Posts Tagged ‘Nervous System’

Who needs a Paradigm Shift?

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Paradigm shift is an often heard phrase in chiropractic motivational circles – and as a profession we have been waiting for the community to have the necessary paradigm shift to comprehend and gravitate towards our vitalistic healing services. But what if it is us that need the paradigm shift?

We beat up on the medical profession and quote the growing body of evidence of harm produced by pharmacy and surgery. We beat up on the common man as though he is too simple to understand that a spinal adjustment can release his inborn healing potential. But even if these two scenarios are true – can we change them? Can you make someone else have a paradigm shift? Will a research paper convert the medical profession to refer each and every inpatient to our rooms instead? Will a better spinal health care class transform the average Jo into a compliant, new patient referring machine? If we could just get our educational brochure to say what we really want it to say, then the world will finally notice us? Maybe a glossy TV advertising campaign will convert the masses…

If chiropractic is the answer that many of us think it is – and I’m not talking about curing cancer, turning HIV+ to HIV-, blind seeing, lame walking and deaf hearing: I’m talking about the ability of chiropractic adjustments to improve quality of life – regardless of the ailment. Haven’t we been around long enough for others to notice this is happening? Maybe not enough have seen what we see because:

1) It isn’t happening – maybe the clinical benefits from adjustments aren’t as big as we would hope?? Maybe only a small percentage of adjustments release innate intelligence – If so, is this a failing of chiropractic or of chiropractors? I am a huge fan of objective functional assessments and progress exams, but in my long involvement with professional development I have noticed that few in our profession truly share this obsession. Most want a tool that converts sceptics to long term practice members – few want to have their therapeutic effectiveness or lack thereof exposed and measured. I have to be honest that I have needed to make some significant shifts in the way I do things to find ways to more consistently and significantly improve function – and I am still looking for better ways.

2) It is happening but we don’t have the evidence to show anyone else. I am bamboozled by members of our profession that desire to limit our scope of practice to musculoskeletal pain on the basis that there isn’t any evidence to support any wider claims. I wonder how you can adjust large numbers of people and not see internal physiological improvements of some sort – surely at least one asthmatic, bed-wetter, parkinsonian, multiple sclerotic, migrainous, immune deficient would have returned to their office and thanked them for the help? Maybe not? But I think that this alludes to a wider challenge – how do we SEE the changes that our adjustments deliver? Can an Xray do it, CAT scan, MRI, blood test? My fantasy is that we will develop the skill and acumen to decipher which body function tests best measure the most important changes that occur in someone who receives regular chiropractic care. I’m a bit disappointed with our scientific and academic community that this hasn’t already been achieved: I don’t think the oswestry questionnaire is the answer…

3) It is happening, and we have the evidence, but we can’t get the message out. There’s a neuroscience to marketing – and I don’t think we use it – in fact to a degree we are forbidden to use it. I’ve never been fully able to find the words or images that convey the message that I want my surrounding community to perceive and comprehend. I’m still looking for the perfect imagery that encompasses a subluxation – and it is definitely not the one with two vertebrae pinching against each other and shrivelling the spinal nerve. And I scratch my head as to how McDonalds, Coca-Cola and other life threatening products succeed where I fail. But I do know that if you tell the wrong story then you will be misunderstood – I don’t think that anyone will expect improved quality and quantity of life from visiting a profession that promotes themselves as the spinal care experts.

Paradigm shifts birth from A-Ha moments: Someone looks at why and how they do things and all of a sudden sees a problem, but more than that, they envision a different way of thinking, being and doing: The thought that a circle could be turned into transport, electricity into light, sound transmitted along wires or through the air etc etc. So what is the paradigm shift awaiting chiropractic?

We have this concept that spinal dysfunction leads to nerve dysfunction. And regardless of our technique, practice management style, straight or narrow, type o or type m etc – the language of chiropractic tends to centre back to this one concept. And we claim that this is a vitalistic concept – it’s not – it is a mechanistic concept!

