Updated: Feb 14
Vol. 2, #1
Welcome to Daravida's online newsletter! Our goal for this publication is to create a resource for empowering our patients, both current and future, to live their healthiest lives.
If you hadn't heard the news, Wednesdays in Vega are no longer available. A sincere thank you to the Oldham County Chamber for their hospitality! Our office in Amarillo now offers extended hours on the first and third Wednesday of each month.
This Issue's Featured Supplement - Coenzyme Q10
More commonly known as CoQ10, coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant and is also involved in production of ATP in your cells.
Levels of CoQ10 decrease as we age, and low levels have been found in folks with certain heart conditions, diabetes, and cancer.
Antioxidants neutralize unstable compounds called free radicals. Free radicals are missing electrons and will leech them from your healthy cells in a process called oxidation. Antioxidants can give up their electrons, without becoming free radicals themselves, to neutralize excess unstable compounds in your body. As far as ATP goes, it's the source of cell energy. This is a scary (and extreme) thought but if all ATP production stopped, you would perish within seconds.
Preventing oxidative stress (when free radicals vastly outnumber your antioxidants) can help in reducing the risk of congestive heart failure, blood pressure problems, migraine headaches, diabetes, and cancer.
This Issue's Featured Essential Oil - Christmas Spirit
For those of you that may be unfamiliar, essential oils are highly concentrated oils produced from plants, flowers, trees, roots, and seeds. They can be used topically (properly mixed with a carrier oil such as coconut oil) on the skin, or through inhaling the aroma from the bottle or a diffuser.
Christmas Spirit is a blend of oils and contains evergreen, spruce, cinnamon, and orange essential oils. This blend by Young Living was created for enhancing your sense of comfort. It provides a soothing aroma reminiscent of the holiday season. Keep the spirit going a little while longer!
Let's Get Down to Brass Tacks
New year, new resolution to improve your health? Great!
Here's something very easy you can do at any time, in any place, to improve your strength and improve your mood: work on your posture.
Let's start from the top and work down.
Many of us tend to look at our phones with our head bowed down toward our chest, yet this common form of posture is doing several destructive things to our bodies. First, if your head is tilted forward at a 45° angle, the weight placed on your spine is roughly 49 pounds. At a 60° angle, the weight increases to about 60 pounds. You can see where this is going in terms of stress on your back and spine. Secondly, we're squashing our lungs when we lean forward this way, which decreases their capacity to fill which in turn lowers the amount of oxygen reaching your brain and other vital organs. Additionally, we're preventing our diaphragm muscle from working properly, which can affect our lymphatic drainage. The closer you can hold your device to eye-level, the better. If you're using one hand, switch hands every so often. And take breaks to stretch your neck back into good posture and gently roll your head around.
Aside from looking down at your phone, standing or sitting with your shoulders rolled forward is also causing complications in your body, especially your brain and nervous system.
The amygdala is a region of your brain which activates your fight-or-flight response to stress, and your vagus nerve is connected to your digestion.
Unfortunately, the amygdala can't tell if you're rolling your shoulders forward to hide from an attacker or if your posture is bad and you're just working at your desk. It simply activates your stress response which dumps adrenaline and unbalances your cortisol level. This affects your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing in your already squashed lungs.
Your vagus nerve is where you get that "gut feeling" when you're nervous or stressed. See how this is all coming together to upset your entire day? Your gut reacts to poor posture through decreased organ function and poor digestion. This means you're getting fewer nutrients and thus feeling fatigued. And just like your lungs, your stomach and intestines are being squashed inside you when you slouch forward. What happens in vagus doesn't stay in vagus.
It's enough to make you sit up (straight) and take notice. "Square your shoulders" is more than just a saying, it actually has physical benefits! Roll your shoulders back, get your chest out, lift your head, engage your core, and breathe deep. Practice this whenever it comes to mind and pretty soon it won't feel weird anymore. Your body will come to appreciate the sensation and you'll appear more confident while actually feeling it!
If you've got two minutes here and there, strike and hold the superhero pose and breathe. Your body and mind will feel the difference. You'll shift the fight-or-flight response away from the amygdala over to your frontal lobe, which will help your body rationally process real stress. Be especially conscious of your posture while exercising and lifting weights.