The Zen Corner

Science, Art, and Philosophy of Chiropractic


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Meditate in Ease

“Zazen, wabi/sabi and then Chiropractic,” the previous blog, was written about posture in Zazen and how crucial in proper meditation. Improper posture will make the meditation called Zazen more difficult or harder than normal. Improper posture can be caused by many things such as a condition called subluxation in Chiropractic. In this blog, there will be additional information about posture, breathing, and mental state and how it can influence the quality of your meditation experience. To have the best meditation in ease is to eliminate conditions of dysponesis.

Before we talk about dysponesis, here is one fact. The human nervous system is innately geared towards survival of the whole entire body. This ability to survive manifests itself by efficient use of energy for all the metabolic and physiological process. These processes of survival are all based upon the input from the environment that the body receives. Conserving energy or efficient use of energy to optimal function to express life.

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Our body has sensory nerve endings that will take in information and adapt to any environmental changes. Lack of proper integration of this information will lead to mis-information to the brain and leads to dysponesis. Dysponesis is described by Dr. Christopher Kent,

“Dysponesis is a reversible pathophysiologic state. It is composed of neurophysiologic reactions to various agents, and the repercussions of these reactions throughout the organism. The neurophysiologic reactions consist mainly of covert errors in energy expenditure. To the chiropractor, it is essential to develop clinical strategies which are effective in disclosing these covert errors in energy expenditure and correcting them.”

Dysponesis will lead to improper sensory integration, inefficient/imbalance in muscle coordination, disability, disease states, symptoms, and loss of optimal function to the human body.

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There are many measurements that are able to detect dysponesis. Being able to visualize the body provides tangible measurements, although there might be some information will be missed. Traditional techniques such as plum line or bilateral body weights were used to make observable postural changes and weight distributions. Our body has a reflex, called the righting reflex, utilized by our eyes to make sure our eyes are horizontal to the plane for the most efficient energy expenditure. The plum line analysis and bilateral body weight distributions can show the muscle that are being over-utilized or underperforming for an energy efficient structure. (Dynamic posture in walking and running will be considered in future blog posts.) This method will reach its limits due to the complex and abstract nature of our dynamic body structure.

Modern technology has found a way to measure complex and dynamic body structure. Modern surface EMG equipment are able to display real time action of muscle groups for excess energy expenditure. As we are sitting still, all of our muscles are contracting and relaxing to adapt to the sitting posture. Modern surface EMGs are very sensitive and able to read and measure every small contraction that is made by the muscle. With this measurement we are able to assess efficient energy expenditure and in turn measure dysponesis.

The next measurement that is a bit more difficult to understand is the reflex control of breathing. For the purpose of this blog, breathing reflex will be discussed in simpler terms and the physiology will not be discussed. It is important to not, however, that breathing reflex is a very complex set of several reflexes and when there are inefficient breathing patterns the nervous system to shift a negative state of conserving energy for oxygen. Due to the importance in oxygen for our brain and body, breathing reflex is a highly controlled mechanism and this reflex is a primary concern for all physiological processes.

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Breathing reflex is well known in many meditation techniques. Breathing from the belly instead of chest breathing. Chest breathing increases the speed of oxygen but less oxygen is taken in. In turn you expel less CO2 and create hyperventilation and increase the fight or flight responses. If belly breathing is done properly, oxygen intake is increased as is the expelling of CO2. This will stimulate the parasympathetic system which induces rest and digest and promote a relaxing state for a better meditative state.

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Further research has been conducted to analyze breathing patterns. There are many patterns that are induced from uncoordinated muscle control of the breathing muscles. Most belly breathing does not emphasize on which muscles to contract. There can be compartmentalized breathing that is observable in the spine that is concomitant with breathing. Normal breathing should not be compartmentalized, decreased, or incomplete in the breathing pattern. The pattern in breathing should start from the pelvis. A respiratory wave moves smoothly towards the neck and moves back down the spine to the pelvis. If in any way this pattern is obstructed, there creates a lack of coordination in the breathing reflex and this results in dysponesis.

Final measurement will be our mental state in dysponesis. Meditation should be an exercise to help distressed mental states, although there can be an underlying condition that will hinder towards performing meditation for individuals. According to Doreland’s Medical Dictionary, dysponesis is a misdirected neurophysiological reaction to various agents such as environmental events, bodily sensations, emotions, and thoughts. Individuals with PTSD, ADHD, anxiety or other mental conditions may have difficult a time performing meditation.

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To measure mental state, there are many ways to measure such as EEG or HRV. eeg-brain-imageElectroencephalogram or EEG measures electrical wave from the brain for the state of being which is mentioned in another blog “Stress.” EEG measures the state of the brain by stimulating the brain waves into a certain pattern, it will help the mental state into being more calm and meditative. It may help to see that meditative state but there are very specific requirements to fulfill the test and many things can cause inaccurate reading if the assessment is not prepared properly and professionally. Also EEG measurements are not readily available because it is very expensive and healthcare specialists are needed to perform the test.

