We all know that eating a healthy diet and exercising are some of the best ways to prevent heart disease, but did you know that chiropractic adjustments can also help?
To understand the connection, let’s start with a quick lesson on how the heart functions. The sinoatrial node acts as a pacemaker which keeps a heart rate of around 70 beats per minute for an average adult. To accommodate the demands of the body, the sympathetic nerves, originating in the thoracic spine, attach to the heart and cause it to speed up, whereas the parasympathetic nerves, originating in the brain, cause the heart rate to slow down. What this tells us is that the cardiovascular system is controlled by the nervous system.
Now we can start seeing how chiropractic can have an effect on heart health. The spine protects the nervous system, so when it is misaligned (vertebral subluxation), it can cause interference in nervous system communication. Optimal health can be achieved when the nervous system is functioning properly.
A research study published in the Heart Failure Reviews 2011 by Bibevski and Dunlap stated that there is impaired vagal nerve control in the early stages of heart failure, suggesting that heart failure may be caused by a breakdown in nervous system control. In addition, Welch and Boone’s research (Journal of Chiropractic Medicine 2008) found that specific chiropractic adjustments have a significant effect on the autonomic nervous system’s control over blood pressure.
When the nervous system doesn’t have proper control over the heart because of a subluxation, exercise can potentially stress the heart beyond the normally beneficial range. While medications which treat heart disease can be helpful, they also come with many side effects. In March 2007 WebMD reported – “A special chiropractic adjustment can significantly lower high blood pressure, a placebo-controlled study suggests. This adjustment has the effect of not one, but two blood pressure medications given in combination,” study leader George Bakris, MD, tells WebMD. “And it seems to be adverse-event free. We saw no side effects and no problems,” adds Bakris, director of the University of Chicago hypertension center. Don’t wait until you have high blood pressure, get adjusted regularly and allow your body to regulate itself.
Celebrate National Heart Health Month in February by scheduling an adjustment! Regular chiropractic adjustments are a perfect complement to healthy food choices and an active lifestyle to maintain heart health.
Information referenced from http://www.zitelfamilychiropractic.com/february-is-national-heart-health-month-are-you-doing-all-you-can-to-prevent-heart-disease/.