As a Chiropractor, I spend my days engaging with people who are seeking health. Health for themselves, for a loved one, for an employee. But are they really seeking health? For some, I would say an emphatic yes. The lack of health or perhaps more accurately, the presence of the disease has created a void in their life so vast that they will do anything it takes to regain what they perceive to have been lost. But for others, and I fear the latter to be the larger group, what they really seek is a quick fix. A drug to numb the pain, a quick click to release some pressure, a needle jammed into a muscle to relieve a knot and in the most severe cases, a dangerous surgery to remove the “broken” and offending part.
The truth is that none of these solutions in and of themselves has the power to create health. The physician, Chiropractor, physiotherapist, acupuncturist, surgeon, homoeopath, a massage therapist is at best only 50 per cent of the solution. They are there to either numb the body to the pangs of alarm it gives off in the form of symptoms to tell us something is wrong; be it back pain, headaches, depression, allergies, recurrent infections, etc. or perhaps, and I wish this were always the case, they strive to work with your body to remove interference to it’s inherent resistance to the stressors of our lives and support it’s innate intelligence, which knows what is good and what is harmful.
The remainder of the power lies in the hands of the person themselves, in YOU. It is your responsibility as the steward of your earthly vessel to, as far as is possible, protect it from the universal forces which create stress. Now these universal forces in and of themselves are neither evil nor good. They are neutral as, on the one hand, stress is a vital part of growth. Just ask any gym rat, athlete or doctor giving premature baby steroids to force their lungs to develop more rapidly. When stress is moderate and relatively intermittent it leads to a process of growth and repair and is termed eustress. However, if these universal stressors are left unchecked and allowed to accumulate and become chronic, they begin to overwhelm our innate level of resistance we begin to spiral into a trajectory of death and decay. This is known as distress and is the origin of just about any condition you can think of.
So where does this leave us? Well, it is impossible to eliminate all the stress in our lives, but it is possible to limit the number of stressors our bodies are exposed to. What follows is a list of simple things we can do to reduce the stress our bodies experience. This list is by no means exhaustive but I hope it will give you some practical steps to make a start.
Move more: Our bodies are designed to move. Studies have shown that 100 percent of joints which have been permanently fused will start to decay and develop arthritic type change in a matter of months. It is also thought that roughly 80 percent of the oxygenation and nutrition of our brains and the nervous system relies on the movement of our spines.
Drink more water: Our bodies are made up of roughly 67 percent water. The majority of the chemical reactions taking place in them rely on water. The cartilage of our joints relies on water to remain supple and elastic. When dried out it becomes more rigid and prone to degradation.
Shift your point of view: If we view everything that happens to us in life as getting IN the way, we become negative and resentful. We subordinate ourselves to it, which leaves us disempowered. If we view everything as an opportunity to be grasped, we risk bouncing from one thing to the next and being double-minded, we elevate ourselves above it and develop an emotional/irrational attachment to it, risking falling prey in our infatuation to a potential threat. If we view every situation as neutral or ON the way, with both opportunity and challenge, we think critically and objectively, we become even-minded and this empowers us to grow from our experiences. Our thoughts determine our decisions, which determine our habits, which determine our destiny.
Cut the crap: A healthy diet is a vital part of health. Now, this is an essay topic all on its own but my advice is to start small. Cut the junk and processed foods out of your diet. Avoid drinking your calories and limit the number of toxins you expose yourself to in the form of cigarettes and drugs. Don’t follow the latest fad diet but stick to eating whole foods, that is foods with one ingredient that are from nature. Progression is the goal, not perfection. Too much too soon and it becomes unsustainable and we run the risk of yo-yo dieting which leads to health issues.
Address your sitting, sleeping and standing: These are the postures we spend the majority of our lives in and thus have the greatest impact on our health and well-being. Greater than almost any accident or injury. Here is a link to some videos on how you can improve each of these postures: https://www.capetownchiro.com/home-care/
Remove interference and support resistance: As discussed earlier, our bodies have an innate level of resistance to stress which becomes limited in the presence of interference by things like bad posture and the accumulation of vertebral subluxation. Receiving regular Chiropractic care can help you with each of these.
I trust these will empower you to stop you searching for quick fixes, which only mask the underlying problem and to discover your body’s innate ability to create health.
Yours in health