Exercise is, of course, one of the first things that might pop to your mind as being a great proactive strategy to keep yourself healthy. Good nutrition might be the second thing. And you’d be right on both counts. However, there may be other modalities that you can use to keep yourself healthy and well, and also to help pick up the pieces if you have let things slide or they have gotten out of control due to injury.
Chiropractic, massage and acupuncture are some modalities that come to my mind when thinking about preventative health practices and also restorative medicine. Those who ready this column regularly likely know, I’m not big into unnatural methods of regaining one’s health but believe in a solid base of excellent nutrition and exercise.
Chiropractic medicine addresses the issue of pressure on the nerves of the spine. The central nervous system and the spine are the first parts of our bodies to develop in utero and, unfortunately, starting with the trauma of birth and all subsequent falls, injuries, poor posture and unusual positions caused by our jobs or our activities (or lack thereof) our spine and the nerves that run through the spine suffer.
By relieving the pressure on the nerves, you allow your body to heal itself allowing the nerve impulses to flow naturally to the muscles, the organs and glands. Chiropractic practitioners may use their hands or they may use small instruments to assist the neuromuscular junctions along the spine to align.
Dr. Rosie Meuleman of the Kauai CAN (Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Nutrition) clinic noted that everyone who wants to maintain their health optimally, or who wants to improve their health, should do chiropractic adjustments because life is cruel and the traumas we suffer are cumulative. Therefore, we need to re-align our spine on a regular basis. Children, teens, athletes and older adults all should be assessed, because — although there can be obvious signs and symptoms of maladjustments in the spine, such as tingling in the hands or legs and feet, headaches, sore neck and back, shoulder pain — the nerves also feed the internal organs and sometimes the symptoms can be falsely attributed to something else.
Dr. Rosie stated that maladjustments in the spine can be seen as irritable bowel syndrome or high blood pressure, or may be symptomless and yet still be affecting the internal organs.
Older people can recapture their vitality and regain their fitness level from incorporating chiropractic into their lifestyle. You could think about it as health assurance. Apparently, the addition of chiropractic, massage and acupuncture has reduced insurance expenditures, and complementary alternative medicine is seen widely as the new option for both proactive health care as well restorative care.
Massage is important as well because it increases blood flow as well as lymph flow. The nice thing about massage is that it can be customized for everyone from newborns to the elderly. Massage induces muscle relaxation which works well with chiropractic. The relaxed muscles allow the bones to shift back into place more easily.
Massage reduces stress and can assist in restructuring posture. Athletes benefit by allowing the muscles to relax after a training session, finding that their energy and performance increases. Everyone else benefits from the general benefit of simply relaxing and reducing muscular stress.
With chiropractic and massage is acupuncture, as a third modality that is both preventative and restorative. Acupuncture has been practiced for centuries to relieve pain, digestive issues, anxiety, PMS, allergies and gender specific issues.
Benefits can be felt immediately if the condition is acute, and if it is longstanding, benefits are usually noticed after only a few sessions.
Good diet, sensible exercise and sensible lifestyle choices, including longstanding tried and true modalities that relieve stress on the body just makes sense in order to live an optimally healthy life and to regain one if you’ve let it slip away.
Jane Riley, M.S., B.A., C.P.T., Certified Nutritional Adviser, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-1451 or www.janerileyfitness.com.