Cholesterol in Blood Vessels – Cause and Cure

By Cynthia Horner

Cholesterol and triglycerides are words even second graders know. Why do some people have a high amount of cholesterol and or triglycerides in their blood vessels?

First let’s make it clear high amounts of triglycerides and cholesterol in the body are not from eating too much saturated fat!  All medical authorities agree that the buildup of cholesterol in the form of plaque on artery walls is caused by the body responding to inflammation and damage to the artery walls. plaque in artery

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How to Have Smarter Kids

By Dr. Cynthia Horner

What is intelligence?download

Intelligence is the ability to problem solve by remembering past successes and failures and imagining possibilities for the future. Intelligence is supposed to make it easier to navigate living in our world. Intelligence is measured by IQ tests, but IQ tests do not measure:

  • creative intelligence
  • practical intelligence
  • interpersonal intelligence
  • bodily kinesthetic intelligence

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Whiplash and Chiropractic

By Cynthia Horner DC

The Crash

Symptoms of whiplash are very often noticed months after a crash, as it was with this patient. It was the subtle, nagging feelings after the crash that he talked about, it wasn’t that crash itself:  which was a result of nothing more than his greed for time, but what followed has been troubling to him. When he sat in his car he could hear the crunch of the gravel under the tires of the cars slowly passing by and he could see the annoyance in the faces peering through the windows of those cars, annoyed at the stupidity that caused their delay. He thought and said out loud to himself, “I’m okay; I’m conscious, I can move my toes and fingers no searing neck pain”. He watched steam rise out of the front of his car as people with cell phones in hand seemed to be moving in slow motion. The sting from the air bag where it hit his face made him strangely feel alive.crash

It was two months after the accident that he walked into my office.  “I’m not sure if I need to be here I’m not in pain, but since my auto accident 2 months ago I haven’t been able to sleep well, I have a constant low grade headache, my hands are always cold, and I feel like I can’t  concentrate as well as I used to.” We sat and talked for 20 minutes about his subtle but nagging symptoms.

Immediately following an accident you might ask the question; should I go to a chiropractor?

“Whiplash” itself is a non-medical term for an acceleration-deceleration injury caused by a sudden violent movement of the neck and head backward and forward from trauma such as a car accident, or from a slip or fall, or a sports injury. This whipping motion of the head causes considerable damage to the ligaments and muscles (often called soft tissue) that support the head and neck. It also causes an overstretching of nerve tissue that results in altering the messages the nerve tissue carries.

Whiplash can be very serious. It is also capable of causing damage to the discs between the vertebrae, breaking or chipping bones and severely injuring the brain and nerves. Severe head injuries such as ‘mild traumatic brain injuries’ (TBI) are common. The brain and skull are both round so on impact the brain slides up the bony skull often tearing connect tissue that holds brain, meninges, blood vessels and skull where they should be.  Whiplash neck trauma is actually under-diagnosed to a great extent. It’s also under-treated in many cases. Many doctors’ approach begins and ends with the prescription of pain medication, and muscle relaxers which really only mask the problem. However, a good chiropractor should be capable of much more.

So back to the question; is it wise to see a chiropractor after a whiplash injury? 

The short answer is YES. Here is what you need to know…

The body responds to these types of injuries by immobilizing the area in order to minimize additional damage (this is referred to as muscle guarding or splinting). Spinal joints can become stiff and highly limited in movement, even to the point of being totally fixed in place. Taking a muscle relaxer at this stage is not helpful to the process but creates more long term problems.

In addition the eyes are designed with a reflexive mechanism to move opposite of head movements. When the spinal cord has been stretched or nerves impinged the brain isn’t getting clear messages from the body about where the head is; this miscommunication about head position often results in blurred vision, dizziness, headaches and fatigue.

My Chiropractic Assessment for Whiplash Injury

The first thing I do in treating a whiplash patient is a chiropractic analysis & neurological exam to rule out all the red flag conditions such as:

  • Brain injury
  • Nerve tearing
  • Torn ligaments
  • Fractures or dislocations

My Examination Includes:

Posture Analysis; posture is nothing more than your body responding to where your brain thinks you are. Your brain is constantly correcting and re-correcting your body position to line you up to where it thinks you should be in space, it is dependent on how your brain and nervous system are functioning.

Muscle Tone Assessment; muscle tone is the result of consistent, even signals from your brain reaching muscles.  Anything that alters nerve transmission can cause ‘static in the lines’  the result is loss of tone or the opposite, increased tightness in muscles. This can result in hyper or hypo muscle stretch reflexes tested by striking your tendon with a reflex hammer.

Balance; is created by involuntary muscles responding to a multitude of signals from the brain to keep your eyes level with the horizon and upright in gravity.

Eye Movements; eyes are literally a window to the brain. Through assessing different types of eye movements (slow tracking, and fast movements) wiring in the brain can be evaluated. Then using eye movements brain function can be improved.

