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Are you getting enough sleep?

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  • The sleep onset latency test, created by the late Nathaniel Kleitman, Ph.D., can help you determine if you need more sleep
  • Lie down in your darkened bedroom to take a nap during the early afternoon. Hold a spoon over a metal tray placed on the floor beside your bed, noting the time
  • When you fall asleep and the spoon crashes down onto the tray, waking you up, immediately check the time and note how much time has passed
  • If you fell asleep within five minutes, it means you’re severely sleep deprived; if it took you 10 minutes to fall asleep, you could use more sleep, but if you managed to stay awake for 15 minutes or more before falling asleep, you’re probably well rested


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By Dr. Mercola

Are you tired? If your answer is yes, it would seem relatively straightforward to assume you’re not getting enough sleep. Yet, signs of sleep deprivation may not always be this obvious (and there are other factors besides sleep loss that can make you feel fatigued). The late Nathaniel Kleitman, Ph.D., professor emeritus in physiology at the University of Chicago, came up with one of the simplest tests to determine if you’re sleep deprived — and as a pioneer in sleep research, he was well qualified to know.

Not only did Kleitman co-discover REM sleep, but he published the first major textbook on sleep (“Sleep and Wakefulness” in 1939). He even stayed awake for 180 hours to figure out what sleep deprivation does to your body. Kleitman also spent more than one month underground in a cave — an environment without sunlight or schedules — in order to track changes in wakefulness and circadian rhythm.1 So when he suggested a way to test yourself for sleep deprivation, people took notice.

Sleep Deprived? Take the Sleep Onset Latency Test to Find Out

Kleitman’s sleep onset latency test sounds complicated, but it’s quite simple. And, “It’s based on solid science,” said Dr. Michael Mosley, who is both a physician and a journalist for BBC in the U.K.2 Here’s how it works: In the early afternoon, grab a spoon and head off to your darkened bedroom to take a nap. Place a metal tray on the floor beside your bed, and hold the spoon over the tray as you attempt to fall asleep.

Be sure to check the time as well. Next, when you inevitably fall asleep and the spoon crashes down onto the tray, waking you up, immediately check the time again and note how much time has passed.

If you fell asleep within five minutes, it means you’re severely sleep deprived, according to Kleitman. If it took you 10 minutes to fall asleep, this is still a sign that you could use more sleep. If, however, you managed to stay awake for 15 minutes or more before falling asleep, you’re probably well rested.3 If you don’t happen to have a spoon and metal tray handy, you can still take this test by setting an alarm for 15 minutes to see if you fall asleep before it goes off, Dr. Mosley adds.

More Signs You’re Sleep Deprived

How to AVOID gaining weight:

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What are the 10 Things that Can Pack on Pounds?

By Dr. Mercola

Woman Eating Vegetables

In today’s world it’s harder than ever to keep your weight under control, as evidenced by the fact that over 2/3 of all American adults are now overweight or obese.

In fact, an alarming bit of information came to my attention in 2009, when CDC statistics revealed that in the U.S. the number of obese people actually outnumber the amount of merely overweight people. And in 2011, one in three children is now overweight or obese; nearly triple the rate from 1963.

The plain, unvarnished truth is the US has predominantly become a nation of fat and obese citizens.

And any time someone voices an objection to the predominance of the high sugar and highly refined carbohydrate foods, the food manufacturers, politicians, and media shills who represent them, scream loudly and irrationally that any attempt to restrict nutritionally worthless junk food is an assault on American’s freedom of choice.


What about the billions of dollars spent marketing these foods to Americans using subliminal triggers along with the use of secretly hidden chemicals in food that are actually designed to distort your brain’s sensation of flavor (senomyx)?

Isn’t this also an assault on American’s freedom of choice through manipulation?

At any rate, I think we have become a nation that for the most part made the choice to trade convenience for its health. Indeed, the proverbial piper has been paid when we examine our expanding waistlines that we have willingly exchanged for the sake of “convenience.” The following 10 guidelines can help you prevent packing on extra pounds.

#1: To Lose Weight You MUST Eliminate Fructose from Your Diet

You’ve gone to all the trouble of getting some exercise. But despite sticking to your new plan you discover the pounds are not coming off.

