The Zen Corner

Science, Art, and Philosophy of Chiropractic


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Nervoscope

 

Written by: Brooke Preston-Chiropractic Intern at Zen Chiropractic Inc. DBA Zen Healing Center

What is the nervoscope?EDL100_dd.jpg

The nervoscope is a thermal device that provides a comparative measure of small differences in temperature from one side of the skin of the back and paraspinal musculature to the other. Thermocouple instruments such as the nervoscope and delta T consist of two thermal sensors and a housing unit(8). When the sensors are at different temperatures, this causes a movement of the needle on the screen of the device, allowing for objective or measurable heat findings. These objective findings can be used as a part of the chiropractic exam and also reviewed at the end of the visit to show objective, numerical evidence of a change in local body temperature.

Why would this change in heat occur in our patient?
thermal-before1Thermography findings are largely accepted as resulting from changes in underlying blood vascularity(10, 11). There are two main mechanisms that are thought to cause these changes. The first being the production of inflammation and release of inflammatory mediators. Many know the signs of inflammation as swelling, heat, altered movement, redness, and pain. The chiropractor is looking for a combination of these in their exam. In this case, the heat produced by local inflammation is what is being measured by the nervoscope. The second mechanism being the cutaneous axon reflex. This reflex occurs as a result of increased activity of recurrent meningeal, or sinuvertebral, nerve. This nerve innervates the intervertebral disc(8). The intervertebral disc is a piece of fibrocartilage that helps distribute loads to the spine. Due to the cutaneous axon reflex, sweat glands and blood vessels in the skin have altered function at one single level and side of the spine which results in a temperature difference(3, 4, 7, 8, 13).

Is this test reliable?
Handheld devices, common to the chiropractic profession, have been evaluated and shown to give moderate to excellent inter-examiner reliability over short time durations(2, 12). Good intra and inter-rater reliability have been found when scanning the thoracic spine, or middle back, in studies done on the nervoscope, however, these results did not extend to the cervical spine, or neck (1).Scope-1-C7.jpg

In Plaugher’s study to determine the reliability of the practitioner in comparison to themselves and other practitioners, found fair-to-moderate reliability in one area and substantial in another(9). All of the patients in this study were asymptomatic or without symptoms. With the mechanism of heat changes described above it is reasonable to assume that with a test group of symptomatic patients there would be even greater reliability results, however, further testing needs to be done with dual probe instrument thermography to extrapolate any sort of conclusions. In this authors opinion, this particular study’s design would be the model to follow for further studies(9).

Is there controversy with the equipment?
Some have reservations about the utilization of the nervoscope and seek to discredit it, however, it is important to understand the credibility and motives of such voices. One man is Stephen Barrett. The US court system declared that “Stephen Barrett is biased and unworthy of credibility” in the NCAHF v. King case. Originally a psychologist, he was forced to give up his medical license in 1993. However, due to Barrett’s degree, people trust him whether his license was revoked or not. Barrett makes money off of posting inflammatory content tearing down anything that doesn’t match his specific beliefs to his blog, Quackwatch and the blog that he co-authors with a Doctor of Chiropractic, Samuel Homola, Chirobase. There are many websites that question the validity and motives of Dr. Stephen Barrett(5, 6).

Homola, another voice against nervoscope utilization, receives money from traffic to chirobase. Homola’s books are readily advertised on the site and the more traffic these posts get, the greater chance he has of padding his retirement fund(5). It is important to consider the financial gain these two stand to make as a potential bias and to not discount or discredit instrumentation based on the opinion of few where research encouraging its utilization is available.

References:

(1) Chang L, Abernathy M, O’Rourke D, Dittberner MK, Robinson C. The evaluation of posterior thoracic temperatures by telethermography, thermocouple, thermistor, and liquid crystal thermography. Thermocouple 1985;1:95-101

(2) DeBoer KF, Harmon RO, Chambers R, Swank L. Inter and Intraexaminer reliability study of paraspinal infrared temperature measurements in normal students. Research Forum 1985; Autumn:4-11

(3) Guyton, AC. Textbook of medical physiology. Sixth ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co., 1981:710

(4) Hamilton BL. An overview of proposed mechanisms underlying thermal dysfunction. Thermocouple 1985: 1:81-7.

