David Knight's Knight Chiropractic

David Knight's Knight Chiropractic When you wake up stiff and sore, it shouldn't be taken lightly. Make Chiropractic a part of your con

In order for good health to be in the background, we need to take actions on our own behalf in the foreground. These various actions are all related to the healthy lifestyle we want to have. Chiropractic care is an important component of healthy lifestyle. Regular chiropractic care helps us get the most value out of our other healthy lifestyle choices, including nutritious food, regular vigorous e

xercise, and sufficient rest. Regular chiropractic care in the foreground helps us achieve the long-lasting good health we want to be experiencing in the background.

Activities
10/12/2016

Activities

01/14/2016

Common heart test will zap you full of radiation
by Dr. Mark Stengler
I knew of a guy who was convinced he had a rodent problem in the basement. He laid out some traps... but caught nothing.
He hired an exterminator, who found no signs of a rodent problem. He finally tore off the paneling to look behind the wall, and he still found nothing. When all was said and done, he spent thousands of dollars to "fix" a rodent problem he didn't even have!

Take a look around you. We damage our bodies with tests and screenings we don't need for conditions we don't have. Many of those tests and screenings involve radiation, which might help detect one condition... but at the price of causing cancer years down the road. And it certainly doesn't help that U.S. radiologists routinely use much higher doses of radiation than necessary, according to new research. Take, for example, the common nuclear stress test. It's supposed to use minimal radiation, but three out of four American patients are given a higher dose. Half the patients are getting about 20 percent more than the recommended safe limit of >9.6 millisieverts (mSv), a unit used to measure the amount of radiation absorbed by the body. These are considered low levels of radiation by the mainstream, but they're not low enough. Exposure to even 10 mSv will lead to a deadly cancer later in roughly 1 in 2,000 cases. On paper, that might be a small increase in risk -- and if the nuclear stress test were the only radiation you were ever exposed to, maybe you'd never think twice about it... but it's not. In addition to stress tests, there are angiograms... arteriograms... bone scans... PET scans... CT scans... and more. You even get walloped with big doses of radiation every time your dentist wants a new set of pictures of your pearly whites. At some point, you have to put your foot down and say, "ENOUGH!"

It's not that you never need those tests. Sometimes, you do. But sometimes you don't, and there are times when you can ask for alternative options such as

12/22/2015

Workplace Stress Can Be Deadly
By Editorial Staff

We all experience stress in our jobs, even if we're working at our "dream job." That's because every job entails a certain amount of responsibility. Unless you don't care a bit about your job – in which case, you won't be employed much longer – you make every effort to fulfill your responsibilities; and that can cause stress, particularly when you're "under the gun" in terms of a project, deadline, presentation, etc.

Workplace stress also can manifest because your job is your source of income, and the prospect of losing that income (which in most cases, is always a threat, whether real or perceived) can be frightening. Add in the sometimes-contentious interactions with your boss, co-workers and other parties with whom you interact, and that stress can simmer slowly or boil over in a moment's notice.

work stress - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark
But can stress actually be deadly? Yes, suggests a recent review study by Stanford University and Harvard Business School that evaluated the impact of 10 workplace stressors (including some of the stressors discussed above) on four health outcomes. After analyzing 228 studies, the researchers found "job insecurity increases the odds of reporting poor health by about 50%, high job demands raise the odds of having a physician-diagnosed illness by 35%, and long work hours increase mortality by almost 20%."

Most people have enough stress in their lives - add workplace-related stress and you could be concocting a recipe for disaster. Two solutions: Find ways to better manage the sources of stress (so you don't experience stress int he first place; or learn how to reduce the impact stress has on you when it inevitably rears its ugly head.

10/31/2015

Vitamin D is called the “sunshine vitamin” because the body produces it through sun exposure. But about 3 out of 4 Americans aren’t getting all the vitamin D they need. (Photo by Vladimir Serov/Blend Images/Corbis)

How much vitamin D should you take? Our current guidelines suggest identical amounts for 1-year-old kids all the way to 70-year-old adults. But new research has disproved this one-size-fits-all dosage, suggesting we consider one factor over all others — your weight.

First, a little background
There are two different vitamin D dosage recommendations floating around out there. The official Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) from the Institute of Medicine does not account for body size — suggesting that folks of varying heights and weights consume an identical dose. The Endocrine Society, on the other hand, recommends that obese adults take two to three times more vitamin D in order to meet their body’s needs.

