The Five Pillars of Health

We believe good health can be achieved through addressing the following health pillars vital to wellness:

1Sleep – the most important part of the day

2Breathe – breathing well while asleep and during the day helps maintain, balance body chemistry and rejuvenate the body and mind

3Nourish – how you eat and drink

4Move – functional movements and which involves far less than you might think

5Think – your attitude to the world around

How You Sleep

With all the best intentions, many people often sacrifice sleep to spend more time doing the things they love, or the things that are viewed as priority. This causes sleep to rarely be the priority in our lives and is often interrupted or of poor quality.

This leads to many long term health issues, including dental health. It is not often recognised that the quality of sleep can directly relate to dental health and vice versa. Clenching and grinding during sleep can be just one contributor to getting a poor night’s sleep and can result in headaches, neck aches and jaw aches. Clenching and grinding also result in worn down and damaged teeth over time.

The recommended amount of uninterrupted sleep is 7-8 hours each day. If you are having problems sleeping you may also benefit from adjusting your posture correctly in order to reduce any postural stress.

How You Breathe

Correct breathing is a vital step to ensuring your body is optimally healthy, especially during sleep. While it may sound simple and something we do unconsciously, many people have developed incorrect breathing habits throughout their life and should look to ensure these are corrected and controlled.

Correct breathing should be through the nose as mouth breathing can lead to many health problems including high blood pressure and heart disease. The nose also allows us to properly breathe without leading to depleted carbon dioxide levels or reduced blood circulation.

Mouth breathing during sleep can interrupt our rest and leave the mouth dry and more at risk of disease. Incorrect breathing can be retrained through relaxation and focusing and it is possible to have a splint made that will align your jaw to be in a better position to assist in this.

What You Eat & Drink

We all inherently know what we should and shouldn’t be eating and drinking, and are aware of the risks associated with eating unhealthy foods such as soft drinks, sweets and take-away food.

Foods and drink that contain sugars and carbohydrates can create an acidic environment in your mouth, leading to tooth decay in the long term. It is best to avoid soft drinks, sports drinks, alcohol and many processed or fast-foods.

To reduce any nutritional stress on your body, fresh produce and natural foods should replace any unhealthy alternatives in your diet. To reduce the risk of decay if you are drinking sugary drinks or alcohol, it is best not to brush immediately after consumption. Brushing after consumption results in removing the acid weakened enamel and can actually cause the process of decay to hasten

How You Move

Physical activity is not only beneficial for your general health and fitness, but also for your mental health. Exercising regularly can increase happiness, reduce anxiety and yield positive long term effects.

Physical activity is not directly related to your general health but is an important step in keeping your body in optimal condition and ensuring you are reducing the stressors in your life. If you are exercising regularly, you will be more likely to sleep well, eat well and be well.

How You Think

We may not be able to change the world around us, but we can change our attitude toward it. We recommend mindfulness or meditation as well as exploring positive emotion, engagement, relationships and acknowledgement of accomplishments.

Article originally published on www.shdc.com.au.

Lewis Ehrlich