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Apr 022018
 

rain drops on a blue flowerHumane Society of Nashua LogoThis April Catalyst Chiropractic will be showering the Nashua area with service. To kick off the month we are starting with the Humane Society of Greater Nashua.

If your non-profit could use an extra set of hands, contact Alex and we’ll see if we can help out.

It’s the time of year for Spring Cleaning. While you’re cleaning out your closets and basements, take a moment to stop and think about the Humane Society of Greater Nashua. The Humane Society is always in need of blankets, sheets, and towels for their animals waiting for their forever homes. Feel free to drop them off at our office and we’ll take care of delivery.

The Humane Society of Greater Nashua was recently named Non Profit of the Year at the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce Eminence awards. Everyone knows that the HSFN provides temporary homes to pets who are looking for people just like you. Were you aware that they also offer low cost veterinary services to the community as well? Plus dog training!

Dog sticking head out of blanket

Catalyst Chiropractic is collecting your unwanted towels, blankets, and linens for the HSFN. Give a dog or cat a warm place to sleep while they search for their forever home. To you it’s just an unwanted beach towel from 1994, but to a future beloved pet it might mean the world.


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 Posted by at 10:24 am
Mar 292018
 
Small Business Nomination Award Catalyst Chiropractic was nominated for Small Business of the Year in the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce 15th Annual Eminence Awards. While we didn’t win, it was an honor to be nominated and we’re glad to have shared the room with wonderful organizations such as, The Greater Nashua Humane Society, The Great American Downtown, and LaBelle Winery.

 

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners. We enjoyed the luncheon at Sky Meadow Country Club and learned quite about about the Farm to Table movement here in Nashua and Farmer’s Dinner. Check out Grow Nashua here in town and find out what they are doing to promote health with local fresh vegetables.

 

We were nominated for our unique expertise in the field, and for our dedication to our patients. Book a New Patient Appointment with us, and experience it for yourself.

 


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 Posted by at 4:18 pm
Jan 302018
 

I’ve been debating whether or not to write this review because I enjoy this class and it has a 10 person limit. On Mondays when you would think the gym would be starting to empty the class hit that limit and more. Wednesday’s class doesn’t get as full.

Octagon equipment at the YThe flip side of this is if the class is popular, then maybe it will be offered more often.

The class is 45 minutes long and consists of up to 10 stations per round. If the class is full, then it’s 3 rounds. On the day in which it was just the two of us, it was 9+ rounds. Each round start with a runner who runs 1 lap around the track (9 laps per mile), expect for a few of the faster runners, they do 2 laps and sometimes the runner walks a half lap (depending on their limitations). They act as the timer, during that time you do the exercise station you are at until the runner returns. Then everyone moves up a station, the next person runs, and the class continues until everyone has done each station.

This class works multiple region of the body, and alternates between exercises using resistance techniques, free weights, or your own body weight. Modification of an exercise is an option if there is a limitation, and there is no pressure to push yourself until injury. There is encouragement to try a little harder, to do 1 more rep, but encouragement is not pressure. We all started at a different level of fitness, a different levels of ability, and we all have our own goals.

Dr. Johanna’s Goals: My goals for this class are to cross train to enhance my running ability, and to increase my speed. I’m training to run Gate City marathon this year and cross training is often forgotten when trying to run 4 times a week. I’ll be honest I do not push myself as hard as I could at the class, but one day a week I am doing this class and running 3-4 miles. I prefer a slow gradual improvement with minimal risk on injury and I know patients would prefer I stay injury free as well. The strength work is hard but is getting better.  The stretching we do at the end is a good start, but honestly if you are taking this class plan to spend 5-10 mins after class stretching or foam rolling.

Alex’s Goals: My primary goal is to be healthier, to that end I’m exercising in this class to improve my stamina and lose some unwanted pounds.  Plus, I enjoy working out in groups.  I tend to get bored if I’m alone at the gym and work out less.  Having a class to attend, gives me accountability. Having an instructor picking the routines, also gets me doing exercises I wouldn’t normally do if the choice was up to me. 

Overall this is a good whole body workout class that works on strength and is small enough to get some personal attention when you need it for form or modification. After 4 weeks of the class, we have both learned new exercises we can do at home to continue the forward momentum.

You can learn more about class and other at the YMCA. If you have a gym or host an exercise class you would like us to review, please contact the office and we’ll do our best to accommodate.

 


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Jun 142017
 

While reading The Runner’s Brain to help with my half marathon training, I discovered some fantastic advice for every non-runner out there.

Getting active helps your brain. A study (1) completed in 2013 of seniors in their 70’s and 80’s with mild cognitive impairment, compared memory changes after 6 months of practicing different exercise activities.

