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It’s Not the Most Wonderful Time of the Year for Everybody

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As the song says “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” However, that’s not the case for everybody. Many people can experience seasonal depression, they feel lonely at the holidays or they become gloomy during winter’s short, cold days.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) affects up to 20 percent of the population. Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet to combating it. Many physicians recommend staying active or supplementing your diet with Vitamin D. Other recommendations include changing your diet, listening to soothing music, and even tanning during the winter!

Did you know you may be able to mitigate SAD’s effects through chiropractic, too? Evidence shows that chiropractic maintenance may be a key in warding off the worst symptoms of this seasonal condition.

What causes SAD?

Mental health professionals attribute most cases of SAD to the nature of the winter season. There are fewer hours of sunlight, cold temperatures, and the many expectations that come with holidays. Symptoms correlated with SAD often include:

• Chronic fatigue;
• Chronic pain;
• Mood changes;
• Shifts in appetite;
• Extreme lethargy;
• Depression.

These symptoms often put unnecessary stress on the body, causing a kind of vicious cycle. And, any one symptom is further compounded by any others. For example, experiencing tense muscles and spinal subluxations (misalignments) due to stress may lead to greater health problems such as severe mood changes and depression.

There are ways to ease the various problems SAD causes. These include a number of lifestyle changes to improve overall happiness, as well as focus on diet and exercise. Also important to consider is chiropractic.

Chiropractic’s ability to realign the spine can have numerous benefits that directly combat SAD. These include alleviating chronic pain, unrestricting critical nerves, and preventing poor posture from inducing these conditions.

A chiropractor will use a variety of techniques to alleviate symptoms, foremost of all being corrective adjustment. With SAD, realigning the top three vertebrae in the cervical spine (neck) may reduce pressure on the brain stem, leading to profound benefits. Chiropractic adjustments may also increase the level of endorphins in the bloodstream, key to combating this condition. When the spine is properly aligned, patients report benefits such as improved energy levels, reduced pain, and better mood.

Beyond adjustments, a chiropractor will work with patients to develop an individualized treatment plan. For seasonal affective disorder, this will often include spending more time outside to absorb sunlight containing vital vitamin D, adopting an exercise program, and switching to a nutritious diet.

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