Archive for the ‘Students’ Category
That title is a little misleading, because posture is not the realm of chiropractic. Bear with me for a minute. To understand how posture works, we need to first understand a little bit more about how the body functions.
When a body is functioning normally, you have normal posture. Normal posture for you is different than normal posture for me. Though very similar in structure, our spinal bones and disks are slightly different shape, structurally. We also have different weight, different muscle structure, and so on. But the ultimate determinant of posture is how the nervous system is functioning, because the nervous system controls every single function of the body, including how your muscles erect your body, ie. posture.
Here’s an easy way to prove this. Normal posture for any individual depends on normal nerve supply to the muscles controlling posture. This is most evident in acute antalgic cases. Most chiropractors have seen someone in an acute antalgic position come into the office (see right). Maybe even you have been in this position. Even if this guy tries to have good posture and stand up straight, he couldn’t. The pain would be too excruciating. His nervous system is so impaired it is causing muscles to contract very tightly on the left without his voluntary control. If nerves control postural muscles in antalgic cases, it’s most certainly true that nerves control postural muscles in normal posture.
So does chiropractic fix posture? Nope, it wasn’t designed to. What chiropractic does is help your body function normally. When your body functions normally, you have normal posture . . . for you.
Here’s a quick understanding of chiropractic. Chiropractic recognizes the life principle. Life flows over the nervous system from the brain down thru the spinal cord out to each and every organ, cell, tissue, muscle, gland, etc. Cut off the head, the life source is severed, the body dies. Cut a nerve going to the bicep, it can’t flex. Cut the nerve to the testes, they can’t produce testosterone. Cut the nerve to the lungs, the lungs can’t breathe. Body function is dependent entirely on the integrity of the nervous system.
Normal nerve impulses that send life giving messages to the body, depend on the mechanical integrity of the spine. The spine is designed to protect the nerves, as depicted below.
Our bodies are constantly adapting to the physical stresses of sitting at a computer, in a car, working out; or the chemical stresses of the pollutants in the water, air, or food; or the emotional stresses of work, finances, and relationships. When these forces overwhelm the body and the body can’t adapt, it can result in subluxation. At this point, the bones move out of place and instead of protecting the nerves, the spine actually irritates the nerve and interferes with those nerve impulses going to the body parts. Chiropractors call that subluxation, depicted below. A subluxation is a misalignment of the vertebrae that creates pressure on the nerves, that interferes with the flow of normal life energy to that body part. Subluxations cause the body to function abnormally.
An easier visualization is depicted below:
When you’re subluxated, and the bones of the spine that are supposed to protect that nerve is now interfering with it, the body is not functioning normally. Some organ, gland, or muscle at the end of that will be impaired someway. Since life is always trying to survive, the spine will bend, twist, turn, and do whatever is necessary to keep the pressure off those nerves. This process will always happen whether it is readily visible to the naked eye, ie. posture will always change. Sometimes when the pressure is so sever, in the body’s best attempt to survive, the body will force you into an antalgic posture via the universal language known to all mammals, pain. The consequences for not accepting the antalgic posture is pain.
Here’s a guy with poor posture, termed by the medics “torticolis.” He can’t straighten his neck.
Every once in a while after a chiropractor comes along and adjusts an antalgic person, and immediately once pressure is released on the nerves (video), he can stand straight up. This doesn’t happen all the time (after one visit), but quite frequently it does. Hence, the nervous system causes posture. These pre and post spinographs were shot 4 days apart. Incidentally, his neck was not adjusted.
I don’t know how to improve your posture. Only your body does. What I mean by that, is that for your body to develop normal posture for you, depends on a lot of factors including muscle strength, shape of the bones, weight of the person,etc.. However, to develop a normal posture for you, one thing is certain. The body should have a properly working nerve supply to the postural muscles.
Posture is just one of the things that are affected by subluxation. When there is interference with the nerves, the body causes the muscles to contract, bending, and twisting the spine so that the holes remain as wide open as they can for its survival. The body compensates to this position, often times resulting in acute antalgic posture. If the pressure is in the low back, the wisdom of the body is smart enough to alter posture instead of altering the nerves that go to the sex organs, intestines, and bladder. Shut down of those functions would be catastrophic.
