Seward Nebraska chiropractor

Exercise: An Essential Element of a Healthy Lifestyle

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Exercise: An Essential Element of a Healthy Lifestyle

That dreaded eight-letter word: exercise.

Just like drinking enough water or getting plenty of sleep, we know that exercise is good for us, but it's easy to put it off, to make excuses, or to simply forget about it.

However, the benefits of regular exercise are so great that it should be an easy decision to make it part of your regular routine and healthy lifestyle!

Regular exercise can:

  • Improve sleep
  • Increase energy
  • Help with weight loss
  • Improve digestion
  • Improve blood pressure
  • Reduce stress

You don't have to spend an hour in the gym every day or run five miles three times a week to get these benefits. Even simple exercise can give you noticeable improvements in your health.

However, there are exercises that can be damaging to your spine. Therefore, it is important to exercise carefully and properly so you don't undo all the work your chiropractor and you have done to get your spine healthy!

  • DON'T do any exercises or stretches which involve a forward-bending motion: full sit-ups, toe-touches, reaching for your toes in a sitting position, etc.
  • DO always keep your back straight and only curve it the way it is meant to be curved.
  • DO exercises that are gentle on your spine, such as walking (with good posture!) and swimming. Running and jogging are both hard on the spine and can be damaging to it.

Questions? Ask Dr. Hackbart or Dr. Folkers, or request a copy of our handy exercise guide next time you're in the office.

We also conduct a class for new patients most Monday nights, but anyone is welcome to attend! Learn what good posture really is and how to get it, how to exercise, lift, and even sleep in ways that won't damage your spine, and hear about people whose lives were changed because of chiropractic--and how yours can be changed for the better, too. Just call and let us know that you'd like to attend class so we can be expecting you!

The Gonstead System of Chiropractic

Gonstead System of Chiropractic

What's so special about the Gonstead System?

You'll hear us talk about the Gonstead method or system. What is this, and what makes it unique?

The Gonstead System was developed by Dr. Clarence S. Gonstead, known as the “chiropractor's chiropractor.” He practiced chiropractic from 1923 until 1978. Several things make his system unique:

  • It is thorough. The doctors use a variety of means to examine your spine in order to determine where your problem areas are.
  • It is specific. X-rays are used to see exactly which vertebrae are out of alignment. An instrument called a Nervoscope detects increased heat along the spine, which indicates inflammation and nerve pressure. The chiropractor uses his fingers and hands to feel for swelling and tenderness along the spine, and will visually identify changes in posture and movement which could be indicative of problems.
  • It is precise. Unlike other chiropractors, Gonstead chiropractors adjust with their hands directly on the patient's back, which prevents mistakes that can occur by adjusting through clothing.

Gonstead chiropractors only perform adjustments by hand. They will not use other tools to adjust the spine. Nor do they practice anything such as acupuncture or massage. However, we do have a licensed massage therapist in our office who is highly recommended by our doctors.

If you have any questions about the Gonstead system or how we practice in our office, stop in or call us at 402-646-2020. Visit the Gonstead Seminar website or gonstead.com for more information.

Babies and Chiropractic: At What Age are Adjustments Beneficial?

babies & chiropractic Do babies need to get adjustments?

Absolutely! The process of being born can be extremely extremely hard on a baby's neck and spine, causing subluxations which can result in other symptoms early in the baby's life. If a vacuum or forceps are used, that can cause even more damage to Baby's spine. Even babies born via Cesarean section can benefit from an adjustment a few days after birth.

As Baby grows, other new experiences can cause damage to the spine. Holding up the head, sitting up, crawling, standing and walking, can all affect Baby's spine. Babies should have a chiropractic checkup at each of these milestones. Learning to walk can be especially damaging to the spine, as Baby falls often during that process.

Many conditions common to newborns can be helped by chiropractic: colic, difficulty eating, ear infections, allergies, projectile vomiting, etc. These conditions are often the result of a subluxation in baby's spine. Chiropractic can help relieve these conditions without the use of drugs or surgery.

Check out the photos in our waiting room of some of our tiniest patients! We have many patients under a year old who have been coming to us for most of their lives so far. Dr. Hackbart and Dr. Folkers have adjusted some babies as young as just a few days old. We love seeing these tiny ones grow up healthy and happy!

No matter the size of the person, the health of the spine is vitally important!

