Health is not merely the absence of disease. To be truly healthy, every part of us must function correctly. Our immune system must be able to respond quickly and fight off infections. Our digestive systems must be able to process the food we eat efficiently and correctly. Our heart must be able to pump blood at the proper pressure and speed. Of course, this is only a partial list of what the body must do. Symptoms, even minor ones like fatigue and frequent colds, are signs that something is not working right. Dis-ease occurs when the body is unable to cope and it isn’t functioning properly. Minor annoying symptoms begin to form. Over time these symptoms worsen, the body has a crisis and a disease is diagnosed. The body is no longer capable of healing itself and medications are necessary to keep the symptoms under control while the disease continues. For most diseases, prevention would have been possible if the original minor symptoms had been dealt with properly. The key is to ensure the body is capable of functioning optimally. A healthy nervous system is essential for this to occur.
The nervous system is the body’s communication pathway. It is how the brain and the rest of the body (the organs, muscles, skin, etc) send signals in regards to what is going on and what needs to happen. If the messages are able to get back and forth clearly, then everything functions properly. But what if those messages are “fuzzy” or interrupted? Do you think the receiver of that message will know exactly what to do? If the signal is received clearly, the body may not have the proper response. Depending on what organ is involved, a variety of symptoms can develop.
So, what can cause this “fuzzy” or interrupted signaling? The answer is inflammation. Swelling along the nerve will alter the speed and intensity of the signal. Both of these are essential for the body to receive the proper signals. Inflammation has many causes. In chiropractic these causes are grouped into 3 categories: physical, chemical and emotional. Physical triggers are things like posture, injuries and lack of exercise. Chemical triggers are nutritional, toxins in our environment, medications and chemicals we ingest. Emotional triggers are stress and negative thoughts. The key is to reduce the number of inflammatory triggers our body encounters in order to limit the amount of inflammation within our body that can affect the nervous system.
Reducing chemical triggers is fairly straight forward. Limit the amount of toxins and chemicals you come in contact with and ingest. Avoid smoking. Avoid preservatives and artificial flavours, colours and sugars in the foods you consume. Try using natural bodycare and household cleaners. Use alternative, natural remedies instead of medications when possible.
Emotional triggers can be difficult to reduce at times. Meditation, yoga, exercise, deep breathing can all help lower stress levels. Be optimistic and have a positive outlook on life. There are many ways to deal with stress. Try different techniques until you find one that works for you.
Eliminating the physical triggers can be a bit more difficult, but definitely possible. The most common physical trigger is poor posture. Altered posture puts pressure on the spinal joints causing them to become inflamed. My grandmother used to say “stand up straight!” If only it was that simple! Posture issues are usually a combination of tight, spasmed muscles, muscle weakness, and lack of spinal motion. Correcting only one aspect will not correct the problem. All 3 contributors must be addressed to solve the problem. Chiropractic care can have drastic effects on posture. It improves spinal motion and rebalances the muscles allowing tense muscles to relax and weakened muscles to strengthen. This also helps reduce inflammation from injuries and chronic pain.
By reducing the inflammation in the body, the nervous system
is able to provide optimal signaling. This will allow everything from the heart
and lungs to the stomach, to the immune system, to everything in between to
function the way it should. When all the organs function properly without any
interference, true health is achieved. You will have better posture, more
energy, improved concentration and memory, fewer colds and allergies, better
health in general.
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