A Holistic Approach to Easing Fight or Flight Stress in Children

As devoted parents and committed pediatric chiropractors at Foundations Chiropractic in Wisconsin, we have observed the challenges that many children endure – battling unresolved anxiety, struggling with sleep issues, facing low immunity, and inflammation. Despite your unwavering efforts as parents to support your child’s health, these struggles manifest in their behavior, marked by frequent meltdowns and an inability to self-calm or regulate. These persistent challenges may signal a constant activation of the stress response, creating difficulties for their delicate nervous systems.

Startlingly, over 77% of today’s youth grapple with chronic health conditions, with neurological and mental health disorders being the most prevalent. The latest clinical research points to dysfunctional nervous system patterns as the primary drivers of these conditions.

When a child gets stuck in “fight or flight” mode, the cascade of stress hormones disrupts crucial processes like digestion, immunity, and development. The restorative parasympathetic “rest and digest” activation becomes suppressed, leading to a relentless cycle known as the “Perfect Storm.”

If your child is ensnared in the “Perfect Storm” of symptoms, leaving you feeling helpless in your quest for solutions – rest assured, you are not alone. Recognizing that these challenges are linked to the nervous system is vital in navigating the journey toward improved health for your child.

Understanding How Children Enter Fight or Flight Stress Response:

Your child’s nervous system, akin to a switch, toggles between active and relaxed modes. While it goes into “fight or flight” mode in the face of short-term danger, problems arise when this stress reaction lingers for too long.

The Role of the Vagus Nerve:

At the core of nervous system regulation is the vagus nerve, overseeing the activation of the body’s “rest, digest, and regulate” parasympathetic nervous system. This crucial nerve regulates digestion, breathing, heart rate, inflammation, and plays a significant role in restoration. Impaired vagal tone traps children in fight or flight, leading to dysautonomia, an out-of-balance autonomic nervous system, and subsequent chronic health challenges.

Signs Your Child Might be Stuck in Fight or Flight Mode:

  • Heightened baseline anxiety, worry, and panic responses
  • Frequent emotional meltdowns and outbursts
  • Disrupted sleep and nightmares
  • Changes in appetite
  • Increased food sensitivities and allergies
  • Headaches or body aches
  • Overreaction to minor frustrations
  • Poor focus and concentration
  • Frequent illnesses and decreased immunity
  • Persistent fatigue or hyperactivity

Consequences of Staying Stuck in Fight or Flight:

  • Anxiety and Mood Changes
  • Cognitive and Behavioral Challenges
  • Physical Hurdles: Headaches, body tension, abdominal pain, low energy, and weakened immunity
  • Growth and Development Delays

Long-Term Solutions for Getting Children Out of Fight or Flight:

Parents play a pivotal role in nurturing their child’s well-being at home. Engage in daily breathing exercises to promote relaxation, incorporate gentle movements like yoga to process cortisol, prioritize optimal nutrition, and consider natural supplements for inflammation modulation. In cases where the nervous system appears stuck, Neurologically-Focused Chiropractic Care is the crucial first step. These adjustments target vagus nerve stimulation and release pent-up stress within the sympathetic nervous system, proving more impactful than traditional methods.

As adjustments help restore better sleep patterns and enhance neurological health, you can introduce breathing exercises, calming activities, and nutritional programs. If your child exhibits symptoms linked to a fight-or-flight nervous system and you’ve tried various solutions without success, consider addressing nervous system dysregulation and subluxation through Neurologically-Focused Chiropractic Care.

Reach out to Foundations Chiropractic today. If you’re not local to us, explore our PX Docs directory to find a nearby office. We aim to empower you to guide your child toward a healthier, more balanced life.

Office Hours

Mon: 8:30am – 11:30am & 2:00pm – 5:30pm
Tues: 7:00a – 11:00a
Wed: 8:30am – 11:30am & 2:00pm – 5:30pm
Thur: 8:30am – 11:30am & 2:00pm – 5:30pm
Fri: Closed
Sat – Sun: Closed

W502 Spur Lane
Fountain City, WI 54629

(608) 687-1255

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