dishes, vacuuming, even talking on the phone- can strain your back, including the lower back area near the tailbone, and result in debilitating discomfort.

But you can protect your back by knowing the right way to go about such activities, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). Watch your posture and consider these tips.

Consider lifting. It doesn't matter whether you're picking up your child or a heavy bucket of water, you need to do it the proper way to avoid injury.

How? Bend from the knees, not the waist. As you lift, hold the item as close to your body as possible. If you have to turn to place it, step in the direction of the turn. That way, you're not twisting your body and straining your spine.

Back-Saving Tips

The American Chiropractic Association suggest the following do's and don'ts for chores and relaxation:

- When you wash dishes, open the cabinet beneath the sink, bend one knee and put your foot on the shelf under the sink. Lean against the counter so some of your weight is supported in front.

- When ironing, raise one foot a bit. Place it on a small stool or a book to take some strain off your back.

- To vacuum, use a "fencer's stance." Put all your weight on one foot, then step forward and back with the other foot as you push the vacuum forward and back. Use the back foot as a pivot when you turn.

- While talking on the phone, don't cradle the phone between your ear and shoulder. That can lock up the spinal joints in the neck and upper back, and cause pain. Instead, hold the phone with your hand or use the speakerphone.

- While watching television or relaxing, don't use the sofa arm as a pillow. The angle is much too sharp for your neck.

- Use a cold pack if your back begins to hurt. Wrap an ice pack in a towel moistened with warm water. The warmth gives way to gradual cold, which likely will alleviate the discomfort. (No ice? Try frozen veggies instead.)

- If pain persists for more than a day or two or if you experience numbness, tingling or weakness in your arms or legs, see a doctor of chiropractic. A doctor of chiropractic is an expert in spinal health and can help identify and treat your problem.

- Of course pain of any kind is worth your attention. Pain is quite simply a signal (a message) your body is sending you to alert you that damage has happened. In this case we're talking about physical damage of the spine and its surrounding tissues, but emotional pain, for example, is no different... it only happens when the damage has already been done.

- Therefore, the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure goes a long way when it comes to household related injuries. Our bodies are NOT designed to be so weak that simple household chores cause us damage, discomfort or pain. To prevent the above listed problems before they occur, you would be wise to keep your body strong through discipline and daily exercise in all areas of life including but not limited to emotional/ spiritual health, physical activity/ exercise, diet and nutrition. And most importantly you need to be sure that your spine and nerve system is in a state of proper alignment and function in order to allow your body to maintain and integrate all disciplines and exercises you do.

-Who can help you... We can.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Cancer Preventing Grilling Tips

ScienceDaily (May 24, 2008)

A recent study has found that Rosemary, a popular seasoning, can break up the carcinogenic (cancer-causing) compounds known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs)that form when the meat is grilled.

“Put a little bit on the surface,” Smith (the researcher at Kansas State University) advised grillers. “Rosemary extracts shouldn’t have much of an aroma to them. Most people don’t want a rosemary-flavored burger. So if you get the extract you don’t really know it’s there.”

Smith’s findings began with research into commercial rosemary extracts’ effect on stopping HCAs from forming in cooked beef patties. His research group found that the HCAs were reduced in levels ranging from 30 to 100 percent.

The presence of HCAs is a potential problem in cooked beef. The likelihood of their presence is influenced by cooking time and temperature. Previous studies showed that meat products cooked below 352 degrees Fahrenheit for less than four minutes had low or undetectable levels of HCAs. The HCAs would increase as temperature and cooking time increased.

Although lower temperatures and shorter cooking times can reduce the risk of HCA formation, those alternatives have their own problems. Lower temperatures can affect the taste adversely, Smith explained, noting that commercial steak houses cook at temperatures above 400 degrees F.

The better way may be to use rosemary extracts so temperatures can be still be kept high. Rosemary’s antioxidant content makes this method possible thanks to the presence of phenolic compounds. Those compounds – rosmarinic acid, carnosol and carnosic acid – block the HCAs before they can form during heating.

The results of the rosemary research tie in with previous findings from Smith’s group. Those studies showed that marinating steaks with certain herbs and spices also reduces HCAs. Rosemary is among those herbs and spices with basil, mint, sage, savory, marjoram, oregano and thyme, all rich in antioxidants.

Dr. Zach's Comments:

I thought I would share this article with you as grilling season is just starting. It's amazing that we can take such easy steps to prevent diseases, such as cancer in this case, with simple, easy to find, natural products.

Keep in mind that in order for your meat grilling experience to be truly healthy, your meat will need to be either grass fed or free range beef, pork, chicken, etc. The fat profile of conventionally raised meats is it's own cancer causing problem entirely.

Some highlights from the article I should point out:

1) The researchers used rosemary extract, which apparently has no taste and therefore would not affect the taste of your burger, Fresh rosemary from your herb garden would work just as well, however, you will certainly taste it (a good thing in my opinion).
2) The rosemary extract reduced levels of HCAs by 30-100% (AMAZING!!)
3) Cooking at lower temperatures (less than 352 degrees)further reduce the levels of HCAs.
4) Marinating steaks with certain herbs and spices also reduces HCAs. Rosemary is among those herbs and spices along with basil, mint, sage, savory, marjoram, oregano and thyme, all rich in antioxidants that could be used.
5)Happy Healthy Grilling!!!