Last week's blog was a little about how Scott and I met in school and our introduction to Network Spinal Analysis (NSA)...this week I would like to share what I learned about NSA, and what I love about NSA!
NSA activates the parasympathetic (healing) portion of the autonomic nervous system. It has been studied extensively by neurobiologists at the University of Southern CA-Irvine as well as the Wyoming School of Electrical Engineering. NSA changes nerve signaling patterns (hence why electrical engineering and neurobiology are facets for study and research). Each of us have a specific way in which we hold our bodies - usually due to a combination of genetics, learned patterns/behaviors, as well as patterns to compensate for different stressors in our lives. Your brain is so used to creating signals for the muscles, ligaments, bones, and tendons to maintain these patterns that in order to be in a new state, the brain must learn a new signaling pattern. NSA teaches the body a NEW pattern.
Most chiropractic techniques find the sore or the "stuck" spot of the spine and adjust those areas with forceful, quick thrusts to the spine. While this may feel good (short-term endorphins are created) for a short time period, it is usually a short-lived effect. When we practiced these techniques as interns, we would often have people say, "I felt good until I got to my car and turned my head....then I felt it move right back to the same place." Some people feel the opposite effect. Before or after that type of adjustment is delivered, they feel their muscles guarding in anticipation of the force of the adjustment. This causes the body to move into a fight or flight response pattern, increasing stress in the muscles as well as other organ systems. Not only can this cause damage to tissue, but is much less effective in the healing process, often causing the spine/muscles/tendons/ligaments to return to their previous out of balance state. This resulted in adjusting the same areas over and over again as the brain could not process the information received.
NSA in contrast, enhances parasympathetic function - relaxation, deeper breathing, improved digestion as well as hormonal/sexual function. This allows the body to move into a healing state. In this state, with the specificity of the adjustments and contacts, the brain starts to recognize new patterns for stabilizing muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Over time, the spine and nervous system actually learn a new way of being, instead of just adjusting the same bones over and over again.
I love the systematic approach to NSA, as it uses outcome driven analysis. Each adjustment uses a system of analysis to determine where the tension is coming from in the spine, if and how the body is defending the pattern, and it gives us a clear system to correct the observed factors. This is in contrast to just adjusting where the pain is - that would be a short-term solution. The more important question to ask would be why is there pain there and where is it coming from? With NSA, if we are on the right track, observable shifts in the body will be evident, while if we are not on the right track, change doesn't happen. Given the extensive testing we do (EMG, Thermography, Xrays (when necessary), motion studies, Bio-Impedence Analysis, functional movement analysis), we know the big picture goals and changes we are striving for, but at the same time, can work each adjustment to make the best possible progress, helping the body learn to be in a new state.
When contacts are made at the right place, the right time, the right amount of pressure, with the right vectoring, all determined by the NSA analysis system, change is clearly identified. Even better, all of this is done in a way that is relaxing, soothing, and gentle to help the body truly move into a healing state. Over the years, this gentleness has allowed us to help newborns to the elderly and everyone in between.
NSA is one of the most researched forms of chiropractic and even one of the most researched forms of alternative medicine. The largest study ever done with alternative health care looked at over 3500 people across the globe undergoing NSA care. What did it show? People in NSA care:
- have less pain and tension
- have an improved quality of live with an increased ability to handle stress
- experience more joy and happiness
- have better immune system function with fewer incidence of colds and sickness
- are more likely to participate in activities to improve health and well-being (exercise, eating well, meditation/mindfulness)
NSA has huge emotional benefits for people. NSA increases something called heart rate variability. This increases the body's ability to adapt to stress. Having better strategies to physiologically handle stress is a huge benefit for emotional well-being. Being out of pain is one way to truly improve someone's mood, but actually feeling more joy and happiness is something unique and important. I really don't know anyone who wouldn't want this effect!
Over the years, we have witnessed these amazing changes for kids with ear infections, weekend warriors with back pain, elderly people with severe osteoarthritis, mom's and dad's with low energy and high stress, people with headaches and migraines, those with sciatica and hip pain, to those just wanting a better quality of life. It has been a journey and we feel so blessed to have chosen NSA. It is the most researched, specific, gentle, and effective technique out there. Within a few years of practice, both Scott and I completed our NSA Levels 1, 2, and 3 of certification. We are active educators, speakers, doctors, and parents in our community. Let the blessings and miracles continue!
To learn more about NSA, attend Phases and Stages at Body In Balance on Wednesday, March 8th at 6:30. Dr. Leah will discuss and do demonstrations on NSA care! Don't miss it - this class only happens a few times a year! Call 303-215-0390 to reserve your seat today!