Dr Bret Wilson
,

Health Consciousness

Dr Bret Wilson
Dr. Bret Wilson

Health Consciousness

Are you health conscious?  The initial response would typically relate to your knowledge and application of diet, exercise, avoidance of smoking, and regular visits to the doctor. These areas are important to the health conscious person. I would like to expand your thinking to allow for an analysis of your conscious awareness of and sensitivity to specific issues in your constant control that can greatly effect your health.  Your health consciousness in our definition is made up of your thoughts, your posture and your breath.
Thoughts

Research has shown that thoughts and emotions have a profound effect on your health and well being.  Being aware of the relationship between mind and body can make you healthier.  Optimists and people who rate themselves as happy live longer, miss fewer days from illness, recover faster from injury and are more likely to have healthier habits.  The phrase “Laughter is the best medicine” was a theme of Norman Cousins book, “Anatomy of an Illness”, as he chronicled his own recovery from a chronic painful illness using “humor therapy”.  Bernie Siegel MD wrote of the extraordinary patients who used mental imagery, laughter, optimism, and spiritualism supplementing proper medical care to recover from cancer.

Changes in the neurology and chemistry of the brain affect our thoughts and emotions, the opposite is true as well, by changing our thoughts and emotions we can change our brain chemistry.  We become what we think about.  Positive mental thoughts and emotions result in a happier healthier life.  Be conscious of your self talk, your mental and emotional response to health, stress, emotions.  Choose to respond and not to react, make choices that will make your healthier.

Posture

Healthy posture is a habit maintained through awareness and practice.  Posture allows for balance and support of our frame against the constant stress exerted by gravity.  Poor posture can cause greater wear and tear on joints, inhibit breathing, circulation and digestion, increase fatigue, reduce flexibility, and effect mood.

Proper posture employs a forward curve in the neck and low back.  There should be alignment of the ear, the shoulder and the hip.  From the front there should be alignment of the nose, the breast bone and the navel.  These basic principles can be applied standing, sitting, and lying down.  Posture should provide balance, support and comfort.  When a situation calls for a modification of these basics, limit the time spent in these postures and use supports when able.

Consciousness of your posture, awareness of the basics of good posture and applying those basics on a consistent basis will assist in better health.

Breathing

Conscious breathing is healthy breathing.  Many disciplines such as yoga and meditation employ specific breathing as a focal point.  Under stress we often hold our breath, forget to breath, go into shallow breathing or even hyperventilation.  One theory of yawning at seemingly inappropriate times is that under stress, the yawn is an unconscious effort to take a deep breath.

Breathing is generally defined as chest, belly and diaphragmatic.  Chest breathing is stressful, shallow and does not use the large dome of muscle the diaphragm to fill the lungs with air.  It creates stress on the muscle of the back, shoulders and neck.  An extreme example would be someone who is sobbing, the shoulders rise and fall with each breath.  Belly breathing is better and more common.  As the diaphragm moves down, the belly pushes out.  Watching a baby sleep gives you the idea.  Diaphragmatic breathing is the best and is the method employed by yoga, martial arts, and trained singers.  There is movement of the diaphragm and an expansion of the lower ribs out sideways.

The practice of conscious breathing helps you to avoid altered breathing patterns and practice better, healthier ones.  There is evidence of breathing techniques helping pain, depression, blood pressure, asthma and stress reduction.  Several times per day, take a moment and focus on your breath and feel the air move in and out of your lungs.  Breathe in oxygen, prosperity and health.  Breathe out and release carbon dioxide, stress and tension.    Conscious breathing leads to better health.

Practice health consciousness.  Practice awareness of these important integral health factors.  Realize the power of using your thoughts, posture and breath to be healthier, happier and live longer.

Yours in Health,

Bret Wilson, DC
www.drbretwilson.com
Bell West Chiropractic
623.556.2335