Stress is everywhere. How do you respond to it? 

Physiological stress, or the stress response, is the body’s reaction to a condition that poses as a physical, chemical or psychological threat or challenge to your well-being. 

Stressors produce certain negative physiological responses within your body depending upon what type of stress you encounter and can take a toll on the body’s normal state of function. For example:

  • Physical stressors like sustained or repeated activities or bad posture can negatively affect cellular and tissue formation
  • Chemical stressors like tobacco, alcohol or drugs can negatively affect bio-mechanical processes
  • Mental stressors like social or family demands can negatively affect overall mental function and performance.

Even though we have the power to adapt to stress, that doesn’t mean we win the battle every time. 

When stress is outweighing our ability to function in a normal state, the physiological effects on the tissue cells could be looked at with a simple mathematical equation of “survival values.”

Survival values are a chiropractic term that measures the adaptational success of tissue cells in gains and losses. The gains are when the tissue cells are adapting to stress and the losses are when they’re compensating to the stress.

Survival values are hypothetical, but allow you to look at your physiology in a mathematical sense which can make your day to day demands and stress overload more of simple decision making process when you ask “should I do this” or “should I do that.”

Joe Strauss states, “The tissue cells of the body are continually subjected to universal forces. The effects of these forces upon the cell can be measured algebraically. If we divide these effects into units we can classify them as gains and losses. The gains are those experience isn which the cell successfully adapt the universal forces. The losses are those experiences in which the cell fails to adapt the universal forces. The resultant cellular changes caused by that failure to adapt may or many not be measurable. When losses are subtracted from gains, that which rains is called a ‘survival value.’ It is the unit of adaptational success.”

Let’s look at adaptational success in relation to physical stressors sustained or repeated on your physiology through sitting at your office chair. 

Consider that the tissue cells from sitting all day at your chair are exerted with too much stress or force in the lower spinal region. Some of the tissue is adapting to this stress and some of the tissue is compensating, or not adapting.

The tissue that can handle the repeated sitting produces four units of gains and the tissue that is compensating to the stress produces two units of losses. Simple math from this example for survival value would equal two units of survival values. 

This example of adaptational success shows that through the lens of units of survival values that parts of your physiology are adapting to the day to day stress and other parts are not, you still have the opportunity to turn negative stress into positive survival values or adaptational success.

What about that tissue that didn’t adapt to the stress, but was compensating?

When the survival value is a net loss, then you could theorize that you have a negative survival value. This would trigger the healing process which looks to the replace the sick or dying cells with new cells or tissues, very similar to when you cut your finger. Too many negative survival values over time and the adaptational success for the whole tissue can turn to compensational failure. Your physiology is dysfunctional at large.

Did you know that stress and its lack of adaptation to it can cause our need for chiropractic care? 

Too much stress and not enough adaptational success can create vertebral subluxation which is a spinal bone that has lost its proper functionality and position within the spinal column and is creating an opportunity to negatively effect the neurological tissue that is within and around the spinal anatomy. 

In turn, chiropractic care can help increase your resistance to stress as it can strengthen the body’s ability to adapt to negative stress by removing neurological interference due to the structure-function relationship at the spinal cord level. 

Responding to the every day demands of stress is innately built within you. 

The body is constantly striving for protection against any threat or opportunity for breakdown to affect the overall well-being of the trillions of cells that make us up. This unwavering ability to protect or resist invasive forces has its limitations, but can be seen in all extreme cases by the stories of the body healing back to a normal state of function against all odds. 

The amount of inner intelligence or wisdom born within all of us is coded for protection. The innate intelligence of the body has one job, that’s to keep your body alive and well against all threats and stress that break us down from either the outside-in or even the inside-out with negative foods and chemicals we feed ourselves with. Sleep well knowing that each night restoration and healing is on the top of the priority list for your body to fight another day’s worth of warfare to being well with positive adaptational success or survival values at the cellular level.

Trent Scheidecker, DC


Trent Scheidecker, DC | ChiroWay of Woodbury | Owner & Chiropractor
Trent Scheidecker, DC frequently visited his chiropractor when he was in high school and knew the benefits he experienced were worth the time and investment to become a chiropractor. He wanted to help his community experience a higher quality of life through regular chiropractic care. In 2010 Trent founded ChiroWay in Woodbury and since that time has served over 3,000 clients. He has been named “Best of Woodbury” in Woodbury Magazine seven times. Trent has also mentored colleagues in practice and franchised ChiroWay in 2012. Today, there are 8 ChiroWay locations throughout Minnesota.