The Dangers of Undetected Nerve Interference
To enjoy optimum physical and emotional well being, our bodies have to be working properly, with a nerve supply that can relay electrical impulses from the brain to every organ and cell - and back again - without interference or distortion.
If anything interferes with this nerve supply, we can experience a variety of responses including pain, stiffness, a specific illness, reduced immune response, an imbalance in body chemistry or dysfunction in one or more of the body's other life support systems.
If we're lucky, the interference will trigger symptoms which act as "warning signals," telling us something is wrong. Yet, too often, the effects are so subtle we don't realize anything's wrong until it's too late. Many serious health problems can be traced to the devastating effects of nerve interference which weakens organs without displaying outward signs.
Nerve interference - also called vertebral subluxation - is a misalignment of bones along the spinal column. Nerves branching off the spinal cord from the brain pass through small openings between the interlocking bones and travel throughout the body. When the bones are out of their normal positions - which can happen due to injury, bad posture, muscle imbalance, or even emotional or chemical stress - the subluxation will cause interference in the flow of nerve energy.
The only safe and effective way to correct a subluxation is to go to a doctor of chiropractic for an adjustment. This is the term for the specific application of forces used to facilitate the body's correction of nerve interference. Doctors of chiropractic are the only health professionals who have the extensive training and experience necessary to detect and correct vertebral subluxations.
However, here are 12 easy spinal exam procedures which may indicate the presence of vertebral subluxations. It is best to perform each of these tests on yourself each month. To safeguard the health of family members - including children - they should be tested as well. If you obtain a positive result on any of the tests, you should see your family doctor of chiropractic as soon as possible.
Self Tests for Nerve Interference
Range of Motion
For each of the following tests, stand in an upright, relaxed position. Your movements should be slow and gentle - never use jerky or forceful motions. If you cannot turn or bend the full distance, mark the appropriate box. If you experience any pain or discomfort, check that box as well.
Test 1: Rotation
Turn your head slowly to the right, then to the left. Do not move your upper body. You should be able to turn so that your chin is nearly parallel with your shoulder.
Test 2: Lateral Flexion
Bend your head slowly to the right, then to the left. Do not raise your shoulders. You should be able to bring your ears within an inch or two of your shoulders.
Test 3: Flexion/Extension
Bend your head slowly to the front, then to the back. You should be able to look straight up and straight down.
Test 4: Rotation
Turn, from the hips, to your left, then to your right. Do not move your feet or hips and keep your head in line with your upper body. You should be able to turn about 45 degrees in each direction.
Test 5: Lateral Flexion
Bend from the waist to the right, then to the left. You should be able to bend about 45 degrees in each direction.
Test 6: Flexion/Extension
Keep your back straight, your head in line with your upper body, and do not bend your knees. Bend forward, then backwards, from the waist. You should be able to bend forward until you are parallel with the floor, and backward far enough to be able to look straight up.
For these tests, you'll need to stand in front of a full length mirror or have a partner examine you. Close your eyes, take a few breaths and "shake" all the tension from your body. When you feel totally relaxed, open your eyes and remain perfectly still. Examine your reflection but don't attempt to "correct" any postural problems - just note them. You might find it easier to first make several straight lines - horizontal lines and one full length vertical line on the mirror surface with tape, soap, or other easy-to-clean substance. Compare the "line" of your body to these lines and determine if you are parallel to the mirror lines, or if you are out of balance. Mark the appropriate box for each test.
Test 7: Midline
Draw an imaginary line vertically through your body, from the top of your head, through your nose, chin, belly button and down to your feet. Is this line parallel to the vertical line on the mirror or is it out of balance?
Test 8: Ears
Draw an imaginary line horizontally through your ears. Is it horizontal like the line on the mirror or is it out of balance?
Test 9: Shoulders
Draw an imaginary line across your shoulders. Is it horizontal like the line on the mirror or is it out of balance?
Test 10: Hips
Draw an imaginary line through your hips. Is it horizontal like the line on the mirror or is it out of balance?
Leg Length Check
For this test, you will need a test partner. Lie on your back on the floor (or other firm, flat surface). Make sure your body is as straight and relaxed as possible. Test partner instructions: "cup" the subject's heels in your hands, with your fingers on the outside and your thumbs on the bottom of the heel, pointing toward each other. Press the feet together and push them up slightly (toward the subject's head) with equal thumb pressure on each foot. Now, look down over the feet and see if one leg appears slightly shorter than the other. Look carefully, since the difference may only be a fraction of an inch. If there is a difference, note which leg looks shorter and mark it.
This test also requires a test partner. Lie face down in a relaxed position. Test partner instructions: With the blunt ends of your fingers (not the tips, but the fleshy part where the fingerprints are), press on the "bumps" along the subject's spine. Use moderate pressure - about the same amount you'd use to check the ripeness of a melon. Work from the base of the skull to the lower back, feeling for each individual spine bone. If the subject experiences any tenderness, soreness or discomfort, circle the spot on the spinal chart which comes closest to the place you touched.