You ask yourself, “Why?”

It is important to understand and know that while exercise is important and crucial for weight loss and I am a major fan, the foods you choose to eat are THREE times more important for controlling your weight than your exercise. It’s very easy to sabotage yourself with sugary foods and exercise beverages. Especially beverages containing HFCS.

These drinks include “vitamin water”, energy drinks, and similar types of recovery drinks.You need to avoid these drinks and ignore the slick marketing messages that suggest you need them because you workout.

There is a myth in our culture that any exercise removes vital nutrients from your body that you must replenish before, during and after exercise. However, chances are you’re not exercising long enough to deplete your body of very much of anything! And sugar consumed just before or during exercise will only lead to a spiking and crashing of your blood sugar and insulin levels, most likely resulting not in increased hydration, but in reduced athletic performance.

Not only that, but sugar or HFCS eaten after a workout will completely shut down your body’s production of Human Growth Hormone!

The truth is, you don’t need to chug a sports drink unless you are severely dehydrated and are losing more than a quart of water in sweat in 30-45 minutes. Most people don’t work out this long with any sustained intensity, they also don’t lose anywhere near a quart of sweat!

So when it comes to sports-related hydration and athletic performance, what do I recommend?

Clean, pure water. If you’re doing a heavy workout you could supplement with a quart of pure clean water that has a quarter teaspoon of Himalayan salt and a teaspoon of baking soda in it. This will more than replenish any electrolytes you are likely to lose during moderate exercise.

The ticket to optimal athletic performance and recovery is in eating whole, biodynamic and organic foods. So next time you need a quick snack before or after a workout, forget about that energy bar or sports drink and go for these beneficial sources of carbs and protein:

Any vegetable (with the exception of carrots and beets, which are high in sugar), particularly dark, green and leafy varieties like spinach, kale or Swiss chard Organic free range chicken and eggs
Lean, grass-fed red meat Fruits that are low in fructose like apricots, cantaloupe, lemons, limes, passion fruit, plums and raspberries
Whey protein Raw nuts and seeds

#2 You MUST Plan Your Meals

It’s said that failing to plan means you’re planning to fail. When it comes to meals designed to promote your health and eliminate unwanted calories, you’re going to have to heed this advice.

The problem is, if you fail to plan your meals you are basically eating according to either your emotions or whatever whim may come over you around mealtime. Both of these can mean added calories, poor nutritional choices and a growing waistline.

I do advise some general principles to follow when planning your meals, but the takeaway message to this nutritional no-no is you need to think independently of your shifting moods about what you will be consuming for up to the next week in advance — in order to keep your plate free of unnecessary calories.

This means shopping in advance with specific meals in mind and it means putting your intended meals down on paper and sticking to your meal schedule.

You’ve probably discovered that both of these things are much harder in practice than they are in theory. There’s a reason for that. Processed food manufacturers are spending a lot of money, billions and billions of dollars each year, to convince you that their food will satisfy you emotionally.

Processed foods are not the answer.

Processed foods are part of your growing waistline problem. Remember this truth as you take on the billion dollar advertising industry while you take control of your health!

#3 Avoid All Sodas, and Especially Diet Soda

Soda, in my opinion, is the one of the primary health threats. Did you know that just one can of Coke contains 10 teaspoons of sugar?!

This is 100 percent of your recommended daily intake (which is more than double my recommended daily allowance to begin with). Within 20 minutes of drinking that soda, your blood sugar spikes, and your liver responds to the resulting insulin burst by turning massive amounts of sugar into fat.

It is a proven fact that sugar increases your insulin levels, which leads not only to weight gain, but also high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, premature aging and many more negative side effects. In fact, sugar is so bad for your health in so many ways, I’ve created an entire list outlining the ways sugar can damage your health.

But diet soda is even worse!

Billions of dollars worth of advertising tells you that diet soda gives you all the pleasure of a sweet beverage without any of the calories. But is the marketing too good to be true? Are the makers of diet sodas actually lying to you?

