Author Archives: Daniel Dodge

The Importance of Cranial Rhythm and 7 Ways to Help Maintain Proper Motion

Many of us know that babies are born with soft spots where their skull is not fully bone yet. We also know that the skull becomes all bone, therefore the soft spots or fontanelles, close at a certain point in childhood (the last one closes usually around 2 years old). Most of us, however, do not realize that the bones in our head move in a rhythmic motion from before we are born throughout our entire lives, regardless of whether our cranial sutures and fontanelles close. This motion is vital to not only brain and nervous system function, but it is vital for whole body function.

Origins of Cranial Adjusting/Craniosacral Therapy

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Dr. William Sutherland, an osteopathic doctor, was the first to recognize that the movement of the cranial bones and eventually uncovered a rhythmic fluid motion that encompassed the entire body.  He called this rhythm the “primary respiratory mechanism”. This mechanism includes the rhythmic motion of the cranial bones, nervous system, and spine along with fluctuations in cerebral spinal fluid flow and shifting tension among dural membranes (connective tissue surrounding the brain and nervous system). These movements are all involuntary and completely separate from cardiac pulse and breathing. Dr. Sutherland believed that a skilled practitioner connecting with this primary respiratory mechanism could bring about a therapeutic effect and therefore enhance health.

Many other Doctors and Chiropractors came to understand the importance of cranial motion and developed their own techniques to ensure proper movement. Major Bertrand Dejarnette developed Sacro Occipital Technique. Dr George Goodheart developed Applied Kinesiology. One of the most well-known and heard of techniques is Craniosacral Technique developed by Dr. John Upledger. Over 50 years after Dr. Sutherland, Dr. Upledger discovered this same rhythmic motion in the dural connective tissue while he was preforming surgery. He notice there was movement of the nervous system and dura that was at a different rate than the respiration and cardiac pulse of the patient. He later performed many years of research that became the basis of Craniosacral Technique. This technique allows a practitioner to contact the sacrum as well as the cranial bones, and due to the dural attachement from the cranial bones through the spinal column to the sacrum, correct the primary respiratory mechanism. Both Dr. Sutherland and Dr. Upledger believed that this mechanism was a mechanism that could be used for self-healing, and that at the hands of a skilled practitioner one could see improvements in health.

More recent histological and anatomical examination of the cranial sutures have validated that they are not completely fused and in fact have intricate articulations that allow specific movements. The 106 articulations between the 22 cranial bones all are shaped and connected to allow for the rhythmic motion of the primary respiratory mechanism. This motion occurs 6-12 times per minute. Disruptions in this motion can affect the entire body and cause physical or emotional symptoms. Dural or fascial restrictions can affect cranial nerve function and stimulation. It can also affect cerebral spinal fluid flow and therefore impact the nutrient and water distribution to different areas of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. For example, dural tissue attached at the temporal bones is contiguous with fascia of the carotid sheath (this contains part of the vagus nerve), the fibrous pericardium (around the heart), and the respiratory diaphragm. Therefore, a restriction in the dural tissue at the temporal bone can affect vagal stimulation as well as cardiac and respiratory function.

A well-functioning primary respiratory mechanism allows for full cranial and dural movement, as well as proper cerebral spinal fluid fluctuation. With this mechanism working properly, there is no interference occurring in the nervous system and no areas of restriction that would hinder function in the body. However, many things can disrupt this primary respiratory mechanism and cause alterations in cranial motion and positioning. Adhesions and areas of restriction and congestion develop which can have a negative effect on the way the body functions. There are, however, things that you can do to allow for proper cranial motion in your own child.

7 Ways to Help Maintain Proper Motion

1)     Cranial Adjustments

Baby’s cranial bones are very moldable and easily shaped. Often times, babies will be born with cranial bones that have molded quite a bit. This could be from the way they were resting in the uterus or because of the pressures placed upon the cranium during labor and delivery. Nursing can play a huge role in helping initially increasing cranial motion to help return the cranium to a symmetrical and round shape. However, most of the time a trained therapist is needed to ensure that all of the cranial bones are moving properly and there are no overlaps in the sutures or dural tightness and adhesions preventing motion. Chiropractors who are certified by the ICPA are proficient in cranial adjusting as well as therapists trained in Craniosacral Technique. There are many other techniques that can be affective in cranial manipulation such as Sacro Occipital Technique and Applied Kinesiology. Making sure that you find someone who has been trained in cranial adjusting and someone who is comfortable and confident in adjusting cranial bones is important.

