Complete Health Includes Your Mind, Body, and Spirit
2020 was a year in which many people recognized the importance of sound mental health. However, your mental status is only one piece of the puzzle. You also have the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of your daily life to consider. That's why at Hamby Chiropractic & Wellness we don't just solely focus on chiropractic care. Our chiropractors and staff understand that to be truly healthy, you need to practice healthy life habits, such as,
- Stress management
- Pain management
In other words, the chiropractic care we provide can help you live a life of health and wellness even after you exit our office in Rincon, Georgia. Your journey to better overall well-being in 2021 begins here.
It all starts with nutrition. Poor nutrition can compromise your body’s ability to fight infection and increase your risk of getting sick. However, most people do not realize that their dietary choices can also lead to chronic pain due to inflammatory ingredients in their food, such as sodium, gluten, trans-fats and added sugars. The good news is there are foods you can eat to help you combat and prevent inflammation, such as fish, fruit, tea, and certain spices.
- Fish: Most fish contain a large amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to help reduce inflammation. If you're not a big fan of fish, you can also get omega-3s through different types of nuts and seeds like walnuts or flaxseeds, but your body only absorbs a small percentage of it. A better alternative to fish is fish oil supplements because your body reaps all the benefits without the fishiness.
- Fruit: Particular fruits like oranges and grapes are full of vitamins and antioxidants, both of which help boost your immune system and reduce inflammation.
- Tea: Certain kinds of tea like green tea help your body absorb antioxidants and fight compounds that harm healthy cells. Like Vitamin C, green tea contains anti-inflammatory properties, which helps reduce joint pain and irritation.
- Spice: Ginger contains nutrients known as gingerols. They are an anti-inflammatory compound that has been shown to reduce inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.
After you have established a well-balanced diet, it's time to turn your attention to stress management. Believe it or not, no one is immune to the stress of everyday life. Big or small, positive or negative, stress affects your physical, mental, and emotional health. The most effective ways to reduce your stress is by:
- Establishing a set routine: This will help you manage your time and workload. In addition, it will reduce distractions and help you stay focused on the task at hand.
- Exercising: Physical activity is a great way to combat stress because it releases endorphins, which boost your mood and feelings of relaxation. Exercise, however, can include much more than going to the gym. Approaches such as online fitness videos, walking your dog, practicing yoga and riding a bike are all great ways to release endorphins and get blood pumping through the body.
- Meditating: Partaking in mindfulness is an effective way to release feelings of stress and anxiety. Research has shown that 20 minutes of meditation amounts to the same restoration as an hour and a half nap. Starting and ending your day with meditation is a great way to incorporate it into your daily schedule.
- Spending time with loved ones: Love from your pet, parents, or close friend helps release oxytocin into the body. Oxytocin is referred to as the “cuddle hormone” and has been shown to increase happiness and reduce feelings of stress.
Hydration is the third pillar of health and wellness. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. In fact, research shows that only 2% of water loss in the body causes vital functions, such as memory, focus, vision, and even reaction time to be compromised. Moreover, dehydration can exacerbate or even cause neuromusculoskeletal conditions like joint pain. Stay hydrated by:
- Flavoring your water: Fresh fruit like lemons, cucumbers, strawberries, mint leaves, raspberries and limes are all great options to add a hint of flavor.
- Drinking milk: Due to its concentration of carbohydrates, calcium, protein, and electrolytes, milk is more hydrating than water. If you're not a milk fan, try making oatmeal with milk. The oats absorb moisture and can make a tasty breakfast or snack option.
- Setting goals for water intake: The amount of water you should drink throughout the day varies from person to person. The standard recommendation is about a half-gallon of water per day or 8 glasses of water. Set goals to drink a specific amount of water throughout the day and make a habit to start drinking water first thing in the morning. This will help kickstart your metabolism and give you the energy you need to begin your day.
