Health

Strategies to Overcome Stress

Stress Management Raleigh

Would it surprise you that 80-90% of ALL doctor office visits are stress related?

If you have a family, spouse, children, and a job, I’m sure that stress is no stranger, but what you may find surprising is the direct impact stress has on your health.  Think about that, 90% of health ailments are linked to chronic stress.  Why is that?

First, let’s look at what stress is from a biomedical point of view.  Stress is defined as a process in which environmental demands strain an organism’s adaptive capacity resulting in both psychological demands as well as biological changes that could place you at risk for illness. We can easily divide stress into three categories:  environmental stress, emotional stress, and biological stress.

The susceptibility to stress varies from person to person. An event that causes an illness in one person may not cause illness in another person.  But why is that?
Researchers have found the factors that influenced how susceptible one is to stress are genetic vulnerability, coping style, type of personality and social support.  It is our way of reacting to the situations that makes a difference in our susceptibility to illness and our overall well-being.  Stress is negative when it exceeds our ability to cope, fatigues body systems and causes behavioral or physical problems.

Moving forward, I want to focus on how stress effects the immune system.

Several studies have shown that chronic stress exerts a general immunosuppressive effect that suppresses or withholds the body’s ability to initiate a prompt, efficient immune reaction. This is because an overabundance of stress hormones are produced during chronic stress, which weakens the immune system’s competence at defending itself from injury.  Specifically, these stress hormones are adrenaline, noradrenaline, norepinephrine, cortisol, and corticosteroids.

And why should we care about these stress hormones?

Stress hormones shift the body into a “fight or flight” response —an area governed by the Sympathetic Nervous System.  Our Sympathetic Nervous System controls all autonomic functions that the amazing human body takes care of without us having to think about it.  Functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, muscle tension, digestion, metabolism and the immune system.

When sympathetic stress persists in a chronic fight-or-flight physiology, pumping out stress hormones, the body’s reaction to sympathetic stress continues and if the body is unable to cope, there is likely to be breakdown of bodily resources.  This is where we see illnesses manifest over time. What type of illnesses are related to chronic stress?  Asthma, allergies, peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, IBD, GERD, coronary heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, tumor growth in some cancers, glaucoma, migraines, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, Type II diabetes, autoimmune disease, osteoarthritis, excessive body weight, hypertension, viral cold infections, and inflammation.

Bottom line, when chronic stress goes unmanaged, it suppresses the body’s immune system and ultimately manifests as illness.  I hope you understand just how serious unmanaged stress can wreak havoc in our bodies!

But, don’t stress out about stress, chiropractic can help!

I’m so excited to share some current research with you about how chiropractic care reduces stress hormones in the body, allowing your immune system to operate at its finest!
In 2011 a group of eight PhD. scientists from the Graduate School of Medicine from Tohoku, Japan published a study examining metabolic changes in the brain after a cervical chiropractic adjustment.

They used sophisticated PET scans to measure neuronal activity in the brain. They measured brain glucose consumption as it would indicate brain metabolic activity post-adjustment. Their findings were compelling!

The study clearly demonstrated that the sympathetic tone of the nervous system was inhibited because salivary amylase was decreased.  That decrease in salivary amylase indicated a decrease in fight or flight physiology we talked about earlier.  They also found that regional brain metabolic changes occurred, and muscle tone and pain intensity decreased following one single chiropractic adjustment.

And they didn’t stop there.  This same group of scientists published an additional study in January of 2017, in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Listen to the conclusions from this study:

“We observed metabolic changes in the brain and skeletal muscles, as well as reductions in subjective pain, muscle tension, and salivary amylase, after [chiropractic adjustment]. These results may be associated with reduced sympathetic nerve activity, suggesting that [chiropractic adjustment] induces a kind of relaxation… may reflect the psychophysiological relaxation that accompanies reduced sympathetic nerve activity.”

Let me tell you what this means…these two studies prove that:

1.) Chiropractic adjusting inhibits sympathetic fight or flight physiology and directly affects the brain after an adjustment!  Spinal integrity will dictate how well the nervous system functions.

2.) The only way to keep your spine healthy is to have it checked by a chiropractor because they are the only doctors that keep your nervous system in healthy communication between your brain and your body.

If you are local, we invite you to visit us at Living Well Balanced. We offer our patients a unique holistic, whole body approach to managing your stress so you can live life at your fullest potential.  We firmly believe that when it comes to managing stress, nurturing your body is not a luxury, it’s a necessity!

When you visit us, we will analyze your body composition, how well your body moves, posture, foot stance, and conduct other scientifically based measures to create and present a comprehensive plan to correct the root causes and provide long lasting relief. We will adjust any spinal misalignments associated with stress here in our office, and provide other therapies right here in our office including massage with essential oils, personal training, nutrition and supplementation. We educate our patients as to how and why they developed stress in the first place, how to create and implement lifestyle changes to improve overall health, and guide them on strengthening and maintaining balance in their day to day lives.

If a loved one shared this video with you and you are not local to where we can help you, please contact a chiropractor near you to check your spine to see if chiropractic care for your stress is right for you.

If you have more questions about how chiropractic can help reduce stress, or if you want to share your success stories about how chiropractic has helped improve your overall health, please send me a message or call our team of experts at (919) 926-8900.

Please share this video with those looking for a better way to manage their stress.  Remember, Wellness only comes from Within, so let me guide your journey to Living Well Balanced!