Did you know that your nervous system is the command center of your body, overseeing everything from your heartbeat to your breathing? It’s integral to your health and wellness, so the question is, what have you done to support it today?
If you’re looking for natural, simple ways to keep your nervous system running smoothly, you’re in the right place. We’ve compiled a list of 11 natural strategies to nurture your nervous system:
1.) Manage Stress
Chronic stress can wreak havoc on your nervous system, impairing its functionality over time. How about taking up stress-reducing activities such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, or even a simple walk in nature to help your nervous system stay balanced?
2.) Practice Mindfulness Techniques like Prayer
Mindfulness techniques like meditation or prayer not only calm the mind but also contribute to overall nervous system health by reducing anxiety and promoting overall well-being.
3.) Protect Your Nervous System: Limit Exposure to Toxins
Environmental toxins, including pesticides, heavy metals, and pollutants, can impact your nervous system negatively. Are you taking measures to limit your exposure to these harmful substances?
4.) Discover the Benefits of Consistent Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care isn’t just about sorting out back issues—it’s also vital for balancing the brain-body connection, ensuring a healthy nervous system. How often do you consider your spine’s health in your wellness routine?
5.) Harness the Power of Herbal Supplements
Herbs like ashwagandha, valerian root, chamomile, and passionflower have traditionally been used to support nervous system health. Do you have a favorite herb for promoting relaxation and balance?
6.) A Healthy Diet: Key to a Robust Nervous System
Eating a balanced diet full of nutrient-rich foods provides the essential vitamins and minerals your nervous system needs to function optimally. Are you making sure your diet supports your nervous system health?
7.) Hydrate for a Happy Brain
Dehydration can affect brain function and impair cognitive abilities. Are you drinking enough water throughout the day? Consider our favorite electrolyte drink mix, LMNT, for optimal hydration.
8.) Boost Your Nervous System with Regular Exercise
Regular physical activity promotes the release of endorphins, improves mood, reduces stress, and enhances blood circulation, supporting brain function. What’s your go-to workout for boosting your mood and brain health?
9.) The Power of Sleep for Nervous System Restoration
Striving for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night is vital for the restoration and regeneration of your nervous system. Are you giving your body the rest it deserves?
10.) Maintain Balance: Limit Caffeine and Alcohol
Excessive consumption of caffeine and alcohol can disrupt your brain’s neurotransmitters and negatively affect your nervous system. Are you practicing moderation for your nervous system’s sake?
11.) Stay Socially Connected for Emotional Well-Being
Maintaining strong social connections and engaging in activities with friends and loved ones can help reduce stress and promote emotional well-being. How are you nurturing your social connections for a balanced nervous system?
So, what’s your plan today to support your nervous system? Share your strategies in the comments below, or perhaps, you have your own tips to share. Remember, a healthy nervous system is a vital step toward optimal health and well-being!
The vagus nerve has recently become a hot topic in the holistic community. However, chiropractors have always known the importance, and here’s why:
The vagus nerve is one of the most important nerves in the body. It’s the longest nerve in the autonomic nervous system, which controls many of the body’s automatic functions, such as heart rate and digestion. But the vagus nerve does much more than that. It also plays a crucial role in regulating inflammation, mood, and immune function.
What is the Vagus Nerve?
The Latin word “vagus” means wandering. It truly does “wander” around your body. The vagus nerve is a cranial nerve that extends from the brainstem to the abdomen. It’s responsible for many important functions, including:
Heart Rate: The vagus nerve helps regulate heart rate by sending signals to the heart to slow down or speed up as needed.
Digestion: The vagus nerve also plays a role in digestion by sending signals to the stomach and intestines to contract and release digestive enzymes.
Inflammation: The vagus nerve helps regulate inflammation by sending signals to the immune system to reduce inflammation when it’s no longer needed.
Mood: The vagus nerve plays a role in mood regulation by sending signals to the brain that affect the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin.
How Does the Vagus Nerve Affect Your Health?
Stress Reduction: The vagus nerve is involved in the body’s relaxation response, which helps reduce stress and anxiety. Activating the vagus nerve through deep breathing, meditation, or other relaxation techniques can help reduce stress and improve overall health.
Improved Digestion: The vagus nerve helps regulate digestion by sending signals to the stomach and intestines. Dysfunction of the vagus nerve can lead to digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, and acid reflux.