(5) https://www.chirobase.org. Web. 2018.

(6) https://www.quackwatch.org. Web. 2018.

(7) Mitchell GAG. Anatomy of the autonomic nervous system. London: E and S Livingstone Ltd, 1955:116-118.

(8) Plaugher, G. Textbook of Clinical Chiropractic. P93-97

(9) Plaugher G., Lopes M., Melch P., Cremata E., The Inter and Intraexaminer Reliability of a Paraspinal Skin Temperature Differential Instrument

(10) Plaugher G. Skin temperature assessment for neuromusculoskeletal abnormalities of the spinal column: a review of the literature. J. Manipulative Physiol Ther 1992;15:July/Aug

(11) Rademacher, WJ. A Premise for Instrumentation.

(12) Spector B., Fukuoka F, Kanner L., Thorschmidt E. Dynamic thermography: a reliability study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1981;4:5-10

(13) Wall PD, Devor M. Sensory afferent impulses originate from dorsal root ganglia as well as from the periphery in normal and injured rats. Pain 1983;17:321-339.

Note: This blog article is written by an intern that has a bright future in Chiropractic. She is eventually going to lead her practice in her community and hopefully the Gonstead Clinical Study Society as well.  Dr. Zen Matsuda D.C. G.C.S.S. Diplomate, C.C.W.P

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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.

Eustress-and-Distress

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.

allostasis

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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Cancer, Alzheimer’s and Cardiovascular Disease has a Link!

This is a research article review research paper from Clinical Science issue 2012 titled, “You may need the vagus nerve to understand the pathophysiology and to treat disease.” The research article writes about treating the vagus nerve, located in the upper neck, reduces the health risk of major diseases which are inflammatory reactions, increased oxidative stress, and excess stress responses. The vagus nerve activity can be measured by a non-invasive evaluation by Heart Rate Variability.

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High-Risk Diseases

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Frequent causes of death that are worldwide have been attributed to cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Another category that has been on the rise has been the Metabolic Syndrome. This syndrome includes risk factors of obesity, elevated blood lipids, elevated glucose, and blood pressure. All of these diseases and risk factors are manifested differently in clinical science and the screening process, complex treatments, prevention measures are expensive! This paper is attempting to suggest a screening process of pre-medical conditions before they start to have morbid diseases and health risks.

The hypothesis of this research paper is linking all the high-risk health factors have a common problem with the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is a nerve that is extending from the brain stem down and front of the neck and travels down in most of the vital internal organs. (https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1875813-overview#a1) This vagus nerve can be evaluated by Heart Rate Variability which is an in invasive and non-expensive assessment.

 

Hypothesis

The article proposes three hypothesis on how the vagus nerve is involved.

Hypothesis 1: Better Vagal Nerve Activity, Reduced Risk

Hypothesis 2: Vagus Nerve Keeps the Stress response and inflammation in check

Hypothesis 3: Poor Vagus Nerve Function means higher risk for a disease.

Solution: Heart Rate Variability Assessments:

Heart Rate Variability is an assessment that measures the beat-to-beat variation in heart rate. This natural rise and fall of heart rate are caused by several physiologic phenomena, including breathing and autonomic nervous system activity. Healthcare professionals utilize HRV for a wide variety of clinical applications. Previous blog (https://zenchiropractic.wordpress.com/2013/04/) has mentioned how this is a way to measure the performance of the vagus nerve.

vagus-nerve-stimulation

Health Risk Factors

There are health risk factors that lead to major diseases like the cardiovascular disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s diseases. The following three are the major steps that lead to major diseases:

  • Oxidative Stress
  • Inflammation
  • Excessive Stress Response

For more information about these steps, scroll further down for a more detailed summary of the article.

 

Oxidative Stress

jealousy

Oxidative stress is a condition where free radicals are flowing through your bloodstream. It is an unstable molecule that can damage cells by damaging the molecular structure of the cell. A free radical is a single person showing up to couples only dance party and stealing a partner from one of the couples thus creating a chain reaction. Simple a molecule needs even-electron ions to stabilize and a free radical is uneven and desperately wants to be even. To counter this situation it always adds antioxidants which neutralize the free radical.

