Fight or flight a self protective mechanism …
The fight or flight mechanism takes over when we are faced with a situation where we feel threatened or overwhelmed. It's built into us! When we see a bear while camping in the woods, we flee, or run like a banshee to safety. The symptoms of fight or flight are caused by the sympathetic nervous system.
We have two parts to our nervous system:
A) The sympathetic part is the part of our nervous system that makes us run or fight.
B) The parasympathetic nervous system calms us down.
We need both parts of these two nervous systems to function normally in life. If the sympathetic nervous system runs amok, it can give us ulcers and panic attacks. When the sympathetic nervous system is over-riding the parasympathetic nervous system, it's called sympathetic over-ride. But what most people don't know and what most doctors don't know is that this response can be initiated by an imbalance of the occiput, or your skull and a compensatory imbalance of the atlas or first cervical vertebrae. Not even cranio-sacral therapists know about this. It's very new but very profound! The more practitioners and potential patients know about this connection the more this knowledge will come to light.
Some of the physical symptoms from an upper cervical misalignment are:
1. Pain in the upper cervical area.
2. Decrease motion in the upper cervical area, usually turning right or left.
3. A feeling of fullness in the ear or ears.
5. Swelling around the ears, occipital area, or swelling around the cranial bones around the ear.
6. Swelling and sponginess from the occipital / atlas junction up to the parietal lobes, both left and right (though more prevalent on the right parietal area).
7. Pain in the scalp, like a burning sensation.
8. Pain at the right or left eye (but more prevalent at the right eye where the orbital artery enters the orbit at the eyebrow, located medial to the middle of the eyebrow).
9. Distant disc pain at some other area down the spine, for example, if you push on the occipital / atlas vertebra, pain erupts at C5 or some other area distal to the occipital / atlas area, this area is felt do to a disc protrusion into the spinal cord at a more distal location. (Remember, it is all a hydraulic system: Exerting pressure at one spot will exert pressure at another spot because the character of fluid is to move and flow.)
10. Temporal mandibular joint pain and swelling.
11. Pain at the temples, both right and left.
12. Sinus pressure and pain throughout the cranium.
The above are just some of the more physical symptoms one can have but the following are from the body's response to the pressure exerted on the dura-mater in the area of the foreman magnum, in other words a cranio-sacral misalignment.
Symptoms of Sympathetic over-ride
2. Stomach upset
6. Sensitivity to light
7. Unable to concentrate
9. Muscle twitching
10. Rapid heart rate
11. Uneven heart rhythm
12. Burning sensation in the head and arms felt on the skin.
13. Panic attacks
14. Hard to take a deep breath.
Basically, all the above symptoms are caused because when the scissoring configuration takes place in the atlas / occiput area, the cranial sacral pump is not properly correctly. When the pump is not functioning right, it causes the fight or flight response to "wake up". This fight or flight response is a defense mechanism of the body. Usually the para sympathetic system works with the sympathetic nervous system. Working together, we have a healthy function between rest and relaxation and alertness. We are productive during our day because we sleep well at night and have a normal response to stresses during the day.
If we are in a state of sympathetic override, our minds become volatile and we over react to even small stresses during the day. When alone and when it's quiet, worry and anxiety can start to bother us. Many people walk through their lives feeling all the symptoms of sympathetic override and feel they have to take medication to just get through each day and another medication to sleep well at night. I would say it's better to get to the root of the problem. So you can see from the cervical misalignment symptomatology above, that neck pain is just a small part of the picture. Correcting this misalignment can be done either with force or non force depending on the practitioner.