The Spinal Column: You can stay healthy through the ‘holidaze'

Dr. Jim Schaffer
Dr. Jim Schaffer

Here we go again...zipping into the Holidays. Here come the carols, the sales, the parties, the visitors, the decorations, the school plays, the travel...aaaaahhhhh!

As a doctor, one thing I know for sure about the holidays is that people more easily get sick. It concerns me. At times it dominates my holiday thoughts.

I have patients that I have been working with for a period of time and sometimes during holiday madness, the progress we have made toward health regresses. During this hectic season we tend to not make our best health choices.

We often do not get the appropriate amount of rest.We consume more alcohol than usual. We may start the season off with a slam bam diet making excess room in our jeans so that we still fit in our clothes after over consumption of and creamy appetizers pies.


So my thoughts go to health. And just how important real health isall the time.

So this week I am taking the opportunity to talk about how simple it is, really, to have a true healthy life’s plan.

Lets start with the phrase Innate Intelligence. It is what runs our body perfectly. It created you from two miniature cells until nine months later you were a walking talking being. Our innate intelligence knows that we need 3,000 gallons of air a day and that our heart needs to pump 40,000 times a year and speed up when we exercise. That pumping moves 2 ½ gallons of blood each minute. We can put food in our body but it’s the internal intelligence that digests ½ ton a year and turns it into healthy tissues.

I could go on and on but I think you get my point. Our inborn wisdom can run the body perfectly...for an entire lifetime.

Nowto be healthy we each need to listen to our body. Clearly it is amazingly smart. We really need to listen to it. It tells us when we are thirsty, hungry, when to empty our bladder. We respond by eating, drinking, and going to the bathroom. But we also need to respond appropriately. This is important to remember while you are running like a marathon star from place to place this holiday season. Responding to the signs of hunger means fueling your body with real food. Fruits and veggies and healthy meats, nuts and grains. Not the cookies you baked with Amie for the school play. Putting off thirst signals as you rush out the door giving directions to the babysitter because there will be plenty to drink at the party. Beer and wine do not count as an appropriate response to thirst. It’s so easy to fall prey to a cup of pick me up coffee after dinner rather than just listening to your body and making sure you make time to rest.

The more you listenthe more you will hear. Remember you have a really smart body. Innate intelligence can run the whole body! In fact, it is the only thing that can run a body!

Everything that you have heard that can help you to be healthy needs to be done...consistently. Exercise, eating healthy foods to fuel your body, resting seven to eight hours at night. Consistently.

This is where chiropractic comes in. Chiropractic is not about “bad backs” and “stiff necks.” That is a common misconception; just as eating good food will make you lose weight, or exercising is good for your heart, or that rest and fluids will cure the flu.

These actions do one thing. They help the body work better. If your body is working better you are using good food, then your body will normalize your weight by dropping some off it feels you are carrying too much. All your muscles will be stronger from exercise including that big muscle we call the heart. The same is true. If your body is working better because it is stronger, Innate Intelligence will have an easier time keeping you healthy. Rest and fluid can help the body better work better and therefore be more able to fight off the bacteria, provided it needs rest and fluid.

What chiropractic does is enable your body to work better in one area. The wisdom of the body control and coordinates all the body functions through the brain and nerve system. If bones in the spine become misaligned from day to day activities and stresses (aka holidays) the bones will interfere with the function of the nervous system. It cuts off the coordination messages to parts of your body.

It does this every time there is interference!

This interference causes your body to work less than it should. Every time!

A body not working as it is supposed to is simply not healthy. And it can never be until that interference is removed and corrected.

That is what a chiropractor does. We adjust the misplaced vertebrae back into its proper place.

What does that do?

Just like rest, food. Exercise, it enables the body to work better.

If two simple things like rest and fluids can enable your body to run better, imagine what the body can do with and improved nerve system.

A body that is working better has a greater ability to heal itself. A body with a good nervous system has to work better than one with a poor nervous system.

It just makes sense.

Most importantly, with a good nerve supply the body can keep itself working properly and adapting to the constant change and stress (holidays) of life.

Please, plan now to keep yourself, and your family healthy through the holiday seasonand beyond!

Happy Healthy Holidays to all.

Look for our float at the Phoenixville Holiday Parade; If we can hear you cheer we will share our holiday bells! Shout out Phoenixville!

Dr. Jim.