Poor Posture

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Thee Social Condition-Poor Posture 

In this era, technology has taken over our lives and with it, poor posture. If you look anywhere in public nowadays, it’s almost a guarantee an individual is on their phone. They are also more than likely to be looking down at their phone rather than keeping it at eye level. We call this “text neck.”

The repetition of our neck in a flexed position is detrimental to our cervical (neck) curvature. With enough poor posture and time, our necks begin to create a reversed curve causing dysfunction in our biomechanics and training our muscles poorly to adapt to that negative change. This puts unnecessary stress on our spines, our spinal cord and therefore the rest of our nerve system. Pursuing correct posture improves your overall health. Our bodies are so efficient at adapting, pain does not surface until later when our bodies are desperate for correction. 

Subluxations or misalignments of the spine help contribute to poor posture. “An average person spends 2-4 hours a day with their heads tilted forward reading and texting on their smart phones and hand held devices, amassing 700-1400 hours of excess, abnormal cervical spine stress per year. A high school student may spend an extra 5,000 hours in poor posture per year” (Kenneth K. Hansraj, M.D.). With that said, “The weight of a dime can decrease the function of a nerve by 60%” (Chang Ha Suh, PH.D.). Subluxations contribute to poor posture and therefore decrease the integrity of the nerve system, it does not take much for the functionality of our bodies to be altered. 

There are many things in this world we cannot control but improving your posture is not one of them. Be the best version of yourself and give yourself the best chance at fighting the stresses of life by a simple correction. Train your mind to be self aware of your posture, it will take time to be cognizant of posture but your body will thank you in the end. 

No more excuses!  Make it happen! 

Chiropractic and Mental Health

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Chiropractic and Mental Health

Research supports that vertebral subluxations may result in altered autonomic nervous system activity. How does this affect mental health and behavior? We will look specifically the vagus nerve “fight or flight” response and “rest and digest” response. The vagus nerve is a major component of the HPA-axis which coordinates neural, behavioral, endocrine, and immune/inflammatory responses. This is why we check heart rate variability in the office to gauge how well your vagus nerve is functioning, therefore how well your HPA-axis is functioning.

There is a theory called the Polyvagal Theory (PVT) that was proposed by Porges in which nervous system regulation affects our emotional expression, communication, and social behavior. Or in other words the neural pathways supporting behavior are involved in maintaining health.

In a study by Williams et al, “There was some evidence that spinal manipulation improved psychological outcomes compared with verbal interventions.” A different study by Holder et al, looked at patients who received instrument assisted adjustments, the test group who received adjustments showed a significant decrease in anxiety compared to the control group.

Chiropractic care a whole is concerned with totality of the human experience. By correcting subluxations, patients are more optimally able to adapt to the world around them and build resilience. When an adjustment is delivered, a patient’s nervous system immediately responds by altering the body’s ability to function at it’s fullest potential again.

Holder JM, Duncan Robert C, Gissen M, Miller M, Blum K (2001) Increasing retention rates among the

chemically dependent in residential treatment: auriculotherapy and (in a separate study)

subluxation-based chiropractic care. Journal of Molecular Psychiatry 6.

Williams NH, Hendry M, Lewis R, Russell I, Westmoreland A, et al. (2007) Psychological response in spinal

manipulation (PRISM): A systematic review or psychological outcomes in randomized controlled

trials. Complementary Therapis in Medicine 15:271-283.

Heart Rate Variability

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Did you know that your nervous system controls your heart rate? It is one of the many smart things that your body does without you having to or put any thought into it. Your nervous system will increase or decrease your heart rate based on the needs of your body, and this is called heart rate variability.

Most people know that having a healthy heart rate is important – you don’t want it too fast, and you don’t want it too slow. It is providing your vital organs with blood and oxygen that you need to survive. However, your heart rate is not at a constant steady 70 beats per minute all day every day; it changes based on whether you are resting or exercising, whether you are happy or angry, nervous or relaxed.

These changes in heart rate can be measured by something called heart rate variability or HRV. HRV is controlled by your nervous system (made up of your brain, spinal cord and all the nerves that go to every tissue and cell in your body), specifically the part of your nervous system that is automatic, that we don’t have to think about, like breathing. A good HRV (a high one) is thought to reflect a healthy heart and a body that can respond and adapt to its environment and needs.

