Can Chiropractors Help with Migraines?

Can Chiropractors Help with Migraines?

If you are one of the more than 37 million people in the United States who suffer from migraine headaches, you probably have tried various treatments. In fact, about 12 percent of Americans suffer from migraines, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Migraines are characterized by headaches, as well as other symptoms, such as dizziness and nausea. When a migraine occurs, cranial blood vessels expand (vasodilation) as opposed to a regular headache where those same blood vessels narrow (vasoconstriction). Surrounding tissues in the brain become swollen and quite painful.

There are two types of migraines. Common migraines are accompanied with sensory disturbances that include flashes of light, blind spots, and other vision changes, or tingling of the hand or face. Classic migraines are not accompanied by these sensory disturbances.

Migraine alone is 19th among all causes of years lived with disability, according to the World Health Organization. What’s more, headache in general is third among reasons for people in the United States and Canada to seek chiropractic care.

The first step in any effective migraine treatment is an appropriate diagnosis.

Chiropractic Care as an Effective Treatment for Migraines

The good news is that chiropractic treatment is effective for treating many different types of headaches, including migraines!

Chiropractors mainly work by hands-on manipulation of the spine. Irregularities or misalignments in parts of the spine can lead to muscle tension and irritate nerves that control blood flow to the head, which, as you might expect, can lead to a migraine.

Chiropractic treatment is gaining popularity among medical professionals as a way to help patients reduce the frequency of their migraine headaches.

Chiropractic treatment for migraines is unique because it incorporates multiple methods to treat the source of migraine headaches rather than just trying to dull the effects after a migraine has already started.

Chiropractic Treatment Reduces Frequency of Migraines and Reduces Migraine Pain

Chiropractic care has a long history of positive results for migraines!

Studies show that patients who receive chiropractic treatment for migraines experience pain reduction. One recent study assessed the effectiveness of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) for the treatment of migraine headaches. This study found that participants who received chiropractic care for migraines had significant improvements in their migraine frequency, duration, disability, and medication use.

Another study recently reported that participants who received chiropractic treatment for migraines reduced the number of migraines they had by more than half. This same study also revealed positive results for people who went to a chiropractor for their persistent migraines.

“Ultimately, patients got better, on average,” said Dr. William Lauretti, leading researcher for the latter study.

As was the case with similar studies of migraine sufferers, after multiple visits with the chiropractor, participants in these studies reported that their migraines were less frequent and they experienced pain reduction. Medical researchers also found that these patients had good overall outcomes when chiropractic treatments were combined with other treatments.

Researchers who have run multiple studies on chiropractic care and migraines underscore the importance of patients having a wide range of options for migraine relief. Some people want to reduce their dependence on medications, so they opt for low-risk alternatives, such as acupuncture or chiropractic care, according to researchers.

In one large study that involved 87 patients who suffered migraine headaches and received chiropractic adjustments, the results were overwhelmingly positive. These study participants were analyzed two years later via a headache questionnaire. Of the patients who had common migraine — 85 percent of women and 50 percent of men were either improved or their headaches ceased altogether. Patients with classical migraine showed an improvement rate of 78 percent for women and 75 percent for men.

Potential Side Effects of Chiropractic Treatment

Dr. Lauretti of the New York Chiropractic College pointed out that chiropractic manipulation can have side effects, such as temporary soreness and, ironically, a headache. However, researchers concluded that chiropractic care along with exercise and physical therapy can be very helpful at reducing the incidents and level of pain, as well.

The combination approaches that include physical therapy, relaxation techniques, and stress management may be more effective than spinal manipulation alone, according to researchers who have studied the effects of chiropractic care on migraines.

Choosing the Rights Approach to Chiropractic Treatment

It is crucial that patients choose a multi-modal or multi-faceted approach to managing migraines and their symptoms. For maximum effectiveness, it is important that a treatment regimen of any type be individualized and comprehensive.

This could mean that your chiropractor works as part of a larger team of medical professionals to find the right combination of treatments (chiropractic care, massage, prescriptions, nutrition, physical therapy, etc.) for your migraine.