Oxidative stress occurs when the free radicals are overwhelming the antioxidants and leading to damaging cellular structures such as DNA. Damaging the DNA of the cell can lead to transforming them into malignant cells. Also, oxidative stress can damage LDL, which carry cholesterol and create promotion of inflammation for plaques in the arteries in the heart and lead to cardiovascular diseases. This same process can happen in the artery of the brain and that leads to stroke and damaging nerve cells in the brain.

Inflammation

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Inflammation isn’t an evil, it is a necessary process for the body to heal. It is the amount of inflammation that causes more risks. Normally inflammation is like construction or house remodeling. Your house or building is the body and all the construction and remodeling will cause an increase of dust, extra equipment in the hallways, plastics taped on the walls and carpets, and more people in the area! This will clog up the hallway or room and often involves destruction or construction of walls. Inflammation is similar to this while the immune cells are repairing damaged artery lining, kill infected or malignant cells. Inflammation serves to prevent tumor cells to grow, infected cells to take over our body, repair damaged tissue.

image_Inflammatory-Response2

Inflammation becomes a problem when there is too much inflammation or the process goes out of control.  When the inflammation process in the artery increases too much it will start to clog up and cause elevated blood pressure and a blood clot to form which leads to cardiovascular disease. When inflammation process goes out of control and the immune cells start to attack good cells; this we call auto-immune diseases and can result in degeneration of the brain called neurodegeneration.

Excessive Stress Responses

Stress responses involve the sympathetic nervous system activity to increase fight or flight response. When this stressful state stays long term, this will fatigue and exhaust your body. This stressful state involves increased blood pressure, arteries to constrict, increased blood sugar, decrease digestive and many more! (https://www.diffen.com/difference/Parasympathetic_nervous_system_vs_Sympathetic_nervous_system) This can easily explain how increased stress response can contribute to cardiovascular diseases with increased blood pressure. During an emergency stressful state, the blood is mainly flowing toward muscles for survival. Increased adrenaline and noradrenaline, increases the opportunity for the tumor cells to grow since all the immune cells activity are slowed down to emphasize the survival state.

Conclusion:

To summarize this article, the authors were pointing out that the vagus nerve activity is vital in finding out the precursors for most common diseases that cause death worldwide. To analyze the vagus nerve, Heart Rate Variability is highly recommended due to good data from other research articles.

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Essential to Life

What is essential to survive and thrive?

Well, we know that we need to drink water, breath oxygen, and consume food sources to sustain the body’s needs. There is another important factor that will be more essential than drinking water, breathing oxygen, and consuming food sources. What can be more important than breathing air? drinking water? or consuming food?

The first anatomical structure that develops in a gestational period is the central nervous system. In embryology, it is called the Primitive Streak. The Primitive Streak forms after 15 days of gestation of the Morula, which is a globular mass of cells (blastomeres) that will be stationary in the uterus. Once the Primitive Streak is formed the cells start to form three germ layers and eventually form the rest of the body. It is known that the Primitive Streak is the beginning stage of development of the central nervous system. It is important to start with the central regulating system that orchestrates more complex development because, without it, nothing will form.

vertebrae

The central regulating system, which is the central nervous system, processes complex chemical and physical development of the body. There are 65 trillion chemicals in the brain processed and produced every second of your life. So even though we can breathe air, drink water, or consume food, if our central nervous system is not regulating the process, giving resources won’t matter. Orchestrated by your Nervous System, your body supplies the correct dosage of antibodies, enzymes, endorphin and other compounds precisely when they are needed. Having a properly functioning nervous system is essential to life as we adapt to stress and thrive. How do we maintain a complex network of nerve cells, multi-billion chemicals that are processing each second, and communicate with all the organs in the body?

Stimulation of the Brain

We all know the phrase, “If we don’t use it, we lose it.” When we don’t exercise our muscles, then the muscles will atrophy. Same with our brain and spinal cord. Chesnut states that,

“Our nervous system do require food (glucose or ketone bodies and Omega  3 Fatty Acids), oxygen, and stimulation.  Movement via exercises is the main source of this essential nutrient. Use it or lose it is so true. Your brain is like a muscle and it needs stimulation or the synapses are lost and neurons get deconditioned and hibernate’.