Cranial adjusting, as mentioned above not only can bring proper symmetry, shape, and motion to the bones of the skull, but can affect whole body function and can have a positive effect on issues such as colic, digestive issues, reflux, sinus issues, ear infections, sleep issues, etc. Cranial manipulation can impact vagal stimulation and increase parasympathetic activity. This can decrease inflammation in the gut and improve digestive, respiratory, and cardiac function.

2)     Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is extremely good for many reasons. One of those reasons is that it can help proper development of the cranial bones and mandible.  The sucking motion required for breastfeeding flattens the breast tissue up against the palate which helps shape and mold the roof of the mouth which is also the bottom of the sinus cavity. Breastfeeding allows for optimal shaping of the palate so it is smooth and rounded and not too high and narrow. High and narrow palates will cause the sinus cavity to become smaller and narrower.  This can lead to future sinus issues.  The sucking motion that presses the breast tissue into the palate helps to move the cranial bones and stimulate growth centers in the facial bones. Typically with breastfeeding the baby is held in different positions and he or she nurses on both breasts so the growth centers on each side of the cranial and facial bones are stimulated evenly. This sucking motion also aids in cerebral spinal fluid flow and helps to stimulate pituitary hormone release particularly growth factors.

3)     Lip and Tongue Tie Release

It is seemingly becoming more and more prevalent these days to see a baby with a lip and/or tongue tie. A lip tie is present when the frenulum or connective tissue between the upper lip and gum is overdeveloped and restrictive to the movement of the upper lip.  A tongue tie is present when the lingual frenulum or connective tissue between the bottom of the tongue and the lower jaw is overdeveloped and restrictive to the movement of the tongue.  Lip and tongue ties are thought to be genetic and are midline defects that are associated with genetic abnormalities that impact the body’s ability to methylate, such as MTHFR. Lip and tongue ties can vary greatly in degree and effect on function.  Lip and tongue ties restrict the function of the oral cavity. They affect the amount the jaw can open, the strength, movement and function of the tongue, and the movement, development and growth of the cranial bones. The restriction in the connective tissue extends deeper into the connective fascia that surrounds the cranium, jaw and can affect the tissue extending into the neck, shoulders, and even into the diaphragm, abdomen, hips and legs. Releasing the tongue and lip tie can have greatly relieving effect for a newborn. It is wise to have cranial adjustments, craniosacral therapy, or other fascial release technique performed after the tongue and lip tie release to ensure that all the connective tissue restrictions are released and full function is restored. The tongue tie and lip tie can be release through the use of scissors or through a cutting laser. It is recommended that each parent do their research in determining which method of treatment is available and most beneficial for their child. Release of these ties will help to encourage proper cranial and mandible development and growth. It will allow for proper growth center stimulation in the facial and cranial bones. It will also encourage full cranial rhythm and movement allowing for proper cranial and facial symmetry.

4)     Babywearing

Wearing your baby in a carrier, sling or wrap is beneficial in numerous ways including supporting cranial shape and motion. Babywearing allows the child to be upright off the floor or out of a seat so there is no risk of developing a “flat spot” from lying in one position for prolonged periods of time. The upright posture also encourages suboccipital muscle development to aid in proper occipital alignment upon the atlas (first vertebrae in the neck). Babywearing also has been connected to extended breastfeeding.  The suckling required for breastfeeding increases cranial movement and also stimulates growth centers among the facial bones allowing for full functional growth of the facial bones and mandible.

5)     No Contraptions

Coinciding with babywearing, keeping babies out of contraptions like car seats, bouncy seats and swings will benefit the cranial bones and the primary respiratory mechanism. Contraptions like car seats limit the baby’s range of motion and confine the baby to typically lay in the same position with the same consistent pressure on the same area of the skull. It only takes less than 5grams of pressure to move and influence cranial motion. So if a baby is laying in the same position with the same pressure for extended periods the cranial bones will mold to fit that pressure. This is typically how flat spots develop, and the skull should not have flat spots. Flat spots indicate that there is altered shape and motion to the different cranial bones. This affects the cerebral spinal fluid movement and can lead to adhesions in the dural tissue causing other symptoms. If flat spots do develop despite your best effort to not have them in a car seat or other contraption for long periods, then finding a practitioner who can perform craniosacral technique or other means of cranial adjusting is recommended.

