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Natural Awakenings NYC & Long Island

The Benefits of Chiropractic for Heart Health

submitted by Dr. Gina Marino

Heart health probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think about chiropractic care. Although most people associate chiropractic treatment with back and neck pain relief, treatments also help you improve your heart health. In fact, regular visits to the chiropractor offer a simple way to protect your heart.

High blood pressure makes the heart work harder and increases your risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney disease or vision loss. In some cases, high blood pressure can be caused by a misaligned vertebra in the neck called the Atlas. University of Chicago Medicine researchers discovered that realigning the Atlas vertebra with a chiropractic adjustment can lower blood pressure in people who have high blood pressure. 

The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems help control your heart rate variability (HRV), the time between heartbeats. HRV varies naturally depending on your emotions and activity level. A high HRV is a good sign and means that your heart can easily adapt to a variety of environments and circumstances. A low HRV may increase your risk of heart disease, inflammation, depression, obesity and other diseases and conditions.

Your nervous system may not work as well as it should if misaligned vertebrae or tight tissues are affecting the nerves, causing irritation or inflammation. Unfortunately, that might increase your risk of low HRV. Adjustments and other chiropractic treatments relieve tension on the nerves, allowing them to function normally once again.

The heart and lungs work together to keep your body healthy. The oxygen from the air you breathe passes from your lungs into your bloodstream. Every beat of your heart sends oxygenated blood to your organs and tissues. Your heart won’t receive the oxygen it needs if a misaligned vertebra is causing dysfunction of the nerve that controls the lungs. A chiropractic adjustment may improve lung function, which in turn will help to keep your heart healthy. Treatments also loosen tight chest or back muscles that may be affecting your ability to take deep breaths.

Chronic inflammation causes or contributes to a variety of health problems ranging from arthritis to heart disease to type 2 diabetes. Inflammation may make it easier for plaque to form in your blood vessels. The fatty, waxy substance clogs the vessels, decreases the amount of oxygen your tissues and organs receive, and may increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, kidney damage, vascular dementia and other health conditions.

Adjustments and other chiropractic treatments relieve inflammation naturally. In a study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, spinal manipulation treatments had a positive effect on key inflammatory markers in the body in patients with low back pain.

Many health problems begin with improper functioning of the spine and nervous system due to spinal misalignments. Chiropractic treatment is not a cure for any of these particular conditions, rather it is a complementary modality to help maximize your health.

Dr. Gina Marino is the founder of the Center for the Alignment of Body, Mind and Spirit, located at 2213 Wantagh Ave., Wantagh, NY. For more information, call 516-221-3500 or visit Align-Me.com