Most patients come into my office for the first time because their bodies are in pain. I’m always happy to work with them. But I want to share that chiropractic isn’t just for treating pain — it’s also an effective way to help reduce stress.
Much of chiropractic work involves adjusting the spine. While most people think about the spine as the source of back pain, it’s also the conduit for the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. These are the key regulators for stress in the body.
Here’s how it all works. The sympathetic nervous system fires up when our brain thinks we need to take sudden action to protect ourselves. It’s the driver of what is sometimes called the fight or flight response, speeding up our heart rate and releasing adrenaline. The parasympathetic system does the opposite — it calms our body down, bringing us out of fight or flight and into a more relaxed, calm state.
The problem is that we can get stuck in fight or flight. There is so much stimulation in our busy world today that our brains are sometimes unable to cope with it all. The sympathetic nervous system gets activated over and over again, by everything from traffic to loud music to a deadline at the office, to the point where the parasympathetic nervous system never really gets a chance to come on-line and settle us back down. As a result, we can end up constantly feeling stressed and agitated.
Chiropractic tells your body it's okay to relax.
The brain and the spine are tightly connected. When a skilled chiropractor adjusts your spine, he or she is working on the hardware of your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, hardware that has a direct line to your brain. The adjustments let the brain know that it's time to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, and slooow everything back down.
It’s a hands-on approach that frees your body from fight or flight and tells you it’s okay to get back to a calm state of being.
I can’t even count the number of times I’ve seen a patient come into my office on edge after a day at work, only to visibly transform on the table. Breathing slows, tense muscles relax, and smiles are even known to break out. If you notice that you’re consistently feeling stressed, don’t reach for the ice cream or the remote. Think chiropractic!