Stress is how your body reacts to outside pressure. It’s essential that our bodies can adapt to new challenges that come up each day. There are three different types of stress:
- Physical – such as car crashes and falls
- Emotion – such as divorce and moving
- Chemical – such as medication or caffeine
We face stress in its different forms all day, but our bodies are designed to face new obstacles and adapt accordingly.
The nervous system is composed of the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. The parasympathetic system controls rest, digestion, growth, and development. Meanwhile, the sympathetic system controls your body’s “fight or flight” response to outside triggers. Essentially, your sympathetic nervous system shifts energy and resources to prepare the body to fight off a threat. When this occurs, the body releases several hormones, which include adrenaline and cortisol. If your nervous system is stuck in “fight or flight”, the overexposure to cortisol can be detrimental to your body’s functioning.
As chiropractors in Newport Beach, CA, we are trained to work directly with your nervous system to ensure it functions properly and efficiently. We have a Heart Rate Variability test to tell exactly how stressed your body is and how it handles that stress. It tells us if your body is stuck in “fight or flight” or is functioning properly to optimize your rest and digestion.
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We will perform an in-depth consultation, palpate your spine for misalignments, and document your posture. Nerve scans will tell us exactly where pressure on your nervous system is causing muscle tension and affecting organ function. A chiropractor will also do a stress test and, if necessary, take digital x-rays.
2. Receive A
Plan Of Action
The chiropractor will review your test results and have you come back the next day to review their findings. They will give you their best recommendations on where to begin correcting your problem and the most cost effective way to take care of your health challenges. Each body is different and needs individualized care.
3. Get Back
To Living Life
At Priestley Family Chiropractic, each chiropractor believes you should be able to live your life the way you choose, without physical limitations or fears of injury. When your nervous system is functioning at its best you feel better, have more energy, sleep better, concentrate properly, and are an overall better person.
How a Spinal Misalignment Causes Stress
At Priestley Family Chiropractic, we must perform a thorough consultation and neurological exam before we can assess your stress. The consultation gives our doctors the opportunity to really listen and understand your specific problems and how they have affected your life. We can also capture critical bits of information about your condition that help us determine the cause of your stress.
The nervous system controls all of the other systems in the body. It interprets information and directs the body on how to react, whether moving a muscle or telling your body to release adrenaline and initiate your fight or flight response. We regulate emotions and behaviors by dispersing hormones such as serotonin, known as the “happy chemical.” If your nervous system is not functioning properly and sending the right signals, you may have insufficient serotonin and feel tired and depressed. Alternatively, if your body is stuck in “fight or flight” for too long, the prolonged surplus of cortisol can cause high blood pressure and keep you from sleeping. Your body has an innate intelligence to turn on or off “fight or flight”. However, if your nervous system is not functioning properly, you may find yourself stuck in this stressful state.
A subluxation, or misalignment of the spine, causes the nervous system to not function in its optimal state. When the spine is out of position, it puts dangerous stress on the spinal cord’s spinal nerves, which is your entire body’s intelligence pathway. Not only can subluxations cause sciatica and neck pain, but they can affect the proper functioning of the sinuses, thyroid, heart, lungs, digestion, bladder, etc. Subluxations affect the functioning of the entire body itself by lowering the state of your health. If pressure on a nerve comes from your neck, it will affect the functioning of the thyroid, which is a vital part of releasing the correct hormones.
Chiropractors are the only healthcare providers trained to locate and correct subluxations. Nerve studies indicate where there is nerve interference and will alert us to a subluxation that affects the functioning of your organs and glands. We also take x-rays to show us where the spine is out of position.
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How Chiropractic Care Improves Stress Management
Lowers Blood Pressure
Almost half of the adults in America suffer from high blood pressure. When left untreated, high blood pressure can block blood flow in arteries and damage them leading to heart attacks and strokes. When the body is under stress, it releases hormones, temporarily increasing your blood pressure and narrowing blood vessels. If your body is stuck in this stressful “fight or flight” state, your blood vessels don’t have a chance to return to their normal state.
