Too Much Sitting

We have become a society of sitters. We sit in our cars, at our computers, on planes and in front of tv. Prolonged periods of sitting can have an adverse affect on your spinal health.
Here are some tips to help:

  • Invest in an ergonomic chair.
  • Make sitting up straight important to you.
  • Set a periodic timer and shift your weight regularly.
  • Use a stool or phone book for your feet to relive low back pressure.
  • Get up as often as possible.
  • Set up your work station with you facing straight ahead with your head slightly down.
  • Know that this is one of the strains you are placing on your spine and make sure to give back to your body with movement, stretching, massage and your wonderful chiropractors!

    Backpack Safety: Fill it Light, Fill it Right, Wear it Right!

    For the past month, we’ve been spreading the backpack safety message far and wide. The first day of school in our town is tomorrow, and I already know that unfortunately, in the months ahead, I will see kids in my office for back pain and postural issues that might have been avoided had they learned the right way to pack and wear a backpack.

    It seems our kids are carrying more and more weight in their packs, as they set off for the school day with books, gym clothes, and gear for sports and extracurricular activities. Did you know that your backpack should weigh no more than 15% of your body weight? For a 60 lb elementary school student, that is a mere 9 lbs.

    I recommend asking your chiropractor for a backpack screening. We offer free screenings every year for our patients and the general public. A screening involves weighing a backpack (filled as you would fill it for a typical school day), checking the pack for safety (Are the shoulder straps wide enough? Is the pack too big?) and teaching your child how to pack it so weight is distributed properly.

    We are offering free screenings on Thursday, September 8 between 2 and 6 pm at our office at 300 Main Street, Groton, MA. Please call us at 978.448.9355 for the opportunity to prevent spinal problems before they start!

    Watch Dr. Steve on Around Town, talking backpack safety!

    Empowering Our Children

    The Fall Bug is “Going Around”
    This September I am hearing a lot of the talk around the table and in the mom’s circles about this bug or that bug “going around.”

    Here’s how these conversations usually begin:

    “My son has been home so much this September.  He keeps getting this stomach bug.”

    “My daughter had that twice, too.”

    “My son got Strep.  He gets it every September.”

    The way we speak about these “bugs” contains a lack of awareness and a lack of power.  We are not the victim of these arbitrary bugs running around and hitting a percentage of the population.  These bugs are not hovering over us playing “duck duck, goose” and the the goose gets it. We have so much more to say over the condition of our health than we take credit for.  As mothers, it is our gift to our children to empower them about their bodies and health rather than to take their healing power away with our words and actions.  We empower our children when we teach them to listen to their bodies, to treat their bodies well, to trust their bodies, and to build their health.

    What is “Being Healthy?”
    One of the guiding principles of chiropractic and other traditional healing systems is the interconnection of all things. Each of us is an inseparable part of an infinite field of intelligence, and in this very moment, with every breath, we are exchanging millions of atoms with people all over the world.  From this holistic perspective, health isn’t merely “getting the bug” or “not getting the bug.” Health is not merely having a symptom-free life.  Health is a higher state of consciousness that allows adaptability, vitality, and joy to flow into our experience of the world.

    We are healthy when we take in all life’s stimulus and adapt this information for our own betterment, eliminating the stimulus that doesn’t work for our system.  This is very similar to the digestion process of the body.  We are healthy when we take in what we need for our bodies’ improvement and eliminate what we do not need.  We are our most healthy in our jobs, families, and relationships, when we take in the things that our body, mind and spirit need in order to be nourished and grow, and simply let go of what is not helpful.

    Why Do We Get Sick?
    Illness can develop when there is a disruption ― a blockage in the flow of energy and information in our bodymind.  I deliberately use the word bodymind, as we tend to think of emotions as separate from our body’s experience.  But most of us KNOW this to not be true when we feel afraid or sad, or anxious.  Our energy changes drastically.  Our heart rate increases, our pupils dilate and our breathing changes.  The body secretes hormones that change our muscle tone.  Our bodies feel our feelings.  Sickness can often occur when our bodymind experiences a disruption in the flow of intelligence.  In the office I describe this experience as being similar to blowing a fuse.  We have all had days when we have felt like we blew a fuse or two! 

    Symptoms and sickness are the body’s “check engine light,” letting us know that we need to stop, “pull over in the rest stop of life,” and look within.  Symptoms can allow us to become more aware of how our engine is working.  Then, we can eliminate whatever is causing the blockages to our best expression, and repair ourselves, to bring the healthy flow of intelligence back to the body.

    The intention of the founders of chiropractic was to help people find freedom from the burdens of ill health so that they could fulfill their deepest spiritual potential.  This is true of other healing traditions such as Acupuncture, Ayurvedic Medicine, Reiki and Massage to name a few.  These healing traditions emphasize our ability to influence our own health through our choices of food, people with whom we surround ourselves, our attitudes and beliefs.  These ancient teachings repeatedly remind us that we are the only creatures on the planet (from our current understanding) who can CHANGE OUR BIOLOGY through our thoughts, feelings and intent.

    What can we DO differently for our children?
    Start by pretending that your relationship to your body and your child’s to theirs responds to the same principles of all the relationship experts:

    Listening

    Honoring

    Respect

    Trust

    Consistency

    Awareness

    Love

    1.      Listen to your body through quiet contemplation or meditation.

    2.      Respect its needs. Water, rest, good food, good people, good thoughts.

    3.      Focus on what is RIGHT with your body, not emphasizing what you see as wrong.

    4.      Trust your body.  It can heal.  Do you lead the relationship with Fear or with Trust?

    As you apply these ideas and become more nurturing towards your body (and your child towards theirs), you will be giving them a life-long tool, putting them in charge of their own body, mind, heart and spirit.  We do not want our young children to feel the victim to life’s stresses and turn to drugs in their teens — so let’s not set up the pattern for that now.  Let’s embody and teach trust and self reliance in little steps to build their confidence as they grow.

    On days when they are over stimulated and surrounded by life’s insanities, they can transcend through these tools you will have embedded in their system and create lives filled with self reliance, wellbeing, happiness, and love.