Why You Should Care that October Is Health Literacy Month

Health LiteracyEveryone knows that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Thousands of people in our local communities, and millions of people around the world, will be going on runs, walks and bike rides to raise money for breast cancer research and encourage women to have regular mammograms. Throughout the month, we’ll see pink ribbons everywhere.

I applaud the individuals who work tirelessly to support these efforts, and my heart goes out to anyone who has lost a loved one to breast cancer.

October is also Health Literacy Month. I think it’s fair to assume you’ve probably never heard of that one.

According to the Affordable Care Act, health literacy is defined as “the degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions.” Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Understanding the Risk of Prescription Painkillers

prescription drugs, instructions and warnings.

In a previous post, I discussed why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered the makers of over-the-counter and prescription pain relievers to strengthen language on warning labels. Drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen increase the risk of heart attack and stroke by up to 50 percent when taken on a regular basis. Prescription pain relievers create an even higher risk.

Aside from making people aware of the dangers of these medications, I think it’s important to recognize how addiction to pain medication, especially prescription drugs, became an epidemic in our country.

Why is it that 44 people in our country die each day after overdosing on prescription painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)?

Why are prescription painkillers responsible for more fatal overdoses than cocaine and heroin combined?

Why does the non-medical use of prescription painkillers cost health insurers $72.5 billion each year? Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

FDA Orders Drug Makers to Strengthen Warning Labels

photo of scattered ibuprophen

For many too many Americans, pain killers are part of the daily routine. We pop a pill or two in the morning and another pill or two at night to deal with everything from chronic back pain to arthritis to menstrual cramps. We use these drugs to reduce a fever, even though the body naturally raises its temperature to kill the virus.

Drugs may provide temporary relief from pain, but they could also be killing you, and killing you quickly.

Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered the makers of non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen to update their warning labels to include the following language:

The risk of heart attack or stroke can occur as early as the first weeks of using an NSAID. The risk may increase with longer use of the NSAID. The risk appears greater at higher doses.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

The Physical, Mental and Financial Impact of Presenteeism

the cost of presenteeism

I’m sure you can remember more than one occasion when you were off your game at work. Maybe one of the kids was sick and you didn’t get much sleep, or your mind was elsewhere. You had a lousy day, but you got caught up the next day. It happens to the best of us.

But when your health affects your productivity on a regular basis, that’s a much more serious problem.

When employees are physically present at work, but chronic illness, pain or stress is affecting their job performance, this is called presenteeism. And it’s on the rise.

According to a 2012 study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 30 percent of respondents said more people were going to work ill than during the previous year. 52 percent of these companies noticed an increase in presenteeism.

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About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Why Working 20-Hour Days with No Sleep Shouldn’t Be Rewarded

the problem with no sleep Natural Healthcare CenterI’ll never understand why some workaholics brag about their long hours like it’s a badge of honor. They claim working 20-hour days with little or no sleep gives them an edge and helps them get ahead.

Personally, I think that kind of workload is more likely to give you a heart attack or stroke.

I understand the value of a strong work ethic, not just as a doctor, but as a small business owner. In fact, I recently came down with shingles due to overwork. I know what it’s like to put in long hours every day.

But there’s a difference between putting in extra time to overcome a specific challenge or achieve a specific goal, and trying to sustain that kind of workload throughout your career.

Most people who put in such long hours claim to be able to get by on a few hours of sleep. After all, sleep is an option. Work is the only requirement.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Understanding, Diagnosing and Treating Ankle Sprains

treating a sprained ankleSprains and strains are the most common sports injuries. More specifically, ankle sprains occur more frequently than any sports injury, according to WebMD, ahead of groin pulls, hamstring strains, shin splints, and ACL tears in the knee.

In the simplest of terms, an ankle sprain is caused by a stretching or tearing of the ankle ligaments. Ankle sprains typically occur after the ankle is twisted, or the foot rolls underneath the ankle.

Although ankle sprains are the most common sports injury, you don’t have to dunk a basketball, catch a touchdown pass, or hit a 300-yard drive to get hurt. In fact, people who don’t get enough exercise and sit around all day are very susceptible to ankle sprains because the ankle hasn’t been conditioned to handle activity.

If you think you’ve sprained your ankle, contact your doctor right away and proceed with the RICE protocol – rest, ice, compression and elevation – to reduce inflammation.

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About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

A Shining Example of Embracing a Wellness Lifestyle

Citywell success storyOne thing I’m very proud of at Natural Healthcare Center is that we don’t just tell people what to do. We inspire people to make real behavioral changes and embrace a wellness lifestyle.

I bring this philosophy and approach to my role as health educator for the city of Long Branch’s CityWell program, a free educational and clinical resource created to help city employees and their families lead healthier lives. The program goes far beyond your typical wellness program that, frankly, tends to be more about hype than substance.

I provide health education seminars with the goal of educating and motivating people to make healthier choices and identifying what a real wellness lifestyle is. As a result, many employees have made permanent changes and reversed chronic illnesses such as pre-diabetes, type II diabetes, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Others have been able to better control a chronic illness.

