How does it Work?

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How does it Work?

The amazing human nervous system

The human nervous system is the system that communicates the commands from your brain to all the parts of your body and returns the feed back from your body to the brain. Your breathing, your sight , your heart pumping, your energy and hormone production, your movement and all of your other functions rely on the normal function of your nervous system. Some nerves go straight from your brain stem to their target and back, such as those to your eyes and tongue and form part of the cranial nerves. Other nerves go from the top of you neck to all the organs. They can slow down the heart and control the flow of gastric juices etc . this is called the parasympathetic nervous system. Other nerves go down inside your spinal column and exit in pairs at each level of the thoracic spine to go to the organs as a balance to the parasympathetic nervous system and speed up your heart when you run and increase the gastric juices when you are hungry. This is called the sympathetic nervous system and these two systems balance each other to control the proper function of your organs.

Other nerves come out of the spinal cord at each level and supply the spark that makes your muscle work and give the feed back to your brain that something feels hot or sharp. You would know that sometimes a nerve can be interfered with, by say a disc protrusion, as it enters the spine and cause ‘pins and needles’ in the arm or leg. That same pressure can interfere with a nerve as it exits the spine causing weakness of muscles. The sympathetic nerves to your internal organs go through the very same foramen (exit holes) at the spine and are in the same sheath as the sensory and motor nerves. It doesn’t have to be a disc protrusion to cause pressure at these exit holes. Inflammation or a facet (spinal joint), which is immediately adjacent to the hole causes fluid build up (anti inflammatory exudates etc) which can interfere with proper nerve flow. Chiropractors believe that interference to the nerve function to and from your organs can adversely affect your health and there is growing scientific evidence to support this view. Other nerves of the sympathetic system come down from your brain inside the cord then exit at the upper thoracic spine and go up the outside of your neck , back into your skull and supply the muscles in the walls of the blood vessels to your brain. Thus they control the blood flow in your brain and interference to their function can have profound effects.


Blood flows from the heart to all the cells of our body. It carries oxygen, nutrition and hormones and along with lymph carries away waste products. The lymphatic system is a parallel system for return of the circulation through the lymph nodes to the heart. As the lymph goes through these nodes it is filtered and bacteria etc are dealt with. The nerves have a blood supply and interference in that supply stops those nerves from working. We see this when your leg goes numb after sitting with your legs crossed. Conversely each artery has muscles that help pump the blood and these muscles are supplied with nerves that make them work. Interference to these nerves affects that blood supply. We see an example of this when nerve irritation affects the muscles in the walls of the arteries in the brain causing vasoconstriction (visual disturbance) and then vasodilation (migraine headache).

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Subluxation degeneration

Joint surfaces are bathed in synovial fluid which lubricates them, supplies them with nutrition and takes away waste products. There is no blood in the joint and the job normally done by blood in the rest of the body is done by synovial fluid in the joints. If a joint cannot move through it’s full range then part of the joint surface is not lubricated and wears at an accelerated rate. That’s why people do yoga and tai chi, they help maintain normal joint movement. Chiropractors and osteopaths restore the normal movement in joints to eliminate interference to normal nerve and blood supply and to stop joints from wearing out prematurely. Stiff joints wear out their cartilaginous coating, the discs in spinal joints thin and bony spurs start to grow. X rays taken some years after untreated injuries show these degenerative signs.