by Dr. Thomas K. Lo

Stress has been with us since the beginning of time. Every era has faced its share of stressful situations.  Today, stress can be work, family, personal conflicts, and demands on our time and money. All of these stressors can take a toll on our health.

Stress affects everybody differently. For some, it is an upset stomach. For others, it can be recurring headaches, back pain, or muscle stiffness. Still others respond with nervous twitches and allergic reactions and sensitivities. Regardless of the response, your nervous system is involved, especially the autonomic nervous system. Your autonomic nervous system controls most of your body’s internal functions, such as your heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, hormonal changes, detoxification, digestion, elimination, and immune response, just to name a few.

What stress factors affect people today? Other than some kind of trauma or genetic inheritance, most conditions can be attributed to one of the following stressors:


(1) Structure. Poor posture, prolonged sitting, an accident, or even an old injury can lead to spinal stress. Chronic pain and muscle tension can cause you to experience nervousness and irritability. The chiropractic approach to stress is to help normalize the function of your nervous system by removing interferences caused by the vertebral subluxation complex or spinal joint dysfunction.


(2) Scars. Scars act like an energy capacitor, storing nerve signals as they pass through. When it is full, it releases the nerve energy randomly and in an uncoordinated manner, creating havoc. Mind you, 80 percent of the autonomic nervous system is on the skin. Everyone has at least one scar: an umbilicus (belly button). Injuries, tattoos, skin piercing, and surgery provide us with more scars.


(3) Toxins. Chlorine, food dyes, food preservatives, pesticides, plastics, drugs, tobacco, cosmetics, cleaning supplies, and synthetic vitamins are just a few examples of possible exposures to chemical toxins.


(4) Heavy Metal Poisoning. Heavy metals are not widespread, but also not uncommon. Mercury, aluminum, arsenic, lead, and silver are the more common metals we see in our office. Copper has been linked to Alzheimer’s, and Mercury has been linked to Autism. Excess Iron and aluminum can come from cookware and vitamins.


(5) Immune Challenge. Bacterial, fungal, yeast, viral, and parasitic infections cause inflammatory responses. According to Dr. Rozen, one of the founders of American Academy of Anti-aging, infection is a major factor that accelerates the aging process.


(6) Emotions. Remember the old saying, “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me?” Words can hurt a lot! Words can literally break somebody’s heart.  Name-calling and cyber bullying sometimes hurt so much that it can drive someone into suicidal or homicidal actions. Just look at the sharp increase of campus shootings, both in colleges and high schools.


(7) Allergies, Sensitivities, and Intolerances. Allergies occur when the immune system triggers immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to bind with an allergen protein, resulting in the release of large amounts of histamine. An allergic reaction can occur throughout the body: respiratory system, digestive tract, skin, eyes, ears, throat, or cardio-vascular system.  Ninety percent of food allergies are triggered by eight foods: milk products, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, fish, shellfish, and soy.

Sensitivities cause symptoms similar to allergies, but reactions are slower and milder. It can take hours or even days before symptoms appear. IgA, IgG, and IgM are thought to be involved. Sensitivities may contribute to chronic conditions, such as fibromyalgia, fatigue, arthritis, depression, sinusitis, Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), migraines, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), attention deficit disorder (ADD), rashes, and more.

Food Intolerances mean the immune system is not directly involved and reactions are not life threatening, though health and quality of life can be affected.  Symptoms include indigestion, bloating, fatigue, migraines, memory problems, toxic headaches, constipation, and IBS. Common intolerances are lactose and gluten.


(8)  Nutrition. Real (whole) food, as designed by nature, enables the body to repair itself and become healthier. “Whole food” is defined as “food that has undergone very little processing.” The nutritional value of food can be diminished by the following factors: microwaving, food coloring, genetic engineering, synthetic additives, preservatives, flash freezing, hormones, antibiotics, poor soil conditions, harmful chemicals, and heavy metal contamination.


(9) Electrical Pollution. Your body’s electromagnetic field can be thrown off balance by the interference of modern day gadgetry and household appliances’ electromagnetic frequencies, resulting in poor health, ranging from insomnia to cancer.  If you buy a cell phone now, most likely you will see a warning on the user manual saying “this device may be hazardous to your health.” The other unlikely sources may include your automobile, x-rays, fluorescent lights, power lines, and cell phone towers.

The Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center incorporates a holistic approach to your health care needs. We evaluate, treat, and assist you in attaining maximum possible health, while handling the real underlying health issues. If you are interested in getting your stressors under control, call the Frederick office at 240- 651-1650 for an evaluation or call and register for our Free Nutrition Seminars. Check out the website at


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