Ask Dr. Smith…Weight Loss

“Is it true that chiropractic can help me lose weight?”

-Cindy M 

I like to look at this question from many angles, Cindy because effective, long-term weight is a multi-faceted process and cannot be achieved through one method alone.  Let’s start with one of the most obvious reasons why regular, specific adjustments to your spine may help you maintain or even lose weight—you feel better! When I ask patients how often they exercise on a weekly basis, the overwhelming response is, “I’d love to exercise more but I don’t feel well enough to do it.” Whether it be an old sports injury, chronic low back pain, or even generalized fatigue, chiropractic is a great way to get you feeling better so that you can move more and burn more calories. This is because chiropractic puts your spine in its proper alignment so that your joints and spine work in the positions they were intended to work. Without the proper alignment to your spine, your joints are like tires on a poorly aligned car—worn out in places that they shouldn’t be. This leads to much of the pain and fatigue many people experience.

Another reason chiropractic may be great for weight loss is the adjustment’s ability to reduce stress in your body. When your body is under stress, stress hormones like Cortisol are released. Cortisol slows down your metabolism and contributes to increased deposits of fat around the midsection. Studies show that adjustments can help reduce blood pressure and decrease your body’s physical responses to stress. If the body is less stressed, less Cortisol and other stress hormones are released and your body is able to manage its metabolism more effectively.

This leads to another reason adjustments may help reduce weight. During an adjustment, the chiropractor corrects a subluxation, a misalignment of a spinal bone that is creating tension and pressure on spinal nerves and the spinal cord. This pressure decreases information sent to and from the brain and spinal cord to the organs of the body. So how does this affect your weight?! Ok, let’s say that you have a subluxation in the area of the spine that contains the nerves that help work with digestion. If less information is being sent to the brain to digest your food, the body will not go through digestion as intended and you could end up with excess weight gain and other digestive disorders.

While there are many reasons why a person can benefit from chiropractic, weight loss may surely one of them. Like I previously said, weight loss that’s long-term and healthy requires several elements.  To learn more about this, we’re starting a new program at our office. It’s called “Be A Loser.” It’s an 8-week long program with weekly workshops focusing on topics like proper eating techniques, effective exercise methods, tips for preventing injuries, better ways to handle stress, and proper supplementation techniques. Each Saturday, we’ll also meet for a group exercise session designed to show you that exercise can be fun and doesn’t always have to take place in a gym setting. We’ll be having our first informational meeting on Thursday, May 26th at 7:00pm at our office. Please call (985) 641-4898 to reserve a spot for you and your friends. Hope to see you there!

Sources:

Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Responses to Specific Diversified Adjustments to Chiropractic Vertebral Subluxations of the Cervical and Thoracic Spine. J Chiropr Med. 2008 (Sep);   7 (3):   86–93

Reflex Effects of Subluxation: The Autonomic Nervous System. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2000 (Feb);   23 (2):   104–106

Long Term Remission and Alleviation of Symptoms in Allergy and Crohn’s Disease Patients Following Spinal Adjustment for Reduction of Vertebral Subluxations. J Vertebral Subluxation Research 2003 (Mar);   4 (4):