Don’t Be Scared of Big Muscles

Photo of older woman flexing her muscleDuring the Olympics, we saw world-class gymnasts hurl themselves into the air and land on their feet. If the average person tried to perform these moves, their joints and discs could literally crumble from the force.

Why doesn’t that happen to gymnasts? Well, they obviously train for years to learn proper form. But they also protect their bones and joints by building thick muscles to absorb the force generated by the moves they perform.

Of course, building muscle isn’t just beneficial to Olympic gymnasts. Average people like you and me can reduce the risk of degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, and other disorders of the tendons, cartilage and ligaments by building muscle mass.

Our muscles require anabolic stimulation to grow. Anabolic processes involve the synthesis of proteins and complex molecules in the body that lead to the growth of muscle mass. This shouldn’t be confused with anabolic steroids, which accelerate these processes through artificial means but can also be used to treat a variety of illnesses.

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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.

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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.

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?

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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.

What You Should Know about New Dietary Guidelines for Cholesterol

new cholesterol guidelinesThe Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, a federal panel run by the Department of Health and Human Services and the United States Department of Agriculture, recently changed its 40-year guidelines related to the consumption of cholesterol.

More specifically, the government is no longer warning people that consuming food with too much cholesterol – excess dietary cholesterol – is a bad idea. Previously, this was thought to increase the amount of cholesterol in blood.

The folks in Washington are finally listening to doctors who understand the human body.

The panel now sees no direct relationship between dietary cholesterol consumption and blood cholesterol. Of course, evidence that has existed since the 1950s contradicts the claim that cholesterol found in food has a significant effect on blood cholesterol levels.

Dietary cholesterol comes from animal-based foods, like meat, eggs, dairy and seafood. Plant-based food has no cholesterol. However, the human body produces all of the cholesterol it needs.

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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 Magnesium Is So Important to Our Health

magnesium is importantWhen most people think of important vitamins, minerals and nutrients, some of the ones that come to mind most often are iron, calcium, fiber, vitamin C and vitamin D. However, magnesium plays an enormous role in our health.

In fact, after oxygen, water and basic food, you could argue that magnesium is the most important element in the human body.

Magnesium is a mineral needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions that keep the human body functioning properly. Magnesium supports proper nerve and muscle function, the immune system, a regular heartbeat, bone strength and growth, strong cell structure, energy and protein production, and the regulation of blood glucose levels.

An important electrolyte, Magnesuim helps to keep the body’s fluids balanced in order to maintain normal muscle, nerve, and enzyme function. Magnesium also helps the body move other electrolytes in and out of cells.

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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.

Healthy Mother, Healthy Child, Part 4

healthy pregnancy In Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of our Healthy Mother, Healthy Child series, I focused on the nutritional component of pregnancy – essential nutrients, the importance of moderation, foods to avoid and the importance of breastfeeding.

Now I want to shift to the physical component. Many pregnant women deal with musculoskeletal pain. Chiropractic care, acupuncture and massage can do wonders to prevent and relieve pain during and after pregnancy.

These are passive modalities that require the mother to do nothing. Mommy is working hard enough. These treatments can prevent and relieve physical pain and keep the body’s systems in balance.

We can get more aggressive with lingering musculoskeletal pain after pregnancy, using x-ray, MRI and more intense physical therapy to diagnose and treat pain. Of course, you want to take it easy with exercise at first. Start with walking and light stretching to elevate the heart rate and improve the production of breast milk. Exercise can quickly turn into stress if you overdo it.

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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.

Healthy Mother, Healthy Child, Part 3

eating healthy during pregnancyIn Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, I discussed the essential nutrients during pregnancy and the recommended daily allowance of these nutrients, as well as the importance of water, fiber and pre-natal vitamins.

With any nutritional program, but especially during pregnancy, moderation is critical. If a pregnant woman has a craving for a hot fudge sundae in the middle of the night, will the baby be harmed if mom gives in to this craving?

Of course not. Just use common sense and follow that late night snack with healthy meals and snacks the next day.

