10 Life-Changing Reasons to Drink More Water

Has it occurred to you today that you are thirsty? Guess what – by the time you experience the sensation of the thirst, you are already dehydrated. That thirst is your body calling for re-hydration.

Your body is composed of roughly 60% water1. That means when we are dehydrated – and most of us spend our days constantly dehydrated to some degree – we are affecting the performance of the majority of our body.Nearly all of our systems do not function as well without the proper water intake

So, really, what does this mean? Why should we drink more water?

  1. If you don’t drink water, you will die. It’s that important. Depending on our environment, we can live only a few days without water – maybe a week. We can live much longer without food. For most of us, we should prioritize the consumption of water far more than we currently do.
  2. Prevent cancer. Yes, that’s right – various research says staying hydrated can reduce risk of colon cancer by 45%5, bladder cancer by 50%6, and possibly reduce breast cancer risk as well.7
  3. Be less cranky. Research says dehydration can affect your mood and make you grumpy and confused.3 Think clearer and be happier by drinking more water.
  4. Perform better. Proper hydration contributes to increased athletic performance. Water composes 75% of our muscle tissue!4 Dehydration can lead to weakness, fatigue, dizziness, and electrolyte imbalance.
  5. Lose weight. Sometimes we think we are hungry, when actually we are thirsty. Our body just starts turning on all the alarms when we ignore it. For those of you trying to drop some pounds, staying hydrated can serve as an appetite suppressant and help with weight loss.
  6. Have less joint pain. Drinking water can reduce pain in your joints by keeping the cartilage soft and hydrated. This is actually how glucosamine helps reduce joint pain, by aiding in cartilage’s absorption of water.
  7. Flush out waste and bacteria. Our digestive system needs water to function properly. Waste is flushed out in the form of urine and sweat. If we don’t drink water, we don’t flush out waste and it collects in our body causing a myriad of problems. Also combined with fiber, water can cure constipation.
  8. Prevent headaches. Sometimes headaches can be caused by dehydration, so drinking water can prevent or alleviate that nasty head pain. Next time your head hurts, try drinking water.
  9. Make your skin glow. Our skin is the largest organ in our body. Regular and plentiful water consumption can improve the color and texture of your skin by keeping it building new cells properly. Drinking water also helps the skin do it’s job of regulating the body’s temperature through sweating.2
  10. Feed your body. Water is essential for the proper circulation of nutrients in the body. Water serves at the body’s transportation system and when we are dehydrated things just can’t get around as well.

 

Quick rules of thumb for drinking water:

  • Drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water (if you weight 160lbs, drink 80oz of water each day).
  • Carry a bottle everywhere with you as a reminder to keep drinking.
  • Eat raw fruits and vegetables – they are dense in water. You can get water from food, not just from beverages.
  • Drink water and other fluids until you urinate frequently and with light color.
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Stress Awareness Day

The modern world is becoming increasingly complex, and the demands on our time and attention are many. Our jobs are also more complex, and the business world has become more competitive. With the industrial age came helpful machines and increased productivity, but it also brought us the jackhammer, the loudspeaker, the motorcycle and car, and innumerable noisy machines. Physical stresses such as sound, air and water pollution have worsened over the last century, especially in the United States. We are also, because of electronic media and the Internet, aware of troubles and tragedies around the world that previous generations would never have known about, creating anxiety. Taken together, these assaults on our senses create a physical and emotional reaction.

The word for this overwhelming feeling is stress. It’s a term borrowed from the field of engineering, in reference to physical forces upon mechanical structures. The term was first used in its modern medical sense around the turn of the 20th century by Walter Cannon, a Harvard physiologist. Cannon also first described the “fight or flight” syndrome, and noted the damaging physical effects of a continuous stress response. Modern healthcare is increasingly recognizing that many illnesses are caused by stress, or worsened by stress. In fact, in every chiropractic office, many patients will show the ravages of chronic stress. While chiropractic can treat the effects of stress on the body, such as headaches, it can also help the body manage and process stress in a healthy way.

