Spine and Nervous Systems Importance to Your Brain

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Research has shown that vertebral subluxation (a misalignment of the spine) causes an increased tone in the sympathetic nervous system. Why is this important?

The part of your nervous system that automatically controls ALL basic functions in your body from breathing to digestion is called the Autonomic Nervous system. This can be broken down into two parts, the parasympathetic, which is when your body is resting and focuses on things such as healing injuries, increased cognitive function, digestion, etc. The sympathetic nervous system is what helps under stressful situations and releases neurotransmitters that are for precarious or dangerous situations such as running from a bear, being involved in a car accident or dealing with deadlines at work. The proper function of the autonomic nervous system is absolutely an integral part of maintaining health.

vertebral subluxation

A problem exists across the globe in the fact that many people live in a constant state of stress, which decreases their bodies ability to heal itself or self-regulate certain stress hormones many times causing adrenal fatigue and abnormal thyroid function.

Your body has a central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and a peripheral nervous system (the neurological connections supplying the rest of the body). When you experience tightness, pain, or soreness in your back it is directly affecting your brain and bodies’ ability to communicate for optimal health. A back problem is actually a brain problem and cannot be separated or shrugged off as “just a little back pain.”

The increased sympathetic tone in the nervous system sets off a cascade of autonomic processes in the body, simulating as if the body is under attack. This increase in tone leads to what is known as the “fight or flight” response. Fight or flight is good, this is potentially a lifesaving response, in an acute situation. However, this response will kill you chronically because the body focuses on stress and alarm rather than growth and repair. Fight or flight is good in the short term but if it persists long term it will destroy the body.

This increased sympathetic tone increases stress hormones known as catecholamines (adrenaline and noradrenaline) and decreases relaxing hormones such as serotonin and relaxin. This change in hormone production over a long period of time increases heart rate leading to hypertension and decreases immunity, digestion, focus, attention, and energy.

This happens with any tender areas of your spine proving that the spine has an intimate relationship with your nervous system. Roger Sperry, a Nobel prize winner on brain research, said: “90% of the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by the movement of the spine.”

It used to be the belief that the spine was just a hard bony anatomy covering that protects the spinal cord and aids our ability to stand erect. Our spine does provide for us in this way by providing protection to delicate neurological structures; however, it does much more than that because we now know that the spine is also loaded with neurology called mechanoreceptors that play a crucial role in the ability of the brain and body to communicate. Interference in this neurological feedback loop negatively impacts overall health.

The spine plays a role in your health by affecting the ability of the brain and body to communicate. Removing neurological interference with a specific Chiropractic adjustment to the spine increases communication from the brain to the body leading to better overall health.

1 Comment

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