Meet our Yoga Instructor- Andrea McLaughlin


 

 

Andrea has been practicing yoga for about seven years. In 2014, a job relocated her from Detroit, Michigan to the Pacific Northwest, where she began to fall more deeply in love with yoga. She found that movement through yoga helped her with the transition physically, mentally and emotionally.

Andrea practices yoga daily and believes that with regular practice one can truly begin to feel the benefits on the inside and out. She teaches her students to use the breath as a guide, and encourages them to bring a deeper awareness to the sensations in their body. She believes that the body can be used as a communication tool, if we listen in to what it is telling us. Andrea brings strength, endurance, focus and balance to her classes through the yoga postures.

Some benefits of yoga include: increased flexibility, strength and endurance, self-awareness, mind-body balance, stress management, improved breathing, increased energy, cardiovascular health, protection from injury, improved athletic performance, better posture, boosts the immune system, lifts the mood, improves focus, aids sleep, helps digestion, eases pain and more.

One of Andrea’s goals is to create a class environment where everyone can feel welcome, no matter their background or skill level. Part of yoga is acceptance of ourselves and others as we are, without judgment or criticism.

Andrea is kind and compassionate, and has a sincere interest in helping others. Her warmth and joyful spirit make her classes meaningful and enjoyable for all. Yoga has inspired her to take her own health to the next level, and she carries this forward as she teaches her students.

When she is not on her yoga mat, Andrea enjoys outdoor activities like hiking and paddle boarding, loves to create healthy food in the kitchen and spends time volunteering at the animal shelter.

Andrea McLaughlin, 200 Hour RYT

Chirobody’s Role in my Health Care


Chirobody’s focus is to help you achieve your performance and health goals! We use evidence based chiropractic services, nutrition, rehab, soft tissue work, and exercise to deliver effective results quickly.

Chiropractic adds years to life and life to years.

Chiropractic addresses the cause, not the symptom.

Reduce Neck and Shoulder Tension while at your Desk


In an ideal world, we would all be moving our bodies throughout the day, helping to keep our muscles and joints loose and flexible. Unfortunately, sitting is the norm for most people, and sitting tends to do just the opposite. It makes our joints and muscles stiff and sore, promotes poor posture, and over long periods of time can trigger the start of degenerative conditions like arthritis. So, if you don’t have the option to use a standing desk at work and you are forced to sit for long periods, here are a few exercises and stretches that you can do right in your office throughout the day to help minimize the damage of sitting.

Self-deep tissue release

Using a tennis ball, lacrosse ball, golf ball, or something similar, start massaging into your upper chest and out towards your shoulder. Use moderate pressure. Expect this to be tender and uncomfortable but don’t press so hard you are tensing up. As a rule of thumb, only push hard enough to reach a 5-6/10 on the pain scale. Work both sides for 2-3 minutes.

Pec and shoulder stretch

For this stretch, find a doorway or wall that you can use. Place your arms in the doorway about shoulder or head height and slowly lean through the door. You should feel this stretch in the front of your shoulders and chest. Again, this may be uncomfortable, but you should be able to take slow deep breaths in and keep your body relaxed as you hold for 30 seconds.

Postural Muscle Activation

After releasing and stretching the tightened muscles, it’s time to activate the muscles in our upper and mid backs that often get turned off when we sit with slouched posture. Doing this will help keep your shoulders and neck aligned with the rest of your body, helping to maintain good posture.  Start with your arms down by your hips. Twist your hands so your palms face forward and your thumbs point outward. Gently pull your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades together (imagine you are trying to squeeze a tennis ball between your shoulder blades). The key to this exercise is that your upper traps (muscles at the top of your shoulders) don’t tense up. Squeeze and hold gently for 2-3 seconds, relax and repeat 5-10 times.

FAQs ABOUT PEDIATRIC CHIROPRACTIC


 

Why should children be under chiropractic care?
Throughout the developmental changes of childhood, children often experience many different stressors, whether it’s chemical, physical or emotional. Before the age of two, infants will experience hundreds of tumbles and falls as they learn to sit, crawl and eventually walk.

How are infants adjusted?
When it comes to the adjustment of an infant, it is very different then an adjustment of an adult that usually results in a “popping” sound. Instead infants receive a light and gentle pressure to remove stress from the body. The pressure used on an infant can be compared to causing a tomato to dimple with a fingertip.

How often should my child be checked by a Chiropractor?
There is no specific schedule on how often a child should be checked by a chiropractor. A simple rule of thumb for a healthy and asymptomatic child is at least around every major milestone. These milestones include the following: learning to crawl, sitting up, and walking. The frequency will also vary on the overall health of the child. Many parents have their children checked on a regular basis to ensure their children are on the road to optimal growth and development.

