A guest post by Dr. Jason Tabick, Chiropractor
If you read my previous article, Healthy Ears Start with A Healthy Nervous System, you know that the human body maintains its own health from the “inside.” As previously explained, the central nerve system is the master system that controls the body and through its command the body listens and is able to “adapt” to the everyday assaults of normal life i.e. infections, weather, pollen, etc.A healthy central nerve system facilitates optimal respiratory function. This may eliminate the need for treatments from the “outside in” such as antibiotics, steroids and inhalers.. “Treating” the body with a natural remedy could be safer than medication but unfortunately this, just like medication, is treating a symptom and not correcting the cause of the problem. Correcting the cause is the key.
Understanding anatomy is understanding why it’s important to address the cause
At the base of the skull is the brainstem, a vital extension of the brain and is necessary for maintaining life. The brainstem has 3 major parts. At the top is the mid brain, below that is the pons and at the bottom is the medulla oblongata. The medulla oblongata physically exits the skull and becomes the spinal cord. Every single instructional message, i.e., heart rate or body temperature, from the brain traveling to the body and vice versa must be able to pass without ANY resistance through this extremely vital area where the brainstem and spinal cord meet.
Within the medulla oblongata are a group of nerves called the respiratory centers of the body; this is the hub of all functions involved with breathing. It sends and receives controlling signals of neural, chemical and hormonal nature to and from the body. It is constantly helping the body to adapt to environmental changes such as exercise, smoke inhalation, sleeping, swimming, coughing, sneezing, increased breathing in danger, etc., by controlling the rate and depth of air exchange using the lungs, tracheal airways, diaphragm and other respiratory muscles. This vital area of the brainstem is ALSO the command center of what is referred to as the autonomic nerve system.
What the Brainstem Controls
The following is a short list to help you understand just how extensive the work of the central nerve system actually is. Nothing in our bodies happens without first getting direction from our central nerve system and brainstem! This is just some of what the brainstem controls.
- Eyes: R&L eye positions, R&L eyelid strength, R&L eyes focused in same direction, near and far sight focusing are all controlled by cranial nerves directly connected to the brainstem.
- Stomach: contains acid as part of immunity and digestion, mucus prevents ulcerations of the stomach. The mucus and acid are produced under direction of the nerves.
- Large intestine: (water/mineral absorption with kidneys, muscular tube that pushes waste) The amount of water to absorb to hydrate the body and muscles that move waste are controlled by the nerves.
- Blood vessels and blood: (carry oxygen from a breath of air, made of smooth muscle to regulate blood pressure with heart&kidneys) The amount of oxygen in blood and blood pressure controlled by nerves.
- Trachea (windpipe): (extending into the lungs where gases [O2,CO2] are exchanged with blood) Windpipe opening and closing controlled by nerves.
- Sphincter muscles: (ring shaped muscles) of the bladder/anus/stomach,etc (bed wetting, acid reflux, loss of bowel control) All these are muscles controlled by the nerves.
- Sleep: (sleeping and breathing rhythm controlled by nerves.)
- Adrenal glands of the kidneys: (blood pressure regulation with the heart, energy levels with thyroid and liver, has role with thyroid in immune system function, promotes and produces sexual development and function hormones with pituitary and male/female glands, anti-inflammatory mediator, effects bone density by regulating calcium absorption and release from bone). THE NERVES LINK ALL OF THE ORGANS AND CONTROL THESE FUNCTIONS.
All of these things described above have one single conductor, the same as a 100 piece symphony orchestra. The conductor is, you guessed it, the brainstem. You can not have healthy working organs without a healthy brainstem and nerve system.
Here is a simple example of how the conductor controls the organs when the body is put on high alert: When we walk down a dark alley at night alone… The arteries constrict and the heart rate speeds up to increase blood flow to the muscles from the lungs, breathing rate increases as tracheal airways open allowing the lungs to take in more oxygen, increased blood flow also to the capillaries below the skin allowing the body to maintain body temperature by sweating and releasing heat. Even the eye sight changes; the pupils dilate to focus better in far-sight. The vascular system redirects blood focusing it away form the digestive organs and more to the large muscles of arms and legs to be able to run or protect.
