4 Ways to go Organic this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is around the corner, so it is time to start planning out the biggest meal of the year. If you are thinking of going organic for some of or your entire thanksgiving feast this year here are some reasons why you should and items you should consider:

Turkey: As the biggest portion of the meal, choosing to go organic with the turkey can really make the difference not only for health reasons, but also for better taste. Many claim that fresh, organic turkeys versus a conventional turkey simply taste better. While the more important reason to buy an organic turkey is because conventionally large turkeys are often bred in inhumane environments and fed with a lot of antibiotics not ideal human consumption. Although it may cost more, going organic with your turkey this year is the better, healthier, and tastier choice.

Side Dishes: There are organic, tasty options for most of the traditional Thanksgiving Day side dishes such as stuffing, cranberry sauces, dipping sauces, soups and crackers. Simply make a list of all your normal Thanksgiving side dish ingredient needs and check your local store for the organic option to avoid those genetically engineered ingredients. If your local store doesn’t quite have the options you are looking for, try suggesting certain items to the manager by letting them know you’d buy them if they were stocked. Not sure what brands or organic items to look for or where to get them? Try this website with lots of helpful information.

Fresh Vegetables: If it is available at your local store this time of year, why not try the organic fresh produce and veggies? Make the switch with those carrots and potatoes and avoid the more dangerous, less regulated pesticides farmers use on non-Organic foods. Certain chemicals are used to make veggies and fruits bigger and look fresh longer, however these chemicals often take away from the taste and nutritional value of the food.

Dessert: Changing up the dessert options for Thanksgiving can be a bit scary, but with these simple Organic Dessert Recipe options, the idea can be reality without any problems. Organic Pumpkin pie, organic apple pie, organic flourless chocolate cake are all wonderful ideas that are easy to accomplish with a little research for your favorite recipe option and some creative shopping. Plan to shop ahead in case it takes a few stores to find all of the organic ingredients you might want.

For family wellness, pain relief, professional chiropractor care, and massage, schedule an appointment today at Chugach Chiropractic and Massage Center in Eagle River, Alaska.  907.694.0224


4 Ways to Make the Most of Short Winter Days

With winter weather and shorter days fast upon us, it is important to find creative ways to make the most of the limited daylight hours Alaskans get during the winter months.

Wake up Early: When the day is so short that you don’t get to see the sun before work and you don’t get more than twilight afterwards, motivation can become a struggle. Instead of putting off the things you normally do at the end of the day, try waking up a bit early and getting them done before your daily responsibilities. By working out or taking the dog for his daily walk in the morning instead of in the evening, you may find your day much easier. You will have more energy by starting the day off with a bit more activity, and you can now make more use of the daylight hours you might have left at the end of each day. Exercising in the morning is a great way to boost metabolism and mood.

Buy a “Happy Light”: Often times throughout the winter, Alaskans will find that they still have a long list of things to do after a work day but no motivation to get it done because of the weather and lack of daylight. Combat this problem by outfitting your home with some Happy Lights that simulate the spectrum of natural daylight in your home or office. By getting some extra needed doses of vitamin D via a Happy Light, people may find that they have more energy to get their daily chores, meal prep, and responsibilities tackled throughout the dark and dreary winter months that Alaskans endure.

Plan Weekends Ahead: By waking up early and getting the responsible things done during the week, you and your family can plan some fun weekend activities to make the winter less of a drag. Look ahead at the weather and take advantage of any sunny or slightly warmer days by going out to a park, ice-skating, or sledding. Keep track of extra snowy days to be able to plan ahead and have some fun with the many winter outdoor activities Alaskans love. Try waking up earlier on the weekends and going to bed earlier to better take advantage of the daylight hours. By waking up before daylight and getting ready for the day by sunrise, you and your family can get plenty of outdoor daylight hours all winter long.

Run Errands During the Week: Don’t put off all of your grocery shopping and shoveling for the weekend and waste all your precious daylight hours. By forcing yourself to put in a few extra hours doing chores and holiday planning during the week after work or on your lunch, you will have more time to spend enjoying the daylight hours during the weekends with your family. Don’t put off all that holiday shopping until Saturday afternoon when it is finally sunny out and you don’t have to sit at your desk; get that done after work one day so that you can spend that Saturday sledding with your kids or getting some exercise.

For family wellness, pain relief, professional chiropractor care, and massage, schedule an appointment today at Chugach Chiropractic and Massage Center in Eagle River, Alaska.  907.694.0224


6 Helpful Tips For Someone with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

With November being National Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Awareness Month; here are 7 helpful tips for to better understand the chronic pain condition that many Americans struggle to live with everyday.

