Detox is a Natural Bodily Function
“Doc, what does chiropractic have to do with detox?”
I get this question all the time. And to understand how they work together, we need to understand that detoxification is a normal innate process of the body. Your body detoxifies on a regular basis through activation of a branch of the Autonomic Nervous System called the Parasympathetic Nervous System. This is also known as the “Rest and Digest” part of the nervous system which allows your body to heal. Thankfully the autonomic nervous system functions automatically, so you do not need to even think about it!
Though it functions automatically, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it functions as optimally as possible. In today’s society, we constantly come across stressors that prevent our bodies from being able to accomplish this natural innate process as efficiently as it was designed to do. These stressors can be summed up into three categories: 1. Chemical Stress 2. Emotional Stress and 3. Physical Stress. The physical stress category is our focus in chiropractic management. Chiropractic support helps your body function as optimally as possible by addressing the overall health of your spine which directly influences your nervous system to function as optimally as possible.
The Nervous System’s Role
The nervous system is composed of the brain, spinal cord, and thousands of nerves that exit the spinal cord that travel to every muscle, organ, and tissue in the body. These nerves carry very specific signals to and from the brain about how a system is to function. The nervous system is the only organ system in the body that is completely encased by bone to protect it. This bone structure is known as the spinal column. There are many ways that this structure can be compromised leading to increase in suboptimal signaling and functioning of the nervous system.
To demonstrate this very point, the University of Colorado performed a research study on rats which demonstrated that a dime sized weight of pressure (10 mmHG) on a nerve could reduce the amount of electrical transmission down that nerve up to 40-60%. Physical stress on the spine leads to misalignments, and those misalignments lead to pressure on the nervous system.
When you think of physical stress, you most likely think about car accidents, slips, falls, and intense workouts. But the reality is, most people’s physical stress comes from a lack of activity. The average American sits for more than 6.5 hours a day. Combine that with eating processed foods, lack of exercise and sleep, no sunlight, and high stress levels, your body will not detoxify properly. In fact, this physical stress inhibits your body’s parasympathetic nervous system to function optimally. And this is where chiropractic care is so important, because there is a direct correlation with the health of your spine and the health of your nervous system. Chiropractic support helps increase your neurological response to not only reduce stress, but to allow your body to function better in its rest and digest function, leading your body to detoxify properly.
Chiropractic and Detox
Consider this, the nerves in your central nervous system and spinal cord, which may be compressed or malfunctioning, are the same nerves directing your heart to beat, lungs to breathe, food to digest along with how well your body can detoxify. Based on the research stated earlier, I personally would not want my nerves to only be functioning at a mere 40%. Imagine how many people are walking around and living their life with their bodies only functioning at 40% of their full potential. It is like having a dimmer switch on a light, and the dimmer is turned all the way down causing the light to barely illuminate a room. Now imagine turning that dimmer all the way up to where the room is fully illuminated and that light is functioning at its fullest potential!
As a healthcare provider, I want every person I encounter to be functioning and living their life at 100% and that is why every person in our office has their spine and nervous system evaluated to determine if their spine is leading to a malfunctioning nervous system. If we find malfunction due to malalignment, we utilize gentle and specific adjusting techniques and postural and strengthening exercises to remove tension on the nerves, allowing for restoration of proper communication. Ensuring that nerves have no mechanical pressure can make a significant difference with how well the autonomic nervous system functions, and as a result, how well your body can detoxify.