FEELING BLUE: Improvements in patients suffering with depression while receiving chiropractic care

By Dr Ernst
December 14, 2015

Depression is an epidemic. In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that depression affects almost 15 million people, or roughly 7 percent of the population. This number is likely quite a bit higher as many cases go unreported.

It is a terrible disease, robbing good people of the joy of life.

Depression can come from a variety of sources. In many cases, people appear from the outside to live fulfilling lives, complete with loved ones and more than enough of what is required to survive. But these people fight an internal battle everyday just to get out of bed, to do their best at work, to engage with their spouses and children and to participate in life.

The current approach for managing depression is the widespread use of antidepressant prescriptions. While often helpful in the short term, patients taking these drugs have been known to become dependent, or in some cases, even more depressed than before–and even suicidal.

Furthermore, these drugs simply put a mask on the root cause of the problem. Often, something situational (a factor in the person’s life) requires psychiatric care, and often, a physical condition is at the cause of depression. That’s where chiropractic care comes in.

The Science Says:

Objective:  Study of 2,818 patients to discover if chiropractic care reduces symptoms of a depressed mental state.

Clinical Features: Atlas (upper neck) subluxations were noted to be a commonly found throughout the 2,818 patient examinations.

The Art Says:

Intervention and Outcome: Upper cervical specific chiropractic adjustments were administered.

Conclusions: Study of 2,818 patients found chiropractic care significantly improved patients’ well-being: Seventy-six percent of the patients studied reported improved combined wellness changes in all categories assessed, emotional well-being improved 26 percent, negative feelings toward self-improved 23 percent, depression improved 20 percent, difficulty sleeping improved 11 percent and family relations improved 21 percent. These patients also reported back months after the study, had continued chiropractic care and reported positive changes in stress and increased enjoyment in life.

Additional research:

A published 15 person study concluded “that a positive relationship exists between a correction of the occipitoatlantoaxial (upper neck) subluxation complex and a reduction in depressive symptoms in some people”.

Another 98 subject study published in Molecular Psychiatry found that when an addiction treatment program was supplemented with frequent chiropractic adjustments over a 30-day period, the patients displayed an unprecedented 100 percent program completion rate. In addition, initially rampant depression and anxiety dropped significantly.

From the 1920s to 1960s, several chiropractic mental asylums existed in the Midwest of the U.S. Surviving documentation shows a North Dakota judge reporting a 65% recovery or improvement rate at one asylum, compared to 27% at a standard asylum. Chiropractic has also amassed a sizable collection of case studies documenting drastic results in: ADD/ADHD, Depression, Bi-Polar Diagnosis, Tourettes, Autism Diagnosis and other neurological disorders.

So how exactly does chiropractic care assist patients with depression (and other mental diseases)? Well, it depends on what’s causing the issue. Chronic pain is a sure-fire way to make somebody surly and unhappy. Chiropractic care can very often alleviate the pain.

Secondly, chiropractic care clears mental cloudiness and increases mental clarity. It is sometimes enough for patients to become a bit more resourceful and positive about dealing with the problems in their lives that may be getting them down.

Lastly, interference in the first, second and third vertebretes can disrupt the flow of important “happy” chemicals like dopamine. Re-establishing open, healthy pathways between the body and brain through chiropractic care can often ensure that important electrical and chemical signals reach their destinations, thus alleviating a wide range of health problems, including depression and anxiety.

The Philosophy Says:

Principle #18:  Evidence of Life. The signs of life (assimilation, elimination, growth, reproduction, adaptability, and mental stability) are evidence of the innate intelligence of life.

Your mental stability is a sign of biochemical balance and evidence that the ‘life force’ of your body is expressing itself. When the innate wisdom is allowed to flow, undisturbed from brain to body and body back to brain, physical and mental wellbeing are the result. Innate intelligence always strives for balance and health in all bodily functions. The natural state of the human body is balance and ease (not dis-ease). Chiropractic care has only benefit and no deadly side effects (like brand name anti-depressants). Remove interference and the innate intelligence of life can flow freely and allow for mental and physical balance. It’s as simple as that!

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