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I recently had an opportunity to hear Cesar Milan speak.  Expecting a discussion specifically about getting your dog to stop barking or other not so fun behaviors, I was surprised at his open and honest discussion of his own personal struggles.  He admitted very openly to being depressed following a divorce and the loss of his oldest pack member.   He stated that when he found himself unable to get out of his depression, he applied his dog training triad “Exercise, discipline, and affection” to himself with wonderful results.  It struck me that maintaining good health or recovering from injury really needs the same approach.

Exercise – I tell every patient that movement the key to rehabilitation.  What our body needs in order to maintain healthy joints is exercise.  So even in a state of many injuries we must continue to move.  Additionally, exercise can help prevent degeneration immobility.  Most importantly, chiropractic care is critical in maintaining the proper movement in your spine.  Just as you must regularly schedule exercise, you should maintain your regular adjustment schedule.

The discipline aspect of health is often more challenging for patients.  It’s easy to begin any regimen.  It’s really the staying with it that takes work.  Often patients will begin their recovery by following guidelines for stretching, active rehabilitation exercises, etc.  But their steady participation then drops off.  They may fall off their treatment schedule.  This can lead to a longer recovery time from an injury or a slow down in their improvement.  People often become frustrated during this time, but I always encourage them to stay the course.  It takes work to affect change in our life.  But what cause is more worthy of our efforts than our health?  Keeping on your adjustment and exercise schedule can yield remarkable results in a much shorter period of time.

Affection is the last of the three concepts and most overlooked.  In the context of this discussion, I think of this as gentle compassion for ourselves.  People often carry a great amount of guilt regarding their bodies.  Whether they’ve come in for weight counseling or treatment for a chronic injury, they blame themselves for things they haven’t done right in the past.  To move forward, we must move on.  So let things go!  We can additionally care for ourselves by choosing proper nuturition and healthy sleep habits.  So don’t overlook how you are fueling yourself or your sleeping patterns.  They are the foundation for health and recovery for all of us.

These tips may seem simple.  They are.  Start applying them to your health, and just see what happens.