We now have Dr. James Chestnuts ‘Living Right for Your Species Type‘ in office for pick up! Here’s a little excerpt from the Introduction:
The brain: a question of timing, synchronization and wavelength.
Each second, our brain is bombarded with thousands of sensory information coming from numerous sources: sight (eye), hearing, olfaction, taste, touch, organs and viscera, skin, muscles, and articulations; in short, from our internal and external environment.
The brain cannot make sense of all this information unless it is integrated into a meaningful experience. Only then can the brain react optimally to its environment. However, there is no single physical area in the brain where all this information can meet. To solve this problem, our brain integrates and synchronizes this information in a temporal manner.
This means that two pieces of information coming from the same sensory experience can only be integrated – and therefore become meaningful – only if they are synchronised in time (« happen together »). In contrast, two pieces of information coming from the same sensory experience which are not synchronized in time cannot be integrated by our brain.
Imagine that you are watching a French movie that has not been properly dubbed. Imagine for example that the image and the sound are not synchronised. Imagine how the lips of the characters are sometimes immobile while the voice still speaks or imagine how the lips keep on moving although the sentence is already finished. The coherence is lost and it becomes annoying, shocking, meaningless, or even ridiculous. After a while, you would stop watching that movie. Children and adults suffering from ADHD have the same problem. Except that for them, the desynchronization is ongoing and never stops. Moreover, the desynchronization does not only affect two senses (such as hearing and sight in our example) but all the thousands sensory information that are coming in from our various senses.
In order for the various pieces of information to be synchronised in time, our brain must have a very precise timing mechanism. And this timing mechanism requires a basic rhythm; the same as a music student uses a metronome to acquire his tempo skills.
In our brain, the metronome is our cerebellum. It gives the timing mechanism upon which all the incoming information will be synchronised. Any malfunction of the cerebellum can therefore lead to a desynchronization of the information, a frequent problem in children suffering from ADHD.
In addition to good timing, the different parts of our brain must be on the same wavelength or frequency to communicate properly.
In order to illustrate this concept, let’s imagine that you are using walkie-talkie with your child who is in the garden. If both devices are on the same frequency (« the same wave length »), you will be able to communicate without any problems. However, if they are on two different wave lengths, there will be some crackling sounds on the line and communication will be more difficult. If both frequencies are too different, it becomes impossible to communicate.
Our cerebral hemispheres and our cortex function at a 40 hertz frequency (40 times per second). This frequency is the basis for human consciousness. At this speed, timing must be very precise or any error can be devastating.
Our brain functions at its best when both hemispheres are coherent, which means when they oscillate at the 40 hertz frequency. When this situation happens, both hemispheres can not only communicate together through traditional neurological relays, but also energetically.
This 40 Hertz frequency originates in the thalamus, the relay centre for all information going toward the brain (except the smell).
In order to better understand this concept, let’s imagine an experiment where the right side of someone’s body isn’t stimulated anymore. The left hemisphere – because the information from the right side of the body crosses to the left side of the brain – will not be stimulated any longer, and the 40 Hertz rhythm cannot be maintained. In consequence, we develop a lack of coherence, a desynchronization between the two hemispheres. In this situation, the brain cannot work at its best.
Research in neuroscience has shown that ADHD is a consequence of a brain timing errors which give rise to a desynchronization of incoming information or a coherence problem in which two or more parts of our brain «are no longer on same wavelength anymore ».
At the Adjusting Room we are excited to offer The Interactive Metronome, TM. as a core part of our Well Brain Program. This revolutionary technology works to improve synchronization and timing back into the brain and improve brain coherence. Call us to find out more.
Let’s talk about Blame…
“Something or someone else is responsible for my illness.”
“I’ve been bad and now I’m being punished for it – by my illness.”
“This illness is happening to me, why am I not better? I’ve tried everything!”
Do any of these sound familiar to you? Have you found yourself thinking or saying something along the blaming lines to yourself or another?
“I have bad genetics”
“I’m like this because my parents were before me”
“This is my lot in life and there’s nothing I can do about it.”
Blame takes your power away and can make you a victim. Blame steals our power; it takes us outside ourselves and our experience. Blame has us look to others for answers rather than feeling inside our self and our experience. It takes away the opportunity to truly feel our experience, to be in our body, and to listen to it. Sometimes we need outside help to begin the healing process through medications, therapy or some kind of medical treatment but the end result will always be in your hands. You have power. You have strength. And you have resilience. By allowing yourself to feel whatever is happening in your body, to be still with it, you may discover something new. You may discover why it’s there and what the gift is that this dis-ease is offering to you. You may even discover an internal source of strength, power and healing.
