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Is Your Bag Hurting Your Back?

School books, electronic devices, busy schedules requiring you to have your “life” in your bag… all of these things contribute to the weight of the bags we carry. The more we pack in there, the heavier the bag! Whether you’re a kid carrying a backpack, a businessman carrying a brief case, or a mom carrying a purse it’s important to be mindful of the weight that is being carried and how it’s affecting your body.

Since school is starting, let’s focus on backpacks first. The American Chiropractic Association recommends that backpacks weigh no more than 5-10% of a child’s body weight. They also recommend that backpack shoulder straps are snug and evenly distributed over both shoulders. The bottom of the backpack should sit no more than 4 inches below the waist line to ensure the child doesn’t have to lean forward to counterbalance the weight.Spreading the weight throughout the backpack is also helpful to provide balance among the affected muscles used for core stability. Lastly, it may not be cool, but carrying a backpack on one shoulder is not good for posture.

Now that we consider those options for our children… we need to think about ourselves. How many times have you tried carrying all the groceries into the house in one trip? How many times does a mom carry not only a a ridiculously sized diaper bag, but also a car seat carrying an infant into the store? And for the average person, handbags and purses are the biggest offenders. Whether tossed over one shoulder or carried in one hand these heavy items cause an imbalance in the spine and other joints.

Let’s take a look at how this affects the body…

  1. One shoulder is raised to counter the weight of the bag resulting in tightness in the neck and shoulder muscles.
  2. The middle of the back (thoracic spine) twists and shifts to the side contributing to an imbalance of right to left.
  3. The low back and pelvis often shift opposite of the shoulders to maintain balance over the legs, causing strain and tension throughout the low back and gluteal muscles.
  4. A pressure imbalance develops in the hips and knees that contribute to general joint discomfort.

When this posture is repeated multiple times a day, the body begins adapting to it and muscle and skeletal complaints begin developing. So what can you do about it?

  1. Choose bags that can be worn across the body, like messenger bags.
  2. Do a “bag purge” once a month to rid your bag of unnecessary or duplicate items.
  3. Use more than one bag depending on need and function.
  4. Switch arms to balance the weight distribution from side to side.
  5. Choose a bag with compartments to distribute the weight evenly.
  6. Choose a bag with wide, adjustable straps.
  7. Choose travel-size options for items like lotions, hand sanitizer, or make-up.

 

Categories
Educate

No Sugar Added Banana Flax Chocolate Chip Muffins

Kids come home hungry! However, we want them to be alert for their homework, healthy for their bodies, and able to rest when it’s time for bed. So what snack do you choose?

These healthy muffins (or mini muffins if you wanted to use that pan) are healthy, filling, brain power packed snacks without all the added unnecessary
sugar.

1 cup flax meal
1 cup oat flour (GF)
1/4 cup vanilla whey protein powder
1/4 cup sugar or equivalent sweetener of choice
1/4 cup Stevia in the Raw or equivalent sweetener of choice
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
2 large, ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 milk
1 cup sugar-free chocolate chips

• Preheat oven to 325F and line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners.
• In a large bowl, whisk together flax meal, oat flour, protein powder, sweeteners, baking powder, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum.
• Add bananas, eggs, melted butter and milk and stir vigorously until well-combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
• Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake 20 to 24 minutes, or until tops are set and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan.

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Educate

Essential Oils for Focus

It’s the time of the year that our children are headed back to school and our focus turns to ways that we can help them perform and feel their very best even when they are away from us. We want them to do their very best at school, but how can we help them keep a clear and energetic mind? Essential oils can help with learning in a way that is both natural and effective. Students of all ages can benefit from the use of these oils. Here are a few oils that can help with focus and tips on using them for enhancing brain power.

Rosemary
The woodsy smell of Rosemary has been shown to increase mental stimulation and focus. It can be used as part of a afterschool snack such as adding a drop to hummus or by diffusing in the air while homework is being done in the home.

Ginger
This is a great oil to diffuse during exam study time. It can also be worn on a lava bead bracelet or other essential oil jewelry while in the exam setting. The spicy aroma is noted to help with nausea but also has an effect on the brain by reducing mental fatigue.

Basil
This oil should be diluted before topical application and should not be used in children under 2. The herbaceous aroma has a powerful impact on memory and alertness. It is a great oil to help with recall so it works well in a rollerball for students to use during test/exams.

doTERRA’s InTune Blend
This blend comes prepackaged in a rollerball so that it is easy for anyone to use by applying to the inside of wrists and behind the ears for maximum absorption and inhalation. This blend of Sandalwood, Patchouli, Lime, Ylang Ylang, and Roman Chamomile helps to calm the scattered mind and bring focus and clarity to the situation at hand.