This means creating stimulation to the brain such as exercise is the only way to keep the brain cells alive. This is an assumption that all of the joints in the body is in proper alignment and stimulating properly. The previous blog has touched on this subject on the blog title of “Gait Analysis: You can run but you can’t hide!” Although, even having enough stimulation to the brain and getting all the resources it needs there is still another important need for the nervous system. The nervous system needs to maintain a certain organizational structure to do complex chemical reactions and movements.

Tone of the Nerve Tissue

To have a properly functioning nervous system is not just providing resources such as drinking water, breathing air, or consuming food. What is a properly functioning nervous system? More then a hundred years ago in 1985, a concept of tone for the nervous system was introduced by D.D. Palmer.cord

D.D Palmer said: “Life is the expression of tone. In that sentence is the basic principle of Chiropractic. Tone is the normal degree of nerve tension. Tone is expressed in functions by the normal elasticity, activity, strength and excitability of the various organs, as observed in a state of health. Consequently, the cause of disease is any variation of tone – nerves too tense or too slack.”

D.D. Palmer continually wrote: “Tone, in biology, is the normal tension or firmness of nerves, muscles or organs, the renitent, elastic force acting against an impulse. Any deviation from normal tone, that of being too tense or too slack, causes a condition of renitence, too much elastic force, too great resistance, a condition expressed in function as disease.”

breig-revisitedThis concept of tone in the nervous system is the foundation for chiropractic philosophy, science, and art. 40 years later a Neurosurgeon named Dr. Breig mentioned many concepts of the biomechanics of the Nervous System. Michael Shacklock summarised Dr. Breig’s concepts in the book Biomechanics of the Nervous System: Breig revisited,

“The total tension induced may well lead to neural dysfunction, and then the involved nerve-fibers in the cord or nerve-roots may be said to be over-stretched. The most significant consequence of over-stretching nerve-fibers is impairment of their conductivity.”

Biomechanics of the Nervous System: Breig                                                                                     revisited Pg xiv

If the Nervous System is not working properly and not regulating the complex process do we need medications? medical surgery?

Pharmaceuticals

Maybe there is a shortage of a chemical that we need? Well, the Pharmaceutical industry knows 11 thousand that are on the market. Our body processes 65 trillion chemicals every second. Just from that ratio, we can definitely say that our body has very complex body chemistry and can supply what the body needs instead of injecting, consuming, or infuse into our body. Simply adding a chemical to the nervous system that not functioning is not a long-term solution. It may be a short-term solution for survival but not for the long term.

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If there is something wrong with the nervous system then why not do medical surgery on the brain and spinal cord?

Medical Surgery

Having medical surgery for the nervous system will take drastic changes in the nervous system. Spinal surgery and fusion can change the spinal structure permanently. These surgical procedures require more medication, many days of recovery, and permanent changes that is not reversible. It is definitely a lifesaver for rare brain and spinal cord conditions but it is not a common medical procedure to do casually. Most people are not required or needed for a surgical procedure yet it is almost always a requirement in all spinal conditions.

There are possibly other ideas that may solve the dysfunctioning nervous system.

Impingement and Interference 

Nerve cells make up the nerve tissue and it is known to be a delicate and sensitive tissue. That is why the skeletal system incases the whole entire structure with the skull and spinal column.  Any pressure on this delicate nerve tissue. Stephenson states in Chiropractic Textbook,

“The most delicate tissue in the body, nerve tissue, is so sensitive to injury or annoyance that it cannot ‘put up’ with any rough treatment. It cannot stand pinching or crowd or rough ‘shouldering’.” Chiropractic Text Book Pg 295

In an article 303, Stephenson starts to define impingement and describes how the spinal segments can create impingements.

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“All impingements in the body (and there are many kinds) are due to subluxations,

 

directly or indirectly. Impingements may be produced by fractures or dislocations also, for any abnormal position of a vertebra, relative to its neighbors, may impinge nerves.” Chiropractic Text Book Pg 304

This idea of spinal segments involving tension in the spinal cord is also mentioned by Shacklock’s summary of Dr. Brieg,

“Tension is thus the pathologically significant force, whether generated by a pincer action, by local induration and deformation, or by a space-occupying lesion. ”

These impingements are well known in the medical field of nerve impingements. Often they are associated with spinal stenosis from disc herniation or bone spurs from the degenerative joint disease. From Stephenson, he mentions that subluxation can be a direct or indirect cause of impingement of the nerve structure.  Not only can subluxation cause impingement but also can cause impingements in the spinal canal, which also cause cord pressure and cord tension.

