I could start by writing how we live in ‘unprecedented times’ and how we must be getting used to the ‘new normal’ but I want to start my biweekly column with a different, more hope-inspiring narrative:
‘Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle’. Napoleon Hill.
Many of us can identify with the latter section of quote, particularly over the last few months, where our health, our businesses and our very society has been challenged like never before. However every crisis also brings opportunity and I want to use the next 12 months writing this column to help you and your family take that opportunity to live happier healthier lives.
I am Dr Gareth Ward DC Chiropractor, director of Adapt Chiropractic clinic, Husband, father to three young boys and serial coffee consumer (I blame the children). Having been a chiropractor for the past 7 years, a personal trainer and massage therapist before that, helping people live a vibrant healthy life has been one of my passions that I am lucky enough to pursue everyday.
Most will understand Chiropractors help neck, back pain and headaches, which we get a lot of in practice for sure. What you may not know is that we have patients in our office whose migraines improve, sleep better, feel more energised, or as we like to say in the office ‘get their spark back!’. Why we see those amazing results in our office is a subject for another column, firstly let me paint you a picture…….
The current state of our health, a pandemic, lockdown, financial uncertainty are a set of factors that will affect everyone in some capacity. You’ll no doubt be sick of COVID news so I want to focus on you, the human being. What governs how healthy someone is under a given set of circumstances? Why do some people get more sick from a particular germ than others. Why do some thrive under extreme pressure and others cave. The simple answer is the most important system in your entire body: The nervous system.
Your brain, spinal cord and nerves create a communication network faster than the latest fibre optic broadband, more sensitive than the most sophisticated security system and more adaptable than Madonna’s image changes. The Brain lives inside a dark cave (your skull) and needs billions of pieces of information delivered to it by the nervous system, from there your brain instructs your body on what to do as a result. The number 1 thing our brain is wired to look for THREAT (things that will hurt, maim or make us sick).
The threats we face as humans have changed considerably over the past 200 years. Think less tigers chasing us, more sitting comfortably, for too long a time. The evolution of our lifestyles means our brain now reacts to new threats (lack of movement, too many pills, non-nutritious food etc) leaving our nervous system often in a constant state of fight/flight. As a chiropractor I check the pathways of communication between the brain and the body by assessing function of the spine (where the nerves go to the spinal cord). Check your spine like you would your teeth, it’s the only one you’ve got.