When was the last time you felt really stressed out by something? Did you notice the effect that stress had on your body? Stress has been proven to be bad for our health, but it is something that can be difficult to avoid. The pressures of day to day life can sometimes become overwhelming, causing us to experience a physical reaction to circumstances that require a physical, mental or emotional adjustment or response. This reaction is stress and is directly linked to our nervous system.
The nervous system plays a crucial role in every single thing that we do. It is accountable for the way in which we experience our different senses – touch, smell, taste, sound and sight – as well as controlling our movements by allowing our brain to communicate with our body. Even our organs are regulated by our nervous system.
Our spine plays a crucial role in protecting the spinal cord – a key part of our nervous system. When we are stressed, our muscles inadvertently tense up. This muscle tension is our body’s way of guarding against injury and pain. Some people refer to this as the ‘fight or flight’ response. Although this tension can be felt throughout the body, many people experience the greatest degree of it in their back. This is one of the main reasons why massage is recommended for patients as a form of relaxation. However, massage is far from the only treatment that can help. Chiropractic care has been shown to be extremely effective in helping to alleviate stress too.
Many people who experience chronic episodes of stress suffer from a range of unpleasant and even debilitating symptoms. These include headaches, migraines, neck pain, back pain and sciatica. Many patients also go on to develop a condition called bruxism which is the subconscious or unconscious clenching or grinding of the teeth.
The purpose of chiropractic care is to help remove interference from the nervous system so that the body can perform optimally. Chiropractic adjustments help to relieve stress in several different ways. The most obvious in through the adjustment of the spine, which facilitates the release of tension held in the muscles, improving the circulation of blood to the area which reduces inflammation and soothes the fight or flight response. This is the most effective way of reducing many of the physical effects of stress on the body.
Another crucial way in which chiropractic care helps to alleviate stress is by reducing or indeed eliminating pain. This is important because living with chronic pain can be extremely stressful – both physically and emotionally. By releasing tension and reducing inflammation in this way, the patient can experience a natural reduction in their pain without the need for medications. Any relief of pain will immediately trigger an improvement in the patient’s emotional stress levels.
In addition to the manual techniques used in chiropractic care, your chiropractic professional can also give you valuable advice and support on the best way to reduce and manage stress. Proper nutrition is considered to play an important role in managing tension, and your chiropractor may recommend dietary changes that could support you in reducing your stress levels. Equally, your chiropractor may recommend specific relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing which will help with your long-term stress management.
If you would like more information on how chiropractic care can alleviate stress, our knowledgeable chiropractic team are here to help. Please get in touch with our offices to schedule an appointment.