Canadian researchers published the first large study to confirm the Endocrine Society’s recommendations for obese individuals. The study also adds that overweight people need extra vitamin D as well.

Low vitamin D levels are linked to a higher risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and of dying from cancer and heart disease. The vitamin also helps the body absorb calcium, a mineral that keeps your bones strong.

Why your weight matters when you take vitamin D
Vitamin D is most useful to the body when it’s in the bloodstream. That’s why experts use a serum vitamin D blood test to assess whether a person is deficient in the vitamin. But vitamin D is also fat soluble, meaning that it’s absorbed by body fat.

“So if you have a large body with lots of body fat, then that’s where the vitamin D goes,” said study author Paul J. Veugelers, director of the Population Health Intervention Research Unit at the University of Alberta in Canada.

Body fat cells absorb vitamin D quickly, removing it from the blood, Veugelers told Yahoo Health. When that happens, the vitamin isn’t available for the metabolic processes that use it. In order to reach a healthy blood level of vitamin D, therefore, an obese person needs to supplement with more vitamin D than a normal-weight person.

10/20/2015

By Deborah Wilburn

If you suffer from arthritis, stretching and flexing on a yoga mat may seem like the last thing you’d want to do. But gentle yoga poses may be just what you need to help ease the joint pain that comes with arthritis. In a report published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, researchers reviewed the results of nine studies conducted between 2010 and 2013. They found that in the majority of the cases, arthritis sufferers who took yoga classes saw benefits such as less pain, swelling, stiffness -- and less stress.

About Exercise for Chronic Pain

Exercises like stretching, yoga and pilates are great ways to relieve chronic pain, but it's important to make sure you're doing the right exercise for your condition. Get expert tips on the best exercise plan to soothe your chronic pain.

09/25/2015

Simple Fix for Back Pain
Published: September 24, 2015
Publication: Bottom Line's Household Magic
Source: Joan Wilen & Lydia Wilen
Back_Pain

Do you feel a familiar twinge in your lower back that signals nonstop back pain to come? Here’s what to do…

When you have the feeling that your back is about to go out, you need to take the stress off that part of your body. Gather enough books or throw pillows to equal about a seven-inch stack, and carefully lie down on the floor. Rest your head on the books (or pillows), and raise your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor, about a foot apart. Put your heels as close to your t**h as possible. Now relax that way for 15 minutes.

Many experts (such as this doctor) believe that most back pain is mind over matter. Use this 15-minute relax time to expand your mind, think optimistic thoughts and plan ways to take control of your life.

When 15 minutes has gone by, stand up by rolling over on your side and slowly lifting yourself, letting your hands and arms do most of the work instead of putting the pres­sure on your back. That twinge should be history.

08/24/2015

Good info from Dr.Stengler
Deadly fat secret raises your death risk by more than a third

There's a secret ingredient hidden in your food -- one that in most cases you won't find mentioned on the label. But if you eat processed foods, you can bet it's in there... and you can bet it's killing you.

It's trans fat, the dangerous unnatural fat used to improve taste, add texture and extend shelf life -- and a new study finds that eating it will increase your risk of death from all causes by 34 percent.

Those same unnatural fats will boost your risk of death from congenital heart disease by 28 percent.

Don't have congenital heart disease? Trans fats can actually cause it, increasing your risk of developing this often-deadly condition by 21 percent.

That makes trans fats the MOST dangerous fat of any kind.

Saturated fats are often demonized, but in moderate amounts can play a helpful role in the body.

Trans fats, on the other, are all risk and no benefit. But what really makes them so dangerous is that most people don't even know when they're eating them.

Because the FDA allows food makers to round levels of less than half a gram per serving down to zero. In other words they can put "ZERO TRANS FATS!" on the label even when they contain dangerous amounts.

And that trans-fat ban you've likely heard about? It's not a ban at all.

The industry is actually allowed to keep using trans fats with permission. Right now, they're currently negotiating with the feds to keep using trans fats in dozens of product categories.

Some of them might stun you.

Did you know that some tea bags contain small amounts of trans fats? Most people don't -- but they're in there, and the industry is fighting tooth and nail to keep putting trans fats into tea bags.

