posted on 6/5/2017 in Monthly newsletter
If Junior gets sick, Mom or Dad might need to take a personal day to make the rounds to the doctors – and if Mom or Dad gets hurt, everyone else has to take on some additional chores and responsibilities to pick up the slack.
Health is clearly a family affair, not only when someone is ill, but even when all are healthy and well. Being able to participate fully in a thriving household where all family members work together and play together makes life easier and smoother, decreasing stress and expressing vitality.
Many families have to deal with health challenges, to be sure, but when the family pulls toward health, it tends to make things better. Eating healthy food, getting enough sleep and exercise, and making regular visits to your family chiropractor are only a few of the health habits that seem to improve family health.
The opposite is also true – those families who eat poorly, get little rest or exercise, and don’t take care of their brain, spine and nerve system with chiropractic care tend to have a lesser degree of family health – it’s only common sense.
Which family would you rather be part of? Make good choices and develop a healthy lifestyle – your future may depend on it.
Household Stress, a Serious Problem
The modern family has more opportunity than ever before – we can do more with a phone that fits in our pocket than scientists could do with a roomful of computers only ten or fifteen years ago.
Scientific research is uncovering many of the mysteries of health and wellness, and there seems to be a common thread that weaves together many of today’s prevalent health issues.
The simple truth is this – many or even most of our health concerns are related to stress, unresolved stress that jangles our nerves, alters our metabolism and creates tremendous wear and tear on our bodies.
Traditionally, wellness doctors who help their patients cope with stress concentrate on three types of stress – physical stress, chemical stress, and emotional stress. Let’s look at these three categories and what we can do about them.
Physical or mechanical stress comes from the wear and tear on your body, whether from significant injuries or smaller trauma over time. Even just standing or sitting in gravity produces stress on your brain, spine and nerve system.
To reduce the impact of physical or mechanical stress, you can exercise, to make your muscles stronger so they hold your bones in place better. Also, movement keeps your joints from getting stuck or damaged, consistent with the old adage; use it or lose it.
Often, your wear and tear is worse because your body is out of alignment – this is where your doctor of chiropractic comes in. Chiropractic care is one of the best things you can do to ease the negative effects of stress.
Chemical or nutritional stress may happen when you take in toxic substances, like household cleaners and solvents, gardening chemicals, or even many food additives and preservatives that your body regards as poison. Hair spray, deodorants, perfumes, and even some skin creams may contain ingredients that your body doesn’t like.
So, it’s better to avoid inhaling or covering your skin in products that aren’t healthy. But just as important, you handle your chemical stresses better when you choose a healthy diet, with clean, wholesome foods that have no poisonous residues.
Many nutritionists also feel that genetically modified foods, GMOs, are not tolerated well by some or even many people. You may want to try non-GMO foods, usually clearly marked as such, to see if it makes a difference for you and your family. It’s easy to find them, just look for the non-GMO seal on the packaging.
Some people are sensitive to gluten, or dairy, or sugar, so those people can diminish their chemical stress by reducing or eliminating such irritants from their diets.
But no matter where you start, feeding yourself a wide variety of natural foods, with enough fruits and vegetables and not too much fried, sugary or salty snacks, will help you cope with chemical stress.
Emotional stress is rampant in our society. Financial pressures, issues at work, relationship and family problems, and health concerns are widespread, causing an increase in mental and psychological stress. You may or may not be able to avoid such stresses – the first choice should be noticing if there are things you can do to stay out of stressful situations like this.
If you can’t avoid them, then to deal with such stresses, you must find stress relaxation techniques that work for you. Meditation, affirmation and visualization, laughing, naps, breathing, yoga, martial arts and stretching are only a few of the many examples of new habits you could develop to counteract the harmful effects of emotional stress.
There is a fourth type of stress that is affecting us more and more – electromagnetic stress. Cell phones, tablets, desktop computers, televisions, we’re constantly bathed in a sea of electromagnetism. To de-stress your energy, get out into nature, without any devices, and breathe fresh air. Even better, take off your shoes and walk around with your skin in contact with the Earth – it will help you clean out and recharge your energy field.
Finally, get enough rest – your brain does its daily maintenance while you sleep, and that cleansing happens better when you get at least seven or eight hours for normal adults, more for children.
Many doctors and researchers feel that stress is the cause of most of our preventable diseases and disorders – you can improve overall health and wellness for yourself and your family when you understand how to avoid the stresses you can avoid, and handle the stresses you can’t avoid. It’s a formula for a better life for you and those you care about.
If you need guidance on how to manage your stress better, consult your family chiropractor, your neighborhood wellness advisor.
Springtime Family Health Activities
If you go into a typical household these days, you’ll probably find people sitting around, maybe watching television, maybe each on his or her own phone or device, maybe even everyone in different parts of the home.
“Even just getting outside in the fresh air for a half hour can be a great start on the day, or make the remainder of the evening more productive, and everyone will sleep better, too."
While this is common, it’s not a great way to maximize family health and build relationship – yet, a few simple activities or choices could make that much better.
For example, what about a short walk, before breakfast or after dinner? Even just getting outside in the fresh air for a half hour can be a great start on the day, or make the remainder of the evening more productive, and everyone will sleep better, too.
Giving young children the idea that such moderate exercise is normal will help them to be healthier as young adults, and they’ll probably bring the habit forward to their families too, when the time is right.
Preparing a healthy picnic is another delightful family health activity. Kids can arrange sliced tomato, onion, pickles, lettuce and buns on a platter, while Mom or Dad barbecues the veggie burgers. Everyone can shuck the corn together – pick organic, non-GMO corn, and have the children wrap the ears in aluminum foil for grilling, or just cook them in a pot of salted hot water. Finish up with watermelon cut into bite-size cubes, and you have a fun, healthy meal that the whole family made as a team.
But one of the best things a healthy family can do is make a family visit to their doctor of chiropractic. Your chiropractor knows how to help you make good health decisions, individually and as a family. It will decrease your stress, improve your overall health and wellness, and it even makes a good investment – it’s cheaper to stay healthy than it is to get well. Keep it in mind when you’re deciding what health habits are best for you and your family.