Some of you know I recently attended a research day at Collingwood General & Marine Hospital during which time I shared information about how spinal adjustments impact brain function. This type of research brings me back to days of studying neuroanatomy and neurophysiology while I was completing my chiropractic studies, and I love it! I do realize though that the exact mechanisms by which a spinal adjustment affects your entire body may not be entirely entertaining to you, so let me try and break down some of this into a few simpler more applicable points:
Consider this 2011 study by 9 doctors using PET scan technology (neuro-imaging technique), which concluded that ONE CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENT did the following:
1. Sympathetic tone was inhibited (ie. anti-stress effect)
When you experience a stressful feeling, the sympathetic tone goes UP, creating more muscle tension among other sensations. When you get adjusted this ability for the tone to go UP actually is restricted from happening. This literally means that your body has a harder time feeling stressed when you get adjusted. Think about that! Wow!
2. Salivary amylase was decreased (drop in the feeling of being stressed)
This is a measurement of the type of saliva that is present in someone who is highly stressed. When you get adjusted the amount of this ‘stress saliva’ present in your mouth goes down.
3. Regional brain metabolic changes (the brain is greatly influenced by the spine)
The metabolism of your brain is altered – it becomes more efficient in its firing (hence your general feeling of more energy) and it quiets down, just like it would in a stress-free environment. This is why you will feel greater clarity of thought, more energy and greater focus when you are adjusted. It’s also why many children who struggle with attention in the classroom respond favourably to chiropractic care, and are able to increase their school performance without resorting to any medication.
4. Decreased muscle hypertonicity (relaxation of muscles)
Muscle ‘hypertonicity’ means the muscles are more tight than they naturally should be. During a spinal adjustment the muscles around the neck, shoulders and back all release their tension – even in areas of the spine that weren’t actually touched! This is why for so many of you a proper upper spine adjustment is exactly what is required to release the tension in your lower back, and why after I adjust your neck the range of motion in your hips improves!
5. Decreased pain intensity (feeling better)
Pain is a chemical reaction! It is also highly subjective, some people can tolerate a great deal of discomfort while others cannot. After an adjustment, the level of mechanoreceptors and pain receptors are altered to a level that they would be in a stess-free person. This means that the potential to experience the feelings of pain is greatly reduced.
It is because of all these reasons that Chiropractic care is not only a great solution when you are immobile or in pain, but essential to a healthy life! Curious? Book your complimentary consultation and let’s see if my practice is the right fit for you.