What is the single most important thing you can do to live a healthy life? Take care of your heart! Healthcare providers constantly remind us that regular exercise, a healthy diet, proper sleep habits and no smoking are critical to maintaining a functioning and healthy cardiovascular system.
Interestingly, cardiovascular disease rivals MSK [musculoskeletal] conditions in terms of overall burden [to the body]. So, to benefit long-term health, both need to be addressed. Your chiropractor is already helping in terms of musculoskeletal health and studies seem to indicate that chiropractic adjustments can also contribute to the long-term health of the heart. (www.chiropractic.ca, Heart Health-The Importance of Cardiovascular Health, January 27, 2016)
In one study, the effect of chiropractic adjustments on the nervous system and the subsequent affect to heart rate, was observed in a clinical trial group. The researchers discovered that adjustments reduced back pain in the trial group and lowered the heart rate in those with higher-than-normal rates. One possible conclusion is that the stress associated with back pain caused an increased heart rate, and the chiropractic adjustment fixed the main cause of the increased heart rate. (Palmer Chiropractic College: Effect of Chiropractic Care on Heart Rate Variability and Pain in a Multi-site Clinical Study, JB Bardot article January 7, 2012)
In a second study, another group of researchers explored the relationship between blood pressure and anxiety levels. (Who hasn’t had a higher-than-normal blood pressure reading when feeling anxious?) Blood pressure readings were taken before and after a chiropractic adjustment. The results indicated a decrease in both blood pressure and anxiety AFTER the adjustment, suggesting there are heart benefits to regular chiropractic treatment. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3075649)
Taking a whole-body approach to your health includes involving your chiropractor if you experience high blood pressure or a rapid heart rate. Research continues to show a correlation between a healthy nervous system (achieved with regular spinal manipulations) and a healthy heart.
Make a healthy heart your primary goal for a well-lived life–and don’t forget to include your chiropractor. (Of course, talk to all of your health care providers before starting any new treatments.)
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