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Archive for February 2005

Oh, My Aching Back!

Let’s face it, we’re tough on our backs. Stressful living and working, poor posture, improper body mechanics and excess weight can be very destructive to the structures of the low back. Add to these, the normal aging process and it’s easy to se why low back pain is so common. In fact, an estimated 80% of the general population can expect to experience back problems at some point in their lives.

A proactive lifestyle is essential. Regular walking and/or performance of a professionally designed exercise program is a great start. In addition, diligent adherence to some basic postural and body mechanics principles is crucial. For example, when you are upright, a natural hollow or reverse curve of the low back should be maintained. When you are bending and lifting, remember that hollow of your back. Bend from your hips and knees and keep your head and chest up. When you are sitting, maintain that hollow of your low back. A pillow or lumbar roll can be used as needed. Getting out of these positions, by slouching or bending improperly, puts excess stress on the discs and ligaments of the low back. Repeated stresses to these structures can cause injury. Also remember to change positions frequently when sitting or standing or prolonged periods.

By adhering to a regular exercise program, learning to maintain proper posture in any position and improving your body mechanics while bending and lifting, you will reduce the stress on you back , thereby actually improving your quality of life.


Written by Brooks Juneau

February 1, 2005 at 7:35 pm

Posted in Back

“Stick to the flax, Ma’am.”

Flax is an ancient plant whose seed oil is the richest source of alph-linoleic acid (omega 3 essential fatty acid), a nutrient not found in most foods. 100 grams or about 7 tablespoons of seeds contain 35g of oil, 26g of protein, 14g of fiber, 12g of mucilage, 4g of minerals, and 9g of water. These nutrients posses anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-cancer properties. The mucilage and fiber help the body eliminate cholesterol and prevent the reabsorption of toxins from the large intestine. As a result, flax seed is used for the reversal of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, PMS, inflammatory conditions and even arthritis.

Swallowed whole flax seeds are protected by their tough seed coat, disallowing the benefit of their contents. Therefore, the seed coat must be broken for its nutrients to be available for absorption. Grind whole flax seeds in a coffee grinder just prior to serving. This will provide you with the freshest best-tasting flax meal, while ensuring optimal nutrient availability. Use the freshly ground flax seed to top yogurt, cottage cheese, applesauce, oatmeal, or in shakes or smoothies. Be sure to take in plenty of clear water to optimize the flax seeds’ nutrient potential. Six tablespoons are the recommended daily intake for the average size adult. The routine daily use of freshly ground flax seeds can improve digestion, prevent and reverse constipation, stabilize glucose levels, improve cardiovascular health, inhibit tumor formation, and help manifest many other beneficial effects. Given these potential benefits, the 2 minutes it takes to add flax seed to your daily diet is well worth your effort.

Written by Brooks Juneau

February 1, 2005 at 7:08 pm