Zen and the Art of Chiropractic Adjustment and Healing

Science, Art, and Philosophy of Chiropractic


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Stressed? How do we know?

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Stress is a reaction to a stimulus that disturbs our physical or mental equilibrium. This stimulus comes from various sources. How do we measure this reaction? By symptoms? Blood pressure? Pulse? Blood tests? All of which can be expensive after a while. Heart Rate Variability used to be one of the expensive tests that needed heavy electronic machines but with newer technology, this made the test more accessible. We know from research that there is all kinds of stress and states that we go through on a daily basis. By using Heart Rate Variability we can find out more about our stress and states of our physical and mental conditioning.

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In the world of wellness and longevity healthcare, the topic of heart rate variability is a focus for optimal function. Many physical fitness trainers, psychologists, acupuncturists, osteopaths, chiropractors, and more are utilizing this by analyzing stress and ability to adapt. Heart rate variability is not just monitoring the heart rate but the rhythm and intervals between each heartbeat. Each individual has a specific heart rate variability and for an assessing that norm and comparing it to daily activity and lifestyle is the best indicator of how we are adapting to our environment.

Eustress vs Distress

Eustress is a stress when an individual perceived the event or incident as beneficial to them. Motivates and focuses energy on tasks and goals. Individuals feel excited, performances improve and are within their coping abilities. Eustress is often short-term stress.

Distress is too much stress that can cause anxiety, sorrow, pain, trouble falling asleep. When you had too much eustress and overload yourself with too much can cause distress.

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Homeostasis and Allostasis

Homeostasis as a definition:

“….the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes.”

Homeostasis sounds like a complicated word in the medical word but it is simply putting it as all body chemical process is in balance and harmony to regulate and adapt to the environment.  Homeostasis is a situation where we have established during our healthy and vibrant time in our body. To establish homeostasis can be difficult or simple depending on your health condition. To measure homeostasis has been typically by measuring several parameters of blood laboratory tests, neurological examinations, and cardiovascular measurements.

Allostasis as a definition:

“…the process by which the body responds to stressors in order to regain homeostasis.”

When there is a environmental stress is introduced to a human, the body responds by regaining homeostasis. This is the adaptive component of our body to self-regulate and adapt to the stimulant. The signs of allostasis in our body are when stress hormones, cytokines, and catecholamines are present. When these stressors are constantly stimulating us for a long time, then our ability to adapt starts to fail. This is called allostatic load.

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Stressors are anything that challenges homeostasis and constantly disrupt the process of homeostasis will indicate a stress load. Maintaining homeostasis efficiently will help us have better health, better performances, and better resilience to our environment. Our goal is to maintain this stable environment for the body. Usually, unfamiliar stress causes greater stress response because this process requires greater resources to overcome stress and more recovery time.

When stress is accumulated over time, this becomes the allostatic load. When the allostatic load is too much, the ability to tolerate the load decreases. The wear and tear of the body experience repeated cycles of inefficient regulation of the stress response. Poor performance and increased recovery time will eventually lead to chronic diseases, a higher rate of injury, and higher susceptibility to illness.

Heart Rate Variability

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It is not just a heart rate but it is the inner-beat variability between successive heart contractions. In each heartbeat, there is an electronic signal that is produced and measured by the ECG/EKG representing the ventricular depolarization during a heart contraction. It is called the QRS complex. With the Heart Rate Variability, we are measuring the interval between RR. This is called the RR intervals or inter-beat intervals (IBI). By measuring Heart Rate Variability, we are measuring the change in time or variability between successive heartbeats.

Why is there a variability?

The variability in the heart rate is the result of the allostatic (adaptive) processes of the bodies response to stimulus and other regulatory processes within the body. Having variability is beneficial for the biological system that is complex like our body. There are many regulatory systems that regulate and affect the heart. In the short-term, there is the respiratory system, cardiovascular system, and autonomic nervous system. For long-term, there is circadian rhythm, body temperature, hormonal patterns, cumulative stressors.

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Clinical Indicators of Health!

When we have reduced health, we have decreased adaptability. Which means heart rate variability can significantly decline with decreased health. Changes in Heart Rate Variability have been correlated to 9 out of 10 leading causes of death in the United States.

  • Heart Diseases
  • Cancer
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases
  • Stroke (Cerebrovascular diseases)
  • Alzheimer’s diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Influenza and Pneumonia
  • Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome & nephrosis
  • Intentional self-harm (suicide)

Heart Rate Variability is also linked to many of the risk factors associated with these diseases such as hypertension, obesity, glucose intolerance, insulin sensitivity, and stress. It is also known for an accurate and objective monitor for progression or regression of the disease and health.

Presnological Assessments

Heart Rate Variability is not a diagnosis of diseases listed above.  It is a prenosological assessment that determines that direction of our health is going towards. Prenosological is the determination of potentiality for the failure of the adaptive state. This determination is before the advent of the disease states or symptoms will occur. There are levels of adaptive states in the prenosological assessments.

