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Foundation #2: Spinal Mobility & Strength

Dr. John Palmer

Transcript:
Hey guys. It's Dr. John with Friends & Family Health Centers. I am talking about Foundation #2 of our Five Foundations of Health. So in the previous video, we talked about brain health and how it relates to all the other foundations. But today, what we're going to be talking about his Foundation #2. Foundation #2 is purely the communication between the brain, the information it sends down through the spinal cord and through the body.

A lot of people understand that the brain controls everything in the whole body. It integrates everything in the whole body.Everyone understands, okay, everything happens in the body, but they forget about the actual connective points that actually connect the brain and the body and then the body to the brain. And so why that's important is it really comes down to science. It really comes down to movement and mobility. If you narrow edit down to one thing, it's motion. It's movement.

So, the really cool part about it... I'm an anatomy and physiology dork. I love both. And so what I mean by that is your body was designed perfectly. So all of your anatomy, when you look at someone from the side, your head, your shoulders, your torso, your hips, your knees, your ankles are all meant to be stacked on top of each other. And so you have something in your body called your spine. Everyone knows about your spine, but everyone doesn't understand that you have three curvatures that literally sit on top of each other and they counteract each other. They act as a spring. They act as a shock absorber. And they do that by having, I'm going to turn to the side again, and... You have a curve in your neck that is a C curve. You have a curve in your mid back that counteracts that, and you have a curve in your lumbar spine that counteracts that.

So, the beautiful part about this is every time you take astep, or you sit down, or you do anything, they literally compress anddecompress, and compress and decompress. And why that's important is becauseevery time they move that neurology is transferring those messages back andforth, and it's phenomenal. It's perfectly designed. You have other mechanismsin your body that have to do with other neurons, like cranial nerves. We're notgoing to get into that right now.

But in a sense of normal physiology, and your body actually repairing and functioning the way that know that we work is it's the communication between your brain and your body is dependent on those three curvatures. It's dependent on each of those curvatures have little vertebrae in them, and they also have discs. So, the really cool part about the spine is that it protects the spinal cord. The neat part about the disc is that it allows for movement to happen. You're having security, which is protection of that tissue, that spinal cord. And then you have movement, which is... Usually, those two things don't go together. It really comes down to how well are you moving, and that comes down to how well your brain can actually communicate to the body, and the body sending those messages back up to the brain.

So, this is what we do every day in our clinic is that we evaluate people's spines. And so when people have the ability to stand straight, that gives them the best possible way to function normally. And so what I mean by that is if someone has a forward head posture, for whatever reason, what's going to happen? Your center of gravity is your center of gravity. When you were born, you have certain primitive reflexes that tell you where your body is in space once you start walking. So roughly, I don't know, some babies really early, nine months, start walking, and then maybe up to about 14-15 months they start to walk. And so what happens when you start to walk, you start to become more symmetrical, and you begin to form your center of gravity. Your center of gravity tells you where you are in space. And then, the beautiful thing about it that point in your life is that you have those three curvatures that are already in place. I'm going to go over those in another video.

But in a sense of think of those three curvatures...They've just formed at that time period. And what happens is your torso gets tight, and it compresses, and it supports those three curvatures. That's your center of gravity at that point. That is your cerebellum, that's other areas of your brain saying, "This is where you are in space."

So now that you understand that, I can explain what happens when it faults. And so what I mean by that is that if your head is forward ... Which I would say 80% of the people that come in our clinic, they have a forward head posture. Why do they have a forward head posture? Probably because they sat for the first 20+ years of their life. They may have had car accidents, falls, any type of thing that is going to jar the spine, is going to shift it. And that's going to allow for the dysfunction to begin, so the degeneration in the disc, degeneration in the bones because it's not moving the way that it was meant to move. And so what that actually does, is it diminishes that communication between the brain and the body.

So what that is, you having that forward head posture, what's going to happen if your head posture is, let's say in a car accident, you get ligament damage, and you have a forward head posture. It sits there.What are you going to do? Are you going to actually have that forward head posture like this? Absolutely not, because that's not efficient in the sense of how we run the body.

So, what I mean by that is if you have a forward head posture, what's going to happen, that center of gravity is going to say,"Hey, your weight's leaning forward." Gravity is taking place, and you're having to fight gravity. Now what is the body and the brain going to do?It's going to straighten that mid back curve. It's going to arch that low back.It's going to rotate forward in the hips and you're going to compensate to get as much of that weight over your torso, over your pelvis, and that's how you're going to exist. You're not going to move optimally as a result of that forward head posture.

Now, I just took one aspect of many different variations of the spine. So one thing that is important is actually getting that forward head posture back over your head. You can do that through manipulation. You can do that through exercise. You can do it through walking. It's truly changing your physiology. If it's not symmetrical, if you're not moving correctly because you had a fall or you've had something, you've sat crooked for 20 years because you're a secretary and you like to sit on your foot or you cross your legs, but if you get to the point to where you have asymmetry, or you're not balanced, what's that going to do to your feet? What's this going to do to your ankles? What is it going to do to your knees? What is it going to do to your hips?

So, one of the most common questions that we get is when someone comes in, "Hey, how is my low back connected to actually what's happening in my ankles, my knees?" That's the thing, is that you have to be symmetrical. Just like you have to be symmetrical in your car, your tires have to be symmetrical so they don't wear down, your pelvis has to be symmetrical. If you have someone properly evaluate that, and what it is, think about it. When you take a step, you're striking on each foot. And then, if you have a rotated pelvis, you're going to hit differently on the right foot than you would the left. You multiply this by roughly the... The American gets around anywhere from 5,000 to 7,000 steps a day. So, think about that. Think about five years of that. Think about 10 years of that without actually getting help.

So, the way that the body tells you that there's something wrong, it's usually symptoms, symptomatology of many different kinds. So, all those are are warning sign saying something is wrong. So those warning signs are saying, "Hey, there's a fault in the communication between the brain and the body, the healing mechanism," and so that's why we get pain, numbness, tingling, and the list goes on of symptoms that we need to correct.

So, the whole goal of this foundation is to educate people on the ability for your brain to communicate with your body. And so when your brain can communicate, then you had the best optimal outcome for the brain to send proper messages to the body and the body to send messages back to the brain, and that happens millions of times a day. That just gives you the best chance possible for normal to exist. Thank you for listening. Hopefully that you've learned something from this. And, I'll see you on the next video.

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