By treating chronic illness with a real plan, we become healthier and save money.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

How to Make Your Commute Less of a Pain

easing the effects of a long commuteAccording to the Census Bureau, the average commute time in New Jersey is 30 minutes, which is 20 percent longer than the national average. Portions of Monmouth and Middlesex Counties reported average commute times of more than 45 minutes.

Long commutes do more than take up an hour or more of our day and cause aggravation. They can be physically and mentally painful.

Last summer, I wrote a post that explained why sitting can be more damaging to the human body than smoking. The human body was designed to be in motion, not to sit on the couch or behind the wheel of a car.

When we sit for extended periods of time, the discs in the spine become compressed. You could have the most comfortable seat in the most expensive luxury car, but you’ll still get aches and pains in the back, neck, shoulders and hips when you spend too much time sitting in that seat.

Sitting also makes it difficult for the body to burn calories and convert bad cholesterol into good cholesterol. Then we get fat, which increases the risk of a number of chronic illnesses. Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Sunscreen Does Not Make You Immune to Skin Cancer

skin cancer and sunscreenWhen you get a fever, that’s not the work of a virus. Your body is raising its temperature to burn out an infection.

But what do we do?

We take medication to suppress the fever so we can go to work. Instead of fighting the body’s natural mechanism for dealing with a fever, we should stay home, drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of sleep and let the body do what it was designed to do.

So what the heck does that have to do with sunscreen?

When we spend too much time in the sun, our skin burns. It hurts. That’s the body’s way of telling us to get out of the sun.

But what do we do?

We slap on sunscreen to block rays that burn from hitting our skin. But we’re not blocking all of the rays that cause cancer.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Don’t Overlook Acupuncture as a Seasonal Allergy Treatment

acupunture and allergiesThe blooming trees and flower of spring may put smiles on our faces, but the pollen and mold spores can make us feel like we’re reliving our worst winter cold. Seasonal allergies bring congestion, sneezing, a runny nose and itchy eyes.

Seasonal allergies, which affect one in six Americans, occur when the body mistakes pollen and mold spores as harmful substances and attempts to fight them by releasing histamine and other chemicals. This causes inflammation that leads to discomfort and irritation.

How do most people deal with allergies? We load up on over-the-counter medications that provide temporary relief from allergy symptoms but do nothing to treat the problem.

One natural treatment option for seasonal allergies that’s often overlooked is acupuncture. The main reason acupuncture is overlooked is because our healthcare system focuses on treating symptoms with medicine instead of attacking the cause of illness and preventing disease through a wellness lifestyle.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Want to Get into a Bikini by Memorial Day? Read This First.

warning again crash dietsEvery year, as people make resolutions to dive into the latest, greatest weight loss gimmick for the New Year, I remind them that this is a terrible idea. I guess you could call me the wet blanket of reality. It’s a title I wear proudly because that annual reminder always stops a few people from doing things that are unhealthy.

Of course, most of those New Year’s resolutions are abandoned after two weeks. Any weight lost during a crash diet quickly returns.

Fast forward to spring. A new flurry of resolutions emerge as everyone becomes obsessed with looking great at the beach. All it takes is a crash diet and a discounted gym membership to get shredded abs in eight weeks and turn heads in your bikini!

Seriously?

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Another Super Shameful Money Grab

American FLag Football Helmet on Grass with Dollar Symbol CloudsSuper Bowl 49 is in the books. Tom Brady and the Patriots are champions again. Seattle coach Pete Carroll will spend his offseason being second-guessed for his play call at the end of the game.

And the NFL, its top players, NBC and many celebrities continue to make money off of products that make people sick.

Pepsi returned to sponsor the halftime show. Coca Cola talks about making people happy and glosses over the fact that soda has been directly connected to chronic diseases that obviously make people unhappy.

McDonalds took a similar approach by offering free food to people in exchange for kind or happy acts. I must say that it’s refreshing to see that more and more people are passing over McDonalds and sodas in favor of healthier alternatives.

Leading up to the Super Bowl, I heard about Peyton Manning and Derek Jeter attending a 50th anniversary party for Gatorade, a sports drink that’s loaded with sugar, sodium and other harmful substances. Taylor Swift is now shilling Diet Coke. Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Understanding the Basics of Knee Pain

Knee painThe knee is the largest joint in the human body, a complex combination of ligaments, tendons and muscles that hold together the femur (upper leg bone) and the tibia and fibula (lower leg bones). It’s also one of the most common sources of pain in the human body.

When you think about the physical burden and stress we place on our knees each day, it’s no surprise that the knee is extremely vulnerable to injury and degeneration.

This vulnerability is increased because the knee is a hinge joint, not like the shoulder or hip, which are ball-and-socket joints. The knee is designed to bend in one direction, while the shoulder and hip can rotate and move in circular motions.

