A Revolutionary Approach to Natural Healing
Functional neurology is a more effective way of working with your body systems to bring them to their optimal performance. It can offer you possibilities for healing that traditional neurology simply cannot match. When your nervous system is organized, it brings greater organ health, rebuilds damaged organs and slows the aging process.
At Allen Chiropractic, PC, we base our diagnoses and treatment on functional neurological principles. By isolating the specific area of a patient's nervous system that is responsible for each of their complaints, we can select the best treatment to affect the problem and not just address its symptoms. Our ultimate treatment goal is to focus on the nervous system's overall performance as a functional unit.
It has been conclusively proved that changing brain function changes the way nerves and muscles work, and vice versa. During your examination, we stimulate your nervous system with specific, non-invasive tests and watch how your system responds. We might test certain joints and muscles that change the way your nervous system behaves, and their performance shows up in how your joints and muscles move.
For example, we might test your cerebellum with standardized balance and movement tests to determine what is wrong, and recognized non-drug therapies to address and correct the actual causes of your problem. In other words, instead of giving you an aspirin for a headache, we examine the cause of the headache and develop a treatment program to correct it. These procedures help speed up or slow down activity in the areas of your nervous system needing adjustment to re-establish its balance and function, which define the optimal state of your health. If your cerebellum were the cause of your issues, then we might treat that area by doing a variety of things to make your cerebellum work correctly.
Your brain is designed to grow and change; we call that change "plasticity". Your brain develops and responds relative to your internal and external environments. Those internal issues might be biochemical, structural, emotional, or genetic, or anything else that affects your internal workings. Your external environment has to do with any stimulus that has an effect on you from outside your body, be it music, art, baseball, yoga, food, massage, smells, or a chiropractic adjustment. The more appropriate the stimulation the better your brain responds and the healthier you become.
WHAT IS CHIROPRACTIC / FUNCTIONAL NEUROLOGY?
The science and art of Chiropractic has always been neurologically based. It works by stimulating the nervous system in its most efficient manner -- through the center line structures of the spine and central nervous system. Nowhere is the phrase "use it or lose it" more appropriate. The properly delivered chiropractic adjustment is one of the most powerful ways to stimulate the brain and nervous system.
Chiropractic was founded on neurological principles. Every chiropractic adjustment affects segmental spinal cord reflexes, stimulating an immediate local response to the spinal cord that loops back again to the muscles that support that joint. From the cord, the stimulus also goes directly to the brain and other related areas. It, too, loops back down to the cord again to integrate its effects on these segmental loops. In total, for every signal that comes into the spinal cord twelve different things happen inside that cord segment, all in an instant.
Today -- thanks in a great part to the Carrick Institute for Graduate Studies -- chiropractic's neurological foundation is deeper, wider, and stronger than ever. Each functional neurologist has a unique calling to both study and skill, and has developed a superior knowledge of neurology, the application of which is done without drugs or surgery. That standard enables these doctors to better care for their patients and become referral sources for neurological diagnosis.
Just as with other healthcare professionals in medicine and dentistry, today's doctors of chiropractic can choose to be either general practitioners or specialists. Through focused education, training, and board certification, those doctors who choose to specialize devote their practice to a particular branch of health care. Chiropractic doctors might specialize in internal disorders, radiology, orthopedics, physical rehabilitation, pediatrics, and neurology. Those doctors who specialize in functional neurology assess the neurological condition of a patient and treat that patient using non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical therapies. It might be best described as brain-based physical rehabilitation.
WHAT MAKES A CHIROPRACTIC OR FUNCTIONAL NEUROLOGIST DIFFERENT?
A functional neurologist's goal is to integrate all of the brain's sensory activities into an orderly system. They treat a variety of patient complaints using a number of complementary and alternative health therapies.
The human nervous system is designed for the infinite expression of human experience. It is a thing of mystery and a constant source of wonder. Since the early 1990's, science has witnessed an incredibly exciting time in neurological research, especially in terms of our rapidly growing knowledge of the human brain. The present and future potential hold tremendous promise for the application of this expanding knowledge base and patients who take advantage of chiropractors who specialize in functional neurology will see the difference and the benefit. This is the soul of chiropractic neurology.
The functional neurological examination and assessment are similar to that of medical neurologists; however the treatment style is much different. Functional neurologists use specific one-sided stimulations and coupled chiropractic adjustments to rehabilitate brain-based neurologic conditions. Patients with both diseases and physiological problems can benefit from this approach.
WHO CAN BECOME A FUNCTIONAL NEUROLOGIST?
