Chiropractic Care for Infertility

Infertility refers to an inability to procreate or give birth to babies despite frequent attempts of unprotected intercourse over a period of 1 year or more. Infertility is a fairly common problem and according to data presented by Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 14 million women encounter significant difficulty in becoming pregnant, out of which almost 40% (corresponds to 6.7 million) get diagnosed with impaired fecundity.

Each year, women spend millions of dollars in a number of fertility treatments like ovulation induction by pharmacological methods, hormonal replacement and interventional options like in-vitro fertilization and intra-cytoplasmic insemination. However, these therapies fail to produce fruitful results in almost 50% cases.

For optimal fertility, hormonal symphony is very important. The pituitary gland releases reproductive hormones that stimulate other endocrine glands for the production and release of other reproductive hormones. Any obstruction or block in the passage of nerve impulses can disturb the normal physiology and balance of reproductive hormones that eventually lead to impaired fertility as a result of alterations in ovarian cycle. Dr. Clarence S. Gonstead suggests that mechanical or functional obstruction or fixation at one part of the spine can significantly influence the functioning of the entire spine by introducing “compensatory bio-mechanical changes”. Dr. Gonstead is the founder of “Foundation Principle” and suggests, “Find the subluxation, accept it where you find it, correct it and leave it alone.”

Chiropractor practitioners assess and analyze all the patients in order to ascertain the cause of fertility. This is accomplished by studying the potential stressors and the severity of spinal obstruction due to interference or impingement of nerves, dysfunctional spinal joints or vertebral subluxation. The chiropractors utilize X-rays and other radiological tests, postural analysis and a variety of lab tests to figure out the root cause of infertility. In order to reach the final diagnosis, chiropractors may also employ additional tests like applied-kinesiology chiropractic exam, along with balance and bio-feedback exams.

After ascertaining the primary cause of infertility, chiropractors perform a variety of spinal adjustments to restore the normal physiology of the spine in an attempt to improve the flow of impulses to restore hormonal stability. Management of infertility by chiropractic therapies is dependent on the site, severity and nature of spinal defects. In the case of spinal defects and obstruction to the flow of nerve impulses, spinal correction restores hormonal aberrations; and in case of mechanical twisting of pelvis, chiropractic adjustments helps in anatomical restoration of deficits of the uterine cavity and fallopian tubes.

Chiropractic care is one of the holistic methods of patient care that helps in management of the nervous and hormonal rhythm of the body without requiring any medical or surgical intervention. It improves overall health and the sense of well-being. In addition, most women experience an improvement in the duration, rhythm and regularity of menstrual cycles; normal ovulation was observed with chiropractic manipulation.

Daniel D. Lyons presented a case study of a 27 year old athletic woman who seeks chiropractic care after trying to conceive for 5 years. Lyons reported that the 27 year old marathon runner underwent a serious musculoskeletal injury that didn’t resolve despite various medical interventions acquired by athletes. When she reported to chiropractic office, it was observed that in addition to the primary injury, the female athletes was also going through a number of physiologic alterations like frequent episodes of headache, neck and back pain, constipation, problems with coordination and balance and history of primary infertility (despite 5 years of repeated medical therapies).

After preliminary chiropractic evaluation, it was observed that the female athlete has evidence of dysautonomia, vertebral subluxation and dysponesis. Various spinal manipulations and adjustments were attempted and within 1 month of chiropractic therapy, the female athlete conceived. She gave birth to a healthy baby.

A latest research report published in the scientific journal Fertility and Sterility suggested that almost 29% infertile couples employ Complementary and Alternative therapies for the management of infertility issues but the rate is rising at a steady pace.

In addition to chiropractic manipulations, lifestyle habits and nutritional changes also play a significant role. Researchers also suggest different exercises and physical activities to maintain functional and anatomical balance in order to increase the chances of conception.

How to Best Enjoy a Burgundy and Provence River Cruise

Immortalized by the Beatles poetic phrase, “lavender fields are forever,” a river cruise though Burgundy and Provence can truly be a trip of a lifetime. The two rivers, the Saone and the Rhone, respectively, combine to create your liquid highway through the very heart of France’s majestic Burgundy and Provence culinary and wine regions.

For those who have never enjoyed such rich and rewarding experience, a word to the wise. Of all the many river cruises available in Europe, this particular itinerary is the most demanded of them all. Traditionally, for peak season dates of May and June and September, these intimate [140 passengers] destination intensive river cruises sell out almost a year in advance. You can save a few bucks if you book in August or October and the weather is still great.

