Chiropractic & Stress Management

It’s well-known that chiropractic is effective for a variety of pain conditions, but over the last few years, more and more studies have found that chiropractic can also help individuals manage their stress levels.

We all ask the question ‘how do I get rid of stress in my life?’ to which the answer seems impossible in today’s fast paced society.

Instead at Chiropractic Balance we ask “How can we cope better with stress in our life?” to which we believe there are many simple strategies that can be adapted to a modern lifestyle.

The first thing to understand is that our bodies were designed over 50,000 years ago and the stress response is a survival mode also known as ‘fight or flight’. Back then the main stress was fighting something or running away from it, and this wasn’t every moment of the day.

One of the effects of chronic stress (aka ongoing fight or flight) is muscle tension and contraction, which can lead to uneven pressure on the skeleton, which in turn leads to imbalance in the spine and joints (subluxation). This often does not bother you until a moment of great or continuous stress when often a minor action causes significant pain in the back, neck, shoulders or head.

Chiropractic adjustments help ease muscle tension therefore moving you towards a balanced spine and relieving the tension caused by the modern day lifestyle.

Since many people do not know how chiropractors can help to eliminate spinal and muscular problems, they take painkillers in the hope of relief. At first it may help, but in the long run, you are just masking the symptoms and not dealing with the primary causes of the pain. Putting the spinal problems right, together with the understanding we give you of your body and how it responds to mental and physical stress, is the best way to improve and maintain your health on a long-term basis.

To understand how chiropractic impacts anxious emotions, you could ask patients to report their changing moods before and after treatment. But scientists in Japan wanted to get a more objective picture of how chiropractic adjustments impact the nervous system, so they use PET scans to monitor brain activity and saliva samples to track hormone changes.

The 2011 study showed after receiving a chiropractic neck adjustment, patients had altered brain activity in the parts of the brain responsible for pain processing and stress reactions. They also had significantly reduced cortisol levels, indicating decreased stress. Participants also reported lower pain scores and a better quality of life after treatment.

As scientists learn more about the human body and the role of the nervous system, it’s clear that chiropractic can play a powerful role in promoting true wellness, rather than just symptom relief.

Reference
Ogura, Takeshi and Manabu Tashiro, Mehedi,Shoichi Watanuki, Katsuhiko Shibuya, Keiichiro Yamaguchi, Masatoshi Itoh, Hiroshi Fukuda, Kazuhiko Yanai. Cerebral metabolic changes in men after chiropractic spinal manipulation for neck pain. Alternative Therapies. 2011, November/December; 17 (6): 12-17.

FAQs about Chiropractic & Stress Management

Once I go to Chiro, do I always have to go?

No, once your symptoms are gone you may choose to stop. However many people find that the cause of their symptoms is their lifestyle: sitting, stress and repetitive activities (eg. lifting, golf). Many people find that their regular Chiropractic adjustment helps keep up ‘spinal fitness’ (just like going to the gym keeps up body fitness) and then they are able to keep them doing the things they love for longer. How often you want to be adjusted is up to you.

When can I expect results?

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