Monthly Archives: April 2012

Incredible India

I have been to India four times now with Palmer College of Chiropractic as a faculty doctor.  For those of you unfamiliar with the program, doctorial students who are three to six months away from graduation, volunteer their time and money to go around the world to help open free Chiropractic clinics.  This marvelous phenomenon happens three times a year and I have had the privilege to go on six trips now, one as a student and five as a faculty doctor.

We have seen some amazing people with some extraordinary problems in India.  Even though the people we see are suffering, they are so grateful for my care that they receive.  I don’t know who has the greatest healing on these adventures, the patients or me.

I thought I would post some pictures of a couple of the patients I helped to see in India.  Some of the stories are heartbreaking, but overall they all manage to keep a glimmer of hope of health.

This is what this beautiful little girl’s right hip looks like inside.  It’s not there…a severe bone infection ate her femur away, but she still loves everything life gives her.

Helping to realign a girls pelvis after she had leg lengthening surgery to give her one more inch in height.  You can see where they broke her legs and repined them so she would grow more.

India is incredible.  The heat, dust, smells, children, love and laughter.  There really is no place like it, and moments like this really make it all worth it!

Why Water?

You need water to live.  It helps with every function in your body.  It is the major component in muscles, blood,bones and your brain.  Yet, a question I still get asked a lot in practice is “How much water should I be drinking everyday?”.  It’s a simple question, yet the answer varies based on your activity level, your health and even where you live.

Water is vital to the proper function of your body.  It helps to flush out toxins and waste, it helps carry nutrients to your organs, tissues and cells and it helps to keep things “moisturized” in your body – like your joints, throat, mouth, and nose.

Yet, as much water you intake through beverages and food all day, you lose just as much.  Through breathing, perspiration, urinationand bowel movements, you have to continually replenish the water reserve in your body or you will become dehydrated.

Dehydration can lead to all types of problems including a dry, sticky mouth, chapped lips, thirst, sleepiness or tiredness, dry skin, headaches, constipation, dizziness or lightheadedness.  So if you are feeling any of these symptoms, have a large glass of water to help restore your water balance.

One of the easiest ways to determine how hydrated you are, is by urine colour.  If it is clear or light yellow, you are hydrated; dark yellow or amber coloured, you may be suffering from dehydration.

Most people have heard about the 8×8 rule of water.  Drink 8, 8oz (~230mL) glasses of water a day or about 2L of water in total.  Another way to to figure it out is to drink half you body weight in ounces of water…So if you weigh 150lbs (68kg’s), you should try and drink 75 ounces (~2.2L).  The math isn’t quite as easy in metric.

Not just water counts as fluid.  Food intake can account for about 20% of your fluid intake, where if you eat more fruits and vegetables this may increase.  For example, foods such as tomatoes and watermelon are almost 90% water.  Other beverages such as milk and juice count as well.   Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and tea, can count towards your daily intake, as long as they are drank in moderation.  If you consume more than 5-7 cups a day (500-600mg of caffeine) that’s when the diuretic or dehydrating effect can occur.  Unfortunately, caffeine can make you jittery, anxious and unable to sleep if consumed in large amounts.

You need to increase your daily levels of fluid if you are exercising.  For short exercise periods (less than an hour) increase by 500mL or about 2 cups of water.  For longer exercise periods (more than an hour), increase fluid intake by what type of activity you are doing, intensity and duration.

Another factor that may increase your need for water is the environment you live in.  Hot and humid areas can make you sweat thereby increasing the amount of water you need.  Elevation can also play a part because it may trigger more urination and more rapid breathing, making your body use more water then normal.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you need additional water to hydrate your baby!  The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant ladies drink at least 2.3L (~10 cups) and breastfeeding moms drink around 3.1L (~13 cups) of fluids a day.

Illness with vomiting, diarrhea or fever also increases your need to stay hydrated.  You may also consider oral rehydration beverages such as Gatorade, Powerade, Pocari Sport Drinks or rehydration salts.  Other conditions that require more water intake are kidney stones or Urinary Tract Infections.  Consultation with your doctor may be necessary for some conditions.

