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The Daily Sprout

Your guide to healthier living.

By Dr. Amanda

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by how much information there is on how to be well? Lost on who you should listen to, what diet you should prescribe to, what supplements you should take, what exercises you should do?

While we each have a unique thumb print, the truth of the matter is that as human beings, we are all quite similar in biological demand. With that said, I think we can all agree that there are few things we need to survive but how is it exactly that each of us can thrive?

If you are in our office, you have heard us say that your nervous system cannot be in growth mode and protection mode at the same time, or in other words, if you are surviving you are not thriving and vice versa. If you’re reading this, you’re obviously surviving so how do we ensure that we thrive? Let’s begin with the fundamentals. First and foremost is sleep. Although, for optimal hormone health, women do need 1-2 more hours of sleep on average than men, everybody on the planet needs sleep. So many recovery and growth processes occur during sleep that without it, our entire system is excessively overtaxed.

We have all experienced extended periods with little to no sleep, and every time, like clockwork, you noticed neurological slowdowns. Recall is more difficult, focusing for long periods is nearly impossible, and everything is slightly irritating. So how much sleep do we need? While there is some variety as sleep requirements vary depending on gender, age, and other factors, research has found that despite the variables, humans need between 6-9 hours of sleep. How do you find out what works best for you? Begin studying your sleep. A very important thing here is to set a specific bedtime. To really optimize your sleep, your nervous system, circadian rhythm, and hormones, sticking to a bedtime is HUGE. By simply establishing a bedtime, you can then begin to figure out how much sleep you need to function optimally. Nowadays there are also some interesting technologies, like the Oura ring, that help you discover this.

Now some of you may be thinking, I’ve done this, my issue isn’t not having a bedtime or sleep schedule, my issue is falling asleep or staying asleep. So, without going into the deep end of sleep talk, if you are having trouble falling asleep, that is a tell-tale sign that your body is indeed stuck in survival mode or protection mode. If you have trouble staying asleep, is it very likely that there is significant discord amongst and between your bodily systems—all of which originate from a dysregulated nervous system.

Now you may be wondering, if my body is so incredible, why is my nervous system dysregulated and how do I regulate it? Let’s start with the first question. What dysregulates my nervous system? In today’s world, there are so many factors. One is technology. Have you noticed that every app that you can “accidentally” spend a ton of time on has you scrolling through the content vertically? This is to stimulate your sympathetic nervous system, that’s right, the portion of the nervous system that is primarily dedicated to surviving. This overstimulation of the sympathetic nervous system down regulates your parasympathetic nervous system which is primarily dedicated to growth and repair which allows us to thrive. Two, too much screen time and blue light upon waking and before bed. I will save the brain wave conversation for another Daily Sprout but know that there is very different brain activity happening here and what we do during this time is important.

To regulate our circadian rhythms and influence our sleep positively, it is a great idea to get 2-3 minutes or more of sunlight upon awakening. It doesn’t matter if it’s cloudy, just step outside and breath in the fresh air. It is also good to step outside for a few minutes at sunset. Now if you’re like me you’re thinking, well the sun sets at 5 o’clock now what do I do for the rest of the hours? Continue your evening as usual, just try to make it outside during sunset and commit to cutting artificial light an hour before bed. This is TOUGH. Start slow. This means no cell phones or TV and hour before bed, and perhaps even stop using overhead lights and move to lamps and nightlights. Maybe upon beginning you make it 30 minutes before bed until you find a routine that supports you to make it an hour without screen time before bed. This will work wonders on your mental health and your sleep performance as you are now giving your nervous system time and space to upregulate the parasympathetic nervous system allowing your body to continue to grow and repair so that you can thrive.

Lastly, it is important to note that you could be perfect with morning and bedtime routine and still have difficulties falling or staying asleep. If this is you, then it is very likely that you endured an experience that your body perceived as very traumatic and a threat to your safety and/or existence. These experiences can literally shock the system into “getting stuck” in fight or flight and survival mode. It is okay, you don’t have to be “stuck” forever. At HealthSprout, we deliver neurologically focused adjustments to break these patterns so that your nervous system literally becomes unstuck or free. This takes time and can be supported in more ways than one. I often recommend breathwork and meditation to my patients. And while those are extremely potent practices, there is nothing more efficient at regulating and harmonizing the nervous system than a free nervous system—which is granted by the chiropractic adjustment. It is for this reason that the great majority of our patients under chiropractic care report better sleep and increased energy without practicing breathwork or meditation. We are designed naturally to be vibrant, energetic beings, we must simply come back to the basics and set our nervous system free. Many more parts coming soon.

