The Benefits of Vitamin D for Mental Health

vitamin d and mental health, vitamin d deficiency and mental health, lack of vitamin d and mental health, low vitamin d and mental health

When you think of vitamin D, you likely think of the sun. Does thinking of the warm sun shining on your face make you happy? Well, there’s actually science to back up the significant role that vitamin D plays on our mental health. Let’s explore

What is Vitamin D?

You may have heard vitamin D referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” before. That’s because vitamin D is produced in the skin in response to sunlight. The body naturally produces vitamin D when directly exposed to sunlight, but you can also get it through foods and supplements to ensure you have enough vitamin D.

Vitamin D to Fight Depression

Research shows that vitamin D may play an integral role in regulating mood and fighting depression. One study found that depressed people who received a vitamin D supplement noticed their symptoms improve.

Research points to vitamin D’s role in regulating serotonin and calcium for its possible therapeutic impact on depression when vitamin D levels are boosted.

Vitamin D to Fight Anxiety

A separate study of people with fibromyalgia found that vitamin D deficiency was more common in people experiencing anxiety and depression. Another study of children also found that kids who were vitamin D deficient experiencing significantly higher levels of anxiety and stress than their peers.

Vitamin D and Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a severe mental health condition that causes people to lose touch with reality. This often leads to psychotic symptoms like hallucinations and delusions.

Researchers have discovered that people with schizophrenia are more likely to have significantly lower levels of vitamin D than normal, in addition to being more likely to live in parts of the world with less sun exposure.

A number of studies have also found that insufficient sunlight or vitamin D supplementation as an infant increases the risk of developing schizophrenia later in life.

So, how can you get some more vitamin D in your life to reap the mental health benefits?

vitamin d and mental health, vitamin d deficiency and mental health, lack of vitamin d and mental health, low vitamin d and mental health

Get outdoors!  Soak up the sun and enjoy the mood-boosting effects.  Just don’t forget the SPF!

 


vitamin d and mental health, vitamin d deficiency and mental health, lack of vitamin d and mental health, low vitamin d and mental health
Light therapy is a daily treatment that involves a dose of intense artificial light— something more commonly associated with the treatment of seasonal affective disorder, but it has also been proven to be effective for treating other forms of non-seasonal depression such as major depression and bipolar. In fact,  studies show that light therapy has similar effectiveness to pharmaceutical treatments. You can even do light therapy from home with at-home lightboxes

 

vitamin d and mental health, vitamin d deficiency and mental health, lack of vitamin d and mental health, low vitamin d and mental healthVitamin D supplements: You can purchase Vitamin D supplements at your local grocery store or pharmacy. They come in a pill form that you can take every morning to help increase and regulate mood. Ideally your levels should be at 40-60 mg/ml year round.

 

Increase Vitamin D in your diet: Try to incorporate more vitamin D-rich foods into your everyday meals, such as fish oil, milk, egg yolks, mushrooms and vitamin-d fortified foods.

 

 

Light Therapy: Benefits of Vitamin D Lamps

Optimally, everyone should get at least 15 minutes of sun for three days a week to be in good health. Unfortunately, those that do not live near the equator may not have access to that amount of sun throughout the year. And in today’s busy climate, very few have the time to get into the sun enough to meet recommendations.  Light therapy is a great way to get the Vitamin D we need.  You may wonder how the sun is linked to vitamin D so here is a simple explanation. The sun’s UV radiation helps vitamin D precursors in the body to be converted into a usable form.

Why Do We Need Vitamin D?

 

Vitamin D is necessary for strong bones and can combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which includes emotional and physical changes due to change in seasons. Lack of vitamin D may also lead to several complications in the body, including rickets, a reason why you need an alternative source of Vitamin D especially when sun exposure is low. An excellent way to always ensure you get Vitamin D is by using vitamin D lamps.

