Magnesium – don’t overlook it!

Introduction

There are so many supplements and nutrients out there up for grabs nowadays. From Vitamin A to Zinc, there are just so many. Each of them has its own benefits and could help the body in many ways. But I feel there is one nutrient that we often overlook and that is magnesium. The team at Revolution often recommends you take magnesium and today we are going to discuss why.

 

The effects of magnesium and why to take it seriously

We chiropractors work with the spine and the nervous system. This is why the team at Revolution Chiropractic highly recommends magnesium. Magnesium preserves the health of the nervous system by having the ability to calm it down. This is because it works as a depressant. When magnesium levels are below the standard range, we lose control of muscle function, mental processes, and sometimes respiration. This can result in examples likes muscle twitches, cramping, irregular heartbeats, nervous fatigue, insomnia and irritability. This is because your nervous system will constantly be firing thus causing contractions and interactions continually being made.

Magnesium controls and limits the interactions in your nervous system by binding to gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) receptors. GABA is a hormone that helps calm nerve activity. Once restoring an adequate amount of magnesium in your body everything will be in under a lot more control; getting better sleep, decreased muscle tightness and less cramps are some of the changes.

 

Conclusion and recommendation

Magnesium is a versatile nutrient that we often overlook. It can help with many things such as sleep, cramps and pain. This is because it works with the nervous system. Many of us are magnesium deficient. Thankfully, the supplements aren’t expensive and plenty of food contains high amount of magnesium such as leafy greens, legumes and seafood. So start consuming more magnesium to help you and your nervous system out!

 

The effects of magnesium deficiency

 

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Mental Health and Chiropractic

Mental health in New Zealand:

 

Mental health disorders are an extremely common issue in New Zealand. With 17% of our adult population receiving a mood or anxiety disorder. Estimates show that almost half of our population will meet the criteria for a mental illness diagnosis at some point in their lives1. Mental health disorders are currently a massive issue in New Zealand, as they can place a lot of stress on individuals, families, relationships, and workplaces. Mental health is such an important part of our overall wellbeing. Some may be looking for a natural alternative to help assist them with their mental health. Without the same negative side effects that can be caused by the current medication that is usually prescribed for mental health disorders.

 

Chiropractic for depression and anxiety:

 

While chiropractic is a form of physical therapy, it is important to have a holistic view and realise that mental and physical health go hand in hand. There are multiple ways that chiropractic can help the body and mind to assist in looking after our mental health.

  • Sleep – Sleep is an important part of staying mentally and physically healthy. Two of the most common symptoms for both anxiety and depression are fatigue and insomnia. Chiropractic adjustments have shown to help with insomnia and help improve the quality of sleep2. Better quality sleep will help decrease fatigue levels and improve the overall state of mind.
  • Stress – chiropractic brings balance to the body, removing tension from sore and tired muscles. Helping to relieve muscle pain as well as tension headaches. These are common symptoms of depression and anxiety. Removing stress from the body and mental and physical health go hand in hand in importance3. Chiropractic also removes stress from the nervous system, allowing our brain to function at its best, and further reduce our overall stress levels.
  • Blood pressure – studies have been done that show that blood pressure is reduced following chiropractic treatment. This helps to reduce stress and anxiety levels4.
  • Hormones – a study has been done that shows that the hormones cortisol, oxytocin, and neurotensin are released after chiropractic care. These hormones help decrease pain levels (specifically stress-induced pain) and create positive feelings of social bonding. The combination of these decreases stress and has an overall positive effect on a persons state of mind5.

 

Chiropractic for chronic pain:

 

Chronic pain frequently leads to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and somatoform disorders6. The severity of the pain may be the cause, or because the pain has lasted for months to years.

Many sufferers of chronic pain have yet to find something that provides lasting relief for their pain. Some are not even able to identify what is causing their pain in the first place. This can cause people’s mental health to go to some dark places. As mentioned above, chiropractic removes stress and tension from the body, which may relieve some pain. Chiropractic is also essential in maintaining nervous system health. When interference is removed from the nervous system through a chiropractic adjustment this allows the brain and the body to communicate more effectively. This allows the brain to better recognise any dysfunction in the body in order to start healing it. It also allows the brain to perceive when there is no mechanical dysfunction causing pain in the body. As this can be common in many chronic pain patients.

The pain may be coming from information that has been interfered with on its path from the body to the brain. This causes neural plastic changes in the brain, causing it to believe that an area of the body should be in pain. This causes a negative feedback loop where the brain continues to send pain signals to this part of the body. By removing the interference of these messages, the brain can accurately perceive what is going on the body, and start to change back to a healthier state where it is no longer sending out these inaccurate pain signals7. Chiropractic is the only profession that can locate and remove these areas of nervous system interference. When people can finally start to live pain-free because of their chiropractic care, this has amazing benefits in terms of their mental wellbeing and overall quality of life.

