Steskal Chiropractic, Omaha Nebraska

Our Hours

Monday - Wednesday - Friday                                           Steskal Chiropractic

9:00AM to Noon                                                                 10615 Fort Street,

3:00-6:00 PM                                                                      Omaha, NE 68134

Get Directions - wellnessfoundation@ymail.com            1-402-496-9300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is quite common for patients to seek out care from a Chiropractor for an ache or pain. It seems logical right? Patients come in thinking that as soon as their pain is gone, they will be better. The funny thing is, patients do not actually come in because of pain. They seek out care because pain is preventing them from doing something they love to do. So they aren't motivated by pain necessarily, they are motivated to get back to a certain quality of life. As the wellness revolution continues to expand, we deepen our understanding of human potential and the expression of life. Studies of isolated populations have found members in those societies living between 120 and 150 years without evidence of disease.

Dr. Eric Plasker said it best, "Many people spend the first 50 years of their lives ignoring their health while they accumulate wealth, only to spend the next 50 years losing their wealth to buy back their health. Knowing that your longevity potential is 100 years gives you an opportunity to place your health at the top of your value scale." Most people will spend more money on their "health" in the last two weeks of their life than they do their entire lives!

The drugs and surgery boat is sinking when it comes to pain management. As a society we are fed up with the helplessness often associated with pain. The medical profession leaves us feeling as if our hands are tied. Their stance is either live with the pain, take a drug to dull the pain, or roll the dice and have surgery. "Maybe" it will help you feel better. They miss a great opportunity to educate the public. Perhaps the medical profession "misses the forest for the trees" at times. Do not be confused, this is not a medical bashing article.

They do incredible work! There are many heroes in medicine. This article looks at the philosophies of two models of health care. In particular, we discuss the first branch of philosophy known as metaphysics. Metaphysics meaning what is the nature of reality? The medical study of the nature of health separates the human body into organ systems, cells, tissues, biochemical pathways and asks is there too much or too little of something? Their solution is often medication. They ask what can we put into this persons' body chemically, or remove surgically so that homeostasis can return?

The nature of the Chiropractic model of health is that the body is a self-regulating and self-healing "organism." We are much more than just a compilation of cells, organs and tissues. We are a thriving, complex and dynamic living being. Our nature cannot be reduced to a double blind randomized control trial. We do not fit into this paradigm because of the complex nature of our existence. We belong in a holistic model and for good reason. The very nature of holism takes into consideration the entire being.

Holism looks at the dynamic interaction of the body on a structural (cells, muscles, organs, tissues, nervous system etc...), biochemical (macro and micronutrients, enzymes, cofactors, air quality), and emotional level (thoughts, circumstances of life a.k.a. "stressors", 2500 words per minute running through our brain telling us who we are and what our potential is.) The health of the human body cannot be broken down merely into systems. One system cannot be considered without taking into account the other. They are one in the same and each system depends equally on the health and function of the other to maintain human life. When each system is doing its job appropriately, would you say that the organism is dying or thriving? Obviously thriving!

What happens when one of the three branches of human health becomes stressed (structure, chemistry or emotions)? Do you think it has a direct affect on another system? Absolutely! An EMPHATIC YES! Is it possible that emotional stress in the body can have a deleterious effect on the body and compromise the structure of the musculoskeletal system? You bet! Often this manifests as pain. The medical profession puts a band-aid on the pain metaphorically. They cover up said pain with anti-inflammatory pills, pain killers and life numbing, life robbing drugs. The root of the problem was emotional stress however for this example!

The drugs yank the batteries out of the smoke detector and make the patient believe nothing is wrong! Meanwhile, the house is still on fire! Any surprise why the pain keeps returning? The diagnosis was blown! The emotional stress was the real cause of the problem. Do emotions affect biochemistry in the body? Has anyone ever made you so mad that it felt like your blood was boiling? Does this raise your blood pressure? SURE! If an individual lives in a chronic state of emotional overdrive, is it likely they will have high blood pressure? YES!

Pain is NOT your problem! It is the title of this article and it is the fundamental answer to the confusion and frustration regarding the pandemic of chronic pain in this country. Pain is NOT the problem. Pain is a symptom and an invaluable protective mechanism built within your body to prevent further damage from occurring. Pain makes up a small percentage of the nervous system, roughly 10%. The other functions of the nervous system work silently and thanklessly. Pain is a warning to listen up because the health of the body is threatened. Because of the societal demand for productivity, we are trained to ignore pain, or to numb it so that we can continue to press forward. Our mothers, fathers, teachers, preachers, coaches, and big pharmacy have always taught us to "shake it off, don't worry about it, walk it off, don't rub it, be tough," etc...

