The holidays have snuck up on me this year, more than in the past.
This means that I must have been really busy, and I am inspired to write this blog based on a colleague’s question just a few days ago.
While performing muscle work on her (she is a doula), she asked, “How do you take care of yourself?”. This struck me because I knew she was speaking specifically about my body and doing massage work, since both chiropractors and doulas do muscle work. But the question had the deeper meaning of how I take care of my longevity, so that someday I can be a little old chiropractor, continuing to practice on my patients with health and vigor.
I can’t help but think about the all-popular buzz word, “Self-Care”, with its pictures on getting pampered through massages and ones nails done, splashed around. And while self-care can look like an afternoon with the girls at the nail salon, this is probably not the medical version of taking care of oneself.
How you take care of yourself is a nitty gritty question that usually requires routine and hard work, to maintain a holistically healthy and homeostatic body. My response to my colleague and friend was as follows:
**Note: In my response I realized the true health principles I was at least trying to live out, so I also shared some areas I need to do better in.
I get a massage every 6-8 weeks – a therapeutic massage to help my body manage the physical strain of being a manual therapy doctor.
I lift weights 2 times a week and exercise at least 2-3 times more – Movement is essential for strength, weight maintenance, lung capacity, and mood.
Putting plants first – about 7 years ago I decided to change my mind set and plan my vegetables first and the protein to match them, and my goal is to have 2 vegetables at every meal. Vegetables have the highest nutrient density of anything we consume.
Liver cleanse 1 time a year – I try and do a liver cleanse at least once a year to help with detoxification, so that when my body does come into contact with something, I will be able to pass it easily.
Sleeping – I am a morning person, so staying up past 10 pm feels quite late. I just plan to wind down for the night and go to bed.
Taking vitamins – I take vitamins to support healthy mitochondria, in order to function and stay healthy.
Taking vegan fish oil – I take an omega to help with general inflammation in my body, which helps with my allergies and also lubricates my joints.
Eating fermented foods – I make some of my own fermented carrots, beets, and fennel, but I also buy different veggies to help feed my gut microbiome.
Areas of Weakness
Drinking enough water – while I’m busy seeing patients, I do struggle to get enough water in.
Managing how I process stress – I tend to internalize a great deal of stress and simply get busy instead of processing and releasing it.
Eating more protein - I rush past some of my meals and take a shake on the go, but I need to be more intentional about my protein intake.