Stress Happens and can negatively impact your health.
I am not just talking about emotional stress, but physical and chemical as well.
Your body has to fight against things its entire life. It should be winning that fight. As soon as it is losing the fight against stress, you’re in trouble! – Mississauga Chiropractor Dr. Callum Peever
What types of stress does your body face?
Your body is constantly subjected to stress. Even if you think you have none in your life, realize that you can’t get away from gravity! Event when sitting comfortably gravity is still pulling down on you. Your body has to adapt to the stress of gravity daily.
Minimizing the impact this has on your body is a good way to live towards a longer, more comfortable, and active life.
Your body is constantly adapting to the stressors in your external and internal environment. This environment is not always easy on you and you can’t always escape it. Whether it be gravity pulling you down, your boss putting you down, or the smog in your city making it hard for you to breathe.
Conveniently, the body has an amazing inborn innate ability to adapt to stress of all types.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can abuse your body and expect to live towards a long, comfortable, and active life. You can lose the battle against stress if you aren’t careful and aren’t supporting your body.
How does the body adapt?
The body is an adaptation machine. Your bones are constantly adapting to the gravitational and physical load you put on them. Your muscles are constantly shrinking and growing depending on what you are using them for. Your heart is constantly changing the amount of blood to pump through your body to keep the body supplied with oxygen and nutrients that meet its demands. There is a lot going on, constantly! This innate ability to adapt allows humans to be perfectly suiting to their environment.
This amazing ability is coordinated by the brain and nerve system. If you create a positive situation for your body to adapt, it will come through STRONGER. Unfortunately, if you do not give your body a chance to adapt to the stress it takes short cuts or breaks down in the face of overwhelming stress. Because your brain is coordinating the adaptation to stress, the emotional challenges you are subjected to will also be felt throughout your entire body, and health!
Here is a 2010 research article highlighting how dangerous stress can be. This article points out that chronic stress is a main factor creating high blood pressure, which is a major health problem in North America today:
Chronic Activation of the Sympathetic Nervous System is the Dominant Contributor to Systemic Hypertension
The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is the program of the brain that is turned on when under stress (or “fight or flight”. The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is the program of the brain that is turned on when the allowed to relax or repair.
What can a Mississauga Chiropractor do to minimize the impact of stress on the body?
Chiropractic focuses on supporting and encouraging the brain and nerve system to adapt by removing stress and interference that builds up directly on the nerve system. In doing so your body has more flexibility to adapt to stress that come your way.
Does that mean I don’t have to change my lifestyle?
Chiropractic will help enable your nerve system to adapt to more stress. But, if you continue to hit your head against a wall, you will keep running into similar problems. I frequently have to coach my patients on the stress they are subjecting their bodies to. Some they are aware of, and some of it they are not. By measuring the stress that builds up through the body, I can help them identify key areas where it is overwhelming their body. This way they can focus on a specific areas of their life and body to address which I find more successful.
A suggestion I give frequently is to minimize the stress your body is subjected to. Think of the challenges your body faces. Can you decrease some of the negative things in your life?
If you can, your body will have a much easier time at adapting to your life. Not an easy time… just easier.
Throughout life you need to support and encourage your brain and nerve system in order to minimize the impact that life’s stress has on you. Chiropractic can help with this!
Chiropractic also helps by taking a proactive approach to health and wellness, and encouraging proper function and alignment.
I look forward to helping you live a more comfortable, long, and active life. Continue reading below to learn how stress can affect your health.
Dr. Callum Peever – Mississauga Chiropractor
How Stress can affect your Health
Your emotional and physical health are directly linked. There are many ways that stress will directly affect your health. Stress can affect lower back pain, increase your risk for Alzheimer’s, reduce productivity at work, weight gain, reduce sleep, and create a reduced quality of life.
Stress and Low Back Pain
Low back pain and stress go hand in hand, both increase the risk for each other.
Emotional distress as a predictor for low back disability: a prospective 12-year population-based study.
Spine. 2007 Jan 15;32(2):269-74.
Stress and Alzheimer’s Risks
Research shows that emotional factors, such as depression and anxiety, are strongly tied to the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Chronic psychological distress and risk of Alzheimer’s disease in old age.
Neuroepidemiology. 2006;27(3):143-53. Epub 2006 Sep 13.
Stress and Sleep
Research shows that adequate sleep is essential to optimal health. Missed sleep is linked with a myriad of disorders including depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment and difficulty losing weight.
Psychological factors and insomnia among male civil servants in Japan.
Sleep Med. 2007 Apr;8(3):209-14. Epub 2007 Mar 21.
CHRONIC INSOMNIA AND STRESS SYSTEM
Sleep Med Clin. 2007 Jun; 2(2): 279–291.
Stress and Work Productivity
Many individuals are under the impression that stress bolsters productivity. However research shows that while a small dose of stress may initially spur efficiency, any more than a small amount will decrease productivity.
The association of corporate work environment factors, health risks, and medical conditions with presenteeism among Australian employees.
Am J Health Promot. 2006 Nov-Dec;21(2):127-36.
Stress and Quality of Life
Slashing stress is essential for optimum quality of life. Studies show that stress is the number 1 factor associated with poor quality of life, especially for those with multiple diseases.
Effect of chronic diseases and associated psychological distress on health-related quality of life.
Intern Med J. 2007 Jan;37(1):6-11.
The Chiropractic lifestyle aims to reduce the impact that this stress has on your health.
Doctors of chiropractic know that emotional and physical health are inextricably linked. The chiropractic lifestyle is a mode of living that focuses on disease prevention through healthy choices for body, mind and spirit. Stress reduction is an integral part of this lifestyle.
Engage in Exercise
Daily exercise is a winning stress busting strategy. Carving out an hour per day for a structured workout will work wonders when it comes to slashing anxiety. However even a shorter cardiovascular workout, such as a brisk 20 minute power walk, plummets stress levels. The good news is that exercise is cumulative, so small bursts of exercise throughout the day add up. For instance, opt for the stairs instead on the elevator and park at the far side of the parking lot. This strategy of small bursts of exercise throughout the day also comes in handy for those that have to sit throughout the day. The more you stand up throughout the day, the less the impact of sitting will have on your body.
Call on a Confidant
Research reveals that relying on at least one co-worker to listen and empathize dramatically reduces work-related stress and improves sleep quality. Supportive networks outside work are just as important. If you feel stress mounting, block out some time to connect with someone who’s upbeat and caring. Even if it’s just for a quick phone call.
If your stress seems to be consuming your life, consider counselling form a licensed professional. Therapy may be a helpful jump start to long-term stress reduction.
As your partners in health, this chiropractic office wants you to enjoy a heightened level of wellness. Make sure to maintain regular chiropractic checkups to combat the effects of stress on your spine and body.