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The Connection between Chiropractic Care and Mental Health: Exploring Heart Rate Variability

arms crossed in front of faceChiropractic care is often thought of as solely addressing physical pain and dysfunction. However, there is a connection between chiropractic care and mental health that is often overlooked.

In fact, there is a long history of chiropractic being used to help individuals who are struggling with emotional and mental challenges.

The connection between chiropractic care and mental health is clear when examining the history of asylums and sanitariums. Asylums were where medical hospitals navigated mental health, while the sanitariums were chiropractic hospitals that specialized in helping those with emotional and mental challenges. In today’s world, there is a growing body of research that supports the connection between chiropractic care and mental health. This research focuses on something called heart rate variability (HRV).

What is Heart Rate Variability?

HRV is a measurement of the resilience of the autonomic nervous system, which is the stress nervous system that runs your body. This system regulates how you adapt to change, how every organ functions, how you regulate inflammation, and how you respond to stress. HRV measures how well your body is able to adapt to stress and how resilient your nervous system is. When HRV is high, your body is adaptable and can bounce back from stress, whether it is from a workout or an emotional stressor.

When HRV Weakens

Conversely, when HRV decreases, your body has a harder time bouncing back from stressors. This can result in increased anxiety and depression. Studies have shown that there is a significant correlation between a weakened HRV and an increased risk of suffering from anxiety and depression. Therefore, it is important for individuals to strengthen their HRV in order to improve their mental health.

Our Role in Improving HRV

Chiropractic care is an effective method for improving the nervous system’s ability to adapt and therefore, strengthening HRV. In fact, one of the things we measure in our office is HRV to ensure care is effective. By taking care of the nervous system, chiropractors help individuals become more adaptable to physical stress and recover faster from challenging situations.

Attitude Adjustments

Chiropractors often joke that they specialize in attitude adjustments. When individuals take care of their nervous system, not only do they feel physically better, but they also experience improved mental health. They are able to bounce back from depression and anxiety and are more likely to find joy in life again.

Let Us Help

Feeling anxious or stressed? We’d love to see how chiropractic could help you. Contact us today to book an appointment!

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