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All too many times overwhelmed caregivers are physically and emotionally depleted and need to take time to rest and care for themselves. Believing in a holistic approach to caregiver stress and a strong commitment to helping our members find the right solutions, we created this blog to help you connect with others who, like you, may be facing the same eldercare issues and challenges. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and submit articles. Please forward the blog link to your family and friends. They'll be glad you did.

Warm regards,

Patricia Grace
founder & CEO
Aging with Grace

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Is It Ever Too Late to Restore Your Health Through Proper Alignment and Improved Posture?

by Dr. Danielle Gray, Restore Chiropractic

The answer is no, it is never too late.  Did you know that your posture and being misaligned has a direct affect on your overall health and not just neck pain or back pain?  You can take steps today to improve your overall health by improving your posture and making sure that you are in proper alignment.

It’s all connected. 
Poor posture and being misaligned affects your health from your head to your toes because your body is interdependent.  It’s all connected.  Misalignments create a domino effect with your health.  When your head is shifted off center (either forward or sideways), your body becomes imbalanced because it’s center of gravity has been shifted. For every inch of Forward Head Posture, it can increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 pounds.  Imagine trying to carry a bowling ball and your head on your neck! 

If your head is not on straight, the rest of your body will compensate to keep itself balanced over the feet with the eyes level to the horizon. This is accomplished by the head, shoulders and hips tilting or twisting which distorts the spine.  As this progression occurs, the body must compensate elsewhere to alleviate the stress/tension created from the imbalance.  This improper body alignment develops unstable environments structurally and decreases the function of the nervous system. 

The nervous system controls everything in your body. When there is interference to the nervous system’s function, it can cause or contribute to all kinds of symptoms and illnesses.  This means that a misalignment in the spine can disrupt the body’s function leading to symptoms of pain, organ dysfunction, decreased range of motion, balance issues, arthritis and just an overall loss of health. 
90 percent of the brain’s energy output is used in relating the physical body to gravity.  Only 10 percent has to do with thinking, metabolism, and healing.  Consequently, poor posture and being out of balance will cause the brain to rob energy from thinking, metabolism, and immune function to deal with abnormal gravity/posture relationships and processing.  Published research studies indicate that when body balance is restored, the body enters a healing cycle that alleviates pain and symptoms, elevates the immune system, increases blood and oxygen circulation, improves balance, normalizes nervous system communication and creates more optimum body performance.
As described in a paper published in conjunction with the White House Counsel on Aging, “Chiropractic is a health care discipline that emphasizes the inherent recuperative powers of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health.

What can you do at home to improve your posture and body balance?
1.       Be mindful of your posture
·         Evaluate areas where you spend the most time to make sure that your environment is ergonomically sound.
·         Post a note or set a reminder to check your posture regularly.  Chin up, shoulders back, back straight, feet on the floor.  Imagine a string attached your chest and it is being pulled up from the ceiling.
2.       Take frequent breaks.
·         If you are reading or watching TV or other activities that are more stationary, move around and change positions frequently.
·         Limit game playing, personal computer work and tablet time to 30-60 minutes.  If you are going to spend more time, take a break every 30-60 minutes and do something else for a few minutes.
·         Spend 10-15 minutes one to two times per day resting on your back with a pillow under your knees.  Resting for even a few minutes, especially in the middle of the day can have profound effects on your nervous system function and on your posture.
3.       Stretch and Strengthen.
·         Stretches such as shoulder rolls or neck stretches can be incorporated into your daily routine.  Stretch and strengthen both your front and back muscles for even balance.
It is important to understand that poor posture and being misaligned may not cause pain right away.  Do not wait until the symptoms arise.  Take control of the situation before it controls you.  If you are experiencing health problems, it is never too late to restore your health through improved posture and alignment.  Visit a Chiropractor today for a complete balance, posture and alignment examination.

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