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La Mesa Chiropractor | La Mesa chiropractic care | CA | Healthy Living

                                                       Gary M. McDowell, DC, CCSP, QME
          Certified Chiropractic Sports Practitioner | Qualified Medical Evaluator

8300 University Avenue
    La Mesa, CA 91942 

Healthy Living


You may be surprised to find out that indoor air routinely contains a higher level of chemicals than outdoor air. There are several simple steps that can be taken to improve indoor air quality. Of particular importance is the bedroom environment, since each person spends between 7- 10 hours there each day.

What you can do:

  • Open windows whenever possible to circulate air.
  • Clean indoor air with plants and air filters. Plants help to oxygenate the air we breathe, while filters help to remove impurities from indoor air.
  • Change the filter in your residential furnace and air conditioning system regularly. The Filtrete Ultra Allergen filter is endorsed by the American Lung Association and has a recommended change interval of three months.
  • If possible, replace carpet in the bedroom with wood floors. Carpet collects molds, fungi and other respiratory irritants. If you do have carpeting, vacuum regularly.
  • Avoid sleeping in a room that has been recently carpeted. New carpet releases harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde into the air. Open windows and air the room out for at least a week before sleeping in it. Better yet, have new carpet installed while on vacation!
  • Whenever possible, use nontoxic building materials and carpets.
  • If you have clothes that have been recently dry-cleaned, don’t hang them in your bedroom.



The quality of tap water varies from city to city and from home to home. Municipal water often contains varying levels of contaminants.

What you can do:

  • Have water delivered to your home from a reliable source. Ask to see an independent analysis of the water quality.
  • Have your water tested by a certified laboratory.
  • Install a water filter known to filter out the contaminants found in your water. Many water filters will easily attach to your kitchen faucet. Others can be stored easily into the refrigerator once you pour water from the tap into them.



How we nourish ourselves through food is as fundamental to our health as the air we breathe and the water we drink.

What you can do:

  • Choose locally grown, organic produce whenever possible. Apples, grapes, green beans, pears, peaches, strawberries and spinach have been shown to have especially high pesticide residues.
  • Avoid food preservatives such as saccharin, aspartame and olestra.
  • Avoid processed foods.
  • Know where your fish comes from. Unfortunately, fish, an intrinsically healthy food, often contains PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and/ or mercury. Choose smaller fish, which do not bioaccumulate as many toxic chemicals and choose fish from more pristine waters such as those in Alaska.
  • After you make these smart food choices, enjoy eating and know you are doing your best for yourself and your family.


Cleaning Products

According to Robert Rountree, MD, the average home contains 3-10 gallons of hazardous materials. The same products that we use to clean our homes can be toxic to our bodies.

What you can do:

  • Take an inventory of your home and all of the products that could be considered "toxic." Be on the lookout for nontoxic alternatives for each one.
  • Choose a dishwashing detergent such as Seventh Generation’s, that is both phosphate and chlorine-free. Phosphates can cause algae blooms in lakes and ponds.
  • Buy non-chlorine bleach. Chlorine bleach creates toxins that can be harmful to your health. In addition, chlorine fumes may be irritating to breathe for people with allergies and asthma.
  • Get rid of unwanted chemicals safely. Contact your local trash collection service to find out how to dispose of them properly. Never dump materials in the backyard.
  • If any toxic products do exist in the home, lock and store them in a place where children will not be able to reach them. Remember to lock up prescription, over-the counter medicines, supplements and herbal medicines as well.


Personal Care Products

An owner of a natural beauty line once said, “You should never put anything on your body that you wouldn't’t put in your mouth.” With that said, the long list of ingredients on personal care products can be confusing. If you have a question about a particular one, try consulting “The Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients” by Ruth Winter, MS.

What you can do:

  • Take an inventory of all of your personal care products, including toothpaste, shampoo, soaps, moisturizer, deodorant, etc. Be on the lookout for products with artificial preservatives or chemicals.
  • Buy all natural products without artificial preservatives or chemicals. For example, choose a deodorant that doesn’t contain aluminum chlorohydrate.
  • Switch your toothpaste to one that doesn’t contain Sodium Laryl Sulfate (SLS), a detergent that can also be a skin and mouth irritant.


Lawn Care

The outdoor home environment is as important as the indoor environment.

What you can do:

  • Choose nontoxic alternatives to herbicides. Many herbicides are considered to be carcinogens. Chemicals on your lawn wind up on anyone that plays in the yard (adults, kids, pets).
  • Xeriscape- cover your yard with native grasses and plants.
  • Adjust your lawn mower to its highest setting. The longer blades of grass will develop stronger root systems and resist weed growth.
  • Leave grass clippings on the lawn to add nitrogen to the soil.
  • Plant an organic garden.
La Mesa Chiropractor | Healthy Living. Dr. Gary McDowell is a La Mesa Chiropractor.