They also negotiating to continue to use trans fats in shortening, breaded chicken, pancake mix and more.

Altogether, they're petitioning the FDA for permission to use trans fats in at least 50 product categories -- and you can bet the feds will sign off on most if not all of them.

So much for that "ban."

You have to take matters -- and your health -- into your own hands here.

Check all labels carefully and look for anything "partially hydrogenated" (sometimes abbreviated as "PHO" for "partially hydrogenated oils"). The hydrogenation process is what creates trans fats, so anything partially hydrogenated is bound to have trans fats even if the label claims it's "trans fats free."

And whenever possible buy fresh foods and make your own meals from scratch instead. It will taste better, be better for you and you won't have to worry about trans fats.

God bless,

Dr. Mark Stengler

08/10/2015

If you are someone who puffs up with water retention in the warm weather, the prospect of cooler days might be a relief (although damp, heavy weather can make you swell up, too). Or you may be someone whose calves, ankles and feet are often a little “cushiony” with water retention despite the weather. They may be so cushiony that they dimple when you press into them. That kind of swelling can be painful, too—and it can be a sign of a serious health problem, even a medical emergency. But for most people who deal with limb swelling—men and women alike—it is simply a recurring nuisance that a doctor may or may not be able to diagnose. Here are some surefire remedies to soothe the swelling…
WHY WE SWELL
Swelling caused by fluid buildup is called edema (pronounced "ih-dee-mah"). When it affects only your arms, legs, hands and feet, it is called peripheral edema. We retain water because blood vessels in our arms, legs, hands and feet expand, or dilate. This dilation can be caused by hot or humid weather or a number of other causes. The dilation makes it easier for fluid to leak out of blood vessels into surrounding tissue, causing the tissue to swell. Sitting or standing in one position for a long time without moving makes the swelling worse because gravity just pulls all that fluid down to pool in your hands, legs and feet.
RELIEF FOR SWOLLEN LIMBS
Besides weather-related effects on blood vessels, the reason why some people swell can’t always be figured out, but common disease-related causes of swelling are kidney cardiovascular disease. Whether a doctor can or cannot pinpoint the cause of peripheral edema, he or she too often prescribes a diuretic and suggests that you cut back on salt.
Although cutting back on salt may be great advice, taking a diuretic may not be unless the swelling is related to high blood pressure or high blood pressure medication. But there are safe, natural ways to relieve swelling…
• Leg elevation. Keep your legs elevated while sitting for prolonged periods. Yes, put a comfy, compact ottoman under your desk...or put your legs up and rest your feet on that extra chair. Also, prop your feet up on a few pillows while lying on the sofa or in bed. Don’t just bear with swelling because, if it happens often, it can cause your skin and tissue to stretch and change. It can also lead to more serious and lasting edema.
• Walking breaks. If you really can’t plop your feet up on a chair in a place where you regularly spend time—such as in an office or another "noncasual" setting—then make a point of getting up from the chair and taking five-minute walking breaks every hour or so. This increases circulation and gets your lymphatic system to pump out excess fluid.
• Compression stockings. If you need to stand for a long time during the day, wear support hose or compression knee-highs or stockings. These help blood circulation between your feet and your heart—with one benefit being more spring in your step. In fact, athletes often use compression stockings to enhance their performance.
• Massage your hands. Swollen hands? To enhance circulation and lymphatic drainage, apply lotion to your hands and massage one hand and then the other, starting with the fingertips and moving down the hand to the wrist. Also exercise the hands by holding them at chest level and clenching and unclenching them. To do this effectively, gently make a fist and then open your fist and spread your fingers. Massage and exercise your hands several times a day when edema is acting up.

07/14/2015

Essential Oils for Depression & Anxiety
June 18, 2015
By Donald M. Petersen, Jr.

The increase use of essential oils promotes greater research into their effectiveness. While not conclusive, recent studies have demonstrated benefits.

One such study was recently conducted to test using a blended essential oil that “consisted of lavender and bergamot oils.” Volunteers were treated with a placebo (control group) or the blended essential oil which “was applied topically to the skin of the abdomen of each subject.”

Results showed that “compared with placebo, blended essential oil caused significant decreases of pulse rate, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure, which indicated a decrease of autonomic arousal. At the emotional level, subjects in the blended essential oil group rated themselves as ‘more calm’ and ‘more relaxed’ than subjects in the control group.”

