"Mostly, Though, It's Not the Toe"
Hello, my friends.
If you had a "kink" in your thumb… or your elbow… or your big toe… could it cause your heart to malfunction?Or your lungs?Or your immune system?What a silly question.
Or is it?
I've spent much of my time over the last 30 years trying to accomplish two things:
1. Understand how the work that my colleagues and I do every day can impact our patients in so many diverse ways, and on so many levels, and…
2. Find a way to explain it to average people with no background in anatomy, physiology or biology.
As I've pondered these goals, I've slowly come to realize that they represent the overriding purpose of my life.I've concluded that simply adjusting people and releasing nerve interference, despite the awesome implications of doing so, pales in comparison to what I might accomplish by helping them see and accept the principles that underlie the practice.
Enter Dr. Bloom
Several weeks ago, I sat through a one hour program with Dr. Lisa Bloom, a college professor from
Essentially, Dr. Bloom reviewed the research that's been published in respected medical journals over the last 40 years or so relating to something called "immobilization degeneration," which is the process that takes place when the bones that form a joint get even slightly "stuck," whether that restricted motion is in the thumb, elbow, big toe, spine, or any of the other joints formed by the 206 bones of the body.
No Pain, But…
What the researchers found was that 90% of the time, restricting motion in a joint does not cause pain, despite the fact that it does result in damage to the cells, leading them to rupture and "spill their guts" into the surrounding tissue.But here's the important part:
The "cell guts" stimulate a flood of messages into the spinal cord and up to the brain, but most of these messages do not reach the "conscious" part of the brain - that's why there's no pain!They do, however, affect the areas that control the "autonomic" nervous system, which is why this is all so vitally important.
"Autonomic" Means "Automatic"
The autonomic nervous system controls essentially everything our bodies do without us having to consciously think.It raises our blood pressure when we run and lowers it when we sleep.It makes more stomach acid when we eat and less when we don't.It tells the immune system when and how to fight infection.In short, it is the primary controller of our health on a moment to moment basis, because it determines how we respond and adapt to our constantly changing environment.
Can you see now how a joint, any joint, that is "stuck" or not moving properly through its full range can have far-reaching implications for the health of the individual, without ever causing pain?Can you see that we have no way of knowing which of the 206 bones of the body might be slightly restricted, causing a cascade of disruptive messages into the nervous system?Can you see how important it might be to have a profession specializing in the location and correction of joint hypomobility (loss of motion), above and beyond the treatment of back pain?
Mostly, Though, It's Not the Toe
I started out by wondering whether a "kink" somewhere far removed from the internal organs could affect their function, and the answer, based on current research, is a resounding "yes."But mostly, I was just trying to get your attention.
Probably 95% of the time, the problem is not in the elbow, or the toe, but in the spine.That's because of the close proximity of the vertebrae to the spinal cord, which along with the brain, makes up the Central Nervous System.A "stuck" vertebra, or "subluxation" as we like to call them, is much more likely to affect organs, glands, the immune system… even the mental and emotional status of the individual.And again, 90% of the time, it will cause no pain!
I know there will come a time (probably after my time) when people will follow the advice of Hippocrates (Father of Modern Medicine) who suggested that we "look first to the spine for the cause of disease."I look forward to the realization of Thomas Edison's prediction, that "the doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease."For the sake of all humanity, I hope it happens soon.
Wishing you health, happiness and peace,
Dr. Frank Bowling