Zen and the Art of Chiropractic Adjustment and Healing

Science, Art, and Philosophy of Chiropractic


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Functional Disorder of Burn Outs, Fatigue, and Depression.

“I am not as young as I used to be.”both-kids-finally-napping-and-im-like

“I just don’t have the energy anymore.”

“I can’t keep up.”

“I don’t feel like doing anything.”

 

Sounds familiar? Have family members annoyed with you because you can’t be productive or participate in activities? Some people are really trying and yet there is no energy left in the tank. No emotional motivation to make the first step or to get back up. Burnout, fatigue, and depression are symptoms that are just the tip of the iceberg.

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Symptoms are events but Health is a Process

North American’s health care is medical medicine based on symptomatic control. The signs & symptoms are indicators for medical professions to measure the outcome of each case is under control and to observe the survival of the person’s overall condition. Most people who have survived the medical condition simply assumed that their condition is stable and have no need for any further health care.

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As we all know that health care is not an episode but a process. Assuming that after a visit to the dentist there is no need for brushing teeth is not what the dentist recommends. Our health is a process of growth and decay at a rapid pace. There are billions of chemical molecules that are being interchanged, modified, consumed, processed, and wasted as a resource for our body to maintain its brain activity.

Brain Budget

As we focus our topic to our brain, it is the most sensitive to disturbances in energy generation. The adequate supply of ATP which is a sub-unit of the organic compound for cells to utilize for energy metabolism is essential for life. For the brain, even the short-term interruption of this process can lead to long-lasting and irreversible damage(1). The large cost of energy in neural processing suggests that efficiency will be critical for an organism’s survival (2) A great majority of the energy used by the Central Nervous System (Brain and Spinal Cord) cells is for processes that subserve physiological functioning. Energy requirements may increase many-fold with increasing activity (3). Economizing our energy for the brain is essential for our health care.

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Your Phone is Burning You Out

The usage of electronic devices and its complexity has increased since the invention of the smartphone and many other electronic devices. Virtual reality is a full integration of the brain and getting close to a fiction movie called “Matrix.” The multitasking is an addiction that creates a dopamine-addiction feedback loop and increases stress hormone cortisol(4,5). This is the fight-or-flight hormone adrenaline, that can overstimulate your brain and cause over-expenditure of energy consumption of the brain. To have such a lifestyle with electronics, it is vital to have maximal physiological activity and not have any energy limitation. Otherwise, it can be a problem for the normal activity of the brain (3).phone-addiction

More Brain Activity=Higher Energy Costs

Most of our electronics require us to use our eyes and hands. This will include sensory and motor control for the brain to expend energy and communicate with the brain for thinking, responding, interpreting, etc for a post on a facebook page. The higher the brain activity, the higher the energy expenditure and faster the fatigue(6). The nerve in the eyes, which interpret the information on the electronic devices, can have a large impact on the energy supply (7).

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The lack of supply in energy resources from increased demands leads to many diseases. It is obvious that our brain and the nervous system are becoming maladaptive in the context of modern environment changes. As people get in fight-or-flight mode constantly and become infected or have trauma, the demands for energy resources will be diminished even more (8). A typical example of depression is a result of the brain that is exhausted in neurotransmitters to keep the brain active and productive to adapt to the stressful environment.

Conditions that Cause More Energy Expenditure

Energy expenditure is a well-known topic in neurophysiological science. When this energy expenditure is causing more problems than it should, they start to suspect Dysponesis, Dysautonomia, and Dyskinesia.

