How Chiropractic Care Improves Mental Health


Mental Health

Can chiropractic care offer people a healthier mental outlook? According to data evaluated at the Bravewell Collaborative, it certainly can. Patients who feel they have the necessary information, confidence in their ability to make proper choices, and control in making their health care decisions, maintain a more positive outlook on life.

Our modern world is filled with technology designed to make life more convenient. There is a wealth of information available at our fingertips. We can send photographs and videos to friends and family at a moment’s notice. Imagine what our grandparents would say about receiving news, from around the world, in real time?

So why are feelings of depression and anxiety so common?

The World Health Organization estimates that 450 million people suffer from a mental illness of some sort while the Anxiety and Depression Association of America states that as much as 5% of the population will experience depression at some point in their lives.

Pharmaceutical companies are making billions of dollars off medications designed to alleviate these symptoms, but they have yet to find a cure.  Therapists are frequently called on to offer tools to help the afflicted deal with panic attacks, depression, and anxiety.

 So why aren’t more people calling or being referred to their chiropractor for these issues?

While not a cure for everyone, chiropractic care can reduce these upsetting feelings. There is a definite link between mind and body, one that science has yet to decode.

Understanding Depression and Anxiety


Our emotions are powerful, yet they can deceive us. There is no denying that our brain chemistry makes up part of the equation, but there are many other factors which go into feelings of panic, agitation, hopelessness, and depression.

Studies show that if an immediate family member suffers from depression or anxiety, your chances are greatly increased. Why all siblings are not affected is not understood, however.

Trauma and life experiences can also be a part of the puzzle, causing some people to “fall apart”, while others seem unaffected.

Today’s health professional relies mainly on therapy and drugs, usually a combination of the two, to combat these feelings, however, it’s just as important to remember that the body also plays its part in this concern.

The Mind/Body Connection

An amazing study performed in 2002 found that subjects who had osteoarthritis of the knee who underwent arthroscopic surgery saw just as much improvement in pain levels as those who were told they received the treatment but didn’t.

Healthcare professionals tend to treat mind and body as if they are separate from one another.

We should remember that chronic pain of any kind can be depressing and will affect one’s mood and mental health. The removal of pain causes the body to go into a deep sense of relaxation and has a profound healing effect on the mind.

Feelings of depression, anxiety, and panic attacks are complicated issues, but is it any wonder that that many people are experiencing only partial relief from therapy and drugs?

 What if we were to treat both body and mind for depression and anxiety?

 How Can Chiropractic Care Help?

The central nervous system of the body is a complex device which constantly monitors and controls every single organ, including the brain.

While we are blissfully unaware of most of these processes, our bodies try to send us messages occasionally that something is amiss.

Signs of stress and tension, for example, will show themselves as headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, weak muscles, fatigue, and back pain.

These are also common symptoms for those experiencing depression and anxiety.

This isn’t a coincidence. While it might be a case of “which came first”, holistic, natural treatments, such as chiropractic adjustments, can ease these painful symptoms.

The chemistry in our brains and body regulates our moods, to a certain extent. It only makes sense, therefore, that a misalignment in the spine interferes with our responses both chemically and neurologically, and puts immense pressure at the brain stem.

A good example of how the central nervous system works, and how chiropractic care can help, is the lowly garden hose.

Imagine your mind is the faucet and the nervous system the hose. The faucet gets turned on full force and water comes gushing out of the hose.

What if the hose has a kink in it? Or several kinks? The pressure doesn’t change, but there is little, if any, water coming out of the hose.

The pressure buildup at the faucet must be incredible. Now, the faucet doesn’t have feelings, but the mind does. Imagine the relief when someone removes the kinks from the hose?

In one study, 78% of patients who had mild-to-moderate depression underwent a dozen chiropractic adjustments. After the sessions, subjects stated that they felt improvements in their emotional or mental health. These findings were published in 2013 in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research. 

To Wrap Things Up

Panic attacks, depression, and anxiety are complicated, multi-faceted problems that can be a tough nut to crack. Chiropractors do not want to imply that chiropractic adjustments are the cure for these ailments, however, we do want people to know that chiropractic care can help.

If you believe you might have depression or anxiety, please see a mental health professional first. If you are taking medications for these conditions, do not stop taking your medication.

There is no real cure for depression and anxiety as of this writing. Some people have found that they experience a tremendous reduction in their symptoms, including periods of complete remission, with proper care of both mind and body.

Author Bio

Dr. Brent Wells is a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine, with a science degree from the University of Nevada and a doctorate degree from Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, Oregon.

Born in California, Dr. Wells felt a strong urge to pull up stakes and settle in Alaska. Along with his wife, Coni, and their 3 children, Dr. Wells now calls Anchorage home.

Dr. Wells wanted his chiropractic patients to experience the difference that a truly caring health care professional can make in their lives. He founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in 1998, where he and his team of professionals provide a full array of effective treatments.

You can read more about Dr. Wells and his team at


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