  1. Common Symptoms: According to a National Institutes of Health Study, millions of Americans suffer from some form of chronic pain so understanding what someone with chronic pain is going through on a daily basis is important for friends, family, and doctors to better support someone they may know suffering from things like CRPS. When it comes to CRPS there are four key symptoms: burning chronic pain long after an injury should have healed, inflammation that is out of proportion to an accident or injury, spasms, and lastly insomnia/emotional distress. There are a lot of other symptoms that can be associated with CRPS that are not being ignored as well. To understand the full list of symptoms, check out this helpful website here.
  2. Anyone can get it: While CRPS is commonly diagnosed after one or many forms of blunt trauma, failed surgery or infection, there are many reasons that one can be diagnosed with CRPS. While it is most commonly diagnosed in women, anyone can get it. Teenagers as well as War Veterans can be diagnosed with CRPS as well.
  3. Get a Team of Doctors ASAP: With no known cure for CRPS, quick treatment after being diagnosed is important if there is to be any hope of some form of pain relief and or remission (a prolonged pain free period of time). Finding a medical doctor knowledgeable about not only diagnosing but also successfully treating CRPS is the first step. Additional doctors that may be very helpful with CRPS are: Anesthesiologist, Chiropractor, Massage Therapist, Acupuncture, Calmare Doctor (may have to travel for these treatments), Physical Therapist, Mental Health Therapist and lastly a doctor specialized in whichever limb is affected. Having a large team of doctors who preferably communicate about treatment plans can be very helpful for quick and effective treatments.
  4. Research Treatments First: Not all doctors are equally trained, and not all doctors have the most up to date knowledge on how to best treat CRPS. Do your own research before trying any new treatment; find other CRPS patients on the web via support groups and ask them about what has worked for them. CRPS is inherently difficult to diagnose and treat, and is not a familiar subject for most medical professionals. Treatment methods have not been standardized and taught; there is no manual or protocol. Do your own research and find what might work best for you, ask your doctor questions and advocate for yourself if you have to.
  5. Find a support group: This one may seem obvious to someone with a large, supportive family or group of friends. However, often after a patient begins to navigate the world of chronic pain, they find that not all of their friends and family members are up for dealing with the new, life-long challenge. When dealing with chronic pain, be sure to surround yourself with supportive, understanding, and (most of all) positive people. When your brain is constantly working to put your pain out of your mind and focus on the here and now, you don’t have time to have negative people in your life who just don’t get what you’re going through. It might help to write a letter to friends and family explaining your new life and new “norm” with CRPS. There are also online and local support groups for patients suffering with chronic pain illness and CRPS specifically. Do not try to navigate this alone, support is needed every step of the way. This website has a lot of helpful support links worth looking at if you need a place to start.
  1. There are a lot of treatment options, but no cure: Research is constantly being done searching for the cure for CRPS and many chronic pain illnesses. With no cure as of yet, doctors and patients are constantly seeking new and alternative treatments to gain some pain relief. If the normal options offered by your doctors aren’t working, don’t lose hope; there are more options out there. Chiropractors and Acupuncturists can be great resources of knowledge and expertise for alternative treatment ideas. Some alternative options can be found here and One treatment that is gaining popularity and success is Calmare Scrambler Therapy, which you can find out more about here.

For family wellness, pain relief, professional chiropractor care, and massage, schedule an appointment today at Chugach Chiropractic and Massage Center in Eagle River, Alaska.  907.694.0224


5 Alternative Wellness Treatments for Veterans

The men and women serving our country and fighting in wars often develop a wide range of physical and mental health difficulties to overcome after returning home and retiring. With today’s technology and information readily available to people, there are some alternative ways to treat the problems Veterans commonly face.

  1. Chiropractic Care: While this is a normal wellness care option offered to Veterans, many may not think to utilize it to take care of their musculoskeletal and back pain issues. Don’t let back pain and other body pains keep you from living the life you want after a career of service; talk to your chiropractor today and see what they can do for you.
  1. Yoga: As a new alternative care option offered by the Veterans Administration, yoga and meditation can do a lot for the pain and stress that veterans often experience. While the U.S Department of Veteran Affairs now lists yoga as a Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) option for PTSD, yoga and other forms of bodywork have been known to help veterans with back pain as well. With more veterans experiencing back pain according to this article, it is important to begin thinking outside the normal treatment options to seek relief after a career of service.
  1. Acupuncture: While the U.S Department of Veteran Affairs also names Acupuncture as CAM option for veterans with PTSD, acupuncture is also a fantastic aide for muscle and nerve pain. For veterans struggling to gain pain relief from the normal treatment options, acupuncture just might be the treatment that works. Talk with your VA doctor about any local acupuncturists available with your Veterans benefits.
  1. Local Resources: Check out any local resources for Veterans and see if something might be useful, interesting or helpful for you and your family. The University of Alaska Anchorage has a Military and Veterans Student Services with helpful community and student resources; you can check out their website Additionally, Alaska has some uplifting community Veteran support programs such as Alaska Healing Hearts and Project Healing Waters Alaska that offer alternative ways to overcome emotional and physical setbacks.
  1. Self Help Apps: If you have a smartphone or a tablet this list of Apps for Veterans for health and wellness might be pretty useful. From apps that help understanding your VA benefits, to apps that help you track weight loss and communicate with your family easier there are quite a few apps designed with Veterans and their families in mind.