Zen and the Art of Chiropractic Adjustment and Healing

Science, Art, and Philosophy of Chiropractic


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Functional Disorder of Burn Outs, Fatigue, and Depression.

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

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

“I can’t keep up.”

“I don’t feel like doing anything.”

 

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

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Symptoms are events but Health is a Process

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

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

Brain Budget

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

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Your Phone is Burning You Out

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

More Brain Activity=Higher Energy Costs

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

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

Conditions that Cause More Energy Expenditure

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

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

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

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

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

Brain Energy

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

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

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

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

Conclusion:

BrainGarden

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

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

References:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Anim-breathing-(8SpCB=GEN)

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

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

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

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

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

 


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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?

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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.

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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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Stress

There are 65 trillion chemicals in the brain processed and produced every second of your life. The Pharmaceutical industry knows 11,000 that are on the market. Just from that ratio, we can definitely say that our body has very complex body chemistry. The process of chemicals or messages from the brain to the body can be influenced by many things such as stress! This blog is going to talk about how the body works with stress, and how we can maintain our healing in our body and help the healing process by simple things we can do at home.

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Electric Conducting Gel

First of all, we need to talk about how doe the brain function with stress. When a specific command travels down the spinal cord from the brain to the body, or when sensory information is being transmitted back up the spinal cord to the brain, there is a “flash” of “electricity” that carries the messages. Quick body responses and sensory perceptions are the results.

At the same time though, there is also a low-grade “wave” of radio frequency traveling up and down your spinal cord that determines the “mood” or “tone” of your central nervous system. This affects your level of consciousness and awareness, your mood, and the slower metabolic and hormonal functions of your body.

Scientifically speaking, your spinal cord is a thick string of piezo-electric gel (electricity conducting jelly). The frequency it is working at is determined by the amount of tension and/or torsion being placed at either end of the “string”. Just like the guitar string, the tightness of the cord determines the tune that is being played.

Brain Waves

During the transmission of electrical signals from the brain down the spinal cord, there are certain measurements that can be made in relation to stress, relaxation, and rest.

The pattern of neuronal activity in the cerebral cortical section of the brain can be recorded electrically. This is done by measuring the electrical potential difference between two points on the scalp. The record is known as the electroencephalogram (EEG). Brain waves manifest themselves as oscillating voltage. They have two main dimensions: the frequency of oscillation and the amplitude.

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The EEG is considered to monitor “gross” neuronal activity. It does not monitor individual neuron, but large groupings. Whenever rhythms are seen in the EEG, it is the net result of many thousands of neurons “in unison.”

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The frequency predominately determines the amplitude of the brain wave, but there can be fluctuations of amplitude at a given frequency. Brain waves are broken up into four main categories, determined by the frequency of the wave. The borders of these categories are more or less arbitrary. The following table is approximately correct:

Beta: This is a conscious brainwave. It is characterized as a state of being awake, alert, and concentrating. If this stage is maintained for a prolonged period, it becomes associated with feelings of tension, worry, fear, or anxiety.

Alpha: This is also a conscious state, but identified with the mental experience where images are not identified. It has come to be associated with feelings of pleasure, pleasantness, tranquillity, serenity, and relaxation. It can also imply a relaxed concentration.

Theta: Theta has come to be associated with such things as hypnogogic imagery, daydreaming, sleep, cognition of problem-solving, future planning, remembering, switching thoughts, and creativity.

Delta: This state is predominately associated with no-dreaming sleep or deep sleep. There are some reports of individuals achieving this set of brainwave patterns and still retain consciousness.

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Sleep Cycle

The EEG pattern changes throughout the night. These changes can determine when dreaming occurs. The chart below is an average sleep cycle during those eight hours.

Stage one is the drowsy period of sleep, characterized by what is known as sleep spindles (spindle-alpha).

Stage two is asleep where responses to external and/or internal stimulation can occur.

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

Stage four is a deep sleep. It is also delta state and is not associated with dreaming. REM states (Rapid Eye Movement) is where most dreams occur.

Things which lower the EEG frequency are:

  • LSD, sedative drugs
  • Large doses of alcohol
  • Very low blood sugar
  • Lack of oxygen

Things which raise the EEG frequency are

  • Caffeine
  • Small doses of alcohol, barbiturates
  • Low blood sugar
  • Excess of carbon dioxide (CO2)

Hypnosis has little effect on the EEG. What is contained in the hypnotic suggestion is what change frequencies and make the difference. However, influencing your breathing patterns do change and affect the EEG frequency. The key is to change the pattern of electrical frequency from the brain and spinal cord. There are simple exercises that will help to control this which you saw above is to control your breathing!

Breath

The deeper you breathe, the more oxygen you get into your lungs. More oxygen getting into your lungs means more oxygen getting into your blood; because of this, most systems in your body are going to work much more efficiently than they would if you breathed shallowly.

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Inhaling slowly and deeply sends more energy to heal your sympathetic nervous system, which is concerned with preparing your body to react to situations of stress or emergency by accelerating your heart rate, constricting your blood vessels, and raising your blood pressure.

Exhaling slowly and completely gives a signal to your parasympathetic nervous system to help it detoxify more deeply. This system serves to slow the rate and force of your heartbeat, decrease your blood pressure, and enhance your digestion.

The slower you inhale the more oxygen you take in, creating more energy and helping your body to detoxify and cleanse itself better. When you exhale slowly, more energy reaches your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps you relax and also helps to detoxify and cleanse your body.

A good way to control your breathing is through meditation. There are many forms of meditation but if you can find a local Zen Center that will teach you Zen Meditation, that will be a great way to start and they don’t charge you for learning Zen Meditation. Qigong, Tai Chi is another way to learning breathing exercises. There are many Qigong/Tai Chi schools in most cities since they are more popular. Look up a Qigong/Tai Chi school that will teach you the exercises or find some good reputable videos online or library that will teach you a good easy method for beginners. Sometimes these exercises will not be enough. Then we need to look at more deeper which can be a spinal problem.

Chiropractic and Nervous System

Subluxation (misalignment in the spine) affects the sympathetic nervous system is the most likely to create a vulnerable system in which psycho-physiologic disorders may develop. The imbalance between sympathetic and parasympathetic systems leads to dysfunction and pathology.The removal of subluxation may either relieve or diminish the symptomatic intensity of the psychological problem.

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Chronic muscle tension created by imbalances in the nervous system has been intimately associated with neurosis and psychosis. Re-education of proprioceptive feedback from muscles, ligaments, and fascia to the spinal cord, reduces cortical excitation, which diminishes the barrage of impulses to the muscles and viscera. Organization and integration of cognitive and cognitive function are restored and a corrective emotional response takes place. Dr. Gonstead noticed that subluxation has caused hormonal imbalances and caused many mental conditions such as depression, nervousness, nervous breakdowns, emotional outbursts, loss of memory, alcoholism, and other miscellaneous mental illnesses.

The cause of subluxation can be complex and hard to pinpoint the event, but we know that subluxation can cause the inability to mentally adapt to stress. When breathing, Tai Chi/Qigong, Zen meditation, and other conventional therapy doesn’t work, then send them this blog because it might answer a lot of questions regarding stress.