7 Strategies to Optimal Spinal Health
How do you define wellness? Chiropractic has its own unique definition, one that this quote describes perfectly:
“Wellness is about identifying toxicities that are interfering with the innate intelligence’s ability to produce health or that are forcing the expression of adaptive physiology. It is about producing a pure environment for the innate genetic intelligence” -- Dr. James Chestnut D.C.
Innate Intelligence is the body and mind’s automatic ability to self-regulate, keeping us happy and healthy. When Innate Intelligence isn’t operating as it should, we lack health or are in pain. Often nerve interference in the spine and nervous system are responsible for pain or lack of health. Chiropractic is an excellent approach for addressing both.
Here are 7 chiropractic-friendly strategies for optimizing your overall by starting with your spine.
Strategy 1: Wellness Chiropractic Care
What is it? Scheduled visits to a chiropractor’s office. Chiropractors perform spinal adjustments during these visits.
How it helps: Wellness chiropractic care does the following:
Removes spinal and nervous system interference, allowing for optimal health and wellness
Improves joint function by removing stress in the spine
Allows the body and mind to handle emotional stress better
Speeds up the healing process
Boosts the immune system, preventing you from getting sick in the first place
Strategy 2: Move Well with Spine Alignment Exercises
What is it? Moving well begins with moving more. Most of us have jobs where we sit all day. Just as sugar decays teeth, excessive sitting damages your spine.
How to do it: Practice simple spine alignment exercises every single day just as you brush and floss your teeth daily. We recommend 10 minutes of walking or similar low-impact movement for every hour of sitting. Check out our spine alignment stretches video here. If you want to learn more about how to align your body through exercise, check out Foundation Training.
Strategy 3: Think Well to Manage Emotional Stress
What is it? Thinking well means noticing what’s going on in your mind, being conscious of when you’re getting carried away with our own thoughts. In many cases, we react emotionally to things that have happened only in our heads and not in reality. The stress created by our thoughts affects our posture and consequently our spines.
How to do it: Try meditating. Notice what you’re thinking about and how your breath moves through your body. Try breathing into uncomfortable areas in your body. Notice the stress, tightness and tension in your spine. Try and let it go with your exhales.
Strategy 4: Sleep Well and Have More Energy
What is it? Sleeping well means doing all that you can to get 7-8 hours of quality sleep. Sleep is when our bodies do most of their healing, making this a critical part of your day.
How to do it:
Choose a pillow that puts your head in a neutral position.
Pick a good sleeping position. Do not sleep on your belly. This puts a lot of stress on your neck. Back sleepers may not need a pillow at all. Side sleepers may need a thin pillow.
Invest in a good mattress. We recommend something that is medium-firm so that you move a bit throughout the night. This is essential for your circulation.
Strategy 5: Eat Well to Feel Better and Lose Weight Naturally
What is it? Eating a diet that has no processed foods, relying on organic, nutrient-dense vegetables, fruit and protein. This will energize you and lower levels of inflammation in the body.
How to do it:
Buy and eat organic fruits and vegetables.
Buy and eat organic, pasture-raised meat and wild-caught fish to minimize the amount of toxins you’re putting into your body.
Avoid eating out.
Strategy 6: Drink Well
What is it? Ensuring that your body is sufficiently hydrated to flush toxins from your organs, hydrate your cells and the discs of your spine.
How to do it:
Drink half of your body’s weight in ounces of water daily. (A 140-pound person should drink at least 70 ounces of water daily, or about 9 cups.)
Drink a glass a half-hour before and an hour after meals.
Drink a tall glass of warm water when you wake up with some fresh lemon juice.
Drink a tall glass of water before bed to avoid dehydration during sleep.
Purchase a water filter (we like this one) to remove potentially harmful elements from your tap water.
Strategy 7: Feel Well (Improve Relationships)
What is it? Our relationships can cause stress, trauma and pain in our bodies.
How to do it:
Ask yourself if your needs are being met in your relationships.
Acknowledge your emotional pain to yourself.
Focus on changing your response to stressful people and situations rather than changing the people.
Listen to your intuition and feelings.
Seek support of the professional and/or friends/family