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“Sensory processing (sometimes called ‘sensory integration’ or SI) is a term that refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses.” – Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation
We perceive and live our life through our five senses; including touching, smelling, hearing, seeing, tasting, balance, and proprioception. Your nerves in your ears, eyes, nose, tongue, and skin are constantly sending nerve signals to your brain telling it about what is going on in your life. For example, if you touch a hot plate, the nerves in your fingers send a signal up to your brain. The brain senses the hot sensation as painful and dangerous and in milliseconds you remove your fingers from the hot pan. This is your sensory nervous system working. Another example would be your ability to taste your grandma’s sweet caramel rolls or a sour pickle spear. When these messages are sent on normal functioning nervous system, the body will respond appropriately. For example, you might pucker up to the sour pickle.
Sometimes the communication highway from brain to body and body to brain (nervous system and spinal cord) is obstructed or unclear and does not function properly. The challenge with children or adults suffering from sensory processing disorder is that their “highway” (nervous system) is has snow on it, is bumpy and full of traffic. Many times, children or patients with SPD are not responding to senses properly. When this occurs, there is a disconnect. The brain and body are not properly “talking” to one another.
Chiropractic and SPD
Chiropractic care helps to reduce stress and tension on the nervous system and restore normal function. Nerves travel down the spinal cord, and exit out between two vertebrae. The nerves that regulate, control, and supply the sensory organs and tissues follow this path. Misalignments or subluxations of the vertabrae of the spine may compromise the function of the nerve signals to and from the body. The compromise of the nervous system can affect the child’s ability to properly sense his or her environment. We do not treat Sensory Processing Disorder. We as chiropractors simply check to see if there is any stress or tension on the nervous system. If there is stress causing nerve disturbance, we gently reduce it with chiropractic adjustments. A chiropractic adjustment helps create increased balance in the nervous system.