Saturday, February 26, 2011
The CNS Efficiency Model of the Chiropractic Subluxation Theory
Chiropractic traditionally uses static structure to diagnose dynamic functional loss. Segmental and Postural Chiropractic techniques presuppose that structural correction (by our imposed standards) will lead to functional improvement. The overriding belief is poor structure leads to poor function. Yet everyday we see cases that defy this underlying belief. Clinical cases were dysfunction and pain are not in doubt but the structure is grossly normal. Also everyday we see cases were structure, as verified by MR and other objective tests, is grossly abnormal yet the functional performance of the individual is above what would be considered normal for normal structure.
Does structure determine function or does function determine structure, or does each determine the other, and if the latter, how can it be? The answers to these questions seem to be matters of definition, personal paradigm and recognition of the driving purpose of the natural order.
In the inorganic world, structure may be regarded merely as a mechanical collocation of parts in a whole. But in the biological world, structure is a mechanical collocation of parts adapted to an end.
One cannot argue that “structure leads to function” is a popular belief yet when evolutionary forces are considered one is drawn to concepts such as Wolff’s Law: Function precedes structure. A look at biology gives the clinician a unique understanding. That understanding is that efficient function and behavior in the external environment leads to adaptable structure through natural selection. Saving and economic use of resources drives the individual and the species. Efficient function with available finite resources determines the survival of an individual. With enough time and offspring, structure adapts to save resources and energy. What can be said definitively is that structure and function are interdependent with the biologic drive of survival being efficient utilization of available resources.
Another Model of the VSC
The brain seems to be run by a program that says, “Do it in the most efficient way.” In all of its functions, the brain seeks optimum metabolic (energy) efficiency, or the path of least resistance. If one particular function is not accessible, the brain will automatically go on to the next most efficient process for doing that particular task. If the second task is not available, it will go on to the third or the fourth most efficient way. Because each alternative process is less efficient, it becomes more stressful and energy expensive.
The brain will keep searching for an appropriate processing method, until eventually the activity may become so metabolically inefficient that the brain will either strengthen the program to make it more efficient through neuroplasticity or not run the program at all. The individual will decrease the energy partitioning to that process, making this activity minimized or force the program to be more efficient. Disease and dysfunction depend on whether the strengthened program is physiological or pathological. If the program is not run, there could still be symptoms if the minimized program is physiological. It all depends on where the process is located in the physiological hierarchy.
A chiropractic subluxation is interference in the CNS summation, filtering and integration of sensory input leading to an inefficient output. The main challenge is the processing component.
The reason an adjustment is effective in the treatment of disease and dysfunction is due to the extensive network of connections possessed by the neuronal clusters in the composite thalamus and cortical maps representing and interacting with the chiropractic listing (the adjustable areas of the spine) in the periphery. This afferent information from the chiropractic adjustment gives the CNS just the right recipe to formulate and process more functional efficient local and global outputs
We now understand the biophysical, energy constraints and energy efficiency impulses that have governed the evolution of thalamo-cortical networks. To operate efficiently within these constraints, natural selection has optimized the structure and function of CNS networks with design principles similar to those used in electronic networks. The brain also exploits the adaptability of biological systems to reconfigure (neuroplasticity) in response to changing needs caused by the internal and external environment.
Shifts in neuronmodulation such as caused by chiropractic adjustments, exercise, yoga, positive mediation and diet or any other systematic constant afferent input help assure a favorable balance in the CNS of performance (processing, integration, summary and filtering) and metabolic efficiency.
In the subluxated patient, the brain is not processing or organizing the flow of sensory impulses in a manner that gives the individual good, precise information about himself or his world. Thus any efferent output will be inefficient and lead to eventual dysfunction and limitation.
The chiropractic subluxation is stress to the system that causes inefficient processing that can lead to long-term pathology.
The human brain is an expensive tissue whose evolution, development and function have been shaped by available metabolic energy within and without neurons. The human nervous system is innately tuned towards survival of the organism. This survival tendency manifests itself as the development and continuance of efficient use of energy for all its processes.
This survival tendency, or drive, is for the conservation of energy and efficient use of that energy towards expression of optimal potential in life. These processes and pathways are directed on the input (sensory) side of the system. Chiropractic should address conservation of energy and the efficient use of that energy towards expression of optimal potential in life. Chiropractic should not ignore the 400 million year history of the evolution and development of the vertebrae brain. Working in synergy with this reality leads to incredible clinical results
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Any inefficient neurological program
Any inefficient neurological program would lead to inefficient physiological processes, thus producing decreased survival capacity for the individual, offspring and/or species. The metabolic cost of neural information processing has been neglected by theorists attempting to understand the basic mechanisms of brain function. The large metabolic cost of neural processing implies that metabolic and local physiologic efficiencies will be critical for a mammal’s survival and adaptation over 240 million years of natural selection and physiological refinement and 6.2 million years of improvements for a human.
