FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE NOVEMBER, 2016
HOLIDAY STRESS RAISES HEALTH RISKS, CHIROPRACTORS CAUTION
With the holiday season underway and increasing the tempo of daily demands, it is important to your good health to observe some simple guidelines to reduce the stress and strain of this busy time. This is especially important in light of the added concerns many of us our feeling individually and collectively with the shifts in the world economy and global health concerns. It may be especially important to slow down, recognize the need to approach activities and interruptions with a little more patience, and to plan ahead with the intention to reduce the stress of last minute efforts. Make a point during this holiday season to connect and communicate with those around you, and to share special moments with your friends and loved ones.
As many traditional holiday observances include special gatherings for meals, you can start by taking extra care of yourself, your friends and your family at the dinner table. Taking care in your food choices will help keep the quality of your nutritional intake at healthy levels. The quantity of your intake also makes a big difference. Have you ever filled yourself with great holiday food but found yourself leaving the table in distress? The process of making healthy choices in both quality and quantity may help prevent an unhealthy scenario as you make your way through this holiday season, according to the International Chiropractors Association.
“A bulging stomach can put pressure on your body’s support systems, including your spine and spinal nerves,” advises Dr. McLeod, a local Doctor of Chiropractic who deals with the health needs of people of all ages in the community. “Every extra pound in the abdominal region could put 10 pounds more stress on the lower back. This stress can last a short time, such as just after eating a heavy meal or lifting a package improperly. It may also become chronic, as heavy eating during the holidays may lead to weight gain, and carrying extra pounds can put added strain on the supporting structures of the spine and nervous system.”
Additional weight can force the pelvis and torso to shift and cause changes in spinal balance, leading to spinal misalignments (known as subluxations) and malfunction in the entire body. Dr. McLeod suggests eating in moderation and taking a 15-20 minute walk after a big meal to ease discomfort and burn a few calories. Fitness research findings indicate you can burn up to 100 calories in a 30-minute walk.
The International Chiropractors Association (ICA) has prepared a list of health tips to help protect and support your back and general health over the holidays:
- Lift packages, firewood, your frozen holiday turkey and other heavy items with your legs, not your back. When lifting, hold objects close to your body; rather than flexing forward, maintain a slight arch in your lower back and bend at the knees before standing up with the object. That way, the lifting is done primarily with the strong muscles of the legs supporting the load. Don’t wait until you are hurting to see your doctor of chiropractic. Chiropractic adjustments can keep you going at your peak and help you get extra enjoyment during the holiday season.
- When cooking or standing for an extended period, elevate one foot with a foot rest or stacked books, about six inches from the floor. Alternately elevating each foot relieves tired back and leg muscles—similar to the function the footrest serves for customers standing at a counter—and helps prevent bad posture habits that can lead to abnormal spinal curvatures.
- When traveling by car or plane, place a pillow or folded towel behind the small of the back to help maintain the arch in your lower back and support the rest of the body properly. This relieves the discs and joint structures of the spine from unnecessary pressure.
- In addition to fastening your seat belt for car trips, adjust the headrest to align with your head, at least up to ear level. This is important to support and protect the head and neck in the unfortunate event of a sudden stop.
- Get enough rest. Many health problems that occur with the holidays are simply due to fatigue. By simply getting adequate rest, you can help prevent structural strain, emotional and cognitive imbalance, and general health problems.
For further information on health and chiropractic, contact the International Chiropractors Association on the Internet at www.chiropractic.org, or visit your Doctor of Chiropractic.
Dr. Nathalie McLeod
Dr. McLeod Chiropractic
15 Lewis Estates Blvd, Edmonton, AB