What??? Whoever thought they could incorporate spinal hygiene, forest life and personal hygiene all in one post? Ridiculous I tell you! Outlandish to say the least. So lets get to it!
The summer is fun, lots of activities… a little crazy, but still fun. One thing I do not do a lot of during the summer months, is forest bathing. The term comes from an article that a patient brought to me to read. Nice read that brings out the value of spending time in the forest (thus bathing in the positive energy, aura and oxygen of the outdoors). I do a ton of it compared to most, and surely have gotten to be ONE with a forest.
My daughter Brooke working out at The Garage during a CrossFit Kids Class, this is Spinal Hygiene!
I can recall camping on vacation was really the primary way I lived for about 15 years of my life. I grew up pitching a tent, then either rushing to sleep so that I wouldn’t hear my brother snore, or strapping the headphones to my ears and falling asleep to some random Brit punk music. But the days, the days were spent under the canopy, walking on trails, or casting a reel on the edge of a lake that was so amazing, as you lost yourself in the reflection of the trees you began to wonder which way was really up. The kind of beauty that you can’t help to enjoy, even us a child.
Now, as you know, I spend much of my time out running riding, canoeing, or anything else, out in the woods. I have my oldest daughter just about ready to trail ride with me, all good. And this is all part of the forest bathing phenomenon that is getting so many people outside these days. Actually, I might as well take this time to see who might want to prepare for a three day journey along the Appalachian Trail on November 6th. We will start on the GA/NC border, and work our way back to Amicolola Falls over those three days. My original plan was to do it straight through, no breaks, just try to push it into 36 hours. But I have no takers to go it with me, so if you want to test yourself over three days, let me know!
Let me tie this together with Spinal Hygiene. Ultimately, your nervous system is the most important piece of your anatomy. The Brain and Spinal Cord together control everything in your body. Pretty awesome. However, these two awesome pieces of magnificence can be altered in their function, by simple pressure. Pressure that probably wouldn’t happen if we never let a doctor pull a child’s head during birth (do you know why we see 400 kids a week for maintenance care now), or sit at a computer for 8 hours a day, EVERY DAY…. or sit in a chair, rounding our low back, and thrusting our heads forward. All serious causes of pressure.
I have a VERY strong belief that all people should be doing something for spinal hygiene EVERY SINGLE DAY of their lives. It is more important than dental hygiene, and way more enjoyable if you do it right. Many of you are in a place right now, where your spinal hygiene should include 2 separate times a day of traction, and possible one time of wearing head weights. Do you know that this might just be the difference between you getting correction and not? Between organs never fully healing the way they are supposed to, and them flourishing with function. I have had patients who have gotten pregnant, and I would argue that their head weights did it! I know, seems crazy, and funny too.
Running through a forest is good for spinal hygiene. Swimming in the ocean is too (this might be a good time to let you know I am finally taking a real vacation in August, I know, you don’t want me to leave when it seems like I just got back to adjusting, but this is for me to really vacation, so far I have just been feigning it while focusing on other ways to keep myself from going crazy. But my point in including it, I will be at the beach, near a huge canopy of trees (Hilton Head), enjoying sea and shade. This is God’s place.
If you are not getting outside and moving, stretching your legs under the trees, or getting a good stretch in, or using your homework (whatever it is that myself or Dr. Levi may have prescribed you), then please, please, please… do it.
Enjoy the earth, get out in it, and maintain your spine in the process. Be well and be blessed! – Dr. E