THE WELLNESS MINUTE…with Dr. Catherine Maloof
MAKING EVERY SECOND COUNT!!!
Purpose: The purpose of the monthly Wellness Minute is to inspire, motivate and educate the business person to take action and give them fast, easy, and quick tips that they can implement into their lives and workplace immediately. This will effectively improve their performance, productivity, and bottom line results for themselves and their employees. In the world today, without health we cannot create or enjoy our wealth, we need to make every second count.
HOW TO REDUCE STRESS IN THE WORKPLACE, WHILE IMPROVING PRODUCTIVITY AND PERFORMANCE
By Dr. Catherine L. Maloof
The American Medical Association states that "stress is more prevalent than the common cold." Researchers indicate that stress accounts for perhaps 80 to 85 percent of all physical and psychological diseases today. And over 90 percent of corporate executives currently suffer from life-threatening stress, according to a survey of fourteen major corporations by Dr. Kenneth Pelletier of the USC-San Francisco Medical School.
Dr. Hans Seyle, a.k.a. "the Father of Stress Research," states, "Stress plays some part in the development of every disease." It lowers the body’s immunity to infection; and more importantly, stress directly affects the nervous system.
To compete in the business world today, we must deal with the high pressure and stress of our jobs with little free time left over for ourselves. We function at a fast pace, where high energy is a necessity. Unfortunately, however, many of us are unable to perform at our best, maintaining our hectic schedules at the expense of our health. Everyone is more stressed than ever with modern technology, there is more to do with little or no time left for ourselves. HELP!!
With chronic stress the body and mind never completely relax. The muscles are tense, energy is drained, and the body is fatigued, more susceptible to ulcers, digestive troubles, high blood pressure, asthma, arthritis, colds, infection, heart disease, and premature aging. This permanent web of alarm, resistance, and exhaustion can rob one of health, vitality, and ultimately life itself.
In my practice people wait until a crisis occurs before coming in to see me with excruciating pain. They don’t listen to the little stress signals of aches and pains in their bodies. They wait until their body breaks down from stress. I do my best to get them back in shape as quickly as possible but you must realize the old adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". I educate my patients on how to stay well to maintain an optimum level of health. I am proud to say that 90% of my patients follow and maintain a wellness program to continue to improve the health of their bodies.
SMALL CHANGES MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE
We need to find ways to reduce our stress on a daily basis without taking hours away from our schedule. The key is to incorporate new healthy habits into your routine. These concepts will take a few minutes of your time, a little planning ahead, consistency, and then you will reap the rewards. Remember it takes six weeks to create a new habit, so be patient with yourself. Also don’t try to change your life overnight, make a few changes at a time and you will not get discouraged. You want to achieve a lifestyle that you will maintain. The goal is a new, healthier, less stressful way of life. Also share this information with your coworkers, family and friends and then you have accountability. Create a TEAM effort because Together Everyone Achieves More.
After speaking to employees at a company about "Reducing Stress In The Workplace", they started implementing healthier habits into their workplace. They replaced the cookies and candies with a fresh fruit bowl, water bottles instead of soda, herbal teas as an alternative to coffee. They began doing stretches at their desk periodically throughout the day. Guess what happened? There were no more mid-morning or mid-afternoon slumps. Their energy soared which improved productivity and performance in the workplace and more camaraderie. Now they always take their mini-health breaks instead of coffee breaks. It’s great because the employees encourage each other to keep up their good habits. Now you are ready for the health tips to reduce your stress.
Avoid eating sugar, caffeine, and chemical foods. Focus on natural forms of food.
If you feel you can’t completely eliminate these foods from your diet then you can cut down gradually. Remember less is better. It’s important to reduce caffeine from the diet slowly; otherwise you may experience withdrawal symptoms.
Bring a bag of fresh fruit and cut up vegetables to snack on during the workday. Learn to take health breaks instead of coffee breaks. Having healthy choices available will keep you from grabbing the wrong foods when you are hungry.
