5 Quick Tips to Relax During the Holidays… And Any Other Time Too!

November and December can be very stressful for many people because their normal routine is often disrupted by holiday breaks, the kids being out of school, work schedule changes, party requests, diet changes, gift buying excitement or woes, grieving the loss of a loved one, strained relationships, holiday concerts, travel traffic… and the list could go on… and on… and on.

Let’s be honest… some of us thrive on the chaos of the season… and some of us get a bit overwhelmed.

Whether you are an extrovert and enjoy hopping from party to party and event to event or an introvert and you prefer to snuggle under the blanket by the fire and sip on hot cocoa with marshmallows while cherishing your “me time”, EVERYONE NEEDS TO RELAX!

Your body needs to rest and relax so that you can feel rejuvenated and refreshed. The old saying, “we all need a little R & R” is very true.

Rest and Relaxation Allows Your Body to...

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How Fast Can You Stand Up and Sit Down?

Seriously?

Yes, I am purposely asking, “How Fast Can You Stand Up and Sit Down 5 Times?

Make sure to time yourself with a stopwatch.

My time was 9 seconds. What is yours?

Now, the next question is, “Why am I asking this?

I ask because a recent study shows that people who cannot perform this test in less than 12 seconds, are less likely to be able to walk 6000 steps per day.

A good walking goal to strive for is 10,000 steps per day. If you can walk 10,000 steps per day – the equivalent of walking approximately 5 miles per day – then you are less likely to be inactive.

Inactivity can lead to weight gain and joint stiffness. Obesity-related illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and some types of cancer are on the rise in America. Therefore, having the ability to walk 6,000-10,000 steps per day is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

Why else is the Five Times Sit-To-Stand Test so important?

Because if it takes you >16...

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Sprain or Strain? What’s the Difference?

I get this question all the time: “Dr. Jeanette, what’s the difference between a sprain and strain?”

Before I can answer that, I need to review a bit of terminology:

ligament is soft tissue that connects bone to bone. A sprain is an injury to the ligament.

tendon is soft tissue that connects muscle to bone. A strain is an injury to the muscle or to the tendon.

 

The severity of a sprain is graded as I, II, or III.

  • Grade I Sprain = an overstretched but not torn ligament- you will feel discomfort and may see mild swelling but you can usually put weight on it; Example: “I rolled my ankle.”
  • Grade II Sprain = a partial tear of the ligament – you will feel more pain than a Grade I, see swelling present with bruising due to broken blood vessels and torn tissue, and you will most likely not be able to put full weight on it; Example: “I twisted my knee.”
  • Grade III Sprain =...
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Coffee, Tea, or Milk – All 3 Please!

We’ve all heard this question, “Do you want coffee, tea, or milk?”

With the addition of soda, energy drinks, nutritional drinks, protein drinks… well, you know, the list goes on and on and on…

Why not keep it simple and go back to the traditional 3 + 1?

Coffee, tea, milk, and water?

Benefits of Drinking Coffee:

  • 1. According to the Journal of Pain in March 2007, you can cut your post-workout pain by 48% if you drink 2 cups of coffee
  • 2. According to the Journal of Pain in March 2007, you can cut your post-workout pain by 48% if you drink 2 cups of coffee
  • 3. In 2014, The Public Library of Science published an article supporting the caffeine in coffee reduces the risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease
  • 4. Your risk of Type II Diabetes may decrease by 9% for every cup of coffee you drink according to a study in The Archives of Internal Medicine

For a complete list of benefits: ...

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Which Diet is Best For Me?

Anyone who knows me knows that I exercise regularly, eat healthy 80% of the time, and try to find some “me” time to relax.

Because I am a physical therapist and an athletic trainer, I tend to get asked a lot of questions about “what do I do when this [fill in the blank] hurts?” or “can you tell why I have this pain?”

Besides those questions, I get asked A LOT about “WHAT FOOD SHOULD I EAT?” or “WHAT DIET DO YOU RECOMMEND?”

Now, let’s be clear. I am NOT a nutrition expert and I am NOT a registered dietician.

If anyone has any dietary concerns or has any health problems related to diabetes, heart disease, thyroid issues, or any other medical issues that can be influenced by diet, I absolutely recommend seeking professional assistance with a Registered Dietician who can create an individualized and custom diet plan for you.

I can only speak in general terms based on the research I have read for my own personal benefit...

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Is My Shoulder Frozen?

This is a true problem and is medically known as “Adhesive Capsulitis.”

Your shoulder joint has a capsule of soft tissue surrounding the joint to enhance the stability of the joint and prevent the shoulder from dislocating.

