The Effects of Stress on Your Body

When the spine is in alignment the nervous system works better to fight off the negative effects that stress has on the body.

How does mental stress result in physical tension that is felt in the body?

Dr. Ben Rauch: That’s a great question, Liz. So, mental stress can put our body into a state of sympathetic or fight or flight, and when we’re in that state in our nervous system, our body can physically tighten down, right? If you’re in a situation where you’re mentally stressed, a lot of the times you’ll find yourself with your shoulders up by your ears. You’ll find yourself almost clenching in your jaw. And this type of state puts that physical tension on the body.

What other types of stress have negative effects on the body?

Dr. Ben Rauch: Absolutely. There are three major types of stress, and it’s the mental stress that we just talked about, the physical stressors in our life, so whether you’re in an accident, a fall, or even these micro-physical stressors such as bad posture. And then there’s also chemical stresses that can put our body into that same fight or flight state in our nervous system.

What are some of the side effects people experience when their body is in a constant state of stress?

Dr. Ben Rauch: There are many side effects to being in a constant state of that sympathetic or fight or flight. The first is that stress hormones are constantly being released in our body, so cortisone is released. The other thing that happens to our body is we might feel fatigued. We might feel achiness, soreness, pain. The other thing that happens when we’re in that constant state of stress is that we actually get worse sleep, so we recover slower.

How does a chiropractic spinal adjustment work to reduce stress in the body?

Dr. Ben Rauch: Chiropractic adjustments work to reduce stress in the body by removing the subluxation in the vertebral spine. So, when we’re subluxated, when our spine is not moving correctly, it causes more state of that sympathetic. Which by correcting those alignments, getting the body to move better, the spine to move better, we’re actually getting a better feedback system to the brain, which then allows the nervous system to start functioning more properly, getting us into that parasympathetic or that rest and digest.

Can regular ongoing chiropractic care help the body fight off the negative effects of stress?

Dr. Ben Rauch: Absolutely. I like to look at the body like a cup. When we are filling that cup with stress constantly, and we’re not doing anything to reduce that stress to keep the cup from filling up, eventually we hit the point of overflow where we’re just constantly in that state of stress. With regular chiropractic care adjustments, what happens is we’re helping to reduce that cup and bring that stress out of the cup.

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