Ah yes, Spring, the season of opening the garden, taking the dog for long walks and, for a whole lot of us, moving from one home to another.
A few hints to save your nervous system, if not your last nerve:
1. Vacuum like a maniac even before you start packing. You'd be amazed at the dust that accumulates even in seemingly spotless homes, so get out that special "edger" tool and cut back on some of the horror before you get started with the heavy stuff. Vacuuming is rough on the spine, so do this in shifts, possibly several days apart. Warm up and cool down before and after, just as you would for any heavy exercise. Wear a particle mask if you need to.
2. Even if you are lucky enough to have a moving company doing your packing, there are always some items you don't want to trust to anyone but yourself (or Mom). Try to wrap and pack these while working from a table or waist high counter. Don't do the old "sit on the floor spread-eagle with the entire project between your legs so that you are leaning forward at 45 degrees for an hour and then hoist the box to the counter height anyway" routine. It didn't work out well during the holiday season and it hasn't become any more spine friendly in the last four months.
3. If you are driving to a new home several hours away, think about stopping someplace overnight. You want to be fresh and rested when you reach your destination so that you can deal with surprises and not kill yourself bringing in kids, animals, luggage and that box of precious items mentioned above.
4. Take your time unpacking, even though you really want it done and out of the way. You can do this if you've clearly marked the immediate necessities, such as clothing, kitchen and enough bathroom supplies to get you through the first week or so. This way, you don't destroy yourself trying to do in one night what it took you a few weeks or two or three large, strong and experienced individuals two days to accomplish.
5. Believe in self-preservation. Get adjusted as close to your move date as possible. This way, your spine is as clear as it can get and ready for the physical and emotional workout ahead. Get adjusted as soon as possible after the move. Again, get your spine as free as it can be of nerve interference, banish the results of whatever slips and slides the move cost you and be in a position to establish yourself in your new home while feeling good.
6. If your move is within the metro area or you expect to be on frequent business or family travel back to NOVA, make sure that we have your new address and telephone number as soon as you can. This way, you can continue to receive your newsletter and we can reach you if we need to make scheduling changes.
7. Moving outside of the area? Tell us in advance so that we can help you find a new DC near your new home or office. We don't know people everywhere; for instance, if you're moving to a town of 2,000 in Montana, this could be difficult, but give us a try. If we don't know someone exactly where you're going, we probably know someone who does. This way, you're not starting out cold.
What This Means to You
Your vertebrae are designed to move freely, segment by segment, within a proscribed range, in order to allow your body natural movement while protecting your spinal cord and the nerve fibers that exit between those vertebrae. If something changes that natural glide of vertebra upon vertebra so that there is too much or too little movement, the pressure on the nervous system at the cord of nerves themselves changes.
At this point, the information from your brain cannot get through accurately, and you either get a rush of neurological information or not enough. It doesn't take a lot. According to studies by Chung Ha Suh, Ph.D., 10 mm Hg of pressure on a spinal nerve is enough to disrupt neural signals. This applies to every nerve in your body, not just those going to muscles. Even motor nerves, those whose endpoint is strictly musculoskeletal, travel at some point with other kinds of fibers.
An inappropriate neural impulse can eventually affect every cell in your body, due to the amazing interconnectedness of the nervous system. While the immediate reaction of the body to a subluxation--also, but inaccurately called a "pinched nerve"--is usually not that dramatic, in the long run it can be because your body is designed to pick up the slack and compensate for any part that can't seem to accomplish its task. Two or more vertebrae can move aberrantly and interfere with the distribution of nerve information through the negative effects of trauma (accidents, inappropriate movement, etc.), toxic reactions (pollution, fumes, viral and bacterial byproducts) and emotional stress (through the body's own chemical or hormonal system).
The job of the chiropractor is to analyze the spine, locate subluxations and eliminate them. Yes, we'd love to talk with you more about subluxation. (See future newsletters for more vocabulary related to your experience at this office.)
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