Ear Infections: Common questions and Chiropractic

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How much weight would you like to shed?

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Are you looking for a before and after photo?

How much weight would you like to lose?   Why do you want to lose weight?   What would a successful weight loss feel like?  Many Americans spend moments of their day wondering what life would be like if they were a healthy weight.  If I could lose even 10 lbs life would be so much better!   Losing weight is easier than you think but it does help to have an experienced coach in your corner.

Weight gain doesn’t happen overnight nor is it an overnight fix but in a couple months you could be a totally different person.  First off find out what is the powerful “why?”  Weight loss never works if it’s something temporary or superficial.   Is it to be there for your kids?  To lower medication?  To regain your athletic ability? To get a better job?  There are many good reasons to lose weight but you have to find out which one is uniquely yours.

Are you looking for a before and after photo?  Let me tell you about Tom.   Tom was having trouble losing weight.  His weight was keeping him from the career he wanted, he was fatigued easily and the weight had also affected his self esteem.  He had been overweight since high school and he wanted a new life.   He tried exercise and dieting but that was slow and difficult to manage.  Then he found something that worked.

Tom and his wife started the Take Shape for Life program.   The results were fast.   With the assistance of a health coach from Take Shape for Life Tom, lost over 20 Lbs his first month.   He went on to lose 70 Lbs over 16 weeks.   Now he has his life back and is pursuing his career in Law Enforcement.   He is able to run and has  energy to play with his kids.   If you know someone that wants to make a change, we can help.

I only need to lose 10 Lbs will this program work for me?   It will, I have used it myself.  Before going on vacation in 2011 I used TSFL to lose 11 Lbs in 2 weeks.   It was fast and easy to follow.    Losing 11Lbs without exercising is usually quite a challenge but with training and nutrition it was quite simple.


Tom Hungerford side by sideTom Hungerford final


Whether you are losing a couple pounds or making a significant change, we can help.  Give us a call today.

How did I gain this weight?  Here are the top 5 ways to quickly gain body fat.  If you wish to lose weight simply reverse or avoid these 5 things.  If you have questions please call our office, we would be happy to help.

-Eating food that is packaged and has a long shelf life.   Boxed food that can stay on the shelves for a while often is dense in Carbohydrates which trigger weight gain.  These foods are usually made with very little fiber which is necessary for healthy blood sugar.  This includes pop tarts, chips, crackers, pizza, and pasta’s to name a few.

– A food allergy or sensitivity.  Irritation from food sensitivities can cause weight gain, swelling and inflammation.  The 2 most common food sensitivities are dairy as well as gluten.  Dairy can be found in milk, yogurt, and cheese.  Gluten can found in anything with bread, dough or pasta.  To find out if your body is sensitive to these foods try eliminating them for a month and monitor the outcome.  

-A lack of sleep or poor sleep.  Sleep essentially recharges the body.   Depriving yourself of sleep can increase the stress hormone cortisol, which triggers weight gain.  It is important to allow 7-8 hours of sleep per 24 hour period.   If you are having trouble sleeping, talk to your Wellness Doctor to figure out a natural solution.

-Lack of exercise.  Exercise is vital for maintaining or losing weight.   At a minimum 15 minutes of exercise 3 times a week.  No time?  Try working out before you start your day.   30 minutes of exercise in the morning stimulates your metabolism as well as lowers anxiety and insomnia.

– Stress or depression.  Stress alters your body in all kinds of ways.  One way is to trigger excessive appetite and store body fat.  The key to breaking this cycle is first to identify what the stress is and then working with a Wellness Doctor to make a game plan.  It could be stress on your nervous system, chemical stress from food or medication or you could be physically drained from home or work.   Lowering or adapting to your stress can side step weight gain. 


Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center

Serving the greater Grand Rapids area; Standale, Walker, Wyoming, and Grandville

Grand Rapids, MI 49534


Study proves Chiropractic

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research words photo

What is Chiropractic based on?  Does Chiropractic work only because patients believe it will work?  Or is Chiropractic based on science, research and documentation, explaining the how and why of Chiropractic care?

“Chiropractic only works because of the placebo effect.”  I have heard this many times but is there any truth to it?

Chiropractic is based on 3 well documented facts.

– The first is that everything in the body is controlled by the nervous system.  

-The second is that the body is self healing and self regulating.

-The third is that if you interfere with the nervous system than you interfere with the body’s ability to regulate and heal.

