How can you achieve lasting wellness? Everyone is different, so everyone will have a different answer. One thing is certain: Balance will be part of the answer. Balance between things to do and things not to do. Balance between work and rest, physical care and mental care, stress and relaxation, community and solitude, and so on.
Here are 5 tips to help you reach and maintain lasting wellness.
- Lower the stress in your life:
High levels of emotional stress reduce your level of health and shorten your life span. When you experience sustained, long term stress in your life, the ongoing ‘stress response’ can cause a plethora of negative effects: memory loss, inability to concentrate, anxiety, moodiness, depression, aches and pains, diarrhea or constipation, lowering of the immune system, changes in blood glucose, sleeping disorders, and eating disorders, just to name a few. The stress response is a useful response from your body when action is required to avoid or face a potentially dangerous situation, but in the longer term, it is extremely harmful to your health. Lowering your stress levels will allow your physiology to return to a ‘rest-repair-reproduce’, as opposed to the ‘fight or flight’ state. You may not be able to avoid stresses in your life, but you can help your body dissipate them. Light or heavy exercise (a walk or a weights workout), meditation, a hot bath, losing yourself in a creative activity, or even a catch up with friends are all good ways to shed some stress.
- Curb your vices:
Alcohol, smoking and even over-eating once again reduce the quality and quantity of your life. You may not wish to live like a monk, but try re-setting from time to time. Habits are learned behaviours, that are actually patterns of neurons in the brain firing together and wired together very strongly as a result of how many times you’ve done something (eg. How hard do you have to think about walking?) Here is a big tip: you can weaken that pattern substantially by NOT doing something for a month. Promise yourself a month without one of your vices, and soon you will lose the craving. What you are experiencing is a change in brain structure (learning) created by your change in behaviour. Give it a go. It’s a great way to help re-establish some more healthy behaviours.
- Take care of your spine:
The spine and the nervous system it protects is central to every aspect of your health. Your nervous system controls, regulates and coordinates the function of every cell in the body. When your spine is misaligned and not moving properly (chiropractors call this ‘subluxation’), messages passing between the brain and the body become scrambled. This in turn causes poor bodily function, whether that be problems with muscles and joints, or internal organ function. Good health relies on a properly functioning nervous system. Chiropractors, like the doctors at Canberra Spine Centre help to keep your spine moving properly by adjusting subluxations to restore proper motion, and by teaching their patients to stay well through appropriate exercise and other lifestyle advice.
- Eat Well:
One of the major stressors acting on the body is chemical stress. That is mainly what you put in your mouth. A simple way to eat well is simply to eat a diet mainly of whole fresh vegetables and fruit with a selection of good quality fresh meat, fish, eggs and/or poultry. This will get you a good balance of all your macro nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats), as well as the necessary micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals).
Avoid processed foods (foods changed substantially from their original form), that tend to be high in refined sugars and additives. Eating mainly fresh, whole (unprocessed) foods tends to satisfy your hunger and provide you with all you need, thus also helping you to eat the right amount for your needs.
- Get enough sleep:
Some people can get by on 4 – 5 hours of sleep per night, but most of us require around 8 hours, give or take a little. Lack of sleep over long periods is a sure-fire way to create a ‘stress response’ in the body, which in turn has a myriad of harmful effects on the body. These include: reduced immunity, poor digestion, and altered hormone balance. One of the most common ways that people lose sleep has to do with the use of technology. Either being over-stimulated prior to going to bed, or purely spending too much time in front of a screen to actually get enough hours to sleep. Quick fix – promise yourself no screen time within 30 – 60 minutes of going to bed.
As mentioned above, the nervous system is the prime coordinator, controller and regulator of every function in the body. When you place more stress on the body, your nervous system reacts to balance the system. Long periods of sustained stresses can overwhelm the body, causing the nervous system to change patterns of movement and nerve activity to adapt. Some of these adaptations show up in the body as subluxations. When dealing with a body that has been overwhelmed by stressors over a long period of time, it is important to correct the subluxations in the spine in addition to correcting the underlying causes. This helps the body return to balance under its own steam.
The chiropractors at Canberra Spine Centre in O’Connor understand that life can be complex and that factors preventing you from achieving lasting wellness can be complex, too. We understand the important relationships between the spine, the nervous system and health and lasting wellness, and how to restore balance in these.
Chiropractic care at Canberra Spine Centre is a part of an overall strategy to create balance and proper function for your nervous system. By creating and then maintaining a healthy spine, you can get better results from the lifestyle changes you make, moving you closer to healthy living and lasting wellness.
If you are in the Canberra area, visit us at Canberra Spine Center and let us be part of your strategy for lasting wellness by helping you keep your physical-self healthy and functioning smoothly so that you can concentrate on actualizing your goals and dreams.