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Have you ever passed a mirror and stopped to look at your facial lines? Let’s face it, most of us have. All of a sudden Botox starts to look like a pretty good option. It begs the question, what do we know about Botox?
What is Botox?
Botox is a drug made from a neurotoxin produced by the clostridium botulinum bacterium. There are both medical and cosmetic uses to Botox. Cosmetically it can be used to help temporarily get rid of lines around the face. Although Botox is widely used, there are still many misconceptions about it. Here are the five most common myths about Botox:
1. It is the end all, be all for wrinkles.
Most assume that Botox injections are some sort of magic elixir you can use when you notice wrinkles on your face. But did you know that not all wrinkles are the same? Your face has both static and dynamic wrinkles. Dynamic wrinkles are those that appear as a result of repetitive motion. Expressions like happiness and squinting are responsible for the formation of your dynamic wrinkles. Static wrinkles are actually the result of a loss of collagen and the forces of gravity. Botox injections can only work on dynamic wrinkles because the injections work by relaxing facial muscles. Not all lines on your face can be solved by a Botox injection.
2. Botox is only for wrinkles.
Although Botulinum toxin’s primary use is for the correction of dynamic wrinkles, it has been approved as treatment in other medical conditions that require paralysis of muscles. Among the conditions for which Botulinum toxin has been approved as treatment are:
It can also be used to treat other conditions, albeit off-label for example:
3. You can become addicted to Botox.
People who frequently use Botox injections cannot become addicted, as Botulinum toxin does not have addictive qualities. However, to maintain the best possible look, regular use is recommended. The addiction myth is touted alongside the myth that if you stop, you look worse. When Botox injections are stopped, patients return to how they looked originally, before commencement of injections. Patients can become addicted to what they see when they look in a mirror, not to Botox.
4. Age Limit
Botox has a reputation that it is only necessary for those who are older. The fact is age is not the only determining factor to the onset of wrinkles. As dynamic wrinkles are brought about by motion in the face area, activities that use your face muscles more make you more susceptible to getting wrinkles, not matter the age.
5. Blank face
The most popular misconception about Botox is that it leaves you expressionless and unable to express human emotions. This myth is a bit on the ironic side as the injections purpose is to relax the facial muscles. Botox does not restrict any facial movement. Emotions that require facial change can still be seen, only you will be looking great as you do it.
There are plenty more misconception and pre-conceived notions about Botox injections and the only way to get the right information is to visit a professional who is certified in the field. At Whitehall Health Centre and Laser Spa, we have the experience and knowledge to make you look and feel your best. Contact us for your free consultation today!
The Relationship between Hormones and Weight
If losing weight is a challenge for you, your hormones are probably the cause! Most people are familiar with the hormones “estrogen” and “testosterone”. These two hormones play a vital role in your body’s response to diet and
exercise. If either hormone is off balance, you are at risk to have struggles losing weight, and could even be at risk to gain weight. However, estrogen and testosterone are just two of the many hormones that your body relies on for healthy daily functioning.
Hormones are a vital part of how our bodies work; they control internal functions including metabolism, digestion, sleep, and more. Our hormones affect nearly everything that goes on within our bodies, so it’s no wonder they play such a major role in weight loss.
How Hormone-Based Weight Loss Works
The Whitehall Medical Health Center team offers a 5-step medical weight loss plan that is tailored to you based on your body’s specific and unique needs. Your weight loss team will find the exact hormones and habits that are keeping you from losing weight. They will also find any imbalances in your hormones, and correct them. Medical weight loss creates a lifestyle built on healthy choices that will have you dropping extra pounds and keeping them off in the long-term.
Our five stage process
Stage I: Discover
Your medical weight loss team will help you to identify why you’re not losing weight by having lab testing panels done. The lab testing will look at:
Stage II: Remove
Once you and your team discover what is hindering your weight loss, you’ll start with a plan to remove those road blocks. You will begin a detoxifying and high-protein meal plan that fits around your personal schedule. Your team will also handpick medical weight loss tools specifically suited to your needs.
Stage III: Accelerate
As you start losing weight and continue to work toward a healthier lifestyle, we help boost your energy and weight loss with special diet foods, weight loss tools, and nutritional supplements. Your counselor will keep track of what works best for your body and adjust if necessary, so you’re able to keep your body on track for weight loss.