We were LIED to! What if we were taught to be sensory acute to every little ache and pain and to question where they came from? Do aches and pains occur out of the blue sky? No way! They only seem to for an externally driven person. The externally driven person is always the victim. They blame circumstances, bad luck, bad germs and bad genes on the state of their health. Aches and pains are an expression of what is going on inside the body. They are progressive sirens that beep louder and louder the longer you ignore the primary cause of the alarm. If we were trained to appreciate and value pain from an early age, we wouldn't get to the point of chronic pain. By living internally and being self-motivated, we would now comprehend that everything we get in life is an outcome of our effort and investment. Good or bad!

If you are a person suffering from chronic and "unexplainable" pain, I would bet you have been poorly educated in regards to diet, proper exercise and the impact that emotional stress has on your body. You have almost certainly made a small investment and effort in accepting responsibility for your health. Most likely you live externally and have never recognized the root of your problems because nobody told you! I am telling you to start challenging yourself. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and make dramatic changes because you deserve to express life optimally just like your friends and family who do not suffer like you do.

Your pain is the wake-up call demanding that you change your life and take control. As you work to isolate the "why," you will be forced to change your environment and your behavior. In doing so, your understanding of health will expand and it will never be able to contract to its original size. You cannot un-ring a bell! You become a stronger and more internally driven person the more you choose to embrace the process. This creates knowledge. Knowledge plus experience equals personal power!

When you decide to invest in chiropractic care, this is a proactive and preventative action. You consciously choose to live internally and to break free from the belief system you used to cling to. When you pay for a gym membership, it does not come with a guarantee that you will get leaner and stronger by joining. You know that a clean bill of health doesn't come with purchasing the membership card. You intuitively understand that you have to show up, sweat and participate! Just like life! You are either the "observed" or the "observer." The "observed" live internally and consciously. 100% of my patients pay cash for their care for this very reason.

They value their life and choose to live optimally for as long as possible. No different than the gym membership, my educated patients appreciate that in order to get the most out of care; they must be committed to their health and to the journey of wellness. Wellness does not have a pinnacle. There is no point where you have "made it." The value and results last as long as you are on the journey. Only life has an absolute destination. What we do before our imminent demise is human potential. Whether or not we choose to live internally, and hold ourselves accountable to achieving said potential is free will!

 

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Americans spend more than one-tenth of their out-of-pocket health care dollars on alternative medicine, according to the first national estimate of such spending in more than a decade. Chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists and herbal remedies are commanding significant consumer dollars as people seek high-touch care in a high-tech society, the report shows. Researchers can't explain why. The answer is deceptively simple.

"Holism" (or wholism, to some) is taking the place in modern medical thought of "compartmentalism", the principle being that the body's ailments need be addressed in the full complexity of the individual organisms, rather than as separate and distinct systems. Thus, an awareness of how, for instance, back pain often relates to the arches of the feet, or how headaches relate to neck pain which further derives from deficits in one's vision, are all critical facilities for today's health care practitioner.

Medical doctors are generally not trained to think this way. They are taught compartmental theory and tend to have "protocols" for treatment. "If patient X presents with symptom Y, prescribe drug Z". This approach works well in crisis situations or when the solution is fairly elementary but, as health questions compound, this approach has been exposed as inadequate. Rather, evaluating the patient as a "whole person", taking into account all of their systems and their relationships, even indirect, has been shown the more successful perspective. Conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic and myofascial pain, and many psychological disorders, commonly labelled "syndromes" due to our nebulous understanding of them, have responded well to holistic consideration.

Chiropractors have been holists for decades. A good chiropractic diagnostician can see the "sum of the parts" as well as the parts themselves. What does this get you? Results. That is why Americans spend an increasing amount of health care dollars on alternative medicine. It works!

 

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The last post dealt with taking responsibility for our health. It's a concept that's uniquely foreign to millions in the United States, but it's a concept that's very simple. It comes down to two factors:

1.) Eliminating stress

2.) Making better lifestyle choices

They sound simple and easy on paper, or on the computer screen, but there's more to it than just words. Today we'll look at the first part of that responsibility equation, eliminating stress

The Truth About Stress

Stress is a thought, plain and simple. You can't pluck stress out of the air on a windy day. You can't eat stress on a greasy taco from Rolberto's Taco Shack. Stress is not going bite you on the nose and infect you.

Stress is all you. Or me.