One of the best studies done to disprove Chiropractic was the Winsor study.  The Winsor study took place in 1921 and was performed by Henry Winsor MD.  The purpose of the study was to determine whether minor curvatures of the spine related to organ disease.  Dr. Winsor was attempting to disprove Chiropractic but instead proved Chiropractic correct.

Dr. Winsor used 50 cadavers in his study.  His findings were nothing short of amazing.

-In 50 cadavers with 139 diseased organs, the autopsies displayed there was an abnormal curve in the spine connected to the nerves controlling 128 of the diseased organs.   Analyzing the spine as it refers to organ health is accurate 90% of the time.

-The organs that were damaged were noted to be acute or recent diseases meaning that damage to the spine came before organ disease.

-Degeneration of the spine appears to precede old age and to cause it.  The spine becomes stiff and old age follows.  

Here are some specific examples of organs that were shown to have disease and the area of the spine affecting it.

-Lung disease was linked to loss of spinal motion and degeneration in the upper back.

-Liver disease was correlated to degeneration and loss of spinal motion in the upper back below the shoulder blades.

-Prostate and Bladder disease was linked to loss of degeneration and spinal motion in the low back.

Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center

Serving the greater Grand Rapids area; Standale, Walker, Wyoming, and Grandville

Grand Rapids, MI 49534


What’s stress go to do with it?

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bang head here

“Humans today experience more stress in one day than their ancestors did in their entire lives. “  What effect is stress having on your life?  Are you noticing high blood pressure, food cravings, sleep disturbances, pain, trouble losing weight, or mental confusion?   How is stress changing your energy, mood, or posture?   If your stress is not where you want it to be, don’t worry improving your stress is easier than you think.

Your body is a reflection of how well you are adapting to all the stresses in your life.   Unresolved or uncontrolled stress always will lead to illness and disease.   We are told today that illness is caused by bad luck, bad germs or bad genes.    This is not true.   We are the product of our lifestyle choices, only a small percentage of poor health is genetic.  

The vast majority of health problems today are based in our environment and lifestyle choices.   We have more mental stress than ever before between the internet, email, phones, and television.   We have more chemical stress from environmental toxins, cheap food, always eating and drinking as well over-medication.  We also have more physical stress much of it revolving around long hours, poor posture and electronics.

So what is the solution?  Chiropractic, right?  Chiropractic is part of the solution but not the complete picture.   Chiropractic will help your body function better, which a large step in the right direction.   To truly get a grip on stress you need to lead a proactive lifestyle with proper nutrition, regular exercise, a good Chiropractic office, and constant social support.

If you would like to learn more about wellness stop by .   Here is a list of 5 easy things that can get you started on the right path, courtesy of Dr. James Chestnut.

Dr Chestnut’s Rules of Getting Started

Start by adding sufficiency NOT removing toxicity.  It is much easier to add something good to your life than it is to take away something that is bad but desirable.

–  Eat fresh fiber first.   At each meal eat raw fruit or vegetables before consuming unhealthy food. You can still eat some junk food but just supplement it with healthy food at the same time.

Incorporate activity into you work, family and social lives. Meet friends for walks or activities not coffee shops.

Always shop on a full stomach. There is less chance of buying junk food and you won’t eat it if you don’t have it.

Always judge your choices based on how you feel AFTER the choice, not before or during.

Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center

Serving the greater Grand Rapids area; Standale, Walker, Wyoming, and Grandville

Grand Rapids, MI 49534


What’s best for the patient?

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think hard

“What’s best for the patient?”  I am always looking at Chiropractic from the lens of what is best for the patient.  I was going through research and I wanted to know, given the health care options in America, what is the best choice for your health.   A few questions that I will address.

– Which intervention gets patients back to work with the fewest days of missed work?

-Which healthcare intervention has the highest patient satisfaction?

-Which intervention is the most affordable?

-Which intervention is the safest, given current malpractice rates among providers?

What healthcare intervention has the fewest number of work days missed? 

According to a study in the Chiropractic Journal of Australia, Chiropractic care can get Worker’s Compensation patients back to work 4X faster than traditional medical care.  Of course that could be good or bad depending on how well you like your job.

Which healthcare intervention has the best patient satisfaction?  

According to a survey in 1989 by Dr. Cherkin, patients who received Chiropractic care were 3X more likely to report high levels of patient satisfaction than those who received traditional medical care.  Patients who also reported high levels of satisfaction with care were more likely to believe that their Chiropractor cared about them.

Which healthcare intervention is the most affordable? 

