An Easy-to-Keep 2020 Resolution: I will begin yoga practice

Yoga class with Dr. Mary

Yoga is a physical and spiritual practice developed over 5,000 years ago in India that increases flexibility, strength, range of motion, and calmness, permitting you to age gracefully.

The word yoga means union of the mind, body, and spirit. A complete practice consists of postures known as asanas. It also includes breath work known as pranayama, and sometimes includes vegetarian dietary habits, chanting and meditation. Approximately 11 million Americans practice yoga. There are many different styles — each with their own focus, but all are offshoots of Hatha Yoga.

I teach weekly classes that are a combination of Hatha and Iyengar, a practice developed by BKS Iyengar which emphasizes alignment and often uses props such as blocks and straps. We meet either at my office or in a martial arts studio on Irish Settlement Road in Underhill Center.

Yoga with Dr. Mary

People often make New Year’s resolutions, pledging to improve their health and lifestyle.  Why not consider doing something fun with a group of like-minded folks? …something that brings increasing benefits  with and every each session?

Yoga is for all ages. You do not have to be fit, or thin, or young to benefit from it. Each body is different and as your teacher, I recognize and respect this. Whatever your body can do is enough. The practice will be advantageous for you at any level.  One study showed that in just eight weeks of practice there was a 35% increase in flexibility, especially in the shoulders and torso.

You don’t need a lot of special equipment to do yoga.  Bring  a  yoga mat, a blanket, and wear loose-fitting clothing.  I provide a comfortable and warm space.  It’s a good idea to avoid eating for an hour or two before class. After class, you can expect to feel energized but relaxed and calm.

Here are some of the many benefits of yoga:

  • Lowers blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate, and blood sugar levels
  • Improves cardiac efficiency
  • Enhances gastrointestinal functions
  • Improves excretory functions
  • Increases joint flexibility
  • Lengthens breath-holding time
  • Improves eye-hand coordination
  • Optimizes functions of the endocrine system
  • Increases reaction time
  • Increases strength
  • Improves posture
  • Extends endurance
  • Increases energy level
  • Helps weight management
  • Supports the immune system
  • Improves balance (which tends to worsen as we age and is a major cause of falls and injuries in the elderly.)
  • Increases depth perception
  • Optimizes organ function, especially with gentle twists
  • Yoga creates a sense of well-being and improves mood.
  • Decreases hostility
  • Increases self-acceptance and actualization
  • Normalizes blood work in the areas of stress hormones, thyroid hormones, sodium, hematocrit and hemoglobin levels

Currently, yoga is used to manage asthma, depression, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, carpal tunnel syndrome, and heart disease, to name a few conditions. With all of these benefits, what are you waiting for?

Holiday Stress, Don’t Tickle Me Elmo!

Relief from Holiday Stress at Kintner Chiropractic

Holiday stress may come silently bundled with over-stimulation, financial pressure, and unfulfilled expectations, along with the many occasions for fun and happiness. 

Holiday Stress may be caused by over stimulation Be realistic, you cannot please everyone. So, don’t try to buy or make gifts for everyone you know. Don’t try to see everyone you know. Live within your budget. Monetary concerns can produce holiday stress that lingers on long after the holidays are over. 

Eat healthfully but don’t deprive yourself of an occasional, moderate treat. How you live “most” of the time determines your lifestyle’s effect on your overall well-being. Drink in moderation (or not at all). Alcohol stresses the body and dehydrates you. So, don’t forget to drink lots of water with your vitamins and nutritional supplements.

Be sure to rest and get adequate amounts of sleep. Cellular repair occurs during deep sleep (typically between 4 and 6 AM). You will be happier and better appreciated if you are not grumpy due to lack of sleep. 

Another way to decrease stress is by getting sufficient exercise. The holidays can bring extra demands on our time and energy. Frequently, we might cut out the time we give ourselves for regular exercise in place of seasonal festivities. Be consistent with your exercise routine.

Make time to genuinely relax. Enjoy your favorite rejuvenating activities; a good book, being with friends or family, seeing a movie, taking a hot bath, going for a walk, meditation, etc.  Whatever relaxes you, incorporate into your schedule – especially during the holidays!

Don’t expect yourself or others to be perfect – it won’t / can’t happen. Take care of yourself. You really have nothing to give others if you are exhausted with holiday stress.

The holidays are meant to bring us together and nurture us.  By taking care of your body, mind, and spirit, you can optimize the possibility of having healthy and gratifying holidays.

