Your Reaction Is Stress

Stress can be a sneaky devil. You may not even sense it, but it can wreak havoc on your nervous system.

“Stress is not your job, the taxes you owe or the relationships you have – those are events,” says Dr. Harry Heeder, a San Diego chiropractor. “Stress is how your body reacts on the inside to those events.”

There are hundreds of diseases and virtually all of them are exacerbated by the same thing – accumulated stress.

While eustress is the good kind of stress we get from working out or getting a raise, it’s the bad stress – distress – that can be harmful and affect your body’s ability to function at 100 percent.

The 3 types of stress

Bad stress comes in 3 forms: physical, mental/emotional and chemical stress.

chiropractic_physical_stressPhysical Stress is caused by such things as lack of exercise, prolonged sitting, sports collisions, falls, using a keyboard all day or swinging a hammer for 8 hours, etc.
Man Paying the BillsMental/Emotional Stress can come from worry, fear and anxiety over events or situations past, present and future.
SONY DSCChemical Stress is the result of a poor diet, polluted air, alcohol, caffeine, tobacco – and even sunscreens and antiperspirants.

All of these accumulate and over time can cause progressive and relentless health problems unless something is done to slow or stop the progression.

The stress response

The stress response (also called the fight-or-flight response) is an unconscious action carried out to save your life in the event of a real threat.

For example, if a big, snarling dog starts chasing you, your body will automatically increase your heart rate and your blood pressure and move your blood to the muscles where it’s needed so you can escape.

Once the dog reaches the end of its chain and the threat is gone, all those body functions should automatically return to normal. The key to health is in your body’s ability to adapt and recover from these stressful events, since there will always be something happening in your life that you don’t like.

While we are perfectly able to handle a short-term fight-or-flight response to save our lives in times of a real threat, we are not made to handle a sustained and chronic stress response without our health eventually starting to deteriorate and affecting our nervous system. This stress response gets harmful when you turn it on unnecessarily.

How stress damages your health

You see, the brain does not know the difference between a real and an imagined threat. It will activate the stress response either way, keeping dangerous levels of stress hormones like cortisol and noradrenaline in the bloodstream.

Blood sugar levels also remain high, so the risk for insulin resistance and diabetes is higher, for example. Heart rate and blood pressure stay elevated, causing hypertension and heart disease. Your immune system slows down when you’re in survival mode, so you’re more likely to get infections or develop autoimmune diseases such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. LDL cholesterol levels are higher in stressed people and inflammation is ongoing, which has now been linked most closely to atherosclerosis, heart attacks and stroke.

Now for the muscle system. Some muscles can tighten and overwork – think neck and shoulder tension and a tight low back. Many of these muscles that attach to your spinal bones, which are suffering from increased and uneven tension, will cause the spine to move out of alignment and damage the very nerves they are designed to protect! This causes a negative loop inside the body.

It’s this vicious cycle of increased stress, poor nerve function, increased muscle tension and misaligned bones and joints that makes the nervous system perform poorly and quietly deteriorate your health over time -unless the cycle is reversed.

How a chiropractor can help

Chiropractors are nerve system doctors. They align the spine because the spine protects the spinal cord and nerves – that communication highway between the brain and the body.

A poorly aligned spine damages that communication by interfering with how the spinal cord and the nerves work.

On the other hand, a properly aligned spine allows that brain body communication to be at its best. This allows your muscles to relax, bones and joints to stay in alignment and nerves to communicate properly to every cell, organ and tissue in the body. You will not only feel better, but function better on the inside.

Chiropractic adjustments help restore proper nerve flow so that your natural state of well-being returns and pain goes away without the need for medicines or surgery.

Contact us to get started today!