Stress and your overall Health

Stress and your overall Health

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How  Big of  a Role Does  Stress  Play in Your Overall Level  of  Health?

Chiropractic revolves around the  idea that  stress,  whether  it be physical, chemical or emotional in nature,  affects the  body’s ability to properly function 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  are  hardly ever addressed by the  modern medical system. The medical community is not about to accept  the theory that  there  is one cause for all disease  (i.e. stress).  This is contrary to every major medical premise. Yet this is exactly what happened in 1964 when Hans Selye, M.D. was awarded  the  Nobel Prize for Medicine!

In the  1980’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 gradual slide into a disease  that  can be measured  and eventually  named. The diseased person then  becomes,  we are  told, the  exclusive property of the medical and insurance communities.

I  don’t  have a problem with disease  and degeneration coming under the  medical umbrella. That is what medical professionals  are trained  to deal with.  I  do have difficulty with  the concept  of their ability to  recognize disease before  a pathological process can be identified.  The truth  is, the  patient must be diseased  (quantified  and qualified) before  medicine can hope to be effective. Otherwise,  it is just  guesswork. Chiropractic can be applied to anyone to improve the overall health of the individual, regardless  if symptoms are  present  or not.  In this respect,  chiropractic  is a universal health  care option, whereas  medicine is limited to treating  disease  rather  than restoring  health. There is a HUGE difference.

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. It is during this period of time,  however short or long it may be, that  a chiropractor–using a careful  case history and examination-can

identify  the stress for the  patient and assist in its removal. In  this way,  disease can be prevented and an enormous service  rendered  to humanity, a service medicine is unable to provide.

I  would like to close by quoting from Dr. Selye’s book:

“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.