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Pump the Brakes on Anxiety With Chiropractic Care

Dad with baby on backGiven the pandemic and various types of stress that adults and kids are facing these days, it’s no surprise that anxiety is the #1 thing we see in the office. While anxiety may not be what brings a person into the office, it’s why 85% of our practice comes back on a wellness basis.

Affecting Both Kids & Adults

Now more than ever anxiety is affecting people across the spectrum, including children. Unfortunately, it’s starting earlier with kids due in large part to technology, social media and the comparison game. We have seen a huge increase in stress in kids due to the uncertainty of school, home schooling and not being able to be social with their friends. This is a massive problem!

What we see with adults is they’re being asked to do more with less. They may have more on their plate at work coupled with family responsibilities at home.

Noise in the Nervous System

If you have a lot of stress and tension in the nervous system stemming from structural changes it’s going to create more noise in the nervous system. When your brain is dealing with all that noise while it’s also trying to go about your everyday functions it creates a lot of stress in the nervous system. The result is anxiety, sleep disturbances, digestive dysfunction, hormone changes, ADHD, focus issues and more.

A Focus on Vagus Nerve Dysfunction

A big thing we focus on in the office is vagus nerve dysfunction. The vagus nerve is a major cranial nerve root. The vagus nerve goes to your heart, your lungs and every single major organ in the digestive system.

It’s also important to know that the nervous system controls everything. You have an autonomic nervous system that consists of your sympathetic nervous system–or your stress response, which is also referred to as your fight or flight system. Think about that as the gas pedal of the autonomic nervous system.

You also have the parasympathetic nervous system which is the rest and digest system. It’s like the brake pedal. The vagus nerve is the major brake pedal in the body—the primary parasympathetic nerve in the body.

Whenever we have forward head posture or tension in the top part of the neck that will cause the upper area of the neck to compress and irritate the vagus nerve; the vagus exits the spine right next to the first cervical bone, C1. When that occurs, it will disrupt the function of the brakes via the vagus nerve and send your body into a full-on gas pedal.

At ADIO Health Chiropractic, we describe an anxious body as one that has a Ferrari engine with bicycle brakes – the brakes are barely working. Your body is in overdrive. It may feel like you are on a constant hamster wheel of go-go-go. If we can’t pump the brakes in the nervous system via proper vagus nerve function then we end up with a myriad of stress-related issues such as anxiety.

How We Can Help

The vagus nerve root is 80% sensory, meaning it’s telling the brain what is happening in the body at all times. There is a constant communication feedback loop happening. If there’s a lot of stress happening in the body physiologically it’s always going to be communicating with the brain is saying: “Hey something is going on—fix me!” This is the “noise” that was referred to earlier in this article.

To do that, we use specific adjustments to the top part of the neck—mostly at C1. By adjusting that area, we will take the stress, compression and irritation off that vagus nerve root. That action will allow the brain to communicate with the rest of the body as intended.

By pumping the brakes we can bring a person back to being more even-keeled and back into the rest and digest system and less in a stress response.

If you’re feeling anxious we want to help. Call (720) 636-6064 today to book an appointment.

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