The different factors that create stress:

Physical Stress

A whiplash injury from a c
ar accident is an obvious source of physical stress. As is repetitive motions, a slip and fall, lack of sleep or overdoing it in the garden. Early on, learning to walk, ride a bike and the birth process itself are sources of physical stress.

It’s not the stressphysical stress—it’s your reaction to it that matters!

Accumulated stress exhausts our reserves. Then, something as simple as mowing the lawn can put us over the edge. Chiropractic care helps restore your adaptive capacity.

 

Emotional Stress

Fear, grief, anger and other emotions affect our entire body. Notice the posture of someone who isemotional stress sad or depressed. Frustration, or a sense of powerlessness at work, is a common form of emotional stress.

Clearly, it’s not the stress, but our response to it that is critical. Chiropractic care, because its focus is to reduce tension to your nervous system, can help you respond more resourcefully.

 

Chemical Stress

Common sources of chemical stress include poor nutrition, sugar, refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats. Drugs, preservatives, tobacco, alcohol, vaccinations, pollen and a host of other substances also affect our nervous systems, muscle tone and our spine.

The problem isn’t the pollen or chemical stresschemical. Because not everyone reacts. Symptoms can appear when you lose your ability to adapt. Chiropractic care has helped millions reduce or eliminate reactions to many types of chemical stress

If you lack the reserves to adapt to stress in a healthy way, it takes a toll. If your body reacts by “tripping a circuit breaker,” causing vertebral subluxation, chiropractic care is likely to help.

Martini caption: Clearly, chemical stress can affect our muscle tone, coordination and the way our nervous system works.

 

How can stress affect my spine?

Think of your spinal cord as a guitar string. The greater the tension, the higher the note. Your nervous system has “tone” as well. With each stressor, your body tightens up, like bracing yourself for a tight curve on a roller coaster. The weakest joints of your spine are forced out of their normal position. Like the shrill notes from an over-tightened string, your body loses its capacity to respond to the full range of human experience. And ill health can result.

Effects of Stress on Health

Stress, whether physical or perceived, triggers a fight or flight response. This is a systemic physical reaction, affecting almost every part of the body. The hypothalamus, a part of the brain, stimulates the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). The heart rate increases, blood volume and blood pressure increase, blood is directed away from digestion and the extremities. Vision becomes more focused, hearing more acute. In response to the messages from the SNS, the adrenal glands secrete corticoids, including adrenaline, epinephrine and norepinephrine. All of this is very useful if we’re running from a prehistoric raptor, or confronting a more modern threat to physical safety. When prolonged, however, the long-term effects of this state can be disastrous to good health.

Many studies of people who have been subjected to chronic stress have found evidence of the negative health effects of stress. These effects include high blood pressure, damage to muscle tissue, diabetes, infertility, damage to the immune response, and slowed healing from disease and injury. Stress reactions are also at the root of disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, and stress has been linked in human and animal research with cardiovascular disease.

Chiropractic Treatment and Stress

Chiropractors work primarily with the spine, the root of the nervous system through which nerve impulses travel from the brain to the rest of the body. One effect of chronic stress is prolonged muscle tension and contraction. This muscle tension creates uneven pressures on the bony structures of the body, often leading the misalignment of the spinal column, known as subluxations in the Palmer tradition of chiropractic.

Chronic stress also leads to nerve irritation. The adjustments of a chiropractor release muscle tension, and that helps the body return to a more balanced, relaxed state. Adjustments also reduce spinal nerve irritation, and improve blood circulation. These changes may be enough, in many cases, to convince the brain to turn off the fight or flight response, beginning the process of healing. A healthy and balanced spine is one key to effectively managing stress.

Dr Sandhu has been studying nutrition and other therapies for stress. Several nutritional supplements, including B vitamins, help the body cope with stress. As can relaxation techniques, coupled with posture and environmental changes to help recovery from chronic stress.

Unfortunately we cannot make a job less stressful, or create a quieter, calmer world. What chiropractic treatment can do is help you develop healthy responses to stress, reducing potential physical damage.

Chiropractic is based on the concept that given the opportunity, the mind and body can heal itself. In relieving some of the effects of chronic stress, chiropractic care provides just such an opportunity. So why not get yourself booked in for an initial consultation for only 10 and let’s see what we can do.