 

Chiropractor Auckland

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8 Benefits of Exercising

We all have an extremely busy lifestyle and quite a few of us may not have the time to exercise. Additionally, summer is coming up and most of us would want to get ready for the beach body. But as a health practitioner, it is my duty to emphasise the importance of exercise, how it changes the body and how much of an impact it has other than just looking good.

Here is a list of some reasons why we know exercising consistently is important:

  • Reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Increases bone and muscle strength.
  • Lowers blood cholesterol levels.
  • Lowers blood pressure.
  • Decreases the risk of type 2 Diabetes.
  • Increases endorphins which makes us feel good.
  • Decreases the risk of dementia.
  • Improves posture.

We have special little things in our body’s mitochondria. These mitochondria act as the power generator. They generate energy in our body, also known as ATP, from oxygen, fats, sugar and protein.  These ATP are what fuels the body to do what it needs to do, anything from muscle contractions and conducting nerve impulses is generated by ATP. Exercise promotes a process called mitophagy. Mitophagy is the removal of damaged or defected mitochondria after a period of stress. This promotes new and healthy mitochondria to take over providing a more efficient system to burn fat and sugar. As a result, this leads to bigger and stronger muscles.

I’m not asking you to be an athlete and exercise over 2 hours a day. but, as a recommendation, doing 30 minutes of exercise every day is enough. We may already be exercising every day without knowing it such as mowing the lawns and walking to work. If you are not regularly exercising, I’m going to ask you to go for a brisk walk for 30 minutes after dinner around the neighbourhood!

There are plenty of different types of exercises but the main two are cardio and weight training. In the next two weeks, I’ll be covering the benefits of each. Just remember we should all go for a 30 minute walk after dinner this week!

Chiropractor Auckland

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Health Advice – How To Live Longer

It seems like every few years we have to unlearn some health advice that experts have come up with.

“Fats are bad… No, they’re good!”

“Carbs are the enemy! No wait, sugars! What’s the difference again?”

You’d think that after all these years of experimentation, documentation and research that they would have the answer by now. Well they have… But it’s no surprise fountain of youth or berry found in some remote location. In fact, the answer is no surprise at all. It’s really quite simple and attainable by the vast majority of people (even those that can’t afford organic bananas).

  1. Sleep well

Ever since we were young we’ve known that sleep is an important part of being healthy and energized throughout the day, but chances are that you’re overestimating the amount of sleep you get! Sleep affects pretty much everything, from your mental state to your digestion, so if you’re doing everything right but still not seeing results, take a closer look at your sleep habits!

  1. Eat better

Ever hear the saying “You are what you eat”? Well there’s some truth to that since the foods you eat literally make up your body. When you’re missing important nutrients, your body is more likely to get damaged or fall ill. Which is why it’s important to ensure that you’re in the habit of getting an adequate amount of carbohydrates (vegetables, rice, quinoa, fruits), protein (tofu, legumes and so on) and healthy fats (nuts and seeds). Bacon, sausages and deli meats are not a part of this list as they are not healthy in any amount and regarded as a Class A carcinogen (cancerous) which is the same level as smoking cigarettes.

  1. Move more

Exercise signals the body to use nutrients and balance blood sugars, build and repair bone and muscle tissue, and circulate blood, nutrients and oxygen throughout your entire body, including your brain! It’s one of the most incredible things you can do for your health. Its not optimal to sit around and watch Netflix all day (although there’s nothing wrong with the occasional binge), we were designed to move. So start moving! Whether it be a leisurely walk around the block or an intense Crossfit session, you’ve got to make it a lifestyle. If you’re looking for a community focused gym that you can get all your needs (cardio, strength, boxing, weights, body weight, running, rowing etc) that’s not full of posers then you should try https://www.priorityfitness.co.nz/.

  1. Stress less

Everyone has their own unique way of getting in the zone and escaping from the world for a little bit. Whether it be painting, meditation, having a coffee with friends or cuddling on the couch with your hubby, always make time for yourself to take it slow and really enjoy life as it comes. It’s easy to get caught in the riptide of the fast paced lifestyle and forget about the little things like personal time and health. So always schedule some YOU time and never forget one of the most powerful medicines of them all – laughter.

These 4 pillars have stuck as health advice clichés for as long as anyone can remember… but they remain so for a reason. Lifestyle habits have a powerful impact on quality of life. Granted, there are many things that we don’t have control over, but we DO have control over our habits. Going over how to make these habits stick will take a whole other article, but you can get started by ditching the mindset of being perfect and starting when you’re “ready”, and instead become PROACTIVE by starting now (no matter how small the step). We’ll visit each of these pillars in future blog posts to make sure you’re on the right track!

Chiropractor Auckland

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Happy people live longer | When Bobby McFerrin sang his most… | Flickr

 

Should I Quit Drinking?

