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Even Mild Stress Can Raise Blood Pressure

This week's topic is one that touches upon us ALL.  Whether you are a child, an adult, or a senior......we ALL are exposed to STRESS.  Just how much stress affects each person varies, as we all DO respond to stress in very predicable ways-both physically and emotionally.

It's been clear for some time that psychological stress is linked to high blood pressure, or hypertension, but the reason is unknown.

And until recently, investigations of a stress-hypertension link have been conducted in laboratories, using staged activities such as public speaking and mental arithmetic to "stress out" participants.

Now,in a "real-world" setting, a research team in Italy has confirmed that mild stress can increase blood pressure and impair the cardiovascular system's ability to regulate itself.

These changes might contribute, in susceptible individuals, to the link between psychological stress and increased cardiovascular risk of hypertension.

The scientists detected the changes using a technique called autonomic assessment, which measures alterations in the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system controls blood pressure, the heart's rhythm and its ability to contract, and other important bodily functions.

Changes in autonomic function can be detected by computerized analysis of beat-by-beat cardiovascular variability on an electrocardiogram.

They confirmed that students were stressed on exam days, based on their responses to psychological questionnaires, their saliva levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and their saliva levels of cytokines, proteins the immune system releases when the body is stressed.

The students' blood pressure and heart rate were markedly higher on the exam day than on the vacation day, the researchers determined. Other autonomic measures, such as heart rate variability, a measure of the heart's ability to handle stress, were also elevated on exam day.

For example, he pointed out, beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors inhibit an important component of the autonomic nervous system, called the sympathetic nervous system. Conversely, calcium-channel blockers, a different class of antihypertensive drugs, boost the sympathetic nervous system.

Autonomic assessment could make it clear whether a patient's sympathetic nervous system is adequate or needs to be enhanced or suppressed.

Dr. B's Comments:

As a Chiropractor, I have ONE objective; to locate areas of interference within a patient's nervous system and to reduce or eliminate the interference so that person can once again function at their optimal levels.

The effects of stress are shown to immediately affect the nervous systems of ALL that are exposed to the stress.  It is normal for your bodies to react in such a way, but it is NOT normal for a body to remain under such stressful situation such as many people tend to do.

For most people, trying to limit the stress in their lives is a healthy objective yet not one that is easily achieved.   For this reason it is so much more important that we limit the EFFECTS of the stress upon our nervous systems.

That is where Chiropractic truly shines.  Patients who are adjusted DO demonstrate improved nervous system function and DO demonstrate improved overall health

Source:  Hypertension 2002

Our chiropractic office educates our patients in lifestyle changes that compliment their spinal care. Chiropractic spinal adjustments strengthen areas of the spine and restore impaired nerve flow. Subluxations occur when vertebra misalign irritating delicate spinal nerves. Spinal adjustments remove the nerve pressure and restore function to the body. Chiropractic spinal adjustments by our chiropractors help you live your life to its fullest through a properly functioning nervous system. When your nervous system is functioning properly you express life to your fullest. Chiropractic spinal adjustments enable you to express your God given health potential and to live your life to fullest capabilities. Neck pain, back pain, sciatica, reduced immunity, ear infections, decreased energy, stomach disorders, asthma, allergies, sinus problems, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, shoulder problems, sports injuries, spinal disc degeneration, osteoarthritis, numbness, pain, are just some of the signs of improper function in the body and conditions that benefit from Chiropractic spinal adjustments. Don't delay and wait for a spinal problem to develop before you seek out Chiropractic care. Get a Chiropractic spinal adjustment and deal with the cause of your problems rather than masking it with medications which often deal just with the symptoms. Whether you are feel great and want to ensure a healthy and fully functional future or if you are in pain and seek the safe and effective proven results of Chiropractic spinal adjustments, you owe it to yourself to have a spinal check up and to start down the healthy road of lifetime Chiropractic care.