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Helping Your Chiropractor Help You

Your chiropractor has many powerful tools at his or her disposal to help you get well. These powerful tools include chiropractic care itself and specialized knowledge in nutrition, exercise, and rehabilitation. There are some things that you, too, can bring to the chiropractor-patient relationship in order to get the most out of your chiropractic care.

Eating healthy food is very important in helping yourself to get well, whether you're dealing with a cold, high blood pressure, or lower back pain. A common factor in getting better from any disorder or condition is having the necessary ingredients available to support a strong immune system and to build healthy new cells and tissues to replace those affected by ill health or injury. A balanced diversity of choices from all food groups is necessary for ongoing good health, and is particularly needed when you're attempting to restore good health. It's especially important to make sure you're eating at least five portions of fresh fruits and vegetables every day.1

Getting regular vigorous exercise is key to feeling good right now and to promoting long-term health and well-being. Government agencies and the scientific literature recommend 30 minutes of vigorous exercise five days a week. This recommended minimum can be easily accomplished by a 30-minute brisk walk each day. Of course, if you haven't done any exercise in some time you'll want to build up to a 30-minute duration and gradually build up your pace. The important thing is to begin a habit of regular exercise and stick to it over time. You will likely be delighted to find how personally empowering regular exercise can be. Regular exercise provides benefit for all your body systems and enhances creativity and other cognitive abilities.

A third set of activities that help your chiropractor help you involves developing and maintaining a positive mental attitude. To be effective in this area, it's important to get a good sense of what a positive mental attitude means and implies. Of course, all of us have real problems at one time or another. Certainly, health issues can often be very problematic. Having a positive mental attitude doesn't mean pretending that the problems do not exist, nor does it mean spouting a lot of "happy talk" to cover up your feelings. Rather, creating and maintaining a positive mental attitude involves making a choice. Even when faced with some pretty stressful circumstances, we have a choice to be positive or negative. The circumstances may be tough, but we have a choice concerning whether we're going to have a good day. Such an attitude may require a lot of a person, and there will be many times when so-called negative feelings are foremost. What counts is the willingness to look for the positive and to return to a positive mental attitude as soon as possible.2,3

Each of these three main activities will help you gain improved health and well-being. Done together with regular chiropractic care, these activities will help promote personal (and, by extension, family) wellness.

1Boeing H, et al: Critical review: vegetables and fruit in the prevention of chronic diseases. Eur J Nutr 51(6):637-663, 2012
2Melcher T, et al: How negative affect influences neural control processes underlying the resolution of cognitive interference: an event-related fMRI study. Neurosci Res 70(4):415-427, 2011
3Steptoe A, et al: Distinctive biological correlates of positive psychological well-being in older men and women. Psychosom Med 74(5):501-508, 2012