What are some common conditions a pediatric Chiropractor sees?                            Although chiropractic care does not directly treat medical conditions, parents often notice with regular chiropractic care they show improvement, if not, alleviate symptoms all together. The following are common conditions seen in our office: torticollis, colic, reflux, constipation, ear infections, asymmetrical crawling, difficulty nursing/painful latch, and milestone delays.

 What is the first step?
The first step is to find a Chiropractor who has experience in adjusting infants, children, and adolescents. Dr. Stephanie Smith at Chirobody has completed over one hundred and eighty hours of continuing education with the International Pediatric Chiropractic Association to have the ability to provide safe and reliable chiropractic care to the pediatric population.

Please contact our office to schedule your child’s initial appointment with Dr. Stephanie and start them early on a path of health and wellness. To reach our office call (425) 338-5537

3 WAYS TO HELP YOU RELAX


On a recent trip to Southern Italy, I was able to experience for myself the health benefits of relaxing in a stunningly beautiful environment.  I was able to clear my mind and calm much of the stress that had been weighing on my shoulders over the past several months.  When I returned I was able to return to work with much more energy than I had before.

In hindsight, it seems strange that I had seriously considered cancelling the trip. Why? I was in the midst of starting a new job and closing down an acupuncture clinic I had ran for over a decade.  My life was in upheaval and my mind had become poisoned by one nagging thought.  “Should I really be taking time for myself right now?”  It is the poison that plagues so many of us.  We are a nation of workaholics.  Nowhere was this more evident than in the laid-back atmosphere of Southern Italy.

The way I see it, relaxation is part of the three important “goods” when it comes to health; a good diet, good relationships and good attitude towards life.  A workaholic, stressful life is not a healthy life.  Relaxation has numerous physical, mental and spiritual health benefits. It relaxes our muscles (including the heart) and improves circulation, it improves immune function, gives us better mental clarity and a greater sense of well-being, and much more.  Part of our good attitude towards life should be taking time to relax and savor the life that we have been given.  In contrast, the stressful life that most of us live encourages us to eat poorly, not take time to relax and work ourselves to an early grave.

As an acupuncturist, I have many patients that come to me seeking to ease the stress they feel in their daily lives.  To be sure, one of the great benefits of acupuncture is that it relaxes the body and calms the mind.  It can quickly produce the same results that we would feel from a day of relaxing. This was the strangest discovery when I first started working as an acupuncturist.  Acupuncture is deeply relaxing.

Unfortunately, acupuncture is not enough by itself.  We must make relaxation part of our lives.  That means we must plan to relax.  As strange as it seems, relaxation often needs to be planned for, scheduled and kept to,  just as if it were a business appointment.  The health benefits are too great to let the days, weeks and months slip by with little or no “down time”.   So what to do?  Below are three recommendations from simple to more committed that will give you the down time you crave.

1) Take Time to Meditate

Give at least 40 minutes per week to meditation.  In my experience it always takes at least twenty to thirty minutes to calm your mind and reap the benefits of meditation.  These days you don’t even have to join a class, there are plenty of guided meditations on Youtube and other websites.  I have included some links below for guided meditations.  You need no expertise or experience to meditate.  You just need to relax and breathe for 20 minutes at a time.  I almost always feel more energized after meditation and that energy last for hours.  It is well worth the time investment.

2) Give One Day a Month to do Nothing

By nothing, I mean no agenda, no plan, no people to meet with, or cook for, or to entertain.  Absolutely no email or texting if you can avoid it.  What should you do?  Read a favorite book, have a long picnic with friends, take a hike.  Whatever leaves you feeling more relaxed and energized.  If a day seems impossible, try 4 or 8 hours.

3) Plan your Next Vacation and Take it

Start planning your next vacation; air flights, hotels, restaurants to visit, activities, whatever you want.  Find out how much it would cost to go right now and start putting aside some “commitment money”.  How committed are you to going? $5, $10, $20, $100, $1,000 per week.  You pick your commitment level and how soon you want to go.  Make sure that you plan for no interruptions while you are on vacation.  Also, sign up for alerts from any of the places you researched.  You may want to pull the trigger early on your vacation if a good deal shows up!

 

Anthony Thompson

Acupuncturist

 

A few resources to get you started:

10 Health Benefits of Relaxation from Huffington Post

20 minute Yoga Nidra guided meditation

20 minute Mindfullness guided meditation

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