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All posts by Dr.Horning

Sugar

Sugar

-Benjamin Horning, DC

 

This is a topic that is not very popular but should be addressed as it can negatively affect the body in many ways. The main problem people have with sugar is avoiding it or craving it. This is mainly because sugar can be found in many foods and can even be hidden in foods. Also, most people have had sugar in one way or another since an infant. Now when I talk about sugar I am referring to artificial sugar as a sweetener or an additive. There is sugar in many natural foods such as fruits. Even though this is much better then artificial sugar it still needs to be limited. Fruits are great but when you eat too many fruits you can get the negative effects of sugar.
Sugar gives a person energy but it also can cause many problems. Diabetes, weight gain, inflammation, headaches and much more can be attributed to excess sugar. I believe people know sugar is bad for them but knowing something is bad for you and doing something about it are two different things. The truth of the matter is sugar is addicting. Withdrawal from sugar affects the brain similar to withdrawing from drugs. It can be rough. Not to mention most comfort foods have sugar in them. So, it’s two-fold, the biochemical cravings for sugar and the emotional connection that sugary foods may bring.
Your health depends on ridding yourself of most artificial sugars, but how? The first thing to handle any problem is to confront it. Look at labels. See what you are dealing with. Did you know a leading energy drink has 27 grams of sugar per serving? Any even more shocking is that the can is actually two servings, not one! So, per can you are really drinking 54 grams of sugar. Look at labels! The second thing to do is plan a transition out of sweets. A good buffer is to start juicing even if fruits do contain sugar it’s going to be better than a sugary soft drink. Work your way to less sugary fruits and add more veggies and herbs and your pallet will start to change. Another thing to do is try new healthy foods. You will be surprised how many things actually taste good if you try. People have been trying to figure this out for some time and there are some delicious and health comfort foods now you just have to look for them. Lastly, keep it up and do not give into temptations to go back to the candy and the sodas. Typically, it takes about 5 weeks to develop a habit and there will be moments where you will need to use your will power to overcome those cravings. Keep at it and you will overcome being bombarded with excess artificial sugar. Good luck.

 

(This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition.)

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Stretching

Stretching

-Benjamin Horning, DC

 

Stretching can have many benefits. They can range from improved flexibility to injury prevention.  They can also have a profound effect on the body such as in yoga.  It can help strengthen muscles while adding mobility.  When it comes to current injuries proper stretching has many therapeutic effects as well.  There are many ways to rehab a body part just with proper stretching.  Using the right type of stretch will maximize results.

When it comes to preventing an injury or to gain mobility using the proper stretching technique is very important.  There are two types of stretching, passive stretching and active stretching.  Both have their place and when used properly you will see better results and improvement in your mobility.  Passive stretching is what you would typically think of stretching –  long held positions to isolate and lengthen a certain muscle.  You see this in yoga poses or in athletics.  A typical example of a passive stretch would be keeping your legs straight and grabbing your toes.  Active stretching is more dynamic.  It would be using movement to get the stretching.  An example would be holding your hand out in front of you and kicking it your fingers with your foot while keeping your leg straight or swinging your arms back and forth.  These moves look as if someone was warming up and getting loose.

The real question is when to use each stretch? Overtime viewpoints on stretching have evolved.  Misapplication can cause injury which means knowing when to use each type of stretch is vital for your muscles health.  Luckily a lot of research has come out on the matter, which will be relayed via this article to help you properly stretch.

Active stretching is used prior to working out.  This warms up the muscles and allows them to get acquainted with whatever activity you are doing.  It prevents injury because the muscles get awoken and are not being strained.   Although many people passively stretch before a workout, they are operating on previous knowledge that has now since been debunked.  Long passive stretches may even injury an area before a workout.

Passive stretching is used usually after a workout.  This is done during the cool down phase.  It will help you stay loose while properly aligning any torn muscle fibers.  Longer stretching will help in improving flexibility.   Holding a stretch from 30 second to a minute will help get the best results.

When it comes to injury rehab, both can help. During regular chiropractic exams, I have often seen many injuries that could have been avoided if proper stretching was applied. Active stretching is often used in physio therapy to help regain mobility.  Passive stretching will help loosen muscles and make it easier for treatment to occur.

