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Gas vs Brake

This analogy is commonly used within the office to help explain the nervous system. If you are new to chiropractic care or looking for a little refresher you’ll want to read through!

We have two main sides of our nervous system, the gas pedal side of life which is known as our sympathetic. And we have our brake pedal side of life which is our parasympathetic. We want to have a good balance between these two sides but a lot of us get stuck in this gas pedal mode and end up with a whole host of symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, colic, developmental delays, allergies, asthma, stomach pains, anxiety, depression, sick more often, menstrual cramps, headaches, migraines, and so much more!

There are 3 main stressors within life that cause us to move to the gas pedal side of life and they are physical stress, chemical stress, and emotional stress. The physical stress is the most common thing we think about with stress to the body. It’s getting into a car accident, falls, sitting for long periods of time, sports injuries, and more. The emotional stress can be the stress of everything going on through the school day/work day and family life. Chemical stress is anything we put in and on our body that it needs to process through. As we come into the holiday seasons we tend to put a little more chemical stress on our body. This comes into play with Halloween candy, then we quickly move into Thanksgiving food/desserts, and we close out the year with Christmas cookies/desserts. The sugar adds additional stress to the body in an already busier time of life.

So how can we avoid the symptoms or meltdowns of life? Here are my top 6 things to help kids and adults calm their nervous system:

1. Adjustments – This will help decrease stress and tension on the nervous system so that you and your kiddo can adapt to all the stress of life.

2. Yoga/movement – Positions like down dog, child’s pose, happy baby, and tree pose are a great way to redirect energy.

3. Breathing – Breath work is so helpful! When we start feeling overwhelmed learning to slow your or your kiddos breath will help overall calm the body fast. I usually recommend taking a breath in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, and hold for 4 seconds.

4. Get outdoors – With the sun going down earlier and cooler weather it can be harder to get outdoor time in. But allowing your kiddos or yourself to release some energy outdoors and connect with nature really helps calm the body down.

5. Essential oils – Diffusing oils like vetiver, cedarwood, lavender, orange, chamomile, and frankincense can relax the body.

6. Decrease food dyes & processed sugars – Decreasing food dyes can help tremendously with meltdowns. The main dyes that cause issues are FD&C Yellow No. 6, FD&C Yellow No. 10, FD&C Yellow No. 5, FD&C Red No. 40 and Sodium Benzoate.

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