A Win-Win Solution After a Stressful Election Season
By Dr. Molly Casey
So the presidential election is over. Chances are that regardless of whether you liked the outcome or not, you’re glad the election itself has ended. This campaign clearly elicited a great deal of passionate emotion and debate. I’ve heard a lot of patients say they are exhausted because of how mentally engaged they’ve gotten in this election cycle. Why is that? Why do we get physically exhausted from an emotional, passionate process? Why is your chiropractor talking about it? And why do you need an adjustment?
Your Body’s Response
When you get charged up or are highly emotional/passionate in debates (or life situations in general), your body responds. Think about this for a second -- you begin a nice, light conversation about the candidates with your in-laws (I know, nice and light doesn’t reflect political conversations and, depending on your relationship, neither do conversations with your in-laws). Your voice is at a normal conversational level, and your body is relaxed (because you just finished dinner and you’re thinking the night will end with Netflix). Then it happens. Someone mentions Trump. Or Hillary. You tense just a bit, but you remain calm and your voice steady. This happens a few more times and each time the body responds a little bit -- and every time that happens, your body’s foundational level of functioning is raised to a new height, which takes more energy to sustain. The conversation continues, your voice goes up, you tense your muscles, your heart rate increases, your breathing gets more shallow -- so you’re taking in less oxygen and breathing out less carbon dioxide. Do this over and over throughout an election cycle and you can see why people are so exhausted by the time election day comes around.
Basically, your body has begun running in the sympathetic nervous system -- the fight or flight state. This is not where you want to hang out in life, you want to visit this state only when you truly need it during times of high stress. However, many people live in this state all the time. When periods such as election cycles arrive, it takes them to a whole new heightened level -- one that’s not healthy for the body. Yes, it exhausts you.
The negative stress of the prolonged period of emotional, passionate debates can be enough stress to cause spinal subluxations -- misalignments or restrictions in the range of motion in the spinal joints. Subluxations interfere with the functioning of your nervous system by irritating the nerves that exit the spine and negatively impact your overall quality of health and life. It’s a lose-lose situation.
If we are looking to settle back down and stop the madness, this is one hamster wheel we need to get off. The constant commentary, heated debates and controversial opinions -- it’s all hard to escape from. It’s on the TV and radio, people are chatting about it at work, at home, at the ball game. The truth is that it’s not going to stop just because the votes are counted. There will likely be more from both sides for quite a long time regarding this particular election and it may feel inescapable. But it’s not. To some degree, you control what level of information you take in, the information overload. I’m not saying bury your head in the sand. However, I am recommending you take a break and take care of yourself by coming to see your neighborhood chiropractor at The Joint. Let an expert calm that nervous system down by providing you the best quality adjustment possible, correcting subluxations, and helping your body adapt better to the election cycle stress you’ve been under. You’ll be better suited to handle the stress and able to more effectively process the information you receive. And, for once in this heated election cycle, it’s a win-win situation.