When the first paper was released on Chiropractic adjustment and cortical brain wave patterns, it opened the door for Chiropractic to get back on track. Today there are four powerful papers which not only support the CNS connection, but are also advancing the understanding of “how” and “why” the Adjustment has such a powerful neurologic foundation. This is the new beginning for Chiropractic. The challenge was, “How could we apply this great information to everyday practice?” This led to the development of the NeuroInfiniti instrument. Dr. Barwell realized that the research on neurophysiological response to stressors and the body’s ability to recover from these stressors was already in place. What was needed was a method to be able to do objective patient testing to see if the patient’s systems were working ideally. An investigation found that no one had done the development of such an instrument. Dr. Barwell contacted the leading company in Biofeedback hardware development and together built the first instrument that could do a dynamic computer driven neurophysiological stress and recovery test in a 15 minute window. Today the NeuroInfiniti2 is the fourth generation of that instrument. Today Chiropractic can not only stand by its effectiveness to improve neurological function, but also has the best equipment available for in office use to test, retrain and verify the improvement in a patient’s neurological function.
Neurologically Based Chiropractic (NBC) represents a return to the original foundations of the profession: The concept that the nervous system is the control system of the body and that any challenge to health starts with a breakdown in the neurological control. There are three primary systems in the body. The Passive System – the bones and joints. They do nothing on their own. They provide the opportunity for movement – structural support and attachment for ligaments and muscles The Active System – the muscles – they provide the movement of joints and limbs, digestive movement, circulation, respiration, waste removal, hormone release etc. Once again they do nothing on their own, with the exception of the heart muscle which beats on its own; however, it needs the nervous system to coordinate the cellular response. The Nervous System – the Control system which compiles and coordinates all the functions of the body, including the passive and active systems. This control includes the ability of the body to defend and heal itself.
NBC is focused on the nervous system as the key to health restoration and peak performance. Any health challenge such as joint dysfunction, immune responses, somatic disorders, chronic illness and/or infections are only an outcome of a neurological imbalance. While other measures may be needed to maintain life, the imbalance within the nervous system must be addressed.
In contrast to the current model of Chiropractic, NBC is not structure based. It is function based. What this means is that the mid model of Chiropractic continues to stress that a misaligned vertebra creates irritation to the spinal nerve root and thereby causes interference to the neurological message and a subsequent breakdown in body function. The entire concept places the spinal vertebra (Passive system) as the primary focus of Chiropractic.
NBC continues to support the original neurological foundations as the causative factor in all health/illness issues. However, the primary focus is on neurological function (Control system) and views the effects of nerve interference on the muscles (Active system) as a secondary response. A less than optimal neurological activity has dramatic effects on the muscle activity and this in turn creates abnormal motion patterns in the joints (Passive system), a tertiary response.
This neurological understanding of Chiropractic is actually much more aligned with the original concepts dating back to the early developers of the profession. Both D. D. Palmer and his son B.J. Palmer taught that the nervous system was the primary concern of Chiropractic. Unfortunately, lesser minds and the promise of two “mirage” rewards change the course of the profession.
1. The desire of Chiropractors to be included into the controlling health model – Medicine, and 2. The inclusion of Chiropractic in insurance programs with the bait of large monetary returns.
Because medicine would not and will not allow an outside profession with fundamental philosophical differences into its playground, Chiropractic had to play the game as dictated by the insurance companies. Unfortunately, the promise of great monetary returns lulled the profession into short sighted vision. Medicine, with its great political strength, controls the insurance companies so once again we find chiropractic on the outside looking in; only now having sold its soul and restricted its scope of practice to joint movement (Passive system), the only access left to the Insurance rewards. As Chiropractic continues to lose its fundamental approach (the primacy of the nervous system) it is at risk of falling by the wayside in the health field.
Current scientific research continues to demonstrate the role of the nervous system in all matters of health. Papers on the nervous system and the immune response1; the nervous system and diseases like Psoriasis2; the nervous system and cholesterol 3; Chronic back pain4; the nervous system and diabetes5; the nervous system and inflammation 6 are just a few examples of the new thinking in health.
We have now moved beyond the question of structure or function as the foundation of Chiropractic. We can now demonstrate that indeed Chiropractic is a function based profession, which we must consider as the new view of the profession. The mid view of Chiropractors as “Spinal Mechanics” must be replaced with the concepts of “Functional Neurologists”.
We are now faced with the challenge of proof. This has been the greatest challenge for the Chiropractic profession from its beginnings. The great news is this – in order to support the neurologically based Chiropractic approach, we must demonstrate that we change the neurophysiology with the Chiropractic adjustment. Is this possible? – ABSOLUTELY!
We developed the Stress Response Evaluation (SRE) test and report for this exact purpose. We use the research quality instrument produced by Thought Technology (the worldwide leader in the field of Bio/Neurofeedback equipment) and built a software program specifically designed for use in Chiropractic offices. Our program allows the DC to analyze the state of the patient’s nervous system with: 2 base lines; a math challenge; a recovery; an irritating noise challenge and a recovery and a breathing exercise plus recovery. This is to be done with each new patient and then as a follow up at the end of primary care. The neurological focus during the SRE includes brain wave activity, hand temperature, respiration, heart rate, heart rate variability, skin conductance, and muscle tension. The SRE takes 12 – 15 minutes to complete and can be administered to children as young as 4.
Finally, we have acceptable methods of neurophysiological measurements to demonstrate the effectiveness of Chiropractic care to alter body function. We have been waiting for 111 years for this moment.
There is more – we can use the same instrument to augment the power of the adjustment to release the innate ability of the body to heal, with neurological retraining in the form of Bio/Neurofeedback. This includes: brain wave training, hand temperature, HRV, respiratory, heart rate, skin conductance and muscle activity. This retraining ability adds an income center to your clinic as well as providing a truly Neurologically Based Chiropractic Care center.