“Intruder alert! Intruder alert!,” the home security device blares in the middle of the night, the system triggered by a breech designed to warn of a challenge to your safety. “Go back to bed, put in your ear plugs, and forget about the alarm,” would be a rather strange next automated response.
We take seriously the signs of a threat when it comes to the place that we live, just as we heed the warnings of the smoke detector or the check engine light in our cars; we have been taught that not to pay immediate attention is to take an unnecessary risk. These innovations in protecting ourselves, like many inventions of the modern age, borrow concepts from the inner-workings of the human body, and therefore one of the greatest curiosities in recent human history is that we have not been taught to recognize the equivalent warnings that our bodies are in distress; rather, we have been taught to ignore them.
The average person has over 75 trillion total cells in his/her body. Each cell performs roughly 200,000 tasks every split second; an infinite number of things just happened in your body while reading the preceding ten words. Every eight minutes, every six weeks, and every four months, respectively, the make-up of our stomach linings, livers, and blood supplies are replenished cellularly; our bodies are living, breathing regeneration machines. When a child is born, a popular and very true statement, “It is a miracle!” is frequently expressed, but it remains a miracle from cradle to grave. We have to learn to trust that “each patient carries his own doctor inside [and] that we are at our best when we give the doctor who resides within each patient a chance to go to work”¹ and we have to teach our kids to learn to trust that too because, unequivocally, health depends on it.
How the key organs that govern the manner in which the body works is a fascinating topic that every child should be learning about in grade school; it is basic applied science. The central nervous system is the power supply, and it carries electrical energy to each part of the body. Intriguingly, the hub of the nerve system, the brainstem – our plug into the “source” of electrical energy and the single most vital part of the entire human body – is physically situated in the single most delicate structural area of the entire human body, right where the head and the neck meet inside a bone nicknamed the “Atlas” (the first cervical vertebra, or C1), which is actually the only bone of around 200 overall to be held in place just by muscles instead of the standard bony locks that prevent movement well beyond normal ranges.
Another peculiar trait about this above-mentioned, particularly unique anatomical feature is that the opening within the Atlas where resides the brainstem – the cell tower of the human body network, the nerve system's Houston control, the body's switchboard operator – is the most narrow part of the spinal column (bones), but the brainstem is actually the thickest part of the spinal cord. Also, the upper cervical anatomy does not fully develop until roughly the 19th year of life, approximately ten years after experiencing, beginning with birth itself, the vast of majority of the physical traumas – by about a 500 to 1 ratio of the first ten years compared to the next 70-80 years combined – that could potentially alter the head and neck's normal positional relationship (alignment).
Thus, when symptoms like neck pain, headaches, lack of mental focus, or dizziness (among a litany of others) arise, they are not insignificant and they should not be ignored. They are your body's way of communicating to you that something is beginning to prevent its ability to thrive, and that in order for it to continue performing all of the automatic, subconscious tasks on its endless list so that you can do whatever you consciously desire without issue, it needs you to fix the problem that it cannot or find the person who can help facilitate the necessary change.
Our bodies do not ask much of us, but on occasion they need help removing the various forms of interference to their function. Sometimes, it is as simple an issue as the top bone in your neck has gotten wedged underneath the skull's base because of when you hit your head on the cabinet (or one of the myriad other common traumas in our lives), and after years of keeping the internal assembly line moving along with decreasing efficiency, that misalignment is acting like a rubber-band becoming more tightly wrapped around your brainstem and it needs to be removed so that the most important part of your body can get back to doing its job properly, without impediment.
Due to the Atlas being in held in place only by muscle, it lacks the structural design to be effectively re-aligned without precision down to the nearest degree and millimeter. The foramen magnum (big hole) at the base of the skull must line up with the C1 vertebra like two water bottles matched end-to-end because even the slightest shift can create a serious mess. Upper Cervical Chiropractic solely concerns itself with identifying, correcting, and re-correcting when necessary this foundational misalignment so that the brainstem can be relieved of its compromised state and so that the nervous system can subsequently re-engage at its optimum, guiding your body back to normal.
We all desire to be symptom free and to be as healthy as possible, but in order to achieve those results, we have to pay attention to our bodies. The longer we wait to discover the source of the warning signs or pleas for help from our bodies and instead medicinally “shush” them, then the longer it will take get well. We have to take action and be engaged participants in our own health, seeking direction from professionals, like Upper Cervical Chiropractors, who are trained in the art, science, and philosophy of eliminating that which stands in the way of your body optimizing its health potential.
Thinking good things for you, as always,