In a word, yes. In fact, just the opposite now appears to be true. Drinking diet soda actually is positively linked to weight gain. It turns out the latest research shows that your brain can tell the difference between real and artificial sugar, and not only are artificial sugars less satisfying to your brain at a cellular level, they also increase your craving for the real thing. So artificial sweeteners, and diet soda in particular, must be avoided if you don’t want to crave sugar.

By the way, craving sugar is one of the surest ways to add extra calories to your diet. So avoid diet soda if you care about keeping your weight in check.

#4 Be Sure to Eat PLENTY of Organic Vegetables

One of the best ways to improve your health is to make sure you’re eating plenty of fresh, minimally processed high quality vegetables, ideally locally-grown and organic, with a majority of them consumed raw. One simple way to boost your vegetable intake is to juice them. Juicing organic vegetables is something that I highly recommend to anyone working to restore or improve their health.

I am firmly convinced that juicing is one of the key factors to giving you a radiant, energetic life, and truly optimal health. I simply do not know of any other single nutritional intervention that has a more profound influence on health than eating and/or juicing fresh, organic vegetables. And for every vegetable you pack onto your plate, you’ll have less room for all those other simple carbohydrates that can expand your waistline.

You can review my comprehensive approach to how to juice on my vegetable juicing page.

Whether you’re munching them raw or juicing, some vegetables contain more health building nutrients than others. This list details some of the best and worst vegetables for your health.

Highly Recommended Vegetables
Asparagus Escarole
Avocado (actually a fruit) Fennel
Beet greens Green and red cabbage
Bok Choy Kale
Broccoli Kohlrabi
Brussel sprouts Lettuce: romaine, red leaf, green leaf
Cauliflower Mustard greens
Celery Onions
Chicory Parsley
Chinese cabbage Peppers: red, green, yellow and hot
Chives Tomatoes
Collard greens Turnips
Cucumbers Spinach
Dandelion greens Zucchini
Use sparingly due to high carbohydrate levels
Beets Jicima
Carrots Winter Squashes
Eggplant Most fruits except for limes and lemons
Vegetables to Avoid

#5 Make Sure You Do Sprint 8 Exercises Once or Twice a Week

Your body has three types of muscle fiber: Slow twitch, fast twitch and super-fast twitch fibers. A major problem with conventional exercise is its inability to engage the fast and super-fast twitch muscle fibers. Conventional exercise merely engages your body’s slow twitch muscle fibers, which is your preferred mode of muscle engagement. To produce dramatic results when it comes to exercise you simply have to engage your fast and super-fast muscle fibers.

The best way to do this is through something called Sprint 8 exercises.

Sprint 8-style exercise has many benefits, the biggest being it naturally increases your body’s production of human growth hormone (HGH), which plays a significant role in the aging process.

I recently featured an interview with fitness expert Phil Campbell, in which he further expounds on this important topic. Phil is the author of the book Ready Set Go, which explains how exercises that engage your super-fast muscle fibers can increase your HGH levels. It is called Sprint 8 because if you graph your heart rate, you will see that it peaks eight times during the workout. This technique is exponentially superior to regular cardio workouts and you’re doing yourself a great disservice if you ignore it. The nice thing about Sprint 8 exercises is that you can perform them with many types of exercise; with or without equipment. So, while having access to a gym or exercise equipment will provide you with a larger variety of options, you don’t require either. You can just as easily perform Sprint 8 by walking or running outdoors.

Another benefit is in the time it will save you. Instead of doing an hour-long cardio workout, you’ll be done in 20 minutes or so. The actual sprinting totals only 4 minutes!

Keep in mind however that you should only do Sprint 8 exercises once to twice a week, occasionally three times.

If you do it more frequently than that, you may actually do more harm than good. Phil Campbell agrees, and also warns against overdoing it. We’ve found that, more often than not, when people do it more than four times a week they’re simply not pushing themselves hard enough. The key to performing Sprint 8 exercises properly is to raise your heart rate up to your anaerobic threshold.

Keep pushing at maximum effort for 20 to 30 seconds, and then rest for 90 seconds

Repeat this cycle for a total of eight repetitions. Here is a video showing a demonstration of Sprint 8-style exercise:

Total Video Length: 22:17

Remember, ideally you need to use a heart rate monitor and it is physiologically impossible to measure accurately with the precision you need to know if you are over your target heart rate.

