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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cortisol and Chiropractic: Hormonal Help

"The more severe the pain or illness, the more severe will be
the necessary changes. These may involve breaking bad habits,
or acquiring some new and better ones."
- Peter McWilliams

I found this article online as I was looking for more information on stress and lifestyle. This article nicely explains how chiropractic helps manage stress before it manages you.

Chiropractic and Your Immune Function
Chiropractic recognises the inherent ability of the human body to regulate its internal mechanisms and adjust to the many physical, chemical and emotional stresses that confront us in everyday life. The body's stress response is designed to accommodate temporary circumstances that require a 'fight or flight' reaction. A good example is to imagine you're being chased by a wild animal. In this situation the body has to prioritise the functions that are needed most.

Blood pressure and heart rate become elevated to enable quick muscle response. Non-essential functions such as digestion and the immune system, both of which can be quite taxing of the body's energy reserves, are given less priority. These rapid changes result from the release of large amounts of hormones, known as catecholamines (eg. adrenalin) and cortisol (stress hormones). This response is extremely effective when needed for the short periods of stress that were typical of our earlier primitive lifestyles. Unfortunately the demands of modern life mean that our bodies try and cope with excessive stress levels on an almost constant basis.

Depression, hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, obesity, cancer, metabolic disorders - especially Type 2 diabetes - and sex hormone imbalances are endemic within Western society. Chiropractic recognises these individual medical complaints as normal physiological responses to unhealthy lifestyles. These symptoms are all profoundly influenced by the presence of increased levels of cortisol and associated stress hormones.

Thus a well functioning immune system is dependent on these hormone levels being kept in balance. In current society, stress is experienced in many ways. Sedentary lifestyle (physical) and poor nutrition (chemical) and emotional anxiety and strain are all examples that can affect us. Whilst some degree of stress is a normal part of life, excessive stress experienced on a daily basis, is undeniably detrimental to overall health. Every effort should be made to reduce stress levels and counteract their negative long-term effects.

Technological advancements have significantly reduced the daily physical activity that was a feature of previous generations. This means that certain health initiatives such as regular exercise, stretching, sufficient rest, good nutrition and ample hydration have become even more important in reducing stress hormone levels as well as their obvious physical and mental benefits.

Another essential aspect of this healthy lifestyle is Chiropractic. It is just as important as eating the right foods and getting enough water. Chiropractic enables people to reach their full potential by allowing their nervous system to function without interference from spinal restrictions called subluxations.

These subluxations have far more reaching effects on the whole body than just causing pain. That's why pain is such a poor indication of health and why it is good to receive regular Chiropractic care, to check and remove spinal subluxations before they become a health issue. Prevention is always better than a cure. Ever increasing scientific research is supporting the link between chiropractic care and improved overall health and not just pain removal. Emerging results from groundbreaking research being conducted in Sydney has confirmed a significant improvement to immune response following chiropractic treatment.

Blood tests taken before and after chiropractic adjustments showed an increase in IgA levels (immune system function) with a corresponding decrease in cortisol levels. These results suggest that chiropractic may be of assistance in helping your body adapt to stress. This is why it is such an integral part of a healthy lifestyle.

Children are amazingly perceptive at picking up on any stress in their parents' lives. Even as babies they are remarkably in tune with our feelings, and the effects of a mother's stress (as well as positive emotions) can even be seen in an unborn child! This, of course, is bad news for most parents, since we are all too often overworking ourselves and feeling the effects of stress.

In order to look after our children we need to look after ourselves. We've all heard it before but it really is important to ensure that we get a good diet, regular exercise and plenty of rest - at least most of the time. And of course, the occasional pampering treatment - so go on, spoil yourselves! After all, you're doing it for the kids!

Did you Know?

Stress in childhood creates an increased vulnerability to stress in later life. Love and positive attention helps to strengthen a child's immune system. Daily routines help to create a stable environment and increase a child's feelings of security, thereby lessening the effects of stress. Numerous studies have shown that breastfeeding helps to improve a child's immune system.

Dr Neil Davies D.C, is the author of Chiropractic Pediatrics A Clinical Handbook (Churchill Livingstone 2000) and developer of the NeuroImpulse Protocol and Adjusting the Child seminar programmes for chiropractors. His passion for improving the clinical skills of chiropractors is well known in international circles and he will be commencing new courses in USA in 2008.


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See you at the table...the chiropractic table.

Dr. Lisa
--Your Health Freedom Coach

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Just want to ask if Serrapeptase Enzyme as it has a potent anti-inflammatory properties which can be used as natural alternative treatment