The Mental Health Benefits Associated with Chiropractic Care
Oct 01, 2019 08:37AM
by Scott Brown and Candace Smart of Smart Therapy in Spokane, WA
Most people associate chiropractic with fixing the aches and pains of daily life or with treatment for an accident or injury. But what if the main cause of your pain isn’t physical but mental? According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. In the United States, 40 million adults suffer from an anxiety disorder. It is common for those that suffer from depression to also have anxiety and vice versa.
Medication is the most common treatment for mental health disorders, though many choose to take a more natural route by utilizing mental health counseling or using a combination of both. Nutrition, yoga and massage are occasionally utilized with success in treating mental health disorders. However, what many people don’t realize is that chiropractic care benefits emotional healing as well.
How Chiropractic Care Improves Mental Health
Our moods are regulated by our body’s chemistry. The chemistry in your organs, as well as your brain, are all regulated by the nervous system. Misalignment of the spine—specifically the first, second or third vertebrae—can cause pressure in the area of the brain stem which creates interference neurologically and chemically. Keeping the spine in proper alignment has shown to have a significant impact on mood and overall well-being.
According to the American Psychological Association, “chronic stress—stress that interferes with your ability to function normally over an extended period—is becoming a public health crisis.” The long-term effects of stress can result in a myriad of mental health complications.
Chiropractors work primarily with the spine—the root of the nervous system through which nerve impulses travel between the brain and the rest of the body—and can help the body manage and process stress in a healthier way. Chiropractic adjustments can reduce spinal nerve irritation and improve blood circulation, which can help signal the brain to turn off the "fight or flight" response and begin the healing process. This in turn helps to decrease perceived stress and reduce depression, anxiety and the many other health issues.
Another way that chiropractic improves mental health is by decreasing any physical pain that may be clouding the mind. As anyone with chronic pain can attest, constant discomfort can have a serious impact on mood and mental health. Studies have proven that depression occurs at a rate of three to four times higher in those with chronic pain when compared to their healthier peers. The cycle of chronic pain and depression can continue indefinitely. Chiropractic can break this cycle. As the spine becomes aligned and pain decreases, anxiety and depression sprouting from pain also decrease.
Therefore, while many may not immediately link the two, chiropractic does affect mental health. Regular chiropractic adjustments have been proven to increase both physical and mental well-being, especially when utilized as a part of a holistic approach to wellness.
Scott Brown, DC is a chiropractor in Mount Vernon, Washington.Candace Smart, MA, NCC, LMHC, CNC, is a mental health counselor and founder of Smart Therapy, located at 9708 N. Nevada St., Ste. 205, in Spokane. Smart Therapy offers mental health counseling, chiropractic care, nutrition guidance and massage therapy. Call 509-466-0226 or visit SmartTherapyGroup.net for more details.