The Zen Corner

Science, Art, and Philosophy of Chiropractic


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Stress

There are 65 trillion chemicals in the brain processed and produced every second of your life. The Pharmaceutical industry knows 11,000 that are on the market. Just from that ratio, we can definitely say that our body has very complex body chemistry. The process of chemicals or messages from the brain to the body can be influenced by many things such as stress! This blog is going to talk about how the body works with stress, and how we can maintain our healing in our body and help the healing process by simple things we can do at home.

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Electric Conducting Gel

First of all, we need to talk about how doe the brain function with stress. When a specific command travels down the spinal cord from the brain to the body, or when sensory information is being transmitted back up the spinal cord to the brain, there is a “flash” of “electricity” that carries the messages. Quick body responses and sensory perceptions are the result.

At the same time though, there is also a low-grade “wave” of radio frequency traveling up and down your spinal cord that determines the “mood” or “tone” of your central nervous system. This affects your level of consciousness and awareness, your mood, and the slower metabolic and hormonal functions of your body.

Scientifically speaking, your spinal cord is a thick string of pizo-electric gel (electricity conducting jelly). The frequency it is working at is determined by the amount of tension and/or torsion being placed at either end of the “string”. Just like the guitar string, the tightness of the cord determines the tune that is being played.

Brain Waves

During the transmission of electrical signals from the brain down the spinal cord, there is certain measurements that can be made with relation to stress, relaxation, and rest.

The pattern of neuronal activity in the cerebral cortical section of the brain can be recorded electrically. This is done by measuring the electrical potential difference between two points on the scalp. The record is known as the electroencephalogram (EEG). Brain waves manifest themselves as oscillating voltage. They have two main dimensions: the frequency of oscillation and the amplitude.

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The EEG is considered to monitor “gross” neuronal activity. It does not monitor individual neuron, but large groupings. Whenever rhythms are seen in the EEG, it is the net result of many thousands of neurons “in unison.”

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The frequency predominately determines the amplitude of the brain wave, but there can be fluctuations of amplitude at a given frequency. Brain waves are broken up into four main categories, determined by the frequency of the wave. The borders of these categories are more or less arbitrary. The following table is approximately correct:

Beta: This is a conscious brain wave. It is characterized as a state of being awake, alert, and concentrating. If this stage is maintained for a prolonged period, it becomes associated with feelings of tension, worry, fear, or anxiety.

Alpha: This is also a conscious state, but identified with the mental experience where images are not identified. It has come to be associated with feelings of pleasure, pleasantness, tranquillity, serenity and relaxation. It can also imply a relaxed concentration.

Theta: Theta has come to be associated with such things as hypnogogic imagery, day dreaming, sleep, cognition of problem solving, future planning, remembering, switching thoughts, and creativity.

Delta: This state is predominately associated with no-dreaming sleep or deep sleep. There are some reports of individuals achieving this set of brain wave patterns and still retain consciousness.

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Sleep Cycle

The EEG pattern changes throughout the night. These changes can determine when dreaming occurs. The chart below is an average sleep cycle during those eight hours.

Stage one is the drowsy period of sleep, characterized by what is known as sleep spindles (spindle-alpha).

Stage two is a sleep where responses to external and/or internal stimulation can occur.

Stage three means you are on your way to Stage 4.

Stage four is deep sleep. It is also delta state and is not associated with dreaming. REM states (Rapid Eye Movement) is where most dreams occur.

Things which lower the EEG frequency are:

  • LSD, sedative drugs
  • Large doses of alcohol
  • Very low blood sugar
  • Lack of oxygen

Things which raise the EEG frequency are

  • Caffeine
  • Small doses of alcohol, barbiturates
  • Low blood sugar
  • Excess of carbon dioxide (CO2)

Hypnosis has little effect on the EEG. What is contained in the hypnotic suggestion is what change frequencies and make the difference. However, influencing your breathing patterns does change and affect the EEG frequency. The key is to change the pattern of electrical frequency from the brain and spinal cord. There are simple exercises that will help to control this which you saw above is to control your breathing!

Breath

The deeper you breathe, the more oxygen you get into your lungs. More oxygen getting into your lungs means more oxygen getting into your blood; because of this, most systems in your body are going to work much more efficiently than they would if you breathed shallowly.

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Inhaling slowly and deeply sends more energy to heal your sympathetic nervous system, which is concerned with preparing your body to react to situations of stress or emergency by accelerating your heart rate, constricting your blood vessels, and raising your blood pressure.

Exhaling slowly and completely gives a signal to your parasympathetic nervous system to help it detoxify more deeply. This system serves to slow the rate and force of your heartbeat, decrease your blood pressure, and enhance your digestion.

The slower you inhale the more oxygen you take in, creating more energy and helping your body to detoxify and cleanse itself better. When you exhale slowly, more energy reaches your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps you relax and also helps to detoxify and cleanse your body.

A good way to control your breathing is through meditation. There are many forms of meditation but if you can find a local Zen Center that will teach you Zen Meditation, that will be a great way to start and they don’t charge you for learning Zen Meditation. Qigong, Tai Chi is another way to learning breathing exercises. There are many Qigong/Tai Chi schools in most cities since they are more popular. Look up a Qigong/Tai Chi school that will teach you the exercises or find some good reputable videos online or library that will teach you a good easy method for beginners. Sometimes these exercises will not be enough. Then we need to look at more deeper which can be a spinal problem.

Chiropractic and Nervous System

Subluxation (misalignment in the spine) affects the sympathetic nervous system is the most likely to create a vulnerable system in which psycho-physiologic disorders may develop. The imbalance between sympathetic and parasympathetic systems leads to dysfunction and pathology.The removal of subluxation may either relieve or diminish the symptomatic intensity of the psychological problem.

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Chronic muscle tension created by imbalances in the nervous system has been intimately associated with neurosis and psychosis. Re-education of proprioceptive feedback from muscles, ligaments and fascia to the spinal cord, reduces cortical excitation, which diminishes the barrage of impulses to the muscles and viscera. Organization and integration of cognitive and cognitive function is restored and a corrective emotional response takes place. Dr. Gonstead noticed that subluxation has caused hormonal imbalances and caused many mental conditions such as depression, nervousness, nervous breakdowns, emotional outbursts, loss of memory, alcoholism, and other miscellaneous mental illnesses.

The cause of subluxation can be complex and hard to pin point the event, but we know that subluxation can cause the inability to mentally adapt to stress. When breathing, Tai Chi/Qigong, Zen meditation, and other conventional therapy doesn’t work, then send them this blog because it might answer a lot of questions regarding stress.

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