This cruise appeals to anyone of 50 who wants to see Burgundy and Provence in depth as it allows you to visit the heart of the area in one fun-filled week. Even better, extend your trip for a bit before the cruise in Paris or Lyon and at the end, on the French Riviera.

The cruise offers unimaginable wine tasting and culinary opportunities as well as history back to the time of the Romans, the art of Van Gogh and Cezanne and Monet, and of course, those extraordinary French cities of Beaune, Tournon, Viviers, Vienne, Avignon home of the Papal Palace and Arles to mention but a few.

It’s easy to understand why this is the most desired of all European river cruises. You cruise begins or ends [cruises operate in both directions] in Chalon-sur-Saone, located on the Saone, a small and charming medieval town in the middle of the Burgundy region. Your journey will culminate in the provincial capital of Provence, several hundred enthralling miles to the south in another awe-inspiring, 2500 years medieval town of Arles. Arles is this incredible little town with cobblestoned streets, shops and cafes that you would only normally see in the movies, it’s a fairytale area you just will not believe and one to visit soon.

Provence is also steeped in history and rich culinary traditions due in no small way to the worldwide success of its most noted chef, Paul Bocuse [some trips dine at one of his restaurants]. It is also known for its incredible architectural landmarks, medieval villages, and yes wines. It is after all one of the most well known wine growing regions in the world, Beaujolais in the north, and the CeĀ“tes du Rhone varietal wines in the South

For art lovers, you will be as they say in “hog heaven” as you are immersed in the works of van Gogh, Cezanne, Monet and Gauguin in more museums than you can count on two hands. And for the lovers of the grape, need you say anything more than, Burgundy? This is also a region in France where the great chefs have their roots in places like the food capital of the world, Lyon.

A cruise to Provence allows you to enjoy the essence of France at its best, from the history and traditions of the monarchy, to the cuisine, art and wines of one of the most picturesque places on earth and there’s no easier or more relaxing way to take it in than on a luxurious and un-crowded river ship with other like-minded travelers.

There are significant differences among the cruise lines and ships and the worst mistake that unsophisticated travelers make is buying this river cruise based solely on price. While price is important, there are many other elements of the cruise selection that come into play. Most Provence river cruises are similarly priced, but it is important to get the product that best suit your own personal lifestyle and taste and you don’t always do that when you buy based on price alone.

Buying this type of cruise is somewhat similar to buying a pair of shoes. If it’s a bad fit, you’re not only going to be uncomfortable, but you may waste a lot of money.

All the major river cruise lines including: AmaWaterways, Avalon, Tauck, Uniworld, and Viking Cruises offer exceptional early booking values on most 2013 Burgundy and Provence cruises.

If this is your first river cruise, don’t just rely on surfing the Internet; speak with one of the experienced river-cruise experts at Premier River Cruises. They know how to match you to the RIGHT ship, the RIGHT itinerary and get the BEST value for your travel dollar.

Changes in Diet and Exercise Better Than Prescription Drugs for Preventing Heart Attack Recurrence

Heart disease is an ailment of modern civilization and behavior – and it’s one, therefore, that can be treated effectively and with dramatic results by making fairly simple lifestyle changes. People in African villages don’t need bypass operations. Studies have consistently shown that rates of heart disease are higher in Western cultures, that heart disease rates go up in countries that adopt Western diet and lifestyles, and that modifications of diet reduce heart disease. Some of the differences may not be attributable to the diet per se, but rather to how food is raised and the industrialization of American agriculture (e.g. the effects of corn fed versus pasture fed animals). However it is clear that the majority of heart disease is caused by factors associated with Western Civilization, such as poor diet and a lack of exercise.

There are also “non-medical” factors not directly related to lifestyle that increase the risk for heart disease, like low income, lack of social support, depression, marginalization in society, and stress in childhood. I can’t fix all of these social ills with this book, but I just want you to understand that it is not as simple as a “one disease, one pill” kind of thing.

Exercising for just 30 minutes a day reduces your risk of developing heart disease by 30%. This can include anything from running, playing tennis, or just vigorous walking. And there is no need to obtain a minimal heart rate. If you are older and don’t run or play a sport you should incorporate a daily 30 minute walk into your routine. That is better for you than statins by any measure. And there are no hidden side effects of exercise that we don’t know about yet, other than spraining your ankle.

