We know a lot of people in our community are seeking ways to build that deep mind-body connection and it is an important aspect of overall health.
Recently I was interviewed by Jessica Arroyo from “Medicine Wheel Podcast” where we dove deep into this topic and the role we play as Chiropractors in helping facilitate this higher level of awareness of the mind-body connection.
From the inception of Chiropractic back in 1895, the goal was never to chase after neck and back pain. In fact, the original starting point for Chiropractic was looking into the conditions created by the body to be in a state of health and have the maximum ability to adapt and thrive.
They had an understanding that the body is designed to be healthy, and that all of the individual parts of the body need to function properly and work together in order to maintain that health. And the assumption, which the science now largely supports, was that the nervous system played the role of the orchestrator and made sure that all of those processes were being handled optimally.
When we dive into the mind-body connection, we’re typically referencing how the conscious mind perceives the various inputs we receive at any given moment. Think about learning a new exercise movement or yoga pose that requires quite a bit of balance. As you’re concentrating on all of the various ways you need to position your body, you’re also aware of your need to balance and make sure you don’t fall over. And that’s pretty much the limit to which you can be consciously aware of what’s going on around you. But this leaves the question about what else your body is doing to maintain that health we mentioned.
Even though your focus during that new exercise is mainly on balance, your body still has to keep the heart pumping, it still has to keep your food digesting, and so many more processes that you aren’t paying attention to at that moment. This is the connection between the brain and body that we’re talking about and with Chiropractic, we’re concentrating on making sure there is clear communication between all parts of the body with the brain at all times so that it can maintain health.
We test that nervous system function with our infrared thermography scanner which gives us a repeatable objective way to know when to provide an adjustment for our patients and more importantly, when not to adjust them. And this is key because if the nervous system is functioning normally, there is no need to interfere with it by adjusting the spine, even if the person is experiencing symptoms such as pain or a migraine headache.
We don’t ignore symptoms of our patients but we often use those symptoms as ways to help develop and enhance that mind-body connection and know when other things from our environment may be affecting us. For example, when we test and see that your nervous system is working properly yet you’re having trouble sleeping, it’s important to look into your sleep habits and routine and learn what are the best practices for you to optimize your sleep. We encourage our patients to continuously learn and empower themselves to make wise decisions for their health so they can maximize their health potential.
In the podcast, we also discussed how being in a state of fight or flight is caused by many things but the physical aspect is often overlooked by the medical community. The nervous system is very preoccupied with making sure we have good balance because falling and hitting our head is not so great for our survival. In fact there is a reflex called the “righting flex” that helps to essentially keep our head on straight. When that reflex is inhibited by the neck not being able to move properly, that fight or flight state is often the effect.
The bigger question here is what happens when you’re in that “fight or flight” state for a long time? Most of us have heard of inflammation and many of us have heard that inflammation is at the root cause of many different chronic health conditions. Now we’re finding that many chronic health conditions with inflammation are very often linked with this nervous system imbalance. And we now know how this nervous system imbalance is impacted by the spine, and we also know that we can help restore balance through Chiropractic care.
There was plenty more we discussed on the podcast and you can listen to it here. If you’d like more information on how we can help you, leave a comment or send us an email.