When most people think about stress, they think about what it does to their mind. They may think about what the stress is doing to their ability to remain calm and composed. They may feel as though they are unable to focus or sleep properly. Few people understand that stress has a very real physical component that needs to be addressed as well.
It appears that everything is becoming increasingly complex in our modern world. Because everyone is in constant communication with each other, most people feel as though they are unable to ‘unwind’ for even a moment. This leads to our stress adaptors constantly firing on all cylinders. As a result, most people continuously have to deal with stress and the physical and emotional issues attributed to that.
How we react to stress
There are three basic sources from which we can perceive stress: our emotions, our body, and our environment. Body stress may include physical injury, poor sleep, poor nutrition, and disease processes. Environmental stress includes performance standards, time pressure, physical threats, bad weather, and noises.
It is more difficult to define what emotional stress is however. It encompasses our reactions both in emotion and in thought, to physical and environmental stressors. Take criticism for example. Some people are unaffected by criticism while others perceive it as devastating. Contemplation, meditation, relaxation techniques, and massage all have a strong mediating effect on stress. This allows us to control our stress levels.
The physical effects of stress
Stress can affect our bodies in a number of negative ways. A slow metabolism, insomnia/poor sleep, brain fog, and increased blood pressure are just a few of the effects that stress can have. Most people assume that these are just ‘problems’ that they have to deal with – they do not realize that these are symptoms of stress. Some of the major symptoms caused or worsened by stress include:
- Depression and anxiety
- Immune system issues
- Allergies and sinus issues
- Digestive disorders (irritable bowel, reflux, heartburn, ulcers)
- Musculoskeletal disorders (lower back pain, aching joints, stiff neck)
Countless studies show that people subjected to chronic stress are prone to a number of negative health effects. This can be slowed healing from disease and injury, damage to the immune response, infertility, diabetes, damage to muscle tissue, and high blood pressure.
Stress and the spine
Spinal manipulation directly affects the root of the nervous system. Keep in mind that our nerve impulses travel from the spine throughout the rest of the body. One of the effects of chronic stress is prolonged muscle contraction and muscle tension. This leads to uneven pressures on the bony structures of the body. This can lead to subluxations (a misalignment of the spinal column).
Being exposed to stress on a constant basis can also cause nerve irritation. Having a spinal adjustment done can help release the muscle tension. As a result, the body returns to a more relaxed, balance state. Adjustments are also capable of improving blood circulation and reducing spinal nerve irritation. Keep in mind that this is only a way to alleviate immediate stress levels.
It may be possible to help the body cope with stress thanks to nutritional supplements, including B vitamins. You may have to implement relaxation techniques, talk about making environmental changes and having better posture to help alleviate issues with chronic stress.
Keep in mind that this is not suddenly going to generate a calmer world or make your job less stressful. It is possible to help reduce potential physical damage caused by stress by helping patients develop healthy responses to stress. The treatment is based on the concept that both the mind and the body can heal themselves, provided they are given the opportunity to do so. By relieving the immediate effects of chronic stress, the body gets a chance to repair itself.
How our team can help
When you visit our specialists, they may ask you about your stress levels. This is because they are aware that chronic stress can have a negative impact on your overall health. Therapeutic intervention along the joints and massage can help remove physical symptoms and discomfort.
The physical relief that our specialists provide often relieves the stress, at least temporarily. Even the tensest of patients often find that they are relaxed and reinvigorated after our specialists work with them. However, this is not merely about a hands-on treatment. It is about addressing the overall issue, which can include a treatment plan with exercise and lifestyle recommendations to ensure that stress does not negatively affect your long-term health.
Remember that any medication or herbal supplements are only going to provide temporary relief to an underlying issue. If you want to experience what it is like to control your stress or want to learn more about how our team can help, visit Total Back Care today. Call 8357 8211 now to schedule an appointment and find out how you are able to control stress in the future.