We all experience stress on a daily basis, whether it is physical, chemical, emotional, environmental, etc. It is our resiliency to stress that determines how healthy we are. A while back, Dr. Liz and I did a talk discussing managing stress while pregnant and this question came up - are you feeding or are you starving your stress? Stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but how you react to it makes the difference.
One example that Dr. Liz brought up was social media and how we consume it. On one hand, social media has been a good thing, keeping us connected with those who live in other parts of the world and bringing us instant access to information. On the other hand, it can easily suck us in for hours at a time, especially into some really negative spaces (think Facebook comment thread on a controversial post). I know when I have started reading comments on posts, the negativity really does affect my mood, despite it being the opinions of strangers. Or, in the case of COVID-19, with all the uncertainty and constantly changing information, reading posts would sometimes leave me feeling frustrated, anxious, and stressed.
Recognizing when something isn’t helping you or is further triggering a stress response is the first step to making sure the stress isn’t going to negatively impact you. Have you ever had a friend exclaim to you about how stressed they are? I had a couple of them who would constantly talk about how stressful their lives were, no matter what was happening. And you know what, because they focused all their thoughts on how stressed they believed they were, this affected them. The phrase was always said with such a tiredness (and mind you, at this point in time we were all single and in our early twenties with not a whole lot of responsibility). If they could have shifted their thought process around and focused on their situations as having healthy pressure instead of draining tasks, then maybe they wouldn’t have felt so tired all the time.
How does stress trigger you? Does it cause you to be angry or anxious? To shut down? To look for numbing mechanisms? What are some healthy mechanisms to managing stress instead? Working out, journaling, time alone or time with friends (whichever one fills my cup), and time spent outside are all ways that I manage my stress. As I said in the beginning, we all deal with stress on a daily basis. It’s just up to you to make sure you are going about in a healthy and resilient way!
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
You’ve maybe heard of the two states of the nervous system, “fight or flight” or “rest and digest” (I also call this freeze-and-collapse). There is a third state that is causing buzz in the neuro research community called the social state. Described by Dr. Stephen Porges, this part of our nervous system is responsible for responding to voice, facial expressions, and eye contact. He says this is really the first step of response when represented with a stressful situation.
First, we have a need to connect. If this isn’t met (i.e. a baby is cueing her parents for something), the body then goes into fight-or-flight mode (i.e. baby begins to cry). If the fight-or-flight response is not adequate for the stress of the situation, the body goes into freeze-and-collapse (baby goes quiet). The body is in a state of collapse and is “playing dead”, not expending any energy because the cues for survival were not met.
At any one point in time, our bodies may be in one of these three states. The social connection state is the primary state we want to be in. If stuck in a place of fight-or-flight or freeze-and-collapse, which aren’t sustainable for long periods of time, our health deteriorates.
We are wired to use social outlets for stress. Especially during a time like the COVID-19 quarantine, we have noticed how the lack of social connection has impacted our lives. Thank goodness for technology that allows us to virtually connect with one another! Take notice of where your stress response lies - are you stuck in a cycle of fight or flight? Are you in a state of freeze-and-collapse? Or are you managing your stress levels and being fulfilled by the social connections you need?
Chiropractic care has been shown to help mitigate the body’s response to stress. In addition to your own stress management strategies, getting adjusted helps maintain the essential brain-body communication needed for optimal function and response. Chronic stress is something that many are dealing with and being able to break free of that chronicity through social strategies and chiropractic care is one of the best ways to living a fulfilling life!
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
This is a great question, and to answer it, I’m going to ask a question back: is chiropractic about fixing problems? Or is it about something bigger than this? It is the philosophy of our office that the bigger picture of chiropractic is about a clear and connected nervous system that allows for a greater expression of your body.
There is a saying in chiropractic that “it is easier to maintain a healthy child than fix a sick adult”. It is essential that a child gets adjusted from day one to ensure optimal neurological development. The adjustment is helping their body better adapt to the world around them. There are different stressors that we are exposed to on a daily basis, and if there is an interference in the communication between the body and the brain, there is going to be a decreased ability to adapt to stress. This leads to a build up of stress and tension in the body and as an adult, one day you bend over to tie your shoe and your back goes out. But was it the bending over or was it the years of build up that caused the pain?
Our healthcare system here in the U.S. is largely focused on reactive medicine as opposed to preventive care. Remember the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? Couldn’t be more applicable to getting your child adjusted. This is about allowing for a greater expression of health in their body.
Our kiddos are now experiencing astronomical rates of mental health disorders: ADD, ADHD, Autism, sensory processing disorders, allergies, digestive issues, frequent ear aches/colds, the list goes on and on. They are exposed to a higher level of chemicals and environmental stressors than previous generations were, as well as decreased nutritional levels in their foods thanks to depleted soils. I am not intending to sound depressing here, but just to share why it is so essential that our kids get adjusted from day one, so that they can adapt to their world and environment as best as they can.
We love seeing kids in our office! An adjustment for a child looks different than an adjustment for an adult. Dr. Liz and I already practice a very gentle technique to begin with but what we do for kids looks different because their spines are still developing. If you have any questions about getting your child under care, give us a call! We would love to hear from you!
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
Chiropractic care and ice cream, an unlikely but delicious combination. What do the two have to do with each other? The majority of the public has heard that chiropractors help with pain. Someone says they have low back pain for example, they will likely get a recommendation to go see a chiropractor. While I am absolutely not faulting this, as there is a plethora of research showing that chiropractors help decrease pain, what I am saying is this: going to a chiropractor only when you’re in pain is like going to an ice cream parlor, ordering a banana split with the works, and then only eating the banana. You’re missing out on all the good stuff!
More research has shown that chiropractic helps with brain function and health. Why is this important? Your brain is the control center of your body. Every muscle, gland, and organ functions via messages from your brain. If the messages getting sent between your brain and body get interfered with, things don’t go quite right. Chiropractic care, through adjustments, removed the interferences in the message path, so that your brain and body can fully communicate.
So while getting adjusted can help decrease pain levels, it can increase the quality of your life in so many other ways. This means you get to enjoy the entire banana split, cherry and all! And life is meant to be fully enjoyed, not just partially, so, proactively get adjusted my friends!