The brisk walkers/jogging group had improvements in spatial memory and memory recall along with various language improvements. The weight lifters improved with spatial memory; and the group that did light stretching and toning lost some cognitive ground.

Why?

Cardiovascular exercise improves memory by triggering a brain growth protein that improves the health of current neurons and encourages the brain to make more.

How much exercise do I need?people walking, running and biking on a path in a park

Conveniently another study (2) answered that question, you want a minimum of 3 hours a week of sustained cardiovascular activity. Considering the American Heart Association recommends 30 mins of moderate intensity activity 5 days a week, add in a 6th day and you hit the 3 hour mark for the week. Brain and Heart health in a single activity.

There are plenty of places here in Nashua to get in those 30 minutes. Mine Falls offers shaded trails to enjoy the outdoors when it’s hot outside. Not far away there are the trails at Beaver Brook. Indoor options include many of the area gyms, all you need is access to a treadmill. The Nashua Senior Center has a fitness room available to members.

If you find that aches and pains are getting in the way of exercise, you might have a neurostructural shift. Focusing on Neurostructural Integration, Catalyst Chiropractic can help determine if you have a shift and create a specific plan to help improve your function so you can exercise and enjoy more of life’s activities.
Where are your favorite places to take a walk?

1) Alison Chan, Jennifer C Davis, Lindsey S. Nagamatsu, et al., “Physical Activity Improves Verbal and Spatial Memory in Older Adults with Probable Mild Cognitive Impairment: A 6-Month Randomized Controlled Trail,” Journal of Aging Research 2013 (2013), doi:110.1155/2013/861893
2) F.H. Gage, T. Shubert, H. van Praag, and C. Zhao, “Exercise Enhances Learning and Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Aged Mice,” The Journal of Neuroscience 25, no. 38 (2005), 8680-8685


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 Posted by at 10:53 am
Jun 052017
 

hand holing lit cigaretteThis isn’t going to be another article about why you should quit, or the health risks to continuing to smoke. If you have read this far, you likely already know all that. If you don’t, click here.

Let’s be honest, quitting smoking is hard, and it’s more than just the addiction to nicotine. I know, because I’ve been there. I jumped over that hurdle in 2002. 15 years ago, and I’m the first to admit that I’m still drawn to it, and when I am around smokers I need to make a conscious choice to not smoke.

The most uncomfortable part of smoking for non-smokers to understand is that smoking is pleasurable. There I said it, we all have thought it, and uncomfortably denied it. Or only told ourselves, but smoking is enjoyable. Smoking might be your quiet alone time where you can separate yourselves from the group and in an almost meditative fashion let your mind wander as you repetitively bring the cigarette to your lips to inhale and exhale. In a way it has been for decades a socially acceptable way, for adults to walk away from a bad situation. To take a time out, to reassess before walking back in. Smoking might also be a social activity, less now I suspect than it was in the past. A common connection with strangers, where you are all located in a designated area.

Why do you need to be reminded as to why you enjoy smoking? Because to quit means to give that enjoyment up. To quit means to acknowledge and find new ways to cope with a stressful situation, a social situation, or if you want a moment to yourself. Your reason, your joy from smoking might be entirely different than any I listed above. Trust me, ask yourself and be honest with yourself about why you enjoy smoking.

Here are somethings that might be helpful.

  • Pick up a hand craft: knitting, or crocheting to replace a meditative movement with your hands.
    Learn a simple yoga routine or meditative breathing exercises.
  • Start taking walks. Go outside as you would to smoke, but don’t stop at the designated smoking area, start walking instead. Take a 5-10 minute walk.
  • Pick up a hobby. You are going to discover you have 30-60 minutes or more a day, time you used to dedicate to smoking. Enjoy it!

Now for the other part of quitting smoking, the other uncomfortable truth that no one discusses. The first week to several months after you quit, you are likely going to feel sick. Once you are no longer damaging your body with smoke, the body will start the cleaning and healing process. For some it might be minor, for others they may feel like they have a horrible chest cold. You may be tired as your nervous system is used to responding to nicotine and needs to re-balance to not having that stimuli. Drinking water, green tea, taking your AM/PM vitamins and of course regular neurostructural adjustments will help manage the symptoms.

Non-smokers, if you read all this and think maybe smoking isn’t so bad. Trust me, this is not an experience you need to do. Refer to the link in the first paragraph.


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 Posted by at 10:20 am
Apr 112017
 

This time we are going to do something a little different, Alex and I will review the class as we took it together.  Alex regularly takes a strength training class with the Octagon equipment, and I regularly run on a treadmill.

