Pain is good. It let’s you know that something is wrong. So, let’s discuss pain for a moment, shall we? Pain is the phone in your front pocket that doesn’t let you take a full stride causing hip problems. Pain is that wallet bulge in your back pocket just waiting to flair up your sciatica again. It’s that darn desk chair or airplane seat that just doesn’t let you relax fully. Let’s talk car seats and traffic woes. Dueling computer screens at work. That’s the worst! These are all examples of a pebble in your favorite Nikes.

Have you heard of the “Pebble in Your Shoe” theory? At first, you may notice “Hmmm is that a pebble in my shoe?” which shortly becomes “Hmm what pebble?” You become accustomed to the “pebble” which becomes a part of your routine. Your body alignment is thrown off by carrying that heavy backpack all day and not realizing that it’s actually the cause of your headache and shoulder pain. This is what I am talking about here people. Are you accommodating for that elusive pebble in your shoe, resulting in pain? Or will you take the pebble out resulting in interference-free living?

In a nutshell, the nervous system consists of the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The CNS consists of the brain and spinal cord. The PNS consists of nerve bundles that connect the CNS from your head to your toes.

Overtime, nerves can be impinged upon and body systems affected. If there is any interference in a specific nerve pathway, then tingling, numbness or weakness is the result. This is the pebble in the shoe theory: body awareness. Holistic health is achieving and maintaining health through proper education and creating an action plan. Steer clear of online health searches please. Ask a professional. We are here for your benefit and will treat the cause not the symptom.

Ergonomics. What does that word mean to your life as you know it? It means let’s make your routine-aka activities of daily living-a bit easier on your body. Go get a foot stool or small box and put your feet up. Try this at work and home, or, better yet, buy a nice recliner for the den. Knees higher than your hips in the car seat and loosen up on that lumbar support button. You want a neutral back. This means no interference through proper body alignment. Do you have a truck, sports car or are you a taxi driver perhaps? Next time you’re in the car, sit up straight and tall and look in that rear-view mirror. When you’re stuck in traffic, please don’t adjust your mirror, adjust your posture to a neutral back which is interference-free, and exhale. Breathing is a whole other topic. Ohm.

So, who loves anatomy? I do! Strong muscle health is one key to wellness and maintaining proper alignment. Stretching technique is imperative with no distractions. As a former ballet dancer, I understand the physical demands required for peak performance, which in turn, decreases the likelihood of injury. I recommend that my patients stretch daily, not just on gym days. As long as you are injury free, a good hamstring stretch and karate-kid style wax on/wax off sounds like a good addition to your daily routine. Yoga, tai chi and swimming are highly recommended to complement your current regimen.

Success is not only work ethic, but it also involves talent. Endurance and strength are the key to keep movin’ on. That is the motto for the nonstop drive to achieve the top of your game. But why don’t you pause to check on your health?  Do you want to be healthy, wealthy and wise? What if you have that elusive pebble in your shoe? Do you move on and accommodate for said pebble? Or do you pause and deal with it for the moment and then move on a little bit easier, free of interference? Treat the cause (the pebble), not the symptom (misalignment of your body due to the pebble). Do you have any aches or pains that you currently ignore? Just deal with the pain and keep movin’ on? Why repeat history with that sore shoulder impeding your softball game or that trick knee that gets you every time you’re running through the airport.

Holistic health takes the whole body into account and, through education and a few simple steps, we make a plan to achieve optimum health. You and your healthcare professional are a team working together towards a balanced, healthy, happy life. Stretch and strengthen. Work and play. Eat and rest. Socialize. Get adjusted. Be healthy, happy and strong. And watch out for those pebbles along the way.


Suzanne “Doc” Cosmos is a Commonwealth of Massachusetts registered chiropractor with over 25 years experience in healing. Doc is National Board of Chiropractic Examiners Certified,  Better Business Bureau Accredited, listed in Best of Natick,  has been nominated for a Best Readers’ Choice Award, listed in Strathmore’s Who’s Who, listed in America’s Top Chiropractor Guide, and is ASFA Assisted Stretching Certified. She runs her practice, Cosmos Chiropractic Care, out of Natick.