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Chiropractic Care of Children…Is It Really Safe???

In the late 1990s, an article published on the safety of chiropractic treatment of children also revealed significant benefits for children who received chiropractic treatment.

This article was written in response to safety concerns due to the increased utilization of chiropractic for various pediatric conditions.

One primary topic of discussion included the neurological and vascular complications associated with chiropractic treatment in pediatric patients.

This topic has been reviewed previously in adult patients and much of the same concerns can be associated with the pediatric patient.

The likelihood of a vascular injury in a pediatric case is certainly less than in the adult patient due to the pliability and flexibility of the neurovascular structures.

The incidence in the occurrence of stroke in teenagers (children under 15 years of age) is reportedly at a rate of 2.7 per 100,000 children was reported.

However, based on an extensive search dating back 32 or more years, only two reported cases of neurovascular complications related to pediatric patients who had received chiropractic care were found.

Based on the data derived from multiple sources, a conservative estimate of the number of pediatric visits to chiropractors in the United States over the same time frame amounted to over 500 million treatments.

THE REVIEW CONCLUDED THE CHANCE OF A NEUROVASCULAR COMPLICATION ARISING FROM THE CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENT WAS APPROXIMATELY 1 OUT OF 250 MILLION VISITS.

The article concluded the benefits outweigh the risks when applying cervical spine manipulation to any individual, including the pediatric population.

Based on their review, chiropractic care, as it relates to neurovascular complications, presents little risk to the pediatric patient. Even less than the general non-pediatric population which too, is extremely rare.

One other risk cited in its paper was potential damage to the growth plate (epiphysis – the growing ends of bones) of the growing child. However, in the 32+ year review, no reported research documentation could be found supporting this claim.

Another article reported ways in which parents might be able to detect spinal problems in children.

Unless an obvious trauma such as a trip and fall has occurred, it can be challenging in some cases to detect spinal issues, similar to the dentist discovering a non-symptomatic cavity.

More obvious findings parents can detect may include head tilt or leaning to one side, the child turning their whole body rather than their neck to converse or look at someone, sleep interruptions, a child rubbing their own neck, feeding /nursing difficulties on one side and crying/agitated behavior compared to the child’s “usual” behavior.

When children are able to communicate, they may complain of aches that many refer to as “growing pains.”

Less documented / anecdotal evidence that might suggest nervous system dysfunction include persistent earaches, sore throats, colic, headaches, bed-wetting, and others are conditions that parents may bring their children for chiropractic treatment.

From In Good Hands Magazine.

  1. http://www.chiroweb.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=37423 Dynamic Chiropractic – September 7, 1998, Vol. 16, Issue 19 Chiropractic — Is It Safe for Children? By Claudia Anrig, DC; Claudia Anrig, DC Clovis, California
  2. http://www.chiroweb.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=41406 Dynamic Chiropractic – July 29, 1994, Vol. 12, Issue 16
  3. A Parent’s Guide to Chiropractic Care for Children Peter Fysh, DC San Jose, California
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The Many Functions of Your Nervous System

Every movement, smell, taste, touch, sound, thought, and dream has its origin in the nervous system.

Every function of your body, both voluntarily and involuntarily is controlled, at least in part, by your nervous system.

To better understand how the nervous system works, it is necessary to discuss what makes up the nervous system.

The Nervous system is made up of two primary systems – the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.

The central nervous system (CNS) is made of the brain and spinal cord, while the peripheral nervous system (PNS) is comprised of nerves such as those in our arms, legs, and torso that deliver information back to the CNS for processing.

Many of the functions of the PNS are voluntary – that is, we can control actons like reaching for plate, swinging a golf club, or swimming.

Other actions are involuntary like the beating of the heart, breathing rates during exercise, digesting food, regulating our blood sugar, metabolism, and so on.

Many of the automatic involuntary functions are controlled by a subcategory of the PNS called the autonomic nervous system (ANS) which has two components: the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

There is always activity in the sympathetic nervous system operating at a basal level called “sympathetic tone” and its activity increases at times of stress (producing a “fight-or-flight” response).