Multiple studies have demonstrated that Chiropractic provides significant cost saving to both patients as well as insurance carries.  A study from the Journal of Occupational Medicine showed that Chiropractic fees were up to 10X less expensive when compared to patients who did not receive Chiropractic care.   The average savings per patient was approximately $900.

Which healthcare intervention is the safest given current malpractice rates among providers?

The medical specialty with the highest malpractice was a neurosurgeon.   A Chiropractor was ranked as one of the lowest risk providers.   A Chiropractic adjustment is much safer than a procedure which is more invasive such as medicine, injections or surgery.

When choosing a healthcare provider the 4 key areas of interest are: how long will it take, patient satisfaction, cost and safety.   In all 4 key areas Chiropractic has the best outcome.   If you want your healthcare to be fast results, affordable, safe and highly satisfying than Chiropractic the right choice for you and your family.

Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center

Serving the greater Grand Rapids area; Standale, Walker, Wyoming, and Grandville

Grand Rapids, MI 49534


Golf: Can Chiropractic help?

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tiger golf quote

“I really like golf but it’s starting to catch up with me.  I can’t hit the ball as far as I used to and it’s starting to hurt my back.”  How do the pros maintain or even improve their game?   PGA stars Tiger Woods and Zach Johnson have used Chiropractic for years to improve their game and maintain a competitive edge.  Does Chiropractic give this competitive edge to the average golfer as well?

To some, golf is a leisure sport with very little stress.  However to those who play golf competitively there is a considerable amount of stress put in the spine, hips and shoulders every game.  Golfers must go from a relaxed standing position to delivering a strong, accurate swing.   This requires balance, good posture, and fluid rotation of the hips and spine.   Poor posture, tight muscles and tension in the spine can drastically affect performance.

Spinal problems are not uncommon among golfers.   It is so common that PGA instructor Tom Ward stated “Over 50% of all golfers will experience some sort of pain due to posture and the health problems that arise from loss of proper curves in the spine.”

A simple consultation and examination are all that is needed to determine if you can benefit from Chiropractic care.  If Chiropractic is a good fit for you, your Chiropractor will gently and specifically adjust areas of the spine to improve range of motion, strength, and decrease pain. 

Research has shown that Chiropractic care is more effective than stretching alone.  2 groups were studied, with 1 group receiving Chiropractic and stretching and 1 group receiving stretching only.   After 4 weeks the stretching only group had no improvements to their swing.  The Chiropractic group noted improved swing, greater shot distance and less discomfort.

If you would like Chiropractic to help your game, give us a call for a free consultation.

Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center

Serving the greater Grand Rapids area; Standale, Walker, Wyoming, and Grandville

Grand Rapids, MI 49534


What a relief! Ear Infections & Chiropractic

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“He’s had some ear infections, you know, the normal amount.”   While ear infections are common they are not normal.   Ear Infections are the 2nd most common reason children go to the doctor’s office.  Ear infections are also the most common reason children begin Chiropractic care.   As a caring parent you just want what’s best for your child, often what’s best for your children is a Chiropractic check up.

One common reason children experience ear infections is that the Eustachian tubes (tubes in the ears) are smaller than that of adults.   When the ears are draining properly, fluid (dirt, debris and, water) travel from the middle ear down the back of the throat.   If there is a misalignment at the top of the neck than the middle ear does not drain properly.   This back up of fluid and debris can contribute to an ear infection.  It is a lot like a river that has been blocked off, creating a stagnant pool of water inside the ear. 

What causes a misalignment at the top of the neck in children?  This misalignment is usually caused from the birthing process.   If there a complication, long labor time, C-section, medication used such as Pitocin, epidural or vacuum extraction, any of those can cause trauma to the infants’ neck and shoulders.    Trauma to the neck and shoulders can cause subluxation or interference to the infants’ nervous system.   This can contribute to a child’s ears not draining correctly.   Often this results in an ear infection.

A Doctor of Chiropractic is trained to analyze, identify and adjust areas of Subluxation in the spine.   An adjustment is a gentle and effective way to restore proper communication from the brain to the body.  In this case specifically the ear.   Once the nervous system is functioning properly, the ear can drain properly.   A recent study by Dr. Fallon found that of patients who completed chiropractic treatment, 80% of patients were free of ear infections for at least 6 months.

If your child has experienced recurrent ear infections, rounds of antibiotics, or had a recommendation for tubes in the ears, a Chiropractic check up could be the solution that you’re looking for.

Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center

Serving the greater Grand Rapids area; Standale, Walker, Wyoming, and Grandville

Grand Rapids, MI 49534


Breathing easy past asthma

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“Mom I’m having trouble breathing.”   This is not something any parent wants to hear.   Asthma is one of America’s fast growing chronic health conditions.  In the US alone there are more than 15 million cases of asthma.  Asthma is also the #1 cause of childhood hospitalizations.   While the cause of asthma is not fully known, what is known is that asthma cases have doubled since 1994.  With new research coming out that traditional medical care for asthma may be making the problem worse, many doctors and concerned parents are turning to Chiropractic.

What is asthma?  Asthma is defined as “A respiratory condition marked by spasms in the bronchi of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing, usually resulting from an allergic reaction.”  Essentially the vessels in the lungs that are used to take in oxygen are swelled and closed off.  In essence the body is choking from the inside.

What causes asthma?  While the cause is not well known it is believed to be a combination of factors including genetics and contact with allergens in the environment.   While genetics and environmental allergens do play a role, the body’s response   is regulated by the nervous system.   Interference to the nervous system may cause asthma or make it worse.   Breathing is controlled by the brain which sends signals through the spine and into muscle in the lungs.   A disturbance to the nerves from the brain to the lungs can cause the lungs to contract inappropriately, contributing to symptoms of asthma.

A chiropractor is specially trained to look for areas of the spine that are not working correctly.   This is called a Subluxation.   When a subluxation is located and analyzed then a Chiropractor may gently adjust the spine and restore proper function.   Although some cases of asthma will not respond to Chiropractic care the majority of cases have a shown a benefit.   Research has shown that Chiropractic is effective regarding asthma is over 76% of cases.   Additional research from the Chiropractic Research Journal concluded that children under Chiropractic care enjoyed less ear infections, less asthma, fewer allergies and fewer cases of tonsillitis.

Here are some nutrition and supplemental changes to consider regarding asthma.  For more information please visit

Vitamin D– Vitamin D has health benefits beyond strong bones.  It is a vital nutrient to building a stronger immune system.   Patients who experience asthma often are deficient in Vitamin D.

Exercise with sunlight– Patients who Exercise on a regular basis have been shown to increase maximum ventilation and maximum heart rate.   Sunlight is a natural means of producing vitamin D.

Breast milk– For mothers who want children with a lower incidence of allergies and asthma, breast feeding is a must.   Breast feeding essentially gives the infant the mother’s immune system.

Omega 3 fish oil– Omega 3 fish oil is useful for restoring the proper balance of omega 3 to omega 6.   Diets that are higher in Omega 3 fish oil have been shown to have less incidence of asthma.

Avoid dairy– Dairy in almost all cases except for raw milk aggravates symptoms of asthma.  Avoid dairy if possible.

Butterbur– Butterbur is a naturally occurring plant that has been shown to decrease the symptoms of asthma.

Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center

Serving the greater Grand Rapids area; Standale, Walker, Wyoming, and Grandville

Grand Rapids, MI 49534


Pregnancy: Expect it to be great

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Would a pain free pregnancy followed by an easy, uncomplicated delivery sound good?  Pregnancy does not have to be uncomfortable or nerve wracking.   There are safe and effective care options that can lead to a more enjoyable pregnancy.   If you’re looking for options that are safe, effective and natural then Chiropractic care is just what you’re looking for.

A common question we hear is, “is Chiropractic care safe while I’m pregnant?”   Yes.  There are no contraindications to Chiropractic care while expecting.  On your first visit the Chiropractor the doctor will sit down with you, go over your health history and discuss your health goals.  Following your consultation the doctor will perform a chiropractic exam to determine which areas of the spine may need adjusting.   Our office will complete your first visit with several diagnostic scans to measure how well your nervous system is working.   On your second visit you will see the results of your tests and discuss care options.

A common effect of pregnancy is low back pain.  This can happen for several reasons.   First is the bio mechanics of being pregnant.   The position of the internal organs can change as well as the stress and position of the spine.   This discomfort is relieved with gentle adjustments to the spine that realign and reduce pressure on nerves in the spine.

Another common ailment associated with pregnancy is nasal congestion or having a stuffy nose.   This can happen for a couple reasons.  One being increased blood pressure and the other from the increase in the hormone estrogen.   Both can cause swelling that can lead to congestion.  Chiropractic care is well known to help with sinus problems.   The nerves that control the ears, eyes, nose and throat come from the top of the neck.   If you’re experiencing sinus problems then a Chiropractic check up could be what you’re searching for.