That is where our chiropractors at NewEdge Wellness Center come in! We invite you to contact NewEdge Wellness and let us be part of your migraine treatment plan as we work toward helping you feel good again!

You can reach NewEdge Wellness Center in Kennewick by calling (509) 737-9355 or schedule your appointment by going to schedule online.

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Are Chiropractic X-Rays Necessary?

Are Chiropractic X-Rays Necessary?

One of the most important elements of chiropractic care is diagnostics. Chiropractors rely on a variety of diagnostic techniques in order to fully understand what is happening in a patient’s musculoskeletal system. A chiropractor needs to know how a given treatment intervention could bring about positive results in a patient.

One of the most heavily relied on diagnostic techniques in chiropractic care is the X-ray. An X-ray is thought by some to be antiquated, with many other imaging processes being developed since the X-ray. However, X-rays provide doctors with a deeper understanding of a patient’s pain or discomfort.

The Importance of X-rays in Diagnosis by Chiropractor

These imaging processes are all essential in the use of surgery and invasive procedures to get that far inside the body. An X-ray can show a chiropractor exactly what is happening in the body when it comes to alignment and structure. This makes an X-ray very valuable as chiropractic care uses spinal manipulation and other techniques that involve movement of skeletal components with the hands or with the use of an instrument.

It’s worth noting that X-rays are not used universally in chiropractic care. In a majority of patients, the chiropractor is able to determine what is occurring in the musculoskeletal system — without the need for imaging technology.

In short, X-rays are considered by many in this field to be a key component of the chiropractic practice. However, X-rays are not indispensable in chiropractic care.

Reputation of X-rays in the Medical Community

The International Chiropractors Association (ICA), states that “radiography is a scientifically proven, clinically valid and an appropriate method to evaluate multiple aspects of human spinal anatomy, identify vertebral subluxations, altered spinal biomechanics, postural misalignments, pathology and in providing information and safeguards in rendering chiropractic care in clinical practice.”

Despite the claims of the ICA, there are chiropractors who question whether X-rays are necessary or even ethical. These concerns come from a campaign of the medical community known as Choosing Wisely — a program created by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in 1989.

As X-rays are a routine part of chiropractic care, the ICA issued a response to the idea of choosing wisely. “ICA recognizes radiographic studies are the standard of practice in chiropractic care,” and that encourages chiropractors to “raise their voices and be heard.”

How Safe Are X-rays?

Many patients might wonder about the safety of X-rays. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that radiation exposure from a digital x-ray of the spine is less that you would receive flying in plane from Los Angeles to New York. What’s more, the FDA recommends people not refuse an X-ray, because the risk of not having an X-ray when you might need one is far greater than the small risk of exposure to radiation. The FDA’s statement continues, “when a doctor determines the need for an X-ray, it is for your safety, benefit and diagnosis.”

Although X-ray equipment does vary with the manufacturer, there is no difference between a chiropractic X-ray and another type of X-ray. An important factor to consider when getting an X-ray is the part of the body that is being X-rayed. Different body tissues absorb the radiation in various ways.

The amount of radiation emitted from an X-ray can be measured. The average person is exposed to about 3.0 millisieverts or mSV, of radiation per year. This exposure results from naturally occurring radioactive materials or cosmic rays. The FDA states that 0.1 millisieverts from a chest X-ray equals 10 days of typical background radiation exposure.

X-rays of the arms and legs, or extremities, have a lower effective dosage than chest X-rays. Lower torso X-rays, however, have a higher effective dosage. What this means is the effective dosage is determined from the actual body part that is X-rayed, not the intensity or duration of the X-ray.

The Limitations of X-rays

X-rays use electromagnetic radiation that penetrates soft tissue and does not capture it on film. As a result, an X-ray will typically not show any abnormalities involving ligaments —including herniated discs, bulging discs, sciatica, pinched nerves or disorders affecting the spinal cord.

When Are X-rays Necessary?

There are chiropractors who use X-rays as standard procedure either as a precaution to rule out pathology — such as a possible tumor or fracture, and/or to aid in determining where to adjust the spine.