It's all how we perceive things. Remember the old saying that life is "10% what happens to us and 90% how we handle it." We all experience ups and downs. The problem is that in our society, with all the talk of war, economic disparity, health insurance woes, and political unrest, the downs seem to outweigh the ups. Add in a stressful job, a relationship on the rocks, or car trouble (my personal nightmare), and that can add up to some serious stress.

Our bodies were designed to handle stress in small amounts, namely "fight or flight." If a hungry lion is stalking toward you, or you're walking around the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, TX at midnight, you either turn and run or you stay and defend yourself. The truly amazing thing is that the human body can mobilize itself in an instant to make fight or flight possible. Here's how:

Dilated pupils- gives us the ability to take in more of our surroundings.

Pounding heart- sends more blood than usual to muscles so that we can move faster.

Cold, sweaty skin and a pale face- because all the blood is getting sent to the muscles.

Rapid, deep breathing- sends more oxygen to the muscles, so that they can work longer.

Decreased digestion- blood is sent away from the GI system to the muscles in the arms and legs. Digesting that pizza can wait!

Increased release of epinephrine and norepinephrine- gives us that "surge of adrenaline" to sprint or strike!

But what happens when, instead of a lion, we have years of arguing and fighting in a marriage, or we work 70 hours a week for years at a high pressure job? Suddenly, you don't want your pupils dilated all the time, or adrenaline surging through your body.

Eventually, all these stress reactions will bring on high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, hyperthyroidism, and/or a whole list of diseases too extensive to name here.

The Eight Secrets

The key is knowing that stress is a response, emotionally and physically, and not something that just happens to us because fate has deemed it so.

What if the situation you're in is simply too demanding for you to shrug your shoulders and say "Whatever happens, happens?" I've been through chiropractic school and taken countless exams. I've had to find a way for student loans to last four months at a time and support a wife and three kids. We all have different situations that can cause us concern from time to time. We also have the ability to do some things to minimize the stress we might be feeling.

1.) Get Specific Chiropractic Adjustments-Stress is one of the main initiating causes, if not the main cause, of a vertebral subluxation. Having a subluxation of the upper cervical spine can really make a person's life miserable if not corrected. Over time, a subluxation can really add to someone's stress. If someone is experiencing dis-ease and it interferes with their daily function, the added stress will only worsen this vicious cycle. So first things first- get your upper cervical spine checked for a subluxation, and if you have one, get it corrected immediately.

2.) Exercise- For me, an intense workout is just the cure for a stressful day. Whether it's a 3-mile run, or numerous body weight exercises, or a session of weight-lifting, I always feel better. Exercising releases neurotransmitters throughout our body that help us feel great. Not to mention, if you workout regularly, the changes you'll see in the mirror will start to give you some confidence and raise your self esteem.

3.) Meditate- Some people meditate by chanting. Some meditate by sitting still and clearing their minds of all thoughts. Others meditate by praying. No matter what form of meditating you do, do it in a quiet place for about 20-30 minutes. You will have more sanity to effectively handle the stress you might face that day. In my experience, the best time to meditate is early in the morning around 4-5 am. But getting up early means you need more of #4.

4.) Sleep- Ah, sleep. Such a precious commodity, at least it is in my home. With small kids in the house, this isn't always possible in the way that my wife and I would like. But if you don't have small kids, then there is no excuse for getting to bed early. As the old adage goes "Early to bed, early to rise makes you healthy, wealthy, and wise." If you have the lights turned off by 10 pm each night, eventually you won't need an alarm. You'll get deep, restful sleep and you will automatically wake up around 4-5 am, 6 am at the latest. If you're well-rested, things don't get to you as much, and your brain is better equipped to logically deal with problems that might arise during the course of your day.

5.) Get Organized- Get your life in order and it will be one less thing to worry about. Get a daily planner, or if you're digitally-minded, a PDA, and organize your days and weeks. Get a file cabinet and file away all your important paperwork such as bills, receipts, and personal records. Backup all the work you do on a computer onto CDs in case your computer crashes. Doing all this will bring you peace of mind and keep you from worrying about finding time for everything.

6.) Be On Time- Leave early. Aim for getting to wherever you have to be 15 minutes early. This was a big one for me. I was always late for years. I always aimed for getting to work, school, or church right when I was supposed to be there. And chances are that I never got there when I was supposed to get there. Leaving early gives you time to drive without stress, even if there is a pile-up on the freeway. You won't have to lay on the horn as you inch along while cussing and screaming at the top of your lungs at the rubbernecker in front of you. It gives you the opportunity to stroll into work or school peacefully and organize your materials for the day without rushing around like a chicken with its head cut off..

