Technology Rewiring the Brains of our Children Part 2

Originally published in the ICS Journal, March 28, 2014 by Vijay Patel, DC
Kids with Education Tablet Computers 150x150 Technology Rewiring the Brains of our Children Part 2In my last article, I discussed how technology has improved our ability to access large volumes information and use it for improving productivity, efficiency and reducing waste. I also discussed how the use of technology is affecting our youth in potentially harmful ways regarding their ability to interact with the world around them. Some of the key negative results are: the inability to pick up on social cues, reduced concentration, and increased incident of violent behavior.

In this article, I will summarize data collected from The Kaiser Family Foundation Study. This study is one of the largest and most comprehensive of its kind. It includes data covering the amount and nature of media use among 8 to 18 year olds in America. The study size included 2,000 young people from across the country, and it included data covering various types of media including TV, computer, music, print, cell and movies. It is one of the only studies of its kind that covered time spent media multitasking.1

The Kaiser Family Foundation Study is also unique for the fact that it has completed its 3rd wave since 1999. In addition to the information it provides about media use by the young, it also is able to track the changes in media habits, as well. The initial study was released in 1999, the second in 2004 and the most recent in 2009. In searching for preliminary data for another wave of this study, it is not yet available; however, based on previous trends another may be expected later this year or the next. Though the results of the most recent study are 5 years old this year, they should not be disregarded, because the trends they demonstrate in media use and impact is clearly observable in the everyday life of our nation’s youth.

Some of the key findings of the study showed that between the 5 year period of 2004 and 2009 media usage jumped from a total of 6:21 (hours:minutes) to 7:38 on average. Taking into consideration media multitasking (using more than one medium at the same time), kids are able to pack in more than 10:15 of media content in that 7:38. Another important finding revealed that the use of every type of digital media increased over the past wave of the study with the exception of printed material (books), and, in fact, printed material use decreased slightly.

The increase in mobile and online media has been one of the key driving forces in the increased consumption of media by youth. In contrast to previous years when one could only watch TV content by sitting in front of the TV at a designated time. Now, anyone can watch almost anything whenever and wherever they want by use of smartphone, tablet and laptop. So, they are consuming media in their bedrooms, commuting, between classes and every other possible moment they can find to occupy their “downtime”.

This study also examined the relationship between media, grades and personal contentment. In order to compare the relationships, individuals were grouped into one of 3 categories: light users that accounted for 17% (<3 hrs/day), moderate users that accounted for 63% (3-16 hrs/day), and heavy users that accounted for 21% (>16 hrs/day). Grades were defined as good (A’s and B’s), and fair to poor (C’s and lower). The findings demonstrated that more than twice as many heavy media users relayed data that they usually get fair to poor grades compared to the light media users. Personal contentment was measured with statements that included: have a lot of friends, get along well with their parents, have been happy at school this year, are often bored, get into trouble a lot, and are often sad or unhappy. With the exception of have a lot of friends, all measures of contentment were inversely proportional to the amount of media use. The relationships between media and grades and media and personal contentment held up to controls that accounted for factors including: age, gender, race, parent education and family structure (one vs two parent household).

Other interesting points that the study revealed is that the highest level of media use was by the age group 11-14 year olds, 4 hours more than the 8-10 year old group and 30 minutes more than the 15-18 year old group. The greatest demographic increase in media use was ethnicity where the highest users were black and Hispanic demonstrating 4.5 hours more media per day than white. Gender difference found the boys averaged about 1 hour more than girls (table 3: Total media Exposure, by Demographics).

The study also revealed that in homes where rules governing media use were established; significantly less time (3-4 hrs.) was spent with media compared to households that did not have any rules on media use.

