Article contributed by Amanda Schlatt, CA Columbus, OH
April is official “Stress Awareness Month”. Although it is probably not necessary to remind people that life is filled with stress, physical, mental and emotional stress are a part of each and every day. Family, friends, jobs, money, exercise and food can all put stressors on the human body.
Much research has been done on the way that stress can affect people in their daily lives. Over 250 studies between 1960 and 2000 have shown that pro-longed stress can play a major role in the deterioration of the immune system. Although we all know that our immune system helps to keep us from catching viruses, it also works as our cancer protection system, and overall body repair and maintenance shop. Your cells, tissues and organs are constantly regenerating! You actually have a completely new set of cells, from head to toe, every seven years! Your immune system is in charge of making sure the new cells are healthier than the old ones.
Some of life’s stressors are actually necessary for us to grow and thrive. Normal daily exercise is a good example of how our muscular and skeletal systems actually use this good form of stress to grow and thrive. Of course, there are also many stressors that are detrimental to our bodies. Finding ways to help your body counteract the effects of stress is a good way to keep yourself fit and your immune system as strong as possible. A study at Duke University found that people drinking four to five cups of coffee per day not only raise their blood pressure, but also experience more stress throughout their day. By just cutting back to one cup per day, you can limit the effects of chemical stress on your body.
Another consideration to reduce the stress on your body is to eat smaller amounts of food more fre-quently. Eating three large meals per day can be very stressful to the digestive system. Rather, eating on a continuous two hour cycle over the course of the day is actually easier on the body, consistently fueling it with healthy, good nutrition and creating a higher metabolism to burn calories. Think of your body as a car. Eating only three meals per day is like gunning the accelerator and then slamming on the brakes. Eating five or six smaller meals throughout the day is like driving at a constant speed. Which method is better for your car? For more information on healthy nutrition for you and your family, please feel free to ask us, or better yet, join us for a nutrition class held regularly in our office.
Lastly, look to your chiropractor as a part of your health team. With all of life’s stressors, a healthy nerve system is essential to a healthy immune system. A recent study found that people under regular wellness chiropractic care had a 200% increase in immune function than those who were not under chi-ropractic care. Regular chiropractic check-ups will help you support the body’s systems and protect you from the effects of stress.