I just read a fascinating new theory about the cause of heart attacks. It eliminates the old and failed concept that cholesterol is the cause (we all know that isn't true) and focuses on the balance and harmony between the two "halves" of the nervous system.
Most of you remember at least briefly about the "fight or flight" response. This is simply demonstrating the "GO" part of the nerve system. It kicks in when we need an immediate response. Unfortunately it is well documented that our "modern" stresses, like traffic, deadlines, poor nutrition, chemicals, packed schedules and all that's similar all stimulate our go fast, hyperactive, run from danger, high adrenaline nerve system response - and that keeps our nerve system constantly stimulated and out of balance.
We need to have plenty of go slow, relax, kick back, care-free, no worries, lots of time, pleasant moments, type of experiences in our lives or we suffer from the effects of a nerve system that's out of balance. Most say we suffer from stress but we are really suffering from the frequent and continual stimulation from that "GO" part of our system that stress brings on.
This constant stimulation leads to stress on the heart that causes chemical changes in the fuel the cells burn, subsequent inflammation, and a cascade of events that often lead to a heart attack.
So what about the chiropractic part? Research is being done on stimulating the vagus nerve because it stimulates the organs (including the heart) to "SLOW" down and relax. So while the medical world is off on a tangent wondering how to insert implants to electrically stimulate the vagus nerve, chiropractors are already doing what we've been doing for over 100 years, gently providing the electrical stimulation to the vagus nerve every time we adjust C1, which is the top bone in the neck.
What I'm getting at here is that like all other chiropractic applications, we provide a natural stimulation to the nerve system which allows the body to better regulate and run itself. The brain is stimulated to function via sensory input from motion sensors in the joints of the body, and when we make sure all the joints are moving properly - this motion will send normal electrical signals to the brain, and on the nerves that are affected by those joints.
So if you want to prevent a heart attack, it might be very wise to make sure your chiropractor is regularly checking and adjusting your atlas bone (C1).
Many times I'm asked if it's OK to "adjust" yourself or if it causes problems. The fact is there are both good and bad ways to go about helping yourself in between your regular chiropractic adjustments.
Have you ever seen anyone grab their chin with one hand, the top of their head with the other and twist, pull and push? Yikes! That's a disaster waiting to happen.
Why? Because there is no specificity directed at the bone and joint that has the problem. In this scenario it's far different than what your chiropractor does because he or she will touch and contact the problem area directly, ensuring that the gentle push goes where its needed. It's specific.
So what to do? Let's say you have a kink in your neck when you turn your head to the right and you can't get into the chiropractor for a day or two, here's how you can help yourself. The secret is going to revolve around creating proper movement in the problem area.
In this scenario you would turn your head to the right until you feel the problem area engage. Then you would practice your cardinal movements directly through that particular movement area. In this case you would perform a series of neck flexion / extension (forward and backward bending) exercises. Perhaps sets of 10 or 20 repetitions. Immediately following, you would do sets of lateral flexion (bending ear toward shoulder) to the left and right. Both of these are while you are maintaining your head at the original point of right rotation which was problematic.
Following this you should be able to perform the initial movement of left and right rotation with much less aggravation in the problem joint area. You have restored some of the motion that is almost always missing when a joint is not functioning properly.
All of these motions should be perfectly safe to perform, as you should not be able to perform any damaging movement while under the control of your own muscles.
While this isn't going to be as thorough and restorative as a proper adjustment, you should find this to be helpful on many occasions. Remember that motion is life.
If you're looking for an even more advanced protocol, simply ask at your next spinal tune-up and you can learn even more.
Have you ever driven past that restaurant or fast food place that you know you should avoid but it just smells so good you start craving it's offerings? I know I have, in fact it took a few years to eliminate some of my past food cravings for those fast "food" disasters. The fact is in most cases you aren't craving the food, you are actually addicted to the fake chemicals that have been added specifically for their bio-addictive and "flavoring" effects.
Good News! The fact is that if you can get past the initial withdrawal cravings, and work at retraining your tastes, your brain will reward you.
According to a new study from Tuft's University and Massachusetts General Hospital, brain scans show that you can not only eliminate the unhealthy cravings, but they can be replaced with cravings for healthy food that are encouraged and supported by your brain. I know from my own personal experience that this has proven to be true.
For those in the study eating the healthier food, it was shown that after 6 months, areas of the brain reward center associated with learning and addiction had changed and responded more greatly to the healthier food choices than the unhealthy foods. Quite simply, their brain, cravings and desires had changed.
Brains can be re-wired, and you are the architect for your own. Every choice, action, thought and emotion will work to your benefit if you exercise conscious exertion of such choices.
I know from personal experience that this can be challenging. Just remember that it's never too late to do a good thing.
Additionally, the top 3 move-able segments of your neck provide direct stimulation for quality brain function. Utilize chiropractic adjustments to ensure these quality brain signals are capable of properly reaching and influencing your thoughts and cravings.