  1. Proper Adaptive Function
    1. Optimal adaptability of the stressor, and therefore health exists-Not Diagnosable
  2. Prenosological State
    1. Tension on the ability for adaptive response via stressors-Not Diagnosable
  3. Premorbid State
    1. Subpar adaptation begins to occur, possible symptoms-Not Diagnosable
  4. Pathological State
    1. Adaptive failure-Improving diagnostic certainty

There was a large study that assessed the prenosological state of various individuals. With the first proper adaptive functional state was 30% of the public. People with tension on the adaptive system and subpar adaptation together were 40-70% of the population. For the final state of adaptive failure and pathological state were 10-30%. This means there are between 70-90% of individuals that have undiagnosable states of adaptability. (Baevskii, R.M. et al. “Use of principles of prenosological diagnosis for assessing the functional state of the body under stress conditions as exemplified by bus drivers.” Human Physiology 35.1 (2009):34-42. These researchers concluded that people that are in the tension or subpar adaptive states need assessment of the level of health rather than the diagnosis of diseases.

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Conclusion:

Many conditions may need a medical diagnosis because the person may have progressed their condition beyond adaptive capabilities. Stress is something elusive and people may think they need a medical assessment with blood tests and MRI taken to confirm local or physical manifestation of ill health. Sometimes it is a condition where we need to boost the persons’ adaptive capability and they will do fine. Having an HRV analysis helps us to find out what is our pre-medical condition. HRV is one of them and there are many others that are known. Stay tuned for more presnological assessment for functional and adaptive capabilities!

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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 results.

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 piezo-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 are certain measurements that can be made in 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 brainwave. 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, daydreaming, 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 brainwave 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 asleep where responses to external and/or internal stimulation can occur.

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

Stage four is a 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 do 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 are 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 pinpoint 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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Healing from Within

Amazing Facts:new-cells-300x225

50,000 of your cells will die and be replaced with new cells, all while you have been reading this sentence!

Our bodies are recreating themselves constantly. We make a new skeleton every 3 months. Your skin is new every 5 weeks. The skin’s cells multiply every second to replace those worn away. A typical skin cell lives only 2 weeks. A typical cell in the lining of your stomach lives only a few days. Heart and brain cells apparently last a lifetime without reproducing.

The central nervous system is connected to every part of the body by 43 pairs of nerves. 12 pairs go to and from the brain, and 31 pairs go to and from the spinal cord. There are nearly 45 miles of nerves running through our bodies!

Messages travel along the nerves as electrical impulses. At speeds up to 248 miles per hour.

shutterstock_14167231-copyYour body has approximately 14 billion nerve cells and over 100 trillion other cells that provide the communication between all parts of the body.

The number of interconnections that can be made between each brain cell is equivalent to infinity, or the number 1 followed by 6 1/2 million miles of standard typewritten zeros.

A computer working at 400 million calculations per second, operating for one hundred years, would only accomplish what your brain can accomplish in a minute.

One human brain generates more electrical impulses in a single day than all of the world’s telephones put together.

The adult heart beats about 40,000,000 times a year. In one hour the heart works hard enough to produce enough energy to raise almost one ton of weight one yard from the ground.

The tooth is the only part of the human body that cannot repair itself. Everything else in the body can self-repair.

Your ears and nose continue to grow throughout your entire life.

Your body has 206 bones, half of which are in the feet and hands.

The liver is often called the body’s chemical factory. Scientists have counted over 500 different liver functions.

                                    How Does the Body Manage All of this?!

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Are you consciously controlling these physical processes or are they self-regulated by your body? What exactly is it that takes a turkey sandwich and turns it into hair cells, new skin cells, and fingernails? Chiropractors refer to this inborn, self-healing, self-regulating mechanism as Innate Intelligence. The word “innate” means inborn, so a child can have the same amount of Innate Intelligence expressing through their body as a Harvard Professor! The medium or pathway by which this intelligence travels from the brain to the rest of the body is the Nervous System. The nervous system acts as an “information superhighway”, allowing literally billions and billions of bits of information to travel from the brain to the body and vice versa.

This is not a highway that you would want traffic on. In other words, this is not something that you want interfered with in any way. How well your body functions is determined by the quantity and quality of your innate expression. Remember, the wrong message being transferred from one part of the body to another can be just as damaging as no message getting through at all! Our sole objective as Chiropractors is to keep the lines open and allow the “innate intelligence” within the body to express itself at the highest level possible! This is our noble mission here at our Chiropractic office.


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How does a Chiropractor know where to fix?

