The human brain is responsible for running, regulating and regenerating every single one of the billions of cells that make up your body. WOW !
So how does it do it?
The brain is one part of the Central Nervous System (CNS), the spinal cord, which is an extension of the brain, forms the other part.
The CNS is the control centre, like the mainframe of your computer. The CNS communicates with the rest of your body via a vast network of nerves. Spinal reach out from the spinal cord and immediately branch out into millions of nerves that form a network that touches every single cell of your body. This network of nerves is called the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS).
It is via this network that your brain is made aware of every tiny change in the environment and it sends out orders to muscles, glands and other cells to perform whatever task is necessary.
Lets look at an example; you are running for the #37 bus (not sure why, cause there will be another in a couple of minutes) but let's consider how many changes have to take place in order for you to catch that bus ...?
- Your muscles have to work much harder in order for you to run. Are you running up hill or down because they will have to work even harder if uphill.
- Your muscles will burn energy much faster when you run, so they need much more oxygen and glucose from the blood.
- To boost the oxygen levels your heart will have to beat twice as fast to pump twice as much blood.
- Your lungs will have to suck in ten times more oxygen with every breath.
- To boost glucose levels your body produces adrenaline, which triggers your liver to release its store of glucose.
- These are only the obvious ones, there are many more chemical changes that take place every second in order for you to run for the bus.
Did you catch it ? No ... Hmmm, maybe your body is not communicating/functioning as well as you might hope.
This very same process applies to every cell in your body every second of every day. Just think how important it is that your brain be in proper communication with all of your vital organs. You want those working right !?!
Its fair to say that the CNS is vital to living and functioning properly. Guess what 'Nature' seems to think so too.
The Brain, Spinal Cord and the Spinal Column :
The Brain is completely enclosed in a protective cocoon i.e. the Skull, except for one hole at the base where the spinal cord extends (funnily enough called the 'Foramina Magnum' or 'Big Hole'). The spinal cord, which extends down the length of your back is protected by the bones of the Spinal Column.
There are 33 bones or vertebra of the spine. 24 of them are movable and the other 7 (Sacrum & Coccyx) not so much. Between each vertebra are the much lamented discs.
The Spinal Column of course is not really a 'Column' otherwise we would all be walking around as stiff as a board. The 24 vertebrae move constantly, to allow us to bend, turn, lift etc. Each vertebra has a pair of muscles attached to it. Their job it to pull the vertebra back to its natural position once you have finished for e.g. putting your seatbelt on or lifting your baby from the pram.
There is a tiny gap between each vertebra and this is where the spinal nerves exit from the spinal cord, before branching out to every cell of the body.
If everything is in its natural position then 'Happy Days' your nervous system is receiving all messages and sending out its orders as needed.
What if one of those vertebra should shift out of its natural position and the muscles attached to it are unable to pull it back in ? Well, it remains out of it's natural position and you have now what is called a 'spinal occlusion'.
A spinal occlusion is a situation where a vertebra has moved and the natural process of the muscles pulling it back hasn't happened - thats not to say the muscle won't keep trying. It will continue to contract until that bone moves back and its job is done. Click here to learn more about our technique.
'Natural Alignment' 'Out of Natural Alignment'
While the bone is out of place, it causes the tiny gap where the spinal nerve exits to get smaller and this puts pressure on the delicate nerve. This pressure causes interference in the communication system. The messages being passed back and forth are no longer in sync, and this can result in a delay or distortion of the communication.
How do Spinal Occlusions Occur?
Our spines take incredible abuse throughout our lives, second only to our stomachs. When areas of the spine become weakened, the natural process of the muscles pulling bones back into place does not always happen. This creates a 'Spinal Occlusion' :- a situation when the bones are out of the natural alignment and no longer under the control of the body.
Could any areas of YOUR spine be weakened?
Think about some of the following:
- Work - what do you do all day? Manual labour, sitting at a desk, repetitive movements, driving, how about being a busy mum ...?
- Activities - what sports/activities do you like to do?
- Accidents - Everyone has had even a minor fall or slip at some point? No? How about when you were a child? Click here to find out more about how spine maintenance can benefit your children.
- More serious falls and accidents?
- Stress - where do you feel the tension when you are stressed, your neck? Between your shoulders? Somewhere else?
All of the above are just examples of what can and do cause spinal occlusions.
Why the need for regular maintenance?
Every persons spine needs maintenance, because every persons spine (in at least one area) has been weakened due to neglect and years of abuse, that area(s) will NEVER again be as good as new!
When an area becomes weakened, whether though a fall or just some part of the daily routine of life, that part of your spine remains weakened for life. With regular maintenance your body should begin to hold the bones in place a bit better, however ... THEY WILL MOVE AGAIN at some point!
It is entirely possible and likely that a person could have a number of spinal occlusions at any given time. As soon as the occlusion occurs again, even though it's not hurting, the damage is being caused again, why leave it there longer than you have to?
Here is the good news : The objective of having your spine checked regularly is to locate these occlusions as often as possible and help your body remove them. Not waiting until they have been there so long causing damage that they actually start causing pain!