6)     No Headbands or Bows

Having two little girls myself, I know that a headband with a big bow or flower on it can look very cute. However, like I mentioned above, it takes less than 5grams of pressure to influence the cranial bones shape and motion. So placing a tight headband that constricts the cranium will not only change the shape of the head but will decrease the movement of the cranial bones and negatively impact the primary respiratory mechanism. Many parents who have little girls who are bald for a long time will want to always have a headband on their baby since they can not clip on bows to her hair. This will always constrict motion of the cranial bones and work towards altering the shape of the cranium. Typically a headband will wrap around the occiput, temporal, sphenoid and frontal bones. Even slight alterations in the shape or motion of the occiput can cause misalignments in any other cranial bone. This again will cause adhesions in the dura and affect the nutrient saturation of the nervous system. One lesser evil that I encourage moms to do is to keep the headband or bow in your bag and only slip it on for pictures and then take it right back off. Look for red marks and signs of the bow on the head after you take it off. The more marks and redness you see left behind after the bow is off tells you there is more pressure being applied by the headband. Bows and headbands look cute, but have a huge impact on the shape and motion of the cranium.

7)     Vary Sleeping Positions

Many times parents will place their baby in a crib, basinet, or co-sleeper for naps and bedtime. These devices then stay in the same place and the baby is placed in the same position in them. This can cause the baby to develop a flat spot from continual pressure in one area. The baby will often develop a more comfortable sleeping position they prefer to obtain while in the crib or sleeper. Moving the crib around the room or placing the baby in the crib facing the opposite direction will help to vary the position the baby maintains during sleep. It will also give variability to what side the baby is approached from when he or she wakes up. Therefore the baby will not grow accustom to turning one way to wait for mom or dad when he or she wakes up. Altering sleeping positions for the baby will give him or her varied stimulation and change the way pressure is placed on the head due to the direction he or she will look depending on the position of the crib or sleeper. Back sleeping has been supported by the American Pediatric Association to help prevent SIDS but this campaign has also contributed to flat spots due to back sleeping. Ensuring that there are varied sleeping positions and plenty of tummy time is vital to maintaining cranial symmetry and function if the parent chooses to encourage back sleeping.

 

Many things can contribute to proper cranial motion and function. These suggestions can help parents to take actionable steps towards improving their child’s health through properly functioning cranial movement and rhythm.

The Most Important Supplement You Aren’t Taking



We welcome a new product into our office this week: Vital Proteins Gelatin and Collagen Peptides! This supplement is critical for many functions in the body, and the standard American diet leaves us COMPLETELY lacking.

So let’s learn about COLLAGEN and why it is so beneficial to your health. Collagen is the main protein structure in connective tissue in animals and humans. Collagen is found throughout the whole body including in bones, cartilage, skin, fascia, blood vessels, intervertebral discs, muscles, ligaments, tendons, the digestive tract and teeth. Collagen is composed of a variety of amino acids, but has higher amounts of glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. Glycine is anti-inflammatory. It helps wound healing and can even improve sleep. Proline is essential for maintaining lean muscle mass and is helpful to building cartilage, maintaining healthy tight skin and healing injury. The amino acids found in the gelatin or collagen peptides can also improve gut health by increasing stomach acid, healing stomach ulcers, seals and heals the gut lining, and can help break down food more effectively.

Whole collagen protein is traditional beef gelatin. This whole protein will gel quickly in cold liquids. It can be used to make a variety of tasty foods and healthy candy alternatives. Collagen proteins takes longer to digest. This however allows for more water to be drawn to the digestive tract and allows for potentially more gut health benefits.

Collagen peptides are similar in amino acid profile, but the protein has been enzymatically hydrolyzed. This means that enzymes have broken down the whole protein into smaller parts. The peptides do not gel in liquids and are more quickly digested and absorbed. One of the great things about the Vital Protein Collagen Peptides is that it has such a neutral flavor that you can mix two scoops into your cold drinking water and you will hardly know there has been anything added to your water. You get all the great benefits of consuming collagen without the beefy taste.

