If you've been in the office for care, you've heard of the three main stressors on our body. Which are physical, chemical, and emotional stress. When we have added stress on our body it pushes us over this threshold where we start to feel symptoms. Your body is intelligent and knows to mask pain when and if it can. So why do I even bring this up?
2020 has brought up a lot of emotional stress for most people. And in the last week I've talked to more and more people who feel like they are reaching their breaking point...you are not alone. Our brain loves common patterns and repetition. You may have been moving along life with a ton of ease (or so you thought) up until March of this year. And then BAM you hit a fork in the road. You needed to start making different decisions whether that was for your work, your kiddos school, or even going grocery shopping. We have had to take the brain off of autopilot this year. Causing more exhaustion in life.
Stick with me here...Our brain also doesn't know the difference between a bear chasing us or the emotional stress of 2020. And in reality those are two very different stressors. So why does our brain do this? When we have added stress in our lives our brain will push us into the sympathetic side of the nervous system. That is the fight, flight, or freeze side of the nervous system. When we live our life on this side of the nervous system then we are living in protection...our body is living in a dis-ease cycle (not a pathology but a body not at ease).
We have two main sides of the nervous system, the sympathetic side, which I just explained and the parasympathetic. The parasympathetic side is the rest and digest. This is where growth, healing, development, and the immune function all live. We want to live our lives primarily on this side of the nervous system, especially little kiddos! We want to have a good balance between the two sides of the nervous system but not like a teeter totter. We want to be able to swing easily to the sympathetic side with ease when we need to be in protection and then once safe, swing back to the parasympathetic side.
Some primary examples that you might be living on the sympathetic side of the nervous system are:
- Walking up throughout the night
- Exhausted after a good night rest
- Muscle spasms
And these are just a few examples!
Things that keep you on the gas pedal (sympathetic side) are an increase in junk foods, alcohol, and sitting for long periods of time.
When members come into the office telling me they just bent over and now they are having back pain, it most likely wasn't the bending over that did it. Oftentimes it is when we have been living on the sympathetic side of the nervous system for too long and the body can no longer mask the pain. It's important to know if we are living on the sympathetic side too much because "you can't be in growth and protection at the same time."
So what can you do to move yourself over to the parasympathetic side of the nervous system?
1. Chiropractic care
4. Working out
6. Walk in nature
7. Breath work
As always, I'm here for you if you have questions to help with healing your body and move over to the parasympathetic side of the nervous system!