X-rays are recommended for the following types of medical situations:

  • If the patient has sustained a significant traumatic injury, as a bone may be broken or a joint may be dislocated
  • If an infection may be causing the patient’s pain
  • If any significant disease is suspected, such as cancer or a possible tumor
  • If any type of joint disease is suspected, such as arthritis causing joint pain
  • If the patient is over age 50 and has experienced any type of trauma (even a minor one)
  • For most patients over 65 years of age
  • Anyone diagnosed with or who may be at risk for osteoporosis.
    The X-ray could be important to identify or rule out a possible vertebral fracture from osteoporosis
  • Any suspected spinal instability
  • If a patient has had long-standing pain that has not responded to or resolved with previous health care treatment

As a general guideline, an X-ray is indicated if it is likely to inform the type of treatment recommended for a patient; In any of the above cases, an X-ray would likely provide critical information that will direct treatment protocols and/or referral options for the patient;

An X-ray is not necessary for the following medical situations:

  • To identify problems with soft tissues (muscles, tendons, or ligaments) or within the spinal disc itself; X-rays are only effective in identifying pathology with bones and joints, not with soft tissues;
  • Purely for exploratory purposes; Most practitioners will likely determine the cause of a patient’s pain before ordering the X-ray or other diagnostic test and will use the test to confirm their findings;
  • If there is a possibility that the patient could be pregnant;

The bottom line is that when used appropriately, X-rays can identify and/or rule out specific pathology and help guide appropriate treatment.

If you are in need of a chiropractor in the Tri-Cities area, we suggest you contact NewEdge Wellness Center, located in Kennewick, at (509) 737-9355. Schedule your appointment today with NewEdge Wellness.

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The Healing and Health Effects of Cannabis

The Healing and Health Effects of Cannabis

By far, the natural health product garnering the most attention today is cannabis in all its many forms. That includes the plant itself, CBD oil, CBD products and THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis. For years, federal law has restricted not only the use of cannabis, but also research on the plant’s effects.

Currently, cannabis is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug. This classification indicates that cannabis has no accepted medical value, but many people disagree! Cannabis is now fully legal and decriminalized in 10 states plus the District of Columbia. On the other end of the spectrum, 9 states fully criminalize it. The remaining 31 states offer some level of legalization, usually for medicinal purposes or the sale of CBD derivatives.

The difference between CBD and THC

If you’re not familiar with the health and medicinal properties of cannabis, a good place to start is with the differences between CBD and THC. CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol, a phytocannabinoid found in cannabis. The cannabis plant has more than 100 different cannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids are chemical compounds that interact with cannabinoid receptors in the brain.

THC is an abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Researchers believe that THC is part of the plant’s natural self-defense mechanism. Heat in excess of 270°F activates THC’s psychoactive properties. Without heat activation, consuming the raw plant (which you can do) will not produce any psychoactive effects.

The effect of CBD on health

You can ingest CBD in a number of forms. Among the most common are oils and tinctures, topicals, RSO, vape cartridges, aerosol sprays, capsules and dried cannabis. The bioavailability of the CBD will depend upon how you ingest it. Eating CBD provides the lowest bioavailability (<20%). Inhalation or sub-lingual (under the tongue) administration can double CBD's bioavailability. By itself, CBD has no psychoactive properties. Used in the proper concentrations, CBD can provide relief from some seizure disorders, pain and inflammatory responses ( neck pain lower back pain, sciatica ), anxiety disorders, Crohn's Disease, multiple sclerosis symptoms and opioid withdrawal symptoms. CBD is a serotonin 5-HT receptor partial agonist, which means that it offers beneficial effects on mood, decreases anxiety, and supports and heals the central nervous system. It also shows the ability to kill or inhibit the growth of cancer cells, relieve headaches, improve sleep and protect the brain and nerves. It's important to note that you can get CBD preparations that are 100% THC-free. If you are required to take routine drug tests (as part of your employment, for example), use only THC-free CBD formulations. If you do not, you can test positive for THC, which can cause you to fail a drug test. Keep in mind that full spectrum CBD products contain small amounts of THC and you will need to avoid taking any full spectrum CBD product. CDB oil derived from hemp (a plant related to cannabis) is legal for use in all 50 states, as a result of the passage of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, provided that the extracts contain less than 0.3% THC (a negligible amount). CBD extracted from cannabis may or may not be legal, depending upon the state you're in. Washington State has fully decriminalized cannabis use for both medical and recreational purposes.