Collagen is vital for building and maintaining healthy skin, hair, nails, bones, joints, lean muscle, intervertebral discs, ligaments, tendons, and digestive tract. Vital Proteins webpage states that

“Collagen helps to build and repair our bones, joint surfaces, skin, teeth, eyes, arteries, intervertebral disks, and much more. Collagen is needed to ensure a strong body and to help you to continually heal.”

Vital Protein Gelatin or Collagen Peptides is a great way to increase your protein intake especially while pregnant or for athletes. The collagen will provide your body with essential and conditionally essential amino acids that your body needs to perform and function better. For those with joint pain and arthritis, increasing your collagen intake can help support and strengthen bone, ligament and cartilage to reduce joint pain.

Vital Proteins provides pure grass-fed pasture raised collagen peptides and gelatin with no artificial ingredients or additives. Vital Proteins state:

“Our cows are pasture-raised on strictly grass-fed and finished diets and are not injected with any hormones as they are not milk generating herds. We naturally process the collagen through a water and enzymatically hydrolyzed process which helps break down the protein without losing nutrients or adding artificial substances. This ensures a purely finished product that is of the highest quality and standard.”

We now offer Vital Proteins Gelatin and Collagen Peptides locally at the office so that you can begin to experience the great health benefits!

More questions? Give us a call at 972-922-5493 or email info@dodgefamilychiropractic.com to ask!

DIY Beard Oil

An overwhelming number of patients have asked Dr. Dodge about his homemade Beard Oil lately, we can’t help but share it with you! It is simple, and customizable! Don’t have the oils suggested? Blend up your own batch with your favorite scents! Beard oil with therapeutic grade essential oils is great for skin and hair health.

Dr. Dodge’s Beard Oil:

Young Living V-6 Oil (argan oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil would be comprable)

Vitamin E oil

Essential Oils: Sacred Frankincense + Cypress + Melalueca Alternifolia + Coriander, or Rosemary + Lime + Vetiver + Lavender, or Cedarwood + Shutran + Vetiver, or Sacred Mountain + Rosemary, or Cypress + Rosemary + Peace and Calming II

{All of our favorite oils come from Young Living, which carries the Seed to Seal guarentee for therapeautic grade purity – order essential oils here!

Directions: Combine essential oils, V-6, and 1 teaspoon of Vitamin E oil in a 2oz container. Apply daily after showers and beard maintenance.

 

Whipped Tallow Body Butter

 

 

I get a few questions a week about what the Dodge family uses on our skin, so I am happy to share our “recipe” for my Whipped Tallow Body Butter! This homemade skin care mix can be used for diaper changes, sensitive skin, wrinkle and eye cream, face and body lotion, and even as an essential oil dilution carrier oil.

Yes, I said “tallow,” as in beef fat. Before you go running, there are a few things you should know!

 

1)   It’s likely already in your skin care products.

“The main components in rendered animal fats are oleic, palmitic, stearic, palmitoleic, linoleic and myristic acid. In other words, if you see any of these terms in an ingredients list, you may be looking at a substance sourced from animal tallow (or another animal-based source), and would be wise to contact the company to find out the ingredient’s origin.

As well as in the food industry, tallow and other animal fats are used for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, personal care products, inks, paints, coatings, adhesives, lubricant and soaps.” Source. http://gentleworld.org/hidden-animal-fats/

 

2)   It’s fantastic for your skin, as Mommypotamus explains:

“Tallow is uniquely compatible with the biology of our cells. About 50% of the structure of our cell membrane comes from saturated fats, with remaining amounts consisting of monounsaturated and to a lesser degree polyunsaturated fats. According to Nourishing Traditions, it is the saturated fats that give cell membranes the “necessary stiffness and integrity”  necessary for proper function (p. 11). In a research article which I was privileged to preview before publication, I recently learned that:

“Healthy, ‘toned’ skin cells with sufficient saturated and monounsaturated fats would undoubtedly make for healthy, toned skin.Interestingly, tallow fat is typically 50 to 55 percent saturated, just like our cell membranes, with almost all of the rest being monounsaturated, so it makes sense that it would be helpful for skin health and compatible with our cell biology.” (emphasis mine) There are other points of biological compatibility, too, such as the fact that tallow and sebum consist primarily of a type of lipid called triglycerides. (“Sebum” actually means “tallow” in Latin, so we are not the first to make this connection!)

