Nothing but high fives on Graduation Day!
I’ve made the leap from the RESCUE phase of treatment to RECOVERY, moving from 3x/week visits to 2x/week!
So what exactly does all this mean?
FROM RESCUE TO RECOVERY
Both phases (Rescue and Recovery) are all about restoring balance and healing (a.k.a. “break pedal”), reducing chronic stress response (fight or flight), and decreasing neuro-muscular tension (total energy). You may recall from my initial blog re-cap where I introduced the car analogy (or rather… several mentions, to be exact). The repair and restoration phases of care work similar to an Anti-lock Braking System on your vehicle. While Doctors would love to achieve your goals with one adjustment, the reality is that stress and tension have been building for some time; therefore repeat adjustments (a.k.a. “pumping the brakes”) over a period of time is required. Chiropractic care corrects spinal alignment abnormalities as a means of treating a wide range of health problems. But addressing skeletal and muscular disorders and relieving pain only scratch the surface! Here is where the rubber meets the road… over the last 3+ months, I now have more range of motion, less pain and an overall better quality of life. More specifically, here are my most notable changes:
- HEADACHES Based on recent studies, spinal manipulation has proven effective against migraines and head- aches originating from the neck. Manual therapy of the spine, along with neck exercises, promotes improvement in patients with neck-related head- aches. Frequent headaches have nearly gone away. In fact the only time they occur is when I have not properly hydrated myself.
- THYROID Untreated hypothyroidism can change how the nerves carry information to and from your brain, spinal cord, and body. This can cause: numbness, tingling, pain, or burning in the affected parts of your body… in other words, exactly what I was experiencing a few months back when I first stepped foot into the Wellness Path! I’m thrilled to report that after struggling with an underactive thyroid for several years, thanks to months of regulating my nervous system through chiropractic care, I no longer require medication!
- SLEEP Regular chiropractic carehelps you obtain sufficient restful sleep, by detecting, analyzing and correcting sources of spinal dysfunction and nerve interference. These dysfunctions are often what disrupt healthy sleep patterns in the first place. My insomnia was bad… real bad (waking for hours on end). Now, when I do wake in the night, I am able to quickly fall back to sleep (after a quick trip to the restroom)!
GAS vs. BRAKE PEDAL
Your Nervous System has 2 main modes of operation: Gas Pedal mode & Brake Pedal mode.
Gas Pedal is about survival; it’s what gets activated when you’re in danger, playing sports, are frightened, etc. It is supposed to turn on when needed, then back right off.
Brake Pedal is where health and healing happens; your immune system, digestive system, growth and development, sleep, etc.
Both are important to life, but you need to spend most of your time on the brakes. The problem is, daily stressors are constantly pushing us towards the Gas Pedal mode. And since that system is about survival, once it gets activated your body doesn’t want to shut it off until it knows you’re okay. And if these stressors are still present in your life, you are never going to get there and your health is now in jeopardy.
STOP BEING STUCK IN GAS PEDAL
There are two main neurotransmitters that will keep you stuck on Gas Pedal Mode and slow down your results from chiropractic care: adrenaline and cortisol.
- Adrenaline enables us to push through fatigue until we eventually collapse from exhaustion.
- Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone, and prevents us from prioritizing and thinking clearly.
Daily stressors will stimulate the production of these chemicals, and you will want to do whatever you can to inhibit this. In addition to receiving Chriropractic Care to address the issues, avoiding the following activities will have a tremendous benefit to your brain chemistry:
- Violent or competitive activities
- Tight schedules
- Foods high in sugar, caffeine, and additives
- Fluorescent lighting
- Lack of fresh air
Parenting can be one of our greatest sources of joy, or the cause of a great deal of stress.
It is not a skill we are naturally born with, so learning as much as I can has been a goal of mine to stay in brake pedal (my goal is to read 2-3 parenting books a year)! Even if you don’t agree with everything in the book you are reading, it will help clarify your own personal parenting style.
Also seek out like-minded parents for your circle of friends, the Wellness Path offer Pathways Connect Meet-ups each month. The next will be held Saturday September 28th @ 320 W. Burlington Ave., La Grange, IL
By surrounding yourself with like-minded people you will build a support network to learn from that will build you up and support you instead of questioning your parenting decisions!
PROGRESS REPORT TIME!
