Category Archives: Lifestyle

Lifestyle Articles

Student Life Force

Student Life Force
By Chelsea Bachelor, DC Student

My journey at Life University started in January 2013 when a friend, and fellow student, suggested (actually insisted) that I attend a LIFE Leadership Weekend. Now at the time my mind was pretty much made up as to what school I was going to attend, and LIFE wasn’t even on my radar. However, after much encouragement, I signed up to attend, and it was one of the most life-changing experiences I have ever had. I was completely blown away by everything LIFE had to offer me and I am so thankful I didn’t let this opportunity pass me by. I started in October of that year, and soon discovered that my time at LLW was merely scratching the surface to all the remarkable experiences to be had here.

What really solidified in my mind that LIFE was the best choice for me was going to my first LIFE Vision Seminar. I have never been around so many people who genuinely and unapologetically love what they do. It was an encounter unlike any other I’ve ever had, being surrounded by such unchained passion and great people was so energizing. I laughed, I cried, and I found myself constantly wondering, “How on earth did I live in a world without chiropractic in it? There’s no going back!” I felt extremely fortunate to have been there at that specific point in time and with those specific people sharing their stories. Many of the other students in attendance were part of the Student LIFEforce club on campus; at the time I had no clue what that was. However, these students really stood out to me, they were all glowing with happiness and appreciation for everything around them, and I knew I wanted to be a part of that energy.

I immediately got involved and it all happened faster than I could have hoped. I was going to meetings, talking to new people, attending seminars, etc. What’s funny is that a few months after I got involved, Student LIFEforce was voting in a new executive board. To me, this seemed like too big of a coincidence to ignore and I took advantage of the opportunity. I became Treasurer of the club, and I can honestly say its one of the best decisions I’ve made so far here at LIFE. SLFAll the clubs around campus are meant to be helpful to students for now and the future, but I feel that LIFEforce was what I personally needed. I’ve met a lot of great people over the past few quarters, doctors and students alike – and working alongside with these people who will one day be my colleagues and fellow soldiers for vitalism – is valuable in a way that words simply fall short of explaining. LIFEforce is so many things, but above all, it is a family filled with people who are dedicated to serving the world and want to help you maximize your potential as a chiropractor. Extraordinary things happen when you surround yourself with people who you resonate and share values with. It makes the difficult times in school so much easier when the people around you are overflowing with support and encouragement.

Another great thing about these relationships is that they’re the connections that will transcend beyond school and into our careers as the real journey begins. If you want to be part of a family filled with people who are the embodiment of “To Give, To Do, To Love, To Serve- Out of a Sense of Abundance”, then Student LIFEforce is where it’s at! Looking very forward to meeting you all.

Relax and Unwind

Relax and Unwind
By Rachel Brower, UG Student

How do you manage stress? Did you know that every single person experiences stress every single day? Surely this is not something to sweep under the rug or be ashamed of. It isn’t some problem that you have to hide from the world. In fact, opening up and talking about it not only helps alleviate the stress, but allows you to connect with others on the subject and bring about positive results and solutions in your life. I am an example of that. Whether physically, mentally, emotionally, occupationally, relationally – stress can be tamed and resolved by communication with those around you as well as learning how to “talk positive” to yourself. Often times we are our own worst enemies and critics. If we learned to just move on, let things roll off, pat ourselves on the back, or say “I’ll do better the next time,” we wouldn’t retain and internalize half as much negativity throughout the course of the day. Whether you realize it or not, stress eats and chips away at you until you find out healthy ways to either prevent or release it. It can grow and fester into overall anxiety, depression, fatigue, and even contribute to chronic illnesses and physical ailments!

Yet the cliché stands true: realizing it is half the battle! UnwindLearning your triggers, things that make you feel anxiety, or preparing yourself before a stressful event can be a huge leap toward a more relaxed and well-balanced life! So what about you? What are your triggers? When do you find yourself the most stressed? And what can you do to prevent this from repeating again in the future?

