“What if I need to take a break from care?”

By Dr. Katie Ray

Lately I’ve been fielding some questions from practice members about what happens if they need to “take a break” from care.  These questions aren’t surprising or unusual.  With summer underway (we skipped spring!) people are busier, out enjoying the weather in our beautiful Lincoln Square neighborhood, and are going out of town more.  It also may be the case that as these opportunities for fun and relaxation increase, budgets get tighter.

Believe me, I understand!  After the winter we had, I don’t think any of us are eager to spend unnecessary time indoors.  And as far as finances are concerned– you’re talking to someone who was in school for almost her entire adult life.  I know what it’s like to struggle financially.

What I want you to think about, though, is that your spine doesn’t get a “break.”  All day, every day, the health of your spine and nervous system is necessary for the creation and growth of the 25 million new cells your body creates per second.  It’s absolutely necessary for every chemical reaction, and the functioning of every tissue and organ in the body.

The tone in your nervous system, aka the “threshold of excitability” in your nerves determines how we experience emotion and how “reactive” we are in life.  Dr. Donny Epstein even believes that the spine contains our very “sense of self” and how we experience the world and see our role in it.  The busier you are and the more fun you want to be able to have, the more likely you are to want a healthy spine.

There may be circumstances that come up in life when we don’t get as much care as we would like. Whenever you are able to pick your care back up again, I always tell people, it will be like getting back on a bike.  The strategies we work on through your body and nervous system every visit don’t just disappear forever if you temporarily leave care!

However, your spine does need regular care to thrive in this stressful world!  Just like you wouldn’t expect to stop working out for 2 months and stay healthy, you also can’t expect to stop taking care of your spine and continue to receive the benefits of regular wellness care.

Thank you for reading this month’s tip!  It is an honor and a privilege to work with each one of you, and I look forward to the next time I see you!

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