There’s nothing worse than finding yourself sick in bed or worse, in the bathroom on Christmas. Like a child, you eagerly await the joy of the holiday and then “BOOM” sickness strikes its angry blow and you’re not able to enjoy it. Maybe you’ve had this happen once or twice or more?! It’s easy to blame it on the flu season, but I would like to challenge you to think differently and do all you can to ensure optimal health this year! What if there were things you could do now; simple deposits you could make to invest not just in a healthy holiday, but a healthy YOU year round?!
Of course, the backbone to everything is getting adjusted. (Pun intended!) If you aren’t getting adjusted on a regular basis, even when you aren’t in pain, you are missing out. This past week I started to feel a tickling in my throat, the kind that comes before the sore throat and a full blown cold or flu. Interestingly, in the area of the tickle in my throat, my neck also didn’t feel right. So I got adjusted… lo and behold my neck was way out of alignment and the doctor addressed it. Can you believe I never even ended up getting a sore throat and whatever it was never even reached “cold” status?! I could feel my immune system quickly and efficiently fighting those bugs off. Another testimonial of how the nervous system controls everything in the body, including the immune system. So get adjusted to keep that immune system in tip top shape, especially when you’re feeling under the weather!
Some other important components of a healthy immune system are exercise, sleep and reducing stress. Studies have shown regular exercise improves your immune system. So get moving 3-5 days a week and your immune system will thank you!
It’s also important to practice good sleep hygiene because that’s when the magic happens. Like the nutcracker that comes alive at night, when you sleep, your immune system cells come alive when you are fast asleep. When you are sleep deprived, your immune system doesn’t get the chance to fight off those foreign invaders and you are more susceptible to getting sick. Everyone is different in regards to how much sleep they need, but most need a minimum of 7 hours, so make sure you get your sleep! Stress increases the hormone cortisol in your body and with that, the immune system gets worn down. December is a busy month for most people, but if we are all honest, there’s a lot we put on our plates that isn’t necessary. Don’t overload your schedule, take time to start your day with prayer or meditation and you will be surprised at what a difference it can make!
Last but not least, let’s talk nutrition. Many people don’t make the connection between the tremendous amount of sugar that is consumed starting around Halloween and the way it affects our immune system. Sugar is one of the best ways to disarm your immune system cells from functioning as they should. So it’s no wonder that the flu seasons starts in the fall and is in full swing by the holidays! Most would agree that sugar isn’t the reason for the season, but if we aren’t careful, sugary delicacies can take over our diet and leave our immune system in shambles. Am I saying never eat sugar? No! That’s not realistic. But it IS realistic to choose a holiday treat or two you are going to enjoy and that’s it. And then stay on track the rest of the time by distracting yourself, filling up on veggies or protein, or preparing a healthy dish you can enjoy for gatherings or parties.
We always tell our 8 Weeks to Wellness patients to make a plan or plan to fail; the same applies to the holidays and your health. It’s not an easy season for anyone, but wouldn’t it be nice this Christmas to not fall ill, but rather feel energized and healthy? If you feel like you would like some extra help and haven’t sat down with myself or Christy, what better time of year is there for it then now? We have so many amazing tools to help our patients and develop specific plans for our patients based on their health needs. And even better, the month of December is full of specials (see the ornaments below!) to help you take advantage of our all of our wellness services at Woodbury Spine.
Finally, make sure you’re registered for our upcoming Dinner with the Doc at the Tamarack Taproom on January 15th (Details below)! Some awesome giveaways (in addition to a healthy dinner!!) and some valuable info to start your 2018 on the right (read, healthy!) foot!