Fight-or-Flight vs. Rest and Digest-Which Mode Are You In?
One thing I check all of my patients for at every visit is to see if they are in a "Sympathetic Dominant mode". If you are a patient, you may have heard me say this before during a treatment! I check for this mode in all my patients using our amazing tool of muscle testing.
If a patient is in a sympathetic dominant, or "fight or flight" mode, his/her body will be very stressed, and every muscle will be overly strong (hypertonic). When I pinch a muscle, it should weaken. If if doesn't weaken upon pinching, you better bet that we will first be working on shifting that patient out of sympathetic dominant mode, and into a more balanced nervous system, so that we can continue treatment with accurate testing and good results.
If you are in any way stressed, overly busy, have suffered an injury or are ill, sleep deprived, malnourished, dehydrated, or under any other body stresses, you may very well be in a sympathetic dominant mode. When in this mode, healing is difficult, sleep is difficult, thinking is difficult, etc.. The body will likely eventually break down under this stress, possibly in more pathological ways.
One of the most significant benefits of chiropractic kinesiology is that it activates the body's parasympathetic nervous system! Yes, adjustments can actually shift a patient out of the fight-or-flight mode, and into a more relaxed state. Oftentimes, just one adjustment can cause a total parasympathetic shift. Chiropractic can do this by down regulating (reducing) sympathetic nerve firing such as pain signals, while consequentially increasing parasympathetic activity. This is why oftentimes a patient will feel a feeling of calm relaxation, and sometimes even euphoria, after a treatment. I know that many of my patients, in fact a large majority, have always told me that they feel more calm, relaxed, and de-stressed after a visit!
As we start a new work week, I look forward to helping all of my patients maintain balance in their health and lives this week!