Everyone experiences some type of stress in their daily lives whether it’s physical, emotional or environmental. When your body is stressed, the nervous system kicks in and helps your body manage the stress. Chiropractic care gets the spine aligned to allow the nervous system to do it’s job freely without interference.
What are the different types of stress people experience?
Dr. Ken Freedman: When you ask people, “Are you stressed?” everybody says, “Yes,” but people have different reasons. There’s three key forms of stress. Physical stress like carrying heavy things or poor posture or wearing high-heeled shoes or carrying a baby on one hip or being pregnant or sitting with a wallet in your back pocket or having a chair that doesn’t fit you correctly, those are all forms of physical stress. Falls, accidents, injuries, physical stresses. Chemical stress, that could be therapeutic and recreational drugs or environmental toxins like cleaning products around the home or food additives, colors, dyes, preservatives. Those are chemically stressful to the body. Then there is emotional stress, and everybody knows what that is; having deadlines, challenging relationships, pressure at work, bills to pay. We are barraged with physical, chemical, and emotional stresses on a daily basis.
How does the body respond to stress?
Dr. Ken Freedman: When the body is stressed, a part of the nervous system called the sympathetic nervous system kicks into high gear, and it generates what is known as the fight-or-flight response. Many, many years ago, when we rounded the corner and came into contact with a saber-toothed tiger, the same part of our nervous system kicked in, so that we could either fight for our lives or run for our lives.
Well, there is no more saber-toothed tigers anymore, but the same response is initiated. The body shifts all of its energy and resources toward fighting off a life threat or fleeing from an enemy, and now, the enemy could be somebody in the room that we’d rather avoid or a perceived threat. It doesn’t even have to be real. It could be imagined. The same chemical reactions take place in the body.
The sympathetic nervous system signals the adrenal glands to squeeze out a hormone called adrenaline, which gets the heart pumping and the muscles tense and shuts down digestion. Cortisol is made by the adrenal glands. That gets released. Cortisol has a lot of functions, but it basically helps mobilize sugar, glucose, and fat for energy so the body has the energy, the fuel that it needs to be able to manage stress better and respond more effectively.
How does chiropractic care help your body handle stress?
Dr. Ken Freedman: It helps it through locating, detecting, and reducing a condition called the vertebral subluxation complex, or subluxations for short. Subluxations impair your body’s ability to function optimally, because when the spine goes out of alignment, when the vertebrae in the spine go out of alignment, they compress the delicate nerves which travel through and come out from in between openings between the vertebrae. When the vertebrae go out of alignment, those nerves become irritated and short-circuit the flow of energy that controls how well your body works.
Well, it stands to reason that if your body is not working as effectively as it could, it lowers your body’s capacity to tolerate the physical, chemical, and emotional stresses that you’re subjected to on a daily basis. Regular chiropractic checkups identify those interferences, locate where they are, and by reducing them, then it improves how well your body can function and as a result, tolerate those stresses a lot more effectively.
What type of chiropractic treatments are used to help treat patients?
Dr. Ken Freedman: It depends upon the chiropractor that you go to, where they studied, and what they feel comfortable using in their own office. In my office, I use the traditional chiropractic methods that most people know, chiropractic for the traditional twisting and popping techniques, but only 50% of the population likes receiving care that way. The other 50% prefers techniques that involve absolutely no twisting, popping, or cracking of the spinal joints, which I have mastery in being able to provide my patients as well. I can tailor an adjusting technique to each patient’s individual needs.
In what other ways can chiropractors help patients to manage stress?
Dr. Ken Freedman: Well, based upon the different kinds of stress. For example, with physical stress, in addition to chiropractic care, we can provide patients with customized exercise and stretching programs to strengthen the body’s tolerance and improve strength and resistance, so you can lift weight better, exercise more comfortably, or be able to compete athletically with less chance of injury and training better.
We can provide weight-loss programs. I have a fantastic weight-loss program called The Doctor Supervised ChiroThin Weight Loss Program. Another big physical stress that we didn’t talk about, Liz, was carrying too much weight on your frame, excess fat. Every extra pound of fat translates into four pounds of stress on the lower back. My Doctor Supervised ChiroThin Weight Loss Program has the ability to allow a typical patient to lose on average 20 to 35 pounds in six weeks eating real food with no drugs or exercise or prepackaged foods or shakes or bars.
For people who want to reduce chemical stress, I provide nutritional consulting for them, so we can remove inflammatory foods and harmful chemicals. We have detoxification programs that can help cleanse the liver and kidneys and the gut. It can help heal leaky gut syndrome, cleanse the skin in the lungs and the lymphatics, and also help to identify other substances that people can come into contact with that they may not be aware could be causing them harm.
Then for people who are emotionally stressed out, obviously, they can go to a psychologist or a psychiatrist. They can meditate. I can refer them to a massage therapist. Another resource that we offer in my office is Reiki care. Reiki is a healing art that’s been around for about 2500 years, and Reiki Master Heidi Scanlon, who is a very experienced, very gifted Reiki master who practices in my office and has many, many years of experience, over 15 years of experience, helps a lot of people manage stress a lot more effectively. Heidi says she gets the issues out of the tissues.
If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Ken Freedman, visit www.freedmanchiropracticcenter.com or call (732) 254-6011 to schedule an appointment.