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Monday, October 26, 2015

Flu and Cold Season, Part 2



How to Combat the Crud
By  Dr. Jon Thomas D.C PSc.D, Board Certified Chiropractic Physician.
At Vibrant Life we believe that one of the best ways to stay healthy is to take positive steps to avoid getting sick. In my previous blog post, I suggested several things people can do to avoid catching the flu or a cold, which I referred to as “the crud.” Since there are more steps people can take to avoid the crud, I’m writing a second post about it. This post will explain several methods for boosting the immune system so that your body will function at its highest level.
Vitamin C from Natural Sources
PublicDomanPictures.net
In the 1600s, sailors in the British Navy had a problem with scurvy, a condition which caused people to lose their teeth, to bleed easily, and to lose bone strength. (Some sailors even died from scurvy.) The British Navy used citrus fruit to fight scurvy and it was very effective. Vitamin C, an antioxidant, was the ingredient in the citrus fruits which boosted the immune systems of the British sailors.
Although vitamin C is now available as a dietary supplement, the ideal way to get it is by eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Why is that so much better than taking a supplement? Vitamin C is somewhat unstable and it is prone to damage by heat, oxygen, and storage. The vitamin C content of food starts to decline as soon as it is picked. The decline can be slowed down by keeping the food in its whole form and by keeping it cool. However, the longer foods high in vitamin C are stored, the less potent the vitamin C becomes.
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
Most people are aware that vitamin C is an essential nutrient and most people know that citrus fruits are a good source of it. Other good sources of vitamin C are papaya, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, cantaloupe, and raspberries. Vitamin C is also in cranberries, blueberries, watermelons, apples, pears, and bananas. Broccoli, kale, and other leafy green vegetables are also good sources of vitamin C.
It’s very easy to find fresh citrus fruit in Florida. Take advantage of that and give your immune system a boost by eating a piece of citrus fruit or drinking a glass of fresh citrus juice every day.
Vitamin D
Vitamin D also boosts the immune system and helps to prevent colds and flu. Direct sunlight on the skin produces vitamin D. So, getting out in the sun is one of the easiest ways to increase your vitamin D level. However, when the weather gets cold, people tend to spend less time in the sun and that leads to decreased levels of vitamin D.
Another way to get vitamin D is by eating eggs, meat, and oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines. Dairy products also contain vitamin D. If you’re a vegetarian and you don’t get out in the sun very much, you can get some vitamin D by drinking orange juice that’s fortified with it. If you’re still not getting enough vitamin D, you should look into taking a supplement.
Echinacea
Wikimedia Commons
Echinacea is a flowering plant that grows in the U.S. and Canada. According to an article in Medical News Today, Echinacea was used by Native Americans for hundreds of years before the arrival of European explorers, settlers and colonizers. By the early 1800s Echinacea became a popular herbal remedy among those who had settled in the USA. It also became popular in Europe.
Echinacea strengthens the immune system and it also reduces many of the symptoms of colds and flu. It’s a very popular ingredient in supplements to boost the immune system. Echinacea is available over the counter at pharmacies, health shops and supermarkets as teas, liquid extracts, a dried herb, and as capsules or tablets.
Rest and the Immune System
Getting adequate rest is one of the keys to keeping the immune system functioning as it should. In an article for WebMD, Denise Mann wrote, “Sleep deprivation suppresses immune system function. The more all-nighters you pull, the more likely you are to decrease your body’s ability to respond to colds or bacterial infections.”
If you’re feeling tired, try to get some more sleep. Your immune system will thank you for it.

