Once you understand the power of the mind-body connection, the options for improving your mind and body become limitless! This is precisely why so many people are turning to chiropractic care for anxiety support. Yes, chiropractic care may help with anxiety, chronic worry and excessive thinking. While there is no “easy fix” for anxiety, this a treatment route that has the potential to improve quality of life for many people looking for holistic, gentle treatments for anxiety. The “psychological” benefits of chiropractic care have been known for a long time. In fact, recent research points to documented proof of long-term relief from tension-type headache and major depression following chiropractic treatments. Let’s take a look at how chiropractic adjustments can help people with anxiety find a holistic, natural way to get out from under the burden of living with chronic anxiousness, panic and worry.
Looking at Anxiety Through a Chiropractic Lens
For many people living with anxiety, there is a “perfect storm” scenario going on all of the time! External triggers combined with internal factors can make it difficult to get through the day without feeling completely overwhelmed. Here’s a look at the most common symptoms experienced by people with anxiety:
- Feelings of restlessness.
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
- Constant fatigue.
- Difficulty with concentration.
- Difficulty with focus.
- Muscle tension.
- Constant worry.
- Panic attacks.
- Avoidance of people, places or things that trigger fears/feelings of unease.
As you can see, anxiety is very much a condition where both the mind and body are involved. This is precisely what makes finding an appropriate and effective treatment option so difficult. It’s also why so many common treatment options end up being ineffective.
Some professionals only focus on treating the “mental” aspect of anxiety. This can mean long “talk therapy” sessions that try to dig up the root causes of anxiety. This approach can also include exposure exercises that ask you to confront your anxiety triggers. However, well-crafted efforts may not be effective if they fail to address an underlying physiological cause of anxiety.
Other professionals do focus on the physical aspect of anxiety. However, this generally only includes trying to “manipulate” the brain away from an anxious state using medications. For many people, anti-anxiety medications have very difficult side effects that can leave them feeling “zapped.” Many people are simply uncomfortable using medications that can alter their personalities. They also don’t like the idea of having to deal with the expense, hassle and long-term effects of taking some very serious medications. What’s more, finding the right medication can be a very long trial-and-error experience due to the fact that we all have different reactions to medications. In fact, it is not uncommon to endure some very adverse reactions to medications while trying to treat anxiety chemically.
You aren’t out of options if you’re left feeling unsatisfied by all-cognitive or all-medication approaches to treating anxiety. There is a way to work on healing your body naturally to alleviate anxiety. Let’s talk about the role of chiropractic care in anxiety treatments.
Why Your Anxiety Might Be the Result of a Spinal Misalignment
First, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for treating anxiety. It’s so important to seek help from a qualified mental-health professional if you’re suffering from anxiety symptoms! This becomes even more important if your anxiety is accompanied by depression or panic attacks. However, it always helps to have a little bit of extra information up your sleeve if you’re trying to get to the root of the anxiety that is making it difficult to enjoy life. For some people, the root of anxiety rests in the central nervous system.
Our central nervous system controls hormones that send signals that regulate organ function and performance throughout our bodies. We know that any imbalance in our hormones can greatly impact mood, sleep patterns, energy levels, sex drive, weight and so much more. We also know that a misalignment or blockage somewhere in the central nervous system can cause those very important hormonal signals to go haywire.
It’s actually quite easy for an issue in our neck or spine to compromise our central nervous system. Something like a simple spinal injury or misalignment can create a subluxation that blocks the flow within the nervous system. Just one vertebra being slightly out of line can create a host of symptoms that can reverberate throughout the body. While we may feel pain stemming from a misalignment, it’s not guaranteed. That means that it’s fairy common for people to live with subluxations in the spine or central nervous system without even realizing that something is wrong.
A subluxation or misalignment can lead to pain, loss of mobility, headaches, poor sleep, depression, mood issues and anxiety over time. A person may confuse their very troubling symptoms for other serious medical conditions. In fact, an undetected subluxation can cause a person to seek testing and treatments for years before finally getting to the bottom of the issue with help from a chiropractor! Using strategic adjustments, a chiropractor can ease a spinal misalignment or subluxation back into proper alignment. This is effective both for relieving pain and restoring natural communication within the central nervous system. As a result, the blockage that may have been responsible for feelings of anxiety can no longer hinder hormonal signals within your body.
The main goal of chiropractic care for anxiety is to alleviate the underlying physical issue that is creating anxiety-provoking conditions within your body. However, there are many other benefits that holistically benefit patients. Here’s a look:
- Lowered Blood Pressure: Studies show that chiropractic sessions can help to reduce blood-pressure levels. This is important because high blood pressure is linked with high levels of stress anxiety.
- Release of “Relaxation” Hormones: Chiropractic adjustments promote the natural release of “feel-good” hormones like neurotensin, oxytocin and cortisol.
- Sleep Support: Research shows that chiropractic care is linked with improved sleep patterns. For patients experiencing cognitive symptoms related to poor sleep, this can be a major breakthrough.
- Relaxation: Research shows that the body is in a more relaxed state following chiropractic adjustments.
It’s clear to see that chiropractic adjustments can induce authentic relaxation that impacts the body physically and hormonally. For many people seeking natural relief for anxiety, sessions that are dedicated to getting the body back in balance offer a way to finally unwind without distractions. This means that both immediate and long-term benefits can help patients to overcome anxiety.
Should You Try Chiropractic Care for Anxiety?
First, there’s no need to take an all-or-nothing approach when researching anxiety-relief options. You can certainly continue with your existing anxiety treatments when starting chiropractic care if you’re already working with a doctor or therapist to manage your anxiety. Chiropractic care is a gentle, natural and medication-free way to treat anxiety that doesn’t interfere with other anxiety treatments. You may be an especially good candidate for chiropractic care if you have a known injury point somewhere in your spine or soft tissue stemming from a sports injury, accident or strain that you suspect may be lingering. If anxiety treatments haven’t offered what you’re looking for, it’s a good time to explore the many benefits of chiropractic care for mental health!