What Does Posture and Stress Have To Do With It?
When you were little, did your mother or grandmother tell you to sit up straight, don’t slouch, and pick up your head? In some way or another, we intuitively know that good posture is important for good health. But, just because we know about a lot of things in life doesn’t mean that we understand it and apply it to ourselves.
So what does good posture mean? Why is it so important? We all have the understanding that we have a heart that pumps blood, lungs to take in oxygen, a stomach to break down food, and many other systems that keep us alive and functioning. All of your systems work together, not in parts, and the whole body is a complex machine that is constantly adapting, regulating, healing, and reorganising.
The most important system that acts as the ‘hard drive’ and ‘main frame’ of your body is the central nervous system: your brain that sits in your head is the hard drive and it is always sending and receiving signals from your body via your spinal cord. Your nervous system is the master system of the body, constantly controlling and monitoring every function in your body. It never stops. And it is the only system in the body that is fully encased and protected by bone. The muscles along the spine are there to actively support your posture, voluntarily and involuntarily. How does this play in the role of your health? It is essential to have a healthy spine and nervous system in order for your body to function the way it needs to.
Chiropractic care is about getting your spine and nervous system checked, with regular adjustments throughout life. Just as you might choose to eat healthy, do exercise like pilates, and other lifestyles to support your health, it is important to also have your spine taken care of regularly. Why? Because the moment you are born, your nervous system is constantly taking in information and adapting and regulating to keep your body well.
Stresses in life are what impact the body. These stresses are either physical, chemical, or emotional/mental. Physical stresses are car accidents, falls, chronic bad posture, overuse of texting, and other daily life activities. Chemical stresses include pollution, alcohol, smoking, food additives, poor diet, and low nutrition. Emotional stresses range from single incidents like arguments with a spouse, or chronic stress from long-term issues. It’s part of natural life that we are bombarded with these stresses, and it is our nervous systems that have to allow for the body to be able to cope with them to be healthy.
As we process these stresses every day, our bodies ‘download’ them into our nervous systems and cause a response. As the response is being processed through our senses (either hearing, seeing, tasting, touching, smelling, or a combination), there is an impact on our other systems, including our hormones, body temperature, heart rate, and muscles.
Let’s imagine back 100,000 years ago when there were saber-toothed animals chasing us for their lunch. That’s a source of stress! When we see that animal chasing us, our fight-or-flight system engages, and it’s instant action! All of a sudden our digestive system shuts off, our adrenaline kicks in, the eyes dilate, our blood pressure rises, the heart beats ferociously, and blood flows to our arm and leg muscles. That’s all happening to keep you from dying a horrible death! The problem is that now, we don’t have any saber-toothed animals chasing us for lunch. Yet, our bodies react to stress in exactly the same way, and our lifestyles usually don’t allow for proper release of that stress. This causes a build up of tension inside the body that is ‘stored’ in our brain and nervous system. Your ‘hard drive’ becomes overwhelmed and the effect is a negative change in posture which puts more pressure on all the other systems of the body. Our spines form into a ‘pattern’ called the defence posture. This pattern of defence posture puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, which will in turn cause interferences throughout the nervous system. These interferences, called subluxations, disrupt the communication and flow of the messages between the brain and the body.
Having your spine checked and adjusted with regular chiropractic care from birth is essential for a strong healthy life. Babies and children thrive when their nervous systems are clear. As children grow year after year, their bodies also have to assimilate, adapt, regulate, and heal. Keeping your spine balanced and aligned through childhood and into adulthood sets you up to have a healthy life. Your body’s systems are strong and healthy, your thoughts are clear, and your perception of the world is more open when your nervous system is free from interferences.
In my office I see people with all sorts of pain and health issues. In the beginning there is a bit of Q&A, then I assess your nervous system with a complex computer system, a spinal posture analysis, and finally end with a thorough adjustment. The pain is what wakes people up (I talk about that on my website and blog). Pain is what gets people to stop and change what they are doing, but most people just want to be ‘fixed’. In my office I explain to everyone that I don’t ‘fix’ people. That’s not what my services offer. It is important for us to see what is the cause of the pain and health issue. In my opinion, it would be a disservice to you to just ‘treat’ the pain and then not help you reach a better state of health so the problem doesn’t come back.
Most people see pain as the problem. Did you have the pain first, and then the problem started? No. It’s the other way around. Guess what, you’ve had the problem for a long time, and the pain was what alerted you to make a change to shift things around. Pain is just a signal to get you into action to focus on your health. Nothing in life doesn’t require a significant amount of time. Getting healthy takes time. Taking responsibility for your pain and body also takes time. Denial of that will get you nowhere.
The chiropractic care that I recommend to help people get to better health is specific and personal to each individual. And I also recommend to everyone to get their nervous systems checked for subluxations (interferences). You don’t have to be in pain to get adjusted. In fact, when you feel well, that’s the best time to get your adjustments. Keep your system strong and supported. Don’t wait for a breakdown of your health to act. And when you do feel unwell, it’s not because you’re sick. It’s because your body is adapting. It’s your body’s way of telling you that it’s time to recuperate, slow down, rest, and let your body do its healing.
Get your nervous system checked, your spine adjusted, and become more aware of your posture and health with chiropractic care.
— Dr MaryAnne.