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October 12, 2020 - Central Integration to Help Chronic Pain and Dysfunction (Part I)


Central Integration to Help Chronic Pain and Dysfunction (Part I)

October 12, 2020 Puzzle Piece

I have been asked recently to evaluate and treat many patients that had not responded to Chiropractic or Medical Care.  Some had seen as many as 4 MD’s, Neurologists, 2 DC’s with multiple tests, including imaging, medications, and injections.  These cases and their resistance made me look and relook at Central Integration and combine many tools and techniques from our past to blend all of them to accomplish marked improvement.
After 80% improvement on one case after just one treatment, the husband, having traveled 3 hours to see us, said, “why don’t you teach other doctors these techniques so people can get help everywhere”.  The statement was a compliment but upset me.  I explained I gave up a very happy life and a extremely productive practice almost 20 years ago to teach full time.  He then said why don’t the doctors do what you teach?

All of us take technique classes throughout our practices and then personalize them to us.  The problem is many who have seen, have not done.  Those that follow the “Six Steps” accurately get incredible results and prosper.  I am asking all who have been exposed to these techniques and philosophies to dedicate themselves to follow the protocol and give the patients what they deserve in health and wellness and what the doctors deserve in a very effective and results achieving system of evaluation and treatment.

Central Integration encompassed into the “Six Steps”:  The human body is basically a receptor-based organism. The basal ganglion, cerebellum, thalamus, and even the cortex, are receptor sensitive. The brain only knows frequency of firing.  70% of the brains function is inhibitory.  Incorrect or insufficient information (sensory input) yields aberrant function.  The central integrated state is the correct balance of inhibitory postsynaptic potentials and the excitatory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs & EPSPs). Therefore, a neuron rests or sits if at a central integrated state simply processing the signals of excitement and inhibition in this balanced condition.

central integrative state

The central integrated state is changed and improved by balancing the excitatory and inhibition potentials, which is often accomplished by increasing afferent or sensory input, with care and a whole person approach.

The joint mechanoreceptors of the spine are tonic receptors that fire continuously due to the constant presence of gravity. These joint mechanoreceptors of the spine and the muscle spindles gather and send the greatest amount of information to the brain. To have health and wellness and not manifest pain and/or dysfunction one must have balanced spinal and muscle information in excitement and inhibition.

The information from the joint mechanoreceptors goes through the cerebellum without known communication with it, straight to the thalamus. The muscle spindles fire directly into the cerebellum and then into the thalamus. This integration system also receives information from sound, sight, and the labyrinthine ear. The thalamus then sends the information to the new (neo) cortex. The neocortex then fires or sends information to the brain stem, through the hypothalamusLook at the pictures included in this article.

pain gate theory

The brain stem controls vital functions such as heart rate, breathing, digestion and hormone regulation. It also controls central integration functions such as balance and control of the involuntary muscles of the neck and back. It also has parasympathetic function to inhibit the sympathetic nervous system.

Therefore, the greatest quantum of information that the body receives to keep us healthy and out of pain comes from the muscle spindles and the spinal joint mechanoreceptors.  It blends and integrates this information with the eyes, ears hearing and ears balance.  Smell  can also be involved.  To balance the spine and muscle spindles is paramount to wellness, being pain free and having your chronic and potentially hopeless patients respond.  The eyes/ears need to see/hear and send the same message the muscle spindles and spinal facets sense and send to the brain and brain stem etc.

Tandem treatment of the midline structures helps facilitate a central integrative state and optimal wellness. Therefore, we also use the eyes (Color Chart - Chakra Balance) and cranial nerves III, IV, VI, and XII, along with integrating what the ears hear and feel in vibration (tuning forks). The midline structures relate to the paleo cortex (old brain), which is a part of the limbic system (emotional center).  Therefore, emotional stress is being addressed at the same time.  Smell may also need to be added to the correction.

Lack of proper body movement causes faulty neurophysiology. We must realize the control the body has over the brain when fixation or subluxation yields faulty motion, nerve compression or nerve entrapment. This results in a lack of proper joint movement and inaccurate mechanoreception, yielding imbalance and a non-central integrative state.  We also treat fascial restriction in this equation.  The acupuncture system is imbedded in the fascia and the fascia is involved with all the nervous systems, surrounds the brain, spinal cord and all of the organs.  Robert Fulford, DO, taught the fascia superseded the nervous systems and integrated them together.

If the person becomes tight, in spasms and/or imbalanced in any area, they lose range of motion in that area which affects all other areas of the body.  For example, if they lose motion of the anterior-posterior movement of cervical vertebrae, the IPSPs (inhibitory) overrides the EPSPs (excitatory) and pain and dysfunction occur.

Neuromuscular Therapy Update, Vol. V/Issue 2, (1994) pp. 14-17

This is Part I giving the background and importance of Central Integration.  Next week in Part II, I will give you the step by step protocol for correction.

Yours in Health and Wellness,
John W Brimhall, BA, BS, DC, FIAMA, DIBAK

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