Resoundingly, one of the biggest comments I get from my patients that start chiropractic care with me is how differently they look at healthcare and their life once they start care. In today’s society of reactive medicine, we don’t realize how much power we have over our bodies and how much our everyday life impacts our health. While we’ve taken time to explore some of the stressors that can cause subluxation, we haven’t taken much time to explore what other proactive measures we can take to ensure lifelong health and immunity.
Here are my six principles for whole life wellness:
To Experience Whole Life Wellness, Eat Real Food.
Food is fuel. In an age of no-calorie fad diets, we’re moving further away from the understanding that whole foods are what the body really needs to thrive.
Here’s a basic rule: The less processed a food item is and the closer it is to its natural form, the better it is for your body.
A simple way to move to a healthier lifestyle is to eliminate refined sugar and shop on the perimeter of the grocery store where meats, vegetables and fruits are found. The healthier the sources of protein and vitamins we get into our systems, the better our bodies will perform. These foods are the foods that our bodies can most easily break down, the foods that provide us with the most nutrition and give us the most energy.
Check out a great Pathways article on the 3 most important food categories to learn more.
To Experience Whole Life Wellness, Learn Something New Every Day
“What we learn becomes a part of who we are.” –Unknown
Our mind is a muscle with unlimited potential. The more that we learn about things outside our profession or hobbies, the more we flex that muscle and expand our horizons. Knowledge allows us to adapt, gives us a range of perspectives, feeds innovation and builds character and confidence.
Going beyond the abstract, though, learning changes our brains at the cellular level. Learning helps our brains form new connections between neurons. What’s the benefit here? According to an article from SocietyforChange.org: “As we learn something new, cells that send and receive information about the task become more and more efficient. It takes less effort for them to signal the next cell about what’s going on. In a sense, the neurons become wired together.” Neurons that fire together, wire together.
When our minds become more efficient, our energy can be used more efficiently. We’ll feel less exhausted at the end of a work day, allowing us to avoid common emotional stressors that cause subluxation.
To Experience Whole Life Wellness, Rest
In a society that is constantly on the go, anxiety is at its highest. According to Psychology Today, 49% of the general population has a history of anxiety, depression, substance abuse or some mixture of all three.
Anxiety disorders are linked to gastrointestinal disorders, metabolic disorders, hypertension, cardiac problems and more. When our schedules are filled to the brim and downtime consists of surfing social media and deleting e-mails, we can’t get the rest we need. Getting the appropriate amount of rest and sleep is essential to learning and memory processing. That means that if we’re taking the time to learn every day, we must rest to ensure that our brains are able to properly connect those neurons and hold the information that we’re absorbing.
A great alternative to sleep—since it seems to be so elusive for some, especially parents—is meditation. Thirty-percent of people that meditate report decreased anxiety, while 75% report less depression. Here are just a few benefits of meditation:
- Decreased levels of stress, fear and loneliness
- Improved mental strength & focus
- Increased ability to avoid emotional eating and smoking
- Pronounced boost in immune function and energy
Want to read them all? Here’s a handy infographic and article. We’ll explore more about the benefits of meditation in a future blog.
Unlocking your body’s health potential is a comprehensive undertaking. It’s a gradual process that starts with a positive mindset and builds with a desire to live differently. If you’re interested in implementing some of these changes into your everyday life, start small. Cut processed sugar and soda, stop eating fast food, pick up a book and take a few minutes throughout the week to meditate. Slowly integrate these changes.
While these are just 3 of my 6 recommended changes for a better immune system and life, they’ll go a long way toward helping you release the anxiety and chemicals that are contributing to your body’s subluxations on an everyday basis. Stay tuned for Part II.