Your central nervous system is housed in your skull and spine. The brain sends out information – via the spinal cord – to the body, to tell it what to do or what not to do. The number one thing your central nervous system responds to is stress!!! Stress can be chemical, emotional or physical.
Think of the spinal cord attached at the top and the bottom of the spine. If you are stressed, you go into a protective posture – or flexion posture. Just like a cat – when it flexes on its paws – you do not want to go near that cat!!! Same with a human….I’m sure you can think of an example.
Stress is a normal function. As humans we are stressed, but we adapt and we are better for it. However, when we have chronic stress, we then go into that flexion – or protective posture – and that leads to compensation. The flexion posture tenses our spinal cord – remember it is attached at the top and bottom of the spine. Think of it as a guitar string – and it is taught when under stress.
As an example, neck or back pain are indicators that your nervous system is not functioning well because it is tense and you have not returned back to ‘EASE’. Alf Breig, a neuro-surgeon and Nobel Prize recipient, found that a loss of the neck curve (cervical curve) can stretch the spinal cord 5-7cm and produce pathological tension putting the body in a state of ‘DIS-EASE’. We know that for every inch of forward head posture we increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 pounds. 1
Additionally, Dr. Roger Sperry found, “90% of the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by the movement of the spine”. He was a nobel prize recipient in 1981. He demonstrated that 90% of the brain’s energy output is used in relating the physical body to gravity. Only 10% has to do with thinking, metabolism, and healing. 2
Is that not remarkable? The brain functions specifically to know where we are in our environment (our physical bodies) against gravity. And only 10% has to do with thinking and healing and our metabolism…
So where is the link in health? Unrelenting stress.
Unrelenting stress is what shifts your body into a sympathetic (stress) domain and sets the stage for ‘DIS-EASE’ in the body. There is the link… If our spinal cord tension is in ‘EASE’, we are functioning well, and when we add chronic stress, where our bodies have to respond to a chronic flexion posture – STAY AWAY I’M GOING TO BLOW UP – we are under tension and thus setting up the stage for ‘DIS-EASE’.
- Kapandji, I.A. Physiology of the Joints: The Trunk and the Vertebral Column. 1974. 3rd Vol, Churchill Livingstone, 2008.
- Sperry, R.W. (1988) Roger Sperry’s brain research. Bulletin of The Theosophy Science Study Group 26(3-4), 27-28. Nerve Connections. Quart. Rev. Biol. 46, 198.