Posts Tagged ‘Spinal Cord’

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

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…

DEAR CHIROPRACTOR: HELP ME KICK THE HABIT

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

Beating addiction may take an extra nudge from the chiropractor.

When Jose Mehlman enrolled in the Exodus addiction treatment center as a study participant, he had hit bottom. Years before, he tried treatments that fell into his lap—anything that might help him. But they were “nowhere near effective.” Today, Mehlman is living a viable, drug-free life. Why was his Exodus experience so successful? “I think that chiropractic care was an integral part of my recovery,” he says.

But what does the spine have to do with addiction? The connection may be explained by the presence, or absence, of brain chemicals that make us feel good. When the spinal chord and its nerves are in proper order, chemicals known as neurotransmitters are released in a specific sequence, like falling dominoes. The result: A state of well-being. However, subluxations or misalignments of the spine can cause pressure and tension on surrounding tissue, interrupting this feel-good sequence.

Jay Holder, a chiropractor and physician with the Exodus Treatment Center in Miami Beach, wondered how patients would fare on a traditional rehab treatment program supplemented with chiropractic care. Some 98 subjects, including Mehlman, participated in the study, which was published in Molecular Psychiatry. Holder’s research found that when an addiction treatment program was supplemented with frequent chiropractic adjustments over a 30-day period, the patients displayed an unprecedented 100 percent program completion rate. In addition, initially rampant depression and anxiety dropped significantly.

In comparison, the study’s two other groups—one, a passive group who underwent only standard rehabilitation, and another, a placebo group who received sham chiropractic care—displayed significantly lower retention rates, and were about as likely to finish the program as the average recovering addict in the U.S. (a probability of about 55 percent).

Holder’s study used a specific chiropractic technique called the Torque Release Technique, which focuses less on the alignment of the bones and more on what he calls the “neurophysiology of the spine.” Certain types of subluxations can interfere with the tissue that extends from the brain stem through the spine and into the coccyx, hampering systems like the limbic system (known as the “seat of emotions”) and throwing off neurotransmitters that keep us feeling our best. Holder’s research suggests that drug treatment programs prove to be more successful with this type of chiropractic care…

Click Here To Read The Full Article At Psychology Today…

Click Here To Find Out More About Chiropractic And Addictions Recovery…

CONVERT YOUR EXAMINATION EXPLANATIONS TO NEUROLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

There seems to be a mythology in chiropractic that the average person is unable to comprehend the nervous system - IF this is true it is because no-one has ever taken the time to teach them…

Masseurs and Physios are hardly going to teach ANY principles that explain the nervous systems’ role in health and disease. The pharmaceutical companies and AMA would probably prefer that the average person did not understand the CNS, except that they have drugs that can block all pain and unwanted emotions. Not many people are going to see a neurologist in their life - and those who do rarely come away with any insight into the normal functions of the CNS.

You’re a chiropractor - it is your calling to teach the world about the importance of a healthy and fully functional nerve system. No-one else will. The simplest way to do this is in bite-sized chunks…

1) Explain at the very beginning of your relationship with a new client that the nervous system controls and regulates ALL bodily functions, and therefore everything that you do to them is is all about improving their nervous system; and warn them that you will tend to explain everything to them in terms of the nervous system so that they can better understand their own body and how to look after it.

2) Convert your explanations of your exam procedures to neuro speak: eg. POSTURE - Posture is not a biomechanical phenomenon - it is a neurological phenomenon - it represents the body’s ability to perceive and position itself against gravity - its effectiveness in maintaining the sphenoid directly above the coccyx - this requires proprioception and fine-motor control. When you display a person’s postural distortions to them, forget the mechanical talk about the spine bending forwards and putting more strain on the discs. Instead explain to them that the reason their head has got into such a ridiculous position is because their brain doesn’t know where their head is; and the most likely reason for this is something (a subluxation) blocking the information getting from their neck joints and muscles to their brain.

When you explain spinal XRays spend as little time explaining the shape and position of the vertebrae; instead teach them how the changes on the XRays will be affecting their CNS: “See how your neck is leaning forward, and has become straight - this will be stretching your spinal cord like someone trying to wring out a wet towel”. Look at this extra backwards bend in your low back; look at the size of the holes between the vertebrae - this is where the nerves have to exit to control your body - what effect do you think this squishing will have on the nerve’s ability to transmit information?

3) Do an audit of each of your exam procedures and examine your explanations. Then re-write your description for that procedure in terms of the nervous system - you can do it - you’re a chiropractor. AND/OR Attend a TRT seminar and we will help to show you all the neurological indicators that you can use to assess, explain and educate your practice members.

4) Explain the outcomes of your adjustments in terms of the nervous system and then show them the changes that occur in their positive findings when they are adjusted. When you learn TRT you will be able do do this in a few short moments…

Click Here To Find Out More About TRT Training…