By Alisa Blumberg, BSc, DC
Doctor of Chiropractic
As summer approaches we might want to think about the keywords -‘Be Active’ ‘Be Active” brought two things immediately to mind for me whenI stopped to think about what I’m talking to my patients about in this realm. As chiropractors we are nervous system specialists (and not just ‘bone-crackers’ as much of the media would like to have us believe) you can bet that where my mind goes is to how to keep that all-important control system functioning freely and robustly.
To Be Active is to Exercise
The first way is the third (rarely talked about) essential category of exercise. We
are all familiar with the necessity for cardio-vascular exercise (getting our heart
rate up and blood pumping to burn calories and stay fit) and muscle strengthening
exercise (to keep up or muscle mass and maintain healthy bone structure) but do
you ever incorporate neurological balancing exercises? What we technically call the cross-crawl pattern is a skill most of us learned well before our first birthday and 8s essential to neurological development and maintenance throughout our lives.
As a baby first learns to be mobile they learn that the only way to keep from tipping over is to symmetrically extend left leg with right arm, and then right leg with left arm (yes, I just decoded successful crawling). If you remember back to high-school science – the left brain controls right sided body movement and the right brain controls left side movement. So by activating both sides equally and in a pattern the baby is stimulating its growing brain to work in a balanced, symmetrical pattern.
A balanced symmetrical brain is a healthy brain. The next time you’re sitting in the mall or watching people walk down the street take a moment and notice how many of them have lost the symmetry of their walk (left leg swings with left arm and right with right, there is no clear pattern, or the arms aren’t swinging at all) – they’ve lost the symmetry they learned as babies! An unbalanced brain pattern is being reinforced every time they’re out for a stroll!
Make it a point to do simple neurological pattern exercises such as cross-crawl walking or stop by the next time you’re in the clinic and I can show you a 2-minute exercise you can do at home.
Be Proactive Not Reactive
The second place my mind goes when a ‘Be Active’ discussion comes up is to our thoughts. We live in a thinking world now. Most of us spend our work days at a desk rather than in a field, and our brains do a lot more work than our bodies. We live in a soup of thought about what we’ve done, what we have to get done, where we’ve been and where we’re going. We are so busy that we tend to be reactive rather than proactive with our thoughts. Let this little column be a reminder to you to ‘Be Active’ with your thoughts. Make a plan and set aside time each day to actively set a positive intention.
Dream. Don’t just set a goal – put yourself in the moment. Monitor your thoughts – we all have negative ones – let those go as soon as you recognize them and hold onto thankfulness and gratitude. Watch the change that makes in your mood, celebrate that win and move onto the next one.
Have a fantastic, active spring and summer!
Dr. Alisa Blumberg is proud to be bringing her passion for holistic, natural, self-directed healing to the north-Toronto area through her work at Pinewood Natural Health Centre.As a Chiropractor and Master level B.E.S.T. Practitioner, Dr. Blumberg’s mission is to educate and empower patients of every age, symptomatology and health goal on their unique journey towards optimal health and absolute wellness.You can book an appointment with Dr. Alisa Blumberg by calling (416 ) 656-8100.