When Stress Hits Your Body Your Chiropractor Can Help
Stress is all around us. Flare ups can range from morning snags with our family, to major job reviews, and international tragedies. We all keep going and survive one way or another. But the footprints that stress leaves are real, both mentally and physically.
The American Chiropractic Association says the body experiences alarm, resistance and exhaustion as it reacts to stress. Epinephrine or adrenaline, sets us up to fight or flee, ramping up the heart rate, blood pressure and blood glucose levels. Glucocorticoid cortisol or hydrocortisone with anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressing effects is released.
If stress becomes chronic it can affect growth, slow body healing, and increase infection. It can create hopelessness, anxiety and depression that triggers, lower back pain, leg pain, headaches, and sleep problems. If you or someone in your family is experiencing chronic stress with physical symptoms, see your doctor and your chiropractor for treatment.
A Visit to the Chiropractor
Your doctor may recommend a therapist for stress. Then the initial visit to the chiropractor will begin with a spinal manipulation to evaluate the nervous system.
A complete medical history review and discussion of daily activities will also be included. The chiropractor’s goal will be to help identify the problem and seek pain relief without medication or surgery. A series of visits may be needed to help you work through the problem and fashion a response to the stress. Together, with the doctor and the therapist, the chiropractor can evaluate the effects of stress on the body and suggest ways to counter the attack.
In the course of visits the chiropractor may suggest exercise, relaxation exercises, classes in yoga or Tai Chi and the use of breathing exercises. As you learn ways to let go of the stress, new positive patterns can also be added. New hobbies, brief getaways, or the use of music can help you fashion some of the needed relief.
After a particularly intense bout with stress from family loss, my best escape came from constructing a backyard retreat. Filled with plants, mats and cushions, I turned a corner of my patio into a private retreat where I could just sit and breathe or do yoga poses.
I have seen many cases of stress where patients came in with worried looks and stories of ongoing pain and tension headaches. Then as the visits progressed and they learned how to let go of the problem, they were able to regain their footing and enjoy life.
If feelings of hopelessness or depression continue, discuss see your therapist and your doctor for treatment.