You may be wondering what the spine would have to do with allergy season? A lot, in fact! We know that the brain is the master control center of our entire body… it controls every organ, tissue, muscle, and cell. The system by which the brain communicates with everything else is called the Nervous System, which is housed inside the spine. When the brain wants to send a message to our sinuses, that message exits the brain, travels down the spinal cord which is housed inside the spine, and exits the delicate nerves of the neck. So, when the spine is out of alignment, our brain cannot communicate at 100% with the rest of the body.
In Chiropractic care, we gently bring alignment to the spine to allow the optimal function of the Nervous System. You may be surprised to learn that the spine and Chiropractic is not just about back pain! Let’s take the example of having allergies and see how this system works.
The neck (cervical spine) is where the nerves that control our face/head are located. So when the brain wants to send the message to your sinuses, nose, eyes, and ears, that message must go in this order:
Brain > Nervous System> down the spine/neck > message arrives at the sinuses
And conversely, the messages from the sinuses, telling the brain that it’s having difficulty processing outside allergens, go in the opposite order back up to the brain.
If the neck is out of alignment, that message can’t get through. You might be wondering “well, my neck looks and feels normal – how bad could it be?” Studies show that the weight of a dime sitting on your skin will decrease a nerve’s ability to function from 100% to 40%. Meaning – when your brain sends the message to the sinuses to get rid of that congestion and mucus – it’s only working at 40%. As Chiropractors, this is what we do – we allow the Nervous System the opportunity to function optimally at 100%.
When we think about the amazing body and how it works, we must also recognize that any symptom (in this example it’s allergies but you could substitute any example here) is the body’s way of communicating to us. A decrease in function has been occurring beneath the surface for some time, and finally the body “waves the white flag.” It gives us that symptom (pain, health problem, elevated blood work, etc.) to let us know that it needs help and we need to do something differently.