Chronic stress links to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide. More than 75 percent of all physician office visits come from stress-related ailments and complaints. The dangers of stress make the holiday season a time for concern for those weighed down by health concerns. The global pandemic compounds holiday stress in 2020. Chiropractors play one of the most important roles in modern healthcare by providing advice, care, and recommendations that mitigate risk factors for stress-related disorders.
A worrisome relationship occurs between the holiday season and heart attacks for both men and women. According to a study from the Journal of Circulation, “The number of cardiac deaths is higher on December 25 than on any other day of the year, second highest on December 26, and third highest on January 1.” The reasoning makes sense.
December brings about increased stress levels in many people. An increased risk of heart attacks stems from the added pressure of buying gifts, financial strains, and increased consumption of sugar, salt, and alcohol. Isolation and lockdowns add to the list of concerns. Of course most people do not suffer heart attacks during the holidays, yet research simply shows that stress levels increase in December and early January compared to any other part of the year.
The best plan involves a great offense. Being on the offense includes adding health strategies that limit the impact of stress over time. Limiting alcohol consumption and moderating sugar intake is always smart, while still allowing an occasional time and place to indulge. The key to not allowing the stress to take over involves improving the body’s resilience.
Chiropractors take a unique approach to health, disease, and stress. Other professions advocate for changing the environment to suit a weakened body. Chiropractic focuses on strengthening the body to suit the environment. Three simple ways to increase the body’s resilience to stress include:
- Chiropractic – Chiropractic adjustments enable the body’s ability to deal with stress. Good posture results from chiropractic care. Head position remains vital to minimizing stress on heart health. A 2004 study showed that those with forward head posture experienced a 44% greater risk of mortality due to coronary heart disease. Chiropractic reduces the stress related to poor posture.
- Sleep – Get at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Sleep proves vital to off-setting the effects of stress.
- Water – Thirst often feels like hunger. People tend to assume hunger first when a stomach growls. Start with a glass of water before eating and drink your bodyweight in ounces of water each day.
The best defense for stress starts with a great offense. Chiropractic care provides a cornerstone for reducing stress and enjoying the season throughout the holidays.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society: October 2004
“Hyperkyphotic posture predicts mortality in older community-dwelling men and women: a prospective study.”
Deborah M Kado, Mei-Hua Huang, Arun S Karlamangla, Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, Gail A Greendale
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