Palpation; describes touching the body to assess joint movement including rolling, sliding & gliding  of vertebral joints.

My Chiropractic Treatment for Whiplash Injuries:

When treating my immediate objective is to stabilize the muscles and ligaments and to support the vertebrae and decrease pain. I do this by working with the brain centers that control muscle tone and centers that inhibit pain. Also I often use low force adjusting to fast stretch muscles and  better aligned vertebrae.

My second objective is to restore communication from the body to the brain. This mismatch (what is really happening in the body, and what the brain perceives as happening) is called dys-afferentation. It simply means there is a ‘dys’ or disconnect in (afferent) or incoming messages to the brain. When this happens what follows is inappropriate messages going out from the brain to the body. The inappropriate messages may be altered muscle control or coordination, increased or decreased muscle tone, or aberrant sensations such as pain, numbness, tingling, crawling of skin, or cold extremities. Many times the inappropriate message can mask pain or extenuate pain.

To do this I use:

  • adjusting of the spine which is the most powerful way to affect the brain
  • specific eye movements
  • passive stretching,
  • active stretching,
  • balancing postures
  • vibration of nerve receptors
  • light stimulation
  • sound stimulation.   

Usually within three weeks to a few months the joints are stable and the body and brain are again communicating, and annoying and painful symptoms resolve.

Classical Music’s Effect on Health

I often have wondered if classical music effects our health. I had heard that playing the harp is good for the player’s health because one pulls the strings toward their body creating a vibrating frequency that promotes good health. We have all heard of the ‘Mozart Effect’. Well Elisabeth Thompson is a home schooled high school student and patient at my office. She wrote an intriguing paper on the effects of classical music on health that with her permission I post here.


Classical Music and Health

By Elisabeth Thompson

Classical music is timeless for a reason. The effects of playing or listening to it are widely unknown. Studies and experiments show listening and playing to classical music can help children’s brain development and overall health. Classical music doesn’t make anyone smarter, but based on the way it is used and enjoyed; it can create a better atmosphere for a young brain to prosper. Playing and listening to classical music gives people a calm environment, releases healthy hormones and affects memorization neural pathways.

classical music

Classical Music has a Calming Effect

People that are introduced to classical music early have a better chance of faster cognitive development due to the atmosphere that it creates. Whether or not a child is mentally capable or not, releasing tension from the body through music is effective because music literally touches almost every part of the body. “The roots of the auditory nerves are more widely distributed and possess more extensive connections than those of any other nerves” (Olpin 6). This means that the nerves carrying the electrical signals of sound are touching almost every part of the body, not just the brain. So, by listening or participating in the music, the brain receives the signal which is carried out to help calm the rest of the body as well.

Classical Music’s Effect on Whole Body Health

Classical music is proven to help digestion, circulation, nutrition absorption, and respiration. It wouldn’t help those things, unless it first helped the brain. In order for those bodily functions to become more efficient, the brain has to run smoother to tell the body what to do. Similarly, for children who may be disabled, there is a program called Medical Resonance Therapy Music. This therapy uses specific melodies that excite cells through resonance which renews the cell and, in turn, the whole body (Olpin 8).The meaning behind this is straight-forward, but not simple. Basically, music (preferably classical) is played to a patient, and the vibrations or frequencies of the notes resonates within the cells of the patient’s body. The resonance of the notes restores the cell to its former state of being. This all plays a role in the calming effect of classical music because as it soaks into the body through the brain, it not only calms the body, but also restores the body.

Classical Music and the Brain

This next point all depends on whether or not someone likes classical music or not, but if one does classical music makes people happy and happy people are healthier. Researchers did a study on the brain and hormones and they did ligand- based PET. When music was being played, the scans showed that music releases dopamine in the dorsal and ventral striatum. Dopamine is known as the pleasure chemical in the brain; these regions of the brain are associated with pleasure, no matter what the pleasure stimuli is (Lehrer 2). This means that if people like classical music, and it is played to them that dopamine is released into their body making them actually feel pleasure.images Pleasure makes people temporarily happier, and happy people are healthier because it gives them a time frame to wind down and let their bodies heal and rest. On the same note, the reason the dopamine is released is because “it is the suspenseful tension of music (arising out of our unfulfilled expectations) that is the source of the music’s feeling” (Lehrer 5). What this means is that the climax of a specific song builds up a listener’s anticipation, which is when the most dopamine is released. Dopamine is not only the pleasure chemical but also the reward chemical, so when the climax of the song is approaching, the dopamine is released and the arrival of the climax is the listener’s reward. Hormones have the power to make a healthier person, and music has the power to make healthier hormones.

