Stress is an everyday fact in our modern lives. The pace of life is much faster than in previous generations. Almost anything is available at an instant with the touch of a button. The variety of choices we have can be stressful in and of itself.
Physical, chemical and mental\emotional stressors produce a physiological response in our bodies. In particular, modern stressors tend to show up in patterns that are constant and/or repetitive. They start to be ingrained the functioning of the body while tissues such as muscles, ligaments and nerves start to change as a result of the stress. This leaves our body overtaxed, dealing with old stressors instead of meeting the challenge of new stressors in our environment with the full range of its capabilities.
Here are some of the things that can produce the stress response:
- Slips & Falls
- Repetitive motions at work or play
- Continuous sitting or standing
- Car Accidents
- Coffee, Caffeine, Chocolate & Refined Sugars
- Poor diet
- Prescription\Over-the-counter medications
- Career & residence changes
- Being a perfectionist, procrastinator
- Internalized feelings
- Illness\Loss of a Loved one
The stress response or fight-or-flight physiology shows up in many ways:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Dilation of the pupils
- Increase in sweating
- Neck strains forward
- Tensed muscles and ligaments
This state takes a lot of energy to maintain, drawing the energy from other important functions. Digestion, elimination, healing and repair are all put on hold for the sake of the stress response. While we are in this state, our survival brain takes over, focussing very intensely on what is going on in the present moment. There is no ability to use the higher brain centres and come up with creative strategies to solve problems. Thought patterns become repetitive and non-productive.
The longer the body stays in this state, the more change there is in the physiology. Muscles and ligaments that are constantly under tension shorten while others lengthen to accommodate. The result is altered posture which can put pressure and tension on the delicate spinal nerves and the cord itself. This disturbance causes distortion and unclear communication between the brain and the body.
All the signals running from the body to the brain letting it know what is going on in the body are unclear. The brain then takes in this information and produces a response appropriate to the inaccurate information. It then sends the messages out over the same nerve system, which can alter the message further, so that the response becomes far from the one the body requires to function properly. When the body is not receiving messages that are clear, appropriate and timely, its responses become inadequate and health deteriorates.
Network Spinal Analysis is a gentle chiropractic technique, using only as much force as you would put onto a closed eyelid. These gentle touches along the spine cue the brain to look at the repetitive patterns of tension that it has adopted in response to stress. Being a self-healing system, the body begins to create new strategies for releasing the built up tension to prevent further deterioration. Clear communication is re-established and the body deals with everyday stress with more efficiency and flexibility.