All a chiropractor does is identify subluxation and give and adjustment (video: neck, low back) to correct it. Once that happens, normal life energy from the brain thru the spinal cord, thru the spinal nerves, can again flow freely, allowing normal muscle contraction and relaxation. At this point, the body can regain its normal posture.
Post-adjustment, many chiropractors choose to stretch and strengthen the muscles. However, this falls outside of the realm of chiropractic. This should handled by those expert in muscle training and postural exercises.
Having poor posture isn’t why you should get checked by your chiropractor in Encinitas. Most often, people are subluxated and don’t even know it, until the body begins breaking down which may manifest itself in anyway possible, including lack of coordination, strength, arthritic joints, weak cardiovascular performance, any symptom known to man (as proved by Speransky), poor performance on the job, mental type issues, and of course health. There is no point in waiting for symptoms to show up, for they are many times the product of years of abnormal function, as in the case of the heart attack of the jogging legend and seemingly “healthy” Jim Fixx. Though he looked like he had reached the pinnacle of health, healthy people who workout don’t get heart attacks. His body had to be functioning abnormally to begin with.
Chiropractors do one thing and one thing only. Correct the subluxation, thereby allowing normal for the entire body, not just the muscles. It is the job of personal trainers to strengthen the muscles. I’ve personally known and seen some amazing results from Kyle Rodgers (Facebook here) here at CardifFit in Cardiff. And Carolyn and Robert of Encinitas Kettlebell are specialist in postural correction. In the end, muscle strengthening is in the realm of personal trainers, not the chiropractor.
So whatever you are doing in life, make sure your body is working at it potential. Get adjusted and get normal. And if you want to strengthen your back, see your personal trainer. They are experts in muscles. Chiropractors are the only profession that corrects subluxation.
Encinitas Chiropractic Studio – Home of the Honor Fee
Chase’s First Chiropractic Adjustment
The body is supposed to function normally, no chronic sickness, disease, pains, insanity, etc. Normal function is regulated by the “wisdom of the body.” This wisdom created each and every single person from a half cell from dad and a half cell from mom. When the sperm and egg unite, life is created.
This wisdom is transmitted only thru the brain and spinal cord, ie. the nervous system. Cut off the head, the body doesn’t work anymore. Cut the nerve to the heart, it doesn’t beat. Cut the nerve to the quadriceps muscle it doesn’t contract. Therefore, normal function of the body is dependent on normal nerve impulses from the brain, thru the spinal cord, out the nerves to the organs, muscles, glands, etc.
Normal nerve impulses that send life giving messages to the body, depend on the mechanical integrity of the spine. The spine is designed to protect the nerves. Sometimes when the bones of the spine move out of place, instead of protecting the nerves, the spine irritates the nerve and interferes with those nerve impulses. Chiropractors call that subluxation.
The job of the chiropractor is to correct these subluxations (video) with an adjustment (video). Once the adjustment is given, normal nerve impulses may resume so the body may function more normally. Chiropractic is as simple as that.
When the vertebrae subluxate, the nerve impulse is interfered with, and now the organs, muscles, glands, begin to function abnormally. The heart organ may beat a bit faster, or slower. The sex organs may produce too much, or too little estrogen or testosterone. The muscles may contract a bit more on the left side, instead of the right, causing a scoliosis curve or abnormal weight bearing of the body. Cells may divide quicker speeding up the aging process. Cellular division, body chemistry, and body biomechanics are slightly off normal. Since function of the body is at a cellular level, and there are 70 trillion cells in the body, it may take a good bit of time before enough cells are malfunctioning for tissues to be affected. This means that subluxations have no symptoms. This is especially true for children.
Kids don’t get neck pains, or headaches, or back pain. Most often, subluxation beings at birth. Birth is a traumatic process, for the mother and child. I had a woman in the office ask me how old you need to be before you can be adjusted. So I added these pictures and videos of birth.
Check out “normal” child birth.
