The Zen Corner

Science, Art, and Philosophy of Chiropractic


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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 because 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 discipline 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 per cent 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 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 through 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 less nutrients, such as Omega fatty acids and Vitamin B complexes.  Also there are 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 by next year in January, people have tight atrophied muscles and increased body fat. Many people’s ideas of getting physically active is 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 of 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 brain wave patterns.

Brain waves

Brain waves are 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 brain wave. 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 associate with such things as hypnogogic imagery, day dreaming, sleep, cognition of problem solving, future planning, remembering, switching thoughts, and creativity.

Delta: This state is predominately associated with no-dreaming sleep or deep sleep. There are some reports of individuals achieving this set of brain wave patterns while still retaining consciousness.

Things which lower the EEG frequency are:

  • LSD, sedative drugs

  • Large doses of alcohol

  • Very low blood sugar

  • Lack of oxygen

Things which raise the EEG frequency are

  • Caffeine

  • Small doses of alcohol, barbiturates

  • Low blood sugar

  • Excess of carbon dioxide (CO2)

As you can see, breathing affects our EEG frequency.

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

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

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

The slower you inhale the more oxygen you take in, creating more energy and helping your body to detoxify and cleanse itself better. When you exhale slowly, more energy reaches your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps you relax and also helps to detoxify and cleanse your body. Simply breathing hard will not help; you can hyperventilate and cause an excess of CO2 and stimulate the sympathetic nervous system. This will stimulate the brain to emit Beta waves and cause a stress response.

zazen

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

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

 


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Allergies

Allergies, this is a topic that I had struggled for many decades and suffered limits and restriction on what I can eat, what I can do, and where I can be. Only recently I have found a solution that I barely noticed my allergic responses. So I complied facts and ideas that has 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 suppose to be in side your body, such as bacteria, virus, pollutants, dusts, 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 call autoimmune disorders.

Allergen and Allergies

The most common immune system disorder is allergy. Allergies is when the immune system overreacts to foreign material which is call 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. Antihistamine can cause serious heart problems and should not be used with alcohol, sedatives, or tranquilizers. Also, steroid nasal sprays can damage the upper respiratory tract and also affect the adrenal gland.  The following websites are side effects of antihistamine affecting the heart:

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

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

Chiropractic Approach

The immune system is highly influenced by the nervous system. This is called Neuroimmunology, a study that combines neurology and the immune system and how they intimately influence each other. Dr. Gonstead mentioned about allergies as a systemic chemical imbalance with the nervous system. Investigation of which internal organs and nervous system is 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 then trying to use evasive tactics by eliminating all the allergens or taking drugs to mask the problems.


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Does Chiropractic Care Never End?

This is a million dollar question. Does Chiropractic care ever end?

Many people are suspicious about Chiropractic care because in their experiences are that the care never ends. People pay thousands or dollars over the period of time. Their frequency of care doesn’t decrease and the cost keeps mounting up. At one point their most observable results starts to peak and you feel that your health condition is not changing. These are concerns of the public and this concern is very legitimate because they are paying clients that want to get observable results. People should reach their goals when they reach the result they wanted and eventually their chiropractic adjustments should end at a certain point. What is the starting point and how frequent is chiropractic adjustments?

Frequency of Chiropractic adjustments:

Only way to really know how frequent the person has to come in for chiropractic adjustment is determined by how the first chiropractic adjustment has helped the subluxation. Once the initial examination is done, we know what the condition of the person and the first chiropractic adjustment is done. Then the next visit is very important. If the person that was given chiropractic adjustments healed fast then the frequency will be less frequent. If the person healed very slow then the frequency will be more frequent. After several chiropractic adjustments, re-examinations is done to assess the healing progression.

Progession of Chiropractic adjustments:

The progression of chiropractic adjustments phases1depends on the starting point of their health condition. Many people are in pain and they have a lot or problems, but once the pain is gone many people don’t see the reason for continuing chiropractic adjustments. The problem is that many people are not told the damaged areas of the spine will not be stable even after the pain is gone. If people stop the chiropractic adjustments after the pain is gone then the unstable condition will revert back to the original condition and pain eventually.  The healing process of damaged areas to be stable takes long period time for the muscles and ligaments.

Once the damaged areas are completely healed the body has more adaptability and healing capability to maintain the spine by themselves. Eventually the nerves are in 100% function, so the frequency of chiropractic adjustments decreases.

End of Chiropractic Adjustment:

There are times when a client comes in to the office and there is no physical evidence of the need to adjust the person’s spine. As long as the chiropractor is always assessing the condition and progress of subluxation, then eventually there will be objective and scientific conclusion that there are no more subluxations. Then there is an end for chiropractic adjustments as long as the person can maintain their good condition. Find a chiropractor that will communicate and educate everyone about their progression and condition of subluxation will give the answer you seek.

How long this will take, how frequent the chiropractic adjustments are, and how much it will cost.

wellness


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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
expression 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 mechano-receptors, 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 mechano-receptors are stimulated and create a ripple effect to 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 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%.

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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 beside the segments which were replaced are trying to replace themselves after the adjustment.