You try all your regular approaches and the patient reports that “it’s a little better,” but your adjustment doesn’t seem to hold. If you’re like most chiropractors, this has happened in your office, too. You could keep adjusting the patient every week, but what if you could address the patient’s “emotional physiology of thought” and then your adjustments would hold? This has actually happened, to the delight of thousands of chiropractors around the world and the many thousands of their patients who have received relief with the correction of their dreaded chronic subluxations and associated conditions.
How does this happen?
Practitioners trained in helping patients who have an emotional/physiological component to their subluxation generally use a combination of the following dynamics:
1. Muscle Testing. Applied Kinesiologists have traditionally used muscle testing as an indicator of impaired physiological function (Goodheart, 1964). Chiropractors who use muscle testing often work with the premise that the muscle will be less able to resist outside force when there is some non-congruency in the function of the nervous system. This premise has been validated by Monti.1
2. Emotions are physiologically based. Much of the neurophysiology of emotion is based on various chains of amino acids, called peptides, which travel throughout the entire body via extra-cellular fluids to distant “catcher” amino acid chains called receptors. “This is one reason,” Pert says, “we contend that this ‘whole body’ system—the system of neuropeptides, the system of emotion —can play a critical part in matters of health and disease.”2
3. Pavlovian Responses. Humans, as well as animals, can be conditioned. Often, events in our surroundings (like a ringing bell!) can trigger a physiological reaction in our body. Sometimes we’re aware of it, and sometimes it happens without our conscious awareness. Of course, much study has been done on this, including the original work by Pavlov.
4. Physiology and the Meridian System. This is a 1,500- to 4,000-year-old principle. Acupuncture theory has clinically validated that specific emotional responses are linked with specific meridians. Classic examples are how “anger” is associated with the liver meridian and “fear” is associated with the kidney.
5. Repetition Compulsion. One of Freud’s contributions was the concept of repetition compulsion, which essentially expresses that, once we have been emotionally traumatized, we tend to unconsciously seek to repeat a similar pattern in the future. The physiology of the body may work in a similar manner.
6. The Role of Thought and Physiology. By remembering an emotional event, important somatic and visceral modifications can take place in the body. Hassan and Ward write, “The recollection of perceptions, which implicates neocortical processes, may evoke (through descending connections via ‘limbic system,’ hypothalamus, brain stem, and spinal cord) the somatic and visceral motor changes which occurred in the original situation.”3
7. Semantic Responses. A person whose physiology is reactive to the sight of a spider can also be reactive to a picture of a spider, the thought of a spider, or even react to verbal communication. Monti found this to be true in his Muscle Test Comparison paper, stating, “Overall, significant differences were found in muscle test responses between congruent and incongruent semantic stimuli.”4
8. Homeopathy. A scientific system of health care that is known to activate the body’s own healing processes and help the body detoxify. Thousands of research studies support the effectiveness of homeopathy in detoxifying the physiological chemistry of the body.
How can you identify if a chronic subluxation has an emotional/physiological reactivation factor? Traditionally, using the science and art of muscle testing, the chiropractor can two-point a chronic subluxation to the Emotional Points to discover if there is an emotional/physiological component. The Emotional Points, which were discovered by Bennett (in the 1930’s), are located bilaterally on the forehead, directly above the pupils and halfway between the eyebrows and the natural hairline.
Using the above two steps (See Pg.30) doesn’t correct the situation, but it does help identify a possible component of why your patient’s adjustment is failing to hold. If the above testing indicates that there may be an emotional/physiological pattern, you can take a different approach in stabilizing the chronic subluxation, rather than continuing to adjust your patient over and over again with the same result of little to no relief. Nowadays, there are many wonderful techniques available to address the emotional/physiological component, and you may even want to refer the patient to a trained professional who deals with this factor if you don’t have such a tool in your present “tool box of techniques.” The extinguishment of the emotional/physiological conditioned response associated with chronic subluxations offers great relief for our patients who fail to respond to our traditional approaches.