(Health Secrets) One thing is sure about a visit to a chiropractor: when it is over, you feel better! This is because a chiropractor restores harmony to the body’s natural systems, allowing the wisdom of the body to again take over and restore a state of health. Blood pressure normalization is one of the outcomes of this process.
The nervous system is the interface between our internal physiology and the external environment. This system is so important to our well being that it is encased in protective bone. The skull and spine bear the stress of our daily lives in order to protect and defend the nervous system. But when the stress of the environment becomes overwhelming and the skull and spine have done all they can do, the nervous system is impacted. This is the point of subluxation, a point at which the harmony of the nervous system is lost.
This loss of harmony is characterized by symptoms such as inflammation, excessive stress hormone secretion, loss of blood vessel tone, and blood pressure destabilization. Research continues to show that chiropractic adjustments remediate subluxations and allow the equilibrium of the nervous system to return. As harmony is again established, the symptoms of disharmony, including high blood pressure, disappear.
Research documents the effectiveness of chiropractic care on blood pressure
A double blind study of 75 students undergoing routine chiropractic care investigated whether chiropractic adjustments cause any significant changes in blood pressure. The experimental group had subluxations in the cervical spine for which they received chiropractic adjustments. The control group was similar but lacked a subluxation and an adjustment. The two groups rested for 5 minutes and were then examined. Both systolic and diastolic blood pressures were significantly lowered in the experimental group but not in the control group. Fourteen of the experimental subjects experienced a clinically relevant 10-20 mm Hg drop.
Researchers investigated whether vectored adjustment of the Atlas vertebra in patients with upper cervical joint dysfunction would cause a dropping of blood pressure. This C-1 vertebra is named Atlas because it holds up the head, just as Atlas the Titan holds up the world in Greek mythology. They found that palpation and Atlas adjustment caused a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure in those patients compared to controls.
Research at New York Chiropractic College emphasized the importance of the connection between the autonomic nervous and musculoskeletal systems. Researchers investigated differences in peripheral and cardiovascular autonomic function between individuals with acute musculoskeletal injury and healthy controls. Their results suggested that the interaction between cutaneous and vasomotor sympathetic neurons in response to musculoskeletal injury, reflected as increased input from sensory neurons, resulted in alterations in autonomic function.
In a widely noted study, chiropractic adjustment to the upper cervical region at the level of the Atlas vertebra was shown to significantly lower high blood pressure in a placebo controlled study at the University of Chicago. Eight weeks after undergoing the procedure, 25 patients with early stage high blood pressure had significantly lower blood pressure compared to 25 control subjects who were treated with a sham procedure.
Compared to the sham treated group, those who received the actual procedure saw an average of 14 mm Hg greater drop in systolic blood pressure, and an average of 8 mm Hg greater drop in diastolic blood pressure. According to the lead researcher, this was a larger effect than would have been produced by the taking of two powerful blood pressure medications given in combination.
Unlike other vertebrae which interlock one to the next, the Atlas relies solely on muscle and ligaments to maintain alignment. As a result, its misalignment may produce no pain, and remain undiagnosed and untreated while its health consequences are attributed to other causes.
Another study investigated the sympathetic and parasympathetic responses to specific chiropractic adjustments to vertebral subluxations of the cervical and thoracic spine. Forty asymptomatic patients with normal blood pressure and no history of heart disease received either a cervical adjustment or a thoracic adjustment, and were evaluated for blood pressure and pulse rate before and following their adjustments.
Diastolic pressure dropped significantly in those receiving cervical adjustments, accompanied by a moderate clinical effect. Pulse pressure increased significantly among those receiving cervical adjustment, accompanied by a large clinical effect. For those receiving thoracic adjustments, the decrease in pulse pressure produced a moderate clinical effect, but was not considered statistically significant. The researchers suggested that these responses may demonstrate the relationship of autonomic responses in association to the particular segment(s) adjusted.
Subluxation interferes with optimal functioning of the body’s natural systems
As these research summaries show, subluxation interferes with optimal functioning of the body’s natural systems. Researchers are slowly documenting other conditions that often result from pressure and congestion of the nervous system. For many people, chiropractic treatment is replacing blood pressure medications as well as drugs to treat other conditions, eliminating their harmful side effects. Chiropractic treatments can not only restore normal blood pressure levels, but have the added benefit of positively impacting general well being.
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Comments from Dr. Esposito
After fifteen years as a practicing chiropractor, I have been amazed as to the many different health ailments that are alleviated immediately or soon after reducing a spinal subluxation with a chiropractic adjustment.
It is important to note that the chiropractor performs no healing. It is not the chiropractor that lowered your blood pressure, reduced your digestive complaint or put a stop to your chronic migraines. The chiropractor provides your body “the opportunity” to heal by removing dangerous compression off the vital nerves of your body. In many cases, that opportunity is all your body needs to make a dramatic improvement in your health.
Once the nerve pressure is reduced, your brain will be able to better communicate with your body and healing can occur. The level of healing will depend on your stress, nutrient stores, toxins in your tissue, genetic make up, age and many other individual factors.
Getting checked periodically for spinal subluxations can be one of the best health insurances for you and your family. Spinal subluxations can be located and corrected before you experience any symptoms. This is the essence of preventative healthcare.