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Posted on 11-06-2014
Stress is something we all deal with in some form or fashion. Yet not being able to effectively cope with stress can have adverse effects on our health, including causing headaches, muscle tension, and pain. Often times, we hear that people carry stress in their neck and upper shoulders, but stress can affect all areas of our muscles, and other body systems like digestion, heart rate, hormones and sleep. We all experience stress from jobs, bills, family, finances, deadlines, etc, but there are other stressors that can adversely affect our health.
Stressors can be grouped into 3 categories; Physical, Chemical and Mental/Emotional. Physical stresses are those that effect our body structure, like falls, car accidents, lifting incorrectly, poor posture, and sedentary lifestyle. Chemical stresses are found in air pollution, water contaminants, cleaning supplies, plastics, processed and inflammatory foods, and pesticides to name a few, all of which can cause pain or dysfunction in the body. Many of us are more familiar with the Mental/Emotional stresses of life, and how they make us feel.
Various stressors are sometimes unavoidable, but if we can prime our bodies to better deal and cope with these stresses, they won’t be such a pain in the neck, literally! So what are some simple and effective tips you can start doing today to help alleviate stress? It’s easy! We try to teach our patients that true health is a balance between Eating Well, Moving Well, and Thinking Well! Eating Well helps our bodies stay nourished and decrease inflammation, so we can deal with the chemical stresses placed on us, and allows us to detoxify our systems so we can keep our bodies running at an optimal level. Moving Well is important in many aspects. Not only moving in the form of exercise, but making sure we also are not sedentary for long periods in the day. Take frequent breaks, get up, stretch, go for a walk, do desk yoga, something to get up and move around.
Also, have your spine checked by a chiropractor. Abnormal spine and joint biomechanics can cause decreased mobility, tightness, headaches, and pain. Having your spine and body in alignment is a crucial part of staying healthy. Thinking well can be a challenge for some. Adopting a positive attitude is vital for your mental state of health, and can help you deal with situations much more favorably. We’ve all heard the phrase “Don’t sweat the small stuff”. Also understand that there are things that you can control, and understand that you may not have the ability to control or change other things. And rather than throwing you hands up in defeat, you can take action steps to effectively deal with these situations. Take time to meditate, pray, do deep breathing exercises, take a walk, do yoga, exercise, do some gardening or listen to music. All of these things have been shown to help reduce mental stress.
Remember, some stresses are ones we cannot avoid, so we have to change our approach in how we deal with them, so they don’t become issues for our health. Chiropractic care can help your body de-stress, and help you lead a happier and healthier, stress-free and pain-free life!!!
Dr. Phil Afghani
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