Easy Spine

Network Spinal Analysis
– Defense Posture & Stress Physiology

Every moment, our brain assesses the world around us and asks one question: “Am I safe?” If at any moment the brain determines you are in danger, it sends out an alert to the body and the Fight-Flight-or-Freeze Stress Response occurs. Mechanisms of survival are activated by the brain stem in preparing you to face the situation – to run away, freeze, or, as the case may be, avoid or in some way disconnect. This response will occur during such times as: *traumatic birth, *abuse, *physical trauma, *work related stress, *relationship issues, or *overuse of drugs/medication. It occurs any
time the brain determines “Danger!”

Here is how your body responds during the STRESS RESPONSE:


Ardrenaline releases, blood sugar elevates, blood pressure rises, pulse increases, muscles become tense, and pupils dilate. Immunity, digestion and sexual function diminish. Blood and oxygen is conserved in preparation for intense action.


These are all appropriate responses for survival. However, once the danger is gone and the stress is over, these body functions should return to a state of balance and the body should move into a state of harmony.

If these stressful events remain unresolved, we may live in a constant state of fear, anger, resentment, etc.   Unresolved emotional stress will create unresolved tension in the muscles and joints along the spine, putting great stress on organs, leading to painful conditions, as well as effecting our mental/emotional state.

The emotional brain center, (limbic system), then sends a message to the brain stem to maintain the stress response to keep us safe, just in case such a situation ever happens again. Over time, this develops into a defensive posture – such as hunched shoulders, neck jutting forward, tightness in jaw, and “sway” back.  A fertile ground for headaches and back pain, including pain in the neck, shoulders, and hips.

If you look at the list of the body’s response in stress physiology, it is immediately apparent that long term, these are our most common chronic ailments:

Defense Physiology Chart

When the body and brain are locked in stress physiology and defense posture, we react as if the stress that caused it is still occurring, even though it may be decades in our past. In this state, health and healing are more difficult to access, and our quality of life and degree of wellness greatly diminishes.

Through the stages of development under the care of an NSA chiropractor, you can develop more advanced, appropriate responses to your life by turning the defense switch to “on” only when needed.

While not in defense, the body/mind can respond to its environment with greater ease, and employ those strategies which promote higher intelligence, growth, and healing.

“While our systems can accomodate periods of brief stress, for its energy demands interfere with the required maintenance
of the body, and as a consequence, leads to dysfunction and disease.”

– Bruce Lipton, PH.D., Author, “Biology of Belief”