Perhaps you have placed unnecessary blame on yourself as the cause of this. “If only I hadn’t ______ then this would never have happened”. Perhaps the nature of this self judgement or self-shaming could be part of the disease process itself. It is hard to be present and observe from a state of non-judgement. To be present in our bodies and our life takes practice, focus and a degree of love. Let’s notice where and when we place blame on our self or others and come up with new options. The illness, the pain, is trying to get your attention for a reason – it’s telling you something needs change and to heal!
Network Spinal Analysis is a great place to start! Heal your nervous system: heal your life!
-Kimberley Turner, Chiropractic Assistant
The Awaken experience emerges naturally or organically when the anchors of defense posture or defense physiology no longer have a grip on us, our spine and our life. In other words, when the challenges of the past no longer have a grip on us and no longer hold us back from what we are truly passionate about and what we are drawn toward – we move into states of Awaken. We are no longer moving away from the past or struggling with aspects of our past but rather, the call of our future is so much larger that we move towards the call of our heart and our deepest longings of our heart.
Through the progression of levels of care of NSA we first must move through Discover (Level 1). We must discover how we hold our body, how we hold back in our body (defense), what we protect ourselves from physically, emotionally and mentally. These patterns are stored as somatic anchors of defense in the spine. As that defense pattern looses grip on our spine we develop, in NSA terms, a respiratory wave. The vertebra of the spine rock through their natural range of motion connected to the flow and ease of our breath.
As we start to move from defense into safety we build energy and strength and a backbone of Transform (Level 2). We start to propel forwards away from the constraints of our past as we use the energy that held us back in the past towards personal growth. We start to confront our fears. We are aware, acknowledge and accept what is and what has been. Inside the source of our suffering is the greatest source of growth. What we could not be with, what we shut down and what we ignored has a tremendous opportunity for us to grow from. As this happens in NSA we develop what is called a Somato-Psychic wave. This wave involves rhythmic movements of specific spinal segments and a type of spinal entrainment that is unique to NSA. Some have likened it to a Kundalini Energy.
As the power of Transform builds we move into Awaken (Level 3). We start to follow the call of our heart. As we feel this deepened connection to ourselves and our heart we also feel a deeper connection to others as we sense we are connected to a much bigger “whole” than ourselves. We feel the interconnection of all things and the serendipitous flow of events that previously felt disconnected. We are in the “Flow”, the “Now” and the “Present”. We feel not only connected to our heart but we have a strong spine as well. There is a continuous flow between Discover, Transform and Awaken if we are on a path of growth. There is ALWAYS more to discover, more to transform and continual points of awakening. It is a cyclical process as we grow into fuller expressions of who we are.
What would that look like in your life?
You don’t get grapefruit juice. You get orange juice, of course.
Dr. Donald Epstein, my mentor and the developer of NSA (Network Spinal Analysis), once said that an entrainment (or NSA adjustment) is a way to “squeeze you”. Not literally of course but figuratively. In squeezing you, what comes out is what is inside.
What gets squeezed up in you when you are getting adjusted/entrained? Do you find yourself frustrated, bored, confused, tired or angry during your appointments? Perhaps distracted by noise, the person next to you on the table, the music, the face rests, etc? Have you noticed these sorts of feelings? You are not alone. Usually what shows up on the table, also shows up in life. Rarely is it a random occurrence. Pay attention and take notice.
By being “squeezed” it is a means to get rid of that which no longer serves you. Clear out the clutter and move past the past. Get rid of the gunk, the garbage, the mud. Squeeze the orange and you get orange juice. What if you could actually get the “juice”, or the lesson, out of the experience as well?
So next time you notice those feelings come up, whether it be frustration, boredom, distraction, anger, remember – what do you get when you squeeze an orange? This might give a new opportunity to kindly observe those feelings and move to something new. Maybe…. just maybe.
Be kindly curious with yourself and notice what shows up.
Dr. Shannon Patterson
This is a great article written by Alyssa Giacobbe that originally appeared in Whole Living magazine. She is a chiropractor who practices the same technique as Dr. Shannon Patterson and has done such a good job sharing a patients perspective on Network Spinal Analysis that we had to share it on our website too!
It was a week after I got my license. One wrong turn (me), one speeding car (the other guy), and bam — I’d landed in the hospital with two hip fractures, a bruised kidney, and a broken pelvis. I was sentenced to crutches for five months and endured my high school years with the nickname Alyssa Andretti.
About a year later, I began experiencing a pain on the left side of my abdomen. It wasn’t in my stomach, it was too high to have anything to do with my ovaries, and a battery of tests ruled out intestinal disorders. Having found nothing amiss, doctors concluded I was plain old constipated. “Eat more fiber,” they said. And that was that.
Sixteen years later, the pain remained — sometimes sharp, sometimes dull. I gave up trying to erase it long ago and instead learned to live with it. Back in high school, no one thought to consider that the discomfort might be related to my accident. But recently, I visited a naturopath who raised this possibility. So I began considering new ways to treat that old injury.
