For many years, it has been known that chiropractic adjustments can treat a variety of conditions. Now, evidence is mounting that chiropractic care can also improve overall health. Recent studies have shown chiropractic treatments can improve immune response, reduce blood pressure, and affect heart rate.
In 2011, Japanese researchers found evidence that chiropractic adjustments directly influences the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system, part of the central nervous system, controls automatic body functions such as blood pressure, digestion, immunity, and heart rate.
The study involved 12 men with neck pain who were given chiropractic adjustments. The researchers performed PET scans both before and after the treatment in order to track brain activity. The scans provided evidence of altered brain activity in the areas responsible for stress reactions and pain processing. The researchers also measured significantly lower levels of salivary cortisol, a stress hormone.
The research shows that chiropractic treatments have a positive influence on the central nervous system, resulting in pain reduction. It is also shows that chiropractic care can enhance the body’s stress response, boosting immunity and helping to improve overall health. It is clear that chiropractic adjustments can promote wellness, not just relief of pain symptoms.
Ogura, Takeshi and Manabu Tashiro, Mehedi,Shoichi Watanuki, Katsuhiko Shibuya, Keiichiro Yamaguchi, Masatoshi Itoh, Hiroshi Fukuda, Kazuhiko Yanai. Cerebral Metabolic Changes in Men After Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation for Neck Pain. Alternative Therapies. 2011, November/December; 17 (6): 12-17.