For example, for me, it is when I feel inadequate or underprepared for something. Something is due or needed at a given time, and I cannot provide it, whether materials for a class or even forgetting my wallet and running out of gas! (This may or may not have just happened this week). Point being – life throws you curveballs and there are times where you just need to have thought ahead and been more prepared to manage things. In our day and age, we sometimes try to overmanage which, in actuality, leads to undermanaging. We try too hard to juggle multiple things within the arena of life that we can overlook what is very important.

So what to do about it? Well, first off I began to notice and realize that I had a tendency to get caught up in little details and not pay attention to the larger picture. I had a repetitive pattern of forgetting things because of this, thus leading me to feel underprepared in many facets of life. What I began to do upon realizing this involves writing things down as soon as they pop into my head. Being slightly ADD, I will have multiple important thoughts come in and out of my head in one day, but it is in one ear and out the other! I can’t retain or remember information. So carrying around a notebook, agenda, pad, pen, and even iPhone apps has become a lifeline to me! As soon as important thoughts hit me, or a teacher assigns a project due date, or I know I am going to be driving far the next day – I will jot down the important thoughts that go along with those! Sometimes these turn into to-do lists; other times they just remain a page of brainstorming to go back to.

The other cliché saying is true: once it’s on paper, it can be out of your head! This in and of itself takes off a surprisingly large chunk of potential stress!

This, as well as many other avenues, can be used to manage stress. While what I have been referring to so far are preventative measures, there are also things to do to de-stress once you’ve already experienced it. Let’s be honest – we are never going to be completely stress free, as incredible as that sounds. So the days that are a little more chaotic and random need to bring about a backup plan for unwinding and releasing the stress you’re carrying.

RelaxThe methods are countless! Meditations, aromatherapy, baths, Epsom salt soaks, soft or ambient music, a night out with friends, a hobby or craft, art, writing, poetry, photography, detox, reading the Word, prayer, or sometimes dealing with the very thing that may be causing stress. Sometimes, relationships with family and friends can be a cause of subliminal stress, and leaving arguments or unsettling circumstances undealt with can cause chronic stress that you may not even realize is affecting you! Being sure to keep all relationships in check, taking the time to communicate clearly, and sometimes just putting your selfishness aside and doing something for someone else can really do wonders.

The Bible verse Ephesians 4:26 states “Do not let the sun go down on your anger.” This is a great truth to follow, not only for the benefiting your relationships with others, but simply benefiting yourself as a person! Unmanaged anger can sit and fester into long-term stress, un-satisfaction, restlessness, bitterness, and anxiety.

So pick your poison! Be creative! Get to know yourself and be curious about what it is that triggers you as well as helps you unwind! Try and find the most natural methods possible and steer clear from substances such as relaxants, alcohol, or anything in excess. There are very natural ways that your body and mind can learn to function and calmly deal with the life you’re given – but the ball is in your court!

Spirituality of Health

Spirituality of Health
The seventh building block of health
By Vince Methot, DC Student

There are seven categories in which all factors that influence health can be included. This set of seven I call the ‘fundamentals of health’. You can find the basic overview of these on the Vital Source Blog. The seventh of these I call the spirituality of health.

Often, when people hear the word spirituality they think of a church or religion; spirituality isn’t just religion, although it can be an important part. Spirituality, as I define it here, is everything that is not physical, that which complements and animates our body. SleepingBabySpirituality is taking a rest from physical things and focusing on our spiritual well-being. Some things that help us do this are sleep, wholesome recreation, fasting, prayer and meditation, holy day observance or just taking a day off, religion and worship, and even death.

Sleep is a state where consciousness practically suspended. It naturally refreshes and rejuvenates our body. Things that affect the quality of our sleep are the type of bed and pillow that we sleep on and the nature of the environment that we are in, like sound and temperature levels. The quality of our sleep can indicate that there is an imbalance in one of the other fundamental areas of our health. We should sleep at night for a solid eight hours according to popular belief. Dreaming can be an indicator to know that we slept long enough or well enough. Some of the many benefits of quality sleep are improved mental awareness, metabolism, immune function and mood.

