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
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 prolonged 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, 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
frequently. 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 chiropractic care.
Regular chiropractic check-ups will help you support the body's systems and protect you from the effects of stress.