Stage IV: Transition
When you reach the transition stage, you will have lost weight and will probably continue to lose several pounds per week. The healthy changes taking place in your body will inspire you to shape and sculpt the outside of your body so that you look as good as you feel. Focus will shift to building muscles and toning problematic areas. We provide body contouring treatments that can be used to tighten skin and get rid of cellulite.
Stage V: Maintenance
At this stage, you’ve reached your goal weight! You’ll meet with your team to celebrate your journey. You’ll take your “after” photo and when you’ve met with your counselor one final time, you can choose to continue our services if you still have weight to lose
Stop wasting time by trying to lose weight on your own. If you have been trying for years, and haven’t seen any results, then it’s time to try medical weight loss. Let our team help you receive a weight you have always dreamed of. Call Whitehall Health Centre and Laser Spa to meet your weight loss team today!
Sciatica is described as any pain caused by the irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the human body. With all the physical work we do, back pain is an extremely common occurrence and the most common conditions related to back pain is Sciatica. Contrary to popular belief, Sciatica is not a disease; rather it’s a set of symptoms that cause varying degrees of pain. Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve that runs from the lower back down to the back of the knee is compressed or irritated.
How do I know its sciatica?
Although there are no default symptoms for sciatica, some symptoms are fairly common and occur in most cases. Here are some of the most common symptoms associated:
What are the causes of sciatica?
Can it be treated?
Fortunately, sciatica is not only manageable but it is treatable. Remedies could be medical, surgical, or non-invasive. Currently, chiropractic treatment is increasingly being used to relieve back pain and the symptoms of sciatica.
Although there are quite a few methods of Chiropractic treatment, spinal adjustments and manipulation have proved to be safe and most effective against sciatica.
Spinal adjustments must be made by a certified chiropractors and back specialists. The chiropractor will use their hands to apply pressure to joints and misaligned vertebrae in order to alleviate pressure and return the vertebrae to the correct spinal position.
The techniques used for spinal adjustments and manipulation vary in the methods used. The three main techniques used are:
What are the benefits of Chiropractic Treatment?
Don’t continue to live with your back pain. There are options available to relieve the pain and stress you live with every day. If you think you may be suffering from Sciatica, contact Whitehall Health Centre to schedule your appointment. With 20 years of experience, our chiropractic service is second to none!
Obesity is an epidemic in the United States, and, at any given time, there are millions of people trying to lose weight. Sadly, this is easier said than done. Some people have had success with diets and weight loss services, but for every good weight loss success story there are countless people who have been unable to reach their ideal weight and stay there.
Losing weight is not impossible; it takes a lot of hard work and enough discipline to stick to a healthy eating and exercise plan. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t other things that can be done to make weight loss easier, and they may come from places you wouldn’t expect. For instance, chiropractic treatment may actually help certain patients with weight loss.
Chiropractic treatment can be used to treat a number of ailments, such as headaches and chronic pain, and it has even been known to improve a person’s immunity and energy level. It stands to reason that seeking out an experienced chiropractor could be instrumental in weight loss goals. Chiropractic treatment isn’t a cure for obesity – regular diet and exercise must play a role in reaching target weight – but the right adjustments made by a licensed chiropractor can affect the way your body operates in surprising ways.
The reason for chiropractic treatment aiding in weight loss lies in the lower spine. The spinal nerves located in the lower back are closely affiliated with the gastrointestinal tract. Manipulating the lower spine can affect the speed at which food passes through the digestive system and could in fact improve digestion. If there are problems with food digestion, your body will not receive the necessary nutrients from the food it is processing. It is extremely important that your digestive tract is absorbing the nutrients it needs and eliminating the waste that it does not. Otherwise, waste can build.
Of course, another major reason why chiropractic treatment can influence weight loss is because it is a way to manage chronic pain. Chiropractors have long made adjustments that decrease pain and increase range of motion, things that could cause people to be largely inactive. A sedentary lifestyle is a greater contributor to weight gain and obesity than a poor diet, so treating chronic pain to the point where an obese person is able to move and get exercise could make a big difference in helping that person lose weight.
Speaking to Your Doctor
As effective as chiropractic treatments can be in helping someone lose weight, it cannot get the job done by itself. Even the best chiropractors and weight loss specialists can only do so much if you’re not willing to work towards your target weight. Before you begin any weight loss program, make sure to speak with your PCP. At Whitehall Health Centre, we believe in total body health. That is why you can find experienced weight loss specialists, medical doctors and chiropractors under the same roof. Let Whitehall Health Center help you to feel better and be better! Call us today!