I’m sure everyone over the age of 50 knows someone who has had a knee replacement as a result of an injury or gradual wear and tear. Conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis also increase our chances of experiencing knee pain. Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Keep Your Head Up! It’s Good for Your Health

good posture, sitting up straightFour natural curves can be found in the human spine. The curve in your neck is appropriately called the arc of life because those cervical vertebrae protect the brain stem and spinal nerves that affect the entire body. When we fail to maintain the correct curvature in our spine, we can lose half of our spinal strength.

A common cause of improper curvature in the spine is forward head posture, which occurs when the head is held forward.

I speak all the time about the importance of maintaining balance in the nutritional, physical and psychological components of the Triad of Health. I’ve discussed the consequences of hormonal imbalance. I’ve discussed how basic functional tests can help us assess our balance, stability, flexibility and strength.

We also need to balance our noggins above our bodies.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Angry Fat and the Truth about Obesity

angry fatIn a previous post, I discussed how mad cow disease is a prime example of how altered structure changes the information of that structure, which in turn impacts the way the body functions.

More specifically, when man alters the state of food, it alters the structural information within that food, which affects our health and causes disease. These facts are painfully obvious when you take a closer look at the obesity epidemic in our country.

Central obesity, or excessive fat around the midsection, poses the greatest risk of chronic illness associated with fat accumulation. The dangerous fat stored in the belly area is called angry fat.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Lessons Learned from Mad Cow Disease

Cow, Isolated Over Summer MeadowIn a recent post, I explained how alterations to the human body’s molecular structure negatively impact how we function. These structural alterations can be caused by different events in an individual’s lifestyle, diet and environment. The resulting altered function is a key component of the disease process, causing everything from back pain to chronic disease.

There’s one prime example in our recent history of a structural abnormality causing a physiological disease. Remember mad cow disease?

Cows were designed to consume a plant-based diet. However, in the late 1980s, the cost of food for cattle went so high that cattle farmers began to use alternative food sources – namely, the remains of dead and diseased animals – to feed cows. Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Celebrate Thanksgiving by Celebrating the Simplicity of Life

slow down and relax - reducing stress Most of us maintain a pretty hectic lifestyle most of the year, from long hours at work to driving kids to soccer practice and dance class to taking care of the house.

If there was ever a time to sit back and appreciate all that we have, it’s Thanksgiving. I’m not just talking about material things. I’m talking about our faith, family and health. These are the things that really make us rich in ways far better than material possessions.

And if we’re going to take the time to truly appreciate what we have, can we at least make the commitment to unplug for the day, if not the entire weekend? That doesn’t mean you have to put down your smartphone. I love taking and sharing photos of my kids as much as the next person. But it does mean taking a break from work and anything else that causes us stress so we can enjoy the simplicity of life.

Relax. Laugh with family. Do fun things together before and after your meal. Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Improve the Way You Function by Aligning Your Body’s Structure

Aligning Your Body’s StructureIn 1951, a study was conducted by the National Academy of Sciences about the structure of the human body and the relationship between protein and body function. The study involved Dr. Linus Pauling.

If that name sounds familiar, Dr. Pauling was the subject of a blog post I wrote last year about a true genius. Dr. Pauling is a hero of mine and the father of molecular medicine.

Dr. Pauling stated that that underneath human physiological structure is the molecular level, and we can better understand body function if we understand body structure at the molecular level.

In other words, if we get the structure right, the function will follow.

Most of us think of the physiological structure – bones, muscles, connective tissue and organs – as permanent. In reality, these systems are replaced on a regular basis.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

How Man Raises Animals for Food and the Case for a Green Diet

VegetablesMost people don’t know much about the livestock industry in our country. When you take a look at what man has done to our meat supply and our ecology, and the way meat is raised and produced, you may just think twice before you order a steak or a roast beef sandwich.

Let me tell you what’s really happening when man raises animals for food. Raising grain-fed animals takes an enormous toll on the environment. It requires massive amounts of fuel, fertilizers, pesticides, water and land. In fact, if the rest of the world’s population ate as much meat as we do, we’d quickly run out of land and irrigation systems.

Cows are supposed to be out on a range, walking around, grazing and consuming grass. That’s how they spend the first three quarters or so of their lives. Cows spent their final months mostly on a feed line, where they’re fed corn, soybean meal, and a lot of drugs, hormones and antibiotics to keep them alive and fat. Man replaces the cow’s natural food supply with inflammatory foods that cause weight gain. Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

What It Means to Be a Healthcare Consumer

What is a Healthcare ConsumerWhen my wife, Stacy, was pregnant with our first daughter, Hannah, in 1999, I remember researching and evaluating OB/GYNs. Obviously, choosing the right person or practice to take care of my wife during her pregnancy was a major decision for us.

We asked a lot of questions. We wanted to know what the approach and thought process would be. We wanted to know what role we would have in making decisions about our child’s health.

There’s nothing wrong with evaluating healthcare providers in this manner.

When you go shopping for food at the grocery store, you’re a consumer. When you go shopping for a car at an auto dealership, you’re a consumer.

When you choose healthcare professionals, it’s even more important to be a consumer.

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About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.