It is important that your brain knows what is going on in and around your body so that it can know when to increase or decrease your heart rate, and it needs to do this quickly. For example, if you suddenly need to run really fast because you’re being chased by a bear, your nervous system will quickly need to increase your heart rate so it can pump enough blood to your muscles so you can run. However, when you are sleeping or relaxed, you don’t want your heart rate to stay beating that fast as this is not good for you, so your brain will sense this and then decrease your heart rate. 

We know now, from a lot of neuroscience research studies, that when your spine is not moving properly, this changes the way your brain can sense what is going on in and around your body and the way it controls your body.1-3 If the joints of your spine are not moving properly (what chiropractors call being subluxated) this may affect how well you can sense what is going on in and around you and how well you can react to your environment. Research has shown that when a chiropractor then gently adjusts these subluxations, it helps the brain to more accurately “see” what is going on in and around the body. So, when you get adjusted by your chiropractor, it might help you to be able to respond and adapt to your environment better and keep you balanced and healthy.

Chiropractic may help

What does the research say about chiropractic care and heart rate variability (HRV)? Researchers have looked at a lot of the studies that have been done on the effects of chiropractic care on HRV and summarised them.4 The results show that chiropractic care does affect HRV, and it seems to increase the healing and calming side of our autonomic nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system! 

In one study,5 the researchers got 96 different chiropractors to measure HRV before and after adjustments on 8 different patients and after 4 weeks on 2 of their patients. Altogether, 539 adults had their HRV recorded before and after their adjustments, and 111 adults had their HRV recorded across four weeks of chiropractic care. They found that in both of these groups of adults, there were improvements in their HRV measurements and that in the group that received adjustments over four weeks, these improvements remained constant over that time. 

These studies suggest that even just one adjustment can influence an important part of our nervous system that controls our heart rate, which represents how well our body can respond to our environment and is considered to be a measure of someone’s adaptability and general health. Also, very importantly, in the stressful, fast-paced life we often live these days, chiropractic care appears to increase the “healing and calming” side of our autonomic nervous system. If you are interested in good health, adaptability and want to respond better to stress, why don’t you consider chiropractic care?

Make sure your spine is functioning well so you can operate at your best!

References
  1. Kawli T, He F & Tan M-W. Disease models & mechanisms 2010;3(11-12):721-31.
  2. Buckingham JC, et al. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 1996;54(1):285-98.
  3. Elenkov IJ, et al. Pharmacological reviews 2000;52(4):595-638.
  4. Herkenham M & Kigar SL. Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry 2017;79(Pt A):49-57.
  5. Kipnis J. Scientific American 2018;319(2):28-35.
  6. Kox M, et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2014;111(20):7379-84.
  7. Pearce BD, Biron CA & Miller AH. Advances in Virus Research: Academic Press 2001:469-513.
  8. Sanders VM & Kohm AP. International review of neurobiology 2002;52:17-41.
  9. Uthaikhup S et al. Arch Gerontol Geriatr 2012;55(3):667-72.
  10. Haavik H & Murphy B. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2012;22(5):768-76.
  11. Treleaven J. Man Ther 2008;13(1):2-11.
  12. Daligadu J, et al.JMPT 2013;36(8):527-37.
  13. Haavik H & Murphy B. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 2012;22(5):768-76.
  14. Haavik H, et al. 2017 doi: 10.1016/j. jmpt.2016.10.002
  15. Taylor HH & Murphy B. JMPT 2008;31(2):115-26.
  16. Colombi A & Testa M. Medicina 2019;55(8):448.
  17. Kovanur-Sampath K, et al. Musculoskeletal Science and Practice 2017;29:120-31.
Acknowledgments
  • Dr. Heidi Haavik – BSc(Physiol) BSc(Chiro) PhD
  • Dr. Kelly Holt – BSc, BSc(Chiro), PGDipHSc, PhD
  • Dr. Jenna Duehr – BChiro, BHSC (Nursing), MHSc

Handbrake In Your Brain

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Handbrake in Your Brain

Does it feel like you have a handbrake on your muscles and you don’t have your usual strength?

