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Exploring Chiropractic Care as a Holistic Approach to Mental Health

August 23, 2023
Read Time: 6 Minutes

Chiropractic care is best known for resolving physical issues but is also an excellent holistic approach to mental health. From stress reduction to improved mood and better sleep to boosting energy, it's a great way to feel better physically and mentally. Chiropractic care is an entirely holistic method of addressing a wide variety of issues, and it's entirely non-invasive that comes with virtually no risk.

While chiropractic adjustments certainly help resolve pain and promote healing from many types of injuries, you may be surprised at how you feel mentally after a session. Many patients return for ongoing sessions due to the sense of relief and calmness each appointment gives them.

Keep reading to learn more about how this holistic approach to mental health works, how adjustments can help reduce stress and the complete impact of spinal health on your nervous system.

Chiropractic Care as a Holistic Approach to Mental Health

Holistic treatment methods address issues from a whole-body approach rather than focusing on one specific problem. Many psychological well-being conditions, ranging from depression to anxiety, sleep disturbances, and more, cause physical tension in your body.

The most common complaints regarding these effects include a sense of tension–most commonly in the neck, shoulders, and back. Others experience chronic headaches, insomnia, daily fatigue, and a general sense of poor emotional wellness.

This is because we told a great amount of tension in our shoulders as our bodies enter flight or fight mode when experiencing mental health issues. The tension can affect countless other body parts and, without relief, can cause chronic pain over time. Those who experience chronic pain, in turn, struggle with completing daily activities and may find themselves missing out on things they once enjoyed.

This can perpetuate the cycle of psychological issues as you cycle between emotional problems and physical effects. When this happens, it can seem like you may never feel better, no matter what. For many, therapy and psychiatry are the first methods they turn to. This is always recommended as the first place to start, to receive a proper medical diagnosis and get any prescription meds to help improve.

Often, people feel like therapy and medication just isn't enough. Furthermore, many meds come with severe side effects. Some cause excessive muscle tension or spasms, which can lead to pain.

Chiropractic Adjustments and Stress Reduction

Since we tend to hold much of our stress in the upper back and neck region, it can leave you in pain. Even when traditional methods of addressing psychological health help regulate the chemicals in your brain, they're unlikely to manage the physical pain you experience.

This is where chiropractic care can help significantly as a way to destress yourself. The process of spinal adjustments and instrument-assisted therapies that you receive during a visit helps ease this tension. Generally, patients report less muscle tension. When your muscles are "crunched up" or too tight, it puts pressure on your spine. This results in spinal subluxations, where your vertebrae become misaligned.

Chiropractic adjustments help re-align your spine, while instrument-assisted therapies (such as acupuncture, cupping therapy, electrical stimulation, ultrasound therapy, and more) help relieve muscle tension that strains your spine.

Once this pain is released, you can minimize stress levels. Your body will feel more open and relaxed. You can reduce the severity and frequency of tension headaches and experience daily life pain-free. When you're not constantly battling this pain, you become less stressed. You leave the office feeling more relaxed and calm, and the results improve with each session.

The Impact of Spinal Health On the Nervous System

Your spinal health is a main component of your nervous system. Your spine is in charge of sending signals to your brain, which causes it to react with reflexes. If your spine is misaligned, your brain is triggered to sense pain and release chemicals in an attempt to rectify the situation.

Additionally, incorrect spine alignment sends messages to your brain to increase inflammation. This can affect every body part, not just your back. You can experience inflammation in your joints, causing pain with basic movement. Spinal health doesn't usually come to mind immediately when you experience this pain. Rather, many people think it's another physical localized issue.

Since holistic chiropractic care looks at the whole body rather than just one spot, chiropractors can help reduce this inflammation as adjustments send positive messages to your brain, signaling that it's no longer in danger.

Your body is full of nerve receptors all over. When your spinal health isn't as it should be, these nerves experience stress and cause pain. Proper spinal health affects every aspect of your nervous system–poor alignment and muscle stress can worsen psychological conditions. Once the alignment is correct, you may experience reduced emotional issues.

Mental Health Benefits of Chiropractic Care

In conclusion, chiropractic care has countless benefits as a holistic approach to mental health. Many patients with anxiety, depression, and more, report the following physical symptoms:

  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Chronic or acute pain that flares up during emotionally challenging times
  • Headaches
  • Digestive issues
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Worsening of pre-existing physical conditions
  • Psychomotor changes
  • Physical reflex issues
  • Muscle tension and soreness
  • Increased risk for chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and more
  • Weakened immune response, leading to frequent illness
  • And more

These side effects of mental health disorders are referred to as psychogenic pain. They don't result from a physical source. Rather, the imbalance in brain chemicals in your nervous system triggers these false effects.

Ensuring your spine is aligned and your muscle tension and inflammation are reduced as much as possible helps mitigate these effects. Many patients report an improvement after just one session, and as they progress through chiropractic treatment and maintain a sense of physical wellness, mental health issues can also begin to improve.

Having trouble making it through the day because of physical pain can worsen mental health. If you constantly suffer from headaches or poor concentration, work can become insufferable, leading to feelings of failure and sadness. Over time, this can turn into chronic depression.

Sleep disturbances and digestive issues can increase anxiety, as you never know when you'll feel rested enough to complete tasks or when a stomach issue might flare up. The list of physical problems resulting from mental health, and vice-versa, is endless.

Schedule an Appointment Today

If you're struggling with mental health issues, and see a medical professional regularly for treatment and talk therapy, consider adding chiropractic care to your regimen for a holistic approach to mental health.

At ChiroCare of Florida, we have eight offices throughout the region, so you're sure to find relief near you. With extended evening hours and weekend appointments upon request, we make it easy for you to schedule a visit that works for you.

Additionally, we work with many insurance companies (including Medicare). We'll verify your benefits before your first appointment and inform you of any out-of-pocket costs to expect. Upon your first visit, we'll thoroughly review your medical history–both physically and regarding mental health issues. We can order imaging, such as X-rays and MRIs, to identify any significant spine issues if necessary. We'll monitor your progress throughout treatment and adjust your individualized treatment plan as necessary.

Contact us today to schedule your first appointment.

About the Author:
Dr. Steven Schwartz
Raised in Coral Springs, Florida, Dr. Steven Schwartz is a major advocate for the South Florida community. CEO of ChiroCare of Florida, Dr. Schwartz has grown the group from one facility to 11. Whether he’s treating patients or volunteering for community service, Dr. Schwartz’s long-term goal is to ensure that each and every patient can experience the ChiroCare of Florida difference.
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