This Earth Day Clean the Environment of Your Mind and Body!
Earth Day is this week and it has become known as the day we appreciate the earth’s environment and awareness of the issues that threaten it. Earth Day is the perfect day to not only think about the Earth’s environment but to also appreciate the body and mind’s environment and some of the issues that may threaten them. Stress is a major threat to the environment of the body and mind. Thats why minimizing stress is so important for our overall health and wellness. Stress comes in a variety of forms- Physical, Chemical, and Emotional—each affecting the body and mind differently.
Because of different physical stresses in our lives, some sudden and some over time, the individual bones or whole sections of our spine can shift out of place. These shifts in the spine are called subluxations. When subluxations occur they block the energy to the organs at that level. It’s like a dimmer switch on a wall. The energy gets turned down, it can’t get through the nerves to the organs and the organs at the end of those nerves will progressively weaken and degenerate over time and may cause disease. Subluxated areas of the spine will also weaken the rest of the structure of our spine and distort our posture. When our posture weakens and distorts it causes stress to the spinal cord. When our spinal cord is under stress it can’t move energy through the spine to all the vital organs of the body. When the organs don’t get the vital energy they need, your overall health will progressively weaken and degenerate over time, and eventually lead to disease. Correcting subluxations in your spine removes stress to your nervous system and revs up that energy that was diminished. The brain can communicate more efficiently with the body when subluxations are corrected. Outcomes may be limited due to how long and how severe the subluxations are so early intervention is key. Pain is a symptom that usually comes last. By the time you are in pain, your nerves are already inflamed and your body is in a state of crisis. Chiropractors, especially those trained in Chiropractic BioPhysics, specialize in correcting subluxations and restoring the normal alignment of the spine. This minimizes your overall physical stress on the body and nervous system allowing your body to work at its best!
The body strives for homeostatsis. Homeostasis is a self regulating process by which biological systems tend to maintain stability while adjusting to conditions that are optimal for survival. If homeostasis is successful, life continues; if unsuccessful, disaster ensues. Depending on lifestyle habits, dietary choices, and environmental factors, we can change the internal environment of our body affecting this homeostasis. What we eat and what we put on our skin has an affect on the chemical messengers of our body and how they communicate with other parts of the body. These messengers or hormones come from our Endocrine System. Hormones communicate and carry information from cell to cell which influences almost every cell, organ and function of our body. This helps control mood, growth, metabolism, the way our organs work, and reproduction.
As we discussed in previous blogs, consuming a diet high in calories, unhealthy carbs and fats, inflammatory foods, and processed sugary foods can cause your body a great deal of internal stress. Sometimes the extent of the stress goes unnoticed to the individual for a while and then by the symptoms begin to show themselves, it can be more difficult to get them under control. With that, it is important to prevent this from occurring by eating a diet high in fruits and veggies and refrain from consuming sugary processed, inflammatory foods. Just by making a small change like this, your body will thank you.
We also discussed in the past how most skincare products are loaded with chemicals that are known endocrine disruptor chemicals. Endocrine disrupter chemicals are substances found in the environment (air, soil, or water supply), food sources, personal care products and manufactured products. They interfere with the normal function of your body’s endocrine system. More research is needed on these endocrine disruptors, but what is known is that they reduce your ability to handle stress, they cause changes in behavior and neurology, they have been linked with Type 2 Diabetes and obesity, and some endocrine disrupters affect reproductive health by mimicking or blocking the effects of female and male sex hormones. In addition, endocrine disrupter chemicals may alter growth development, disrupt sexual development, weakened the immune system and may cause cancer.
Take time to read the ingredients not only of what you eat but of what you are putting on your body. If you are not sure what it is, then google it. There is a list from the company Beautycounter that we display in our office. It’s called “The Never List” and this list is a combination of chemicals that are found in products that we use on the daily. These chemicals are harmful in more ways than one. Below is a short list of some chemicals that can be found on “The Never List.”
- Parabens: These are chemicals that are used in the action of preservation. There are a multitude of parabens, including; methyl-, isobutyl-, propyl-, and more. These chemicals are found in a number of common house hold products such as: shampoos, body washes and lotions, face cleansers, and makeup. When you encounter parabens often, there can be a number of issues that result in hormone disruption.
- Phthalates: phthalates are chemicals that are used in less obvious ways. One of their jobs is to ensure that fragrances stick to the skin, as well as make certain products more pliable. This chemical is known to cause endocrine disruptions and in some cases lead to birth defects. What makes this chemical even more horrific is that it is common in: hairsprays, nail polish, and in many plastic materials.
- Polyethylene glycol: polyethylenes, also known as PEGs, are extremely common chemicals found in cosmetic items such as: creams, sunscreens, and even shampoos. PEGs are used in order to thicken, soften, and or just overall alter the consistency of a product.
- Synthetic flavors or fragrances: These chemicals can be used in order to add scent and or flavor to a product. The worst part is that the direct ingredients to this chemical can go undisclosed to the public, so you won’t know exactly what you are putting on or into your body. Being exposed to such chemical can lead to allergic reactions and endocrine issues. Not to mention that these chemicals are in nearly every product that have an unnatural smell or flavor.
- BHA & BHT: These products are added into cosmetics, moisturizers, and even diaper creams in order to help extend their shelf life. BHA’s and BHT’s are known to carry carcinogens as well has have hormone disrupting factors.
- Ethanolamines: ethanolamines are known as pH adjusters and exposure to them can cause some serious allergic reactions, hormone disruption, skin toxicity, and can even disrupt fetal brain development. Mascaras, hair dyes, sunscreens, fragrances, and more are known to contain this chemical.
- Formaldehyde: Shampoos, body washes, and bubble bath serums are known to contain formaldehydes. When the body is exposed to this chemical you are exposing your body to carcinogens that are known to cause asthma, toxicity, and neurotoxicity. Formaldehydes are used to help preserve cosmetics and lengthen their shelf life.
It is important to raise awareness for the things that are in our products. The list of chemicals above is just a small selection of what you may be putting on your body. That being said, next time you visit the office ask us for a full list of “The Never List” and take it home with you. Look with fresh eyes at your skincare products. You’ll be amazed at how many chemicals are in your products. Take this information and move towards a healthier lifestyle by avoiding these chemicals which will help improve your body’s internal environment!
Emotional Stress and Emotional Intelligence
Everybody goes through different emotions in their lives. Worry, fear, sadness anger are all normal reactions to daily life; however, emotional stress begins when these reactions turn to anxiety and starts to interfere with your daily activities. Signs of emotional stress include, but are not limited to the following; increased heart rate, heaviness in chest, shortness of breath, feeling tired/depressed/anxious/, GI issues like upset stomach or constipation, feeling overwhelmed or on edge, trouble getting your work done or remembering things, and using drugs or alcohol to deal with your emotions. Ways to cope with emotional stress are to take time for self-care, practice mindfulness or mediation, journaling, connecting with others, exercising, eating a healthy diet and getting quality sleep. If those don’t help, then seek professional care to help you find ways to cope and reduce your emotional stress.
As we clean out the emotional stress from our mind and body, it is important to work on our emotional intelligence as well. Emotional intelligence is the ability to use and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others and overcome challenges.
Use this year’s Earth Day as a chance to either start or continue on your wellness journey. It is a process and takes time but it all begins with awareness and a desire to live a healthier lifestyle. Be aware of not only the Earth’s environment but of your own environment as well!