Stretching is definitely recommended for everyone. Athletes may stretch to prevent injuries or rehab from previous damage.  People practicing yoga may use stretching for a deeper meaning. Regardless for what your motives, I would highly suggest that you stretch every day.  This tend to yield the best outcomes.

 

(This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition.)

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Cleanses

Over the years the body can be exposed to many different chemicals, hormones, toxins and poisons. The body tries to rid itself of these agents however a lot of the time it isn’t fully successful and there are residual pollutants that accumulate. They get stored in various areas such as organs, tissues, and cells. You need to rid your body of these things and this is why it’s important to do a cleanse.
There are many types of cleanses and I’d always recommend talking to a health care professional first to figure out the best cleanse suited for you. That being said, typically people start with a liver cleanse for and intestinal cleanse first. They are designed to improve digestion and prevent the body from absorbing toxic substances. Typically cleanses can range from a few days to a few weeks. Whatever the cleanse you end up doing, do it the whole way through. If you end up cheating on it get right back to it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Too many times I’ve seen people mess up and then abandon the whole thing or only partially do the cleanse. This is why many people state the cleanse didn’t work. On closer inspection, it is usually that the person abandoned it or lackadaisically followed it. So whatever cleanse you do, follow it strictly and completely.
As a warning preplan your schedule according to the cleanse. If you are doing a cleanse that might require that you are close to a toilet, then plan for it. If the cleanse requires a certain diet. Shop beforehand and make whatever food you are planning on consuming earlier in the week. This will set you up for a successful cleanse. Cleanses are great and if you do one you will most likely see some great benefits. My office offers a few types of cleanses. If you are ever interested in them feel free to e-mail my office at reception@drbenhorning.com. I wish you luck and hope you enjoy the benefits of a well cleansed body.
Types of cleanses to possibly consider after consulting your doctor:
1. Anti-Candida Cleanse which is designed to remove candida albicans — a type of yeast — from your system.
2. Parasite Cleanse which aides with IBS, diarrhea and other abdominal issues, skin problems and various nutrition problems.
3. Kidney Cleanse which flushes out the kidneys by passing large amounts of water through them or by using diuretics.
4. Fat Flush Cleanse which uses cleansing techniques to burn fat. This cleanse couples with a liver detoxification with a special diet to take advantage of the body’s natural fat burning abilities.
5. Ayurvedic Cleanses were created in India and couples with Eastern philosophy to detoxify and cleanse the body of mental and physical impurities. This is a three-phase cleanse.
6. Juice Cleanse have many types. They all involve replacing food with juice of one type or another designed cleanse the stomach or enrich the blood.
7. Gallbladder Cleanse which is designed to help a gallbladder function properly and reduce the risk of gallstones.
8. Liver Cleanse which is a kidney cleanse, the liver cleanse is designed specifically to clean the liver and improve its function.
Cleansing is not for everyone. If done incorrectly you won’t get the desired results and improper or excessive cleansing can even be dangerous to your health. It’s vital that you have a comprehensive and detailed program to follow.
(This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition.)

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Emotional Junk Food Affecting Your Physical Health

Recently, I met up with friends that I haven’t seen in a while. One of them asked, almost skeptically, if emotions could affect health. I was a little taken aback by this. I thought it was common knowledge that yes, emotions can absolutely affect your health. It has become more and more apparent to me after seeing thousands of different patients, that patients who actively surround themselves with constructive things appeared to improve at a faster rate. They read books, go hiking, are spiritual, they are interested in all sorts of positive things and rarely talk about the negative aspects of life. Alternatively, the patients that focuses on negative influences has the experience that things are not going to get better. Ironically the rate of their healing typically mirrored this emotion. While there are some exceptions to this rule, this seemed to be the case generally. Think of one of two groups of individuals being surrounded by “Emotional Junk Food” – gossip magazines, internet click bait, passive aggressive friends and family, etc. As with edible junk food like cake, candy and cookies, this Emotional Junk Food while initially satisfying, has underlying negative effects. Emotional Junk Food contains gossip, pessimism, fear mongering, etc. which ultimately compromises the person’s health. Just like junk food, it can become addicting. Similar to a food diet or cleanse, removing the Emotional Junk Food will make a person feel better. My office focuses on combating negativity by publishing a weekly e-mail called Good News Friday that tells stories of good will. We send it out weekly every Friday. Many people who are not even patients of mine have requested to receive these emails and our office is glad to spread the cheer. If you would like to receive our weekly Good News Friday emails just shoot us a note to reception@drbenhorning.com and we will send you them. (This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition.)

