‘tis the season where all traditions share one thing on common – the giving and receiving of gifts – so in this article we will begin our conversation about the “Five Gifts of the Spine”!
It is said by Donny Epstein, the developer of Network Spinal Analysis, that there are five gifts available through your spine. As the spine and nervous system becomes free from NeuroSpinal Dysfunction (or vertebral subluxation) and develops new wellness promoting strategies through Network Chiropractic Care, these gifts become more available to us. They are: Function, Emotion, Sense of Self, Behavior, and Consciousness.
In this article we focus on Function!
Every part of the body – bones, muscles, organs, glands, hormones, and more – has a vital function to fulfill, and they are all designed to function together as part of one community of systems known as YOU. For this to happen, they require the nervous system to coordinate them. If you’re not certain about this, see what happens if you remove your brain and spinal cord… or better yet, don’t do that. It’s obvious what would happen, right? This is a vital part of what makes us “us”.
Your nervous system controls and coordinates ALL organs and structures the human body1, such as:
- muscle tension and tone
- pain threshold
- movement, coordination, and strength
- posture and balance
- digestion and elimination
- heart health and blood pressure
- immune system
- sleep and healing
- ability to focus, pay attention, and learn
- emotional reaction and expression
- social interactions
- stress levels and relaxation
- sight, smell, touch, taste, hearing, and other sensations
Apparently this is an important system! When the nervous system is functioning correctly, the most common result result is health. When it is not functioning properly, this can show up in MANY different ways (review the above list for examples).
The primary function of your spine is to house and protect your nervous system (the brain, spinal cord, and nerves), where the nervous system is physically anchored to the spine in the neck and pelvis. Thus, where the neck or pelvis go, so goes the nervous system. A slight shift in the structure or motion of the spine creates abnormal shape and tension, and thus function, of your nervous system… and remember what we said about the functions of the nervous system in the previous paragraph?
If there is dysfunction in your spine, there can be decreased function in any part of you run by your nervous system.
NeuroStructural chiropractic helps correct and optimize (or improve) the function of the spine and the nervous system. As a result, many Secondary Conditions (dysfunctions in the systems run by your nervous system) can resolve, reduce, or recover.
We don’t always feel when something is dysfunctional. It is not always self-evident that a problem is Secondary to a NeuroSpinal Dysfunction. It is said that only 10% of the nervous system perceives pain, so if something is wrong with the other 90% we may not know until there is a major dysfunction. Don’t wait until there’s a major problem to check for NeuroSpinal Dysfunction! Contact our office to see who is available in your area to assess and, if necessary correct and optimize, this important part of you.
Function is just one of the five gifts of the spine, AND I’m sure you can see why it is the FIRST. Put simply, a healthy, joyful, and extraordinary life is built on a foundation of proper function. To function optimally, play full out, heal fully, and trust that your body can take care of itself, take care for your master control system – your spine and nervous system – and make sure that it’s working at its best. That way the level of function you need becomes an intrinsic part of you.
1 – Gray’s Anatomy, 29th ed., page 4