This idea of having a handbrake on your muscles may actually be more real than you think – maybe not a handbrake on your muscles, but a handbrake in your brain which is what controls your muscles and tells them to contract.

Chiropractic care can make you stronger over the last few years studies have shown that when you get adjusted by a chiropractor it can make you stronger. One study reported in a group of students who received chiropractic care, that they were actually able to produce 16% more force in their leg muscles after a chiropractor had gently checked and adjusted any dysfunctional spinal segments, or what chiropractors call vertebral subluxations.1

What does the research show?

Researchers in New Zealand followed up this study in Tae Kwon Do athletes, and again showed that even in a group of elite, highly trained athletes, a single session of chiropractic care can improve their strength.2 But what does this have to do with handbrakes in the brain you may wonder? Well, in a new study by the same team of researchers, they wanted to see if chiropractic care resulted in an increase in the way the brain could drive the muscle in the subject’s arms.4 To do this, they measured the participant’s bicep’s muscle strength, and then measured something that’s called ‘central inhibition’, before and after a single session of chiropractic care, or just moving their heads around as a control intervention. This ‘central inhibition’ measure is a bit like the brain’s handbrake to the muscle. There are two ways the brain can increase the way your muscle contracts. It can either press the gas pedal or it can release the ‘hand brake’ to that muscle. The scientists wanted to know if a particular type of handbrake changed after these subjects got adjusted. The technical term for the method they used to record this was ‘TMS twitch interpolation technique’ and it allows them to explore the way the participants brains are driving their arm muscles… in other words it measured the degree to which their brain was pulling the handbrake to that particular muscle. What they found was that there was a difference in the degree of central inhibition to the bicep’s muscle only after they were adjusted, compared to when they did the control movement of the neck. There was less inhibition, suggesting the brain had released the handbrake to the muscle after they got adjusted. So, this may be one of the reasons why the previous studies showed that chiropractic care could increase strength, because maybe chiropractic care is reducing the central inhibition to your muscles, or in other words, releasing the handbrake to your muscles making it easier for your brain to move your muscles and produce more strength. So, if you feel like you’ve got a handbrake in your muscles or in your brain, maybe you should go see a chiropractor and see if they can help your brain release the handbrake so that your brain can more efficiently control your muscles and perhaps even help you to get that jam jar open.

Disclaimer and References

 This information is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be professional advice of any kind. Haavik Research Ltd encourages you to make your own health care decisions based on your own research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

Niazi IK et al. Exp Brain Res Epub 2015/01/13. 2. Christiansen TL, et al Eur J Appl Physiol 2018;118(4):737-49. 3. Holt K, et al. Scientific Reports 2019;9(1):2673. 4. Kingett M, et al. Brain sciences 2019;9(6)

@Haavik Research 2021

• Dr. Heidi Haavik BSc(Physiol) BSc(Chiro) PhD • Dr. Kelly Holt BSc, BSc(Chiro), PGDipHSc, PhD • Dr. Jenna Duehr BChiro, BHSc(Nursing), MHSc

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How The Law Of Fear Works

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The stressful SHIFT is and has been occurring for some time since the COVID. We are talking about the emotional cascade of events that comes as extra baggage with everything associated with the COVID. The message is clear and with it comes the fear, with fear comes STRESS. When fear manifests it SHIFTS the trajectory of ones health for an instant or forever, depending on how well you adapt to the stress. We need to implement specific tactics that allow us to sustain our health.

You might not have FEAR during this time. Fantastic. Your body still begins to shift when your waiting in line at the grocery store and next to you is the person with the Hazmat suit. Be honest, it alters your perception and “can” trigger a stress response.