Overall the best drink of choice is WATER! It is calorie-free, caffeine-free, readily available and just what your body wants and needs.  Go have a glass now…your body will thank you for it!

Yours in Health and Hydration,

Dr. Vanda

Forward Head Posture

One of the most common posture problems today is Forward Head Position/Posture. For every inch (2.54cm) that the head moves forward from its natural position, the upper muscles of you back and neck has to support TEN more pounds (4.5 kg) of weight. Forward head posture is one of the leading causes of neck and shoulder tension, pain and headaches. Forward head posture develops over the years as a result of an injury to the neck such as a sprain or strain of the cervical or upper thoracic spine. These injuries along with bad habits such as a poor sleeping or sitting positions, overuse of a mobile device such as texting or playing video games where the head is flexed at an acute angle for extended periods of time. Other causes such as heavy backpacks, sleeping wrong on a couch or reading at night with too many pillows all can lead to the epidemic of forward head posture. The repetition of multiple forward head movement combined with poor postures or situations and/or trauma causes the body to adapt a damaging forward head posture.


Forward head posture occurs when the head shifts forward from your body’s centre of gravity, to compensate the upper shoulders and thoracic spine move backwards causing the hips to tilt forward. This causes a domino effect with your posture, which leaves your spine out of alignment.


Forward head posture not only aesthetically unattractive, but it can damage your health. Long term stress on your cervical spine can lead to muscle strain, disc herniation and osteoarthritis of the spine, as well as affecting your overall wellbeing. Rene Cailliet, the former Director of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Director at U.S.C., has done extensive research into the area of posture and he states that “your body follows the head…your head held in a forward position can pull your entire body out of line.”

Cailliet has research that shows forward head posture reducing a person’s lung capacity by 30%, the gastrointestinal system is affected by the upper cervical tension, especially the large intestine. Also when a forward position of the cervical spine is present, the body becomes stiff and rigid and the entire range of motion is affected. When range of motion is affected, endorphin production decreases so overall pain and discomfort increases affecting the health and mood of the patient.


If you are suffering from forward head posture, you should be examined by a chiropractor who can evaluate your spine to check for any misalignments which may be causing the improper posture. Other simple things that you can do to help improve are correcting the ergonomics at work, home, school or in the car.


Doing a quick ergonomic check to make sure that you are sitting straight, not hunching over a computer or in your car seat. First, if you are actually conscious of the problem, it is easier to identify problems that are contributing to it. One quick tip is to sit up very straight and set your car mirrors, then as the day goes on, if you check your rear-view mirror while driving and can’t see anything, adjust yourself – not the mirror!

This is why we are making an effort in the Emirates to educate the public about the damaging effects of forward head posture and what people can do about it. We see more children with forward head posture than ever before. This can be detrimental to their overall health and wellbeing, now and in the future.

If you have any questions about your own posture or the posture of your child, please do not hesitate to contact me or another chiropractor in your area.

 Dr. Vanda 

Why Babies Cry

An interview for on why some infants may cry and what things parents can do to soothe the child.

Explore, Dream, Discover!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain


Photo taken at Sunset Beach in Dubai, UAE

This has always been one of my favourite quotes…it was one of the mantras I used when I set off halfway around the world, to a country I had only briefly visited, to embark on a unbelievable adventure.  I believe we mostly regret the things that we do not try or experience, and since one of my rules to live by is “no regrets”, I had to give it a shot!

So welcome to my blog! I will be sharing great information about health and wellness, and it’s not only eating and exercising right.  I believe, we as people, have amazing multiple dimensions that makes us human beings. I try and have great experiences with the time I have been given on this earth, and I hope to share some of them with you.

I have a vast amount of interests.  That’s why I have named this blog, “Love, Laugh, Adjust, Dance, Travel”, so anything that makes me do any of those things, may pop up on here from time to time!

So keep reading for things that contribute to my physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, maybe they just may help with yours.

Yours in health,

Dr. Vanda