Taking care of your health is important, especially if you’ve just moved to a new country. Kelly Hutchison DC from The Chiropractic Collab explains the six health essentials for improving your quality of life as an expat in the Netherlands.

One of the things people take for granted most is their health, especially when they are living in a new country. Taking care of your health and wellness before you’re forced to make time for disease and illness is the most proactive thing a person can do.

Collaborating for your overall healthCollaboration is defined as the action of working with someone or something to produce a desired result. Let’s put a new spin on this idea and find the best ways to help your mind, body and soul collaborate to function at your full potential. This is important in order to maintain great health and promote your general wellbeing.

Here are six health essentials for expats living in the Netherlands:

1. Chiropractic care

Chiropractic care is a form of holistic healthcare that focuses on the function of the body’s central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain and spinal cord. The brain constantly receives information or stimuli from the external and internal world. Thanks to the function of the CNS, the brain responds to the needs instantly by sending information back to the body.

Vertebral subluxationWhen there is a lack of communication and collaboration between the brain and the body, the latter can no longer function properly. This process is called vertebral subluxation.

Subluxations interfere with the vital exchange of information by irritating the nerves, altering the function of organs and tissues. A specific high-velocity, low-amplitude chiropractic adjustment performed at the level of subluxation can reconnect the brain and body. This type of adjustment increases the body’s innate ability to adapt, allowing it to function at its fullest potential.

These gentle chiropractic adjustments improve the mind-body communications and good health then returns with improved control of the body as a whole.

Chiropractic care can help in balancing your nervous system. A few signs that your nervous system needs balancing include:

Low energy Feelings of anxiety Back pain Headaches Neck pain Poor posture Recurrent colds Poor quality of sleep Digestion issues 2. Open your heart“Paying it forward” is an old saying which describes a way to act out of kindness. It is the idea that if someone does a kind act for you, you should return the favour by also doing a kind act for someone else.

When you no longer have anger or hold resentment in your heart, the nervous system can then rebalance and come out of its fight-or-flight state. If we are constantly in a stressful, emotional or angry state, the body can have a change of focus and will no longer quickly adapt to its environment. Instead of thriving, people are merely surviving in this state. It is important to be kind to those around you as you never know what they are going through.

3. Listen to your bodyOur body is more intelligent than you can imagine. For instance, when you woke up this morning, your lungs and heart were breathing and beating respectively on their own. They also control the functions of all the organs. Or when we get a paper cut, we don’t have to think about the white blood cells coming in to prevent infection or how a scab is formed. It just happens naturally.

This brilliance is known as innate intelligence and it controls every aspect of the involuntary system (AKA the autonomic system). If your body is sending warning signs, e.g. a recurrent headache or nagging lower back pain, listen to it. If you wait for the body to “shout” in the form of intense physical or mental issues, then you are already too late.

Symptoms that indicate that the nervous system is out of balance include: headaches, low back pain, tingling in arms or legs, neck and shoulder pain. 

4. Let go of toxic habitsMost of us know what classic toxic habits are, for example: smoking, excessive drinking and drug abuse. But what about the not-so-obvious ones like mindless scrolling on social media apps like Instagram and Twitter?

When we partake in these particular habits, the brain becomes wired to crave that constant dopamine high or a burst of “joy”. Often, this need becomes so strong and frequent that people look for it in the wrong places.

When we allow ourselves the option to walk away from our triggers and realise that these behaviours no longer serve us, we tend to make healthier options and change old bad habits. The first step is to know what those toxic behaviours or bad habits are for yourself.

5. Add healthy habitsOnce you know what your toxic behaviours are and you’ve chosen to let them go, replace them with new, positive habits.

Four of the most important good habits to include in your daily life are actually some of the most simple changes you can make:

Move your body for at least 30 minutes a day: This could be a walk, a yoga session or a cycle. Sit with uncrossed legs: The more we cross our legs, the more we disrupt the balance in our pelvis and circulation to our legs. Drink enough water: Drink at least two litres of water every day. We are made up of close to 80 percent water and we need it to survive. And no, coffee and tea do not count. Get enough quality sleep: Sleep is something we take for granted and a lot of us end up going to bed too late most nights. If you’re struggling to get a good rest, ensure that you do not look at screens two hours before bed and aim for eight to nine hours of sleep each night. 6. Be barefoot (as much as possible)Most people don’t wear the correct shoes nor do they walk barefoot enough to allow the muscles in their feet to work as they have evolved to. Making sure that we are barefoot at home (when it is socially acceptable) is essential for good spinal health. Furthermore, finding a sunny spot to stand on the earth or grass barefoot can provide you with many benefits which your body will thank you for.

C.O.L.L.A.B.An acronym that can help you remember these health essentials is C.O.L.L.A.B.,which stands for:

Chiropractic care Open your heart Listen to your body Let go of toxic habits Add healthy habits Be barefoot If you would like to start with the “C” of the C.O.L.L.A.B. health essentials and start improving your health today, why not book an intake at The Chiropractic Collab. Kelly Hutchison DC would love to welcome you to her healing, health oasis in the centre of Utrecht. For more information, contact the practice by emailing [email protected] or by calling +31 30 22 71 574.


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