How chiropractic reduces stress levels

Increasingly, chiropractic treatment is being used in the armoury of holistic approaches to lifestyle conditions such as stress and fatigue.

We are all aware of the increasing use of the word stress in our daily lives and, to a degree, some of it is good for us – it makes us care, motivated and focus. “Brief episodes of stress could be good for us, protecting us from the effects of ageing – as long as we’re not too frazzled to begin with” (New Scientist, 2013).However, living with chronic stress is at best unpleasant and, at worst, intolerable. “Chronic stress causes wear and tear to body tissues, increasing our risk of developing age-related diseases such as cancer, diabetes and dementia” (New Scientist, 2013). Lengthy periods of stress can affect the cells in your body, by prolonging inflammation and therefore slowing down your healing response.

Stress comes from outside influences such as the environment and work life. It also comes from within and can be exacerbated by poor nutrition and emotional turmoil. The third channel for stress is your body – where it is not functioning properly due to a whole host of potential reasons. It is often a complex combination of all three. The good news is that the causes of all levels and types of stress can be alleviated or negated, to different degrees, by chiropractic care.

The ways in which we can help:

  • By reducing muscle tension
  • By reducing blood pressure
  • By reducing cortisol levels
  • By improving blood circulation
  • By restoring body harmony
  • By talking

We will work with you to understand your lifestyle and advise you accordingly – taking things like diet, sleep patterns, demands on your time and physical activity into account. We recently discussed study habits with a student patient and the simple advice to work on a desk (and not in her bed!) was given. We also suggested that a desktop computer is often better than a portable laptop as you can be more mindful of the discipline of sitting correctly when facing a computer in a more formal position.

Physical tension can also manifest itself into stress – as your body is held in a tighter position, your muscles contract and your spine is likely to be out of alignment. This combination can create an environment within your body that is slow to heal and interferes with your nervous system.

Stress can also be part of a vicious cycle – when you are under pressure, feeling low and anxious, you are more likely to lose sleep, drink too much and rely on comfort food among other bad habits! Breaking the cycle and working on increasing your general well-being is an important part of the recovery process.

Massage therapy and acupuncture are also methods we employ to work with you to bring your body back to full alignment and to support the hands-on, non-invasive treatment we traditionally administer.

If you feel stress is featuring too heavily in your day-to-day life, talk to us and we will find a way to manage the symptoms and improve your general well-being.

Words of advice:

  • Identify points of stress in your life – a reliance on social media, an addiction to your mobile phone, even particular types of TV programmes can all make existing stress much worse
  • Take time to invest in yourself – a massage, exercise (walking outdoors is very good), healthy food and early nights – the usual things!
  • Consider therapies such as chiropractic – you will be given effective treatment and good advice
  • Consider meditation or relaxation therapies – yoga is excellent
  • Keep a stress diary and see if you can identify stress triggers
  • Avoid things that might make your feelings worse such as caffeine, alcohol and smoking
  • Take time to get organised and allow yourself plenty of time to complete the activities you need to each day – being on top of your time management will help you to feel more in control of your life
  • Talk to someone – a counsellor, a chiropractor or your doctor

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