Your heart beats. Your lungs breathe. Your immune system keeps you healthy. You walk, or play the piano, or bend to lift a child. What system is controlling all of these functions? Here are some facts and tips, courtesy of the Unified Virginia Chiropractic Association.
Doctors specialize a wide variety of fields, from cardiology (hearts) to pulmonology (lungs) to orthopedics (joints) and oncology (cancer). Specialization is a modern phenomenon that’s here to stay. But what system is the master system controlling all systems? That would be the nervous system. It controls everything… and it’s very complex.
Fruit flies have about 100,000 nerve cells (neurons). Pretty impressive! But that’s nothing compared to you and me. Humans have roughly 85 billion nerve cells, with roughly 25% of these nerve cells in the brain.1, 2 The central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) give off nerve branches, much like a tree gives off branches and roots. Your nerve branches feed every organ, muscle, blood vessel, and part of the human body. The brain is like your “central computer,” with the nerves very much like its communicating “wires.” When the nervous system functions at its best, your potential for health is optimal. When poor motion patterns, trauma, inflammation, or a host of other common issues interfere with nervous system function, then injury, illness, and living less than your best are high likely.
Doctors of chiropractic have chosen the nervous system as their focus and specialty. This may surprise those who thought chiropractors focused on the spine, or on muscles and joints. Though chiropractors are very highly trained in spinal anatomy and function, their main focus is on optimizing your nervous system. This may mean adjusting joints that are moving improperly, which “afferentates” (stimulates) nerves, in effect waking them up for duty. Spinal nerves branch directly off the central nervous system (spinal cord), and the surrounding spinal bones, ligaments, muscles, and discs have a profound effect on these nerves and their targets. Wherever your chiropractor’s hands and focus are, he or she is highly likely to be focused on your
nervous system and your whole body’s well-being, not just a part of it.
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2. Note that some sources suggest the average human brain has about
86 billion neurons. http://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2012/