In my previous article in December, I discussed the negative impacts of increased technology use on young developing minds. These included an increase in physical, psychological and behavioral disorders. In order for us to help ones that are affected, we must understand than in order for any child to thrive they require movement, touch, human connection and exposure to nature. This type of exposure enables development of good posture, symmetric coordination (hand eye and focus), and concentration. Young children require about 2-3 hours per day of rough and tumble play to exercise vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile systems. Stimulation received through touching, hugging, and play is important for the development of cerebellum and planned movement patterns. Touch also activates the parasympathetic nervous system lowering cortisol, adrenaline and anxiety.2

With the findings of this study, and others like it, we as physicians have a responsibility to our youth to encourage further examination into the effects media is having on the minds of our youth as well as to educate parents on the importance of responsible use. Just as our EHR requires us to educate our patients about smoking cessation, weight/diet control, alcohol use and provide them with educational materials or counseling; we must do the same for the youth we treat. In the past 5 years, I have been seeing and treating an increasing number of youth for problems ranging from headaches, neck pain, upper back pain, and ADD/ADHD. Some of these conditions I have been able to attribute to long hours of media use. We should be able to communicate with the parents of our young patients and provide them with materials such as the Kaiser Family Foundation Study “Genereation M2” to help them better understand the potential impacts of unregulated media exposure.

References:

1. Rideout, Vicotris J.; Foehr, Ulla G.; Roberts, Donald F. Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds, The Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, January, 2010
2. Rowan, Cris. “The Impact of Technology on the Developing Child.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 29 May 2013. Web. 16 Feb. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cris-rowan/technology-children-negative-impact_b_3343245.html>.

 

 Technology Rewiring the Brains of our Children Part 2 Vijay Patel (73 Posts)

Dr. Vijay Patel earned his doctoral degree in Chiropractic from National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, Illinois. Dr. Patel is board certified in electrodiagnostics by the American Chiropractic Neurology Board. Dr. Patel has recently received training in Manipulation under Anesthsia (MUA). Constantly striving to give his patients the most up-to-date care possible, Dr. Patel attends many post-graduate seminars including such topics as neurology, research review, and sports performance enhancement. Dr. Patel has practiced medicine at Advanced Physical Medicine and Therapy in Mt. Prospect, Illinois since 1999. Dr. Patel currently serves as president of the Chicago chapter of the Illinois Chiropractic Society. He is also a member of both the National College of Chiropractic Alumni Association and the American Chiropractic Association. Dr. Patel is fluent in Gujarati. A lifelong runner, he has completed marathons and still competes in triathlons with his college mates.

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Permanent link to this article: http://apmt.us/2014/08/technology-rewiring-brains-children-2/

July Challenge – Hydration

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Drink 8 glasses a day for health!

Social media is all abuzz with challenges these days –my wife is completing the June ab challenge (with a substitute exercise for leg extensions, as these are bad for your low back).

As a chiropractic physician, who  has seen hundreds of patients, I know that while I certainly have a skill set that can help many people, what I can do is limited by the choices that each individual makes.  A friend, who is also a patient recently said to me, “I know when I come to see you that I will also go home with a list of exercises that I have to complete in order to heal.”  As a chiropractor, those words are music to my ears.  While many patients find chiropractors to fix an injury, chiropractic is, by nature, a preventative philosophy of health care.  I know that we will have completed health care reform when we see healthy care policy, in the public and private sectors, that reward preventative care.

Incentives aside, I know it is often easier to make an unhealthy choice than it is to make a healthy one.  A healthy lifestyle is a habit, developed slowly and over time.  To that end, I would like to encourage my patients to begin making small manageable lifestyle changes.  The word small is deceiving, because small does not mean insignificant.  I would like to encourage all of my patients and readers to take the challenge with me.  I want to walk the talk.  Each month, I would invite you to join me to make healthy changes.  If you fall off the wagon, just get back on the next day, this is not about being perfect, but about starting each day with a choice to be healthy.

