Holiday Hints from Dr. Helton

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… long as you feel well!  I’ve already begun to see Christmas decoration injuries from hanging lights and lifting trees.  During the holidays, we drive too much, we sit too much, we eat too much, we stand too much, we don’t sleep enough, exercise enough or drink enough to compensate.   As we get ready to spend time with family and friends, some simple steps will make it a less painful season.

1.  Drink water like crazy!  Heaters, fireplaces, and cold weather makes everything dry out.  Alcohol and caffeine will also dry you out.  How much should you drink?  Divide your weight in half and drink that many ounces of water as a minimum.  If you weigh 150lbs you need at least 75oz of water per day.

2.  Go for a walk.  Whether it’s in a park or at the mall, walking keeps blood clots from forming, it warms up the muscles and it burns off a little fudge and cookies.

3.  Take a break from the current activity.  Sit after standing, stand after sitting, go for a quick walk every hour of driving or TV watching.

4.  Make sleep a priority.  Shoot for 8 hours a night.  Limit naps to 45 minutes or less so it doesn’t affect your sleep at night.

5.  Eat your veggies…and your fruit.  It cleans out the system that is abused by high carb and fat diets.

6.  Most important: make time for yourself.  Get away from everyone and everything for at least a little while each day.

Make it a priority this year to have fun and stay safe.  Take your vitamins, drink your water, and of course keep your body functioning well with your chiropractic adjustment!


Patient Education

Last night, I spoke at our weekly New Patient Orientation Class. What I realize every time I give the class, is that there is a profound lack of knowledge in the general public about Chiropractic and Doctors of Chiropractic. Whose fault is this? Certainly not the patient. They just want to feel better. The finger points squarely at us. The doctors and staff of chiropractic clinics. Ask a typical person what they think about Chiropractors and you’ll get a ton of different answers but usually nothing definitive other than “they pop backs.” Our class is designed so that patients not only know what we do, but why we do it and how that makes them achieve health. As a professor of mine in school once said, ” You have to give them a reason to think you’re more than just a glorified wrestler.” What I have found since we started doing these classes over a year ago, is that patients get more satisfaction from their care, they understand their condition better, and are better able to relate what we do to their family and friends. Ask someone what a dermatologist does or a dentist. That person can probably say several sentences on the finer points of both professions. Unless we make a concerted effort to educate patients on the benefits of chiropractic care, we’ll always be relegated to second class status and sometimes open disdain. What I try to impress upon my patients are these 4 things. 1. We’re extremely safe. No matter what anyone says, we rarely hurt anyone and even more rarely kill someone. The New England Journal of Medicine has stated that over 180,000 people are killed each year from medical errors. Believe me, if DC’s killed just 180 people per year, we’d all be run out of town. 2. We’re extremely effective. For low back pain, study after study shows we have better patient satisfaction. 3. We’re very cost effective. Sometime do some asking around about medical procedures. Ask how much a steroid injection costs. One procedure is the same price as 12 weeks worth of typical care in my office. and finally, #4. How healthy you are is mostly dependent upon how well you treat yourself. If you don’t work at making yourself healthy, no one else can do it for you. Do patients know this? Rarely. Do your patients know this? Ask them. See if they do. If your a patient reading this. Does your doctor of chiropractic explain these things? If not. Ask him or her why not. Or find someone who will.