This morning my parasympathetic state during breakfast was thrown askew by a man at the neighboring table. He was loud, he was wrong, and he drove me crazy. Crazy enough to blog about him. When he first started explaining his project proposal to his friend, I gathered that he was either a chiropractor or a massage therapist. He went on to describe the spine (along with whole body) as constantly losing elasticity from poor daily postures. He wanted to invent a product that mimics the spine's natural kyphotic and lordotic curves as a spinal orthotic. He thinks it should be made of metal, and that soon everyone will be sleeping on them. The theory is not a terrible one, that sleeping with your spine supported in the ideal shape will allow your muscles to relax into ideal posture. I quickly realized that he was probably a receptionist as he claimed that this could be a one size fits all, and that you don't even need a bed.
Craziness aside, he was trying to bank on the fact that many Americans are looking for the most sedentary way to fix a problem. He was claiming that as your bones come out of alignment, and your muscles tighten up accordingly, there is no permanent solution to the problem. I suppose this can be thought of as true. This is why people get frustrated with the chiropractor, eventually you have to go back. My question is, why is this a bad thing? We take our cars in for oil changes. We take our teeth in for cleanings and fillings. We take our bodies in for check-ups. What do we want out of a check up? A clean bill of health, and a prescription? Why is that okay, but regular trips to the chiropractor, massage therapist, naturopath, or nutritional therapist are too redundant to appreciate?
Life does not have to be degenerative. If you want to take the sedentary route to health, it will be. We are a nation that is proactive in our educations and our careers, but why not our health. That man drove me crazy today because his product idea was clearly flawed, but people would buy into it anyway. Like I said, the theory behind it wasn't entirely wrong. Although, his notion that you can't reverse the taught muscles and the structural deviations was beast headed to say the least. I am 26 (originally posted 2011), and in the best health of my life. You may be reading this and thinking, she's only a baby, what does she know?
Until my early 20's I lived with an undiagnosed sensitivity to dairy. I ate it diligently and my health suffered for it. I was frequently fatigued and heavy. I had chronic hay fever, sinus infections, colds, and and I would catch every flu that went around. I couldn't run a single lap around the track without wheezing. I was otherwise in great shape, strong and capable. But I've realized now, that I was just really determined. Thankfully, I no longer suffer any of these ailments. I did not take a pill, or have a surgery done on my sinuses.
I changed my lifestyle.
As I've increased mineral, and fatty acid consumption and absorption (affecting hydration and joint lubrication, etc...), my body has changed drastically. I'm not as stiff when I wake up, I crave fewer processed carbohydrates, I think more clearly, and I'm even more determined than I was before. It has also become evident that without regular exercise and stretching, I start to get achy and cranky. You see, the best way to correct postural deviations, is to be active. An important part of spinal health is practicing slow, full range of motion, and muscle engagement. Yoga and Tai Chi are great examples. Try committing yourself to a practice twice a week for one month. At the end, reflect on how your posture feels.
We are conditioned to think that as we age, our glory years become less and less visible in the dust behind us. This is wrong. Aging is beautiful for many different reasons, and I know many people who have done it without the degree of suffering western science predicted for them. You can be one of those people, have faith that you can change the way you feel. A great place to start is by increasing hydration (see salt blog below). Add more whole fats to your diet, and cut out processed foods. You will feel different, I promise.
As always, thanks for reading, and make good choices! :)
Do a cartwheel, it'll make you laugh. Or, make it your goal to be able to do one by the end of summer. :)