Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Marvelous Brain

Our understanding of the brain and how it functions is increasing exponentially. In the last 10 years with the advent of functional MRI, we have discovered more about brain function than all previous understanding combined. This new information helps us to refine and improve our application of chiropractic. What have we learned and does the very premise of the chiropractic theory hold up? In a one word the answer is yes.

Our brain is one of the most complex and dynamic structures on the planet. It is composed of groups of neuron pools [nuclei] which interact together to form local and global integrated states that allows it to respond to stimulus. The founding principle of chiropractic is based on this concept. How did they understand this current concept 115 years ago without all the current technology we have? Chiropractic theory was developed through observation, and a functional approach to neuroanatomy of that time. They then hypothesized the basic theory that the nervous system is a sensory driven system that can affect every aspect of the body and interference to the flow of stimulus to the brain and its corresponding response can lead to a dis-ease of the body. Although simplistic in its beginning, it described a natural law which still is the foundation of chiropractic today in its many forms. Although the founders of chiropractic did not have all the details they discovered and developed one of the simplest and most effective treatments to improve the health of millions.

What are some new insights into our brain that help us understand how to stay healthy? First, we understand that our brain is a receptor base system,. What does this mean? It tells us that for our brains to be healthy they need to be active. They also need food and oxygen. We will leave the nutrition until a later time. So what is an active brain? Simple put one that is stimulated. Many of us many enjoy the crossword puzzle or other games that keep our minds sharp but that is only part of the picture. The biggest stimulation to our brains actually comes from our movement in the gravitational field. The muscular skeletal system of the body along with the vestibular system [balance] dumps tremendous amounts of input into our brains and activates many reflexogenic systems that allow us move around. All these signals to the brain and the neuromodulation that takes place keep the brain healthy. Yes, we all need a moderate amount of consistent exercise to stay mentally healthy along with our puzzles.

Where does the chiropractic adjustment come in? The adjustment is correcting a motion unit [two adjacent vertebras’] that is not functioning correctly. When there is a dysfunction of the spine the input to the brain becomes affected hence the out put is changed. This will present as symptoms, as time progress, from back pain to headaches or even digestive changes to name a few. So what we can take away from this is in order to have a healthy brain; the brain needs good input from the spine. Chiropractic fills that roll ensuring proper function of the spine by correcting the subluxation [motion dysfunction and inflammation] thus increasing the function and well being of our brain.