Healthy Family Living: Routines and Habits

Routines and Habits What is the first thing you do after you wake up in the morning? Do you turn on the news or pick up the news paper and start reading? Maybe you dive into your favorite scripture for some uplifting words.

How you start your day is going to play a major role in how the rest of your day goes. You choose if you want to wake up and start reacting to the world and filling yourself with stress by reading or watching the news, which is typically full of bad news and chaos, creating stress in yourself before your day begins.

Try a new morning ritual that involves a positive and uplifting start to your day with less stress so you can attack the day with a positive attitude and outlook.

Start your new morning ritual 30 to 60 minutes before you normally get up. This will allow for some alone time before anyone else is up distracting you. Start by reading some words of affirmation. This can be a simple two or three word phrase or maybe an entire sentence. If you don’t know where to look search the internet. Say it out loud to yourself and listen to what you are saying.

Next, think about what your purpose is. This can be your purpose in your family and or career. Write it down and say it out loud. Remind yourself why you exist or your purpose on earth.

Third, have a list of goals written out and go through them each morning reading them out loud to yourself.

Fourth, what are you thankful for? Say out loud all the things you are thankful for. Family, kids, wife, job, finances, health, etc...

Finally pull up a calendar or schedule book and see what you have planned for your day. Have an idea of what you want to get done today and set ways to get these things done. This is also when you can go and check emails and voicemails. This short routine will only take 10-15 minutes leaving you enough time to go and exercise and get the blood flowing before your day begins.

Remember this isn’t going to work if you only do it once in a while. For example, if you were to go into the gym and workout one time for 45-60 minutes you wouldn’t walk out after that first time looking like Mr. Olympia!

Or, if you decided you wanted to be healthy and you ate healthy food one time, you wouldn’t be healthy. Chiropractic is the same way. You can’t get one adjustment and expect long term benefits right away.

Anything you do that is going to benefit you has to be done consistently over a long period of time. What you do as a habit works, not what you do once in a while. This saying or idea can be applied to your health, job, family, relationships, religion, and any other area of your life that you want to improve.

All successful people have specific daily routines or habits they perform on a regular basis to improve their quality of life. Sit down and decide as a family what is important and start a routine together. The sooner a child develops these good habits the more likely they are to use them when they get older.

 

What are some of your daily habits? How do these shape your thinking, your mood, and the way your day goes? What are some ways you can improve your habits and so improve your whole life? If you have any questions, or if you want some accountability for changing your habits, stop in and see us! We'd love to help you improve your life by creating healthy routines and habits.

Healthy Family Living

Your body was wonderfully created to be healthy and have the ability heal and protect itself if needed. Part of this protection is called your immune system. This is the part of your body that if working properly is able to identify foreign objects/matter in or on your body and determine what to do with it. When the object is identified and a response to deal with it is created your body has the inherent ability to get rid of the foreign object without any help of something being added. The immune system is directly controlled by your nervous system and if these two systems of your body are not in constant perfect communication, the immune system response may be slowed or decreased. When the immune system is slowed or not working at a normal level, the body is more susceptible to virus or bacteria and can have a harder time getting rid of them. The disruption in communication between the two systems occurs when a nerve is pinched. The nerve is the line or route of communication between the nervous system and immune system. It acts much like a power-line that connects your house to a power-plant. If the line is hanging normally from pole to pole all the way to your house the lights will turn on when you flip the switches and the tv and radio will work when you turn them on. If at some point along the line from the power plant to your house the wire is cut or maybe a tree fell on the line the electricity may not be getting passed through to your house. This would result in no lights, tv, or radio since your house has no electricity.

A pinched nerve, much like a tree branch on a power-line, slows or stops the communication between the nervous system and immune system. This will slow or reduce your body’s response time to a foreign bacteria or virus and may slow the process of healing or getting rid of the foreign matter. A chiropractor is trained to detect and treat the areas of your spine where spinal nerves may be pinched.

A Gonstead trained chiropractor has the ability to find the exact location where a specific nerve is pinched by doing a thorough spinal exam, full spine x-rays, nervo-scope readings, and motion/static palpation. Then using his/her hands remove the pressure with a gentle and safe adjustment. With no pressure on the nerve and communication restored between the immune system and nervous system the body can respond normally to stresses placed on it from the environment.

