Child’s pose prioritizes spinal health
Even by yoga’s high standards, child’s pose is akin to a superfood for spinal health. It is a low-intensity move that can be performed in just about any setting to provide a tonic for weary spines. Here are the benefits of child’s pose from a chiropractors perspective:
- Provides a gentle stretch for the lower back, hips, thighs and ankles
- Passively stretches core stabilizing muscles
- Elongates the lower back, improving circulation to the spinal joints
- Encourages relaxation through resting in the position and taking deep breaths
While the stretch centers around the thighs, studies have shown that child’s pose is effective at mitigating pain in the back, shoulders, neck and hips.
When your sport gives and takes
Physical activity is supposed to help us prevent pain in the first place. The cardiovascular, muscle-building and conditioning aspects of sport fortify our bodies, boost circulation and assist every system in the body to function optimally. By strengthening our bodies, we become more resilient to injury from a whole spectrum of movement. But many sports also come with a price, one of the most frequent being trauma to the joints. Think of the top American youth sports:
While the intensity obviously varies, all four of these sports are characterized by repetitive wear and tear of the weight bearing joints, including the ankles, knees, hips and spinal joints. As we get older, many of us transition to running, which can also be viewed through a high-impact, repetitive-trauma lens. But far be it from us to suggest a change of sport; if you love what you are doing, and your body feels great despite occassionally recurring pain, it is not time yet to make a wholesale change to a lower-impact sport. But you might benefit from a visit to the chiropractor!
Athletes rely on biomechanical efficiency
The first role of the chiropractor in an athletic setting is to provide expertise regarding biomechanical function. How do the moving parts of your body synergize to support your every sporting movement? Sporting success is often determined by the smallest of margins; finishing either side of your personal best comes down to whether your body is optimized for range of motion and reaction times. Misalignments in the spine reduce nervous system efficiency, which directly translates to slower reaction times. And how can you reasonably expect to perform with limited range of motion?
Massage as preventive medicine
The idea of massage is clearly imagined in a spa setting, with candles, aromatherapy and white towels; less clearly imagined is its role in holistic wellness. At our office in Westwood, we use massage to help people manage back pain, improve biomechanical function and boost mental wellness. Massage is proven over and over again to be an invaluable piece in helping people with chronic pain live better despite their conditions. If you are feeling at the end of your tether, a massage by professional, experienced hands can help you hit the reset button. Trigger point therapy forms an important part of our massage therapy for residents of Westwood.
Honesty is the best policy
At our office in Westwood, it’s always OK to admit your shortcomings. In fact, it’s where we start with every one of our patients. Whether you are blessed with a pain and complication-free spine or your back has seen better days, there is always room for improvement. Our practice relies on the idea that the spine is a central pillar of wellness; taking care of it is therefore a priority and it is our mission to help you in this quest. One way you can change the way your spine feels this year is to change the way you exercise.
Posture is all in your head
Of all the health goals you could set for yourself in 2018, improving your posture has a tremendous upside. We are not saying it will be easy, but if you can learn to be aware of your postural shortcomings and make a concerted effort at overcoming them, you will go a long way toward improving overall wellness. The truth is, posture requires effort; it requires the coordination between body and mind. All of us know that we should, “sit up straight,” but even those of us who set out to heed this advice often find ourselves slouching and slumping after an hour or so. Step 1 is conquering the mental game- establishing awareness of when you have given up on your good posture and resetting.