Exercise at least 3 times a week. Pick something that you enjoy doing! Bring a pair of comfortable shoes to walk during your lunch break. Instead of meeting friends for coffee or drinks, why not meet and take a walk together. You can visit and exercise at the same time. Walking the stairs throughout the day is a good way to fit fitness into your day.
Practice deep breathing exercises. You can do this while sitting in traffic on the freeway or sitting at your desk at work. Deep diaphragmatic breathing is done by inhaling slowly through the nose, holding your breath and then slowly exhaling through your mouth. You should feel your lower abdomen expand upon inhalation. I recommend 10 deep breaths 3 times per day for optimum results.
Keep a water bottle on you desk to drink throughout the day. Make sure you drink frequently to keep your body hydrated.
Take mini stretch breaks throughout the day. During breaks do shoulder shrugs and neck stretches. We carry most of our tension in our neck and shoulders so it is important to take the time to stretch. Gently turn your neck from side to side, and then drop your ears to your shoulder, then drop your neck forward and backward. Always remember to breathe when you stretch. Then you can shrug your shoulders up to your neck and roll them backward, continue until you feel your shoulders relax.
Keep a positive mental attitude. Look in the mirror every morning and tell yourself I look good, I feel good and I am going to have a great day! Remember negative folks need positive strokes!
Pamper yourself. Taking a bath with Epsom salts will act as a natural muscle relaxer and reduce stress. If you don’t want to take a bath you could soak your feet in Epsom salts which will relax your entire body.
HOW STRESS AFFECTS YOUR NERVES
Energy flows from our brains and spinal cord through the nerves and back to the brain and spinal cord in a complex interplay of matter. A healthy spine and nervous system keeps our flow of energy balanced, our immune system strong, and our resistance to disease high. An unhealthy, unbalanced spine can impinge, " pinch", stretch, or otherwise interfere with the nervous system and the natural flow of energy throughout the body, creating blockages and imbalances that may cause physical and emotional fatigue, exhaustion, and disharmony.
There are three kinds of stress, physical, chemical, and emotional. Physical stress can be caused from birth, slips and falls, car accidents, improper lifting, or sitting at a computer day after day. Chemical stress can be caused from the air we breathe to the foods and chemical we ingest into our bodies. Today more than ever we are eating more fast foods instead of natural organic healthy foods. Of course we can understand emotional stress which we experience on a daily basis. We have all faced stressful situations in our lives, which can definitely have an impact on our health.
Chiropractic occupies a unique place in its approach to the human body. When chiropractors correct a mechanical distortion in the body’s structure with a chiropractic spinal adjustment, this does far more than straighten the spine. It releases pressure on the nervous system to normalize the flow of energy throughout the body, in effect, restoring harmony to our "body-mind."
Because our body systems run on energy, there is an abundant amount of energy within us all the time. Unfortunately, many people’s natural energies are often congested, leaving one feeling fatigued, depressed, or listless. Proper chiropractic care can help balance the spinal column and remove neurological interference with the proper flow of energy throughout the body.
CARPE DIEM- SEIZE THE DAY
Remember, begin now, not tomorrow, not next week, but today to seize the moment and make this day count. Remember yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Today is all we have. You can do it!!!
Dr. Catherine Maloof is an author, speaker, and practicing chiropractor with more than a decade of health care experience. She specializes in sports injuries, family health care, and nutritional therapy. She is the author of Healthy Eating One Bite At A Time, Stretching Made Easy One Day At A Time, and other books and videos pertaining to health and wellness. Dr. Maloof has programs for companies to improve productivity, performance, and bottom line results while reducing work injuries. She has created a 10 Minutes To Better Health internet video series which allows employees to implement changes to improve health right at their own desk. She can be reached at (949) 581-6543 or at www.drmaloof.com. Be sure to sign up for Dr. Maloof’s free email newsletter on her website.
Dr. Catherine Maloof
Dr. Maloof Online,ã 2002
Disclaimer: All material provided in the Dr. Maloof Online newsletter is provided for educational purposes only. Consult your own physician regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.
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