Classical Music and Memoryimages (1)

Neurological pathways are just the way electrical signals travel through the brain and body, and music can help strengthen the memorization pathways in the brain.  No, music doesn’t make people smarter even Mozart. Using “Excitation at the time of learning” however can help people’s memorization because “Emotional arousal” enhances memory formation by positively influencing the period of neurobiological activity called consolidation that establishes a memory in the brain’” (Sorensen 5). So when people play positive music that enhances the attention on the brain, whatever that person is doing solidifies more deeply into their memory. Once more, this does depend of the enjoyment factor as well. When listeners are engaged in a dramatic symphony and reading a book, they are much more likely to remember what they read because it is an excitatory factor in the increment of time reading. Again, “If this was the case then Mozart has nothing to do with the effect” (Sorensen 6). This is true because it isn’t the composer himself, it depends on the kind of music the listener likes and it doesn’t make anyone smarter. It only brings out the potential already placed inside people’s brain.

So, when people are involved in classical music somehow, they are more likely to provide a healthy environment for their bodies because of the calming effect, hormones, and memory improvements. Classical music won’t make people smarter but it has healing components, helps mood and allows a good functioning atmosphere for workers and students alike. This doesn’t mean that all people should stock their homes with old classical CD’s and records, but it is a good tool to use for health.

Works Cited:

Lehrer, Jonah. “The Neuroscience of Music.” Wired. Conde Nast, 19 Jan. 2011. Web. 24 Apr.

Olpin, Michael, Hesson, Margie. Stress and the Environment. Bellmont: Wadsworth Cengage

Learning, 2013. Web. 24 Apr. 2015. Sorensen, Lars. “Mozart on the Brain.” Rutgars Universtiy, 19 Nov. 2008. Web. 24


Gluten, Wheat and Inflammation

By Dr. Cynthia Horner

Is all this talk about gluten and being gluten free just hype, or is there something healthy about reducing gluten in your diet?

Gluten is a protein in the kernel of the head of the wheat plant. There is another protein that doesn’t get as much press gliadin. These proteins are also found in some other grains but not to the extent that they are found in wheat. Continue reading

Stress Effects on Focus and Learning

Focus, Memory and Learning

Stress has a specific effect on both focus and memory. Focus and memory are the beginning steps to studying and learning. Your body functions either in growth function or protection function. When your body is responding to_59620534_jex_1376668_de27-1 danger, your growth function shuts down as protection function takes over making focus and memory difficult. Continue reading

Chiropractic Adjustment of an Infant

I am often met with surprise when people hear me say I adjust infants. “Why would an infant need to be adjusted?” is the question that usually follows.  As surprising and unusual as it may seem, it makes perfect sense to have your infant checked by a pediatric chiropractor trained and experienced in chiropractic care for infants.

Today’s birthing practices are harder on infants than most realize. A mother lying on her back doesn’t have gravity to help her birth her baby. With the standard birth practices babies stay in the birth canal longer and need more intervention such as the doctor assisting by pulling the baby’s head, the use of forceps or vacuum distraction. Continue reading

Back Pain During Pregnancy

Back Pain During Pregnancy is a Common Complaint

By Dr. Cynthia Horner

Approximately 50% of pregnant women experience back pain. Pregnancy should be a time of  joy and expectation. If you are experiencing back pain the joy of pregnancy is overcast with thoughts of how to get relief. Specific chiropractic adjustments by a chiropractor trained in the care of pregnant women can be the answer for relief of back pain. Knowing what causes back pain during pregnancy can help you avoid it completely or resolve it once it appears. Learning stretching exercises and adapting your postural habits are also helpful in avoiding or resolving back pain. Continue reading

Babies Need Touch

By Dr. Cynthia Horner

Babies learn about their world by touching objects, but they learn about people by the way we touch them.

We can live without sight, hearing, smell or taste, but without touch we die. Touch throughout life is not a luxury but a necessity. Touch starts not at birth but in utero.Baby touch Continue reading

Sugar and Your Health

By Dr. Cynthia Horner

I am often asked if sugar is really bad for kids. After all isn’t sugar a part of all children’s lives? Well the answer is, it is.  Sugar can seriously affect your health. It can cause damaged blood vessels and high cholesterol as well as arthritic joints and degeneration of brain tissue. Processed sugar may taste good but it is an enemy of our bodies. All carbohydrates turn to sugar on our mouth or stomach. The food that starts out as sugar when eaten in excess creates problems for our bodies and our children’s bodies. For optimal health, it’s best to ask, “How much sugar does my body need?”  Rather than, “How much can I eat without getting sick or fat?”

What is sugar?

Sugar cane was first used by people in the islands of the south Pacific, where it grew naturally.  Their recorded use of sugar cane to enhance the flavor of food dates back to 20,000 BC.  India was the first country to extract cane juice to make the first true sugar, which they called “gur” (loosely translated as “tasting sweet”).  Today, sugar is made from cane or beets that are crushed and dissolved in water.  The raw syrup is boiled down to a concentrate, to where some crystallizes; the remaining black/brown syrupy mixture is molasses.  The crystals are processed several times and refined to increase the purity, resulting in the white crystals we know as table sugar.  The whiteness is not due to bleaching.  White table sugar is called sucrose.Sugar

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