7.) Quit Watching the News- News channels make their money preying on the fears of the public. You never see good news, mainly because it doesn't make money. You don't hear about the thousands of planes that landed safely around the world each and every day. You hear about the one that crashed. You hear about the pilots, the passengers, the crash site, etc. over and over again until the next catastrophe arises somewhere else. Sex sells, and so does bad news. If you want to reduce your stress, quit watching this garbage. I'm not saying to go hide in a cave, but just be selective and brief with what you decide to follow. You don't always need the details.

8.) Have Sex- You're probably reading this last one with a dirty-minded smirk, but the truth is I would not be saying this if more than 50% of marriages weren't failing these days. And of the marriages that don't fail, many of them are not happy unions. Talk about stressful! I'm not talking about going out to the club and taking home whoever comes along. I'm talking about being in a healthy, monogamous relationship where two people love each other. When you love your partner, it makes sex that much better, and chances are, you will have it more frequently. It's hard to be stressed out if you have a good sex life!

If you sit down and make it a goal to do each and every one of these things, I can promise you that your stress will dramatically decrease, maybe even disappear. But as I said before, it won't be easy. You have to take the action, not just once, but every day, over and over again.

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Having muscles that are elastic, means upon stretch they respond with a rapid recoil as opposed to a rip or tear that can occur with an inelastic muscle. It is theorized that having such elasticity helps to produce greater speed because you are utilizing energy that is stored in the muscle as it strikes the ground and contracts. In addition, having muscles that are elastic can help prevent injuries when your foot hits an unexpected bump or pot hole and your muscles are able to spring you back into balance before the rest of your body hits the ground.

Inelasticity of the muscle can occur from multiple causes such as previous muscle strain, previous joint sprains, spinal and pelvic misalignments, and altered nerve supply to the muscle. All of these sources result in a muscle that is tighter than it should be. Most people know that to improve elasticity of the muscle it should be stretched. However, most people only do static stretching that involves one plane. This isn't always affective as certain joints of the body like the hip and shoulder allow for multiple planes of motion, instead of just a forward and back or side to side motion.

Therefore, for many joints of the body stretching must attempt to address all planes of motion. For example, to stretch the right hip flexor, instead of just kneeling on the right knee and lunging forward to stretch the hip flexor, try and raise the right arm straight up in the air on the side of the leg you are kneeling on. As you lunge forward, exhale and turn slightly across your body (to the left) for a 2-3 second count and then as you inhale come out of the lunge. Repeat again turning farther this time to the left. Next, try turning slightly to the right as you lunge forward on the same leg with your right arm overhead. Repeat this several times. These movements address multiple planes across the hip flexor and the hip capsule.

Another factor to improving muscle elasticity with stretching is when the stretching will be performed. Prior to a workout the athlete should attempt to do dynamic stretches with short pulses as described above to prepare the body for the activity and help give the muscles that elastic quality that helps prevent injury and maximizes speed. Following the sport, when an athlete is cooling down is a better time to hold the stretch for longer periods of time (10-60 second counts) to attempt to actually increase range of motion and elasticity. This type of stretching post activity is much more effective at improving elasticity because the muscles are warm and filled with blood.

Finally, in the last part of this article one should consider eccentric strength training to improve muscle elasticity for speed as well as strength. This type of exercise can be achieved using two different training methods. The first would be to do a simple eccentric slow count weight lifting activity. For example, for the hamstrings after performing a hamstring curl on a weight machine or with the feet upon an exercise ball and the body in a bridge position, you would slowly extend the legs out lower the weight or simply rolling the ball away from you as your legs extend. The second type of exercise to help build elasticity is a plyometric. These exercises involve a rapid and forceful contraction of the muscle after it is fully loaded. The goal is to improve the speed of contraction and elasticity of the muscle and therefore the movement. One of my favorites for all athletes is the box jump. This can be performed in many different ways but starting on a 1-2 foot high box and simply jumping down with a soft cushioning deep knee bend and then immediately doing a quick and explosive jump up into the air as high as possible is a great exercise to improve the explosive power of the muscle used in running and jumping. Repeat 8-10 times once or twice a week for several weeks and then take a break.

So as one can see there are various ways to stretch and strengthen the muscles to help improve their elasticity and speed of contraction. The importance of this besides improving performance is helping to prevent injury. In the next article in this series I will discuss how joint injuries reduce muscle elasticity and prevent stretching programs from working.