Tallow contains skin nourishing ingredients that plant-based oils do not – Though I am still a huge fan of coconut oil (which by the way, has an excellent saturated fat ratio) and continue to plan to use it as sunscreen and a whole body moisturizer (because it spreads more quickly and I’m always in a hurry!), the skin on my face is visibly more toned with tallow. I think that may be because of the abundance of fat soluble vitamins (A,D,K and E) that naturally occur in pastured tallow, along with the potent anti-inflammatory conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and anti-microbial palmitoleic acid.” Source. https://www.mommypotamus.com/tallow-for-skin-care/

 

3)   When you source your own, you ensure safety!

When you use humanely-raised, grass-fed tallow like the one we use, http://fatworksfoods.com/ you can be sure that your homemade skin care products are free from harmful ingredients, which cannot be guaranteed by the vast majority of commercial brands. Get as close to the pure source as you can.

 

The other powerhouse ingredients that I include are therapeutic grade Frankincense https://www.youngliving.com/en_US/products/frankincense-essential-oiland Lavender, https://www.youngliving.com/en_US/products/lavender-essential-oil which are both traditionally used for a wide range of skin care benefits.

Recipe:

 

¾ cup tallow

¼ cup coconut oil

20 drops therapeutic grade Frankincense

40 drops therapeutic grade Lavender

 

yields 1.5 – 2 cups whipped

 

  • In a double boiler, slowly melt tallow and coconut oil together. Transfer to fridge and let cool for a few hours, or cool for 45 minutes in the freezer (you want it nearly solid again).
  • Begin to whip your mixture in a stand mixer on high until completely smooth and light.
  • Add essential oils, mix on high thoroughly.
  • Transfer to a large glass cosmetic jar.

Diastasis Recti and the Importance of Your Core



There are several different muscle groups that make up your abdominal muscles, or your core.  The importance of these muscles is to contain your internal organs, connect your ribcage and upper torso to your pelvis, allow for a wide range of movements, and stabilize your low back and pelvis.  There are four major muscle groups that make up your core: the rectus abdominis, the internal obliques, the external obliques and the transverse abdominis. The rectus abdominis runs vertically from the bottom of your rib cage to the pubic bone. It is divided into two rows, one on each side of your belly button. A thick connective tissue called the linea alba connects the two halves of this muscle. The external obliques run diagonally from the bottom of the rib cage (as well as portions from the serratus anterior and latisimis dorsi) to the top of the iliac crest (hip bone), inguinal ligament and pubic bone.  The internal oblique muscles run diagonally, perpendicular to the external obliques. They attach from the thoracolumbar fascia and iliac crest to the bottom of the rib cage.  These two sets of oblique muscles have tendinous portions that wrap around the rectus abdominus and into the linea alba. The transverse abdominis runs horizontally around the body connecting into the lumbodorsal fascia in the low back (this attaches into the sacrum, lumbar vertebrae and the posterolateral aspect of the iliac crest). This muscle also attaches into cartilage of the lower six ribs, the top of the iliac crest and into a portion of the inguinal ligament in the front of the pelvis.  The transverse abdominis also wraps around the rectus abdominis muscle and contributes to the connective tissue that makes up the linea alba.  For a great visual of these muscles, check out this image.

The most important muscle of these core muscles is the transverse abdominis muscle. It is the deepest of the core muscles and acts like a built in weight belt or corset. The action of the muscle is to pull the belly button to the spine. This action increases intra-abdominal pressure, which helps decreases vertical pressure on the intervertebral disks by converting more of the vertical force to hoop force. Transverse abdominis activation also increases low back stiffness to protect against excess movement between vertebrae that may damage the intervertebral disks or cause inflammation and spasms.  This muscle is vital in stabilizing the pelvis and low back as well as allowing for maximal efficiency and power during use of the upper and lower extremities. A toned transverse abdominis will naturally activate or contract before movement of the upper or lower extremities. This helps to stabilize the pelvis and low back and protect the vertebrae and intervertebral disks. In some one with a weak transverse abdominis, the activation of the core occurs after the movement of the extremeties. This puts the vertebrae, intervertebral disks, and other supporting musculature at risk for injury. The transverse abdominis muscle works in tandem with the multifidi muscles (small muscles along the side of the spine) in the spine to stabilize and protect the vertebrae and the intervertebral disks while movement occurs. If one has a weak transverse abdominis it can lead to less stabilization and more reliance on the small multifidi in the back. This can cause more back pain, pelvic pain, higher chance of disk bulge or herniation, and less efficient and powerful extremity movements.