#6 Avoid Drinking Fruit Juice

Fruit juice is probably the most requested drink by children of all ages, not because it quenches thirst, but because it tastes good. And fruit juice, it turns out, is not one of the best things you can put into your body, especially for children.

Yes I can hear all the fruitarians screaming that I am wrong and there are unusual situations in which this isn’t true. For someone who is normal body weight with no insulin resistance it might not be a major problem, especially if you’re drinking freshly squeezed organic juice in moderation.

However, that is clearly a very tiny minority of the population.

Drinking fruit juice is only slightly different from drinking soda. Both deliver a massive dose of sugar to your body unbound by any of the slow-releasing mechanisms provided by nature.

So when you think of fruit juice, you should think of soda.

You should certainly by now be aware of the dangers of high fructose corn syrup, but please understand that simple fruit sugar extracted from fruit has virtually identical side effects and negative effects on your biochemistry. This means fruit juice will cause a major spike in your insulin levels.

This is important because elevated insulin levels are one of the primary drivers for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and weight gain.

This may be why drinking fruit juice has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, while fructose itself has been shown to increase your triglyceride levels. In one previous study, consuming fructose raised triglyceride levels by 32 percent in men. Forty years worth of research has confirmed that elevated blood levels of triglycerides, known as hypertriglyceridemia, puts you at an increased risk of heart disease. So when it comes to fruit juice, if you are overweight or obese, it’s my recommendation for you to avoid it entirely and limit your fruit intake to berries .

#7 Eating Outside of Your Home

There’s a reason your favorite restaurant food often tastes better than your home cooked meals: many times it’s loaded with extra calories in the form of sugars, hydrogenated fats and artificial flavor enhancers like MSG.

And since most restaurants purchase the bulk of their food in advance, and frequently rely on frozen, pre-cut and pre-cooked foods, the chances are high that your restaurant meal is simply processed food, nutritionally far inferior to anything fresh and organic you can make at home. And unless your favorite restaurant is advertising its free-range meats and organic vegetables, chances are also high that you’re consuming feedlot animals and conventionally grown vegetables that have been drenched in antibiotics and pesticides respectively. Neither is good for maintaining optimal health.

I’m not suggesting you never eat outside of your own home; I understand the pleasure and social importance of eating out occasionally. My suggestion is merely to keep eating out to a minimum, and try to frequent restaurants committed to buying organic and serving minimally processed meals.

The other very real hazard of eating out is the temptation to order an innocuous looking dessert that is anything but innocuous when it comes to the caloric punch it packs.

#8 Avoid Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol is converted by your body into simple sugar, and it turns out the metabolic pathway converting alcohol into its simple sugar components is the same pathway your body uses to convert high fructose corn syrup into its component parts.

If you watch Robert Lustig’s video “Sugar:The Bitter Truth” in its entirety you will understand exactly what happens when you put both alcohol and HFCS into your body.

In a nutshell, you are basically ingesting fat. Both of these are converted by your liver into fat.

So any advances you may make by watching your diet will be more or less instantly wiped out by a night of binge drinking. I recommend no alcohol consumption at all, since it is a neurotoxin whose drawbacks far outweigh even the benefits found in a glass of red wine (one of the healthiest options when it comes to alcohol consumption).

But again, alcohol equals body fat (unless you are in the minority and have a super-production of alcohol dehydrogenases (ADH), the enzymes that break down alcohol in your body. Most likely you are not in this minority).

#9 Avoid Consuming Fast- or Processed Foods

This recent article by Time magazine has summed up the problem of fast food nicely, which I expanded on in this recent article. I encourage you to revisit both if you haven’t been keeping up to date on all the health problems associated with consuming fast food.

To summarize both of these articles: Avoid fast food if you value your health. It is loaded with sodium, sugar and feedlot animals who have been subjected to the absolute minimums in the areas of feeding and care.