However, there are certain types of foods and beverages that you need to closely monitor or eliminate during pregnancy. 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.

Healthy Mother, Healthy Child, Part 2

Pregnant Woman Eating A Fresh Passion FruitIn a previous post, I began a discussion about the keys to proper nutrition during pregnancy, including consuming the proper amounts of folic acid, iron and calcium. This is obviously important to the developing baby, but also to the mother, who needs to produce a supply of healthy breast milk for feeding the baby.

Protein intake is another critical factor for pregnant women, especially during the second and third trimesters when the baby’s growth rate increases. The amino acids in protein serve as the foundation for many kinds of body tissue.

The recommended daily allowance for protein varies for different age groups. Women ages 25 and older should consume 45 to 50 grams of protein, but during pregnancy, consumption should increase to 70 grams per day. Organic chicken and eggs, grass-fed beef, fish (never farm-raised), plain yogurt, beans, peas, nuts and seeds are good sources of protein.

One essential ingredient during pregnancy that is often overlooked is water. Water not only keeps the body hydrated, but it also helps to relieve constipation, reduces the risk of hemorrhoids, and prevents bladder infections, which are common among pregnant women. 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.

Healthy Mother, Healthy Child, Part 1

healthy pregnancy tipsThere are a million reasons why I respect my wife, Stacy, more than any person on the face of the earth. The five biggest reasons are our five children who, along with Stacy, make me the luckiest father and husband in the world.

There is no greater joy than having a family. As for those nine months leading up to the birth of each child – well, you’ll have to ask Stacy.

As a doctor, one of the most common questions I’m asked by a pregnant woman is, “Am I doing the right thing?” That motherly instinct kicks in as moms want to make sure they’re doing everything possible to protect their children.

For a nutritional perspective, there are certain things expecting moms should know that can help keep mother and child healthy.

Cravings are natural because a woman’s appetite typically increases quite a bit during pregnancy. The developing baby is consuming vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from the mother, especially between weeks 20 and 30. Also, the mother’s body is working to produce milk reserves for feeding the newborn baby. 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 Hormones Help Keep the Brain Functioning Properly

hormones and your brainThe hormonal structure of the body, whether it’s in balance or out of balance, plays a huge role in dictating how you feel and function, especially for people ages 30 and older. That’s because hormones have a significant impact on brain function.

Let’s be clear about one thing right off the bat. Hormones aren’t just a female thing. Hormones are essential for health and vitality in both women and men. When hormones are balanced, we tend to feel very happy and energetic.

In a previous post about maintaining your brain, I talked about brain chemicals like dopamine and gaba, and how the neurotransmitters of the brain are wired. Hormones have an impact on the wiring and structure of those neurotransmitters.

As Dr. Daniel Amen explains in his book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Body, hormones are like chemical messengers that travel through the blood stream and make it possible for the brain to communicate with other organs.

How important are hormones? Well, Dr. Amen puts it this way – change your hormones, change your brain, change your body, change your relationships. When your hormones are off, everything in your life suffers. 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.

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy, Comfortable Pregnancy

chiropractic during pregnancyI can picture the glare in the eyes of mothers as they read the title of this post. Comfortable pregnancy? There is no such thing! Spoken just like a man!

I will never claim to know what it’s like to be pregnant or that I can make all discomfort disappear. However, as a chiropractic physician for 20 years, and as a father who treated my own wife during five pregnancies, I’ve found great fulfillment in helping women remain as healthy, comfortable and stress-free as possible before, during and after their pregnancies.

A healthy pregnancy is the result of more than healthy eating, although nutrition takes on even greater importance in pregnant women. We need to address all three components of the Triad of Health during pregnancy – the physical, the nutritional and the psychological – through an integrated approach to wellness.

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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.

Osteoporosis, Part 1: Understanding the Basics

What is OsteoporosisMost people think of bones as building materials. They just form the frame that holds our bodies up, much like wood or steel support beams in a building.

Bone is actually living tissue in which nutrients and essential minerals are constantly absorbed and replaced by our bodies. Instead of thinking of bone as a 2X4, think of bone as a bank. We’re either making deposits or withdrawals. The key is to make more deposits than withdrawals.