One of the most common injuries that cause a weakened core is called a Diastasis recti. This is an injury in which the two halves of the rectus abdominis have separated laterally (to the side) and have caused the linea alba to become very thin. This condition occurs because of an excessive increase in abdominal pressure from weight lifting, performing abdominal exercises incorrectly, pregnancy, excessive coughing or sneezing, etc. The outward pressure against the rectus abdominis pushes the two halves of the rectus abdominis apart as it stretches and thins out the connective tissue that makes up the linea alba. A diastasis recti injury is more likely to occur when the transverse abdominus muscles are already weak. Having a diastasis can cause many other issues. As mentioned above, the abdominal muscles, especially the transvers abdominis, stabilize the low back and pelvis. With a diastasis most if not all of this stabilization is lost. This can cause postural abnormalities, and depending on the severity of the diastasis, it can allow for the displacement of internal organs. This can affect their function and lead to things like digestive problems.

Diastasis recti injuries are most commonly found in women who have had a child. However, it is also found in children and men. Upwards of 70 percent of women develop a diastasis recti during pregnancy. Some of them will reconnect postpartum, but most will need extra help to heal. The most accurate way to identify a diastasis recti and evaluate the severity of the injury is to seek the support of a qualified individual, whether that person is a diastasis-aware physical therapist, chiropractor, or physician. There is a very simple way to do a prelimiary check for diastasis recti. While lying on your back place your fingers on the middle of your stomach pointing up or down.  Then lift only your head off the floor. Pressing down very gently you will be able to feel a valley in between the two halves of the rectus abdominus. You should check at a point right below you rib cage, at your belly button and right above the pubic bone. Most women will have a diastasis that can be corrected without the use of a brace or slint. Those who measure their diastasis at a finger width of 3 (3cm) or greater will probably need the help of a brace in order to heal the diastasis.

 

How to check Yourself for Diastasis from fit2b.us.

 

There are several things that you can do and a few things to avoid when trying to heal a diastasis.  Things that you should not do include any type of sit up, crunch, or plank. Once you have a diastasis and the connective tissue that forms the linea alba is weakened you should refrain from ever doing regular sit ups again. These cause the abdominal pressure that is built up to push outwards against the weakened connective tissue, essentially working against your goal of healing your diastasis.  Never sit straight up from a lying position or do any type of pike movement.  Refrain from slouching and sitting hunched back on your sacrum. This weakens you transverse abdominis and can prevent progress in healing the diastasis.  Never sneeze or cough without bracing your core first. When you feel a sneeze or a cough coming on, sit or stand straight and bring your belly button to your spine, activating your transverse abdominis. This will help lessen any possible damage the sudden intense increase in abdominal pressure may have on your diastasis.

Things that you can be doing to help heal a diastasis recti include active sitting, active standing, and squats. To perform active sitting, sit in a chair that allows you to have your knees and hips bent at 90 degrees. Sit up on the front of your ischial tuberosities (sit bones) with your head over your shoulders and shoulders over your hips. Bring your feet and knees together. This is active sitting posture. From here you can contract and relax your transverse abdominis along with your breath.  While you breath out, contract your transverse abdominis (bring your belly button to your spine). While you breath in, relax your transverse abdominis.  Active standing is very similar, except you are standing with your feet about shoulder width apart. Stand up straight with your head over your shoulders and shoulders over your hips. Then contract and relax your transverse abdominis with your respiration like described above.  Squats are a great exercise, not only for strengthening your core, but also your quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal muscles, and pelvic floor muscles.  To perform a proper squat, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your transverse abdominis activated. Then maintain transverse abdominis activation the entire way down and back up. Your heels should remain on the floor for the entire squat. If you are unable to perform a complete squat, then you can use a door handle as support until you develop enough strength to perform a complete squat without support.

Though some people with a small diastasis recti may be able to heal their core injury on their own with some exercise and lifestyle changes, it is necessary for most people to seek a diastasis-aware physical therapist to help them, or to commit to a core rehabilitation program. There are many great core rehab and diastasis safe workout programs available to people working to heal their core. Dr. Dodge has worked with an excellent women’s health physical therapy specialist in the DFW area – let him know if you’d like a referral.

