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Anxiety and its Link to Your Nervous System

Anxiety is widespread and can manifest in different ways for people. It’s the number one mental illness affecting over 40 million people in the US today.


Those were the statistics prior to the current shelter in place order. The unique and unprecedented threat of COVID-19 has exacerbated anxiety and depression due to isolation, social distancing, and extreme changes in daily life. The US will have to prepare for what may be an epidemic of clinical depression and anxiety.


Anxiety includes but is not limited to feelings of restlessness, racing mind, easily fatigued, irritable, difficulty concentrating, muscle tension, and difficulty sleeping among other things.

“How we perceive, process, integrate and respond to our internal and external environment is all done through our central nervous system.”

Anxiety is a complex condition that requires a multidisciplinary approach to manage. One of those approaches should be taking care of your nervous system. How we perceive, process, integrate and respond to our internal and external environment is all done through our central nervous system. When there’s a misalignment at the top of the neck it can put neural tension on the surrounding structures of the nervous system that can cause the body to overreact to ordinary stimulus.


As this misalignment exists for months, years, and sometimes decades, it can decrease vagal tone. In response to this decrease in vagal tone, the body will counter this with increasing the sympathetic tone AKA fight or flight response. Over time the body will become chronically set to a sympathetic response, which includes things like increase in heart rate, jumpiness, trouble sleeping, poor digestion, sweating. These symptoms sound similar to the symptoms of anxiety.


Decreasing anxiety includes being able to adapt to our internal and external stressors in a more balanced way. A 2016 study found that subjects suffering from anxiety that had their upper neck adjusted saw decreased anxiety, increased mental clarity, and increased energy. NUCCA care is about improving the communication pathway between your brain and body, allowing the information coming and going to function without roadblocks. Proper neural communication is an important piece to the complexity of managing anxiety.


For a full spinal evaluation to see how NUCCA upper cervical chiropractic care may benefit you, call us at 415-931-5000 to schedule a private consultation with one of our experienced doctors at Align Spinal Care.


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