On the advice of a friend, I ended up at the Newton, Massachusetts, office of Julie Burke, a chiropractor who has practiced a technique called network spinal analysis (NSA) for nearly two decades. Founded in the early 1980s by chiropractor Donald Epstein and used by more than 400 chiropractors across the United States, NSA employs precise, gentle adjustments (no heavy cracking) to reduce tension on the nerve tissues caused by both physical and mental stresses.
Easing this tension allows the nervous system to function optimally and opens the “respiratory wave,” the natural movement of the spinal bones that should occur with each breath. The resulting increase in energy and breathing capacity, say proponents, helps sustain all-around good health.
While Epstein developed NSA for use by chiropractors, there’s debate over whether it’s a chiropractic method or a separate healing discipline. (NSA isn’t recognized as an approved chiropractic technique by some state boards, and some insurance companies don’t reimburse for treatment.)
While traditional forms of chiropractic rely on standard manual adjustments, practitioners of NSA use a different technique. “A chiropractic degree is required to study and practice NSA, but NSA must be seen as a different discipline,” says Robert Cooperstein, director of technique and research at Palmer College of Chiropractic. Different or not, I’d heard enough good reports that I was eager to give it a try.
Subtle but Powerful
Having never been to a chiropractor of any kind, I had no idea what to expect from my first appointment. Before we began treatment, Burke used a computer-generated analysis to examine my posture and range of motion.
The results were fascinating — and alarming. In normal position, my shoulders and neck were pushed forward from spending many hours working on a computer. The resulting “interference” on the nervous system might be affecting my digestion, causing my abdominal discomfort. What’s more, my back displayed early signs of osteoporosis.
“But I’m only 31!” I said. “It’s very common,” Burke replied. “Few of us have perfect posture, and early signs of osteoporosis can begin in your late twenties.” But as she explained it, just as having tires aligned on a car prevents wear, correcting posture imbalances now will help prevent long-term degeneration — not to mention ease my immediate pain.
After this assessment, Burke guided me to a cot, where I lay face down, fully clothed, as she pressed her hands to my spine and observed my breathing. Adjustments came every few minutes and felt like fingers snapping ever so gently along the surface of my back. At points, the change was profound: My breathing opened up, as if I could transport air from the lowest depths of my abdomen to the top of my head. This is the sort of change Burke looks for. “Once I see a patient start to breathe more freely,” she says, “I know I’m on the right track.” At the end of a session, which can last from 15 minutes to an hour, I felt revived.
For the first month, I saw Burke two to three times a week. Most days I shared the room with other patients, standard in NSA. At first, I could feel the effects while in the office, but they seemed to fade when I returned to my everyday life. One morning after a major adjustment, however, I awoke to find my entire right side stiff; I called the office in a mild panic and was told it might indicate that my body had begun using muscles differently — a good sign. I spent most of the day lying on my back, but when I got up later that day, I felt more energetic than I had in a long time.
A month into treatment, a computer re-evaluation revealed that my alignment had improved drastically: My upper back was less rounded, and the curves in my lower back were closer to normal. Had I not seen these improvements with my own eyes, I might not be convinced. But the proof is there, and so is an ever-increasing awareness. I find I stand straighter, and though I still have a tendency to slouch, I’m more aware of how the slouching affects my breathing. Generally, I feel emotionally lighter — happier, I guess — and people notice.
Best of all, bouts of my abdominal pain have dropped to a mere twice a week. And when the pain does show up at all, it’s much less intense. “Hippocrates declared, ‘Look to the spine for the cause of disease,’ ” Burke said. That guy was onto something.
We all know that sitting for extended periods doesn’t do our health any favors. “Being in situations in which we’re not allowed to move around freely creates spinal and respiratory tension,” says practitioner Julie Burke. Done regularly, these three on-the-go moves will improve your breathing and the health of your spine.
In Front of the TV
Lie on your back and place one hand over the other just below the collarbones, palms down. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth three times, and observe the movement. Repeat with your hands at the solar plexus, and again at the navel, directing the breath toward any blockages.
At Your Desk
Place one ankle on the other knee. Sitting upright and keeping your spine straight, lean your torso forward. Alternate legs. Do this at least three times a day.
In the Air
During flight, place your carry-on in front of you and place one foot on top of it. This changes the angle of how you sit, causing less stress on your body and easing your transition from air to ground.
Have you ever actually noticed how your body does stress? How does it react? Do you notice your concentration dwindles? Do you feel checked out and disconnected? From yourself? From others?
Anything that is too much in the moment for our body to process is stressful. That may be a physical stress such as an accident, an injury or repetitive motion (or lack of motion – such as sitting). It also may be an emotional stress such as a hard day at the office or challenging relationship.
