Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed where you could not think yourself out it or change how you were feeling? You really wanted to change but the feelings of stress and overwhelm persisted. This is a hallmark sign that your body is in a survival pattern.
Survival patterns get created, often early in life, to keep you from feeling too much overwhelm. They are also called protection mechanisms because they protect you from feeling unsafe, hurt or in pain. You develop protection mechanisms if you don’t have the inner resourcefulness to regulate or process the scary or painful experiences. Instead of processing them you create a protection mechanism (or survival strategy) to soften, numb, or dull the pain of your experience. You can think of survival strategies as the modern day pain killers, anti-depressants and other such drugs that numb or dull the experience but do little to process the painful energies associated with them.
At some point as we become adults these protection mechanisms are no longer “necessary” however they have been engrained as a dominant pathway in our nervous system and have even determined the structure of our body. When a person in their adult life has an experience that produces feelings of stress/overwhelm they continue to use these early life survival strategies to try and regulate their experience because they have not learned how to be with their experience. The part of the experience that is unprocessed gets stored in your body and is experienced as tension, pain and illness.
In order to heal and create change in your life you need to feel and experience what you are experiencing, unfiltered, unprotected. When you are able to do this healing and change happen instantaneously. At first it may not feel good and you may not feel better, but the energy that has been repressed and held in place by muscle tensions and spinal distortions is released because it is experienced.
People are often trying to “fix” the effects of their survival strategies by rubbing out muscle tensions, taking drugs to numb pain or symptoms, and avidly trying to prevent something bad from happening with mental or situational control. What occurs is that the tension, pain and the feeling of lack of control come back as soon as you are put in situation where you feel overwhelm again.
The reason why people can’t think themselves into change or healing is because these survival patterns get created in the nervous system. People one, need to be able to feel their experience, and two, need to create a new pathway in their nervous system that allows for them to be present instead of in protection. In Network Spinal Analysis (a transformational type of chiropractic care) there are 5 primary ways that the spinal cord distorts in response to survival strategies. When the spinal cord is in one of these distortion patterns then the body (and you) respond with the same old pattern. These are pre-rational patterns meaning they can’t be overpowered with thoughts, at least in a sustainable way, because they are below the mind and in the body.
Network Spinal Analysis together with Somato-Respiratory Integration help your brain (and you) be present with the energy underneath these protection strategies as they have come to form and inform your body. Through being present with the underlying energy, it is released and can be harnessed and redirected to create a new pattern in your nervous system. This new pattern is created at a higher level of organization which shifts your perspective and creates meaning that is associated with progress and expansion, instead of pain and contraction. This is how you reorganize yourself using old pain to create something new and better. This process is called reorganizational healing, and through it you create sustainable change and experience high level well-being.
If you would like to learn more please attend our free educational talk on High Level Well-Being on Wednesday Sept. 7th, 2016 at 7p. See details under Events Calendar – In office talks & events.
Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC, Network Spinal Analysis Chiropractor
2 thoughts on “Survival Strategies on how they affect Your Health and Well-being”
Get present with our experience? That’s a tall order but the payoff is worth it. If you’re ready, Amanda can help.
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Thanks Jay! Yes definitely worth the payoff