Vitamin D Lamps for Light Therapy

Vitamin D lamps are sun lamps used for phototherapy. They are fluorescent lamps that produce high-intensity ultraviolet-B (blue) rays. These rays trigger vitamin D production in the body. Here are the benefits of using a Vitamin D lamp:

light therapy lamp, revive light therapy, UV light therapy, light box therapy

  1. Provides you with vitamin D during the winter season, a season when there are less available foods containing vitamin D
  2. Gives you a refreshed morning- Even with no sunrise, you get to experience ‘sun’ for a few hours in the morning.
  3. Boosts vitamin D deficiency as researchers have found that it can significantly increase serum Vitamin D levels even more than when using other supplements.
  4. Great for those who have problems using oral supplements due to side effects such as inflammatory bowel disease and cystic fibrosis.
  5. Improves sleep in people struggling with insomnia. Helps regulate melatonin, allowing the body to control the sleep-wake cycle.
  6. Helps ward off seasonal depression by regulating the serotonin which relays signals to the brain and enhances your mood.
  7. Phototherapy is used to treat people with dementia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
  8. The vitamin D lamps are adjustable and can be placed in any position. They are also portable hence easy to carry when travelling. This means that you can get your Vitamin D anywhere, anytime.
  9. Helps boost vitamin D facilitating the absorption of calcium in the body, promoting healthy bone growth and reducing the risk of related health conditions such as rickets.
  10. Helps modulate the immune system, regulate gene and cell growth, prevent frequent infections, and promote fast wound healing

Vitamin D Deficiency

light therapy lamp, revive light therapy, UV light therapy, light box therapy

With the following signs and symptoms, you could start phototherapy with guidance from your healthcare practitioner.

• Fatigue and muscle weakness
• Bone and joint pain
• Slow wound healing
• Frequent infections

Tips when using a vitamin D lamp for light therapy

• Position the lamp 2-3 feet away from where you are to allow better concentration and dispersion of the light.
• Start with 30-40 minutes per day. If you don’t see changes, increase to an hour.
• Be consistent with your light therapy to see the above health benefits.

light therapy lamp, revive light therapy, UV light therapy, light box therapy

Bottom line

With a Vitamin D lamp, you can still get the right amount of Vitamin D that your body needs even when there is reduced sun exposure. Get yourself a lamp and say goodbye to insomnia, seasonal depression and other related conditions. Always consult with your health practitioner, especially if you have any underlying health conditions, to know the right Vitamin D lamp to purchase.

Resources

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2008-05-10-0805090323-story.html

https://www.chicagotribune.com/consumer-reviews/sns-bestreviews-health-the-best-light-therapy-lamp-2020-20200813-wdbrnaby6ff2bazsu7mbhsixxm-story.html

https://www.chicagotribune.com/consumer-reviews/sns-bestreviews-health-8-products-that-will-combat-seasonal-affective-disorder-20190108-story.html

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/are-sun-lamps-best-to-improve-your-winter-mood/

 

Arthritis: Natural Remedies

 

Joints do not age the same way that people do. Joints can age due to overuse, also known as wear and tear. In the United States, 23% of all adults—over 54 million people—have arthritis. About 24 million adults are limited in their activities from arthritis, and more than 1 in 4 adults with arthritis report severe joint pain.

 What Does Arthritis Pain Feel Like?

 “Arth” means joint, and “itis’ means inflammation of. It makes perfect sense that arthritis is the inflammation of the joint. It is not a specific type of pain or disease like many might think. The joint swells and is red and hot. When this swelling occurs over a long period of time, pressure is created, which then causes pain. If it is left alone, the joints are damaged and destroyed over time.

 Can Arthritis Happen Suddenly?

Pain and stiffness in and around one or more joints are common symptoms. Depending on the type of arthritis, symptoms can develop suddenly or gradually over time. Symptoms may come and go or persist over time.

 What Are the Early Signs?

Symptoms of can include…

  1. Joint pain, tenderness, and stiffness.
  2. Inflammation in and around the joints.
  3. Restricted movement of the joints.
  4. Warm red skin over the affected joint.
  5. Weakness and muscle wasting.

The Three Most Common Types

  • Osteoarthritis the most common form.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system attacks parts of the body—especially the joints.
  • Psoriatic arthritis affects the skin and joints.

What Can You Do to Naturally Treat Arthritis?

There are numerous approaches to arthritis treatment. It can include:

  1. Chiropractic care,
  2. Diet reduction of foods known to increase inflammation in the body,
  3. Nutritional supplementation,
  4. Acupuncture,
  5. Exercise, and
  6. Weight management.

arthritis, psoriatic arthrits, Rheumatoid arthritis

Can a Chiropractor Help Prevent Damage with Arthritis?

