Every year, for as long as I have practiced chiropractic at Soft Touch Chiropractic in Porter Ranch, CA, I see our culture's seasonal patterns of stress. During the holiday season, we take to the malls, online shopping sites and big box stores to get the best possible deals for our holiday gifting. So what does chiropractic have to do with the stresses of holiday preparation? A whole lot as I'll explain.
When we shop at malls for long periods of time, we spend all our time walking hard flooring surfaces. This causes our joints to act as shock-absorbers more than usual, which leads to joint stress. As we shop online late night, after the kids have gone to bed, we spend endless hours bending our neck forward as we find the perfect gift for a loved one. This forward neck position causes us to develop humps in our upper back and joint fixation. Our muscles bear more weight than when we sit up straight. Shopping the big discount days of the year at big box stores comes with the stress of little sleep, a rush of adrenaline and cortisol as we navigate aisles, interactions with other shoppers and store employees. Let's face it, it's a stressful time before the days of rest and relaxation.
Here are three things you can do to reduce holiday shopping stress:
1. Get enough sleep. Nothing can replenish the body or heal it quite like sleep.
2. When shopping online, keep your chin parallel to the floor even if that means you have to bring your phone, tablet or screen up a bit. If you have already been shopping online and have been hunching over, try the exercise in the video below.
3. Use proper shoes to go shopping at mall or stores. Wear shoes that have shock-absorbing capabilities and fit properly around the toes and heel.