Regardless of age, socioeconomic status or health, mental stress finds its way into the lives, minds and bodies of all humans. While the severity of stress varies based upon a myriad of factors, its invasive abilities to alter emotional and physical stability is unique among most other ailments.
Although stress is a universal condition, it’s among the most difficult to quantify. Some may feel stress to be completely debilitating. Others may feel certain stress levels are essential for productivity.
The Prevalence of Stress
Even though every person may hold a unique understanding of stress, one truth remains: unwavering stress poses significant risk to your health and vitality. In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health reports chronic stress sets the stage for high blood pressure, heart disease, depression while simultaneously making your body vulnerable to viral infections.
The influence stress has on human health is due to its widespread influence. During acute or chronic stress episode, your psychological, physical and biochemical systems respond. This multi-level response activates a variety of symptoms. For example, those stressed about a work situation experience psychological symptoms, however, what starts in the mind transcends to the body. Physical symptoms of stress often involve gastrointestinal issues, hypertension or prolonged muscle contractions.
These emotional and physical responses are monitored by your sympathetic nervous system. Your spine is the casing of this essential neural communication highway. So what happens if your spinal alignment is off? Recent studies reveal the connection between skeletal health and stress severity, and its results are altering the landscape of stress management.
Calming Neural Stress Pathways via Chiropractic Care
The cornerstone of stress management is also the most misunderstood. When you think about your nervous system, its impact on mental and physical stress responses probably isn’t your first thought. However, the health of this complex communication network determines our ability to process mental and physical stress. In some cases, spinal misalignment is the actual cause of stress symptoms.
To understand this connection, you must grasp the concept of mind-body connections. In brief, this is the recognized theory that our mind (emotions, feelings, thoughts) are intimately related to our physical body (muscles, bones, organs). What’s long been considered two completely separate entities, further investigation into human mechanics and anatomy proves these systems operate in unison. Therefore, a malformation in one system can manifest symptoms in a completely separate system.
Spine Alignment and Stress Levels
Within the realm of spinal health and stress responses, a case study published in the journal Alternative Therapies In Health And Medicine suggests spine alignment directly influences stress levels and symptoms. In the study, researchers set out to determine the effects of chiropractic spinal manipulation, or CSM, on the nervous system. Each of the 12 study participants reported significant reductions in overall stress levels.
Stress management may seem overwhelming, especially when the grasp of emotional or physical stress tightens. However, living a life free from toxic stress is possible. Chiropractors may not hold the cure for complete stress elimination, yet, when used alongside other stress management techniques, chiropractic care can offer genuine relief.
5 Things You Should Know About Stress, nimh.nih.gov
What is Stress?, stress.orghttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22314714