 Chiropractic care is a great option to manage pain that comes with having arthritis. It is a safe, nonsurgical, natural alternative to pain treatments. Chiropractors are skilled in detecting and correcting misalignments and joint issues with gentle and specialized adjustments.

Chiropractors work with the joints of the spine and extremities. When inflammation is present in the body, certain chemicals are released by the body and it starts to deposit calcium in the joint, causing bone spurs and other problems that cause the joints to break down.

We will be the first to admit that arthritis cannot be cured, even by chiropractic intervention. What we can do is prevent the damage arthritis creates. If a joint is fixated and out of alignment, it is not working the way it should. The stuck or uneven surfaces will begin to grind. This grinding causes inflammation, leading to arthritis, and if left untreated, joint damage results.

arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis

The Crucial Time Frame

If we can allow for proper alignment and function, we will have stopped the process that can cause the arthritis in the first place. Studies show that when a joint is stuck for seven days or longer, it causes microtears in the disc. These tears mean the disc is breaking down and decaying, thereby causing arthritis.

We will make sure your joints are never fixated for more than those crucial seven days, preventing deterioration. We suggest arthritis patients see us regularly, and we will make your personalized recommendations for care after thoroughly assessing your case.

Top Supplements to Help Treat the Pain

  1. Curcumin (from turmeric root) Evidence suggests the turmeric root has anti-inflammatory properties. …
  2. Vitamin D. If you have arthritis pain or are at high risk for arthritis, your nutritionist may recommend a vitamin D supplement. …
  3. Omega-3 fatty acids. …
  4. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.

arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis

 In the Kitchen with Arthritis:

 Foods that are known to cause inflammation are best to be avoided, some include …

  • Processed foods. Avoid processed foods, such as baked goods and prepackaged meals and snacks.
  • Omega-6 fatty acids.
  • Sugar and certain sugar alternatives.
  • Red meat and fried foods.
  • Refined carbohydrates.
  • Cheese and high-fat dairy.
  • Alcohol.

 

Spring Cleaning For The Mind, Body And Spirit

spring cleaning

Spring is a time for cleaning out the cupboards, drawers, and purging any unneeded items.  Plus, let’s be honest, what else is there to while we all patiently wait for the end of COVID-19?? With that said, it is also a time to take a look at ourselves as our minds, body, and spirit deserve some self ‘spring cleaning‘ as well.

mental health

Spring Cleaning For The Mind

The first step in spring cleaning for the mind is to throw away destructive self-talk. In other words, anything that depletes you of energy and ambition.

Start off by unplugging from negative outlets that bring your energy down. This can include:

  • Social media
  • The nightly news
  • Low energy television shows
  • Movies
  • Toxic relationships

Next, say ‘no’ to activities in your life that feel more like obligations. Don’t do something because you’re afraid to say no.  Instead, attend events that you look forward to going to.

Finally, spring is the perfect time of year to start a new project or activity that will bring joy and excitement to your life.

let's get physical

Let’s Get Physical

The warmer weather finally allows us to get outside and enjoy some much needed fresh air and Vitamin D.

Spring is the perfect time to focus on shedding excess weight that is slowing you down and putting strain on your joints. Visit the local farmers markets and enjoy the fresh produce that we will soon have access to and make refreshing smoothies, salads, and green juices.

By increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, you will naturally encourage your body to eliminate toxins and weight.

Click here to read, Are You Eating Enough Colour?

benefits of dry brushing

Dry Brushing For Detox

Have you ever heard of the technique of dry skin brushing? If not you are not alone however it’s an effective way of stimulating the lymph system to detoxify the body.

How To Dry Brush

Starting at your feet, VERY gently brush your skin in upward or circular motions with a very soft bristle brush. Then, slowly begin to bring your movements up your body, along all surfaces of your skin toward your heart. Next, start at your hands and work up to your shoulders and upper back. Lastly do your chest all the way to your heart.

It feels fantastic and is a great thing to do first thing in the morning to energize your body by getting your blood flowing.

How to Dry Brush | goop

Hydration

Remember to stay well hydrated with spring water and naturally caffeine free teas.  Homemade teas can easily be made by utilizing fresh ingredients including:

Click here to read more about the health benefits of tea.

how to free your mind

Rejuvenating And Renewing Your Spirit

When we aren’t living our true purpose in life, it can be very draining on our spirit. This spring, take some time to meditate on what your true calling is and make movements to align with your calling.

