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WellBEing Weekends: Prevent Cold & Flu

Welcome to a weekly series on Traveling with Baby, wellBEing weekends, formerly known as  Health Happy Round-Up.

Each weekend (Friday – Sunday), wellBEing weekends will feature health-related news, recipes, and fresh tips on wholesome health for your family’s well BE-ing.

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I keep hearing about people in our city who have the flu…not something I want to experience first-hand.  It’s January, and winter cold and flu season isn’t over yet.

So, this weekend, I’m going to share a re-cap of some great posts on cold and flu prevention and provide a few more fresh ideas on how you can stay healthy and flu-free.

Wont you join me?

  1. Wash your hands (and your kids’ hands) frequently.  Hand-washing can tend to lead to raw and chapped skin, so I’d recommend a soothing and protective barrier of good ol’ coconut oil or a coconut oil based lotion stick.  My personal fave is the coconut & lime lotion stick by Bubble & Bee Organic.
  2. Gargle with warm salt water 1-2 times per day. Salt water will prevent bacterial growth and soothe a burning throat caused by sinus drainage.
  3. Eat foods rich in anti-oxidants and supplement with Vitamin C (with rose hips), 2000 I.U. of Vitamin D (liquid drops), and zinc. Anti-oxidants pair with free radicals or unpaired electrons that go ballistic in your body trying to pair the unstable energy of an electron.  The free radicals lead to cell damage in every area of your body.  This process beats you up even more when your body’s immunity is fighting off a virus.  So, give yourself a helping hand and take in anti-oxidants to pair-up with those tortuous free radicals.
  4. Drink nutritious and healthy warm liquids. The body responds better to liquids closer to your internal body temperature than to icy or cold liquids.  Caffeine is an inflammatory stimulant that decreases the size of veins and arteries throughout the body, preventing antioxidants and blood from carrying nutrition to the cells.  Avoid caffeine, ice, and sugary beverages.  Instead, stick with lemon water, ginger tea, green tea, white tea, and anti-oxidant rich juices (pomegranate, cherry, blueberry) or coconut water.  Good old fashioned chicken soup is also wonderful to stay healthy and to keep your body fueled well.
  5. Get enough rest so your body can heal and repair. Tough to do this when you’re pregnant or taking care of small children.  However, it’s far better to go to bed earlier during cold and flu season in order to avoid getting sick than to catch a cold and wish all you could do was rest.  Get 7-8 hours regularly…your body will thank you.
  6. Visit your chiropractor for regular check-ups. Most people wait until they’re miserable with a cold or flu before they take action.  Some just go straight to the drug counter to self-medicate or just ride it out.  When you’re spine is properly aligned, your nervous system and immune system can function to their highest level of ability and fight off disease.

For the rare times that my family gets sick, chiropractic treatment is the first thing we do followed by the other steps mentioned above. . . and we tend to get back on our feet within a few days (as opposed to the average American with cold or flu who takes weeks to bounce back).  At the very least (and truly, there are far greater benefits), chiropractic care is wonderful for achy backs and muscles and for helping to relieve congested sinuses.

For case studies on chiropractic and sinus infections, keep reading this compilation from the International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association.

For more cold & flu prevention reading, check out these other great posts:

Feverishly good – tips on determining a safe fever range for small children, and when you should call the doctor.

Conquering croup naturally – If you’ve ever heard your baby’s dreaded bark-like cough in the middle of the night, you know it’s a very scary sound.  Learn how to help a little one with the croup and avoid unnecessary and expensive trips to the E.R.

Natural cold care during pregnancy is as easy as visiting your local health foods store and chiropractor.

YOUR TURN: What are your favorite cold and flu prevention techniques?  What do you do to nurture yourself or your kids back to health if you do catch a cold or flu?

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*I was not endorsed for any products mentioned in this post.  I used my hard-earned income to purchase them, and I love them!

Call, Fight, Win for Chiropractic in Virginia

This is a healthy, wholesome parenting blog…for moms.  So, it’s not a huge deviation from standard post content when I share about urgent political action that affects patients’ choice of health care providers.

By tomorrow morning, the Virginia House of Delegates will meet to discuss HB153 while the Virginia Senate will discuss SB195 tomorrow afternoon.

If these bills pass “as is” it will adversely affect medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, doctors of chiropractic, and patients.