Here are a few options for healing and protecting the core online:

 

Tupler Technique – The Tupler Technique is a program designed specifically for strengthening the transverse muscles, bringing the separated abdominal muscles back together, and healing diastasis. https://diastasisrehab.com/

 

The Tummy Team – The Tummy Team is a comprehensive physical therapy resource, focused on healing diastasis recti, restoring alignment and posture, and core-friendly fitness. The Core Foundation program works to restore the core and pelvic floor muscles. https://thetummyteam.com/programs/?ap_id=DodgeFamilyChiro

 

Fit2B Studio – Bethany Learn from Fit2B Studio has many videos and workouts on her website designed with fitness for the whole family in mind.  She has a passion for helping women restore core strength and has created many videos focused on building transverse strength. There are also downloadable information pages you can take to your trainer or other health professionals that explain what a diastasis is and how they should be caring for it to help you heal it.

Babywearing While Pregnant, Part Two (Guest Post for Onya Baby)

Be sure to check out Dr. Dodge’s guest post for Onya Baby – Babywearing While Pregnant, Part Two: Safe Carrying Options. It follows to Babywearing While Prengant, Part One over on the Onya Baby Blog. Dr. Dodge is often asked by his prenatal chiropractic clients if it is safe to continue babywearing an older child while pregnant. It is important that mothers chose methods of placing the older child on their back that do not involve twisting, so Dr. Dodge’s second post covers a few ways to put the baby on your back safely. Happy Babywearing!

DFC Wellness Club’s Brussel Sprouts and Bacon Salad




In November our DFC Wellness Club topic was “Green Veggies, Yum!” For this class, we talked about five important vitamins and minerals that are found in green vegetables. After our parent/toddler mini lesson on these vitamins and minerals, our toddlers became Veggie Explorers! With their checklists and a fork, they rotated through five stations to taste-test different green vegetables. Would you believe it that one of the front runners for ‘favorite dish’ was my Brussel Sprouts and Bacon Salad? These kids (and their parents) wanted seconds, and even thirds! So in response to the request for the recipe, here it is! It’s simple and easy to adjust to what you have in the house!

Brussel Sprouts and Bacon Salad

4 cups of (raw) shredded or chopped brussel sprouts

1 pound of bacon, chopped into 1 inch pieces

1/2 cup of chopped, roasted or sautéed walnuts

2 tbsp lemon juice

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

Chop the uncooked bacon into one-inch pieces (I use kitchen shears). Cook the bacon in a sautee pan on the stove. While your bacon is cooking, chop brussel sprouts and add the four cups of sprouts to a large bowl. The goal is to have the sprouts “shredded” or finely chopped as if creating a cole slaw dish. When the bacon is finished cooking, drain the bacon fat* into a bowl and separate from the bacon pieces. Return 1/4 cup of bacon fat to your pan, and add chopped walnuts (pecans taste great too!). After you’ve satueed the walnuts for 5 minutes or so, add the bacon pieces, walnuts, and bacon fat from the pan to the bowl of chopped brussel sprouts. In a small bowl, mix lemon juice (we’ve used fresh lime juice and orange juice as subsitutes also), salt, and pepper. Add this mixture to your large bowl, mix well, cover, and refridgerate for a few hours.

This makes four entree-sized servings, or eight side dish-sized servings.

* Bacon Fat – In our home, we are not afraid of using high quality cooking fats. We purchase our bacon from a local co-op or the Coppell Farmer’s Market; we know that it is pasture-raised, free of preservatives, and free of added sugars. if you are not currently purchasing high quality bacon, subsittute the 1/4 cup cooking fat with coconut oil, grass-fed gheegrass-fed tallow, or pasutred lard. And the next time you buy bacon, be sure to check the ingredients for preservatives and added sugars, or buy it from your local farmer!

Babywearing While Pregnant: Part One


The first in a two-post series about babywearing while pregnant, written by Dr. Daniel Dodge, DC, CACCP

Photography copyright Dodge Family Chiropractic

The wonderful team at Onya Baby invited Dr. Dodge to guest blog for them! He wrote a two-part blog post about babywearing while pregnant! We hope you enjoy it!

