Chiropractic Adjustments Reduce Stress Markers In the Body

Picture of Dr. Daniel Gonzalez: Family Health Chiropractic
Dr. Daniel Gonzalez, D.C.

You have said it many times yourself: It’s probably just stress. Yet, blaming our struggles and pains on something as abstract as stress is not very useful. If asked, most people cannot even define it, much less measure it? The term “stress,” coined by the father of stress research Hans Selye, defined it as “the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change”. Selye noted in numerous experiments that laboratory animals subjected to acute but different noxious physical and emotional stimuli (blaring light, deafening noise, extremes of heat or cold, perpetual frustration) all exhibited the same pathologic changes of stomach ulcerations, shrinkage of lymphoid tissue and enlargement of the adrenals. He later demonstrated that persistent stress could cause these animals to develop various diseases similar to those seen in humans, such as heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

So even though it’s hard to quantify, the fact remains that stress kills. Doctors and health professionals agree that chronic stress attacks the body and systematically destroys an otherwise healthy organism. Research published in 2008 showed that up to ninety percent of all primary care doctor visits dealt with stress-related complaints. Millions of people receive medical advice that links stress relief to pharmaceutical drug use. Safe, long-term health care demands that attention be turned to the proper reduction and management of stress using science and research that point to a healthy alternative.

The most harmful effect of stress first occurs in the brain. Therefore, strategies and solutions to minimize and cope with the effects of stress must begin with the brain. Scientists conducted a 2017 study on the brain utilizing a $3 million PET (Positive Emission Tomography) scan. PET scans provide images that allows doctors to check for diseases and adverse function in the body including brain activity. Part of the exam is to inject a special dye with radioactive tracers into a vein of the arm. Organs and tissue absorb the tracers and allow the PET scanner to evaluate function while measuring an array of data ranging from blood flow to oxygen use and much more. Doctors primarily use PET scans to test for cancer and to evaluate the function of the heart, brain, and nervous system.

The 2017 study evaluated the effects of a Chiropractic adjustment using the PET scan technology on 21 different subjects. The PET scan determined that brain function increased and stress levels decreased in every single subject. Measurements also recorded the occurrence of multiple changes in brain activity.  Movement, posture, emotions, learning, and memory centers of the brain all improved after the Chiropractic adjustment. Brain processing experienced a reduction in fight or flight activity and led to relaxation in the brain and reduced tension in muscles. Measurements also showed a decreased level of stress induced chemicals in the saliva.

The PET scan concluded that Chiropractic adjustments reduce stress by changing the brain. Regular Chiropractic care amplifies the body’s natural defense against chronic stress and disease. The 2017 study adds another page into an ever growing compilation of evidence-based research proving the positive impact made by regular Chiropractic adjustments on hormones, emotions, cognition, and memory. Chronic stress begins in children and manifests in disease and sickness at all ages. Stress continues to be the single largest reason for doctor-related visits in today’s culture. Chiropractic plays a vital role in helping men and women of all ages overcome the effects of stress without dangerous drugs and chemicals.

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