Reduced Inflammation: The vagus nerve plays a crucial role in regulating inflammation. By activating the vagus nerve, it’s possible to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
Improved Mood: The vagus nerve plays a role in mood regulation by affecting the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin. By activating the vagus nerve, it’s possible to improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Better Immune Function: The vagus nerve helps regulate immune function by sending signals to the immune system. Dysfunction of the vagus nerve can lead to increased inflammation and a weakened immune system.
We detect the strength of your vagus nerve response through vagal tone and adjust accordingly. When the vagus nerve is stimulated it promotes calmness in our nervous system, which allows for healing, growth, and happiness.
The vagus nerve plays a crucial role in many aspects of health, including stress reduction, digestion, inflammation, mood, and immune function. By understanding the vagus nerve and how it affects your health, it’s possible to take steps to improve your overall well-being. If you’re struggling with stress, digestive issues, inflammation, mood disorders, or immune dysfunction, consider speaking with your Chiropractor about ways to activate the vagus nerve and improve your health.
On my first day of chiropractic school, they separated us into small groups. We then went around in a circle, and everyone had to say their “why.” They explained to us that your “why” is what you must cling to help you get through the strenuous education that was coming for us. Everyone’s responses varied from personal experiences to family reasons as to why they chose this profession.
I left that day befuddled. I sincerely had no idea what my “why” was or why I moved 370 miles to attend chiropractic school. I honestly can’t even remember what I said. Likely some superficial response about helping people, which wasn’t entirely wrong, but I knew deep down it would take more than that for this to become my passion.
Fast forward 1.5 years when close family members were fighting for their life due to illness, and it was that day that I decided it was time to search for a sense of true wellness within myself and focus more on preventative medicine.
I always knew we lived in a sick-care system; however, I was raised with a traditional Western medicine mindset. In fact, I struggled with asthma as far back as I can remember. I didn’t know any different. However, while in Chiropractic school, I kept learning more and more about the benefits of nervous system-based Chiropractic care.
After receiving constant Chiropractic care during graduate school, I quickly noticed an improvement in my asthma. I have been perfecting the art of the Chiropractic adjustment ever since.
In retrospect, I realize this is my “why”: To be a disciple to others while helping them find a deeper connection within themselves to seek out true wellness in a preventative matter through the art of Chiropractic.
This is why I opened The Chiro Co.
This is why I serve people all day.
This is why I strive to treat my body and every body who walks through The Chiro Co.’s door like a temple.
I truly believe Chiropractic is a gift from God and is one of the most powerful things we can do for our human body.
In reflection, figuring out my “why” was very beneficial in helping me find clarity on my purpose here on earth. What is your “why?”
I am striving to be more toxin-free in 2023 (yes, it rhymes!). Our body is a temple and it’s time I start treating it that way. I have chosen this year to focus on my personal health and wellness, and I encourage you to do the same! I began my research on toxins about a year ago and took small steps toward making my home less toxic. However, I have not made it a priority, but that is about to change.
Toxin-free living, or avoiding or minimizing exposure to harmful chemicals and substances, can have a range of potential benefits for health and well-being. Some of the potential benefits of going toxin-free may include the following:
Improved overall health: Exposure to toxins can negatively affect health, such as increasing the risk of certain diseases and conditions. By avoiding or minimizing exposure to toxins, it may be possible to reduce the risk of these health problems and improve overall health.
Enhanced immune function: Some toxins can weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infections and illnesses. By reducing exposure to toxins, it may be possible to strengthen the immune system and improve its function.
Improved mental and emotional well-being: Toxins can also have negative effects on mental and emotional well-being. For example, some chemicals have been linked to an increased risk of anxiety and depression. By reducing exposure to toxins, it may be possible to improve mental and emotional well-being.
Enhanced environmental sustainability: Toxins can also have negative effects on the environment, including air and water pollution. By reducing exposure to toxins and choosing environmentally-friendly products, it may be possible to help protect the environment and promote sustainability.
Last year, I ditched traditional detergents and traded them in for Molly’s Suds. Here’s why: if you think about it, we spend hours each day lying in our beds and wearing our clothes. This is why I chose this as one of my first steps towards fewer toxins. Traditional detergents leave a waxy coating on your clothes, have artificial scents, and harm our microbiome. As someone who is acne prone, switching to something that is better for my liver function and detoxification just made sense.