The debate of whether a certain amount of alcohol is good or bad for you has been a long-standing one. Some of us enjoy the glass of wine with dinner. Others have a few beers on the weekend.  But do you need to quit it altogether to change your body or your health?

If you’re thinking that alcoholic beverages tend to show up a lot in life you’re not alone. Alcohol has become a huge part of the culture in New Zealand and in other countries around the world. Whether it’s a nice cold beer at the end of a workday or a bubbly champagne on New Year’s, it tends to add up. But how does that affect your health goals? Well, it’s kind of complicated.

You may have heard that drinking can be good for you as research has shown that moderate alcohol intake is associated with a lower risk of diabetes, gallstones and coronary heart disease. There have even been studies indicating that drinkers live longer than people who don’t drink.

However, it’s important to know that experts recommend that if you don’t already drink, don’t start. Why? Because no one actually knows if ANY amount of alcohol is good for you.

I’m not going to tell you not to drink. But it’s important to know that most of the research on the potential benefits of drinking alcohol doesn’t actually prove anything due to how the studies are designed. The research tends to be large, long-term population-based studies that can’t say that it CAUSES anything, but rather that it CORRELATES with something.

So what is a “moderate alcohol intake”?

  • Women: 7 drinks/week, no more than 3 in a single day
  • Men: 14 drinks/week, no more than 4 in a single day

In my opinion, this type of moderation will land you in a host of health problems. Let’s take it down to 1-2 times per week with only 1 drink per setting. That’s better 🙂

A single drink can be a 330 ml can of 4% alcohol beer or a 100 ml glass of 12.5% alcohol wine.

Chances are, if you’re a human, you’re most likely underestimating your alcohol consumption. The occasional happy hour or birthday dinner can quickly take you from moderate to heavy drinker without you even realizing. The health risks for heavy drinking are much higher for major health problems, such as liver cancer, alcoholism, osteoporosis and a host of other diseases.

So how do you find a nice balance? What amount of alcohol gives you enjoyment while giving your body a chance to respond and recover from processing it? MY moderate alcohol intake guideline is a good start along with the following tips:

  • Keep track of your drinking habits. Do this for a week or two and ask yourself:
    • Am I drinking more than I thought? (Did you forget to count those couple of beers you like to have on Sunday afternoons?)
    • Are there patterns in my drinking? (Does your stressful job trigger your end-of-week binge drink?)
    • Is it helping me enjoy life or stressing me out? (Are you not sleeping well or feeling worried about drinking?)
  • Tune in to your body’s signals:
    • Do I feel good?
    • Am I recovering?
    • How do I feel afterwards?
  • Switch it up and experiment to break your routine:
    • Delay your next drink for 10 minutes and see if you still want it after.
    • Savour your drink. Look, sniff, and taste it.
    • Quality over quantity. Drink less, but have the good stuff.

Evaluate how drinking fits in with your goals. If you want six-pack abs, then that might mean skipping out on a few drinks at the bar. Taking part in Friday night “Happy Hour” means pushing back your Saturday morning workout. If you’re aiming for a more moderate alcohol intake then you’ll have to find a way to say “no” to certain stress/social triggers that make you want to drink more.

 

Your Trusted Chiropractor Auckland

Contact Revolution Chiropractic – Leading  Chiropractor Auckland

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Cold Showers & Mental Health

In the first part of this series I talked about some physical benefits of cold showers; better immunity, increased testosterone and reducing inflammation. Well the list doesn’t stop there. You can check out that blog by clicking here. 

 

Mental benefits

 

 There may also be some mental benefits to the cold shower too. Depression can be very restrictive on a person’s life and if you have struggled with, or are battling depression you are probably trying to find ways to mitigate the severity of it. A study at The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine indicated that cold showers may positively affect your body’s production of noradrenaline, a chemical that can help with depression, by firing up the ‘blue spot’ in the brain. Obviously depression is more complex than a cold shower being the solution. But, implementing as many strategies as possible is only going to help.

Poor sleep can make depressive symptoms worse, and depression can affect your sleep quality, which can be a vicious cycle leading to lower energy and lower mood. A cold shower in the morning can give you a boost of energy to get kick started, but a cold shower about an hour before bed can actually do the opposite and help you sleep! That’s because your body needs a cooler temperature to fall asleep, which is why sleep in the summer can be much more restless.

I find that conquering the cold first thing in the morning it is a great mental exercise. It assists in overcoming the feeling of discomfort that the water bestows. Although seemingly insignificant it somehow empowers you to face the day ahead

You will almost certainly find it hard to breathe in the colder water so focus on deep controlled breaths. This controls your heart rate and take your mind off of the discomfort. Life is full of difficulty and uncomfortable situations. Something as simple as starting your day with a cold shower can help fortify your mind and body to take life head on.

 

Your Trusted Auckland Chiropractor

Contact Revolution Chiropractic – Leading  Chiropractor Auckland

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Cold shower | Björn Söderqvist | Flickr