One of the questions we ask our clients when they are deciding if a weight loss center is the right fit for them, is what their current weight loss strategy is? Most of our prospective clients answer with fad diets or temporary changes to fitness and diet. Most of these changes are abandoned because they don’t deliver results, or because they are simply too extreme or restrictive to be a realistic long-term lifestyle change.
Whether you have lifelong weight to shed, baby weight, or the slow 5 or 10 pounds that crept on every year for the last decade—you need a medical weight loss strategy to succeed. Consider any other goals you set in your personal or professional life. Odds are, you do more than just set a goal—you develop a personalized strategy designed to help you achieve your results. There is a proven science to weight loss and not every one’s journey should be the same. Working with a medical professional can allow you to reach your weight loss goals and stay there.
At Whitehall Health Centre, we have developed a 5 Step Weight Loss Program designed to help you take a holistic approach to your health. The reason this approach works is because along the way you learn your specific roadblocks to weight loss and then develop the skills required to lose the weight, and keep it off.
Stage I: Discover
Stage I begins with a full medical assessment to provide insight on your overall health. This goes far beyond getting BMI or the number on a scale; it includes full lab work when appropriate to determine any hormonal imbalances and weight loss roadblocks.
Stage II: Remove
This is where we begin the process of removing the roadblocks to your weight loss. Medical weight loss is all about an individual plan of action, because everyone’s roadblocks are unique.
Stage III: Accelerate
In this stage, we kick things up a notch. You are now at a place where you have experienced some positive results and your body chemistry is likely to have balanced out quite a bit. Now it is time to reassess, and redefine your workout.
Stage IV: Transition
At this point, the bulk of your weight has come off—and now it is time to fine tune. This is where we will begin to transition from weight loss, to toning and sculpting your body.
Stage V: Maintenance
This stage is exciting! You have lost the weight, and now have the tools to make lifelong healthy choices. You and your weight loss advisor will celebrate your hard earned success, and map out an ongoing maintenance plan.
If you are searching for a weight loss center in the Pittsburgh area, look no further. At Whitehall Health Centre, we specialize in fully personalized medical weight loss programs, and provide you with an advanced selection of weight loss solutions. While you will have to put in the hard work, our approach is designed to achieve realistic changes and goals. Contact our experienced team today and get the body you have always dreamed of!
When it comes to weight loss, there are many misconceptions. Some of these misconceptions are passed down through the generations, while others are assumptions that simply aren’t aligned with how the body actually works. Below are some of the most common myths we hear, and how the right weight loss program can help you achieve your goals.
When most people hear the word “diet”, they associate it with a fad diet designed for weight loss. The fact of the matter is we all have a diet. Even if your current eating habits are unhealthy, they constitute as a diet. The problem with fad diets is that most are not designed to be a realistic long-term approach to nutrition. They are designed to shed the weight quickly, but some of these fads are so restrictive that you cannot maintain them for any sustained period of time. A lot of times, the second you fall off the wagon, the weight comes right back on. So yes, you might have great success with a fad diet, but because you have not made any long-term dietary changes—you often gain the weight back and sometimes end up with more weight than when you started.
Your daily caloric intake may need to be decreased as part of your weight loss plan, but skipping meals is not the way to achieve this goal. We must remember that food is fuel, and that our bodies require the vitamins, nutrients, and even the calories in our daily meals. Instead the goal should be to improve the quality of the foods you eat, and to spread your calories out throughout the day. In fact, most weight loss programs actually include snacking in between meals. The goal of a diet is not starve your body and that is exactly what you are doing when you skip meals.
Even if the number on the scale is far higher than you would like, your main goal with losing weight should not be the related to your scale. When you focus only on weight, it is too easy to get discouraged. Instead, make improved overall health and wellness your goal, and focus on that. For example, notice your increased energy, reduced pain, increased flexibility, inch loss and your increasing endurance. Those are all signs you are heading in the right direction and that the weight loss will follow.
Going it alone, simply doesn’t work for everyone. While our bodies all essentially work the same, each of us is unique. This means that your approach to weight loss, and your overall health goals, should be unique. One of the many benefits of working with a weight loss team is that they are able to fully personalize your weight loss plan. From functional fitness, designed to maximize results, to chiropractic care designed to balance your body and reduce weight-related pain, to medical procedures that help to accelerate your weight loss process. The options are unlimited.