You might be thinking…

What’s the deal?  How do those bills affect me?

NOTE: If you live in Virginia, and you use health care, these bills will affect you.

To sum up why it’s important to oppose these bills, I’m referencing talking points from an e-mail sent to members of the United Virginia Chiropractic Association earlier this evening:

HC 153 and identical SB 195 make it illegal for any person other than a licensed physical therapist (or PT assistant or technician) to advertise or promote services as “physical therapy” or “physiotherapy.”

These bills attempt to restrict or eliminate a doctor of chiropractic’s legally authorized right to provide physical therapy to patients.

These bills are ANTI-COMPETITIVE. They would prevent chiropractors and medical doctors from advertising that they offer physical therapy… services legally within their scope of practice.

HB 153 and SB 195 are CONTRARY TO SOUND MEDICAL CARE. They would prevent medical doctors or doctors of chiropractic from recommending patients receive physical therapy services from them (since they are not licensed as a physical therapist).

These bills are a BACKDOOR ATTEMPT TO RESTRICT OR PREVENT CHIROPRACTORS FORM PROVIDING PHYSICAL THERAPY SERVICES. Doctors of chiropractic are legally authorized and clinically trained to provide physical therapy services and physical therapy modalities.

HB 153 and SB 15 are NOT NEEDED.  Anytime a chiropractor or other physician (including MDs) advertises physical services, their advertisement includes the type of health profession in which they are licensed.

Background:

Only a licensed physical therapist may use the term “physical therapist.” However, “PHYSICAL THERAPY” or “PHYSICAL THERAPY SERVICES” ARE GENERIC TERMS also used by chiropractors and other physicians in referring to their offering physical medicine and rehabilitation services to their patients.  When insurance plans note their policies cover physical therapy that includes physical therapy services of a chiropractor, MD and physical therapist.

A Virginia Attorney General opinion has confirmed that Virginia licensed doctors of chiropractic are legally authorized and may provide physical therapy, physical therapy services, and physical therapy modality.

HB 153 and SB 195 are ANTI-COMPETITIVE, will RESTRICT PATIENT CHOICE OF PROVIDERS available to provide physical therapy services, and will CURTIAL THE LEGALLY AUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF VIRGINIA CHIROPRACTORS.

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So, you might be asking yourself, “How can I help?”

If you’re a Virginia resident, please call the senate and house subcommittee members tonight, and leave a voice message.  Please join me in taking a stand to oppose this bill.

There’s plenty of room left on their answering machines…so, please call!  I know it’s unnerving, but your voice DOES matter!

SENATE Education and Health Sub-Committee on HEALTH LICENSING

MESSAGE:  PLEASE OPPOSE SB 195

1.       Senator Frederick M. Quayle (R) – Senate District 13, Suffolk, (804)698-7513, district13@senate.virginia.gov

2.       Senator L. Louise Lucas (D) – Senate District 18, Portsmouth, (804)698-7518, district18@senate.virginia.gov

3.       Senator Stephen H. Martin (R) – Senate District 11, Chesterfield, (804)698-7511,  district11@senate.virginia.gov

4.       Senator George L. Barker (D) – Senate District 39, Alexandria, (804) 698-7539, district39@senate.virginia.gov

5.       Senator Ralph S. Northam (D) – Senate District 6, Norfolk, (804)698-7506, district06@senate.virginia.gov

HOUSE HWI Sub Committee #1

MESSAGE:  PLEASE OPPOSE HB 153

1.       Delegate David A. Nutter (R) – House District 7, Christiansburg, (804)698-1007, DelDNutter@house.virginia.gov

2.       Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R) – House District 97, Mechanicsville, (804)698-1097, DelCPeace@house.virginia.gov

3.       Delegate Richard P. Bell (R) – House District 20, Staunton, (804)698-1020, DelDBell@house.virginia.gov

4.       Delegate Lionell Spruill, Sr. (D) – House District 77, Chesapeake, (804)698-1077,   DelLSpruill@house.virginia.gov

5.       Delegate Algie T. Howell, Jr. (D) – House District 90, Norfolk, (804)698-1090, DelAHowell@house.virginia.gov

Read Copies of the Bills

1.       Go to http://legis.virginia.gov/

2.       In box on left, enter the desired bill number.

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Healthy Mamas and Breastfeeding Back Survival

health happy round-up

Welcome to a weekly series on Traveling with Baby, Health Happy Round-Up that  focuses on multiple aspects of wholesome living and optimal health for the entire family.  Each weekend, Traveling with Baby will share some insightful news, recipes, and tips to help you consider fresh new perspectives on wholesome and happy health.

