By Dr. Darin Stokke, DC
Are you feeling tired, run down or simply lack the energy you once had? Have you ever wondered why? Chronic fatigue is becoming a major issue in our modern day society resulting in on the job injuries, auto accidents, immune dysfunction, and a decreased quality of life.
Remember there is always a cause to the effect and getting to the cause is ultimately the key to correcting the condition, no matter what the condition may be. With chronic fatigue, there are many possibilities as to what the cause may be including thyroid or adrenal problems, elevated blood fats, leaky gut syndrome, allergies, sleep apnea, chemical stress from medications, emotional stress, heavy smoking, disrupted sleep patterns, vitamin B12 deficiencies, blood sugar disorders, poor ergonomics or posture, and a lifestyle of inactivity just to name a few of the most common ones.
Most don’t realize the importance of proper posture and biomechanics as it relates to energy levels. Research has shown that 90% of the brain’s activity is used to balance our body within the gravitational field of the earth. If our body posture is mechanically distorted, research also shows that it will affect the other 10% of the brain’s activity which is working to control all of the other body functions such as breathing, digestion and cognition. A study by Northwestern Health Sciences University looked at just how common a mechanically distorted body posture is and found that of the 450 participants, more than 60% had a significantly altered body posture. Add to this the modern day habits of being hunched forward while using computers, collapsed in front of a TV, bent forward looking down at tablets and cell-phones while answering e-mails, updating Facebook or texting, and generally living a more sedentary lifestyle of sitting down for our jobs and school. We are now finding that all of these habits are affecting our energy levels in a negative way and may actually be causing feelings of depression.
The solution to our low energy levels is not to consume more of the latest sugar and caffeine loaded “energy drinks” but rather to look at simple things that can help elevate our energy and mood levels naturally, consistently and safely. A recent research study in the journal Biofeedback showed that subjective energy levels can be increased quickly by episodic movement and by maintaining an upright posture. In the study, 110 participants rated their immediate subjective energy levels as well as their general depression levels while either walking in a slouched position or engaged in arm and leg skipping. They found that skipping for even one minute significantly increased energy levels and alertness for all subjects. On the other hand, walking in a slouched pattern reduced the energy levels significantly especially in those who had also rated chronically high levels of depression.
When constructing a bridge, engineers spend a great deal of time making sure that every calculation is made as exact as possible to ensure the safety and longevity of the bridge. The smallest of miscalculations will cause the structure of the bridge to weaken and the daily stress to shorten its effective life span. Structure is also just as important for our body as we endure daily stresses. These stresses can accumulate over time, weakening our body and sap our energy levels if we have a poorly maintained structure. Our body was created to move and move often. Movement is life, and functional movement is health.
To quickly and safely increase energy levels, start by restoring proper body posture, and choose to move often in a functionally sound way so you can live the life you desire and deserve! Learn more at www.lifestyleschiro.com