These things can actually happen in an asthmatic patient without any activity or emergency at all, or to an extreme debilitating point with minimal activity. This shows a poor state of health because the body is not being controlled properly by the brainstem from a “blockage” in the nerves.
What protects (the brainstem) us can hurt us (when it is blocked)
When a blockage to the brainstem occurs, the rest of the body cannot function properly. The bones that make up the vertebral column are versatile. Most importantly they protect and surround the spinal cord and lower brainstem as they allow the head to move in many directions. Unfortunately the vertebrae can negatively effect the nerve tissue and cause “blockages” or “pressure” on the spinal cord and brainstem.
The first cervical vertebrae, called the atlas, is a major contributor to the head’s ability to move and to protect the medulla as it passes through its center. It does this with multiple connections of ligaments, muscles, tendons, fascia (thick elastic skin) and the surrounding bone itself. At this vital area there exists a delicate relationship between the medulla oblongata and the first cervical vertebrae. Here in orange, the medulla is highlighted to show this relationship.
The cause of sickness
From a combination of soft tissue connections, pressure from cerebral spinal fluid (this flows through the medulla oblongata down into the spinal cord and vice versa), misalignments of the bones of the spine, a negative resistance or “blockage” to the vital nerve flow traveling from the brain through the brainstem into the body and from the body back into the brain occurs.
This “resistance” to the nerve flow is the same as a resistor in a circuit meant to slow down an electrical current or same as an appliance with a bad plug that is frayed or has a leg of the couch squashing it. We have all touched a bad plug and felt heat coming off of it. This is caused by resistance to the electricity flowing through the wire. The current flowing through the wire is lost as heat. This resistance will affect the ability of the appliance to work and cause a fire hazard at the outlet.
In the human body, there should never be resistance anywhere in the nerve system. This resistance or “pressure” is the single cause that leads to poor health in the body including asthma and many other poor health conditions.
Helping Children With Asthma
Many parents don’t understand how a child’s body could have any resistance, especially if their child has never had an injury to the neck or spine. The reality is that birth can affect the upper cervical vertebrae and brainstem. An average of 50 lbs of pressure is exerted down axially onto the infant’s skull during birth. This is a considerable amount of stress on the spine as these bones are not yet fully ossified. Even a cesarean section and other assisted birth procedures can affect the newborn’s spine. Small accidents and other stresses can effect the spine during this essential time of a child’s life as it is forming.
If your child has asthma or other related symptoms such as increased breathing without or with slight exertion, wheezing while breathing, increased heart rate, frequent cough especially at night, shortness of breath, feeling tired/fatigued, trouble sleeping, feeling upset/moody/grouchy, chest pressure or pain, skin irritations, digestion problems, feeling anxious, digestive and skin irritations from foods, or if you or your child have been treated with vaccinations and/or antibiotic medication, their symptoms could very well be stemming from a problem with the spine.
This is where a chiropractor can help. When locating one for your child, make sure that he or she has a background with treating pediatrics and that they work with people with asthma.
About the Author:
Dr. Jason Tabick is a “brainstem specialist” specific chiropractor. He assesses the nerve system using a non-evasive instrument called a Neurocalograph. The neurocalograph measures the output of the nerve system where the upper cervical spine meets the brainstem. If there is any resistance causing a “blockage” to the slightest degree, he will see it. The neurocalograph is meant to test for this resistance and the adjustment is meant to remove this resistance. Measurements are always taken before and after each adjustment to check progress.
Dr. Jason Tabick’s practice has a 99% resolution rate with asthma and all related conditions. They offer a complimentary consultation for every new patient. They believe there should be no cost to determine if what they do can help you or your children. Please call for an appointment @ 503-679-5035. Email us at [email protected]