Creating Health by Choice, Not by Chance: Consistency

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Creating Health by Choice, Not by Chance: Consistency

Like most health practitioners that are truly passionate about health and wellness, I have had personal experiences of watching loved ones suffer with severe illness.  I have watched people that seemed to be “healthy” one day have a heart attack the next.  Both Drs. Scott and myself dealt with severe health challenges at young ages.  As difficult as these experiences were, I can see them as gifts in that they propelled changes in our lives that directed us to a path of not only reclaiming health but creating wellness.  Of all the shifts and changes I have made in healthy routines, being CONSISTENT with healthy habits has made the BIGGEST IMPACT of all!  It is the secret to health that changes everything.  

I want to explain more and provide precise tips on how to increase your level of consistency for reaching your goals.  First, think about this: What gets results in the short term?  I deal with people in pain each day.  And, I am very aware that nothing gets a quick result like a narcotic.  It will provide pain relief much faster than a more holistic approach.  But what are the long-term consequences of this decision?  What is the long-term cost of the near-term gratification?  If you take the pill today and don’t think about getting adjusted and correcting the cause of the problem or starting the healing process, what happens?  If you just suppress the problem with immediate needs, there is a consequence.  The underlying issue (misalignment, nerve tension, inflammation) is still present, getting worse and detracting from health.   Your body is compensating for the injury, developing new, additional problems...

Even if you have a painful incident or accident and get adjusted once (at least you are stimulating the healing process) it can make a great difference, but the real, lasting changes come with consistency.  Like so many processes (brushing your teeth, exercise, eating well), when we choose to do something consistently, the reward is great.  We live in a world that can bombard us with stressors of the physical, emotional, and mental kind.  We deal with physical slips and falls, sitting at desks and computers for long hours or driving in hunched and stressed positions.  We have information coming to us constantly.  We often have huge expectations of ourselves and others.  Emotional and mental stressors often are the big players in peoples’ physiology.  When the brain cannot efficiently process stressful situations, the spine adapts to process the stress.  This leads to tight, achy muscles, a rigid spine, and lack of overall flexibility.

One of the reasons that Dr. Scott and I recommend consistency with NSA care, is that our goal is not just to solve the immediate pain or problem, but to actually move the body into a state of healing.  Why I became a chiropractor versus a medical doctor is that I wanted to practice and teach tools that people could apply to their lifestyle on a consistent basis to move their body into a state of healing and health versus disease and suffering.  This is very different than the medical paradigm.  I want to be an agent of change.  I don’t want you to feel good for just a week or a month but instead to develop strategies to feel good and be healthy the majority of the time!  This doesn’t happen with adjustments here and there or once in a while.  This happens with CONSISTENCY!  

One of our goals with providing NSA care is that we want to create adaptability and flexibility within the structural (bony) part of the spine AND the nervous system as well.  We want your body to adapt to daily stressors, but also have the ability to handle the bigger ones (accidents, injuries, traumas) when and if they happen.  With consistency, the body is reminded of its proper positioning, proper functioning, and can adapt and heal more efficiently.  With consistency - stress, the immune system, organ systems, and wellbeing are supported.  This is all proven with research, but realize that it takes time and CONSISTENCY to create this change.  Your body has to adapt to all of the physical, emotional, and mental stressors daily, while it is working to heal and change underlying patterning that may have been shaped by your very early years of life.  Your body is working to heal long-term patterns, adapt to the new pattern while you are performing all of your daily activities (work, sleep, exercise - all of it)!  This is a lot of work that is supported with consistent reminders and input into the nervous system via NSA.  When consistency doesn’t happen, we end up clearing away the current stressors from the spine and nervous system, but then are not able to get to the bigger, deeper patterns that created the problems in the first place.  

Consistency in every aspect of my health has been the game changer.  What I eat, how I move, and how I think are all influenced by how often I take the time and energy to have what I call a "Wellbeing Practice".  The following are the important components of my Wellbeing Practice: Exercise, Outdoor time, Meditation, Taking supplements Daily, Sleep, Healthy Cooking and Consistent NSA Adjustments.  We know that it takes 21 days to develop a habit, but this is just the first stage of habit development.  I know if I am doing something for 21 days, I definitely notice a difference, but what happens if a highly stressful time presents itself or a vacation is scheduled? Even with the best intentions, the habit often vanishes.  Here are tools I use to help me in habit creation so the results of consistency can be enjoyed!

  • After 3 days of consistent exercise, healthy eating, meditating, etc., I notice a HUGE change.  I remind myself that even if a change is hard, after 3 days, I will notice a shift that will be rewarding.
  • Schedule appointments for the things that matter the most to you.  When will your exercise happen?  Which days will you get adjusted?  What time will you take your supplements?  Plan it out!
  • I never leave important appointments without scheduling the next one.  I either have my adjustment schedule mapped out for a few months at a time, or I make sure I never leave before scheduling my next session.  
  • Plan to the point of determining when you will take time to prepare for your goals, i.e. when will you get to the grocery store to buy the food you need?  Do you need to plan time for meal prep?
  • Find tools that help speed up the process!  A slow-cooker, Instapot, and rice cooker used as a vegetable steamer are staple tools in our kitchen because they make healthy cooking simple!
  • Are there obstacles you will need to overcome?  If you plan hiking as part of your exercise routine and the trails are icy, what will be your backup plan so you still get exercise into your week?  Are there exercise apps that you can use at home to create variety in your routine and increase your results?
  • Set phone alarms with reminders!  Take your wellbeing seriously!  When I am implementing a change like increasing water intake or taking supplements, I create phone reminders specifically for this purpose!
  • With long term goals, I plan small rewards that have nothing to do with unhealthy choices; i.e.—3 weeks of clean eating = taking the time to drive a little farther to my favorite hiking spot.
  • Keep YOUR WHY (why you are making this change) in your consciousness - pictures, words, journaling, vision board, etc.  What can remind you of this “WHY” multiple times a day?

Best Wishes on creating your Wellbeing Practice.  CONSISTENCY is the KEY!

Remember, Create Health by Choice, Not by Chance.  

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