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.

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.

happy-chemicals

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.

herniated_disc2

“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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Healing from Within

Amazing Facts:new-cells-300x225

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                    How Does the Body Manage All of this?!

Healing Manager:Family-First-Chiropractic-Innate-Intelligence_Blaine-Minnesota_Blog

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

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


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Pain

“Dr. Zen! My back is in pain!” “I have shoulder pain. Can you help me?” “Doc! That is painful!”  People often come into the office talking about their neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, or pain anywhere on our bodies. Some people live with pain and suffering every day, and often that pain has a strong connection emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Pain may originate with an initial traumatic/injury or infection, or there may be an ongoing cause of pain. Some people suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or/any evidence of damage. The emotional toll of chronic pain can even make pain worse. Anxiety, stress, depression, anger, and fatigue interact in complex ways with chronic pain. So how do we deal with pain? By learning a different way to understand and embrace it.  With pain there is suffering, but suffering is necessary for our maturity and for living our lives to the fullest.

We cannot avoid pain during our lives because it is embedded in our brain. Pain is a feeling triggered by the nervous system. Pain may be sharp or dull. It may come and go, or it may be constant. You may feel pain in one area of your bodies, such as your backabdomen or chest or you may feel pain all over, such as when your muscles ache from the flu. Pain may also have an emotional connection with your past. It can trigger in your mind emotional scars, traumas, or tensions. B. J. Palmer D.C. Ph. C., author of Science of Chiropractic says,  “Pain is the mental interpretation of abnormal physical condition.” Pain can be very subjective, and the science of pain can be very difficult to understand. In chiropractic philosophy, we talk about pain in the following way:

“Pain is uncomfortable sensation resulting from the interpretation of impressions arising from an abnormal condition within the human body, or from an external stimulus, which has a detrimental effect on the body. For example, take a sprained ankle in which the ligaments are stretched. There are sensory impressions constantly arising from this abnormal and sprained ankle. These impressions reach the brain, are interpreted, and efferent impulses sent out to the point from which the impression originated, transferring the sensation to the periphery as pain. The sensation of pain, however, occurs in the brain. This pain is adaptive, to prevent further use of the injured part until it can be properly and naturally repaired. Or if the skin should be pricked with a needle, an impression is immediately sent to the brain, where it is interpreted as pain, and motor impulses sent back to the muscles, which causes them to contract and withdraw from the injury. In this pain is also adaptive. “

Green Books: Chiropractic Symptomatology by James N. Firth, D.C., Ph. C

As pain is a mental interpretation and it occurs in the brain, it is often used as an alarm system. Your body has the capability to heal and to adapt to its environment,  but when that function is lost due to obstruction of communication of the nervous system it is called subluxation. When something goes wrong, your body uses pain to tell you, therefore, by the time you feel pain damage has already been done Pain is used as an alarm system to prevent the damage from getting worse. Whether it is emotional, physical, or spiritual pain, the pain is a warning that the body is experiencing disharmony or loss of communication.  Even when feeling pain most people deny its existence.

Most people think pain is important and proportionally significant in the human brain, but scientifically, only ten percent of the nervous system consists of pain!! The rest of the nervous system consists of organ function and muscle control. Pain is very subjective and can be misunderstood in many health conditions. For example, my knees can be hurting while there is a disc bulging in my lower back putting pressure on the nerve that gives sensation to my knees. People can get a headache from emotional stress such as the verbal argument between husband and wife.  Pain can also be chronic and continue to be bothersome such as in the shoulders or lower neck.

Basically, pain acts as an alarm system to warn you of something, but it is not the cause of your condition. Pain is a very poor measure of your health condition and very misleading for identifying what your health condition truly is. An absence of pain doesn’t mean you are completely healthy. When you are physically healthy, your body is interconnected structurally, and energetically you experience optimal adaptation to environmental stress, high resistance to disease, homeostasis, vitality, energy, fulfilling breath, fluid movement, relaxation, and ease.