We all know chiropractic care makes our joints, muscles, and bones feel better, but how much more can it do? A lot…indirectly!
If all Chiropractors do is “move” bones and joints, then why do patients come back reporting improvements in sleep, mood, and energy levels? The reason: the nervous system.
Chiropractors address misalignments in the spine in order to affect the spinal cord which runs inside the vertebral column. The nervous system is responsible for picking information up from the environment, relaying it to the brain for processing, then coordinating an appropriate response – it’s the master communication system of the body!
When we shift the nervous system into “healing” mode, all kinds of downstream effects of the misalignments (including impact on mood and energy levels) begin to regulate themselves. Our bodies are always striving for ease and balance, so anything we do that supports them, will facilitate this easing and balancing.
Recently we have been getting questions about how Chiropractic First can help patients with stress related weight gain. Plenty of us are doing a whole lot of comfort eating! And that is understandable. But can chiropractic help when you are ready to rein in that behavior?
Yes! We have helped people change their eating and loose weight. Chiropractic is not an alternative to diet and exercise, but it can help facilitate both.
One reason for weight gain is stress eating. Chiropractic can cause the body to respond to stress better, through its effect on the nervous system. If stress is the trigger for overeating, then by managing stress better, we may not need the immediate coping mechanism that is eating junk food. We have had patients report they simply don’t crave the same sugary foods now that they are getting chiropractic care.
When we eat junk food, the addictive neurotransmitter Dopamine is released. It’s the same neurotransmitter that is released when we obsessively check our social media accounts for more “likes” or when we engage the short-term reward system (in other words, when we get a quick “high” from an activity, there’s a good chance Dopamine is involved.
What long-term care strategies like Chiropractic care do is activate an alternate pathway through the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin activates the long-term reward system associated with satisfaction.
Here are more tips to support a healthy weight: Take sugar out of the house! Replace cravings for greasy fast-foods with foods containing healthier fat sources (like avocado, olive oil, and wild-caught fish).
This week Meggie started a Whole 30 and has been experimenting with alcohol substitutes from companies like Seedlip and Ritual. She is enjoying the Ritual tequila alternative. Do you have any alcohol substitutes you enjoy? Share in the comments if you do!