Did you know there are approximately 100 billion nerve cells (neurons) in the human brain and approximately 13.5 million neurons in the human spinal cord!? ….. Or, that the nervous system can transmit signals at speeds of 100 meters per second!
The Nervous System includes both the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS).
The CNS comprises the brain and spinal cord (it is the command center of the nervous system). The PNS comprises the cranial and spinal nerves (it servers as the communication lines that link all parts of the body to the CNS).
Essentially, the Nervous System is a complex network of neurons and cells that transmit signals around the body to coordinate our actions.
It is, in effect, our body’s electrical wiring and it is not until more recently that I really appreciated the importance of ensuring the spine is correctly aligned to maximise the delivery of these signals and therefore athletic performance.
Often when we get injured, we look at the muscle or tendon in isolation of the bigger picture. However; “there is vast difference in treating effects and adjusting the cause” (Dr D.D.Palmer).
The ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates (who is traditionally regarded as the father of medicine) also believed that we should “look well into the spine for cause of all disease.”
Following the birth of my second son, who was a month premature and eventually delivered via emergency c-section, it was recommended that I see a Chiropractor. I took this advice on board and made an appointment.
During the visit, I learnt that my pelvis had shifted and my leg length was different by several centimeters. Also, my weight distribution over both legs was uneven and the difference was approximately one kilogram.
By adjusting my spine and realigning my pelvis, my leg length equalized. My visit to the chiropractor had got me thinking. I could strength train all I liked to prevent injury, but if I was unbalanced in the first instance, how much was I actually achieving?…How much harder was I making it for myself?
I learnt that if the spine is not aligned, or the body is out of balance, it can impact the function of the Nervous System, causing chronic pain, difficulty in mobility, and potentially other health conditions.
I now understand that chiropractic adjustments open the pathways of the Nervous System allowing the signals to flow unobstructed!
In addition, my visit to the chiropractor reinforced the idea of looking at solutions to health and sports aliments holistically.
The Nervous System, Immune System, and Endocrine System are inextricably linked so when one is impacted, the others are impacted as well. This occurs because all three systems share certain molecules that carry message between them, allowing them to communicate or work together.
While the Immune System protects the body from disease, the Endocrine System is responsible for producing certain hormones. These hormones are responsible for regulating tissue function, sleep, metabolism, sexual function, mood, growth and development, as well as other vital functions.
I now see my chiropractor regularly every 4-6 weeks and consider it an essential part of my training plan!
Ultimately, the power is within us to function at our best. Keep in mind, your chiropractor knows how to flip the switch, so now might just be the right time to get adjusted!
Reference: Human Anatomy & Physiology, 5th edition. Elaine N. Marieb.
Acknowledgement: Inalign Health Rolleston, Chiropractor: Jude Moriarty.
Image Credits: Adobe image library