IF we are vitalistic then we need to practice with model, theory and technique that are also vitalistic. Let me illustrate what I believe was a paradigm shift in my own chiropractic world. We say that a Subluxation is a mechanical lesion which can interfere with the transmission of something in the nervous system (Let’s not argue today about whether that something is intelligence, mental impulse, action potentials, neuropeptides, type c fibres, proprioceptors – Whatever). What if the mechanical lesion is not the cause – what if it is merely a symptom of what’s really going on? It’s not a huge paradigm shift in terms of language but what if a Subluxation is a neurological lesion first and foremost? What we see and intervene against is a manifestation of this disturbed neurological state. Hence our intervention does not necessarily have to be mechanical as is required by the former model – but it does need to be “neurological”.

How else can we describe the variation in adjustment vectors, forces and contact points all having similar therapeutic outcomes: Without regressing to the placebo copout that is. Many have tried to win the argument of which technique is best on biomechanical grounds, but maybe that misses the active ingredient? How often have we seen in the nutritional product world where they try to extract the active ingredient only to find that they have lost something magic in the process?

Stop for a moment and allow your mind to stretch around the idea that the Subluxation is a neurological pattern – an altered state of frequency that may manifest with tightening muscles, reducing range of motion, and amended flow of neuropetides – but the underlying state is at least electrical and perhaps more accurately energetic. When you read this, do you have this internal mental tension attempting to bring it back to the fact there must be a mechanical explanation – if you do then you are not ready for the paradigm shift quite yet.

I’ve been teaching vitalistic, neurological, tonal chiropractic for roughly eight years now and I have observed the furrowing of the chiropractic brow when I present the idea that we can forget the mechanical component of the Subluxation altogether and still be a Chiropractor: DD Palmer predicted that we would find better ways of doing things. But I often have Chiropractors approach me during the refreshment breaks asking “you’re not really serious are you”?

Let me put it another way – we have a public image problem, and a professional image problem. The public has trouble comprehending how a “bone out of place” can produce anything but a sore back bone. And the other health care professions doubt that spinal dysfunction can cause anything but mechanical back pain. And we have to go through this long-winded process of trying to explain spinal anatomy to connect the dots between a vertebra and the immune system, or an organ or even the brain.

What if you just skip the vertebra part of the explanation? If you talk in terms of nervous system only you will observe some different A-Ha experiences occurring in your practice members. As soon as you mention a bone or a muscle their minds will get stuck there and they won’t hear anything else you say. If you hear this statement– “so it’s just a muscle” or “so something is out” – then the chance of new communication has ended.

Here is a challenge for the next two weeks in practice: Do not mention a single bone or muscle. Make all of your conversations about nerves. It’s not easy for most chiropractors and the temptation to take the easy path will be strong. Don’t talk about pinched nerves – that’s a mechanistic concept. Use words like tone, tune, tension, frequency, vibration, electricity, energy, balance, harmony, spinal cord, spinal nerves.

Use illustrations like guitars and pianos being tuned, electricity flowing through the body, fuse-boxes with blown fuses, switchboards with switches in the off position, radios or televisions tuned to the wrong frequency/channel or with volume switches turned up or down too far. Talk about the nervous system and how it controls and regulates every cell in everybody – but avoid the need to then talk about spinal bones – instead talk about the flow of information around the body and how there can be blockages – and how your specialty is to locate and reduce those blockages.

Here’s what you may discover – your practice members stop asking you about whether this will help their sore neck or back, instead they will ask about the internal functions that need help. You see – they innately know that the nervous system controls and regulates every cell in every body. And they innately know that the spinal bones don’t control and regulate every cell in every body. Heresy you say? Paradigm shift I say…

Now give yourself permission to attend a Torque Release Technique Seminar to complete the shift to a vitalistic and neurological adjusting system – one that DD himself aspired to. Check the details of the next TRT Seminar at this link: www.torquerelease.com.au/Torque-Release-Discount.htm

Yours for better health and better chiropractic
Dr Nick Hodgson, 2005 Victorian Chiropractor of the Year

CHIROPRACTIC AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM CONNECTION

Monday, December 15th, 2008

A recent review of the scientific literature on the connections between the nervous and the immune systems explored the contention that chiropractic adjustments may affect neuroimmune function.

