Reduce Pain Through Managing Stress

Shared by Dr. Justin Thompson

Reduce Pain Through Managing Stress

As chiropractors, not only are we taught how to help people with back pain, neck pain and headaches through movement, we are also required to take numerous courses covering neurosciences throughout school. It can be overlooked by many chiropractors because most patient complaints fall into the musculoskeletal realm. Neuroscience and the brain are involved in literally every single moment of our existence. That is why our Chiropractors in East Dallas take the ‘Thinking Well’ component to our health models so seriously. In the ever-evolving field of neuroscience, one concept stands out as a beacon of hope for individuals seeking to improve their mental health and well-being: neuroplasticity. This remarkable phenomenon underscores the brain’s ability to adapt, change, and rewire itself throughout life. It offers a glimmer of optimism for those facing mental health challenges, demonstrating that our brains can heal and grow, and that we can actively participate in this transformation. One of the most effective ways to leverage neuroplasticity is through mindfulness practices.

Neuroplasticity, often referred to as brain plasticity, refers to the brain’s incredible capacity to reorganize its structure, functions, and connections in response to learning, experience, and environmental influences. This phenomenon, once believed to be limited to childhood, has been shown to persist throughout our lives. The brain is not a static entity but rather a dynamic and adaptable organ, capable of repairing itself and forming new neural pathways.

Mindfulness, rooted in ancient traditions and now supported by scientific research, is the practice of paying focused and non-judgmental attention to the present moment. It encourages us to observe our thoughts, emotions, and sensations without criticism or attachment. By immersing ourselves in the present, we can rewire our brains and improve our mental health, as well as reduce neck and back pain, in numerous ways:

 

  1. Rewiring Negative Patterns: Many mental health issues are linked to repetitive, negative thought patterns. Through mindfulness, we can identify these patterns and work to change them. Neuroplasticity enables us to develop more positive and adaptive thought pathways, gradually replacing the negative ones.
  2. Enhanced Emotional Regulation: Mindfulness helps individuals gain better control over their emotions by fostering a heightened awareness of their feelings as they arise. Over time, this practice can modify the brain’s response to emotional stimuli, resulting in improved emotional regulation and reduced reactivity.
  3. Stress Reduction: Chronic stress has detrimental effects on the brain. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) techniques can mitigate these effects by altering the brain’s response to stressors, reducing the production of cortisol (the stress hormone), and promoting relaxation. This is huge because less stress means less pain!
  4. Improved Concentration and Attention: Mindfulness meditation has been found to increase attention and focus. Through consistent practice, the brain strengthens its capacity for sustained attention and reduces the impact of distractions.
  5. Enhanced Empathy and Compassion: Mindfulness practice fosters empathy and compassion by increasing activity in areas of the brain associated with these emotions. This, in turn, can lead to improved relationships and overall well-being.

 

It’s important to note that reaping the benefits of neuroplasticity through mindfulness requires consistency and dedication. Just as regular chiropractic adjustments are needed to help the body heal, exercise is needed to strengthen the body, consistent mindfulness practice is necessary to rewire the brain. The good news is that anyone can engage in mindfulness, and it can be adapted to suit individual preferences and schedules.

 

The exciting field of neuroplasticity demonstrates that our brains are not fixed entities but malleable, adaptable structures capable of change throughout our lives. Mindfulness practices, by harnessing the power of neuroplasticity, offer a transformative path to improving mental health and decreasing stress and pain! By committing to the practice, we can rewire our brains, promote emotional well-being, and enhance the overall quality of our lives. This will allow the mind AND body to feel and function at its best! So, if you’re seeking a way to improve your mental health, consider mindfulness as a powerful tool to unlock the potential of your ever-changing brain.

 

References

Anna Lardone, Marianna Liparoti, Pierpaolo Sorrentino, Rosaria Rucco, Francesca Jacini, Arianna Polverino, Roberta Minino, Matteo Pesoli, Fabio Baselice, Antonietta Sorriso, Giampaolo Ferraioli, Giuseppe Sorrentino, Laura Mandolesi, “Mindfulness Meditation Is Related to Long-Lasting Changes in Hippocampal Functional Topology during Resting State: A Magnetoencephalography Study”, Neural Plasticity, vol. 2018, Article ID 5340717, 9 pages, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/5340717

Our Message

When you are looking for a Chiropractor near you that you can trust, choose one who will not only get rid of your back pain, neck pain, or headaches but who will also guide you to living a healthier lifestyle to keep you out of pain. Our Chiropractors located in East Dallas, near the corner of Mockingbird Ln. and Abrams Rd., will teach you what the research says about how and why we should eat a better diet, move more and have more positive thoughts. By improving these areas of our lives we can become healthier, stay out of pain and reduce risk of diabetes and other diseases!