Today I wanted to talk to you about a topic that is involved in absolutely everything we do here -Energy.
Hi there, Dr. Brady Bird here at Total Health Chiropractic in Coralville, and today I wanted to talk to you about a topic that is involved in absolutely everything we do here -Energy. Whether you’re talking nutrition with Amy, acupuncture with me, or Chiropractic with Dr. Dillon, we’ll eventually end up talking about energy.
First things first, let’s narrow the scope of what we’re going to talk about when I say Energy, because if I asked 10 people what they think of when I say energy, I bet I’d get at least 8 different answers. The Energy that we’ll be talking about today revolves around your brain and nervous system’s signals that relay information to and from the rest of your body.
We’ll start our talk today by talking about how chiropractic relates to this energy in your body. Chiropractic, at its very core, deals with a condition called a Subluxation. For all of our patients out there watching this video, I KNOW that Dr. Dillon went over the subluxation with you during your initial examination. Dr. Dillon will also have a video later on in our series specifically about Chiropractic where he’ll tell you all about what a subluxation is, how it occurs, and how we address this condition at Total Health, but here’s a quick rundown.
A subluxation a misaligned joint, typically in the spine, that lacks proper motion. This misalignment not only causes physical interference to the spinal cord and the nerves, but the lack of motion causes the nervous system to enter into a state of stress. As you can see in this image over here, nerves house different types of fibers, some that bring electrical signals from the brain and spinal cord to the parts of your body that you consciously control, like your the muscles in your arms and legs, some fibers run the systems in your body that you don’t have to actively control, like digestion, and others bring signals back to your brain, like pain fibers. When a joint isn’t moving right, the activity of the pain fibers increases, leading to pain around joints that aren’t moving properly. Since all of these types of fibers are carried in the nerves, interference to the nerve won’t only cause pain, it will affect the function of whatever is at the end of the nerve because those signals won’t have an easy time getting to where they need to go. It would be crazy to think that a subluxation would only affect pain and sensory fibers and not the others.
One of the detrimental outcomes from spinal misalignment is that the holes that the nerves exit through become narrower, and on top of that, any inflammation to the area will further decrease the space in these holes. If you look at this image, this space right here in the middle is where the nerves exit, so you can see that if this space is narrowed we can be in a lot of trouble. The pressure caused by this decrease in space will impede the flow of energy through the nerves.
Another important factor in allowing energy to flow through the nervous system is the presence of the natural curve in your spine. Dr. Dillon is here with me to talk briefly about why these curves are important and how we can reintroduce curves to the spine when they are absent, as they are in many of the people we see.
The curve in your spine, specifically in the neck, is designed to be the arc of life. It’s called this because the curve allows us to move our bodies without putting unnecessary stretch or tension on the spinal cord. When we lose the curve in our neck, we can lengthen the cord by 5 to 7 centimeters, which obstructs the ability of the signals to and from your brain from being transmitted. We address this loss of curve here at Total Health Chiropractic.
Now I want to explain how spinal molding works. Some people find this to be the easiest part of their care, but some people find it to be the most difficult. It’s very common to lose the normal curvature in your spine due to all the stuff we do each day, you know, looking down at our technology, computers, phones. Even posture is dramatically affected by technology, and a lot of people get this forward head posture. This is going to increase the likely hood of headaches, breathing problems, tingling, numbness, weakness in the arms so many things are affected by simply losing our curves or having less than ideal posture. So a place we like to start, if it’s warranted, if extending your neck back helps to relieve pressure, or you are dealing with forward head posture. Is we are going to lay on some custom molded pieces of foam, to push the curves in the correct direction and center your head over your shoulders. This takes the pressure off the discs, and the tension off the muscles and ligaments, which helps the information and energy flow from the brain to your body parts much easier. Which blocks we use, if any, depends on your size and how your spinal curves look in the first place. You can get these blocks through us, but to start at home I suggest laying on a rolled up towel. Fold a normal bath towel in half, Then proceed to roll it up where you will stuff it under your neck then lay on your back. You can do the same thing with a towel under the small of your low back, or just below your lowest rib, just make sure your knees are bent to relax your hip flexor. You can lay on these blocks or towels up to 20 minutes at a time maximum, but stop if you feel discomfort or get dizzy. If you don’t have a full 20 minutes thats fine, aim for at least 12 deep, rhythmic, diaphragmatic breaths going in through the nose, and out through the mouth. This won’t necessarily fix everything, but something is going to be better than nothing as long as you are consistent. I joke with people that brushing your teeth for just 30 seconds isn’t ideal, but it is better than not brushing at all. Overall this will relieve some of the stress on your neck, upper back, and shoulders and help when you aren’t feeling well.
Hope this information helps thanks guys!
Now that we’ve talked about Chiropractic and spinal blocking, let’s talk about acupuncture. Before I start, I want to let you know that there will be another video later on in our series where I talk exclusively about acupuncture where we’ll take a closer look at the How and Why behind this form of treatment, but to be honest, it’s nearly impossible to talk acupuncture without talking about energy. The foundation of acupuncture is finding and correcting any and all excesses or insufficiencies in the body’s ability to send information through the body in the form of energy that, in traditional Chinese medicine, is called Qi. The idea of Qi is what makes acupuncture work so well with chiropractic here at Total Health; if you remember from earlier, chiropractic adjustments allow the energy that we’re born with to flow freely through the nervous system. In Chiropractic, we call this our Innate Intelligence. Although Chiropractic and Acupuncture were developed thousands of years apart from each other on different sides of the world, they’re both founded in the idea that unimpeded flow of energy through the body allows us to live and thrive.
One of the most important things you need to know about acupuncture is that Qi, that energy that breathes life into us, flows through the body in channels. These channels are often referred to as Meridians, and you’ll hear me bounce back and forth between the two terms, so just know that the two are interchangeable. When I treat with acupuncture, I generally use 14 channels; 12 primary and 2 extraordinary. Each of the 12 primary channels are bilateral, they each have a left and a right side. These channels run between the trunk of the body or the head and the tips of the fingers and toes, with 6 running through each arm and 6 running through each leg. The 2 extraordinary channels that I use very often run up the midline of the body, one in the front ending at the bottom lip, and one up the back and over the head ending at the upper lip.
Knowing that these channels exist is very important to understand how Qi, or your life energy, flows through the body. Of the 12 primary channels, 11 of them are named after organs: for example, there’s a lung, liver, stomach and spleen channel. Ensuring that the channel has the appropriate amount of energy provided by the nervous system can be accomplished by treating specific points on the channel. Each channel has a point that tonifies, or increases, its energy, as well as a point to sedate its energy.
The main functions of Qi cannot be performed at an optimal level if there is an imbalance in energy flow. These functions are formation and transformation of the essential requirements for life, for example transforming your food into blood, defending your body from external pathogens, retaining and removing fluids, it’s the foundation of all movement and growth, and it controls our homeostasis for things such as keeping our body temperature consistent.
Energy gives us life, that part’s a no-brainer.
The goal of this blog post was to show you how a few of our services here at Total Health Chiropractic address improper flow of this energy. I hope you found it enjoyable and got some great information to take away. If you did, please share and be sure to check out all of the content you can find through our other website at TotalHealthIowa.com.
Be well. 🙂