As much as your car benefits from a service, your body benefits from Chiropractic care. But your car also needs oil checks/changes, air filter changes, tyre changes, coolant etc, as much as our bodies need the right nutrition, enough sleep, appropriate exercise etc. If you want to get the most out of your body and your response to chiropractic care, check out this article.
How can I get the best out of life, maintain wellness and help my body heal?
The ‘physical’ pillar
The physical component encompasses movement. I’m sure we’ve all been in a situation where a sustained, repetitive or excessively forceful position/movement results in discomfort, stiffness or injury. On the flip-side, we feel amazing when we’ve been dancing, stretched out in yoga or done some exercise within our capacity of strength.
Our bodies require regular and varied movement. Chiropractic adjustments help to optimise neuro-musculoskeletal function. Therefore optimising not only the movement, but the communication between the brain and the body about the movement.
Speak to your Chiropractor about anything specific to you, but ensure you give your body varied movement. Play with different stretches and postures through the day, exercise and push your body with tolerable resistance. Your Chiropractor will adjust the spine and possibly extra spinal joints which need further assistance!
‘I was suffering with a painful arthritic knee for many years. After the first adjustment, relief was noticeable. Now, after receiving a full course of adjustments and massages, I noticed a vast improvement and have started to ride my bike again.’ Kenneth Chapman
The ‘chemical’ pillar
When we talk about chemical, we think of the elements in our environment. The connections with the outside world include what we breathe, eat, drink and apply to our skin. Water is required for chemical reactions and transport to occur efficiently in our body- and we need plenty as we are approximately 70% water.
Make it a habit to keep a water bottle with you, some bottles even have measurements for you to help track your consumption and aim for approx. 2 litres. Nutrition is a huge subject area.
Ensure a balanced diet of good fats, carbohydrates and protein and ensure you consider your energy expenditure. If you need more specific advise, you can contact our in-house Naturopath, Marilyn, who can assist you.
If you want your body to thrive and be resilient, make sure you understand the three pillars
The ‘mental & emotional’ pillar
Mental & emotional stress is something everyone experiences. The problem when we don’t deal with this stress (even if perceived as something small) is that a chronic increase in stress levels leads to an increase in cortisol levels, which can therefore lead to inhibition of our immune and healing responses. There is a reason why our bodies do this, and the answer goes back to our ancestors…
As hunter gatherers a threat such as a tiger approaching to attack causes an involuntary survival response to ‘fight and fly’. The sympathetic nervous system will send signals to cause a flash flood of hormones (namely, cortisol) to boost the body’s alertness and heart rate, sending extra blood to the muscles. While this is happening, it’s less important to use resources to digest our meal or tend to an infection, for example.
So, what if I were to tell you that our body still responds in this way:
Instead of tigers, we have the work deadline, running to catch the train, the school pickup, the idiot driver on the road, shopping lists, bills to pay, the grievance of a loved one. Our body’s still have the same stress response but it is not as useful in these situations. What’s more, you would (hopefully) escape the tiger, but these current stresses often don’t just go away. So you can appreciate the reason why a daily practice of mindfulness is so important.
Mindfulness is defined as: ‘a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique. Mindfulness and meditation can come in many forms. Whether you enjoy being present in your thoughts while sitting cross-legged, laying in Savasana at the end of your yoga session, going for a walk in nature, listening to music, doing something creative like painting or playing a musical instrument… find what best suits you so that you enjoy and get the most out of it, as you’re then more likely to keep it as a routine. Just ensure you achieve that ‘awareness on the present moment’.
Make small changes. If you feel there’s a need to change a lot in your lifestyle, just try one thing at a time – but consistency is key to get the results! Enjoy the process and reflect on the benefits of your lifestyle choices.