And by the way: Chiropractic care can also enhance relaxation and reduce holiday stress.

Happy, healthy, holidays and be well!

6 Tips For Healthy Holiday Eating

The holidays bring joy and feasting… often on sweets and other  rich food. 

This seasonal shift typically causes lots of irregular eating that often means more empty calories… we become malnourished while gaining unwanted extra weight. But, the holidays don’t have to bring on an extra 5 to 10 pounds each January.

Strategic planning will help you avoid the holiday pitfalls.

  • Do not set yourself up for failure by setting unrealistic expectations such as “I won’t eat any ___________ (so, don’t fill in the blank with your personal pitfall such as sugar, chips, pastry, bread, etc.) Eat enough of what you enjoy to avoid a sense of deprivation. A little of something can often be more satisfying than a lot. Savor what you eat; enjoy it and then stop. If you do overindulge, isolate the event. Start  the next meal or day with new resolve. One slip will not derail your goals unless you let it be the beginning of a new habit.
  • If you are at a social gathering sample what you want and then “move away from the food.” Visit with people. Use your mouth to converse with rather than consume. When selecting what to eat, be sure to add some fresh fruits and vegetables to your choices. They provide nutrients plus their fiber  makes you feel full. And fruits and vegetables take longer to eat.
  • Remember to thoroughly chew your food. Chewing is the first step in the digestive process. Salivary enzymes are mixed with the food and the teeth mechanically break down the food. The slower you eat, the fewer calories you consume.
  • Thirst can be mistaken for hunger. Make sure you are well hydrated. If your holidays include alcohol, replenishing your fluids are especially important because alcohol causes dehydration. One way to ensure adequate hydration while decreasing alcohol consumption is to begin your festivities with a glass of water and for every glass of alcohol consumed, drink another glass of water.
  • When you are hungry, the first bite of food tastes exquisite. As you continue to eat the pleasure subsides and if you continue to consume, discomfort sets in. Be mindful when you eat. Stop when you have had enough. Do not continue to eat because it is on your plate. A good strategy is leaving a little on your plate.
  • Make sure you are well rested. People who are sleep deprived tend to gain weight. So, take care of yourself and get some rest. Have more fun while avoiding weight gain.

The holidays are meant to be a joyous time of gathering with friends and family. Over-indulging wreaks havoc with your health and waistline. By being conscious and making healthful choices, you can enjoy the festivities and stay healthy at the same time.

What are Probiotics?

Kintner Chiropractic Probiotics Antibiotics Healthy breakfast

Probiotic literally means supports life.

 Probiotics are the natural flora that should inhabit your intestines. Ideally, 85% of the flora in our guts should be probiotics and 15% e-coli. But, most American’s have this ratio reversed! 

Why is this so? Primarily due to our life styles. Stress will alter the natural balance. High intake of processed foods and alcohol will as well. Meats from animals who have consumed antibiotics, hormones and steroids will negatively affect the flora.  Fruits and vegetables treated with pesticide and herbicide will kill beneficial flora. Antibiotics indiscriminately kill both the infectious agents as well as the beneficial flora.  If our diets do not contain enough fiber the normal flora becomes imbalanced.

Impaired immunity, altered pH (acid/base balance) and intestinal infections can all interfere with a healthy balance of flora in the intestines.  When the flora becomes imbalanced, we are predisposed to malabsorption of nutrients, celiac disease (sensitivity to glutens), lactose intolerance, diarrhea, constipation, appendicitis, hemorrhoids, leaky gut syndrome, hormonal imbalances and food sensitivities.

Healthy flora helps to remove putrefied food residues from the intestines thereby removing pathogens.  Probiotics help prevent cancer by enhancing the immune system function.  Immunity is enhanced because anti-bodies, interferon, B lymphocytes, lactoferrin and immunoglobulin productions is increased.  Nutrients absorption is improved and the elimination of waste enhanced.  Cholesterol regulation is improved. B vitamins and neurotransmitters are also made in the intestines when the flora is balanced.  Also, Vitamin K is made in the gut. Probiotics compete with pathogens for nutrients and reduce the number of pathogens which can leave toxic end products.  Bowel function is improved when probiotics are present in normal numbers.  Allergic reactions including asthma are reduced with normal intestinal flora.  Conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s and colitis can benefit from probiotics support.  Probiotics support vitamin and fatty acid synthesis and assimilation. 

