Chiropractic and the stress response

Stress is a big component to what ails us, hardly anyone in healthcare will debate this fact. The biggest killers of Americans, heart-disease and cancer, are stress related. If we could reduce stress and more importantly, it’s effects, we could live longer and better lives. Chiropractic care may be the key!

Stress of any type, chemical, physical or emotional will trigger the nervous system to unleash a body-wide chemical response including inflammatory chemicals, adrenaline (fight or flight hormone) and cortisol (stress hormone). Long-term elevated levels of these hormones will decrease the ability of your digestive, immune, and reproductive systems to operate at an optimal level as well as raising your blood pressure and glucose levels which can contribute to hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. Your sympathetic nervous system is on alert, negatively impacting your ability to have rational thinking and interact with others in a sociable manner.

When you get adjusted, the positive proprioceptive information is sent to your brain through your spinal cord. It effectively hits the reset button in your brain. The stress hormone production decreases. Serotonin (happy hormone), dopamine (reward and motivation hormone) and oxytocin (love hormone) are released. This explains that relaxed and happy feeling that you sometimes get post-adjustment. Your parasympathetic and social Vagus nervous systems can now function at their appropriate levels, allowing you to rest, digest, and socialize in your best way. You can feel like yourself again!

When your brain is functioning in a less stressful way, you may find yourself more easily making healthier choices like drinking more water, craving healthier foods, and wanting to exercise. You might even consider quitting a nasty habit too!

No one is immune to the stress response, especially in modern society. The best ways to mitigate the impacts of stress in your life are regular spinal checks by a chiropractor, drinking water, appropriate sleep, eating a healthy diet, moving your body regularly, and spending plenty of time in nature.

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