Chiropractic care enjoys recognition as an effective treatment for upper and lower back pain, as well as palliative care to relieve injuries after an accident or other trauma. In other words, chiropractic care works well against daily aches and pains.
Of course, not all pain has a physical cause, or even is physical. Anxiety and depression affect millions of people each year, around 4 percent of the population. Some patients require prescription drug therapy to treat their mental health issues. Others, however, may be able to control and treat their symptoms with holistic approaches. One of these is chiropractic, an effective treatment for stress and anxiety.
How Does Your Body React to Stress?
There are three main categories of stress: bodily, environmental, and emotional.
- Bodily stress: Includes lack of sleep, illness, injury, and malnutrition.
- Environmental stress: Includes loud noises (whether sudden or sustained) and pollution, as well as world events, such as politics and war.
- Emotional stress: Includes a variety of life events, such as relocating, beginning a new job, and regular personal interactions. You some control over emotional stress, as much depends on your own attitude. For example, when you encounter someone in a bad mood, do you internalize it (did I make X angry?) or assume X’s mood has nothing to do with you?
People’s bodies respond to stress in a wide variety of ways, positive and negative, physical and emotional. However, even when stress produces positive results, such as pushing you to do your best work or face personal challenges, it still has negative cumulative effects on your mind and body.
Stress ignites your central nervous system (the fight or flight response). Your heart rate and breathing increase, and senses, such as eyesight, become more acute. When the stressor goes away, your central nervous system (CNS) should then relay the message to your body, and your vitals return to normal.
Occasionally, the CNS fails to return to its non-stress state. People also experience persistent, recurrent stressors (chronic stress). Either occurrence takes a toll on your body. The result is often pain, anxiety, irritability, and depression.
Managing Your Stress and Anxiety
Chronic stress often results in pain, which in turn causes stress. The pain leads to irritability and other mood issues, clouded thought processes, and an inability to focus. You may feel unable to perform what used to be everyday tasks or participate in activities you used to enjoy (which also helped alleviate your stress).
Regular chiropractic treatments work to decrease pain and relax muscles. These benefits extend to improved quality of life, reducing anxiety and stress.
The central nervous system responsible for your body’s response to stress also benefits from chiropractic treatment. Your CNS helps regulate mood, as well as full-body health, meaning that a healthy central nervous system helps improve overall health and wellness.
The Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment
Chiropractic care is part of a holistic approach to wellness, intended to return your body to the natural, healthy state it wants to be in, with joints and muscles functioning correctly.
Spinal subluxations (misalignment) lead to a variety of issues, including nausea and vomiting, headaches and migraines, anxiety, and digestive issues. Spinal manipulations help improve nerve function and reduce swelling around the joints, helping your body heal itself.
Chiropractic treatment comes with a variety of benefits, many of which help reduce stress and anxiety. For example, improved sleep leads to improved energy and health, as sleep is when your body repairs and rejuvenates itself. Alleviating pain improves overall quality of life and improved mental health and acuity.
Your treatment sessions themselves also help reduce stress and anxiety. Most chiropractors provide their patients a soothing environment in which to receive treatment. Treatment may also include massage therapy, as well as counseling on behavioral changes to help control stress and anxiety.
A Holistic Care Approach
Most chiropractors counsel their patients on full-body wellness, including physical therapy, exercise, and healthy diet. These lifestyle changes influence every area of your health, as they help improve fitness and physical ability, as well as mental processes. Your chiropractor gathers your complete medical history and works with you to develop sustainable lifestyle changes.
If you have questions about treating your stress and anxiety, contact Bluestone Chiropractic today.