Why do we compare your leg lengths at the beginning of every adjustment? Activator Method chiropractors are not checking your leg lengths for an anatomical discrepancy of your legs (one leg bone that’s longer than the other), we’re looking for a functional leg length difference. When we find one leg that looks shorter than the other, it doesn’t always mean that you have a “real” short leg. Your brain and body are always in constant communication with each other. When your spine has misalignments (or imbalances in your joint motion), this causes a miscommunication between your brain and body (AKA: your brain senses that something’s not right), and as a result, the muscles in one leg will tighten to cause one leg to appear shorter than the other. It’s one way your body neurologically compensates for imbalances or dysfunction in your spine and nervous system.
During your adjustment, we’re able to see your legs balance as a result of addressing the areas of stress or dysfunction in the body. This is one of the ways we can see a functional change in the body right away, and we know that once we clear out these imbalances, your body and nervous system is more equipped to heal and function better!
Are you a science nerd?! Check out the research! https://www.activator.com/category/leg-length-inequality/
These are some of the most popular questions we get before a patient comes to see us for the fist time!
1. How long is each visit?
During your first visit at our office, you will spend about 30-45 minutes with me. We’ll go over your current health issue and past health history, do a thorough evaluation and exam to learn more about your condition and your general biomechanics. You may get your first adjustment that day. (Or some patients are referred out for x-rays before a full adjustment can be performed. This is based on your health/injury history and/or your exam findings). Your second visit will last about 20-30 minutes. This is when I will go over your exam findings with you, and when we’ll determine the appropriate care plan schedule that fits your needs. Your regular adjustment visits will last about 15-20 minutes.
3. What techniques are used?
I use a combination of techniques that’s specifically tailored to each individual patient. (I recently had a student shadowing me one day, who at the end of the morning turned to me and said, “wow - you did something different with every patient today!”) I use the Activator Method to analyze and adjust the spine to start, and add in some different techniques (gentle manual adjusting, drop-table, soft tissue techniques, etc) if needed. This creates a unique approach and experience for each individual patient who steps in our door.
4. Do I have to be in pain to start care?
Of course not! It’s always a good idea to get your spine checked by a chiropractor BEFORE there’s a pain issue or injury. We have many patients who have heard about the benefits of chiropractic as part of their overall health. Usually, these patients do not have to be seen as frequently as patients who are injured or having a current pain issue.
5. Do you take insurance?
We are in-network with some insurances (UnitedHealthcare, Oxford, Connecticare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield) and out of network with others. During your first visit, our Beth (our office manager) will check your benefits and let you know what your responsibility per visit will be. We electronically file insurance claims on your behalf. If you don’t have insurance or opt no to use it, our out of pocket fees are reasonable, and similar to many insured patients’ co-pays or co-insurances.
6. Can chiropractic help with _________?
Maybe! Chiropractic in its truest form is not a “treatment” for anything specific, it helps improve the function of your own body so it can be better equipped heal itself!
Do you have any other questions? Ask us in the comments section below, or give our office a call at 203-355-2830.
For the baby, the surrounding walls of the uterus tighten with pelvic imbalance, becoming more and more like tight bed sheets that restrict her motion. The chiropractic adjustment to the pelvis releases tension to the ligaments and uterus so that the baby can move freely and assume the best possible position for birth.
It is important to realize that many pregnant women are seeking ICPA doctors throughout their pregnancies to utilize the many additional benefits of the Webster technique. For every stage of pregnancy, this adjustment reduces interference to the nervous system—a vital benefit to improve physiology for both Mom and her baby. When Mom’s physiological function is at its best, the baby’s development is optimized. Balancing the pelvic bones, muscles and ligaments and improving normal physiology sets the stage for a natural birth. Chiropractic care and the Webster technique allow for safer, easier births!
This excerpt was taken from the ICPA Member Newsletter, 2019. For more information, visit discoverkidshealth.com.
Call our office today at 203-355-2830 to set up your prenatal consultation and evaluation!
Chiropractic and the "Safety Pin Cycle"
Sometimes, when we’re thinking about the way our bodies work, we can think if it like a safety pin. The top, or the clasp of the safety pin, is like our brain, which generates nerve impulses to control and regulate our entire body. We can look at the edges and the hinge of the safety pin as your body. Our brain is like a big computer that sends messages through the spinal cord and nerves that control every action in our cells, tissues and organs. Then, nerve impulses are sent back up, from your body to your brain. These messages let your brain know that your body is working correctly. When your brain and body are communicating properly, we can compare this to a closed safety pin.
Proper communication between the body and brain is the definition of TRUE HEALTH.
Many things can interfere with nerve impulses either to or from your brain. Sometimes, misalignments in your spine (subluxations) can be the cause of these altered messages to or from your brain. When you have subluxations in your spine, we compare this to an open safety pin - it means your brain and body aren’t communicating property. When this happens, your organs and tissues won’t work right, and the result is poor health and dysfunction in your body.
How do we get these subluxations in the first place? They’re the result of physical, chemical and emotional stress in our lives.
