Muscle Relaxants Your Doctor Never Told You About: “Magnificent” Magnesium

If you are tight, tense, sore or in pain, you want to do everything you can to feel better right away. Your medical physician will rarely tell you about effective, drug-free muscle relaxers. So please help yourself to my 2 favorite recommendations for natural relief–good results, inexpensive AND quick-acting.

Magnesium is nature’s muscle relaxer. While many patients may have some sort of calcium/magnesium supplement they are using, I usually recommend setting it aside and trying Natural Calm. Calcium/magnesium tablets or capsules are not fast-acting, if they even work at all. On the other hand, Natural Calm is a magnesium powder you mix with boiling water. It makes a pleasant drink and is very effective at naturally relaxing muscles and nerves.

National health authorities say most Americans are deficient in magnesium. Good sources of magnesium come from spinach, legumes and nuts. Deficiency of magnesium is magnified by calcium overdosing from fortified foods and supplements.

Calcium and magnesium are opposites. Calcium causes nerves and muscles to fire and magnesium lets nerves and muscles relax. Basically calcium turns things “on” while magnesium is needed to turn the switch “off”. Without enough magnesium, the switch stays “on” due to plenty of calcium to stimulate it.

The Anti-Stress DrinkDue to too much calcium from fortified foods and supplements, nerve and muscle cells are staying “on” instead of turning off.

According to Natural Vitality’s website, “The recommended adequate intake of calcium according to the National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements, is 1,000 mg for adults aged 19–50 and 1,200 mg for 51 plus. There are many adults who are taking 1,200–1,500 mg of supplemental calcium in addition to their dietary intake of calcium (an 8 oz cup of low-fat fruit yogurt contains 345 mg of calcium and one cup of nonfat milk contains 306 mg). Unassimilated calcium can end up in the soft tissues of the body where it deposits and hardens (calcifies) or in the urine where it may result in kidney stones.”

When there is too much calcium compared to magnesium then even more magnesium is depleted. Calcium keeps the muscle or nerve cells firing or contracting. Without sufficient magnesium in the system, calcium deposits in soft tissue areas that aren’t desirable. Proper magnesium balance keeps the calcium where it should be including the bones. It is also a natural laxative and will steadily lead to softer bowel movements.

Natural Calm uses a proprietary blend resulting in ionic magnesium citrate that dissolves easily in hot water. It is a pleasant drink and soon after drinking it, the soluble magnesium exchanges places with calcium throughout nerves and muscles, allowing NATURAL relaxation.

If you are tense, tight, stressed, knotted, can’t relax or get comfortable to go to sleep, then I cannot recommend Natural Calm highly enough.

We always have several flavors on hand in our office. My personal favorite flavor is raspberry-lemon while my second favorite is lemon. It also comes in “original”. Original is tasteless and if you have a favorite tea bag, then you can make your own tea with it. While my business partner, Chrissy’s, favorite flavor is cherry, I stay away from that one as it tastes too much like cough medicine to me. Reba from our office enjoys the orange flavor. We have single-dose samples of all flavors as well as the full-sized canisters.

Many patient’s spouses have enjoyed the benefits of Calm and have begun using it to de-stress and loosen up from a hard day.

Stores that commonly carry Natural Calm are Sprouts and Whole Foods.

If you don’t like hot drinks, still make Calm with hot, boiling water, but then refrigerate it or add ice. Consider adding it to one of your water bottles for workouts. It is a great recovery drink that will naturally allow relaxation of muscles after working out. After the magnesium is dissolved, it will still be soluble even if the drink is cold.

Another magnesium treatment that I highly recommend is Epsom salts. Epsom salts are crystals of magnesium sulfate. When you have tight, sore or painful muscles, a warm bath with a couple of cups of Epsom salts can give you fast relief.

Epsom salts are available near the pharmacy aisles in bags or cartons and are very inexpensive, anywhere from $3-5 for a 5 pound bag. If you have had a hard workout, or you are sore from yardwork or are tense from a stressful day at work, a warm bath with Epsom salts will relax you and take the edge off for bed. The magnesium salts absorb through the skin to provide the balancing act for calcium inside of contracted muscles. We will be carrying Epsom salts in the office for your convenience beginning December.

