Travel nurses are just as susceptible to anxiety and depression as anyone else. Perhaps even more so. Being a nurse isn’t an easy job, especially during a global health crisis. If you add to that the normal stresses of traveling and the fact that you may be away from close friends and family for long periods, it can be difficult to overcome. Anxiety and depression are serious issues that shouldn’t be ignored by anyone. They can affect your mind and body in ways that are only becoming clear to us now. You may be surprised to find that chiropractic care can positively impact your physical and mental state. But how can a chiropractor help travel nurses with anxiety and depression? Let Juneau’s most trusted chiropractor for 20 years guide you.
The answer is both simple and complicated. The more research we do, the more data we gather about the positive effects various chiropractic modalities have on mental and emotional states, including anxiety and depression. This in addition to many other positive effects from chiropractic care. Read on to discover what exactly goes on in the mind and body for this to happen.
What is Chiropractic Care?
You may be surprised to know that even those in the medical field are often unsure about what exactly chiropractors do. To be clear, here’s a quick rundown on the basics of chiropractic care.
- Focuses on the musculoskeletal and nervous system.
- Takes a whole-body approach.
- It is considered to be safe and low-risk.
- Uses techniques such as spinal adjustment, joint mobilization, massage, traction, electronic stimulation, cold laser therapy, and others.
- It can treat back, neck, joint, and muscle issues, headaches, immune system function, digestion problems, and others.
The Connection Between Pain, Depression, and Anxiety
Before we get into the nitty-gritty about chiropractic care, depression, and anxiety, we need to take a quick look inside the mind and body connection. The theory used to be that anxiety and depression were separate from physical pain, existing only in the mind. However, this is not the case. Pain, depression, and anxiety are closely related, with the existence of one often accompanying the existence of another.
To simplify, pain can (and often does) cause depression and/or anxiety. On the flip side, depression and/or anxiety can affect how the mind perceives and experiences pain.
What was once thought of as a purely psychological connection has now been proven to be a biological connection. This is important to understand in relation to chiropractic care.
How Chiropractic Care Can Help Travel Nurses With Depression and Anxiety
Whether you experience depression and anxiety without the added burden of chronic or intermittent pain doesn’t necessarily matter. Chiropractic care can still help. Depression is often caused by different factors; environmental, emotional, and physical. Chiropractic care seeks to address all these issues for a healthier, happier body and mind. Here’s how.
Stress Relief and Increased Energy
Many of the common chiropractic modalities, like massage and spinal adjustment, promote stress relief, which can increase energy. Most patients find chiropractic offices relaxing environments, which helps them to relax mentally while the session helps their body relax physically. Studies have shown decreased muscle activity following chiropractic adjustment by up to 25%.
When stress is released from the body, it tends to free up energy and vitality, making many patients feel much better after chiropractic care sessions.
For many people suffering from anxiety or depression, sleep is often hard to come by. And a lack of sleep can make everything worse. During one study, patients reported improved sleep after their chiropractic sessions, in addition to many other improvements.
Lower Blood Pressure
A common symptom of anxiety is increased blood pressure. High blood pressure, or hypertension, in turn, can contribute to health problems like heart disease and stroke. But, chiropractic care and massage therapy have shown promising results in lowering blood pressure. One study showed that both blood pressure and anxiety were decreased following a chiropractic adjustment.
A Whole-Body Approach
Chiropractic care isn’t just about the spine, joints, muscles, and bones. The philosophy underlying the chiropractic field is one that takes a wide view of the body and mind. This means addressing any and all issues possible, aiming for a healthier mind and body. It’s common to get lifestyle tips from your chiropractor or another person on the staff.
Certified nutritionists are often employed at a chiropractic clinic. Sometimes your chiropractor will even have studied nutrition in addition to chiropractic. This, combined with the focus on the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, allow chiropractors to consider many of the different factors that may be causing depression and anxiety.
Like physicians, a chiropractor will advise you on your best options if he or she thinks that you should seek other forms of help.
A Natural, Drug-Free Approach
One thing that draws people toward chiropractic care is the safe, natural, drug-free approach. Many depression and anxiety medications can cause unpleasant side-effects such as weight gain, fatigue, and insomnia. While you should always talk to your doctor before ceasing any medications, chiropractic care can offer a safe and natural way to treat your anxiety and depression.
All chiropractic modalities are non-invasive and low-risk. You get a hands-on approach to improving your life using safe and natural techniques that have been in practice for decades or even centuries in some cases.
Releases Positive Hormones
Studies have shown that spinal adjustments can help to release positive hormones into your body. After all, the health of your spine can have a drastic effect on the rest of your body. Important nerves and pathways to the body run through the spine, and even a small misalignment can have a negative effect.
These spinal misalignments, or subluxations, often aren’t painful. Many patients don’t even realize that something is amiss until it’s fixed and they notice the difference. It’s one of those “wow” moments that chiropractors live for.
A few positive hormones release during spinal adjustments include:
- Cortisol – Blocks inflammation-related pain.
- Oxytocin – Is a chemical communicator in the brain and is a social-bonding hormone.
- Neurotensin – Helps to reduce stress-related pain.
In summation, pain, depression, and anxiety are closely related and intertwined. Chiropractic care has been shown to improve all three in different ways through spinal adjustments, lifestyle advice, massage, joint mobilization, and other modalities. For travel nurses, chiropractic care is safe, readily available, and natural. It can improve the quality of life in many ways, countering stress and pain-related issues that are common to the profession. For more tips on dealing with anxiety as a travel nurse, check out this article!