Maria Laoudikou

Doctor of Chiropractic, GCC registered Chiropractor, blogger.

Lockdown #2, mental health and chiropractic

Tuesday, 03 November 2020 08:57

1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England. 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem like anxiety and depression in any given week in England. It said that since the first lockdown, the psychological health of the UK population has suffered greatly, with significant increases in reported stress, anxiety, depression; escalating alcohol consumption and domestic abuse; and increases in suicidal thoughts, especially among young adults. With the pandemic and the lockdown measures there has been a deterioration in people’s mental health, regardless of whether they had the mental health problem before.

2020 hit us all as a huge wave of anxiety and lockdown No2 starts Thursday, so things are changing. Again.

We all know that our mental health can be impacted by physical illness, but have you ever thought about how that connection goes both ways? Have you ever really thought about all the various physical symptoms we get with mental illness?

How is mental health being affected by the pandemic?

More than two-thirds of adults in the UK (69%) report feeling somewhat or very worried about the effect COVID-19 is having on their life. The most common issues affecting wellbeing are worry about the future (63%), feeling stressed or anxious (56%) and feeling bored (49%).

Drivers of worsening mental health during the pandemic:

1.Social isolation

2. Job and financial losses

3. Housing insecurity and quality

4. Working in a front line service

5. Loss of stress coping mechanisms

6. Reduced access to mental health services.

There is not “one fits all” for anxiety and depression symptoms. On an emotional level one could experience panic attacks, irritability, dread, restlessness, sadness, anger, loss of interest in activities or hobbies, feeling hopeless or pessimistic, feeling worthless, helpless or guilty or thoughts of death or suicide. Behavioural changes such as difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or recalling, decreased pain tolerance, waking early, or oversleeping, including problems falling asleep and restless, unsatisfying sleep, grinding teeth are common too.

However, there are lots of physical symptoms caused by anxiety and depression that include:

  • decreased energy, chronic fatigue
  • pain and aches throughout the body
  • muscle tension and stiffness
  • headaches and migraines
  • inability to relax
  • inability to sleep

These physical symptoms can exacerbate mental symptoms can exacerbate mental symptoms and make anxiety and/or depression harder to live with. Luckily chiropractic care is uniquely positioned to relieve those physical symptoms. Overall chiropractic care can have a positive impact on patients’ mental health. Besides proven research, there have been many anecdotal case studies about the role of chiropractic care on anxiety and depression. These preliminary reports suggest there are even more benefits of chiropractic care on mental health symptoms.

But how could chiropractic help with mental health disorders?

Spinal health influences almost every region of the body. Studies showed that after getting a chiropractic adjustment, our bodies trigger an increase in hormones such as

  • neurotensin, that neutralizes stress induced pain
  • oxytocin, that boosts neuro-communication and feelings of social bonding, and
  • cortisol, that blocks pain deriving from inflammation.

As traditional health care costs continue to soar, more patients are looking to alternatives that are affordable and effective. If you are looking for relief from your mental health symptoms, chiropractic care is a proven method that may improve your quality of life in the long run. If you or someone you know experiences mental health issues, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional.  

Don’t forget, chiropractors are classed as essential health workers and are remaining open throughout the second lockdown. So stop putting your health on hold and seek help if you need to.

Before you go…

Here are 5 things you need to hear as we go into a second lockdown* (@wearefeelgoodclub):

  • You got through the first one. You can get through this one too.
  • Learn from last time. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to be productive all the time
  • With the winter mornings and evenings there is no doubt this will be tougher, so please remember to keep talking to loved ones.
  • You are strong enough to get through this, even if it doesn’t feel like it now.
  • This won’t last forever, even though it feels like it will right now.

And here are 5 things you can start doing today to protect your mental health during lockdown* (@wearefeelgoodclub):

  • Be mindful of how much news you consume. Stay informed but avoid obsessing over updates and numbers.
  • Working from home again? Set boundaries with your workplace and stick to them. Make sure you switch off.
  • Create a lockdown routine. Routine can be so important for positive mental health. Schedule your breaks, walks, baths and time away from your phone.
  • Unfollow social media accounts that make you feel like sh*t. We are probably all going to be scrolling a lot more this month so make sure it’s uplifting content you are seeing.
  • Buddy up with a close friend that you trust and make a pact that you’ll both be totally honest with how you feel if you are not doing okay.

Again, I better make myself clear here. I am not claiming that chiropractic can get rid of your depression or anxiety. I wish I could make that happen. But chiropractic is an all-natural approach you can choose to help with the physical symptoms of your mental illness. I still encourage everyone to seek help from a councelor, psychologist or GP. Your mental health is as important as your physical health. It's 2020 after all, having a life coach, psychotherapist, or CBT practitioner it should be part of our self care .  Give me a shout if you need any recommendations. :) 

If you have specific questions about your health history and chiropractic, please reach out and I would be glad to answer any questions. If I can help, I will let you know, if I can’t I will let you know too. :-) Take care for now and keep safe.

Maria x

Last modified on Tuesday, 03 November 2020 11:39

Subscribe