Chiropractic Adjustment
When you have high levels of stress, it makes you more vulnerable to colds and the flu. According to a white paper published by the American Chiropractic Association on Preventing Colds and Flu, stress reduction can play a big role in reducing the risk of catching colds or the flu.
“Chronic stress, such as unemployment or interpersonal difficulties with family and friends that last a month or longer, may substantially increase the risk of catching cold and flu. Many chiropractors have noticed that adjustments have helped prevent or reduce the duration of their patients’ colds. Some evidence shows that chiropractic manipulation may increase immunoglobulin levels and that it decreases the levels of glucocorticoid cortisol, a major component of stress.”
Regular adjustments by a skilled chiropractor will reduce your stress levels and enable your immune system to do its job effectively.   
Nucleo-Immune Dietary Supplement
Nucleo-Immune is a dietary supplement which promotes rapid cellular rejuvenation and healing of wounds. It also increases vitality and strength. Nucleo-Immune supports the thymus, the intestinal and immune systems, and is especially effective as a preventative booster during the cold and winter season. Nucleo-Immune is available through the Vibrant Life Health Center. Give yourself a boost for the season and get some today!
In this article, I have discussed some of the things people can do to reduce their chances of getting the flu or catching a cold. I’ve also made several suggestions on what to do after you have symptoms. Zinc, elderberry extract, and mucilage of oats can all be very helpful. Nucleo-Immune, a dietary supplement which helps in the production of nucleotides, can also be very helpful.
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If you liked this article, please click the Google Plus button below.
If you know of someone who might benefit from the information in this blog, please pass it along to him or her or. If you have a comment about this article, please leave it in the comments section.
At Vibrant Life, we address all of the key elements to add vibrance and vitality to your life. This includes nutrition, chiropractic care, and fitness. If you need to consult with a chiropractor about your neck, back, or any other health concern, please contact our office to set up an appointment.  If you’d like to try Nucleo-Immune to prevent or treat the flu or a cold, please contact us.  
Dr. Jon Thomas is a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician. His practice, The Vibrant Life Health Center, is located in the Mandarin section of Jacksonville. His interest in health and fitness started early, and  his athletic pursuits have included BMX racing, Professional Snow Skiing, Water Skiing, Baseball, Weight Lifting, and Martial Arts. After studying and learning from some of the top health experts throughout the world, Dr. Thomas dedicated his life to helping people of all ages to transform their lives. The objective for each patient is to initiate the body’s healing and to work progressively toward a body that functions optimally. Dr. Thomas is seen regularly on TV on  First Coast Living, where he discusses the transformations of his patients. He also speaks at events throughout the community and writes informative articles to improve the health of residents throughout Jacksonville.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Flu and Cold Season is Here: How to Combat the Crud Part 1

By  Dr. Jon Thomas D.C PSc.D, Board Certified Chiropractic Physician.


Courtesty Wikimedia
The weather has been cooling off in Northeast Florida. Lately, there’s been a chill in the air in the mornings. Most people like this seasonal change. However, for some, the change in the weather can bring on colds or the flu. At Vibrant Life, we refer to these ailments as “the crud.” It has already started going around. The crud can manifest itself through a wide range of symptoms. They include sniffling, sneezing, coughing, headache, body aches, fever, and a general sense of malaise.
When people experience the crud, many are inclined to ingest some vitamin C in whatever form they can get. Vitamin C does strengthen the immune system before a person gets a cold or the flu. However, mega-doses of vitamin C are not the ultimate weapons against colds after the onset of symptoms. Research shows that taking vitamin C after catching a cold will not affect the duration or severity of the cold. Also, since colds are caused by viruses - not bacteria - antibiotics won’t help either.
Since laughter is reputed to be the best medicine, here are three of the Weirdest Cold Remedies known to man, according to an article on Buzzfeed.

  • The ancient Greeks believed that an aching head could be cured with a shock from an electric eel.
  • In Canada and the US, some believe that placing onions on a child’s feet will draw a fever out of the body.
  • Some North Americans believe that cold sores can be cured by applying your own ear wax to them.

