3 Ways Chiropractic Improves Brain Function

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Chiropractic Improves Brain Function:

The brain is the master control system for the entire body. It sends and receives a complicated frequency of signals with the body that dictate the function of the body.  When there is interference in this neurological feedback loop it alters the environment the brain perceives itself to be in which consequently changes the adaptation process the brain orchestrates throughout the body.

Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to enhance the sensorimotor integration of the brain with the body (1, 2, 3, 4).  This article goes into the detailed science of how chiropractic improves brain function.


Stress and Disease:

Many experts have hypothesized that increased stress cycles in the body produce the environment for dis-ease and eventually disease within the body.  Stress can come from a variety of sources in the mental/emotional form, chemical form, and physical realm.

When the body is under increased stress it responds by increasing its sympathetic tone. This means the body shunts itself into ‘fight or flight’ survival based mode by altering cardiovascular & endocrine function to get itself ready for dynamic activity (5, 6).

Stress Creates Sympathetic Dominance:

Increased sympathetic tone causes a release of stress hormones such as adrenalin, epinephrine, and cortisol.  This is the same response we get when we are anxious or exercising.  This is okay if it is for a short period of time, however, when the stress lasts longer than expected it exhausts the body and causes a state of dis-ease to manifest (7).

When the brain sends information to the organs, muscles, and tissues of the body this is called efferent neurological flow.  In return, the afferent flow of information includes all the messages sent to the brain from skin, muscle, joint, and organ receptors.  This afferent/efferent neurological loop is how the body is able to respond and adapt appropriately to its environment.

Stress Affects Multiple Regions of the Body

The ramifications of increased stress hormones in the body include overworked adrenal glands, lowered immunity, decreased digestive functions, fatigue, & blood pressure disturbances (8).

Increased cortisol levels also cause ligament laxity by stripping critical proteins from the tendon and ligament structures.  This causes joint weakness throughout the body including the spine and extremities making them much more susceptible to injury.

Subluxation is a term used to describe mechanical compression and irritation to spinal joints and nerves.  Subluxation scrambles the neurological feedback loop by causing altered rhythms of neurological flow (9).  Subluxations are caused by trauma, poor posture, or increased chemical and emotional stresses.

Stress Response and Spinal Subluxations:

Subluxations are a physical stress on the body and therefore increase the sympathetic tone so the body shunts its energy toward the fight or flight system.  If the subluxation(s) are not corrected they continue to produce this increased stress response (10, 11).

This increases cortisol causing greater joint & ligament laxity in the spine and extremities making them more susceptible to injury.  Additionally, increased long-term stress on the body greatly accelerates the degenerative processes of the spine and joints leading to osteoarthritis.


Chiropractic Improves Stress Response:

Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to normalize spinal afferent/efferent processes to their proper resting tone.  This is like hitting the reset button on the computer when it is malfunctioning. The computer is allowed to pause and reprocess itself.

Chiropractic adjustments stop the stress response and restore normal hormonal and cardiovascular function the body.  This allows the body to reset itself and begin healing the damage that was done in the body due to chronic stress cycles (12, 13, 14).

Research performed by Taylor, Haavik & Murphy demonstrated that chiropractic adjustments enhanced sensorimotor integration, the bodies ability to sense where it is in space and effectively coordinate complex movement patterns (15, 16, 17, 18).  This improves function in both the brain and the body.

Improved spatial intelligence translates into better physical and mental balance, coordination, and mobility.  Chiropractic adjustments make you think and move with better speed, skill, and finesse.


Just the other day, I listened as a friend told a story about his neighbor, Kathy. She started showing signs of memory loss and forgetfulness almost a year ago. Her husband quit his job, and they took to traveling before it got worse.

My friend hadn’t seen her for several months while she was away. Now that she was back, she couldn’t remember his name.

Her husband kept interjecting, “Honey, this is Andy… No, this is Andy… Remember Andy, he lives next door… It’s Andy, honey.”

It pained me greatly to hear this. It pains me greatly each time I hear a similar story, and they’re becoming more and more prevalent.

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In 2017, ~50 million people worldwide were believed to have some form of dementia.

This. Number. Will. Double. Every. 20. Years.

That’s ~150 million people with dementia in 2057.

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Sources For This Article Include:

1. Cervical spine manipulation alters sensorimotor integration: A somatosensory evoked potential study Link Here
2. Science Direct – The role of spinal manipulation in addressing disordered sensorimotor integration and altered motor control Link Here
3. Science Direct – Altered Sensorimotor Integration With Cervical Spine Manipulation Link Here
4. Science Direct – Altered Central Integration of Dual Somatosensory Input After Cervical Spine Manipulation Link Here
5. Hoehn-Saric R, McLeod DR. The peripheral sympathetic nervous system. Its role in normal and pathologic anxiety. Psychiatr Clin North Am. 1988 Jun;11(2):375-86. PMID: 3047706
6. Lake CR. Relationship of sympathetic nervous system tone and blood pressure. Nephron. 1979;23(2-3):84-90. PMID: 440510
7. Vozarova B, Weyer C, Snitker S, Gautier JF, Cizza G, Chrousos G, Ravussin E, Tataranni PA. Effect of cortisol on muscle sympathetic nerve activity in Pima Indians and Caucasians. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Jul;88(7):3218-26. PMID: 12843168
8. Science Daily – How stress influences disease: Study reveals inflammation as the culprit Link Here
9. Owens EF. Chiropractic subluxation assessment: what the research tells us. The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association. 2002;46(4):215-220.
10. Models of Vertebral Subluxation:A Review Link Here
11. Knutson GA. The role of the gamma-motor system in increasing muscle tone and muscle pain syndromes: a review of the Johansson/Sojka hypothesis. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2000 Oct;23(8):564-72. PMID: 11050614
12. Science Direct – Neurophysiological effects of spinal manipulation Link Here
13. Science Direct – Spinal Manipulation Alters Electromyographic Activity of Paraspinal Muscles: A Descriptive Study Link Here
14. Chiro.org – Effect of Chiropractic Treatment on the Endocrine and Immune System in Asthmatic Patients Link Here
15. Science Direct – Cervical spine manipulation alters sensorimotor integration: A somatosensory evoked potential study Link Here
16. Science Direct – The role of spinal manipulation in addressing disordered sensorimotor integration and altered motor control Link Here
17. Science Direct – Altered Sensorimotor Integration With Cervical Spine Manipulation Link Here
18. Science Direct – Altered Central Integration of Dual Somatosensory Input After Cervical Spine Manipulation Link Here


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