Friday, June 14, 2013

Drink Water For Healthy Living

By Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)

The average person’s body is composed of approximately 70% water.  The body's water supply is responsible for and involved in nearly every biological process.  Human beings can survive without food for thirty to forty days, but without water, we would not be able to live beyond three to five days!
Below are some interesting facts about the role of water in the human body and the health benefits of adequate water intake.

1.    Regulation of body functions.  Water is essential for respiration, digestion, nutrient absorption, and elimination of waste products and toxins from the body.  Water is also responsible for healthy circulation, and controlling body temperature through perspiration.

2.    Signs of dehydration.  If not enough water is consumed, toxins can build up in the body resulting in many negative side effects.  The consequences of inadequate water intake/dehydration may include:  muscle and joint pain, cramping, headaches, fatigue, digestive problems, inflammation, and poor functioning of many organs.

3.    Helpful for weight loss.  Water is a great fluid replacement for high calorie drinks such as alcohol and sodas/carbonated drinks.  Drinking water before meals can also help kick start metabolism and act as an appetite suppressant.

4.    Support for the Musculoskeletal (MSK) system.  Water brings vital nutrients to muscle tissue to support performance and decrease the risks of cramps and strains.  Water also helps to protect our joints by providing lubrication and cushioning.

5.    Better productivity at work.  Your brain consists of 90% water.  Therefore, proper hydration helps you think better, be more alert and focused, and feel more energized.

6.    Look younger with healthier skin.  Your skin is the largest organ in the body.  Water helps to replenish skin tissues by improving circulation to skin cells, maintaining elasticity, and moisturizing from the inside out.

7.    Feel healthier.  Consuming plenty of water can help maintain proper immune functioning, and can prevent or improve symptoms of the common cold, flu, arthritis, kidney stones, constipation, and many other conditions.

How much water is enough?  This is not an easy question to answer and can be dependent on many factors.  A general rule of thumb to follow is to consume 0.5-1 litre of water daily for every 50 pounds of body weight.  Special consideration for greater water consumption must be taken into account for those who are engaged in vigorous activity or exercise, and during the warmer months when more water is lost through perspiration.  Additional considerations must be taken into account for those who consume caffeine, alcoholic beverages, and certain medications, as these substances can act as diuretics and actually drain your body of water.

Looking at the color of your urine is an easy way to determine whether or not you are consuming enough water.  As long as you are not taking riboflavin (vitamin B2), which fluoresces and turns your urine bright yellow (it is also in most multi-vitamins), then your urine should be a very light-coloured yellow.  If it is a deep yellow then you are likely not drinking enough water.

Proper hydration is key for optimal functioning.  For additional information on improving your health, visit our website at 

This article is a basic summary for educational purposes only.  It is not intended, and should not be considered, as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a duly licensed health practitioner.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Benefits of Raw Juice
By:  Dr. Mercola

Virtually every health authority recommends that we get 6-8 servings of vegetables and fruits per day and very few of us actually get that. Juicing is an easy way to virtually guarantee that you will reach your daily target for vegetables. There are three main reasons why you will want to consider incorporating vegetable juicing into your optimal health program:

  1. Juicing helps you absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. This is important because most of us have impaired digestion as a result of making less-than-optimal food choices over many years. This limits your body's ability to absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. Juicing will help to "pre-digest" them for you, so you will receive most of the nutrition, rather than having it go down the toilet.

  2. Juicing allows you to consume a healthier amount of vegetables in an efficient manner. If you are a carb type, you should eat one pound of raw vegetables per 50 pounds of body weight per day. Some people may find eating that many vegetables difficult, but it can be easily accomplished with a quick glass of vegetable juice.
  4. You can add a wider variety of vegetables in your diet. Many people eat the same vegetable salads every day. This violates the principle of regular food rotation and increases your chance of developing an allergy to a certain food. But with juicing, you can juice a wide variety of vegetables that you may not normally enjoy eating whole.

