The human body is the most complex machine on earth! But no matter how perfect the body is, it still needs maintenance and check ups like everything else. Chiropractic deals with both the function and alignment of all the major joints of the body. However, this is not the only reason to see your chiropractor regularly. Since the spinal column houses the communication system of the body, misalignments of the spine have the ability to interfere with the bodies communication system. Your body is a system made up of individual parts. Like any healthy family, communication is the key to getting everyone doing their part. Chiropractic, like a good family therapist, gets everyone talking again and restores a feeling of well being and precision.
Recommendations: Since 80% of the fibers in a nerve do not have anything to do with pain, you can have up to 80% of your health being interfered with without ever feeling pain. So see your chiropractor at least once every three months. More often if you work more than 40 hours per week, participate in competitive sports or have an old injury.
A Healthy Diet
Nothing says more about our potential for health more than our regular diet because we are what we eat! There are so many diet fads and misinformation out there that it is hard not to get confused. So what should we eat? Here are a few recommendations.
Recommendations: Eat 1-2 servings of either a fruit of a vegetable with each meal. People who eat 4-5 smaller meals per day loose 70% more weight. Breakfast is the most important meal and those who eat it had the ability to loose 23% more weight. A small meal is equal about 300 to 500 calories or about the size of 1 or 2 of your fists. If you are still hungry, extra portions of veggies or fruits are free calories. Do most of your grocery shopping out of the whole foods section of the grocery store. In general, stay away from processed foods or even foods in a box with a long list of ingredients you can’t pronounce. Avoid sugary meals and drinks as they spike your blood sugar levels and are hard on the pancreas and adrenal glands. Try to combine your meals so that you get some protein, carbohydrates and fat in a meal. Choose a leaner piece of meat like chicken or fish. Soy protein is especially good for women and beneficial for men as well. Remember, fat is not a bad word, unless it is saturated or even worse, partially hydrogenated! This means read the label on all those cookies, crackers and even processed peanut butter. Good fats include grape seed oil, olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil. Also remember, the oils found in fish, nuts and other fruits and vegetables are healthy and combat heart disease. Avoid caffeine in soda and coffee, but moderate amounts of green and black teas are OK. Milk is OK if it is skim or 1%. Butter is better than margarine, but now you should be able to find a non hydrogenated butter spread made out of canola, olive oil or grape seed. For most people convenience is why they don’t eat well. So plan for at least 10 healthy meals that you routinely eat and have the ingredients on hand. This will take some work at first, but soon everything will be a snap. Buy a garlic press and add this spice to your foods.
Healthy Snacks: Watch the size and calories of course, but in general these are OK. Protein bars, smoothies, yogurt with flax seed or granola added, cottage cheese with fruit, one scoop low fat ice cream or frozen yogurt, baked snacks like pretzels, 1 ounce of chocolate or natural peanut butter.
A Healthy Digestive System
Possibly the most over looked area of health today is in the area of the digestive system. The digestion system is responsible for breaking down, absorption, assimilation and elimination of food. This component of health is so important because the digestive system is the barrier responsible for both acquiring or getting rid of what the body does or doesn’t need.
Symptoms: Allergies, indigestion, gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, ulcers, fatigue, head aches, fibromyalgia, diabetes, low back pain, skin problems, cancer and depression. There are several test that your doctor can perform in order to determine digestive problems as well.
Recommendations: Take a cleansing program along with a complete healthy bacteria supplement at least once per year or after taking antibiotics. Take digestive enzymes if you have trouble digesting your food. Chew properly, moderate your caffeine intake and drink UN-chlorinated water. Avoid antacids as they deactivate enzymes and can lead to cancer.
1 Fact: There are 3 ½ pounds of healthy bacteria in the body. These organisms help the body do things that it can’t do without them. Taking antibiotics doesn’t just kill the unhealthy bacteria in the body, but also the healthy ones as well.
Exercise is one of the best things to help maintain your physical body and your emotional well being. Many health conditions are caused by either a lack of activity or an imbalance in activity. Imbalances can cause problems in every joint in the body, but are most common in the hands, wrists, shoulders, low back and hips. Specific exercises and stretches are necessary to correct these imbalances once they are diagnosed by your doctor.
Recommendation: Exercising should be performed 3-6 times per week. These activities should include at least three sessions consisting of 30 minutes of sustained aerobic activity. Aerobic activities include such things as: walking, running, stair stepping, elliptical trainers, biking, roller blading, aerobics classes and some sports like tennis and soccer. Weight training is also very beneficial and is best when performed 3-6 times per week for 30-60 minutes and can be combined with aerobics for maximum weight loss.
Vitamin & Mineral Supplementation
In June of 2001, the American Medical Association reversed it’s long standing view on vitamin supplementation. Fifty years of skepticism was not over turned on a whim, but by the consistent proof of research that a good diet alone is not enough. We are only just now discovering some of the types of supplements that are beneficial in the maintenance of the healthy body and in the prevention of disease. Research is showing that disease is no longer just an alien that attacks us from the outside, but rather a breakdown or failure from within due to lack of supplies or poor maintenance.
Recommendation: Everyone should take a multivitamin every day! Here are some specific recommendations: Vitamin E (400iu/day), Vitamin C (1000mg/day), B-Complex (B1, B6, B12, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Calcium, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Magnesium, Fiber, Omega 3&6 Fatty Acids, Alpha-lipopic Acid and Chromium. These are general recommendations and specific recommendations can be made with proper nutritional counseling.