Wholesome recreation is a healthy companion to work. It helps us learn and grow. Some examples include the arts, such as music, dance and drama, sports and group games. Recreation can be degrading if it negatively affects any of the aspects of health or promotes unhealthy behaviors. When recreation is in balance with work it is good but when it lasts too long it can promote idleness and waste time. The best activities promote good behavior, build relationships, and encourage creativity. It promotes happiness and helps develop a healthy identity.

Fasting in its most basic form is going without food and water for a short period of time, for example for a 12-24 hour period. Fasting is extremely rejuvenating for the body because it diverts the energy, normally used on digestion, to cleaning out toxins and healing. Other forms of fasting include water-only and juice-only fasts, where this is the only thing consumed. Fasting can be very detrimental and require a doctor’s supervision; the need for doctor supervision will depend on the person’s experience fasting, the toxic condition of the body, as well as the duration and type of fast. It is not recommended to go without water for more than a 24 hour period but fasting without food can go from a day to a few weeks with the proper training. The speed at which the body removes waste can cause negative side effects, which is why a doctor’s supervision would be required. Once the body has cleansed itself, the positive benefits far outweigh any of the negative feelings and include improved digestion and weight control, reduced or eliminated allergies and fatigue, and increased energy.

MeditationPrayer and meditation help receive inspiration and focus the mind. Holy day observance helps promote moral behavior. Taking a day off allows the body to rest from a week full of work and provides a rejuvenation period. Many religions teach methods to rest the body and focus on the spiritual parts of life. They also teach different ways to worship a higher power and give explanations for who or what to worship.

Death, while looked upon negatively by some and positively by others, cannot be escaped. We are mortals and no mortal can escape this. There are many explanations for what may happen after death; some include a period of time to focus on nothing but the spiritual in preparation for receiving a completely healthy, immortal, physical body. Regardless of what you believe, death provides the ultimate rest for or from the mortal, physical body.

Spirituality, while providing a rest from the physical, has a major influence on our physical health. BabySleepingIt helps cope with illness and stress and provides better enjoyment of life. It also helps reinforce all of the other categories of health which include our ability to choose to be happy, to be clean, to eat healthy, to seek the source of light, to strengthen relationships, to work towards a beneficial purpose and to prepare for our future. I encourage you to make spirituality a priority in your life so you can reap the many benefits.

Go Hug A Tree!

Go Hug A Tree!
A family reunion with Mother Earth
By Rachel Brower, UG Student

Just try something with me for a second. Imagine: The sun is setting, illuminating fiery lines along the edges of the clouds. Out over the ocean you see a group of seagulls making their way home for the night, their cries seeming to echo off of nothing and everything all at once. Wiggling your toes into the dampened sand, you inhale the salty air as the tide gently swirls around your feet. You feel a deep and unexplainable sense of peace as you watch the sun give one last red-orange wink before disappearing behind the waters. For as far as your eye can see, there is nothing but a dark blue abyss. To the left and the right, vast stretches of cooling sand. You realize just how small you are amidst the vast expanses of nature.

See? It’s not just the power of imagery or suggestion. Beauty-of-natureThese scenes exist in the recesses of your mind as good and positive memories – times when your body felt right in being among the natural sights, scents, sounds and experiences of the great outdoors. Instead of searching for it, the sense of oneness, peace, and happiness seemed to have found you – a byproduct of being immersed in your surroundings.

Contentment lies not in a magic pill, clocking in more hours at work, an increase in your paycheck, or even sitting at home watching movies in your down time. Sure, these scenarios bring something to the table, but strolling through a park, hiking a nature trail, or even simply stepping out onto your patio for some fresh air and sunshine can work even greater wonders on the human mind and body.

What exactly does nature offer us? Vitamin D is a key player, with its numerous health benefits that are still, to this day, being uncovered. boy-hugging-treeA thriving warrior against cancer, obesity, inflammation, hormonal problems, and overall ill-health, this natural vitamin offered by the sun itself continues to show signs of mood elevation and strengthening of our immune systems. A 2009 study that appears in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health states that the closer you live to nature, the healthier of a person you are likely to be.

