I am constantly amazed at the human brain – it is a true marvel of evolution! Neuroplasticity is one of the finest examples of just how impressive the human brain is. We are witnessing an exciting time in the science and research surrounding Neuroplasticity and how Chiropractic directly improves your brain’s function following a chiropractic adjustment. Let me tell you how a chiropractic adjustment can make your brain respond and function better at work and at school!
Now, let’s back up to that word Neuroplasticity. If that’s a term or word you’ve never heard of before, let me explain how freaking awesome the brain is at adapting to our environment. It’s absolutely fascinating!
Neuroplasticity is defined as how one’s central nervous system adapts to their ever-changing environment. Simply put, Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change. Our brains have the ability to literally reorganize itself by forming new neural connections, at every age!
Neuroplasticity is a complex and long-term process. It actually occurs throughout your lifetime and has many components. Interestingly, it is a physical process which can be directly observed: gray matter contracts and expands; neural connections are reinforced or disappear. We know now that it is possible to form new brain cells, called neurons, even in adulthood. Not only can the adult brain form new connections to learn new tasks, it can dramatically rewire itself after a trauma. Did you catch that last thing I said? The brain can rewire itself negatively after a trauma! That’s right! Neuroplasticity can go both ways: positive and negative rewiring occurs in the brain depending on how the brain reacts to the stimulus being input. Our brain literally changes its level of functioning over time. This comes about due to many – often small and repetitive physical, chemical or emotional stresses. This creates a negative stress response on the brain and nervous system that accumulates as we age. If nothing is done to stop and reverse this stress response, then it is continually reinforced over time with our continued exposure to various stresses.
As we age, we experience the effects of negative neuroplasticity. We tend to see our brain function begin to decline. This, in turn, negatively affects other functions throughout your body. You begin to experience brain fog, memory loss, hearing loss, vision loss, altered taste and smell, and more depressed moods. Increasing blood pressure, as well as, abnormal digestion and sexual function are common. Increased susceptibility to infection happens due to declining immune function. You tend to get colds and the flu more easily. We see this in our children when they get mislabeled with behavioral problems, like ADD and ADHD.
Your brain and nervous system control all the functions of your body. We know that the brain controls our perceptions of vision, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. We also commonly think of the brain controlling our thoughts, moods, memories, and emotions. Your attention, balance and posture, breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, sexual function, hormone production, and immune response (among thousands of other functions) are controlled by your brain and nerve system. When your brain and nervous system function well, your body functions well!
This is where Chiropractic Care steps in to break the cycle and provides positive neuroplasticity. You can restore normal function in the brain through positive neuroplasticity. The research in this area has me fired up to share with you! A study presented at the International Research and Philosophy Symposium held at Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic in 2004 demonstrated the brain-boosting effect of chiropractic adjustments. The study was conducted over a three year period with approximately 100 volunteers. Their brain functions were monitored with electroencephalograms (EEG) before and after chiropractic adjustments.
After receiving a chiropractic adjustment, post EEG scans revealed improvement in ALL areas of ALL of the volunteer’s brain function. Brain function is measured on four primary frequencies: Alpha, Beta, Theta, and Delta. Particularly, the researchers noticed an increase in the meditative Alpha brainwave patterns which are associated with a greater degree of relaxation, health, and healing.
Are you as excited about those results as I am? ALL of the subjects studied had improvement in brain function in ALL four primary brain frequencies after a chiropractic adjustment. Especially a spike in Alpha waves promoting health and healing! Wow! Scientific and medical research continues to confirm what the chiropractic pioneers knew well over one hundred years ago: your brain and nervous system control all functions, health, and healing in your body. Yet another study published in the Journal of Neural Plasticity in 2016 examined brain function following a chiropractic adjustment. The research shows that when the spine is adjusted, a significant increase of activity in the prefrontal cortex was measured by almost 20% on average. The prefrontal cortex is the area of the brain where higher learning and cognition happens. Here is a direct quote from the corresponding author of that study, Dr. Heidi Haavik:
“This is solid scientific evidence that adjusting the spine changes the way the prefrontal cortex of the brain is processing information from the arm. It demonstrates we change the way the brain works and shows that spinal function impacts brain function. One of the most interesting things about the changes we observed was that the prefrontal cortex is responsible for behavior, goal-directed tasks, decision making, memory and attention, intelligence, processing of pain and emotional response to it, autonomic function, motor control, eye movements and spatial awareness.”
This study takes us a little further down the path of understanding why so many chiropractic patients report feeling better and more focused after an adjustment. The proof is in. Chiropractic adjustments specifically remove spinal interferences to normal health and healing. They reduce and, over time, eliminate the negative effects of stress that result in declining mental states. So what are you waiting for? Get checked and adjusted today!
If you or a loved one is concerned about their brain function, memory problems, or children with behavioral issues, I want to invite you to our office. Here’s what you can expect for improving your brain health: Over two visits we will analyze your posture, spinal nerve integrity, motion, body composition, foot health, and conduct other scientifically based measures to create and present a comprehensive plan to boost your brain function. We will adjust any spinal misalignments here in our office, and provide other therapies, including massage with essential oils, personal training, nutrition, and supplementation. We educate our patients as to how they can better manage negative stressors that create negative neuroplasticity and educate them on proper lifestyle support as well. If you are local, please fill out a form online or call us at (919) 926-8890 for a consultation and together we will construct a treatment plan specific to your spine and your whole-body needs, to finally rid you of brain fog, in a healthy and drug-free way!