When you think about it, our bodies are pretty amazing machines. We can run, jump and climb. We can see, hear, taste, feel and smell. We are made up of many incredible parts that work together to keep the whole thing in operation. If you take a moment to really consider that we’re 90% water and all that we can do, it’s a little awe inspiring. Take it to the next step and consider what makes it all work, what controls this machine?
THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
Just like a car or a computer, our body has a master controller that makes everything work. The Central Nervous System is the complex system of nerve tissues that control the activities of the body. Messages are sent by the brain via the spinal cord to the muscles, organs and glands coordinating and influencing all of the other systems of the body.
Messages are sent by the brain, down the spinal cord and out through the nerves between the vertebrae that make up the spine. Messages are also returned to the brain via the same route.
AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM
If we want to take this one step further, we should consider the autonomic nervous system, which influences the function of our internal organs and controls key involuntary bodily functions. Specifically, there are functions we can’t control on our own like our heart beat, food digestion and body temperature, just to name a few. This system actually consists of two divisions. The first is the sympathetic nervous system, which accelerates the heart rate, constricts blood vessels, and raises blood pressure. This is the system that will stimulate the body’s fight-or-flight response. The second is the parasympathetic nervous system, which slows the heart rate, increases intestinal and glandular activity, and relaxes the sphincter muscles. This system goes to work when the body is at rest.
All involuntary systems are controlled by the autonomic nervous system. We do not tell our heart that it needs to beat, it just does. We don’t tell our body that it needs to digest the food we just ingested; it knows it needs to do that. Depending upon what food we’re eating the pancreas gets involved producing insulin, the gall bladder gets involved producing digestive enzymes and many other organs do their jobs.
The autonomic nervous system is part of the master controller: the central nervous system.
Our body is being controlled by the central nervous system. The body is made up of many systems that all work together, and each system has an important function, but all of these systems are controlled by this one. Consider how important that one system must be when you consider that it controls all of the other bodily systems.
Just like a car or a computer, our body has a master controller that makes everything work. For instance, let’s first consider the circulatory system made up of the cardiovascular or vascular system and the lymphatic system. This system’s primary job is to circulate our blood and by circulating that blood it carries oxygen and nutrients to and waste materials away from all of our body’s tissues. That same blood being circulated by the heart carries filtered blood plasma between blood cells as lymph.
Next let’s take a look at the respiratory system, which helps our body to breathe via our lungs. This system is made up of the trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, lungs and diaphragm. Each of these organs must work properly for us to breathe. Without this system working properly there would be no oxygen to be carried by the cardiovascular system.
Another important system is our immune system. To function properly the immune system must recognize and detect a wide variety of foreign invaders, also known as pathogens; this can range from viruses or bacteria to parasitic worms, and distinguish them from our own healthy tissue or non-harmful invaders. An improperly functioning nervous system is the cause of most allergies including seasonal allergies, respiratory allergies and food allergies.
Finally, let’s consider the digestive system since as much as we don’t want to talk about it, it’s probably the most important system in the body. This system is made up of a group of organs that work together to convert food into energy and the basic nutrients we need to fuel our body. The alimentary canal begins with the oral cavity, includes the pharynx, travels the esophagus, empties into the stomach then proceeds to the small then large intestines. Through this process the body produces hormones and enzymes to help digest these foods and get the most from the nutrients included. Accessory organs that make up the digestive system include the teeth, tongue, salivary glands, liver, gallbladder and pancreas. Once all of these organs have done their job, the kidneys get involved in eliminating waste.
This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg; there are so many more systems that we haven’t even considered: the endocrine system that controls all of our hormones; the integumentary system or exocrine system that controls the skin, hair, nails, sweat and more; the muscular and skeletal systems that enables the body to move and supports the organs; and the reproductive system that makes it possible to procreate.
These systems all play a vital role in our living, breathing and moving. Every system works together in concert every day and we want them to work correctly. If one system stops working properly then the effects can range from being a minor nuisance to a major problem. Every disorder or disease has a basis in some part of some system not working properly.
Do you have blood pressure problems? What about headaches? Have you been diagnosed with asthma or irritable bowel syndrome? Every one of these and more may have been caused by a message not traveling unimpeded through the nervous system.
Messages must travel unhindered and unobstructed from the brain down the spinal column and out via the nerves to all of the muscles, organs and glands. That was the way the body was created to work and that’s when it functions properly. If a message doesn’t get where it needs to go then problems arise.
If one or more of the bones of the spine (vertebrae) are even slightly out of position or alignment then it can affect the nerves that pass between those bones and go out to the many parts of the body. This effect can be anything from a slight irritation to a great deal of pressure. If this happens then the messages from the brain are obstructed from getting where they need to go and doing what needs to be done. This disruption in messages is called Vertebral Subluxation. When left unchecked and uncorrected, Vertebral Subluxation may result in a myriad of problems both minor and major. Consider the many bodily systems that are controlled by the nervous system, by messages traveling to and from the brain via the spinal cord, and think for a moment what may result from an interruption in that message service.
Studies have shown that specific chiropractic adjustments can relieve Vertebral Subluxation and so may be beneficial in the care of many common disorders. A study in 2008 reported that cervical adjustments were shown to affect diastolic pressure and case studies published just this year have shown the resolution of constipation, chronic otitis media and headaches in children following regular chiropractic care and adjustments.
THE CHIROPRACTIC FACTOR
Your Family Wellness Chiropractor is the only healthcare professional that has been trained in the detection and correction of Vertebral Subluxation. They recognize that your body has an inborn and instinctual ability to heal itself when it is functioning properly. There may be times when surgical or chemical interventions are necessary but let them be the last resort. Seek a healthy, non-invasive treatment for the disorders or diseases affecting you and your family. Talk to your Family Wellness Chiropractor about any symptoms your family may be experiencing and see if chiropractic care is the answer. Rather than mask the symptoms, look for the root cause of the problem.