Probiotics are found naturally in fermented foods such as kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut kim chi and miso.  We are a culture that tries to sanitize everything with antiseptics and antibiotic soaps.  We don’t eat fermented foods frequently, in large enough quantities, we take antibiotics or exposed to them through our food supply often, eat poorly and have high stress life styles.  Given the importance of balanced intestinal flora and the threats our lifestyles create to keeping the balances, supplementation makes sense.

There are over 400 strains of probiotics. The most studied are lactobacillis and bifidus.  When supplementing, the probiotics must survive the stomach acid and must be found in large numbers, 10-15 million.  A natural sugar derivative fructoligosaccarides (FOS for short) found in plants, helps support growth of the probiotics in the intestines.  There is disagreement about how to take probiotics.  I recommend taking them either ½ hour before food or 2 hours after so the probiotics can be undiluted when interfacing with the intestines.  If you are taking antibiotics, probiotics are a must because the antibiotics kill organisms randomly including the normal flora. Take probiotics 2 hours after the antibiotics.  Once treatment is complete, increase probiotic intake to 3 times per day for one week.  A quality probiotic must be refridgerated to prevent a decrease the number of live organisms viable (alive.)

Probiotics increase strength, vitality and immunity.  Normal flora is under siege by our lifestyle.  Maintain your health, supplement with quality probiotics.  Not all probiotic supplements are equal.  Call me if you have any questions.

The Dirty Dozen

Conventionally raised foods are grown with pesticides and herbicides. These are chemicals designed to kill. Consequently, it does not make sense to ingest these products if you can avoid them.

Some conventionally grown foods are more contaminated than others. These are called “The Dirty Dozen”. These foods are: red and green bell peppers, celery, spinach and other greens, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, peaches, nectarines, apples, cherries, pears, and potatoes. Avoiding these foods can reduce your exposure to pesticides and herbicides substantially. Andrew Weil, a Harvard trained M.D., has said he would not eat a grocery store strawberry!

            Some conventionally grown foods are relatively safe in terms of exposure to pesticides and herbicides. These are broccoli, cauliflower, avocados, asparagus, pineapples, pears, and onions. If you need to economize on organic foods these are good choices to buy conventionally.

            There are other ways to reduce your exposure to toxic agricultural chemicals. One is to buy in season. Foods grown in warmer climates often come from countries with less rigid health standards. Eat locally grown foods. Vermonters tend to be conscientious about environmental issues and therefore are more likely to use fewer toxic chemicals. Peeling fruits and vegetables can also reduce your exposure because the skin is where most contaminants are found. Eat a variety of foods -not only will you reduce the likelihood of any one toxin to build up in your system, but  you  will also increase your overall nutrition.

While not everybody can afford eating organically grown foods, if you avoid eating the dirty dozen you can substantially reduce your exposure to the chemicals toxicity of pesticides and herbicides. Having a perfect diet is a tough feat. Fortunately there are ways to maximize your nutrition while avoiding toxins: avoid the Dirty Dozen, eat locally and enjoy a wide variety of foods.

Alignment Matters

Spine In Line/Feel Fine was a joke line in chiropractic school.  But there is truth in the comment; it is the basic premise of chiropractic.

Just as your car has an ideal alignment, so does your body.  The central nervous system is composed of the brain and the spinal cord.  The vertebral column and cranium (a.k.a. skull) is the avenue through which information leaves and is received by the central nervous system.  This is why chiropractors adjust the spine and cranium.  By improving alignment of these articulations, we can optimize function, comfort and health.

Many things influence how your body is aligned.  Posture is important.  In my yoga class, each class we review ideal alignment in “Mountain” Pose (a.k.a Tadasana).  Optimal alignment begins with the feet.  Weight should be evenly balanced between right and left, front and back.  Knees should be slightly bent, not locked.  Pelvis should be tucked under (imagine having a heavy dragon tail) and centered over knees and feet.  The trunk should be lengthened,  shoulders should be relaxed and centered over the pelvis, knees and feet.  Finally the head should be balanced on top with chin parallel to the floor.  Maintaining proper alignment in posture allows the body to move in the ways it was designed.  This also is the most efficient therefore conserving energy. 

Poor ergonomics also affect alignment.  Be aware of your workspace.  Information on proper set up for work space is readily available (you can contact me if you want).  Remember to bend and lift properly: knees bent and weight held close to body, twist with the whole body turning, not just your upper half. 