If you have risk factors and don’t yet have heart disease, you should address them. Improving your diet will help you lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. In fact, following the low fat diet advocated by the National Cholesterol Education Program lowers LDL cholesterol equally well as treatment with a statin, with no side effects (Jenkins et al 2005).

The so-called Mediterranean Diet (vegetables, legumes, fruit, cereals, and fish) reduces heart disease risk and prolongs life (Trichopoulou et al 2005). Patients with heart disease who followed the Mediterranean diet had a 50-70% reduction on recurrent heart attacks (de Lorgeril et al 1999). These results are twice as good as any medication.

It’s a pretty simple diet to follow over the long term. Eat at least one serving of fruit every day, which I define as one apple, one banana, one peach, one cup of blueberries, and so on. Have three or four servings of vegetables every day – a cup of broccoli, two or three cups of leafy greens, a cup of tomatoes, etc. Five to seven one cup or 2 ounce servings of whole grains, beans, and starch such as cracked wheat, whole-wheat pasta, lentils, and sweet potatoes should also be consumed on a daily basis. Meat and other animal proteins, like eggs and dairy, should be limited to once or twice a week. People who followed this diet had mortality cut in half over a four year time period. This diet substitutes unsaturated fats (olive and nut oils) for saturated fats (butter, animal fat), and also includes wine and nuts. In fact, olive oil has been shown in laboratory studies to improve endothelial function (Translation: increases the flexibility of your coronary arteries, which can be beneficial for reducing your risk of heart attacks).

You may have heard about the recent Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study which showed that a low fat diet did not reduce heart disease (Howard et al 2006). The problem with that study is that it lumped all fats together. We now know that some fats are better than others. For example there are fats in things like olive oil and fish that actually promote good health. As an example of that, the generic low fat diet of WHI reduced LDL cholesterol by only 10 points, whereas a diet high in fruits and vegetables, soy, and nuts, and low in animal fat, dropped cholesterol by 30%, which was equivalent to the effects found with a statin (33%) (Jenkins et al 2005).

The low carb diet does not prevent heart disease. Look at the doctor who developed it-he died of a heart attack. Women from the Nurse’s Health Study (82,802) filled out questionnaires about diet and then were followed for 20 years. Low carbohydrate intake was not associated with reduced heart disease. Eating a high sugar diet increased the risk of heart disease by 90%. High vegetable intake was associated with a 30% reduction in heart disease (Halton et al 2006).

Eating fish is good for your heart; beware of eating a lot of fish high in mercury (a pollutant that gets into fish), like swordfish and tuna, during pregnancy, as it can cause birth defects. Foods that are a part of the Mediterranean diet like fish, olive oil, and nuts, increase “good” HDL cholesterol and reduce the “bad” LDL cholesterol. These foods are high in omega-3 fatty acids (like docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and low in omega-6 fatty acids). It is often pointed out that ancient diets had a ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 of 1:1 whereas current diets have much higher amounts of omega-6, largely through the substitution of calories in the forms of leafy plants with grains and seeds.

When I was a medical student at Duke in 1985, I distinctly remember sitting on the front porch of my house in Durham, North Carolina, and reading The New England Journal of Medicine, where an article described how the Inuit people of the Arctic, who had a diet high in fish and low in meat, had much lower rates of heart disease. That observation led to the idea that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish prevented heart disease, which naturally led aggressive marketers to try and put it in a pill or a bottle and sell it. However there is a lot of stuff in fish and it is not clear what it is exactly you get out of it in terms of health benefit (or what you avoid by eating fish instead of other stuff).

de Lorgeril M, Salen P, Martin JL, Monjaud I, Delaye J, Mamelle N (1999): Mediterranean diet, traditional risk factors, and the rate of cardiovascular complications after myocardial infarction: Final report of the Lyon Diet Heart Study. Circulation 99:779-785.

Halton TL, Willett WC, Liu S, et al (2006): Low-carbohydrate-diet score and the risk of coronary heart disease in women. New England Journal of Medicine 355:1991-2002.

Howard BV, Van Horn L, Hsia J, al. e (2006): Low-fat dietary pattern and risk of cardiovascular disease: The Women’s Health Initiative randomized controlled dietary modification trial. Journal of the American Medical Association 295:655-666.

Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Marchie A, et al (2005): Direct comparison of a dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods with a statin in hypercholesterolemic participants. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 81:380-387.

Trichopoulou A, Orfanos P, Norat T, et al (2005): Modified Mediterranean diet and survival: EPIC-elderly prospective cohort study. British Medical Journal 330:991-998.