Here’s a forceps delivery.
Here’s vacuum extraction and its consequences (lump).
Here’s a c-section birth.
Whether these methods of birth are right are wrong is not a chiropractic discussion. However, there are consequences to physical stresses that the body can’t adapt to. Our best medical minds are still baffled by SIDS or crib death and cannot find a cause. Isn’t it conceivable that twisting the neck during child birth may affect the area in the brain responsible for respiration?
In infants, the tiny bones of the neck are quite frequently traumatized by these birthing procedures, the twisting and pulling of the head. An infant has atrophied muscles and ligaments. It’s virtually impossible for their weakened bodies to adapt to this type of force in the upper neck. When the child is subluxated, the entire body begins to function abnormally as explained above. And most parents, because chiropractors have done such a poor job educating them, don’t have the baby’s neck checked for subluxation after birth.
And this continues after child birth too. How many meals at McDonald’s will your children have to adapt to chemically to sort thru the toxins in Chicken McNuggets or soft drinks? How many times do they fight with their siblings, fall trying to walk, or fall off a trampoline? The stresses children’s bodies go thru are endless.
Kids generally don’t have chronic pains, so rarely do parents get their kids checked by their chiropractor for subluxation. Yet most parents would agree that birth and childhood is traumatic, plus they wouldn’t want their kids to have the same challenges they do as they get older. Had my chiropractor told my parents that the purpose of chiropractic was to allow the better expression of life, maybe I wouldn’t have struggled from years 5 thru 28 with asthma. It all starts with the body not functioning properly. But why wait for symptoms to show up? Then it could be too late.
Chiropractic is gentle. Check out the video a the top. This is Chase’s first adjustment. Chase doesn’t have neck pain or headaches. But he is subluxated, and that is reason enough to adjust him. I adjusted his atlas (c1 – top bone in the neck, at the brain stem). Immediately after setting this atlas and releasing the pressure, his body is better able to function normally. Normal function happens at a cellular level. Since there are three billion cells dying and being created every 60 seconds, now his body will produce better functioning cells. All chiropractic suggests is that your body will function better without the nerves pinched off. Obviously, if someone tied a piece of string around your aorta and I suggested your heart would work better if I cut off the string, you would agree. Chiropractic is just that simple.
Instead of waiting for your kids to develop abnormal function, it’s best to get them checked by your chiropractor in Encinitas.
* To chiropractors and chiropractic students. Here’s a chiropractic philosophy and science note. Misalignments are not always bad. Only when the pressure on them is creating irritation to the nervous system. Many times the body will develop curvatures of the spine to adapt to subluxations elsewhere in the spinal column. For ease of understanding, I’ve used the bone pinching the nerve, which is not entirely correct but is fine for discussion and understanding. Occlusion of the IVF is what I’m really talking about, whether via disk, inflammation, or even bone.
For Chiropractic Students
I set this atlas ASL. I had a soft contact on the left TP. I took the slack out as much as I could without making it uncomfortable to him. I tried to allow him to let his head fall into position. I gave him a gentle pressure with my right hand to facilitate this, until he relaxed in that position. Then I lightened up on the contact, yet kept the slack out. Once relaxed, I gave a very shallow, gentle thrust. There is a slight click at the end. The clicking noise doesn’t mean much, however this did clear out the upper cervical with the instrument.
Note that the most important thing is to let him relax and be comfortable with me. If the child is resisting you, don’t adjust him until he relaxes. It’s definitely not best practice to use force to overcome his fidgeting. For some younger clients, I will set up with them only for the first few visits until they become comfortable with me before I adjust.
Students: Here’s an example of a 14×36 spinograph analysis. Pelvic markings, AP and lateral cervical markings are Gonstead’s. I use Dr. Gohl’s lines for comparison and posteriority purposes.
A quick disclaimer. What I say in the video is what I use the pictures for in my office. I use them as philosophically sound as I can. Degeneration and curves, though caused by subluxtions, are a medical condition, not a chiropractic concern. The great thing about full spines is that they require only three exposures to get a series. Sectional xrays may require up to 9 exposures to get what we can with these views, which makes full spines much less exposure to the client.
