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How Well Do You Heal?

There are 2 components of our nerve systems that are constantly balancing each other. They are called sympathetic and parasympathetic. They are often referred to as ‘fight of flight’ (sympathetic) and ‘rest and digest’ (parasympathetic). The are responsible for:

Sympathetic                                                      Parasympathetic
– increase in blood pressure                          – regulate resting blood pressure
– increase in breathing rate                           – normalize breathing rate
– eye pupil dilation                                          – appropriate pupil diameter for light
– more blood to muscles                                 – blood/oxygen sent to rest/digest
– less blood to digestive organs                       organs
– decrease immune response                         – healing response

Think of a high stress moment in your life – maybe you slammed on the brakes and just missed being in a car accident, your child ran off in the grocery store or a skunk surprised you while out for a walk at night. Everyone knows what happens: you get a big rush or adrenaline to get yourself out of that high stress environment. Your body responds appropriately by opening airways and sending more blood, oxygen and sugar to your heart, lungs and skeletal muscles so you can move – quickly.

As a side note, adrenaline is used medically to treat anaphylactic allergic reactions, cardiac arrest and croup (respiratory infection). The reason it works for these conditions is the same as naturally occurring adrenaline. It opens airways and blood vessels to decrease swelling in allergic reactions, sends blood to dying heart muscles and opens airways that are constricted in someone suffering from croup.

The true measure of health is this: when you have physical, mental or chemical stress in your life, how well do you heal?

What does this have to do with chiropractic? EVERYTHING. Our entire nerve system must be balanced to be at EASE. When our nerve system is subluxated, the sympathetic tone is increased. This means that we are already in a state of dis-EASE before we even introduce outside life stresses into our lives. Our body’s function is already leaning toward stress, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, poor digestion, slow metabolism and weakened immune system function. A research study from 2014 showed that “activation of the sympathetic nervous system attenuates the innate immune response”. It is absolutely essential to have a balanced nerve system to respond properly and heal from day to day stresses.

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