07/08/2015

To Your Health
November, 2012 (Vol. 06, Issue 11)

Don't Be Fooled by Food Labels
By Editorial Staff

Healthy eating is a definite trend these days, as more and more people – particularly parents – focus on providing balanced nutrition for themselves and their families. Food manufacturers understand this trend and have responded with various catch words and key phrases that lure the health-conscious eye.
But is what you're buying really all that healthy?

All-Natural: On the one hand, saying something is "all natural" these days is a big plus because so many foods are made with artificial ingredients and/or chemicals. If you want something that's truly all-natural, food with this label will fit the bill. However, keep in mind that just because something is "all natural" doesn't mean it's particularly healthy in terms of fat, calorie, sugar or sodium content. You can make cookies with all-natural ingredients – primarily sugar, butter and white flour – but you'll be consuming a whole lot of fat and sugar, and very little in the way of vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Sugar Free: Speaking of sugar, we live in a sugar-conscious world where artificial sweeteners rule the day and few people realize what they're consuming. Sugar-free diet sodas are the perfect example; people guzzle gallon upon gallon of the stuff every year, oblivious to evidence suggesting that artificial sweeteners are a) potentially dangerous, because in many cases they've been chemically altered / produced; and b) may still contribute to weight gain by stimulating the eating response. Moreover, many items labeled "sugar free" are also nutrient free. You might not be getting any real sugar, but you aren't getting much of anything else to fuel your body, either.

read the label - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Per Serving: This is perhaps the most deceptive label out there because people see "only 100 calories per serving" or "only 3 grams of fat per serving" and grab the food off the shelf without a thought. Potato chips and crackers often list relatively low fat / calorie counts per serving; but each serving is a mere 5-6 chips or crackers. Anyone you know eat only 5-6 chips or crackers at a single sitting? The average eater may work their way through triple or quadruple that amount, providing 3-4 times the servings – and 3-4 times the fat and calories.

The lesson here is to always read food labels thoroughly, do research when necessary so you know what you're buying / eating, and talk to your doctor of chiropractic for advice on how to pursue a healthy, balanced diet that gives you the nutrition your body needs.

05/21/2015

If you experience spinal pain, tingling, numbness, weakness, muscles spasms or swelling near your spine or arms and legs consult a healthcare professional. These are all warning signal signs from your body that something is wrong and needs your attention. Pain is how your body communicates its function with you. A car has dashboard warning lights that tell you when the car has a problem. If you chose to ignore the signals bad things are going to happen. Your body has its own warning light system. Start checking for the warning lights. Ignore them at your own risk.
Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD): This is not a real disease in the terms of how we think of them. DDD is term used to describe degeneration and excessive wear on the soft tissue disc structures between the spinal bones. It may come with age or from biomechanical asymmetries in movement causing excessive wear from overuse. Sort of like uneven treads on a car with imbalanced tires, one may be worse than the other. Although the degeneration cannot be reversed, once discovered there are strategies your chiropractor can implement rebalancing exercises and therapies to help prevent further damage.
Osteoarthritis: The breakdown of the tissue (cartilage) that protects and cushions joints. Arthritis often leads to painful swelling and inflammation from joints rubbing together. The increase in friction causes a protective pain response and excessive swelling where the body attempt to add artificial cushioning via swelling.
Herniated disc: A herniated disc is an abnormal bulge or breaking open of a protective spinal disc or cushioning between spinal bones. Patient's may or may not experience symptoms with a herniated disc. Disc diagnosis is conformed via a special imaging study called an MRI (\Magnetic Resonance Imaging) which observes soft and hard tissue structures. You cannot see or confirm a suspected disc herniation via normal spinal x-rays.
Spinal stenosis: The narrowing of the spinal canal the open space in the spine that holds the spinal cord. Stenosis is a more severe form of arthritis that typically causes radiating (referred pain down the arms or legs) from an irritated or compressed spinal nerve.

05/21/2015

What are some of the compensations your body develops and what can they tell you about spinal health?

Rounded Shoulders: This is a very common postural distortion resulting from more sedentary lifestyles. Hunching over in front of a computer screen hours on end simply feeds this dysfunction. This poor posture pattern adds increased stress to the upper back and neck because the head is improperly positioned relative to the shoulders. Common effects are headaches, shoulder, pain, neck pain and even tingling and numbness in the arms because of nerve compression by tight muscles.

