Keep Away Vampires with Garlic

SWC Garlic Image

Garlic is widely used for flavoring and in an array of dishes but it has also been used throughout ancient and modern history as a form of medicine to treat conditions and diseases. Richard S. Rivlin wrote in the Journal of Nutrition that the Greek physician Hippocrates prescribed garlic for a wide range of conditions and illnesses, and promoted its use for treating respiratory problems, parasites, poor digestion and fatigue.

Today, garlic is used for several conditions linked to the blood system and heart, such as: high cholesterol, heart attacks, coronary heart disease, and hypertension. It is recommended that adults consume no more than one clove two or three times a day and that children have one quarter to one half a clove, once or twice a day.

According to a study carried out at the Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention in China, people who ate raw garlic at least twice a week had a 44% lower risk of developing lung cancer. Another study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry concluded that garlic extract supplements reduced high cholesterol levels, and also blood pressure in the patients with hypertension. Although it has vast benefits, the strong scent and taste of garlic is what can cause some people to become discouraged from eating fresh raw garlic. Therefore, garlic creations that involve heating procedures have been developed. Unfortunately, this can decrease its benefits; a study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology warned that short-term heating reduces the anti-inflammatory effects of fresh raw garlic. If you’re not too fond of ingesting raw garlic, then you can buy garlic supplements or oil which have not been exposed to too much heat and you will still reap its ample benefits.

Garlic may interact with a number of medications; to be safe, if you take any prescription medicines, ask your doctor before taking garlic supplements.

Created by Melissa Martinelli



Moving Pregnant

Although pregnancy may not be our specialty, the Skyline Wellness professionals sure do know a lot about how to manage and induce positive outcomes for pregnant women. As an intern, I’ve come to learn that acupuncture can even help induce labor as well as reduce stress in women of all stages of pregnancy. I’ve also noticed a slew of pregnant clients who come into the movement room and receive drastic decreases in pain levels due to therapeutic exercises divvied out by the movement coach Christina Smith. Seeing the successes made through chiropractic, acupuncture, and physical therapy care persuaded me to investigate deeper. It turns out that dietary and lifestyle changes that occur early on in a women’s first trimester can benefit those who are obese and overweight. According to an article published by Science Daily, these women can reduce complications and gain less baby weight if they adhere to a strict regime of exercise and nutrition. Obese women who become pregnant are at a higher risk for delivering via C-section as a result of having a larger-than-normal baby. Of course diet and exercise are extremely important factors in anyone’s daily life; however, I figured it would be a valuable piece of advice for women experiencing pregnancy to realize the importance of these changes to help have a healthier and happier pregnancy. Alongside of the excellent care that is given at Skyline Wellness Center, we can all do our own part as individuals to help foster health and wellness.

Contributed by: Leeann Muncy

Taking Care of YOU This Holiday Season


It’s easy to say “yes” to every holiday party and event, bite off more than you can chew and not have any time to take care of yourself during the holidays.

“I will start on my eating and exercise program after the new year” is what I hear a lot of folks say. Or maybe you want to begin an eating and exercise program but it never seems to be the right time… especially during the holidays!

Time goes quickly. Days turn into months and months turn into years and still the excuse is “I don’t have time”.

Well, it is true. If you keep telling yourself that you don’t have time, than the fact is you won’t have time.

So, why not begin telling yourself that you do have time for YOU this holiday season and for years to come starting now! Start today! Make an appointment with yourself to shop and prepare your foods and block off some time to move each day even if its just going for a walk :).

To help you get started I would like to share with you 6 Foundational Principles of Health that I use for myself and coach others to use. They come from Paul Chek of the CHEK Institute. He recommends the following in this order to help achieve optimal health and wellness:


Negative thoughts sabotage any attempt you may make at a healthy lifestyle. Take time each day to exercise your brain with positive thoughts and meditation. If you find it hard to meditate there are all kinds of great books that can help. I like Taming Your Gremlin by Rick Carson who provides easy exercises to overcome negative thought processes and turn them into positive ones!


Stress, both emotional and physical contributes to an inverted breathing pattern. A correct breathing pattern has your belly expanding vertically and than laterally through the ribcage. When we are stressed and feel as though we are being chased by a lion all day, breathing will come more from the ribcage adding more tension to the upper back, neck and shoulders. Learning how to breath correctly and shifting your thoughts from those of worry and anxiety back to positive thoughts can have a very calming effect on mood.


