What do I mean? When you’ve acclimated to a lifestyle of extreme stress, you long for relief. College seniors cannot wait to graduate, women in their ninth month of pregnancy long to deliver, people caring for ailing family members are exhausted. But when the situation is finally resolved, there is sometimes a feeling of emptiness. Often times there is guilt, especially with the death or a loved one or, perhaps, with the transfer of a parent to a nursing home.
Take the time to care for yourself during these periods of transition. You may feel exhausted or empty. Quite frequently people will get sick during this time — it is as if your body takes stock and realizes that now you have time to be sick.
Use this transition to make a healthy change. Evaluate your diet, and add in more fruits and vegetables. Get an exercise routine going. It is important to note that you should not go overboard. Make changes you can actually stick with, or you will spiral into feeling that you cannot accomplish your goals.
Time and again I see patients fail to recognize the important connection between mind and body. I help treat pain in people who are beginning new chapters in life, ending old chapters, and people in-between. Times of transition can trigger conditions that have long been dormant. It takes a while, then, for the problem to resolve — whether it be back pain, headaches, stomach problems or something else. In these cases, the resolution of the physical problem coincides with the resolution of the emotional upset.
Chiropractic adjustments can help because it is a conscious effort, on the part of the doctor and the patient, to find and resolve the problem. You may be asking yourself, does this mean that a physical problem is not real if it stems from emotional stress? Simply put, no. Emotions act like chemicals in the body. Just like making physically healthy choices can improve your mood, being under extreme stress can change your physicality for the worse. You can and should address both the mental and physical aspect of what ails you. Chiropractic adjustments — to get your nervous system communicating better — is one way of doing that.
Meghan Palmer is a chiropractor and freelance writer in Rutledge, Tenn.