What is SD Protocol?

Do you suffer from any of the following?

  • Tight shoulders and neck muscles? 

  • Regular headaches that worsen as the day progresses?

  • Do you feel cold? 

  • Do you feel tired? 

  • Do you have dry skin, brittle nails and does your hair fall out?

  • Are you experiencing digestive issues and/or hormonal issues?

  • Are you sensitive to light or sound?

If you answered yes to a few of these symptoms then the SD Protocol may be just what you need. All of our Chiropractors at Wellness & Vitality Chiropractic are certified SD Protocol Practitioners.

Where it all began...

For twenty-seven years, I’ve been in the business of health and wellness, of restoring and nurturing nervous systems, and caring for patients in the grip of innumerable ailments. My job was never just about dealing with pain and illness though. My passion lay in empowering people to be in control of their health, to be truly well.

Over the years, I found myself caring for hundreds of people who seemed to be in survival mode. Some of them were incredibly busy, running from one thing to the next, caring for others, or nursing the ill. Others were wound- up, doing their best to bear up under the weight of life’s circumstances, or simply putting an incredible amount of pressure on themselves for whatever reason. Some have been dealt cruel hands health-wise. The reasons why these people could be living in survival mode were as innumerable as the conditions they faced.

That’s where the links started appearing in my mind. These patients seemed to be chasing symptoms, seemingly random ones at that. But the more I observed this trend, the less random they seemed to be. I began to see one factor at the root of it all – something we could so easily change, if we only knew about it.

As the dots began connecting for me, I started to see person after person who was in this same boat. They often suffered from the so-called ‘random’ symptoms. Managing them was important, even life-preserving at times. But I couldn’t stay focused purely on symptoms: I needed to go after the cause. Years on, having found a pathway out of this particular health maze, it has been a joy to empower others to do the same.

Sympathetic Dominance

Due to a series of built-in triggers, the brain knows when it needs to activate the fight or flight survival mechanism. It’s called the Sympathetic Nervous System and we’ve known for a long time that it exists. When it activates, it suppresses your digestive system, reproductive system, immune system and the repair functions of the body.


Under normal circumstances, the Sympathetic Nervous System activates in response to extreme physical, cognitive or emotional stress. This is useful as it allows our body to adapt to situations and ensures we have enough fuel for the crisis. Medical science has led to a relatively clear understanding of the reactions in the body in these situations.

What we haven’t explored in depth is what happens when this survival mechanism stays switched on or fired up for extended periods of time. This is when our body’s hardwired stress responses cross out of ‘normal circumstance’ where they are helpful, to a scenario in which prolonged physiological change can actually cause harm.

Modern life doesn’t improve this scenario. We leave demanding jobs and arrive home with financial stress sitting like heavy weights on our shoulders. We wake up with a to-do list as long as our arm. We go to bed knowing the same will wait for us the next day. Some of us have businesses, noisy or demanding family lives. Others have illnesses or sick loved ones that we worry over.

We lie awake at night worrying about mortgages, exams, interviews, relationships, and the list goes on. Typically, we don’t think of these things when we think of fight or flight. But they represent only a handful of issues that can activate the survival mechanism and keep it activated.

The rest of the list may surprise you. It includes the constant barrage of light and noise we deal with, the poor posture we often engage in when we spend hours looking down at our laptops and handheld devices, and the simple fact that many of us are living life in a‘wound up’ state.

Can we live life in complete silence with the lights turned off? No. Can we avoid the use of technology? Absolutely not! Can we avoid stress and the demands of modern life completely, never facing a financial, relational or health stressor ever again? The answer to that is a resounding no!

We can think about whether or not to flex a muscle or go for a walk, but we don’t think about whether or not to go into fight or flight mode. It’s automatic.