Shape Up for Summer – From the Inside
By Susan Hornik
If you’re over 50, maintaining your mind, body and spirit is now of the utmost importance. While you may be an active walker or runner, the body at 50 is just not the same as your body at 20 or 30. The trauma of the birth process, slips and falls, car accidents and numerous other stresses over your lifetime can adversely affect your health. Fiftyisthenewfifty.com’s Susan Hornik is writing a series of articles on how to shape up for summer–from the inside.
Part One: Massage and Chiropractic Work on the Body
Are you stressed out? Feeling tired or can’t sleep? Have trouble concentrating? Seeing a chiropractor and a massage therapist may be just the thing to rejuvenate you back to your old self again!
“As we get older, our bodies start to get stiffer. We are less flexible, and more rigid. Plus, some of our old injuries start to return and plague us just a little bit more,” said Dr. Aaron Schoneberger. “You really want to keep everything lined up and functioning as well as it can. There is less room for forgiveness; when you are young, your body can bounce back quickly but as you age, if something isn’t working right, it really can put a crimp in our daily activities.”
Schoneberger practices a directional non-force technique known as D.N.F.T., a gentle alignment of the spine and other joints for effective pain relief and nervous system integration, based on the body’s self-corrective mechanisms. There is no twisting, popping or cracking.
The veteran Hollywood doctor believes seeing a chiropractor at least once a month is just as important as good nutrition and exercise. “It keeps you going if you are feeling a little stiff. But if you are having any kind of issue, then more frequent visits would be recommended,” said Schoneberger.
But even if you’re not in any kind of pain, a chiropractor may be helpful. Other benefits include healthy blood circulation, calming the nervous system, reducing chronic pain, headaches and lower blood pressure.
If you are having inflammation in the body–be it a sore neck or shoulder–then an ultrasound works great, said Schoneberger. “If you have a muscle strain, an ultrasound will work to reduce the discomfort you are experiencing and will accelerate the healing process.”
And having healthy bones after 50 is also imperative so if you want to look great this summer, be sure to eat healthy!
“Make sure you are eating the right foods—lots of vegetables, where you get all your vitamins and minerals; lower fats and carbs, higher proteins. And whatever specific needs you have, you should address that too. There is also a good bone building up density regime that we recommend which involve supplements,” said Schoneberger.
And seeing a chiropractor is not just for humans! “Having your aging dog come in for a visit is a very good idea too,” acknowledged Schoneberger. They need to feel good; just like their human friends, they get stiffer too as they age. I will do adjustments on their body and the type of food they are eating too.”
Andre Studer, a certified massage therapist, works in Schoneberger’s office. “If you are over 50, seeing a massage therapist can increase your circulation and range of motion. It’s not just that massages will make you feel good; you can rid your body of toxins which otherwise would take longer to eliminate without massage. So if you want to be really mobile for summer and able to move freely, then come see a massage therapist!”
Numerous studies have proven that the physical and emotional benefits of a massage therapy session can help reduce stress, lower your heart rate, cortisol and insulin levels and help you more deeply relax.
Studer also recommends drinking a lot of water after any chiropractic or massage session. “Especially after an ultrasound, water is very important!” he enthused.
Don’t worry about getting hurt at the doctor’s office. When you allow the vertebrae in your spine to return to their proper position, you will notice much less stress and tension in the body! The experience can truly be a gentle one, provided you are communicative with your doctor.
Massage therapy may be a wonderful addition to your exercise regimen. While working on the muscles can strengthen them at the gym, frequent massages can help keep your immune system in a more healthy state. According to the Mayo Clinic, knee osteo-arthritis has been helped by massage and Livestrong.com has noted that massage can help a variety of skeletal and muscular systems.