Fight or Flight vs Rest and Digest: The Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems

Family Health at Vital Life ChiropracticOur bodies are amazingly equipped to handle all kinds of situations that may be thrown at us.  In fact, our central nervous system is made up of a few different parts, all of which help our body adequately cope with various situations and external factors.  When broken down to some of its smallest parts, the central nervous system is composed of two parts, the sympathetic and parasympathetic.  Each part plays an important role in how the body functions, but when one part takes over and becomes dominate, the delicate balance is disrupted, causing dysfunction and chaos with the body.  When dysfunction begins, Lithia Springs chiropractor Dr. Ronnie Bolar can help.

Sympathetic Vs. Parasympathetic

Within your body, the sympathetic system is more like the gas pedal while the parasympathetic system is similar to the brake pedal in a car.  The sympathetic system is responsible for our “fight or flight” response when we feel stressed.  When your sympathetic system is fired up, it causes increased heart rate, pupil dilation, and increased blood pressure to let your body know it’s time to either run or fight.  This survival mode is important for certain situations, but when the sympathetic system is on overdrive, it causes your body more stress and can also lead to forgetfulness or inability to concentrate. If our body stays in a sympathetic state for too long, it can lead to other kinds of problems such as depression or fatigue. The parasympathetic system does the exact opposite of the sympathetic system in that it slows the body down, sending out calming feelings so that the body has time to repair itself. This response allows for proper digestion, healing of any sicknesses, repairing of cells, and more. This response […]

Finding Stress Relief through Chiropractic Care

Everybody deals with stress. It’s just a normal part of life. However, some people experience different intensities, frequencies, and types of stress than other people. Trying to escape from it completely is an uphill battle because it’s not possible to completely alleviate all stress and associated symptoms.

But you can, however, find stress relief and alleviate some of the symptoms, reduce the intensity, diminish the frequency, and otherwise increase your tolerance of stress. One solution that is often overlooked is chiropractic care. Whether you’re dealing with a lot of stress or a little, chiropractic care may surprise you with the relief that it can bring.

How Stress Shows Up

Stress can show up in a variety of different ways and from many different sources or causes. It is a type of mechanism that kicks into motion when it’s dealing with something that is uncomfortable or unwanted. In other words, it is an indicator from our body and nervous system that the body needs some kind of change.

When we experience stress, the body releases cortisol, and whatever doesn’t get alleviated or dealt with continues to cause the body to produce cortisol. Cortisol in small amounts on an occasional basis can be a good thing, but if the body is left to continue producing cortisol, it can weaken the immune system and bring about a myriad of other issues.

Stress can show up as a result of situations outside of our control (such as related to our jobs, the weather, regional incidents, political situations, etc.) as well as resulting from our own inner thoughts and how we treat ourselves. The way we eat, exercise, thoughts we have of ourselves, and actions we take (or don’t take) can all impact the level of stress we are experiencing.

Using Chiropractic Care to Relieve […]

Can Chiropractic Help My Anxiety?

With more than 18% of the adult population suffering from some sort of anxiety disorder, anxiety is ravaging the US population. Even though anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and other mental disorders can lead to a variety of other health problems and dangerous behaviors, only about a third of those with anxiety disorders are seeking some sort of treatment for their anxiety.

Most commonly, anxiety treatment includes some sort of medication and maybe counseling or talk therapy. But one main reason so few people utilize anxiety treatment is because of the risks that come with the medications. Nausea, insomnia, headaches, dizziness, memory problems, blurred vision, dry mouth, weight gain, fatigue… the list of anxiety medication side effects goes on and on.

Living with untreated anxiety is not an option for some people and those side effects don’t seem worth it, so what are you supposed to do?

Hormonal Balance Is Key

The entire body is controlled by the central nervous system. One of the primary functions of that system is to produce, regulate, and utilize hormones in our bodies. All of our hormones work together to influence our sleeping patterns, changes in mood, and weight loss or gain, and they help our bodies function properly and effectively. When your hormones are unbalanced, a myriad of issues can arise, including anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and the like.

Since hormone production is based on the health of your nervous system and your spinal cord is housed in your spine, a spinal misalignment can have a huge effect on your mental health. When your spine is healthy and in proper alignment, your hormones will be produced in appropriate amounts, your body will use them effectively, and you will have an easier time keeping your emotions in check and your anxiety […]

Stress Research

You’ve always been told to “reduce the stress in your life” because it can be detrimental to your health to sustain high levels of stress on a consistent basis. According to a study done by the AADA, “Compared to the low-stress group, both the moderate and the high-stress groups showed excess mortality …” Stress is not only unpleasant to deal with on a regular basis but is also important for a healthy life.

Stress and the Nervous System

The nervous system is responsible for all of the vital functions in the body and one of those vital functions is the management of stress. More precisely, the nervous system produces testosterone during its fight-or-flight response. Arousal from an experience or within mental thought patterns can cause the adrenal glands to release the cortisol hormone, which is released when you’re stressed.

The nervous system has two primary forms of operation: the sympathetic nervous response (fight or flight) and the parasympathetic response (rest and digest).

When the body activates the parasympathetic mode of the nervous system, the body calms down and has an improved capacity to heal the body. When the nervous system is in a sympathetic state, it has to shut down other systems in the body in order to allocate more resources to deal with the “fight or flight” situation it has been presented with.

When exposed to stress continuously, the “stress hormone” known as cortisol, continues to enter the system, which causes adrenal fatigue and other internal organs begin to deplete resources and progressively weaken in functionality. It also causes the body to store more fat, which leads to more health concerns.

How Chiropractic Care Can Help Reduce Stress

A Lithia Springs chiropractor has the ability to beneficially affect almost every part of the body. Dr. Ronnie Bolar, when helping practice members at Vital Life Chiropractic, […]