Tag Archives: Anxiety

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Panic Attacks & Anxiety; Where to Begin?

Panic Attacks & Anxiety; Where to Begin?

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Depression, Serotonin, Inflammation & The Gut

Depression, Serotonin, Inflammation & The Gut

Unmasking the “Miracle” of the Chiropractic Adjustment

Quite frequently, you will hear someone speak of traditional chiropractic care as a must.  More specifically, certain individuals can attest to experiencing amelioration of seemingly unrelated issues after receiving an adjustment.  At the very least, those who partake in routine spinal adjustments describe an overall feeling of wellness when sticking to a maintenance program and being adjusted regularly.

But why is this? How does causing a specific cavitation (the “pop” or “crack”) within a spinal joint lead to far reaching systemic benefits?  We know and have discussed some of beneficial consequences an adjustment can have on a neuromusculoskeletal level (https://clarkechiropracticwellness.com/2013/04/30/what-is-an-adjustment/), but how about some concrete research and evidence of the actual chemical consequences somewhat responsible for these unexplained occurrences of healing and well being?

Well, the studies are out there, and it is truly fascinating and empowering stuff if you are interested in the all natural route to enhancing your quality and quantity of life.  The follow chemicals (neuropeptides) are just two of the many that have been shown to be effected by a chiropractic adjustment; with levels being measured pre and post adjustment.

Neurotensin is a chemical in our bodies that is shown to be reduced in unmediated schizophrenics.  In fact many antipsychotic drugs (oft chalk full of unfavorable side efffects) are designed to elevate neurotensin levels.  This elevation in neurotensin, as seen  in the blood after a chiropractic adjustment of the cervical (neck) or thoracic (upper torso) spine, acts as a psychostimulant.

Decreased levels of neurotensin has also been linked to:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Gastrointestinal function
  • Cardiac function
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Eating disorders
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Stroke
  • Inflammation
  • Cancer of the:
    • Colon
    • Lungs
    • Ovaries
    • Pancreas
    • Prostate
    • Bones
    • Brain

Oxytocin is another neuropeptide that increases after a chiropractic adjustment, specifically of the cervical spine, and plays a crucial role as an endorphin (endogenously produced opioid), which adds further explanation to the pain killing effects experienced through an adjustment.

Most are familiar with the role of oxytocin in promoting lactation and uterine contractions, as a synthetic form is often administered to a mother to help facilitate the birthing process.  With a spinal manipulation of the cervical spine prompting a natural boost in oxytocin levels, could we soon see those forward thinking and open minded mothers to be receiving a cervical adjustment immediately prior to, our even during the birthing process?

In addition to pain modulation and the birthing process, oxytocin is also know to play an integral role in:

  • Memory
  • Bonding
  • Behavior (sexual, social, eating, etc.)
  • Learning
  • Anxiety
  • Sugar metabolism

These correlations are by no means being implicated as the primary drivers or causative factors of each of the conditions and traits mentioned.  However, an undeniable link between the blood levels of chemicals like neurotensin and oxytocin and these issues does indeed exist, and many times it is the chemical manipulation of this link that pharmaceutical companies target.  However, as we know and have stated, these drugs are rarely free of side effects.

We know there is a direct link to a chiropractic adjustment and an increase in these neuropeptides which can help explain why the benefit reaches such a larger scale than simply addressing neck pain or headache.  When it comes to certain, powerful neuropeptides, you are intentionally altering your chemical physiology in a beneficial way.

Sounds like an intelligent addition to the natural, holistic approach to piecing together the wellness puzzle, and living the truly good life.

Beat the Stress of the Season

For many, “the most wonderful time of the year” can bring about not so wonderful emotions like stress, anxiety, or depression.  This is quite unfortunate as the joy of the Holiday Season and conclusion of another year can also serve as a time for catching up with friends and family; a time to count our blessings and keep things in perspective, and a time to allow the foot to ease off the gas pedal as we reflect, relax, and recharge.

Understandably though, many do succumb to some degree of stress or another during this time of year.

Not to worry.

The following article does an informative job of breaking down the potential stress pitfall while also offering some intelligent remedies for dealing with it.  I came across this article the other day and in the spirit of the season would love to share it with you in hopes that it will provide a clearer path to tranquility this holiday season and beyond:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/12/18/holiday-stress-grief.aspx

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Do It Yourself Brain Improvement

The number of individuals diagnosed with ADD continues to rise.  While the diagnosis rate inflates, as do the pharmaceutical sales of habit forming and side effect laden prescriptions.

Is this is a condition that is being over diagnosed for the sake of big business?  If not entirely, then what is causing this widespread, suboptimal cortical functioning? Chemical exposure? Cultural influences? Horrific nutrition? Or maybe a combination of them all.

Regardless of the answers to these questions, the fact remains that the signs and symptoms that land you under the umbrella of an ADD diagnosis and subsequent prescription are societally prevalent. It’s important to recognize these traits, and do what you can naturally first in order to stave off any chemical intervention.

Let’s first look at some of the issues at hand.  These include short attention span or lack of focus, distractibility, lack of perseverance, impulse control problems, hyperactivity, chronic lateness/poor time management, disorganization, procrastination, unavailability of emotions, misperceptions, poor judgement, trouble learning from experience, short term memory problems, and social and test anxiety.

The handling of these issues is largely governed by an area of your brain called the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which is touted as the most evolved part of your brain.  Overall the PFC is the part of the brain that watches, supervises, guides, directs and focuses your behavior, governing “executive functions” such as time management, judgement, impulse control, planning, organization and critical thinking.

This area continues to develop as we age, and doesn’t fully develop until well into adulthood.  This explains why we tend to become more responsible and less reckless as we age, and why youth tends to exemplify the opposite.  It also explains why people’s personalities may change after a concussion or trauma to the dome.

Identifying potential areas of deficit and providing patients with targeted brain based therapies and exercises is a practice we incorporate at Clarke Chiropractic and Wellness.  We may have the patient perform eye exercises or interactive metronome.

If you think you may be dealing with an under functioning PFC based on the descriptions above, feel free to give us a call (321-848-0987) for an evaluation and if warranted, subsequent therapies.

In the meantime, here are a couple of at home remedies to give that PFC a jolt:

THE CLASSICAL STYLINGS OF MOZART

A study published in the International Journal of Arts Medicine found that listening to Mozart actually reduced the slow brain activity (theta brain-wave) that is often excessive in ADD.  Subjects (children ranging from ages 7 – 17) displayed better focus and mood control, diminished impulsivity, and improved social skills after incorporating sessions of Mozart at least three times a week.

DIET AND EXERCISE

(yet another reason to implement these seemingly simple lifestyle changes)
In order to fully appreciate why this suggestion is relevant, we need to understand that it is the neurotransmitter dopamine that helps to prevent the PFC shutdown that happens in ADD.  Drugs like Adderall work by stimulating dopamine.
A diet high in refined carbs (simple sugars: cakes, candies, ice cream, pastries, soda and simple carbs: bread, pasta, rice, potatoes) has a negative impact on dopamine levels in the brain.
Exercise naturally triggers the release of dopamine, and subsequently norepinephrine which is another neurotransmitter that stimulates the PFC.

So as stated, another reason to clean up the diet and get moving with some regular exercise.  This is not just a over-stated, lazy suggestion for wellness.  As explained above, these two suggestions carry actual, natural chemical repercussions similar to the effective ingredients in some of today’s most over prescribed drugs.