Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections. Many people are familiar with negative neuroplasticity which causes increasing brain fog and memory loss, declining mental clarity and dementia. However, positive neuroplasticity can be achieved as well leading to improved cognitive functions, improved memory, elevated mood and optimized healing. Positive neuroplasticity can be stimulated in several ways. However, one of the most powerful methods to boost your brain function and healing is through chiropractic care.
Witnessing Miracles of Chiropractic Care
As a chiropractic physician, I have had the amazing opportunity to witness seemingly miraculous natural healing in patients on a daily basis. These miracles in healing range from ADD, ADHD, ear infections and asthma in children to diabetes, hypertension, depression, balance disorders and migraines in adults.
I will never forget one of the first patients that I treated for migraines and low back pain. She was certainly experiencing a lot of physical pain but she was dealing with severe depression as well. Her emotional pain was very evident. You could see it in her eyes, on her face and in her body language. She was taking some heavy antidepressant drugs as well.
A few months into her care, she began to present for her appointments with a much lighter, happier mood. She smiled and laughed a lot more. I actually thought that she had changed her meds! However, I soon found that the exact opposite had happened.
On one of her routine office visits, she asked, “Dr. Hunter, does chiropractic have anything to do with helping depression? Because I have been feeling so much better that I have stopped taking my antidepressants.” She went on to explain that she had been off, not only her pain meds, but her antidepressant meds for over a month and had never felt better!
Most neurological disorders in both children and adults have no medical cure. Witnessing their healing seems to be miraculous. Dr. Ted Carrick, a chiropractor who is a modern leader and innovator in the field of chiropractic neurology, was recently interviewed by ABC Nightline(1) regarding the truly miraculous results of his chiropractic neurology treatments. He had this to say about the healing power of the human body and chiropractic care:
I think miracles are things that happen once in a while. What we find is that the miracles that we see, we’re seeing them frequently, every day so they’re not really miracles. What we do is amazing because of what humankind can do.”
Brain Functions and Negative Neuroplasticity
Your brain and nerve system control all the functions of your body. We know that the brain controls our perceptions of vision, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. We also commonly think of the brain controlling our thoughts, moods, memories, and emotions.
However, your brain and nerve system literally control every function and every organ of your entire body. Your attention, balance and posture, breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, sexual function, hormone production, and immune response (among thousands of other functions) are controlled by your brain and nerve system. When your brain and nerve system function well, your body functions well.
Unfortunately, as we age, we experience the effects of negative neuroplasticity. We tend to see our brain function begin to decline. This, in turn, negatively affects other functions throughout your body. You begin to experience memory loss, hearing loss, vision loss, altered taste and smell, and more depressed moods. Increasing blood pressure, as well as, abnormal digestion and sexual function are common. Increased susceptibility to infection happens due to declining immune function. You tend to get colds and the flu more easily.
Our brain literally changes its level of functioning over time. This comes about due to many – often small and repetitive – physical, chemical or emotional stresses. This creates a negative stress response on the brain and nerve system that builds up as we age. If nothing is done to stop and reverse this stress response, then it is continually reinforced over time with our continued exposure to various stresses.
Positive Neuroplasticity – Breaking the Cycle with Chiropractic Care
Unfortunately, many people have a narrow view of chiropractic care, focusing simply on its ability to naturally relieve pain. However, chiropractic care provides many more amazing benefits than just astounding pain relief. The origin of chiropractic care is the optimization of brain and nerve health. The overall purpose of chiropractic care is to remove the stress on the nerve system that causes mental decline and to bring about positive neuroplasticity.
In fact, chiropractic care and chiropractic neurology are the only health care fields that specifically focus on improving neurological function and brain health. Medical neurology seeks medical treatment (drugs and surgery) for neurological problems. While there are times when this is may be necessary, this medical treatment is not inherently designed to improve function and bring about healing and positive neuroplasticity.
Chiropractic adjustments specifically remove interference to normal health and healing. They reduce and, over time, may eliminate the negative effects of stress that result in declining mental states. Research has shown that cervical chiropractic adjustments bring about these positive neuroplasticity effects(2)
Another study presented at the International Research And Philosophy Symposium held at Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic demonstrated this brain boosting effect of chiropractic adjustments.(3) The study was conducted over a three year period with approximately 100 volunteers. Their brain functions were monitored with electroencephalograms (EEG) before and after chiropractic adjustments.
After receiving a chiropractic adjustment, post EEG scans revealed improvement in all areas of the volunteer’s brain function. Brain function is measured on four primary frequencies: Alpha, Beta, Theta and Delta. Alpha waves reflect the meditative, relaxing healing mode. Beta waves represent the active, busy brain. Theta waves reflect light sleep, relaxation and conceptual development. Delta waves represent the brain activity during deep sleep, repair mode and energy storage. Particularly, the researchers noticed an increase in the meditative Alpha brainwave patterns that are associated with a greater degree of relaxation, health and healing.
Scientific and medical research continues to confirm what the chiropractic pioneers knew well over one hundred years ago.
Your brain and nerve system control all functions, health and healing in your body.
A stressed brain and nerve system lead to depressed mood, declining brain function and poor health.
Chiropractic care removes that stress and restores healthy brain function and normal healing.
If you do not use chiropractic care as a regular part of your wellness lifestyle, then it is time to start! Optimal healing, better brain function and positive neuroplasticity can be in your future with chiropractic care.
Question: What positive effects of chiropractic care have you experienced? Share your story in the comments below. I am certain your experience will be a great encouragement to others as well!
References for this Article:
(1) Chiropractic Neurology: Breakthrough Treatment or Placebo?
(2) Cervical spine manipulation alters sensorimotor integration: a somatosensory evoked potential study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17137836
(3) Chiropractic Adjustments Improve Brain Function http://www.yourspine.com/Chiropractic/Chiropractic%20Improves%20Brain%20Function.aspx