How Stress Breaks Down Health

There is a great quote that if your health problems disappear on vacation, then your body isn’t the problem. Your life is.


Stress is a very real part of modern life and experts now believe it contributes or causes something like 90% of all disease.  Think about that for minute.  Stress is the underlying cause of virtually all disease. Things I see almost weekly are headaches caused by stress, aches and pains flared up from stress and just overall body soreness for no real reason (Hint: It’s probably stress).


So how does stress cause so many negative effects? Well its easy really.  Seriously think in your mind of three people you know right now who have zero stress, are never worried, have no lingering health concerns and who never or rarely complains about life.  Did you even get to 1?


The truth is everyone is stressed out. TOO stressed out. As a society we have become stressed to the point where virtually everyone has some stress related condition and it’s getting worse, not better.


It works like this.  The body can be in either fight or flight stress mode, or it can be in relaxed wine and dine mode. There is no in between.  This served us well when the main stress was avoiding getting eaten or capturing dinner. But now in modern life? Not so good since you can’t fight a bill, a deadline or a family problem and then its just over.  The question “what if?” leads people down the road of hypothetical possibilities that can trigger a stress reaction. This leads many people into a cycle of stress reactions caused by thoughts.


This is important because the moment the body enters stress mode digestion comes to a halt, healing of tissue is stopped, the normal replenishing of hormones and enzymes stops. The body is ready for it’s emergency and when nothing happens it more or less stays in fight or flight mode until the next event happens.  If you don’t watch your body and take steps to relax frequently during the day you run the risk of being in an almost perpetual state of fight or flight which leads the to gradual but steady breakdown of body systems.


This is why de-stressing is so important. You can eat all the organic produce and exercise daily but if you are always stressed, you go to sleep stressed, you wake up stressed you are only delaying the inevitable.  If you want to experience true health you will need to start to assess the stress in your own life. What people or events trigger a stress reaction? How easily to thoughts turn to worries that become a chronic stress for you? What steps can you take to reduce stress in your life?


If you can’t answer these questions bring it up to me at your next chiropractic visit (Fun fact: chiropractic helps reduce stress by improving the functioning of the entire body).  I can help you assess your personal stress levels. We can begin to look at natural ways for you to lower stress and make changes in your life that will facilitate lower stress levels.

Austin EricksonAbout the Author

Dr. Austin Erickson is a chiropractor with offices in Glenwood City and the 4 Corners near New Richmond, Wisconsin. He is an expert at combining chiropractic treatment with nutritional advice to achieve excellent results. He has cured himself of psoriasis and autoimmune related arthritis using his protocols. Connect with him on Twitter and Google+


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