The challenge for July is hydration.  According to a 2013 study by the CDC, almost half of Americans do not drink enough water on a daily basis.  Water is essential for every bodily functions– it is used to cushion and lubricate the joints, help with elimination of toxin and wastes from our body.  It controls temperature regulation and is needed for essential bodily fluids such as blood, cerebrospinal fluid and lymph.

The standard advice is eight 8 oz glasses a day.  While there is some debate about the numbers, most health care professionals would agree that under 6 glasses a day is too low.  Hot humid weather, activity, intake of salty foods as well as consumption of coffee, tea and alcohol all increase your need for water.  An easy way to judge your need for more water is to monitor your urine.  Urine should be pale yellow, the darker the urine, the greater the need to drink more water.

With more water your body will function at a higher level.  Won’t you join my in the July Challenge and drink more water?

 

 

Goodman AB, Blanck HM, Sherry B, Park S, Nebeling L, Yaroch AL. Behaviors and Attitudes Associated With Low Drinking Water Intake Among US Adults, Food Attitudes and Behaviors Survey, 2007. Prev Chronic Dis 2013;10:120248. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd10.120248.

 July Challenge   Hydration Vijay Patel (73 Posts)

Dr. Vijay Patel earned his doctoral degree in Chiropractic from National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, Illinois. Dr. Patel is board certified in electrodiagnostics by the American Chiropractic Neurology Board. Dr. Patel has recently received training in Manipulation under Anesthsia (MUA). Constantly striving to give his patients the most up-to-date care possible, Dr. Patel attends many post-graduate seminars including such topics as neurology, research review, and sports performance enhancement. Dr. Patel has practiced medicine at Advanced Physical Medicine and Therapy in Mt. Prospect, Illinois since 1999. Dr. Patel currently serves as president of the Chicago chapter of the Illinois Chiropractic Society. He is also a member of both the National College of Chiropractic Alumni Association and the American Chiropractic Association. Dr. Patel is fluent in Gujarati. A lifelong runner, he has completed marathons and still competes in triathlons with his college mates.

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Permanent link to this article: http://apmt.us/2014/06/july-challenge-hydration/

How Technology is Rewiring the Brains of Our Children

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Children have access to a wide variety of technology.

Originally published in the Illinois Chiropractic Society Journal, 12/2/2013
Most of us are aware of the positive impact that technology has on our lives. The benefits of technology affect so many areas of our life and the lives of our children, it is easy to be unaware of how dependent we have become. Manufacturing uses technology to automate processes to improve efficiency, productivity and lower costs simultaneously. Businesses use technology to crunch numbers for inventory and productivity, enabling greater efficiency at a lower expense. Technology is used in communications from email, fax, web meetings, texting, and more. In fact, texting has become the primary source of communication for much of our nation’s youth, surpassing even verbal communication. Technology used in relationships affects how we find our mates (match.com, eharmony.com) and how we keep in touch with family and friends at home and abroad (Facebook). It has changed education from chalkboard to ipad, library to nook, class room to virtual class room. It has infiltrated almost all areas of our lives: banking (yourbank.com), transportation (GPS, expedia.com), shopping (amazon.com), exercise (runnerkeeper.com), and entertainment (netflix.com). Technology’s penetration into every fabric of our lives is mind boggling.

  In light of technology’s obvious benefits and green disposition, we must be aware of effects it is having on the developing minds of our children. Gone are the days when kids actually talked to their friends face to face or on the phone, hung out with buddies in the neighborhood after school, played hockey in the street, flew a kite, cycled, skateboarded, roller skated, built a fort, hung out in a tree, caught bugs and other critters in the yard or in the creek. Although unsupervised, we didn’t turn out so bad. Now, we see all of that traded in for texting, online gaming, supervised scheduled play dates (where the kids play video games together or on their own side by side – crazy).

 The drawback to this lack of face to face interaction may result in young individuals that are unable to pick up on subtle emotional nuances and read social cues like body language or facial expressions. With children’s exposure to technology occurring soon after they are able to control head motion, these social skills may fade further. This increases the likelihood that they will have poor social skills carried with them into adulthood, and results in increased risk of loneliness and depression.