Chiropractors who focus on the holistic spinal care locate and reduce subluxations with safe and natural adjustments. These adjustments allow the body and brain to communicate properly, which leads to better health and well-being, because the body now has the ability to heal and function without interference.
Do you think you may have spinal misalignments causing a miscommunication between your brain and the rest of your body? Call our office today at 203-355-2830 or request an appointment online to see if subluxations could be a cause of dysfunction in your body.
Most of us spend the majority of our days at work, and for about 80% of the United States population, that can mean sitting for an average of 7 hours a day. Sitting for this long everyday has not only been linked to an increase in pain, but also heart disease, weight gain, diabetes, brain fog, osteopenia and even certain cancers. Check out this infographic from the Washington Post for details on the negative effects of sitting all day.
These 5 tips can help combat the negative effects of sitting all day AND help break up the workday so you can stay more alert and focused! (What boss wouldn’t want that for their employees?!)
1. Take breaks! I tell my patients everyday, make sure you’re taking breaks though the workday. You should be getting up out of your chair for at least 10 minutes every hour. This could mean standing up when you’re taking a phone call, making extra trips to the copier, or simply getting up to take a break and stretch. Can’t remember to get up every hour? There are some great smart phone apps our there like Stand Up! – These will bing or buzz your phone once an hour to remind you to get up and get moving! Bonus Tip: do some "deskercises" during your breaks - get some great ideas here.
2. Change up your workstation – standing desks are becoming increasingly popular for good reason. Not only can it combat the hazards of sitting all day, but it can also help us burn calories, tone muscle, increase blood flow and improve metabolism.  In the office, I notice a significant difference in my patients who use stand-up desks compared to the ones who sit all day – the ones who stand have healthier spines and end up maintaining their adjustments for longer than the ones who sit. Don’t feel like standing all day? Swap out your desk chair for an exercise ball instead! It will force you to maintain good posture and activate your core.
3. Use Proper Ergonomics – If you have to sit in your desk chair, make sure you’re using proper ergonomics. Your feet should be touching the floor with your knees and hips at 90 degrees. (You may need to place something under your feet to prop them up if you’re petite like me!) Your monitor should be directly in front of your head while it’s at a neutral position (at a distance that doesn’t require you to lean in or strain to see the screen). Shoulders should be relaxed and your forearms should be parallel to the floor. Some other great tips on ergonomics can be found here.
4. Find a “Wellness Buddy” – Partner up with a co-worker who wants to start making some healthy changes in his or her life, too. Check in on each other throughout the workday – this could be a reminder for a stretch break, reminder to stand up, or a quick walk to the other person's desk. Research tells us that working out with a partner helps us perform better and stay motivated. 
5. Visit Your Chiropractor – Work can be stressful, and this stress can unfortunately lead to stress and damage on your spine and nervous system. Chiropractic adjustments remove areas of interference to your nervous system so your body can more easily adapt to these external stresses, which can prevent problems down the road. Regular chiropractic care has been linked to some great benefits for the workplace including less pain, increase in creativity  and improved quality of life .
Don’t have a chiropractor yet? Give us a call at 203-355-2830 or request an appointment online to set up your spinal check-up today.
1. Matthews CE, George SM, Moore SC, Bowles HR, Blair A, et al. (2012) Amount of time spent in sedentary behaviors and cause-specific mortality in US adults. Am J Clin Nutr 95: 437–445. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.019620
3 .Aerobic exercise is promoted when individual performance affects the group: a test of the Kohler motivation gain effect. Irwin, B.C., Scorniaenchi, J., Kerr, N.L. et al. Kinesiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. Annals of Behavioral Medicine 2012;44(2):151-9.
4. Masarsky, C.S. and M. Todres-Masarsky. “Effect of a Single Chiropractic Adjustment on Divergent Thinking and Creative Output: A Pilot Study, Part I.” Chiropractic Journal of Australia, 2010.
5. Mark J. Marino and Phillippa M. Langrell. A Longitudinal Assessment of Chiropractic Care using a Survey of Self-Rated Health Wellness & Quality of Life: A Preliminary Study. Vol 3(2):1-9.
Can you believe it? It’s already back to school time in Connecticut this week… The start of school also means the return of heavy backpacks, which to me as a chiropractor, means the return of increased spinal stress for school-aged kids and young adults.
Here are some helpful backpack-wearing tips that will help minimize spinal stress:
1. Wear both straps evenly, and avoid the one-strap styled back packs. Uneven distribution of the load causes postural compensations and spinal stress.
2.When putting on and removing backpacks, bend at the knees or put on the backpack from a higher level, such as on a desk or table. Sudden twisting motion adds to the potential of injury – especially in the lower thoracic/upper lumbar spine.
3. Arrange the backpack so it rests evenly in the middle of the back. Shoulder straps should be adjusted to allow the child to put on and take off the backpack without difficulty and permit free movement of the arms. Straps should not be too loose, and the backpack should not extend below the lower back.
4. Keep the load at 10-15% or less of the student’s body weight.
5. Carry only those items that are required for the day. Students (or parents) may be able to request additional copies of textbooks (or digital copies!) that can be kept at home instead of hauling heavy books back and forth from school.