Sometimes, despite how well you behave, you may have a slip or and injury.  It is important to get this resolved as quickly as possible.  Injuries are easier to treat early on before their pattern gets established and becomes detrimental.

Even without injury the body can become misaligned.  This is why chiropractors often suggest regular visits.  It is the same as the dentist who does not wait until you have gum erosion or a cavity to suggest a visit. 

So be well, think alignment and take optimal care of yourself.    .

Mary H. Kintner, D.C., R.N., is a chiropractor and nutritional consultant practicing in Jericho. Call her office at 899-5400.

All About the F Word… FATS

fats

Because such a large percentage of the population is obese, and fats are higher in calories than protein and carbohydrates, we have been led to believe that fats is just another F word.

This is part smart because some fats are very unhealthy.  Included in the unhealthy fats would be rancid and hydrogenated fats, aka “trans” fats that have been chemically modified to prolong shelf life—a benefit for grocers, not the public. Trans fats have been described as like “eating plastics.” The threat to health is so significant that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is going to require labeling on foods containing these oils. (It has been suggested that the only “safe” amount of these oils is zero.) Unfortunately these oils are everywhere! They are in cookies, cakes, chips, etc.

A low fat diet is not the answer however because fats and oils play a very important nutrition role. These nutrients are the primary constituent of cell membranes. Therefore they effect every single cell and organ in the body. Essential Fatty Acids (good fats) are necessary for the production of prostaglandins—a normally occurring group of chemicals that control blood pressure, cardiovascular and immune health.

So, what’s a mother to do?

Essential in nutrition means you must eat it, your body cannot make it. Essential fatty acids play a vital role in the production of all cell membranes (the outer wall of cells), as well as the production of prostaglandins, substances that regulate blood pressure, cardiovascular and immune functions. Because essential fatty acids play such a significant role in so many bodily functions, it stands to reason nutritional deficiencies in these fats will have serious and broad effects. This indeed is the case! Deficiencies have been linked to symptoms in behavior, mental processing, the skin, arthritis, gastrointestinal problems, hormonal problems, just to name a few. Deficiencies have been associated with any kind of inflammation and recently inflammation has been associated with diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. These are some of our most lethal and costly disorders. This is why avoiding the bad oils and fats and supplying the good oils and fats is so important to health.

OmegaGenics Omega 3 Supplement available at Kintner ChiropracticSo where can we get these fats and oils in our diets? Omega 6 oils from corn, safflower, olive, cottonseed, sunflower, peanut, evening primrose, black currant and borage can all become prostaglandins 1—a natural anti-inflammatory. Omega 3 oils derived from linseed, flaxseed, walnut, soy, sesame, and canola and deep sea fish become anti-inflammatory prostaglandin 3. Alcohol, NSAID and trans fatty acids interfere with the production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.

Most people do not consume enough of these oils on their own and may consume substances that interfere with the synthesis of these anti-inflammatory prostaglandins such as alcohol and trans fats. (That’s why they have “vitamin ibuprofen” deficiencies). It is far healthier to use good oils and supplements to fill the gap than to live a life of nutritional deficiency. We recommend and can supply you with OmegaGenics Omega 3 supplements available in three sizes.

One final point, when buying oils, use expeller or cold pressed oils such as those found in health food stores. Once opened, refrigerate to avoid rancidity. When buying supplements, buy from reputable sources such as a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner, especially fish oils which could be contaminated with heavy metals like lead and mercury.

Here’s to your health!

Healthy Gifts for any occasion from Dr. Mary

Special offers at Kintner Chiropractic

These are the gifts of health and well being I am pleased to offer my patients and their families.

  • Orthotic inserts available at Kintner Chiropractic
    Orthotic inserts available at Kintner Chiropractic

    Massage reg $65/hr

  • Nutritional Assessment and Counseling reg $65
  • High quality supplements
  • Lumbar support pillows reg $27 in pillow-style or mesh-backed
  • Cervical pillows reg $37
  • Yoga classes/punch card reg $130 for 10 classes
  • Orthotics/footbeds reg $100

At one time or another, most people will have low back pain. Be preemptive and manage the problem before it starts with orthotics and lumbar support.

“Orthotics are inserted into footwear to alter the way the foot hits the earth. Quality orthotics have good heel cups, are flexible enough to maintain normal foot dynamics and support the arches of the feet.”

