Does all this fuss about beauty really all boil down to one thing? Well my recent interview with New York Orthopedic & Spinal Surgeon, Dr. Kenneth Hansraj seems to suggest so. He is the author of Keys to an Amazing Life: Secrets of the Cervical Spine and presents a convincing argument that much of what we do affects our spine and hinders our ability to look and feel our best. On the other hand, he illuminates the many ways in which you can prevent any spinal discomfort, which are also the same keys to living an amazing life. He contends, you really cannot separate the two.
This makes a lot of sense since many of us will have spine-related issues long before we are even aware of it and it has the power to greatly impact our well-being. Virtually every movement you make involves your spine in some way or another and is part of your core physical strength. Now, there are obvious preventative measures that benefit the spine like proper posture, exercise, nutritional diet, and an ergonomical work environment. However, what struck me are some of the other methods suggested in the book–particularly the importance of meditation, positive affirmations, sleep, circadian rhythms, and deep breathing on a daily basis.
For example, were you aware that daily meditation and deep breathing actually have the power to CHANGE your brain? In fact studies show that people who meditate have increased neuroplasticity and a thicker corpus collosum. Now without getting all technical, this essentially increases your brainpower while calming the reactive part of your brain, which is the seat of all your emotional issues. Meditation is also great for a whole host of other things which are listed in the picture below (click to enlarge). What makes it beneficial for the spine is its power to reduce inflammation and pain, while actually helping to reset its poor function. Not only does this capacity for rejuvenation occur in your spine, but your entire body as well. What is so fascinating is how everything is very much interconnected and by employing the suggested ‘keys to an amazing life’ anyone can have the power to take charge of their health, their life, and essentially look and feel their best.
Before I go on explaining the entire book, I think it’s a very informative read for anyone who is looking to re-claim their health and possibly learn a few things they haven’t before. It starts off with a detailed description of the anatomy of the spine and how it functions, and then discusses a multi-faceted approach to higher health and well-being. Starting with the spine is important because it actually begins to degenerate at the age of 29–shocking but true! But what you’ll find is that if you focus on improving your spine, these methods will be touching on all other aspects of your life as well.
A few of the many valuable recommendations in the book are as follows:
- A daily 10-minute routine of guided deep breathing and stretching, as well as 10 push-ups in order to strengthen core muscles.
- Adjust your sleep and wake times–you want to rise with the sun and turn in at a time that allows you to do so.
- Eliminate toxins like cigarette smoking
- Follow isometric strengthening exercises
- Use positive affirmations–since thoughts tend to become reality
- Eat foods that are anti-inflammatory (i.e. fruits and vegetables)
If you are interested in purchasing this book or learning more about it you can visit Dr. Ken’s website.
Now I must go and learn how to meditate 🙂