Impingement will lead to interference of the nerves to transmit signals from the brain to all of the body cells. Stephenson states,

“Interference with transmission prevents Innate from adapting things universal for use in the body and from coordinating the actions of tissue cells for the mutual benefit of all cells. Accordingly, the universal forces wear or injure the tissue cells, or cause them to act inharmoniously and thus injure other cells as well.  When a cell is injured, worn down, or ‘out of condition’, it is not ‘at ease’.” Chiropractic Text Book Pg 301

When there is any impingement there will also be interference. The nerves will not function at its optimal potential when there is an impingement. As we have explained in the blog “What is Chiropractic Treatment,” we talked about subluxation being a main interference in the nervous system. Here is the link to that blog. (https://zenchiropractic.wordpress.com/2015/02/12/what-is-chiropractic-treatment/) Chiropractic is very different from Medica approach to dealing with the nervous system.

Chiropractic and Medical

As a common idea of spinal cord tension is the medical philosophy and chiropractic philosophy, the approach to solve the problem is drastically different. Medical philosophy is trying to change the biomechanics of the nervous system by permanently changing the structure that is starting to fall apart. Chiropractic philosophy is to find the most interference caused by an impingement and remove it with chiropractic adjustments.

Symptoms

Medical philosophy is to solve the symptom of survival and once it is gone, there is no need to continue to care for. Chiropractic philosophy differs by addressing the symptom but stabilizing the condition so that the spine can handle more pressure and thrive. A chiropractor may ask about symptoms but there is a difference in the way we interpret how the function is overall.

Conclusion:

Essential to life is to keep the central nervous system to be stimulated properly and keep the structural integrity. We can eat a ton of food, drink gallons of water, and breath all the air but if our central nervous system is not getting the stimulation and proper structural integrity, all the damages in our body won’t repair because the main facilitator is malfunctioning. All the resources we put in our body can go to waste if our mainframe facilitator of the body can not process the right resources to the right channels. To have an optimally functioning nervous system, we need proper stimulation and specific structural tone as we need all the resources to regenerate and build.


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Our Gift

Every year at Christmastime we are given a gift. We always take this gift for granted because it has always been given to us and we hardly notice. This gift is our body. We are given this one body for our whole lifetime.
housetoolsYou may like your body or you may hate it, but it is yours. You are expected to make alterations, improvements, and maintenance on a regular basis. Our body is in a constant state of break down so keeping up with every part of our body is very important. Many people’s biological age is much older and damaged compared to their chronological age. For example, you will see people with many health conditions such as degeneration/arthritis in the spine. Some people’s spines are severely degenerated from doing vigorous and strenuous physical activity such as football, landscaping, construction work, and much more.

We tend to think we are indestructible in our youth, but once we get to a certain age that unlimited energy and vitality start to fade. Many people would say that the reason our bodies start to deteriorate is that of age. That is true — just like any car, if it gets older it starts to break down. If that car has been treated poorly and has not kept up with regular maintenance such as oil changes or tire rotations, the car will fall about faster and easier.

morris-minor_2825700aPicture of a Rusty Old Car

 

 

 

 

 

What would be maintenance care similar to oil changes and tire rotations for our human, biological body?

One detail about our human, biological body is that there are 65 trillion chemicals in the brain processed and produced every second of our life. The pharmaceutical industry knows 11,000 that are on the market. From just that ratio, we can definitely conclude that our body has very complex body chemistry. How does our body regulate, alert, and repair all at the same time?

Family-First-Chiropractic-Innate-Intelligence_Blaine-Minnesota_Blog

There is a inborn intelligence installed in a human baby at the moment of conception. This innate intelligence repairs cuts, damages and kills cancer cells, regenerates old cells to new and puts in the perfect amount of chemicals needed for your body to be in full function and balance. Innate intelligence has been known from many disciplines of healthcare, although medical medicine failed to understand or quantify this mechanism.

