Friday, January 16, 2009

The Other Side of “Principled” Chiropractic

As chiropractors we have all learned about the birth of our profession when D.D. Palmer adjusted Harvey Lillard and helped restore Mr. Lillard’s hearing. Being a scientist at heart and having studied & experimented with many forms of healing, “DD” discovered a vital aspect of how the body works - having the inherent ability to heal itself from within. Along came B.J. Palmer and developed the further developed theories that would take chiropractic into the future.

We all have heard “Above-Down, Inside-Out”. Chiropractic has marched on with this simple basis for it’s philosophy ever since. The brain outputs messages and as long as there are no interruptions to those vital electro-chemical impulses and where ever the end organs they innervate, the body will be full of health, free from disease, pain and infirmity. It will be able to self regulate without interference. OK, that makes sense, but many chiropractors continue to gawk at the probability or possibility of anything else (well, at least the more vocal ones have) having such influence on the body's ability to heal itself. But why can’t it work in the opposite direction? Did our creator make it a one way street? Nope.

The “subluxation” (or fixation as I like to say) seems to be in the middle of the of this system. Protecting that part of the body connects the CNS and the PNS we direct our focus smack dab in the middle. Remove interference between the two and wallah, the body normalizes. (to all my chiro-friends out there, I'm doing my best here, I'm not a straight chiro, I'm a sports chiro and definitely a "mixer" at heart)
But what about the opposite? What about below-up, outside in? BLASPHEMY right? Can’t the outside world, our environment, our experiences affect us? Can't some screwy input effect the control system? Sounds perfectly reasonable to everyone except when you suggest that a condition may not be due to a "subluxation" of the spine. Then, all hell breaks loose and you find straights and mixers practically brawling in the middle of the convention hall.

That “above-down, inside-out” thing is definitely a two way street. There may be apparent signals coming from the brain affecting the body, something interfering with the connection between the brain and the body or aberrant signals going from the outside the body and on up to the brain. All of which can interfere with normal function.

Dr. Allan Oolo Austin & The Trigenics Institute recently did a 5-hour mini seminar here in Miami and their main focus was largly the “below-up & outside-in” side of the equation. Where dys-afferent signals going from the periphery up to the brain can set up a negative feedback loop where the body re-patterns normal neurologic patterns with faulty ones due to imbalances or unbalanced “input” into the system. Thinking of it like a computer where the body is the keyboard and the brain is the CPU (which in fact it is), if you put in bad info your going to get bad output. Do this enough times and that becomes a normal “habit” for your body, re-patterning how things function, the firing order of muscles and more. Doing what your body does best, it adapts to the changes and keeps on going; the system (neuromuscular and musculoskeletal) eventually starts to break down due to bad biomechanics from the unbalanced input, leading to further dysfunction, inflammation and pain and a breakdown of the part.

The Trigenics Institute definitely includes adjustments in their paradigm, but also includes soft tissue techniques (of which they let you pick which you like best: Graston Technique, A.R.T., NIMMO, etc…), breathing techniques, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitative stretching (PNF) and normal movement patterns in their approach to restoring normal harmony / functionality to the system.

Trigenics Institute teaches you the “other side” of chiropractic with a sensible system of analysis along with using many tools that are already in your tool belt combined in a system that helps the doctor restore proper function through restoration of normal neurological patterning.

It’s almost like teaching the body to work normal again while removing the interferences all along the pathway from peripheral to central and back. Even my chronically “Oleta Park” damaged mountain bike shoulders had a dramatic improvement of strength and pain free ROM within mere minutes.

My opinion is that Trigenics is what chiropractic should be. The application of functional neurology. Add this to your arsenal and you've really got something special.

There is an intense 4 day Trigenics training program coming to Miami, February 20-23. More info on this can be found at

My personal thanks along with the gratitude of the Dade County Chiropractic Society go out to Dr. Alan Oolo Austin for speaking at our DCCS Kickoff party at Dr. Burak’s house this past Tuesday night. We all watched as Dr. Austin helped Dr. Burak to Abduct his left shoulder to full ROM. Apparently, it hasn’t been up that high in years. So much so that we had to rush his hand to Jackson as it suffered from altitude sickness. Just kidding. The result was amazing. Thanks Dr. Austin.

'nuff said

Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.

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