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Hey Moms!

If you’re an expectant or nursing mom living near Charlottesville, there’s not one, but TWO opportunities to attend a free Healthy Mama Workshop taught by moi.

The first Healthy Mama Workshop will include postural considerations for mom and baby in breastfeeding and babywearing at 11:45 AM on Saturday, November 7th at Downtown ACAC located at 111 Monticello Avenue. The event is part of ACAC’s pre-natal and post-natal seminar, and it’s free and open to the general public. Refreshments will be served, and new moms and their children will have the opportunity to socialize and meet with others.  So fun!  Bring your baby carrier and nursing pillow, if you have one.healthy mama small

The second workshop takes place on Friday, November 13th at 4PM at Sugar Snap Consignment located at York Place on the historic Downtown Mall.  This workshop is primarily focused on postural considerations for mom and baby during breastfeeding.  Bring your nursing pillow, if you have one.

Both events are free and open to the general public.

I’m soooo excited to share the Healthy Mama Workshops with Charlottesville mothers. I want to help new moms learn how to take of themselves while nursing, so they’re confident, and comfortable at giving their 100% to baby and continuing a wonderful breastfeeding bonding experience.

I previously taught the Healthy Mama Workshops at Nature’s Child in 2008, and ACAC’s pre-natal seminar in October 2009. For more information on the Healthy Mama Workshops, please visit www.scoliosisdoc.com.

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Ear Infections: Hear Your Other Options

health happy round-upWelcome to a weekly series on Traveling with Baby, Health Happy Round-Up which focuses on multiple aspects of wholesome living and optimal health for the entire family.  Each weekend, Traveling with Baby will share some insightful news, recipes, and tips to help you consider fresh new perspectives on wholesome and happy health.

I get a lot of questions from moms who are looking for alternatives to antibiotics to help their babies or children suffering from ear infections.  Many of them are surprised to learn about the benefits of gentle pediatric chiropractic care that often help children’s ear infections resolve.

Are Antibioitics the Answer?

This is just one of many studies that indicate the ineffectiveness of antibiotics for ear infections (not only do they damage gut flora, but they don’t necessarily work for their prescribed purpose!)  Here’s another that indicates antibiotics only have a short-term, and non-lasting effect.  Doctors prescriptions for antibiotics for middle ear infections is so rampant and automatic.  Here’s a study that suggests doctors cease defaulting to the antibiotics prescription…STAT.  When specifically testing amoxicillin, a study found no difference in the drug compared to a placebo, thereby claiming amoxicillin is ultimately ineffective for treating ear infections.

listening edit

Alternatives to Drugs for Ear Infections

Instead of antibiotics, many doctors are encouraging parents to “watch and wait” instead.  Read more from WebMD.  Also, check out this health article on CBS where chiropractors teach young children to fight against ear infections.

As for medicated ear drops, there was a study that found that a naturopathic ear drop was just as effective as the medicated ear drops, minus the side effects of the medications.  This study followed 103 test subjects between the ages of 6 to 18 years of age.  After 3 days of receiving the Naturopathic drops compared to the group receiving the medicated drops, both groups reported the same decrease in perceived ear pain.

Here’s a great article on holistic approaches to ear infections by Lawrence Pavelsky, M.D.  I like that he helps parents differentiate between an ear ache and an ear infection, he describes how ear infections develop, and he discusses alternative methods of treatment that won’t leave your child’s gut blanched from the beneficial bacteria killed off by anti-biotics.

I encourage you to find a chiropractic physician in your area who will support your choice for health care.  Check out the International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association, today!

Your Turn:

What about you?  Has your child suffered from an ear infection?  What treatment methods have you tried?  What did you like or dislike about the treatments you tried?

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Over-Simplified Government Healthcare

42-15654497It’s really not simple, is it?

Check out the proposed health care solution on the Campaign for Liberty blog and how they compare it to an over-simplified graph of government health care.

As a health care provider and as a patient, personally, I prefer the simple graph.