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The Truth About Supplements

When it comes to eating, it is very important to have a diet full of nutrition. Unfortunately, in today’s society having a nutritious meal can be near to impossible. First of all, you have to get all your vitamins, minerals, amino-acids, carbohydrates, and fats every day. And secondly, here’s the reality, even if you had time to cook all of your meals there is still a chance your food may be in deficient in nutrition. The reason being, it is hard to tell where your food comes from. Is it organic? Is it GMO free? And even if it is, what was the soil’s mineral content? Who knows? Don’t get me wrong, I highly suggest eating as clean as possible. I’m also not trying to discourage you. However, my point is that in today’s age, nutritional supplements can play a big part in your health journey.
Here is an important piece of data in regards to supplements: NOT ALL SUPPLEMENTS ARE THE SAME. First of all, there are different grades of supplements. The lower quality will be found at generic stores where high quality can only be prescribed to you by a doctor or a nutritionist. It’s worth the extra time and energy to see a doctor or nutritionist in order to get access to high quality supplements.
Secondarily, the next thing is to differentiate they type of supplements. They can be either synthetic supplements or whole food supplements. The important thing to know is Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is not the same as a Whole Food Vitamin C Complex. Whole food Supplements contain other minerals called co-factors. These co-factors help the body recognize the vitamin and which aides in its absorption. So the amount of a vitamin actually in a whole food supplement will be less than that of a synthetic one because it will be absorbed much easier and will most likely work a lot better.

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Eight Ways To Achieving Your Health Goals

Health means a lot of things to a lot of different people. For some, it could mean running a marathon. For others, it could be having normal blood pressure.  Some people may even think it just means looking good in a bathing suit.  Doctors look at numbers to see if you are healthy and patients look at what their bodies can do to determine health.  As much as it is objective, it is also subjective.

It becomes confusing when you start to googling tips to be healthy.  One article may say to do this, while another article says to do that.  Are they both right? Are they both wrong?  Who do you trust and who do you ignore?  While there is no definite answer to this question, there are general steps that you can follow regardless of your fitness or nutritional goals.  These steps will at least get you in the right direction.

  1. Write Down Your Health Goals

This is the most important step in getting started.  If you don’t write down your health goals and you keep them in your head, then they lose their power. They can change. You can forget about them.  You can settle.  They need to be written down and clearly define.  They also need to be written down often.  This way when you get busy and life gets in the way (and it always does get in the way) you stay committed. You have a set target that you know you are actively working towards. When you reach it, celebrate. Afterwards, go for a bigger better health goal.  If you don’t you will achieve it and then retire from it and you might revert back to your old ways.  So always strive for new goals once you hit your goal.

  1. Make it Easy to Achieve Eating Healthy and Working Out

Like I said before, life will get in the way.  If you know that beforehand you can prepare for it.  For example, if your office only has a microwave, then buy a portable oven or a hot plate and bring it to work.  If you have free time every Sunday spend an hour or two meal prepping and cooking your food for the following week.  If you don’t have a gym partner to work out with, hire a personal trainer, or join workout classes.  Set these things up early on.  This way when life gets in the way, you can still eat healthy and workout.

  1. Get Chiropractic Care

Regular Chiropractic Care will recharge your body. Chiropractic adjustments help your nerves give your body the best chance to improve.  Nerves go to every muscle, cell, organ, and gland in the body.  If the nerves are not giving the proper signal; these areas are being affected. People from all walks of life get Chiropractic Care.  They do it because they get great results.  I have seen some amazing transformations just by giving Chiropractic Adjustments. By making consistent Chiropractic Care part of your health program, you will see a lot of positive changes and will give you an extra edge on achieving your health goals.