I ditched my Brita and purchased a Berkey water filter for better water quality. I also convinced my husband to give up his love for candles. We have a diffuser in each main space of our home and we use Plant Therapy and YoungLiving essential oils.
Skincare has been another focus of mine. I began my journey to non-toxic skincare a while back. I switched to Alevia body wash, non-toxic deodorant, Kosmotology hand soap, and oil cleansing for my face. These are all things I need to strive to continue in the upcoming year. Something else I may dabble in is switching over shampoo, conditioner, and dry shampoo to a less-toxic option that doesn’t harm my microbiome. I also need to encourage my husband in this area still.
I am manifesting that this upcoming year is going to be a year of growth when it comes to becoming more toxin free. Here are some affordable steps I am going to take this upcoming year to make my home safer for our family.
This year, I strive to open our windows more. Air quality in our home has never been of the utmost priority. Though an Air Doctor is the dream, we will begin by letting fresh outdoor air in and eventually purchase an Air Doctor.
Eat more organic. Choosing more wholesome foods that add value to our bodily systems. Food is medicine and I strive to only eat foods that add nutrition to my body and reduce the need for supplementation of vitamins and minerals.
Likewise, movement is medicine people. I strive to break a sweat daily. Breaking a sweat is natural and necessary for our detoxification. I really enjoy cross-fit. Find what you enjoy doing and roll with it. It could just mean taking your pup for a nice walk around the neighborhood. Plus, that gets you outside, which is a win-win.
Cookware. I switched to glass food storage from Costco and reusable BPA-free baggies last year. Our next step is investing in non-toxic cookware and ditching our toxic foil.
Putting our cell phones on airplane mode when sleeping and working up to switching off Wi-Fi when sleeping to reduce EMF exposure.
Another personal goal of mine is to wake up earlier to spend more quality time with my husband before he goes to work and get into God’s word before coming to serve clients at The Chiro Co.Spending more time in prayer. Out of all the things I mentioned above, this will likely bear the most fruit.
Granted, these are small, realistic steps for this upcoming year, and funds are important while making the switch. Sure, I would love to invest in a million other things for our home, but I am also not trying to spend a million dollars (which is easy when it comes to this stuff because I love it).
Things I am focusing on saving to purchase in the future is something to structure our water for more hydration and an Air Doctor. Maybe saving up throughout this year and purchasing these in 2024 is a bit more manageable. Also, organic mattresses, pillows, and sheets are also my next endeavor.
Getting your significant other on board is a crucial step when making the switch. My husband has always been pro candles, pro artificial scents, pro-Dasani water bottles, and pro dryer sheets (ew!). However, as the supportive husband he is, once he sees how much better I am feeling and how passionate I am, he will surely get on board.
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed at first when switching over to a more non-toxic lifestyle. Just pick one thing that you encounter daily and start there. No need to turn your whole life upside down and switch everything now. We are not perfect, but we can always take small steps to better our home and family.
It is better biologically to go barefoot rather than wear shoes. This may seem like a controversial thought at first glance; however, I am here to convince you otherwise while informing you of my favorite barefoot tips.
Given my most recent weekend endeavor, I was motivated to write this post. My husband and I were invited to a Saturday night college football game, so naturally, I decided to dig way back into my closet to find my favorite Fall shoe staple: booties. Though these weren’t barefoot shaped, I thought to myself, “how bad can it be for just a few hours?” Boy, was I wrong!
After only one-quarter of the football game, my feet were killing me, my knees were beginning to hurt, and I quickly realized my favorite Fall booties were the wrong choice. On the car ride home after the game, I found blisters on my big toes and pinky toes. That is when it hit me, the modern shoe is not designed with human biology in mind.
Did you know our toes are supposed to be the widest part of our feet?
God designed our toes to be the widest part of our feet for multiple reasons; however, conventional shoes taper in at the toe. Traditional shoes are not made with biology in mind. For example, hold your favorite shoe up to your foot. As you can see, the typical modern shoe has a narrow toe-box and does not follow the natural shape of our feet.
I began my barefoot journey about this time last year, the Winter of 2021, and it has been a slow transition. My journey started by going barefoot often and wearing barefoot Vivo tennis shoes daily during my chiropractic internship. The first couple weeks of wearing my new minimalist shoes were rough. I was on my feet all day, and my feet had to quickly become accustomed to barefoot shoes.