Specific tactics to enhance your bodies adaptability start with the central nerve system (CNS).  Resilience is our top concern.  Allowing the body to enhance its resiliency in times of chaos begin with a functional and coordinated CNS.
The difference between a bodies immune system that is resilient vs an immune system that is depleted is in the limitations of matter.  And what limits matter? The vertebral subluxation (misalignment within the spinal column) disrupts the communication from brain to body altering and shifting every system within the body (immune system as well) to a dysfunctional state!
The vertebral subluxation-itself a limitation of matter-which occludes an opening producing pressure upon nerves reducing the supply of the producer to the product (limits your brain to body connection and versa).
If there were no vertebral subluxation

  • no occlusion of any verterbal foramina
  • no pressure upon nerves
  • no reduction of supply between producer and product
  • no LIMITATION of product to reproduce the producer

To adjust the subluxation is to advance mankind, up his efficiency, increase his ADAPTABILITY, make him more natural and more at peace within himself. – Chiropractic Philosophy Science And Art

Ensuring health from within begins with addressing your spinal column. Create a new law of health by looking towards your health from within first and foremost. 

Stop The Insanity…Look For The Cause

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Stop the insanity. Expecting the same results over and over again is not an ideal situation to be in. When it comes to your health, there will always be the latest and greatest health trend to emerge and last for a short while. Why? Often times, the things that are the hardest and yet simplest to perform, are overlooked by public interest growing a new trend. When it comes to your health, the foundation starts and ends with the central nerve system.

A teacher and a student were walking along a riverbank talking about life. When both of them noticed someone in the river drowning. The student immediately jumped in to save the drowning individual and pull them to safety. As the teacher and student continued their walk they noticed another person in the river drowning, once again the student jumps in to save the person and pull them to safety. As they continued their walk this event continued to happen and finally the teacher kept walking to find the cause. The teacher, instead of saving the drowning individuals, searched for the cause and found that these people were jumping off a bridge.

This is a simple story to gain insight on addressing the cause instead of performing the same actions over and over with little to no results. Rescuing drowning people is a noble quest, yet addressing the cause and educating before they jump is even more noteworthy.

Everyone should know something about the spine which protects your central nerve system. That knowledge would give all people a much better understanding of one of the marvels of the body. It would enable each individual to reason the “how and why” of ill health. When it is understood that every tissue cell, and every organ of the body is connected to and controlled by the central nerve system, then one can more readily grasp the importance of maintaining a spine free of dysfunction.

Sustaining Your Daily Energy…Naturally

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Sustaining Your Daily Energy…Naturally

Energy, energy, energy.  We have seen it all when it comes to quick fixes of “getting” your energy back.  When energy deficits begin to affect our daily routine, we have a tendency to look for external sources of energy.  The latest trends will attempt to entice you about gaining energy, e.g., caffeine pills, vitamin B shots, “natural” additive supplements and the list goes on and on.  Instead of adding external sources, let’s think about what looking within the body will do…naturally.

Restoring Your Internal Structure

Gravity, whether you believe in it or not… exists.  The spine is made up of skeletal bones and connective tissues (discs) that protect your most important system in the entire body, the central nerve system (CNS).  When you look at the human figure from the front, the spine is supposed to be completely straight. When you look at the human figure from the side, there are supposed to be three distinct curves in the spine.  The design and structure of the spine enables your body to combat gravity and function properly. For example, when you jump the spine acts as sort of a shock absorber for your body.

Subluxations can occur in the spinal column.  A subluxation is a misalignment within the spine that irritates a nerve fiber and can create a chain reaction everywhere in the body.  This can cause stress and undo tension. As a result of a subluxation, more energy will be consumed to maintain your center of gravity.  The top source of energy consumption in the body is the musculoskeletal system. The CNS made the spine (skeletal system) which then requires muscles, tendons, ligaments and other connective tissue (musculoskeletal system) to maintain proper structure.  Throw a subluxation into the mix and your muscles will begin to work OVER-TIME. The source of energy that is used internally to power contraction is adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is not abundantly stored within the tissue cells of the body. So, when an existing subluxation remains uncorrected for an extended period of time, the muscles make unnecessary amounts of ATP.  This in turn depletes your body’s overall ability to produce sustainable energy throughout the day.  In fact, when your ATP stores are quickly depleted, your muscles will gather energy from other sources within your body.  Overall, fatiguing your attempt to sustain an energy filled day.

Restoring your spine by removing subluxations will naturally increase your energy throughout the day by optimizing proper energy use.  Chiropractic care focuses on life, health, healing and well-being…naturally.