What is a subluxation?
Sub means “less than or below” such as in the words subtraction or submarine. Luxation is “the degree of light”. Subluxation is a less than maximum amount of light moving in your body. This light or healing energy moves along the spinal nerve highway. These spinal nerves, of which you have 44, leave the spinal cord between the bones of your spine. These bones are called vertebrate of which you have 24 spinal bones and 5 sacral bones and 4 coccygeal bones- a total of 33 bones. If one of these bones becomes misaligned, this can cause a subluxation. Subluxation is what chiropractors treat and correct. Emotional, physical and chemical stress can create a subluxation.
What is a full respiratory breath wave?
A visible breath wave that moves upon inhalation and exhalation up and down the entire spine is a full respiratory breath wave. This is a parameter Dr. Reed will use to determine how much fight/flight/freeze response you are expressing in your nervous system. Most patients start out care with a small breath wave moving from lower to upper lumbar, maybe a little bit of the sacrum is involved. Breath will not move into areas of tension, tightness or spasm. As this tension releases, the breath wave will move up and down the spine ultimately expressing fully from occiput to coccyx. This can occur from 3 to 9 months of regular care.
Once you have developed this full respiratory breath wave, Dr. Reed will adjust you in different postures such as sitting up or on your side.
What should I expect when I start care?
The first thing patients often notice is that they are able to take more breath, – bigger, wider and more full breaths. Your spinal cord tension starts to reduce quickly and this takes the vice grip off of your lungs. You may feel a sense of calmness. You may feel different emotions coming up that have nothing to do with today. This is a process called retracing and it occurs in many types of healing. Try to feel them, not analyze them, and just feel what is. Be with it and see if these feeling take you to a place in your body that has stored this energy. It is your body releasing so you can let go of stagnant energy and liberate this energy for healing.
You also may feel your body wanting to stretch in different ways. This may occur as twisting and bending your spine, or your sacrum, or your head. This is also how your body releases. Honor these whispers; it is your innate intelligence guiding you through the avenues of your nervous system.
You may notice you need more sleep, or a nap. Tissue repair occurs while we are sleeping and when your body taps into the healing energy, it may want to sleep more than you are used to.
Is there anything I should or shouldn’t do before or after an adjustment?
Before an adjustment, try not to drink caffeinated beverages or alcohol. After an adjustment, it is good to not go back into the business of your life with many errands or intense exercise. Intense exercise means exerting your self so much that you start needing to breath in and out of your mouth, with that huffing and puffing breath.
Let the adjustment settle into your nervous system for a few hours after your session so you can use this time to feel what is happening inside you and check into your self. Journaling, reflection and time in nature are an ideal activity post adjustment.
Why does Dr. Reed suggest I don’t chat during my adjustments?
The 10-20 minutes of your adjusting session are valuable minutes for you to connect to your body. This is a sacred time with yourself. Breathe into it, feel it wanting to stretch or wiggle or reposition. Where is my tension in my body? Does a contact on the sacrum make me aware of my neck or vice versa? Dr. Reed likes to say, “You’ve got to feel it to heal it”. Ask yourself, “Are any emotions coming up? Chatting is sometimes a coping mechanism we have learned to disconnect from what we are feeling.
Why does my spine crack and pop more than usual?
This is a celebration. When your spinal cord tension reduces, the vertebrate (bones of the spine and sacrum) will realign themselves. This is called self-correction and it is a wonderful thing. Through the cumulative effect of your adjustments, your innate intelligence will target areas, which are stuck, and you will build up energy in those areas. Once the build up is enough, the body will self-correct resulting in popping and cracking noises. Please share this with Dr. Reed, as this is you learning to connect and release.
When will I receive structural adjustments from Dr. Reed, the type of adjustment where I feel my bones snap, crackle, pop?
Once your nervous system has reduced a large amount of the fight/flight/fear response, you may receive these more traditional structural adjustments. There is a tone Dr. Reed is looking for in your muscles and bones that tell her you are receptive to this type of adjustment. The muscles have relaxed and aren’t so tight, the bones give when Dr. Reed puts pressure on them, the breath is a full breath wave through your spine… There are many parameters Dr. Reed will use to determine when your body is ready for these structural adjustments. It could be after a few adjustments you are ready for this, or it could be many months. Try not to compare yourself with others or compare this work to traditional chiropractic. You are ready when you are ready, and forcing the bones is not what we do here. Forcing the bones of the spine to move creates more fight/flight/freeze response. Dr. Reed may use her hands for this correction or an activator tool. This tool puts a low force-high velocity pressure into the bones, which your innate intelligence uses as motion to oscillate the bone and drop into a new alignment.
When will I be done with this treatment?
Most patients start out in a phase called corrective care. This is a time to address the deep patterns of the body, which have subluxated your spine. It can be a 3 -9 month process to develop a full respiratory wave and to be finished with your corrective care phase. How long you are in this phase depends on the amount of injuries you have sustained, evidence of loss of spinal curves, the amount of degeneration in your spinal x-rays, your lifestyle, your stress levels, your work posture, your exercise levels, your diet, and your receptiveness.
Maintenance care is the next phase. This is a time for correction of your daily stressors. This is likened to retainers on the teeth after the braces come off. This is a supportive phase for your spine and for you to support you in your personal healing and growth. These visits may be once a week, twice a month or once a month. You and Dr. Reed will discuss this treatment plan when you enter maintenance care and you both will re evaluate this plan occasionally to fit your needs.