It’s a Two-Way Street — The Connection Between Your Brain and Body
Have you ever heard of bio-hacking? Think of it as a secret code to improve your body’s performance, in all areas. I know what you’re thinking — they’re called drugs. Okay, point conceded, and also not what I’m talking about at all. I’m asking this: what if you could do what performance enhancing drugs are purported to do naturally, safely, and legally? Keep reading.
Your life is experienced through your nervous system. Think about that. Every thought, breath, heartbeat, memory, and movement happens in coordination with your central nervous system (CNS). All you pre-internet folks remember that from grade school, the original “information super-highway”. Researchers have found that nerve signals can travel from your brain to your body at more than 250 miles per hour, and some still register that number as high as 300 mph. Your brain is the master control system of your body with signals and messages starting in the brain and then heading out and down to your body. But we rarely think about the signalling that travels in the other direction.
Here’s an example: start with your index finger pointing straight up (think: “We’re number 1!”). Now, bend that finger and pretend you’re Captain Hook. Now quickly straighten that finger again. WOW, right?!!?
Okay, so slightly less than impressive. But the idea is that none of those movements are possible without the speedy signal transmission relay between your brain and body. You see, the brain sends the impulse to bend your finger through the nerve roots that exit from the spinal cord in your neck, travels down to muscles in your forearm that then proceed to pull tendons on your finger to bend it into that hook position. Simultaneously, in just as much time, the signal returns to your brain to confirm that the position was achieved. And as soon as you decide to straighten your finger, the signal goes back down. Lickety-split. Now that’s impressive, even Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team can’t be that fast.
So here’s the beef: top researchers have found that specific movements of the spine, including the motion that happens during a chiropractic adjustment, can provide a multitude of benefits to your brain and nervous system. Adjustments activate the nerves that detect and sense motion. When those nerves are activated, it stops (or gates) the nerves that deliver pain signals. That is one of the reasons why adjustments provide pain relief. They literally “turn off” the pain sensors! Perhaps even more exciting is the emerging research that has shown adjustments can increase cortical drive. That’s a fancy way of saying researchers have found adjustments can make you stronger!
Chiropractic care has been helping people live their best life (read: bio-hack) for over 100 years. Having a higher quality of life and feeling better (with less pain) are two of the most popular reasons why people seek chiropractic care. But new research into sports performance, strength, and how the adjustment can improve brain function have a lot of people excited, me included. Let the bio-hacking commence!