Relevant articles in English were retrieved through a search of MEDLINE and the Index to Chiropractic Literature. Key search terms included: chiropractic, immune system, nervous system, sympathetic nervous system.

The paper concluded that there appears to be numerous modes of communication between the nervous system and the immune system. It also appears, not only in theory but in practice, that chiropractic adjustments may have a beneficial effect on the functioning of both the nervous and the immune system.

For many years chiropractors have claimed that spinal adjustments can help improve the overall health of an individual. There is a growing body of scientific research to support this contention.

Click Here To Read More At The Journal Of Vertebral Subluxation Research…

EFFECTS OF CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS ON CD4 COUNTS OF HIV POSITIVE PATIENTS

Monday, December 15th, 2008

The researchers sought to demonstrate that upper cervical specific adjustments would have a positive effect on the physiology, serology and immunology of HIV positive individuals.

Tests were performed on the patients by an independent medical center. The CD4 counts in the regular group were dramatically increased over the counts of the control group. A 48% increase in CD4 cells was demonstrated over the six month duration of the study for the adjusted group.

This paper analyses the efficacy of upper cervical chiropractic care for HIV positive patients.

A small randomised, controlled clinical trial was carried out on two patient groups, each with 5 patients. The regular adjusted group was given upper cervical adjustments to the atlas using the Laney instrument, and for the control group a placebo adjustment was carried out by placing the stylus on the patients’ mastoid process with the instrument emitting no force.

The results are quite remarkable. In summary, the control group experienced a 7.96% decrease in CD4 cell levels and the adjusted group experienced a 48% increase in CD4 cell levels. It would be desirable to carry out follow up studies with far larger groups in an attempt to establish both a link between the nervous system, immune system and upper cervical region.

Click On This Link To Read More About This Research At Upper Cervical Spine…

Super Healthy Tip…

I have seen a diverse number of research papers and case studies over the years which consistently illustrate improvements in immune function when chiropractic adjustments are received. My fairly black and white brain looks at it this way – chiropractic adjustments kick start the immune system. In my own practice if someone rings to cancel their appointment because they’ve “got the flu” – we try to insist that they keep their appointment – and repeatedly we have seen much quicker recoveries in the people who keep their appointments, than the ones who we are still ringing two weeks later to see if they are up to an appointment yet.

But how can this be – someone adjusting your spinal column – improving your immunity?

Consider the following:

  1. Your spinal column houses your central nervous system
  2. Direct nerve connections to immune system tissues have now been isolated
  3. Many of the chemicals of communication found in rich deposits in the spinal cord, have receptor sites on many of the types of white blood cells – so even without direct nerve connections there must be a chemical communication process between the two systems
  4. The key to a healthy immune response is dependent on the recognition and reaction to invading microbes – not only do the white blood cells that encounter a microbe need to know about it – they need to tell all the other white blood cells too – this needs a fully functional communication network – we know this as the nervous system
  5. Malfunction in the spinal column could interfere with this communication network, and correction of this malfunction would therefore restore the network

CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS ALTERING BRAIN FUNCTION

Monday, December 15th, 2008

New Science Behind Chiropractic Care

Ground-breaking research has, for the first time, identified the actual changes that occur in the body, the nervous system and the brain during chiropractic spinal adjustments.

The study was conducted by award-winning Auckland researcher, Dr Heidi Haavik-Taylor. It demonstrates that chiropractic care sends signals to the brain that change the way the brain controls muscles.

