In the world we live in, there are as many emerging things to do to be healthy as there are things to avoid doing so as to not become unhealthy. It can be pretty overwhelming, but we believe that understanding the big-picture elements affecting our health is a great place to start before we start talking about how your health is related to chiropractic. So let’s get into it!
There are 3 Types of Stress Bombarding us Chronically:
This type of stress can encompass a wide scope of physical elements, big and small. On one side, we’ve got macro-traumas that can have an immediate impact on our body, such as:
- Motor vehicle collisions
- Slips and falls.
On the other hand, we have microtraumas that have a subtle, yet effective effect on our body over time, such as:
- Our posture.
- Sitting for long hours in one position.
- Having a physical job.
- Repetitive movements in sports (i.e. swinging a golf club, kicking a soccer ball, swinging a baseball bat) or life.
This type of stress involves the toxic substances that our body is exposed to that then affects our levels of inflammation, our body’s ability to detoxify, and our cellular health. Examples of chemical stress that we experience include:
- The quality of our diet.
- The quality of the water that we drink, shower in, and use to wash our clothes.
- Air quality in our homes and urban areas.
- Products such as laundry detergent, deodorant, makeup, candles, soaps, toothpaste, and pesticides.
This type of stress typically needs no introduction. We all have many different mental and emotional stressors bombarding us day in and day out. Unfortunately, this is also the type of stress that we push down or try to push through. Here are some examples of mental/emotional stress:
- Work-related stress.
- Being a parent, managing multiple schedules.
- Managing debt.
- Declining social relationships.
- Planning a holiday vacation.
What does having chronic stress mean for me and my body?
What these 3 types of stresses all have in common is that they add physiological stress to our body. Physiological stress relates to any factors that challenge the homeostasis of a cell or organism. You see, our body is always working very hard to keep us running and in good health. When we have long-term stress, whether physical, chemical, mental, or all three, our body is going to start dysregulating itself. Mayo Clinic states that symptoms of chronic stress can include:
- Digestive problems.
- Muscle tension and pain (i.e. neck pain, back pain).
- Heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke.
- Sleep problems.
- Weight gain.
- Problems with memory and focus.
How is My Health Related to Chiropractic Care?
The first thing to keep in mind is that when it comes to your health: It. Takes. A. Village. It takes consistent effort on many fronts (i.e. exercising, physical therapy, nutritional therapy, setting boundaries, managing external factors) to get healthy and keep yourself healthy. There is no one single thing that will do it.
On the other hand, while chiropractic adjustments alone aren’t enough to solve all of your issues, by getting pressure off nerves, chiropractic can support your body’s ability to cope with physiological stress. The nervous system is also the master control of your body, which means that when it is functioning optimally all your other organs and tissues can have improved coordination and function as well. An example of how the nervous system can affect other parts of your body is neuropathy: when there’s damage to peripheral nerves people will typically loose sensation in their feet, but this problem is due to nerve damage, not due to a problem in the skin or muscle of your feet!
A third way in which chiropractic treatment helps is by stabilizing the foundation of your body, which is your pelvis and vertebral column. Structural misalignments here can put pressure on nerves and affect our body’s function, it can mean that our joints can tear and wear quicker, and it can also make us more prone to injuries. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that we’re not talking about a single chiropractic adjustment, our body needs consistent checks and care to counteract the stress that bombards us day-in and day-out. For many patients this can mean weekly care and for many others it can mean less frequent care.
Through chiropractic services, you can strengthen your body from the inside-out so that you’re in a better position to adapt to the different types of stresses that life likes to throw your way. The magnitude of what we do goes way beyond back and neck pain because the nervous system is in charge of much more than that! If you’re interested in learning more about your nervous system’s health and spinal manipulation, reach out to your local chiropractor or seek out people from your community who are chiropractic patients!