Breaking Down the Stress That Breaks Down Our Nervous System
By Dr. Molly Casey
Stress interferes with communication. The nervous system is your communication system. Optimal nervous system functioning is the basis for your entire experience of life and health. The brain and body speak to each other through miles of nerves, the spinal cord and brainstem. The spine houses this system. The better the spine moves and functions, the better chances that communication system is going to be able to run without interference. So what causes the spinal restrictions in range of motion and ultimate interference with nervous system function? Stress does -- and it comes in different forms. These are the Three Ts.
Stress in the form of thoughts is extraordinary in this society. Worry, anxiety, depression, obsession -- all of these are forms of stress. Non-tangible aspects of relationships (the worry or nervousness, anger, etc.) fall under the category of thoughts, for the ease of this explanation. This type of stress has a very distinct and tangible effect on an individual’s physiological makeup and journey of physical health. The more stress one is under, the harder the systems of the body and the nervous system are run; the more they are taxed, the less effective they may function.
Think of it this way. If you constantly run a car at 100 mph uphill, the health and life of that car will be quite different compared to a car that takes varied drives through the country after periods of rest and short trips to the corner store with the occasional steep hill and high speeds. Even if the car that’s driven fast and hard is well-maintained, it still likely won’t last as long as the second car. Now throw into the mix the lack of regular maintenance and care. The internal systems will wear much more quickly and the machine will likely be far more troublesome.
Toxins are everywhere. There are chemicals in food, in grass, in water. There are artificial ingredients in items we call food but in truth are purely processed and manufactured. There are binders (additional ingredients) in supplements and medications that many people ingest. The more food and any other substance ingested that is not as close to earth and in as natural state as possible, the more toxic it is.
Trauma is defined as a deeply distressing experience. Traumas can be a quick incidence or occur over a prolonged period of time. They come in multiple forms: spiritual, mental, physical. Here I’ll refer to physical. Even in the physical there is acute trauma, such as a hit during sports, a severe fall during recreational weekends, or car accidents. Then there are chronic traumas. Most engage in these experiences daily and have no idea. Prolonged improper physical function is a trauma for the body and ultimately the nervous systems. Common activities that result in chronic trauma are sitting at a desk and looking at a computer all day without proper posture or breaks, or working out at the gym or playing sports with improper form. Driving a car with improper support and posture repetitively or for long periods of time, and use of a cell phone while looking down consistently, are also examples of chronic trauma.
Though it’s impossible to wipe out all stress, if one wants to experience optimal health, then it’s absolutely necessary to become aware of, and decrease exposure to, the various elements in each of the three Ts to the best of one’s abilities. For example, add regular chiropractic adjustments to improve spinal function and communication health. In regard to your thoughts, take an honest look at how much stress is in your life and ask yourself, first, where can you release some of it and, second, can you implement a daily practice that will help your body process and adapt to the stress you can’t release. Make a commitment to bring only unprocessed, chemical-free foods into your home and only enjoy the occasional food outside of that routine on those instances you go out.
Stress decreases communication. Decreased communication results in less than optimal health, “dis-ease” and ultimately disease. There are different types of stress and much of that stress we engage with on a daily basis. Assessing levels of stress and the forms from which they arise are important steps in your journey of health. Stop into The Joint Chiropractic and let the doctors of chiropractic help you help yourself and mitigate your exposure to, and effects from, stress in all its forms.
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