However, once my feet became accustomed, I instantly noticed a difference. I used to never be able to stand on my feet for long periods without my heels hurting, and after a few weeks of re-training my feet on what barefoot feels like, I could stand all day with no problems.
Visually, I can tell my toes have started to return to the shape they were designed to be, with my toes being the widest part. I had not realized how much my feet had become shaped by my pointy toe shoes rather than how God designed them. Given that the booties I wore to the football game went very narrow towards the toe, I realized it was time to officially purge my conventional shoes.
There is evidence that going barefoot can benefit the feet and body. For example, going barefoot may help to strengthen the muscles in the feet and lower legs, improve balance and posture, and reduce the risk of foot problems such as blisters and calluses.
Many ask, where do I begin my journey to barefoot living?
It’s simple, begin by taking your shoes off the second you get home. Wake those feet up! Walk outside in the grass barefoot. Walk on concrete and small rocks. Anything you can do to bring awareness to your feet and ground yourself at the same time. All those small intrinsic muscles inside your feet have been turned off due to the constant support of conventional footwear and insoles. Therefore, walking barefoot forces your feet to turn on those intrinsic muscles and work the way they were designed.
Get your feet adjusted! The chiropractic adjustment releases tension and stored stress allowing your foot to become more adaptable. This will also help wake your feet up and bring awareness to this vital body part. This can help with many lower extremity issues, such as knee pain, hip pain, and low back pain.
Transition your closet to minimalist, barefoot, biologically foot-shaped shoes. When purchasing minimalist shoes, be sure to look for a few key things, such as a wide-toe box. This allows the toes to move freely and can help to reduce the risk of bunions and other toe problems. Be sure they have thin, flexible soles and are completely flat with no heel elevation or artificial arch support. We want to increase our connection with the earth and allow for proper balance and alignment throughout our spine and body. Also, ensure they have a way to secure to the foot, so your toes don’t have to grip with every step to keep them on. My favorite brands are Vivo Barefoot and Earth Runners.
How do I transition from conventional shoes to barefoot-shaped shoes? I made a quick transition and suffered the consequences. Be sure to make the transition slowly. I would begin by wearing barefoot shoes for 30 minutes daily and gradually increase by 30 minutes each day. This will allow your feet to adapt to the change.
Another helpful step is to utilize toe spacers. These can be a bit uncomfortable at first. It is a bit like wearing braces or a retainer but for your toes. I would begin by just wearing them for 30 minutes and gradually increase until you can get to where you can wear them for long periods.
Lastly, there are many more resources on beginning the transition, and Anya’s Reviews is one of my favorites. She compares different barefoot shoe brands and provides exercises and stretches to help ease the transition to barefoot life.
My goal is to be a constant resource for my community, and we want to encourage our Chiro Co. community to get outside and go barefoot.
The art of acupuncture has been around for thousands of years. It is a form of traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate energy flow and promote healing.
It works by activating specific points on the body that are connected to the flow of energy, known as Qi in traditional Chinese medicine. Imbalances or blockages in the flow of Qi can lead to various health problems, and acupuncture can help restore balance and promote healing.
Now to the good stuff… Here are 5 Benefits of Acupuncture:
1.) Restore balance in the body
Qi is like energy that flows throughout your body and is a major core idea behind acupuncture. Much like your circulatory system for blood, the 12 meridians circulate your Qi, or energy. This circulation restores balance and flow within yourself.
2.) Reduce stress and increase energy
There are specific points utilized for relaxation purposes, including the point “yin tang,” which is located directly between your eyebrows. Furthermore, Qi, or energy, flows more freely after an acupuncture visit.
3.) Reduce pain
There are specific acupuncture points that target back pain, neck pain, and joint pain, including knees, elbows, and TMJ pain. Acupuncture provides a holistic alternative to surgery or drugs for pain and repetitive strain injuries.
4.) Reduce Muscle Tightness
Acupuncture needles can be used to target specific muscle groups that may be tight. Ah shi points target knots within tight muscles, causing knots to dissipate.
5.) Relief from headaches
There are specific acupuncture points that help provide relief from headaches and even migraines. Acupuncture has been a successful option for those who are headache prone. It offers a less invasive, long-term option.
Dr. Jenna Carter is trained in acupuncture techniques for clients who are seeking help with neurophysiological or musculoskeletal disorders. If you are ready to take the next step towards healing, schedule here.