Monday, August 23, 2010

Upper Cervical Care And Emotional Stress

Upper cervical doctors often talk about the fact that physical, chemical, and emotional stresses can cause problems in the spine and interfere with proper function in the body. People have no problem understanding how a physical stress, such as falling, lifting, or repeated motions, can cause trouble. While chemical stresses may be a little more difficult to understand, after a little explanation people see how chemicals and poisons in the body affect the spinal musculature and can also cause problems. Today, more than ever, we are hearing about the effect that emotional stress can have on the body. People understand the link between emotional stress and ulcers, heart disease and headaches. Similarly, emotional stress can result in head/neck misalignment. There are probably a number of mechanisms but research done at Ohio State University a while back demonstrated some interesting results.

A group of college students repeatedly lifted 25-pound boxes while a special measuring device calculated the pressure on the students’ spines. During the first half of the experiment researchers offered words of encouragement to the participants while they were performing their tasks. In the second half of the experiment, the students were criticized, sort of like having your boss yelling at you while you are doing your job. While some of the students were not bothered at all, others, particularly introverted students who did not handle criticism well and who dislike repetitive work to start with, demonstrated an almost 27% increase in pressure on the spine. William Marras, professor of industrial engineering at OSU said, “What this shows is that there is a body-mind interaction that manifests itself as pressure on the spine.” The researchers were limiting their research to job-related pressure but they concluded that the same findings could occur “anywhere exertion and stress combine.” That could be the pressure of athletic competition or even non-physical stressful situations like talking on the phone with the head titled at an angle, sitting at a computer, or any kind of repetitive work while experiencing the pressures of your job.

Except for major physical traumas, it is likely that almost all head/neck misalignment, and the resulting nerve interference, occurs as a result of a combination of physical, chemical, and emotional stresses upon the body. That is why it is important to get your head/neck alignment checked periodically and corrected when needed.

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