Unpattern, Repattern, Repeat

If you are a knitter this analogy will resonate with you – I hope…


Stress is like a sweater. What???? I know you are going to say!


Here is a great analogy that has been helpful in our practice, to our patients in explaining how and why unravelling the layers of stress and chiropractic care is like a sweater.


Let’s review. The embedded pattern and holding of stress in the body can be like the sweater we currently wear. It may be too tight, out of season, out of date, ugly, our favourite, “home and comfy,” …our “go to”.


This comes from years, decades, of the body responding to stress in ways that hold that pattern deep in our physiology. Our response to our environment is of that to a lion, even when there is no lion. Our body remembers this feeling and we react even when it is not necessary to. This feels like home though because it is all we know. Maybe this “sweater” was handed down from mom and grandma??? Maybe it has been in the family for generations.


Unpatterning – As we begin chiropractic care we begin to unravel the sweater. We take the thread out – just like a “pull” in a sweater. The sweater unravels thread by thread. You cannot go back, you can stop unravelling when you want, but sometimes you are too far committed.


We break free of the hold that old, unserving patterns have in our life. These may have been learned along the way and just habit now and happen by default. As the sweater begins to unravel we can see and, perhaps feel our bodies change. We can be letting go, releasing and exposing old wounds. Akin to layers of an onion, as the sweater unravels we meet new challenges and new layers.


Repatterning – Now the key is through consistent chiropractic care (this does not come after 1, 5, or 10 visits by the way) – the brain learns a new way of being in the world. The brain learns to dial down the stress response, the cells get different messages and our lives move in a more constructive manner. The brain is repatterning a new, a better path. NO longer signaling cortisol at a drop of a hat. This is a very different pattern (sweater) than we originally had. The buttons are different, the arms look different, the bodice looks different. Our body looks the same but the control mechanism is different. We react differently, we see things differently, the lens through which we see things is different.


Repeat – Now to remind the system of this new sweater is like to making new sweaters. This is what ongoing, continuous and lifelong chiropractic care achieves. Each adjustment reminds the nerve system to work in a coherent manner. Everything working together. Our analogy of a new sweater is a masterful assembly line of perfectly molded new sweaters coming off the conveyor belt at all times, at breakneck speeds. This reflects all the cells in the body doing their best. Working together like a fine oiled machine.


So what kind of sweater are you? What kind of sweater do you want to be? Do you even want to change the sweater you have… as sometimes it is painful and uncomfortable.


Here’s to creating a new pattern that works for you.


Yours in health


Dr. Laura