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Healthy Living

Today, we are going to talk about living a healthy balanced lifestyle. If you have ever heard me speak, or read any of my past blogs, you’ll know I mention our stress response quite frequently.

When we encounter a stressor, our stress hormones increase, putting our body into our fight or flight response. Our body reacts as if we are in a life or death situation. Certain areas of our body need more blood/energy to function, and other areas of our body need less.

What Happens During a Stress Response?

If we break it down; it is all in the name: fight or flight. We either fight, or we run. Our muscles need more energy and blood, because regardless of what option we take, our muscles need to be activated. If we think about it a little more, our brain needs more energy as well as we have to outthink our opponent. Similarly, our heart and lungs will allow us to breathe a little heavier and deeper.

This is, of course, an extremely simplified explanation of the fight or flight response, but for the purpose of this blog, it will do. When these areas get extra blood supply, this means our blood has to be taken away from every other area in our body. Which ultimately means, our body is not operating at 100%.

Keeping the Fight-or-Flight Response at Bay

Here are just a few tips on healthy living, designed to keep you out of the fight or flight response and ensure a long, happy life!

  1. Posture is key! Posture addresses our physical stressors. As I mentioned in a previous blog post with reference to a TED talk by Amy Cuddy, our posture is critical! Posture is directly linked with our stress hormones. Having improper posture that is slumped forward and slouched actually relates to increased stress hormones!Poor posture is also one big culprit of many of the pain-based conditions I see walking into my office. Poor posture may also suggest unresolved emotional stressors/events in time as emotional stressors actually cause a defensive slumped forward posture.a. Step 1: make sure to get checked and adjusted, work on postural strengthening/mobility exercises, and consider mind/body techniques as a way to address any unresolved emotional stressors that may be contributing to that poor posture.
  2. Eat healthy, organic food! Foods that are sprayed with antibiotics, herbicides and pesticides are harmful to our internal physiology. Our body recognizes these things are foreign substances. The result is an increase in stress hormones mentioned above and activates our fight/flight response. If we can’t ensure all of our food is organic, search “The Dirty Dozen.” The 12 items on that list should absolutely be organic! Let’s start decreasing any form of stressor to the nervous system that we can as soon as we can! It does make a difference.
  3. Stay positive! It may be hard to believe but having a positive mindset and outlook on life allows our bodies to function better! Negative thinking such as fear, worry, doubt, anxiety or anger are part of the fight or flight response and increase stress hormones. Being spiritual and having proper mind/body techniques to enhance our positive thoughts goes a very long way. I always recommend patients meditate, journal, go for Reiki sessions, clear their chakras, cleanse their auras and work on positive daily affirmations. If we want to truly begin to transform our lives, this is an area we absolutely must address.

So, you’re looking to get healthy
Because that’s truly what makes you wealthy
There are a few tips to follow
And please, don’t you wallow
Each piece of advice is essential
If you want to function at your highest potential
Make sure to get that posture checked
Going too long without just might leave you wrecked
Those harmful chemicals are quite bad for you
They should be eliminated, it’s true!
And do be sure to get that mindset right,
All these things will keep you out of fight or flight!

Yours in health; body, mind and soul.

Dr. Julianne Donato, B.A., D.C.
Chiropractor in Burlington

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