The parasympathetic nervous system basically does the opposite of the sympathetic nervous system.

When the heart rate increases (sympathetic response), the parasympathetic nervous system slows it down. Just as the “fight-or-flight” response relates to the sympathetic NS, a “rest and digest” function describes the parasympathetic NS.

Hence, the autonomic nervous system (ANS) is made up of nerves that innervate cardiac muscle, smooth muscle, and glandular tissue.

From a functional perspective, think of the nervous system as a highway with information being transmitted to and from different locations.

The roads or pathways bring information to the CNS (brain/spinal cord) and are called sensory nerves (afferent).

Consider what happens when you touch a hot stove…

In this example, your hand is quickly pulled away from the stove. To accomplish this, there are nerve fibers that connect or bridge between the afferent (sensory) and efferent (motor) nerves called interneurons.

To break this down even further, under a microscope, the space or junction between two neurons/nerves is called a synapse, which is a very narrow gap where chemicals called neurotransmitters allow an impulse to pass through the gap so an impulse can travel onto another “road” (nerve) to bring information to and from the CNS. Therefore, each synapse is like a ferry boat (chemicals) carrying a car (the impulse) across the gap to the next road in route to the brain and/or spinal cord. This gets further complicated as there are many different chemicals (“ferry boats”) called neurotransmitters that result in different types of responses. These responses are broadly classified into either those that excite or inhibit and result in an action that is incredibly fast, which is often needed to avoid injury or death. The example of touching the stove clearly describes the quick reaction that results from the combined chemical and electrical signaling that takes place. If these chemicals get out of balance, different reactions can occur and many of the medications used in treating depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other psychological conditions exert their effects directly on these neurotransmitters (such as serotonin).

So as you can see, the nervous system is very complex and yet, very balanced allowing us to function and perform in an automatic, coordinated way, so most of the time, we don’t have to think about what we are doing to a point of exhaustion.

Many things can negatively affect the functions of the nervous system such as trauma/injury, lack of sleep, stress, chemical abuse (alcohol, cocaine, heroin, etc.), and diet.

Chiropractic focuses much attention on balancing these functions through adjustments of the spine, which has both local and more distant effects through “somatovisceral” and “somatic” responses, thus affecting both voluntary and involuntary functions.

Management of sleep, stress, diet, exercise, and other aspects of life are important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and quality of life.

Much of this information was obtained from In Good Hands Magazine and the following URL (check it out!): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nervous_system#Nervous_system_in_humans. This site includes many pictures of the CNS and PNS as well as a description of all the components that make up the nervous system.

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Can Chiropractic Prevent Some Types of Arthritis?

This question is asked frequently by patients visiting chiropractors.

To answer this question, let’s first talk about, “what is arthritis?”

The word “arthritis” is derived from “arth-” meaning “joint” and “-itis” meaning “inflammation.”

Hence, arthritis is basically swelling in the joint.

Many types of arthritis have been identified – in fact, over 100!

Some types of arthritis are primary (not caused by anything that can be identified), while others are secondary to a disease or other condition.

The 9 most common primary forms of arthritis are: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, septic arthritis, gout, pseudogout, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Still’s disease, and ankylosing spondylitis.

The most common type that virtually affects everyone sooner or later is osteoarthritis. This is basically the wearing out of the joint, which usually seen in the older person but can be found at any age after trauma or injury occurred or, after an infection in the joint.

The next most common is rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease where the person’s antibodies attack the joint (and possibly other tissues as well). This can occur at a young, middle or older age, whenever the body is triggered to produce the joint attacking antibodies. Crystals deposited in joints can injury the cartilage surface of which the most common is gout- often attacking the base joint of the big toe, and pseudogout.

SO NOW THE QUESTION – CAN CHIROPRACTIC PREVENT SOME FORMS OF ARTHRITIS?

The answer is yes…. sometimes. For example, when a spinal joint is fixated, stuck, or subluxated, the normal biomechanics of the spine are altered because of the faulty movement between the vertebrae.

Restoring movement can restore proper function so excess forces are not exerted on the adjacent levels.

