Better Health: Manage stress naturally

In this fast-paced, hectic world, most of us face a lot of tension and may be suffering from emotional and physical stress. You’ll be relieved to know that there are many natural solutions for relieving the tension in your body and lessening the stress on your mind and nervous system.

These suggestions are designed to offer relief without the side effects of tranquilizers, the medical alternative. Pharmaceutical tranquilizers leave you less alert and unfocused, often causing problems when driving or working.

Start by trying regular exercise to reduce mental stress. Exercise helps you to maintain a healthy weight, improving self-image, often reducing the internal pressure to be accepted and “fit in.” Exercise increases the function of insulin receptors, lowering blood sugar levels in diabetics.

In addition, being physically active lowers blood pressure, and a lower blood pressure puts less stress on the whole cardio-vascular system.

A consistent exercise program also lowers heart rate. A slower resting heart rate means less wear and tear on the heart valves.

Conversely, high blood sugar levels indirectly cause higher blood pressure, which causes headaches and kidney damage. Focusing on the exercise takes your mind off of your problems while the endorphins released can make you feel better for 24 hours.

Another powerful stress reliever is the regular practice of prayer and meditation. Focusing on a prayer or on listening to the sound of silence, nature or your subconscious can help you let go of fear and anxiety.

Trusting in that supreme power and having faith in a plan with divine purpose really reduces mental pressure and fear. This communion with spirit can be a productive journey in intimacy that leads to health.

Focusing the mind on how far one can stretch the body relieves tension and anxiety. The mental focus on stretching reduces anxiety and the physical act of stretching melts away muscle tension. Chiropractic manipulation or adjustments also stretches the muscles and reduces tension in them. Adjustments are meant to relieve nerve interference.

The chiropractic adjustment reduces stress on the nervous system. This result is achieved mechanically and neuro-chemically and has the effect of making the patient feel “less nervous”. Neurotransmitter levels are temporarily changed after spinal adjustment to an injured or chronically misaligned area. After more normal joint motion and alignment is achieved, these chemical changes remain until the next injury.

There have been many documented cases of lowered blood pressure in hypertensive patients with chiropractic adjustment alone. Dr. Oz had a chiropractor lower hypertension on national television and so did “Good Morning America”.

Massage is very effective in helping a person to relax and may also increase the body’s ability to accept the adjustment, allowing the body to hold the correction longer. Massage also temporarily lowers blood pressure and heart rate, further proof of massage therapy’s ability to reduce tension, both physically and mentally.

Our massage therapist is also trained in performing passive stretches to reduce muscle tension in her clients. At Better Health Chiropractic, the whole team works together to provide the patient with safe natural muscle relaxers, calming supplements, targeted exercises/stretches and massage therapy to naturally relieve tension and stress, hopefully leading to less anxiety as well.

Dr. Cheryl McFarland-Bryant has been practicing in Citrus County for more than years. She is licensed as a doctor of chiropractic and medical laboratory scientist and has more than 10 years of experience in functional holistic integrative medicine. Contact her at 352-795-8911 or visit 6166 W. Gulf-to-Lake Highway, Crystal River, or


Visit The American Institute of Stress

Photo by Jacob Colvin

Original post-Citrus County Chronicle



By McFarland-Bryant