You may know that chiropractic works by now but, do you know HOW chiropractic works? When I talk about chiropractic, I often hear 'oh yes I believe in Chiropractic!' and while I appreciate the enthusiasm it is important to remember that chiropractic isn't some religious ideology or an old wives tale. We are not Santa Clause over here! There is an entire philosophy, art, and science behind chiropractic that exists whether you “believe” it or not.
Chiropractic is now over 125 years old and changes millions of lives each day. Whether it is reducing ear infections, improving posture, increasing energy, getting rid of migraines, or improving sciatica, chiropractic helps reduce dis-ease within the body. But how?
This is a series in which we will discuss 4 ways chiropractic influences the brain and body on a neurological level. One of the ways chiropractic care works is through neurological input. The body is in constant communication with itself. This neurological input can be positive or negative and can either help or hurt the physiological processes. The safety pin cycle is a visual representation that demonstrates this communication. The brain sends out important instructions to every cell, organ, and tissue and those structures send feedback back to the brain.
One type of neurological feedback is known as mechanoreception. This is information your body sends to your brain about where it is in space and how the joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments are interacting. These messages occur every day with movements like walking, bending, lifting, and twisting. Mechanoreception is positive neurological input necessary for everyday function and vital for balance, athletic performance, and coordination.
Another type of neurological feedback is called nociception, which is negative feedback that your brain receives from the nervous system. It is not pain, however, your brain perceives this input as pain when it reaches a certain level. Nociception input results from malfunctioning or subluxated joints. Think of this as static in a radio signal. When this static is received at a high volume you the body will respond with a pain signal. Pain is the conscious awareness of nociception and is an alarm system indicating not only that you have a problem but that the problem has been there for a long time.
Subluxations or joint fixations cause nociception which, as I just mention, lead to the perception of pain. Restoring movement, fine touch, vibration, and pressure via chiropractic care inhibit and surpass the volume of nociception. The antidote to nociception signals is mechanoreception. According to the research, most mechanoreceptors are in the neck, but the entire spine is full of mechanoreceptors. Therefore, by moving the joints in question, we regain the normal feedback to the brain's mechanoreceptors and overpower nociception to change the input your brain receives. This process is essential for optimal nerve and organ function and the ability of your brain and body to communicate without dis-ease!
Sources: This is such a crucial video of a Chiropractor in New Hampshire, Dr. Amy Haas, that published this on YouTube a few years back. She goes into the research that supports chiropractic care on the nervous system. All of her references are listed in the comment section. You can find it here: Neurology and Physiology of Subluxation - YouTube