Spears Chiropractic Hospital

August 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Spinewave Bulletin 

spears chiropractic hospital

Leo Spears began life in Ivan, Florida in 1894. His parents were poor, but by force of personality and vision, he forged a successful career. While still a student at Palmer (1921 graduate), the young Spears spoke of opening a chiropractic hospital.

Dr. Spears opened his first office in downtown Denver on Independence Day 1921. While his practice was successful, he was pressured by the MD tenants to vacate his office to another building.

As early as 1924, Dr. Spears was telling radio audiences about his “painless system,” and would later author the textbook Spears Painless System of Chiropractic (1950).

In 1933, the forerunner to the Spears Hospital was incorporated as the Spears Free Clinic and Hospital for Poor Children. In its peak years, the clinic served 200-300 patients each day. Prior to WW II, Dr. Spears extended the clinic’s services to the remote communities with his Spears Traveling Clinic, a converted house trailer.

Dr. Spears began the monumental task of building a chiropractic hospital in 1940. He purchased a 15-acre tract of ranch land east of Denver in a tax sale. The first unit, a 236-bed facility dedicated to Dr. Willard Carver, was opened May 1, 1943. A second, larger building with a 364-bed capacity was opened in 1949 and dedicated to D.D. Palmer. Read more

Study: Hot flushes start in the brainstem

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

hot flashes upper cervical chiropracticA new study from neuroscientists at the Wayne State University School of Medicine provides the first novel insights into the neural origins of hot flashes in menopausal women in years1.

Previously I had written about hormonal headaches and a concept called “allostasis”. Allostasis is the process of achieving nervous system stability through physiological or behavioural change. When the nervous system fails to adapt, you become unwell or express symptoms.

The spine is the brain’s circuit board for the body. When it’s overloaded, it will short circuit (sometimes through a hot flush) and the spine will misalign to adapt to the overload. See non-traumatic causes of upper neck misalignment for more.

This study points to plausible origins of hot flashes in specific brain regions, namely the brainstem. The researchers believe it is the first such demonstration in academic literature.

The researchers focused on regions like the brainstem because its sub-regions, such as the medullary and dorsal raphe, are implicated in thermal regulation, while forebrain regions, such as the insula, have been implicated in the personal perception of how someone feels. They showed that activity in some brain areas, such as the brainstem, begins to rise before the actual onset of the hot flash2.

atlas-axis-brainstemAlterations to brainstem activity make sense now as to why so many women going through perimenopause, or menopause itself, experience such a wide variety of symptoms. The brainstem is the body’s main fuse box. It has many sub-fuses which control sleep, blood pressure, vertigo, gut, breathing, as well as pain modulation (why some women are more sensitive to pain).

It’s because of these changes to brainstem and upper cervical spine that menopausal women represent the most challenging subset of clients because they can experience such a vast array of symptoms; find it difficult to hold their adjustments for any length of time; and the problems can come and go over a number of years through mid-40s to early 50s.

“The idea of understanding brain responses during thermoregulatory events has spawned many studies where thermal stimuli were applied to the skin. But hot flashes are unique because they are internally generated, so studying them presents unique challenges,” said Freedman, the study’s principal investigator. “Our participants had to lie in the MRI scanner while being heated between two body-size heating pads for up to two hours while we waited for the onset of a hot flash. They were heroic in this regard and the study could not have been conducted without their incredible level of cooperation.”

The researchers collected skin conductance levels to identify the onset of flashes while the women were being scanned. Skin conductance is an electrical measure of sweating. The women were connected to a simple circuit passing a very small current across their chests. Changes in levels allowed researchers to identify a hot flash onset and analyse the concurrently acquired fMRI data to investigate the neural precedents and correlates of the event.

This study appeared in the June issue of Cerebral Cortex2, an Oxford University Press journal.


  1. Wayne State University, Office of the Vice President for Research.
  2. Diwadkar, V. et al. Temporal sequencing of brain activations during naturally occurring thermoregulatory events. 2013. Cerebral Cortex. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bht155

Double Frozen Shoulder

frozen shoulder capsule chiropracticBoth shoulders 99% repaired – Rex.

Frozen shoulder is common, yet poorly understood. For most people who get frozen shoulder, the onset is idiopathic – meaning of unknown cause.

For any condition where the cause is unknown, or when an individual finds themselves just “waking up one morning” host to a problem, you’re thinking chronic condition; you’re thinking long term build up; nervous system based issue; inflammatory and or autoimmune condition.

Nothing ever “just happens”. The human body walks a fine line of homeostasis (balance) and the things we do, think, eat, drink or say affects that biology over time (whether you believe it or not).

The body always keeps score. Inflammation causes most of the same changes in the brain and body that have been repeatedly observed in animals and humans exposed to stress, especially when the stress is chronic and of a psychosocial nature1. Inflammation can cause any number of problems in the body: where and how is dependent upon your nervous system’s particular wiring. Your nervous system is like a glass of water. How much stress and inflammation it can handle is finite. Eventually the glass will overflow. Read more

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