If you’re dealing with depression and/or anxiety, chiropractic care may help. Generally speaking, chiropractic care involves a mind-body approach that favors adjusting physical symptoms in order to improve mental ones. A chiropractor is well-equipped to take a holistic approach to your mental health, looking at all possible ways to make you feel better.
New studies now back up the effectiveness of chiropractic care in relieving certain mental health symptoms. For many, chiropractic may be a natural, affordable care option for improving quality of life for patients with depression and/or anxiety. Let’s look specifically at how chiropractic care is proven to help.
Symptoms of anxiety and depression
Over 40 million adults in the United States will face mental illness every year. While anxiety disorders are the most common, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Symptoms are unique to each patient, but common physical impacts of anxiety and depression include:
- Fatigue or inability to sleep
- Muscle tension and stiffness
- Headaches or migraines
- Aches and pains throughout the body
- Inability to relax
These physical symptoms can exacerbate mental symptoms and make anxiety and/or depression harder to live with. Luckily, chiropractic care is uniquely positioned to relieve these physical symptoms.
Let’s take a closer look at how chiropractic care can help patients with mental health disorders.
- Aims for a mind-body approach
In general, chiropractic care aims to find the right balance between your mind and body. A chiropractor will 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. Even small changes, such as incorporating omega-3 into your diet, may have a positive impact on anxiety symptoms.
- Lowers your blood pressure
Several studies support the idea that chiropractic care and massage therapy can reduce blood pressure and stress symptoms. High blood pressure is a common symptom of anxiety and/or stress. Researchers found that blood pressure was reduced after both chiropractic sessions and massage therapy. One study even saw results after only 15 minutes of workplace massage therapy. This shows that chiropractic care can reduce anxiety and stress symptoms, and help patients with mental health issues feel more stable.
- Promotes an all-natural solution without side effects
One of the best benefits of chiropractic care is that it’s all-natural. Patients taking anxiety and depression medication often complain of the side effects, which include insomnia, nausea, weight gain and fatigue. Chiropractic care works to reduce anxiety symptoms, so you can potentially avoid taking medication and dealing with its side effects. (Don’t change or stop medication without the approval of your doctor.)
- Adjusts your spine to trigger positive hormones
Spinal health influences almost every region of your body. Studies show that after getting a chiropractic adjustment, your body triggers an increase in hormones such as neurotensin, oxytocin, and cortisol. These hormones are involved in positive nervous system functioning, such as:
- Neurotensin: neutralizes stress-induced pain
- Oxytocin: boosts neuro-communication and feelings of social bonding
- Cortisol: blocks pain deriving from inflammation
As you can imagine, spinal adjustment can have a positive impact by triggering these hormones throughout your body.
- Helps you get to sleep
Insomnia is also a symptom of anxiety and/or depression. With chiropractic care, you may find getting to sleep a little easier. Studies reports that some chiropractic manipulation may improve patient sleep patterns. Massage therapy also has seen good results. 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.
- Relieves tension, stiffness and headaches
Patients with anxiety and/or depression also suffer from muscular tension. Chiropractic care can aid in reducing tension and stiffness. In addition, it can help relieve pain related to tension headaches, as many patients who live with mental health disorders also suffer from migraines. This kind of relief can have a big impact on those with anxiety and/or depression by removing these painful symptoms. Generally speaking, chiropractic care and massage therapy can also help reduce pain in patients with mental health diagnoses.
- Encourages relaxation
Last but not least, chiropractic care helps relax patients. The atmosphere of a chiropractic session can make the patient feel less stressed and his/her muscles more relaxed. Studies that measure electrical activity in muscles found that after a chiropractic adjustment, muscle activity was reduced by 25%. This is great evidence of relaxation during a chiropractic session. This kind of relaxation can really help patients suffering from stress and tension as a result of anxiety and/or depression.
Overall, chiropractic care can have a positive impact on patients’ mental health. Besides proven research, there have been many anecdotal case studies about the role of chiropractic care on anxiety and depression. These preliminary reports suggest there are even more benefits of chiropractic care on mental health symptoms.
As traditional health care costs continue to soar, more patients are looking to alternatives that are affordable and effective. Contact a chiropractor near you to discuss a potential treatment plan for symptoms. He/she will be able to customize a plan depending on your situation and try to give you the relief you deserve.
If you’re looking for relief from your mental health symptoms, chiropractic care is a proven method that may improve your quality of life in the long run.
If you or someone you know experiences mental health issues, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional. Our Resource Specialist can help you find expert mental health resources to recover in your community. Contact us now for more information on this free service to our users.
About Dr. Brent Wells
Dr. Brent Wells is a graduate of the University of Nevada where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree before moving on to complete his doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College. He founded Better Health Chiropractic in Anchorage in 1998. He became passionate about being a chiropractor after his own experiences with hurried, unprofessional healthcare providers. The goal for Dr. Wells is to treat his patients with care and compassion while providing them with a better quality of life through his professional treatment.
Photo by Jesper Aggergaard on Unsplash
The opinions and views expressed in this guest blog do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in this article or linked to herein.
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