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A Well Adjusted Hunter; Mountain Goat Hunt and Chiropractic

Written by Dr. Derek Larsen DC

November 3, 2021

After writing my last article and feeling rather sad about it, I figured a fun article should be next. About 3 months ago I got invited along on a mountain goat hunt on Kodiak island. Since I am not a resident yet I do not have the privilege of obtaining a tag for this hunt so I went to help carry gear, process game and carry meat. I don’t need to pull the trigger to have a fantastic time in the woods in the pursuit of game. The trip was exciting. Everything that happened seemed to be exciting because Myself and two buddies flew to Kodiak then took a float plane into a remote lake, set up a base camp then hiked to the alpine with gear to camp and hunt. You might be asking, “what the heck does this have to do with chiropractic?” Don’t worry this story will relate to multiple facets of chiropractic. 

 

Disconnecting, then reconnecting

I don’t think week long hunting trips are for everyone, I do think disconnecting from technology is. There’s emerging research around disconnecting from technology that shows all kinds of health benefits, including reduction of stress and better physical health. From a chiropractic standpoint, disconnecting helps out with your spinal posture, helping get you away from the forward leaning head posture that is becoming so popular due to our technology that it has gotten the nickname of text neck, or tech neck. Disconnecting from technology also gives our eyes a break and may allow for a reset in our sleep cycles according to this study done at
Harvard. It is hard to tell exactly what disconnecting allows us to do because there isn’t much data available around the topic but I for one feel a change physically when I disconnect for a time. 

The amount of time that you disconnect from technology can vary. My favorite is 3 consecutive nights and 4 days. I find that in that amount of time I have ample opportunity to disconnect and then reconnect to what really matters. The reconnection that I feel, I cherish. I feel more connected to the people I am with and more connected to God as well. Disconnection doesn’t have to be that long, there is research around 3 days, 1 day and even in a few hours during the day. Experiment with it and see how you reconnect. 

 

Harvesting rich foods 

I am a meat eater. Hunting provides an opportunity for me to harvest meat from animals that have lived their best lives and free creatures. When it comes to meat, wild game is some of the healthiest for consumption. The animal has been eating what it is designed to eat, and processing the nutrients it needs and gets in abundance in the wild. They live a relatively stress free life when compared to most domesticated animals. Plus they get a ton of exercise which we all know is good for us so why wouldn’t it be good for animals?  On top of the muscle meat that we all love as our steaks and roasts I also have the opportunity to harvest organ meats and fats that are harder to come by in the supermarket but rich in micronutrients. 

At the chiropractic office in Juneau i often talk about getting a full complement of nutrients into the body. I talk about this because the chiropractic adjustment doesn’t heal. The chiropractic adjustment is simply encouragement given to the body to start the healing process, the body then takes over. If the body does not have all the nutrition necessary to create an environment of healing then the adjustment does nothing. Eating wild game allows me to get more of a variety in my diet and therefore consume a broader range of nutrients that my body can use in it’s many processes. 

There is something special about being on a trip that has the potential to get you killed

One of my favorite parts about backpacking, hunting and camping is how the group of individuals has to band together a little tighter than normal. In modern western society it is normal to be independent, fiercely independent as I have heard many times. In the woods, especially, on a backcountry trip where there is no access to emergency services, one is forced to rely a bit on the individuals around you. On our trip to Kodiak this was very evident. Each of the three of us sustained minor injuries and therefore the other two would pick up the little bit of slack. In other instances we would take a break from hiking and someone would toss the other two a candy bar that he had been carrying, its just a small sacrifice but it is a sacrifice for the group. I have been lucky enough to experience this at other times in my life as well, especially in emergency situations. This phenomenon is also documented in social research. Generally, when individuals sense a tough situation for another individual they tend to help out. This isn’t true all the time, we do see looting and rioting during natural disasters but the altruism that is born during those times  is usually more prolific than the bad that occurs.

 

Grateful to be well adjusted while hunting.

If you hunt in the Juneau area you should probably be seeing a chiropractor. We get beat up out there. I lost track of the amount of times I slipped and fell on this last trip. On our second to last descent off the mountain I had definitely over worked my quads. I was limping when we finally made it to base camp, I honestly thought I had strained the quad. The next morning, after stretching well and doing some small exercises to help the joints, I was ready to rock. I do not think I would heal as quickly if I wasn’t well adjusted with my brain and body communicating optimally. Hunters in and around Juneau come get adjusted so that you are well aligned and ready to take on the challenge of your next hunt!

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