Find forgiveness in your heart for people and situations that have offended you. Focus on feeling gratitude for the little things in your life. Engage in acts of kindness, whether that be for people or animals in your life. Explore new opportunities and experiences, travel, and find new ways to feed your spirit.

Regardless of what type of spring cleaning you are doing, enjoy the longer days and the warmer sun. Be fascinated with all of the miracles of new life that spring gives us.

EMF Radiation And The Potential Dangers To Your Health

EMF Radiation

Is EMF radiation affecting your health and the well-being of your family?? It’s no secret that technology is on the rise, and for many reasons that can be considered a good thing.  However, there is a strong debate surrounding the potential dangers of electromagnetic radiation.  As technology becomes more advanced, in many ways, our lives become easier. But with that, there are potential health risks associated with the increase in electromagnetic fields (EMFs).

Many people are surprised to learn how devices that are meant to make their lives easier can negatively affect them. Many appliances in your home release their own EMF’s that can vary in frequency and intensity of electricity including your:

  • Cell phone
  • Computer
  • Microwave oven
  • Wi-Fi devices
  • TV

Their level of danger is dependent on both the regularity and duration of your exposure to them.

What Is EMF Radiation?

EMF radiation are streams of energy waves that are also produced by some natural sources such as the sun. However, what’s worrying is the fact that EMF radiation from artificial sources, mainly the gadgets in your home, is stronger than the radiation from these natural sources.

Artificial sources of EMF’s alters the body’s own electrical system. As such, this may lead to health issues including heart problems and an increased risk of cancer and leukemia.

what are emf's

What Are The Main Types Of EMF Exposure?

There are two main categories of EMF exposure:
  • Low-level radiation
  • High-level radiation

Low-level radiation also referred to as non-ionizing radiation, comes from devices such as:

  • Power lines
  • Cell phones
  • MRI’s
  • Wi-Fi routers
  • Microwave ovens

High-level radiation, or ionizing radiation, comes from devices such as medical imaging machines, in the form of X-rays. Also the sun since is produces ionizing radiation in the form of ultraviolet rays. It’s important to note that the intensity of EMF exposure increases the closer you are to the EMF source.

Click here to read, What The Neck? Are You Short-Circuiting?

what causes emf radiation

What Are Health Effects Of EMF Radiation?

There has been much debate surrounding the health effects of EMF radiation. At this point, there are a lack of conclusive long-term studies. However, the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) claims that EMFs may be carcinogenic to humans. But research thus far has been unable to provide concrete support of this claim.

However, a recent small scale study showed that there may be an increased risk of leukemia in adults after being continuously exposed to high levels of EMF.

What is certain is that more research is needed to determine the safety of EMF radiation and the potential long term effect it can have on people. Therefore, in the meantime, it is necessary to be as safe as possible and stick to recommended safety guidelines.

what is emf radiation

Wireless Routers

Although great for the convenience, wireless routers can be responsible for doing more than you think. Yes, they allow your home electronics to communicate while eliminating the need for any wiring.  But, in doing so they emit huge amounts of radiation into your home.  Unlike a computer, cell phone and television that frequently get turned off, wireless routers are constantly running.  This means EMFs are flooding your home every minute of every day. Even if you can pick up a wireless signal from a neighbor or local business, know that their EMFs are also seeping into your home.

protection against emf's

How To Stay Safe From EMF Exposure

There are a number of things you can do to increase your protection against EMF exposure including:

  • Limit the number of electronic devices in your home as much as possible
  • Turn off and unplug computers, phones, televisions, microwave and other devices when you are not using them
  • Avoid sleeping with your phone
  • Use earbuds or the speaker function when answering calls
  • Avoid using TVs with Wi-Fi functionality
  • Don’t use your TV for extended periods
  • Avoid staying too close to your TV when it’s operating
  • Reduce the number of times that you have to use your microwave oven
  • Stay far from your microwave when it’s operating
  • Ensure that your microwave is serviced annually to maintain a strong seal
  • Avoid resting your PC on your lap
  • Get a computer pad to block EMF radiation
  • Use a non-wireless router in place of the wireless if possible
  • Unplug your wireless router while you sleep and whenever possible

You’re one step closer!