Consider this an inspirational challenge. Do what you can – no, do what you must – to make time for mother earth. Don’t be afraid to be adventurous, break the pattern of daily life, gather some friends, leave the technology behind, and truly escape to the beauty that lies in the world that surrounds you.

Student LifeForce

Student LifeForce
By Katie Kenny, DC Student

Life as a Chiropractic student is a dynamically powerful journey. For me, it has been a phenomenal opportunity to grow in so many ways, and embrace the greatest expression of myself. The Life University environment has been such a supportive, and safe environment to really let go, surrender, and see all that can be possible for me, my life, and all the ways I am able to serve. With the safety of being able to let go, there have been countless opportunities to live my life innately guided, and create a foundation for goals that best express me as a Chiropractor. Even on the long days, the gratitude is greater than the exhaustion.

Choosing to pursue a career in Chiropractic was a HUGE step, moving to a place I knew no one, student loans for the first time ever, a challenging program; so it was scary. I’ve come to learn, that is such a beautiful, powerful place to be…but before that was clear, it just looked TOO BIG.

Over dinner one evening, one of my best friends asked me the question, “So, you are almost graduating, taking boards, and an official Radiological Technologist…what is next, what are you going to do?” When my response was a timid, “I haven’t quite ruled out becoming a Chiropractor…” he continued one of the most powerful conversations in me learning to give myself permission to create my own dreams. He went on to ask, “If you took away costs, and the necessity of moving, what would stop you from becoming a Chiropractor?” When my answer was a definite, “Nothing” we both knew it was time I began my journey to become a Chiropractor. It is phenomenal what one conversation can provide for life decisions; while also providing immense amounts of gratitude and emphasis on the importance of surrounding yourself with people who not only allow you to fully express yourself, but who also challenge you to be the best version of yourself. I still thank him ALL the time, and he thanks me too for taking the leap. It really is great to live the life of your dreams.

Thanks to persistence from powers beyond myself, and all the necessary nudges to have me keep looking for the journey that really allowed me to be, I was led to all the right people and places to be given information in quantities I could digest, handle and learn from. Oh, and GIANT amounts of gratitude to all the people that love and support me along the way to keep it beautiful, all the time. It is easily one of the best decisions of my life. It continues to support me in growth, challenge me, and surprise me. People say this all the time, and it couldn’t be truer, I am so glad Chiropractic chose me…and persisted, even when I wanted to believe it was a dream too big for me. I am so glad that I now know, that dreams have no size limit!

I see Chiropractic as one of the most amazing things that happened to my life, and the best way I can serve others to fully express and live the best life for them, however that may look in their own innately guided life. The philosophy, the art, the science all connect with me so deeply that nothing makes more sense. It is always intriguing, and always full of opportunity. From the very beginning of Chiropractic being introduced to my life, I have done nothing but grow and learned to appreciate the beauty in continuously learning, growing, and innately listening. I was fortunate enough to experience unlimited positive changes in my own life, the lives of others, and I honestly cannot wait to see what is possible for the rest of my life. From the classroom, to the opportunity to serve in clinic, and the opportunity to serve on a Chiropractic mission trip, I am constantly reminded of how powerful it is to positively impact someone’s life…and call that my “job”….AMAZING! There are not enough words to truly express how grateful I am to live this life, and be called to serve as a Chiropractor. It is the most powerful opportunity to live innately guided, express the most amazing life, and I look forward to continue to share it with others. It has expanded my realm of what is possible, and has me absolutely excited about life!

Is Quinoa the Perfect Gluten-Free Grain?

Friend or Fad:
Is Quinoa the Perfect Gluten-Free Grain?
By Eric Zielinski, DC Student

Grains have gotten a bad rap recently and everyone seems to be going “Paleo!” Yet, like any diet fad or food movement, I have my suspicions that eating like our cavemen ancestors just isn’t the best option for everyone.