With love,

Dr. Amanda

Well, first off, it is true. The Daily Sprout is back after a LONG hiatus, and it will hopefully return to its old days of glory, where we produced three posts a week, online and in office... with more readership then than we ever thought, and more than we had hoped. We kept this trend alive for a decade or more, but the uncertainty of how best to disseminate it for the best impact seemed to kill the value of the blog post. Now, with what seems to be the most incredible "upheaval" of our trust in how life will be tomorrow, the need for ongoing communication that touches on the essence of health is needed.

So with that, let me get to the business of writing about Thanksgiving! For those who have been with me for a decade or more, you might recall that I have always enjoyed writing an article around this time, with a focus on how important it is not only to give Thanks, but to also share in that Thankfulness with family, or in lieu of such... your friends. I am in Williamsburg VA right now; a part of our country that simply "feels" Thanksgiving. The town which is an ongoing depiction of life in Virginia from the 1690's to approximately 1780, evokes a feeling of life with risk, of life that is absent of ease, and one that shows the rewards of hard work, struggle to couple the wisdom needed to know what is right, with the youth and willingness to fight for it. Yet at the same time, a life which has begun to afford opportunity to those hard workers to rely on man's advances in farming and in construction.

Basically, being here is like seeing a glimpse of the new world that is to come, while still hitched to the old one. I am ever thankful for this lesson, the lesson that hard work is rewarded, and entitlement has no place in our world. The men and women who came to our country turned their backs on notions of entitlement, and they ran into the arms of the unknown. And while this town was very loyal to the crown through much of the debate that led up to the revolution, it was also a town that was paramount in supporting the revolutionary effort as the largest and wealthiest colony at the time.

This is my fourth Thanksgiving here with my family, the last came five years ago, and the first nearly five years before that. We all have found value in the story of this town, but furthermore, we have found an opportunity for the four of us to feel equally enamored by different individual components. For one it is the nod to nature that this town gives through its gardens and the open yards with massive old trees as their king. For another it is the necessity of man and animal to work together, and for my wife and I we find ourselves appreciating the architecture (especially that of the college of William and Mary which was founded in 1693), and the intelligence mixed with artistry that went into the design of it. The four of us will walk down the cobblestone lined streets talking away about our life, plans that are yet to come, and those things that we have already done, and all along the story of this town and the things we love about it are woven in. And is this not what Thanksgiving is about? I convinced my wife to trust me in my desire to travel for Thanksgiving... not to family, not away from family... but with family to another place. I am not saying that you need to leave in order to get the value of Thanksgiving. Many of you, rather, most of you, will be around quite a few people on Thanksgiving, and you will share your time with them, and the opportunity to cherish those around you in "Thanks" will happen. What I am saying is that when you take this idea of giving thanks for all that we are blessed for, and I really hope you can compare yourself to the average third world person while doing this, and if you couple this with a catalyst that in itself is something to be thankful for, it really helps you get down to the depths of gratitude.

So what I would like you to do this Thanksgiving, is to first evaluate your plans to determine if they are everything they need to be... all by themselves with no alteration, you already expect to be so warm in the heart, and so very thankful that you could see yourself kissing the dirt beneath your feet. OR... if that is not where you anticipate yourself hanging out this year, consider what it would take to warm the essence of your soul with gratitude. I would imagine for many of you it would take little more than pulling away for a walk with those who you really care about. But you might realize that the backdrop is not all that you hope for when you have layered in hours of labor for the meal, or discomfort with the company. If so, perhaps the day before or the day after are where you will extract joy (and hopefully not pain because you plan on shopping, and deep down you actually really hate it). I hope I don't cause trouble for you by creating a dichotomy in the household, but I really do hope that my words will make you considerate of pursuing a week of thanks this year and every year to come. If we don't evaluate our traditions for there ability to give back to us and those we love and hope to honor (this is why we have these in the first place), then we are wasting opportunities, and I dare say eroding our health.

Be well and Be blessed, and Happy Thanksgiving!

- Dr. Eric

A lot of people suffer from this pain. It's a common problem and there is a lot of misinformation out there about what can and can't be done to help relieve the pain. Chiropractic care is a natural healing art that works to improve the health of the whole body. Chiropractors are able to treat a lot of health concerns through pain relief. This blog will show some of the reasons that HealthSprout Chiropractic & Wellness are the best options for treating your neck and shoulder pain.

What are the main causes of pain?

There are a lot of reasons that this pain can happen. Neck pain is often caused by an injury to the muscles or bones in the area, but they're also may be issued with your spine causing poor spinal alignment. Shoulder problems occur for many different reasons including overuse injuries like rotator cuff tears, dislocation of the glenohumeral joint, and impingement syndrome. It can also be caused by neurological problems like a herniated disc in your neck or pinched nerve that is causing issues with the nerves around this area of the body.