A normal and healthy response that the body would have to a foreign bacteria/virus would be a fever. When the body raises its core temperature it is in response to the immune system identifying that a foreign object is present. Common bacteria/viruses can only live at certain temperatures within the body and if that temperature is raised it cooks or kills the bacteria/virus. When the immune system and nervous system are healthy, the body’s temperature will be safely raised to a temperature that will not allow the virus/bacteria to flourish. If the body’s temperature is brought down with the aid of medication it can slow the body’s response and healing time as well as weaken the immune system making it easier for that specific bacteria/virus to do more damage the next time the body is in contact with it.

Your body is not like a car that needs oil and liquids added to it to keep it running. Your body was created with everything it needs to be healthy and to thrive in the face of all stresses put on it. Adding foreign stuff to the body can slow or decrease the immune systems response time as well as its ability to recognize and create a defense the next time it comes in contact with the same or similar bacteria/virus. Keeping your nervous system free of pinched nerves and healthy will keep your immune system strong and able to better react to a bacteria/virus.

The fuel your body needs consist of healthy foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients. These foods will be in there most natural state and include items such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and meats. Stay away from highly processed foods that are full of chemicals and toxins added to increase their shelf life. Our bodies are not able to breakdown or get rid of these chemicals and may store them in our tissues creating an unhealthy body. The better we can eat and fill our body with good nutrients and vitamins the more likely it will be healthy and respond better to infections or foreign bacteria/virus.

The Role of Food in a Healthy Lifestyle

The Role of Food in a Healthy Lifestyle

Chiropractic care is one element of a healthy lifestyle, one thing that helps keep your body working the way it was designed to. Chiropractic doesn't treat or cure any disease; instead, it enables your body to better fight disease and helps strengthen you immune system, as well as relieving pain.

Chiropractic alone isn't enough to keep you healthy. If you visit the chiropractor regularly, that's great, but if you're also putting food into your body that isn't what it needs, if you're not exercising regularly, if you're not drinking enough water or getting enough sleep, you won't be healthy.

What is the role of food in a healthy lifestyle?

Well, we all know that food is what gives us energy. More specifically, our bodies need calories (in the form of fats and starches) to burn for energy, so all the body functions can work. Our bodies need protein to build and strengthen our muscles so we can move. Our bodies need vitamins and minerals to perform all its essential functions. Our bodies need plenty of water for everything!

What foods give us these essential nutrients?

Fresh fruits and vegetables. Meat and eggs. Dairy products. Healthy, natural fats like butter and plant oils such as olive and coconut. Some whole grains, although some people have to be careful with this.

Many "foods" contain preservatives, chemicals to affect their color, taste, or texture, added processed sugars, chemically-produced fats such as margarine, canola oil and shortening--all things our body doesn't need.Not only do our bodies not need these things for proper function, but putting those things in our body actually inhibits its ability to function optimally. Our body has to work extra-hard to clear out all the unnecessary things so it can absorb the good stuff that it actually needs.

So just as eating whole, real, natural foods helps keep your body healthy, eating processed, fake and not natural foods can contribute to disease.

Now, there's nothing inherently wrong with eating the occasional candy bar, doughnut, or Big Mac. It is important, however, to keep our intake of those foods that aren't good for us to a minimum, and fill our menus and stomachs with food that is nourishing and will actually improve our health.

It is unfortunate that it is the processed, less-healthy foods which are cheaper and usually have a longer shelf life. For people on a tight budget, it may be difficult to keep to a truly healthy diet because fresh produce, meat and dairy products are among the most expensive things in the grocery store. But don't let that be a discouragement to you if you're in a similar situation. Do your best with what you can. Here are some ideas to save money and still eat foods that will nourish your body:

  • Start a garden if possible and grow your own produce, a much cheaper option than the grocery store or even the farmer's market.
  • Skip the coffee shop and make coffee drinks at home with your favorite coffee, milk, and a natural sweetener like honey. You'll save a lot of money!
  • Cut out soft drinks and sugary fruit juices, and instead drink water and spend the $3-$5 that a bottle of juice can cost on some fresh fruit.
  • Instead of buying expensive and processed lunch meat, buy a whole chicken which you can roast and make into sandwich meat, chicken soup, and homemade chicken stock.
  • Buy frozen vegetables instead of canned if fresh ones are too pricey.
  • Try making homemade bread to avoid the preservatives and added sugar in packaged bread. Homemade bread can be as simple as flour, yeast, water, and a little fat--very frugal and very good for you.

A healthy lifestyle has many components: exercise, adequate sleep, chiropractic care, and good nutrition. Putting these components together enables your body to work to its fullest potential and keep you healthy and happy!

