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  • Writer's pictureJohn K Maltby II, D.C.

Fight me or Hug me

Updated: Mar 25, 2022

You can fight me or you can hug me, the choice is yours.

There are two states at which your body can be operating in to make the choice of what you will do next, fight or hug?

The interesting part is that you are probably fighting more than you know.

Parasympathetic vs. Sympathetic

Rest and digest vs. Fight or flight

Hug me vs. fight me

There have been many trends throughout time to help explain and manage the fact that most people at most times are stuck in Sympathetic mode (Fight me). Now what does that mean in simple terms? It means that your body is constantly stuck in a state of stress and is trying to overcome it. Your brain will not shut down is keeping your body in a heighten state of survival mode. Here are some of the things going on when you are stuck in Sympathetic mode:

  • Increase Heart Rate

  • Bronchial tubes in the lungs dilate

  • Pupils dilate

  • Muscles contract

  • Saliva production is reduced

  • Stomach stops many of the functions of digestion

  • More glycogen is converted to glucose

  • Suppression of the immune system

  • Stress hormones are being over used and then depleted

In other words every aspect of your being is in a high stress mode. If you cannot fully switch this off in order to rest, you will notice many debilitating things start to happen in your life. Not every single person will manifest all these issues in the same way, but eventually being stuck in a sympathetic state will catch up with and you it will show itself in possibly one of these ways:

  • Always tired, lack of energy, insomnia

  • Weight gain

  • Seem to be always sick

  • Constant high blood pressure

  • Lack of motivation

  • Depression, Anxiety

  • Insomnia

Any of these sound familiar? I mentioned earlier that this has been called many things over the years with many different ways to combat it. One of the most common explanations being put forth today is Adrenal Fatigue. The Adrenal glands just happen to secrete one of the main stress hormones Cortisol. If you happen to be in a constant Sympathetic state, eventually your body will slow down on the amount of Cortisol it can produce and secrete, actually your entire body will begin to not be able to keep up with the demands of a constant Sympathetic state, and then the above list will begin to happen in one way or another.

Now, you can take supplements, pills, or create a new one-hour routine of meditation exercises to your every day schedule or you can try to understand and find what the cause is that is keeping you from recovery. Namely, what is keeping your body and nervous system from switching over to a Parasympathetic state (hug me).

The Parasympathetic nervous system is what is responsible for controlling homeostasis, or the balance of the body’s systems. It restores the body to a state of calm and counterbalance, and allows it to relax and repair itself.

  • Heart rate drops

  • Bronchial tubes in your lungs constrict

  • Pupils constrict

  • Muscles relax

  • Saliva is increased

  • Digestive enzymes are released

  • Immune system kicks into overdrive

  • Sleeping patterns normalize

All of these actions are designed to maintain long-term health, improve digestion, conserve energy, and maintain a healthy balance in your body’s systems. We can actually point to precise points in the nervous system where the Parasympathetic system operates from.

Don’t worry, I am not going to get super technical on you, let us just say that the nerves that carry the control signals from for the Parasympathetic Nervous system originate from the extreme top of you spine and just below the base of your spine.

I mentioned earlier that there are many things you can do to try and get your body back into a calm place. But essentially, if you are not resetting your nervous system back to normal, then you are always going to have to deal with some of these symptoms.

One of the techniques used here in this office is Knee Chest Upper Cervical, and this technique only adjusts the top of the spine. Exactly where the controlling factors are for many of these issues. If the top of your spine is out of whack and putting undue pressure on these nerves, your body will never be able to switch into Parasympathetic mode.

I absolutely love hearing that. If sleeping well is one of your main issues check out my YouTube video I did on some techniques to help you sleep better.

You can fight me or you can hug me, the choice is yours.

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