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Healthy Gut, Healthy Brain

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As Chiropractors, we access changes and alterations in your spine and make specific gentle corrections as we find the need. Ever wonder why? Well, your spine is actually the part of your body that is protecting your spinal cord, which is a MAJOR part of your central nervous system. Think of your nervous system like your master control system of your body.

Proper functioning Nervous System = Better Overall Health and Function (which we all want right??!!)

Here at Spoelstra Family Chiropractic and Focus, we do things a little differently; our doctors utilize very specific testing and analysis to determine Nervous System compromise. In fact, what our doctors are actually looking for is something called a Neuro-Structural Shift of your spine. This is when the bones of your spine become slightly misaligned and can cause very important information traveling to and from your brain to become less efficient or interfered with. Think of this like static on the telephone line that may be causing some errors in messages being sent to and from your brain and body. We correct this with a gentle Neuro-Structural Correction to the spine, to increase the proper communication and ultimately increase the efficiency of how your body works and its overall function!!

Pretty cool right??

Well did you know that you have a second brain, another brain along with the brain in your head?

So where is this other brain?

Hidden in the walls of your gut (Digestive tract) is essentially a second brain! This second “little’ brain has been named the Enteric Nervous System (ENS). YES! Another Nervous System, much like the one we focus on as Chiropractors!

Your ENS is composed of more than 100 million nerve cells that line your gastrointestinal tract – from esophagus to rectum. The main role of this 2nd brain is to control digestion and send messages to the brain about what’s going on in the gut. We are actually learning now that the second brain plays a HUGE role in your over immune system, cognition and even hormonal system to name a few. This second brain is VERY important!

The brain in your head and the brain in your gut are always exchanging information and communicating back and forth. One way the brain communicates back to the gut is by way of the Vagus Nerve.

The Vagus Nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It runs from your brainstem down to many of your vital organs, including your stomach and intestinal tract. This nerve plays a very important role in your body’s digestion. Not only is it the longest nerve, but it is also effects both sides of your Autonomic Nervous System. Meaning it is both Sympathetic (which is you Flight or Fight mode) and Parasympathetic (which is Rest and Digest or Relaxation mode).

When the messages being sent down to the gut are in response to Sympathetic mode (Stress!), the gut reacts by slowing down digestion. Although this stress response is normal and healthy when it occurs in the short term, this can cause negative effects on the gut and digestion if the messages continue to relay Sympathetic messages over a long period of time. This is when secondary conditions can begin to emerge. Secondary conditions in the gut commonly present as poor digestion, mal absorption indigestion, irritability and gastrointestinal disorders which may include diarrhea, constipation, and stabbing, cramping, pain after eating, bloating to name a few etc. But can also present as things like anxiety, mood challenges, brain fog and even immune system weakness.

By decreasing the stress on your nervous system and vagal nerve, we can help the gut function better and decrease secondary conditions! We do this by making specific Neuro-Structural Corrections, decreasing added stress on the body and increasing communication between the body and the brain.

Unfortunately, these are common secondary conditions that many people struggle with these days. It is always a great idea to look for the root cause or primary reason for symptoms and that is why we have objective testing to measure stress on your nervous system. If this is you or someone you know feel free to schedule a time to sit down with one of our doctors to discuss possible testing to look for potential Neuro-Structural shifting of the spine that may be changing your first and second brain!

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Why is Chiropractic a Part of the FOCUS Program?

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Why is chiropractic a part of the FOCUS program for kids with neurodevelopmental disorders?
This is a question I get almost daily as more and more people are learning about the FOCUS program.  The first point I want people to understand is that the FOCUS program is an innovative and integrative approach for kids and adults with challenges such as Autism, learning and behavioral disorders and ADD/ADHD.  The program is comprised of three main pillars and all are equally important.
 
Phase one of the program is targeted toward healing the brain and body and getting the individual in a place physically where change (specifically in the brain) is possible. Neuro-Structural chiropractic is one of the the pillars because it is a tool used to bring balance back to the brain and nervous system.   The primary objective of the gentle and specific corrective techniques to the spinal column and cranium is to move a child out of the “fight of flight” zone and into a more balanced and healthy neurological state. 
 
In this phase we also utilize specific dietary changes, food intolerance testing and gut healing protocols to improve health in the gastrointestinal system and therefore help heal the brain.  It is because of the effectiveness of the specific Neuro-Structural correction that this type of chiropractic has been a part of the FOCUS program from the beginning and is part of the first phase of healing for individuals with learning, behavioral or developmental challenges.    
 
To learn more about the other pillars of the FOCUS program and the results we are seeing in our practice members, you can visit www.cdafocus.com and call 208-667-7434 to reserve a space at our next free lecture or workshop.