At Whitehall Health Centre & Laser spa, we expose you to a versatile selection of long-term health solutions—designed to help you lose weight, and keep it off! Stop procrastinating and call our weight loss staff today!
Get to know the link between chronic pain and depression, and what you can do to find relief.
It’s common knowledge that chronic pain can result in various medical conditions and other physical discomforts. But living each day with pain can also affect a patient’s emotional well-being.
Before we discuss the way chronic pain can result in symptoms of depression, let’s first discuss what exactly chronic pain is. Chronic pain is pain that lasts much longer than what’s expected based on the original condition or injury. Conditions such as neuropathy, arthritis, and herniated discs can often result in chronic pain.
When your pain becomes chronic, your body may react in different ways including changes in brain hormones, energy, mood and physical performance. Chronic pain can also make it difficult to sleep, which may result in fatigue and low productivity during the day.
Studies show that those who suffer from chronic pain are more likely to experience symptoms of depression including change in weight, difficulty sleeping, fatigue and difficulty thinking or focusing. According to WebMD, depression can also lead to worsened conditions and heightened pain, which creates a kind of pain-depression cycle. This cycle can, in part, be explained through biological connections.
Feelings of chronic pain and depression share some of the same neurotransmitters, or chemicals that deliver messages from the nerves to the brain. They also share some of the same nerves. Additionally, depression can magnify pain and reduce coping skills which can lead to anger, chronic anxiety, stress and lack of motivation. Over time, as these symptoms build to physical deconditioning, it can result in a decrease in physical health and an increase in chronic pain.
When left untreated, the cycle of chronic pain and depression can be difficult to break. However, there are several treatment options available to help relieve both conditions.
Unlike many medical professionals, chiropractors don’t just look at one area of your body to treat. Chiropractors focus on whole-body wellness by studying how each area of your body affects the others. Chiropractors will work with you to identify the source of your pain and develop a customized treatment plan that relieves your immediate pain and helps your body heal.
According to the American Psychological Association, cognitive talk therapy has been shown to help relieve some types of chronic pain. Cognitive therapy teaches patients to identify the negative thoughts they automatically associate with chronic pain. These thoughts—such as “I’ll never feel better,” or “there’s nothing that can help me”—are often distortions of reality that can make a patient feel hopeless and worsen symptoms of depression. By teaching patients to identify these thoughts, cognitive therapy can help them change their thought patterns and improve their experiences with pain.
People experiencing pain often avoid fitness programs, which can lead to physical deconditioning and weight gain. This weight gain can result in increased pain. If performed correctly, exercise can improve a patient’s physical condition and relieve pain. Exercise may also reduce symptoms of depression by releasing endorphins, the same brain chemicals that antidepressant medications are used to release.
Do you perform exercises to relieve pain? Would you try talk therapy? Tell us about it in a comment below!
Exercise is an important part of keeping your body healthy, including your spine. However, a herniated disc or pinched nerve can limit the movements you can perform while working out. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of do’s and don’ts to build strength in your back while nursing a slipped disc back to health.
Before we discuss which exercises can strengthen and heal your back, let’s be clear about movements you should avoid.
Repetitive, improper or sudden twists to your back can actually cause disc herniation. For this reason, performing exercises that require you to twist your back, even gentle yoga exercises, can worsen your bulging disc.
Exercises that require you to keep your legs straight place more pressure on your discs than bent leg exercises. Performing sit-ups with straight legs, bending over to touch your toes, or sitting with rigid straight legs, can place strain on your discs and worsen your pinched nerve.
Although running doesn’t usually cause disc herniation, it can worsen an existing herniated disc. Because your discs work as shock absorbers for your back, running can put too much pressure on your spine and further injure a bulging disc.
Not all weight lifting is bad for herniated discs. However, bending over and quickly pulling a weight into position can shock your spine, and pushing weight up into the air while lying down also strains your back. If you do choose to lift weights, decrease the amount significantly from what you’re used to lifting so you can completely control your movements, or practice proper form without weights before starting.
Extending your back may sound like a painful task when you’re suffering from a herniated disc, but performing exercises that focus on the extension, or arching, of your back actually reduces pressure on your pinched nerves and relieves pain while strengthening the muscles surrounding your discs and preventing degenerative disc disease. The following are a few examples of safe back extension exercises that you can perform. You can also check out video tutorials for each of the following exercises here.