 Inability to pay attention for a sustained period is another immediate concern surrounding increased technological use. Traditionally, most of most of us who are digital immigrants (grew up before the widespread use of technology pre 1980) are used to sitting down and researching from books and printed material which required patience and sustained concentration. In contrast, our youth who are digital natives (a person raised during the age of widespread digital technology post 2000) do their research on Yahoo, Google, Bing, YouTube; while listening to music on the smart phone with the TV on in the background. Essentially, these young minds are used to moving from topic to topic and screen to screen at a blistering pace, often with split screens or multiple monitors or devices. The result is young minds have become hard wired for high speed. It is addictive in nature, and the digital natives may not know otherwise. As a result, we have kids entering schools struggling with self-regulation and lack the attention skills necessary for learning and become categorized as behavior or attention deficit disordered. The next ingredient in this equation is Ritalin, just adding to the problem without getting to the root cause – sound familiar?

 Research has also demonstrated that aggressive and violent behavior has been linked to playing violent video games. The demand for increasingly violent video games over the past three decades has been so great that most video games produced today are ultra-violent. When the players identify with the characters portrayed in the games, players can learn and retain aggressive thoughts and behaviors. This is further reinforced by video games that reward players for violence (number of kills, brutality, stealth). Further research suggests that violent video games increase angry, hostile behaviors and thoughts when interacting with peers, teachers and adults.

 In addition to the psychological impact technology has on the young mind, we have to also consider the physical impact it is having. We are exchanging outdoor free play and interaction with nature that we have had for centuries during daylight hours for a sedentary lifestyle behind a screen that is available 24/7. As a result, we are seeing obesity and type II diabetes on a steep rise. Studies at Stanford University of Medicine found that children consume 20% of their calories while watching TV, and the calories are usually from unhealthy snacks driven by ads. With kids and adults occupying every moment with a snippet of information, quick video game, text or tweet, we are starting to see stress affecting younger and younger people. Numerous studies have found that increased use of technology that stimulates the visual pathway with bright light and the auditory pathway with loud sound results in increased cortisol levels over prolonged periods. This leaves the young minds in an always sustained fight or flight mode.

 In the second part of my article, I will review some findings of a study on how technology has affected school grades, different genders, ethnicity, and ideas on how we can help our children and ourselves successfully cope with our current rapidly changing technological age.

 References:

1. “How Technology Wires the Learning Brain.”MindShift. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.

2. “News.”Kids Eat Hefty Number of Calories While Watching TV. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2013. <http://news.stanford.edu/news/2004/july7/med-tv-obesity-77.html>.

3. “Parents & Teachers: Violent Video Games & Aggressive Behaviors.”Parents & Teachers: 4. Violent Video Games & Aggressive Behaviors. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. <http://www.pamf.org/parenting-teens/general/media-web/violentgames.html>.

4. “Psychology_Social Sciences & Humanities_Journals_SCIRP.”Psychology_Social Sciences & Humanities_Journals_SCIRP. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2013. <http://www.scirp.org/journal/psych/>.

5. Rowan, Cris. “The Impact of Technology on the Developing Child.”The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 29 May 2013. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.

6. “Technology Its Effects on Children.”By Leigh Goessl. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.

 How Technology is Rewiring the Brains of Our Children Vijay Patel (73 Posts)

Dr. Vijay Patel earned his doctoral degree in Chiropractic from National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, Illinois. Dr. Patel is board certified in electrodiagnostics by the American Chiropractic Neurology Board. Dr. Patel has recently received training in Manipulation under Anesthsia (MUA). Constantly striving to give his patients the most up-to-date care possible, Dr. Patel attends many post-graduate seminars including such topics as neurology, research review, and sports performance enhancement. Dr. Patel has practiced medicine at Advanced Physical Medicine and Therapy in Mt. Prospect, Illinois since 1999. Dr. Patel currently serves as president of the Chicago chapter of the Illinois Chiropractic Society. He is also a member of both the National College of Chiropractic Alumni Association and the American Chiropractic Association. Dr. Patel is fluent in Gujarati. A lifelong runner, he has completed marathons and still competes in triathlons with his college mates.