Your body is composed of about 70% water which is important for mental clarity, good digestion and energy levels. However, most people don’t get enough water in their diet. Instead they rely on sports drinks and caffeinated beverages to get them through the day. The CHEK Institute recommends 1/2 your body weight in ounces each day (if you weigh 100 pounds you would drink 50 ounces of water each day). Drinking water also helps the body to detoxify. As Paul Chek likes to say about ridding the body of unhealthy lifestyle choices: “The solution to pollution is dilution”


Removing processed and fast foods from your diet and replacing them with home cooked meals using whole foods is the best gift you can give yourself this holiday season. Again, many of you are saying you don’t have time to cook. Let me remind you that convenience makes us unhealthy and you are what you eat! Anyone who knows me knows I love to cook! I like to plan my meals for the week, shop, have a prep party by myself with friends or family and prepare meals for the entire week. Single and have a hard time rationalizing cooking for yourself? Well, that’s just your stinkin thinkin getting in the way again of your health. There is nothing wrong with cooking a meal for yourself sitting down and enjoying it … you are worth it!


Your body was designed to move not sit all day. Unfortunately, desk jockey syndrome has taken over. In order to unravel the evils of sitting all day it is important to move but to do so in a way that is not going to increase the risk of injury or pain. A proper exercise prescription is person specific and based on history of injury as well as functional movement both painful and painless. A good exercise program should also be fun and enjoyable or you won’t stick with it and it won’t become a permanent lifestyle change.


Getting to bed on time is not a priority for most people but one of the most important lifestyle changes you can make for yourself. We are animals and should follow natures circadian rhythms of the sun rising and setting. In the late Spring and Summer we can get away with about 7 hours of sleep because the days are longer and we get more vitamin D from the sun. However, in the late Fall and Winter months we actually need to get about 9 hours of sleep each night. Between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. our bodies go through physical repair. This is when we lose weight, gain muscle and heal from an injury. Between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. our bodies go through mental repair. Ever have brain fog at work and realize you woke up sometime after 2 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep? Research on quality and quantity of sleep in connection with good health is hard to ignore. So get to bed on time!

Resources: Eat, Move and Be Healthy by Paul Chek

A Mother’s Take on Taking Children to the Chiropractor


“When am I getting my back cracked?” That’s exactly how my son will refer to having a regular chiropractic adjustment. After being treated for several respiratory disorders, numerous environmental allergies and chronic asthma attacks, he considers himself very lucky to have been able to experience relief to his health issues.

Growing up, he was always a healthy kid.   He was able to enjoy the outdoors to the fullest and doing what he loved doing, playing soccer among other activities. Then, the season started changing.  The nice warm days were gone. It all started with a simple cold that became a pneumonia because the doctors weren’t able to make it go away.  His immune system became extremely weak.  It got to the  point that I would keep him home for days when I knew someone was sick at school so he would not end up with another cold. As a parent, I am sure everyone understands the countless things we can do to protect them…if we could place them in a bubble… we would!

My son was diagnosed with chronic Asthma at the age of 4.  He lived with asthma attacks and serious respiratory issues for four years.  I cannot even name all the medications he was prescribed from inhalers to steroids to help his lungs breathe. All the ER visits and doctors’ appointments with very little results or none at all. I had tried everything, or at least what I considered everything.

I do have to mention that my son’s dad doesn’t believe in chiropractors, but I was tired of seeing my child suffer.   The day I decided to take my son to a chiropractic doctor for an evaluation was the day his life changed.   He was diagnosed with early stage scoliosis which was not helping his lungs because his spine was putting pressure on his rib cage. How I wished I would have known this before! All the endless nights could probably have been avoided. It was not late.  We were still able to help my son regain his health and be able to go back to being his normal self.

I share my story because I know there are parents out there going through this.  I know they are scared to take that extra step or to try something not so conventional.  Let me tell you it is all worth it. It may start off as a cold, a slowing or inability to reach milestones, a lack of concentration in school, ear infections or just knowing that something isn’t “right” with your child. Sometimes there aren’t any symptoms but you just know something is off. Whatever process they are going through, it is a red flag to let us know that they have lost part of their good health.

Seeing my child be able to run without having to stop to catch his breath is priceless.  No more sleepless nights or emergency room visits for us.  He has been seeing his chiropractor on a regular basis getting spinal manipulations.   The difference he has made in my child’s life is simply invaluable. I will never be able to thank him enough for giving my son his life back.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome and Treatment


Knee pain is one the most common symptoms among athletes specially runners. Although some knee pains might be more serious and would require extensive treatments, but most are just related to an overuse activity that results in overstretched muscle or tendon.

ITBS is one injury that is primary experienced by long-distance runners. It presents itself as sharp or burning pain on the outside of the knee. The pain usually stops when you stop running and resumes when you begin running again.

The iliotibial band is a long, flat band of fibrous tissue that originates on the ilium (upper portion of the lateral pelvis) and extends to the tibia, just below the knee joint. It serves as a tendon for two hip muscles, the tensor fasciae lata at the front of the upper thigh and the gluteus maximus of the buttock. It helps stabilize the knee joint when the foot lands on the ground. During this landing motion, the ITB rubs over the lower portion of the femur. If the rubbing is excessive or too forceful the soft tissues become inflamed. This is known as iliotibial band syndrome.

