Weekly News & Insights

Your Eating Schedule

on December 7, 2017

The best time of the day for you to eat, should be based upon eating unusually small frequent meals, containing only high-quality foods. In terms of sports performance, priming comes anywhere between four hours to a half-hour before an event, training or practice. Be sure you’re taking in higher carbohydrate-rich meals all the way up to 30 to 60 minutes before your athletic performance.

During training and exercise, your body requires an intake of carbs and protein at about a 4 to 1 ratio by weight consumption. During recovery after exercise, training, or an event, a carbohydrate to protein ratio of about 2 to 1 is more appropriate.


Optimal recovery requires that you are eating the right recovery foods within that 45 to 60-minute window of opportunity. Make sure the carbohydrates to protein ratio is correct – 2:1. Some research indicates that you have about two hours of time to take in the right nutrients for recovery, but my recommendation is that it would be best for you to keep it to under 1-hour, post exercise.

It is recommended that you develop the desire for and a lifestyle that includes mostly complex carbohydrates, high quality fats and lean high- quality proteins. You can easily achieve this by getting added supplements through a protein shake or a high-quality medical food.

Included in optimal recovery is rest in-between training sessions. Then high-quality sleep (a deep, sound sleep on a bed with a good firm mattress for 7-9 hours every night). During your sleep cycle, your body gets the opportunity to heal and repair without disruption from activities.

The result is the next day you can perform at your best once again.



Nutrition timing varies between athletes and between sports. One key underlying factor is your fluid intake. Water is your primary liquid in sports and in life. I recommend 64 oz. for children and 96 oz. for adults per day. Sports drinks are added to the 64-96 oz. requirement. Consumption of water during exercise or event is also essential.

by Dr. Thomas M. Mitchell, D.C., CCSP | Owner, Clinic Director Chicago Institute for Health and Wellness Copyright ©read more

acassaraYour Eating Schedule

Stress Relief Tips

on November 30, 2017

Do you know anyone who isn't at times stressed out these days?

The pace of modern life makes stress management a necessary skill for everyone.

Many people juggle multiple responsibilities, work, home life, caregiving and relationships. Learning to identify problems and implement solutions is the key to successful stress reduction.

The first step in successful stress relief is deciding to make stress management an ongoing goal, and to monitor your stress level.

Once you start monitoring your stress level, the next step is identifying your stress triggers. When or under what situations do you experience the most stress? Some causes of stress are easy to identify, such as job pressures, relationship problems or financial difficulties. But daily hassles and demands, such as commuting, arranging child care or being over-committed at work, also can contribute to your stress level.

Positive events also can be stressful. If you got married, started a new job and bought a new house in the same year, you could have a high stress level. While negative events in general are more stressful, be sure to also assess positive changes in your life.

Once you've identified your stress triggers, you can start thinking about strategies for dealing with them. Identifying what aspect of the situation you can control is a good starting point.

For example, if you have a difficult time falling asleep because you're stressed out, the solution may be as easy as turning off the TV when the evening news is too distressing. Other times, such as high demands at work or when a loved one is ill, you may only be able to change how you react to the situation.

And don't feel like you have to figure it out all on your own. Seek help and support from family and friends. You may want to ask them what stress-relief techniques have worked well for them.

And many people benefit from daily practice of stress-reduction techniques, such as deep breathing, massage, tai chi or yoga. Many people manage stress through practicing mindfulness in meditation or being in nature.

And remember to maintain a healthy lifestyle to help manage stress — eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. Having a healthy lifestyle will help you manage periods of high stress.

Stress won't disappear from your life. And stress management isn't an overnight cure. But with ongoing practice and incorporation of resiliency into your lifestyle, you can learn to manage your stress level and increase your ability to cope with life's challenges

Story continued at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/basics/stress-relief/hlv-20049495read more

acassaraStress Relief Tips

Smartphones and TVs in the Bedroom: What's the Harm?

on November 23, 2017

The presence of a television in a child's bedroom can have detrimental effects on sleep quality and duration.

However, relatively few studies have assessed the potential detrimental effects of smaller screens, such as those on handheld devices. In addition to the light from screens and the potential alterations of sleep cues that might be induced by the light, handheld devices or tablets can also alarm with emails or texts, potentially creating even more sleep disruption.

This study assessed seventh- and fourth-grade children in public schools in Massachusetts to correlate nocturnal screen use with perceived sleep sufficiency. The data were collected in 2012 as part of a statewide obesity research effort. There were two primary outcomes of interest. One was the children's weeknight sleep duration.

The second outcome was a measure of whether the children perceived that they had received sufficient sleep during the previous week. Sleep duration was calculated by subtracting the child's usual weeknight bedtime from reported usual weekday awakening times. Sleep adequacy was assessed by asking the students about how many days in the past week they felt that they needed more sleep.

This response was dichotomized into those who indicated that they needed more sleep on 3 or fewer days per week (sufficient sleep) vs those who needed more sleep on 4 or more days per week (insufficient sleep).

The students were asked how often they slept with a device near their bed, and they again responded with the number of days per week. They also indicated whether they had a TV in the room.