  1. Eat Organic

There is debate in our country about whether GMOs are or are not healthy.  However, in many countries around the world GMOs are flat out banned for health reasons.  I would recommend sticking with organic foods.  Also, try to eat locally. Farmers Markets have a ton of healthy food and you help local family farms as an additional benefit. Fresh veggies have tons of vitamins and minerals which help your body improve and grow.  When it comes to animal products stick with grass fed meats that have not been injected with a lot of antibiotics/hormones injected into them.  These antibiotics and hormones may get passed onto you.  You don’t want them in your system. The cleaner you eat the better you will feel.

  1. Exercise

Find sports or workout routines that you like doing.  Work out consistently and have a few rest days spread out through the week.   Exercise is critical for your health.  Laying around every day will not help you.  Movement is life. So start moving.  If your motivation is low then pay to join a workout group or have a personal trainer.  This will force you to show up and work out. If you are in a lot of pain then exercise on a gradient, but find some ways to get your body into motion.

  1. Drink Water

Your body needs water to survive.  That is a simple fact.  You need to be drinking water every day and you need to drink a lot of it.  If you don’t then your body will have a harder time filtering your blood and helping you stay healthy.  There are certain types of vitamins that need water to go into your cells.  Drink a lot of water to make sure you get all the benefits from all the healthy foods you’ve been consuming.

  1. Surround Yourself with Like-Minded People

This is an important one.  You need to surround yourself with people who also have health goals and are reaching them in a positive way.  You want to hang out with people who have targets and are working to reach them as well. If your “friends” make you feel bad for trying to improve, then don’t hang out with them. Get new friends.  Say you were trying to become a body builder.  Who would be your friends?  Other body builders or people who don’t lift?  I would hope it would be other body builders, but that is not always the case.  Sometimes people force their views on you and it affect your health.  Just like junk food is toxic, so are people.  If you have a support team of friends, great.  If you don’t, then make new friends with people who share the same goals as you.  You will be happier and it will help improve your health.

  1. Stay Persistent

It’s one thing to do something for a week or two.  It’s another thing to make it part of your life.  It’s a mindset and a way of life.  There are going to be challenges to your goals. Time, Money, People.  Know that there will be road blocks beforehand and persist through them.  If your uncle always wants to have a beer with you and eat chips while watching football, then know every time you hang out with him he will offer you beer and chips.  Persist past that.   If you had to work overtime, find a way to get a work out in and persist onward.  If you cheat on your diet, make it a cheat meal not a cheat day.   Acknowledge it but then move past it. Do not succumb to it.

Follow these steps and you will be more successful in achieving your health goals.  It looks simple and it is very possible that when you are done reading this you will put down this article and think “wow that was nice” and forget about it.  I hope you don’t though.  Follow my advice.  It is worth it. These steps work, you just need to do all of them.  Good luck.

(This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition.)

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Headaches

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Headaches affect a large population in the United States and symptoms can range from uncomfortable to unbearable depending on the severity. The pain can be so bad it affects your ability to work and maintain relationships. Although some may be caused by high blood pressure, cancer, hormonal imbalances, caffeine withdrawals, illness, stress, blunt trauma, etc., based on my experience as a Chiropractor, the majority of headaches stem from three main causes: spinal and cranial misalignments, food sensitivities, and/or jaw problems. There are many over-the-counter medications which mask headaches, but if you forget to take them, you are out of luck. Being a slave to pain killers is not the best long term solution to this problem. By being proactive and following the upcoming advice you might be able to conquer or reduce your headaches. Misalignments Many people experience relief or elimination of pain simply by getting your neck and cranial bones re-aligned by a Chiropractor. If your Chiropractor prescribes exercises, do them! Certain exercises help improve your spinal curves which will improve your alignment. Besides cervical adjustments, cranial treatments do wonders to help with headaches. Food Sensitivities Food sensitivities are real and can trigger headaches and I have seen more cases of this than I ever would have imagined. Food sensitivities may be to foods which don’t seem obvious. Here’s a true life example: A patient of mine experienced migraines for five years. Coincidentally, she was taking fish oil at the same time because she heard about its benefits. It’s true, fish oil is great for a large percentage of people, unfortunately, she was not one of them. I recommended she substitute fish oil for flax seed oil. The results after making this simple switch — no more migraines! Keep a food log to help you look for correlations between the foods you’re consuming and your headaches. Jaw Problems Wear a mouth guard if you grind your teeth. Jaw clenching can cause headaches. You might not even be aware you are guilty of this. I recommend you see a dentist who could make a custom mouth guard for you. Take a proactive approach and see if these changes help with your headaches. If you want more information, check out my video on headaches Click Here. “This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any condition or disease.” Dr. Horning grew up in a holistic home. He studied at the University of Maryland and received the unique degree of Agriculture and Resource Economics. He received his Chiropractic Doctorate at Southern California University of Health Sciences. Dr. Horning is a Chiropractor practicing in Laguna Hills CA. An eternal optimist, Dr. Horning cares about restoring health and allowing his patients to flourish in whatever goals they have.