#10 Avoid Condiments and Idle Snacks

According to www.fitsugar.com these are examples of sources of hidden calories you probably never even considered:

One pat of butter on your toast: 36 calories. One cubic inch of feta cheese on your salad: 45 calories.
One tablespoon ketchup with your fries: 15 calories. One tablespoon of grated Parmesan on your pasta: 22 calories.
One teaspoon or one cube of sugar in your coffee: 9 calories. One tablespoon of sour cream on your baked potato: 26 calories.
One tablespoon mayonnaise on your sandwich: 100 calories. Handful of M&Ms (10 pieces) off your co-worker’s desk: 34 calories.
One teaspoon each of oil and vinegar on your sandwich: 39 calories.

Cutting all of these things out would save you about 330 calories a day. That translates to a loss of about 1 pound every 10 days, or about 36 pounds a year.

How much weight do you need to lose? How long would it take you to reach your goal by cutting out these unnecessary condiments?

Some Final Thoughts about how to Avoid Packing on Unnecessary Pounds

If you’re like most Americans you probably have between a few and several unnecessary pounds you’d prefer not to be carrying around every day. I’m here to tell you that not only is it possible to take off the extra weight with a little thoughtful planning, it is also possible to keep the weight off simply by following a few sensible guidelines above and my more comprehensive ones.

Every purchase you make is a vote with your pocketbook about the kinds of food these manufacturers will continue to make.

The bottom line is very simple here, folks.

Think VERY carefully about what you’re eating so you and your family can take control of your health before someone else takes control of it from you.

Learn How Heavy Metal Toxicity May Be Causing Autism

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Chiropractic Wexford PA Dr. Ray Vactor - Autism Linked to Heavy Metal Toxicity

Story at-a-glance

  • Baby teeth from children with autism were found to have more lead and less of the nutrients zinc and manganese than teeth from children without autism
  • Among twin pairs in which both children had autism, smaller differences in metal patterns in their baby teeth were observed while larger differences were found in teeth from twin pairs where only one had autism
  • The findings add more support that exposure to environmental stressors at key periods of development and possibly in combination with certain nutrient deficiencies may be harmful to brain development


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Our Gentle, Effective Treatment Techniques

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Dr. Vactor specializes in gentle, low force techniques by using the activator method which is a hand held tool that is very gentle yet delivers a very effective, precise adjustments to the vertebrae. Afterwards, some patients may experience temporary soreness or stiffness. This is okay and normal. Always communicate any discomfort you may have to Dr. Vactor.

A Message from Doctor Vactor

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Welcome to Wexford Chiropractic!

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What Is Nutrition Response Testing?

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What is Nutrition Response Testing?

Nutrition Response Testing is a precise scientific designed to analyze your body’s nutritional needs and then supplement them. Nutrition Response Testing determines nutritional needs by studying the body’s own neurological reflexes to energy centers on the surface of the body. By analyzing these reflexes we can conclude exactly what nutritional supplements the body needs for optimum health.

In medical practice there are two key parts: the diagnosis (identifying and/or naming the “disease” – but we also have two parts: the analysis and the personalized healthier improvement program (using designed clinical nutrition).

Simply put, first we do an analysis and then we design a natural health improvement program to help you handle what we find in our analysis.

Nutritional Response Testing in the Greater Pittsburgh area.

Nutrition Response Testing is a study of how the different points on the surface of the body relate to the state of health and to the flow of energy in each and every organ and function of the body. Since the human anatomy has not changed significantly in thousands of years, the utilization of these specific points is very relevant and useful because of their accuracy.

Each Nutrition response testing reflex represents a specific organ, tissue, or function and indicates the effect that energy (or lack thereof) is having on the body. By testing the Nutrition Response Testing reflexes, we have a system of monitoring your body at each visit. It has proven to be extremely accurate clinically and we are able to predict, with certainty, what is needed and wanted by the body to get you to the next stage of improved health!

Why is the person who referred you feeling better? We did a Nutrition Response Testing analysis for him or her. We found the “active” reflexes and then made specific nutritional recommendations to help the body return to a better state of health.

Personalized Health Improvement Program

Let’s say the liver or kidney reflexes are active. Then what? Our next step is to test specific, proven, highest-quality nutritional formulas against those weak areas and find out which bring the reflexes back to strength.