This video is by no means definitive, and I’ve left out quite a few things. In my office, I do rely on the spinograph heavily. Next to the Nervoscope or Delta-T, this is the second most important thing. Physiology is constantly changing in the body which is why I don’t use (anymore) the Insight. Posteriority in the spinograph won’t change unless a proper adjustment is given.
Sorry for the sloppiness on the video, I did alone with a FlipCam, live with no rehearsing. Most of the things I say I was trying to say is what I meant, just not as smooth.
In Gonstead chapters, the value of the spinographs is for confirmation. This is the last criterion used by exclusively Gonstead practitioners, for confirmation of your other findings. It’s best to look at the xray last after you have found your subluxated segments, and confirm.
In my office, a very important use of spinographs is to differentiate between an L5 and a base posterior adjustment, since so many people are subluxated here. And since we are moving the bone from P to A, it’s important not to push a spondy at L5 P to A. I know there are clues for this including proper motioning and palpation, but I’m much more comfortable seeing it on the picture, since the instrumentation reading will be the same. I also like to see how the spine changes after adjustments, to prove the body is making the correction. This is basically what Dr. Gohl does, and he has tens of thousands of pre and post-spinographs.
In the AP view, you can see he’s shifted to the right a bit from the plumb line by 12mm. Once the subluxation is corrected and stays corrected, this will tend to shift, to whatever is normal for that person.
Also, in the lateral lumbar, once we can correct the subluxation, the posteriority at L5 and L4 will become less, and the intervertebral foramen will get bigger. This will also be measured on the post-spinograph.
The lines that I did nothing with in the lumbar can be used to measure lumbar curve. This can also be done in the cervicals.
Notice I’m particularly vague on discussing finding the subluxation on a spinograph, because that is not what it’s used for. Gonstead gave clues on where to find the subluxation based solely on the spinograph as discussed in Chapters. But those in practice for years and years will tell you they’ve broken the rules. So it’s on the chiropractor to find exactly where the subluxation is and that is the most important thing. Droessler told me that he’s adjusted a C2 that did not converge quickly with C3, but actually diverged. Gohl told me he adjusted a 14mm Ex ilium as an In, and the post-spinograph one year later showed a completely balanced ilium. They did not adjust off the picture, but with their other findings. It’s just important to find the subluxation and “accept it where you find it.”
Sorry for the poor quality, but it gives a great insight into how the body is misaligning due to the nerve pressure at the point of the subluxation.
Dr. Gohl has an excellent video called “Marking System Demonstration” that is very explanatory on this. It’s a nice compliment to his book.
Contact point is with the tip of the index finger on the left lateral inferior tip of C2. Slack is taken out by the finger, not rotation nor bending the head. This is the most difficult part of the adjustment, feeling exactly where the slack is out.
This changes on every client. Since it is the upper cervical, you need to take out more slack because there is more movement in the upper cervical. There is no set rule where to bend or rotate the segment, it just comes from a feeling. Pretty much you’re just pushing the bone forward till it won’t go anymore.
Keep Gonstead’s rat hole so that just the tip of the finger is on the C2 spinous, not the finger being on the whole neck.
Adjusting in the cervical is P to A, but you must lift the cervical because of the angle of the facets. So in actuality, the thrust is up, I to S. Dr. Gohl describes it as flicking on a light switch and that is the exact motion, though it doesn’t appear that way in the adjustment. Every video of Gonstead on youtube shows him lifting the cervicals I to S, not P to A. You can see the direction of thrust thru his nose lifting upwards.
That stabilization hand needs to be light on the client’s face, so they don’t tense up. This guy is totally relaxed and he makes the adjustment very easy. If the thrust is going upward, stabilization shouldn’t have to be that firm, gravity will only allow you to move him so far, unless you can lift 170 lbs with your fingers in that thrust. There’s a video of Gonstead floating around out here on Youtube of him adjusting the cervical before he ever has his stabilization hand in place, it’s absolutely amazing. On this adjustment, I could’ve firmed up the stabilization a tiny bit.
