Chiropractic Reduces Stress Hormones
Our bodies have incredible ways to regulate homeostasis and prevent illness and disease. One of the most important ways it does that it through the Endocrine system. And I’m going to show you how the chiropractic adjustment undoubtedly influences the Endocrine system.
The Endocrine system is responsible for hormone production and regulation. It’s often called the hormonal system. The hormone we are specifically concerned about today is cortisol.
Increased levels of cortisol result in increased blood sugar and a suppressed immune system.
There are 24 vertebra in our spine that house the spinal cord, and our spinal cord is connected to the brain. The benefits of the chiropractic adjustment, like positively affecting hormone regulation, don’t occur simply because a bone is moved in the process- it happens because the adjustment directly influences the brain. This is incredibly important to understand. Let me explain how.
When a vertebra is adjusted, special nerve receptors embedded in the joint capsule called mechanoreceptors are activated and fire sensory information to the brain. These signals are received and integrated by the hypothalamus, which in turn noticeably change the brain’s activity in response to the sensory input from the adjustment. The hypothalamus is a small region located at the base of the brain near the pituitary gland. The hypothalamus is vital for the proper regulation of body functions including temperature, sleep, thirst, and circadian rhythm. This is one theory why patients have reported better sleep quality after beginning chiropractic care.
Pituitary gland activity dictates the production of cortisol.
But the most important role of the hypothalamus is the linkage of the Nerve System to the hormonal or endocrine system via the pituitary gland. The hypothalamus receives sensory information from the adjusted vertebra of the spine, and produces neurohormones as a result that activate or inhibit the release of hormones from the pituitary gland. This happens due to the improved quality of sensory information that is sent to the hypothalamus from the mechanoreceptors. The hypothalamus, having improved information from the body, is now able to inform the pituitary gland, thus modulating its activity and output. The reason this is so important to understand because pituitary gland activity dictates the production of cortisol in the adrenal glands.
The adrenal glands are small glands located on the top of each kidney. They are part of the endocrine system and are responsible for responding to times of stress. The adrenal glands respond to stress by producing cortisol. Increased levels of cortisol result in increased blood sugar and a suppressed immune system. A long-term chronic increase of cortisol can result in many negative outcomes, including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, weak muscles, characteristic bodily changes, and brittle bones. Cortisol, when produced by the adrenal glands, result in breakdown of muscle due to cortisol’s influence on the liver. This is why it is so important to prevent excess levels of cortisol from being produced. It can mean the difference between health and suffering.
Excess cortisol throws the entire endocrine system out of whack. The great news is that the chiropractic adjustment helps the endocrine system accurately regulate the release of beneficial hormones, helping you to achieve and maintain optimal health. Many patients have noted increased resiliency to illness, greater sleep, less pain, and the ability to return to more physical activity. Our doctors recommend regular spinal checks to prevent unnecessary injury for adults and abnormal development for children, both of which could result in the need of costly orthopedic surgeries.
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