Your Holiday Stress Solution
By Dr. Molly Casey
The embodiments of the holiday season are joy, love, and peace right? What about stress? Time, money, schedules -- and let’s be honest, personalities -- they all have an effect on our level of stress during this so-called joyous season. Not to mention, many have anniversaries of tragic events that come up this time of year. So, the holiday season may not be as celebratory for some as for others. Your health affects your emotions and your emotions affect your health. The health of your spine can impact both. Take three minutes, read this and find out what you can do to lighten the load of that stress this season!
Your Emotions and Your Spine
Humor me for a minute. Think of a specific time you got really angry or simply felt stressed from a long day or an argument with a loved one. Put yourself back into that situation and pay attention to what it felt like to physically be in your body at that time. Were your shoulders raised, was your jaw clenched, did your arms and legs feel rigid? If you put yourself back into that situation, even now you can feel the physical result of the emotion, right? Your body reacts to and holds the emotions; that’s the bottom line. You have experiences numerous times daily in which your body is responding to your emotions, and likely you aren’t even aware of it. However, the process still occurs. One single reaction to an emotion won’t likely wreak havoc on your body and spine. Yet, accumulated instances -- months upon months, years upon years -- will absolutely affect the health of your body and spine. Tensed muscles result in tightened tissues, constricted vessels, abnormal motions of bones and joints and decreased functioning of the structures affected. What do you think this means if it occurs for long periods of time?
Think of tires on a car. There is a specific pressure (PSI), or range, at which the tire is meant to be kept (your body’s balanced state). Now, the tire (your body) can go above and below that PSI range (responses in your body from stressors), but for best vehicle functioning and tire safety and use, you want to stay in the range. Repeatedly driving a car on tires that are well below the suggested PSI will constrict the tires and certainly wear excessively on them. Same thing happens with the expansion that occurs when going over the suggested PSI. After doing either of these practices repeatedly -- prolonged and increased stress, going in and out of the balanced state of your body -- the tire will not function at its optimal level, nor will it last as long as it could if cared for to manufacturer’s standards. In addition, it will be more susceptible to punctures and damage (the effects on your body).
Your body reacts to and holds onto emotions. One of the most profound ways to reset the body, restore nervous system functioning, improve joint motion and decrease tension is -- you got it -- a chiropractic adjustment. “I just feel better, Doc, I just feel better.” This is one of the most common comments I hear from patients when they are trying to explain to me the effects they experience as a result of a chiropractic adjustment on their body. It’s not rocket science, but it sure is pretty darn amazing if you ask me (and millions of chiropractic patients).
This stressful time of year, make sure you get in to see your local chiropractor at The Joint, whether it’s for your regular adjustment or for an extra one between regular visits. Getting adjusted is like hitting the reset button, and can give your body a better chance to stay relaxed at that holiday dinner you may be dreading.