Want to learn how to stop the entangled mess and maze of government healthcare?  Check out this post by Dr. David McKalip, a solo practice neurosurgeon, on the C4L blog.  While you’re there, check out Ron Paul’s post “Healthcare is a good, not a right“.

–By Dr. Dolly
Twitter me: drdolly

Cavity Prevention and Fluoride: A Paradoxical Status Quo

In the near future, I plan to post a really fantastic product review on something (that doesn’t have fluoride) that really helps teeth.  However, the controversy on fluoride is so extensive, I believe I need to write up a post just to set-up the foundation for the particular product I’m reviewing.  So, check back next week for a healthy option to fluoridated toothpaste.  Meanwhile. read on to learn why fluoride is evil and leads to cellular death AND tooth decay.  Intrigued?  I thought you would be.

My sister-in-law first piqued my interest on tooth soap by citing research about the negative effects of fluoride on teeth and overall health.  I decided to read about it, and I began my quest at Inspired Living where I found a lot of information.  I was bummed that the specific journal references were missing from the facts, but I kept digging for more info.

I decided to do my own research on Medline to find any current literature on the efficacy of water fluoridation.  For a key word search for articles, I typed in “fluoridation and bone health”.

Basic Chemistry

Interestingly, Fluorine is the most electronegative element in the periodic table of elements.  It has an extreme affinity for other positive charges to complete it’s highly reactive state.  As a result, fluorine or sodium fluoride can break hydrogen-oxygen bonds of other compounds, and cause free radicals to form.  On numerous research sites, I read some variation of the following information:

The presence of sodium fluoride in drinking water at the level of 2 ppm may cause mottled enamel in teeth, skeletal fluorosis, and may be associated with cancer and other diseases.

What’s the Deal with Free Radicals?

Free radicals are highly volatile unpaired electrons that quickly react with other compounds (seeking and destroying weak bonds) in order to capture a necessary electron to gain stability.  When a molecule is “attacked” by a free radical, it then becomes a free radical.  Then, an ugly chain reaction of molecule bullying and breaking has begun.  When free radicals naturally occur to fight viruses and bacteria, that’s not a big blow to the body’s immune system.

But, when the body’s threshold is overloaded with free radicals due to environmental toxins (pollution, second-hand cigarette smoke, pharmacological drugs, lack of sleep, pesticides, BPA, etc.) and the body doesn’t have enough anti-oxidants (vitamins C & E donate a pair of electrons)  to pair with the volatile electron-mongering free radicals, THEN problems arise.  In this day and age, a constant barrage of free radicals is easy to come by . . . so why intentionally ingest them along with drinking water?

[Read more about basic chemistry and get info on free radicals and antioxidants from healthchecksystems.]

Cavity and Water Fluoridation Research

I found a study that analyzed the trends in dental decay from 1992 to 1998 in two towns in Finland which had low fluoridation and they completely ceased fluoridation.  Random samplings of 1500+ children ages 3 to 15 from 1992 to 1998 were examined for dental caries [tooth decay] and the abstract of the study concluded:

The fact that no increase in caries was found in [the town of] Kuopio despite discontinuation of water fluoridation and decrease in preventive procedures suggests that not all of these measures were necessary for each child.

In 2005, a Chinese Journal of Hygiene Research concluded that over 2.0 mg/L fluoride in drinking water can cause renal damage in children, and the damage degree increases with the drinking water fluoride content. Renal damage degree was mainly due to water fluoride concentration.

A follow-up study was published in Environmental Research in 2007.  Researchers found that the fluoride levels in serum and urine of children in China increased as the levels of drinking water fluoride increased.  The study concluded,

Drinking water fluoride levels over 2.0mg/L can cause damage to liver and kidney functions in children and that the dental fluorosis was independent of damage to the liver but not the kidney.

More Freaky Fluoride Facts

But, don’t take my word or research skills for it, read for yourself.

Check out Wholy Water’s site for an informative article and literature review entitled Toxic Effects of Fluoride.

Read the Fluoride Debate which is a response to the American Dental Association’s Fluoridation Facts.

Check out the politically active Fluoride Action Network for up to date info on Fluoride.

Read the Flouride Research Journal.

Read more on the toxic effects of fluoridation in your water from the holistic med site.

Read America: Overdosed on Fluoride by Lynn Landes and Maria Beches.

