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,