What is stress?
Dr. Hans Selye stated the definition of stress is as follows “Non-Specific response of the body to any demand placed upon it”. Stress is a reaction to any internal and external stimuli that upsets normal physiology and disturbs physical, chemical, and emotional health. Internal stimuli includes: minimal depletion, inflammation, or emotional conflict. External stimuli includes: death in the family, financial problems, or physical trauma. When one is presented with positive experiences in their life such as a new baby, new marriage, or even a new job promotion it may invoke stress upon the body. Long standing or chronic stress suppresses the immune system, which in turn makes the body more susceptible to illness; this is called strain. Emotional stress also leads to hormone imbalances that interfere with the immune system.
What does stress do to the body?
When your body perceives a threatening situation as in stress or an actual life threatening emergency your autonomic nervous system becomes hyper-excitable triggering the releases of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. The effect this has on the nervous system is, it triggers your physiology into fight and flight mode which is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. This in turns makes your heart beat faster, blood pressure goes higher, your lungs breath faster, the digestive system, and immune system is suppressed. Chronic stress disrupts every system in your body. It leads to high blood pressure; the incidence for heart attack is increased along with stroke. This disrupts the musculoskeletal system producing a toxic element in the body lactic acid in the muscles; in turn this produces very tense muscles. The following symptoms than appear: increased headaches, backaches, or joint pain.
How can Chiropractic help?
Dr. Fred Schofield at Atlas Chiropractic works primarily with the autonomic nervous system through the atlas the 1st cervical vertebra. The autonomic nervous system includes the parasympathetic nervous system which calms your body down and your sympathetic nervous system which reacts to threatening situations. Within the autonomic nervous system nerve impulses travel from the brain to the rest of the body, allowing all organs and tissues to function at their optimum. When someone has chronic stress this leads to nerve tension. When blood vessels and nerves are constricted which are contained in muscles that are tight from stress; this leads to dysfunction of the organs and tissues that the vessels supply. Chiropractic adjustments relieve tension, and that helps the body heal from within. Adjustments help reduce spinal nerve irritation and improve blood circulation. These changes play a huge impact on the brain convincing it to turn the autonomic or fight/flight response off. The healing process of the body can now take place. So you can see that chiropractic adjustments are an ideal tool to help restore your body physiology to harmony and as a resultant; balance which equals health.