Did you know that 75-90% of all doctor visits are stress related? Stress is a term I am sure we are all familiar with, but why is it sending us to the doctor? When we think about stress, we often don’t consider the physical and chemical toll it takes on our bodies. When we can put these effects into perspective, we can start to piece together alternative treatments to common stress related symptoms. -All American Healthcare Covington
We all feel it, and we all know how inclined we are to dodge its repercussions; yet, it inevitable finds its way into our lives. We are constantly stimulated by the moving environment we live in, and this can, at times, be very demanding on our body and our health. If we are not careful, stress can often cause anxiety, depression and even serious health problems. Understanding what causes stress, addressing our major struggles, and putting our environment into perspective can help us alleviate the causes of stress and lessen the lasting effect of stress on our bodies.
When we think about stress, we don’t often think of the physical and chemical reactions our body goes through. Stress can take a toll on your body from something as small as a headache to as severe as an illness, in some circumstances. Chiropractic care can not only treat the effects of stress on the body, but also help the body manage and process stress on its own. Remember, one common goal of chiropractic is to help the body help itself.
What is Stress
There are three types of stress: physical, chemical, and emotional. Physical stress is often cause by the environment around us such as noise, weather, physical threats and time pressure. Chemical stress can come from elements we put into our bodies such as alcohol, medications, and artificial sweeteners. Emotional stress involves our reactions and mentality to outside events and varies from person to person. Causes of emotional stress could include criticism, family problems, finances and even deadlines. Each of these three categories of stress takes a toll on our bodies.
We have little molecules in our bodies known as neurotransmitters. They are mostly notedly produced in the brain and gastrointestinal tract. When our brain perceives stress, it transmits signals to the rest of the body, starting a chemical reaction. The response to these transmitters can be rapid heart rate, muscle contraction, cold hands and racing thoughts. Sound familiar?
Serotonin, a form of neurotransmitter found in the brain, bowels, and blood platelets, helps us lessen our physical response to stress and allow us to perform under pressure. It is believed that serotonin can affect your mood, social behavior, anxiety and even your happiness; however, time has proven that women tend to have lower levels of serotonin than men. This came with evolutionary trends.
Women were not the usual hunters and providers for the household, rather they took care of the kids and often stayed at home. In today’s world, women are taking on more responsibilities and authority, but due to decades of inequality, it is no wonder a woman feels anxious traveling out and about alone without companionship.
Cortisol, on the other hand, is known as the stress hormone. This hormone influences a lot of changes that occur in the body in response to stress such as your blood sugar levels, immune responses, anti-inflammatory actions, and blood pressure. It is not abnormal for cortisol levels to spike during a period of stress, but it is essential that the levels return to normal following a stressful event. Unfortunately, in today’s culture, some people encounter stress so often their bodies do not always have a chance to return to normal.
This is why it is important to give your body down time and time to relax. This time will allow your body’s hormones to balance out and return to a normal state of homeostasis. If you do not allow your body to return to a healthy state, it can lead to more severe health problems.
Chiropractic Care and Stress
So where does chiropractic care fit into all of this? Chiropractic care can relieve the effects of stress on the body, allowing the body to properly communicate with all of its moving parts. Chiropractic removes the distracting interface that blocks communication in the body.
We often feel stress in our muscles, neck and back. This can be in the form of tightness, aches, migraines and headaches. Spinal manipulation has proven effective against migraines and headaches originating from the neck. When the vertebra in the back and spine are aligned, it relieves tension in the neck and back of the head where your brainstem is located. Opening up this passage way allows for clear signals to be sent to and from the brain neurotransmitters.
Chiropractic adjustments also helps the body return to a balanced, relaxed state. This allows more blood circulation throughout the body and less stress on blood pressure running through the coronary arteries.
Overall, chiropractic can help you develop healthy responses to stress and prevent long-term physical repercussions from stress.
Sources: Whole Health Chicago, Medical News Today