Reduce Inflammation Caused by Stress

Shared by Dr. Bryan Stephens

Reduce Inflammation Caused by Stress

Stress is a major contributor to inflammation in the body.  This inflammation is the cause of much of the neck pain and back pain that I, as a Chiropractor in West End, see come through my office every day.  Yes, diet and exercise play a major role in reducing inflammation as well, but I wanted to focus on the stress aspect of life for a moment.  All too often we get stressed, anxious, and depressed by focusing on things that are either in the past or have yet to happen.  This takes us away from the present moment.  By being mindful of the present moment and situation, the rest of the anxieties can be lowered.  Not only can you feel some of the tension leave the back and shoulders, it helps lower the cortisol through the body.  This hormone is released when our body stays in a sympathetic mode.  Most know this as the fight or flight response.  While it is a great hormone for helping with those two situations, it is not helpful to live in sympathetic mode for all our life.  That causes our body to break down and over time causes pain.

I was listening to an interview with Eckhart Tolle last week and he discussed much of the same thing.  He is the author of a book called The Power of Now.  When our mind strays from the present moment, it can allow the tensions and stresses of what has already passed or what has yet to happen come into our current life and situation.  By focusing on the present moment, you can lower the stress and anxiety.  It has also been shown to make physical changes in your brain itself.

MBSR [mindfulness based stress reduction] led to changes in the amygdala consistent with improved emotion regulation.”

“MBSR-induced emotional and behavioral changes are related to functional and structural changes in the brain”

Gotink, Rinske A., et al. “8-week mindfulness based stress reduction induces brain changes similar to traditional long-term meditation practice–a systematic review.” Brain and cognition 108 (2016): 32-41.

So, take a moment today and enjoy your breath or the wind blowing through the leaves.  Each moment passes so quickly that it is important to be present with them.  “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift.  That’s why it is called the present.”  While I first heard it from a children’s movie, it still has truth to it.  Enjoy your gift of today.

Our Message

When you are looking for a Chiropractor near you that you can trust, choose one who will not only get rid of your back pain, neck pain, or headaches but who will also guide you to living a healthier lifestyle to keep you out of pain. Our St. Louis Park Chiropractors located in West End, near the corner of MN-100 S & Lake Rd./Westside Dr., are here to teach you that taking care of your mental health and getting the proper nutrients are just as important as the chiropractic adjustment to stay healthy, lower inflammation and limit pain.