Science shows that stress kills. Which means the holiday season becomes one of the most dangerous times of the year. Times meant for joy too often take a turn for many who end up in the hospital or worse due to health problems. An unfortunate correlation occurs between the holiday season and the frequency of heart attacks experienced by both men and women. According to a study from the Journal of Circulation, “The number of cardiac deaths is higher on December 25 than on any other day of the year, second highest on December 26, and third highest on January 1.” The reasoning seems to be quite logical.

People tend to associate December as a period of elevated stress. Risk of heart attacks also increase stemming from the added pressures of buying gifts, financial strains, and increased consumption of sugar, salt, and alcohol. Most people will not suffer heart attacks this holiday season, but amplified stress levels will surface more in December and early January compared to any other months. Those already at risk for a cardiac episode become even more susceptible during the most festive time of the year.

Rather than approaching stress with a defensive plan, take steps to go on the offensive. The best plan starts with adding health strategies which limit the impacts of stress on the body. A proactive approach begins with limiting alcohol consumption and sugar overload throughout the duration of the holidays. Take time to indulge but be selective in frequency. Do not allow stress to take over by maximizing the body’s ability to cope.

Chiropractors take a unique approach to health, disease, and stress. Some health professions focus on changing the environment to suit the weakened body. Chiropractic proactively strengthens the body to suit the environment. Take time to act upon these three simple and effective ways to increase the body’s ability to deal with and mitigate effects of stress:

  1. Utilize Chiropractic – Science proves that Chiropractic adjustments enable the body’s ability to deal with stress. An increase in heart rate variability proves to be a key indicator to lowering stress while improving health and longevity. A Chiropractic adjustment, particularly in the upper neck, has been shown to improve heart rate variability according to a 2013 study from the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
  2. Sleep – Get at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night proves vital to off-setting the effects of stress. Go to bed on time. Make a commitment to be in bed at a certain time and stick to it. Proper sleep combined with Chiropractic adjustments help balance the nervous system and improve the body’s adaptation to stress.
  3. Drink Water – Thirst often manifests as a feeling of hunger. Mitigate excessive eating by drinking a big glass of water at the onset of hunger. A person will inevitably consume less sugar and limit an increase to the waistline. The body will also remain in a position to better heal and adapt without the presence of excessive sugar and calories.

Offense proves to be the best defense against holiday stress. Chiropractic care presents a cornerstone for reducing stress in December through the New Year. Allow the family to enjoy holiday cheer by focusing on proactive approaches to a healthy holiday experience.

Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine February 2013
“Suboccipital decompression enhances heart rate variability indices of cardiac control in healthy subjects.” PD Giles, KL Hensel, CF Pacchia, ML Smith