The directions on Epsom salts say it can be mixed and made into a drink but I haven’t tried it since I have always used Calm. It is a different magnesium salt than Natural Calm, and it is safe. If you want to be economical then you can double-dip and use it for your bath and your drink.

Either way, you will be well on your way to soothing tight, achey, sore muscles with Natural Calm and/or Epsom salts thanks to “magnificent” relaxation from magnesium.

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Are you “cracked up” over getting an adjustment?

Have you ever wanted to try chiropractic but never have because you are scared the adjustments are painful or because you don’t like the “cracking” noise? If so, then you are like 3/4 of the patients we meet. You will be surprised to know that for for most people, even scaredy cats, the adjustment itself isn’t painful. If anything, it is SURPRISING. In fact the relief that is usually felt following the first ABC (TM) treatment melts away the scaredy cat’s fear for future treatments.

In order to change the alignment of your skeleton, there must be movement of the bones. The soft tissues, like ligaments, muscles and tendons can actually be swollen due to the nature of the joint being twisted. So there can be some soreness. Patients MAY be sore from the adjustment. But that is like the soreness you would feel if you did a new exercise. Not PAIN. And there is one move that moves the head from one side to the other and can make a popping noise. But with the technique we use at Atlas, there isn’t any twisting of the neck or low back. The adjustments to the back are done standing up and are rather comfortable.

Atlas’ technique IS different. It isn’t like traditional chiropractic adjustments. That’s why I think MOST scaredy cats stick with it, despite their fear of getting adjusted or hearing their bones “crack.”

Just knowing the false data about “cracking your joints” that has filled everyone’s heads can help scaredy cats “take the plunge”, too. EVERYONE has a family member who has told them if you “crack your knuckles you’ll get arthritis”. But funny enough, researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that middle-aged people who cracked their joints had less arthritis than those who never cracked their joints. It was the researchers’ second study showing that cracking your joints DOESN’T cause arthritis and after age 45, mobility lessens in those who don’t crack their joints. According to Dr. Cymet, the researcher in this study, the cracking noise is gas escaping the joint at the point of tension of moving the joint.

So take heart and find out how our technique can get you feeling better, even if you’re embarrassed at being scared. We will escort you through your fear to the other side of your first treatment and show you how different your life can become without constant or chronic pain!

Major Stress Reducers–Get These in Place BEFORE the Holidays Crash Down on You!

ABC Chiropractor, ABC Doctor

Dr. Erica S. Kasprzyk, DC

Sometimes I take for granted that my patients know what’s going on in my head! Sometimes new things get added to the protocol. And established or maintenance patients or inactive patients may not be aware of the key areas that I recommend for maintaining and improving your health.  Consider this a baseline checklist to use when you are considering how you are going to handle some of those TOP resolutions (get in shape, eat healthier, lose weight!!). The most basic factor you should be aware of is limiting inflammation throughout your body. However!! This does NOT mean to take aspirin or Advil every day. It does mean:

AVOID: REFINED FOODS, RED MEAT The key foods that PROMOTE inflammation: 1) White/refined sugar 2) High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) 3) White Flour 4) Red Meat 5) Trans Fats (Hydrogenated Oils) If you took drastic steps to keep these food items as just a small part of your diet, you will naturally lose weight. You should find that chronic aches and pains will be less severe or frequent, too, as these food items drive the cycle that make PROSTAGLANDIN, the chemical responsible for inflammation.

AVOID: NSAIDS The reason you DON’T want to routinely take anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), whether prescription or over-the-counter, is because of numerous studies linking increased usage of NSAIDS to the biggie diseases including cancer, heart disease/heart attack, high blood pressure, as well as kidney and liver failure. I have references galore.

AVOID: ANTIBIOTICS: Antibiotics directly turn on the enzyme that cause the last step in making prostaglandin, which directly reduces the immune system! But it also inflames existing pain. So avoid unnecessary antibiotics (like for a viral infection) to keep your inflammatory conditions better in-check.