Allergies and Chiropractic: A Natural Way to Find Relief

allergies and chiropractic a natural way to find relief

Allergies: a result of an unhealthy immune system

Millions of people suffer from allergies of various kinds: allergies to food, to dust, to pollen, to pet dander, etc. Allergies happen when the body's immune system overreacts to one of these things, called allergens, and "produces too many neutralizing chemicals (especially histamines) to counteract it" (Koren, 2013). Simply put, allergies happen because of an overreacting immune system--one that's not working properly.

The medical approach

As with most disorders and diseases, regular doctors will only treat the symptoms of allergies. There is no cure for allergies in orthodox medicine, only treatment of the symptoms (Koren, 2013). Typical allergy treatment includes over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines. Antihistamine is a drug that blocks histamines, which cause runny eyes, sneezing, itchiness, redness, and other allergy symptoms.

The problem with antihistamines is that they can come with a variety of side effects, including upset stomach and nausea, dry mouth, nose and throat, dizziness, headaches, among others. Extended use of antihistamines (such as in treatment of chronic allergies) can cause liver damage over the long term.

The chiropractic approach

People who suffer from allergies have been finding relief in chiropractic care for decades. (See some testimonials below from our own patients who have had relief from allergy symptoms thanks to chiropractic.)

Not a treatment of the problem, but of the cause

"The goal of chiropractic care is to locate and correct a serious type of spine and nervous system stress called the subluxation" (Koren, 2013). When the nervous system is relieved of the stress caused by pinched nerves in the spine, it is free to function optimally. A healthy body is able to neutralize allergens instead of overreacting to their presence in the body. Koren quotes Dr. Kurt Donsback, saying "A healthy body is capable of neutralizing these toxic substances and a body which has malfunctioning defense mechanisms cannot. The emphasis on allergies must be on building a healthy body, not on trying to use evasive tactics by eliminating all the allergens" (Donsback, 1980, quotes in Koren, 2013).

If you or a family member suffer from any food allergies (wheat, milk, peanuts, etc.) you know how frustrating it can be to make sure you don't come into contact with any of those allergens which could potentially cause devastating allergic reactions. If you rely on drugs to keep your allergies at bay, or have a restricted diet as a result of food allergies, try chiropractic care.

Still not convinced? Read these testimonials from patients who found relief from allergies through chiropractic:

From Ryan Coufal:

For the past 10 years I've had sinus and allergy problems. It seemed I was allergic to everything in Nebraska – mold, pollen, dust. Outside activities left me with cold-like symptoms and exhaustion. I took allergy shots for three years, and about every kind of allergy medication available. I had between five and eight sinus infections each year. I was prescribed antibiotics so often that I grew resistant to the medications; some had no effect on me at all.

Since getting adjustments from Dr. Hackbart, I haven't used my allergy medicine once! I can mow a lawn, work out and exercise. He was straightforward and talked with me extensively about how changes in my lifestyle would help improve my health.

The staff at Hackbart Chiropractic genuinely care about my personal well-being and have worked around my busy schedule to get me in for my appointments. I previously thought chiropractic care was only for joints and muscles. I couldn't have been more wrong, it has changed my health entirely!

From Kathy Hartmann:

For the past 12 years I've had sinus and allergy problems. I've also suffered from pain in my right side, fatigue, headaches and dizziness. I couldn't even move my neck to see behind me.

I tried many things in hope of some relief - I had surgery on my sinuses 9 years ago, allergy shots weekly, took allergy medications, and took antibiotics for sinus infections. But since seeing Dr. Hackbart, my allergies and headaches are gone! I can actually turn my head to see behind me, and I'm no longer suffering from dizziness and fatigue!

My mobility is better and I am sleeping much better through the night. I wake up feeling good! My family had been after me for years to give chiropractic a chance and I regret not coming in sooner. You should give him a try! It will change your life for the better. And the staff was wonderful, friendly and very welcoming!

 

Happy 2014.5: Make the second half count!

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Happy 2014.5!

Struggling with your New Year's resolutions this year? Make the second half of the year count!

Welcome to 2014.5: your second chance to keep your New Year's resolutions! Listen to our most recent teleseminar for tips and ideas to make the most of the rest of this year.