There’s no conclusive evidence that any of those remedies work, but we hope that reading about them will elicit a chuckle. While handling eels, onions, and earwax sounds like a lot of fun, we at Vibrant Life don’t recommend any of the above remedies. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to combat the crud. In a recent article for WEBMD, Andrea Billups made the following suggestions:
Get Some Rest and Reduce Your Stress. Most people know what it feels like when a cold is coming on. It’s important to listen to your body. Get as much rest as you can and eliminate stress as much as possible.
Courtesy Wikimedia
Drink Up. When you have a cold, fluids are your friend. Keep a full glass of water nearby. Most fluids, with the exception of alcohol, will help to keep you hydrated.
Sip hot tea with honey. Drinking warm liquids can help to open up a stuffy nose and soothe a sore throat.
Act quickly to combat the crud.  If you can’t hold off a cold, it may take as much as five to seven days for symptoms to improve. Getting an early jump on those symptoms is one of the keys to recovery.
Most in the medical community would agree with these helpful suggestions. I also recommend the following, which I use with my own family and recommend to my patients to shorten the length or reduce the severity of colds and flu.
Nucleo-Immune Dietary Supplement
Nucleotides are tiny building blocks of RNA and DNA. They are the blueprints for all the cells in your body. Trauma, surgery, infection, and other stresses, can rapidly deplete a body of its supply of nucleotides. When depleted, rebuilding the supply of nucleotides to meet the body’s demands can take days, or possibly weeks.
Nucleotides can help the body to rapidly overcome colds or flu, heal wounds, improve circulation, strengthen the immune system, promote new cell growth, neutralize toxins (especially in the intestines), and enhance the body’s ability to fight infection and disease. They may even help to slow the aging process.
Nucleo-Immune is a dietary supplement which promotes rapid cellular rejuvenation and healing of wounds. It also increases vitality and strength. Nucleo-Immune supports the thymus, the intestinal and immune systems, and is especially effective as a preventative booster during the cold and winter season.
Nucleo-Immune is available through the Vibrant Life Health Center. Give yourself a boost for the season and get some today!
Zinc, an Essential Mineral
Zinc plays an important role in immunity. The recommended daily intake is 15 mg/day. Research shows that adequate zinc consumption, or supplementation, not only prevents the onset of colds and flu, but also decreases their duration by a day or more. Zinc is regarded by many as the most effective remedy against the common cold. Adding the following foods to your daily intake will increase your zinc levels: oysters, crab, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, cashews, black beans, and shiitake mushrooms.
Elderberry Extract
Elderberries, Courtesy of Wikimedia
Black elderberry juice inhibits the growth of influenza viruses and shortens the duration of symptoms. It also increases antibody levels against the virus. In addition, it helps reduce swelling in the sinuses and congestion. Elderberry is commonly available as a lozenge and in capsules. It’s also available as a liquid syrup in the UMCKA Cold Products line made by Nature’s Way.  UMCKA Cold Products can be purchased at Native Sun, Whole Foods, and Grass Roots stores.
Mucilage of Oats: My family’s personal favorite
For anyone who has caught a bug that’s going around and who has a lingering cough or sore throat, here’s an easy-to-make beverage that can help. Take 1 tbsp. oats and add it to 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, and then let it steep for five minutes. Strain out the oats and drink. This process takes the mucilage off of the oats, and it’s very soothing for the throat. If you’d like to sweeten it up a bit, you can add a little honey. When I make this, I add 1 tbsp elderberries or rose hips. This gives the mixture some extra flavor and also some vitamin C.
In this article, I have discussed some of the things people can do to reduce their chances of getting the flu or catching a cold. I’ve also made several suggestions on what to do after you have symptoms. Zinc, elderberry extract, and mucilage of oats can all be very helpful. Nucleo-Immune, a dietary supplement which helps in the production of nucleotides, can also be very helpful.
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If you liked this article, please click the Google Plus button. If you know of someone who might benefit from the information in this blog, please pass it along to him or her or. If you have a comment about this article, please leave it in the comments section.
At Vibrant Life, we address all of the key elements to add vibrance and vitality to your life. This includes nutrition, chiropractic care, and fitness. If you need to consult with a chiropractor about your neck, back, or any other health concern, please contact our office to set up an appointment. If you’d like to try Nucleo-Immune to prevent or treat the flu or a cold, please contact us.  
Dr. Jon Thomas is a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician. His practice, The Vibrant Life Health Center, is located in the Mandarin section of Jacksonville. His interest in health and fitness started early, and his athletic pursuits have included BMX racing, Professional Snow Skiing, Water Skiing, Baseball, Weight Lifting, and Martial Arts. After studying and learning from some of the top health experts throughout the world, Dr. Thomas dedicated his life to helping people of all ages to transform their lives. The objective for each patient is to initiate the body’s healing and to work progressively toward a body that functions optimally. Dr. Thomas is seen regularly on TV on First Coast Living, where he discusses the transformations of his patients. He also speaks at events throughout the community and writes informative articles to improve the health of residents throughout Jacksonville.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