Heart Rate Variability or HRV on the other hand is less expensive and measures the state of mental conditions like the EEG. HRV measures the real time measurement of the cardiac rhythm and provides quantitative assessment of variation in time interval between heartbeats. HRV is able to show how your body is responding to stressors, overall balance of the nervous system, and even fitness performance. Compared to EEGs, HRV tests shows more information of the overall function and energy expenditure which is dysponesis.HRV

After finding dysponesis, addressing them properly with chiropractic adjustments will be much more specific and scientific.  Does your chiropractor have all these assessments to address dysponesis?

 

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Emotional Health and Well-Being

“Chiropractors correct abnormalities of the intellect as well as those of the body.”—D. D. Palmer, Discoverer of Chiropractic.

 

Shortly after its discovery, chiropractic’s mind-healing (psycho-therapeutic) effects were observed. Many individuals suffering from severe as well as mild conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, excess tension, depression, “mental dullness” and other conditions reported relief of their problems.

Due to chiropractic’s success in this area, chiropractic sanitariums were founded throughout the United States. They reported success rates far better than medical sanitariums and institutions.

Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI)

Today the new scientific discipline of mind-body relationships (PNI or psychoneuroimmunology) is revealing the many ways that your thoughts and feelings affect your physical health and the many ways your physical health affects your emotional health.

PNI has discovered (actually rediscovered) that many conditions considered “emotional” or “mental” may in fact be neurological, due to a malfunctioning nervous system. When nervous system function is improved, many conditions considered “emotional” can resolve. This has been especially obvious following chiropractic care.

How Does Chiropractic Affect Mental Health?

Chiropractic promotes a “sound mind in a sound body” by removing a serious form of nervous system damage, the vertebral subluxation complex (“subluxation”). When the interference of the nervous system’s function are relieved by chiropractic adjustments, psychological health has been observed to improve. Your nervous system appears to be a “bridge” or intermediary between your mind and body. Its proper functioning affects both ends of the “bridge” when you are freed from subluxations.

…almost everyone adjusted [for subluxation] is benefited. Chiropractors should occupy posts in every mental hospital.

–Herbert C. Hender, MD, chief psychiatrist at the Clear View Sanitarium

 

Clinical Observations

Chiropractic has shown dramatic effects on children diagnosed with emotional and/or learning disorders. Among benefits noticed are improved IQ, improved behavior, better attention span and concentration, and improved vision, hearing and muscular coordination. In many cases children were able to stop taking Ritalin and other drugs.

All children diagnosed with learning and behavioral problems, including hyperactivity (ADD, ADHD), dyslexia, autism, Asperger’s syndrome, developmental delay and other “nervous system” disorders need to have their spines checked by a chiropractor.

Chiropractic has never been observed to reduce or remove phobias and stress. However, the benefits of subluxation correction are not only for those with observed problems; all children as well as adults may get a “brain boost” from chiropractic care.

Decreased Blood To The Brain?

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Subluxations appear to decrease blood supply to certain parts of the brain and this may be why whiplash and accident victims exhibit nervousness, stress, concentration, vision and emotional symptoms. It has also been observed that preschool children who have experienced even a mild head injury can have neurological problems years later.

Research studies and clinical observation indicate that one way chiropractic helps brain function is by increasing blood supply to the brain. There may also be other mechanisms as well.

Since childhood is so full of falls and accidents, a chiropractic spinal checkup should be as much a part of a child’s health care as vision and hearing checkups. How many conditions considered “emotional” in adults may be due to a fall or accident in childhood that has compromised the nervous system? No one knows.

What Outcome Studies Reveal

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Outcome studies have revealed the psychological benefits of chiropractic care. In one study of 2,818 chiropractic patients those under regular chiropractic care reported greater physical health, improved emotional health, less stress in their lives and enhanced life enjoyment.

Other outcome studies have also revealed that chiropractic patients report improved mental health, more vitality and better overall health status.

Chiropractic…is the last frontier of physical treatment of disorders of the mind…It is not surprising that chiropractic lifts depression…will become an important tool in psychiatric treatment…chiropractic has hardly yet started on a predictable course to its pinnacle as the most used procedure in Medicine.—R.F. Gorman, Australian researcher and physician

Please be aware that chiropractic is not for physical or emotional/mental disorders, it is for people. No matter what condition or disease you or your loved ones may be manifesting, being free of vertebral subluxations is absolutely necessary for complete physical and emotional health and well-being.