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Removing Interference and Restoring Your Health

Life wants to survive. When you get sick, your body tries to fight off the illness and repair itself. When you get hurt, your body does its best to fix the problem. However, are there be factors which slow this progress? If yes, are there ways to improve the time it takes for your body to heal? The answer to both questions is YES!

In Chiropractic, the term “subluxation” is used which is a slight misalignment in the spine which affects the body’s nervous system and can prevent the body from healing. These misalignments can cause long term problems and are a Chiropractor’s primary focus. The best way to eliminate them is to get adjusted which will turn on your body’s power, allowing you to recover faster. Remember, the body is trying to survive and if there are road blocks, it makes the job more difficult.

What else can affect your body heal? The type of fuel you eat or nutrition. What you eat will either help or hurt it. Why not help it the most by feeding it food packed with vitamins and minerals. When your body has proper nutrients, it uses them to repair and enhance your body. Taste and nutrition have no correlation. Eating things which taste good but are bad for you, will harm your body and slow the healing process so make good food choices.

Movement or lack of it also can affect your body’s health. Our bodies are designed to move and be used. They are not designed to stare at a screen all day and stare at a bigger screen at night. So walk, run, play, get outside, join a gym, do yoga, or whatever you can to exercise. The more you work out the better your body operates and the healthier you become. Lastly, surround yourself with supportive, constrtuctive people who have the same life goals and hobbies you do. Being in a negative environment will put excess stress on your body and take its toll. Having a positive environment will help you grow as a person. This is crucial to your health.

Follow these simple steps and you will see improvements in your health and a faster recovery time if you get injured.

restoring-health

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What does being “Holistic” Mean?

What does being holistic mean? It’s meaning has almost become diluted and it’s definition can be misunderstood. According to Webster’s, the definition of Holisitic is the following: relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts.

The true approach to holistic health can be represented in a triangle. With and triangle is one side were to increase the other side must increase as well. Conversely, if one side were to decrease the other two would decrease as well.

According to many founding Chiropractors, it was established that the three sides of the triangle are the following: Structure, Chemical, and Emotional/Spiritual.

Structural would mean the physical aspects of the body. This would include spinal health, sleep, exercise, posture, etc. Chemical would include nutrition, supplements, herbs, medications, water intake, and toxins. Emotional/Spiritual would include the emotional environment, outlook on life, goals, social environment, and spiritual discovery.

When all three are in good shape a person can be said to holistically healthy. When one side is lacking it will affect the individual on the other two sides. This is crucial to understand. Let’s take an example of a car accident. First the person get hurt which affects the structure of his body. Biochemically events occur which alter a person’s regular endocrine system.

And emotionally the person get upset or stressed (even if it’s momentarily). All three are effected. Let us say someone were to get a good amount of sleep and decided to exercise. First that person would get stronger. Biochemically, the body will improve and emotionally the person would feel generally happier. This is a one sided way to improve. It’s recommended to improve on all sides.

A person gets into trouble by developing habits which are contra survival. This can include things like skipping sleep, not getting preventative care, eating junk food, drinking alcohol excessively, watching gossip TV, not exercising, and many others. Help your body first, investing in yourself will make your life better.

