The Power of an Adjustment… on Stress by Dr. Janna House

The Power of an Adjustment... on Stress by Dr. Janna House

Chiropractic London ON Adjustments for Stress

The Way I See It…

Many times after someone receives an adjustment in my office, they involuntarily give a sigh or yawn. This can be referred to as the “sympathetic sigh/yawn.” This is a sign of the nervous system relaxing and releasing tension and stress. I know the person who just received the adjustment will experience more health because their body is adapting to the stresses of the day in a healthy way. We are constantly subjected to stress. It’s unavoidable, especially in the 21st century. We are fighting an impossible battle if our goal is to eliminate stress. Stress takes a toll on our health and wellness in London.

The key to a healthy life and future is to properly adapt to stress. Some experts teach strategies for learning how to cope with stress. I believe that stress is not just about learning how to cope with it, it is also about freeing our inborn ability to cope with it. You do not have to remind your lungs to breathe for you, or your heart to pump. Similarly, your body has the capacity to fully adapt to stress without you even thinking about it. It’s not about how much stress we have, it’s how we respond to stress, and the key is to remove anything that would get in the way of your brain-body connection.

The Science Behind It…

Most people don’t know that a chiropractic adjustment does much more than address problems in your spine. Chiropractic actually has measurable effects on your central nervous system and brain. According to a 2011 study [1], one chiropractic spinal adjustment was able to inhibit the sympathetic (flight and fight) response and help move the body into a more relaxed parasympathetic (rest and digest) state. This means that chiropractic can physiologically change your body and mind from a state of fight-or-flight to a state of rest-and-digest. Note, this is not a matter of learning how to cope with stress, it is changing the physiology of your body to effectively adapt to stress.

Another study, discussed by Dr. Dan Sullivan [2] shows the power of a chiropractic adjustment and its affect on our physiology and stress. This picture on the left is from a study of a brain under MRI imaging. The subject was exposed to a “stress” and then an MRI was taken to measure how the brain responded. The image of the brain on the left is lit up. The spots of light represent all the areas the brain is recruiting to help adapt and handle that stress. The subject was then taken out of the MRI scanner and was given a chiropractic adjustment. The subject was returned to the MRI scanner and exposed to the same stress as before. The image of the brain on the right side is the same subject adapting to the same stress after a chiropractic adjustment. There was not less stress, it was exactly the same. The scan clearly shows that less areas are being recruited to cope with the stress.

Chiropractic adjustments bring balance, harmony and organization. As a result of chiropractic care, our bodies use less energy and more efficiency in our ability to deal with stress.

A study in 1976 [3] showed that a vertebral subluxation (area of the spine needing an adjustment) creates a stress that causes an increased tone in the sympathetic nervous system. We now know that an increased sympathetic tone in the nervous system sets off a cascade of autonomic processes as if the body was being attacked. This increased tone leads to what we know to be the “fight or flight” behavior physiology. Here is the thing…it is a good response that helps you in the acute situation, but a persistent sympathetic response will lead to a host of issues, including decreased immunity, poor digestion, infertility, difficulty with focus, attention, memory, learning, energy, fatigue and anxiety. This increase in sympathetic tone increases stress hormones known as catecholamines (adrenaline and noradrenaline) and decreases relaxing hormones such as serotonin and relaxin. Like I said, this is good for a short time to help you fight or flee from a predator….but when it is sustained for a long duration it destroys. This happens with every vertebral subluxation because of its influence on the central nervous system.

What This Means to You…

The power of chiropractic adjustments far exceeds pain relief. Research finds that chiropractic care helps your body better adapt and deal with stress. We all have stress in our lives; we will all benefit from chiropractic care.


[1] Ogura T, Tashiro M, Masud M, Watanuki S, Shibuya K, Yamaguchi K, Itoh M, Fukuda H,Yanai K. 2011 Nov-Dec. Cerebral metabolic changes in men after chiropractic spinal manipulation for neck pain. Clinical Trial Altern Ther Health Med. 17(6):12-7. doi:


[3] Korr IM. 1976 Sep. The spinal cord as organizer of disease processes. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 76(1):35-45.


Give us a call and let's find out how we can make your time in our office as convenient for you as possible.

7:30am - 11:00am
3:00pm - 6:00pm

3:00pm - 6:00pm

7:30am - 11:00am
3:00pm - 6:00pm

3:00pm - 6:00pm

7:30am - 11:00am


LifeHouse Chiropractic
520 Springbank Drive #4
London, ON N6J 1G8
Phone (519) 204-9460
Fax (519) 601-9461