When the topic of hormones and hormonal health is brought up, the vast majority of people are familiar with the impact that hormones have on the way they feel. However, hormones and their balance have a much larger health impact and are intimately linked to and necessary for, many of our basic bodily functions. Hormone production, release and balance are all controlled by the nervous system. This balance within the body is a delicate one and we are seeing more and more hormone issues today due to the high level of hormone disruptors present in our North American lifestyle. Poor quality foods, chemical-ridden products and lack of exercise can all contribute to hormonal imbalance. What many people don’t know is that a chiropractic adjustment can help to balance hormones based upon its effect on the central nervous system (CNS).
The Stress Response
Cortisol is one of the main hormones associated with the stress response in the body, commonly known as the “fight or flight” response. Cortisol in the short term is good for the body, helping to react fast in dangerous situations, reduce pain perception and stimulate tissue repair. However, long term increase in cortisol levels suppress the immune system, digestive system and reproductive system and can lead to issues such as weight gain, depression, anxiety, impotence and heart disease.
A specific chiropractic adjustment of the cervical spine (neck) has been shown to immediately boost cortisol levels short term to help with tissue healing and pain reduction as well as help to lower cortisol levels long term in those who are stuck in a chronic elevated stress response.
Premenopausal syndrome is a combination of symptoms that is brought on by the hormone fluctuations that women go through in their monthly menstrual cycles. Most women can attest that these symptoms can temporarily affect their quality of life and can in some cases, be debilitating.
In a study of 25 women who were adjusted 2-3 times the week before menses over the course of 3 cycles; 23 showed improvement in premenopausal symptoms and 14 of which saw at least a 30% improvement.
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
Hypertension can be affected by diet, exercise, chronic stress as well as hormone levels. Hormones play a large role in controlling blood pressure. They send messages to the that control the heart’s blood output, the tension in the arteries as well as changes in blood volume.
A recent study showed that after just one chiropractic adjustment, participants had the same effect of two blood pressure medications taken in combination. On average, they experienced 14 mmHg decrease in systolic blood pressure (top blood pressure number) and 8 mmHg decrease in diastolic blood pressure (bottom blood pressure number).
Regular chiropractic care in conjunction with eating a healthy diet, using natural products and living an active lifestyle are great ways to support the natural hormonal balance within your body!