I’ll dive into the results of this fascinating new study in a minute. But first, some context:
The stress response in your body is carried out by your adrenal glands. Parked on top of the kidneys, these little guys pump out wads of adrenaline when we need it for ‘fight or flight’ – when I describe your HRV (heart rate variability) test results, this is the sympathetic (left side) dominance I refer to. Critical in life or death situations, there isn’t much in modern life that requires it.
Yet most of the time our stress responses are running in the background, keeping us on edge – noticeable when you’re anxious about test results, running late for something, wondering about the next year of our pandemic lifestyles, or well documented in my case, waiting for a crying baby to fall asleep in the middle of the night. Thankfully the later nights are fewer and farther apart 😉.
If you could ‘turn off’ your adrenals, you’d relax. Now for a long time the adrenals were thought to be controlled by parts of the brain that deal in higher-level thinking. But Pittsburgh neuroscientists recently showed that another elaborate network in the brain also controls them. It now seems that the motor areas in the brain are connected to the adrenal glands. In English, the parts of your brain that control movement… Also have A LOT of neurons that mitigate our stress responses.
Most are in the axial part of that cortex; what most people would consider the “core”. What does this mean?
Core muscles have an impact on stress.
There’s already evidence that core strengthening can help (think Yoga and Pilates, for example, both well known for their stress-reducing effects). In fact, when someone is stressed out, you see changes in their posture. Even just standing up straight can make you feel different. So, if by having poor posture you don’t activate your core muscles correctly, that too will affect your stress levels. What I love about this is it has far-reaching implications for the mind-body connection. If anything, it further validates what your regular chiropractic adjustments do in reestablishing that vital mind-body link, and why you enjoy better posture, stress control, and healing as a result.
Nor is this mere fluff. The results of this study show that how we move, think, and feel can make all the difference to our stress levels through actual neural connections. Until next time, remember my tip today, stand up or sit up tall, and move well!
“I had severe back pain that constantly shot down my leg very time I make a slight movement, and was interfering with my daily activities like walking and sitting. I didn’t know about sciatica until I met Dr. Gelber. His natural and non-medication approach has taught me so much about my body. It’s been 2 months since I’ve joined the program and my health improvements are very noticeable.” – Terence M.