The following is a post from Contributing Writer, Dr. Kristin Marchman. Dr. Marchman is a Licensed Chiropractor at Vickery Chiropractic in Cumming, GA.
It’s something we all strive for, but what does it truly mean?
The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” We often think we are healthy if we aren’t “sick,” but what about the individuals that are perfectly “healthy” one day and the next day are diagnosed with cancer? They weren’t “sick,” but it’s hard to say that they had been “healthy” when this life-altering disease had been growing within in them for months, perhaps years.
I consider there to be five important aspects to achieving optimal health.
The first is nutrition and hydration. What we put into our bodies affects our day-to-day energy and long-term health. I am confident that most people know what they should be eating and drinking on a daily basis, it’s simply a matter of implementing it.
Next is exercise. Keeping our bodies moving is essential and I recommend that we all aim for 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity three to five days a week. Not only does it help our bodies physically, but it also aids in getting those positive endorphins flowing in our brains.
Though we don’t like to admit it, we all need a certain amount of rest to get through each day. Six to eight hours of sleep is extremely important and affects our health in numerous ways. Sleep is how we recharge and reenergize for the day ahead.
A positive mental attitude is crucial for our health. Studies show our physical health is directly linked to our mental health. Laughing, praying, and learning how to cope with stress are three activities that can make a huge impact on our health.
The final aspect to achieving health is one most people don’t think about, but deals with how the body functions. The brain and spinal cord are two of the first organs to develop in a growing fetus. Why? They are the two organs that coordinate and send signals to every other organ and muscle in the body. Without the brain and spinal cord, none of our human functions would be possible.
Luckily, the brain is encased in a solid skull that can only be disturbed by great trauma. The spinal cord is protected by our bony spine, but it, unfortunately, is much more vulnerable to injury. Repetitive movements, falls, contact sports, twists and turns – all of these can cause the spine to misalign, putting pressure on the spinal cord or the nerves that exit between the vertebrae.
So, what can be done to keep the entire body functioning at the highest level by removing interference to the spinal canal? The answer is chiropractic – a safe, gentle, and effective form of treatment. That is what I consider to be the final element to obtaining optimal health. I may be slightly biased, being a chiropractor myself, but I have seen chiropractic do amazing things and can say without a doubt that it will always be part of my journey towards optimal health.