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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Stress Time Bomb / Chiropractic Can be Your Deavtivator

(My article in the Oct. 1, 2013 Citizen)

I was in the car the other day when I heard an interesting news story on the radio about Oprah Winfrey. She publicly disclosed she had acute stress disorder last year. A psychologist commented that it is a serious disorder made worse by our hyper-stimulated society.

It is more likely seen in someone with a severe trauma such as a physical attack or after experiencing a natural disaster, but she blamed it on an exhausting work schedule.

Stress is the invisible monster that most of us tend to ignore until some type of health warning startles us. Stress is not an obvious disease like a heart attack, ulcer, or flu. It is only a priority if you make it a priority.

Things can happen to us unexpectedly. We can experience stress that we have no control over such as bad weather, although we can plan for it. We also tend to put up with a great deal of self made stress because it's not inconvenient enough to change.

That's one thing I have no control over. I can't compete with other people's stress as I try to help them discover vibrant health. As it gradually chips away at health, stress is not recognized as a problem that needs intervention. It is this gray area of possible disease but not real enough to need treatment where chiropractic is the unsung hero.

Chiropractic deals with stress management by looking at the spine as a barometer or sort of measuring stick. The spine absorbs stress. Stress comes in three forms: physical or mechanical, chemical including diet, and emotional. Over time, the spine eventually becomes the stress. This in turn leads the nervous system to backfire and rewire.

A backfiring nervous system creates pain syndromes and places a strain on the rest of the body. Once rewired, the body's resistance becomes weakened and recurrent illnesses are more difficult to shake off. These complaints fall into the realm of the gray area of unspecific sickness. We tolerate these complaints and give them permission to fester.

With chiropractic care, adjustments to the spine release tension so healthier patterns can resume. Chiropractors also help people identify people's sources of stress so they can implement positive change.

There are complicating factors each one of us has to become honest about and that brings us back to Oprah Winfrey's personal story. How much stress will each of us ignore? In what areas of our lives are we going to let ourselves be run into the ground?

What we call stress today may be a minor annoyance, but it becomes physically imprinted on the spine in a way that cannot be reversed if it eventually breaks down bone, causing discs to leak and the brain to shrink.

I've heard too many people voice regret that they didn't understand this broader view of chiropractic's influence on health. You can now start looking at your spine as a health barometer and pick up on important clues that will help you get to the chiropractor early.