Adrenal Fatigue

May 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Spinewave Bulletin 

If you answer yes to one or more of these questions, you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue.

  • Tired for no reason?
  • Having trouble getting up in the morning?
  • Depending on coffee to keep you going?
  • Feeling run down and stressed?
  • Feel light headed when standing up too quickly?
  • Craving salty or sweet snacks?
  • Suffering from regular colds, flu, coughs?
  • Struggling to keep up with life’s daily demands?
  • Unable to bounce back from stress or illness?
  • Not having fun anymore?
  • Increased PMS or menopausal symptoms?
  • Experiencing decreased sex drive?
  • Simply too tired to enjoy life?

Stress related adrenal fatigue is so common that an estimated 80% or more of people in Western developed nations worldwide suffer from it at some time in their lives, yet conventional medicine still does not recognise, adequately diagnose or treat this debilitating fatigue and stress syndrome.

When we have stressful thoughts, these send messages from the hypothalamus in the brain to the pituitary (master) gland which in turn transmits stimuli to the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands release adrenalin when stress is acute and cortisol when stress is sustained. In the short term this constant push on the adrenal glands can lead to symptoms of panic, anxiety, sleeplessness, irritability, frustration and generally feeling “highly strung” or “wired and tired”. Read more

The Stress List

May 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Spinewave Bulletin 

So this is the list you all came up with over the last couple weeks. The idea was to gain an understanding of the multitude of things that add stress to our lives, adversely affecting the way the brain and spine functions. Many of these things build up slowly from the inside until something has to eventually give.

The big idea is to address problems before they become problems – like taking your car for a service. However that could be a stress in itself! If I were to add my own item to the list it would be taking my car for a service. When it’s time to pick the vehicle up, sphincters tighten and my diaphragm goes into spasm! But it’s gotta be done for the well being of my travels.

The interesting thing to note about this comprehensive list is that the largest category is mental/emotional. People often associate the only need to see a chiropractor with some kind of physical ailment because of a “physical event”, like gardening or sport. 70-80% of problems seen at Spinewave are due to mental/emotional stress built up over time. The brain can’t cope and the body packs up.

There are a few funny ones in here. Thanks for playing along and enjoy your Stress List.

Click HERE to view a larger image

Built for Change – Rewiring Brain Maps

May 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Research, Spinewave Bulletin 

World-renowned neuroscientist and brain plasticity expert Dr Michael Merzenich discusses breakthrough research on brain plasticity in the video below. He also contributed to chapter 3 in Dr Norman Doidge’s book, The Brain that Changes Itself.

Michael Merzenich showed that brain maps, once thought to be largely static, are in fact highly flexible. Scientists have worked with brain maps for decades, noting that each part of the body can be mapped to a specific spot in the brain, and that these areas are usually adjacent, e.g. the spot in the brain mapped to the right hand would be adjacent to the spot for the right wrist, and so on. These areas tend to be similar for all humans with normal brains, which led scientists to conclude that these connections were hard-wired. Merzenich, starting with monkey experiments, showed that he could remap these connections at will by surgical intervention or even actions as simple as taping two monkey fingers together for a period of time.

I discuss the alterations of brain maps in our Parkinson’s case with the reversal of micropgraphia (small handwriting). Another simple example would be how a child learns to draw or colour in. They progress from gross motor movements, holding the crayon with a full clenched fist, to finely grasping the end of a pencil between the tips of the fingers as they get older and draw more complex pictures. These are the maps of the cortex growing, expanding and changing.

As a chiropractor, learning to touch and feel things was incredibly daunting at first. Everything felt the same. But with enough time and practice over many years, the finer nuances of all the differences in tone, form and structure became evident as my brain’s maps altered and become more acute. To the point where I went out for pizza one night with a friend after a busy shift: She picked up a piece and started to eat; I picked it up and dropped it in the same instant because it was so hot to me. I realised the sensitivity in my fingers as it related to the maps of my cortex have changed quite a lot over the years.

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