How to Reduce Pain in the Neck, Part 2

By  Dr. Jon Thomas D.C PSc.D, Board Certified Chiropractic Physician.

Courtesy of Collective Education
Lots of people suffer from neck pain. It can be caused by injuries and sprains of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments around the neck. The neck is also known as the cervical spine. In my previous post, I mentioned some of the things people can do to reduce or eliminate neck pain. Here are several more.
Be Mindful of Weight Slung Around the Neck
When you carry something with a strap around your neck, it may not seem like the kind of activity that will do any damage. However, there can be a cumulative price to pay if you’re not careful. People who frequently carry a heavy purse, book bag, or piece of luggage with a strap around their necks sometimes have neck problems. Photographers who carry lots of equipment in their camera bags sometimes develop arthritis in the neck as the result of the weight they carry.
Courtesy of Collective Education
If you have to carry heavy things with a strap around your neck, be mindful that if the strap goes around the same side of your neck every time, the natural result will be more wear and tear on that side of your neck. It will be much better for you if you switch sides so that the burden is spread out evenly over time.
If you have to carry a heavy load frequently, a high quality backpack that will distribute the weight evenly could be a very good investment. Backpacks are now available with inflatable air bladders for extra lumbar support. This can help to distribute weight more evenly as well.
Sleep Position
The position you sleep in can have a major impact on the health of your back and neck. Many in the medical community believe that the best position for sleep is on your back. This allows your neck and back to rest comfortably in a neutral position.
If you prefer sleeping on your side, a pillow that is at least four to six inches thick is recommended. This will prevent your head and neck from turning in an unnatural way. It will also allow your muscles to rest without strain.
Sleeping on the stomach is generally not recommended.
Get the Right Pillow
According to research listed in an article titled Consequences of Sleeping the Wrong Way in Everyday Health, “Finding the right pillow can improve the quality of your sleep and prevent or reduce neck pain. If you sleep on your side, pick a pillow that just fills the space between your ear and your mattress without tilting your head. If you sleep on your back, your pillow should keep your head from tilting backward or forward.”
Considering that most people spend about a third of their life in bed, it’s a good idea to invest in a high quality pillow that will help provide a good night’s sleep. Years ago, there were only two options for pillows: feather pillows or foam pillows. Today, there are many other options. Memory foam pillows are now on the market as well as water-filled pillows which can be adjusted.
Courtesy of Wikimedia
Cervical pillows are roll-shaped pillows designed to relieve neck stress and neck pain by maintaining the natural shape of your head and neck throughout your sleep cycle.   Cervical pillows provide extra support under the neck and the head. This helps to keep the neck in alignment with the spine. Whereas traditional pillows are flat, cervical pillows are shaped with deeper depressions to cradle the head.
Use a Telephone Headset
Before the turn of the millennium, most telephones were attached to cords. In office settings, people frequently twisted their necks in an unnatural way to cradle their handsets between their ears and shoulders. There were even braces that could be attached to handsets to make it a bit more comfortable. For most people, those days of discomfort are gone, thank goodness. Now we have wireless office phones, speakerphones and/or cell phones.  
If your work requires you to spend lots of time on the phone, consider getting a telephone headset. A hands-free headset doesn’t require a person to get into position to make a telephone call. It allows the user to move about freely and to stay in the most comfortable position possible. There are lots of different styles of headsets to choose from. The more lightweight the headset is, the less strain it will put on a user’s neck muscles.  The weight of a headset may not seem like enough to ever cause a problem. However, even a little weight day after day for a long time can take a toll.
Periodic Adjustments by an Experienced Chiropractor
It’s very important to do whatever you can to keep your back and neck healthy. Problems with the back or the neck can have a profound effect on a person’s quality of life. A neck adjustment by a chiropractor can be one of the keys to reducing or eliminating neck pain. At Vibrant Life Health Center we apply specific scientific spinal adjustments to alleviate and eliminate pain in the neck.
We also treat related soft tissue abnormalities and resolve any underlying problems so the patient experiences relief as expeditiously as possible. We have the technology and the skill to identify the root causes of many health problems. Our time-tested techniques effectively address a multitude of problems in the body. To help our patients get well and achieve their health goals, we provide them with customized plans.
In this article, I have discussed how to reduce or eliminate neck pain. I’ve suggested that people should be careful when it comes to carrying things around their necks. I’ve also discussed sleep positions, pillows, and telephone headsets for people who work on the phone a lot. Finally, I’ve noted that a neck adjustment by a chiropractor can be very helpful.
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If you know of someone who might benefit from the information in this blog, please pass it along to him or her. If you have a comment about this article, please leave it in the comments section.
At Vibrant Life, we address all of the key elements to add vibrance and vitality to your life. This includes nutrition, chiropractic care, and fitness. If you need to consult with a chiropractor about your neck, back, or any other health concern, please contact our office to set up an appointment.  
Dr. Jon Thomas is a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician. His practice, The Vibrant Life Health Center, is located in the Mandarin section of Jacksonville. His interest in health and fitness started early, and  his athletic pursuits have included BMX racing, Professional Snow Skiing, Water Skiing, Baseball, Weight Lifting, and Martial Arts. After studying and learning from some of the top health experts throughout the world, Dr. Thomas dedicated his life to helping people of all ages to transform their lives. The objective for each patient is to initiate the body’s healing and to work progressively toward a body that functions optimally. Dr. Thomas is seen regularly on TV on  First Coast Living, where he discusses the transformations of his patients. He also speaks at events throughout the community and writes informative articles to improve the health of residents throughout Jacksonville.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