This movement involves lying on your stomach and gently arching your back so that your chest is facing the wall in front of you. The gentle arch in your back helps to alleviate pain and pressure caused by a bulging disc.
Begin by lying on your stomach and placing a small pillow or rolled towel under your hips. Keep your arms at your sides. Slowly and gently contract your lower back muscles to lift your upper body off the floor. Hold for three seconds, then release back down to the floor. This movement strengthens and stabilizes your lower back muscles.
Start by lying on your stomach with a pillow or towel under your mid section. Extend both of your arms in front of you and contract your abdominal muscles as you slowly lift your left leg and right arm. Hold for three seconds; then, release and switch sides.
Consult your chiropractor before exercising, especially if you’re trying something new. When exercising with a herniated disc, stop immediately if you experience pain.
What is your favorite stretch? Have you exercised with a herniated disc? Tell us in a comment below!
New Year’s resolutions are all about making time during the day to improve your health and wellness for the year to come. But you may not realize that you can actually make a significant impact on your well-being while you’re asleep, too! That’s why we’ve compiled these tips on how to get on track to a healthier lifestyle by sleeping better in 2015.
If you lay down with your laptop in bed for work or assignments, you will associate it with the stress and anxiety that go with those tasks. Reserving your bed only for sleep and relaxing activities will tell your body that its time to wind down and sleep.
Melatonin is a hormone that occurs naturally in your body and is controlled by light exposure. During the day, when you are exposed to high amounts of natural light, you feel more awake because your body does not produce as much melatonin. At night, when it’s dark, your body releases more melatonin so that you begin to feel sleepy. For this reason, melatonin production and light exposure are key components to a healthy sleep-wake schedule. If you spend long hours inside an office, away from natural light exposure, you’ll start to feel groggy. So, take breaks throughout the day to go outside, or even stand in front of a window for natural light exposure.
Try setting a time to go to bed and wake up, and stick with it every night – even on weekends when it’s tempting to stay up later. Setting a consistent sleep-wake time helps develop a sleep schedule for your body and promotes better sleep. If you plan on staying out later on the weekends, gradually adjust your sleep time by going to bed fifteen minutes later every night so that your body is prepared for Friday and Saturday.
“But I like the sounds of the tv while I’m sleeping.” That’s a common excuse used by those who have difficulty sleeping at night. However, watching TV or spending long hours in front of a phone or computer screen, or reading from an iPad, is actually far more detrimental than helpful for healthy sleep. At night, when it’s dark, your body should naturally release more melatonin to make you feel sleepy. However, bright, unnatural light from the screens can prevent the production of melatonin and disrupt your body’s natural sleep pattern. If you need sound to help you fall asleep, try purchasing a nature sounds soundtrack or create white noise by placing a standing fan, turned on low, in the corner of your room.
If your room is too hot or too cold, your ability to sleep will be affected. Experts suggest keeping your room slightly cool (around 65° F or 18° C) so that you can comfortably cuddle into your warm blankets.
Many people who have difficulty sleeping become anxious at night because they are focusing on the wrong thing – they’re focusing on trying to fall asleep instead of relaxing. If you focus on relaxing your body and calming your mind, healthy, deep sleep will naturally follow. If you’re having difficulty falling asleep, remind yourself that, although they can’t replace sleep, relaxing and resting can still help rejuvenate your body. You can also try practicing a relaxation technique such as breathing deeply and visualizing a peaceful setting like a waterfall or beach.
Try to plan your last meal so that it’s earlier in the evening and avoid eating heavy foods within two hours of going to bed. If you’re usually hungry before bed, try snacking on a light meal that includes both tryptophan and carbohydrates such as half of a turkey sandwich, a banana, granola with yogurt, or whole-grain, low sugar cereal with low-fat milk.
Although drinking an adequate amount of liquids is important during the day, drinking too much before bed can result in having to wake up to use the restroom. In addition to water, juice and teas, avoid caffeinated drinks or alcohol before bed. Caffeinated drinks are natural diuretics and stimulants, which will keep you up all night. Although alcohol can help you fall asleep initially, it does not promote deep or comfortable sleep and may cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.
How do you relax at night? Do you get enough natural light during work? Tell us about it in a comment below.