by Keith Wassung
Every medical or health-related text will confirm that the central nervous system is the master controller of the human body, and every single function reflects its activity. Nerve impulses travel from the brain down the spinal cord and out through nerves to all parts of the body, and return to the brain through specialized pathways. There are more than 100 billion neurons or nerve cells in the human central nervous system, and the number of possible interconnections between these cells is greater than the total number of electrons in the known universe. Clearly, your central nervous system must be free of interference in order for you to achieve your life’s purpose without disorder and disease – being “sick.”
All body systems would be immobilized without the central nervous system. Recent research has shown that even activity that occurs at the cellular and molecular levels is controlled and coordinated by the central nervous system. At the molecular, cellular and organic levels, communication between elements is essential for the proper functioning of all body systems. Without it there can be no homeostasis.
The foundation of health is a properly functioning central nervous system, and we can equate levels of functioning and healing capability with the ability of the nervous system to send and receive information. Robert Ornstein, PhD and David Sobel, MD, have written that, “To understand health is to understand the central role of the brain and nervous system in maintaining the resistance of the body. Health maintenance is the primary function of the brain, not educational thoughts, language, poetry and other functions usually associated with the brain.”
The nervous system does much more than transmit sensory information to the brain or control motor functions. It actually controls the peripheral organs, and processes incoming physical and chemical information from all areas of the body. With this function it controls organs and cells to maintain health and homeostasis.
“The quality of healing is directly proportional to the functional capability of the central nervous system to send and receive nerve messages”, says Janson Edwards, MD, PhD. Disturbances to the nervous system are referred to in scientific literature by several names: dysponesis, nerve dysfunction, neuritis, nerve impingement, double crush phenomenon, and subluxation. All these terms refer to interference to the nervous system that keeps it from optimal functioning.
The primary cause of nerve interference is found in the spinal column. When the spine is in its proper position, it protects nerve pathways. However, when spinal vertebrae become misaligned, interference to the nerve impulse occurs, which reduces the overall function of the nervous system and that of any particular organ. According to Henry Windsor MD, “Organs supplied by impinged nerves exhibit pathological changes, and the more serious the impingement, the more serious the damage.”
Nerve disturbances caused by the spinal column are referred to as vertebral subluxations. Subluxations of the vertebrae can be present for long periods before pain or other symptoms present themselves. This is similar to a cavity eating away at a tooth long before toothache occurs. Subluxations irritate the nerves which in turn interfere with the flow of nerve impulses, reducing the body’s inherent natural healing ability.
Subluxations alter the optimal structure of the spine which weakens it and increases degeneration. They are devastating to a person’s health and are well documented by leading health authorities. Vertebral subluxations occur in all parts of the spine and in all degrees. When the dislocation is so slight as to not affect the spinal cord, it will still produce disturbances in the spinal nerves passing off from the foramina – the canal which protects the spinal cord. Neurosurgeon James Woddersee describes nerve dysfunction as “stressful to the visceral nerve and other body structures… the lowered tissue resistance modifies the immune response and lessens the overall capability of the immune system.”
Causes of Vertebral Subluxations
A vertebral subluxation can be caused by any force that the human body cannot adapt to. Such examples include auto accidents, work related injuries, physical, emotional, or chemical stress, sports, repetitive movements, and even the birth process.
Correction of Vertebral Subluxations
Chiropractic is a health care system founded on the premise that a properly functioning nervous system is essential to the overall health of the human body. Doctors of Chiropractic detect and correct vertebral subluxations by physically adjusting the spine. This restores the nervous system to an optimum level of function, which maximizes the body’s inherent healing potential.
Chiropractic adjustments can help restore normal nerve function by improving spinal biomechanics, increasing range of motion and reflex arcs, and improving posture, all of which are essential to a properly functioning nervous system.
Doctors of Chiropractic have never claimed they can cure illnesses and other related conditions, and not all health problems can be attributed to vertebral subluxations, but clinical and case study research has demonstrated that correcting subluxations can lead to an improvement and restoration of health.
A Doctor of Chiropractic performs an adjustment on a patient. Research has shown that all age groups can benefit from chiropractic care.
Chiropractic and Posture
According to Dr. Hans Seyle, Nobel Laureate, the disease process begins with postural distortions. Doctors of Chiropractic are experts in spinal structure and body mechanics. Chiropractic adjustments are aimed at restoring and maintaining the structural integrity of the body by correcting spinal and postural distortions. Chiropractors emphasize the importance of posture to overall health, a concept that has been overlooked in traditional methods of health care.
Posture and normal physiology are interrelated. Posture affects and moderates every physiological function from breathing to hormonal production. Abnormal posture is evident in patients with chronic and stress related illnesses. Homeostasis and nervous system function are ultimately connected with posture.
About the Author:
Keith Wassung is a nationally known author and speaker in the field of health education and research. A former national drug-free weightlifting champion, Keith turned to Chiropractic health care after being diagnosed with a near fatal health condition. His recovery led him to research, write and lecture about the scientific principles of Chiropractic.
Keith has authored over 100 health education and research articles and has been featured in periodicals such as Iron Man, Men’s Health, Muscle and Fitness, Milo, Muscle Mag, Pediatric Journal, ICPA journal, Today’s Chiropractic, Get Up, ICA Journal, In-Practice as well as many others.