Drinking your juice first thing in the morning can give you a natural energy boost without resorting to stimulants like coffee. Since the juice is already in an easily digestible form, it can help revitalize your energy levels within as little as 20 minutes.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Are You Putting Your Best Foot Forward?
By Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)

Much like tires on a car give a vehicle a foundation of support for stability and performance, our feet function to do the same for us.  When tires get old and worn, and don’t offer the same support and stability that they once did, we simply replace them.  Unfortunately we cannot replace our feet!  Our only option is to give them the correct mechanical support so that they can continue to function as they were intended to.  Learn more about how important your feet are for structural health and how custom orthotic therapy can alleviate many problems caused by faulty foot mechanics.
The feet are an individual’s contact points with the ground, so how they support the rest of the body is critical.  Our feet have nearly 100 individual working parts, which all have to function together when we stand, walk, run and jump to provide proper stability and balance.  When a small problem develops in our feet, the subtle changes in the way we walk can cause a chain reaction of adjustments in our posture and walking mechanics.  These changes can put stress on joints in our feet, and higher up in the body, and can lead to more serious problems.
Custom orthotic therapy allows one to correct faulty foot mechanics by normalizing motion and offering shock absorption.  Orthotics are mechanical aids that fit into your shoes as comfortably as an insole – and they have the advantage of having been custom made from precise imprints of your feet.  Orthotics work on your feet much like glasses work on your eyes – they decrease stress and strain on your body by bringing your feet into proper alignment.  This helps rebalance your feet and reduces pain and discomfort by enhancing your body’s natural movements.
Some individuals may experience obvious symptoms of faulty foot mechanics which may include but are not limited to:  localized foot pain, bunions or hammer toes, arch or heel pain, leg, ankle, hip, and knee pain, and back pain.  Others may not have obvious symptoms of faulty foot mechanics but may still benefit from orthotic therapy to prevent long-term problems.  This may include individuals who spend a good portion of the day standing or walking on hard surfaces, individuals with a family history of foot related problems, and individuals who participate in sports such as tennis, golf, basketball, volleyball, or running on a regular basis.  Faulty foot mechanics arise for different reasons ranging from genetic predisposition, to the normal aging process where ligaments, muscles and joints fail to support our bodies like they once did.
Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis are a very common cause of heel pain.  These problems usually occur in pronated feet (feet that roll inward).  Pronation forces the heel to strike the ground abnormally, and places abnormal stress on the heel and plantar fascia (the soft tissue at the bottom of the foot), resulting in pain that will become progressively worse.  A custom made orthotic is constructed to allow the heel to strike the ground in the correct manner by minimizing pronation, cushioning the heel, and supporting the arch.  This is just one example of how custom orthotics function to normalize faulty mechanics and foot function.  Custom orthotics can also help with other painful conditions such as foot pain caused by bunions or hammer toes, shin splints, knee pain, hip pain, and low back pain.  Many athletes find custom orthotics helpful for increasing athletic efficiency, and protecting the heel, arch, and forefoot from the unnatural and increased stresses that sporting activities produce.  Older individuals who have experienced the effects of aging on the body may find that custom orthotics can keep the foot from turning and twisting while walking, making each step secure and pain free.  In diabetics, pressure sores and chronic painful areas are best treated with supportive custom made orthotics featuring modern materials that can eliminate pain, shield and protect painful areas, and decrease the chance of ulcerations occurring.
Prescribing and dispensing custom foot orthotics for an individual is usually a three-step process.  The first step is a history and physical examination, which gathers information about occupational, recreational or sporting activities. Pain symptoms are investigated through a physical exam involving muscular assessment and range of motion.  A postural exam is also performed to assess overall alignment.  Computer analysis can help identify what your feet are doing at every part of the walking cycle, and give additional information about the mechanical functioning of your feet.  Foam impressions or plaster casts of your feet allow for specific imprints of your feet to be sent to the orthotic lab, detailing information about your arch and heel specifications.  A comprehensive and systematic approach to custom orthotic therapy yields excellent results and high consumer satisfaction.
While simple, commercially made devices such as heel cushions, or shock absorbing insoles for shoes can be purchased over-the-counter in drug stores or other retail establishments, they are made for the general public and may not be addressing the specific needs of your feet.  The most effective orthotics are custom-designed devices specifically crafted to meet the needs of the particular individual. Mechanical dysfunction in our feet has the ability to put undue stress on other parts of the body, predisposing us to wear and tear and injury.  Do not forget that the proper functioning of your feet is paramount in ensuring structural health, and that correction and prevention is key in ensuring that you are indeed putting your best foot forward!
This article is a basic summary for educational purposes only.  It is not intended, and should not be considered, as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a duly licensed health practitioner.