In April 2019, I underwent an initial series of physical assessments to determine the state of core neurological and spinal functions. The overall results of these tests are summarized in a single index – the CORESCORE, which quantifies neural efficiency. Since that initial assessment, I have received three (3) more rounds of identical assessments. Most of the time scans show that we are right on track toward health, but sometimes they also tell the Doctor that he needs to take an alternate route to get there. Either way, the most important thing is that we know where we are! Patients that receive Chiropractic care are looking for some type of pain relief or a decrease of the current symptoms that they presently have. Most of these issues are problems that have been there for quite some time and have just recently manifested themselves as pain or some other type of problem. Our bodies are great at being able to function when we have these types of issues without too much pain or un-comfortableness. The body changes the way muscles work and change how the joints move, to help reinforce and pick up the slack for the joint that is not functioning properly.
While I did not see a tremendous change in the overall CORESCORE (1st exam: 76, 4th exam: 72), which is typical of these early re-exams, there were improvements in energy and balance of gas vs. brake pedal. In particular, I moved closer to the “Green Box” goal in the Heart Rate Variability scan, increasing my healing capabilities; which means that I’m better able to adapt to daily stressors and experience a higher quality of life. Better health comes through better adaption!
*The Pulse Wave Profiler helps the doctor determine your overall ability to adapt to the environment. Heart Rate Variability testing is today’s gold standard in analyzing the overall effects of stress and anxiety in patients of any age, its no wonder this is referred to as a Quality of Life assessment.
BETTER ORGANIZATION and LESS STRESS
Early scans evaluating the function of the muscles that support and move the spine showed a lot of disorganization. However, improved patterns shown on the re-exams showed my nervous system doing a better job at simultaneously coordinating, organizing, and properly adapting to all the information it processes, which usually means improvements in focus and cognition. Additionally, the changes in color (less red and blue, more green and white) mean less stress and tension on the spine and nervous system. In other words, Doctors have been able to successfully apply the “brakes” and get my nervous system calmed down, more efficient and more organized!
*The Surface EMG exam evaluates the function of the muscles that support and move your spine, measuring how much energy is needed to maintain your posture and how it is distributed throughout the muscles. Over time, daily stress can continue to overwork these muscles, causing them to lose their support and mobility.
WAKING UP and CLEANING HOUSE
When the location of stress on your scans moves, it shows that reorganization is occurring within the spine. This is the most common type of change seen when there is significant restoration that needs to take place, and means your body is adapting to your care. More color on the Thermal Scan speaks to your nervous system adjusting to the care and going through a self-healing process. Your CNS controls your respiratory, digestive, immune and other major systems, so this type of neurological detox is a positive step toward better long-term health.
*The Thermal Scan is used to assess the part of your nervous system that helps to control your organs, glands, and blood vessels. The instrument measures the differences in temperature along the spine, in order to determine where stress is building up and how deeply it affects bodily functions.
Based on Dr. Vic’s care plan along with my scan results, the next few months are all about staying on track (in Recovery mode). Progression is going really well, and the Doctors at the Wellness Path couldn't be happier with how my nervous system is responding so far. Which means no need for a detour of the original plan for my top 3 health goals:
- Relief of pain (short-term)
- Fertility &
- Improvement of overall health
While in Recovery, the 1st goal will continue to be treated through corrective exercises targeted for my spine (based on my exam findings); however we can now also start to work towards the other 2 goals (in addition to scaling visits back from 3x/week to 2x/week). In other words… its now time to get hyper-focused on Fertility!
The Wellness Path believes in balancing hormones through Seed Cycling, which is a delicious and easy way to bring your hormones back into balance naturally (it also offers relief from painful menses, bloat, acne, PMS and more). If you are now wondering what this new fad “seed cycling (seed rotation)” is all about, as it turns out this isn’t NEW at all! In fact, its an OLD naturopathic therapy that utilizes nutrition (in this case seeds) to support the body’s production, detoxification and metabolism of hormones with the intention of bringing the hormones back in balance. Flax seeds and pumpkin seeds are taken in the 1st half of the cycle (where estrogen is dominant), while sunflower and sesame seeds are taken in the 2nd half (when you want to suppress dominant progesterone). This therapy only works if you are someone who can track your cycle (ideally you would begin seed cycling on day one of your cycle, which is the 1st day of your period). Results can typically be seen as early as 3 cycles, when consistently following the seed cycling routine. Of course, a healthy diet and lifestyle are also needed, if you’re hoping to see any improvement in your symptoms.
I will continue to share more updates along the way over the next few months, in particular how the seed cycling is going! I hope you’ll join me on my road to wellness!