With the rise of the most recent pandemic in Covid-19, it has been brought to light through the governing board of Texas and through the World Federation of Chiropractic that Chiropractors have zero business discussing how chiropractic can “cure” you of “the flu” or how it can “boost your immunity to keep you from getting the flu” or how “it can prevent you from getting Coronavirus.”
I have to say, for the first time in a long time, I actually agree with our state board and that their needs to be rampant enforcement of penalties against my own profession for those who are making claims that an adjustment can cure your immune deficiencies and cure you of the flu.
I also agree that this is a game of rhetoric and the discussion at hand actually needs to be directed at exactly what a specific chiropractic adjustment does, and how it can help your nervous system function to better optimize your immune response.
That is an argument I can get behind and one I hope to share with you in the following paragraphs in discussion about the basics of chiropractic.
“Chiropractic is specific or it is nothing” – BJ Palmer
Let’s face it, the history of chiropractic is laden with people referring to us as “bone crackers,” “voodoo doctors,” and virtually anything else you can throw into the bucket to make fun of a profession that very few actually understand what it is we are aiming to achieve.
The developer of Chiropractic, BJ Palmer, was right when he said the quote mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph.
In the early 1900’s when Chiropractic was being developed as a Philosophy, Science and Art, BJ spent time studying the impact a chiropractic adjustment could have on a human being.
As you an imagine this was filled with trial and error.
He would give one adjustment, and a person would be “cured” of being deaf.
He would give the same adjustment to another deaf person and nothing would happen.
Which lead him down the path of asking the question why?
Why do we adjust the whole spine?
Why don’t people get better?
Why is a person adjusted every single visit?
How come one person got better and one person saw no change?
Not much has changed in the last 100 years of medical care.
However, one super important change took place in the philosophy, science, and art of chiropractic and how it was delivered to the public.
You see. Chiropractic is first and foremost, a philosophy.
We have a major premise that guides every single decision we make and is built on the processes of deductive reasoning.
In applying this process to the science and art of Chiropractic, BJ Palmer was quick to realize that there needed to be a more stringent method that allowed for a reduction of variables and improvement in constants.
This led to the path of developing tools that would help him in his analysis on the delivery of Chiropractic.
The two crucial inventions are exactly what I discuss in every single post about the application of Chiropractic – X-ray and spinal thermography.
His goal was to evaluate the impact the spinal column had on the expression of the neurological system as a whole.
You now may be a bit confused at this point so I want to pause and diverge into some basic physiology.
Basic Human Physiology.
Your nervous system controls every single function from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death.
Period. End of story.
The nervous system is responsible for adapting internal and external stressors to ensure you are able to optimally express health.
The nervous system uses two branches to accomplish this – your sympathetic and parasympathetic branch.
When we start to suffer from an overload of thoughts, trauma, or toxins (these can be both external and internal) our neurological system begins to break down and it is possible to develop an endless amount of symptoms.
When the body fails to adapt to stress, this is called “attenuated autonomic disorder” which causes havoc on our central nervous system.
When you begin to express symptoms, such as the case of the flu, it is mainly due to the response of the immune system and the neurological system working together to fight off the invaders.
As I was browsing my inbox today, a fascinating article grabbed my attention and I think it captures perfectly what I mean.
“As you may have already noticed, when you get sick, your resting heart rate tends to increase and your heart rate variability tends to decrease. While you might see these changes in your WHOOP data, during the early stages of an infection, we often don’t experience obvious symptoms. The immune system and the central nervous system work together in complex ways to target a foreign virus even before we’re aware that we are sick. When infections become severe enough, one coordinated attack these two systems produce is the febrile response, commonly known as a fever. When the immune system detects a foreign pathogen such as a virus or bacteria, it sends a signal to the brain to increase the body’s core temperature, causing the sympathetic nervous system to respond by producing more heat.”
Now…keep in mind that this paragraph is talking about a body that is in OPTIMAL ADAPTATION.
However, a majority of us do not have optimal adaptation.
In fact, I would dare to say that a majority of us suffer from less than desirable adaptation.
So…how does this play into Chiropractic?
Why the big talk about the nervous system?
Its actually quite simple…Your nervous system is PROTECTED by a hard bony covering called your skull and spine.
When we suffer from adverse trauma, toxins and thoughts, it can cause a change in the structure of our spine.
This translates perfectly into a recent research study proposed by Vertebral Subluxation Research.
They have came out stating “structural shifts and poor movement in the spine can adversely affect the immune response by causing the body to incorrectly activate a stress response, which slow the ability of the immune system to react.”
Thus, using basic human physiology.
When a vertebral bone shifts out of it’s normal position with the vertebrae above and below it, it can impact the state of optimal neurological adaptation causing you to have a deficit in a systemic response.
This leads us to the next question….how do we know we have this issue and how do we fix it?
The Upper Cervical Approach.
At Hope Southlake, we utilize a form of Specific Chiropractic called Upper Cervical.
Without diving too far into the physiology of this discussion, you will have to trust us when we say that the entire organization of your neurological system is dependent upon the proper positioning of the most superior cervical vertebrae (called you Atlas) with your skull (in this case your occipital bone).
Since our goal is to evaluate the combination of your structure and your physiology, we have a two pronged approach to evaluating each one of our patients.
Holding the premise that our main goal is to ensure optimal adaptation, we start with a basic evaluation of your neurological system.
This is done utilizing a state of the art technology called computerized infrared thermography.
Knowing that your neurological system controls every single function, we choose to use radiant heat as an expression of neurological health.
If you are in a less than desirable state of adaptation, you will present to us with a scan that will be consistent and persistent outside the range of .3 degrees Celsius.
This will be manifested on a graph as a form like so
This graphic indicator shows to us a few things
- First, we can definitely help you
- Our body is not adapting internal and external stress optimally
- There is an underlying problem in our structure that we need to evaluate using x-ray
We then utilize a very specific set of x-rays referred to as an “Upper Cervical Series” to build a three dimensional picture of how your skull is sitting on your Atlas.
Se below for an example.
These two components paint a very rough picture for us to begin to understand why your nervous system is currently acting the way it is and also a potential way to re-set this system to a baseline of optimal function.
What you will find in our practice is that we are very different from traditional chiropractic.
If you have followed anything that we have said up till this point, you should begin to realize that EVERY SINGLE FUNCTION of your life is dependent upon the optimal function of your nervous system.
Each and every visit at our office, the adaptation of your nervous system is assessed with the scan I showed you earlier.
This dictates and guides our course of care as we work to stabilize the function of your nervous system.
And you will discover that as you progress through care, you are adjusted less frequently as your nervous system begins to perform more optimally.
Now, with that being said…
If this system is just slightly off, it is not a question of if you will develop health issues, it is a question of when.
So, when we go back to our opening statement and we discuss chiropractic and immunity…
Does a chiropractic adjustment fix your immune system?
Does a chiropractic adjustment – when properly measured and evaluated – have a direct impact on the physiological function of your nervous system – absolutely.
Does your nervous system control every system in the human body? Yes
So – will every system in your body benefit from having an optimally functioning nervous system – absolutely!
It doesn’t mean that you won’t get sick.
It is definitely not a cure.
However – it definitely is allowing your body to function at its very best and when you have a nervous system functioning free of interference, it is only a matter knowing when to deliver the adjustment and where to deliver the adjustment.
Remember…Chiropractic is Specific….or it is nothing.
If you want to find out more and discover if upper cervical is right for you, give our office a call at 972-638-0994, we would be glad to run an initial evaluation of your nervous system at no cost to you, just mention this blog and Paige will get you taken care of.