Many patients who see a chiropractor for a certain symptom do not realize the benefits of regular chiropractic care on other areas of health. This month, as we see Spring has started new growth all around us I would like to discuss chiropractic care and anxiety. Anxiety is only one area of mental health people struggle with. Google defines Anxiety as (a noun), a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. The medical diagnosis resource, ICD10 data lists anxiety explaining:
▪ A category of psychiatric disorders which are characterized by anxious feelings or fear often accompanied by physical symptoms associated with anxiety.
▪ A disorder characterized by apprehension of danger and dread accompanied by restlessness, tension, tachycardia (increased heart rate) , and dyspnea (not breathing regularly) unattached to a clearly identifiable stimulus.
▪ Disorders characterized by anxiety or dread without apparent object or cause. Symptoms include irritability, anxious expectations, pangs of conscience, anxiety attacks, or phobias (Italics mine).
Some of us experience an anxious time, an episode or a few days. But, there are many people who suffer from an anxiety disorder. They experience panic attacks that are disabling for a period of time that can last minutes to days. They can be frequent, or intermittent.
Our mind is a very powerful part of our existence. It can promote healing, and it can cause disease. Many of my pediatric patients suffer from anxiety disorder. Regular chiropractic care can be very helpful. It is not recommended to only see one healthcare professional when you experience a chronic illness. We certainly recommend that in addition to your medical provider, and counselor you add regular chiropractic care if you are struggling with anxiety.
In our Chiropractic education, we are taught to promote healing wholistically. The doctor of Chiropractic is concerned that your body, mind and soul are all on a continuum to optimal health.
Many sources tell us that stress, anxiety, and mood will affect our health. Commonly in Chiropractic we see stress manifested in muscle tension, misalignment, nerve interference and sleep disturbance. There are many other symptoms that can be accounted to stress. When the mind and the soul are not addressed in healthcare, 2/3 of healing potential is also not addressed.
The chiropractic adjustment itself is an amazing stress reliever. By experiencing the deep pressure of an adjustment, the tendons surrounding the bone, the golgi tendon fibers are activated and reflexively produce an increase of many neurotransmitters in the body that help the body deal with stress. Certain autonomic nerve supply that particularly supply your heart and lungs get stimulated with at thoracic or mid back adjustment. Even the neurochemical regulation of adrenaline from the glands above your kidneys are stimulated with an adjustment to your back. Craniosacral adjustments can be very helpful with cerebral spinal fluidity. This is extremely important for your brain to be able to communicate within each lobe to help regulate mood, behavior and connect your thoughts.
Getting regular chiropractic care is an excellent investment in your health. Keep in mind that insurance reimbursement is not available for “maintenance” care in Chiropractic. Many insurance companies underestimate how getting regular Chiropractic care can prevent physical injury. However, we think it is well worth it.
Nutrition also plays an enormous part of our whole health. If the diet is void of essential fatty acids, the brain chemistry can be altered. There are certain foods that promote mental clarity. Understanding how nutrition can affect the hormones and neurotransmitters that regulate our mental health is very important. Your chiropractor is one of the few licensed health care providers that have nutritional education in this arena. Because our education is focused on physiology and not pharmacology, chiropractors can sometimes be the compliment you may be needing for your mental health.
We also place equal importance on your mental, physical and spiritual health. Do not neglect seeking spiritual guidance when you are declining on your health continuum. Prayer, meditation and spiritual counsel are extremely important to your health. Be sure you address all three when you are investing into your health care.