As Chiropractors, it is part of our passion to share with patients the major tenets of wellness. While our greatest tool is the Chiropractic adjustment and the effect it has on the nervous system, we have others in our toolbox that also promote overall health and wellness. When we use these in combination, they have a synergistic effect and help your body play better defense. What could be more important as we look to the months ahead, which are unfortunately known as “cold and flu season?”
It never fails. Year after year, the school year starts again and BAM! It’s kickoff to germ season. Even if you don’t have school-aged kids or are not a teacher, you know what I’m talking about. Luckily, there are many things you can do to keep yourself and your families healthier during this time. Instead of waiting until you get sick, and reacting to dis-ease, you can go on offensive and try to live above the wellness line. Let’s discuss some simple ways to do this.
1) Be kind to your gut. Did you know that 70-80% of your immune system lies in your intestines? Who would’ve thought?! When you eat poorly, overuse antibiotics, mismanage stress and lack regular exercise you have a damaging effect on the diverse population of good bacteria in the GI system (1). Diets high in processed foods, alcohol and refined sugars, and low in fiber can destroy the gut’s flora and inflame its linings. When those defenses go down, you’re not only more susceptible to getting common viral infections like the cold and flu, you open yourself up to a host of other maladies.
2) Stay well hydrated. Adequate hydration is important for the health of your skin and your mucus membranes: both of which are other major lines of defense against invading germs. Not only can dehydration lead to the nasal passageways drying out but living in a dry environment can too (2). If your home is dry you might consider using a cool mist humidifier at bedtime or having a whole house humidifier installed onto your furnace. The goal for daily water intake? Half of your body weight in ounces of water.
3) Get enough sleep. A good sleep routine is crucial to the overall functioning of your body. Sleep is the time where our body does its repair work! So, if you’re running yourself down and not getting the right amount of sleep, you’re starting each day already behind the game. How much sleep do you need? According to the Mayo Clinic (3) “The optimal amount of sleep for most adults is seven to eight hours of good sleep each night. Teenagers need nine to 10 hours of sleep. School-aged children may need 10 or more hours of sleep.” Make a reasonable bed time and stick to it!
4) Exercise regularly. Our bodies are designed to move! When you routinely engage in enjoyable, moderate exercise, you not only strengthen your musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems but you can keep stress levels at bay and have a better outlook from the release of endorphins. Regular exercise can also keep the lower GI system moving regularly and promote gut health. As another way to promote overall health, exercise can encourage resiliency.
5) Reduce your toxin exposure. Repetitive exposure to harmful chemicals can increase your toxic burden and have a negative impact on your overall health. Where do we come in contact with such chemicals? Take a look at the labels on your personal care products and cleaning products. If they’re filled with a long list of chemicals you can’t pronounce, they probably aren’t the best to be putting on your body and into the air you breathe. Use a resource guide like the Environmental Working Group to look up the products you use daily (4). Consider having your tap water tested to see what chemicals are in your water supply and research water filtration methods to keep your drinking water safe. Smoking, or being around second-hand smoke, fits into this category too.
6) Keep on maintenance Chiropractic care. You didn’t really think I’d talk about all of these health promoting activities and not mention regular Chiropractic care, did you? The Chiropractic adjustment has an incredible effect on the nervous system, which is the master control system of the body. It promotes proper circulation of blood and drainage of the lymphatic system. It can help reduce stress and anxiety, and improve your sleep. It complements all of the above tenets of wellness, which can work together to keep you thriving in the wellness game.
Think of the body like a savings account: every time you do one of the six actions above, you’re making a deposit into your health savings account. Other supportive measures like the use of vitamins, supplements or essential oils can be good deposits too. The more you deposit, the more you save. Then, when withdrawal events like stress at work, difficult relationships, the passing of a loved one, injury, etc, occur… you’re withdrawing from a large savings account. You won’t go bankrupt. Score!
The office will be open on Saturday September 1st and in the morning only on Monday September 3rd. The office will be closed in the afternoon on Labor Day (Mon. Sept. 3rd).
Dr. Jeremiah Davis and Dr. Joshua Leuppie will be hosting another Patient Education Class/Trigger Point Workshop on Tuesday September 25th at 6:30pm. The class is free and open to all! Please RSVP at the front desk or by calling 716-877-0676 ext. 1.
Looking ahead… Dr. Marinaccio will be hosting a free class on Essential Oils for Immune Support on Wednesday October 10th. You can follow her on Facebook at @DrSashaMarinaccio for all the details.
approx 4 cups strawberries and nectarines, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
pinch sea salt
4 Tbsp cold butter (dairy-free for vegan) or sub olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and butter an 8×8 (or similar size) baking dish.
2. Add fruit directly to the dish as you chop it and spread until flat.
3. To a mixing bowl add crisp ingredients and, using your hands, mix until all of the butter is evenly distributed.
4. Add to the top of the fruit in an even layer.
5. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling and the top is crisp and golden.