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October 2020 Health Newsletter

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Current Articles

» The Wellness Family
» Get 'Active and Adaptive' During National Chiropractic Health Month
» Cardiovascular Health May Begin with Breakfast
» Women: Want to Avoid Heart Failure? Try Walking

The Wellness Family

Dear Patient,

Dr. Rapp is dedicated to providing you with the absolute best in family wellness care. So take a moment today to discuss with your Family Wellness Chiropractor any concerns you may have regarding your family’s overall health and wellness.

Pediatric Stress

We don’t typically associate childhood with stress. Children don’t have bills to pay, demanding jobs or
kids of their own to worry over, so why would children possibly be stressed? This may be how we think, but the sad fact is that children today are being diagnosed with high-anxiety, depression and a myriad of other psycho- logical disorders resulting in more children being on psychosomatic drugs now than ever.


There was a time when playground bullying was probably the worst source of stress that we could imagine for our children. Someone at school was making their little lives miserable and it was usually a child who was bigger, meaner, tougher, etc. Today we have a whole new arena for bullying. With social media sites so popular, they have opened a door for children to be bullied 24/7, instead of just the seven or eight hours a day that they’re at school. Recent studies show that the percentage of children being cyberbullied has more than doubled from 18% to 37% between 2007 and 2019.
Additional studies have reported that bullying is affecting almost a quarter of all school-age children and that 5.4 million students will skip school at some point in the year because of this. Most children reported a fear of speak- ing to an adult about the bullying out of fear of reper- cussions or the abuse escalating, so the cycle of stress is never broken.


Unfortunately, another cause of stress for children comes from a surprising source: the parent. We all want what’s best for our kids, like a bright and successful future, but sometimes in our zeal we forget to allow time for them to be children.
If we over-schedule them with organized sports, dance classes, music lessons and self-improvement programs we don’t leave them time to be children. We convince ourselves that it’s best to keep kids busy, but we forget that boredom is a catalyst for creativity.

Many children who have been over-scheduled grow to resent the attention placed on their lives and begin to wonder what’s wrong with them. They question why they need so much improvement and refinement, then retreat into a shell of insecurity, finding escape in video games and internet surfing. We lose the child in the pursuit of perfection.

Critical Self-Image

More typical of girls, the time between elementary school and junior high finds young women becoming more critical of their looks. Studies have found that almost half of all teenage girls believe that they are overweight and 80% of 10-year-old girls have dieted at least once. Is it any wonder then that young girls are suffering from eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia nervosa? Additional studies have shown that most an- orexia patients developed this disorder in their teens.
Children with strong social-emotional skills are better able to cope with everyday social challenges.

Fractured Families

Another source of stress is the fractured family. Unfor- tunately, whether we like it or not, the divorce rate is high and when children are involved the collateral damage is greater. Recent studies have concluded that children of divorced parents are statistically more likely to have their own marriages end in divorce.
While every effort is made to help children not place the blame on themselves for the divorce and to teach children healthy ways to resolve issues, the anger between the parents will still sometimes be transferred to the children, increasing their anxiety.

The Serious Outcome

Children today are responding to emotional stressors in ways that we can’t imagine and generally don’t under- stand. Recent studies have shown that between 1/3 and 1/2 of all teenagers are self-injuring and, of this number, cutting and burning are the most common type of non- suicidal self-injury. Despite the appearance, self-injury is not a precursor to suicide. According to research pub- lished in 2019, 55% of those that will actually discuss it, and many won’t, said “I wanted to get my mind off my problems” and 45% said, “It helped me to release tension or stress and relax.”

While self-injury is typically considered non-suicidal injury, suicide rates rose 130% for U.S. children ages 10-15 between 2007 and 2015 and for youths ages 15-19, it rose 46% in that same time period.

This has increased exponentially in 2020, as isolation increases feelings of stress among adolescents. In May
of 2020, doctors at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, California said that they have seen more deaths by suicide during this quarantine period than deaths from the COVID-19 virus. Dr. Mike deBoisblanc stated, “We’ve never seen numbers like this, in such a short period of time. I mean, we’ve seen a year’s worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks.”

What is being done?

Many parents have turned to the medical profession for help with their children, which typically includes drug- therapy. The problem with the typical modern medicine routine is that most anti-depressants are being pre- scribed off-label to children. Since they haven’t been tested on children, doctors are making a best-guess as to the correct dosage.
Studies published in 2004 found that there is an increas- ed risk in suicide for children ages 10-18 who are taking serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). As a result, the FDA published a Public Health Advisory expressing concerns over certain antidepressants being given to children and teens. However, several studies have basically refuted those concerns including one by the American Academy of Pediatrics that claimed there “appears to be no clinic- ally meaningful variation in the risk for suicidal acts by antidepressant agent within the class of SSRIs”. During the first 12 months of treatment 266 subjects attempted suicide and three were successful. This was an event rate of 27.04 suicidal acts/1000 person-years. Yet, they find this to not be “clinically meaningful”?

How to Avoid Chemicals

A dangerous contributing factor is general practitioners and increasingly pediatricians writing the majority of antidepressants prescriptions, not the psychiatrist. If concerned parents would take their child to a psychiatrist first, where psychotherapy would be the first defense, antidepressants would be a last resort.

