In the chiropractic profession, the term subluxation was designed to describe a condition in which minute but damaging deviations from the normal positions of the vertebrae protecting the spinal cord cause disruption of the communication along the super highway that is your brain-to-body electrical network; electricity flows through nerves like water flows along a river, so think of the subluxation as the electrical equivalent of a dam. At its roots, subluxation means a condition of less light, and was originally interpreted as a condition of less life. Upper Cervical Chiropractors focus on the more delicate and smaller uppermost neck vertebrae, which protect the brain-to-body network’s cell tower equivalent, the brainstem.
With respect to the desire to better define subluxation within chiropractic and to keep the term confined to the spine (or to the brainstem), the root translation of the term as a condition of less life could be applied in many ways, not the least of which as a tool to better educate a society mightily struggling to figure out wellness while heavily influenced by a healthcare system aimed predominantly at sickness.
The human body is a well-oiled machine, the most intricately and intelligently designed assembly line in the history of mankind, replenishing damaged cells with incredible efficiency (i.e. cuts healing in two weeks, broken bones mending in six weeks, nerves returning to relative normalcy in four months post-injury), creating new cells via the food we eat within minutes, and constantly seeking to maintain for us a body-wide even keel. A discussion of subluxation, then, is an exercise in identifying the various agents of slowing down your internal assembly line. You can no more expect optimal health when your internal assembly line is functioning abnormally than you can elite production of a car when an automobile assembly line is in some way failing.
Nutritional deficiency, then, is a form of subluxation, is it not? Given that food is eaten for the most basic reason to build new cells and that new cell production is decreased in effectiveness when lacking essential materials with which to build the best quality new cells, a nutritional deficiency is a condition of less life (a subluxation). A sedentary lifestyle robs the body of the movement necessary to maximize physical well-being, a statement not limited to your muscles, but applicable to all parts of the body, including the heart, the digestive system, and the hormone-producing organs. Remembering that there is a distinct difference between merely being alive and actually being healthy, a lack of physical activity is, too, a subluxation.
An over-abundance of fear in what could go wrong and a lack of trust that all will be well is also an example of less life. Having faith is connected to trust; fear is the antithesis of faith. In today's world, many are psychologically and spiritually subluxated, if you will, meaning that their lives revolve around fear because they are not grounded in faith and lack the trust that comes with it. Life is made so much harder - so much lesser - by lack of faith and trust. "Fear is the path that leads to the dark side,” a wise philosopher once said. “Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering."
When going through a major change in life, it is common practice to bury the feelings about it. Of course, the feelings do not go away just because of the attempts to draw attention away from them; emotions not dealt with eventually rear their ugly heads, whether quietly building tension in the mind or in the muscles like a volcano inching toward eruption. Life lessened, in yet another way exemplifying subluxation.
There is quiet hope that perhaps the introduction of the term subluxation into the wider social lexicon would reflect positively on the chiropractic profession that invented it. The essentials of healthy living are not mutually exclusive, meaning that proper materials via food are better utilized, movement from working out is more beneficial, and psychological and spiritual healing is easier to come by when the human body functions properly. A vertebral or brainstem subluxation is essentially a phone call with poor reception that does not go away until you find the source of the connection error. This is what happens in the spine and what chiropractors are trained to correct with adjustments. If the nervous system is in a lesser state, every other system in the body will function at reduced capacity too. There is no more common source for connectivity issues in either the cell phone or the human body network than the tower, or in the body’s case the brainstem (see Upper Cervical Care).
This exercise can be taken even deeper (would you want your doctor, airline pilot, chef, etc. to be operating under various conditions of less life or at optimal states?); let us conclude, then, with the following: picture in your mind the peak example of an optimal life lived, and then picture someone bed-ridden, hooked up to machines to keep him/her alive. The distinction is important because health is the study of what causes people to fully live, but that which comprises American “health” care focuses instead on illness and what causes people to die. Subluxation is a useful descriptive label, creating better awareness of how one goes from healthy to ill, and then how one becomes healthy again. If health is about optimizing life, subluxation calls attention to what diminishes life.
Thinking good things for you, as always,