Analyses accounted for sex, grade in school, race/ethnicity, and reported physical activity. Complete data were provided by 2000 students (mean age: 10.6 years; 40% Hispanic, 38% non-Hispanic white, 10% non-Hispanic black). Slightly more than half (54%) of the students reported sleeping near small screens, and 75% slept in a room with a television.

When looking at differences by grade, 65% of the seventh graders slept near a small screen compared with 46% of fourth graders. The seventh graders reported a mean sleep time of 8.8 hours compared with 9.8 hours for the fourth graders. Children who slept near a small screen averaged 20.6 fewer minutes of sleep per night (95% confidence interval, 29.9-11.4) compared with those who did not sleep near a small screen. A similar association was seen in children who slept with a television in the room.

The differences in sleep among the groups were mainly accounted for by a delay of bedtime.

When looking at the effects on perceived sufficiency of sleep, the prevalence ratio for sleeping near a small screen was 1.38, indicating that the presence of a small screen was associated with a higher prevalence of reporting insufficient sleep.

Demographic variables did not generally correlate with reports of insufficient sleep. Even among those exposed to small screens, the duration of screen time was associated with a greater prevalence ratio of reporting insufficient sleep. The investigators concluded that sleeping in proximity to a small screen, having a television in the bedroom, and longer duration of screen time were all associated with shorter sleep durations. Presence of a small screen (but not a TV) and longer screen time were associated with perceived insufficiency of sleep.

Source: William T. Basco, Jr, MD, MS, http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/839529read more

acassaraSmartphones and TVs in the Bedroom: What's the Harm?

Muscle Cramp Prevention

on November 16, 2017

To avoid future cramps, work toward better overall fitness. Do regular flexibility exercises before and after you work out to stretch muscle groups most prone to cramping.

Quadriceps Muscle Stretch

You should feel this stretch in the front of your thigh.

Hold on to a wall or the back of a chair for balance. Lift one foot and bring your heel up toward your buttocks. Grasp your ankle with your hand and pull your heel closer to your body. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.

Do: Keep your knees close together. Stop bringing your heel closer when you feel the stretch.

Do not: Arch or twist your back.

Hold each stretch briefly, then release. Never stretch to the point of pain.

Source: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00200read more

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Osteoporosis Prevention

on November 9, 2017

What we have learned about bone health is especially important as Americans are living longer.

By 2020, half of all Americans over age 50 will have weak bones, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

We can improve this outcome by making changes to our diet and lifestyle, and preventing bone loss in people who are most at risk.

The good news is, no matter what your age, there are many things you can do to improve your bone health.

Source: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00315read more

acassaraOsteoporosis Prevention

Structural Issues, An Integrated Approach

on October 26, 2017

When treating structural conditions, my first goal is the elimination of the patient’s pain; however, just getting the patient out of pain is not the end goal. The end goal is for the patient to be fully functional, long term. To achieve this, an integrated approach is absolutely necessary. I recommend the following steps when developing a personalized treatment plan for structural and non-structural issues:

  • A Non-Invasive Comprehensive History & Examination
  • Progressive Objective Testing
  • An Individualized Structural Health Care Program

Treatment may include any or all the following strategies in various combinations:

  • Chiropractic Care
  • Functional Neurology
  • Health Coaching
  • Physical Therapy
  • Massage Therapy
  • Functional Exercise Therapy
  • Physiologic Modalities

The goal of implementing these strategies is the reversal or elimination of problematic structural and functional conditions.

A Structural Case Study

A 44-year-old gentleman, who had knee surgery about three months earlier was still suffering from chronic knee issues. He went to physical therapy, had his normal strengthening and stretching routines, but appropriate proprioceptive rehab was never established for him. During this time the gentleman was wearing orthotic devices.

Orthotics are customized foot devices that slip into the shoe allowing the foot to function and transfer energy throughout the system. There is something called the kinetic chain, which starts at the base of the heel, or the back of the heel during heel strike and ends at the opposite base of the skull. That is why we “cross-crawl” or when we walk. It’s the way energy transfers through our bodies as we walk or run.

When an orthotic is necessary, it allows the individual to transfer that energy correctly, so there’s no abnormal stress on the joints as they walk, run or stand. This patient’s orthotics were never reassessed after the knee surgery. The first step was to bring him in, reassess him, rebuild orthotics and give him an appropriate rehabilitation protocol.

After evaluation and treatment he was pain free in just two weeks, with no additional complications from surgery. The moral of this story is to make certain you reset the neurological control around an injured area after surgery, and make sure it’s solidified through appropriate training and treatment.

by Dr. Thomas M. Mitchell, D.C., CCSP | Owner, Clinic Director Chicago Institute for Health and Wellness Copyright ©read more

acassaraStructural Issues, An Integrated Approach

Scared of an Adjustment?

on October 19, 2017

Sometimes, first-time patients are a little nervous about getting an adjustment. They soon discover that it rarely causes any discomfort at all. In fact, it makes them feel much better almost immediately – at least for the majority of patients. On rare occasions, they might feel a mild sense of soreness, like an aching, following treatment. This is similar to how someone feels after an intense workout and this feeling usually fades within 12 hours or so.

