Being in ‘Flight or Fight’ mode is being in that primal stress response that enables us to deal with perceived attacks or threats to our survival. It’s all about getting you physically prepared to literally run or fight for your life. The response is hardwired into our brains and can be difficult for many to control.
When we face real dangers to our survival, the fight or flight response is essential. However, most of the stresses we are exposed to these days are not life threatening but initiate the same response. Stressors like rush hour traffic, deadlines, arguments or conflict, raising children, rushing around and financial troubles to name just a few.
Just to make things a little more interesting your body does not distinguish so differently between emotional, chemical or physical stressors. While we all tend to think of stress in an emotional context such as the events in life that we find overwhelming, the flight or fight response can also be wound up by physical and chemical stressors such as bad posture, physical injuries, high sugar and processed food diets.
With this in mind, many people may not feel ‘emotionally’ stressed but in actual fact are still in a relative degree of ‘Flight or Fight’ mode as the body works to adapt to these different threats to its survival.
When you are in flight or fight mode
- Your body releases adrenaline and the "stress hormone" cortisol
- We start breathing faster using our upper chest more
- Your posture changes as muscles get shorter and tighter
- Our blood pressure increases, our pulse quickens
- Blood sugar levels are increased
- The digestive and immune systems are downregulated (you can worry about food and infections later!)
- Your frontal lobes (the areas of your brain for higher executive function) are increasingly cut out of the decision-making process. Behaviours are increasingly controlled by the limbic (emotional) and brainstem (reptilian) areas of the brain.
While short lived exposures are tolerable, even good for your health, chronic exposures are not and have predictable effects over the longer term. When in flight or fight mode, we see everything as a possible danger, our fear is exaggerated.
Signs that you may be stuck in ‘Flight or Fight’ mode are
- Increasing levels of fatigue and leaving you feeling exhausted even after a good night’s rest leading to burn-out.
- Excessive coffee consumption just to get through the day.
- Chronic neck, shoulder and back pain
- Poor posture
- Insomnia as it gets harder to get to and then stay asleep.
- Increasing levels of anxiety, general irritability and extended periods of depression.
- Brain fog, poor memory and concentration
- Reduced sex drive
- Sugar cravings
- Teeth grinding and clenching
- Digestive complaints such as IBS
- High blood pressure
- Auto-immune conditions and recurrent infections
- Weight gain
How can Chiropractic help?
Chiropractors study the unique relationship between the spine and nervous system while accounting for the effects these systems have on your health as a whole. Chiropractic adjustments, by helping to restore normal motion and alignment to affected joints can go some way to reducing and managing the cumulative effects of prolonged stress and tension on the body. In this way chiropractic care improves your posture and overall mobility helping to alleviate the many pains and problems that come from the chronic stress and strain of being stuck in ‘Flight or Fight’ and encourage your body into a state of Rest and Digest
So, if you're looking for a way to reboot and give your body that extra bit of help to find its way back to a more relaxed state, consider the benefits of seeing your local chiropractor at Gewoon Chiropractie for an adjustment.
Gewoon Chiropractie is conveniently located just on the border of Den Haag and Scheveningen and is 20 minutes away from Den Haag Centraal train station by Tram 1 .Through a vitalistic approach to chiropractic, we view each patient as a whole, rather than as a single symptom to be treated. We know that chiropractic is so much more than back pain, neck pain and headaches. There are multiple techniques we use to detect, find and correct nerve impingements, that we call subluxations. We believe chiropractic care is a lifestyle & recommend regular spinal checks for you and your whole family. Give us a call! 070 204 41 34
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