Our bodies first line of defence to stress is to lay down tension. It is a defence mechanism or a survival mechanism. We all do this to some degree. The trick is to notice how quickly we come out of that stress. Are we reliving it over and over even though the event is long past (sometimes decades past). Do minor events trigger this old and familiar coping mechanism. This is a great short term strategy but a terrible long term strategy. We can get stuck in that state of reactivity — our body learns that reaction and it becomes familiar to us.
When that tension influences spinal muscles it results in spinal misalignment or spinal subluxations. Our posture distorts to one of protection and defence. The head comes forward, shoulders tense, hips and pelvis pull out of alignment. This means there is less energy available for healing and repair. We are caught in states of fight, flight and freeze physiology. The frontal lobes of the brain (the part that that is most evolved and takes stock in our situation) checks out.
The focus here at the Adjusting Room is to alter this state…. alter the state of fight, flight and freeze physiology… the state that produced the tension and resulting misalignment of the spine in the first place. The brain can then pay attention to the body more effectively and let go of those underlying stress responses or defence patterns. Want to know more? Contact us … you might be surprised what your body is trying to tell you when you are able to listen.
How often do you stop and ask yourself that question? How often do you stop and listen to your own answers?
As I hear horns honking and cars racing down West Broadway Avenue I can’t help but feel we rarely take the time to do so. What are we missing as we rush and hurry through our days, months and years? How is that impacting your health and well being? How is that impacting your ability to connect to those you love? Do you stop to smell the flowers or are you too busy to smell their sweetness? What symptoms might show up if we become accustomed to living life at that pace?
What could your high blood pressure be telling you? Would it be an appropriate response for your heart rate to speed up and blood pressure to increase if you are running on a perpetual treadmill? A teacher of mine once said that we usually know our own answers (in time) and often the answers are just outside what is comfortable or customary for our lives.
Why not stop and listen for a change. With a kind curiosity you might be surprised at what you see, smell, and feel. It might lead you down a path you never noticed before.
I recently started working out with a personal trainer. It’s a first for me. Yes I have exercised in various forms for years but never with a one on one trainer. Call it a dare or a challenge but I was up for it. What I quickly became aware of were my blind spots — those areas in my training that I didn’t realize were missing. This brought an entirely new level of awareness for me. And a new challenge to rise to.
Something new and powerful is available to us all when we work with a coach, trainer, healer, teacher or wise friend. These connections allow us to see our blind spots. We can not see our own. We need to interact with others to see them (blind spots that is). Who helps you see your blind spots – physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually?
Our spine is frequently a big blind spot for us. It has been said that “what goes to the back of the mind, goes to the spine”. Why not bring this blind spot to light and discover what else is possible.
How does your body respond to challenges?
Have you ever noticed how your body responds to being challenged physically, emotionally or mentally?
By Dr. Shannon Patterson
On a physical level, does your body respond to physical challenges or added demands with the feeling of complete exhaustion to the point of being depleted? Do you feel the need for rest, quiet and silence? Do you feel invigorated and alive following an intense workout?
How about on an emotional level? What happens in your body when you move through the more intense emotions of anger, grief, or bliss? Are you able to feel these emotions at all or do you dissociate all together? Do you hold on to those moments with fear of being unable to connect to them again while losing the ability to connect to the “now”?
What about being mentally challenged or having your point of view challenged? Do you become enraged and tongue-tied at the same time? Frustrated at being unable to express yourself? Feel shut down from your body and emotions?
These responses, and others, stem from the brain and our ability to self regulate through periods of stress. The ability to self regulate is a natural state of being yet often we become unable to access it on a natural and effortless level. We might need to run away or have an extended vacation to reconnect with this state of ease. Our body can become more familiar with stress physiology as a default mechanism rather than this state of self-regulation (or healing physiology). We could try to influence the results of this stressed state – tight muscles, emotional shutdown, mental frustration – or we could influence at the core – improving the ability to self regulate and changing the brains default mechanism.
The state of stress physiology naturally occurs in life when facing challenges. It is a necessary state at certain points in life and yet can become detrimental to our health and healing when it is our default state. Physical injury and sustained mental emotional stress can lead to our nervous system becoming stuck in these states of stress physiology.
Would developing a more resilient nervous system be helpful to you? Would you like to have stress physiology a momentary reaction rather than your natural default state? Research in Network Spinal Analysis, a chiropractic technique practiced by Dr. Shannon Patterson, has been demonstrated to do just that. In a study conducted on 2800 people under Network Spinal Analysis care 76% reported improved ability to respond to stress, increased life enjoyment, improved physical and emotional wellbeing. Is that something that you are interested in?
Find out more. Next Introduction to Network Spinal Analysis is on Thursday November 15, 2012 from 7:15pm to 8:30pm at Broadway Wellness. There is no charge for this event but pre registration is required. Bring a friend.