- If your spine is the guardian of your nervous system.
- Then, you live your Life through your Nervous System.
- Consequently the Spine is Life: alignment of the body can influence the alignment of your life.
Alignment is defined as:
noun align·ment \ ə-ˈlīn-mənt \
the act of aligning or state of being aligned; especially : the proper positioning or state of adjustment of parts in relation to each other.
We have talked extensively about structure and function of the spine as it relates to nervous system health and we have talked about how the philosophy of chiropractic actually gives a framework for meaning and worth.
I have a great story about the marrying of these two concepts but you are going to have to wait until the end of this blog to read it.
This blog is about alignment. We have a phrase in our office that depicts this perfectly:
1×1 = infinity
Now what does that exactly mean?
First, I will tell you what it does not mean…
Everything in our healthcare system exists to take you in a linear progression from where you are currently with your pain, symptoms and disease to a place they call a ‘pre-injury state’ (aka zero symptoms).
So maybe you have 10 out of 10 low back pain and the goal is essentially ZERO pain.
As a person trying to get out of pain, you know, the state you were in BEFORE you had any pain. And many people are simply aiming the goal of no pain. But what about the root cause?
I would like you to consider the idea that you cannot un-become ANY of your life.
Check this video by some of our good friends in the Bay Area.
Subluxation was defined in 1927 as “a subluxation is the condition of a vertebra that has lost its proper juxtaposition with the one above or the one below, or both; to an extent less than a luxation; which impinges nerves and interferes with the transmission of mental impulses.”
Meaning, you cannot live to your to fullest potential without a healthy spine and nervous system.
But given this, there are two mains perspective to subluxation:
On the one end, it’s one of the greatest tragedies of the industrial lifestyle affecting human health because it is an unrelenting process that does not improve unless there is a external corrective force aimed at improving the integrity of the spine.
On the other end, it’s actually pretty AWESOME and it is the body’s best attempt at stabilizing an area of the spine that has lost its optimal relationship to gravity. Degeneration of the spine is not good but even an osteophyte (bone spur) is the body’s best attempt to save the disc.
But biggest point is you only get one spine.
We all know that in order to have healthy teeth we must brush and floss everyday. (According to Dr. Steven Lin, there is so much more to dental hygiene – including NUTRITION)
But how many of us take care of our spine on a daily basis?
Unhealthy spine → Unhealthy brain body connection.
Unhealthy brain body connection → Optimal health & life potential is simply not possible.
Alignment of our lives is not that much different than the alignment of your body. Consider a patient who has debilitating headaches that occur when life stress increases. The headaches always present with other symptoms like sensitivity to light, tunnel vision, fluctuations in blood pressure, panic attacks, dizziness and digestive distress.
In just those symptoms above there are several systems that are 100% out of synchronization.
The nervous system cannot adapt to the perceived stress, stress hormones shoot through the roof in the brain (locus aurelius) and in the adrenal glands, blood pressure goes up as well as blood sugar. The increased inflammation not only affects the cranial nerves and brain leading to headaches and altered perception of the world but also the gastrointestinal tract is on fire thanks to the stress response and from the top down acid reflux to a diarrhea/constipation combo.
Have you ever tried to poop with a sabertooth tiger chasing you?
Is this any different that a disorganized life?
Your boss on your butt because maternity/paternity leave is a privilege not a right in our country. You are overworked, underpaid and way UNDER APPRECIATED. The baby is not sleeping! The baby is constipated because his latch is weak and he’s taking in too much air. But the pediatrician says ‘oh all breastfed babies poop less’ and while that doesn’t sit right with you, he’s a doctor. Ahem, he also said nutrition doesn’t matter ‘that much’ for either of you. Your in-laws are staying with you for a few weeks to be there for you all during the postpartum phase and that’s always interesting. Insurance did NOT cover all of the birth and now you have to make significant payments for what seemed like suboptimal maternity care at best. Oh by the way, why would God, do this to you during postpartum?
The point is life, just like our bodies, your life can get out of alignment. Instead of running like a well-oiled machine… everyday we feel like we are playing catch up where we need 25 hours in a day and it seems like each task is pulling us in opposite directions.
Trust me… I have been here.
But the energy in that suck should be used to catapult you to more of a life you love.
Some would say that is why those emotions and that energy is there is the first place. It’s a wake up call for you to live a life closer to your dreams.
I would argue that much of my adult life, especially in the army, was spent trying unsuccessfully to win the rat race.
The main issue, NO ONE WINS the rat race.
The problem is… this is what we were taught, this is what was modeled for us and the biggest thing that I’ve noticed is that it’s simply not sustainable nor conducive to excellent health or a great life.
What does this all mean?
It means we have to do something new.
It is key to make a conscious choice to align our health goals with the model of healthcare that our providers practice in. We have to align our health goals with our life principles.
Remember that phrase: 1×1 = infinity
About 6 months ago we had a family, a husband and wife, start care in our office. They had been in a major car accident that left both of them physically and emotionally traumatized.
She came in first because they had initial thoughts of conceiving a baby soon but realized that perhaps trying while in a state of trauma, might not be the best idea. Her current reality was one of anxiety, depression, digestive disarray, and chronic pain in the head/neck and upper back.
Because of the depth of the PTSD this future momma was experiencing we had to start slow… we did our full intake and exam, we analyzed her spine and nervous system, we measured the depth of her subluxations patterns interfering with the normal communication in her body and we set an aggressive course of care to unwind it all.
This woman is committed. She has made it to every visit, every re-exam, she has gone above and beyond and taken a lot of her education and empowerment to a new level.
When I say we started slowly, every adjustment for at least 4 weeks were either low-force or activator only. The sensitivity of her nervous system had to be respected and rapport/trust had to be fully established.
We are about half way through her first year of care and she is already seeing the world through completely new eyes. Her perception of her life has transformed from a state of constant fight/flight/freeze as a result of the trauma to one of freedom, joy and inspiration.
Her entire life has changed dramatically for the better and we have only just started with lifestyle interventions (i.e. nutritional therapy with Olivia).
In the standard medical model, this woman would be on psychotropic meds, digest disarray, and potentially harder drugs for pain.
What’s the equation here?
1×5 = might not even equal 5… if you consider side effects
What are the side effects to chiropractic care?
Emotional State Improvement
Changes in Thinking
That’s 1×1 = Infinity
And this is where we stand as a practice.
We expect miracles.
Because when a nervous system is fully aligned and connected, it is totally 100% normal for the body to self-heal. A body that self-heals optimally is the best foundation for an aligned life.
- Keep reading. These are only going to get better.
- Take care of your one body, it’s the only one you get.
- If you believe we can help others in your family or community, we absolutely love referrals.