Simple changes in lifestyle can help ease tension of everyday life
Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011
Dr. Jim Bolton at Wellsping Family Chiropractic is shown with his crew. (Photo by Greg Little)
Getting the kids to school. Paying the high electric bill. Watching gas prices climb. Another tight deadline at the office.
For many, this is just a typical day. And for a certain percentage of people, the daily grind leads to one conclusion — stress.
Jim Bolton from Wellspring Family Chiropractic in Cookeville says stress is one of the most common problems in today’s hectic world. He said the “bulk” of people he sees suffer from some form of stress.
That can be related to many issues, from people having to work harder at their jobs to repetition in the workplace. Bolton also said he sees many factory workers and their stress can be twofold. One, he said, is the repetition of the job but a secondary form of stress comes from wondering if they will have a job or if the company has plans to move the operation out of the country.
His wife, Laurie, who is office manager at Wellspring, agreed. She said they see a lot of “repetitive stress disorders” as well as the “fear of moving.”
Bolton’s story is very unique, given the fact he underwent what many would consider the ultimate form of stress. Bolton, who is in good heath, suffered a brain aneurysm. A cause has never been determined. He spent three weeks in ICU at Vanderbilt and there was a time many thought he might not live. His rehabilitation took months. Bolton called it “very humbling,” though now he is fully recovered.
His wife said it “makes you take stock” of the priorities in life.
One thing Bolton said made his recovery go so quickly was the outpouring of support from the community. Since moving here from Texas five years ago, Bolton has become a very active part of the community. He said when he was in such jeopardy, the community came to his side and helped the family through the struggles.
Part of what Bolton does is talk to community groups on the topic of wellness. He speaks at health fairs, at Cookeville Regional, at the YMCA and many other locations. Though hesitant at first, Bolton says he is now very comfortable in that role and enjoys talking to people and helping them with issues.
“I learn what people are thinking,” he said.
Bolton said there are many aspects to wellness. Those can range from getting the right amount of sleep to exercise. He said sleep is crucial, adding having the proper mattress and pillow can make a world of difference for people. “Every person is different,” he said.
As for exercise, Bolton said people need to choose something they will enjoy.
“What is the best form of exercise?” Bolton is asked frequently. His answer: “It’s what you are going to do.”
That can be simply walking around the yard or even small hand exercises which can be done at the office.
He also encourages people to take breaks at the office. It can be something as simple as “sending something to the printer” and then getting up and walking to the printer. He said having a proper chair and proper desk is crucial, as is the screen height of your computer monitor.
“Some employers are understanding about investing in these areas,” said Bolton. “It didn’t used to be that way.”
But, he said, when employers realize how much it can save in the long run with reduced health care costs and better production, they tend to move in that direction.
Another crucial aspect of wellness, he said, is “having balance in your lives.”
Bolton encourages family time. He said the most common complaint he hears from people is they don’t have enough time to spend with their families. “This is something everyone can relate to.”
That’s why he encourages families to eat at the dinner table with no cell phones. He also encourages family walks. He says that “family interaction” also has an “emotional component” which can help ease stress.
“Wellness is this big puzzle,” said Bolton.
He believes putting that puzzle together in small increments can lead to healthier lives.
Part of the puzzle is nutrition. The most common problem he sees is how many people eat fast food. Bolton understands it, saying it is “convenient” and that is “goes back to a stressful lifestyle.”
However, he said if people can get a handle on their nutritional habits, it can lead to less stress and better health.
In fact, Bolton said Wellspring Family Chiropractic plans to add a nutritionist in the near future. That will be another component of the business which also includes massage therapy.
One thing he has learned about nutrition is that most people simply don’t drink enough water each day. He said the most common reason for muscle cramps and other pain is lack of water intake. Water supplies calcium, potassium and magnesium, he said, and in most cases when such pain is diagnosed, it is because a person is “deficient” in at least one of those elements.
Probably the biggest problem among the public, he said, is people go through their daily grinds and get caught up in everyday issues and situations.
“The majority of people are not thinking about wellness,” said Bolton.
Most of the patients he sees “start in crisis mode” because they are experiencing pain.
Once that issue is addressed, Bolton looks at the lifestyle issues and corrective care. “Making small changes to multiple things,” he said.
That can be issues like adjusting your car seat or changing chairs at the office. He said “posture habits” also need to be addressed.
For Bolton, there are many issues which lead to stress and other problems that all impact wellness. But his philosophy for dealing with those issues is pretty basic: “Make it simple.”
That’s probably great advice for people who are living in times which lead to stress. He said being so connected to the world through computers, smart phones, iPads and more can lead to higher levels of stress.
So if you do decide to take that family walk, it’s probably a good idea to leave the cell phone behind and enjoy the outdoors and good, old-fashioned family time.To contact Wellspring Family Chiropractic, you can call 931-528-5284 or visit www.chiroville.com.