The process of a spinal adjustment is like rebooting a computer. The signals that these adjustments send to the brain, via the nervous system, reset muscle behavior patterns,” said Dr Haavik-Taylor.

“By stimulating the nervous system we can improve the function of the whole body. This is something that chiropractors and their patients have known for years; and now we have some scientific evidence to prove it.”

Dr Haavik-Taylor has spent the last seven years researching the effects of chiropractic adjustments on the nervous system. However, in her latest research, carried out in conjunction with fellow New Zealander, Dr Bernadette Murphy, she was able to measure how brain waves are altered before and after spinal adjustments.

“This is the first time that anyone has used EEGs to prove that there are definite changes to the way the brain processes information after chiropractic care.”

Click Here To Read More At Scoop…

SUPER HEALTHY TIP… 

The statement that this is the first time Chiropractic has been studied using EEG is not entirely correct. Other investigators have shown that chiropractic adjustments change EEG patterns…

There is a growing body of scientific evidence that shows that chiropractic adjustments influence brain activity. How can that be? Someone “cracking” your back changing what is happening in your skull? Consider the following:

1) The spine houses the spinal cord - modern thinking sees this as being a component of the brain - maybe even the home of the subconscious mind.

2) Most chiropractors use modern, precise and gentle adjusting methods which go way beyond someone randomly twisting your spinal column to stretch joints open - the primary focus of “good” chiropractic is to detect the source of neurological dysfunction in the spine and to correct the function in this area.

Recently while training a group of Chiropractors in Johannesburg, we had a visiting PhD psychologist who specialises in brain EEG mapping do some testing before and after adjustments; and we consistently saw a “shift” in brain activity - on each occasion towards a more balanced, relaxed and focussed electrical state.

This may explain why so many people get up off a chiropractic table and the day seems brighter, their body feels looser and they experience increased feelings of wellbeing.

Healthier spine? Healthier Brain…

CHIROPRACTIC REDUCING HEARING LOSS - SCIENTIFIC PROOF

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Below is a selection of excerpts from research documenting improvements in hearing following Chiropractic Care…

Can You Hear Me Now?

Hearing loss is more than just a pain in the neck; it’s a brain thing too.

If you can’t turn up the volume on your television without waking the neighbors, consider a visit to your local chiropractor. Research suggests that mild to moderate hearing loss can be improved or restored by a single chiropractic visit. According to a study published in the journal Chiropractic & Osteopathy, 15 patients who had been diagnosed with significant hearing loss volunteered for a routine spinal adjustment. Of the 15, 6 had their hearing restored completely, 7 showed improvement, and 2 did not change.

According to Joseph Di Duro, a researcher and chiropractic neurologist at Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research in Davenport, Iowa, the biggest improvements occurred where patients needed it most – in the quieter decibel levels in everyday conversations. A year later, the researchers followed up on 3 of the study participants – all showed their hearing had remained improved and intact…

Regular visitors to the chiropractic table might be surprised to learn that the first adjustment given in 1895 wasn’t for back pain at all. It instead cured the patient’s deafness on the spot.

In another more recent case, a 36-year-old soccer player, who slammed the ball with his head and suffering severe hearing loss, had his hearing restored after a few adjustments to his spine and neck. Di Duro has been studying this intricate relationship between the nervous system, the brain, and the body…

Di Duro’s theory is based on findings from chiropractic neurology. Experts speculate that spinal manipulations spark a response back to a muscle, a joint, or the periphery, and into the central nervous system where it affects a wide range of neurological problems, including hearing deficits. Chiropractic neurology patients have reported relief from vertigo, learning disorders, pain, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, and other problems…

Click Here To Read More…

Hearing Loss, Otalgia and Neck Pain: A Case Report on Long-Term Chiropractic Care That Helped to Improve Quality of Life

Chiropractic Journal of Australia 2002 (Dec); 32 (4): 119-130

Observation over an extended period assists in understanding the progression of chronic disorders. This patient experienced substantially reduced symptoms with chiropractic care during the 7-year observation period. Of note is the repeated exacerbation of neck pain that often precedes exacerbation in ear symptoms, along with the relief of both following adjustment and an association between improved hearing and improved cervical alignment.

