Blog 48 – Stress, Saunas and Sardines

First of all I’d like to wish everyone a happy new year and hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas holidays!  With Tim and Mike both away enjoying the snowy slopes of Morzine I have the pleasure of holding down the fort for the chiros and writing this months blog.


Since joining the gang at Cleve in September I’ve had a brilliant time and learned a hell of a lot!  The team are great and the clinic has a buzz about it, which has made me feel very welcome.  It’s also a bonus that I only live 5 minutes walk away, so those extra few minutes in bed always makes things a little sweeter!


Time really is flying by and I can’t believe its 2018 already!  After eating my body weight in chocolate and cheese this festive period its time to try and remember what a vegetable or gym looks like…and like many others I’m sure I’m not the only one setting some new years resolutions.  One of mine is to add more fish into my diet such as sardines, salmon, mackerel and cod, as they include healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for healthy joints.  Being a chiropractor I need to make sure I look after my own joints as well!  Another one is learning to cook some tasty veggie dishes.  I’m making the goals realistic though, as I know I’m not going to be the next Gordon Ramsey.


That’s the main thing about new years resolutions or changes in lifestyle, they need to be realistic and achievable.  Especially if the change is exercise based.  Increasing physical activity is always a good thing for the body, but trying too much too quickly can lead to aches and pains as your body’s not used to it.  There’s nothing worse than a niggling injury that’s stopping someone from achieving their fitness goals!  A steadier progression with good technique always trumps overloading the body without proper form.  The World Health Organisation recommends that we should spend at least 150 minutes a week doing moderate exercise.  Don’t worry though, that doesn’t mean running a half marathon every week!  That can be broken down into multiple 10 minute walks to the shop, or taking the stairs instead of that shaky elevator.


Times relaxing can be just as important as well (and a lot easier).  Last weekend I spent the day at Center Parcs spa as a present from my lovely girlfriend Beth.  We spent the day in saunas and steam rooms trying to sweat out the remainder of that Christmas bubbly.  After some delicious food we then had a back and shoulders massage.  It was nice to get some treatment on my back for a change!  I’ve never been so relaxed in all my life, I’m pretty sure I dozed off after 10 minutes.  At this busy time of the year it’s important to reduce stress and tension as much as possible, as they can have a huge effect on physical health.  When we’re stressed our body releases a hormone called cortisol (stress hormone).  Initially this can be helpful, reducing inflammation and breaking down nutrients for the body to use.  But if stress continues over a long period of time, too much stress hormone can have negative effects such as tightness of the neck and shoulders, headaches, feeling tired or low on energy and generally feeling wound up.  So it definitely helps giving the body some TLC.  I know my shoulders feel five times lighter after my treatment!


Soon after the treatment and a quick slide down the famous Center Parcs rapids, the inevitable happened.  The smell of the local Indian restaurant pulled me in and my 2018 health kick was held back slightly as I finished off an amazing curry and mountain of poppadoms…but ah well like I said, those new years resolutions need to realistic.


Jack Withey