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Surviving or Thriving?

chiropractor with hand on a patients lower backOur nervous system works with two pedals, the accelerator and the brakes.

A well-functioning nervous system will be able to utilise these two appropriately in order to bring about both active and resting functions in the body.

In fact, what tends to happen is we have our accelerator on continuously, we then bring the brake function into action when needed to guide our body towards slowing down, replenishing and regenerating. You may know this as the rest and digest, or parasympathetic nervous system.

From this state we switch on our immune system, lower our heart rate and reduce blood pressure. We digest and process our food, and we are well-positioned for reproduction and fertility roles within the body. The vagus nerve is what guides this, it’s wandering role allows for the parasympathetic nervous system to connect with and regulate all of our organs and their respective functions.

Conversely, when the active and alert sympathetic nervous system is engaged – we are ready at any time to fight, flight or fright. This system becomes very handy when working to a deadline, or crossing the road amongst oncoming traffic as it is our get-up-and-go.

But what happens when the reality of our lifestyle winds up the nervous system and we begin to function from a predominantly sympathetic state? We turn off and downregulate all of the above functions. Survival becomes the main aim and what initially was a clever survival mechanism, has now become an overactive and debilitating state of constant alert.

You see just like a car, we can’t be using both the breaks and the accelerator at the same time. One must switch off to allow the other one on and there are many things that will influence this.

For those practice members of Advanced Health Chiropractic, you will be extremely familiar with the term “wind-up”. A state of nervous system tension, or imbalance. The factors contributing to wind-up are grouped into 3 stressors – physical, chemical and emotional and are the influencers at play when considering nervous system imbalance.

In our podcast episode 10, Dr Wayne Todd describes the three factors in detail. He documents how both our current state and previous experiences may be contributing to any imbalance within the nervous system and consequently holding us in a state of wind-up or sympathetic dominance.

Chiropractic care is tailored at a specific frequency so that you can build momentum to unwind, at a pace that exceeds the drive to wind you up. It is here where we see a return to balance, an expected and appropriate activation of both pedals in our nervous system as and when required, and where health will always prevail.

If you haven’t listened to the podcast yet, we highly recommend that you do. Wayne highlights some common signs of sympathetic dominance and you may be surprised at what sounds all too close to home! He explores some simple steps you can incorporate that will promote balance, calm and ease within your own body so that you may experience phenomenal health.

We know that the human body is designed to be extraordinary. It is this inherent ability that we utilise in chiropractic. Because this really is… where the magic happens.

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