There can be a number of causes of ITBS: running on a sloped or banked surface, not warming up or cooling down properly, increasing miles too quickly, excessive running downhill, high or low arches of the foot, or overpronation.

This tendon needs no extra strengthening as it is used in every step we take. Stretching the muscular attachments is helpful.

Lie on your back with hands at your sides and your legs out straight. Rotate your right leg outward so that your toes are pointed to the right. Lift your right leg off the floor a few inches, and keeping the knee straight, cross it over the left leg, making sure to keep your toes pointed right. You should feel your groin muscles work to hold your right leg crossed over to the left, and a tightening on the outside of your right thigh. Hold and repeat 8-12 times for each leg. Be careful not to roll over onto your hip as your right leg crosses over the left. Lying on the floor will keep your pelvis stabilized while you use opposing muscles to apply the stretching force.

If you do develop ITBS, get medical advice that goes beyond rest and anti-inflammatory medications. Symptoms will continual to return if the cause is not addressed. If you know that you overpronate, get good motion control running shoes or customized orthotics. Try to run on flat roads and do your hill runs during low mileage weeks when your legs are strong.

Chiropractic treatments have shown great result in management and prevention of ITBS.

Massage Therapy for Kids! There are many reasons to start early…


Hi! I am Heather…one of your massage therapists at Skyline Wellness Center.  People always say to write about what is most important and relevant in your life. As most of you Skyliners know, my life is about two important roles: I am a Mom and a Massage Therapist, both of which I treasure dearly.  So…I figured what would be better than to write about infant and adolescent massage. 

I believe every child should have massage introduced to them at some point in their life. The best time to start is as a baby of course. Many ancient cultures started this way and it has continued today to be a way to gain a close bond with our children, and to instill a comforting sense of security and trust.

Touch is the FIRST sense to develop in humans. It is essential to our health and well-being. Babies even more so rely on physical touch to thrive. Adults and adolescents as well, can become depressed and ill if they are removed from this most basic of human needs. Children who learn healthy views of touch and are provided with positive experiences by their parents and or caregivers are more likely to grow up to be adults with healthy self-esteem, a sense of appropriate boundaries and long-lasting relationships!!

Now here are some cool facts about the benefits of Infant and Adolescent Massage!!!

* Massage can help children with behavioral issues. It helps them to calm and relax their bodies, and in turn makes them a bit happier ( and sometimes even fall asleep).

* It improves circulation, stimulates growth, offers passive exercise for muscles, eases aches and pains and increases flexibility and function of muscles and joints.

* It can increase speech and language skills and help to build trust, friendship and respect.

* Massage can be Beneficial for: Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, Autism, Anxiety, Body Image, ADD/ADHD, Asthma, Speech and Language Delays, and so much more…

As a mom, I started doing massage from the minute my son was brought into this world. He loved it as a baby and it has since then become part of his nightly routine. It created a special bond between me and my baby. Now that he is 5, the massage has changed just as he has…but I know that it is benefiting his mind, body and overall wellness.

If you have any questions regarding this type of massage and want to know more!! Please call us at 703.879.5144 or write to us at! We would love to hear from you!

Healthy Salad Day! Green Bean-Beet Salad


Most of you already know Lydia as one of our fantastic Wellness Analysts…here is what you do not know about her…

Lydia’s post undergraduate work includes a student leadership role at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as well as, culinary training in Natural Foods at Natural Kitchen Cooking School.  She has two Raw Foods certifications through both Alissa Cohen and Dr. Aris Latham.  Lydia specializes in and has a passion for vegan/vegetarian cuisine.  

She enjoyed creating this dish with her classmates while at Natural Kitchen Cooking School, and she is certain that you will enjoy it as well!

Green Bean-Beet Salad

3 medium size red beets, washed and sliced into thin wedges
Spring or filtered water
Sea salt
2 cups green beans, ends trimmed & cut into 2-inch lengths
3 cups sliced Belgian endive
1/2 cup toasted pecans

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon horseradish
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
Black pepper, to taste

Place beets in a saucepan with enough water cover the bottom of the pan. Add a pinch of salt and bring to boil. Steam for 15 minutes, then add green beans on top. Cover and cook until beets and green beans are tender. Add extra water during cooking if needed. Drain vegetables and transfer to a bowl to cool.

To make the dressing, combine the lemon juice, mustard and horseradish in a small bowl. Whisk in the oil. Add sea salt and pepper.

Combine cooled beets and green beans with endive, pecans and dressing. Toss lightly to coat. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Serves 4-6