Chiropractic can be your ultimate brain hack! Wait what...?
That's right, research provided by Dr. Heidi Haavik and her team of neurophysiologists and chiropractors has backed up what we practicing doctors see in our clinics regularly. Getting adjusted by a chiropractor doesn't only affect your spine! It is common for chiropractic patients to report improved sleep, getting sick less often, feeling less stressed, and many other great benefits. Now we have the research that backs up why this is happening!
Think of your brain as a sort of computer. In order for your computer to perform correctly, it's got to have the correct input, right? If you've got a stuck button on your keyboard, or a faulty mouse, your entire computer is going to struggle doing what you want it to do! The same thing is happening in your brain. Your spine is the source of millions of small nerve endings that create a LOT of input to your brain. They are constantly sending your brain signals to let your brain know the internal environment of your body and your spine's position. But if some of those nerves are stuck in the "on" or "off" position, your brain isn't getting the correct information. Without the correct input, your brain struggles to do it's job effectively. Dr. Haavik's research has shown that the part of the brain being most effected by these faulty signals is the Pre-frontal cortex, or the front of the brain.
This part of your brain is responsible for a lot of crucial health functions, and plays a role in your immune system, sleep, emotional responses, stress responses, pain regulation, attentiveness and more! Simply put, when this part of your brain isn't functioning at it's best, there are a TON of things that are negatively affected throughout your body.
So what would make this part of your brain NOT work? And what can we do to improve it?
Research suggests that the main factor affecting the pre-frontal cortex is stress. When we are stressed, mentally, emotionally, physically, or even chemically, our brain senses this stress and responds by decreasing your pre-frontal cortex, and increasing the function of your mid-brain. This is commonly known as "fight-or-flight" mode. Many people tend to be "stuck" in this mode, due to chronic stress. Over time their brain gets used to running in stress mode, and it can change the chemistry and physiology of your entire body. This is because unlike computers, our brains learn over time. Brains begin to become more efficient at running the software that they commonly use, and forget how to run the software that is not being used. Over a long period of running in stress mode, it can become your brain's new normal. Luckily there are ways to combat this, and even reverse it over time. Let's look at some of the important things you can do to improve your brain's ability to run the correct software, and improve the health of your entire body and mind!
1. Meditation/deep-breathing - Meditation and deep breathing have been show to calm your brain's stress response and facilitate relaxation. From a brain perspective, they help to strengthen your pre-frontal cortex and keep you from getting stuck in stress mode!
2. Nutrition - proper nutrition gives the brain and body the nutrients that are necessary to function normally. Nutrition is an ongoing area of study for its many benefits ranging from natural ADHD treatment to control of inflammation and cardiovascular disease. It's well known and accepted that good nutrition is a cornerstone of good health.
3. Sleep and Exercise - I consider both sleep and exercises to be vital "nutrients" for your brain. Without proper sleep and without proper exercise, your brain simply will not function at its best. The benefits of exercise have been extolled by researchers for years as one of the most effective forms of health maintenance, and disease prevention.
4. Chiropractic - Last but not least, chiropractic care! Making sure that your brain is getting the correct input ensures the best output! It is now known thanks to Dr. Haavik's research that chiropractic adjustments help to re-engage the pre-frontal cortex, helping your brain to cope with stress.
Remember, you live your entire life through your brain and nervous system. Because of this intricate system of nerves, every organ in your body is connected to the one under your hat! Make sure you and your family member's computers are running at their best! It's one of the best strategies for creating health.