Omitting grains from your diet can be a great way to give your digestive system a break. If you’re fighting cancer or a chronic disease like type II diabetes, then yes, I could see the benefit of not eating grains for a season. But for the average healthy person seeking the Abundant Life, I personally view grains as a healthy addition to someone’s diet. The point of this article isn’t to bash the Paleo movement, but to offer a more balanced approach to how we eat today.

Here’s the bottom line: Considering the recent push toward a grain-free lifestyle, it is vital to remember that for millennia, people consumed grains as their primary source for nutrition. Native Americans had their corn, Incas ate quinoa, people in the Far East lived on rice, and Mediterranean countries consumed an exorbitant amount of wheat products like couscous and unleavened bread. Meat was (and still is in many countries) a delicacy reserved for the rich and the common folk lived off the land.

This is NOT to say, however, that everyone should be loading up on wheat and other gluten-rich foods. If I were writing this 100 years ago, I would have nothing bad to say about it as gluten sensitivity was relatively non-existent. Today, that’s a different story.

Gluten is the protein found in wheat endosperm that both nourishes plant embryos and makes baked goods chewy. Not only in wheat, gluten is contained in many grains like rye, barley, spelt and even oats. quinoaUp until the 20th century, people lived on wheat and gluten products with no documented problem. Then, in the mid-20th century, reports starting springing up about people having sensitivities to wheat and other grains and the issue has escalated so much that in 2009, researchers revealed that celiac disease (gluten allergy, not just gluten “sensitivity”) increased by 400% since the 1950s! Today, it has been suggested that up to 3% of people worldwide cannot digest gluten properly.

Why? What could have happened in the early to mid 1900s that could have led to this dramatic increase in celiac disease?
The answer, quite honestly, is speculative, but there is great reason to believe that it’s because of unnatural mass farming practices, genetically modifying grains and the simple fact that that the grains we have in our stores are a shadow of what pure grains once were.

According to research conducted by the Whole Grains Council, “Different types of wheat have different numbers of chromosomes, and some studies show that the older wheats, with fewer chromosomes, tend to have lower levels of gliadins, the type of gluten proteins that seem to cause most sensitivities. Einkorn, the oldest known type of wheat in our current food supply, has just 14 chromosomes, and is called a diploid wheat. Durum wheat (the kind most often used for pasta) and emmer are tetraploid wheats, with 28 chromosomes. Common wheat (used for most everything) and spelt have 42 chromosomes and are known as hexaploid wheats. Research shows that different tetraploid and hexaploid wheat varieties differ widely in gliadin levels, and it’s possible to select “individual genotypes with less Celiac Disease-immunogenic potential.”

Essentially, the grains widely on the market today have been scientifically modified and bred to be rich in gluten to improve taste, prolong shelf life, and to give foods a more appealing texture. This, mind you, has all been done at the expense of our health! Gluten in most grains today is like glue to our colon and has been linked to a variety of health concerns:

• Autoimmune disease
• Type II diabetes
• ADD/ADHD
• Learning disorders
• Autism
• Heart disease
• Cancer
• Digestive issues (constipation, diarrhea, gut inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome and leaky gut)

This is not to say, however, that all grains are bad. In the words of the Whole Grains Council, “Even if you’re not gluten-sensitive, you may want to consider some of the ancient grains. Research shows that Kamut has higher levels of antioxidants than some modern wheats, and that healthy plant sterols are higher in tetraploid wheats than in hexaploid wheats.”

My personal favorite grain is quinoa. Held to be sacred by the Incas, researchers have recently taken a close look at certain antioxidant phytonutrients in quinoa and two flavonoids, quercetin and kaempferol, are now known to be abundant in concentrated amounts. In fact, the concentration of these two flavonoids in quinoa can sometimes be greater than their concentration in high-flavonoid berries like cranberry or lingonberry. Recent studies are also providing us with a greatly expanded list of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients in quinoa. In an environment where inflammation runs rampant and has been linked to many disease processes, it is imperative that we eat anti-inflammatory foods as much as possible. In addition to being one of the most protein-dense foods and containing almost twice as much fibers as most other grains, the nutrients in quinoa are:
• Manganese (43%)
• Tryptophan (21.8%)
• Magnesium (20.9%)
• Folate (19.5%)
• Phosphorus (19.4%)