Friday 10:15am Group Strength with Meredith at Nashua YMCA

cartoon holding barbellJohanna’s Comments: I avoid weights, I’m always nervous that I’ll hurt myself if I do it wrong and I’ve studied enough about musculature,  to know all the ways I could get hurt. I love running(very slowly), so I knew this class would be a challenge to me. I selected the lightest possible weights with the opinion, I can use heavier ones next time.  I made the right call, as we did 100+ reps of some of the exercises. No region of muscles was missed.

When we showed up I asked the instructor what equipment we needed, it was obvious to me, that many of the people there had done the class before.  We grabbed a step board, yoga mat, pair of dumb bells(lots of weights available, I chose 3lbs each), bar bell, bar weights(I chose 2.75 & 5.5) and clips. Setting up over by the mirror was great, since I could check out my squat form. Meredith did a great job of calling out the different exercises and since there were so many reps, I was never really behind if I had to figure out what to do. She also gave the right amount of time and warning when we needed to change the weight on our barbell or switch equipment. There is a chance I was the most clueless of everyone n the class and I certainly did the least amount of weight(far less than the seniors in the class). Never did I notice anyone looking at me like I shouldn’t be there and Meredith encouraged us to come back.

This class was a lot of fun, extremely challenging and something I will do any, possibly weekly until it becomes easy. According to a friend the workout style is called Body Pump and I should expect to cry over climbing up stairs tomorrow.

Alex’s Comments: I like lifting weights, I find it to be a fun way to exercise, but I don’t really enjoy doing it alone.  It’s more satisfying, to have someone with you, to cheer you on, to spur you into that one last set, but that might be because I’m competitive, stubborn, and sarcastic. I lift once a week (more often than not I’ll get in a session once or twice a week on my own), in a class at the Y around the equipment called “The Octagon”.  We’ve been focusing on, form, heavier lifting, in 3 sets of 12 repetitions.  Accompanied by some cardio, some stretching, and resistance against our own body weight.  This Group Class, was as different to my Octagon class as sprinting is to a marathon.  In one hour, we do 9 sets of different exercises designed to improve strength and stamina.

Entering the class, our instructor asked us to grab a bar, and some weights.  I almost dropped the bar when I picked it up, because it weighed next to nothing.  I was expecting a 45lbs bar, not a bar best measured in ounces.  I grabbed my usual weight amounts, assuming that with the lighter bar they would be enough for a simple class.  Was I ever wrong.  After my first set of reps started, I counted until I hit 12, then we kept going.  Easily did 100 repetitions for each exercise grouping.  Some of them involved holding a pose with your arms extended for 30 seconds, was I ever glad that the bar didn’t weigh 45lbs.  30 seconds is a long time, even if you’re only at a third of your usual weight amounts.  I debated swapping my weights out, to be more in line with the rest of the class.  But, I’m stubborn.  I enjoyed the class, it was more cardio vascular exercise, with weights attached to your hands, than it was weight lifting.  Which made it challenging.  I’ll be back, because it was a different form of workout, and I’m too stubborn to quit.  Even if I hate planking.


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Mar 142017
 

How are you faring with the blizzard outside?

Here are 5 simple things you can do to reduce injury while clearing snow.

1. Hydrate! Water or herbal tea. It’s cold and it’s windy, you likely won’t sweat or feel it if you sweat. Even mild dehydration mixed with heavy physical activity can increase fatigue, and increase perceived effort. Snow removal is hard enough, why make it feel even harder?
2. Warm Up Exercises: Would you do a high intensity workout without a warm up? Shoveling or Snow Blowing are high intensity exercise. Before heading outside do one round of the pointer exercise.


Pointer: Start with hands and knees on the ground. Slowly raise the right leg and left arm. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Slowly bring them back to the floor and raise your left leg and right arm and hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.

 

3. Traction: Does your footwear have traction? If not, do you have microspikes to add to them? It might be too late for this storm, but if you live in New Hampshire, it might not be a bad investment in having a pair with your winter gear. Be careful. Falls can cause more structural injuries than just simple bruises. Pulled muscles, out of alignment hips, and rotator cuff sprains.
4. Small Chunks: Don’t forget to take breaks, come inside, warm up, drink water, eat a healthy snack. The goal is to finish but there is no medal at the end to compete for. Remember, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
5. Stretch & Soak: Don’t forget post activity care. Stretch out areas that tightened up while working, soak in a hot tub with 1-3 cups of Epson salts, then stretch your legs, back and shoulders.


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 Posted by at 4:56 pm
Jan 262017
 

“Excuse me, but why did you pin more fabric on that shoulder than you pinned on the other side?”

Lori Del Genis of http://www.afinelikeness.com/ assisting a bride with a dress Lori designed.