The best approach is to improve all three sides. Work out, get sleep, associate with positive like-minded people, eat healthy, get preventative care, stay away from gossip and work on self-improvement. It might not be immediate, but keep it up and soon you will start to see some major improvements in your life. This is what is meant for a holistic lifestyle. Constantly improving all three sides of the holistic triangle.

Chiropractic comes in by a being great natural approach to health. It is also great preventative care. In my office there is a big focus on structure however there is also a big emphasis on nutrition. As for the emotional/spiritual side, my office collaborates with many people and places for spiritual growth. I’m not the only one though, many Chiropractors have this approach. It’s in our blood. I recommend seeing a Chiropractor for at the very least to get on some sort of wellness plan.

A second generation Chiropractor and Applied Kinesiologist, Dr. Benjamin Horning grew up in a holistic home. After seeing the power of these modalities, it became apparent what was the best
course for him to take. He studied at the University of Maryland and received the unique degree of Agriculture and Resource Economics. The program showed him quickly the politics of our
food system. He learned about the natural ways food can be grown and sold, as well as, the cheaper unhealthier ways. This experience shook him due to the openness in his education about the flaws in our food system. His time in Maryland helped him to properly look at nutrition without any political biases. Dr. Horning received his Chiropractic Doctorate at Southern California University of Health Sciences.

While at school, he attained a Applied Kinesiology certification and was the school’s club president in the technique. He twice went to Washington, D.C. to fight for Chiropractic Rights in the
new healthcare system. He graduated on the Dean’s List and was awarded Cum Laude. After school, he began his private practice and has treated thousands of patients, from professional athletes,
veterans, the homeless, special needs patients, pregnancy patients, children, the elderly, entire families, wellness patients, and patients who saw holistic care as a last resort. Dr. Horning
has seen it all and confronts each case with a smile. His passion comes from helping people. He is confident something can be done about it. An eternal optimist, Dr. Horning cares about restoring health and allowing his patients to flourish in whatever goals they have.

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Hot or Cold: When to Use Each One

One of the most common questions I get deals with the subject of when to apply heat or cold. Both have great properties and both can help you. But which one should you use if you are in pain?
The main factor to determine this is the length of time the area has been injured. When using the right modality at the right time, you may see some promising results and experience relief.
Let’s define the two types of pain.

Acute Pain

This pain is caused by a recent injury.. It could result from a sudden fall, accident, slip, impact, etc. If you fell off your bike and hurt yourself, the pain you feel would be considered an acute pain.

Chronic Pain

This pain results from an injury occurring a while ago, but never has healed. It could be from untreated whiplash, an old shoulder injury, poor posture, etc. Perhaps you “threw” your back out years ago and you think you just have to live with the injury.

When to Apply Cold

Using a cold pack or ice is recommended for acute pain. Cold decreases inflammation and swelling which can reduce pain. Apply cold for no more twenty minutes. If it feels too cold or starts to numb the area, put a towel or buffer around the cold pack and try again. Ice, if used incorrectly, can damage the area so be cautious with it. Also, be careful or use another option if you are having sensory issues. This especially applies to people with diabetes. You can re-apply the ice again later, typically, an hour to 90 minutes.

Heat

Heat is typically used for chronic pain. Heat increases blood flow and helps your body to heal. It also warms stiff muscles and relaxes tense muscles. The heat should be warm, not burning. If it feels too hot, put a towel or a buffer over it to decrease the temperature. Just as I mentioned with cold, people with with sensory deficiencies should be careful. Applying heat up to twenty minutes is usually recommended and it can be applied throughout the day. Using these modalities can greatly help with decreasing pain and increasing range of motion. However, they do
not always resolve the injury or underlying problem. I recommend you see your healthcare practitioner if the pain persists. You don’t have “to live with the pain.”

Heat or cold should not act as a Band-Aid especially if the pain lingers. Although, if properly applied they can greatly speed up the recovery time of an injury. If you tackle your injuries head on instead of toughing it out, you can heal faster and have a better quality life. For more information on this topic check out my youtube video on the subject titled “Chiro Corner Episode 2-Heat vs Cold or check visit my website at www.drbenhorning.com

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