The effect of THC on health

Like CBD, you can administer THC in a number of different forms. Most people choose to smoke cannabis, since it offers improved THC bioavailability over other methods. In humans, THC can alleviate pain, spasticity, anxiety and other responses generated by the sympathetic nervous system. It also increases the appetite. THC is the active ingredient in two mainstream prescription medications: Drobinol and Sativex. Doctors prescribe these drugs to curb nausea and improve appetite in patients with certain conditions.

Not all varieties of cannabis are equal, especially when it comes to their THC levels. Over time, growers have bred and hybridized cannabis plants to deliver more THC than nature intended. High concentrations of THC can cause adverse side effects in some users. Side effects can include paranoia or anxiety; dehydration, dry eyes and dry mouth; hunger; sleepiness or lethargy; and temporary memory or cognitive impairments.

An interesting note is that CBD naturally counteracts many of these side effects. Since some cannabis strains have been manipulated to produce an outsized concentration of THC, the amount of naturally occurring CBD in these varieties may no longer be enough to offset unpleasant side effects.

Using Cannabis

Many people focus on the treatment aspect of cannabis use. In other words, they don’t seek it out until they have a problem. Cannabis can provide a range of supportive and preventive health benefits that many people overlook.

CBD is generally recognized as safe an effective by the World Health Organization. Toxicity testing – mostly on animal subjects – is limited, but preliminary results indicate that it would be difficult (if not impossible) for a human to overdose on CBD. Massive doses of CBD have been shown to cause respiratory and cardiac failure in some primates, but the test doses were not in any way comparable to those of human users. CBD does not produce psychoactive side effects, so finding a therapeutic dose is trial-and-error dependent. Start conservatively and increase your dosage until you find the amount that meets your needs.

Since the potential for negative side effects is greater with THC than with CBD, the best advice here is to start small and see what happens to you. “Starting small” may mean taking only a few puffs of a pipe or pre-roll ( cannabis rolled cigarette ), rather than consuming the entire thing. If you don’t want to smoke, edibles offer a controlled way to consume THC. 5 mg of THC is considered a modest dose, and edible products should indicate their THC content.

Cannabis can both support good overall health and disease prevention and treat a range of disorders. If you would like more information about how to incorporate CBD, THC or a combination of the two, please contact us at NewEdge Wellness at 509-737-9355.

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Be Proactive With Your Health!

Be Proactive With Your Health!

Being healthy is a great goal, but “healthy” isn’t a permanent state! Small changes in diet, activity and stress levels can make big differences (good and bad) in your overall health. That’s why it’s important to be proactive with your health. Many people want to believe that their doctor is responsible for maintaining their good health. The reality is that maintaining your health is your job, and it’s a daily responsibility.

Being healthy requires your active participation in health maintenance. It’s a combination of things that you do and things you avoid, as well as steps you take when you encounter illness, injury or other conditions that can diminish your overall good health.

Maintain your weight, maintain your health

Much of “being healthy” (or becoming healthy) centers on actions that can best be described as routine maintenance. One of the most positive things you can do for yourself is to manage your weight. It’s hard to overstate the importance of maintaining a healthy weight. You can see the benefits of being at a healthy weight by examining what happens when you’re over- or under-weight.

When you’re overweight, your body’s metabolic processes are completely upended. You can get trapped in cycles that frustrate your body’s natural ability to shed unneeded pounds. These downward cycles can introduce a wide range of unhealthy conditions: diabetes; heart disease; circulatory problems; kidney disease; digestive disorders; fertility problems and sexual dysfunction; cognitive disorders … the list goes on! By learning what a truly healthy human diet is, you can help your body recover from all of these conditions, even when you might have been told that pills and surgeries are the only real solution to your problems.