Attitude Of Gratitude Linked To Achieving True Happiness

Attitude of Gratitude

As the late Dr. Wayne Dyer would say; “it is this attitude of gratitude that is the answer to all unhappiness in life. Focus on the things that are going well in your life, or the things that make you happy in your life, and have immense gratitude for them.”

It’s in the smallest pleasures that you can find the most to be grateful for. Spring is the perfect time of year to develop this overwhelming sense of gratitude for the beauty that begins to surround us. Take some time over this beautiful Easter weekend to focus on the people, things and special things within yourself that you are grateful for.

key to happiness

The Key To Happiness

Maybe it’s colourful sunrise or sunset. Or possibly a budding flower and the sound of birds singing. It could even be the availability of fresh produce or the warmth of the sun’s rays. The list of things to be grateful could go on and on and is going to be different for every individual. 

We are all guilty of having self doubt from time to time. However, in order to achieve true happiness, we must toss aside self doubt and focus on being your own biggest cheerleader. Don’t see an obstacle as a problem, but rather an opportunity to learn and grow.

This is a mindset that anyone can achieve, but it takes dedication to self growth and development. Talking about having an attitude of gratitude is an easy statement or piece of advice to give, but how does someone develop this attitude?

The Science Of Gratitude

How To Develop An Attitude Of Gratitude

Here is a simple action plan to work on developing an attitude of gratitude today!

  1. Dedicate 5-10 minutes every single day to sit quietly and focus on your breath. If you are a person that enjoys to meditate, this time could be spent meditating. However, you find that meditating isn’t for you, just sit quietly while focusing on your breath. Then, list 5 things that you are grateful for in your life.
  2. Start a gratitude journal to write down the things that you are thankful daily. This is often best done right before bed as a means of quieting your mind and focusing on the positives that you experienced in your day. All too often we get trapped by the negative events going on around us. However, it is more beneficial to your health if the last moments before falling asleep are focused on positive things.
  3. Review your gratitude journal regularly. Note what items tend to get repeated in your journal as this can be a good indication of what you value most in life. Then, you can focus on manifesting ways to have more experiences or interactions that you are grateful for.
  4. Detach from the outcome you expect in life. In other words, have faith that the universe is conspiring to make your dreams come true. 
  5. Spread the attitude of gratitude. Share your gratitude with the world by simply allowing the interactions you have with people to be guided by your new sense of gratitude. Also, teach your children how to keep a gratitude journal. Make a habit of talking about what you are thankful for every night before bed.

Click here to read, Gratitude – An Attitude For Success for additional information on how gratitude links to living a happy life.

The Foot Pain Identifier

foot pain

Fact Checking Review Process

The Family Health Advocacy team is committed to delivering content that adheres to the highest standards for content accuracy and reference. Articles with the “Fact Checked” stamp will adhere these standards and will be reviewed using guidelines from the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) and all the reviews conducted are subject to the AMWA code of conduct https://www.amwa.org/page/Code_of_Ethics in line with the medical industry’s best practices in health communication.

Our medical review team will ensure the following criteria is met:

1. Is it original writing? Does the article contain significant portions of plagiarized materials?

2. Are the main concepts well and clearly defined?

3. Are the articles central tenets backed by adequate evidence?

4. Are there any gaps or inconsistencies?

5. Is the writing clear and easy to understand?

6. Does it advance knowledge?

This foot pain identifier information is important.  People rarely acknowledge how important their feet are to their everyday life. Well, that is until they experience foot pain themselves!  Just think about it, you use your feet to:

  • Stand
  • Pivot
  • Jump
  • Turn
  • Step
  • Dance
  • Walk
  • Run

Even just to keep your balance.  But when you experience foot pain, these seemingly simple functions can become quite challenging.

Plantar fasciitis is the most common type of foot pain.  The plantar fascia is a layer of connective tissue on the bottom or sole of the foot. It provides support to the foot’s arch and plays a major role in the function and mechanics of walking or running.

Foot Pain Identifier – Feel The Burn!

Foot pain can have quite a few causes.  However, the most common (as detailed at medicinenet.com) for foot pain are:

Plantar fasciitis is also the most common cases we see at the clinic. When plantar fascia is relaxed, the toes are pointed down and the foot is in the “plantar flexed” position.

