The Network Center for Healing and Wellness
Below, we explore the different approaches and their benefits and shortfalls. We have chosen to take the approach of Reorganizational Healing because it embraces a broad perspective on health and life. We acknowledge the importance of exercise (if there is a fountain of youth it is exercise) and nutrition because you are what you eat. But our approach is more specifically focused on the spine and how it acts as the interface between your body, your mind and your life.
We look to enhance the awareness of how one affects the other and how you cannot have peace in one with distress in another. The goal is to create flexibility in the mind and body, through the spine, so that a full range of the human experience can be appreciated, including all the ups and downs life has to offer and the ability to experience them with greater depth and meaning. The idea is to fully embrace all aspects of life and to be fulfilled by the challenges we encounter that make up the life that we are to live.
Of course, being that the spine is the interface between your mind, body and life, a healthy spine is going to make for a better interface then an unhealthy spine would. As your spine becomes healthier, the Medical model, which is discussed below takes care of itself, but typically, the pain or condition is resolved before the spine actually becomes healthy. The benefits of a healthy spine are talked about under Chiropractic model, however, the Reorganizational Healing model takes things one step further because it is about resolving why the spine is unhealthy in the first place.
Consider the following scenario: A person is experiencing low back pain and he or she is seeking help.
The Medical Model doesn’t only have to be medicine or surgery. Many alternative practitioners will also fall into this category. The Medical Model looks directly at the specific area that hurts. It is a very small box. Diagnostic tests like x-rays or an MRI are commonly performed. They may determine that there is a herniated disc at L5/S1. The prognosis is bleak. Surgery is probably the only hope or perhaps a new synthetic material that can be injected into the disc.
You may try pain management or start “conservatively” with a muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory. You may try PT for 10 weeks with ultrasound, muscle stimulation and stretching exercises as well as massage for the painful area. Sometimes the therapy helps, sometimes it doesn’t. But either way, even if does help ease some of the pain, nothing has changed.
The thought process here is that when the symptoms started, that is when the problem started. It’s like saying, “I woke up one morning and had high blood pressure.” A crude example of this is jumping out of the top floor of a skyscraper and as you pass each floor on the way down you say, “So far so good.” The spine is no different. If you have symptoms or degeneration something has to change. Otherwise you are still on the same slippery slope that caused the disc to herniate in the first place.
This isn’t just the medical profession. Many alternative practitioners will fall into this category as well. If their treatment is focused at the area of pain, in this case L5, then even if they are “super spiritual” or “holistic” it is still the medical model. If pain relief, without making some fundamental change is the goal, then it is what we call the medical model. Chiropractic manipulations, acupuncture, even Reiki, herbal remedies and nutrition can fall into this category depending on the practitioner. Success of the treatment is less pain. Nothing more.
The Chiropractic Model involves looking at the body in a more holistic way. The whole person and especially the whole spine are considered in trying to find the cause of the pain or condition. You get the effect of the medical model and more.
The example of the person with low back pain may have C1 (a vertebrae at the top of the neck) out of place which is causing twisting, pulling and imbalance all the way up and down the spine. The lower back is tight, inflexible, unbalanced and prone to an injury doing routine activities. With this situation the back is often unable to handle the stress of even a minor incident like a slip without going into complete spasm. Often the person with this spine will report that all they did was “bend over to pick up a pencil”.
Many people believe that this movement or slip was the cause of the herniated disc. Either way, the cause of the injury was not “bending over to pick up a pencil,” nor was it the slip. The cause, in this example, is C1 being out of place and causing other areas of the spine to be tight, restricted and out of alignment.
Chiropractic is based on the premise that there is within us an organizing wisdom that chiropractors call innate intelligence. This is discussed in more detail under the heading Vitalistic Philosophy. The body’s innate intelligence uses the nervous system as the pathway to control all the functions of the body, ranging from coordinated muscle contraction while walking to digesting the hamburger you just ate. The concept is that if a vertebrae like C1 is out of alignment or subluxated (discussed in more detail under the heading Subluxation), it will cause pressure on the spinal cord, interfering with the body’s innate intelligence and creating patterns of tension in the body causing stiffness and a lack of normal function.
With chiropractic care, C1 is addressed, the body’s innate intelligence is expressed with greater authenticity, the nervous system is freed up to function better, the back feels better, the immune system functions better, other systems of the body improve in function and overall health is restored.
This model is great but often it is symptom driven. The idea is to stay comfortable and healthy. Maintenance or preventative care falls under this. Please go to the topic Subluxation to read more about the many benefits of having subluxations cleared with Network Spinal Analysis.
Reorganization Healing Model
The reorganizational healing model asks the question, why is C1, in this example, out of alignment (subluxated) in the first place. It goes beyond the cause of the pain and asks the question what is causing the cause of the pain. You get the effects of the medical model, chiropractic model and still more.
