Stress management means something different to everyone: some people bury it away until they burst; others exercise to let it go and feel an endorphin boost; others will just settle down by watching cat videos on YouTube. Whatever your unique stress management plan, the essential thing is that you have one. At Espinosa Family Chiropractic, we want to help you find ways to manage your stress before it boils over and one great technique for doing this is through diet. We are not suggesting a radical diet change, but rather a few simple foods that can help fight back against the stress using natural means!
- Green Tea: for the anti-oxidants and L-Theanine, a chemical which inhibits anger and promotes relaxation.
- Celery: to lower blood pressure, which is an important part of relaxation.
- Honey: for tryptophan and potassium, it is a boost for both the body and brain.
- Dark Chocolate: contains hormones that balance stress in the brain, tastes delicious and makes you happy.
- Gum: more specifically, the act of chewing it, which, studies show, lowers cortisol levels and reduces stress.
At our office in Sacramento, we focus on the root causes of your stress, beginning with a discussion and a musculoskeletal examination that will determine if there are any structural or muscular causes that may be contributing. As we begin to heal your body, the brain will inevitably follow, so we encourage you to not let stress stew insidiously in your life any longer- instead, give our office in Sacramento a call so we can start addressing your stress today!
Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.
Everyone knows that person who, "thrives under pressure," the one who can deliver no matter how much is piled on. And while the brain does work harder under pressure, it doesn't necessarily work better. Procrastination is innate; there is a tendency for humans to disassociate from how waiting for work to pile up til the last minute will affect their future self. Sometimes we won't even work until the reward is literally looming before us (i.e. the next day.) This is a perilous way to live, and one that leads a lot of people into lives of chronic stress and muscle tension. Rather than joining in this legion of stressed out, stress-hungry people, we encourage you to try being proactive about stress and managing it to your benefit. Here are some techniques that can be used in the office:
- Squeeze a stress ball: take it out on the ball, let it absorb all your tension.
- Cool down: stress has a way of making our blood boil, leading to distraction and anger that can be counter-productive. A great way to combat this is by putting a cool towel over your wrists.
- Massage yourself: Acupressure points are great for releasing tension, but sometimes just rubbing your hands can do wonders. If you can, roll your shoulders and neck around a few times to dispel the tension that accumulates during a day seated at work.
- Chew gum: masticating is powerful; clinical studies show that chewing gum lowers anxiety levels.
The point is this: next time you are grinding through a day of work with a deadline looming large, instead of pushing on to the point of breaking, grab a piece of gum and chew, bust out a doodle to stimulate your creative side and reward complex, or take a vigorous walk outside to get some refreshing exercise in the sunshine, and then try pushing on. I promise you your productivity will go up without the accompanying stress. The time spent doing this will be recompensed by the boost in productivity and you will still meet your deadline, just with less brain damage, and that is totally worth it! For help on managing stress in all phases of life, give our office a call to schedule an appointment today.
Surrendering to sleep is one of the finest and, for some unfortunate people, one of the most elusive feelings in human existence. Nothing is worse than lying in bed staring at the ceiling with your mind racing. One of the quickest (and only) ways to combat this is by putting your body and mind in a conducive state for sleep: while this process starts as soon as you wake up (dieting, stress levels and caffeine consumption can make your body pulse like a music visualizer), there are specific steps you can take in the hour before bed time that will help you fall asleep easier and, along this line, stretching may be worth a try. Here are a few stretches to try, and always remember that the secret here is as much about the deep breathing as it is about the stretching:
- Simple bridge: lie supine with knees bent and feet flat with arms extended by your side with palms up. Use your abs and press down with the heels to lift your hips into the air, creating a diagonal line between shoulder and knees. Hold for 10 deep breathing then slowly return to starting position.
- Lay on your back and bend your knees in toward the chest. Grab the inside edges of your feet with palms facing outward and push your knees to the side. Once they reach a point of resistance, lower them toward the armpits, keeping the heels above the knees and feet flex. Hold for 10 deep breaths and return to starting position.
- Sit cross-legged and put the left hand on the floor next to the hip. Extend right arm up past the right ear then lean toward the left keeping the buttocks on the floor and shoulders down. Hold for 10 deep breaths then return and repeat on the other side.
When it comes to falling asleep, we want to stack every odd in your favor in the crucial moments leading up to bedtime. For help on addressing any more pressing physical conditions or pain which may be holding you back, give our office in Sacramento a call and schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.
A paradox exists in American society where we have more information available at a moment's notice than ever regarding health and wellness, yet we are somehow languishing with high obesity and insomnia rates, pervasive poor posture and an earlier onset of spinal conditions due to the shift to more screen-oriented settings in both our recreation preferences and job options. Whoever you are on this spectrum, from the gym-body to the home-body, we believe that your wellness can always use a little more optimization, of the kind we provide at Espinosa Family Chiropractic and of the kind that can be found by simply moving. Chiropractic and exercise (in its varying forms) are complimentary, and impact your wellness in the following way:
- More resilience to injury
- Enhanced balance and coordination
- Increased strength
- Improved respiratory function
- Increased flexibility and range of motion
- Increased endurance
So what is holding you back? Often all it takes is a conversation with a skilled practitioner to start overcoming your limitations and get back to a life of purposeful movement. At our office in Sacramento, we provide chiropractic adjustment, trigger point therapy, and spinal decompression modalities to relieve your pain and get you back on your feet. Pain is an inevitability of age as our bodies slow down, but there are steps that can be taken, even from the couch that will keep you happy and healthy moving forward.
Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.
Why is breathing important could be the most critical question you ask yourself today. It is an automatic process that we perform up to 20,000 times a day. Through the process of cellular respiration, every cell in the body inhales oxygen and exhales carbon dioxide. Essentially, the cells need a constantly refreshing supply of oxygen to produce the energy that keeps you going. An impaired flow of oxygen can lead to cellular dysfunction, damage and cell die-off. Cognitive function, emotional well-being, physical performance, and sleeping are the most essential parts of the body's daily existence and all of these can be made better or worse by respiration. At Espinosa Family Chiropractic, we want to help you breathe well and often, so that all the essential functions of your body can benefit.
Chiropractic's role in breathing centers around the diaphragm, the dome-shaped sheet of muscle that controls our breathing patterns. This sheet of muscle also separates the chest from the abdomen and its function is closely linked to the health and stability of the spine. When you breathe in, this muscle contracts until it reaches the top of the abdomen, at which point the lower ribs lift and the thoracic cavity expands; this entire process is crucial to receiving a full breath of air.
This process can be impeded by a number of factors including weakness or overuse of the accessory muscles, poor posture, lack of awareness about proper breathing techniques, or injuries that prevent you from taking a full breath. So the real question you should ask yourself is: are you getting enough oxygen with each breath. At Espinosa Family Chiropractic, we would like to see everyone breathing at their full potential. If you need help in this endeavor, give our office in Sacramento a call and schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.