Five Gifts From Your Spine
The benefits of chiropractic care reach far beyond pain relief. Did you know caring for your spine can result in mental and emotional benefits as well?
To put it simply, the health, shape, tension and tone of our spines is related to the health, shape, tension and tone of our entire lives. Dr. Donald Epstein, the creator of Network Spinal Care, explains the five gifts of the spine as:
Function is what most people think of when they answer the question, “What does the spine do”? On a basic level our spine protects our spinal cord, which is the lifeline of our nervous system. It also provides a support structure for our muscles to attach so we can move around in the world. The spine is the reason we can stand upright, be flexible, and absorb shock in our body as we move around in our world. In this way, the health of the spine affects the health and function of the entire body.
Our spine also plays a crucial role in our emotions. Different physical postures create different physiological responses in our bodies. Because the spine and brain are all part of our nervous system, these physiological responses have an effect on our neuro-transmitters that are produced and circulated throughout our bodies. The highest concentration of emotional neuro-chemicals is in the back part of our spinal cord. These areas of our spine actually filter our current experiences based on previous emotional responses to similar experiences. We also tend to store unresolved emotions in the muscles on either side of our spine. A healthy and flexible spine actually sustains our ability to have a healthy range of emotions.
Our spine also affects our sense of self. According to Dr. Donald Epstein our sense of self is a mental construction of rules, beliefs, memories and the stories of our lives. If we consider that the spine filters our experiences and that our perceptions create different responses in our nervous system and physiology, than we begin to understand how the health of our spine affects our sense of self. As we encounter new situations we can either become overwhelmed and go into defense posture , or be resilient and flexible enough to adapt and change as we move through life. The health of our nervous system, and more specifically our spine, plays a crucial role in this development.
Our spine also affects our behaviour. As our spines becomes more healthy and flexible we are able to have different behavioral responses to perceived stressful experiences. Our lives can be enormously different as we feel empowered to make positive changes in our lives, without feeling overwhelmed and distressed by whatever comes our way.
Finally, a healthy and flexible spine opens up new possibilities for consciousness. In many ways, a higher level of consciousness is the culmination of all of the above gifts. When our spine is healthier, we are able to have healthier emotions, behaviour and a better sense of self. This opens up an ability to observe ourselves in the context of our lives and our greater role in the world. This is one of the reasons we like to say we’re making the world a better place, one spine at a time!
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