Dr. Gonstead’s Clinical Observations on Emotionall Health

Dr. Gonstead’s clinical experiences of 7 million people gave him a very deep understanding of the spine and how subluxations will cause emotional health issues. In Dr. Gonstead’s seminars he mentioned many conditions he has helped such as Depression, Nervousness, Nervous Break Downs, Mental Illness, Emotional Problems, Senility and Loss of Memory, Alcoholism, Amnesia, and Perception problems/Dyslexia.  Often times he mentioned the bodies ability to control chemical responses, mostly hormones were out of control from the result of subluxation.

When subluxation scrambles the communication of the brain to the rest of the body, the chemicals such as neurotransmitters/hormones/neuropeptides/etc that comes from the brain and goes out of control. There can be too much chemicals or less chemicals produced by the glands, reproductive organs, digestion organs, and many more. Obvious solution was to correct subluxations but many Chiropractors failed to see good results as much as Dr. Gonstead’s clients because the other Chiropractors failed to understand that there is no formula.

There is no formula because everyone has different bodies, people came from different places, grew up with different experiences, ate differently, and has done many different activities. All of these will determine the make up of the person’s spine and the adaptation of the brain to the environment. Dr. Gonstead understood that fact and always find had a clear mind and look at each person as a unique situation. When other Chiropractors that has failed to look at each individuals and stuck with their formula of adjusting certain areas of the spine resulting to seldom results.

Instead of doing formulas, Dr. Gonstead was always understanding physiology of the organs in the body. For emotional well-being, he often referred to as ‘Problems with the Body Chemistry.’ The body chemistry problems usually consisted on Thyroid, Adrenals, Ovaries/Testes, and Pituitary glands.  He looked in the corresponding nerves on spinal segments on the autonomic nervous system. He then would look at the full spine x-ray film and determined what was mechanically going on with the spine. Then he would examine the person and find the subluxation and correct that segment.

Ever since his grand work and experiences noted on “The Notes,” by Dr. Carr and Dr. Donahue, many people were able to understand further his ideas and never took Chiropractic as a formula. His students has further studied his work and progressing to understand the human body and how Chiropractic can change emotional health and well-being.

Well adjusted family is a happier family (we really adjust people one at a time).


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What you can not see or feel.

Imagine a surprised expression on a five-year-old’s face when they learn their heart is a pump which never stops working, even when they are asleep. The wonderful truth is that their circulation system works well without their even knowing one of the most basic things about their body. Our circulation systems work independently from our knowledge. Our lives neither begin nor stop because of our knowledge. Information and knowledge come later in life, but our bodies work regardless. Obviously, if life began to work only when we understood it, then none of us would be living today.

Actually, isn’t it true, with exception of health care professionals, we live our lives without understanding how the intricate systems of our own bodies work? The surprise expressed by the child at his discovery was a symbolic event. This surprise is repeated throughout our lives as we discover more and more about ourselves. The question is: what happens when our body gets stressed? How do we adapt to our stress on our body? How does our heart react to physical, chemical, and emotional stress?images

The Pulse Wave Profiler (PWP) helps us to determine your overall ability to adapt to stress. The PWP measures your adaptability to stress by looking at the timing of your pulse, and determining the balance and tone of your nervous system; this exam is known as heart rate variability (HRV). Proper balance and tone are associated with better adaptability and a healthy lifestyle. Low heart rate variability is associated with aging and poor heart health. Published research has shown that chiropractic adjustments have a beneficial effect on heart rate variability and monitor our adaptability to physical, chemical, and emotional stress.

The Pulse Wave Profiler (PWP) allows the autonomic nervous system to be monitored in new ways by collecting Heart Rate Variability (HRV) data. Heart Rate Variability is the beat-to-beat variation in heart rate. This natural rise and fall of heart rate is caused by several physiologic phenomena, including breathing and autonomic nervous system activity. Healthcare professionals utilize HRV for a wide variety of clinical applications. Chiropractors use HRV to get a window into how the autonomic nervous system (ANS) modulates heart rate in the baseline or resting state. Published research has demonstrated that chiropractic adjustments have favorable effects on HRV parameters. For the first time, instead of measuring parameters on or around the spine, we are able to directly measure the effect of chiropractic care on the function of a vital organ.

Many people cannot feel or see what is going on internally and they are highly dependent on pain or other symptoms to determine their present health condition. Like the innocent and ignorant 5 year old child who doesn’t know how their heart is working, the absence of symptoms doesn’t mean health problems don’t exist. Dr. Zen has had many clients who thought they were healthy and didn’t have problems who ended up having cancer, disc herniations, heart attacks, diabetes, and many other health problems. Dr. Zen has seen many clients with menstrual cycle issues, depression, ADHD, Parkinson’s disease, migraines, and many more. The common health problem in these clients has been the imbalance of the nervous system, an inability to adapt to stressors, and an inability to heal their degenerated bodies. In addition to the Pulse Wave Profiler, spinal thermographs, and Surface Electromyography of the Spine are also used at Zen Chiropractic Inc. to determine the cause of the neurological problems that we can’t see or feel.

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