How Can Chiropractic Care Help With Anxiety?
But if you or someone you love is actually dealing with anxiety, you’re reading this article because you will do just about anything to get your life back.
We’re not talking about a general fear, worry, or feeling of overwhelm here.
What we’re talking about has physical symptoms, and probably looks a lot like this: constant fatigue, sleep and stomach issues, irritability, feeling on-edge, frequent muscle tension, difficulty focusing or concentrating, tip of the tongue syndrome (you know the word but it’s not coming to you), and when it gets progressively worse, you’ve probably experienced a panic attack or two…or several.
The only way to feel in control is by avoiding what we believe triggers our anxiety and/or panic attacks…which means completely rearranging our lives in order to accommodate. We start declining social invitations, we get to meetings 30 minutes early to avoid traffic, we get items shipped to our house instead of going to the mall or to the grocery store, we stop eating at restaurants we used to frequent or foods we used to love because we associate them with an episode, and we learn to function on a couple hours of sleep.
Of course, there are consequences to this.
In order to regain feelings of control, we begin distancing ourselves from friends and family and no longer get invited to things we used to love (and probably don’t care about anymore). Our weight goes up and/or down, our hormones are thrown into chaos, and we start taking medications to take the edge off and increase our daily energy but then take something else so we can just get some sleep. Health issues that used to be experienced occasionally are now becoming more frequent, and despite trying to gain more control over our anxiety, the more drastic the consequences of our anxiety become. It seems that in spite of everything we’re trying, our quality of life keeps getting worse.
We try different doctors, different treatments, different prescription medications, or we try to self-medicate all in order to regain some semblance of what our lives used to be or what we hope our lives could be one day.
After all, it’s not like people with anxiety disorders don’t have dreams or life goals.
Of course, they do! Their bodies also just have dysfunction going on at a physiologic level that keeps them from pursuing what they want out of life.
Ask anyone who has an anxiety disorder. They will tell you they would LOVE to enjoy a fun night out on the town or wake up early to pursue their side-hustle or just make it through the day without crying. Virtually every patient we see exhibiting these symptoms has an underlying physiologic issue as to why they CAN’T do those things in spite of everything they’re trying.
That underlying reason is what we at The Specific Chiropractic Centers check for. We check for underlying nervous system dysfunction or imbalance, and when that dysfunction is present, it disrupts the communication between the brain and the body. When this communication is disrupted, the body gets thrown into a state of sympathetic dominance, better known as Fight or Flight mode. Basically, your body feels like it either needs to fight a bear or go run and hide in a cave.
Here’s the main issue.
In today’s world, we see work deadlines as bears. We see rush hour traffic as something we need to fight. We don’t listen to our bodies when they tell us we need to rest. Because of this, our bodies physiologically get stuck in survival mode. The problem with constantly being in survival/Fight or Flight mode is that your body wasn’t designed to stay that way. We need it for just that – survival! To make quick, snap, life-saving decisions to provide our body what it needs in times of duress. You also might notice that in times or seasons of extra stress, your symptoms become even worse, especially health symptoms like migraine headaches, fatigue and sleep disturbances, indigestion, bowel issues, sickness, and/or chronic pain.
There is a reason for this.
When our bodies get stuck in sympathetic dominance, our normal body processes that are responsible for growth, healing, restoration, and critical thinking diminish. This is the physiologic issue and the underlying imbalance that Upper Cervical Specific chiropractors correct. We focus on the top two bones of the neck because they have a very unique relationship with the central nervous system.
In our office, we utilize a technique that first allows us to see if someone is a candidate for care by checking for the presence of central nervous system dysfunction. If dysfunction is present, we then utilize biomechanical X-rays to determine HOW to correct the nervous system imbalance through the relationship with the top two bones in the neck. Correcting the imbalance helps the body come out of sympathetic dominance (Fight or Flight mode), restores the brain-body communication, and allows for healing, growth, and better mental clarity. This results in increasing your ability to handle stress so that you DO NOT continue to get stuck in survival mode. By restoring the functions that allow for sleep, healing, metabolism, digestion, and critically conscious thought, your body stops manifesting the symptoms that those with anxiety disorders deal with on a regular basis.
How can chiropractic care help with anxiety?
Better question. How can it not?