Different types of pain

There are many different types of pain that you could be dealing with. This pain can vary in severity, duration, and location depending on what is causing the problem.

  • Neck pain may occur near the base of your skull or it might radiate further down along your side or upper back.

  • The area around your shoulders can also cause its own set of issues including tingling or numbness in your arms, chest pain that can be felt under the shoulder blades, and even weakness extending down the arm.

  • Neck and shoulder problems may also cause headaches to occur since there are so many nerves surrounding this area that control both sensory input as well as muscle function.

Risk Factors?

There are a few risk factors that can make people more likely to suffer some of the common ones include:

- Neck Injury

- Neck Pain in the Past

- Neck Tension or Stress

- Neck Whiplash Injuries

If you have any history of these types of issues then you are likely at a higher risk for developing neck and shoulder pain in the future. Neck injury is one of the most common reasons that people develop issues with their shoulders, so it's important to be aware of your own history if you have had an issue before.

What treatments are available?

There are a lot of treatment options available. Neck injuries may be able to heal with time, but more serious problems like herniated discs or bone spurs can require surgery in order to properly treat the issue.

  • Neck osteoarthritis is another major concern that will need an MRI followed by possible surgery or other treatments to help with the issue.

  • Neck or shoulder pain can also be treated through chiropractic care that uses natural methods to relieve some of the problems you may be experiencing.

How does chiropractic care work?

Chiropractors are able to treat a lot of issues by using spinal adjustments to help relieve some of the pain you are experiencing. Neck and shoulder problems can often be related to poor spinal alignment which causes pressure on your nerves, muscles, or even bones around this area.

Our Chiropractors use their hands as well as a special table that allows them to quickly realign your spine so that all parts of it are in proper alignment. This can be caused by a lot of different issues, but chiropractic is an excellent way to get relief from the discomfort you are experiencing.

Why should I choose a chiropractor as a treatment?

There are many reasons that going with a chiropractor for your neck or shoulder problem will help you in getting the care you need. Neck and shoulder problems can be extremely painful, but they're also often very complicated to properly diagnose since there are so many different health concerns that could lead to the pain you're experiencing.

Dr. Eric Richards is a chiropractor who is fully trained in both the musculoskeletal system as well as neurological issues which means they will be able to accurately diagnose your problem and help you get relief from the pain.

Neck and shoulder problems can also be treated with a combination of chiropractic care as well as other treatments like massage, acupuncture, or physical therapy depending on what is needed to help relieve some of the discomforts you're experiencing.

Who should I see for neck and shoulder problems?

There are many different chiropractors that can help with the pain. You should always make sure you are choosing someone who is fully licensed to provide the care you need since this will be important in getting relief from your symptoms.

We have been practicing for years and know what you're going through and how to help provide relief from the pain and discomfort that may be affecting your life right now.

Neck pain can affect people of all different backgrounds, but if this issue sounds familiar then it's important to get the help you need in a timely manner.

Neck problems may also require a little more training than most other kinds of issues, so finding someone who has done their post-graduate training in this area will make it easier to get the treatment you need and deserve.

Who can I trust for my neck and shoulder problems?

There are many different chiropractors that work with this kind of pain every day, so there is no reason not to choose one of them. Neck or even upper back issues may take a bit of time to properly diagnose and treat, so going with a chiropractor who is experienced in both the issue as well as treatment options will be important.

Neck problems can also be very complicated which means you'll want someone that has more training than most other doctors have had.

How long does it take for my neck or shoulder issues to heal? Neck or shoulder problems can take a while to heal depending on how severe they are. If you suffer from any kind of neck or even upper back issues, it's important for you to go with someone who is experienced in both the issue as well as treatment options.

What things could chiropractic care help?

Chiropractors are able to treat many different health issues through pain relief. Neck and shoulder problems can be treated with chiropractic care in a number of ways that may help the issue to resolve itself over time. This type of natural treatment is often able to treat:

- Neck Pain

- Shoulder Pain

- Numbness or Weakness in the Arms and Hands

- Neck and Shoulder Tension

- Neck and Shoulder Stiffness

Chiropractic care is a great way to treat these types of concerns without having to resort to using medications or surgery. It can be debilitating for those who suffer from it, so taking the time out every week for chiropractic care is a great idea if you are suffering from it.


The pain can be very intense and makes it difficult to perform your daily tasks. To help get better relief from such pain, you can visit your doctor and ask them for a referral to a chiropractor.

Chiropractic is a proven and highly effective treatment option for those with neck and shoulder problems. We know that many people want to avoid surgery and the risks that come with it. With the help of a chiropractor, you can feel better and get back to living life again!

Call 770-517-2240 / Text 770 637-4266 for more information. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We would love to hear from you!

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