WHY IS SO MUCH EMPHASIS PLACED ON THE STATE OF MY SPINE AND NERVOUS SYSTEM?
ALL of life's experiences and functions, including genetic expression, involve the nervous system. All of our perceptions, thoughts, decisions, actions, emotions, etc. intimately involve the nervous system and are directed through one's "sense of self" (i.e., the spine and spinal cord). It is responsible for controlling and coordinating every cell, tissue, and organ in the body, including how we self-regulate, heal, adapt, and develop. The nervous system is the most protected organ system in the body; the brain is fully encased by the skull while the spine protects the spinal cord. Every system in the body, including the endocrine (think hormones) and immune system, is under its direct influence.
Furthermore, the nervous system is designed to promote survival, and as such has the highly specialized function or responsibility of receiving, filtering, interpreting, and responding to many internal and external environmental signals and circumstances at every moment of one's life. It is through this reception and interpretation of constantly changing environmental signals that adaptations are accomplished, and DNA/gene expression is influenced.
For all of this to function optimally, it is imperative that the nervous system function as optimally as it can, as often as possible, throughout one's life. It is impossible for one to live an optimal life through a nervous system that is compromised or functioning at less than optimal levels as a result of stresses or life events that the body-mind perceives as being unsafe to fully engage and experience. This causes defense physiology (fight-or-flight) and posture (armoring), thereby expressing a narrowed ability to adapt appropriately to the environment and life events (i.e., vertebral subluxations are present).
HOW ARE STRESS AND VERTEBRAL SUBLUXATIONS RELATED
The tough, protective connective tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meninges-specifically the Dura Mater) also serves to strongly anchor these structures to the bones of the cranium, upper spine (cervical/neck), and lower spine (sacrum and coccyx/tailbone). The meninges can distort and hold patterns of tension in response to various stresses (emotional, chemical, and physical) we encounter throughout our lives that are perceived by our central nervous system (CNS) to be beyond our body's ability to fully adapt to or recover from at the time.
One can think of these tension patterns as unresolved "issues" that are "anchored" or stored in the sub-conscious mind at the level of the spinal cord and meninges, which negatively impact the body as a whole (e.g., abnormal muscle tension patterns [leading to altered posture and spinal misalignments/subluxations], disruption of body and brain chemistry [including the Brain Reward Cascade], sub-optimal organ function, etc.).
WHAT CAN SUCH LIGHT ADJUSTMENTS POSSIBLY ACCOMPLISH?
A Tonal Adjustment can be summed up as "communication through touch". Dr. Sanchez primarily uses light-force or impulse touch by hand at very specific points of access along the spine called Spinal Gateways™, which are at or near spinal segments that have dural attachments (i.e., where the spinal cord attaches to the spine via the meninges). This allows the body-mind to get out of a state of defense and into a state of safety and growth, and to initiate the process of neural self-assessment/self-reflection, which ultimately leads to an increase in spinal and neural integrity along with accompanying enhancements in:
- Self-correction of spinal subluxations and release of adverse spinal cord tension patterns
- Awareness of one's body and its subtle cues, spine, emotions, breathing, and rhythms
- Ability to express a broader range of emotions and new emerging adaptive strategies to stress/life events
- Propensity to make wiser choices for one's health, body, and emotions
- Overall performance, wellness, and quality of life with no apparent ceiling effect (one continues to make improvements as the individual progresses through care).
On any given visit, determining the precise Spinal Gateways™ to deliver gentle adjustments in the proper sequence and with the precise vector, torque, and timing to allow for optimal self-correction, is of utmost importance to the Tonal Chiropractor. Dr. Sanchez may, at times, use the Intergrator™, an FDA approved hand-held adjusting instrument, which introduces a quick, but gentle, vibratory impulse at the determined point of access.
The focus is on the specific application of the lightest force (adjustment/entrainment) necessary to initiate the "Ripples of Change" in the "sense of self" (spinal cord & spine) mentioned above, giving it the ability to upgrade/reorganize to a higher level of function and adaptability. Therefore, the intent is not to move, manipulate, or force a bone from point 'A' to point 'B', or to remove a fixation, but rather to positively impact the nervous system; to initiate a change within by introducing "information" into these specific spinal "windows" or Spinal Gateways™ in the form of a gentle oscillatory touch or vibratory frequency that in turn creates a cascade of events within the entire body (this can be thought of in terms of a pebble being dropped into a pond of still water, whereby the entire pond is reached by the effects of the ripples created).