 

For more information on these oils and how to use them, please visit our oil website at www.mydoterra.com/bodylogicvb

Categories
Educate

Upcoming Events

Events
Anniversary Celebration
Date: Sat., Oct. 21     Time: TBD
Our 1-year anniversary in the new building is almost upon us! We are excitedly planning a day of celebration and will share more details with you as they become available. Stay Tuned!

Classes
Back to School with Essential Oils
Date: Tues., Sept. 12     Time: 6PM
Everyone is headed back to school and the seasons are changing! Come to this class to learn how to prepare your home for the fall and winter seasons and get ready for all the sharing that happens once school begins.

Posture Matters: Stretching and Strengthening the Upper Body
Date: Fri., Sept. 22     Time: 6PM
Brian from Anytime Fitness will be back this month to discuss upper thoracic posture, demonstrating techniques for stretching & strengthening the upper body followed by a Q&A session at Anytime Fitness (next door to Body Logic). This class is essential for anyone who works at a desk or who struggles with upper back stiffness or slouching.

Categories
Educate

Massage for Better Focus

Touch is an integral part of our well-being for people of all ages. We understand how important it is for babies, but we often forget just how vital it is to children and how beneficial it can be for their mental and physical well-being, For most of us, the thought of scheduling a massage for a child seems silly when we can barely get them to sit still for 5 minutes. However, truth be told, this may be exactly what the doctor ordered.

Attention deficit disorders are much more common for children than many of us realize. Up to an average to 5-11% of children in the US struggle with this condition and it is a leading cause in behavioral issues in school. Naturally, kids with ADD, ADHD, and other focus problems struggle with academic performance and social skills. Helping them to better maintain focus helps them to be more effective in school and in social settings with peers. The most common treatment method currently in use is prescription medicine. However, there are many natural methods such as essential oils, dietary changes, and body work that can manage attention disorders.

For children (and adults) with attention disorders, short and frequent massages can have a huge impact on their ability to remained focused and calm. Just think about how your brain feels when you receive a massage. When you first get on the table, your body and mind start to relax and even if you chat up a storm for the first few minutes, after a short time your brain activity levels out and you become peaceful and more relaxed. This is a state that people with attention disorder and even anxiety rarely get to experience. This level of rest is imperative for balancing and resetting the brain. It is important for children; however, not to make the sessions too long as they will begin to get fidgety towards the end of a 30-minute session. For this same reason, adults with these struggles may not be able to tolerate a 90-minute session and may benefit from more frequent 60 minute sessions instead.

These massage sessions can be done in a variety of ways. Standard table massage can be used either clothed or not depending on the comfort level of the child and parent. Chair massage in an open setting where the child remains clothed and doesn’t feel as confined to a massage table is another alternative. The main focus is on the touch and the impact that it has on the nervous system allowing the individual to relax and regain the ability to focus.

Categories
Educate

Improve Learning… Cut the Sugar!

As the school year begins, we’re focused on helping our children excel in school as much as we can. Did you know that there is a discrepancy between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) regarding the prevalence of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in the US? According to the APA, 5 percent of American children (ages 4-17) have ADHD. Whereas the CDC reports more than twice that amount at 11%. I want to shed some light on just how important of a role our diet has on a child’s ability to focus… and the culprit is sugar.

According to Dr. Keith Conners, author of Feeding the Brain, research shows that children are more sugar sensitive than adults, and the effects are more pronounced in younger children. This could be related to the fact that the brain grows rapidly in the preschool years, exaggerating the effects of sugar on behavior and learning.  

Dr. Sears, a renowned American pediatrician, references an interesting study where researchers fed normal preschoolers a high-sugar drink, containing the amount of sugar in the average can of soda, and compared them with children who received a non-sugar drink. The sugar group experienced decreased learning performance and more hyperactivity than the non-sugar group. “Children tagged with the ADHD label are more often sugar-sensitive.”

Although convenient, fruit juices are one of the biggest offenders for affecting a child’s concentration while at school. Think of how frequently “juice boxes” make their way into a child’s lunch box… The average pouch of Capri Sun has 13g of sugar with no protein. Even worse, a drink box of Hi-C has 22g of sugar and no protein. This makes for a challenging afternoon of learning!

It’s important that we not only set a good example for our children by making healthy choices as a family, but also through educating them about what a balanced diet is to ensure good choices even when they’re away from parents. For example, pairing protein with a meal helps mellow out the behavior and learning deterioration through a more balanced blood sugar response. Conversely, a high sugar meal raises blood sugar levels, triggering the outpouring of insulin. Excess insulin in the system then triggers a craving for more sugar… and the roller coaster ride begins! When preparing any meal for a child there should be a protein included, either vegetable-based or animal-based.  Some pairing ideas include a piece of fruit with nuts, veggies and hummus, or meat with cheese.  Providing these options, and parents eating this way, can be very helpful to encourage children to make healthier choices.