Chiropractor speaks on stress effects

Debby Hernandez, Administration Editor

The office of training and development hosted the “The Effects of Stress on the Body,” a workshop where community members had the chance to learn about stress, its effects on the body, and ways to minimize its effects.

Jennifer Hewing, a doctor from the Gandolfi Chiropractic: A Creating Wellness Center, spoke at the workshop Thursday, explaining the seriousness of stress on their health.

Hewing said the consequences stress has on a person’s health and life could be devastating.

“About 46 percent of all deaths in Coles County are heart disease related,” Hewing said.

She said stress and health are inter-related, since health is a state of optimal function.

The absence of symptoms does not guarantee healthiness, since a negative process could be developing without symptoms such as heart disease, Hewing said.

“Heart disease takes years to develop,” she said.

The central nervous system is divided into three areas which include the sensory nerves, motor nerves, and automatic nerves.

“The nervous system is what processes and filters the stress that we are exposed to,” Hewing said. “The ability of the nervous system to adapt to the stress is what keeps us healthy.”

However, once the nervous system can no longer adapt to the stress, the stress becomes symptomatic.

As a result, people have nerve interference, leading to their nervous system no longer working properly and having several chronic issues they been dealing with for years, Hewing said.

She said the rate of chronic disease as a cause of death has increased in less than one generation from 72 to 89 percent. Any stress we deal with has an impact on the nervous system and will reside there for a while.

There are three types of stress including physical, chemical, and emotional.

Physical stress relates to falls and injuries such as from car accidents, which, in turn, can cause stress on the spine and nervous system, according to the Creating Wellness Neuro-Anatomy chart.

Chemical Stress refers to nutritional deficiencies such as unhealthy diets, according to the Neuro-Anatomy Chart.

Hewing said the “American lifestyle” is a negative contributor to our health.

“The American lifestyle is going to get the American outcome,” she said. “If you are eating fast and easy and having on-the-go all the time, you are going to have a higher risk for heart disease.”

She said in the past twenty years, people have gained more access to processed food and often tend to choose this option.

“We do what’s fast and what’s easy versus what’s better and healthy,” Hewing said. “You never know what’s in your food.”

She said diet products contain artificial sweeteners and do the opposite of what it was originally intended to do.

Hewing said the choices people make today are what determine their future health.

“The younger you are the more impact on your health you can have in the future,” she said.

While maintaining a healthy diet and exercise are ways to help make better health changes, she said, sleep is vital and people often forget about its importance.

“Your body helps repair the damage that is done throughout the day during that sleep,” Hewing said. “If is not working completely the way it should, it is going to have an altered function.”

Emotional stress can induce chemicals that have a psycho-neuro-immunologic adverse reaction with the body system, according to the Creating Wellness Neuro-Anatomy Chart.

Emotional stress is now more common, Hewing said.

“We have more and more people seeking help these days; more people go to a psychiatrist,” she said. “We have more psychiatrists in schools now.

Hewing said there are three secrets to eliminating stress which include identifying the stressor, increasing your capacity by doing exercising and resting, and finding out what your nervous system looks like by visiting a doctor

Hewing said her interest in becoming chiropractor and learning more about the effects of stress, began with pain.


“My medical doctor referred me to a chiropractor after I had pain and so I checked more into it,” Hewing said.

She said most people do not realize the effects of stress on their body until they experience symptoms.

“Most people base off on what they feel” Hewing said. “That is when you get into trouble with having chronic issues, which eventually develop. You can’t know by symptoms.”


Debby Hernandez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].