Our bodies are absolutely amazing. Over millions of years of evolution, we have developed the ability to radically and instantaneously change our physiology and neurology to adapt to any immediate stressor. These stressors can come in the form of physical stress (like a car accident or a work out at the gym), emotional stress (loss of a loved one or break up), mental stress (figuring out how you’re going to pay your bills or how you’re going to solve your next challenge at work) and even chemical stress (environmental toxins, bad food, etc.). There is a multidimensional depth of changes that allow the body-mind to meet the demand and once the stress or threat has gone, resume normal physiology and balance. Stress is a normal part of life.
Then there is chronic stress. Chronic stress kills. Chronic stress holds us in a hyper vigilant reactive state. It’s like somebody turned the car engine on, put it in fifth gear and forgot about it. Sooner or later, it’s going to crash. Depending on the source, chronic stress has been attributed to 90% of all disease known to man. The tricky part about chronic stress is you’re often not even aware that you are locked in this hyper reactive state. These responses happen at a level far below your conscious mind (i.e. your limbic and vagal nervous system).
Your limbic system is the seat of your emotional intelligence. Originally it was thought that the vagal nerve was responsible for parasympathetic activity (rest and digest). We now know that the vagal nerve is more complex and is composed of multiple branches that have different functions. A dorsal and ventral branch who’s job is basically to determine “Are you safe?” This is called poly vagal nerve theory and helps explain a lot of why people can get locked in chronic stress (More to come on this later).
So what can we do about it?
The primary thing I found that needs to be addressed for just about everyone is to heal your nervous system. Resetting this hypervigilant, chronic stress state is key to allowing your body to heal. Unfortunately, this is commonly overlooked.
This is where your Network care comes in. Don’t underestimate the power of your sessions, and their ability to shift the balance from sympathetic chronic stress mode to parasympathetic rest, digest, and heal mode. Taking time to balance your nervous system, increases the coherence of your being, and creates a stronger, more resilient you.