November 9, 2004 > Stress
by Dr. Staci Talan
The body endures stress all the time. This tension comes in three forms: physical, emotional/mental, and chemical. The reason I address stress today is because of the devastating affects it can have on one's health, if not eliminated or dealt with in some fashion.
Physical stress is the easiest to identify. Everyone can relate to a car accident, sports injury or a trip and fall to name a few. These are known as impact injuries. The other type, just as lethal, is accumulative microtrauma, a repetitive force on the body. This can be from incorrect ergonomics in the workplace, home, or car and may include postural stress and sleep posture.
Emotional/mental stress is a larger contributor to health problems today. Emotional stress would not be as harmful if it was experienced in the manner of our prehistoric ancestors - for survival, flight or fight. If confronted by a lion or bear, they either killed it for a meal or ran for their life.
This "flight or fight" response to stress is usually inappropriate in modern civilization. The problem is that we still have this type of stress (i.e. A fight with a spouse or boss? Paying bills? Mortgages? Rent?) You cannot run away or kill these problems so we learn to cope. Because today's stresses, like these examples given, are rarely life threatening, they are not resolved quickly, yet they stimulate the same chemical, visceral (organic), and somatid (structural) responses. Unfortunately, these stresses constantly wear on us for days, weeks, and even months. Prolonged stress drains the body and mind creating conditions for dis-ease in the body.
Chemical stress, just as serious as the other two, is less understood. Whatever the body perceives as a toxin will undergo cause stress. Studies have since shown that food addditives, tobacco smoke, air pollution, drugs and many other chemical substances can cause stress on the body.1
Stress on the body may cause nerve interference or subluxation. A vertebral subluxation is when a vertebra is pulled out of place and puts pressure on a nerve. Remember nerves are the communication system for the brain to transmit and receive messages from the body. If subluxation or nerve interference distorts the message, dis-ease, disharmony occurs in the body.
Relieving stress should be an important component in everyone's life. Many of us get caught in the hustle and bustle of everyday life; we don't take the time to acknowledge the high levels of stress in our lives. This can be very destructive to our health.
Chiropractors are trained to adjust vertebral subluxations allowing the body to function free of nerve interference. Our belief is that the body is then able to better cope with stress and function at an optimal level of health. Additional techniques of stress management include exercise, meditation, relaxation, nutrition, and lifestyle choices. My column is designed for educational purposes only. The information in this and subsequent articles is not intended to replace the attention or advice of a physician and/or health care professional. Any person who wishes to pursue a course and/or prevent, treat and/or manage their or any other person's health concerns should always first consult a qualified health professional. None of the information or statements contained in this article is to be used in place of medical advice from a health professional. Nothing contained in this article is to be used in place of medical advice from a health professional. Nothing in this article is meant to imply a person should take actions toward any medical or chiropractic treatment without the consent and/or supervision of his/her doctor and/or specialist.
Staci Talan, D.C. has an office located in Fremont. She is a graduate of Sacramento State University where she earned a B.A. in Psychology. She continued her education at Life Chiropractic College-West in Hayward where she earned a doctorate in Chiropractic. She is a Certified Industrial Disability Evaluator and an active member of the California Chiropractic Association, Centerville Business Association, Irvington Business Association and Fremont Chamber of Commerce.
1. The Chiropractor's Health Book, Dr. Leanard McGill, Three Press, 1997.