Do you suffer from ‘Big Boob’ Problems?

Here at the Bedford Chiropractic Clinic I see a lot of women with neck, shoulder problems, back pain and headaches who’s poor posture and in many circumstances breast size is a significant contributing factor to these symptoms. Research by the British Chiropractic Association in 2008 actually showed that 25% of UK women would like their breasts to be smaller with the main reason being back pain. 70% of the women in the survey reported to having suffered from back pain at some point in their lives and 47% believed their breast size affected their posture.

The most common postural change large breasts can cause are an increased kyphosis (curve in the upper back) and rounded shoulders. This is due to the weight of the breast but also to tight pectoral muscles and women trying to hide themselves. The resulting posture is known to predispose people to suffer from neck and back pain, and can even lead to shoulder problems such as impingement syndromes.

 Your body is designed in a particular way to carry itself. You have a spinal curve that acts like a shock absorber, and the curves are set at an angle to create maximal effect. If these curves change stress is placed on your spine and back pain can develop.

In fact back, neck and shoulder pain is created by three main issues:

 Muscle Imbalance – this is where certain muscles tighten and others lose strength. The loss of strength may not just be physical strength but a loss in blood or nerve supply.

 Joint Imbalance – this is mainly centred around the pelvis which is like a foundation to a house. If the pelvis is out of balance then the entire spine will distort and lead to back pain and muscle imbalance. You can also have individual joint imbalances which relate to the small intrinsic muscles around the joint and the joint itself.

 Trigger Points – these are small nodules of muscle spasm which can develop after trauma to a muscle, whether this is chronic strain or an acute trauma situation. Trigger points can commonly refer pain remotely to their location.

The point is: when your cup size is too large for your actual frame, you place stress on the muscles and joints in your spine. The curvature of your spine fails to be balanced and back, neck and shoulder pain is likely.

Often these problems are not felt when younger, but can gradually develop over the years. Over time these postural changes set in but it doesn’t mean that something can’t be done to help reduce the pain and to improve posture. Chiropractic treatment focuses on correcting joint restriction and muscle tension and involves home exercises too which can all help to reduce pain and improve function. Along with treatment it is often worth looking at how well your bra fits, especially if you have larger breasts. It is important to get the right size and style of bra to suit you.

According to a recent study done by Swiss lingerie company Triumph, a startling number of women are choosing their bras incorrectly. The international survey of 10,000 women found that 64 percent are wearing the wrong size bra, reports Women’s wear daily Out of that 64 percent, “29 percent know they are wearing the wrong size.”

What’s worse is that those women are admittedly unhappy about it. 73 percent of women agreed that badly-fitting undergarments can make or break their day, writes WWD.

Despite it being the 100th anniversary of the brassiere this year, eighty per cent of women in the UK are still wearing an ill-fitting bra, usually as a result of never having been measured properly.

Even if you are not in pain getting the right sized bra when young can help prevent problems in the future.

When checking your bras at home the British Chiropractic Association recommends that you check the following key areas;

  1. The under band/wire,
  2. The shoulder straps,
  3. The back strap and the centre fold.

When you raise your arms up in the air your underwire should stay next to your body and not come away.

It may be surprising to hear but the underwire should take 80% of the support whereas the shoulder straps should only take 20%. If the shoulder straps dig in, the under strap may be too loose.

The most common thing I see with patients is the bra strap at the back if not fitted properly will creep up the back and can even rise as high as the top of the shoulder blades. This will certainly increase the stress on the upper back and allow the shoulders to roll forwards. Again this can occur if the shoulder straps are too tight or if the under band is too loose.

The final most important thing to check is the centre fold; if this is lifting away from the body the cup size may be too small. Following these simple steps will allow you to see if you could do with a fitting and many shops now provide this as a free service.

The important thing to know is that if you are suffering with neck, shoulder or upper back pain then a chiropractic consultation will help you find the cause of the problem. If this is something you or someone you know could benefit from then just give the clinic a call on 01234 353 937 to book your consultation today.

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