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How about a personal fountain of youth?

          Have you ever said to yourself, “Wow! I’m not as young as I used to be!”  If you have, and you’re like me, I will bet you’ve also noticed things like getting in and out of the car is more difficult, you notice that you make noise when you get out of a chair, and you seem to limp more now than you used to.  In my 40 plus years of practice, I have noticed this in my patients almost daily.  Interestingly, to a patient, the comment that the patients make after one of these events is that they expected because they are getting old.

 

 

          What would you think if I reported to you that I believe I may have found a “fountain of youth”?  Would you be excited if you were to gain 10%, 20%, or even 50% mobility, increased circulation, pain relief, postural improvement, stress relief, decreased stress, slowed arthritic changes, and mood elevation?  Exactly!  You would be thinking, “where do I sign up”? 

 

 

          We have all known for a very long time that movement is the key to life.  We all know someone or of someone that could not wait to retire, and when they did they sat in a chair upon retirement because that was their dream, and then they passed away suddenly in a very short time after that retirement.  Movement is life.  If we aren’t moving, we are dying. 

 

 

          One of the things that happens to muscles when they are not being used is that they shrink, or in doctor talk, they atrophy.  This means they have less bulk (strength) and they become shorter (less power).  Muscles have many functions.  The primary function of a muscle is to move bones, but the secondary function of muscles is to move blood.  Your heart pumps the blood to your fingers and your toes, but it is muscle contraction that moves that blood back to the heart and lungs.  That is the reason we all struggle to keep grandma and grandpa moving, because if they just lay in bed, fluids accumulate in their lungs, and they get pneumonia and die.


ATROHY

 

         

Have you ever noticed that muscles are paired?  Yep!  They are!  A muscle bends your elbow to bring a fork to your mouth, but a muscle on the back of the arm straightens them muscle to bring it back to the plate. Those muscles should be balanced for strength and agility.  If one muscle is weak (or maybe too tight) there will be an uneven rubbing of the elbow joint with each time those muscles move.  If the joint is rubbed with uneven pressure for a prolonged period, the result is degenerative arthritic change.  Now, picture the tight muscles in your low back that resulted from having too much belly in the front.  Do you see why your lower back hurts when you get out of the chair?


         

The big reason that none of us like to do anything about these conditions is that we have all been trained to believe that the answer is to exercise, diet, and lose weight to change the shape of that belly.  You might be excited to learn that there is actually an easier way to make positive changes.  I know many of my patients want to exercise but feel they cannot because it hurts too much to do so.  What would happen if we were to eliminate that problem?

          Welcome to the world of stretching!  Stretching is the answer to many of these issues.  When you stretch a muscle, a reflex is triggered, and the muscle relaxes.  Stretching also improves circulation, brings your body’s natural pain-relieving chemicals into circulation, rebalances the muscles which lessens joint stress that cause joint degeneration, and as a bonus releases dopamine.  Dopamine is a hormone that activates the pleasure center in the brain.  In other words, dopamine makes you feel good!


 

          Now, I am really going to sweeten the pot for you.  Yes, you can do the stretches on your own at home, but a more effective way to stretch is to have someone do it for you!  You heard me!  All you have to do is lay there to get all of these wonderful benefits.  I’ve been in practice for over 40 years.  I have heard countless times how my patients do not have time to exercise.  I know you are all pulling my leg.  I know because I make the same excuse.  We all have the same 24 hours in a day.  None of us is so busy that we can’t spare 30 minutes.  This issue is not time.  The issue is we HATE to exercise.

          Would you be more motivated to exercise if you did not hurt to do them?  Would you be more motivated to exercise if you were already progressing on the benefits before you started exercising?  Would it be easier if you already had a habit of blocking off that 30 minutes prior to starting an exercise regimen?  I would hope so!

          Stretching can be for just general feel-good relaxation purposes or stretching can be done to restore functional abilities that you have lost over time.  Stretching has even been shown to make postural changes in your body, like reducing that rounding of your spine in your mid back.  Stretching is the new super-health activity.  I highly recommend that you give it a try.

          If you are interested, please give Weber Chiropractic a call to schedule a consultation today.  Our number is 724-285-9093. 

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