You’ve probably read that researchers have linked chronic stress to conditions like gastrointestinal distress, heart disease, and more. And for those of you interested in supporting your immune system, you might be interested to learn that stress actually impairs your immune function.
Chronic stress can trigger inflammation in the body, which essentially means that your immune system is switched on. That might not sound too bad to you; after all, doesn’t an active immune system help you combat viruses and bacteria? Yes, but only to a point.
When stress prompts your body to release cortisol, that hormone activates your immune system. At first it will look for an invading organism to attack. But since you’re not actually getting sick, there’s nothing to combat. Now your immune system is all fired up with nothing to do. And often the result is that it attacks you.
The resulting long-term inflammation is linked to a variety of conditions, such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease. And since your immune system is constantly in attack mode, it wears itself out.
Clearly, managing your stress on an ongoing basis is important. But what can you do if you’re already stressed, and need to boost your immune function?
First, address pain and discomforts within your body that contribute to chronic stress. Your job might not be a piece of cake on any given day, but when your back or neck is aching you’re almost guaranteed to suffer additional stress.
Second, keep in mind that over the long term, stress can accumulate in the body. When you hold tension in your back, neck, or shoulders, your posture is altered and your spine can become compressed. And since your spine is the central station to the rest of your body’s functions, misalignments can impair nerve signaling through every bodily system (including the immune system).
Regular chiropractic adjustments can help to relieve discomfort, and restore proper nerve messaging throughout the body. Chiropractic care has even been shown to promote a healthy immune system. So if you’re feeling stressed lately, give us a call to schedule an appointment. A gentle chiropractic adjustment can address your symptoms and get you feeling healthy again.