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Permanent link to this article: http://apmt.us/2014/06/technology-rewiring-brains-children/

Natural Relief for Plantar Fasciitis

Before and After Chiropractic Care

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Plantar Fasciitis foot roll with frozen water bottle

A 5K and lots of yard work left me struggling with a flare up of my plantar fasciitis.  I will certainly seek treatment at the office, you can read more about conservative natural treatment of plantar fasciitis using chiropractic methods here.  If you have suffered from plantar fasciitis, you know how painful and debilitating this condition can be.

When you seek treatment discuss with your doctor the appropriateness of the following at home treatments.  There are many things you can do at home to begin to heal and supplement your treatment in the office.

  • Liberally apply Traumeel ointment to the affected area three times a day. This is a go to treatment  for all tissue injuries in my office.
  • Anti-inflammatory supplements increasing your dose of EPA rich Omega 3′s and the addition of a high quality bio-available turmeric extract will help reduce inflammatory processes.  These treatments are safe and carry none of the side effects of NSAID use.  Again, discuss with your doctor before increasing your Omega-3′s.
  • Proteolytic enzyme therapy is helpful for soft tissue injury.
  • Ice the area often.  I take a 3/4 full bottle of water and place it in the freezer, then I use this as a roller to ice and massage the effected area at the same time.  A small ball can be used to roll the foot, a tennis ball works well for this, and if tolerable a lacrosse ball.
  • Keep moving.  The initial impulse is to stay off your feet, however movement is important.  I wouldn’t  run a marathon, but I will complete short runs and walks.  Typically plantar fasciitis pain is most intense on first weight bearing and subsides with continued movement
  • After activity it is imperative to stretch the gastrocnemius and the soleus muscles. Scroll down to see videos with the proper form for these two exercises.
Gastrocnemius-Soleus (Gastroc-Soleus) Stretch Exercise (www.apmt.us)
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Plantar Fascia Stretch Exercise (www.apmt.us)
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Following the above suggestions can make more comfortable and can help speed healing once you begin chiropractic treatment.

 Natural Relief for Plantar Fasciitis Vijay Patel (73 Posts)

Dr. Vijay Patel earned his doctoral degree in Chiropractic from National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, Illinois. Dr. Patel is board certified in electrodiagnostics by the American Chiropractic Neurology Board. Dr. Patel has recently received training in Manipulation under Anesthsia (MUA). Constantly striving to give his patients the most up-to-date care possible, Dr. Patel attends many post-graduate seminars including such topics as neurology, research review, and sports performance enhancement. Dr. Patel has practiced medicine at Advanced Physical Medicine and Therapy in Mt. Prospect, Illinois since 1999. Dr. Patel currently serves as president of the Chicago chapter of the Illinois Chiropractic Society. He is also a member of both the National College of Chiropractic Alumni Association and the American Chiropractic Association. Dr. Patel is fluent in Gujarati. A lifelong runner, he has completed marathons and still competes in triathlons with his college mates.

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Permanent link to this article: http://apmt.us/2014/06/plantar-fasciitis-appointment/

Concussion Prevention Training

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Concussion Awareness

The office will be closed on Thursday May 22.  Dr. Patel and Dr. Kolbaba will be attending Power Play in Sports training provided by the Illinois Chiropractic Society.  This seminar led by NFL team doctors will include training in the area of sports injury prevention, concussion recognition and prevention and sports nutrition.  They are both looking forward to incorporating their new  skills into their chiropractic practice at Advanced Physical Medicine & Therapy.

Permanent link to this article: http://apmt.us/2014/05/concussion-prevention-training/

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