The most wonderful time of the year is here! While ‘tis the season for giving to others, we want to remind you about the importance of taking care of YOUR physical and mental health during this busy time. Many people tend to get caught up with gifting and entertaining family and friends and get stressed about ensuring everything goes perfectly for the holidays. It’s not until everything is over that people realize the toll the stress took on their bodies. At Alliance Orthopedics, we love the joy that giving to our family and friends brings us, but we’d like to encourage you to give yourself the gift of some TLC this holiday season. Let’s look at some wellness treatments that can help with your overall health and happiness this month.
The Impact of Stress on the Body
We talk about stress a lot because most people only associate stress with their mental health, but it actually affects more than just your mind. Research shows that stress impacts every part of your body, and when you carry too much tension, it can lead to muscle stiffness and pain. According to the Mayo Clinic, you may not realize it’s also linked to headaches, fatigue, stomach problems and difficulty sleeping.
Stress can heighten during the holiday season, which is why Mayo Clinic suggests taking a breather and making time for yourself. Just spending 15 minutes alone without any distractions might help you feel refreshed enough to tackle everything on your to-do list. It’s best to find a stress-reducing activity that clears your mind, slows your breathing and restores your inner calm. That can include anything from taking a walk to reading a book, but we wanted to highlight some of the wellness treatments that can also help.
Give Your Body the Gift of Massage Therapy
According to The American Massage Therapy Association, massage therapy can be effective for stress relief. We all know that holding onto tension is not good for our bodies or our mental state, so massage is a great way to relieve it. Massage therapy can also lift your mood and clear your mind, so you can really focus on the tasks you need to accomplish. Some people associate massages with a luxury experience at a spa, but in our offices, they are often used in tandem with other treatments like chiropractic care or physical therapy.
Acupuncture as a Stress Reliever
At Alliance Orthopedics, we use acupuncture as a way to relieve pain for our patients, but it’s also a great treatment for people struggling with stress and anxiety. Acupuncture is relaxing and can also boost your energy, helping you to focus. We recently came across an article from Jenna Ingneri in Nylon Magazine that discusses her experience trying acupuncture for stress relief. She wrote, “I lay there in what was likely the most relaxed state I’ve ever been in. While I didn’t drift away to sleep, I allowed myself to use this hour of ‘quiet time’ as a meditative moment to process some of the things that have been running through my mind. I allowed myself to stop and take a minute to breathe—something I feel like I hadn’t done in a long time—and put some things into perspective.”
Acupuncture might not be the only thing you’ll need to do in order to manage stress around the holidays, but we love the idea of taking an hour to yourself to think and put things into perspective. Keep in mind that several acupuncture treatments may be necessary to get the full benefit of this treatment method.
The Gift of Chiropractic Care for Your Muscles
The holiday season is busy and it can be easy to push off your regular chiropractic appointments, but as your body encounters stress, you tense your muscles. Over time, this will lead to pain in your body, which can interfere with your sleep, your ability to focus, and more. Chiropractic treatments can help loosen the tension you are feeling. With adjustments to the spine, your body can be restored to its natural balance. You may find yourself to be sick less, have more energy and feel less stressed overall.
Gift Your Body the Nutrition it Needs
Let’s not forget about one of the best and worst things about the holiday season – food. Food brings people together and holidays are the perfect occasion to enjoy special foods that maybe you only eat once a year. Nevertheless, it’s easy to overdo it and by the time January comes around, you may not feel your best. Mayo Clinic advises people not to abandon healthy habits as overindulgence just adds to stress and guilt. They suggest having a healthy snack before holiday parties, so you don’t go overboard on sweets, cheese, cocktails, etc.
Providing your body with the proper nutrition is probably the best gift you can give yourself. It will energize your body and give you the boost you need to get everything done during this hectic time of year. At Alliance Orthopedics, we can provide you with nutritional counseling during or after the holiday season if you need to get back on track.
Remember to Care for Yourself this Holiday Season
Whether it’s taking fifteen minutes to go for a walk or an hour to get yourself a massage or acupuncture treatment, we hope you can make some time for yourself this holiday season. We know you want to take care of others, but in order to do so, you need to take care of yourself first and make sure you are feeling your best—both physically and mentally.
Dr. Matt Mondoro is from Holmdel, NJ. He graduated from TCNJ with a bachelor’s of science. From there, he continued his education at the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic where he graduated in 2012 as the class valedictorian. Learn more about him here.