- Consuming fruits and veggies: Fruits and vegetables are great sources of water. Fruits and vegetables with high water content include cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, watermelon, strawberries, spinach, peaches, lettuce, and oranges Make a point to add more fruit and vegetables to your diet. If you prefer to drink your fruits and veggies, you can get creative and make a smoothie.
Next, is pain management. Pain, especially joint pain, affect more than 50 million adults nationwide. With more than 100 different joint diseases, symptoms can vary from person to person. The most effective remedies for treating overworked joints are:
- Hot and cold therapy: Heat therapy boosts circulation and can soothe stiff joints, while cold therapy restricts the blood vessels, slows circulation, reduces swelling, and numbs pain.
- Low-impact exercise: Exercises such as Tai Chi, Iyengar Yoga, and aquatic activities can provide great low-impact movements to relieve joint pain. Thai Chi infuses slow, gentle movements geared towards increasing flexibility, strengthening muscles, and improving balance. Iyengar Yoga focuses on correctional anatomical alignment to relieve tension and inflammation. Aquatic exercise provides resistance and buoyancy to support the body.
- Weight management: Excess weight can burden your joints, particularly those of the lower back, hips, and knees. Fortunately, losing a small amount of weight (as little as 10 pounds depending on the person) can relieve joint pain and make it easier for you to exercise and perform other physical activities.
Moving onto proper posture. Poor posture has surprising consequences that affect your health and quality of life. Over time, bad posture can cause serious injury to your spine and lead to chronic pain. On the other hand, good posture can change your mood immediately, relieve back pain, and may even help you live a longer, healthier life. Improve your posture by:
- Bring in your elbows, lifting up your chin, and pulling your shoulders back and down
- Transitioning from the sitting to standing position as often as possible
- Distributing your weight evenly
- Regularly checking in with your body
After you realign your posture, your next mission is to develop a positive mindset. A big chunk of how you feel is under your control. Your living environment, the choices you make about the way you spend your discretionary time and the thoughts you allow to linger can heavily impact not only your mood, but also your health. Taking action to surround yourself with things that bring you happiness will positively affect your mind-body connection and reduce feelings of anxiety Creative a brighter mindset by:
- Doing things you love: Studies show that people who stick to a hobby have better moods, feel more interested, have less stress, and lower heart rates.
- Focus on the little things: By focusing on small things that bring you joy each day you can improve your mood and health in the long-term.
- Moderate media consumption: While we use news media to stay informed and social media to stay connected with others, feelings of negativity can follow. Try limiting the time spent reading the news or on social media to balance the negativity with the benefits.
Finally, dedicate yourself to better sleeping habits. Good sleeping habits help you maintain good health and recover faster when you are sick. Meanwhile, significant evidence shows that insufficient sleep has mental and physical health consequences, including weakening your immune system. Garner better quality sleep by:
- Considering a weighted blanket: Occupational therapists have begun utilizing weighted blankets to help patients relax and self-soothe. These blankets provide tactile sensations, including warmth, pressure, and a feeling of being held. In fact, studies have shown weighted blankets are an effective, complementary, drug-free intervention for people with chronic insomnia.
- Setting your phone to 'Do Not Disturb:' Boundaries can help you in all areas of your life, but in the wake of a stressful week, they’re especially helpful in quelling anxiety and enabling a good night’s sleep. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by constant push notifications from a news app, text messages, email, or social media, disable the alerts at night.
- Selecting the optimal sleeping position: Harmful positions create pressure on your neck and back, which causes pain and an unhealthy spinal alignment. Sleeping on your back or side are best to support a healthy posture.
- Choosing the correct pillow: Sleep with your neck in a neutral position supported by a comfortable pillow that fills the space between your neck and the mattress. Place another pillow under your knees or between your knees to maintain the normal curve of your spine.
Here at Hamby Chiropractic & Wellness in Rincon, Georgia, our highly-trained staff of qualified chiropractic and healthcare specialists can assist you on your way to better health in 2021. Call our office at 912-826-4444 or visit our website to schedule a time to speak to our doctors of chiropractic about chiropractic services, treatments, and techniques. You may be pleasantly surprised.