A good example of this is when 2 or 3 vertebrae are fused together (surgical or congenital), the levels above and below the fusion have to work harder for the spine to move and function and tend to become osteoarthritic sooner than the other non-fused levels.

From a more broad approach, lifestyle changes including exercise, weight management, the use of a brace or splint, certain medications and dietary supplements can be helpful as well.

Exercise, in particular, can have significant benefits to the joint surface in both pain relief and slowing down or even stopping the degenerative process (osteoarthritis).

Diet emphasizing an anti-inflammatory approach includes the paleodiet or caveman diet where grains/glutens are avoided and lean meats, fruits, and vegetables are emphasized (see http://www.paleodiet.com/ and http://www.deflame.com/).

Here is a list of websites that offer additional information:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthritis
  2. http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=36338
  3. http://www.chiropractic.com.sg/arthritis.html
  4. http://www.chiropractorguide.com/basics/chiropractors-and-arthritis-pain-relief

From In Good Hands Magazine

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Chiropractic… Natural, Safe, and Effective!

The mission of chiropractic is to help sick people get well, as well as to help healthy people function better in the absence of drugs or surgery.

When people are asked, “…what do chiropractors do?” the frequent response is, “…they crack your neck and/or back.”

Chiropractic spinal manipulation (frequently called an adjustment), often produces an audible popping or cracking noise.

This sound is known as joint cavitation and it is reported to be caused by the release of pressure created by gases (nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide) within the joint.

It is the same noise produced when one cracks their knuckles. One common myth is that cracking or cavitating a joint will produce arthritis in the joint – this is simply not true.

Several scientific studies of joint cavitation dispel this old wives tale. In fact, studies demonstrated that joint manipulation actually benefits patients with arthritis of the spine.

There have been a number of studies published on the topic of unwanted reactions to spinal manipulation.

In general, side effects, if any, are mild and transient.

When they do occur, they typically happen shortly after the first or second session of spinal manipulation, similar to the post-exercise soreness that occurs when first introducing a new sport or activity.

Unpleasant side effects may occur in between 10% and 30% of patients. They occur more often in women than men, and as previously stated, they seem to occur more often after the first session of spinal manipulation.

The most commonly reported unpleasant reaction is temporary and transient increased pain or stiffness. This reaction usually resolves in 24 hours or less.

More rare reports of tiredness, light headedness, and occasional nausea have been infrequently reported.

The type and nature of these reactions may be associated with the severity and nature of the condition being treated.

It seems self evident that more severe problems have the potential to produce short term increases in symptoms. The use of ice, ultrasound and or other modalities can help to minimize any irritation that may occur due to spinal manipulative treatment.

SPINAL MANIPULATION HAS BEEN FOUND TO BE SAFE AND EFFECTIVE FOR UNCOMPLICATED SPINAL PAIN SYNDROMES. MORE IMPORTANTLY, IT MAY ALSO BE A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE TO SURGERY FOR LUMBAR OR CERVICAL DISK HERNIATIONS.

There are many reports on both sides of this subject, with some stating spinal manipulation can increase compression of the spinal nerves in patients with disk herniations as well as the opposite – that it reduces nerve root pressure.

The good news is that the rate of occurrence is only about 1 in 1- 3 million cases, making spinal manipulation for disk problems an extremely safe treatment option for patient with herniated disks.

Chiropractors will often use low-force manipulation methods for treating herniated disks that do not require a standard type of manipulation thrust.

These spinal methods are sometimes preferred over traditional manipulative techniques for the treatment of herniated spinal disks, but this is case dependent.

To make an educated decision about any type of care you may be considering, you must consider “relative risks”. Simply put, relative risks compare the risk of one procedure with the risk of a second procedure for the same condition.

For example, if you are taking medications to relieve your pain, how do the risks of the medications compare with the risks of an alternative treatment, like chiropractic care?

An example is chiropractic treatment versus drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which include aspirin, Aleve and Advil (TM).