How to Reduce Pain in the Neck, Part 1

By  Dr. Jon Thomas D.C PSc.D, Board Certified Chiropractic Physician.


Everyone experiences neck pain from time to time.  In Fact, neck pain is the third leading cause of chronic pain with more than a quarter of Americans being affected at any one time. Neck pain can be caused by injuries and sprains associated with the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support the neck and head. More serious causes include disc herniation and pinched nerves. Fortunately, there are a number of simple things people can do to reduce or even eliminate potential neck troubles.

What is forward head posture?


Neck problems are very common for people who work with computers at desks. The condition they suffer from is known as forward head posture, and it can also be caused by watching TV or sleeping in an awkward position. The neck is supported by muscles and ligaments.  When the head juts forward out of its proper alignment, it places additional weight on the skeletal structure and soft tissues.

Forward head posture strains the muscles and ligaments in the neck. The more pronounced the forward head posture is, the more strain there will be to the muscles and ligaments in the neck. This type of strain, which is very common, is accompanied by pain, or even loss of sensation in the extremities. If left unchecked, this repetitive strain can result in permanent injury.

Put Your Computer Screen in the Proper Position


When people work at a desk that’s not set up properly, it can take a long time for them to realize there’s any problem. One of the keys to good posture while doing computer work at a desk is to have your computer screen at eye level. If you’re looking down, leaning forward, or allowing your head to drift forward over your shoulders in order to get a good look at the computer screen, you are putting stress on your neck muscles and ligaments. (This is especially problematic for those of us that use a tablet or smartphone to surf the web.)