Conversely, the plantar fascia is tight and undergoes tension when the toes and foot are pointed upwards, “dorsi flexed.”  When this tension persists, the plantar fascia can become irritated and develop “burning-like” symptoms at the bottom of the foot.

The most specific problem area tends to be close to the heel.  The heel bone or calcaneus provides the foundation at the rear of the foot. This is also the origin point of the plantar fascia.

heal pain

Pain In The Heel

A cardinal symptom of plantar fasciitis is a sharp pain in the heel which is usually experienced when you take your first steps in the morning.  Remember, your foot is typically in a restful state (plantar flexion) throughout the night while you sleep.  Therefore, when you arise, there is a sudden jolt of tension shot into the plantar fascia as it is quickly stretched.  As such, it can make for a very painful start to the day.

In this case, specific stretches can be performed each morning before getting out of bed to help alleviate these symptoms.

Click here to read What You Should NOT Do if You Suffer From Numbness and Tingling.

foot pain identifier

Factors Of Plantar Fasciitis

The name of the diagnosis is kind of a misnomer as any diagnosis that ends with the word “itis” usually indicates the condition involves significant inflammation.  However, in actuality, there is research to both support and negate the relationship that inflammation actually has with this condition.

Poor foot position or posture is really the most common factor of this condition.  In most cases it is due to being flat footed or over pronation of their foot when walking.  Flat footed people are overusing their muscle at the bottom of the plantar fascia. Usually until it becomes irritated, causing plantar fasciitis.  Keep in mind, this is something that can happen at any age and is very common.

Plantar fasciitis doesn’t tend to discriminate and is usually associated with poor postural habits and lifestyle.  This condition is also common with increased activity and repetitive strain.  Transitioning to new footwear can also trigger plantar fasciitis resulting in the soft tissue breaking down.  Also, accumulative effects of gravity over time, along with weight gain can also precipitate plantar fasciitis.

Conservative care might include:

  • Frequent icing
  • Wearing a supportive slipper around the house
  • Night brace
  • Taping
foot scan

Prevention For Foot Pain

Prevention is best achieved through properly functioning feet.  So, supportive footwear is critical. Therefore, I strongly recommend getting a foot scan and examination by an appropriate healthcare provider to determine if custom orthotics are necessary.

Click here to read, How To Choose The Best Running Shoes – Part 1.

Because this condition has become such a buzzword, many people are misdiagnosed by their healthcare providers as other conditions, which cause similar symptoms need to be excluded. These include:

  • A stress fracture
  • Bursitis
  • Neuritis
  • Contusion of the calcaneus
  • Nerve entrapment

The most important thing here is to find the right healthcare practitioner who will conduct a thorough consultation and examination in order to achieve an accurate diagnosis.

Here’s to you putting your best foot forward.

You’re one step closer!

For additional information and at home stretches click here to read CORRECTIVE EXERCISES FOR RELIEVING FOOT PAIN.

References:
  1. Plantar Fasciitis – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1788446/
  2. Plantar Warts – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3951039/
  3. Ingrown Toenails – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/22565427/

Asthma In Kids Can Be Decreased By Just Doing This!

Asthma In Kids

Every parent wants to do what is best for their children. But, is having a family dog, a good idea, especially when it comes to asthma in kids? Well, I strongly woof you to appreciate that Fido has served your children well and has actually reduced their chances of developing childhood asthma!

What Is Asthma?

Asthma is a sporadic inflammatory disease that affects the airways and the lungs and is one of the leading chronic inflammatory diseases in children worldwide. Often, it presents as tightness in the chest, shortness of breath and wheezing sounds.  It can be very scary to experience!

kids health

What Causes Asthma?

Asthma is often triggered by airborne environmental and genetic factors that include:

Asthma cannot be cured completely; but with a proper lifestyle, it can be well managed and controlled. However, what if we could drastically reduce the risk of developing it in the first place?

How dogs can reduce the risk of childhood asthma

Asthma Study

Research confirms that having a family dog could have several health benefits, including decreasing your child’s risk of developing asthma. According to a research carried out by Dr. Tove Fall, a professor of epidemiology at the Uppsala University, children from the time of birth, raised with dogs, had an estimated 15% decreased asthma cases than children who were not raised with dogs.

