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Can Chiropractic Care Help Mental Health?

According to studies, one in five Americans suffers from mental health illness which can greatly impact a person’s overall quality of life and health. Chiropractic care has been known to help with those who suffer from mental health illnesses through the use of holistic treatments to relieve the many symptoms that are caused by poor mental health. Let’s get into how!

First of all, the nervous system is responsible for controlling emotional and psychological health. Chiropractic care, believe it or not, deals with maximizing the health of the nervous system. Recent studies remark on the improvements in the autonomic nervous system with chiropractic care because by removing nerve interference, it allows for regulation of the sympathetic nerves which control the fight or flight mechanism of the brain. By allowing for better control of those mechanisms, people therefore have a better time managing the stress of mental health illnesses.

Depression is one of the most common mental health illnesses and can be caused from a chemical imbalance in the brain and may lead to other serious health concerns if not treated properly. Anxiety is another very common mental health illness, often characterized by fatigue or inability to sleep, muscle tension/stiffness, migraines or headaches, aches and pains and the overall inability to relax. Both of these mental health issues have been known to cause imbalances in the body that contribute to these symptoms, and believe it or not chiropractic care can help. When consulted by a chiropractor, they will give a thorough examination and find places within the spine that could benefit from manipulation. By manipulating the spine, a few things can occur:

  1. Improved blood Flow - This is important for the relaxation of the stiff and tense muscles. When the spine is manipulated, it allows blood to flow more freely through the body and relax the muscles. This can be very therapeutic for those with mental health issues.
  2. Decreased pressure on nerves - If spinal vertebrae are out of place, it can place pressure on the surrounding nerves. Since the nervous system circulates throughout our bodies, a blocked nerve in the lower back can actually affect all sorts of places in the body. Once a chiropractor has identified a problem area, symptoms can often be alleviated after one adjustment. The chiropractor will recommend a regimen that will more than likely include regular visits and perhaps other related treatments such as massage or meditation.
  3. Release of positive hormones - Studies show that after getting a chiropractic adjustment, your body triggers an increase in hormones such as neurotensin, oxytocin, and cortisol. These help to neutralizes stress-induced pain, boosts neuro-communication and boosts feelings of social bonding and blocks pain deriving from inflammation
  4. Reduces muscle activity - Studies suggest that after spinal manipulation, muscle activity was reduced by 25%. By reducing muscle activity, people oftentimes notice an improved ability to be able to relax.

In addition to spinal manipulation, chiropractors can provide a variety of other treatments that reduce the symptoms of anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. Chiropractic care uses a mind and body approach to target specific problem areas. They do this by looking at all health areas, including adjustments, therapies, exercise, diet and supplements. When it comes to chiropractic care, no stone goes unturned. Let’s look into some other ways mental health can be improved:

Massage Therapy with chiropractic care - Mental health illnesses can cause a variety of issues such as stress, high blood pressure, muscle tightness and insomnia. Studies support the idea that chiropractic care and massage therapy can reduce blood pressure and stress symptoms. One study even saw results after only 15 minutes of workplace massage therapy. Massage therapy along with chiropractic care can also help greatly with muscle tightness that causes aches and pains in the body as well as tension headaches and migraines. Lastly, stress has a huge impact on our health, and can oftentimes cause our brains to go into overdrive and make sleeping difficult. From falling asleep to staying asleep your body then can’t get a healthy night’s rest which prevents your body from being able to heal during the time it most efficiently can. Chiropractic manipulation has been shown to help people with sleep issues, along with massage therapy as well. In addition, breast cancer patients found significant relief from insomnia after massage therapy. If you’re struggling with fatigue and insomnia, chiropractic care and/or massage therapy may help.

Supplemental Vitamins: Even small changes, such as incorporating supplements and vitamins into your diet, may have a positive impact on the symptoms related to mental health issues. Some vitamins that your chiropractor may recommend include Omega 3’s or 6’s, A Vitamin B complex, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and so many more. Each supplement has its own unique way of helping reduce some symptoms that people may experience including fatigue, stress, anxiety, sadness, muscle tightness, etc.

Exercise and stretching - Many chiropractors will help their patients come up with a variety of exercises, stretches or other activities that can help reduce stiffness, stress and fatigue. Talk to your chiropractor to see what might be best for your body.

Although a consultation with a mental health professional is also recommended, if you are suffering from any of the symptoms above or mental health issues, you are encouraged to visit with your chiropractor and reap the benefits available to you as well.. It’s time to gain back your body and quality of life. For more information call Duncan Chiropractic today.