Consequently, the patient that comes in with a chronic (not acute) L5 right rotation should be considered a magnificent adapted machine geared towards energy efficiency. By removing our allopathic goggles and looking from a vitalistic viewpoint at the human body, the chronic L5 right rotation can be seen as the best short-term energy-efficient adaptation that 6.2 million years of evolution, modification, enhancement and survival through immediate energy efficiency could marshal. With these conclusions, I stopped seeing chronic short legs and a chronic L5RR as subluxations in all cases but perhaps adaptations of an efficient body doing the best it could to conserve energy in the here and now. Although a few weeks, months or years down the road the body could be damaged by these adaptations, energy efficiency of CNS processing in the immediate is the primary purpose of life.
Ground Reaction Force
Ground Reaction Force: The reaction to the force you exert on the ground and is the most important external force acting on human motion
Potentially the most damaging force affecting human motion
Such as, if you jumped off the bottom step of a staircase and locked your knees
If you drop a basketball on cement, it absorbs the force and bounces
If you drop a glass bottle, it shatters
Sunday, February 20, 2011
that we are caught in a feedback loop where we’re very
dependent, that is, our systems are designed to expect
certain environments to come back to us.
Steven Pinker: Yes.
Ajit Varki : But those environments are not consisting of
molecules or pH or anything like that. They’re consisting
of the input from the prior generations.
The Ant Philosophy by Jim Rohn
Over the years, I've been teaching kids about a simple but powerful concept: the Ant Philosophy. I think everybody should study ants. They have an amazing four-part philosophy.
Here is the first part: Ants never quit. That's a good philosophy. If they're headed somewhere and you try to stop them, they'll look for another way. They'll climb over. They'll climb under. They'll climb around. They keep looking for another way. What a neat philosophy-to never quit looking for a way to get where you're supposed to go.
Second, ants think winter all summer. That's an important perspective. You can't be so naive as to think summer will last forever. So ants gather their winter food in the middle of summer.
An ancient story says, "Don't build your house on the sand in the summer." Why do we need that advice? Because it is important to think ahead. In the summer, you've got to think storm. You've got to think rocks as you enjoy the sand and sun.
The third part of the Ant Philosophy is that ants think summer all winter. That is so important. During the winter, ants remind themselves, "This won't last long; we'll soon be out of here." And the first warm day, the ants are out. If it turns cold again, they'll dive back down, but then they come out the first warm day. They can't wait to get out.
And here's the last part of the ant philosophy. How much will an ant gather during the summer to prepare for the winter? All he possibly can. What an incredible philosophy, the "all-you-possibly-can" philosophy.
Wow, what a great philosophy to have-the ant philosophy. Never give up, look ahead, stay positive and do all you can.
Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle
- Philosophy - how you think
- Attitude - how you feel
- Action - what you do
- Results - measure often to see if you are making progress
- Lifestyle - the kind of life you can make for yourself out of the first four pieces
Thursday, February 17, 2011
The Forgotten Father of Today
One of the greatest minds of the 19th and 20th centuries, responsible for today's modern world, Nikola Tesla is still virtually unknown to today's textbooks, teachers, and general public. Thinking back to your high school years and looking through an encyclopedia, who do you remember as the inventor of radio? The name that probably comes to mind is Marconi. And if I asked the same about X-rays, you'd probably say Roentgen. And a vacuum tube amp, probably de Forest. While you're at it, who invented the florescent bulb, neon lights, speedometer, auto ignition system, and the basics behind radar, the electron microscope, and the microwave oven? Chances are you see little, if any, mentions of Tesla. Very few people today have ever even heard of him. The all-around nice guy Thomas Edison made sure of that. Nikola Tesla was born in Smijlan, Croatia (now Yugoslavia) in 1858. Young Nikola had a great memory and spoke six languages. He spent four years at the Polytechnic Institute at Gratz studying math, physics, and mechanics. The amazing thing about him was that he had a great understanding of electricity (remember that this was at a time when electricity was still at infancy, the electric light bulb hadn't even been invented yet). Tesla moved to the United States in 1884. When he arrived, he worked as an assistant to Thomas Edison, then in his late 30's. Edison had just invented the electric light bulb, but he needed a system to distribute electricity to houses. He designed a DC (direct current) system, but it had many bugs in it. Edison promised Tesla lots of money in bonuses if he could get the bugs out. Tesla took the challenge and ended up saving Edison over $100,000, which was millions of dollars by today's standards. Edison later refused to keep his promise. Tesla quit not long after that, and Edison spent the rest of his life trying to discredit Tesla (which is the main reason why he is so unknown today). In 1888, Tesla devised a better system of transmission, the AC (alternating current) system used in houses around the world today. By using Tesla's newly developed transformers, AC could be stepped up and transmitted over long distances through thin wires. Edison's DC couldn't be stepped up, required a large power plant every square mile and thick cables for transmission. Electricity is useless if it can't do anything, so in 1890, Tesla invented a motor to run on AC, the same type of motor used in every household appliance today. Scientists of the late 1880's were convinced that no motor could work with AC. After all, AC electricity reverses itself 60 times a second, so all previous motors would just rock back and forth 60 times a second. Tesla solved this problem and proved them all wrong. Word of AC eventually got to George Westinghouse. In 1893, Tesla signed a contract with Westinghouse to get $2.50 per Kilowatt of AC sold. Nikola finally had the money to conduct all of the experiments that he had dreamt of.
