When we become stressed out, whether it is emotional stress, such as work, or physical stress, such as an injury, our bodies must find a way to release that stress. If not released it is stored in the body. Stress has many effects on the human body, including muscle tension, elevated blood pressure and a compromised immune system.
Stress from everyday life, if not dealt with, has a way of beating down the immune system. Being sick often with colds, flu, etc., is a sign of a compromised immune system. In addition to a compromised immune system a second ramification of stress may be muscle tension.
Stress causes muscles to tighten, which in turn cause vertebra to become misaligned or fixated. This fixation can cause stretching and rubbing of the nerves which results in nerve irritation. With nerve irritation comes pain, discomfort, and, if irritated further, tingling and burning sensations are felt.
Following are several ways we can combat stress and learn to overcome the effects of it. One of the most common areas to feel stress is in the shoulders. When stressed the shoulders begin to creep up toward the ears. One of the most helpful things you can do is consciously shrug your shoulders up to your ears then let them drop. Doing this a few times will help the muscles relax and "remind" them of their proper position. Do this 2-3 times.
When you feel overwhelmed or frantic, stop and focus on breathing. While focusing on breath going in and out we cannot think about all the other things that need to get done. This calms our thoughts. The result is that we are more relaxed. This gives the body and mind a few minutes to become centered. Do this for 10 breaths.
And finally, another great way to relieve stress is to exercise. Exercising, whether it is a hike in the woods, a brisk walk with the dog or lifting weights at the gym, relieves stress. An added benefit of exercise is an endorphin release. Working up a good sweat relieves stress and helps your overall sense of well-being.
When you feel tension or stiffness in your muscles persisting more than a couple of days see your chiropractor and get adjusted. This helps the muscles to relax, restores motion to the joints, and reduces overall stress. In addition chiropractic adjustments may help to support the immune system by removing nerve interference and allowing the brain to communicate fully with the body.
Doing these few simple activities are easy and will make a huge impact in combating stress.