This Swedish nation-wide study tracked 650,000 babies and found that babies who live on farms or have frequent exposure to farm animals within the first year of life, can reduce their risk of asthma by 52%. The results were robust and independent of parental asthma or whether the child was first-born.

Furthermore, kids who grow up with family dogs have a 15% lower risk of developing asthmacompared to kids who did not grow up with a dog.

Later, a 2018 follow up study was done to determine if the sex of dog or number of dogs would have an impact on results and here’s what it showed.

  • Children exposed to female dogs had lower risk of asthma compared to those exposed to male dogs.
  • Children with two dogs or more had lower risk of asthma than those with one dog only! 
best dogs for kids

In Conclusion

What we have learned from these studies is that pregnant women and young children can safely play and share time with farm animals and dogs knowing that it may indeed be serving them well. Especially when it comes to asthma in kids! The idea is that animals provide the body exposure to germs and microbes which improve immune function

However, if your children are older and have allergy induced asthma from dogs, adding a family dog to the equation is not the answer!  Research showed that exposure within the first year of life reduced the risks of asthma. This doesn’t necessarily mean your family can’t have a dog. There are some low to non-shedding breeds that some allergy and asthma sufferers are not sensitive to. These breeds include but are not limited to:

It is important to meet and share time with a possible future fur-family member to test allergy sensitivity before making the commitment. If you are thinking of planning a family in the future, maybe having Fido join the team first would be a strategic health move! 

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Activities For Toddlers In Quarantine

Activities For Toddlers

Looking for activities for toddlers to do during quarantine, keeping them occupied, engaged AND learning? Check out these top tips and resources!

As you already know by now, the Coronavirus outbreak has already affected most parts of the world. This has resulted in special measures being put into place in an attempt to ‘plank‘ the spread of the virus such as the closing of schools and daycares. With no clear date in sight of reopening school doors, parents are now being challenged to come up with new and creative ways to keep their children occupied, engaged and learning from the comforts of their home.

As a parent of a toddler (and young baby) myself, I understand and certainly sympathise with other parents facing this same situation. It can be really difficult to know where to start and to find the appropriate tools while still obeying proper quarantine / social distancing guidelines. Especially when it comes to activities for toddlers. As such, I have put together a list of tips and resources that have been working for my family.

kids schedule

Create A Daily Schedule

If your child attended any sort of daycare/preschool/school, then following a daily schedule should be a familiar task.  Therefore creating structure and rules, like a set schedule to follow at home, is the perfect place to start.  In fact,  According to Kathy Eugster, MA, RCC, CPT-S, BCRPT-S (Pacific Spirit Play Therapy Resources);

“When parents provide structure, it means they are asserting and establishing their parental authority and control in a responsible manner in order to encourage healthy growth and development of their children.” –Providing Structure for Your Child: How to Assert Your Parental Authority

Start by breaking the day into blocks including tasks such as:

Depending on your child’s age you can also incorporate a ‘recess’. Perhaps this is a 15 minute break between activities to have a healthy snack, run around or let loose before moving on to the next item on the schedule.

One schedule that has been floating around and seems to tick off all the right boxes is this COVID-19 Daily Schedule.

covid-19 daily schedule

I particularly like this schedule because it incorporates all the topics I listed and gives examples on how to achieve each of them.

Another benefit to following a schedule like this is it allows the kids to still have some say.  Allowing your child to make their own choices within a given category will help keep them interested. Plus they can change up activities throughout the week depending on how they’re feeling and still get the benefits of learning. Also, when you include your children in the decision making, they are more likely to follow willingly in addition to learning a life skill.

Decision making is one of the most important skills your children need to develop to become healthy and mature adults. Decision making is crucial because the decisions your children make dictate the path that their lives take.” – Jim Taylor Ph.D.

how to play with your kids

Play And Activities To Do Together

According to Kenneth R. Ginsburg and the Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health

“Play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth.”

They go on to discuss the importance of play in promoting healthy child development and maintaining strong parent-child bonds.

So, what are some of the activities you can do with your child? Well, here are some of my favorite links I use to get ideas and keep things fun!

importance of reading to your children

Storytelling

There are incredible benefits of reading to your child which can start at a very young age. In fact, according to a study by Ohio State University;

“Young children whose parents read them five books a day enter kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than kids who were never read to. This ‘million word gap’ could be one key in explaining differences in vocabulary and reading development.” 

