Are you stressed? The American Psychological Association says stress is becoming a public health crisis. Stress can lead to more severe issues including anxiety, depression, sleep disruption, and physical illness. Stress is a constant in many people’s lives, but often around the winter holidays and new year, many people find that their stress increases. More time with family, preparing meals and gifts, planning a better future and setting goals… all can cause stress, even when we are happy to do them. It’s good to know, then, that chiropractic can help decrease stress and its manifestations in the body.
What is stress?
Change happens. Whether we like it or not, everyone can count on change. Famed politician Benjamin Disraeli has said this about change. “Change is inevitable. Change is constant.” And like it or not, this change that we cannot avoid causes stress. Even positive changes cause stress to a person. And if you are human, you will react to this stress emotionally, mentally, and physically. Be it negative change, like losing a job or ending a relationship, or positive change, like moving to a new neighborhood or getting a new job, change is the constant in everyone’s life. The Cleveland Clinic describes stress this way. “Stress is the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response.” Some stress is positive. It can motivate us to get things done or move out of our comfort zone. But other stress is negative. And whether it is good or bad, when we are faced with continuous changes and we don’t get a break or relief from that stress, that stress takes its toll.
What does stress do to the body?
We have said we react to stress emotionally, mentally, and physically. Let’s take a look at the physical reactions we can have to stress.
- People under stress often experience headaches, migraines, muscle tension, back and neck aches.
- Stress causes poor posture (both standing and sitting). This comes from the muscle tension we get from stress.
- If you already have back pain, stress can make that pain worse.
- While many pains that come from stress are minor or temporary, stress can and does cause chronic pain for some people.
- Chronic stress, that kind that doesn’t stop, often manifests in the spine, and that can impact your entire body. As if that weren’t bad enough, many individuals do not realize that there is a connection between stress and the spine. Here’s what happens: stress causes muscle tension. Muscle tension pulls the spine out of alignment. Having the spine pulled out of alignment inhibits the nervous system and impacts how well your body can function.
Are you stressed?
To some, the question, “Are you stressed?” is practically redundant. “Of course I’m stressed!” The American Institute of Stress says that stress is so common for many of us, we don’t even realize when we are under stress or just how bad that stress is. Which means for many of us, we are suffering discomfort, brain fog, and having trouble sleeping and we don’t even realize the source of our troubles. What would you give to have relief from your stress? The solution may be easier than you think, and it starts with your spine.
How Chiropractic can Help Relieve Stress
Once you see the connection between stress and the body, particularly the spine, you will realize that chiropractic can help.
Chiropractic focuses first on the spine and keeping it in proper alignment. The spine is key to your body functioning at its best. The spine is like a highway for the messages your brain sends to your body. The messages originating in your brain move along the spine before branching off on other sections of the nervous system. If the spine is misaligned, those messages cannot travel the way they are designed to. Cars need to drive more slowly on winding roads. In a similar manner, a misaligned spine can disrupt those high-speed messages coming from the brain and moving out into your body.
At Mt. Lebanon Chiropractic, we can straighten out the body’s freeway that is your spine and get those brain impulses travelling like they should be. This will enable your body to function more properly. And that alone will decrease the stress that you feel. You will be able to think more clearly, you’ll have more energy, and you’ll feel less general stress.
Chiropractic has other benefits to offer when it comes to stress relief and relief from the manifestations of stress. Chiropractic can improve your sleep efficiency, which can reduce stress. We can offer relaxation tips and give relief from muscle tension. Having your spine aligned can also relieve the negative effects of bad posture, which causes unnecessary pressure on the spine.
Stress Relief through Chiropractic
Chiropractic may not get you a better boss or keep your baby from waking up at night, but it can make a marked difference in the effects of stress on your body. Make a point of taking care of your body this holiday season and new year to make sure you are at your best. It is a gift you can give yourself that will have a direct and tangible positive impact on your life.
Give us a call today to schedule your appointment!