Harper Chiropractic Logo

Got Stress?

Of all the things that many of our patients, friends and family members have in common, being stressed is probably the one we encounter the most. People's lives are so busy, schedules fast and furious, and people have so many professional, familial and personal concerns that it is hard to stay stressfree nowadays. It is now widely known that stress contributes to the leading causes of disease and death in our society. Heart disease, cancer, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression and anxiety are all related to stress!

You see, when faced with a dangerous situation - as in facing a tiger for example - the normal reaction of your body is to increase heart rate and blood pressure, redirect blood flow from the internal organs to the muscles, dilate your pupils, and give a rush of adrenaline that can save your life - it is a normal reaction. The problem is that with today's lifestyle, the daily, relentless chronic stress puts this "normal stress reaction" in your body on a permanent basis, and that is NOT good! Your body perceives this as a dangerous situation and starts chronically elevating your blood pressure, squeezing adrenaline and cortisol out of your adrenal glands, and loses sight of its main job: keeping your internal environment in harmony! This in turn damages your cells, heart, blood vessels, etc.

What if there was a way to measure the effect of chronic stress on the body? There is! Scientists can measure the level of cortisol in your body (usually salivary cortisol) which is a by-product of stress. New, ground-breaking research funded by the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research demonstrated a significant decrease (6.2 to 4.6 mg/dL) in salivary cortisol after 14 weeks of chiropractic care. YES! Chiropractic actually decreased the effects of chronic stress on the body. The same study also showed an increase in Immunoglobin A, which means better immune function!

Another recent ground-breaking study published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, measured the capacity of the body to repair the damage inflicted by stress. Scientists consider serum thiols to be a proper measure of human health status, and provide an estimate of DNA repair enzyme activity. These in turn correlate to lifespan and aging. The highest thiol levels were found in the long-term chiropractic patients. In fact, long-term chiropractic care was shown to re-establish a normal physiological state (corresponding to optimal wellness) independent of age, sex, or nutritional supplements! WOW!

Dr. Christopher Kent, one of the authors explained, "Going through life, we experience physical, chemical, and emotional stress. These stresses affect the function of the nervous system. We hypothesized that these disturbances in nerve function could affect oxidative stress and DNA repair on a cellular level."

"Oxidative stress, metabolically generating free radicals, is now a broadly accepted theory of how we age and develop disease," Kent continued. "Oxidative stress results in DNA damage, and inhibits DNA repair. DNA repair is the mechanism which fixes the damage caused by environmental impact." Chiropractors apply spinal adjustments to correct disturbances of nerve function. "Chiropractic care appears to improve the ability of the body to adapt to stress," continued Kent.

If you have been under a lot of stress and your health is not at its best, maybe it's time for a chiropractic check-up.

If you are a regular chiropractic patient and have been for a long time, congratulations! We commend you our commitment to your health.

Patient Stories

Lori Gilbertson

Lori Gilbertson met us at our booth in the Home and Garden Show. She had a bad headache and was intrigued when her sEMG scan showed significant nerve problems in her neck. She decided to come to our office in order to get the rest of her...

read more...

Patient Stories

Lori Gilbertson

Lori Gilbertson met us at our booth in the Home and Garden Show. She had a bad headache and was intrigued when her sEMG scan showed significant nerve problems in her neck. She decided to come to our office in order to get the rest of her back scanned. Unknown to us, her father had died two weeks prior and she was having terrible chest pains and heart symptoms including a numb left arm. Extensive medical tests had shown nothing, and she was told it was due to the stress of her father’s passing. During her examination, Dr. Liana found many left ribs subluxated and asked if Lori had fallen or had a trauma of some sort. Later, her X-rays showed severe twisting of her thoracic vertebrae, which put pressure on the nerves which lead to the heart and arm. Her main problem was actually headaches of approximately 10 years duration. Shortly after adjustment, the ‘heart’ symptoms and left arm numbness disappeared, and she has only had one headache since she started chiropractic care. Also, Lori had major menstrual pain and symptoms, so much that she would go home and hibernate with 5 – 6 Advil in order to survive. For the first 48 hours, she endured very intense cramps. Her cycles have been getting progressively better, and this last period she had no cramps at all. Finally, Lori is a diabetic and her glucose readings are better; she can actually go off of her medication on weekends (when she has less stress and a more controlled environment.) She has learned a lot about the incredible importance and beneficial effects of lots of water and little sugar on our bodies (even though she was already intimately aware of the sugar issue, being diabetic.) Lori is a joy to have in our office, and if laughter is the best medicine, then she treats us as much as we treat her.