Click to learn more about why orthotics are so important to prevent Lumbar fatigue…

Tri-Core Cervical Support Pillow available at Kintner Chiropractic
Tri-Core Cervical Support Pillow

Standard Size in stock – Firm & Gentle, 24″ x 16″ (61cm x 41cm)

Our most requested fiber support pillow provides better support and lasts longer than traditional pillows. The trapezoid-shaped center delivers great orthopedic benefits for back sleeping by cradling the head and allowing the built-in neck roll to firmly support the neck. The comfortable, but firm, side lobes support the head in a natural position when side sleeping.

Pillow-style lumbar support available at Kintner Chiropractic
Firm pillow-style lumbar support

Mesh-backed lumbar support available at Kintner Chiropractic
Mesh-backed lumbar support

Underhill Old Fashioned Harvest Market Sept 23-24

Piggy at the Harvest Market 2016

On Saturday and Sunday Dr. Mary will be joining in the Underhill Old Fashioned Harvest Market festivities providing therapeutic and relaxing massage out in front of the clinic on September 23, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and on September 24, from 10am – 4pm.

Piggy at the Harvest Market 2016

The United Church of Underhill’s Old Fashioned Harvest Market includes all of the old fashioned favorite events like…

  • FUN RUN 5K at Mills Riverside park (register at 7:45 am on Saturday, race begins at 8 am)
  • SILENT AUCTION all day Saturday and Sunday until 2 pm
  • ZUCCHINI DECORATING CONTEST for all ages
  • CROSS-CUT LOG SAWING COMPETITION on Saturday at 12:30 pm

More information, including the full schedule and details of these and other events, can be found on the Harvest Market website.

Parade lineup begins at 8:30 am at Browns River Middle School and all local community groups are welcome to participate. The parade begins at Browns River Middle School, heads down River Road, left onto Park Street and concludes at the end of Park Street. All weekend long, we will have great food, almost 100 crafters and a wide variety of live music. For a full list of entertainers and vendors, visit underhillharvestmarket.com .

Due to the volume of traffic during the weekend, keep in mind if you are traveling through Underhill Flats on Rte 15, there will be a traffic slow down. If you are planning to drive through that area, you may want to find a different route, or plan a different time. To allow emergency vehicles access through Rte 15, there will be a parking ban on the West side of the highway, (the same side as the sidewalk), during Harvest Market Weekend. Parking bans will also be enforced on Park Street, Palmer Lane, Raceway and GAR Place.

There is plenty of free parking at BRMS and Mills Riverside Park, with shuttle service to Park Street throughout the weekend. There is also parking in Jacob’s field off Rte 15 and at Harvest Run for a $4 donation. A portion of the proceeds will be going to hurricane relief efforts.

We hope to see you there!

Breathe… Life Back into Your Ambitions, Desires, Goals and Relationships

Breathe

A simple fact of life is that there will always be challenges!

Just breathe!

When confronting these challenges, pause to take a deep breath! Have you ever noticed how an upset child breathes? —short, shallow, irregular breaths. Conversely, when you are in deep sleep, your breath is long and deep. Breathing is an involuntary action but it can also be voluntary. Your emotions often influence your breath, but your breath can also have a strong effect on your emotions.

When you breathe in, the diaphragm (a muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen) drops into the abdominal cavity. A vacuum is created and air is sucked into the lungs. When you exhale, the diaphragm returns to the chest and air is pushed out. A rich, deep breath requires abdominal breathing. But, most people breathe shallowly, only into the uppers lobes of their lungs. Shallow breath poorly supplies oxygen to the body and mind. Poor oxygenation exaggerates anxiety and pain. This is why pregnant women are taught breathing exercises to prepare for childbirth.

You can tell if you are breathing properly by placing a hand on your abdomen and seeing if it rises when you inhale and falls when you exhale. If this occurs, you are breathing properly and effectively. If not, practice so that you can breathe easily and naturally while optimizing your breathing. Yogis, singers and wind instrument players breathe this way because there is maximal air exchange.

I teach my Yoga students breath control in a technique called pranayama. If you’d like to learn how to calm your nerves and improve your balance, flexibility and range of motion, join me and others in our weekly yoga classes and learn this technique of breath control.

Chiropractic can also influence breath. The brain and the nerves traveling from it regulate our breathing. Your cervical (neck) nerves are the ones that control the diaphragm. Relieving pressure in the chest (thorax) can increase the capacity of the lungs. Chiropractic care can help to maximize your ability to breathe deeply. So, when life gets difficult, take a breath and get aligned in body, mind and spirit.