Here is what happened:
Over a three week period, two groups of people took the same test: Perceived Stress Scale as published by Mind Garden.
· One group was comprised of current clients of Vibrant World Chiropractic who had experienced at least three weeks of network care; that is the chiropractic technique Network Spinal Analysis (NSA) and the wellness education system of Somato Respiratory Education.
· The other group was collected through an online survey of people who had never experienced any network care.
Of course, both of these groups were self-selecting: those who had elected to have network chiropractic care, those who had elected to take part in the online survey. This is different than a truly random sample of the population which would have been ideal for the group who had not experienced network care.
To give the results some context, below is the table of ‘norms’ for the Perceived Stress Scale as published by developers in 1994. These ‘normal’ values were sampled from over 2000 people in the general public. A low score means a person handles daily challenges well and with confidence. A high score means a person feels stressed by daily challenges.
Table of score average by age range for Perceived Stress Scale
Age ranges Average score
65 & older 12.0
Network care group (at Vibrant World Chiropractic) Average Score 14.8
No Network care group (online survey) Average Score 18.7
So the Network care group is outside the range of ‘norm’ for this survey. The No Network care group is further again outside the ‘norm’. Perhaps the original date of test publication (1994) is relevant and indicates that our lives and lifestyles have become more stressful in the western culture over the last 20 years?
Wow, there’s definitely a difference. The 'No network care' have a higher score indicating that they feel more stressed than the 'Network care group'. Hooray! This is something that works. There are many ways of increasing a person’s capacity to deal with challenges and stress (meditation, exercise, social support from friends, family, neighbours and community groups). The one I know most about clinically is NSA which affects how the nervous system works. In this survey comparison, NSA has demonstrated that it positively impacts a person’s ability to handle stress. There are two much larger studies in peer-reviewed journals that looked at 4 measurements of health (stress was one of them). Both of those studies NSA affected all 4 health measurements for 76% of people.
Thanks go to Mind Garden for use of their Perceived Stress Scale test. Thank you to everyone both in the practice and visitors to the website who took part in the online survey. It’s been a fascinating insight into how we respond to the challenges of modern life and an indication as to what works best in developing and sustaining our resilience to life challenges.