Why care about neurology when dealing with a chronic illness?
The short answer to this question is that when your brain and nervous system are working smoothly you won’t have health problems to begin with. Your nervous system, central (brain and spinal cord) and peripheral (nerves), coordinate EVERY function in your body.
When addressing any health issue it’s important to look at the body as a whole interconnected, organism rather than separate pieces of the puzzle. To fix any health problem you have to get the whole system to function better. they are the Commander-in-Chief that controls the whole healing process.
How does the nervous system control my body?
The brain sends signals down the spine which then travel to all areas of the body, like the heart, lungs, digestion, and hormonal control.
You have two opposing parts of your nervous system that balance the body; the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.
- Sympathetic nervous system
- Your “fight or flight” responder
- Increases tension and muscle blood flow
- Speeds up heart rate
- Helps performance
- Shuts down digestion
- It is the stress handling part of your nervous system
- Parasympathetic nervous system
- Your “rest and digest” regulator
- Coordinated by the Vagus nerve
- Recuperates the body
- Digests food
- Allows us to absorb nutrients
- Slows down heart and lungs
The balance between these two parts of the nervous system is what allows our body to constantly adjust to our environment. If this process gets thrown off and the body is not successfully getting into a “rest and recovery” state, this can lead to serious health problems. For example, if the nervous system is poorly coordinating your digestion you could become malnourished. This is because the body isn’t able to absorb incoming nutrients. If the body is stuck in sympathetic dominance you will be exhausted, unsettled, and faced with cognitive decline. An overactive sympathetic nervous system leads to poor sleep, a compromised immune system, and a body that cannot repair itself.
Classic Chiropractic vs. Chiropractic Neurologist
The classic chiropractic approach focuses heavily on the spine and how it interferes with the messages that are being sent out to all areas of the body. Chiropractors are known for doing hands on spinal manipulations that focus on the alignment of the musculoskeletal system which lets the body heal itself without surgery or medication. As a chiropractic neurologist I take this one step further, by assessing the brain.
When I go through an exam I first look at the problems you’re having with your nervous system; these often show up as muscle problems, pain, or weakness in different areas. Then I stimulate the part of the brain that coordinates the problematic areas to see if activation makes a difference. If your body changes based on the stimulation, that tells me the issue is stemming from a complication in the brain.
If you are dealing with immune system issues, gut dysfunction, hormonal imbalances, metabolism problems, etc… and you’ve tried changing your nutrition or taking medications prescribed by your medical doctor but they haven’t given you lasting results, it is likely that your brain is initiating the health issue you’re facing.
Ultimately, even if you’re treating all other areas, until your brain improves and is able to coordinate your body properly, you are not going to feel better.
Here’s to a better life,
Dr. Steve Puckette