adjustments & adjusting

Sunday, December 8, 2013

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.
- Maya Angelou

silly me. i keep thinking that i've got it all figured out and can move on to the next thing. i don't even really know what "it" is. i mean it can't be life cause that would be totally hilarious and ridiculous if i really thought i had life figured out right?! 

anywho. I've become a chiropractor junkie. in my previous life i was always very skeptical of them. seemed like a scam. i imagined that they were all creepy, greasy old men who wanted your money as well as to do weird things to your spinal cord. i also imagined that you would puke every time you got adjusted. and there was a good possibility they might break your neck and you would be paralyzed for life. i'm quite the rational person.   

this is my experience. contrary to my previous ideas i discovered that [some] chiropractors aren't scumbags. i started seeing a chiropractor this past September. he came highly recommend by two friends [both nurses] and I figured if I was willing to try all other crazy medical ideas [new medicines, tilt-table test, ted hoses, blah blah blah] i needed to man up and go to the chiropractor. Oh boy. i could have given him and his partners a huge hug at the first scan & consultation meeting. they actually KNEW what the autonomic nervous system was. they WANTED to answer my questions. they had some REAL suggestions for IMPROVING my autonomic system [the problem] instead of MASKING the symptoms. there was hope. 

chiropractor  chiropractor chiropractor
pictures from my first scan & consultation meeting

my first scan revealed that i had subluxations [spinal injuries/areas of stress] in the cervical vertebrae and pelvis area. the curvature of the cervical vertebrae was beginning to go opposite of what it should be and my hip bones were uneven. falling apart my friends. these subluxations were causing my sympathetic nervous system to be hyperactive.  

so the autonomic nervous system is divided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic. the sympathetic nervous system is the "gas pedal" it's responsible for the fight or flight response. the parasympathetic is the "brake pedal" it's responsible for the rest and digest. at least that's how i simplify it in my brain. i'm a cardiac nurse definitely not a neuro nurse.     

many of my symptoms [dizziness, nausea, numbness & tingling, fatigue, problems with temperature regulation, weakness, intolerance to being upright, and an elevated heart rate] could be blamed at least partially on the subluxations causing me to be in a constant state of sympathetic overdrive. my already messed up autonomic system [due to the neurocardiogenic syncope] was not functioning at its full capacity due to the subluxations. 

it's been 3 months since Aaron and I moved back to Omaha. i attribute a lot of the improvement to the change in altitude AND to being adjusted. I am feeling so much better. I am actually able to function. I am only taking salt tablets occasionally. other than that I am medication free. 

I am a nurse. I'm analytical. I like tests. I like to be able to see results. thankfully the chiropractor practice I go to does scans which satisfy my need to see the improvements on paper. basically it reassures me that it's not all in my head. my autonomic system is calming down and starting to functioning more normally. 

so the scans. this is the Surface EMG scan (below) measures muscle tone and nerve impulses along the spine.    

9/6/13 first scan | taking medications 
the medications I was taking were hiding the fact that my autonomic system 
was dysfunctional
10/2/13 second scan | took medications late that day
hence the crazy lines and colors
10/30/13 third scan | off of medications
improvement & the first real look at my autonomic system

the Pulse Wave Profiler measures heart rate variability in a resting state to determine one's autonomic activity and its effect on heart rate. 

this is how we knew that my sympathetic was in overdrive. 
3 months of adjustments and the dot moved to the green box. holla. I was scanned this last week and the dot was in the box for the 2nd month in a row. double holla.

There is a third scan called a Thermal Scan that measures heat along the spine. All of these scans are ways of checking for and monitoring subluxations. 

So that's the adjustments part of my life. there's also been an adjusting part of life. this goes back to me thinking I've got it figured out and then quickly realizing that it's not that easy or quick. so here's to literal and figurative adjustments. 

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your turn. I would love to hear your thoughts & experiences [positive or negative] with chiropractic care. do you think it has helped improve your health? or do you think chiropractors are crazy quacks like I use to?   


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