“The right number and right kind of adjustments can set the stage for nature to heal; too many adjustments in the wrong place can undo any good that was done and slow down the healing mechanism…..Chiropractic is not easy. It is a scientific approach. In order to get those things right, they have to be so right. None of us can be too careful. Too many of the chiropractors are unwilling to really study enough to truly understand spinal mechanics.” Dr. Clarence Gonstead

Who is Dr. Gonstead? For those who have not looked at my website, he is nicknamed as the “miracle man”. He is a Chiropractor that has developed a very detailed and specific adjusting system named after himself. The Gonstead technique is widely known to be very comprehensive and specific technique in analysis and adjustments with less force. He was so busy that he had to build an airstrip for people into his small town in Mount Horeb, WI, and a hotel to accommodate the clients that came to see him from around the world. After seeing 7 million people in his chiropractic career, he was well known to be a Chiropractor of Chiropractors. Dr. Gonstead passed away in 1978 and left an amazing legacy and many students to keep on his teachings.

Not everyone was fortunate to get see Dr. Gonstead for chiropractic adjustments. Most people who had chiropractic adjustments from chiropractors that did not follow to the level of specificity of the technique of Dr. Gonstead had mixed feelings or mixed results after chiropractic adjustments. Some felt nothing changed or worse for that matter.

As you read the quote from Dr. Gonstead in the first paragraph, there are chiropractors that adjust too many and in the wrong place. As a Chiropractor, practicing on each other during Chiropractic school is essential to be a better chiropractor. Also the price of paying with your own spine on getting adjusted on the wrong areas. There was one experience of mine where the student adjusted my spine with a huge cracking noise and he felt the adjustment went well. Although, I had great pain in my low back with radiating pain down my leg for 6 months. So hearing a huge noise does not mean the chiropractic adjustment is the right one, it is the results afterward that determines if the chiropractic adjustment is right or wrong.

Dr. Gonstead said, “…too many chiropractors are adjusting the wrong one!” What is the wrong one is referred to as a compensation for the real problem called subluxation? Subluxation is the misalignment of the spine causing impingement of the nerve that causes loss of function and healing. Compensation is misalignment that is caused by subluxation and creates symptoms like pain. Compensations are very misleading to people who have them and for people who are correcting subluxation. Many people think the most painful spot is the problem and most often times it is not.

“A vertebra which is misaligned because of a subluxation elsewhere is considered a compensation.” Roger W. Herbst D.C. Gonstead Chiropractic Science & Art

Many chiropractors adjust from 7-10 segments in the spine. The most common reason is that if the segment in the spine is not moving, let’s give it motion and then it will feel better. Motion is life! This common philosophy does not distinguish compensation and subluxation. Who has this idea typically adjust everything and anything?  Their thinking might be anything that is misaligned put it back so that the spine is in perfect shape.

Most chiropractors are trying to give everyone the perfect spine. In the Gonstead method, we only care about finding the subluxation and allowing the person’s spine adapt and heal on their own. Some spines look like a bad scoliosis curvature but it is not the Chiropractor’s job to fix scoliosis. Once the body is free from subluxations then the starts to change shapes or adapts better to the person’s stress levels. This may change the spine’s shape to the more efficient structure to the stress that is put on to the spine.

Dr. Gonstead made sure to find the right one and re-analyze after he adjusted a spinal segment. Just to check if the adjustment was enough or too much force. Dr. Gonstead was able to determine whether the disc was acute or chronic, the position of the disc herniation, and much more information on the condition of the nervous system. Dr. Gonstead also used radiological films, observed postural changes, skin inflammation analysis, and listened to your symptoms. Then he put all that information together to find the one or two segments that were the subluxation. This gave future generations of chiropractors that followed Dr. Gonstead to reproduce what he was able to do. That was adjusted about 7 million people in his life and help very difficult conditions that even medical doctors were not able to help.


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Zen Chiropractic:Healing from Within

Who is Dr. Zen?

Zen Matsuda was born here in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Science from Northwestern University in Roseville, Minnesota. After graduation, he continued his study for a Doctorate of Chiropractic in Northwestern Health Science University of Bloomington, MN. While studying Chiropractic, Zen discovered Gonstead Chiropractors which changed his idea about Chiropractic. Spending many hours in seminars, internships, and practice, he learned how to analyze the spine biomechanically and give precise correction to the spine.

In 2010, he opened Zen Chiropractic in Minnesota. Dr. Zen uses his unique name to characterize his approach.  He intended on fusing the eastern and western concepts of healing. Dr. Zen has used the idea of Chi from the east and Chiropractic from the west for inspiring healing from within through adjusting the misalignment of the spine. Zen Chiropractic establishes 100% function and communication of the Brain through the Spinal Cord to the body so that the person will have 100% capacity for mental discipline, and the healing of many physical ailments. Dr. Zen’s patients appreciate the dedication of his work by assisting their mental and physical healing from within.

Dr. Zen met a beautiful Brazilian named Fernanda at The Church of All Nations in 2007, and they were married a year later. Both are active in church, Dr. Zen and Fernanda participates in the Music and Couples Ministry.

Zen Chiropractic Inc.

Zen Chiropractic realizes that pain, whether mental or physical, has a negative impact on our lives and bodies. Zen Chiropractic establishes 100% function and communication of the brain and spinal cord to the body so that the person will be able to function at full mental and physical capacity. Zen Chiropractic gives you healing from within by utilizing of biomechanical concepts of science and energy efficiency of the body.