I might be making a big assumption here but I don’t think so. I don’t have any idea what you want in life but there is one thing I am sure of…if you aren’t healthy you are much less able to enjoy that life.
As the anonymous quote says: “A healthy person has a thousand wishes, a sick person only one”.
Chiropractic and the Vagus Nerve and its relationship to a healthy nervous system offers a tremendous key to at least one aspect of the life you want…health.
So, what do chiropractic and the vagus nerve have to do with one another and more importantly how is that related to a healthy nervous system and….overall health?
Great question! Let’s explore.
The Vagus Nerve…What is it and Why is it Important?
The Vagus Nerve is the primary nerve of your parasympathetic nervous system. This portion of the nervous system is often referred to as the “rest and digest” system. That should give you an idea of the role of the Vagus Nerve.
The Vagus Nerve controls and coordinates involuntary body functions such as digestion, breathing, heart rate, and immune system. The Vagus Nerve has been called the foundation of wellness. A healthy Vagus Nerve is essential for the optimal functioning of every necessary element of great health.
The Reason that Stress Kills!
According to Yale Medicine chronic stress is linked to both physical and psychological conditions including hypertension, heart disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and much more. Other research links stress to over 90% of all illness and disease.
How is stress so devastating?
Stress repeatedly activates the “fight or flight” part of the nervous system and this does a number of things. First, it turns down the activity of the health promoting Vagus Nerve. And, it causes a cascade of reactions that are harmful to long term health such as:
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Impaired digestion: GERD, constipation, ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease
- Impaired immune function
- Increased tension, pain, and inflammation
- Disturbed sleep
Healthy Nervous System…Healthy Life!
There is not a single departure from health that doesn’t involve some loss of optimal function of the nervous system.
Your nervous system is involved in continuously monitoring all body functions and then coordinating the regulation of these thousands of functions involving thousands of chemicals. Your nervous system also coordinates your body’s healing response.
You experience all of life through your nervous system. Think of anything that you deeply value in life, that fulfills you and makes you feel good. Your nervous system is critical to whatever that is.
Your nervous system is your interface with the world. Any tension, interference, or irritation that affects the ability of your nervous system to function will impact the function of your body and impact some aspect of your experience.
The Central Nervous System
Your brain and spinal cord constitute your central nervous system (CNS). Their critical importance is underscored by the fact that they are the only organs or tissues encased in bone.
Messages travel from your body up the spinal cord to your brain and the brain processes those messages and sends return instructions back down the spinal cord to the body.
This is the reason chiropractic works on the spine. It has little to do with neck or back pain and everything to do with the nervous system.
When a spinal bone gets stuck out of position and loses its ability to move freely it puts pressure or tension on the nerves at that level and impacts the body area wherever those nerves go.
This is what we call a Subluxation. When we can correct the subluxations and keep someone subluxation free we allow the nervous system to function without interference.
The Magic of the Body
Our culture has done a poor job teaching us of the amazing wisdom of the human body. We’ve not learned to trust our bodies and understand their intelligence.
You are hardwired to express vibrant health and wellbeing. You are not missing anything and do not need anything removed. The human body does these amazing things:
- It is Self-Monitoring: every second of every day your body is continually monitoring every aspect of your biology. It is monitoring every one of thousands of chemicals from enzymes to neurotransmitters to hormones and peptides.
- It is Self-Regulating: your body is continually adjusting every one of those thousands of chemicals every second of every day in an attempt to keep you in a state of balance or homeostasis.
- It is Self-Healing: all healing takes place within the body. You might on occasion need outside help to allow the healing to take place but no bandage or sutures or antibiotic does the healing. If you fracture a bone a cast might be necessary to immobilize the bone and allow for healing but the cast does not do the healing.
So, what system is responsible for these critical processes of monitoring, regulating, and healing. Big surprise, it’s the nervous system. This is why the functioning of the nervous system is so critical to every aspect of life.
When any of these processes is impaired it creates a cascade of compensations as the body is always doing its best to maintain balance. Over time the body runs out of the ability to compensate and this is where symptoms start to show up. Eventually, it manifests in illness, disease, or a significant loss of function.
The Role of Chiropractic
In my experience most things of great value can be broken down into the very simple. Chiropractic is no different. While there is a great deal of science, biochemistry, biomechanics, and neurology that explain how chiropractic works the simple explanation is…
- The master control and coordination system of the body is the nervous system!
- When spinal bones get misaligned or lose normal motion (subluxations) it causes tension and interference to the proper functioning of the nervous system.
- This interferes with the clear communication of information between the brain and the body that…
- Causes imbalances in the body (biochemical, neurological, biomechanical)
- These imbalances lead to the development of problems over time
- Pain and inflammation
- System and Organ dysfunction (respiratory, digestion, hormonal, immune)
- Arthritis development
- Anxiety and Depression
- Chiropractic corrects the cause of the tension and interference allowing the body to return to a state of greater balance.
So, chiropractic works great if you suffer from neck pain, back pain or headaches. But, the real gift of chiropractic is its ability to remove interference and allow the body to do what it naturally does so well…
…maintain balance and heal!
Bill Berkowitz, DC
Bringing more than 3 decades of practice experience, Dr. Bill Berkowitz focuses on balancing and corrective care, applying his expertise to provide patients with predictable, repeatable and measurable results.
Dr. Bill consistently strives to enhance the well-being of his patients by addressing the root imbalances of their problems and promoting optimal balance, alignment, and function of the spine and nervous system. His commitment to delivering corrective chiropractic care has earned him a reputation for excellence among both colleagues and patients alike.
Bill’s wealth of knowledge and experience has allowed him to develop a nuanced understanding of the human body and its intricate connections. With each adjustment, he supports the body in returning to a state of balance that goes beyond mere symptom relief, focusing instead on long-term correction for his patients’ well-being.
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