As kids, we lived for snow days. When a storm was forecast, we would go off to bed with the anticipation of no school the next day. The school cancellations were given over the radio then, in alphabetical order. It wasn’t a very long wait to hear that schools in Boston were cancelled. It meant a relaxed day of watching TV and doing board games with the eventual getting outside to shovel or have a snowball fight with my siblings and neighbors.

When I had my own children, a snow day meant no schedules, no driving to activities after school and no homework. It meant lingering over a cup of coffee a lot longer while my kids watched something on TV.

It was a very relaxed day and staying in our pajamas until just before lunch was not unheard of. With each snowstorm, we watched The Sound of Music in the VCR (remember VCR’s?) while I made chocolate chip cookies. This became our snowstorm tradition. We did eventually make it outside while I cleared off the car and my children built snow forts and snowmen with our neighbors.

Now snowstorms may mean a major headache for most of us. Missed work time, last-minute child care, slippery roads, and mountains of snow to shovel.

Shoveling snow can cause numerous health problems, from back strain and heart attacks. Unless you’re able to move south for the winter, it’s important to keep these tips from the National Safety Council in mind.

  • Take it slow and stretch out before you begin
  • Shovel only fresh, powdery snow; it’s lighter
  • Push the snow rather than lifting it
  • If you do lift it, use a small shovel or only partially fill the shovel
  • Lift with your legs, not your back
  • Do not work to the point of exhaustion
  • Know the signs of a heart attack, and stop immediately and call 911 if you’re experiencing any of them; every minute counts

If you do end up with back pain from shoveling, or worse, falling on the ice, remember that the American College of Physicians recommends acupuncture for both for short- and long-term back pain. Their new guidelines state that “the first line of therapy should be non-drug treatments.”

Acupuncturists have been treating back and neck pain for more than 3,000 years. Now it is recognized as an effective treatment by “mainstream” medicine. In fact, a Google search for “acupuncture and back pain” yields articles from WebMD, the Mayo Clinic, the Harvard Health Blog, and numerous other prestigious medical institutions. 

If you or a loved one is suffering from back pain, call me at 781-749-8088 or Email me today to set a time to get some relief.

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