Welcome back to Balanced Life On the Go! If you’re new here, this should be the first episode that you listen to! WHAT IS CHIROPRACTIC? In this episode, we will explore all things chiropractic care– from what a subluxation is to how an adjustment affects the brain!
Podcast #17: What is Chiropractic?
What is a subluxation?
A subluxation is a compromised neural integrity (CNI) that reduces neuroplasticity and the ability to adopt to a new environment. This is created by emotional, chemical, structural, electromagnetic, and other stressors that overload processing resources.
Areas of the spine we adjust- dysfunctional area in the spine that negatively affects health and wellbeing due to its influence on the nervous system.
Find and detect versus correct, restore the healthy function of the spine and nervous system, as well as make sure that the body is functioning at its optimal potential.
Some other names: spinal fixation, misalignment, vertebral lesion, somatic dysfunction.
Anatomy of spinal segment
Vertebrae and the joints that connect them- there are three joints that connect two vertebrae.
-The biggest one is the disc.
-The facet joints create the popping sounds.
-The bones act as protective armor
-The spinal cord is the nerve highway, full of info flowing to and from the brain and body.
Your Virtual Reality- How Your Brain Works
Your brain retains experiences and uses this information to interpret what is going on in life. It then assesses the location of your muscles and joints in a 3D space relative to each other at all times.
What you perceive as reality is what your brain considers reality to be or your brain’s translation and interpretation of all the info it gets from sensory receptors.
Our brain takes in all this sensory information and fills in the gaps as needed, based on past experiences and expectations.
The skin, eyes, ears, and muscles all feed into the brain which then integrates this info and created your reality.
Altered External Input- The Brain Changes
Your brain can reorganize itself in response to an altered external input like typing.
Another change or reorganization of the brain can occur when there is a decrease in activity.
Chronic stress shrinks your brain: stressful life events harm your brain’s memory and learning capacity by reducing the volume of gray matter in the brain.
Just one stressful event can kill brain cells… so think about ongoing stress! This can halt the production of new neurons in the hippocampus and can affect the speed of memory connections.
Fear/Threat Perception of Fight or Flight
Stress leads to a raise in cortisol that hampers activity of the hippocampus. Increased fear and threat perception activate this mode. If the brain is stuck in fight or flight response, you lose the ability for growth and healing.
The Spine and Brain Changes
When a subluxation is present, it can lead to changes in the information that the spine sends to the brain.
The Adjustment and Your Brain
Chiropractic Adjustments restore normal movement patterns in segments that are “stuck” or not moving “correctly” therefor sending wrong info to the brain. These adjustments correct the natural patten of the input from the spine to the central nervous system, allowing the spinal cord, brainstem, and brain to process incoming information in a more coherent and meaningful way.
Chiropractic Care Influences Brain Function
The Soft Tissue Connection- When subluxated, the paraspinal muscles may not move as much. Inside of the muscles are muscle spindles that communicate to the brain constantly. If a muscle cannot be stretched, information will not be sent to the brain, and the brain will then fill in the gaps with potentially incorrect information. This then leads to mistakes and accidents. For example, falls, injuries, and balance issues.
Pain and the Brain
Dysfunction can be present in the spine, which can cause balance and coordination problems, as well as other health issues without even knowing it is there. The pain is usually the last thing to show up.
Symptoms are your brains attempt to tell you that something is not right.
“If my pain is gone, am I good?” Since pain is the last sign, it is also the first to disappear. If the pathway from the brain to the body is incorrect, the problem will come back again and again. Correcting these pathways takes time. Ceasing care too soon may lead to reoccurring issues and the development of chronic issues. Pain is the way we measure improvement, but feeling for trigger points, muscle balance, weight balance, and range of motion are some other measures we look at to monitor your progress.
Healing Takes Time!
The bottom line is that chiropractic care restores spinal function, which actually changes the way the brain functions. This is a process.