By – Marissa Luck
It is well-known that chiropractic is effective for a variety of pain
conditions, but over the last few years, more and more studies have found that chiropractic can also help
us improve our overall health. Some of these recent studies have shown that chiropractic can alter
immune function, affect heart rate, and even reduce blood pressure. A 2011 study from Japan suggests
that chiropractic may have an even bigger impact on your body than you think.
Stress is an incredibly important indicator of health, and if there’s one thing that will kick your immune
system into overdrive, it’s chronic spinal pain. Scientists in Japan sought to see whether chiropractic
could alter stress levels in 12 men and women with neck pain. To understand how chiropractic impacts
anxious emotions, you could ask patients to report their changing moods before and after treatment. But
scientists in Japan wanted to get a more objective picture of how chiropractic adjustments impact the
nervous system, so they use PET scans to monitor brain activity and salvia samples to track hormone
After receiving a chiropractic neck adjustment, patients had altered brain activity in the parts of the brain
responsible for pain processing and stress reactions. They also had significantly reduced cortisol levels,
indicating decreased stress. Participants also reported lower pain scores and a better quality of life after
The findings suggests that chiropractic adjustments affect how our body interprets and copes with pain,
which could enhance its response to disease and injury. As scientists learn more about the human body
and the role of the nervous system, it’s clear that chiropractic can play a powerful role in promoting true
wellness, rather than just symptom relief.
Ogura, Takeshi and Manabu Tashiro, Mehedi,Shoichi Watanuki, Katsuhiko Shibuya, Keiichiro
Yamaguchi, Masatoshi Itoh, Hiroshi Fukuda, Kazuhiko Yanai. Cerebral metabolic changes in men after
chiropractic spinal manipulation for neck pain. Alternative Therapies. 2011, November/December; 17 (6) 12-17.