Great, so the body heals itself. What’s that actually mean in terms of health and wellness? Why does the fact that our bodies can heal by themselves if the injury isn’t too severe and the injury isn’t continued and why do we care that a headache isn’t from a lack of an over-the-counter medication, so long as the OTC’s give us relief?
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Well, first and foremost, if we understand that we are able to heal without intervention the vast majority of the time, it can help with our approach to many of our complaints. Also, how the body heals is important to understand so we can make choices that speed healing. Along those lines, if we are able to make choices that allow us to heal faster, it stands to reason making those same choices consistently will afford our bodies the ability to over come many injuries fast as it isn’t trying to catch up all the time and working with over-worked parts.
Our bodies heal in two directions. Above-down and Inside-out. The chiropractic philosophy is rooted in this understanding; so much so, that there are chiropractors who only adjust one segment: the atlas (or C1) the top vertebrae of the spine. All nerves that travel throughout the body must pass this segment and it is often subluxated which means that everything downstream is affected. This philosophy is also why many chiropractors provide, beyond the adjustment, in their practice with various services and products intended to help patients get healthier.
So making habits out of a few key things can go a long way to allowing you to heal faster and stay healthier than you may otherwise be able to. If you’ve read previous posts, you know that we receive injury essentially through three mechanisms: physical injury, chemical injury and mental (or emotional) injury. If you are constantly running around and harried and not taking time for mental health, a small hiccup in the routine can feel like a much larger problem, which based on how you react could lead to more problems…
Chemical health is, in my opinion, the simplest of the solutions. That doesn’t mean it’s easy… but it's pretty straight forward. Don’t put anything in your body that hurts your body. Tobacco, alcohol, poor food choices, and not enough good choices will create an environment in which your body can’t fight-off illness or overcome other stresses.
Physically, exercise, yoga, massage, acupuncture, and of course chiropractic. Will help decrease signals causing interference with what needs to be communicated. Our bodies are amazing and they can communicate through a lot of “static” but pain or aberrant signals can impede on how well our bodies function which can lead to decreased healing and actually can result in increased likelihood of injury to begin with.
Mental health is a little more difficult to paint with a broad brush. Some people suffer from negative self-talk. Other’s are always stressed and angry. Others still are holding resentments from long ago. There’s less of a one-size-fits-all approach to that leg of the stool. That doesn’t mean just taking a few moments every day to take a personal mental health inventory wouldn’t be highly beneficial.
Lastly, it’s not difficult to see how all three of these aspects of health are inter-related. Removing toxins helps us be able to exert ourselves better to exercise and improves mental health (look into the gut brain axis). A healthy outlook on life helps us plan, overcome and make healthier choices. Exercise helps with digestion and mental health. Chiropractic care allows for the body to balance all three of these legs. Ensuring the nerves that connect everything to our brain are functioning at their best is a significant thing we can do to make sure everything that is inter-related is able to work together when they’re suppose to and not interfere when they aren’t.