The Zen Corner

Science, Art, and Philosophy of Chiropractic

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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.


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?


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.


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.


“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. ( 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.


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.


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?


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?



“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.


“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.



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.


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.


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):


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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:,

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.

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What you can not see or feel.

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

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

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

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

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



What Happens When My Spine Goes “POP”?

This is a question we hear every day! There are many common misconceptions regarding the sound and sensation after an adjustment. Many people think the sound of an adjustment comes from bones clicking together against each other as they move. Some people use the word, “crack,” as in “getting my back cracked,” to describe this sound. Unfortunately, this
has probably scared off more than a few people from getting the Chiropractic care they need.

Joint Anatomy:670px-Crack-Your-Neck-Step-20

What really happens to cause the noise you often hear when you get adjusted? First, you must understand the structure of a joint. Where two bones come together, there is a smooth surface on each side, which fits very snugly so the bones can glide easily and freely. Surrounding the joint on all sides are ligaments that hold the bones very tightly together and keep the lubrication fluid from escaping. These ligaments form a tight capsule that seals off the joint from the rest of the body.

All fluids in our body have gases dissolved in them. For instance, oxygen is dissolved in the blood. The lubricating fluid of joints contains dissolved gases, which are primarily nitrogen. Whenever a stretch is applied to the joint, the ligaments which make up a joint are also stretched. This stretching causes the space between the two bones to get wider. The pressure, which is normally exerted on the joint fluid, rapidly diminishes. When you look at a soda water under pressure, it looks like regular water, but as soon as you open the cap and release the pressure, bubbles of gas start coming out of what seems like nowhere. This is because the gas stretched and released the pressure. The inert gas dissolved in the joint bubbles out of the solution and makes a popping sound similar to opening a bottle of champagne. This can happen with any joint in the body, especially the knuckles of the hands. After a joint has been “popped,” it takes approximately one half of an hour for the gas bubbles to become absorbed into the fluid again. That is why you cannot “pop” a joint two times in a row without waiting for a period of time.

Neurological Component:

Another neurological component to this popping isneurons that there are nerve sensors in our muscles, ligaments, spinal discs, and joint capsules. They are called mechanoreceptors, which sense proper position and movement of muscles, ligaments, spinal discs and joints capsules. Once this increase of pressure and bursting the bubble in the joint capsule occurs, the mechanoreceptors are stimulated and create a ripple effect on the brain to secrete endorphins into our bloodstream. Endorphins not only relieve pain but also bring about a temporary sense of well-being. Endorphins are a cluster of neurotransmitters which cause a reaction in the opiate receptors within the human body, which block signals indicating pain or stress to the brain, thus allowing for an overall analgesic effect. Some people get addicted to getting “cracked” in their spine and other joints because they are addicted to “crack!”

Restoration VS. Creating Instability

We know that people often times people want to get “cracked,” because they are addicted the endorphin response like literal crack addicts. At Zen Chiropractic Inc. we do not “crack” the spine with chiropractic care for that reason. At our office, we explain that when there is stress upon the spine and created instability in the segments of the spine, one of the segments will fall out of its original position. When the segment falls out of position the segment will compress the nerves and cause interference of the communication of the brain and the body. For Zen Chiropractic Inc. when we adjust the spine, it may make some noise but our goal is not about the “crack!” At Zen Chiropractic, an adjustment is about restoring the segment of the spine to its original position in the spine. When the spinal segments are restored to their original positions, the function and adaptability of the body will be restored.

Sometimes an adjustment will not cause a “pop, crack, or crunch” sound, which does not mean the adjustment was not effective. Research has shown that a joint space must open up approximately 40% to create the “popping” sound. When there is no “pop” it simply means the joint was not opened far enough to cause the release of gas, .but it may have OPENED ENOUGH TO RESTORE PROPER POSITION OF THE JOINT. When we adjust a joint, we are not trying to create a sound: we are attempting to restore the proper position of the joint. While a “pop’” is not necessary, when it does occur it means that the joint definitely opened up and moved a good 40%.


If you are stretching or exercising and you hear a “pop” in your spine, then you have moved a joint. If you were lifting or bending in an awkward direction and you felt pain or discomfort, then something probably moved out of position that is very unstable and you need to be checked. If you are already getting chiropractic care and hear popping, cracking other sounds, then other segments besides the segments which were replaced are trying to replace themselves after the adjustment.