There are several statistics and benefits which demonstrate the importance of parents reading to their children. Click here for a list of tops tips on how to read to your child in order to get the most out their literary experience.

Why do we need creativity?

Engage In Creative Tasks

Toddlers are curious and active by nature. So, you can’t simply expect your child to stay calm in the house for the whole day without any sort of proper engagement. Some great examples of activities that can keep your toddler interested and occupied include:

With such activities, you can enhance their imagination and creativity. Besides, such tasks can even help your kid discover their passion. Click here for a fantastic list of 20 ACTIVITIES FOR TODDLERS among additional tips and resources.

quality time with kids

Spend Quality Time With Them

Negative things always have some positivity in them. Before the self-isolation period, you may not have had enough time to be with your kids. However, you now have all the time to sit and listen to your kids. You can let your kid lead you to do what they love.

By taking such an approach, your kid will feel appreciated and in control. This can go a long way towards ensuring that your child does not get bored even when they have to spend most of their time indoors. Click here for some fun ways you can encourage quality time with your family.

Final Thoughts

You now know that even though your child has to stay in the house to meet the social distancing goal, there are still several activities for toddlers and older children you can do to keep them:

  • Active
  • Engaged
  • Stimulated
  • Learning

For another great resource for an ‘all in one’ learning experience at any age, click here to obtain Scolastic Learn At Home – day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking and growing.

Other articles you might be interested in:

Are Chiropractors Safe?

is chiropractic safe

Are Chiropractors safe? Furthermore, what do they do??

Chiropractors perform spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments by applying a gentle and specific impulse with their hands to the spine and other joints in the body. The adjustment corrects and aligns the spine removing stress from spinal nerves. By correcting spinal alignment and removing nerve interference the body is better able to function and heal properly.

Chiropractic adjustments are effective in restoring mobility and relieving pain. Especially to injuries caused by traumatic events such as slips and falls or due to repetitive strain.  

Chiropractic Adjustment Benefits Your:
  • Bones
  • Muscles
  • Joints
  • Ligaments
  • Tendons
  • Cartilage

Click here to read, Are Chiropractors Doctors?

benefits of chiropractic

Chiropractic Benefits

  1. A Great Way To Relieve PainChiropractic care is one of the best ways of getting rid of aches and pains. It’s effective and helps people avoid taking pain medication. Also, it’s great for relieving neck pain, back pain and headaches.
  2. Corrects The Underlying ProblemPain medications don’t address the source of the problem but the symptoms. Furthermore they can become addicting and cause an opiod addiction. However, Chiropractic focuses on the nervous system, which controls the body’s function from breathing to digestion. The spine protects the spinal cord and nerves. Therefore, spinal health is essential to the overall wellness. Click here to read, A Natural Proven Solution To The Opioid Crisis.
  3. Helps Avoid Medication – Medication can be useful in addressing various health problems but typically they just mask the symptoms. Unlike chiropractic care which can relieve aches and pains by getting to the root cause of the problem. Giving you relief without any drugs or pesky side effects.
  4. Personalized TreatmentNo formula must be followed for chiropractic care. A qualified chiropractor will assess your situation and come up with a care plan to correct the problem. Chiropractors may use different instruments and techniques that best suits that patient’s specific needs.
  5. Complements Other Treatment ProceduresThe great thing about chiropractic care is that it can be used alongside other forms of treatment. Chiropractic patients may also be receiving massage therapy or acupuncture. All of which complement each other.

Click here to read, What The Neck? Are You Short-Circuiting?

Is Chiropractic Safe?

Are Chiropractors Safe?

Chiropractic care is an extremely safe. It’s conservative, yet effective option for correcting spinal problems. Maintaining a healthy spine is crucial to having a healthy nervous system. But must be handled with care. Chiropractic is non-invasive and drug-free, making it a safe option.

Most patients feel instant relief after receiving chiropractic adjustments. Some patients may feel mild side effects such as soreness and aching. The good thing is that it typically doesn’t last and will go away in a few hours.

Always share any concerns you may have with your chiropractor.  Chiropractors are well-trained professionals who understand how to take care of their patients.
To find a chiropractor in your area please click here for our online directory.

You’re one step closer!