“I toss and turn all night and just can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep.”   Sleep difficulties are not uncommon with pregnancy.  This can be due to many causes including; pain or discomfort as well hormone changes.   One of the most common effects that Chiropractic patients report, is an easier time falling asleep and staying asleep.   This could be due to Chiropractic’s effect of restoring communication to the nervous system.

A final note on Chiropractic care during pregnancy, it’s good for both the mother and the child.  Pregnant patients noticed an 82% decrease in back pain with Chiropractic care.  First time mothers noted a 24% shorter labor time and 39% shorter labor time for women with 2 more pregnancies.   If labor is shorter and less complicated the risk for C Section and medical intervention goes down.   Chiropractic it’s the essential choice for the health minded mother.

Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center

Grand Rapids, MI 49534


Gaining attention from the mile-a-minute kid

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“Please just sit still!  Honestly, I just don’t understand why you can’t sit still for 2 minutes.”  Rambunctious children often frustrate their parents but can it be helped?   While most children have decent amount of energy, some kids are genuinely hyperactive.  However does hyperactivity mean your child needs to be labeled ADHD?

Is your child simply energetic or do they have a neurological disorder?  Do they have a disorder characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity?  Just for sake of discussing let’s say your child does have ADHD.   What are the possible causes and what can you do to improve their condition.

Hyperactivity can be caused by many different things.   One of the reasons is that children who have been diagnosed with ADHD also have been shown to have under developed brains, specifically in the frontal lobe.   One of the ways you can stimulate the brain to develop is by stimulating the cerebellum, an area of the brain which is responsible for balance, movement and coordination.   The cerebellum receives input from proprioceptors (pronounced Pro-prio-ceptors).   Proprioceptors are little bundles of nerve fibers that tell your brain where you body is in space.

An example of your body using proprioceptors, would the reason you don’t need to look at your feet when you walk, because you know where your feet are.   Proprioceptors are in every joint in your body.   However the highest concentration of these fibers is in the neck, right under the skull.

The location of proprioceptive fibers is the reason that Chiropractic care is so effective.  Tension and misalignments to the neck interfere with the information received in the brain. Chiropractic care gently realigns the spine allowing for proper communication.  Proper communication can improve brain development.  Although Chiropractic is not a treatment specifically for ADHD, many cases of ADHD improve as a result of Chiropractic care.

It’s also possible that your child is being misdiagnosed.  Age, for example, is one example of how a child may receive a misdiagnosis of ADHD. According to study reported in Science Daily “If a child is behaving poorly, if he’s inattentive, if he can’t sit still, it may simply be because he’s 5 and the other kids are 6.  There’s a big difference between a 5-year-old and a 6-year-old, and teachers and medical practitioners need to take that into account when evaluating whether children have ADHD.”

Symptoms from food sensitivity may mimic ADHD.  Here are some examples.   For more information please go to

Eliminate most grains and sugars from your child’s diet. Grains (especially breads, cereals, chips , cookies) and sugars both tend to cause allergies in sensitive individuals. Even if the grains are organic, whole grain can cause problems in many children so it would be wise to give them a grain vacation and see if their behavior improves.

Replace soft drinks (whether diet and regular), fruit juices, and pasteurized milk with pure, clean non-fluoridated water. While you may believe fruit juices are a healthy option to soda, they aren’t and need to be avoided as strictly as soda does.  Vitamins are best obtained through eating fruits and vegetables.

Increase Omega-3 oil by taking high quality animal-based omega-3 oil. Research has confirmed that Omega-3 has been shown to be more effective than stimulant medication like Ritalin and Concerta.

Minimize your use of nearly all processed fats, especially trans fats as they can disrupt nerve cell communication.

Avoid all processed foods, especially those containing artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, which may trigger or worsen symptoms.  Artificial dyes have been shown to mimic ADHD symptoms.

Clear your house of dangerous pesticides and other commercial chemicals. Pesticide exposure has been shown to increase symptoms of ADHD.

Avoid commercial washing detergents and cleaning products used on clothes, and replace them with naturally derived cleaning products with no added perfumes, softeners, etc.

As always please share with your friends and families.  If you would like to hear more about a specific topic, please feel free to email me.

Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center

Serving the greater Grand Rapids area; Standale, Walker, Wyoming, and Grandville

Grand Rapids, MI 49534