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Glucose and Aging Process

Simple Wellness and Longevity Concepts

Our body is made of millions upon millions of little cells. Each of these cells requires energy to function. Our brains have only one food source for energy and that is glucose or sugar. Here lies the problem, our brain requires sugar but too much sugar causes severe abnormal functions and reactions.

Simply, when you eat a carbohydrate it is converted into glucose. Excess glucose in your bloodstream can be converted by your liver into a substance called glycogen, a storage form of sugar. This glycogen can be stored in your liver or in your muscles, but just like your car, the amount that can be stored is limited to the gas tank has a limit. Imagine that you had a deal with the gas station to buy 10 gallons of gas every day. You had to buy the gas, but you drove the car and only burned 5 gallons per day. Each day the attendant would top off your tank with 5 gallons and then give you a 5-gallon container to strap on your car and you would have to drive around with this extra 5-gallon can on your roof. The problem is that the next day you would add another 5 gallons can or you would have to increase your driving to burn off more gas each day – or make a new deal with the attendant to give you less. The excess glycogen is stored in your body as fat.

There is one other factor that differentiates us from the car analogy. Insulin is the factor that causes the glucose to be able to enter the cell and be burned off. This decrease in the ability of insulin to be able to direct glucose into the cell begins in our mid-thirties. As a result, we start to see increases in the “love handles” about this age in almost everyone. This condition is called insulin resistance and as a result, the pancreas is told by our brains to produce more insulin to control the movement of the glucose.

Unfortunately, this excess insulin has the effect of being pro-aging. The conditions that have been associated with this include obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, glaucoma, high blood pressure, increased blood fat levels, and many more similar degenerative conditions.

We are seeing an epidemic of diabetes. It is increasing rapidly in our culture. Where type II diabetes was called adult-onset, you now have teenagers coming down with it. This is because we have made a dramatic shift in the types of carbohydrates that we eat. There are basically two types of carbohydrates. One way of describing them is high and low glycemic. This is basically based on how fast they are assimilated into our bodies. Low or slow glycemic foods usually have a lot of fiber like beans and most fruits. High glycemic foods are digested quickly and enter the bloodstream in a rush. These are foods like white bread. Another way of easily defining these foods is processed and non-processed. Basically, eat anything that is natural and man or woman has not played around with it. If you follow that simple rule your diet will have almost all low glycemic foods and cause less stress to your pancreas. Historically, it wasn’t until the 16th century that refined sugars started to be added to the human diet, and it was in the 20th century that white pasta and bread became a staple.

Fat increases the rate of aging. Being overweight causes our joints to break down ahead of time. Obesity leads to an increase in free radicals – those devils that start almost all of the degenerative diseases. If you have too much fat on your body, you have too much fat in your vascular system. This causes changes in lung and heart function and inevitably heart disease, heart attacks or strokes.

One of the real problems is that many want to lose weight and can’t. They eat less and when they start to starve the body to lose weight, the brain responds by slowing downs the metabolism and increase production of fat content to preserve body heat and storage of glucose and get even fatter. Remember, we evolved over centuries when food wasn’t always plentiful. When faced with food shortages, our bodies had to slow our metabolism to make it through the winters when food was scarce. When food was plentiful, we had to pack it on to be able to make it through the tough times. The real problem is that our bodies have not adapted to having food available all year round. Consequently, hash restrictive diets do not work for long. What is really needed are moderate diet changes coupled with an increase in activity to stimulate the body to keep up the metabolic rate and not think that you are starving and preparing for a long winter.

Finally, 1/4 of us have a condition known as Syndrome X. This condition is also known as insulin resistance and people with it usually have an apple shaped body. In males, you will see the abdomen falling over their belt. This is a severe problem and needs a special diet to reduce the needs of insulin and at the same time give the patient a constant energy level. Nutritional supplementation is very critical to help this condition.

Controlling weight and insulin needs will help to slow the aging process. The tools that are used in this fall into two categories. The first most important thing is the proper functioning nervous system so the hormones such as insulin will be highly regulated and controlled. The second is a good basic exercise program that is tailored to each person’s needs. This program will depend on your current state of health, cardiac reserve, and lung capacity. The third involves a dietary plan to give you the foods that will not stimulate insulin while supplementing the diet with nutrients that will assist the liver, pancreas and endocrine system to stabilize insulin and glucose needs.

This is a balancing act but working together, you can have success with more energy and at the same time slow down the aging process.