Life is known for having its ups and downs, its good times and bad, it smiles and cries. Life is a roller coaster of emotions and no matter how wiser we become or how much perspective we gain we still encounter stress in our everyday lives. But what is stress? Stress is simply our brain and body's reaction to any demand that requires a response or adjustment. It can be triggered from your body, your thoughts or even your environment. We are creatures of habit and we naturally feel comfortable in regularity, but life always finds a way of throwing us curve balls from time to time. It is how we react to stress that determines if it will create a negative impact on our well being. By accepting that it is a part of life and being proactive by taking the necessary steps to confront it, we can live much happier and healthier lives.
So what happens when we confront stress? Chemicals and nerve impulses begin to create the general adaptation syndrome or G.A.S. which consists of three stages. The first stage is the alarm reaction. Messages travel from your brain to your endocrine system in a “fight or flight” response. If the stress regresses, you revert to your normal state. If the stress persists, you enter the stage of resistance and your body attempts to adapt to it. The muscles in your body become tense, a fever may increase and it becomes difficult to overcome. If the stress regresses, you revert to your normal state. If the stress continues you may enter the final stage of exhaustion where your system fails and may become prone to poor health. This can often progress to chronic stress, a state where you are never completely relaxed and your mind and body may feel constantly fatigued. During chronic stress your energy levels feel continuously drained and it begins to weaken your immune system. In effect you become more susceptible to infection, digestive problems, high blood pressure, heart disease and premature aging.
So what is the root of stress? Where does it all stem from? As stated earlier it can be triggered from our thoughts, our body or our environment. Two of these factors are extremely difficult if not impossible to control. Our thoughts can not be easily silenced nor can we entirely control the environments in which we live. So what does that leave us with? Our bodies. We can choose what we put into them and how we care for them. Most people are unaware of the subluxations they carry in their body’s. A subluxation is the displacement of the bone or vertebrae in the spine. This displacement causes the nerves which go through the narrow openings in the bone to become pinched, which in result suppresses the full function of the pinched nerve and likely the area or organ that the nerve goes to. There are 24 movable vertebrae of the backbone in which various nerves branch out to every part of the body. If any of these vertebrae is slightly subluxated, or displaced, interference with the spinal cord and nerves can result. Most people have subluxations in their body’s for years without knowing it, often caused by an accident, an injury or even an extended period of time with improper movements or posture. These subluxations create stress within your body by causing your muscles to compensate for the displaced bone structure. This stress increases over time and takes a serious toll on your body's ability to properly perform its necessary functions.
Doctors of chiropractic specialize in the correction of these subluxations. By removing the subluxation stress from your body, chiropractic care helps improve the function of your nervous system and promotes better adaptation to stress. Your nervous system is the communication center of your body so when kept in a healthy state your body is capable of healing at a faster rate. When our bodies are healthy it is often much easier to reach a healthy state of mind. We can not control the stressors that find us but we can manage to confront the effect it has on our lives. By eating healthy, exercising weekly and removing subluxations in our body we can reduce the opportunity for stress to take control of our lives.