A vertebrae will go out of alignment when there is unresolved physical, emotional, mental or chemical stress or trauma. This is discussed in much more detail under the heading How we lose our spinal health. It goes way beyond the car accident or a fall.
In life we see things, think things or have a story about how life should be that is in conflict with our true nature or the way life really is. This creates conflict and this conflict is stressful. If for example, we have fear, worry or self doubt, these are limiting beliefs about ourselves that are inconsistent with our true nature. They are not true, they are beliefs we have and their presence in your life creates stress in your physiology. We deal with the stress by pushing it to the back of our mind, which is the spine and locking it away by misaligning or subluxating the vertebrae.
Once the vertebrae becomes locked in that position it now predisposes you to the type of thinking that caused the stress or conflict in the first place. This exercise will help to explain this. Try this: Sit with your head down, shoulders forward and spine slumped down and picture an angry or stressful thought. Let it fester until you really feel it. Now bring you spine straight, bring your shoulders back and tilt your head back so you are looking up toward the ceiling. Can you create the same thoughts with the same intensity? It’s hard to do. That is because the shape and position of our spine influences our state of mind.
When your spine is in a flexed, defensive posture this will set the tone for us to go into a state of stress based on a limiting belief that we hold. Picture an actor or actress portraying stress or suffering in a play or movie, they will use their posture, or body language to portray that particular emotion. The spine would be flexed forward, the shoulders would be pulled up and forward and head would be down. This is in comparison to the posture or body language that would express joy, peace or feeling victorious where the head would be back, the shoulders would be back and relaxed and the spine would be in slight extension.
This is a much healthier state for our spine to be in and results in better health throughout our body. Each state that our spine exists in sets the stage for our life.
The limiting beliefs and the resulting subluxation are usually formed at a very young age. There are many different factors that perpetuate the limiting beliefs. Sometimes it is habit, our life may be structured in a way that reinforces them with our jobs and relationships, as mentioned above the shape of our spine and the way we have been taught to see things. Regardless they are interfering with your personal success in life and are undermining your health as well due to the subluxation.
In the case of our example with low back pain, it was C1 which is causing the entire spine to tighten up which lead to the disability. But ultimately the reason C1 is subluxated, is due to a limiting belief that was in conflict with your true nature and most likely from a young age.
With Reorganizational Healing we are able to help you to change the predisposition to certain states of mind. By working through the vertebrae we change not only physically, but also change how we feel about ourselves, the course of our lives and how we see and participate in the world. Getting rid of low back pain is nice because you are more comfortable. Adjusting C1 into alignment is good because it will help the low back as well as help the person to be healthy on other levels. But neither one of these compare to how much better life can be when you have released the holds of fear, anxiety, self doubt and so on. This changes your life in ways that being out of pain can never do.
Below are examples of different scenarios. Just take in the way your back, neck and posture would feel with “the defensive or stressful state” versus the way you would feel with what we refer to as being in “growth or peaceful state”.
1) Being stuck in fear, worry or anxiety, not doing something that you really want to do because you are afraid of what may happen versus having a knowing that everything is going to work out according to plan, that regardless of the outcome that you are going to be ok.
2) Being filled with self doubt, not feeling like you are good enough or that you matter, getting angry all the time and always questioning your self-worth, what will your spine feel like versus the way it would feel it if you absolutely knew who you are, what you are made of, why you are here and that you are an integral part or your family, your community and creation in general.
3) What will the state of your spine be when you buy into the B.S. that we have heard our entire life about what we should do. How we should act. What we should believe and who we should be versus knowing who you are and doing and being exactly what you know you are to do in this lifetime.
4) Try to feel the different state of your body/mind when you are trying to figure everything out before you do anything. You want to have fun but you have to stop to figure how you are going to have fun first. Where you are stuck in this internal dialogue that distracts you from life versus being in the moment and just feeling the joy, the excitement or the hardship or sorrow for exactly what it is.
5) Picture the posture that a person would have feeling like they are a victim of circumstance. When you feel like the world is against you and your problem is so overwhelming that there are not enough “resources” in the entire universe to handle your problem. You hear yourself saying things like “Why me?” Imagine the different state when you hear that the answer to the question “Why me?” is “Because I can!”
Because you were born with all the tools and resources you will need to resolve what needs to be resolved and change what needs to be changed in this lifetime. Reorganizational healing is about moving towards the state that will support your best most fulfilling life.
In our wellness center we use Network Spinal Analysis, SRI or Somato Respiratory Integration exercises and the Triad of Change. Interestingly, the procedure in our office is the same no matter which model you desire. It seems that your intention of what you wish to achieve is what for the most part you will get. But, as long as you are in Network care, why not shoot for the top. Rather than set your sights on just pain relief from the medical model, shoot for the sky. While you are here, get everything you can out of your sessions until your goals have been met.