If there were one theory that we return to time and time again, trying to help explain why people get “injured,” it would be the theory of what we call "Neurological Loading Principle or Neural Tension."
Why you might ask, did I put parenthesis around “injured” in the paragraph above? Well, the term “injured” has many meanings, not all of which mean physical injuries like a sprained knee, shoulder or back.
People also have:
Mental or psychological “injuries.”
Chemical “injuries,” etc.
Typically, in our facility, we see the type of “injury” that most people are familiar with: a physical one. But, all “injuries” come from the same origins...an overloaded nervous system. Why do some people have psychological “breaks” when others have physical “breaks”? Most likely, the answer would lie in our genetics. After all, in our opinion, neurological loading or stress is what exposes genetic weakness'. Genetics are a gun and epigenetics ( your daily behaviors or lifestyle) are what pull the trigger. Epigenetics can change genetics in both positive (keeping negative gene expression from being activated) and adverse ways (activating negative gene expression).
Typically, our explanation of Neurological Loading goes something like this: Imagine your nervous system as an empty glass. Each type of stress that the human body can have is the equivalent of water that gets poured into that glass. When an individual is in perfect health and living the "ideal" life, the glass of water would be about 2/3 full from handling daily existence that is survival based. The remaining 1/3 of the glass gives us a bit of a buffer area to handle the fluctuating stressors of day to day challenges without any lasting negative consequences, as long as those stressors are temporary. When we experience any variety of stressors, it is like pouring a little water into the already 2/3 full cup. The nervous system doesn't differentiate between the types of stress we can have. All kinds of stressors blend in the nervous system analogy above as more water in the cup. Below we categorize the stressors into five categories, so it gives us a way to compartmentalize our experiences into categories we can work with:
In closing, the concept of Neurological Loading or Neural Tension is the foundation to understanding injury and illness. An overloaded nervous system causes genetic weaknesses to be exposed. By recognizing the different ways we create Neural Tension, it gives us a tool of self-awareness to allow us to begin to make choices in our lifestyle to decrease our Neurological Load and optimize health and well being. In the next entry, we’ll talk about looking at each stressor and how to self-rate your Neurological Load. Between now and then, do you best to make a note in your daily life where you may be finding excessive stressor that could be filling your cup full.