Uneven shoulders: One shoulder higher than the other is indicative of a muscular imbalance or spinal curvature. You probably see this one on most people where one shoulder is migrating up towards the ear. Stand in front of a mirror and you can easily see if this asymmetry is present. You may also notice that one sleeve is longer than the other when you wear a shirt. This asymmetry is a common precursor for shoulder injuries, headaches, neck pain, elbow injuries and even carpal tunnel syndrome (tingling in the hands).

Uneven hips: Hips that are not level are like the foundation of a house that is not level. You begin to develop compensations further up the body so you remain balanced when walking. You develop altered spinal curvatures, shoulder positions, and head tilts. Your body has one primary purpose of maintaining symmetry and balance and it will do it whatever way is necessary. Signs of unbalanced hips may manifest in abnormal shoe wear typically on the outside edges and pants will fit unevenly in the leg length.

When you visit a chiropractor for a spinal evaluation some of the things they will search for during your evaluation are underlying signs of spinal damage that you can't see. Spinal x-rays are a safe and effective way to get look at your spine for damage or potential problems. Just like a dentist takes an x-ray of your teeth to see if you have cavities or problems with the bones below gum line. If problems are detected, corrective or preventive measures can be implemented to help your body function at optimum.

05/18/2015

What Your Spine Says About Your Health

By Perry Nickelston, DC, FMS, SFMA

You may have heard the saying, "the eyes are the window to the soul." There is another saying in the world of chiropractic, "your spine is the window to your health." How can the condition of your spine divulge so much information about overall health? Your spine is the central support column of your body and its primary role is to protect your spinal cord.
Think of it like the foundational frame of a house holding everything together. If the frame becomes dysfunctional many problems will begin to manifest themselves. The house begins to develop cracks, shifts, and structural problems. When your spinal foundation becomes dysfunctional you develop aches, pains, injuries, and other health related issues. The good news is you can do a simple spinal health checklist to determine if you may benefit from the expert intervention of a chiropractor or other healthcare professional. Becoming familiar with simple spinal anatomy, structure and function will help empower you to take control of your health.

Your spine is composed of 24 bones (vertebrae); 7 in the neck (cervical spine), 12 in the middle back (thoracic spine), 5 in the lower back (lumbar spine) and the base tailbone (sacrum). Your soft spinal cord is encased inside these 24 moveable hard vertebrae to protect it from injury. Your spinal column has three natural curvatures making it much stronger and more resilient than a straight design. There are cervical, thoracic, and lumbar curves designed with precise angles for optimum function. However, these curves are different than the abnormal curves associated with scoliosis and postural distortions. You may remember getting screened in school or your doctor for scoliosis when they had you bend over and touch your toes. This was an early checklist for spinal abnormalities. Through life's stresses, genetics, trauma, injuries, and neglect the spine can develop dysfunctions in these curvatures and the body must compensate by changing posture as a protective mechanism.
(to be continued next issue)

04/20/2015

A Nation of Obese Sitters
So, is sitting a healthy thing to do? It would appear not! At least not for long periods of time. In spite of significant evidence, the plain fact is we have become a nation of sitters. We sit at work, sit on the way to and from work, sit while we eat, and sit during the evening while watching TV. Among some of the other negative aspects of prolonged sitting, there is a correlation between the amount of time spent seated and the development of obesity. It's really no wonder we are becoming a nation of obese sitters.
There is ample evidence that sitting, whether at work or at home watching TV, has a negative effect. Studies show that prolonged sitting leads to an increase in childhood obesity, diabetes and even attention problems.

Perhaps the most important thing you can do is move more. Don't spend too long in any one position. Take the stairs rather than the elevator. Park far enough away from the store that you are forced to walk a bit. Take walks after lunch and dinner.

I'm always amused when a worker who has injured his/her back is given a temporary work assignment that involves seated work. The opportunity to sit at work is considered to be "light work." In reality, it comes with its own price.

I'm personally pleased to see the interest in the negative effects of sitting. Prolonged sitting leads to a variety of health problems, from obesity to back pain to postural fatigue. It behooves all of us, doctors and patients alike, to move around more.