Unfortunately, that capsule can become super tight and sort of stick to itself; hence, the “adhesive” part of the diagnosis.

Think about this way:

Look at the shirt you are wearing and take the fabric of the shirt in your armpit and hold on to it – now try to raise your arm. Do you feel your shirt restricting your shoulder motion?

That’s a very basic way to describe adhesive capsulitis.

Why do they call it frozen shoulder?

BECAUSE YOUR SHOULDER ACTUALLY FEELS FROZEN OR STUCK LIKE IT WON’T MOVE.

Adhesive capsulitis typically goes through 4 phases:

Phase 1

  • Inflammation and synovial fluid that lubricates the joint reacts
  • Duration = 0-3 months

Phase 2

  • Start to lose range of motion and mobility of the shoulder
  • Synovial...
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4 Top Reasons NOT to Read in Bed

  1. Neural Tension
    • a) When you sit with your legs straight out in front of you while your head is looking down, you are placing the maximum amount of tension on your spinal cord and sciatica nerve
    • b) Nerves do not like to be stretched or placed on tension and the reading in bed posture promotes exactly this so you can end up having symptoms like numbness and tingling and not realize that the reading in bed posture is the cause of your problem
  2. Poor Digestion
    • a) When you sit with your legs straight out in front of you while your head is looking down, you are increasing pressure on your abdomen and squeezing your stomach
    • b) This increases the likelihood of poor digestion and acid reflux issues – especially if you eat right before you go to bed
  3. Poor Sleep Habits
    • a) The bedroom should be reserved for sleeping and intimacy – not reading, watching television, playing games on a tablet, or checking your smartphone
    • b) When your brain...
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When Should I Use Ice and When Should I Use Heat?

This is one of the most common questions I am asked in my office.

Let’s break it down based on injury type and pain type.

Use ICE for the following:

  • Within the first 72 hours following injury
  • When visible swelling and inflammation are present
  • If pain is sharp, shooting, and/or has a deep ache
  • If you are experiencing pain at night that wakes you up because it is aches deep within your joint

Benefits of ice are:

  • Decrease pain
  • Decrease swelling and inflammation
  • Decrease secondary injury to surrounding tissues of the primary injured area

Use HEAT for the following:

  • After 72 hours if there is NO visible swelling or inflammation or redness present in the area
  • If pain is dull, achy, sore, or stiff
  • If you are experiencing pain at night that wakes you because it feels tight and sore

AVOID heat if:

  • Inflammation and swelling are visible
  • Redness is present
  • Possible infection or you have a visible open wound

Benefits of heat are:

  • Increase blood flow and...
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Vertigo… Or Dizziness – When Your Inner Ear Gets Shaken Like a Water Globe!

Have you ever:

  • Experienced spinning when you change positions like rolling in bed or getting out of bed?
  • Feel nauseated when you stand up or change directions while walking?
  • Experienced a pit in your stomach when the elevator stops and then feel a bit unsteady when you step out?
  • Stood at the top of a staircase looking down and felt like you might fall?
  • Walked and felt like the floor came up and tripped you?
  • Had a sinus infection or ear infection?
  • Leaned your head back at the hair salon and felt the room spinning when they tried to wash your hair?

Does any of this sound familiar?

Or, are you concerned for someone you know who experiences these situations?

These situations ARE NOT NORMAL.

You or someone you know should NOT experience dizziness or a sense of disorientation doing everyday things like rolling in bed, standing in the shower, walking across the room, or kneeling to pick up an object dropped on the floor.

If you are, then you may be suffering from Benign...

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It’s Back to School and All Those Germs Will Be Coming Home!

If that makes you want to crawl under the covers, then you need some tips to defend yourself and your family from all the muck and yuck that might enter your doors.

  1. Wash your hands. Seriously, the best line of defense is keeping your hands clean. Wash your hands for 20 seconds and lather the soap in between your fingers. To remind the little ones in your life, sing the “ABC” song or “Mary Had a Little Lamb” to make a game out of handwashing. For extra protection, use dōTERRA’s On Guard Foaming Hand Wash – a NATURAL alternative to other soaps that can dry out your hands with a bunch of chemicals or rubbing alcohol.
  2. Drink plenty of water. Drinking water keeps you hydrated and good hydration leads to healthy skin. If your skin is dry and cracking, then germs can have multiple ways to infect your body. If you want to avoid the harsh chemicals that can irritate your skin, try NATURAL plant-based lotions like dōTERRA Hand & Body Lotion or...
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