THE RISK FOR SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS FROM ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUG IS FROM 6000-9000 TIMES GREATER THAN THE RISK FOR SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS FROM SPINAL MANIPULATION, MEANING THAT CHIROPRACTIC CARE IS A MUCH SAFER ALTERNATIVE THAN ASPIRIN OR OTHER NSAID DRUGS FOR TREATING INFLAMMATORY BACK OR NECK PAIN.

Further, there is no significant increased risk to add chiropractic care to an existing regime of NSAIDs, thus treating the condition with two different strategies.

Interestingly, studies have reported that patients receiving chiropractic care were able to reduce their intake of drugs, thus, reducing the risks of drug reactions/interactions.

If you are trying to avoid surgery for a spine related problem, your condition is more serious and potential side effects of surgery should be compared with chiropractic.

You should understand any patient who is a potential candidate for spine surgery has a serious medical condition. There is pressure on a nerve and the potential for permanent damage to that nerve exists. Studies show that chiropractic care often can reduce the pressure on a compressed nerve in the lower back or neck, without surgery.

The following references were utilized in the preparation of this information.

References

  1. The audible release associated with joint manipulation. JMPT. 1995 Mar-Apr;18(3):155-64.
  2. Does knuckle cracking lead to arthritis of the fingers? Arthritis Rheum. 1998 May;41(5):949-50.
  3. Efficacy of treating low back pain and dysfunction secondary to osteoarthritis: chiropractic care compared with moist heat alone. JMPT 2006 Feb;29(2):107-14.
  4. Comparison of human lumbar facet joint capsule strains during simulated high velocity, low-amplitude spinal manipulation versus physiological motions. Spine J. 2005 May-Jun;5(3):277-90.
  5. Safety of spinal manipulation in the treatment of lumbar disk herniations: a systematic review and risk assessment JMPT. 2004 Mar-Apr;27(3):197-210.
  6. Side posture manipulation for lumbar intervertebral disk herniation. JMPT. 1993 Feb;16(2):96-103.
  7. Magnetic resonance imaging and clinical follow-up: study of 27 patients receiving chiropractic care for cervical and lumbar disc herniations. JMPT 1996 Nov-Dec;19 (9):597-606.
  8. Prospective investigations into the safety of spinal manipulation. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2001 Mar;21(3):238-42.
  9. Risks associated with spinal manipulation. Am J Med. 2002 May;112(7):566-71.
  10. A risk assessment of cervical manipulation vs. NSAIDs for the treatment of neck pain. JMPT 1995 Oct;18(8):530-6.
  11. J Side effects of chiropractic treatment: a prospective study. JMPT. 1997 Oct;20(8):511-5.
  12. Frequency and clinical predictors of adverse reactions to chiropractic care in the UCLA neck pain study. Spine. 2005 Jul 1;30(13):1477-84.
  13. Complications of spinal manipulation: a comprehensive review of the literature. J Fam Pract. 1996 May;42(5):475-80.
  14. Dissection of cervical arteries Presse Med 2001 Dec 15;30(38):1882-9
  15. Vertebral artery occlusion after acute cervical spine trauma. Spine. 2000 May 1;25(9):1171-7.18. Spine Journal
  16. Internal forces sustained by the vertebral artery during spinal manipulative therapy. JMPT 2002 Oct;25(8):504-10
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How to Explain Chiropractic to Others in Boise

We cannot thank our family, friends, patients, and allied health care providers enough for referring patients to our practice.

There is no other form of advertising that attracts the quality of patients as those our patients refer to us.

So, here’s some information that may help you tell others about us: Chiropractic has been around since 1895 and is the third largest healthcare profession in the world:

  • The primary focus of treatment includes the neuromusculoskeletal system (nerves, muscles, joints) such as disk herniations (e.g., sciatica, pinched nerves), sprains and strains, sports injuries, neck pain (e.g., whiplash), headaches, and many others.
  • The treatment includes a “hands-on” approach where massage, manual traction, joint manipulation and mobilization are commonly utilized. In general, the treatment typically feels good and patients look forward to the process.
  • In many cases (such as low back pain, neck pain, headaches), chiropractic care may function as the primary or only treatment that is needed. However, when other medical conditions co-exist, the combination of chiropractic and medical treatment is often better than either one by itself (depending on the condition).
  • Doctors of chiropractic commonly refer back and forth with medical and osteopathic doctors, creating a “win-win” for the patient and providers.
  • Over the last 20-30 years, a significant volume of research has been published finding chiropractic approaches to be either equal or superior to other forms of healthcare provision for low back and neck pain, headaches, and other conditions.
  • Many hospitals, medical clinics and VA facilities have integrated chiropractic into their healthcare systems. Medicare and Medicaid have included chiropractic coverage since the 1970’s and most private insurers include chiropractic coverage due to the significant volume of research reporting the benefits, cost savings, and patient satisfaction.

Your individual story may actually be the most important thing you can share.

The following are a few of the many websites that include great information about chiropractic that may also be appreciated by the potential “internet savvy” future chiropractic patient:

We look forward to giving your family, friends, and co-workers the same quality care that you’ve been receiving!

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12 Tips to Reduce Allergies in Boise

The dry climate in Boise is about to really take hold and that means allergy season is going to kick into high gear.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), over half of Americans are allergic to one or more allergens. It’s never more apparent than during spring and summer in Boise, when seasonal allergies are likely to flare up.

Aside from the lousy, cold­like symptoms that allergies provoke (sneezing, congestion, watery/itchy eyes, runny nose, etc.), allergies can cost you days at work and money to seek out solutions. In fact, according to AAAAI, allergies may cost Americans close to $8 billion a year in costs related to direct care and lost work productivity.

If you live in the United States, chances are you have allergies. At least, that’s the finding from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III).

According to NHANES III, the top four most common allergens include:

  • Dust mites
  • Rye
  • Ragweed
  • Cockroaches

About 25 percent of Americans tested positive to each one. Least common was the peanut, with only 9 percent reacting positively.

As for food allergies, the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network says that eight foods account for 90 percent of all food­related allergic reactions:

As pollen, and other allergens peak in Boise this spring, those with allergies should stay indoors as much as possible (or if you can’t resist venturing outside, at least shower and wash your clothing afterward).

Staying indoors when pollen counts are high is one of the best ways to prevent allergy symptoms.

  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Peanut
  • Tree nut (walnut, cashew, etc.)
  • Fish
  • Shellfish Soy Wheat

While it would seem that, with so many people suffering from allergies, we would be well prepared as a population to handle them and know their causes, this is not the case. Nearly half (49 percent) of allergy sufferers wait until symptoms occur to take action, rather than using preventative measures. This is unfortunate when it’s so easy to do! Increasing immune function will help reduce or eliminate allergies altogether.

I’ve had dozens of patients over the years tell me their allergies were reduced or eliminated during and after chiropractic care. What’s funny is that no a single person told me they had allergies to start with or wanted treatment for allergies! Boosting the body’s internal ability to heal and function is what chiropractic does and it shows in cases like this.

Minimize your allergies with these 12 tips, however, the best tip is…boost your immune system with wholesome foods and chiropractic care to ensure your body functions at it’s best so you can enjoy life to the fullest:

1. Keep your windows closed to keep pollen out (this is especially important from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. when plants release most of their pollen).

2. Use your air conditioner instead of opening windows, and ideally use an air conditioner that has an allergy­reducing HEPA filter in it.

3. Check the daily pollen and mold counts (AAAAI’s National Allergy Bureau has daily pollen counts for locations across the country). If counts are high, stay indoors as much as possible. Also stay indoors if it’s windy, as dust and pollen will be blown about.

4. Clean your home frequently to reduce pollen, mold, dust and other allergens.

5. Wash your bedding once a week in hot water to help get rid of dust mites and other allergy triggers.

Some people face worse allergy flare­ups in the fall than the spring.

6. Shower before you go to bed. This will help wash away any pollen, mold and other allergens that have accumulated in your hair and on your body.

7. Always wash your clothes after spending time outdoors to remove pollen and other allergens.

8. Have someone else mow your lawn. Cutting the grass will expose you to a host of pollens and molds (the same goes for raking leaves in the fall).