Decades of clinical experience tell us that when we have found the correct nutritional supplements, as indicated by this procedure, we accomplish the most important first step. We work out a highly personalized nutritional supplement schedule and correct the underlying deficiency or imbalance that caused the reflex to be active in the first place. It’s that simple!

In medicine, the medical doctor makes a diagnosis and then uses drugs or surgery to attack or suppress the symptom or surgically remove the offending organ or part. In Nutritional Response Testing we use Designed Clinical Nutrition to correct the cause of the problem. The body can regain the ability to correct itself.

Designed Clinical Nutrition

Designed Clinical Nutrition is not over-the-counter vitamins. Over-the-counter vitamins are pharmaceutically engineered chemical fractions of vitamin structures reproduced in a laboratory. They are not “whole food” and the body does not actually recognize these as anything vaguely beneficial (to put it mildly). Because they are not made from whole foods, over-the-counter vitamins lack the essential synergistic elements normally present in whole foods.

Designed Clinical Nutrition is whole food in a tablet, capsule or powder, concentrated in a vacuum cold-process system that preserves all of the active enzymes and vital components that make it work. These real food supplements have been designed to match the needs of the body, as determined by the positive response in the Nutrition Response Testing reflexes. These are nutrients you are simply not getting, or not assimilating, in your current diet.

If you are looking for a Designed Clinical Nutrition in the Wexford, Gibsonia, Pittsburgh, Pine or Marshall Townships area please call the Wexford Chiropractic Centre at 724-935-1610

The Steps Summed Up

1. Through an analysis of your body’s reflexes, we help you determine the exact nutrients you need to supplement your diet in order to bring about better health.

2. We make these highly concentrated, therapeutic formulations available to you in tablets, capsules, or powdered form to supplement your current diet. That’s why they are called “food supplements.”

3. Depending on your individual situation, we may also require you make some specific changes in your diet and eating habits. These requirements will bring about the best possible results.

The Technology Behind Nutritional Response Testing

Having been designed through decades of clinical use on tens of thousands of patients from many backgrounds, you can be assured that Nutrition Response Testing is capable of evaluating and solving your health concerns.

Very much like a combination lock, you must use the right numbers in the right sequence to open the lock. By following the correct sequence as revealed through Nutritional Response Testing analysis, we can determine the correct food supplements for you so your body can get well and stay that way.

Many people we see in our practice have eaten themselves into their current state of ill-health— we can restore your health.

Many people we see in our practice have eaten themselves into their current state of ill-health— to one degree or another. The deficiencies or imbalances lead to a breakdown in resistance, or immunity, and a loss of the ability to cope with environmental stresses (chemical, microscopic, etc.). The good news is that it is possible to reverse the process!

It is possible to restore your health. What could be more natural? What could be more correct? Each cell, tissue and organ in your body is in the process of replacing itself every day, month, and year. The health of each organ is dependent on making the correct nutrients available to upgrade the health of your body at a cellular level. Nutrition Response Testing tells you when and what to use to bring about these desired results.

In the end you are the only one responsible for your own condition. With our guidance we feel that if you are a Nutritional Response Testing case, your chances of greatly improving your health can be 90% or better.

If our analysis confirms that you are a Nutrition Response Testing/clinical nutrition case, then nothing else will ever come close to what you can achieve using Nutrition Response Testing.

We wish you the best of luck in your quest to take back full responsibility for your health. You can count on us to do everything in our power to help you achieve your health objectives and to help you achieve a happier, healthier life. May you never feel the same again!

Fitness Resolutions? Who Needs ‘Em? – copy

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It’s almost March! If you are starting to lose steam on your new years #fitness resolutions, maybe your priorities are in the wrong place!

A few years ago, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a nice story about our philosophy of reasonably incorporating proper diet and exercise into your lifestyle year round, so you won’t need fitness resolutions ever again! Here’s to a healthier #Pittsburgh in 2017!

Check out the article – still just as true in 2017 as it was back then!

Love Your Body

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It’s important to love your body!

Love Doctor Vactor?

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Welcome to Wexford Chiropractic!

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