Dysponesis is a functional disorder that makes you sensitive to stress and you do not respond well. You do not adapt well, energy efficiency goes down, and you are completely unaware of this situation. “It is basically a reversible physiopathologic state composed of errors in energy expenditure that interfere with nervous system function and thus with control of organ function….. Among the numerous clinical manifestations are fatigue and exhaustion, insomnia, headache, backache, hyperventilation, anxiety and depression, “indigestion,” impotence, frigidity, and spastic colon.” (10)

Dysautonomia refers to an abnormality of the function of the autonomic nervous system. In people suffering from dysautonomia, the autonomic nervous system loses that balance, and at various times the parasympathetic or sympathetic systems inappropriately predominate. Symptoms can include frequent vague but disturbing aches and pains, faintness (or even actual fainting spells), fatigue and inertia, severe anxiety attacks, tachycardia (fast heart rate), hypotension (low blood pressure), poor exercise tolerance, gastrointestinal symptoms, sweating, dizziness, blurred vision, numbness and tingling, pain, and (quite understandably) anxiety and depression (11,12).

Dyskinesia refers to distortion or impairment of voluntary movement. Spinal segmental dyskinesis is a joint misalignment throughout the entire range of motion of the involved joint. It is well known with Parkinson’s disease of increased muscular rigidity and involuntary movements of dyskinesia increase energy requirements(13). Even if we are not diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease we can still have dyskinesia in a different form.

Knowing what kind of neurological activity that might be occurring, we will address all of these conditions and processes on how it happens, how to see the signs, and what would be the solutions in the future articles.

Brain Energy

You can not increase your brain’s capacity of how much energy you have. You can economize them, you can save them, and continue intake of nutrients to continue brain activity but you can not have more or keep your brain cells at a rapid activity at a constant rate. You will run out of resources before you know what is going on. People are commonly ignoring signs and symptoms of seemingly minor problems when there are so many things that need attention, such as your baby needs a diaper change or paying the bills.

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To Conserve and economize energy by stopping all activities is impossible for a busy lifestyle or when you have kids, work, multiple jobs, and etc. Unless you live in a timeless world that allows you to slow down or stop all activities. Trying to limit the amount of brain activity such as fasting from electronics or turning off all phones while driving will be simple things that will help to economize brain activities (16). Simpler tasks instead of multi-tasking all the time will help you from overloading your brain with too many activities. Many monasteries start with very simple tasks and meditation to help in processing, interpreting, detoxing, and rest from the busy world. We can do similar things in our daily activities of living. Keep it simple.

5-Types-Of-Meditation-Techniques-And-Their-BenefitsFiltering unnecessary brain activity will be an impossible task. In this modern age of electronics and high-speed internet, we are trying to go faster in getting information and more quantity of information. Unplugging yourself from all this information is what we do when we sleep to regenerate resources. Our brain needs to cut down activities to regenerate and restock resources for the next period of activities. Temporary shut down may be needed for high-stress individuals and constant high brain activities (17). People can take short naps or sessions to meditate and regenerate resources as you reduce the fight or flight response by slowing down to rest and digest. Slow and grow.

brain food

Intake of nutrients to continue brain activity in which most people do by taking stimulants such as coffee, eating lunch for energy resources, taking supplements to keep your brain activity to a high level. When your brain is deficient in much needed organic biochemicals for the billions of processing in a split second, this will create a problem so your body will start to take necessary chemicals from other parts of the body. Your body will start to break down muscle, fats, and carbohydrates from all over of your body to fulfill the brain’s needs (14). As the condition gets worse, people develop symptoms that result in prescribed medication. Keeping a good biochemical balance is to provide enough nutrient sources in your meals and supplements. Another way to get more chemicals for brain activity is exercise. This is well known for wellness enthusiasts because by using physical exercises we stimulate hormones and brain chemicals for more motor function stimulation. When we have more motor function stimulation of your muscles, we focus our frontal premotor cortex for muscle function and cognitive function (15). This will help counter the limbic system which causes larger stress response and unstable mood control. Eat well, move well, think well.

Conclusion:

BrainGarden

Your brain is like a garden. You need to nurture and give good nutrients to the plants. The brain producing complex abstract cognitive thought process is like the garden producing fruits and vegetables that are produced in the garden. The more you try to superficially handle it, or leave it alone, your garden will not be successful. Your brain is the same way and highly functional but vulnerable to problems and disorders.

