How Does Touch Help Your Overall Health?

How Does Touch Help Your Overall HealthAhhh, touch. Skin to skin contact. It’s so soothing, but that raises an interesting question. Is it mind over matter, or does touch have actual health benefits?

Most people would be quick to write off any potential health benefits, saying that touch, in the form of a massage, for example, is simply a distraction that pulls your mind away from your aches and pains, but it doesn’t actually “do anything.” Interestingly though, all kinds of touch, massage included, have a whole raft of health benefits. Here are some of the findings:

Where newborn babies are concerned, those who were held against their mother’s skin, versus being swaddled in a blanket before being held had lower blood pressure, lower heart rates, and cried 82% less often. Teachers report that children with ADHD who were given massage therapy were more attentive and less disruptive in their classes.

Massage has proven to help ease anxiety. If you’re trying to break a habit like smoking, massage (even self-massage) can help take the edge off the cravings you’ll invariably feel. There’s even been one remarkable study that linked regular massage with improved immune function in women with breast cancer. How fabulous is that? Get a massage, help fight cancer – talk about win-win!

Did you know that one of the services offered by most chiropractic offices is therapeutic massage? It’s true, and that’s just one more reason to consider scheduling an appointment. Almost everyone can benefit from periodic adjustments and the soothing effects of a massage.

Don’t wait until you have a problem to set up your appointment. If you do that, then you’re putting your body through undue stress. Besides, people who get periodic adjustments throughout the year tend to be healthier, happier and lead less pain-filled lives.

Exercise Helps Your Body and Your Mind

Exercise Helps Your Body And Your MindIt’s common knowledge that exercise is good for you. That’s why doctors and dieticians recommend a sensible combination of both diet and exercise for optimal weight loss. There’s a growing body of knowledge though, that regular exercise has benefits that extend far beyond your body.

Runners have known this for years. The term “runner’s high” describes the sense of euphoria runners invariably get after a certain point. The same basic sense of euphoria can be achieved with most any exercise. It floods your body with endorphins, clears your mind, and makes you better able to act decisively.

Other research has found that simply taking a walk in the woods reduces stress levels.

Stress is driven by the hormone cortisol, which drives your body’s “fight or flight” response. We need this. This is the hormone that gives us a spike of adrenaline if, for example, we’re being chased by a hungry bear.

The problem though, is that in today’s world, not many of us are being chased by hungry bears. Instead, our stress comes from artificial sources. Our jobs. Our hectic schedules and daily lives. This is problematic because it confuses our bodies. We get constantly bombarded with cortisol, which sends our stress levels through the roof, even when there’s no imminent threat.

A walk in nature has been shown to be a natural and effective method of reducing those levels. You just…relax. Unwind. You find yourself more at peace.

All of that to say, absolutely yes. You should exercise for the many health benefits that come with it, but as you do so, understand that you will also be helping your mind. You’ll not only feel better, you’ll think better too, and that’s a key component to overcoming just about any challenge the world might throw at you.

Can Chiropractic Care Help With Addiction?

Can Chiropractic Care Help With AddictionAt first glance, the question posed by the title of this piece might seem strange. How can chiropractic care help with addiction? The two seem to be totally disconnected with one another. On closer inspection though, it becomes apparent that a regular regimen of chiropractic treatment can be a powerful tool if you’re struggling with addiction. Here’s how:

Millions of Americans struggle with opioid addiction. The single largest contributing factor to the nation’s opioid addiction epidemic is prescription painkillers in all their various forms. The medical community prescribes (and honestly, probably over-prescribes these) to people who suffer from pain, and especially chronic pain, in order to help them manage it.

Unfortunately, these types of medications are problematic in two ways, both of which make the nation’s addiction problem worse.

First, the active ingredients in most of these medications activate the addiction centers in your brain. They make you feel good, and your brain starts to crave that. Second, your brain tends to fool you. Over time, your body may heal, but your brain knows that if it sends false pain signals, even after the pain’s gone, you’ll take more pills, which is what it’s craving.

Taken together, this is a powerful one-two punch that makes it much more likely that you’ll wind up getting (and staying) hooked on powerful prescription painkillers.

Chiropractic treatment is a safe and effective way to gently attack the source of your chronic pain, and over time, by bringing your body back into alignment, you can rid yourself of it altogether.

There is, of course, an adjustment period needed. Your brain will try to trick you into thinking the pain is still there in a bid to get you to take more pills, so you’ll want to wean yourself off of them slowly, but yes, chiropractic care can absolutely help if you’re struggling with addiction.

Strengthen Your Core To Minimize Pain

Strengthen Your Core To Minimize PainYou’ve probably heard health nuts and exercise enthusiasts say something about “strengthening your core” a thousand times, but what does that actually mean? Well, in simplest terms, at least where the front portion of your core is concerned, it means your abs.

No, you don’t have to have six-pack abs, although if you’re feeling ambitious, why not? But even a moderate amount of exercise that focuses on that particular muscle group can give you huge benefits that extend well beyond aesthetics. In particular, it can help alleviate back pain. Here’s how:

If your abdominal muscles are weak, then the muscles in your back have to take up the slack in terms of supporting your frame and keeping you upright. In two words, that means they have to work harder. The harder you work those back muscles, the more likely you are to suffer back pain and/or damage to your spine caused by too much stress on it.

Again, you don’t have to go nuts here. Even two or three ten to fifteen-minute exercise sessions a week that focus on your abs can make a great deal of difference. Even better, you don’t need any fancy equipment to strengthen those muscles. You can do it simply by sitting on the floor and doing a few basic exercises like these:

Crunches – Everybody knows what these are. Consider them to be partial sit-ups that see you relying on your abdominals to lift your back from the floor to a partial sitting position.

The Rope Climb – Here, you’ll want to sit with your legs straight out in front of you and your toes pointed. Rolling your shoulders forward and sitting back at a slight incline, holding yourself up with your abs, you’ll raise first one arm, then the other, twisting slightly as you do, as though you were climbing a rope.

The Oblique Reach – Seated with your knees bent and feet on the floor, you’ll alternate straightening and lifting your right leg, and reaching out to touch your toes with your left hand, then reversing it, so that your left leg is straightened and lifted, while your right hand reaches for your toes.

Doing any of these, or even a mix of all three just a few minutes, three times a week will see you dramatically strengthen your abs, reducing the risk of back pain or back injury. That’s win-win.