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Studies on Chiropractic and Depression


1.) 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.  

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

3.) 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.

4.) 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.

5.) A related study in Journal of Neuroscience conducted at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, found that physical changes in the brain caused by chronic pain are likely to lead to depression as well as other pain-related symptoms. In the study, the researchers demonstrated that the wiring in the brain of someone dealing with chronic pain is different than that of pain-free individuals. In the brain of a pain-free individual, all the regions of the brain exist in a complementary state, meaning that if one region of the brain is active the other regions are at rest. But in people with chronic pain, a front region of the cortex mostly associated with emotion is constantly active.

Chiropractic Improves Brain Wave Patterns, Brain Function

A study presented at the International Research And Philosophy Symposium held at Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic in October, 2004 finds that Chiropractic adjustments have a positive effect on the Central Nervous System (CNS), specifically on the four primary frequencies of brain function.

Brain function is measured on four primary frequencies: Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta. Alpha waves reflect the meditative, relaxing healing mode. Beta waves represent the active, busy brain. Theta waves reflect light sleep, relaxation and conceptual development. Delta waves represent the brain activity during deep sleep, repair mode and energy storage.

The study was conducted over a three year period. Approximately 100 volunteers were examined with an electroencephalogram (EEG) before and after chiropractic adjustments.
The EEG scans were examined to check the right/left balance, the amount of total activity, the primary regions of activity and the effect of the adjustment.

After receiving a chiropractic adjustment, post EEG scans revealed improvement in all areas of the volunteer’s brain function. Particularly, the researchers noticed an increase in the meditative Alpha brainwave patterns that are associated with a greater degree of relaxation, health and healing.

The researchers noted that some of the volunteers already had balanced and active brain scans and the adjustments had little effect on their post scans. They felt this was a good indicator that the adjustments had no negative effects on brain activity.

In Health,

Dr. Cole

About Cole Bradburn

I'm a writer and doctor in lifelong pursuit of health, happiness, and adventure. I currently live in Raleigh, NC with the love of my life and our amazing boys.