Probably the most common way people eat quinoa in America is to serve it up plain as a side dish, similar to rice or couscous. I like to make a meal out of it by boiling it in a big ol’ pot with curry and some diced carrots, onions, garlic, raisins, apples and nuts. Sometimes, when I have leftovers, I like to make a leftover quinoa porridge similar to rice pudding for breakfast the next day. It’s great with plain quinoa or the curry mixture that I like to make. Here’s the recipe:

Mama Z’s Quinoa Porridge

Ever wonder what to do with that left over quinoa from lunch or dinner? Here’s a great idea you and your family will love. Mix your left over quinoa together with a little maple syrup and butter or coconut oil, and you get a delightful warm cereal alternative. Use the leftovers for the recipe below.
Ingredients:

Delicious Rice Pudding with Cinnamon• 2 large eggs
• 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
• 1 can coconut milk
• 1 1/2 cups Blue Diamond Almond Breeze
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/2 honey granules or coconut crystals
• 1/2 raisins or chopped dried fruit
• 1/2 teaspoon Finely Ground Pink Himalayan Salt
• 1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

Instructions:

• Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
• In an un-greased 1 1/2 quart casserole, beat eggs and stir in ingredients in the order listed above.
• Bake uncovered for 50-60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Top of porridge may be wet and not set (be careful not to over bake as the porridge may curdle).
• Stir well. Let stand at least 15 minutes. The more time the porridge has to settle and cool, the more liquid will be absorbed. To reach ultimate, creamy goodness, place in fridge overnight. Serve warm or cold.
• Enjoy!

Well Adjusted Felines

Well Adjusted Felines
Chiropractic for Your Kitty
By Yamila cruz-Martinez, DC student

I always have been fascinated by the synchronized, delicate, agile movements of cats. Do they have something different from us? Apparently not too much, skeletally speaking. They have more bones, 230, but many are identical to those in the human body. Cats have 13 ribs instead of 12 and they do have clavicles, but they are not attached to other bones. There are a total of 7 cervical vertebrae, the thoracic region has 13 vertebrae and the lumbar area has 7 vertebrae and ends at the pelvis. The pelvis contains 3 sacral vertebrae that are all fused together. It usually takes 18 to 23 caudal vertebrae to make the tail. The cat’s spine is very flexible. It is probably the most flexible of all mammals.
Like humans, cats can have skeletal disorders and other diseases. Some of the most common are:

Nutritional imbalances: Reduced bone mass, bone deformities, bony growths, fractures, and loose teeth (rubber jaw) are all conditions that can result from nutritional disturbances, usually due to the poor nutritional value of most of the dry cat food found at stores.

Scottish Fold Osteodystrophy: The InfoVisual.info site uses images to explain objects.This is a genetic condition characterized by deformities of the bones of the spine, the metacarpal and metatarsal bones, and the toes due to the development of bony growths. Affected cats are lame and the bones in question are deformed and swollen.

Subluxation: The most common areas for subluxations in cats are the lumbosacral and cervical areas, generally due to high activity; for example, jumping from elevated areas (trees, beds, etc.)

Dislocated patella: Displacement of the kneecap is often associated with multiple deformities of the hindlimb involving the hip joint, femur, and tibia. Signs vary widely based on the severity of the displacement.

How can chiropractic help? The same way that it helps humans. Sometimes it can be difficult to get a cat to relax enough to receive a proper treatment; just like humans, they can get tense, especially if a stranger is touching them, that’s why it is important to gain their confidence. They respond better when in a place they are familiar with.

Cats can have a much better life with their innate working at its optimum. My cats get adjusted and most of the time it is very favorable. There was only one time that one of them went ballistic and scratched the chiropractor, that didn’t stop him from giving a great adjustment and helping her to be in tune with her body.

Let’s get our cats adjusted!!

Resources:
PetMD.com
MerckManuals.com
PetEducation.com
WSU.edu