Throughout the body, nerve fibers travel from the brain down thespinal cord to every tissue, organ, and cell of the body. Itis these nerve fibers that carry mental impulse from the brainwhich nourish the body and allow for proper communication from thebrain to the body and back to the brain again.
Misalignments throughout the spine can interfere with thesemessages causing decreased signaling throughout the body dependingon which nerve root is compressed and which part of it isinterfered with as it exits the spine. A nerve, althoughimpinged, will still fire to the extent it can into the body andthe end organ it innervates. The aforementioned is true ofeverywhere in the spine except for the upper cervical area.
The first two bones in the cervical spine just below the skullhouse the brainstem as it exits the foramen magnum. The nervefibers that flow through the brainstem do not fire partially likethe rest of the nerve roots in the spine. They follow what iscalled, “the all or none principle,” meaning that fibers in thebrainstem either give you everything or they give you nothing. If there is pressure on the brainstem shutting down thefibers to the body then whatever those fibers innervate; that partof the body loses a life.
For example, if the fibers to the heart are compressed longenough over time a heart palpation can develop or high bloodpressure ensues as tissues start breaking down faster than they canrepair. This is in essence, a “loss of life” or a “paralysis”as energy is no longer flowing at 100% to the body structure. Sincethere are no pain receptors in the brain, brainstem, or spinal cordthere is usually no direct symptomatic response to spinalsubluxations (vertebral misalignment with nerveinterference).
Disease and breakdown occur overtime as life-giving energy isslowly drained. Often degenerative diseases that take yearsto develop are often the result in this breakdown of communication;the top three conditions being, osteoarthritis, cancer, and heartdisease. All are due to bodybuilding itself unhealthy insteadof healthy.
Damage to the brain does occur with trauma and many cases canstill function somewhat normally. This is evident inPresident Ronald Regan’s secretary who was shot through the brainand lived. The same holds true of the spinal cord. However, this does not hold true of the brainstem which isthe old animal brain and is responsible for all bodily functionssuch as heart, digestive, lung, hormone, eye, ear, and sinusfunction as well as balance and equilibrium. If the brainstemis so much as bruised death results.
The brainstem acts as a huge processing center that controls andcoordinates all the functions of the body given that it has nointerference. The body heals not because of upper cervicalcare but in response to it. Once interference is removed fromthe brainstem by correcting the upper cervical subluxation the bodywill resume to function at its highest capacity possible.
Increased neurological supply of life to the body generates andrestores the healing response innate to the individual. Below the level of the subluxation is paralysis as previouslydiscussed in this paper. Above the level of subluxation, wesee congestion in the brain occurs.
This congestion can be likened to a dam constructed where thewater below is restricted and the water behind is slowed andpooled. This phenomenon has been noted in multiple sclerosispatients with cerebral spinal fluid and venous drainage stagnationseen with 3D cat scan imaging.
Congestion in the brain leads to conditions such as mentalfogginess, improper decision making, increased emotional turmoiland tension, emotional outburst, lack of mental clarity as well asanxiety and depression.
The reason for these phenomena is due to the fact that part ofthe brain stem is the amygdala which is the center of emotions andis part of the old animal brain located in the center of thecerebral hemispheres.
Decisions are usually thought to be made in the prefrontalcortex, however, if this area of the brain is destroyed, (such asthe case of Phineas Gage), decisions are then rendered based onemotions alone with no rational thought intervening. Rationalthinking often goes by the wayside when a person has a neurologicaldeficit such as subluxation. The overwhelmed brainstembecomes the center of decision making as higher rational thought isturned off.
Fight or flight responses require innate survival which isquick. Rational thought is too slow and historically theperson would be eaten by the attacking predator if they were stillpondering what they should do. Compounding this issue is thesubject of trauma. As with most traumatic experiences,whether emotional, mental, or physical, the sympathetic nervoussystem is the predominant overriding force attributed todysfunction.
When added to the already compromised function of the brainstem,a sympathetic dominant state is like driving a car with a stuckaccelerator. No matter what you try to do, you will keeprunning the same course until you can unstick the accelerator. Until you restore the state of the nervous system to aparasympathetic state you are stuck in sympathetic overdrive whichis long term fight or flight and almost always results in adrenalburnout, physical exhaustion, and emotional fatigue.
When looking at how upper cervical misalignments can occur andimpact the nervous system and particularly the brainstem it isassuring to know that there is a solution. When the source of theproblem is corrected the body can then begin to heal emotionally,mentally, and physically.
As we remove the block to live flow from the brain to the bodythe likened damn is released allowing water to flow smoothly andeffortlessly. This is the innate intelligence that we are. If we could live a life free from subluxation we could live alife with the ability to adapt to our stresses, overcome ourtraumas, and move through our trapped emotions much moreeffectively and efficiently.
Upper Cervical Care utilizes state of the art technology such asSpecific Upper Cervical X-rays and Computed Infrared Thermographyto determine when to make a correction and if brain stem pressureis present. Dr. Clayton Sullwold D.C. is a certified uppercervical chiropractor having completed post-doctoral work in uppercervical care. He is a certified animal chiropractor throughthe International Veterinary Chiropractic Association and he livesand practices in Durango, Colorado with his beautiful wifePetra.