Osteoporosis occurs when we become overdrawn. In other words, more old bone is removed than new bone is created. This causes a thinning or weakening of the bone, making it so brittle that a compression or spinal fracture can result from something as simple as a sneeze, a cough or bending over.

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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.

Hypothyroidism, Part 4: What Types of Exercise Can Help

Hyperthyroidism photo of Thyroid GlandThis is the fourth and final post in a series covering hypothyroidism and the various treatment options that we have at our disposal. Please feel free to email your thyroid-related questions to jproodian@naturalhc.com or post them in the comments section at the bottom of this post and I’ll be happy to answer them.

In Part 1 of our series on hypothyroidism, I provided an overview of the condition, including common causes and symptoms. Because we believe in an integrated approach to treating illness or disease, want you to become a little more familiar with a few of the tools we have in the Natural Healthcare Center shed for treating hypothyroidism.

In Part 2, I discussed how acupuncture can be used to treat hypothyroidism, thanks to contributions made by Lisa Abramson, one of our licensed acupuncturists at Natural Healthcare Center. Part 3 examined the role that clinical nutrition can play in regulating the thyroid. For the final post in our hypothyroidism series, let’s take a look at what kinds of exercise can help people with thyroid issues restore proper levels of hormone secretion.

Again, I’m thankful for the contributions of Dr. Oscar Coetzee, PhD to this post and everything we do at Natural Healthcare Center.

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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.

Hypothyroidism, Part 3: The Role of Clinical Nutrition

Hyperthyroidism photo of Thyroid GlandThis is the third in a series of monthly posts about hypothyroidism. Please feel free to email your thyroid-related questions to jproodian@naturalhc.com or post them in the comments section at the bottom of this post and I’ll be happy to answer them.

At Natural Healthcare Center, we take a comprehensive approach to the treatment of any condition as opposed to focusing on a single treatment option. In Part 2 of our series of posts covering hypothyroidism, we examined why acupuncture is one of many tools in our treatment arsenal.

Nutrition and diet also play an important role in diagnosing and treating hypothyroidism. We are very fortunate that Dr. Oscar Coetzee, PhD, a top-notch clinical nutritionist, is part of the Natural Healthcare Center family, and I’m grateful for Dr. Coetzee’s contributions to this post.

A significant amount of clinical data collected during the past six months or so suggests that various inflammatory foods can have an adverse effect on the thyroid. Research is ongoing, but we’ve seen positive changes when gluten is eliminated for three to six months from the diet of people who are dealing with hypothyroidism.

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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.

Hypothyroidism, Part 2: Acupuncture Treatment

Hyperthyroidism photo of Thyroid Gland

This is the second in a series of monthly posts about hypothyroidism. Please feel free to email your thyroid-related questions to jproodian@naturalhc.com or post them in the comments section at the bottom of this post and I’ll be happy to answer them.

As we discussed in Part 1 in our hypothyroidism series, the thyroid is a large endocrine gland that looks like a butterfly and rests on the vocal chords, just below the Adam’s apple. It has three key functions – regulate cell metabolism by regulating the body to a certain temperature, regulate the burning of calories, and control weight gain or loss.

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid doesn’t function properly, causing a deficiency in important hormones and often leading to obesity, which commonly leads to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and high cholesterol.

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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.

Hypothyroidism, Part 1: An Overview, Causes and Symptoms

This is the first in a series of monthly posts about hypothyroidism. Please feel free to email your thyroid-related questions to jproodian@naturalhc.com or post them in the comments section at the bottom of this post and I’ll be happy to answer them.

Before we discuss hypothyroidism, it’s important to understand what the thyroid is and what it does. The thyroid is a large endocrine gland that looks like a butterfly and rests on the vocal chords, just below the Adam’s apple.

Hypothyroidism photo of Thyroid Gland

The thyroid produces two main hormones – thyroxine and triiodothyronine. Simply put, these hormones control how your body uses energy.

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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.