Happy New Year – Happy New You! Is the title of this month’s column. I think it is fitting, as we usher in a new year, we of course reflect on the past.
Many of us look at the past year and realize that we may have given more attention to some things than others. Many of us can look back and say that we neglected our health in some way.
Others may have felt like their health was a priority, but when it came time to make that decision, there was hesitation. From this proverbial ooze emerges the New Year’s Resolution!
The resolution is great in concept, but lacking in substance.
Even for the most stubborn and driven individuals, the resolution is simply that…a resolution, not an Act or Law.
So put all of that aside and concentrate on yourself and your health this year.
Go ahead and make that appointment to see your medical doctor for your yearly physical exam (that you have put off for the past five years!) and make an appointment to have a spinal assessment with your chiropractor (that back pain that you get every few months may be important to your health…get it checked out!)
If you have been putting things off because of finances, think again, while it is true that if your truck is not working properly you can’t make a living, the same applies to the status of your health (sick or dead equals no work).
Well, I have descended from my soap box and I’m ready to talk health.
In the past several issues, I have discussed nutrition, general guidelines to better health, injury prevention and treatment.
In this issue I am going to set the stage for the process of creating that Happy New You!
I am no psychologist, but one component of health is happiness or psychosocial well-being. One could also say that being healthy contributes to overall happiness!
Let’s concentrate on physical health and how it relates to your well-being and happiness.
Your physical health is complex, in that it has many facets to create an overall structure of good health. You have many relationships in your body.
There is the relationship between your body and its environment, the relationship between your muscles, bones, blood and organ systems, the relationship between your nervous system and every cell in your body, etc.
It is the relationship between your nervous system and your cells that I will focus on and help describe in more detail why this relationship, while broad, is so vital to the maintenance of your health.
The relationship between your nervous system and every cell in your body is so important that if disconnected, it would be like having a truck engine with no driver, gears or a mechanic (okay that may be a little simple, but you get it!)
The nervous system is what keeps everything connected and functioning.
It also helps in the defense and repair of the body after an injury.
It really does so many things, so we can see that if it is not working properly or the messages are not being received properly, then there is a greater likelihood for injury or sickness.
I know that I have mentioned this in the past, but I really wanted to stress that if you’re trying to live healthier, you have to start at the source for the overall health of your body.
The nervous system truly is the source.
True, your heart can beat on its own (briefly and with a supply of blood and oxygen…of course, those things don’t just magically appear), but it does not speed up or slow down without the order from the nervous system.
Okay. Point made. Your next question is likely, “how do I know if my nervous system is not working properly?”
You most likely will not know, but a few things can tip you off as to whether you need to go see a health care professional that deals with these types of issues.
Stand in front of a full length mirror, with as little clothing as possible.
Now, look at the height of your shoulders and hips; does your head tilt to one side, or is it always drooping forward, these are some signs of muscle imbalance and of course we know what controls the muscles in your body!
You may not know that there is a problem until you look in a mirror. Most people get used to these imbalances, just like they get used to pain after a little while, and if you can’t see it or feel it, then it MUST be gone!?
We know that these things don’t just go away.
The symptom is remedied, but the problem is still there.
Those joints that are not moving properly in your spine and extremities are sending bad information back to your nervous system, and in turn your muscles fire improperly, which may lead to diminished range of motion or even injury, depending on the state of the joint and the environmental conditions. When your nervous system is receiving bad messages, your ability to adapt to the environment is diminished.
This information is very general and it is meant to inform and promote a healthy start for the readers in the New Year by inspiring a visit to your health care professional. Whether you want to start making changes by altering your diet, exercising (with a fitness specialist), or having your spine checked for nervous system interference from joint dysfunction, or all of the above, keep in mind that any progress is good progress.
Your ability to alter your current lifestyle to meet the goals of a healthier one is dependent upon your body being healthy from the inside out and your body’s ability to adapt to this change.
So in this season of change, take charge of your health and do what you have been meaning to. Live healthier. Feel healthier. Function Better!
Best wishes for continued health.
– Dr. Marc Blackstone is a chiropractor at City Health Chiropractic & Massage located in the RoadKing Truck Stop in Calgary, Alberta. Any questions or comments may be directed to him through his e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone at 403-204-1205 or toll-free at 1-866-466-0026. You may also view this article and others on the clinic Web site: www.cityhealthchiropractic.com