What is Your Range of Adaptability to Stress?:

     Stresses are changes in your internal or external environment that require changes in your body in order for your body to adapt successfully. What makes adaptation to stress possible? Gray's Anatomy says that "it is the purpose of the brain and nerve system to control and coordinate the function of all the tissues and organs of the body and to adapt them to the environment." Adaptation is possible because of your nerve system.


     Let's use a simple example of a change in your environment. Imagine walking into a very cold room. How does your brain become aware that the temperature is suddenly very cold? Sensory nerves signal the brain of the temperature change. Your brain analyzes and processes that information. Is the cold temperature a potential danger to your health and survival? Possibly, if cold enough (we all know about hypothermia). The brain then sends signals through your autonomic nerves to the glands of the skin to produce "goose bumps" which insulate your body from heat loss. The brain also sends signals through your motor nerves to your muscles to produce "shivering" which produces heat. The nerve system responded to the stress of cold and adapted by providing mechanisms that would help with the survival of your body.


     Dr. Hans Selye, a pioneer of modern stress research, explained that we each have a range of adaptability to stress. Again, our ability to adapt to stress is managed by our nerve system. Even though we may be born with an inherently wide range of adaptability, that range can become narrowed. If our nerve system is disturbed by a vertebral subluxation, our ability and potential to adapt to stress is diminished.


     Note the diagrams below. The "squiggly" line that looks like the Dow Jones Average represents the stress in a normal life over time. The time could be a day, a month, a year, or a whole lifetime. The peaks are events or times of high stress; the valleys are times of lower stress. The parallel lines in each diagram represent three different ranges of adaptability to stress.

     In Range 1 you will see that stress greatly exceeds that person's ability to cope most of the time. Obviously, this person is overwhelmed and most likely struggles through life.


     In Range 2 the stress levels occasionally exceed, for a short time, their ability to adapt or cope. This life will have its ups and downs.


     The people in Range 3 experience the same stress as the other two people, but their range of adaptability is so wide that stress has little or no negative effect on their life.


     Which range are you? Are you widening your range of adaptability or narrowing it? Since regular chiropractic care helps the nerve system function better, you can help to keep your range as high as possible, allowing you to better deal with stress. Those that depend on you get a better version of you. In the crazy times we live in now, that's a pretty good thing. Don't you think?

Alpha Chiropractic

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