Here’s how to find the right position. Sit in your office chair in front of your computer. Get comfortable and close your eyes. When you open them, you should be looking directly at the top of the computer screen. If you’re not able to look straight ahead at the computer screen, raise or lower it to align with your line of vision. Some computer monitors cannot be adjusted for height. In that case, you can get one that does adjust for height or you can place a book or other item under the monitor to adjust it upward to the correct level. You can also buy a stand or even use a box to raise the monitor to the proper level.  If you use a laptop, consider purchasing an external keyboard and mouse. Your neck will thank you.

Stretching Exercises for the Neck


When working at a desk, it’s good to get up and move around at least once every thirty minutes. This will allow you to stretch a bit and stay loose. Stretching the neck muscles throughout the day will keep your neck muscles strong and toned. Neck exercises also provide improved blood flow. This helps muscles and soft tissue to clear toxins from repetitive use, and it will also alleviate fatigue and soreness. A number of helpful videos demonstrating exercises for the neck are available on YouTube and elsewhere.

Hydration and Neck Health


The discs in the spine have no blood supply and are made mostly of water. Dehydration can cause sore neck muscles, dehydration of discs, and several other serious problems. Staying properly hydrated by drinking water throughout the day can significantly reduce the number of neck pain issues many people deal with on a daily basis.

At Vibrant Life, we suggest consuming one half your body weight in ounces per day. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, we suggest drinking 80 ounces of water per day. That’s ten eight ounce glasses of water. If you haven’t been drinking enough water, we recommend gradually increasing your intake by eight ounces every two days until you get to the recommended daily level.

Periodic Adjustments by an Experienced Chiropractor


“A neck adjustment (also known as a cervical manipulation) is a precise procedure, usually applied by hand, to the joints of the neck. Your chiropractor has received extensive training to perform this procedure. Neck adjustment works to improve the mobility of the spinal discs in the neck in order to restore full range of motion.  An adjustment will also increase movement of the adjoining muscles to relieve pressure and tension. Patients typically notice a reduction of pain, soreness and stiffness, and improved ability to turn and tilt their head.” American Chiropractic Association

Top 5 Signs That Your Neck May Need an Adjustment:


1.    Persistent stiff neck

2.    Clicking sound when you turn your head

3.    Tingling or loss of sensation in the fingertips

4.    Frequent headaches

5.    Posture problems

Neck adjustment by a chiropractor is the most important step a person can take to eliminate neck pain. At Vibrant Life Health Center we apply specific scientific spinal adjustments. We also treat all related soft tissue abnormalities so you can experience fast relief and resolve any underlying problems. We have the technology and the skill to identify the root causes of problems. We have several techniques for effectively addressing problems in the body, and we will provide all patients with a customized plan designed to return them to health.

In this article, I have discussed forward head posture and how to reduce or eliminate neck pain. I’ve noted that for people who do computer work at desks, it’s very important to get the computer monitors adjusted to the correct height. Also, stretching the neck muscles daily can dramatically 
reduce pain in the neck. 

If you know of someone who might benefit from the information in this blog, please pass it along to him or her. If you have a comment about this article, please leave it in the comments section.

At Vibrant Life, we address all of the key elements to add vibrance and vitality to your life. This includes nutrition, chiropractic care, and fitness. If you need to consult with a chiropractor about your health, please contact our office to set up an appointment.  

Dr. Jon Thomas is a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician. His practice, The Vibrant Life Health Center, is located in the Mandarin section of Jacksonville. His interest in health and fitness started early, and his athletic pursuits have included BMX racing, Professional Snow Skiing, Water Skiing, Baseball, Weight Lifting, and Martial Arts. After studying and learning from some of the top health experts throughout the world, Dr. Thomas dedicated his life to helping people of all ages to transform their lives. The objective for each patient is to initiate the body’s healing and to work progressively toward a body that functions optimally. Dr. Thomas is seen regularly on TV on First Coast Living, where he discusses the transformations of his patients. He also speaks at events throughout the community and writes informative articles to improve the health of residents throughout Jacksonville.