6. Organize the contents of the backpack by placing the heaviest items closest to the back.
When was the last time your child had a spinal check-up? Call us at 203-355-2830 to schedule one today!
And just in case you missed it, here's a great video featuring some parents who are VERY excited about school starting...
Modified excerpt from: Is Your Child’s Backpack a Source of Spinal Stress? By Jeanne Ohm, DC
Read more in Pathways: www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org
Chiropractic and Your Sex Life
I knew chiropractic was awesome when I had this conversation with one of my FIRST chiropractic patients ever – He came in for his regular adjustment on a Monday, and after asking how his weekend was, his response was the last thing I was expecting to come out of his mouth: “You know, I didn’t mention this when we first met, but I thought something was seriously wrong with me – I’m a guy in my 30’s, and I just didn’t want to have sex with my girlfriend. After getting my adjustments, it’s the first time in months that I’ve actually been in the mood. So, yes, I had an AWESOME weekend!”
Now let’s strip this topic down to the nitty-gritty (I love puns - sorry I couldn’t help myself!) – how can chiropractic have an affect on your sex life?
1. It increases your pleasure hormones – A recent study reported a boost in oxytocin levels after cervical (neck) and thoracic (mid-back) adjustments. Oxytocin is a hormone in our bodies that has been called the “biological basis for love.” Oxytocin plays an important role in sexual arousal and sexual stimulation, which makes it a vital part of your sex life.
2. No nerve interference = better function to your sexual organs – Your sacral plexus is a bundle of nerves that innervate (or supply) the muscles of your buttocks & legs, your bladder and sexual organs. These nerves also process sexual sensations and stimulation. When there is a subluxation in your pelvis or lower back, it negatively affects the function of these nerves, causing a miscommunication in the messages between your brain and body. Any compromise to the nerve supply in this area will affect sexual performance and sensations of pleasure, resulting in the inability to become aroused or stay aroused, inability to orgasm, decreased sensation, painful intercourse or just general sexual dysfunction. Chiropractic care addresses dysfunction of the pelvis and lumbar spine, and removes interference and stress on the nervous system, which then allows your body the ability to fully enjoy your sexual experiences.
3. Increased range of motion for those "creative positions" – Study after study has linked chiropractic adjustments with an overall increased range of motion and less pain (in all regions of the body). Some studies have even linked upper cervical adjustments (adjustments to the upper neck) to an increase in range of motion in the hips, which remind us why it’s important to have your entire spine checked for subluxation, not just the area where you are experiencing symptoms.
Doesn’t this make you excited? (That’s my last pun, I promise.)
 Changes in biochemical markers of pain perception and stress response after spinal manipulation. Plaza-Manzano G, Molina-Ortega F, Lomas-Vega R, Martínez-Amat A, Achalandabaso A, Hita-Contreras F. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2014 Apr;44(4):231-9. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2014.4996. Epub 2014 Jan 22. PMID:24450367 [PubMed - in process]
 The role of oxytocin in relation to female sexual arousal. W. Blaicher, D. Gruber, C. Bieglmayer, A. M. Blaicher, W. Knogler, J. C. Huber Gynecol Obstet Invest. 1999; 47(2): 125–126. doi: 10075
 The effect of upper cervical or sacroiliac manipulation on hip flexion range of motion. Pollard H, Ward G. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1998 Nov-Dec;21(9):611-6. PMID:9868632 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Summer’s officially here (although you wouldn’t know it with all of this rain in the Northeast today) and if you’re like me, you’ll be spending plenty of time at the beach this summer! This list of healthy tips for the beach will help you stay on track with your health goals while celebrating summer!
Ditch those toxic sunscreens!
Not only will wearing sunscreen constantly interfere with your body’s production of Vitamin D, many artificial ingredients in most sunscreens can actually be harmful for your health. Every year, the Environmental Working Group looks at which sunscreens are the most toxic and contain the most potentially hazardous ingredients. Many common brands made the list, including those from Neutrogena, Rite Aid, Walgreens "Well" brand, "Up and Up" brand from Target, and Coppertone.
When shopping for sunscreen, make sure you check the ingredient list – put it back on the shelf if you see any of these ingredients listed:
(Safely) Enjoy Those Summer Cocktails
Everyone is allowed to enjoy a few summer cocktails, but keeping hydrated and supplementing properly can help prevent the dreaded hangover the next day! (Special points for drinking lemon water in between each alcoholic drink, which helps detox your liver and helps flush those kidneys!)
Supplementing with the following can help replenish your body with important things that are stripped after a day or night of enjoying your favorite beverages:
Use Proper Ergonomics at the Beach!
Everyone deserves to relax at the beach, but we can’t let our spinal health go by the wayside! It only takes 10-15 minutes in one position for our ligaments to begin to lose elasticity, which can put stress on your spine and nervous system. These tips can help prevent injuries and encourage spinal health!
Happy Independence Day and hope you enjoy your healthier trips to the beach!!
EWG Sun Safety Campaign, How to Pick a Good Sunscreen
Dr. Cristina shares some insight about the benefits of Chiropractic as a vital part of your healthy lifestyle!