At my clinic, I have a number of patients who come in with lower-back pain. Chiropractic care often becomes their primary method of treatment due to the immediate and positive results they get. We also treat patients with other conditions. In these cases, I use chiropractic adjustments to enhance or support medical treatment by relieving the musculoskeletal aspects associated with their particular condition.


I find the most effective method to begin a treatment protocol is to evaluate patients through clinical examination, laboratory testing, diagnostic imaging, and other diagnostic interventions to determine whether chiropractic treatment is right for the patient’s condition. Sometimes, I refer patients to the appropriate health care provider when I determine that chiropractic care is not suitable for their condition. Other times, the condition warrants co- management in conjunction with other members of our health care team and we manage all necessary services within our clinic.

The primary focus of my chiropractic treatment, and any other procedures that we perform in our clinic, is to use the right approach to alleviate the health issue. That’s it!

Getting healthier is definitely about lifestyle improvement and the chiropractic adjustment is a powerful tool, but just one of many. The practice of chiropractic manipulative therapy is the most powerful tool that can be applied to physical conditions and does a lot of great things. However, it is not the end all/be all of healthcare. It has to be incorporated and used appropriately when needed, the same way nutrition, rehabilitation, Kinesio® Taping, and anything else must be used to help a patient improve their health and well-being.

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acassaraScared of an Adjustment?

B.E. H.E.A.L.T.H.Y. – Simple Steps to a Healthier You!

on October 12, 2017


Be Engaged: Pay attention to your body and to the world around you.

Eating: Certain Foods are inflammatory: Stay away from Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Corn, Sugar, Sugar Substitutes, processed foods, caffeine, NO SODA Try this for a two weeks and see how you feel. You may not notice in the first couple of days but you would be amazed at the difference in the way you feel in two weeks. Give it time and you will feel a night and day difference.

Habits: Set your routine: We are creatures of habit, so make them good ones.

Elimination: This pertains to metabolic waste as well as toxic aspects of your life, such as relationships, work environments, and excuses: There are a million excuses for why we can’t do something, but none of them are as good as the reason to do it.

Activity: Stay in motion: We are not meant to be sedentary so get your butt moving! It doesn’t have to be 30 min 3X per week but it is about the discipline to stay in motion; conditioning will come with this habit.

Liquids: This means water: Caffeine, juice, soda, alcohol do not count. Stay Hydrated:

Thinking: Link your thinking to your actions and your actions to your thinking:

  • a. Your body’s patterns of behavior are linked to the way you think and the opposite is also true.
  • b. If you’re not feeling great that day, go do something that makes you feel great, i.e.: hobbies, exercise or reading read a fun book

Heal: Let your body heal and rest. Take the necessary time off and take the time to rehab an injury correctly. Jumping back in too soon only leads to further injuries and less productive performance. Don't forget to get enough sleep: Sleep is the time when your body heals

Y: “Why” & Comply

1. Don’t just accept that you have an issue; ask yourself and your doctor why is this happening and what are we doing that is causing/has caused health issues to occur.

2. If you don’t get a satisfactory answer, fire your doctor! “Satisfactory” does not mean the answer you want to hear, by the way.

3. Comply! Once you have received your answers, follow through with the prescribed treatment plan. That is your obligation as the patient.


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acassaraB.E. H.E.A.L.T.H.Y. – Simple Steps to a Healthier You!

How Can Hormone Testing Help?

on October 5, 2017

Hormone levels affect many aspects of our bodies, both emotionally and physically. Included in these aspects are irritability, weight gain, memory lapses, insomnia, depression and fatigue.

Women in particular need to be aware of how hormones affect their everyday lives. Our hormone levels change as we age and they can change significantly, even in the course of a single day. Some are higher in the morning, some at night. These fluctuations may lead to deeper issues that need to be addressed. I say this because many of my female patients have suffered for years with their symptoms prior to being seen only to find a simple hormone test uncovered easily treatable imbalances.

My office offers several different hormone tests, but I am partial to saliva testing as it measures your hormones throughout the day. It also measures the metabolites of hormones or more plainly, how much of the hormone is used by our bodies. A blood test on the other hand, is a snap shot of a single point in time. It measures the amount of a certain hormone and not what our body is actually using. To better explain, I’ll use the analogy of money. You can determine how much money you have overall, which is like what the blood test would measure for hormones, but it is not about how much money you have when the bills come due, it is how much you are spending. The saliva test, in comparison, is equated to how much your spending. That way we can determine the hormone demand on your body and fill in the gaps or overages.

A deeper dive would be a Comprehensive Female Panel that will determine if your hormones are functioning properly. In addition to what is in the Basic Check–Up panel, we include Estradiol, LH, Progesterone, FSH, and DHEA–S tests. A reliable practitioner should always have comprehensive testing like the ones I described to get an in depth view to your hormonal health.

As I stated earlier, hormones affect many aspects of our lives so knowing where you stand is a good step in getting better. Visit our office or talk to your health care provider to get more information on the link between your symptoms and hormonal health – it’s an important piece of your healthcare puzzle.

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acassaraHow Can Hormone Testing Help?