YOU NEED: EPA & DHA (OMEGA 3’S)  You know it’s coming!! The EPA in Omega 3 fish oils actually HALTS the cycle of inflammation. Taking a regular large dose can help keep your aches and pains minimal (as long as you’re not eating a horrible diet, that is. The worse your diet, the more Omega 3’s you need to overcome it.) I’ve noticed store brands often say something like “1000 mg salmon oil”. However, when I read the label, I find only 200 or 300 mg of EPA & DHA. You need at least 1500 mg a day! The rest of the oil they are advertising ISN’T those crucial ingredients. I will continue to tout Nutriwest’s brand as it contains an essential Omega 6 GLA not usually found in store brands. This Omega 6 helps the skin as well as your insides. And not coconut, palm or any of those oils. Must be black currant seed, evening primrose or borage oil. Those are the Omega 6’s to supplement with.

YOU NEED: COMPLETE GLUTATHIONE The other newest recommendations I’m making are taking glutathione-boosting vitamins, best accomplished with Complete Glutathione or Complete Whey-G by Nutriwest. This will clean up the pollutants in your body so you are less likely to become toxic.

YOU NEED: SOLUBLE MINERALS My other nutritional recommendation is the Vibe liquid minerals. The soil has been depleted of minerals since at least 1936. Even the healthiest diets, even if you only buy organic from Whole Foods, are still deprived of essential minerals. Many people notice a difference in how they feel using this product. I still do.

YOU NEED: THERABAND Posture Exercises—doing these a couple of times a week will give your body needed muscle tone to stay in place between adjustments.

YOU NEED: LIGHT EXERCISE  Patients who have engaged in some form of exercising, even if VERY light and infrequent (1-2x/ week) notice less pain and less exacerbations and less severe when they DO have a problem. I personally have noticed a difference in someone after only one session of using the Theraband at their desk. When I asked her what she had done differently, I was a little shocked that merely ONE day of exercise made a difference.  Granted, exercise won’t FIX the misalignments. However, it will keep the muscles more tone so that they can hold your body in place despite sitting at a desk or driving a bunch. I’m just talking minimal exercise, too! Obviously, more vigorous exercise is great for the heart and circulation, too.

YOU NEED: COMPLETE A-G If you exercise regularly, consider getting the Complete A-G product by Nutriwest. Burning lots of carbon and oxygen stresses the powerhouses of the cells—the mitochondria–because exercise causes more free radicals than when you are sedentary. Complete A-G gives the mitochondria the support they need to overcome the stress of extra exercise.

YOU NEED: VITAMIN B1  I was recommended to take large B1 doses for stress. It actually assists metabolism and nerve function as well. I take 500 mg/day. So the assist with the emotional stress as well as your metabolism must be a good combination to keep the body from craving all of the bad guys: soda, French fries, wine & beer, candy bars and ice cream! You must supplement with Vitamin C and calcium when taking B1, (i.e what’s in Vibe works for me ). I wouldn’t doubt that it could help you make it through the stress of the holidays a little more easily, too. Get B1 at your favorite natural grocery store.  Solaray is my favorite brand—it comes in 100 mg capsules and is easy to swallow.  It’s less than $6 for a bottle at most stores.  If you’re less stressed when December ends, then you’re more likely to tackle those resolutions!

Following all of these things, unfortunately for me, will reduce your need for me. I truly want that for you, though! I want you to be more at cause over your health. And the bonus is a good, basic nutritional regimen that will nourish your body and keep it from craving junk as much.

Bring Your Kids and Their Sports Injuries to Atlas!

Biking Injuries, Kids and Chiropractic, Healthy Kids

My New 6-Year-Old Wheels!

It’s finally getting warm enough to ride my new 6-year-old bike I got for my birthday!  I can pedal so much easier than on my older bike.  I even learned how to make skid marks by squeezing the brakes fast.  On Mother’s Day, we did our longest bike ride yet through Cherry Creek State Park.  We were almost home and I lost my balance and fell 😦  And the week before at school I fell on my head doing a handstand.  So Mommy gave me two adjustments because my neck was tight and so were my shoulders.  But I’m not afraid to ride my bike.  I learned how to pop off the curb without even falling.  It’s fun being a big 6 year-old!

Love, Sarah-bear