Can Chiropractic Care Help With Depression
Anxiety and depression are very common mental health issues, with around 18% of the population living with anxiety at any one time and depression being the leading cause of disability worldwide. But only 36% of people living with these conditions are under any sort of treatment. That leaves millions of people navigating these mental health issues alone. For some, the side effects of medications used to treat these conditions can be the reason that they delay seeking treatment, which is why many people are now turning to chiropractic care for help.
Chiropractic care is drug and side-effect-free and, while it is often thought of as a treatment for spinal health only, it can actually have quite powerful effects on mental health as well.
Does chiropractic care help with anxiety and depression?
1) Better sleep
One of the hallmarks of anxiety and depression can be an inability to get to sleep or to stay asleep, This, of course, can create a self-perpetuating cycle where sleep deprivation makes the anxiety and depression worse, which makes sleep harder to find. Chiropractic care can stop this cycle by improving sleep health and making it easier to get enough sleep.
2) Hormone release
Anxiety and depression are influenced by the interaction of stress hormones and, often, a depletion of so-called "happy hormones". When chiropractic adjustments are performed, they trigger the release of one such happy hormone - oxytocin (1). Oxytocin is known as the "cuddling hormone" and it is the same hormone that is released when you see a cute baby or you are falling in love. The release of oxytocin can improve mood and reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
3) Tension relief
We often hold our stress and anxiety in our bodies. Tightened muscles and a clenched jaw are physical signs that you are under mental stress. We are recognizing more and more just how strong the connection between the body and the mind is. By reducing the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety, the mental symptoms also decrease, and vice versa. Chiropractic care can help to reduce muscle tension and strain, which can help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety.
4) Lowering blood pressure
There is, again, a strong link between the physical symptom of high blood pressure and anxiety/depression. Anxiety can cause an increase in blood pressure and, on the other side, reducing blood pressure can reduce anxiety and depression (2). Chiropractic care can help by lowering your blood pressure and, in turn, your anxiety (3).
5) Improving physical health
One of the most effective ways of reducing anxiety and depression is by improving your physical health. Exercise, in particular, can reduce depression and anxiety symptoms (4) but improving nutrition is also a powerful tool. Chiropractors are trained in both exercise and nutrition advice and can help develop a health program that can improve physical health and, in turn, reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Anxiety and depression are common mental health conditions that affect a high percentage of the population. Chiropractic care is an emerging treatment that can help reduce the mental symptoms of anxiety and depression by focusing on treating the physical symptoms, such as insomnia, hormones, tension, high blood pressure, and poor physical health.