I want to lay out a concept for you that helps to explain the power of the adjustment in your life. I’ll try not to get too complicated, but I need to paint a picture that isn’t yet discussed much in our society. I will work to give you a perspective that gives words to what you feel when you get a proper adjustment.
There are patterns in our lives that occur over and over. In physics, a way to make sense of these patterns is the idea of systems. This is a way to understand structure and function in individual ‘things’. When we see something that appears to be separate and individual, we often find a ‘system’ within it that maintains it. Many systems operate through what is called ‘flow’. Something flows through the ‘systems’ and this flow maintains them functionally and structurally. A flow system can be anything from a system of roads that leads from your door to your place of work and back. It may be flow of information such as in computer software or the internet as a whole. It can be a river basin in which rain is progressively collected and brought back to the main channel before it returns to the ocean. It can be the architecture of blood vessels that manage the flow of blood within your body or the shape of alveoli which direct the molecules of air you inspire in your lungs to tiny capillaries, the bumps that represent neural pathways in your brain or the distribution of stars in the galaxy. All of these are systems which depend on flow to maintain themselves.
We are systems too. The more we learn about our bodies and our lives, the more amazing the systems that continually recreate us are seen to be. Because we aren’t just lumps of matter. The matter that makes us up is constantly flowing into and out of our various systems. Our very atoms change out, some quickly and constantly like the cells in our stomachs, and some slowly like some of the atoms inside our bones. Air flows into, through and back out of us. Our food does the same. Some people say we are more like verbs than nouns!
So the picture we are developing of our lives cannot be seen just as a snapshot, but as an unfolding over time. Like standing on the bank of a river that is constantly flowing to the sea, your vantage point appears to present a stable picture in front of you, but the water molecules that make up the river are in constant flux and you never see the same ones again as they flow by. The stability of your picture of the river is actually made up of continuously changing molecules. In addition, the molecules of water may well be eroding the bank a tiny bit at a time on one bank and silt may be building up on another. In a time frame much longer than your moment of perception, the river is actually changing course as it flows.
For the scientifically minded among you, the idea of flow systems has been examined in an amazing and unique way by Adrian Bejan. One of his books, ‘Design in Nature- how the constructal law governs evolution in biology, physics, technology, and social organization’ actually brings a new law of thermodynamics to scientific consideration and is written for a more general reader than some of his other works. What I want to discuss here with you is an important concept that comes out of this constructal law of thermodynamics. Malcolm Gladstone titled one of his books ‘The Tipping Point’. This tipping point represents an aspect of flow systems function that relates directly to your adjustment.
This is the idea that flow systems tend to improve their efficiency of flow. Animate and inanimate objects all tend to improve their flow if not constrained. What is of interest here is that this doesn’t tend to occur slowly, gradually, incrementally, but rather suddenly. Flow systems tend toward long periods of stability and then rapid shifts to increased efficiency. The fossil record seems to support this rapid shift in species. It is called punctuated equilibria in that field. New species suddenly appear in the fossil record not a gradual incremental change over time. You may have noticed slowdowns and long stops on the interstate and when you get to the point of contention, there is nothing there; it just was the accumulated way that a certain number of cars and trucks “fit the highway and responded to a statistically insignificant wrinkle in space and time”. [reference: “Who ignores individuality fails the patient. ” Baker, SM. 13th international Symposium of The Institute of Functional Medicine. S88.]
You may have noticed that when you are adjusted, everything begins to work better. Instead of the body working as a collection of sections that respond to each other, the body instantly begins to work as an integrated whole. Improvement is not seen in just one discrete area but throughout the whole person. The adjustment literally appears to take an individual from one level of function to a higher one. Each person has their own unique combination of issues, but the commonality is that the individual issues and concerns can simply vanish when the body is more integrated and operating as a whole instead of in pieces. This is why we know when we are ‘in’ or ‘out’ of adjustment. Symptoms range from sleepiness, “I just can’t seem to wake up!”, brain fog, physical pains in certain areas, emotional depression, to a sense that ‘something isn’t right’. So many people tell me when they are back into adjustment. “You got it!” they say, even before I can measure them on the Anatometer.
The upper cervical adjustment removes interference to the flow of life within us. We have known this for decades. Now we are beginning to have models to describe this. We are getting closer to being able to describe the effects of upper cervical adjustment in a way that the scientific community can understand. The adjustment creates a ‘tipping point’ from which our bodies and our lives can find healthier ways to ‘be’. This is not an incremental change. It isn’t about fixing any one piece.
Our life can be transformed by removal of this progressive and degenerative interference. This is primary care for human beings. Patients are often surprised when they realize the power of the upper cervical adjustment. One of the tough things about being an upper cervical chiropractor is offering care that people don’t even know is possible. We don’t ‘fit’ in the old categories. Henry Ford remarked that at the beginning of his car business, people were looking for a ‘faster horse’. He was offering something much bigger, something that ultimately transformed the world. So are we. When we perform the upper cervical adjustment on our patients we are changing the world, one person at a time.