From many disciplines, it is well known that if we help this innate intelligence to freely operate on our body, the better our body regenerates, regulates, and reproduces in optimal function. How can we help this innate intelligence?

 

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“Ninety percent of the diseases known to man are caused by cheap foodstuffs. You are what you eat.”  Victor Lindlahr

Food is Medicine

During this seasonal holidays, we are in a time crunch to fit in everything. Our tendencies are to depend on prepackaged, instant foods in the grocery store. Or we go out to order food from fast food restaurants. It may be a quick solution for good tasting food that everyone will enjoy…everyone, except your body. Mass produced prepackaged instant food in grocery stores and fast food restaurants always cuts corners, using cheap ingredients and chemicals to improve the shelf life of the ingredients. It is now known that these chemicals and cheaply made ingredients have consequences. America has been plagued by obesity, diabetes, and digestive problems that medical professions are unable to solve.

It is well known that highly processed, concentrated carbohydrates turn into fat in our body. So if we lower the carbohydrates we do better! Right? Well, there are highly concentrated carbohydrates in many seasonal holiday meals and snacks. It is almost impossible to take out all the sugars and carbohydrates out of meals. It seems like there is nothing to eat. In our conventional cheap grocery stores there will be hardly any solutions, but in other places that are more health-conscious, such as grocery co-ops, now have many solutions to this problem. There are many vegetables that have carbohydrates but not in a form that will be highly processed into concentrated carbohydrates. The complex carbohydrates from plants give you a small amount of sugar but also fill your stomach so that you do not crave more. There are more and more recipes for low-sugar diets in the categories of Paleolithic diet, Ketogenic diet, and Gluten Free Diet.

grassfedmeatIncreasing amounts of good grass-fed/grass finish proteins and good healthy fats are also a way to fill our stomachs other than just eating plants. Many people complain how hard it is to get good quality proteins and fats. But if we research enough and make the right decisions, many people can afford these proteins and fats. There are many farmers that are gravitating towards good quality grass fed/finished proteins. It is much cheaper to obtain quality meats than going to the convenient stores. The key is to find out how they grow their animals.

Unfortunately for seafood, unless it is caught in the wild, the quality of the food drops significantly. It may be cheap at typical grocery stores, but that is because the fish are farm raised. They have fewer nutrients, such as Omega fatty acids and Vitamin B complexes.  Also, there is mercury in deep sea fish, which only allows us to consume once a week. And it is only harder to get seafood if you live inland. However, there are fishers that go fishing all season, freeze their catch and sell it much cheaper than what you can buy from common grocery stores. Check out your farmer’s markets and ask around.

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“Physical inactivity produces an abnormal gene expression and is a direct causal factor of most chronic health conditions by its direct alteration of gene expression from normal phenotype to a preclinical or clinical phenotype.” F.W. Booth Ph. D. J. of Applied Physiology 2002

Physical Activity

Immobility is poison. Exercise is nutrition! When the holidays come, our schedules are tighter and it’s harder to get physical activity. That is why my next year in January, people have tight atrophied muscles and increased body fat. Many people’s ideas of getting physically active are running around miles and miles and lifting tons and tons of weight. Getting 20-30 minutes of physical activity that involve some cardio, some minor weights or exercises, and topping it off with yoga every day is a good start to maintain a sufficient amount of physical activity.

Once you get to a certain level of strength and agility, you start needing harder physical activity to build up more muscle strength. As you notice when you get older, the amount of muscle build up significantly slows down and it is harder to maintain muscle mass. Once muscles begin to atrophy, our mobility significantly decreases. Also, the neurological connection between the muscles and brain start to degenerate, making coordination harder. Eventually, we are in bed all the time, slowly degenerating.

This can be all prevented with physical activity that we can maintain early on in our lives. More stimulation of muscles means more activity and growth for the nerves in the brain and body. Then the body starts to increase blood flow and to gain muscles, grow nerves, and detoxify your body from harmful toxins.

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Meditation

Stress has been a great contributor to hormones that damage our bodies. Stress can cause excess amounts of hormones such as cortisol. These hormones stimulate fight or flight responses and increase anxiety, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, high blood sugar levels, and many more. To decrease this stress hormone, we need to be able to manage our stress and relax our brains. Research has shown that stress is strongly related to brainwave patterns.

