Start the new year off right with some resolutions that will get you on track for better health, less stress and more energy.
From your perspective as a chiropractor practicing natural and holistic healthcare, in what ways do you think people can improve their mental health in 2022?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Well, I’m not a mental health expert. We do talk a lot about the mind-body connection, but I think the biggest key here for 2022 is lowering your stress levels. We’ve been basically running around for the past year and a half or two years with our foot firmly pressed on the gas pedal as hard as we can and we’ve been in this state of stress, and I’m seeing a lot of health issues coming into our office that seem to be stress-related. I’m seeing an awful lot of new patients coming in.
I thought that we were going to be super quiet with the pandemic, but it seemed to have stirred up a lot of things. People are working from home. They’re not really working at proper desks. They’re sitting on their couch with their laptops. But also, their stress levels are high. There’s a lot of uncertainty.
I think the biggest thing is to use the tips out there to reduce your stress level. We can help you with the physical manifestations of stress: the tight muscles, the headaches, the aches and pains that come along with it, but really we need to lower our stress level I think is the biggest thing for 2022.
Why should getting a better night’s sleep still be a top health resolution for people?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Getting enough sleep is so important, and it almost kind of dovetails with the question you asked before, because when people are stressed out, their body goes into sympathetic overdrive and we’re cranking out cortisol and adrenaline, so our body chemistry is different. If you live in that chemistry for a long time, you know, sleep is where your body starts to rest, recuperate, and heal. Particularly that last one, rest, is when the body heals, so it’s so important for our recovery and healing that we get more rest.
When you’re feeling “sick,” you’re tired, you’re achy, your joints don’t feel good, it’s not like your body’s telling you, “Hey, let’s fire up and run a marathon.” It’s telling you, “Hey, stay home and rest, because that’s when the body heals.” So, listening to the body’s cues and not overriding it by just having another cup of coffee or whatever will definitely help you if you listen to your body. When it’s asking you to rest more, you rest more because that’s when it heals.
There’s only a certain amount of energy in the body for healing, running and regulating. If there’s not enough recuperative time, the body’s not going to heal as efficiently. So, rest is every bit as important as anything else in the healing process. It couples well with lowering your stress levels, because sometimes when people are stressed and their mind is active, and they don’t sleep so well. So those two almost go hand-in-hand and are really important, especially in this year after, or not even, I was going to say after the pandemic, but we are still in the midst of this pandemic.
Can you explain how improving our posture can make us healthier?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Absolutely. Having good posture is more important than we think. Especially now, I look at kids, I was at Thanksgiving dinner a couple weeks back and I looked at my nephew. I looked over at him and his head was completely flexed forward as he was one hundred percent engaged in his iPhone. We are seeing this forward head posture in all the kids coming into the office now. That’s just one aspect of posture.
Sitting straight in your chair, good sleep posture, and good work posture at your workstation, all these things are so important because when your posture is not so good, your body or your spine is more subluxated or misaligned. It puts stress on the spine. Then the vertebrae start to misalign. When the vertebrae misalign, they irritate the nerves. That can cause more pain, and those same nerves also control your heart, lungs, kidney, spleen, and intestine, so it’s important that there’s no irritation to the nerves.
Good posture is a great way to prevent subluxations, which are the misalignments that chiropractors treat and adjust. I think having good posture is important, and it’s not just sitting at your desk, but it’s when you’re using your phone, when you’re sleeping, when you’re sitting on the couch. There are so many different things, when you’re driving, when you’re doing dishes, that we need to be aware of our posture and do these things to make sure that we’re standing tall, we’re using our spine efficiently, and we’re not stressing it and leading to the subluxation patterns that cause people pain and problems.
Getting more exercise is a New Year’s resolution on almost everyone’s list. Are you seeing any new trends for 2022, or should we keep incorporating yoga, cardio, and weight training?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Well, I haven’t seen anything new on the exercise scene that’s really rocking my socks off here. They have those home mirrors and they have the Pelotons that you can do at home. It seems like there is a lot more accessibility to good exercise equipment, but I don’t think there’s anything super new on the scene.
And the thing about an exercise program or exercising, it needs to be compelling to the individual. I might love to run, and I might love to lift weights, but someone else might absolutely hate lifting weights and might prefer doing yoga or might prefer swimming. So, whatever the exercise that you pick for your New Year’s resolution, it’s got to be compelling to you and something that you’re going to enjoy and consider fun, and hopefully something you can do with other people and establish some accountability. If you’re looking to get exercise in this year, which is always a great idea, grab an accountability partner or someone who’s willing to work out with you. That way, if you’re not feeling so great, you’re thinking about canceling, well, you’ve got that other person to consider.
Those are great ideas, but as far as anything new out there, explore. Just make sure whatever exercise you pick is something you enjoy doing and something that’s compelling and that’ll keep you doing it, so you’ll get healthy and be consistent with your exercise.
If people want to seek natural healthcare alternatives to drugs and surgery in 2022, what type of medical professionals should they seek out?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Well, I would say any professional that’s nonmedical, right? You want to see a chiropractor that doesn’t prescribe drugs. You want to see an acupuncturist who does not incorporate drug therapy. You maybe want to see a physical therapist. I might be a little partial to chiropractors because we’ve always been the thought leaders in natural health and healing. When we first came out and talked about no drugs, no surgery, trust in your body’s ability to heal, everyone thought we were crazy.
Now we look at how the opioid epidemic has impacted every community in our country, and the stats are staggering. 62,000 people are believed to have died from opioid overdoses in 2017. I think more than 50% of regular opioid users started with lower back pain. That’s from the National Institute of Health, that statistic. Then there’s the economic fallout from the epidemic of heroin and prescription pain killers, and that’s on track to cost $500 billion in the past two to three years.
It’s really important that people look to find alternative solutions and don’t start with drugs, because chiropractic care is safe, it’s proven, it’s drug-free pain treatment. There’s a lot of information. Chiropractors are highly trained in treating nerve, muscle, and health and bone conditions due to the emphasis on the spine. It’s nonsurgical, and the rationale to pain management and neuromuscular skeletal conditions is amazing. It just improves the quality and function of your spine, which leads to less pain, better function, and a healthier life. So that’s really important to understand.
There are more statistics that were done back in 2007. People who saw a chiropractor had 60% fewer hospitalizations, meaning less admissions to the hospitals, 60% less hospital days, 62% less outpatient surgeries, and 85% decrease in pharmaceutical costs.
So, seek out natural care, of course I would always prefer with a chiropractor, but there are other solutions out there. We’re not the only game in town, but I certainly think we’re one of the best. It’s a lot easier to just take a pill rather than to show up at a chiropractor’s office or report for physical therapy or see an acupuncturist.,,taking a pill is easy, but it’s not always the best course of action, because there can be repercussions. So, we always recommend natural and drugless first.
To speak with Dr. Gregg Rubinstein, visit www.ChiropractorMidtown.com or call (212) 977-7094 to schedule an appointment.