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Articles tagged with: stress

Taking Care of Yourself with Mental Health Days

Taking Care of Yourself with Mental Health Days
Published Tuesday, 01 August 2017

In late June, Madalyn Parker, a web developer working at the company Olark in Ann Arbor, Michigan, decided to take a few mental health days away from the job. The surprising part: she actually told her boss exactly why she would be missing work. Even more surprising, the company CEO, Ben Congleton was completely supportive of her decision.

It would probably be safe to assume that most people have taken a mental health day or two or five in their lives. Again, it would be safe to assume that most people don’t tell their bosses this. They call in sick or come up with another excuse that is not as stigmatized as admitting you need some time to take care of your mind. Clare Miller, director of the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health, a division of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation says, “We know from literature that there is a huge amount of calling in sick because of mental health issues.”

Mental Health and the American Workplace

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that in 2014 about 1 in 5 American adults experienced a mental health problem, and 1 in 25 American adults had a major mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.
  • Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States, affecting 18% of American adults.
  • In 2013, 1 in 6 Americans reported taking psychiatric drugs such as antidepressants or sedatives.
  • A 2016 study by the American Psychological Association, found that only 44% of American workers believe that “the climate in their organization supports employee well-being.” 1 in 3 of those workers also reported being chronically stressed at work.
  • Ninety percent of employers now offer employee assistance programs that deal with mental health issues. Charles Lattarulo, the head of American Express’ Healthy Minds campaign told CBS News, “Our global mental health strategy is the belief that we can reduce stigma, that we can make this a safe place to have a mental illness. We embed mental health into the fabric of our culture.”

The Stigma of Mental Illness

Many different factors contribute to mental illnesses, including biological (physical illness, brain chemistry), social (trauma, abuse), and genetic (family history of mental illness) issues. The Partnership for Workplace Mental Health urges employers to “Encourage employees to seek care when they need it by educating the workforce that mental illnesses are real, are medical illnesses rather than conditions of weak character or willpower, and can be effectively treated. Short- and long-term psychological treatment has been shown to improve work abilities in people with anxiety disorders.”

While the stigma around mental health is gradually lessening, many of the responses to Parker’s now-viral tweet demonstrate that society still has a long way to go when it comes to understanding and treating mental health and self-care.

Self-Care and Wellness

Depending on your situation, there are many ways to start taking care of yourself if you are suffering from a mental illness. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and the two often are dependent on each other. Organizations like Mental Health America and GoodTherapy.org offer many examples of self-care, including eating right, exercising regularly, meditating, attending therapy, and connecting often with good friends. Even maintaining good posture has been shown to improve the moods of those suffering from mild to moderate depression!

Physical health is only one facet of your overall well-being. In order to be your best self, it is necessary to take care of your mind as well as your body, and tweets like Madalyn Parker’s show that society is starting to understand how important self-care is to lead a happy and productive life.

PET Scans Show Stress-Relieving Changes in the Brain after Chiropractic Adjustments

PET Scans Show Stress-Relieving Changes in the Brain after Chiropractic Adjustments
Published Tuesday, 18 July 2017

What’s got you stressed today? Crazy traffic? A lengthy to-do list? A needy family member or friend? You’re not alone. In everyday life, there’s good and bad stress. Good stress, also termed eustress, challenges you to adapt to situations in order to succeed. Bad stress, or distress, activates the “fight or flight” response in your brain, gets your heart pumping, promotes confusion, and often causes performance anxiety.

 

Stress and Chiropractic Care

A 2008 study demonstrated that chronic stress can attack and weaken the immune system, making people more susceptible to some diseases, such as diabetes mellitus or ulcerative colitis. Some people are easily able to reduce their stress and cope due to their personalities, genetics, or support system, but it’s not always that simple. Luckily, researchers have found that chiropractic adjustments are a great way to naturally help reduce stress in the body and promote wellness overall.

  • A 2011 study, “Cerebral metabolic changes in men after chiropractic spinal manipulation for neck pain,” used positron emission tomography (PET) scans to record brain activity in men before and after chiropractic spinal manipulation (CSM).
  • The PET scans found that the CSM altered brain activity in the areas of the brain responsible for processing pain and stress, as well as greatly reduced cortisol levels, the chemical that is released in response to stress.
  • More recently, a 2017 study expanded on this research. Researchers tracked the PET scans of 21 male participants taken before and after spinal manipulation therapy (SMT).
  • The PET scans showed metabolic changes in brain and skeletal muscles.  These changes are associated with reduced sympathetic nerve activity, which induces relaxation.
  • The results of this study shows that the chiropractic adjustments actually reduced patients’ stress by changing their brains, and that regular chiropractic care could boost the body’s natural defense against chronic stress and disease.

Healthy, Drug-Free Stress Relief

“Millions of people receive medical advice that links stress relief to pharmaceutical drug use. Safe, long-term health care demands that attention be turned to the proper reduction and management of stress using science and research that point to a healthy alternative,” says an article on dailyrx.com.

Chiropractic care could be that ultimate healthy alternative. Stress is a natural part of life, but when it starts to consume your life, it quickly becomes threat to your health, physically and mentally. Chiropractic adjustments can help return the skeletal system to a more balanced, relaxed state and quiet the “fight or flight” impulses in your mind, relieving stress and keeping you healthy in the long run.

You can read the full 2017 study, “Glucose metabolic changes in the brain and muscles of patients with nonspecific neck pain treated by spinal manipulation therapy” here to learn more. 

