Stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. In small doses it can actually be good for you, think exercise, it’s stressful on the body, but the body adapts to the stress and body gets bigger and stronger, or has more endurance depending on what type of exercise you are doing. On the other hand, if the stress is chronic, think months on end, your body will not have the ability to adapt, because the body cannot heal efficiently if the stress remains.
On top of acute versus chronic stress, there are different forms of stress. In chiropractic we call this the 3 T’s; Traumas, Thoughts, Toxins.
Trauma may seem self-explanatory like a car accident or sports injury, but there is also what we call micro-traumas, which is the repetitive stresses we put on our bodies every day. We used to see it more in factory or assembly line workers who do the same repetitive movements over and over. However, we now see less of that and more people working with computers, which puts a tremendous amount of stress on the spine. I’ve written several blogs on this so I won’t go into further detail in this article, you can reference the previous articles if interested.
Thoughts?! What do thoughts have to do with Chiropractic? Well if you are emotionally stressed, anxious, or depressed you typically carry a lot of tension in your shoulders and back muscles. It only gets worse with time, and many of the muscles are anchored to the spine, so they continue to tighten and negatively effect spinal alignment and posture. This is why they call it a “tension” headache, because the tension in your muscles is irritating the spine and the associated nerves. I often recommend patients practice stress reduction techniques like breathing, meditation, yoga, etc.
Toxins can get tricky, simply because there are so many toxins out there, and everybody’s body responds differently to them. When most people think toxin, they usually think something like lead poison. While that is a very serious condition for the most part unless you work with heavy metals or chemicals like round-up you don’t have to be worry about chemical toxicity. But what I do see very often is nutritional toxicity. A diet high in processed foods and sugar, gut micro-biome imbalances, and food low in vitamins and minerals can cause chronic inflammation throughout the body. This alone can make the body feel crumby, think what would happen if you tried to run your new car on diesel fuel…you wouldn’t make it very far. Therefore advanced lab testing is so important, it will allow you and the doctor to see what type of imbalances there are and how to fix them.
All 3 T’s (trauma, Thoughts, and Toxins) can cause spinal misalignments, and that’s what I correct with my spinal adjustments. But sometimes traumas, thoughts and toxins cause other types of problems. I often see patient who come in with issues I can help with, but maybe they have PTSD, or anxiety and depression that needs to be managed by a psychologist, or they have inflammatory arthritis issues, like Rheumatoid, and they would see the best results if they addressed their gut health at the same time and receiving chiropractic care.
Ultimately that is my goal for the patients: The best results possible. If that means I need to co-manage and collaborate with other professional I’m happy to.
I find many times, patients are already working with other professionals, but if they are not or looking for a second opinion, I have a lot of great resources for them. This is also why we host regular workshops with other providers, so our practice members and community can be exposed to multiple different health resources. This month I have Dr. Glenn Harrison of Center for Functional Medicine coming to talk about those toxins mentioned, and how your gut health can effect your overall health, and Erica Hubbard, LSW and Psychotherapist will be speaking on emotional well-being and it’s effects on your physical well-being.
You can RSVP here, seat is limited: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/84908067315
I hope you can make it, and make sure you are on our email list so you can see announcements for future workshops if you missed this one.