While chiropractic care consists of much more than the skeletal adjustments for which it’s most known, there’s a reason why proper body alignment is at the heart of this healing practice.
Simply put, your body alignment affects all aspects of your health from mobility and flexibility to immunity and mood.
It might seem strange to some that proper skeletal alignment can affect your mood, but when you understand how all the body’s systems work together, it actually makes perfect sense.
Low mood and anxiety, among other mood disorders, are the result of chemical imbalances in the brain, resulting from our body not producing enough — or producing too much — of one or more of its natural, mood-regulating hormones (serotonin, cortisol.) Body chemistry balance is in turn regulated by our nervous system.
Since we have nerve endings all up and down our spinal column, it makes sense that a misalignment of the spine causing pressure on nerve endings or altering the way our body moves can impede nervous system communication, and affect the production of hormones, including those responsible for mood.
Research has shown that even mild subluxations (misalignments in vertebrae) to the neck and upper back can place pressure on the brain stem and drastically reduce the body’s production of serotonin, the body’s feel-good hormone. It can also interfere with communications as our body responds to stress and lead to an increased production of cortisol, the fight-or-flight hormone that keeps us in a “ready” state.
Restoring the spine’s alignments can relieve pressure on the brain stem, enabling the brain to produce more serotonin and creating a naturally calmer mood; It can also encourage altered activity in the parts of the brain responsible for processing pain and reacting to stress, providing more balanced cortisol levels and reduced feelings of anxiety.
Low mood can also be a by-product of chronic pain. When the body is misaligned, everyday movements, not to mention more strenuous ones, place excess strain on the joints, muscles and other body systems. Over time this can cause enough pain to affect mobility and energy levels, and lead to breathing and sleep difficulties, all of which are issues guaranteed to negatively affect mood.
By restoring alignment (and reducing pain,) overall quality of life is improved, naturally improving a patient’s mood.
To address these conditions conventionally — whether mood disorder or chronic pain — patients are often prescribed medications that have a host of unwelcome side effects. Chiropractic care offers a natural and safe alternative.
If you suffer from low mood, anxiety or chronic pain and have not tried spinal alignment as a possible treatment option, talk to us about the holistic therapies offered through chiropractic care.