[VIDEO] What Interferes with Nerve Impulses

Dr. Levine presents different factors that interrupt normal nerve function

[VIDEO] What Interferes with Nerve Impulses
Published Thursday, 29 June 2017

Video Transcript - What Interferes with Nerve Impulses

Nerve impulses, life energy is affected by stress. Stress is huge. We think of stress generally in something that's bothering us or that we're thinking about. Stress comes in three forms. It's physical, it's chemical, it's emotional. Many of us have all three forms in play. Those three forms of stress will breakdown the nervous system. Increases the adrenal function. Increases blood pressure. Increases cortisol into the system, and that will break down neural function and your immune system. It's important that we identify the stresses.

Here in the office, not only are we dealing with the effects of stress which might be neck pain, back pain, headaches, but we're also identifying the causes of that stress. Maybe it's poor diet. Maybe it's lack of exercises which is probably number one. Maybe it's an old injury or fall that wasn't treated properly. Family stress especially around the holidays. Financial stress.

Either you live within your means or you don't. There's many people, regardless of their income, that have a great deal of stress and has no bearing on the dollar amount. It's how they manage it. Emotional, physical, chemical stresses. That's why our job is to get to the cause of the problem. Not just functionally, but on an emotional level, physical and chemical level.

There is good stress. Stress forces us to wake up every day and make a difference in society. The time I spent working with Seton Hall University and their basketball team, there was stress every time there was a tournament game. It was stress before each game. When that bell rang at the end and the two hands were over, the stress was over until we prepared for the next game. In sports, there's stress. In life, there's stress, but that forces us to produce and it forces us to rise to the occasion. Sometimes, we need to get uncomfortable in ourselves to grow to the next level.

[VIDEO] What is Bad Stress vs. Good Stress?

Sometimes stress is good, but good stress can easily become "bad" stress

[VIDEO] What is Bad Stress vs. Good Stress?
Published Thursday, 01 June 2017

Video Transcript - What is Bad Stress vs. Good Stress? 

The difference between good stress and bad stress. You know, good stress motivates us to a certain extent, and if there's no end point to the stress, there's no resolution. There's no conclusion. You know, if you're building a house it might be stressful going through different contractors and bringing different implements into the house for different situations, but there's an endpoint. When that stress is ongoing and there is no endpoint, and it breaks you down over time. Day in, day out, week in, week out, month in, month out will break you down.

[VIDEO] Explaining SIGMA Results

Dr. Levine Explains The Results From A SIGMA Ultralign

[VIDEO] Explaining SIGMA Results
Published Monday, 06 February 2017

Video Transcripts- Explaining Results from SIGMA Ultralign

With the instrument, I will take a measurement of each vertebra. That measurement will give me a sine wave, and that will measure the normal motion of the vertebra. If the vertebra's not moving properly, due to an old injury or just a vertebra gets like that, locked out of position, we lose mobility, and I get a shift of the wave. Then what happens is the instrument steps in and we will make the adjustment until the graph is corrected, and then we'll see a normal wave afterward.

It might take weeks or months to get that normal wave, but at least we're towards a common goal. It's not just adjusting and adjusting and adjusting, it's working towards something, and then having a measurement.

This would be the process of the chiropractic adjustment, and we get to measure that each and every visit, and then we'll do our reevaluations periodically to see the progress.

[VIDEO] What If I'm Nervous For My Visit?

Dr. Mark Roczey talks about calming your nerves

[VIDEO] What If I'm Nervous For My Visit?
Published Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Video Transcripts- What If I'm Nervous?

Most people do come in nervous because they're unaware about the newer technologies that chiropractic has to offer. What every patient needs to know before coming is that we're going to make sure that they belong here. We're going to find out where the problems are, how long they've been there, and what we need to do to fix them.

Our office, we walk with each patient and show them the steps to reach all their goals. Most importantly, some of the technology now eliminates all the fear of popping, twisting, and turning. It's computerized, it's comfortable, and it's consistent.

Lower Back Pain Relief With Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Natural Methods of Healing Chronic Low Back Pain Once and For All

Published Monday, 10 October 2016

lower back pain and stressThere is a vicious cycle the exists when it comes to chronic low-back pain. The pain cycle may begin with an acute injury from a car accident or with a movement in the wrong direction, but often the cycle continues because of habit. The tension created as a result of the initial injury and pain creates a habit of tensing up muscles and modifying movement because of the fear of the pain. This chronic stress and tension keeps the back pain from truly improving and it can keep you in the pain cycle. 

We've known for a long time that our patients improve when they combine overall wellness practices, like nutrition and meditation, with their chiropractic adjustments. A recent study from the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, Washington clinically proves the physical benefit of mindfulness-based stress reduction on the level of pain experienced by chronic low-back pain sufferers. In this study, adults with chronic low-back pain showed significant improvement after eight weekly two-hour sessions of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), a program that combines meditation with simple yoga poses, a new study found. Participants also practiced MBSR at home. 

After six months, 60% of those who did MBSR reported less pain and could more easily perform activities such as walking, climbing stairs and standing for long periods--a better result than those who treated their chronic low-back pain with medication and/or physical therapy.

If you think you might be caught in a stress-pain cycle, reach out to us at (973) 761-0022 to set up an appointment for a complimentary health assessment. Together we can find a path to wellness and pain relief that works for you.

Reference: Daniel Cherkin, PhD, senior investigator, Group Health Research Institute, Seattle.

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