Tesla developed and used florescent bulbs in his lab some 40 years before industry "invented" them. At the World's Fair, Tesla took glass tubes and bent them into famous scientists' names- the first neon signs. Tesla also designed the world's first hydroelectric plant at Niagara Falls in 1895. Tesla also patented the first speedometer for cars in 1916. In fact, Tesla invented all of the things that are listed at the beginning of the paper. But Edison soon had too much money invested into his DC system, and he tried his best to discredit Tesla by showing that AC was more dangerous than DC. Edison paid local children 25 cents for each stray dog they could bring him. Then he would hold press conferences and electrocute the dogs at public gatherings to frighten people. He claimed that DC could not kill, but in fact, it could. Below is a drawing from 1889 of a horse being electrocuted in Edison's Menlo Park Laboratory.
Edison felt that it was necessary to experiment by killing animals before he could guarantee his electric chair would kill efficiently. Yes, it was actually Edison who invented the electric chair to frighten people away from Tesla's AC system, as shown in the below drawing from 1890.
But Tesla counteracted by staging his own marketing campaign. At the 1893 World Exposition in Chicago, attended by 21 million, Tesla demonstrated the safety of AC by passing high frequency AC through his body to power light bulbs. He was then able to shoot large lightning bolts into the crowd without harm. When royalties owed to him by Westinghouse exceeded $1 million, Westinghouse ran into financial trouble. Tesla realized that if he kept his contract, Westinghouse would go out of business, so Tesla took his contract and ripped it up! Instead of becoming the first billionaire, he got $216,600 outright for his patents. In 1898, Tesla demonstrated the first remote controlled model boat at Madison Square Garden. After all of these technological breakthroughs, Tesla still had not achieved his lifelong dream. All Tesla's life, he had dreamt of free wireless energy and other signals to the world. In 1900, Tesla was backed with $150,000 from J. P. Morgan. Tesla began construction of "Wireless Broadcasting System" tower on Long Island, New York. Tesla intended to use it to link the world's telephone and telegraph and to transmit pictures, stock reports, and weather information.
When Morgan found out that it meant FREE energy, he cut Tesla's funding. There is still a lot of controversy to what happened to Tesla's original tower. One story says that the government tore it down during World War I for fear that the German U-boat spies would use the tower as landmark to navigate by. Another story says that Tesla ran into financial trouble and sold the tower for scrap to pay off creditors. The world thought that Tesla was crazy. Transmission of voice and pictures was unheard of in that time. What they didn't know is that he had already demonstrated the principals behind radio nearly ten years before Marconi's supposed invention. In 1943, the year that Tesla died, the Supreme Court ruled that Marconi's patents invalid due to Tesla's previous descriptions, but yet most textbooks and encyclopedias credit Marconi. The Press started to exaggerate Tesla's claims. Tesla reported that he received radio signals from Mars and Venus. Today we know that these were really signals from distant pulsing stars. In his Manhattan lab, Tesla made Earth into and electric tuning fork. He made a steam driven oscillator vibrate at the frequency of the ground beneath him. The result was a small earthquake in the surrounding city blocks. It was here that he contended that in theory, he could do the same to even split the earth in two. He accurately determined the resonant frequency of Earth almost 60 years before science could confirm it. In his Colorado Springs, Colorado lab, in 1899, Tesla made what he thought was his biggest discovery ever-- terrestrial stationary waves. He sent waves of energy through Earth that bounced back to the source. When they came back, he added more electricity to it. He lighted 200 lamps without wires from a distance of 25 miles and created the biggest man-made lightning bolt ever, 130ft. long! That's a world record still unbroken. Strange electrical things happened near that lab. People would walk near the lab, and sparks would jump up from the ground to their feet One boy took a screwdriver, held it near a fire hydrant, and drew a four inch electrical spark from the hydrant. Sometimes the grass around his lab would glow with an eerie blue corona, St. Elmo's Fire. What they didn't know was this was small stuff. The man in the lab was merely tuning up his apparatus. Unfortunately, he blew out some of the power plant's equipment and was never able to repeat his experiment. At the beginning of World War I, the government desperately searched for a way to detect German submarines. The government put Thomas Edison in charge of the search for a good method. Tesla proposed the use of energy waves - what we know today as radar - to detect these ships. Edison rejected Tesla's idea as ludicrous and the world had to wait another 25 years until it was invented. What was his reward for a lifetime of creativity? The prized (to everyone but Tesla) Edison Medal! A real slap in the face after all the verbal abuse Tesla took from Edison. Lacking capital, he was forced to place