Regardless of all the other stuff I just talked about, the only way to know if the adjustment was good or not, is to make sure the Delta-T/Nervoscope was clear after the adjustment. If you use instrumentation to determine a subluxation, it’s only natural you use it to determine if a good adjustment was given. Search youtube for “gonstead on post scoping” or “gonsteadtruth” for some valuable clips. The reading cleared and the client was happy.
There’s a tiny clunk at the end of the adjustment. There does not have to be noise to have a good adjustment. Whatever criteria for finding a subluxation is used, it should also be used to determine a good adjustment. Careful of going after all the cracking, it causes you to use too much force.
Chiropractic is a science, philosophy, and art. When we say art, adjusting is just one part of that. Obviously there are many things that go into this, light touch, client comfort, etc. One of the least talked about arts is scoping. In Gonstead’s work, you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone that has done more to advance yet simplify Gonstead’s principles than Gonstead Fellow and Lifetime Achievement Recipient Dr. Gohl.
Though not widely taught, Gonstead said the scope should show a reduction if a good adjustment was given (VIDEO). Plus, it just makes sense if you use a scope to determine if there was a subluxation, you should be able to immediately check after a subluxation is given if the scope reading has been reduced or zeroed.
Gohl uses the Delta-T for some advantages; however you can use what you’re comfortable with. The major advantage of using the Delta-T is for client education with the patient attachment meter. But Dennis Doan, a chiropractor out of OK, has an innovative strategy for making Nervoscope readings visible to clients also (INSTRUCTIONS).
So here’s an easy way to practice scoping, and it takes practice. All the rules written in Gonstead’s chapters make sense on scoping. Gonstead says that you need to differentiate between heat readings or unconfirmed nerve readings (written in this article as “break”) and the real nerve readings (break). If you scope and find a “break”, you must go over and over it and try to erase it. If you can’t erase that “break” by going over and over it, it is a legit nerve break. “If a reading is from an actual subluxation, it cannot be “erased” by repeated glides.” p.164. That is where you must adjust.
Gonstead said those readings should change after an adjustment. If you adjust at the break, you need to repeat the same glide procedure after the adjustment is given. If you scope at the break, try and erase it out. If it does rub out, congrats, you have corrected the segment. Send them on their way.
If you try to rub out where the break was, and it still won’t rub out, you should check your application. Were you a segment too high or too low? Was your line of drive superior in the cervical, P to A in the thoracic or lumbar? Sometimes if you adjust L4 or L5 and that doesn’t clear, you may need to check the ilium or sacrum. If no reading is there, rescope the spine. For me, the scope is very accurate, most of the time if the reading doesn’t clear, I’m usually one bone away. Occasionally it’s not as logical. I set a cervical segment yesterday (not C0, C1, nor C2) which cleared an L1 and an L5 reading. Who knew? Regardless, if the scope doesn’t clear, just repeat the entire procedure, use your criteria, and you’ll figure it out. Remember, the only job is to get rid of the pressure, not treat their back pain or neck pain.
Here’s the most important thing. If it doesn’t clear after an adjustment, don’t beat yourself up. Tell them to come back tomorrow and you’ll check again. Even the great Fred Barge used to joke around about a chiropractor’s practice being a “practice.” Remember, their body is their responsibility, not yours. If you’re pushing the right direction, gently and not traumatizing the body, you’re helping them out immensely.
So to simplify the scoping procedure I use:
- Find the “break”.
- Confirm the “break” by going over and over it. Try to erase it; if it doesn’t, it’s the true nerve break.
- Adjust at the point of interference.
- Rescope and try to erase where the original break was.
- If it clears, your job is done.
- If it doesn’t clear, check your application. Find the correct segment, and adjust.
- Then go back to step 4.
- If it’s just being stubborn, relax. Have them to come back tomorrow and you’ll check them again.
An important part of being a chiropractor is not accepting responsibility for their condition. You just need to show them some love and do your best (which is better than anyone else’s by the way). You’re helping them more than you’ll ever know.
Any students that would like to come down and visit are welcome.