Remember the saying, “It takes a village?”
This African proverb refers to the many different, and quite necessary, community interactions it takes for children to gain experience and grow in a safe environment.
This same principle can be applied when it comes to our health!
“The groundwork of all happiness is good health.”
But one key thing we have to remember is this: just because we may not be expressing physical symptoms, doesn’t mean we are healthy. As chiropractors, we are constantly reminding our patients that they cannot base their health solely on how the look and how they feel. Why? Because you can only feel about 10% of your body (mostly the outer surfaces). I am sure you have read about someone who “felt fine” and then days later dropped dead of a heart attack. Clearly, this individual was not healthy because let’s face it, truly healthy people don’t just drop dead.
We tend to see this over and over again in our offices. Patients come in with seemingly “minor” symptoms (in their opinion) only to discover (after careful examination, x-ray, and analysis) MAJOR underlying issues that are essentially ticking time bombs. We find lots of wear and tear in the spine (i.e. degeneration or arthritis) and the patient is amazed because they couldn’t FEEL all of it. Sure, they may have felt some tender points or some stiffness, but their body learned how to adapt overtime and as a result the person simply learns to just “deal with it.”
After beginning care and adhering to a uniquely tailored plan of chiropractic adjustments, it’s no wonder we start to hear things like “Wow doc, I never knew I could feel this good”, or “My energy levels have skyrocketed”, or “My digestion is so much better.”
It’s not a miracle, it’s simply how the human body works!
The body’s nerve system is the MASTER system that governs the healing and proper function of all other systems, organs, and tissues. This same exact system is influenced with every adjustment that is made.
But the healing doesn’t end there. Now back to the saying…
It takes a village.
What this implies is that chiropractic is NOT the end all – be all. It alone will NOT make you 100% healthy, BUT it is a very important and foundational part of the healing process.
That said, here is a list of other factors we MUST consider!
Proper nutrition will play a key role in your healing process. Any time there is damage to a tissue in the body (even including the tissues of the spine) our body must create new, healthier tissue. The old, BAD cells are not magically fixed or “healed”, they are actually replaced with brand new cells. This new tissue will come from the foods we are consuming.
One of the key components that must be addressed during the healing phase is inflammation, a large majority of which is coming from the foods we are eating.
Check out this list of inflammatory-causing foods to AVOID, especially early on in the healing process:
- Processed Foods (anything in a box)
- Meats with added antibiotics and hormones
- Grains (especially white flour)
So what does that leave you ask?
- Raw Vegetables
- Healthy Fats (avocado, coconut oil, almonds, avocado oil, olive oil)
- Lean Proteins (grass fed beef and/or wild caught fish)
- Nuts and seeds
- Fruits (berries, green apples, grapefruit)
- Lentils, Brown Rice
Because our food today is seriously lacking when it comes to nutrients (as compared to 50+ years ago), it is imperative that you also check out our recommended list of supplements to further aid the healing process.
Once we have addressed and are correcting the structural imbalances with the chiropractic adjustments, and we are fueling our body right, we must now address the muscular components. This would involve addressing “trigger points”.
A properly trained and certified massage therapist will work and manipulate the muscles along with other soft tissues of the body to address and correct imbalances found within the muscles. Many people think this is a substitute for chiropractic. However, we must ask why there is an imbalance in the muscle to begin with? Unless there was a direct trauma to that muscle, this is answered when we know what the majority of those muscles are attaching to, which most commonly for the back muscles is the spine. Not to mention, knowing which nerve is innervating that muscle. If a spinal misalignment is causing nerve irritation, you better believe that whatever tissue that nerve supplies (including muscles) will be affected. This is why patients who utilize both chiropractic and massage together achieve outstanding results.
As chiropractors we say, “movement is life.” This means get out and move your body! As humans, we were designed to be active, not sedentary. Research even agrees with this! They have found that moving our spines is what fuels our brain! Studies have gone as far to show that even a 30-minute walk per day will decrease your risk of heart disease by 60%! A regular exercise routine also plays a role in strengthening weakened muscles, particularly the back muscles which are designed to hold us upright.
There are many different types of exercise out there, so the best advice is to find what works best for you, and to find what you enjoy. Whether you fancy traditional workouts at the gym, Zumba, Yoga, or are a CrossFit advocate, the main thing is to just DO something. Just take action! And be sure to modify your routines early on if they are causing pain or discomfort.
“Exercise is the most underutilized antidepressant.”
You see, it really does take a village when it comes to achieving and then maintaining ever-greater levels of health! And wouldn’t you agree that your body requires, or rather, deserves that? Don’t fall victim to the trap, and blame your current circumstances on your genes. The majority of health issues and problems today are ENVIRONMENT-related. Yes, that means YOU have to take some responsibility for the poor actions you have chosen in the past, and begin to implement newer healthier strategies right NOW, not later.
Why now you ask? Because now you know!