I asked a seamstress back in 2001, as she pulled up the fabric and pinned it over my shoulder. I was not aware that one of my shoulders was higher than the other.  Or that this was even be a thing that could happen. The seamstress dismissed my question, because in her words “Honey, it’s like that on everyone”. Flash forward a few years, I had started chiropractic care, and my next gown did not need that alteration.  My shoulders, were the same height and in alignment.

Uneven shoulders can be an indication of a structural shift in your body. A structural shift is an abnormal alignment, a motion that causes stress on your body. That stress takes away from your body’s ability to deal with, or adapt to the outside stress of your life.

Someone with a structural shift might experience headaches, neck pain and stiffness, low back pain, and other secondary conditions. Consider the alignment of your car tires. If the alignment has shifted, not only will your tires wear out faster and unevenly, but driving could require more effort as you have to compensate for the pull of the wheel.

The best way to determine if you have a structural shift is to try Neurostructural Chiropractic.  Call Catalyst Chiropractic today to schedule your complimentary consultation to discuss if you have a Neurostructural Shift. 603-791-0222.


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 Posted by at 9:45 am
Oct 312016
 

74521_442476871852_5637341_nHalloween is a lot of fun with dressing up and meeting all of your neighbors. The downside is dealing with the fallout of too much candy. While some children may do a good job saving and slowly eating their Halloween candy, others will want to eat it all at once. This leads to tummy aches, crankiness as their body attempts to balance out sugar spikes, increased inflammation and of course potential dental issues later on. If your child has had dental work, they may have restrictions on what kinds of candy they can eat adding to the problem. Just taking the candy away with the accurate but to a small child nebulous “It’s bad for you” will likely lead to tantrums and a bad case of the “I wants”.

In our household we have the Switch haloween-1749788_640Witch. After trick or treating, we let the boys pick out 5 pieces of candy to keep, along with any non-candy treats. The rest is left out for the Switch Witch. After they go to bed, we remove the candy offering and replace it with a toy.

The boys are excited with a new Halloween surprise toy, and we donate the now massive amount of candy to adults in need of a quick pick me up. The kids still have a few pieces of candy left to enjoy and we know by the end of the week the Halloween chaos will be a fading memory.
As a note for those that would like to make the life of many parents easier, there are many non-candy options out there. It may be too late for this year but you might want to consider it for next year.

Halloween Ducks
Temporary Tattoos
Bags of Pretzals
Organic Raisins (Okay my children may be the only ones that get excited over raisins)
Gliders

Hal and Jack dressed as Firemen

At Saturdays Walk for Whiskers to benefit the Nashua Humane Society


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 Posted by at 10:20 am
Oct 052016
 

A week ago I began looking into some group classes at the local YMCA. I’m still looking for suggestions and I’ll share my experiences here.

Images of track laps, black and white with fogSo far this week I have taken advantage of the convenient indoor jogging track.  The track is on the second floor (stair or elevator access), with 3 lanes on the second floor of the building. It loops around the cardio equipment , weights, and overlooks the basketball court and pool on each side  Nine(9) laps of the track is equal to one mile.  There are signs that state which direction traffic is moving in, and the lanes are labeled depending on your speed (Walk, Jog, Run).

Good things

  • I did not experience any kind of “traffic” on the track. While others were using it, there was plenty of room for everyone. Everyone on the track respected the direction of the day.
  • There are easy to access lockers on the second floor for those that just want a place to lock a jacket while they walk.
  • Due to the layout and climate control, if you just need a walk, you don’t need to change, but I do recommend sneakers. This is a great place to just get in a mile walk for health. If you have concerns about needing a nearby bathroom when exercising, there are restrooms located on the same floor as the track.
  • This is a great alternative to a treadmill, more interesting in my opinion and better for balancing muscle use. This will help keep my running exercise plan on track over the winter.
  • Tucked to the side near the basketball court is a great small stretching area  to stretch and foam roll after a walk/run. There is a big spiderweb contraption with instructions for stretching, several floor mats and foam rollers.

For those that care, WiFi!

Other Notes

I have yet to figure out a good way, for me, to keep track of the number of laps, while running and following a run program. Today I saw an older woman carrying around a manual counter.  I’ve been using my phone stopwatch with a lap button, but I’m sure I’m missing laps as I forget to change screens.

 

GPS squiggles while on indoor track.

Actual distance run via counting laps: 1.89 miles

Skip using any GPS trackers, they won’t be accurate. Pokemon Go players, while you will get egg credit it will be less than you walked.

Due to the track being indoors.  I have the luxury to not worry about cars, and other road hazards.  Though, it would be nice if I could remember my headphones to listen to music while I run.

 

 


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 Posted by at 10:15 am