For many of us, cooler weather and shorter days are all the more reason to put on comfy clothes and curl up with a good book or our favorite movie. 2020 hasn’t exactly been a stress-free year, so taking some time to decompress is important — but it is also essential to pay attention to your physical and mental health.
It is normal to feel stressed heading into the holiday season — albeit this year the world is undoubtedly filled with more stressors. However, as we wade into the winter months, we are more susceptible to developing mood disorders like seasonal affective disorder.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Also called seasonal depression or fittingly referred to as SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression experienced by some people during the winter months. It usually occurs during the same time each year and is diagnosed more often in women than men. In addition, SAD is more common with younger adults than older adults.
What are symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder?
The symptoms of SAD mirror those of depression, with the added factor of affecting someone during a particular season. Symptoms include:
- Having low energy
- Muscle soreness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Trouble sleeping
- Chronic pain
- Changes in your appetite or weight
- Feeling irritable
- Loss of interest in activities you typically enjoy
What are treatments for Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Going to your primary care doctor to discuss your symptoms and seek treatment is a good idea. The primary treatments for Seasonal Affective Disorder include medication, psychotherapy, Vitamin D supplements, and light therapy. For most individuals, these treatments are used in conjunction with each other to alleviate SAD symptoms and improve well-being.
Offering a More Holistic Approach to SAD Treatment
Chiropractic care can complement the treatments listed above while also providing you with a more holistic treatment approach. While medication and therapy can help lessen the emotional and mental effects of SAD, it does not fully alleviate the physiological symptoms for many people. The foundation of chiropractic care is maximizing the nervous system’s health, balancing the body’s chemistry, and improving function throughout every body system.
In addition, your chiropractor can work with you to determine which supplements can help improve your wellbeing. The combination of chiropractic care and supplements may produce a synergistic effect to help you feel balanced and healthy.
A Misaligned Spine Can Increase Your Symptoms
If part of your spine is misaligned, it can cause imbalances in your body. When these interferences affect the nervous system, it can affect your mood and heighten your Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms. There are many benefits to visiting a chiropractor for SAD treatments.
Lower blood pressure: A common symptom of anxiety and/or stress is high blood pressure. Research has shown that chiropractic treatments can reduce blood pressure, decreasing associated stress, and anxiety symptoms.
Releases positive hormones. After receiving a chiropractic adjustment, your body experiences an increase in the release of hormones such as oxytocin, cortisol, and neurotensin. All of these are associated with positive nervous system function, which can also improve your mood.
Reduces stiffness, tension & headaches. Muscle tension, headaches, and stiffness are among the common physical symptoms of depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder. Chiropractic adjustments can help relieve tension and pain related to headaches and stiffness, which can help stabilize your mood and encourage you to pursue more exercise, which is a great mood booster!
Encourages relaxation. Chiropractic adjustments can help reduce muscle activity and increase feelings of relaxation. Lessening your muscles’ electrical activity can minimize tension and restless feelings associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder, depression, or anxiety.
Improved sleep. Insomnia is a common side effect of mood disorders, and chiropractic adjustments can help improve your sleep patterns by encouraging relaxation and balance throughout your body.
We are Here to Help Your Live Well & Live Active
At Active Chiropractic, we are committed to helping our patients improve their health and quality of life by treating various conditions. Our owner and chiropractor, Dr. Anthony Cutting, is proud to be the only doctor in Oregon certified in Oregon to perform the Zone Technique, which restores balance to your body by identifying discomfort and imbalances affecting the six systems or zones within the body.