Vertebrogenic Hearing Deficit, the Spine, and Spinal Manipulation Therapy (SMT): A Search to Validate the D.D. Palmer/Harvey Lillard Experience

The claim that hearing can be improved following SMT has been scoffed at as physiologically impossible, but a review of the medical and chiropractic literature suggests that hearing deficits may be associated with spinal joint motion restriction, spondyloarthrosis, irritation of the sympathetic nervous system, decreased cervico-cerebral circulation and/or decrease in tinnitus.

Click Here To Read More…

Chiropractic Care of a Patient with Temporomandibular Disorder and Atlas Subluxation

A 41-year-old woman had bilateral ear pain, tinnitus, vertigo, altered or decreased hearing acuity, and headaches. She had a history of ear infections, which had been treated with prescription antibiotics. Her complaints were attributed to a diagnosis of temporomandibular joint syndrome and had been treated unsuccessfully by a medical doctor and dentist. High-velocity, low-amplitude adjustments were applied to findings of atlas subluxation. The patient’s symptoms improved and eventually resolved after 9 visits.

Click Here To Read More…

Vertigo, Tinnitus, and Hearing Loss in the Geriatric Patient

A 75-year-old woman with a longstanding history of vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss experienced an intensified progression of these symptoms 5 weeks before seeking chiropractic care. The patient received upper cervical-specific chiropractic care. Through the course of care, the patient’s symptoms were alleviated, structural and functional improvements were evident through radiographic examination, and audiologic function improved. The clinical progress documented in this report suggests that upper cervical manipulation may benefit patients who have tinnitus and hearing loss.

Cervicogenic Hearing Loss

Findings in 62 patients suffering from vertebragenic hearing disorders are reported before and after chiropractic management. Results indicate that these hearing disorders are reversible, as demonstrated by audiometry and OAE. The therapy of choice is chiropractic manipulation of the upper cervical spine. The commoness of vertebragenic hearing disorders emphasizes their clinical and forensic importance.

Click Here To Read More…

Hearing Improved With Chiropractic - Case Series

The study is significant as it looked for a scientific basis for the story behind the first chiropractic adjustment. In 1895, in Davenport Iowa, Dr. DD Palmer, a self taught healer, encountered a janitor, Harvey Lillard who was working in the building that housed the office of Dr. Palmer.  As history records, Harvey had lost most of his hearing 17 years earlier while working and bending.

Although accounts vary, it is accepted that Dr. Palmer examined Harvey and determined that a bone in his spine was out of place. He concluded that this spinal misalignment was the cause of the hearing loss that Harvey was experiencing. Dr. Palmer then proceeded to give Harvey the first intentional and purposeful chiropractic adjustment. The result was that Harvey’s hearing was restored.

In this series case study, fifteen people with various degrees of hearing loss were tested for certain frequencies to establish their degree of hearing loss. These subjects were then given only a single chiropractic adjustment and subsequently re-tested for any changes in hearing.

After just one adjustment most of the participants experienced significant hearing improvement at various tone levels. Using a standardized testing process known as the Ventry & Weinstein criteria, improvement was shown at various levels of hearing. At 40dB,  6 subjects had hearing restored, 7 subjects improved and 2 had no change. At 25dB using the Speech-frequency criteria, none of the subjects were totally restored, however, 11 had showed improvement, while 4 had no change and 3 missed a tone.

The results of this limited study add further credibility to the story of the first chiropractic adjustment. The researchers concluded, “The observations documented in this case series provide limited support to previous works indicating that, when hearing is tested immediately after a single chiropractic adjusting visit, hearing may be improved in both ears.”

Click Here To Read More…

Click Here To Read The Full Paper…