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Above-Down, Inside-Out

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The Nerve System and Chiropractic Care

How is it that chiropractic health care can be so effective across so broad a range of conditions? One of the main reasons is because chiropractic focuses on optimizing the nerve system by normalizing its function. The nerve system directs and coordinates all the functions in your body. A properly functioning nerve system can help your body recover from many kinds of problems.

Chiropractic physicians are specialists in analyzing and correcting nerve interference, which in turn helps your body function more optimally. Chiropractic care helps to reestablish the free flow of information between your brain and the rest of your body. When the various systems of your body receive accurate information - on time and in the right sequences - they can do the jobs they were designed to do. The result is the full expression of vibrant health and well-being.

Dr. B.J. Palmer, one of the founders of chiropractic, used the phrase "Above-down, inside-out" to describe the inner workings of the human nerve system which connects the brain and spinal cord to all parts of the body, including cells, tissues, glands and organs.
This was Dr. Palmer's way of addressing the complexity of human physiology all at once. From a high-level viewpoint, he was describing how the central nervous system communicates with the rest of the body. One major conclusion is that the brain originates nerve signals that flow to the spinal cord and from there to the glands, organs, cells, and tissues - and is therefore the master controller of all the other systems. The cardiopulmonary, endocrine, musculoskeletal, and gastrointestinal systems are all ultimately controlled and regulated by activities within the brain. 
Dr. Palmer was also referring to the organizing intelligence responsible for all the operations of a living organism. This concept, referred to as "Innate Intelligence", was advanced by his father Dr. Daniel David Palmer.  Dr. B.J. Palmer expanded upon his father's work, and promoted the idea of Innate Intelligence as he helped the field of chiropractic become the second largest healing arts profession in the United States.
In this paradigm of "above-down, inside-out," the guiding, intrinsic force that maintains ongoing health and healing is Innate Intelligence. It is this inborn intelligence that knows precisely what each cell needs to meet its energy requirements and thrive. Innate Intelligence knows precisely how to create a new antibody to fight a previously unencountered virus or bacteria. Innate Intelligence knows how much insulin is needed to properly use the carbohydrates you consume. And on, and on.

It is clear that disorder within the nerve system can interfere with the body's ability to carry out the instructions of Innate Intelligence. Symptoms, pain, disorders, and disease result from such nerve interference. Chiropractic treatment helps the nerve system function optimally, thus helping to restore health and well-being.1,2,3

1Nguyen LT, et al: Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Self-Rated Health Status: Results from a National Survey. J Gen Intern Med Nov 5 2010 (Epub ahead of print)
2Millet JD: Progress in complementary and alternative medicine research: Yale Research Symposium on Complementary and Integrative Medicine. Yale J Biol Med 83(3):127-129, 2010

3Ahn AC, et al: Applying principles from complex systems to studying the efficacy of CAM therapies. J Altern Complement Med 16(9):1015-1022, 2010

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