It’s impossible to avoid stress entirely in today’s world, but prolonged periods of it can take a toll on your physical health and mental well-being. For some people, ongoing stress contributes to anxiety problems. Anxiety disorders affect roughly 40 million adults in the United States, making them the most common mental illness in the United States.
With a quick Internet search, you’ll find that there are many proposed medicinal and alternative methods of easing anxiety and stress, including chiropractic care. If you’re unfamiliar with chiropractors’ claims that say they can help with mental issues such as anxiety disorders can seem far-fetched. You may find yourself wondering, “Can chiropractors help with stress? Really?” The truth is that chiropractic care can provide benefits for more than just your body. Read on to get the facts about visiting chiropractors for symptoms of anxiety and stress.
Table of Contents
What Is Anxiety Disorder?
It’s normal to feel anxious about work, school, family problems, and the state of the world, but for people with anxiety disorders, that worry begins to interfere with daily life. There are many different types of anxiety disorders. A common form is a generalized anxiety disorder, marked by periods of excessive worry that last for at least six months. Social anxiety is another type and tends to surface when people find themselves in social settings.
What Causes Anxiety and Stress?
Anxiety and feelings of stress both stem from the human body’s physical processes that were once necessary for survival. When early humans encountered predators and other dangers in their environment, they needed to either ward off their attacker or flee. To make this possible, the human brain sent out a distress signal that triggered the release of certain body chemicals like adrenaline. This is known as the fight or flight response.
We no longer have to fight or flee regularly in modern times, but the physical response remains. When we become upset or worried, the same chemicals that once allowed us to run faster or become temporarily stronger to do battle with a predator cause stress symptoms and lead to anxiety.
Signs of Stress and Symptoms of Anxiety
Symptoms of anxiety and stress are similar and can include:
- Body aches
- Chest pain
- Difficulty seeping
- High blood pressure
- Tight muscles
- Jaw clenching
People with anxiety disorders may begin to avoid things that trigger their symptoms, suffer from depression and withdraw from friends and family.
What Is Chiropractic Adjustment?
Chiropractic adjustment involves manipulating the spine to improve the body’s alignment to address physical symptoms and promote overall well-being. A chiropractor may perform adjustments with their hands or with small instruments. Most adjustments can be completed within 30 minutes, though some sessions may be as short as five minutes.
Chiropractic Benefits for Stress Relief and Anxiety
Anecdotally, many people find chiropractic adjustments to be relaxing. During a session, you lie face down on a table and have a chance to close your eyes and clear your mind. Taking a break from the day for this type of self-care can provide some stress relief.
In recent years, scientists have sought to find the answer to the question, “can a chiropractor relieve stress and anxiety?” One study involved individuals who were suffering from both anxiety and high blood pressure. Half of the individuals underwent assessments by an experienced chiropractor and then received customized chiropractic adjustments. The other half was given traditional control treatments for high blood pressure and stress.
At the end of the study, researchers asked the participants to rate their levels of anxiety. They also monitored their blood pressure levels. The study showed that the individuals who received chiropractic care saw significant decreases in anxiety levels and improved blood pressure readings.
Choosing a Chiropractor for Stress and Anxiety
Based on scientific inquiry and anecdotal evidence, the answer to the question “can a chiropractor help with stress and anxiety?” seems to be yes; however, not all chiropractors are the same. You must choose a chiropractor who has experience treating individuals who suffer from stress and anxiety to ensure the best results. Schedule a consultation to discuss your concerns before your first adjustment to ensure the best results. Ask how many patients the chiropractor has treated for stress and anxiety and what techniques they use.