Chiropractic Stress Series: Mental Stress
Do you feel like your stress levels are higher than they’ve ever been?
You’re not alone.
44% of Americans say in last five years their stress levels have risen dramatically. There are numerous factors that can increase mental stress. Americans attribute stress to their jobs, relationships, money issues, and even just the 24-hour news cycle.
Mental stress, just like physical stress, initiates certain processes in the body that can disrupt the status quo of your health and physical well-being if continued over time.
What Happens to the Body During Mental Stress Situations
When you experience mental stress, a fight or flight response is released in the body. Chemicals are released that cause the following symptoms:
- Elevated heart rate
- Elevated blood pressure
- Increased blood volume
- Adrenaline, epinephrine, and norepinephrine are released
Physical stress may ebb and flow with the bodily response to stress—indeed, physical stress may not last for extended periods of time. However, when the body is responding to mental stress, these levels may be elevated over long periods of time.
Effects of Flight or Fight Response on Body
Increased heart rate, blood pressure and volume, and the chemicals released by the Adrenal Gland can have serious negative impacts on the body, including, but not limited to:
- Tension can cause the muscles to tense
- The spine can become locked in an undesirable position
- The body’s immune system is disrupted
- Slowed healing
- Impaired sleep
- Weight gain
- Digestive issues
- Cardiovascular issues
What a Chiropractor Can Do For You
When muscles become tense and the spine is locked in a position that hinders the nervous system, the body stops functioning at full capacity. When a chiropractor adjust the spine, muscle tension relaxes, leaving the body feeling relaxed, helping to reduce the mental stress. This also helps the brain to turn off the flight or fight response and stop the chemicals being released into your body.
Along with adjustments, a chiropractor can provide therapeutic massage, specifically targeting areas of your body with special techniques to relieve tension. This can help to balance your body and release a build up of chemicals in your muscles and tissues. Insurance might even cover therapeutic massage, be sure to contact your insurance provider.
Chiropractors can offer you nutritional advice that will help to combat some of the issues impacting your body as a result of prolonged mental stress. If you have cardiovascular issues, weight gain, or digestive issues, a chiropractor can help improve your overall wellness by recommending changes and additions to your nutrition that might ease some of the effects of stress. Ask your chiropractor about supplement recommendations to add into your daily routine as well.
If you are suffering from mental stress from any number of causes, the doctors at South Orange Chiropractic Center are available to help you relieve tension and better manage your mental stress. Call our offices today to schedule your appointment and start on the path to better overall health and wellness.