his untested theories into countless notebooks. The man who invented the modern world died nearly penniless at age 86 on January 7, 1943. More than two thousand people attended his funeral. In his lifetime, Tesla received over 800 different patents. He probably would have exceeded Edison's record number if he wasn't always broke - he could afford very few patent applications during the last thirty years of his life. Unlike Edison, Tesla was an original thinker whose ideas typically had no precedent in science. Unfortunately, the world does not financially reward people of Tesla's originality. We only award those that take these concepts and turn them into a new, useful product. Scientists today continue to scour through his notes. Many of his far-flung theories are just now being proven by our top scientists. For example, the Tesla bladeless disk turbine engine that he designed, when coupled with modern materials, is proving to be among the most efficient motors ever designed. His 1901 patented experiments with cryogenic liquids and electricity provide the foundation for modern superconductors. He talked about experiments that suggested particles with fractional charges of an electron - something that scientists in 1977 finally discovered - quarks! Tesla was one of the world's most original and greatest inventors and thinkers, but because he was so original and out of his time, his genius was mistaken for insanity and science fiction. Maybe next time, the world will recognize a true genius when it comes around.
Monday, February 14, 2011
If the CNS is damaged
New View of Thalamic Functioning
A consideration of the complexity of thalamic cell and circuit properties puts a lie to the old notion that thalamus represents a simple, machine-like relay of information to cortex. We can now be certain of two major concepts to replace this. The first is that the thalamus represents a last bottleneck of information flow, providing a convenient substrate to influence that flow. This is achieved by the many modulatory pathways that innervate relay cells to influence relay function in numerous ways. One detailed above is the burst/tonic transition in the firing mode of relay cells, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. We need much more information about the many ways thalamic circuitry controls information flow to cortex.
The second point is that the role of thalamus is not limited to getting information to cortex in the first place, which is the role of first order relays, but also continues to function in the higher order cortico-thalamo-cortical pathways, thereby providing an essential, ongoing function for cortical processing. This dramatically alters long-standing views of cortical processing, and we need to know much more about the different roles of cortico-thalamo-cortical versus direct corticocortical pathways in cortical functioning.
Exploring the Thalamus and Its Role in Cortical Function
S. Murray Sherman and R. W. Guillery
The thalamus plays a critical role in perceptual processing, but many questions remain about what thalamic activities contribute to sensory and motor functions. In this book, two pioneers in research on the thalamus examine the close two-way relationships between thalamus and cerebral cortex and look at the distinctive functions of the links between the thalamus and the rest of the brain. Countering the dominant "corticocentric" approach to understanding the cerebral cortex—which does not recognize that all neocortical areas receive important inputs from the thalamus and send outputs to lower motor centers—S. Murray Sherman and R. W. Guillery argue for a reappraisal of the way we think about the cortex and its interactions with the rest of the brain.
The book defines some of the functional categories critical to understanding thalamic functions, including the distinctions between drivers (pathways that carry messages to the cortex) and modulators (which can change the pattern of transmission) and between first-order and higher-order thalamic relays—the former receiving ascending drivers and the latter receiving cortical drivers. This second edition further develops these distinctions with expanded emphasis throughout the book on the role of the thalamus in cortical function. An important new chapter suggests a structural basis for linking perception and action, supplying supporting evidence for a link often overlooked in current views of perceptual processing.
About the Authors
S. Murray Sherman is Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology, Neurobiology, Pharmacology, and Physiology at the University of Chicago.
R. W. Guillery is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Anatomy at the University of W
Stroke warning signs
: Call 911
Warning signs of stroke may last a short time and disappear. They are often present when you wake up. These are signs of a serious medical condition.
If you have any of these symptoms, call 911 right away:
- weakness - sudden or temporary weakness, numbness or paralysis in an arm, hand, leg or facial muscles, usually only on one side of the body
- vision - sudden blurred double vision or dimness in one or both of the eyes
- confusion - sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding language, or thinking
- loss of balance - sudden clumsiness, loss of balance or dizziness
- headache - sudden severe headache: the worst headache of your life