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Why Chiropractic Makes Sense

why chiropractic makes sense

It's hard to understand the benefits of chiropractic care if you don't understand how the human body works. The whole body is connected. It was designed to be able to heal itself from injury and infection. But the body can't heal itself if the connections between the brain and the organs and muscles--nerves--aren't functioning properly. That's where chiropractic comes in: it helps keep those connections working the way they were designed to.

From Brain to Organ and Back

The nerves in your body send messages between the brain and your organs and muscles. Nerves need a clear path to send a correct signal: to tell a muscle to move, to tell organs to do their job, basically to keep your body running properly.

All nerves go back to the spinal cord and travel up to the brain from there. The spinal cord is protected by the spine: vertebrae (the bones of the spine) and inter-vertebral disks. If the vertebrae and disks are not lined up correctly (out of alignment), the nerves can become pinched, thus sending a faulty signal to the brain and/or the organ or muscle to which the nerve leads.

Below is an image illustrating this. This is a side view of the spine. You can see the herniated disk (red and "inflamed"), above the vertebra that is out of alignment. Between the two is the pinched nerve. Compare this to the normal disks and properly aligned vertebrae above and below, and the nerves which are free and not pinched.

spine diagram

Why Chiropractic Makes Sense

Many people visit a medical doctor for health problems such as headaches, digestive issues, allergies, and other ailments. These health issues can be caused not by something wrong with the organs of the body, but by incorrect signals between those organs and the brain resulting from pinched nerves in the spine.

This is how chiropractic care helps keep the whole body healthy. It keeps the nerves functioning the way they were designed to, so the rest of the body works the way it's supposed to.

A medical doctor doesn't always consider a pinched nerve to be a possible cause for health issues. Instead, they prescribe drugs to fix the problem, when those drugs may only mask the problem.

Consider as an example the problem of chronic constipation: a relatively minor problem, but frustrating and painful nonetheless. A doctor might prescribe a laxative to be taken daily, which can have other less-than-desirable side effects. A chiropractor will look for misaligned vertebrae in the area of the spine where the nerves are which lead to the intestine. (This is why x-rays are necessary in chiropractic care, so the doctor and patient can see where the problem areas are in the spine.) The chiropractor will also discuss nutrition with the patient in the example given, since a less-than-healthy diet might also be an underlying cause of constipation. Good nutrition and chiropractic care go hand-in-hand: but that's a topic for another article!

The Importance of Continued Care

A few adjustments may be enough to heal the spine to the point where the nerves and organs are functioning normally once again. But most people have habits and lifestyles that cause their spine to get misaligned on a regular basis. Injury, poor posture or already worn-down inter-vertebral disks make regular adjustments a necessity to keep the body functioning optimally.

Poor posture is something that can be remedied, simply by changing one's habits. (This will be discussed in greater detail in a future article!) But many people have disks that have been worn down over time, and those disks will never "grow back" to their original healthy state.

When a spine is affected by scoliosis, a condition many people have to some degree or another, the spine is bent or twisted. The disks of the spine with scoliosis are worn down where the spine is unnaturally curved. Several adjustments will help the spine get back in place where it should be. But because those disks are already worn, the vertebrae will slip back into the twisted or curved position. Thus to keep the nerves free and not pinched, regular adjustments are absolutely necessary.

No drugs will keep the spine aligned properly. No drugs can solve the problem of a pinched nerve. Drugs can help with many things, this is true, but if the cause of a problem is a pinched nerve, drugs will only cover the symptoms, not heal the actual problem.

This is why chiropractic makes sense!

Why Choose Hackbart Chiropractic?

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Our top priority at Hackbart Chiropractic is the health of you and your family. Our goal is for you to experience lifelong health and freedom from pain, not just to mask your symptoms. Learn more about how our doctors can help you achieve that in this welcome video from Dr. Hackbart.

 

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Work Like A Charm: an Audio Seminar

benefits of chiropractic for your work and career - Hackbart Chiropractic, Seward, NE
benefits of chiropractic for your work and career - Hackbart Chiropractic, Seward, NE

Dr. Hackbart, Dr. Isaacson and I have put together an audio seminar. We've got great tips and advice for staying healthy at work. You don’t have to sacrifice your health for the perfect job – in fact, the healthier you are, the more successful and productive you’re likely to be in your career as well! So give yourself the balanced life you deserve and be happy, and healthy, all work-day long.

With these tips you will feel full of energy, vigor, passion, and enthusiasm!

Click play below to listen to the Work Like A Charm Seminar: