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Fighting Stress for the Holidays

By Dr. Rob Liguori  December 6, 2013

stressedIn today’s world, I find it hard to find a single person that isn’t stressed. Whether it’s job stress, stress due to injuries or illness, or simply being too busy, stress has a direct impact on both your mental and physical function. This is especially true this time of year. With all of the holiday parties, unhealthy eating and drinking, hectic shopping schedules, and traveling, the holiday season can become very stressful. As wonderful as the holidays can be, it is important to be aware of the stress on your body and to take good care of it. If stress is left to affect your body, health problems may develop.

One of the most common physical manifestations I see in stressed people is chronic neck and upper back tightness with associated tension headaches. These are minor issues when compared to long term effects of stress like high blood pressure or chronic fatigue. The truth is, stress is both good and bad and is a normal part of life, but the problem is when stress becomes overwhelming. In these situations, stress begins to negatively affect the body and leads to health issues. When this happens, the source of stress must be addressed.

A chiropractor’s job is not just about helping fix injuries. A large part of our job title is to educate, especially about how to live a healthy lifestyle and prevent injuries and illness. A new patient may present to our office and complain of chronic neck tightness and pain or chronic headaches. In many cases, stress is a complicating factor that adds to the problem. That being said, in addition to correcting the joint dysfunction or reducing muscle spasm, we educate about stress management methods and nutritional support.

Chronic stress can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Stress taxes the brain as well as the adrenal and thyroid glands, which function to release chemicals for metabolism and the “fight or flight” response. If these areas of the body are overworked, the supportive nutrients are put in higher demand and can lead to nutrient depletion. This is where nutritional intervention comes in and it is a multi-step approach. One step is to supplement the body with the proper vitamins and minerals that have become depleted. The other step is to provide the body with an herbal boost to really kick start the change.

Rhodiola and Ginseng are the two herbs that we use in combination for this “kick start”. Most people have heard of Ginseng, but Rhodiola is fairly unknown. These two herbs contain compounds called rosavins and ginenosides, which aid in supporting the body to enhance mental clarity and maintain proper energy. These compounds also help the body adapt to changes in everyday life and support physical endurance. So, how would you know if this product can help you out? If you are dealing with excessive stress, lack mental clarity, or are trying to recover from a recent illness, this is a supplement that could help you out.

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