9. Wipe off surfaces you touch often. Surfaces such as computer keyboards, countertops, furniture, door handles and appliances can be loaded with allergens. When you touch these areas, the allergens are transferred to your hands and then likely to your eyes, nose and mouth, potentially worsening your symptoms. Giving these a wipe with a microfiber cloth can keep all types of allergens to a minimum.

11. Resist the temptation to hang your clothes out in the sun to dry. When you bring them inside, they’ll be covered in pollen and mold.

12. Get away for a while. If you can spare a few weeks, great, but even a week­long vacation to a low­pollen area (such as a beach) can be a much­needed reprieve.

Article adapted from Dr. Mancini (see linked article)

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Some People in Boise Get Back Pain or Sickness, Other Don’t: Your GAP is Why

Why is it that some people get sick or back pain while others don’t? Ever notice that some people get colds every winter, or some kids miss school a lot while others never do? Some people blow out their back every few months, others don’t. This is all related to an individual’s General Adaptive Potential.

Some of Chiropractic’s 33 principles focus on a concept known as “The Limitations of Matter”. This refers to the conditions necessary for a living system to survive or thrive. Living like us! I guess an extreme example of this would be that even a very healthy person would die if they were left naked outside in sub-zero temperatures for long enough. There is a limit to what we can adapt to. This is the “Limitation of Matter.”

In life, the experience isn’t usually so extreme. We all experience some degree of negative stress. These stresses usually aren’t so overwhelming that they result in instant death. Many times the negative stress adds up and reduces our experience and expression of life, thus our health, causing us back pain or sickness.

The good news is, you can improve your GAP and thereby increase the ability of your body to manage negative stress. Chiropractic care is simply one of the best ways to accomplish resolving back and neck pain and improve overall health.

The beautiful thing is that your body is more than a machine—it has life that flows through it, it can re-create itself! And that is exactly what we want to partner with you in doing through chiropractic care with me at my office.

 

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Chiropractic Treatment in Boise: The Power of Touch

This week I want to share with you a fascinating article that was reviewed in a scientific publication, The Explorer. In two separate experiments at the University of Connecticut’s Medical Center, 98 mice were injected with 200,000 cells of Methylcholanthrene (which is a cancer causing toxin), double the defined lethal dosage.

These experimenters took a “healer”, who works by laying his hands on people, and had him use his talents on the mice. Not only did the tumors show regression on the mice the healer put his hands on, but further, other mice in the vicinity that also had tumors were helped, and he never physically touched them! What does this all mean?

Years ago, most serious scientists would denounce such findings or these types of experiments in general. Today, we see this type of research all the time, specifically in regards to chiropractic treatment right here in Boise, Idaho, home to one of chiropractic’s largest research centers. Historically, the human body was viewed as pure matter, a 
bag of bones if you will, and therefore all strategies for helping it were based on this incomplete view. In the last century however, with the rise of the study of quantum physics, these energies started becoming widely accepted. As a result, we started looking at the body and mind and the role of energy in health (like chiropractic treatment), healing, and the expression of life in general. We still, to a large degree, can only speculate as to why a person can lay his hands on someone and tumors can heal, but we do know it happens.

Chiropractic, as a profession, was way ahead of its time in this respect. Since 1895, chiropractic treatment has used the healing power of touch as a part of our procedure to promote healing. Chiropractic knew that the connection between the mind and body was the nervous system, and that in order for health to be fully expressed, the nervous system must be free of interference. In fact, as part of your assessment in my office I specifically measure the energy and adaptability of your nervous system to determine the chiropractic treatment needed.

This nerve energy communication process can be hampered by the negative stress of everyday living, and that is why chiropractic treatment from my office in Boise is so important. Together, utilizing this powerful mind and body connection, you and I help eliminate negative stress so that you can realize the best of your potential.

The moral of this story, don’t underestimate the healing power of 
 loving touch.

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Stress Relief for a Lifetime

How to battle stress and win! Life can offer many challenges, here are a few things that you can do to manage stress and conquer the things you love to do.

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