Q: I am at the end of my rope with stress! My head hurts all the time and I am so tight that my shoulders feel like rocks. My sister told me that her chiropractic office in her town really makes a difference for her. Do you think you could help me?
A: Stress can manifest itself in any number of ways: a headache, perhaps, or tight muscles and back pain. Whatever the symptom, it came from your nervous system. Stress can lead to larger problems, like high blood pressure and ulcers. Stress generally comes from outside sources, and not all of them are bad. An impending wedding can be as stressful as financial problems. Managing stress is important. Your body combats stress by secreting adrenaline and noradrenaline—both linked to the fight-or-flight instinct. Those substances are secreted by nerve cells and if done chronically can create problems.
The approach is to help with this is multi-focused. You must change your attitude about stress to start with. Perceive the problems as an obstacle that must be overcome and the actions you will take must happen whether you do it with a frown or a smile on your face… might as well be a smile, right? also – you have to pay attention to your diet and sleep. If you put these basic life sustaining activities on hold… your body will be LESS able to cope with stress.. creating more stress. But there is a physical release of stress that must occur. A little exercise goes a long way, and chiropractic and manual therapy combined with stretching can promote a feeling of ease and can keep stress from becoming PAIN.
That’s where your doctor of chiropractic comes in. Since the spinal column is the main conduit for the nervous system between the brain and other parts of the body, its proper function is crucial to the proper behavior of nerves. If one or more of the spinal column’s vertebrae are out of line, they can impede the path of a nerve and normal biological activity, like the anti-stress action.
A chiropractor can’t eliminate stress, but by visiting your chiropractor regularly and keeping your spine aligned and muscles loose and flexible, not only will you find it easier to respond to stress, but your overall mobility and sense of well-being will improve. Talk with your chiropractor about other stress management steps. Next time you are told to try the psychotropic drug approach, you might ask your doctor about getting a natural release of the tension.
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