03/19/2015

Low Back Pain & Vitamin D
March 17, 2015
By Donald M. Petersen, Jr.

A study entitled “Relationship between vitamin D deficiency and chronic low back pain in postmenopausal women” looked at how chronic low back pain may associated with vitamin D deficiency. Researchers found that for older women, “Vitamin D deficiency was significantly more common in patients suffering from chronic LBP than in controls.”

If you or someone you know suffers from chronic low back pain, ask your doctor of chiropractic to see if you are getting sufficient vitamin D.

03/05/2015

The Communicating Parent
As children get older, there will inevitably be conversations they don't want to have with their parent. It's important that you find their way around the wall of silence. The following strategies may help open the doors of communication:
• Date Night – Leave the cell phones and hand-held gaming devices at home and just talk.
• Running Errands – This is one of the best-kept secrets of parenting. Since the parent is focusing on the road, they aren't watching the child, and it becomes less intimidating for them to tell the parent things they normally might not be able to if they were looking their parent in the face.
• Dinner Talk – Eat at the table as a family; no television or electronics, just parents and the kids. Encourage them to talk about their day. Play "high and low" – go around the table and have each person share the best thing and worst thing that happened to them that day. Ask a different open-ended question each night – "What is something unusual that happened to you today?" "Tell me something amazing that happened today." "Complete this sentence: My day would've been awesome if..." Bring a little imagination to the dinner table.
• Bedtime Relaxation – Spend the last 5 minutes of the night with your child. For older children, talking to them in soothing tones about whatever topic catches their attention; for younger children, massage their feet, or rub their temples or backs. Engage with them in whatever feels comfortable, be the last thing they see before they go to sleep, and remind them they're safe. This includes infants; the American Medical Association advises parents, "Even though he doesn't understand what you're saying, your calm, reassuring voice is what he needs to feel safe."
• Electronic Curfew –If parents had nothing else to do (no distractions) it would be easier to engage with their children. Consider setting an "electronic curfew" in your home: set time each evening when all electronics get turned off. With the proliferation of smartphones and hand-held gaming devices, the average child may spend 50 hours or more in front of a screen each week. An electronic curfew may restrict this and increase the time available to converse.

Having fun with the snow.
03/03/2015

Having fun with the snow.

01/22/2015

Aging impacts serum magnesium levels . . .
If you fall into the category those doctor types like to call the “aging population,” your odds of impaired magnesium status are greater. Older adults take in even less dietary magnesium; nearly half of all older Americans fail to take in enough magnesium Plus, your gut’s ability to absorb magnesium slows down with age.

Magnesium is vital to cardiovascular health . . .
Magnesium is crucial to over 300 biochemical processes in your body. Renowned cardiologist Dr. Chauncey Crandall considers magnesium not only a fundamental mineral, but a fundamental cardiac nutrient. This once over-looked mineral not only supports overall cardiovascular health, but also promotes normal blood pressure levels and normal heart rhythm. A study reported in the American Heart Journal followed 13,922 middle-aged adults. The research concluded that magnesium levels correlate directly with overall heart health. Another study, this one published in the American Journal of Cardiology, found that adequate magnesium levels were associated with normal heart rhythm. Magnesium also supports healthy insulin levels, helps regulate nerve and muscle function, and performs many other important body functions.

01/06/2015

To Your Health
December, 2014 (Vol. 08, Issue 12)

Laugh a Little – It's Good for Your Brain
By Editorial Staff

Heard a good joke lately? If you haven't, you're missing out on a good laugh – and the wellness benefits humor appears to provide. According to a recent study, a good dose of humor beneficially impacts memory and stress, two variables that are particularly important as we age.

Researchers at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, Calif., compared the learning abilities of older adults who spent 20 minutes watching humorous videos vs.older adults who sat quietly for 20 minutes. Results showed that seniors who watched the humorous videos had a higher improved learning ability (38.5 percent vs. 24 percent), more than twice the delayed recall improvement (43.6 percent vs. 20.3 percent) and "significant decreases in salivary cortisol" (dubbed "the stress hormone").

The takeaway: Laugh a little! Go to a comedy show, watch a sit-com on TV, or find other ways to inject humor into your life, especially when you're stressed, depressed and/or not in the mood. It's exactly what your brain needs to lift your spirits, improve your memory – and so much more.

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