Mental Health and Chiropractic

Mental health in New Zealand:

 

Mental health disorders are an extremely common issue in New Zealand. With 17% of our adult population receiving a mood or anxiety disorder. Estimates show that almost half of our population will meet the criteria for a mental illness diagnosis at some point in their lives1. Mental health disorders are currently a massive issue in New Zealand, as they can place a lot of stress on individuals, families, relationships, and workplaces. Mental health is such an important part of our overall wellbeing. Some may be looking for a natural alternative to help assist them with their mental health. Without the same negative side effects that can be caused by the current medication that is usually prescribed for mental health disorders.

 

Chiropractic for depression and anxiety:

 

While chiropractic is a form of physical therapy, it is important to have a holistic view and realise that mental and physical health go hand in hand. There are multiple ways that chiropractic can help the body and mind to assist in looking after our mental health.

  • Sleep – Sleep is an important part of staying mentally and physically healthy. Two of the most common symptoms for both anxiety and depression are fatigue and insomnia. Chiropractic adjustments have shown to help with insomnia and help improve the quality of sleep2. Better quality sleep will help decrease fatigue levels and improve the overall state of mind.
  • Stress – chiropractic brings balance to the body, removing tension from sore and tired muscles. Helping to relieve muscle pain as well as tension headaches. These are common symptoms of depression and anxiety. Removing stress from the body and mental and physical health go hand in hand in importance3. Chiropractic also removes stress from the nervous system, allowing our brain to function at its best, and further reduce our overall stress levels.
  • Blood pressure – studies have been done that show that blood pressure is reduced following chiropractic treatment. This helps to reduce stress and anxiety levels4.
  • Hormones – a study has been done that shows that the hormones cortisol, oxytocin, and neurotensin are released after chiropractic care. These hormones help decrease pain levels (specifically stress-induced pain) and create positive feelings of social bonding. The combination of these decreases stress and has an overall positive effect on a persons state of mind5.

 

Chiropractic for chronic pain:

 

Chronic pain frequently leads to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and somatoform disorders6. The severity of the pain may be the cause, or because the pain has lasted for months to years.

Many sufferers of chronic pain have yet to find something that provides lasting relief for their pain. Some are not even able to identify what is causing their pain in the first place. This can cause people’s mental health to go to some dark places. As mentioned above, chiropractic removes stress and tension from the body, which may relieve some pain. Chiropractic is also essential in maintaining nervous system health. When interference is removed from the nervous system through a chiropractic adjustment this allows the brain and the body to communicate more effectively. This allows the brain to better recognise any dysfunction in the body in order to start healing it. It also allows the brain to perceive when there is no mechanical dysfunction causing pain in the body. As this can be common in many chronic pain patients.

The pain may be coming from information that has been interfered with on its path from the body to the brain. This causes neural plastic changes in the brain, causing it to believe that an area of the body should be in pain. This causes a negative feedback loop where the brain continues to send pain signals to this part of the body. By removing the interference of these messages, the brain can accurately perceive what is going on the body, and start to change back to a healthier state where it is no longer sending out these inaccurate pain signals7. Chiropractic is the only profession that can locate and remove these areas of nervous system interference. When people can finally start to live pain-free because of their chiropractic care, this has amazing benefits in terms of their mental wellbeing and overall quality of life.

 

Chiropractor Auckland

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Free photo Mind Mental Health Brain Health Mental Psychology - Max Pixel

How To Reduce/Avoid Jet Lag

When flying for long hours (even just 3 hours), we can start to experience certain symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, confusion or just feeling zombie-like.

What is it?

This is called jet lag. It’s what happens when the part of your brain called the hypothalamus (centre that controls sleep cycles, appetite and temperature) is conflicted with its “inner time” and your new “outer time”. Further symptoms may include insomnia, GI problems, joint and muscle pain and stiffness, and reduced fitness.

A New Zealand survey from 1994 of international flight attendants found that, despite being used to long air travel, 90% had fatigue over the first 5 days of arrival, 94% had lack of energy/motivation, 93% had broken sleep and 70% had ear, nose or throat issues.

Scientists have estimated that it takes 1 full day to recover for every hour of time difference. Which means that if you took a flight from New Zealand to Singapore, it would take about 4 days before you feel right.

The direction you travel can affect how intense the symptoms are since it’s easier for our bodies to delay our “inner time” than to speed it up. Travelling east is more difficult on the body compared to travelling west.

 

So how do you manage it?

 

  1. Plan it out

    -You should expect symptoms to take place after long-haul flights and so you should always plant accordingly. If you have a meeting on Thursday morning, consider arriving 1-2 days in advance instead of getting there Wednesday night and possibly having to struggle through it.

  2. Nutrition

    -There is a fasting protocol that can minimize jet lag symptoms. It’s called the Argonne fasting diet. However, it is a little intense, so below is a modified version that you can try if you’re interested.

    -On the day of travel, eat normal meals leading up to your flight, then fast immediately before and during your flight while hydrating by drinking plenty of water. Eat soon after landing as close to local meal time as possible. Time your fast 14-24 hours before your next planned meal in your new time zone. Then have your normal eating schedule based on local time.

  3.  Exercise

    -Most preferably outdoors since it affects your circadian rhythm and improves mood. Light is the most powerful signal for our internal biological clocks, so it can help reduce jet lag.

    -It’s helpful to train at the same time you’d train at home. So if you normally workout at 9 am at home and you travel to London, try your best to train at 9 am London time and do it outside. This helps your muscles and tissues adapt to the new time zone.

    -If you’re feeling exhausted then a high intensity cardio workout might not be in the cards… but a light bodyweight workout or some stretching is definitely helpful. Do what you can, at your usual time, and again, preferably OUTSIDE.

  4.  Supplements

    a)Melatonin is a hormone in your body that helps control its circadian rhythm, which plays a role in when we sleep and wake up. Melatonin is dependent on the amount of light you’re exposed to. When there’s light, melatonin release is stopped. When it’s dark, melatonin release is stimulated.
    -The time you take it is important. Do NOT take melatonin before leaving for a trip or it will make the jet lag worse. Wait until you land in the new time zone to supplement 1 hour before normal bedtime at your new location. Continue for 3 nights or until you’ve adjusted.

    b)Pycnogenol has been studied for its effect of reducing jet lag symptoms. It reduces cerebral and joint edema or swelling, which leads to less short-term memory problems, fatigue problems, and cardiac issues. It has also shown to decrease deep vein thrombosis and superficial vein thrombosis, which are both common side effects of long flights.
    -Take it for 3 times a day for up to 5 days (max 7 days) after landing.

Our human bodies haven’t fully adapted to travelling long distances by air… and they probably never will. So jet lag remains a part of life if you’re exposing yourself to this kind of travel. Fortunately, with proper planning and preparation, you can reduce its effects and even prevent it from happening!

Your Trusted Chiropractor Auckland

Contact Revolution Chiropractic – Leading  Chiropractor Auckland

To Schedule your FREE CONSULTATION at Revolution Chiropractic E-mail or Call us on 09 418 3718.  

You can also book online here !


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Jet Lag Exhaustion | julie corsi | Flickr