From this, the nervous system is able to release subluxations and tension patterns throughout the body and create, or have emerge from it, new refined strategies to adapt to the environment and stresses of life, thereby allowing one to make better health-conscious choices for her/his body, emotions, and life that are internally motivated, and achieve a deeper life experience as part of that person's inner journey and "new awakening".
Each adjustment/entrainment progressively helps the person achieve a deeper connection with the body and gain an ever-increasing awareness of the body's subtle cues, spine, breathing, and rhythms. The nervous system is capable of LEARNING to function more efficiently, and is able to form more neural networks, or interconnections between neurons (nerve cells), through a process called SYNAPTOGENESIS (the creation of more connections).
The non-linear, non-mechanistic, mind-body-spirit nature of this approach doesn't lend itself well to patterning, or reaching a plateau, which is supported by published research. One can think of this approach as a sort of "dance" in which the practice member's (patient's) INNATE INTELLIGENCE, via several neurological indicators of subluxation, leads or guides the doctor's actions during each visit, rather than the doctor arbitrarily deciding what your body needs.
The effects of these gentle tonal adjustments on the quality of life are profound since the nervous system is involved in every realm of human experience-(We literally live our lives through our nervous systems).
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WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM THIS APPROACH?
- Anyone wanting to experience higher levels of wellness and quality of life
- Anyone desiring a deeper awareness of, and connection to, the subtle cues and rhythms of his/her body
- Anyone who wants to experience a greater depth of perceptions and a greater range of emotions and adaptive choices
- Anyone who's ready for a positive life transformation/change
Because of the fact that Chiropractic care has a positive impact on the nervous system, which is involved in every realm of human experience, including our perceptions and adaptation, everyone can benefit regardless of age, level of health, or the presence or absence of symptoms.
WHY DOESN'T THE DOCTOR FOCUS ON THE AREAS WHERE I COMPLAIN OF PAIN OR OTHER SYMPTOMS?
Dr. Sanchez does not "chase" pain or symptoms because his non-linear tonal approach is not dictated by the presence or location of symptoms, but rather where the body requires the input of "information" in order to get the most out of its own resources to heal, regulate, adapt, develop, perform and express life to its fullest potential.
Our western society in general, through many years of indoctrination, holds the erroneous idea that health can be summed up into the simple concept of feeling "good", or the absence of symptoms. This is why it's common for many to only seek help or take action (re-act) when there's an awareness that a problem exists. We have been led to believe that symptoms are all inherently bad, and therefore our aim should be in combating these "effects".
It is important to note that this isn't the way Lifestyle/Wellness-Based Chiropractic views symptoms, as we acknowledge the serious flaws inherent in this view and approach.
Symptoms, although not at all comfortable, can be seen as natural processes of a body that is functioning correctly that have evolved throughout the many years that human beings have been in existence; an inherent intelligence "prepackaged" into every single one of our cells passed on from generation to generation. For example, when harmful bacteria invade the body, a fever may ensue. This is part of the body's natural defense mechanism in response to these invaders since many bacteria cannot survive prolonged temperatures above 99˚F. Another example is when someone ingests something that is potentially harmful; the body's natural response is to attempt to get those "toxins" out as quickly and efficiently as possible, which can mean a bout of diarrhea and vomiting. Again, this is a healthy response, up to a point before dehydration.
Furthermore, just because someone feels "good" and is expressing no symptoms doesn't necessarily mean that (s)he is healthy. Many harmful, unhealthy processes can exist for years. These include, but are not limited to: HIV, Coronary Artery Disease, Cancer, High Blood Pressure, Osteoporosis, Parkinson's Disease, and VERTEBRAL SUBLUXATION, just to name a few.
A very important concept that is often overlooked is that the presence of symptoms or a health crisis many times indicates a need for change in how a person has lived his/her life up until that point, and how he/she experiences his/her body and world.
WHY SHOULD I RECEIVE CHIROPRACTIC CARE IF I "FEEL FINE"?
It's no secret that other healthcare disciplines are promoting "preventive" and "maintenance" care. For instance, people get their regular "checkups" with their respective "team" of healthcare professionals, regardless of how they feel, just to see if "everything is alright". Some examples of "health" screenings include: cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar control (Diabetes), osteoporosis, breast tissue health (mammograms), dental/oral health, vision, etc. The truth of the matter is that most people don't have their nervous system function checked, let alone "worked on", despite the fact that it is the "Master System" of the body that is involved in all bodily functions, adaptations, and perceptions.
