How Many Rocks are in Your Backpack?

The typical chiropractic clinic will be putting out articles this month about how to wear a backpack to avoid spine and posture problems.  Although this is good information, I can give you the Cliff’s Note version in about three sentences.  The bottom of your son or daughter’s backpack should sit just above the top of the glutes. They should wear both straps, wider are better and they should consider not packing the bag too heavy. Use a chest or waist strap if possible.  Done.
Now let’s move onto something far more profound a colleague of mine introduced me to about 10 years ago.  His name is Dr. James Chestnut and he practices chiropractic in Victoria B.C.  James discusses how our bodies are extremely intelligent and are constantly reacting to the environment we choose to put them in.  These adaptations are not made in error.  They are designed to allow our body’s to survive despite the stress we place upon them.  Stress comes from three areas; physical, chemical and emotional.  An example of physical stress may be sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day.  A chemical stress example is eating processed foods regularly and an emotional stress would be taking part in a negative relationship with a spouse.
Regardless of the category the stress comes from, each additional stressor perceived by the body causes it to react.  The reaction moves the body away from health and homeostasis and towards sickness and disease.  Short term stressors are not problematic.  However, in our modern lifestyle, most of the stressors we face are chronic.  Unfortunately our bodies do not have a defense system against long term stress. This problem when accumulated over time leads to lifestyle diseases such as cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis and obesity.
A great way to understand this concept is to think of your body as a backpack.  Each time you add a stressor to your life you add a rock into your backpack that must be carried at all times.  Although initially a few rocks does not make a big difference, as time goes on and the number and size of the rocks increase, the load placed on your body becomes significant.
The good news is that if you are armed with education and take action in the categories of chiropractic, nutrition, positive self-talk and exercise you can actually take rocks out of your backpack and restore your body’s health and homeostasis.   By providing your body with the appropriate building blocks for health such as adjustments, weight lifting, eliminating sugar and having supportive relationships, you naturally drive your body towards optimal function.  For more information in each of these categories of health please speak with one of the health care providers at Shea Family Chiropractic!