People want to believe that they can effectively manage their weight through exercise. If they just move a little more, they can lose weight. Unfortunately for them, diet is a much better manager of weight. “Dieting” has gotten a bad rap. People associate it with starving themselves or giving up their favorite treats. Who wants to do that? If you focus more on “diet” and less on “dieting,” however, you can make positive changes in your overall health. And while following a truly healthful diet may require you to eliminate some foods from your kitchen, it can also help you easily eliminate the terrible health consequences of not managing your weight properly.

Self-care is the best health care

Self-care describes the deliberate actions you take to preserve, support or recover your physical, mental and emotional health. Some practitioners also include other health realms in self-care definitions, including spiritual and personal health. For some people, self-care is the opposite of medical care. Self-care is the care you provide for yourself, while medical care is the care that someone else provides for you.

In a self-care regimen, you are your primary care-giver. In terms of health, self-care can include behaviors you engage in or avoid in order to preserve or support your health. These include avoiding tobacco, exercising regularly, and as we discussed earlier, managing your diet. Self-care can also include improving your sleep, practicing good hygiene, seeking routine dental care and seeking routine chiropractic care. The goal of all of these behaviors are to prevent the illnesses that would result otherwise.

Self-care can also help you recover from illnesses, injuries and conditions that resulted from not practicing good self-care. Repairing your gut, for example, or seeking out restorative chiropractic care, can help return your body to a naturally healthy state. Carefully analyzing your current lifestyle to determine where you’re not practicing the best self-care can help you reduce stressors, rebuild healthy habits and recover your life.

Chiropractic Office In Kennewick

Most people don’t engage in deliberate self-care. Either they don’t think about it, they think they don’t have time for it, or they just don’t know what good self-care really looks like. If any of these describe you, we invite you to come into NewEdge Wellness for a consultation. We’ll help you see where you can begin to incorporate the most beneficial self-care techniques for you. Schedule an appointment today – please give us a call at NewEdge Wellness at (509) 737-9355.

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Sick all the time? Your gut health is important

Sick all the time? Your gut health is important

Your gut is a workhorse that you simply can’t do without. The average human’s digestive tract is about 30 feet long and plays a major role in your overall health. This muscular marvel allows you to take in food, and then breaks it down into its molecular components, which your body can absorb.

When it works perfectly, life is great, but about 70 million Americans experience some kind of digestive impairment. Common impairments include ulcers, Acid Reflux, herniations, blockages in the digestive tract or bile ducts, stone formations, polyps and cancers. Some people also experience chronic digestive problems like Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Celiac Disease and Lactose Intolerance.

Your gut is filled with bacteria that live and thrive in your digestive tract. While the thought of bacteria in your body may be distressing, your gut depends on them! Your health depends upon having the right microbes in your gut, but many people suffer with an unbalanced microbiota.

Your gut flora reflects your diet. When you eat a diet filled with nutritional foods, you typically have a healthy balance of digestive flora. When you eat poorly, or consume a limited range of foods, your gut flora may become unbalanced and unhealthy. In this environment, your body may not be able to take full advantage of the healthier foods in your diet.

It’s important to recognize that your digestive system comprises about 70% of your immune system. When you take good care of your gut, you’re also boosting your body’s ability to fight disease. Conversely, poor eating habits can lead to a decrease in your body’s natural ability to fight illness and disease.

Managing your gut health

How can you manage your gut health and help it recover from a chronically poor diet? Reforming your digestive tract is not something you can achieve overnight, but you can begin to improve its function today. Learning to work with your gut and forming healthy eating habits can build the foundation for a happier, healthier you. Here are a few steps to get you started on the road to better digestive health.

Create an eating routine

Your digestive system works best during the day, so set an eating routine that respects this fact. Eat larger meals earlier in the day and reduce the size of your dinner. Establish a cut-off time at least an hour or two before you go to sleep; don’t eat anything after that.

