How Does Chiropractic Care Relieve Stress?
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s common to suffer from stress. According to a 2014 poll by the Harvard School of Public Health, 49 percent of Americans reported a serious stress event within the past 12 months. 63 percent of study participants reported “some” or “great” stress within the past month. Demands at work and home keep stress levels high.
How Does Stress Affect the Body?
Stress comes in three main areas: the environment, the body, and emotions. Environmental stress can be caused by weather, time constraints, noise, and demands at work. Physical stress can be brought about by factors like malnutrition, lack of sleep, and illness. Emotional stress can come from multiple sources and can be triggered by stressors like a breakup of a significant relationship, arguments, the death of a friend or family member, and criticism.
These responses take their toll on physical health. Stress triggers an increase in the release of cortisol, a hormone that triggers the fight-or-flight response. During periods of stress, the nervous system is activated, the heart rate increases, blood pressure increases, and blood is funneled to the brain, ears, and eyes. Over time, chronic stress can cause digestive problems, panic attacks, weight gain, sleep disorders, and irritability.
Chronic stress is particularly bad for you. According to research by Mayo Clinic, stress levels are designed to ebb and flow with periods of rest between stress episodes. If there is no relaxation and stress relief, chronic stress may eventually lead to issues like heart trouble, and memory problems.
How Chiropractic Care Balances the Body
Studies show that chiropractic care may be effective at relieving stress. Much of the work that a chiropractor does is with the spine, the root of the nervous system. Because stress often triggers symptoms in the nervous system, spinal manipulation or adjustments can help restore balance to the nervous and hormonal systems.
Stress causes an imbalance of bodily symptoms due to excessive stimulation, which increases wear and tear on the body. Research suggests that up to 80 percent of all illness is related to stress, which starts with minor symptoms such as a backache, headache, and fatigue. To put it simply, chiropractic adjustments to the spine, as well as other muscles and joints, may actually help tell the nervous system to relax and cause the stress response to fade.
Stress causes muscles to tense, which can lead to misalignment in the spinal column and nerve irritation. Chiropractic adjustments may help in relieving some of the side effects of stress that cause pain, such as sore muscles, headaches, and poor circulation.
In addition to the helpful adjustments that can relieve physical pain resulting from stress, many chiropractors are also trained in nutrition and may be able to make dietary suggestions that can help the body fight stress from the inside out. In combination with chiropractic adjustments, nutrition may often make a difference in how your body responds to stress.
A visit to the chiropractor may often help in making your life less stressful. Experienced chiropractors can be trained in relaxation techniques that you can take home with you to fight stress as it occurs. Taking time to relax is important. A Doctor of Chiropractic can also suggest changes in your environment that can help fight the side effects of chronic stress and prevent physical damage to the body.
Chiropractic Care Is an Effective Stress Reliever
From addressing physical pain caused by stress to providing helpful techniques to cope with stress, chiropractic care can be part of a regimen to help overcome stress for people of all ages.
To see how a Doctor of Chiropractic may be able to help you deal with stress in your life, contact us to set up a consultation. With 16 doctors at 11 clinics throughout Virginia, our experienced chiropractors are ready to help you reduce stress and improve your health and wellbeing.
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