WHAT IS IT?
"All subluxations are not created equal" states Dr. Donald Epstein. Vertebral subluxations may be caused by information overload. Different types of stress may result in different types of subluxations.
NETWORK SPINAL ANALYSIS classifies subluxations into two types:
Structural Subluxation: a compression, or squeezing of the nerve as it passes through the opening between the vertebrae. It is commonly called a pinched nerve. This is the result of a mechanical or physical stress from which the body could not recover.
Facilitated Subluxation: an elongation or twisting of the spinal cord and associated nervous tissue. This is most likely associated with emotional, mental, or chemical stress from which the bodymind could not recover.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
What causes vertebral subluxation? Any stress that your body cannot deal with at a point in time may produce a vertebral subluxation.
Changes in your environment (be they physical, chemical, mental, or emotional) create stress. Your brain must access the situation and react to it. We have a capacity to respond to stress as a part of normal, everyday life. However, when we exceed our capacity, we must either change for the better and grow, or we may express symptoms and disease.
Your brain and body can handle an enormous amount of stress. Beyond a certain point, your system becomes overloaded. The combined effect of a variety of stresses and the inability of the nervous system to deal with them can produce vertebral subluxations. These subluxations involve elongation, twisting, or compression of the system resulting in a persistent misalignment of the spinal vertebrae. The resulting interference disrupts the nervous system's natural ability to assemble and sort out neurological instructions. Like a computer, if the input (messages to the system) is distorted, then the output (messages from the nervous system to the body cells) will also be distorted.
HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU HAVE THEM?
Until you know how flexible, adaptable and peaceful your spine and nervous system can become, most likely you won't know that you have a vertebral subluxation. Symptoms may occur as soon as a vertebral subluxation is present. In most instances however, a person may have vertebral subluxations for many years before the cumulative effect on the body or mind is sufficient to produce a symptom. Often we are not aware that a subluxation is present unless a chiropractic examination is conducted. Your chiropractor can show you what your musculature feels like when you are subluxated.
When the nervous system is overloaded or "stressed out", it will not be as able to function and adapt to challenges in the environment. At some point the bodymind may produce warning signs in the form of symptoms. To focus attention on combating the symptoms does nothing to increase the adaptability and functional capacity of the body. Symptoms indicate CHANGE IS NECESSARY. Improving the health and functioning of the spine and nervous system assists the body in healing.
WHAT CAN YOUR CHIROPRACTOR DO ABOUT VERTEBRAL SUBLUXATIONS?
According to the type and location of vertebral subluxations and the level of care you are experiencing, your practitioner will use the method of adjustment to which you best respond. The "adjustment" is created by the body's response to the chiropractor's applied force. This force utilized to reduce and correct the vertebral subluxation may be gentle, or firmer, depending on what your body needs.
HOW DO YOU KNOW THE VERTEBRAL SUBLUXATION HAS BEEN REDUCED OR CORRECTED?
The interference from vertebral subluxation is like a rock obstructing the natural flow of a mountain stream. Normally, that life force would flow, from above down, and like all generated life energy, from the inside out.
When there is an interference to the fluid flow of life's energy, it creates a disharmonious relationship of the physical, emotional, or mental aspects of oneself.
When the pressure of vertebral subluxation is alleviated, and proper spinal alignment restored, that life force energy is released, to resume its natural flow. You will get to know when you are subluxation free and you will experience an increase in productivity, efficiency and ease.
In analyzing the most successful, dynamic and innovative corporations, John Naisbitt, author of Reinventing the Corporation defines alignment: "When people work to their full capacity, when they feel in sync with their co-workers, when everything comes together on cue, though completely unplanned, alignment is present." Such organizations "possess vision, mastery, and the ability to integrate intuition and rationality, to see the company as a whole, and create structures that further that whole."
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY
Imagine you are stuck in traffic. There is congestion in the flow of automobiles on the road. Suddenly the road clears in front of you. There was no accident, no stalled car.
What caused the traffic? If you were to examine each of the cars for physical trouble, you would no doubt find transmissions that needed repair, oil that needed to be changed, faulty steering and pollution control devices. However, did these physical deviations from optimum cause the traffics Would correction of these "problems" correct the traffic situation? No! Traffic is a function of the relationship between individual automobiles on the road. There is a relationship between the local driving in each car to the global traffic situation.
The same is true with health of your body. Health is about how the individual parts relate to one another. Does one part of the body pick up the slack for the other part which may be functioning a little less? The flow of energy between the parts and the coordination center (the brain and spinal cord), and the rest of you is what determines your health.
The chiropractor utilizing Network Spinal Analysis understands that your spinal health is a function of the relationship of your body's parts. It is the role of the nervous system to coordinate all body parts and functions, establishing and maintaining appropriate relationships. It is a function of the movement of the individual spinal bones, and their relationship to the muscles, connective tissues and vital nerves. As you move, are each of the vertebra functioning in relationship to one another, or is there a structural, energetic and communication traffic jam?
With each vertebra that is adjusted, both your doctor and you will become aware of how the rest of the spine responds. Rather than viewing a particular vertebra as an isolated problem, he or she will adjust each vertebra in relationship to the rest of your spine and its natural self correcting capacities.
For example: You may have a swayed pelvis with tight muscles in your lower back protecting the lower spinal nerves. As a consequence, your middle back may become slightly twisted, distorted and misaligned, pressing, or twisting the nerves in the area between the shoulder blades.
This effects the energy flow to the part coordinated by these nerves. The chiropractor will think globally about your spinal situation, and then locally address whatever subluxation appeared to initiate the total picture.
Often a specific adjustment may involve a gentle touch at a place far removed from the region of greatest distortion. In the example above, a specific correction with barely a touch to the upper neck may be the local action taken to create an unwinding or release of spinal tension and interference patterns. Within seconds you may experience a release of tension in the lower spine, and an "unkinking" of the middle back, as your body "globally" responds to restore your natural state of ease.
As you are evaluated and adjusted through each of four levels of care, your doctor will consider a larger and larger circle of relationships between your spinal segments.
Your chiropractor will regularly "check in" with you through a series of quality of life inventories which you will be asked to complete. You can monitor the actual changes that have occurred in your spine, nervous system, your health and quality of life, as your N.S.A. practitioner evaluates and adjusts your spine.
Over time your body may globally make its own corrections as a result of specific local actions.
A local interference to the expression of your body's healing intelligence and forces can have a global effect on your health and quality of life. As the health of individuals in any locality improves, a more naturally peaceful state can evolve in our global community.