Lungs-asthma-chiropracticAfter 20 years, I no longer need my inhalers – Sharen.

Asthma, explained by dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system: the “other-way-round” theory.

Now as a full time practitioner doing postgraduate work in the autonomic nervous system, I would have treated my 6-year old asthmatic self quite differently, knowing what I now know. After all those hospital visits and years of drugs, I would have suggested other ideas to my mother.


  • Asthma is driven by a hyperactive parasympathetic nervous system.
  • Corticosteroids can have long term damaging effects on the body.
  • Specific spinal adjustments are imperative in asthma management.

Nervous system control of the airways is not normal in asthmatic patients1. This creates “neurogenic inflammation”: bronchoconstriction, mucous secretion, coughing and wheezing because the bronchial walls have become too big for air to easily pass through.


To understand what I’ve dubbed the “other-way-round” theory, you need to know what sympathetic nerves do and what parasympathetic nerves do. General convention describes the sympathetic nervous system as the fight/flight response (click image to enlarge) and the parasympathetic system as resting/digesting, which is what most people know. While this is true, it is only true for the end-organs that these nerves fire to. Both systems have the ability to turn things on or turn things off.

You’d think because of the sing-song rhyme that sympathetic nerves would cause constriction, and parasympathetic nerves dilation? When it comes to the airways, it’s the “other-way-round”. Read more

Your genetic health is up to you

June 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Research, Spinewave Bulletin 

masha-and-dasha-twinsWe have found genes that are switched on in one twin and switched off in the other twin – Professor Tim Spector.

An article in the NZ Herald highlights a concept that is starting to become more mainstream in the public eye: that the fate of your health and genetic expression sits squarely in your lap.

“Epigenetics” and “behavioural epigenetics” is the emerging science that explains how our genetic expression is altered within our lifetime, for better or worse, dependent upon your thoughts and actions. It refers to functionally relevant modifications to the genome that do not involve a change in the nucleotide sequence. This means genes are either turned on or off, and alter how proteins are produced, which make up the functional elements of our bodies.

Listen to a brief introduction on epigenetics by Bruce Lipton, PhD.

Masha and Dasha Krivoshiyapova were born January 4th, 1950 as conjoined twins. They were joined at the hip in a unique way which made surgical separation impossible. Their unique connection included three legs shared between them, a shared single lower intestine, four kidneys utilised by one bladder, one shared reproductive system and a circulatory system that pumped the same blood through both women’s bodies.

This unique connection caught the attention of Russian scientists. Two individuals with shared blood, nutrition, exercise and genetics created a living experiment. Masha and Dasha spent 40 years in an institution where scientists did experimentation on them, sometimes horrific. The medical practitioners were baffled at the way each woman’s body handled disease. Neither twin would be sick at the same time! In fact, Dasha seemed far more vulnerable to illness than her sister.

When the bacteria or virus was present in both women, why would Dasha get sick and Masha not when they both had the same genes? Read more

Breastfeeding benefits babies’ brains

June 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Research, Spinewave Bulletin 

A new study finds more evidence that breastfeeding is good for babies’ brains.

Breastfeeding babies brain

MRI images, taken while children were asleep, showed that infants who were exclusively breastfed for at least three months had enhanced development in key parts of the brain compared to children who were fed formula or a combination of formula and breastmilk. Images show development of myelisation by age, left to right.

The study made use of specialised, baby-friendly magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look at the brain growth in a sample of children under the age of 4. The research found that by age 2, babies who had been breastfed exclusively for at least three months had enhanced development in key parts of the brain compared to children who were fed formula exclusively or who were fed a combination of formula and breastmilk. The extra growth was most pronounced in parts of the brain associated with language, emotional function, and cognition, the research showed.

Reference: Breastfeeding and early white matter development: A cross-sectional study. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.05.090

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