While prevention and maintenance are noble concepts in healthcare, what about enhancement? Does maintaining the "status quo" best serve the expression of higher states of humanity, health, and vitality? Is the current "state of your being", no matter how good it seems, really as good as it gets? "Hmmm."
Interestingly enough, in 2004, a review of the scientific literature of approximately 40 studies on the benefits of chiropractic care on overall health, physiological changes, quality of life in individuals who were asymptomatic (no symptoms) was published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, a peer-reviewed scientific journal. These studies have demonstrated that, in addition to improved range of motion, chiropractic care significantly improves:
| Autonomic function
|| Cardiovascular function
|| Endocrine function
| Heart Rate Variability
|| Respiratory function
|| Immune function
|| Athletic performance
|| Reaction time
|| Information processing
|| Visual acuity
| Cognitive function
|| Reproductive hormones
| Muscle strength
|| Labor time (pregnancy)
|| Recovery time
WHY DOES THE DOCTOR WORK ON SEVERAL PEOPLE ON ADJACENT ADJUSTING TABLES AT A TIME?
The Tonal Model of Chiropractic embraces the concept that the body may need a little time to process the information introduced by each adjustment/entrainment. This is why Dr. Sanchez may work on several practice members at a time, allowing each a little time to process the adjustments/entrainments. Another reason is that there seems to be a connection or resonance that occurs between practice members lying on tables in close proximity to one another as they progress through care, a sort of collective experience in which they are "on the same wavelength" or "in the flow" with one another, like the sympathetic resonance that occurs when a precise note being sung next to a wine glass of the exact resonance causes it to vibrate/resonate and recreate that note.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM THESE ADJUSTMENTS / ENTRAINMENTS?
While each individual's positive response and timing of observable changes as a result of Tonal Chiropractic may vary, what follows below is a list of commonly observed responses while on the table during a session and/or out of the office, and reported changes, which happen to support research findings:
- breathing more fully along the entire length of the spine with the formation of the Respiratory Wave™ (the first of two healing waves associated with NSA), which is accompanied by a release of tension in the body (feeling more at ease)
- emotional releases ranging from deep sighs (or other sounds) to crying or laughing
- spontaneous movements that progress to the formation and refinement of the second healing wave exclusively associated with NSA-Somatopsychic Wave™ (body-mind wave) in which the body engages in synchronized, rhythmic, dolphin-like muscular undulations of the spine that represent a progressive evolution of enhanced states of neural self-organization (as demonstrated by research conducted at USC Depts. of Electrical Engineering and Mathematics
- Non-linear Mathematical Modeling of surface EMG), and more efficient dissipation of the body's energy and tension patterns
- various physical sensations (e.g., tingling, the sensation that the doctor is still touching/working on you when he's actually not, warmth, etc.)
- Experiencing sensations or emotional feelings associated with past traumas (emotional, chemical, physical) as the body processes and releases them
- increased sense of well-being
- increased clarity and body awareness
- enhanced ability to adapt to stress
- a propensity to make better choices for one's life and health
- better sleep
PREGNANCY, INFANTS, AND CHILDREN
Tonal Chiropractic is a very honoring system that is very gentle, very effective, and safe for people of all ages. During pregnancy, lots of changes occur within a woman's body, both structurally and chemically. The nervous system is intimately tied to the regulation of these changes. Since the mother's internal environment is the baby's external environment, the mother's perceptions and strategies for adapting to stress that she may encounter while pregnant may greatly impact the baby's development in-utero. Imagine the outcome of providing your unborn child with an environment that is characterized by the chemistry of love and safety rather than the chemistry of "fight-or-flight".
As far as infants and children are concerned, besides the fact that the birth process itself may have a negative impact on structural and neural integrity, they also live their lives through their nervous systems; furthermore, their development and changes that occur as they grow are controlled and coordinated by their nervous systems. Since this is true, and it's also true that chiropractic adjustments have a positive effect on neural integrity and function, we strongly feel that this is a very crucial time in one's life to make sure that his/her nervous system is functioning as optimally as it can.
The Bottom Line: Imagine the impact of having your children develop greater awareness of and connection between their body-mind, along with newly emerging strategies or "tools" for self-regulating tension and adapting more effectively to the challenges of life.