Chiropractic has been proven to help lower high blood pressure. In 2007, the Journal of Human Hypertension conducted a study to test the efficacy of adjusting the Atlas vertebra in reducing and maintaining lower blood pressure. Those who had their Atlas adjusted over just eight weeks showed a significant reduction in their blood pressure. The Atlas vertebra is the very top vertebra in the spine and protects the brain stem. This bone affects blood flow around the base of the skull, which is why it is essential to receive chiropractic care for a subluxation, or misalignment, of the Atlas. Chiropractors in Newport Beach, CA, are trained to locate and properly adjust misalignments in the Atlas vertebrae.
Promotes Better Sleep
Sleep is vital to every function in the body because it affects our physical and mental functioning and our ability to fight diseases through a strong immune system, recovery, and so much more. Stress can be detrimental to sleep quality because it decreases sleep duration, quality of sleep, and REM sleep. REM sleep, or rapid eye movement sleep, is essential for learning, memory, and emotional processing and contributes to healthy brain development. Alternatively, not getting enough sleep leads to an increase in stress as well. It can become a vicious cycle.
One of the most common side effects of chiropractic care in Newport Beach, CA, is that patients notice their sleep improves immediately. This is because chiropractors correct misalignments in the spine that causes muscle tension and interferes with the body’s ability to return to its parasympathetic system and heal. Every single adjustment also naturally lowers your body’s stress hormone – cortisol. When you have too much cortisol in your body, you can become stuck in this endless cycle of stress and insomnia. If you struggle with proper sleep, getting checked by a chiropractor in Newport Beach, CA, right away will lead to the best results.
Releases Positive Hormones
At Priestley Family Chiropractic, we work with your nervous system to ensure your body can maintain proper function and communication. By removing misalignments, or subluxations, pressure is lifted from the spinal nerves, and optimal communication can resume. During an adjustment, your body reduces the production of stress hormones and increases hormones such as oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin, nicknamed the “feel-good hormones.” These hormones promote positive, happy feelings such as pleasure, happiness, and love. In fact, most antidepressants work by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. Thankfully, there are drug-free options like chiropractic which don’t have all of the negative side effects of antidepressants like insomnia and nausea.
Hormones are involved in multiple essential processes in the body- from digestion to regulating your mood. If you feel like your hormones are out of balance and don’t want to take harmful drugs, it’s important to get checked by a chiropractor immediately for a thorough evaluation.
Relieves Muscle Tension
Muscle tension is the body’s natural way to guard itself against injury or pain. When a sudden threat or stress presents itself, the muscles tense up and release once the stress passes. Muscle tension is a reflex reaction to stress. Therefore, if the body is under constant stress, the muscles will be in constant tension, which can cause pain and soreness. The most commonly affected areas due to stress are the neck, back, and shoulders.
Chiropractic care relieves muscle tension by properly aligning the spine and stimulating the nerves to relax the surrounding muscles. We are specially trained to locate and help with muscle tension and spasms. By releasing the stress on your body, it can begin to heal and relax.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can going to a chiropractor in Newport Beach, CA, help with stress?
Constant stress increases stress hormones in the body and manifests physically through headaches, insomnia, and aches and pains. We help release tension throughout the body and soothe the nervous system.
Can being out of alignment cause stress?
Misalignment of the spine puts stress on the spinal nerves creating muscle tension and adversely affecting the function of organs and glands. If your spine is out of alignment in the neck, it can cause headaches and affect how your body produces hormones.
What part of your spine controls anxiety?
The spinal cord protects the delicate spinal nerves within. The vagus nerve is located in the neck and is vital in managing coping skills when dealing with anxiety, depression, and stress. Chiropractic adjustments directly increase the health function of the vagus nerve.
Can chiropractic adjustments release emotions?
An adjustment releases both physical and emotional stress. Endorphins such as dopamine, known to make people happier naturally, are released during an adjustment. It is very common for people to laugh or cry after an adjustment because they experience such relief.
Can a chiropractor help with stress?
Chiropractic adjustments relieve both physical and emotional stress. The adjustment eases tension in the spine and muscles while soothing the nervous system.