How Big of a Role Does Stress Play in Your Overall Level of Health?
Aligned Health Center understands that stress, whether it be physical, chemical or emotional in nature affects the body’s ability to properly function, contributes to subluxation, and leads to poor health. More and more research keeps piling up to support this concept, but the short and long-term effects of stress and subluxation are hardly ever addressed by the modern medical system. Stress in fact, can be attributed as a complicating or causative factor in every disease process. This is exactly what was presented in 1964 when Hans Selye, M.D. was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine.
In the 1950’s, Dr. Selye studied the effect of stress on the human body and presented his work to the world in the concept of the “General Adaptation Syndrome,” for which he won the 1964 Nobel Prize. This was a revolutionary concept of mental and physical illness and it was, at the time, acclaimed as the most important and far-reaching idea in the history of medicine…that STRESS is the cause of all disease.
In his book, “The Stress of Life,” Selye described how, as a medical student, he first noticed that the early signs of many illnesses were identical—loss of energy and appetite, generalized aches and pains, and so on. He wondered why these vague symptoms were taken for granted by his instructors. Years of research gradually led him to realize that these commonly related symptoms were actually part of a pattern, the arousing of the body’s resistance to a stress-causing agent. It did not matter whether the stressor came from a mechanical, chemical, nutritional, biological, or even emotional source. The body always reacted in an identical manner.
According to Selye, the body produces an alarm reaction to any form of stress that threatens its well-being. Unless the stress is unusually strong, we are not even aware of the body’s response. This initial alarm reaction is followed by a period of adaptation to the stress, or compensation, if the stress continues unabated. This process will continue until the body’s vital energy is exhausted and symptoms become apparent. It is at this point that the patient usually seeks help but usually from an over-the-counter remedy at the pharmacy, not in a doctor’s office. If the symptoms continue and the body’s ability to maintain normal function becomes more exhausted, professional help must be sought. For most problems, the process is a slow and a gradual slide into a disease that can be measured and eventually named.
Medical professionals are trained to deal with disease processes and provide life saving measures to millions of people each day. Chiropractors, specifically chiropractors addressing structural abnormalities and the restoration of correct posture, are uniquely positioned to help reduce stress and restore the body's naturally healing systems. Chiropractic can be applied to anyone to improve the overall health of the individual, regardless of whether symptoms are present or not. In this respect, chiropractic is a universal health care option.
Every diseased patient has already gone through the periods of stress, alarm, reaction, adaptation or compensation, and exhaustion BEFORE the disease was named and specific therapy begun. During this period of time, whether a specific disease has been identified or not – a chiropractor using a careful case history and examination can identify the stress, assist in its removal, and correct the most damaging effect of stress on the bodies normal function. In this way, disease can be prevented.
Dr. Selye’s book says, “Apparently, disease is not just suffering, but a fight to maintain the homeostatic balance of our tissues, despite damage. Could all of this vagueness be translated into the precise terms of modern medical science? Could it point a way to explore whether or not there is some non-specific defense system built into our body, a mechanism to fight any kind of disease?”
Chiropractic deals with this inborn defense system, and complements the body’s inherent ability to heal itself when there is no interference to the function of the nervous system.
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