Functional disorders may confuse people and conventional medical care might just be treating the symptoms but not the cause. High stress and continuous lifestyles stimulation from electronics are usually the stressors. Our brain will decline and degenerate from constant brain activity with no regeneration and rest. To help you allocate your brain’s activity efficiently, chiropractor or other practitioners that understand functional disorders and monitors them is essential. Healthy lifestyles are the key. Keep it simple, slow and grow, eat well, move well, and think well.

References:

  1. M Erecinska et al./Progress in Neurobiology 73 (2004) 434
  2. http://www.cnbc.cmu.edu/~gotts/thesis/gottsThesisCh1.pdf
  3. A. Ames / Brain Research Reviews 34 (2000) 62
  4. Reinecke, Leonard, et al. “Digital stress over the lifespan: The effects of communication load and internet multitasking on perceived stress and psychological health impairments in a German probability sample.” Media Psychology 20.1 (2017): 90-115.
  5. Paridon, Hiltraut M., and Marlen Kaufmann. “Multitasking in work-related situations and its relevance for occupational health and safety: Effects on performance, subjective strain and physiological parameters.” Europe’s Journal of Psychology 6.4 (2010): 110-124.
  6. Korf, Jakob., and Gramsbergen Jan B. “Timing of potential and metabolic brain energy.” Journal of Neurochemistry (2007), 103, 1697-1708
  7. Laughlin, Simon B. “Energy as a constraint on the coding and processing of sensory information.” Current Opinion in Neurobiology (2001), 11:475
  8. Yun, J Anthoney, Lee Y. Patric, Doux, D, John, Conley, R. Buford, “A general theory of evolution based on energy efficiency: its implication for diseases.” Medical Hypothesis (2006) 66, 667.
  9. https://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-symptoms-effects_of-stress-on-the-body#2
  10. Whatmore G.B., Kohli D.R. (1979) Dysponesis: A Neurophysiologic Factor in Functional Disorders. In: Peper E., Ancoli S., Quinn M. (eds) Mind/Body Integration. Springer, Boston, MA
  11. Reichgott MJ. Clinical Evidence of Dysautonomia. In: Walker HK, Hall WD, Hurst JW, editors. Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition. Boston: Butterworths; 1990. Chapter 76. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK400/
  12. Dysautonomia, A family of misunderstood disorders. Richard N. Fogoros, M.D., About.com Guide Updated November 13, 201q
  13. Bachmann, C. G., and Trenkwalder, C. (2006), Body weight in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Mov. Disord., 21: 1824-1830. doi:10.1002/mds.21068
  14. Gómez-Pinilla, Fernando. “Brain Foods: The Effects of Nutrients on Brain Function.” Nature reviews. Neuroscience 9.7 (2008): 568–578. PMC. Web. 3 Oct. 2018.
  15. Gomez-Pinilla, F. Zhuoang, Y., Feng Z., Ying G. Fan, “Exercises impacts brain-derived neurotrophic factor plasticity by engaging mechanisms of epigenetic regulation.” European Journal of Neuroscience. (2010) Vol. 33, 3, 383-390
  16. Brewer, Judson A. et al. “Meditation Experience Is Associated with Differences in Default Mode Network Activity and Connectivity.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 108.50 (2011): 20254–20259. PMC. Web. 4 Oct. 2018.
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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 on 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 misinformation 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 the plumb 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 is 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 is 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 note, 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 of oxygen to 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 promotes a relaxing state for a better meditative state.

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Anim-breathing-(8SpCB=GEN)

Further research has been conducted to analyze breathing patterns. There are many patterns that are induced by 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 Dorland’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 the 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 to be 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 the 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 the quantitative assessment of variation in the time interval between heartbeats. HRV is able to show how your body is responding to stressors, the overall balance of the nervous system, and even fitness performance. Compared to EEGs, HRV tests shows more information about 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?