Most of us will experience episodes of stress in our lives. These can be short-lived or prolonged, mild or intense. They can also be caused by a huge variety of different things, including work, health, finances, family, or personal relationships. Often these categories merge, having the effect of compounding the pressure that you feel. Unsurprisingly, the greater the level of stress we experience, the more pronounced the effects that it will have on our day to day activities. Studies have found that stress doesn’t only weigh heavily on our emotions and ability to mentally cope with what life throws at us. It also takes a very real physical toll on our bodies. Fortunately, there are ways to cope that don’t involve developing bad habits or taking prescription medications. One of the most effective is chiropractic care.
Why is it so important to deal with stress? As we know, feeling stressed can have a significant impact on our mental and physical health. Some of the effects of prolonged stress on the body include the following:
Sleeping problems. When you are stressed you may find it difficult to sleep. However, when you’re tired, you are also more likely to suffer from problems such as poor concentration and memory, daytime fatigue, irritability and mood swings, and even depression. This can affect your work, your personal relationships, and even your safety.
Back and neck pain. When we are feeling stressed and anxious, we naturally create higher levels of tension in our bodies. This enables us to reach – the ‘fight or flight’ reaction that many people have heard of. However, the greater the degree of tension in your body, the more likely you are to experience soreness, stiffness, and discomfort. Many people who are stressed regularly complain of back or neck pain, caused by tension that they are holding in their bodies.
Increased inflammation within the body. Inflammation is a contributing factor to the development of many health conditions, including some which could potentially be life-threatening. For example, excessive inflammation has been linked to health problems such as stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases.
Chiropractic care is far more than just cracking your back. Although spinal adjustments do form one of the main techniques used in chiropractic treatment, there are a number of others, some of which are particularly beneficial at reducing stress.
So, how does chiropractic care help to reduce stress? Firstly, patients need to be aware that the spine plays a crucial role in all of our body functions, including our stress response. This is because the spinal column houses the spinal cord – the main pathway of our central nervous system and information superhighway that sends messages between the brain and body. The nervous system controls all of our body functions, including our stress levels. Any issues with our spine could directly impact our central nervous system and as a result, our stress levels. When the spine is perfectly balanced and even the slightest issue is addressed, the oxygenated blood in our bodies can flow around more freely, and this helps to combat pain and inflammation which could be causing us to feel stressed. This additional blood flow also enables the muscles to relax, and this has the effect of reducing whole-body tension and stress.
Massage is another very popular technique that can help to reduce stress, and chiropractic massage has shown to be very effective when patients attend regular appointments. This is because massage helps to relax tight and tense muscles and joints. It also stimulates lymphatic drainage, which takes toxins out of the body and enables you to be and feel healthier, calmer, and happier. There are lots of different massages therapy techniques and your chiropractor will be able to advise you which will be most effective for you.
If you are feeling stressed, chiropractic appointments could help. To find out more about how chiropractic care can reduce the effect that stress is having on your life, please contact us today.