You are faced with an ever-changing environment of being ON! On for your kids, boss, significant others, friends and colleagues; how does one do it all so well? First ask yourself, “How do you do what you do?” You will quickly answer that you exercise, eat healthy, sleep, do yoga, walk and many other extra-curricular relaxing activities. But I ask you, “What have you done for your brain lately?” Bear with me in the next few paragraphs to get to the golden nugget of keeping your mind healthy. According to my good friend, Dr. Tom Gustafson, our body and its foundation--the spine--are based on function and movement.
One example of a properly functioning neck is to look up at the ceiling with your face 80% parallel to the ceiling- that is normal neck extension. Any less of a movement or having a history of accidents, falls, repetitive postures and movements all cause joint and muscle restriction.
Each strenuous occurrence in the spine creates a loss of joint and muscle motion leading problems later on in life. A focused set of X-rays will show you exactly which joints are moving or not. The joints that don’t move are where significant damage-arthritis, disc injuries, etc. reside, regardless of age. Dr. Tom also mentions the absence of pain does not mean a lack of issues.
Also, see this article from the Wall Street Journal on how bad posture at work can affect your everyday life.
The loss of function is the root of the problem, and that has to be restored within your body. In the Chiropractic field they refer to this joint restriction/misalignment in the spine as a subluxation. They stay in your spine and particularly damage the joint, but it also creates pressure and irritation in the nervous system where the spinal nerves exit off the spinal cord; this is where I get the most value from seeing Dr. Tom. These nerves travel and feed the rest of your body and when irritated they become less functional causing health problems wherever those nerves feed. The nerves that exit off the top of the spine feed the head, and when irritated, cause problems such as migraine headaches, high blood pressure, dizziness to name a few. The nerves from the middle area of the back feed the upper digestive system (stomach). When that is choked off it causes problems like heartburn, reflux and ulcers. The beneficial part of this is that it always correlates. Whatever the health problems are, you can go to that level of the spine and find it is subluxated, restricted and degenerative.
Once you start restoring function in your body, you can expect to see correction or significant improvement of the primary problem whether it’s sciatica or migraine headaches. You can also expect increased function of the nervous system which translates into a myriad of improvements like increased energy, heightened alertness, clear thoughts and even reduced blood pressure. This all means the body and nervous system are functioning at a more optimal level.
If you are in the Monmouth County area I highly urge you to do a session with Dr. Tom regarding your own body. Dr. Tom teaches everyone what to be doing at home. You can not only maintain, but improve your spine and body’s ability to function at higher levels.
Since paying attention to my own spine I have a better memory, more energy, alertness and better breathing. We all visit spas, do yoga and challenge ourselves to aggressive cross-fit. How about a shout out for the spine and our mind?