Any primary care physician and/or clinician that has completed specialist level training (Fellowship) in neurology may be admitted as a Fellow of the American College of Functional Neurology after passing the necessary clinical examinations of the college. The American College of Functional Neurology (ACFN) provides Fellowship accreditation in Functional Neurology and clinical subspecialties through its subspecialty boards of Electrodiagnosis, Vestibular Rehabilitation, and Childhood Development Disorders.
Functional neurology has its origin in a variety of chiropractic techniques, many of which deal with the nervous system, as well as other areas of biomedical study, including embryology, neurology, cellular biology, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, biochemistry, neuropsychology, and genetics. Clinical experience has shown that it may be possible to improve human performance with a variety of exercises designed to integrate various neurological processes. These exercises my involve touch, movement, scent, sound, light or any other modality unique to the patient's condition. All treatments occur in our office and they do not involve drugs or medications.
Functional neurology focuses on the idea that certain body movement patterns, as well as cognitive and musculoskeletal tasks may be difficult if a person's brain is not fully "integrated". A disconnect syndrome may be related to certain learning disorders, for example, indicating that the brain does not function as one unit. This may cause the patient to experience a variety of symptoms related to this lack of neurological coordination. Treatment consists of exercises and tasks intended to exercise and retrain the patient's nervous system to function in a healthier manner.
People seek functional neurologists for treatment of a variety of conditions, including autism, Asperger's syndrome, attention deficit disorder (ADD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), Tourette's syndrome, dyslexia, dyscalculia, strabismus, brain injury, vertigo, motion sickness, dizziness, resting and intention tremors, Parkinson's disease, and Parkinsonian syndromes. In addition, advocates claim that functional neurology may treat subclinical symptoms and syndromes.
WHAT IS A SUBLUXATION, HOW DOES IT RELATE TO BRAIN FUNCTION?
A subluxation happens when a joint (mainly a joint of the spine) is stuck within its normal range of motion but is unable to move through its full range of motion. That joint gets stuck because the muscles on one side of the joint's motion become too tight while the same muscles on the other side of the joint give up their tone to those muscles that are too tight. In other words, the muscles with greater tone restrict the joint from moving away from that tone, and the joint gets stuck.
Because the subluxated joint cannot move away from the muscle with increased tone, the brain loses the stimulation it would have otherwise received by moving normally. This is called "deafferentation": a reduction in sensory input to the brain. (An afferent signal goes to the brain while a de-afferentation is when the normal signal to the brain is reduced because of some dysfunction.)
Deafferentation is responsible for many brain problems, which display themselves in abnormal muscle function. This is how it works: When the brain is not stimulated according to its original design, then the normal working mechanisms get out of sync resulting in some muscles working too hard and others not working hard enough. That sets up a vicious cycle of abnormal input (afferent) and output (efferent) signals to and from the brain, leading to structural changes that perpetuate the problems. Fixing these structural changes can normalize the brain's response resulting in a functional display more consistent with the human nervous system's original design.
APPLIED KINESIOLOGY AS FUNCTIONAL NEUROLOGY
Like any machine, your body runs best when it operates according to its original design.
Applied kinesiology (AK) is a diagnostic discipline used by any healthcare professional who is licensed to diagnose. It originated within the Chiropractic profession by George J. Goodheart, DC, in 1964. AK uses manual muscle testing (MMT) techniques to help determine individualized therapeutic needs. According to AK theory, MMT gives the brain necessary feedback on the functional status of the structural, chemical, and emotional aspects of human function. AK is a practice within alternative medicine uniquely different from "kinesiology", which is the study of human motion.
While it is not a requirement to be a functional neurologist, functional neurology often incorporates MMT and other medically recognized forms of analysis in order to diagnose health problems, including nutritional deficiencies. AK and functional neurology are based on the concept that certain muscle dysfunctions correspond to specific disease states or body imbalances.
Doctors of all kinds who use AK (Professional Applied Kinesiology; PAK®) may use it to help diagnose problems with neurological pathways, organ dysfunction, or allergies (including those to foods and drugs).
Chiropractic is the alternative healthcare profession whose purpose is to diagnose and treat mechanical spine and musculoskeletal problems by influencing the nervous system, thereby improving health. Chiropractors treat the whole body, not just its symptoms. Through a comprehensive diagnostic program, we quickly get down to not only the nature of the problem, but also to its underlying neurological and neuromuscular causes to unleash the power that heals.
Dr. Allen is a leader in the AK and functional neurology worlds. He has been studying AK since 1973 and using it in his clinical practice since first being licensed in 1977. He knows how to evaluate your nervous system and how to set it right. If you have not experienced the health that you desire, perhaps you should give us a call.