A few tidbits and some medical history about promoters of Chiropractic. O.K., they were not exactly fans of chiropractic but their research concludes what many people know, that chiropractic is for more than just a backache.
The term Homeostasis is credited to Walter Bradford Cannon, MA, MD 1871-1945. He spent his entire career at Harvard’s Medical School. Homeostasis is exactly the force of life that chiropractors work with. Until he came along there were some very strange ideas. But a good idea that came before his was from Claude Bernard. He was the guy that made Louis Pasteur very unhappy. Today, Bernard is known as the father of modern physiology. Back then, Pasteur was the father of Germ Theory and still is. He came up with the idea that if we were to kill all of the germs with heat, we would not get sick. You see his name on almost every Milk carton sold today, Pasteurization, is heating the milk up until everything in it is dead, including all the good stuff. Bernard would argue with Pasteur and noted that he was missing a very vital variable, something known as host health.
Bernard died in 1878. Pasteur died the year chiropractic was discovered, 1895. That means Pasteur’s ideas won out over Bernard’s. When DD Palmer delivered the first chiropractic adjustment to his janitor Harvey Lillard, the principles of Claude Bernard became very real. What does host health have to do with a janitor getting back his hearing? When your body is in a state of homeostasis, it will work as intended. Harvey’s deafness was not caused by a spike right through his head. (Wishing Mick Jaeger a speedy recovery) What sane health practitioners are stating or should be stating is, if you are a healthy host you can handle exposures to nasty germs without getting ill. Of course Harvey’s deafness had to do with nerves in his medial geniculate thalamus not being at threshold, which was what was causing his functional deafness. Moving his spinal joints fired up powerful electrical signals to that part of the brain and turned it back on again. Most people today don’t think about going to a chiropractor for anything other than a back ache. That is why I’m writing this stuff.
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine had 394 human volunteers that had viruses dumped down their noses. Everyone got the exact same amount of exposure to the pathogens. Not everyone came down with a viral infection. They discovered that the people that came down with illness had an increased sustained sympathetic tone. Thinking back to that big bad subluxation picture of a degenerated disc and a hard bone on a puny sickly nerve would not explain this increased sympathetic nervous system output. With nerve root compression, the sympathetic tone would decrease.
However, there is another kind of nerve interference where the sympathetic tone increases. That is the kind of nerve interference that chiropractors are dealing with most of their careers. An increase in sympathetic output is immunosuppressive. It makes us prone to illness. Having an increase of sympathetic stress hormones known as Catecholamines, which are the actual hormones of stress weakens our resistance. We’re told that stress kills, but it makes us sick first. What also made us sick is that history chose the wrong hero, they championed Louis Pasteur because it was easier to just heat things up, I guess?
But after Claude Bernard came the father of Chiropractic, DD Palmer. He only made it to 1913. It was around this time that the previously mentioned Walter B Cannon is making it big. He started researching homeostasis, whole body health, and allostasis, which is the process of how the body responds to stressors in order to regain homeostasis. He said all of this was controlled by the autonomic nervous system, that thing that chiropractors work with, that thing that controls our vital life force that we are all born with. That was a light bulb moment. Chiropractors affect the most powerful nerves in the body and some of them wind up at the hypothalamus, the nucleus, the main driver of the autonomic nervous system. When you get adjusted, your autonomic nervous system is being charged up.
You’re not going to believe this, but one of the main relays to the parasympathetic nervous system is the Nucleus Tractus Solitarius that part of your brain that we discussed earlier, that is modulated by spinal joints. I know what you’re thinking, if only M.D.’s read their own books. One guy who wrote their books was Cannon and the book was called the Supersensitivity of enervated structures. Or as I think it should have been called, Hey, this is Chiropractic. This is what chiropractors are working with. A nerve that is subtlety sick, that is not compressed, fire off more, not less. That means that every chiropractor that still believes in the 1895 theory of a hard bone on a soft nerve needs to read these books as well. You are not getting sick because of a pinched nerve is decreasing your life signals to your organs. You are getting sick because of the consequences of having too many signals overloading the system. It doesn’t matter which one you believe in, the end result is the same. End of Part 3. Stay tuned for Part 4.
P.S. If a lot of this stuff is not making sense you need to go back to the beginning and read all previous installments.