One in five Americans is affected by mental illness, and it is estimated the 31% of Americans will experience some form of an anxiety disorder during their lifetime. Unfortunately, more than 11 million Americans do not receive mental health services that they desperately need, leading to more widespread mental illness and horrible tragedies like mass shootings, self-harm, and suicide.
This year, October 7-13 is Mental Illness Awareness Week in the United States. This week is all about awareness and education, and the theme this year is “Cure Stigma,” which seeks to reduce the negative attitudes towards mental illness and minimize the stigma associated with mental health struggles. When mental illness is viewed negatively, people are shamed into not addressing their problem and not seeking help, which leads to more serious issues. We would never shame someone for seeking treatment for cancer, so why embarrass or disgrace someone for seeking help with mental illness?
What Role Does Chiropractic Play in Treating Mental Illness?
While the exact cause of mental illness isn’t known, scientists believe that mental health issues stem from a combination of biological, psychological, and environmental factors. Some mental illnesses can be linked to trauma (physical or emotional), infections, or substance abuse, while some have no apparent root cause.
One well-known biological factor of mental illness is abnormally functioning nerve cells or nerve pathways. This is directly related to neurologically-based chiropractic care. The brain sends neurotransmitters to other parts of the bodies to control various functions of the body, including hormone production, blood pressure, and more. These signals travel along the spinal cord, which is housed within the spine. When a vertebra is shifted slightly, whether from physical trauma, muscle tension, or something else, the bone pushes on the spinal cord and interrupts that nerve pathway. This leads to a miscommunication between the brain and the body’s other systems, leading to dysfunction.
When an individual seeks chiropractic care for good spinal health, the nerve pathways and proper communication is restored, leading to better function within the body. An individual who is suffering from mental illness can experience improved mental clarity and better mental health from being under chiropractic care, which can lead to a willingness to get additional help, a better quality of life, more feelings of hope, and improved physical and mental health.
Many individuals have seen great success in improving their mental health with natural, drug-free treatments like chiropractic care. At Greater Life Chiropractic in Charlotte, NC, Dr. Grant Lisetor will do everything he can to help improve your overall body function, health, and wellbeing. From panic attacks, anxiety, depression, and more, chiropractic care can greatly benefit everyone who is struggling with mental health concerns.
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Potthoff S. Penwell B, Wolf J. “Panic attacks and the chiropractic adjustment: A case report.” ACA Journal of Chiropractic, 1993 Dec, 30:26-28. http://icpa4kids.org/Chiropractic-Research/panic-attacks-and-the-chiropractic-adjustment-a-case-report.html.
White, P. D., Rickards, H., & Zeman, A. Z. J. (2012). Time to end the distinction between mental and neurological illnesses. BMJ, 344(e3), 4540. https://www.bmj.com/bmj/section-pdf/187559?path=/bmj/344/7861/Analysis.full.pdf.