If you’re more of a visual learner, check out the photos of teeth (dental fluoridation) and water pipes with fluoridation from the site Fluoride: Protected Pollutant or Panacea?

So fluoride in my water and toothpaste is more harmful than helpful, now what?

No, you don’t have to use your bar soap on your teeth if you don’t want to (although, that would work just as well).  There’s actually an option that’s helpful and tastes pretty minty fresh.  Check back next week for more.

–This is an original Traveling with Baby post by Dr. Dolly Garnecki

Infant Circumcision – Tradition or Necessity?

As parents, there are so many decisions to make when having a baby from what type of health care provider you will choose (OB-GYN or midwife or both) to where you will birth (hospital, birthing center, or home) to what will happen immediately after your baby’s born.  Among genetic disease testing, vitamin K injections, to whether your baby will get a bottle of glucose or be allowed to breastfeed FIRST, and administration of silver nitrate in baby’s eyes (just in case she might get gonorrhea from passing through the birth canal), another decision on the menu is whether or not to circumcise your infant boy’s penis.

It’s basically routine to have the procedure, and in the United States, it’s rather unorthodox (no pun intended) to NOT conclude with the procedure.  So, if you’ve made up your mind that your baby boy will have a circumcision, then just for the sake of understanding why other parents choose not to, then please forge ahead in this post.  If you’re on the fence and you may be considering waiting on the circumcision or not proceeding, then I hope you find the following information helpful in guiding your decision.  Warning: this post is unabashedly one-sided.  I fully and completely disagree with infant circumcision, whether it’s for a male or female.  You’ll very easily hear the pro-arguments from almost any health care provider in a hospital.  You’ll have to search a little harder to find points of view in agreement with me.  However, if you’re one to go along with the crowd, consider that the infant circumcision rates in the U.S. are slowly decreasing.  On the east and west coasts, the rate for circumcision is roughly 50% of newborn males.

History

I recommend visiting the site for the International Coalition for Genital Integrity which recognizes the inherent right for all human beings to have an intact body.  Without sexual, racial, or religious prejudice, the ICGI affirms this basic human right.  The ICGI created a powerful slideshow on the history of the medicalization of circumcision to show how the hype, generated from skewed study results caused increases in circumcision rates in the U.S., U.K., and the world before “medicine” was indeed scientific in creating objective, unbiased study results.  When further studies indicated health risks caused by circumcision, they were discontinued in the United Kingdom.  But, don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourself.

Doctors in the English-speaking countries started circumcising babies in the mid-1800s “to prevent masturbation,” which was blamed for causing many diseases, including epilepsy, tuberculosis, and insanity. Other reasons have been given since then, but all of them, including the claim that circumcision prevents cancer of the penis, cancer of the cervix, and venereal diseases, have been disproven. We now know that the foreskin is a normal, sensitive, functional part of the body.–NOCIRC Pamphlet3

Another fantastic resource is the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (a.k.a. NOCIRC)  This educational, not-for-profit organization which is on the roster of the economic and social council of the United Nations serves as a wealth of information in regard to care of normal penile anatomy and it offers information about circumcision and the care of the circumcised as well as the intact penis.  You can access NOCIRC’s educational publications in both English and Español.

For those contemplating infant circumcision, read “Answers to Your Questions about Infant Circumcision“.  If you’ve made the choice to not circumcise your son, you may now have questions regarding hygeine and foreskin retraction.  You’ll find answers to those questions with this NOCIRC informational article.  You’ll also be able to print out pdf versions of these pamphlets for family members who may question your no circumcision parenting choice.

If you choose to proceed with a circumcision, NOCIRC also has a pahmplet which covers what to expect for post-operative care and any complications which may arise.  International NOCIRC affiliate organizations can be found here.

Before our son was born, and before we knew our baby was a he, we read through NOCIRC literature which helped us to confirm our decision to avoid circumcision.  The American Academy of Pediatrics claims,

the foreskin protects the glans penis throughout life.

This directory compiles research and studies regarding complications, risks, and adverse affects of circumcision.  There are studies that exist that suggest that circumcision may help reduce urinary tract infection (UTI) , but the reality is that there is not a significant nor direct correlation.  Nothing comes secondary to providing and eventually teaching your son good hygiene to prevent UTI’s.