Brain waves

Brain waves are a pattern of neuronal activity in the section of the brain which can be recorded.  The record is known as the electroencephalogram (EEG). Brain waves are broken up into four main categories, determined by the frequency of the wave.

Brain waves are patterns of neuronal activity in the section of the brain which can be recorded.  The record is known as the electroencephalogram (EEG). Brain waves are broken up into four main categories, determined by the frequency of the wave.

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 brain wave patterns while still retaining consciousness.

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)

As you can see, breathing affects our EEG frequency.

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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.

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. Simply breathing hard will not help; you can hyperventilate and cause an excess of CO2 and stimulate the sympathetic nervous system. This will stimulate the brain to emit Beta waves and cause a stress response.

zazen

There are many different Meditations that consists of breathing techniques. Starting with Zazen Meditation would be a good start.  (Here is an instruction link from Dharma Field):

http://dharmafield.org/meditation/online-meditation-instruction/

 


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Allergies

Allergies, this is a topic that I had struggled for many decades and suffered limits and restriction on what I can eat, what I can do, and where I can be. Only recently I have found a solution that I barely noticed my allergic responses. So I complied facts and ideas that have helped me over the years in Chiropractic Clinic.

Immune System:

The immune system keeps you to be 100% functional. This elaborate system recognizes, destroys anything that is not supposed to be inside your bodies, such as bacteria, virus, pollutants, dust, pollen, drugs, tumors, dead cells of your own, and even artificial hearts or donor organs. ( For some reason metal and plastic do not trigger the immune reaction.)

Many things influence how well your immune system functions: your nerves and hormones, your diet, your genes and your emotions. An unhealthy immune system may fail to recognize or remove cancer cells or any abnormal cells and may not protect you from all the infections. Sometimes the immune system will overreact to foreign substances such as bee stings, penicillin, foods or drugs. Or they become suppressed/depressed or even attack your body. This is called autoimmune disorders.

Allergen and Allergies

The most common immune system disorder is an allergy. Allergies are when the immune system overreacts to foreign material which is called an allergen. This includes dust, pollen, dog or cat dander, and many more. Our body overreacts by producing too many neutralizing chemicals such as histamines to counteract the foreign materials.

Medical Approach

Orthodox medicine has no cure for allergies, only treatment of symptoms. A common prescription would be antihistamines for drying mucous response from eyes and nose. An antihistamine can cause serious heart problems and should not be used with alcohol, sedatives, or tranquilizers. Also, steroid nasal sprays can damage the upper respiratory tract and also affect the adrenal gland.  The following websites are side effects of antihistamine affecting the heart:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10444238

http://www.jiaci.org/issues/vol16s1/3.pdf,

Chiropractic Approach

The immune system is highly influenced by the nervous system. This is called Neuroimmunology, a study that combines neurology and the immune system and how they intimately influence each other. Dr. Gonstead mentioned about allergies as a systemic chemical imbalance with the nervous system. Investigation of which internal organs and nervous system are causing this allergic response always depends on each person.

Allergic responses have been seen in the Chiropractic clinic with great success over the century. Although, Chiropractic is not a treatment for allergies. The most important approach to allergies with Chiropractic is finding the cause of the imbalance in the nervous system and immune system. For Chiropractors, the cause is most often to be subluxation. Subluxation causes stress and imbalance in the nervous system, which in turn to cause allergic responses.

By correcting subluxation and release the stress and imbalance in the nervous system, the immune system will function more effectively. It is important to have a healthy body that is capable of neutralizing these toxic substances such as allergens The emphasis on allergies must be on building a healthy and 100% functioning nervous system rather than trying to use evasive tactics by eliminating all the allergens or taking drugs to mask the problems.


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Health, Symptoms & Adaptation

Symptoms, although unpleasant, are signs that the body is struggling to adapt to stress and regain balance.

 

Disease is a lack of co-ordination between Innate, the source of power, and its expression. –D.D.Palmer, Discoverer of Chiropractic.

 

Adaptation = Health

To be truly healthy, you must be able to adapt to life’s stresses. As Nobel Prize winner Rene Dubos, Ph.D. says: Good health is a process of continuous adaptation to the myriad microbes, irritants, pressures, and problems which daily challenge man.