“It is completely safe for most women to continue to babywear throughout pregnancy. There are many benefits to babywearing, for mother and baby, and these benefits do not have to end when expecting a new brother or sister. To ensure that babywearing continues to be safe and comfortable for both the mother and toddler, there are additional factors to consider during pregnancy. The health of the mother, her level of babywearing experience, the stage of pregnancy, and the weight of the ‘wearee’ should all be taken in to account, as well as any recommendations given by a healthcare provider.”

Be sure to read the full post here!

Be sure to read the follow-up post for this two-part series: Safe Carrying Options for Babywearing while Pregnant!

2nd Anniversary Wellness Bash!



Dr. Daniel Dodge and his family are thrilled to invite the community and his patients to our Wellness Bash! Dr. Dodge opened his doors just two years ago! This year we celebrate the move into a beautiful new office. We also celebrate the opportunity to work with Devin Ripley, LMT, Jennee Ohrvall, CPM, and other local wellness practitioners in our office! As Dodge Family Chiropractic continues to stive to meet our community education goals, we also celebrate the opportunity to host a number of wellness-oriented classes in our office, be sure to check our calendar to stay up to date on our upcoming classes taught by Dr. Dodge, his wife, and other health and wellness experts!

To celebrate all of these accomplishments, DFC wants to share our joy with the people who make it possible and so rewarding – our patient families! We have an exciting event planned to celebrate our patients, their familiies, and their friends! We have a number of fantastic door prizes donated by local wellness practitioners and holistic living companies (if you follow Dodge Family Chiropractic on Facebook, you’ll get a sneak peak of the awesome door prizes prior to the event!). Our first 100 guests will take home a “swag bag” full of information, coupons, and samples of holistic living products! We’ve invited a number of organizations and wellness practitioners to celebrate with us as DFC works to connect and broaden our local wellness-oriented community! Our Wellness Bash guests will enjoy food, a toddler bounce house, face painting, music, and balloon art!

Our Wellness Bash guests that follow DFC on Facebook have a really fun chance to get a little silly with Dr. Dodge! For the month of November through November 29th, families can earn entries to PIE THE DOC, as in, throw a pie at Dr. Dodge! To earn a pie, simply “check in” on Facebook when you’re at the office, and/or take a photo with Dr. Dodge and post it on the DFC Facebook wall! Each “check in” or photo post earns one pie, so feel free to earn a pie for each memeber of your family! When you come to the Wellness Bash, we’ll have a few scheduled ‘pie throwing’ times throughout the event as well as throwing pies, and, we presume, quite a number of clothing changes for the Doc!

We can’t wait to see you there! Join us at Dodge Family Chiropractic Saturday, November 30th from 10am-1pm!

702 S. Denton Tap Road, Suite 110 75019

info@dodgefamilychiropractic.com

972-922-5493

Holistic Meals for the Family: Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

 

We are always looking for ways to power-pack our meals with nutrients. This meal is a winner. Nearly all of the ingredients are nutrient-rich foods! Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A and vitamin C, white beans are a great non-meat (and cheap!) source of protein, and a heaping scoop of kale and broccoli knock out two servings of dark green veggies, rich in a number of vitamins and minerals.

As always, the number one test of any of my recipes is how well the Dodge men like it! Dr. Dodge grew up with a pretty unadventurous diet and definitely loves a basic meal of roast chicken, quinoa and broccoli. Though our three year old doesn’t eat gluten, soy, or dairy, he still has obvious preferences – he adores bacon and simply won’t eat beets anymore! Both of these guys inhale this meal, so I know it’s a keeper!

 

4 large sweet potatoes

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 cloves of garlic

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1.5 cups (or one can) cooked great northern white beans

1.5 cups diced broccoli

2 cups/1 bunch kale

2 tsp lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

 

Cook sweet potatoes – I like to bake them in the oven at 400°F for 1 hour, with a few holes poked in the skin. When the potatoes are 15-20 minutes from being done, start the stuffing. In a deep skillet, add coconut oil and pressed garlic, sautee garlic for a few minutes. Add red pepper flakes and broccoli, sautee for five minutes. Add beans and kale, sautee for another 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add 1-1 1/2 cup of kale, broccoli, and bean stuffing to each sweet potato, and enjoy!