Solving the Miracle Mystery
More research revealing chiropractic affects the autonomic nervous system
Article contributed by Dr. Eric Plasker, Marietta, GA
For much of the last century since chiropractic care was introduced in the Canada, chiropractic patient recoveries have been deemed miraculous. Patients with ailments which had not responded well to traditional medical treatment often reported substantial improvement and in many cases complete recovery after receiving chiropractic adjustments. Yet the scientific community could not explain how the adjustments were the cause of the improvement, leading observers to assume that a miracle must have occurred. Well, this miracle mystery has now been solved!
Researchers have discovered a direct link between a chiropractic adjustment and a physiological change via the autonomic nervous system. For those of you who need a biology refresher, the human nervous system is comprised of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system which connects the central nervous system to the rest of the body. Within the peripheral nervous system, one finds the somatic and autonomic systems. The somatic system controls your skeletal muscles (arms and legs) and external sense receptors (skin) while the autonomic system controls your internal organs.
The human body has an innate ability to adapt to the environment and heal itself. The autonomic nervous system plays a critical role in this capability since it is responsible for both the “fight or flight” response that we experience in emergencies and the “rest and digest” state that our bodies are in at all other times.
It regulates and coordinates the function of the muscles of the internal organs such as the blood vessels, stomach, intestines, bladder, heart and eyes.
The subject of the most recent research was the eye. As described in the September 2000 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Thera-peutics, the study measured changes in “edge-light pupil cycle time” which is one of the light reflexes of the eyes. The pupil cycle time is dependent on the speed of nerve conduction and the number and strength of optic nerve impulses (British Journal of Ophthalmology, 1978, Vol 62, 495-500). As you can imagine, if there is any nerve interference the pupil cycle time will be adversely affected. The study showed that after a chiropractic adjustment the edge-light pupil cycle time decreased, concluding once again that chiropractic care does have a direct, positive effect on the autonomic nervous system. By removing nerve interference, chiropractic adjustments restore the body’s ability to self-regulate and heal.
So why wait for a miracle when your body already is one? Take control of your health now by scheduling regular visits with your chiropractor to ensure that your body is functioning at its full potential.