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December 7, 2022,

Acute stress is a good thing. If a lion were chasing you, the increase in your heart rate, muscle tension, and focus would hopefully help you escape unharmed. While thankfully, we don't need to worry about being chased by a lion today - if you're not careful, someone cutting you off on the way to pick up holiday gifts can quickly put your body into the same fight or flight mode.

Bottom Line:

Acute stress is a good thing. If a lion were chasing you, the increase in your heart rate, muscle tension, and focus would hopefully help you escape unharmed. While thankfully, we don't need to worry about being chased by a lion today - if you're not careful, someone cutting you off on the way to pick up holiday gifts can quickly put your body into the same fight or flight mode.

Your brain and body respond to this type of negative stress, whether real or imagined. Remember when you saw a car veering into your lane, and your heart rate went through the roof? That is an acute stress response in action! But if you are consistently dealing with negative stress each day, you may be on your way to developing a severe case of chronic stress that has profound negative health implications.

Why it Matters:

In the short term, acute stress can be a good thing. It helps us react quickly. Your brain tells your adrenal glands to release hormones (chemicals) that help your body respond instantly. If the stress continues, you may slip into a mode of chronic stress. Chronic stress can wreak havoc on your brain and body. The symptoms of chronic pain and chronic stress overlap and often feed into each other.

  • Chronic stress can lead to anxiety, depression, headaches, sleep problems, and more
  • Stress, pain, and inflammation are all connected by the stress hormone cortisol
  • Spinal adjustments may be able to decrease your cortisol level

Next Steps:

Researchers continue to discover more about the impact of chronic stress on the human body, and emerging research has shown that spinal adjustments may be able to decrease stress levels. While in short bouts, stress can be a good thing- keep an eye on your stress level this holiday season. If you notice an increase in your stress level, give us a call, and let's address it before it becomes chronic.

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