New Year’s Resolutions and Natural Health Care

My brother Daniel, a naturopath, and I, were discussing our professions and our patients. Daniel said, “the difference between natural health care and standard medicine is all about the patient’s actions.” If you go to a chiropractor or naturopath, you are not going to pop a pill that cures your condition. (And PS- it is not just getting your back popped back in.) It’s all about lifestyle, all about what you do in follow up.

Do you have a painful condition that lasts? This would include an ongoing chronic problem, or a weak link area that re-occurs, or just a place in you that continually “goes out.”

My training teaches me that most chronic pain is the result of you hurting yourself over and over. This is negative training for both your body and your brain. Are you willing to be coached, to learn new ways of doing things?

If this fits you, you need to change how you move! This means you need to retrain both your muscles and your brain. There is no magic pill, no adjustment, no acupuncture point, no supplement, no injection that can reprogram how you move. I am exaggerating, of course. The right treatment can often kickstart you out of an old painful pattern toward a new one. But, it is up to you to reinforce and continue the new pattern. Are you willing to do the work?

Now we get to New Years Resolutions. How many of these go by the wayside by March? As an adult, you are hopefully comfortable in your own skin, have your own ways of doing things. This has both a good side and a bad side.

The good side is, you know who you are, and you know what works for you. The bad side is, you are habituated to your own habits. Can you change these? You are less than likely to completely re-invent yourself. But, tweaking is possible and change is useful. Maybe it is as simple as walking 6 days a week, and switching from strolling to a stronger walk, pushing through your toes and swinging your arms. Maybe it’s switching to a sit to stand desk. Maybe it is learning how to get up and down out of a chair or bed. Maybe it’s just fine tuning the exercises or activities that you are doing. Maybe it’s eating more vegetables and less sugar and junk, reducing inflammation. The devil is in the details. Do the little things well. Move well, move often. Have a great and healthy 2017.

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