Peter Breggin, M.D. a psychiatrist, medical expert, and author, has been a watchdog of the underreporting of side effects from antidepressant and psycho-stimulant use. He believes that “those struggling with severe depression essentially are feeling profound hopelessness and despair that can be addressed by a variety of psychotherapeutic, educational and spiritual or religious interventions.” It’s time to consider other options besides the promised (typically unsuccessful) quick fix offered by chemicals.

Better Care

One of the first steps that is now being made available is Social-Emotional Learning. This process helps children develop the self-awareness, self-control and inter- personal skills that are vital to interacting with the world. Children with strong social-emotional skills are better able to cope with everyday social challenges.

Your Doctor of Chiropractic would encourage you to remember the benefits of living a wellness lifestyle. Encourage your children to get plenty of sleep, as a lack of rest can negatively affect a child’s mood. Nutrition also plays a huge role in how we function mentally. Addition- ally, progressive parents are recognizing the benefits of yoga for their children as it requires specific meditation techniques that quiet the mind and create a calming influence. This typically helps children become more focused, resulting in a reduction of stress.

Finally, a recent study shared the case history of a 19- year-old female diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD). After a four-month course of chiropractic care, the young woman reported an 80% reduction in her anxiety symptoms, including a 90% decrease in her headaches. The patient was able to resume a normal lifestyle without resorting to prescription or other drugs.

Be sure to speak with your Family Wellness Chiropractor today about recommendations on how to help improve your child’s overall health and wellness to avoid feelings of stress.

Author: Dr. Claudia Anrig

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Get 'Active and Adaptive' During National Chiropractic Health Month

During this October's National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM), the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and chiropractors nationwide are encouraging the public to get "active and adaptive" to maintain their musculoskeletal health and function in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Since March, many people have incorporated changes into their daily routines to reduce their potential exposure to the novel coronavirus: avoiding crowded public spaces, working from home, forgoing air travel for long car trips, ordering food and supplies online, and avoiding gyms and health clubs.  Because of this new normal, many are moving less and experiencing musculoskeletal pain.  Polls conducted by ACA confirm that chiropractors are seeing an increase in musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain, neck pain, and headaches since the beginning of the pandemic. When asked what they believe is contributing most to these conditions, ACA members cite lack of movement, stress and poor posture as key factors.  During NCHM, chiropractors are encouraging the public to choose healthy ways to adapt to the new normal by getting enough movement during the day, being aware of posture and ways to improve it, getting adequate rest, and managing stress naturally.  Learn more by visiting Hands Down Better and follow the conversation on social media with the hashtag #ActiveAdaptive.  "Inactivity has been a growing problem worldwide, even before the pandemic.  While the coronavirus may limit our options, finding ways to incorporate more physical activity, as well as improved posture, throughout the day can benefit our health now and into the future," said ACA President Robert C. Jones, DC.  National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM) is a nationwide observance held each October.  NCHM educates the public about the importance of musculoskeletal health and raises awareness of the benefits of chiropractic care and its natural, patient-centered and drug-free approach to pain management, health and wellness.

Author: American Chiropractic Association
Source:, September 9, 2020.

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Cardiovascular Health May Begin with Breakfast

There are several ways to lower the risks of heart attack, cardiovascular disease, blood vessel diseases, and stroke. Although it is important to watch the kind of food that goes into the body, many studies have shown that it may be equally as important to pay attention to the timing of meals. Here are three ways to boost cardiovascular health:
1. Meal Planning. According to a statement released by the American Heart Association, planning the meals and snacks that you have throughout the day can help lower the risks of cardiovascular disease. This is due to the metabolic rates of the body throughout the day.
2. Eating Breakfast Daily. Several studies have found correlations between increased cardiovascular health and people who consume breakfast regularly. There is a much lower risk of high cholesterol and high blood pressure associated with those who consume breakfast daily.
3. Lowering Food Consumption in the Evening. At night it is harder for the body to digest and process various foods. Many studies have shown that this may be due to a decreased metabolic rate in the evening. For this reason, lowering the amount of food eaten in the evening can lead to better cardiovascular health.
Using these methods to carefully plan meals and snacks for each day can help reduce the many risk factors surrounding cardiovascular disease including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and insulin complications such as insulin resistance.

Source: Circulation, online January 30, 2017.

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Women: Want to Avoid Heart Failure? Try Walking

New research suggests that women who exercise regularly, including walking, may lower their risk for heart failure. The study from researchers at the University of Buffalo in New York looked at over 137,000 women aged 50-79, of which over one-third had high blood pressure and other heart disease risk factors such as smoking and diabetes. After a follow-up period of 14 years, researchers found that the women who got some form of physical activity were less likely to suffer from heart failure (11%). Women with the highest levels of physical activity, meanwhile, were the least likely to suffer from heart failure (35%), as compared to women who got no exercise at all. In addition, women who got the most physical activity were the least likely to develop a sub-type of heart failure called reduced ejection fraction (32%) as compared to women who never exercised. 33% of the same group of women were also the least likely to develop another sub-type of heart failure called a preserved ejection fraction. One of the biggest findings from the study, however, is that walking works just as well as other forms of exercise, including more vigorous types. To discover how much exercise the women got, researchers studied answers to a questionnaire about exercise that every participant completed. As it turns out, walking was the most common type of physical activity reported.

Source: JACC: Heart Failure, online September 5, 2018.

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