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Can Work Be Relaxing?

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Chiropractic Care and Stress Reduction

If we're alive, we have stress. That much is a given. In fact, we are well-designed to cope with stress, but these ancient mechanisms can often go awry. Just as allergies and other hypersensitivity reactions represent extreme responses of normal physiological processes, the high levels of stress many of us experience on a daily basis represent abnormal responses of our built-in fight-or-flight mechanisms.

Stress is normal, but daily ongoing internal stress is abnormal. Chiropractic care can often provide substantial help, by reducing or eliminating extra sources of stress in our bodies. For example, restricted spinal joint mobility can lead to high levels of physiologic stress in muscles, ligaments, and tendons that support the joints. Stress in these soft tissues causes build-up of metabolic toxins and drains resources, such as oxygen and nutrients, that are needed elsewhere. These physiologic stresses create a vicious cycle of increasing stress in many areas of the body. Mechanical stress leads to mental stress, and mental stress leads to more muscle tension and even pain.

Chiropractic care directly addresses the spinal source of much physiologic stress. The result is a body that works more efficiently and more effectively. The result is increased health, happiness, and well-being.

Not too many people would agree that "oh, yeah, my work is relaxing". For most of us, work involves plenty of stress. If we're in customer service, there's always a seemingly never-ending stream of customers with an abundance of problems that need to be handled yesterday. If we work in an office, office politics adds an unnecessary layer of stress to the normal daily stress of the work we're supposed to be doing. If we work for ourselves, there's the ongoing stress of lining up the next contract, even while we're dealing with the pressures involved in fulfilling the demands of the current project. And on and on.

If we work at a computer there are additional physiological stresses. Our bodies were not designed for prolonged sitting, nor were they designed for staring a computer screen for hours at a time. The highly complex and highly delicate structures of our forearms, wrists, and hands were not meant to be used for typing on a keyboard. Anyone can type for 15 minutes - that's not a problem. But typing for most of the day, day after day, week after week - that's definitely a problem.

These few work scenarios are common. We can recognize ourselves in the descriptions. No one would describe such circumstances as relaxing. But this is how we live. How can we turn what might be thought of as "lemons" into lemonade? Are there tactics we can employ in an overall strategy of causing our lives to be healthy, satisfying, and meaningful, as well as fun and relaxing?

The answer is a resounding "yes". But there is effort involved. We need to be creative and willing to take action on our own behalf. First, it's important to acknowledge the conundrum each of us faces every day. We are required to work to obtain food, shelter, and clothing for ourselves and our families. But the work that we're doing may not be our first choice. Or the second choice. Or sometimes even the third. Still, there it is. We need to work. This is where the creativity comes in.

Our work environment and/or our work itself may never be relaxing. However, we can actively choose to be relaxed. This is an ongoing process and occurs in the moment. For example, you can affirm "I am relaxed. My work is fulfilling and satisfying." And then, pretty soon, something happens to which you respond with tension. As soon as you come back to yourself and remember that you want to be creating a relaxing environment, you reaffirm your intention. This is very much like Zen or other practices which focus on centering. In Zen, the student is reminded to pay attention, to believe nothing, and that nothing is personal.

These powerful reminders can help us greatly in our intention to have our work be relaxing.1,2,3 The key is to take on the concept of practice. We are practicing centering. We are practicing self-awareness. We are practicing relaxing. And as we practice these things, our overall experience is one of being centered, relaxed, and self-aware, regardless of all the things that are going on around us.

1Chiesa A, Malinowski P: Mindfulness-based approaches: are they all the same? J Clin Psychol 67(4):404:424, 2011
2Zeidan F, et al: Brain mechanisms supporting the modulation of pain by mindfulness meditation. J Neurosci 31(14):5540-5548, 2011
3Ledesma D, Kumano H: Mindfulness-based stress reduction and cancer: a meta-analysis. Psychooncology 18(6):571-579, 2009

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Office Locations

Cary, NC Chiropractor 
Dr. Richard Armstrong
Phone: (919) 467-2895

Dr. Ira Rubin

Phone: (919) 467-7797


Clayton, NC Chiropractor 
Dr. Nicholas Ferez
Phone: (919) 550-9355


Durham, NC Chiropractor 
(Durham Chapel Hill Blvd) 

Dr. Michael Krasnov
Dr. Keegan McCourt
Phone: (919) 383-9890


Durham, NC Chiropractor
(Southpark Drive)
 

Dr. Arturo Presas
Phone: (919) 572-2312


Fuquay Varina, NC Chiropractor 
Dr. Brook Wallace
Phone: (919) 577-0660 

Garner, NC Chiropractor 
Dr. Betsy Case-Luca
Phone: (919) 772-1113 


Raleigh, NC Chiropractor
(Midtown Raleigh)
 

Dr. Greg Baldy
Dr. Alan Houfek

Phone: (919) 787-8883


Raleigh, NC Chiropractor
(Celebration Square)
 

Dr. Brian Ransone
Dr. Matthew Schmid

Phone: (919) 847-3122 


Raleigh. NC Chiropractor
(Capital Blvd)
 

Dr. John Smith
Dr. Sean Smith
Phone: (919) 878-8848

Saturday Appointments Available


Wake Forest, NC Chiropractor 
Dr. Russ Redd Chiropractor
Phone: (919) 556-2014