Eat slowly

It takes a while for your stomach to signal the brain that it’s full. If you eat rapidly, you can overfill your stomach before it’s had a chance to tell you to stop eating! Make a conscientious effort to eat more slowly and drink more liquids during your meal. Take smaller bites and take time to chew your food thoroughly. This will give your stomach time to send up the white flag. It will also reduce the number of calories you take in during a meal. If you’re having trouble slowing down, try eating a meal with a companion and holding a conversation at the same time. If you usually sit at a table for one, read a magazine or newspaper while you’re eating. This kind of brain work can help you shift your focus from your fork! Slow eating is especially important during dinner – the last major meal of the day. By eating a smaller dinner, you’ll swallow less air and take a big step toward improving your digestive health.

Eat better foods

Processed foods aren’t good for your gut. Generally, the more processing a food requires before packaging, the less healthy it is for you. Gradually eliminate highly processed foods from your diet. Instead, substitute more fruits and vegetables (even as snack items) and drink more water. Learn about who grows, harvests and processes your food and how they do it. Eliminate poor quality foods and foods that receive heavy pesticide exposure while growing. This approach may mean that you spend more time preparing your own foods and spend more money on fresh foods. The results, however, will be entirely worth the investment. It’s tempting to make a major dietary switch immediately, but you’ve designed your gut to digest your old diet! Making changes gradually to your diet can help avoid discomfort and bloating while your microbiota tries to catch up.

Pay attention to what you eat

Your gut may not be able to manage all foods equally well. Some foods may cause irritation, inflammation, gas or bloating that you may never have noticed. Read labels carefully and look for reactions from your gut. When you find a food that offends your gut, eliminate it from your diet. You may also find that your taste preferences change when you start changing your diet. This will go a long way toward eliminating poor-quality foods you were certain you couldn’t live without!

Supplement as needed

Ideally, you should get all of your nutrients from the foods you eat, but realistically, that may not happen. Soils may become exhausted from over-farming, and that can diminish a food’s nutrient density. Harvesting practices, over-processing and delays can also reduce the nutritional value of food. Careful supplementation can provide your body with the nutrients it needs but isn’t getting from your diet.

A good strategy to improving your digestive health is, “Remove, replace, repair.” That is, remove the bad actors from your diet and your gut, and replace them with good actors. Under these conditions, your body will naturally begin to repair your gut and enable it to function more ideally.

If you’d like more information about repairing your gastrointestinal health, or you would like to consult with us to develop a gut health plan, please call us today at (509) 737-9355. We’ll be happy to assess your current health and determine whether you’re a good candidate for our gastrointestinal repair program.

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Weight Management: The Key to Long-Term Wellness

Weight Management: The Key to Long-Term Wellness

75% of American men and 60% of American women are either overweight or obese.
That’s a staggering statistic. Excess weight is a factor in a number of critical health conditions, including heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes – four of the top 10 causes of death in the United States. Managing your weight is essential to leading a long, healthy and active life. It’s also the key to avoiding conditions that rob you of your natural vitality.

The long-term effects of obesity

It’s impossible to overstate the seriousness of carrying around chronic excess weight. Obesity is a major contributing factor in heart disease, stroke, Type-2 diabetes and some cancers. Because body weight is generally controllable, this means that obesity-related deaths are largely both premature and preventable.

Obesity is also implicated in a number of other conditions, including arthritis, sleep apnea, osteoporosis, blood clots and hypertension. Some studies have even linked obesity to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.

For many people, the decline into obesity is a self-perpetuating cycle. Weight gain makes it harder to move, which slows metabolism and encourages weight gain. Excessive weight encourages conditions like insulin resistance, which make it difficult for your body to produce enough insulin to break down and eliminate sugars. This can lead to Type-2 diabetes, which can damage all of your major organs and significantly degrade your quality of life.

