The Reality of Stress: Part 1
"NOTHING is worth your health.
NOTHING is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear."
- Steve Maraboli
STRESS. It's NO joke. I know this, and I tell YOU guys all the time. But y'all...I have NOT been careful of my own stress lately, and ultimately, my own health. So, after a few months of constant, unrelenting stress, I found my health in a pretty poor state. I'll talk more about my personal struggles in Part 2 of this blog (so stay tuned!..and I'm going to get REALLY personal, so brace yourself).
I'm going to get into more detail in a bit, but here are the basics of what we want to see on this scan: we want the little white dot (the one the arrows are pointing at) to be along the center black line, and as close to the green oval (ideally inside of it!) as possible. So check out my scan:
And that was only a difference of 12 days.
My baseline scan (I run it every few months) is usually right about where the dot on 8/15 is. So when I saw the scan on 8/3, I was VERY concerned. I had other symptoms going on (that I'll talk about in Part 2), but needless to say, it only made me more nervous about the state of my health after seeing this scan.
I always tell our patients that this scan doesn't measure whether we HAVE stress, but instead measures how well is our system able to ADAPT to it.
Cliff Notes version: The closer to center line, the better in balance your nervous system is, and the better in balance your nervous system is, the more adaptable you are to stresses in your life.
So, why is your chiropractor, who gets adjusted more than you do (I mean...I married a chiropractor. Why wouldn't I?), having such an awful scan??? Trust me, I'm not proud of it. I actually wouldn't even show it to Dr. Jake because I was so embarrassed.
The reality is, we need to take our health into our own hands as much as we trust it in the hands of our health care professionals. In order to get the MAXIMUM benefit from any healthcare professional, a personal change in lifestyle on your end is required. This is why I tell our patients that there is a lot of work that I do to help balance this...but you will see the most major improvements when also making improvements in your lifestyle.
In my case, I had a MAJOR event we were planning since about April, which occurred on 8/5. During this 5-month period, I had a very inconsistent sleep schedule (trying to get things done for the event kept me up well past my bedtime many nights); I was grabbing anything quick to eat (which usually meant it was unhealthy); and when I got home I was POOPED, which led to me getting hardly any physical activity or any time outside (to add insult to injury, hellooooo plummeting Vitamin D levels). All of this was just piled on top of the emotional stress and anxiety of the actual event planning I already had going on.
SO WHAT DID I DO IN THOSE 12 DAYS?
1. Well. First and foremost, I continued to get adjusted. Regularly. There's definitely the lifestyle component to it, but without the adjustments, I definitely would not have bounced back this quickly, if at all. [Think of it like this: You can show someone the most beautiful painting in the world, but without the glasses they need in order to see it clearly and take it in appropriately, they will never understand its true beauty. That's kind of what our nervous system does. It makes it so we can take in everything in the world and integrate it in our systems in the best way possible...but only if our nervous system is also doing well.]
2. I'm getting my sweat on. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, I'm back at it in the gym. Keeping your body in motion is so imperative for overall health!
3. I'm eating SO much cleaner. Without proper nutrition, how is it even possible for my body to be healthy? (Answer: It's not.)
4. I'm making the commitment to ME time, and not being apologetic about it. Self-care should always be made a priority, but I certainly wasn't doing that. But no more! It's ok to be a bit "selfish" from time to time if it means you'll be the best version of you possible for your loved ones (which means it's really not selfish at all).
And just like that, BAM, look at that beautiful AFTER scan!
And just as a spoiler: the symptoms I tell you about in Part 2 have also improved DRASTICALLY. I still have more work to do, but it's been a full 180 from what was happening 2 weeks ago.
Health is a two-way street. You should never be dependent on a health care provider (or anyone other than yourself) to address your overall health. So don't let your stress get away from you! Keep your stress in check, and we will do our part in the office to keep your nervous system at peak performance so you can ADAPT the way your body was meant to!
Check back SOON for Part 2 where I'm going to get really detailed about what happened with my own health!