Three Ways Your Chiropractor Can Help You Manage Stress
In today’s world, being constantly busy is idolized. We all envy the mom who can work a full time job, raise three well behaved children, volunteer at the kids’ school library, and still be home in time for dinner. But with more demands on our time, comes more stress to get it all done.
Stress over long periods of time can lead to many negative health outcomes. “According to the Center for Disease Control/National Institute on Occupational Safety & Health, the workplace is the number one cause of life stress. The American Institute of Stress reports 120,000 people die every year as a direct result of work-related stress. Additionally, healthcare costs resulting from work-related stress totals an average of $190 billion a year.
The NIH says continued strain on your body from routine stress is often the hardest to detect but could lead to serious health problems such as:
High blood pressure
So how do we manage stress, and still build the life of our dreams? One way is to get adjusted! Chiropractors are uniquely suited to help you deal with stress and anxiety in three ways:
1. The Spine and the Nervous System
Dr. Andrew specializes in a technique called Torque Release Technique. This type of chiropractic focuses on the spinal structure and how to it relates to the function of the nervous system.
As you know, the brain controls every function of the body - it tells your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe, and your digestive system to break down food, all without you thinking about the process. This automation is controlled through the nervous system which is comprised of the brain, the spinal cord, and the spinal nerves.
When your spinal bones shift out of their proper alignment, these spinal nerves can become irritated, causing inflammation, pain, and restricted communication between the brain and the body. When that restriction is left over time, we can start to see symptoms of stress on the body’s other systems - allergies, IBS, high blood pressure, heavy menstrual cramping, and even anxiety. These conditions don’t always come with physical pain, but they do indicate an interruption in the nervous system’s communication pathways.
A chiropractor can help to restore proper function of the nervous system by gently realigning the misaligned vertebrae in the spine, leading to proper communication and resolution of stress symptoms.
2. Adjustments Help to Relieve Muscle Tension
When one or more of the spinal bones shift out of their proper alignment, the brain gets a signal saying “Hey! My structure (your spine) is compromised!”
In order to stabilize your structure, your body sends signals to your other systems to tighten everything up, contract the muscles, and send fluid to the area (swelling) to protect the structure from further damage. This process restricts your movement and causes pain and inflammation. When left over time, tight muscles can lead to further pain like headaches and migraines, chronic low back pain, and joint stiffness.
By restoring the integrity of the spinal structure, your chiropractor can help reduce muscle stiffness, joint inflammation, and chronic pain. When the spine is in its proper alignment, the muscles can relax!
3. Adjustments Can Help You Relax Emotionally
As we mentioned before, the nervous system is housed inside the spinal structure, and it controls every function in your body.
The nervous system operates in two states - the sympathetic state and the parasympathetic state. The sympathetic state is often referred to as “fight or flight mode.” When the nervous system is operating this way, we are on high alert - we are anticipating danger, focused on survival, and not able to prioritize long term strategy. While this system is super valuable for keeping you alive, we don’t want to be operating in a sympathetic state every day.
The parasympathetic state is when our body is at a natural state of calm. Nicknamed the “rest and digest” state, our brain understands that our survival is not at stake, so we can take time to prioritize, strategize, and think long-term.
In the hustle and bustle of modern society, we are too often stuck in the sympathetic state. Chiropractic adjustments can help your nervous system get back to the parasympathetic state, so you can relax, rest, and recover, the way your body is meant to.
“The Science of Stress,” South Louisiana Medical Associates.
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