Are you Sympathetic??
Updated: Feb 11
Your hearts a little racy, your stomach doesn't feel like it's working, your palms are a little sweaty, your mouth dry, you are not sleeping well.. what could this all be?? Is it? No.. It can't be... YES it's STRESS! Now I hear it all the time. "I'm stressed because.....I'm so busy because..." . Life is such that we don't know our tail from our head. And I am definitely NOT immune to the BUSY rat race. So why am I writing about the BIG S word. Well because it affects your body. In so many ways.Literally. The physiology of your cells change with stress, whether short term, increased or long term stress. Stress from a neurological perspective is when the sympathetic nervous system fires up. This is commonly referred to as the fight or flight response. The example often used, is the changes your body goes through after encountering a predator such as a lion. You can either fight the lion or flee from it, but the physiological change is the same. Your heart races, your breathing becomes rapid, your mouth becomes dry, muscles tense, palms sweaty your pupils dilate. Among these externally visible factors, your body mobilises your blood sugar from the liver and blood vessels vasoconstrict, blood pressure increases your gut decreases its motility (after all who need to digest when there are bigger things to worry about). So what are some of the causes of this stress? is it simply emotional stress, like financial issues, relationship issues .... It's much more than that it's also stressors such as combat, athletic competition severe change in temperature or blood loss to name a few. As a chiropractor I am interested in this, because every structural or muscular problem comes down to some form of stress be it Mechanical (trauma, bad posture, sports, repetitive injury)Emotional (Toxic relationships, abuse, depression, anxiety, financial troubles, family worries), orChemical (smoking, alcohol, prescription or nonprescription drugs, food additives, toxins that are in our food and water, body products etc). So how can chiropractic help with stress? When a chiropractor assesses your spine, we look for subluxations which are areas where your spine isn't allowing the nerves to fire and flow optimally. By providing an adjustment (a small but quick movement to your vertebrae and joint space) the neurological signally from that movement is like opening the floodgates of the nerve pathways. Studies have shown that adjustments downregulate the sympathetic nervous system (inhibit) which is why most people after an adjustment feel super relaxed, even sleepy! Yes that is your para-sympathetic nervous system (the normal regulated relaxed state) kicking in! I could keep waffling on about your nervous system, but that will have to wait till the next blog post . So if you are feeling a little stressed.... Think about your spine!