It’s important to note that there is a difference between being overweight and obese. The Body Mass Index (BMI) provides a quick comparison of a person’s weight to height. Taller people can safely carry more weight than shorter people. A person with a BMI that is:

  • above 40 = extremely obese
  • between 30 and 29.9= obese
  • between 25 and 29.9 = overweight
  • between 18.5 and 24.9 = healthy weight
  • less than 18.5 = underweight

Scientists who have tracked the so-called “obesity epidemic” have noted that the percentage of US adults who are overweight has stayed relatively constant for nearly 60 years. Beginning in the mid-1970’s, however, the percentage of obese adults began to rise sharply. Prior to 1975, the percentage of obese adults hovered stably around 15%. Between 1975 and 2005, the percentage of obese adults shot up to 35%. Additionally, the percentage of adults who were “extremely obese” rose from about 1% in 1975 to nearly 7% in 2010.

Losing weight can seem to be a herculean task, especially once you’ve reached “middle age.” Many people swear that they diet and exercise to no avail. They may say, “It’s impossible!” The truth is that it’s very possible to lose weight, no matter your age. As you age, you need to employ different strategies for managing your weight. The right strategy at the right time can do wonders to help you shed pounds and keep them off.

Successful weight management involves a conscientious effort to change not only your movement habits, but also your eating habits. By taking a holistic approach to your health, you can reduce your weight successfully and limit your risk of premature illness and death. Fad diets rarely produce successful, long-term results. This is because they’re not balanced, and they don’t help your body consistently meet its nutritional needs over time.

Here are a few ways you can take charge of your health by managing your weight.


Believe it or not, starving yourself isn’t a good way to lose weight. Skipping meals and holding out during the course of the day can leave you cranky, distracted and just plain hungry. This actually encourages you to eat later in the day, which is bad. Eating three or more well-balanced, well-timed meals each day can help you lose weight over time. Eating a bigger breakfast and reducing the size of your remaining meals over the day can actually support your metabolism better than skipping meals can. Losing weight isn’t just about eliminating calories. It’s about making sure the calories you do take in will help your metabolism support your health goals.

Drink more water

Many people don’t drink enough water, although there’s no consensus on how much water humans should drink each day. Sometimes, people misinterpret thirst as hunger. As a result, they eat more than they need to. Their bodies may get water from the food they eat, but that comes at a big cost. Make a point of drinking water throughout the day. Not only will that turn off the thirst signals from your brain, it will also reduce your calorie intake.

Eat like you have diabetes

People with diabetes don’t produce enough insulin. Insulin helps your body break down some sugars. Your pancreas makes insulin, and a rise in your blood-sugar level tells your pancreas to get to work. People with diabetes actively control their blood-sugar level throughout the day. By injecting synthetic insulin, or sometimes just by avoiding foods that raise their blood-sugar level quickly, they manage their condition. Untreated, diabetes can damage all the body’s major organs. It can lead to heart disease, stroke, peripheral nerve damage, damage to the digestive system and even death.

The body doesn’t react the same way to all sugars. Some sugars – like the kind found in fruits and milk – don’t impact the body’s blood-sugar level the way processed or refined sugar does. By learning which foods raise your blood-sugar level rapidly, you can make consistently healthier choices when you eat. Researchers have measured the glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) of many (if not most) foods. By knowing how a food is going to affect your blood-sugar level, you can eliminate those foods that will spike your blood-sugar level. This approach to food selection may offer a healthier alternative to your current diet. It can also help you make healthier long-term changes to your eating habits. As a bonus, becoming more “glycemic-aware” can also help you lose weight.


Increasing your metabolic rate – the rate at which your body burns calories – can help you lose weight. Physical exercise is one way to boost your metabolism. Contrary to what many people believe, “exercise” doesn’t have to mean spending hours each day at the gym. Simple movements like walking, yoga, stretching, aerobics and light weightlifting can all move your metabolism in the right direction.

Additionally, regular movement can help stabilize your blood pressure and heart rate and encourage your body to burn stored fat. Reducing your weight gradually can also make moving easier and relieve conditions like arthritis. New research also shows that people who exercise more naturally move toward healthier diets.

Not having a plan for weight management can be a set-up for failure. NewEdge Wellness offers weight-management plans that can help you better understand your body’s needs.

Our life coaches can design an individualized weight management plan just for you and start you on the path to a healthier, longer life. To set up an initial consultation, please give us a call at (509) 737-9355 today.

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