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Stress and Disease

Dr. Mark Alan Heltemes

 

Who has stress?  We all do.  But does anyone know what it is?

 

Stress produces pain and disease, which may be eased by medical or alternative treatments that target individual symptoms, but most treatments miss the underlying cause of stress.

Most of the uncomfortable and unhealthy physiological reactions we have to the stressors in our environment are a result of the brain’s failure to adequately regulate the nervous system.

The brain is the body’s control center. It manages the function of every organ, system and cell. When brain rhythms become dysregulated due to unhealthy lifestyles or environmental toxins, the brain is unable to keep the rest of the body in harmony.

Messages from the brain must travel down the spinal cord and reach the body’s organs without interference. Neurological pathways must be able to transmit accurate information from the organs back to the brain. The three basic kinds of stressors – trauma, thoughts and toxins – interfere with the electro-chemical transmission of messages along the body’s neurological pathways, keeping organs and systems from functioning as they should.

So what happens if the body is out of balance?  Systems no longer work in a state of ease, and the body requires more energy to adapt to the events of life and the world around it. Energy destined for growth and normal repair has to go to keeping everything working the best it can, and the body becomes weak.

Medicine’s traditional approach to correct maladaptive patterns in the nervous system has been to develop drugs that either stimulate or depress the system to attempt a normal balance or homeostasis.

But now, a growing body of research shows that chiropractic adjustments, long known as an effective way to maintain muscle and joint health, produce neurological stimulus that interrupts interference patterns to “reboot” the nervous system so the brain can reset itself.

The treatment I provide in my clinic is a neuro-chiropractic protocol that reorganizes brain and nervous system function by using the electroencephalogram (EEG).

I measure for imbalance in the cortex and the limbic system by gauging physiological responses. Common measurements I take include brain wave activity, heart rate, heart rate variability (the relationship between heart and respiration), respiratory rate, hand temperatures and skin conductance (skin moisture).

The impulses or frequencies are measured in hertz by the EEG to detect dysregulation. A healthy brain should be able to move easily from one frequency to the next and maintain a balanced ratio among them, enabling the cortex and limbic system to communicate with each other for overall function.

 

The cortex, or outer brain, is the seat of most of our memories and emotions as well as our motor functions. It communicates information by electrical-chemical impulse. The limbic system, or inner brain, operates by influencing the endocrine and autonomic systems. It manages our unconscious functions such as breathing, heart rate, temperature, and perspiration.

The EEG monitors rhythms that modulate the nervous system’s response to stress, enabling practitioner and patient to determine courses of action to change a dysregulated system into an adaptable one.  

Neuro-chiropractic treatment includes chiropractic adjustments to the nervous system, health awareness (identification of good habits and bad habits), nutritional and physical reconditioning education, biofeedback, neurofeedback and brain entrainment protocols.

Treatment components realign the body to its natural state, achieving balance and long term health without drugs or surgeries.

The neuro-chiropractic treatment is a non-pharmacological means to interrupt maladaptive nervous system patterns, preventing disease and achieving homeostasis, a healthy balance.  

 A well-balanced person not only looks younger, but remains active and vibrant, experiencing more acute awareness, good recovery ability, high energy, few symptoms, resistance to infections, a positive attitude, and mental alertness. In short, excellent health.

Treating the symptoms of stress may provide temporary relief, but only understanding and acting on the underlying causes can promote long-term health.

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Posted by on October 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Chiropractic Adjustment

For years people have gone to Chiropractors to help them with their pain and joint problems. They have quickly learned by getting an adjustment that they feel better immediately.

Research suggests that the immediate help comes from beta endorphins and enkephalins released into the system. But what causes that to happen? After a chiropractic adjustment the nervous system sends an afferent (incoming) electrical impulse from the spinal cord and point of contact to the brain.

The impulse causes  a “pattern interrupt” that reboots the nervous system. In the moment of the adjustment, the brain stops its habitual responses and starts fresh. The process is much like what your heart does when you sneeze. The reset enables the brain to create new pathways of regeneration. A host of chemicals are released, and the body feels relaxed and at ease.

The brain has the task of regulating all bodily functions.  Extreme circumstances, like stress, cause it to become exhausted. When the sympathetic nervous system is in over drive for far too long it causes the autonomic functions to become weakened. Breathing, heart rate, perspiration, temperature, digestion, all struggle when the sympathetic system has to divert too much energy for its own maintenance. Without a balance between these precisely regulated systems our body becomes diseased. The brain consumes extra resources it normally would not need at the expense of the other systems. The body breaks down and regeneration becomes hindered.

Chiropractic adjustments help the brain to create new habitual responses that replace the repetitive overdrive it has found itself in. Adjustments are the best clinical interventions for encouraging nervous system neo formation, necessary for healthy bodies. They support the processes of thinking, being, doing to become easier and more efficient.

It is said that the brain believes what you tell it. If you tell it you are sick it lives through that existence. If you tell it you are happy and well, it will believe that, too. Resetting the brain with a chiropractic adjustment and generating new patterns of existence creates useful, functional, stable ways to live a healthful life.

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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I Am Offering A Natural Treatment For PTSD

Stress disorders and suicides among veterans and service members are at epidemic proportions. To do my part to fight these tragedies, I extend an offer to our community to treat three veterans with post traumatic stress disorder free of charge in my clinic.
I was motivated to offer free treatments when I read an article about the results of a 2010 study that found 22 service members commit suicide every day. Paul Rieckhoff, the founder of Iraq and Afganistan Veterans of America called the epidemic of suicides an “outrage.” He urged national attention to the problem of vets struggling with “invisible wounds,” and said traditional risk assessments are no longer adequate to the problem. We need to add “ways to identify life stressors and concerns earlier,” he said. Current treatment options at SFVAMC are limited to medication and psychotherapy. The meds can have unhealthy side effects and the therapy can take precious time that many vets simply do not have.
As a Chiropractor and Functional Neurologist, I have taken great interest in the brain’s ability to regulate the body. Gray’s Anatomy, the accepted anatomical authority says,-”the nervous system controls all the organs, systems and cells of the body,” making it the driver of healthy function. It is critical that messages from the brain travel down the spinal cord and reach the body’s systems without interference. The cause of interference can be chemical, physical and psychological. Chiropractic adjustment reboots the system, impacting all three causes.
In the healing arts, it has been well understood for years that all diseases are of two general kinds a state of under-activity or a state of over-activity. Medicine’s traditional approach has been to develop drugs that either stimulate or depress the system to attempt a normal balance (homeostasis). If disease is a result of imbalance (that is, over- or under-arousal), then good health is a balanced state.
A person in a balanced state of health would experience strong recovery ability, high energy, few symptoms, resistance to infections, positive mental attitude, present time consciousness, mental alertness and excellent health. He or she would look younger and would remain active and vibrant.
We can measure the state of balance by observing the action of the normal physiological responses of the body, including brain wave activity, heart rate, heart rate variability (the ratio between heart rhythm and respiration rhythm), respiratory rate, hand temperature and skin conductance (skin moisture).
What if the body doesn’t have balance? Then the system cannot adapt to all the activities and stressors of life without consuming more energy. Energy destined for growth and repair now has to go toward keeping everything working the best it can. The system is stressed. It is in one of four states of imbalance: over-arousal, under-arousal, instability and exhaustion. Any of these conditions can be mild, moderate or severe.
Stress is a maladaptive response pattern. In the case of someone with PTSD, the system is over-aroused and chaotic. It reflects conditions associated with hyper-vigilance or panic attacks, loss of quality sleep, and a host of other symptoms. An effective treatment of PTSD ascertains the severity of imbalance by measuring brain waves.
Information is communicated within the brain by electrical/chemical impulse. The impulses can be measured in hertz by an EEG, or electroencephalogram.
The cortex area of our brain stores most of our memories and emotions as well as sensory motor functions. When the patterns of frequency become dysregulated then symptoms and conditions appear. With EEG we can monitor the brain rhythms in the cortex that modulate this system in its response to stress. We can also determine courses of action to change a dysregulated system into a well regulated one.
In my clinic, I employ a treatment protocol that reorganizes brain and nervous system function. It includes spinal adjustments to the nervous system to reset/reboot the system, health awareness (good habits; bad habits), nutritional and physical reconditioning education, biofeedback, neurofeedback and brain entrainment protocols.
Through ongoing evaluations, I establish a course of treatment that addresses changing chemical, physical and psychological contributors to neurological stress. Symptoms are an indication of a dysregulated system. By correcting this imbalance, a healthy state can be achieved.
Participants in the free program would visit my office in Oakland (6 blocks from Rockridge BART) between 3pm and 7pm Monday through Thursday twice a week for the first two months and once a week over the following year.
Inquiries can be sent to me at 6245 College Ave. Oakland, CA 94618 or Pridechiro@jps.net. My website is http://www.Pridechiropractic.com. Please forward this to any service connected individual you feel is in need. Participants will be chosen based on need and the ability to commit to the terms of the program.
Our fellow veteran Paul Rieckhoff is right. To stem the loss of life and talent to suicide and PTSD requires innovation and commitment – one veteran at a time.

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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