Dr. Ginsberg has been practicing Gonstead chiropractic since 1990 and has had a private practice in Geneva Illinois since 1994 specializing in children and adults. In addition, he has 19 years experience with athletes ranging from the youth soccer player, marathon runners, weekend warrior adults to professional body builders. For more information or to contact Dr.

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It's that time of year again when the days are getting shorter and cooler, furnaces are starting to kick on again, and flu season is just around the corner. It's the time when many of my patients come to me complaining of certain symptoms that they think may be the flu.

However, when I ask them about their symptoms, many of them are surprised when I also ask them when was the last time they had their house checked for carbon monoxide? They give me a funny look and ask me, what do flu symptoms have to do with carbon monoxide? Well, that's what I'd like to talk to you about today - carbon monoxide exposure/poisoning and how its symptoms can mimic the flu.

What Is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

If you're like most of my patients, you live in a house with gas powered appliances, i.e. water heaters, furnaces, fireplaces, and use gasoline powered lawn mowers, snow blowers, generators, landscaping tools. All these devices can be suspect for CO (carbon monoxide) if they're improperly maintained or they're used in enclosed spaces.

In addition, you may warm your car up in your garage (even with the door open) on a cold day, or you may be around constant tobacco smoke in an enclosed space - if so, it's possible you could unwittingly be exposed to CO!

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Carbon monoxide is released from fuel burning devices, such as those mentioned above, when incomplete oxidation during combustion occurs. Worn or poorly fitting hardware, blocked or improper ventilation, can also be a source of CO leakage into your home or place of work.

CO fumes can be so slight that you wouldn't notice it as it is also odorless and colorless. However, if you, or family members, or work colleagues, have recurrent mild to moderate flu symptoms when the furnace is on, or a gas stove/oven is being used, or some other fuel-burning device is being used in your home, or work place, you could have a CO exposure problem.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Exposure

Low levels of CO exposure can go undetected for a long time as the symptoms can mimic mild flu or cold symptoms. Generally, a person will not have these symptoms when they are outdoors and/or away from the environment. The symptoms return as soon as they re-enter the affected environment. They include:

• Shortness of breath 
• Mild nausea 
• Mild headache

A higher level of CO exposure will intensify symptoms including:

• Headache 
• Lightheadedness, dizziness 
• Nausea

What Can You Do About Carbon Monoxide Exposure?

As I tell my patients, the most immediate thing you can do if you suspect CO exposure, either in your home or other environment (work, etc), is to open windows and then leave the environment. 
Getting out into fresh air will usually alleviate symptoms very quickly. Allowing fresh oxygen into the environment will also help dissipate CO inside until a service person can get there to locate the leak. If you feel dizzy and out of breath, get to an emergency room immediately. A a simple blood test can determine if your symptoms are CO exposure related and treatment can be given.

Other things you can to do prevent CO exposure:

Don't idle your car in the garage: Even with the door open, in the enclosed space of an attached garage, fumes can build up quickly and enter the house before you know it.

Don't use a generator in your house or garage: For the same reasons noted above, you should never use a generator inside your house, or in an attached garage. Make sure it is outside, away from doors/windows as fumes can come through them as well.

Don't start/idle gas powered lawn tools in the garage or near open doors or windows: Again, fumes can build up quickly and move into the house.

Vent appliances properly: Have an appliance service person check the connections to gas powered appliances to make sure the seals around vents are tight and nothing is blocking the release of fumes to the outside.

Service your fuel burning appliances every year: At the beginning of every fall/winter season, do have all your fuel burning appliances (gas stoves, furnace, clothes dryer, water heaters, etc) checked for CO emissions.

Never use a gas oven to heat your home: Many people think they can just turn on their gas oven and open the door to heat their home in the case of a power outage or their furnace stops working. Doing so does not allow the CO to vent completely to the outdoors as it is partially venting through the open door right into your home!

Do not use a charcoal grill indoors/fireplace: We all like the great foods of a summer cook out, or you may have the idea to cook food in a power outage, by bringing a charcoal burning grill indoors to use in the kitchen. This greatly increases the chance for CO exposure, especially if charcoal lighting fluid is used. Also, don't try to cook food in a fireplace using charcoal, even with an open flue, to avoid CO output into your home.

As I try to stress to my patients, hundreds of people die needlessly every year from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. If you have recurrent flu-like symptoms, that seem to come on after entering your home or work environment, especially if others around you feel the same symptoms, act on them. Leave the environment, get into the fresh air, and, if necessary, get to an emergency room and have a test for CO exposure. Make sure the environment has been checked by a professional for CO exposure before returning to it.

Stay well,

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