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Your Brain is Talking, but Is Your Body Listening?

By Dr. John Mahoney

The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in proper diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
Thomas Edison

“Maybe this will go away” are the five most dangerous words you may ever use! We’re given only one body so when it speaks, we must listen. Listening to our bodies helps us determine what may be going wrong and gives us the opportunity to begin seeking conservative ways to restore health, before it’s too late.

Three’s a Charm

Because the nervous system affects how we perceive the world around and inside of us, strengthening this ‘command center’ will facilitate your body’s natural ability to self-heal and self regulate. However, overall health may be compromised when stress enters the system via these ways: physical, biochemical and psycho-emotional. It is crucial to address and support all three components in order to prevent communication breakdowns throughout the body.

Physicalproblems—consisting of muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones—are controlled by the nervous system. Chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, ancillary therapies and rehab are effective treatments. Biochemical issues—consisting of the organs—are best addressed through proper nutrition, including a healthy diet, water and supplements. Micronutrient and delayed food allergy testing can help identify underlying problematic imbalances.

The third component—psycho-emotional—involves all the other stressors of life that affect our thoughts, and in turn, our bodies. Positive stress relievers such as mindfulness, yoga and restorative sleep, may help ease tension and settle the mind. When one or more of these components is imbalanced, the body will signal pain or distress. You may experience a head “ache,” lower back “ache” or stomach “ache.” But rather than chase symptoms and mask the pain, seeking the root cause will reveal the underlying factor triggering the health decline.

Trust Your Gut

Because your nervous system influences every single part of your body, any interference to the messages to and from your brain can adversely affect the function of your body as whole. For example, working out addresses the physical core; maintaining proper alignment with chiropractic adjustments eliminates interference as we tackle daily stresses; and a positive mindset allows the nervous system to function undisturbed. However, bad posture not only affects your spine due to increased pressure and undue strain, leading to overall wear and tear, but it also decreases your ability to fully inhale during breathing, reducing available oxygen to the body and further compromising health. In addition, bad posture can compresses your digestive system, possibly affecting how food is processed through the gut, leading to more musculoskeletal issues. With 60-70% of our immune cells in our gut, it’s truly the core of good health! A healthy diet, along with proper supplementation, will help maintain a healthy nutrient supply to assist the body’s natural function and repair processes.

Eat Well, Think Well, Move Well

The nervous system is responsible for all of this and much more, but if any disturbance is present, the messages between your brain and your body will go unread. When the nervous system is unbalanced and experiencing turbulence in the communication system, chances are no matter how nutritious your meal, the nutrients that your body needs won’t be properly stored, broken down or even entirely used. I always encourage my patients to “EAT WELL, THINK WELL AND MOVE WELL.” Proper spinal alignment, good muscle tone, proper nutrition, exercise, and a good outlook on life are all keystones in the reduction of pain and the promotion of health. We have the rest of our lives to get healthy!

Dr. John Mahoney is a chiropractic physician at First State Health & Wellness—Newark. He integrates chiropractic care with functional nutrition for optimal pain relief and healing. First State Health & Wellness has been providing award-winning healthcare and education for over 30 years.

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