Thinking About True Health

What is health?

Many people think that health is simply “feeling good and looking good.” But true health is more than just the absence of disease. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, health is “the condition of being sound in body, mind and spirit.” The World Health Organization states that health is a “state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing,” not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. True health is the full expression of life! This is the chiropractic perspective.

Your body is built to experience true health. Your body is smart. It has an intelligence inside of it that has helped it to grow from two cells into the amazing, complex, dynamic being that you are today! These two cells have created a body complete with a very sophisticated nerve system that stretches for miles, and stores over 100 trillion bits of information. Your nervous system contains100 billion neurons that can send impulses at lightning speed to every cell, tissue, organ and system in your body.

Why, then, does our body sometimes not work the way we want it to? Why do we experience aches and pains, digestive problems, high blood pressure, depression, or other health challenges? Something is interfering with the body’s natural ability to function, self regulate and mend. This interference is usually caused by stresses and strains that accumulate on our spine on a daily basis, and over time. Examples of these stressors are:

Physical: sitting, bad sleep position, weak muscles, falls, injuries, repetitive strain.
Chemical : medications, environmental, and food chemicals
Mental/Emotional: daily tension that affects our physiology by triggering chemical reactions and creating changes in our physiology.

To be alive is to be under stress. It is impossible to avoid stress. It is not the stress, but how our bodies respond to stress that matters most in our overall health. Getting enough sleep, exercising, eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, and practicing deep breathing are all ways to help your body adapt to stress. However, your spine, through which your nervous system controls your body’s ability to function and heal, is vital in your ability to adapt. Maintaining a healthy spine – or correcting a less-than-healthy spine — will help you adapt more quickly and be less susceptible to life’s stresses.

Adding regular chiropractic adjustments to your healthy lifestyle will take the pressure off your spine, allow your nervous system to function more effectively, and help you to experience the meaning of true health.

What Was Your Most Powerful Healing Experience?

Each week at the Community Chiropractic we have the honor of witnessing people heal and transform at the level of mind, body, and soul. For some, healing takes the form of emotional release, as they let go of painful memories and beliefs and realize that they deserve to be happy.  Others experience relief from physical pain and chronic illness as they learn new ways to nurture their body and restore their balance.  For many people, healing comes from connecting to their deepest spiritual selves.

No matter what form healing takes, it always has a ripple effect. When people from our practice go home, we know that their families, co-workers, friends, and everyone with whom they connect will also be affected by the gifts of healing and transformation, in ways small and large.

In order to share the healing ripple effect, today we invite you  to post your own most powerful healing experience. Your words may be just what someone else needs to hear to encourage them on their own healing path.

Mind Body and Spirit

Today, someone in the practice came in talking to me about a recent betrayal they had experienced in their relationship.  The ground had cracked beneath her and she felt so physically and emotionally horrible.  She was confused about why she felt physically ill when it was an emotional issue.  I explained with an analogy.

I hate mice.  They give me the “wicked” heebie jeebies.  (I am from Boston-give me a break!).  Anyway, if a mouse were to cross my path, my physiology would change.  My heart would beat faster.  My breathing would become more shallow.  My muscles would tighten.  My pupils might dilate.  My nervous system might kick into “fight or flight” or sympathetic mode which suppresses the immune system.  A cascade of biochemistry would create a domino effect of physiological change all as a result of one nasty creepy little rodent.

As you go through life’s mental and emotional “personal growth opportunities,” know that your body is often deeply affected.  Care for your body by making sure your nerve system isn’t having “fuses blown” or getting “glitched” by all the raucus.  It can also help you to deal with all of it with more flexibility and ease.

To my dear heartbroken friend, know the importance of grief.  Here are the words of the Sufi poet Hafiz:

“The heart is right to cry,When even the smallest drop of light, of love Is taken away.”

The Power of Querencia

Querencia means a place a person feels safe, or desires to be. This term is used in bullfighting and refers to the moment when the bull pauses in the ring, finds his breath, slows down and stops reacting to the things the matador is doing to keep him under control.  Most matadors try hard not to let the bull find this place of power and strength and work to keep the bull in a state of reaction.

This summer finds me contemplating the power of my querencia, my pause.  How many of us are on the hamster wheel with our health, our family life, our spiritual life, our personal development?  So often we spend our days just deflecting and surviving from one day to the next.  The whirlwind of life often leaves us drained and in reaction.  IF we only would take the time to STOP, reflect, gather our senses and redirect our focus.

For years, I have witnessed this process to be true with practice members in our Chiropractic office in Groton, MA.  People are often spinning from one doctor to another, searching for a diagnosis, a medication, or any means to STOP and silence the signals their bodies are shouting out at them, only to throw themselves back into the ring of life, fighting one daily battle after another.

They override their body’s request for rest, quiet, water, play, movement.  With years and years of practice at this, they have become divorced from the wisdom of their body. Slowly and one step at a time, they must dig out of the hole of disconnection and dysfunction and regain a sense of listening and helping their bodies to function even better than before.

Take time to pause this summer.  Draw a pause sign like the one on the DVD player and put it up on your computer to remind you to stop and breathe, stretch or drink a glass of water.  Re-gather your strength.  Redirect your focus to amplify your own health and wellbeing.

What three steps can you take today to bring more wellbeing into your daily routine?   I am renewing my commitment to a morning routine of drinking water, practicing yoga and having a healthy shake for breakfast.  I invite you to share your steps in the comment section below and begin to create your querencia, to gather your strength and return to your life triumphant against the forces that keep you reactive and less than you most wonderful self.  And that’s no bull!