Noel L. Shaw, D.C., C.C.S.P.
Certified Chiropractic Sports & Injury Physician
Family Chiropractic Chiropractic for Kids!
Auto, Work, & Sports Injuries
1101 North Wilmot Rd. Suite 229 Tucson, AZ 85712
STRESS MANAGEMENT ...
1,000,000 B.C. A moonless night around the fire ... today, while hauling a downed bison 3 miles back to your campsite with your fellow cavemen, your tribe successfully fought off the advances of a scavenging saber toothed tiger. But now you can hears the growls and popping teeth of the hungry dire wolves just outside the light of your small fire. You don't dare build the safety fire too large, because it might attract the notice of the warring tribe from the next valley that you spotted on an earlier evening foray ...
Stress. We all have it. Worries over relationships, finances, or work situations leads to increased muscle tension, and the digestive slowdown and high blood pressure that are useful when we are focused on a life or death scenario that called for flight or fight action. But, in 1,000,000 B.C., tension and stress were not constant, and were relieved by the physical exertion of everyday life, and by alleviation of the immediate threat.
Adrenaline is a useful chemical produced by the body and released in times of increased threat of survival - the "fight or flight" syndrome. When the threat disappeared, so did the adrenaline. But with today's constant worry and tension, low levels of adrenaline are constantly discharged, leading to adrenal burnout, low energy, elevated cortisol levels (associated with an accelerated aging process), poor posture, and chronic muscle tension.
So ... What do we do? Don a loincloth and go find a saber-toothed tiger to fight to burn off our stress? While that thought may appeal to the cage-fighting crowd, it is not a viable option for most of us. But the physical release of pent-up low level adrenaline is one of the easiest ways to avoid stress buildup.
1) Don't worry. Be happy. Dwelling on negative thoughts leads to a hugely accelerated stress and aging problem. Rather than a "think happy thoughts" mantra, take positive action steps for change where you can. Look for a new job. Get counseling to remediate a family situation. Rethink your spending habits. Eat your children (not all of them - just the annoying ones)***. Many problems are blown way out of proportion by excessively dwelling in our thoughts.
2) Work out. Multiple studies have proven the benefits in reducing the accumulation of stress. It's nature's way.
3) Cleanse, Detox, and Get Good nutrition. Get rid of toxic thoughts, and then get rid of accumulated stress toxins. A clean, well nourished body fights off everything better. Including stress.
4) Duck the balls you can't catch. In baseball, a line drive at the pitcher's head is sometimes best dealt with by ducking. He can't catch 'em all. And you can't fix 'em all on the spot. Sometimes it's better to just duck, let it blow over, but then go pick up the ball and find the right solution after some thought.
5) Get a massage. Take a yoga class. Releasing the tension with any kind of body work is healthy. Feels good too!
6) Get regular adjustments. Other studies have repeatedly shown that people who get regular chiropractic adjustments, exercise, stretch, and get good nutrition are far less susceptible to stress related health problems. Oh, sure, we're all going to die of something. But should it really be related to the co-worker from hell? Or our credit card bills? Find and fix the problems, work them out, get fitter, and get healthier.
*** P.S. - don't really eat your children - then you'll have to deal with digestive stress as well.