You’re Constantly Adapting

You must adapt to so many things: changes in the weather: the bacteria, viri and fungi that enter you as you breathe; cancer cells, with their deranged genetic instructions that constantly arise within; pollution and chemicals; cuts, bumps, and bruises; school, work, marriage, babies, bills, a mortgage—and you must deal with them all. For if you did not…

…a hot summer’s day would boil your brain; a winter’s night would freeze you solid; every inhalation would bring massive infection; tumors would overwhelm you; a small cut would drain your blood. Without adaptation alcohol and other drugs would never break down, a moment’s anxiety would not end…you’d remain intoxicated, or terrified, for life.

Shivering And Fevers

Thankfully, we usually adapt to life’s stresses because many mechanisms are built into us for that purpose. They’re as simple as shivering in cold and sweating in heat; as elaborate as our immune system engulfing a cancer cell or bacterium and a fever to “burn off” and infection; as dramatic as an adrenaline rush when confronting danger or as unpleasant as vomiting or diarrhea to discharge toxins.

They all say the same thing: Survive! What if we can’t adjust to change? As Hans Selye, MD, PhD, world-famous researcher on stress says: The secret of health and happiness lies in successful adjustment to the ever-changing conditions on this globe; the penalties for failure in this great process of adaptation are disease and unhappiness…many nervous and emotional disturbances, high blood pressure, gastric and duodenal ulcers, and certain types of sexual, allergic, cardiovascular, and renal derangement appear to be…diseases of adaptation.

For successful adaptation to life’s stresses, your body needs balance (homeostasis).

From This Perspective

Viewed from this perspective, symptoms such as fevers, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, skin eruptions, sneezing, inflammation and others—although unpleasant—aren’t a matter of bad luck or, as people once thought, curses from angry gods. Rather, they are signs that your body is struggling to adapt to stress and regain balance.

By lowering fever, preventing diarrhea or vomiting, pushing ourselves when we should rest, suppressing skin eruptions, fighting inflammation and in general not permitting the body to express symptoms, we interfere with the body’s adaptation mechanisms to reestablish our balance (homeostasis) and health.

An orthodox medical approach is often a suppressive form of healthcare. Medicine seeks to eliminate symptoms. Chiropractic and other vitalistic healthcare systems view symptoms as part of a healthy response to imbalance.

Empirical or vitalistic (natural) healers do not, as a general rule, suppress symptoms. Instead, they work with and enhance your body’s natural recuperative, self-healing and homeostatic (balancing) mechanisms. Vitalism is an expressive form of healthcare.

Medical care is, at times, necessary. Medicine has a place. But it must be seen as only one facet of healthcare, used when necessary and in conjunction with chiropractic and other natural health care systems.

Suppressing symptoms may cause chronic illness.

Imagine Three Dolls

One doll is made of glass. The second doll is made of plastic, the third of steel.

Strike each doll with a hammer (representing physical or emotional stress)—what will happen?

The glass doll will shatter. This represents those individuals who are unable to adapt to life’s stresses, get seriously ill and may die.

The plastic doll will scar. This represents those who will not be killed but who are hurt or damaged by the stress. They will recover, but will never completely heal.

The steel doll rings with a pleasant tone. This represents those who, when confronted by stress, adapt quickly and thrive.

Better Adaptation With Chiropractic

Your body’s wisdom uses your nervous system as a communications system to send messages between your internal environment (body chemistry) and your external environment (the world) to maintain homeostasis or balance between you and the world.

When the communications are flowing over your nerves without interference your body and mind are more sensitive and attuned to your life and your needs. You are a “steel doll”.

By keeping your spine and nervous system free of blockages you better adapt to life’s stresses and challenges.

Our Goal For You

Our goal as chiropractors is to keep your spine and nervous system free of blockages so your ability to adapt to life’s stresses and challenges is enhanced. You will be stronger, more stable and more secure; you will thrive, grow, better enjoy life and continue on your journey to be the best you can be. Life’s challenges will become adventures, stepping stones to help bring out the best in you so that you will be fulfilled, happy and in tune with the magic of life.

Every organ and system in your body works to maintain you in internal and external harmony.