About the Network Chiropractic Approach
Oneota Health Solutions uses a chiropractic technique called Network Chiropractic to produces strong, lasting results. It is the primary chiropractic technique Dr. Wilke uses.
This technique regards your body as a whole, integrated system, not just bones. It taps into the body’s own potential to heal itself.
It employs a gentle touch to the skin along specific areas where the protective covering of the spinal cord connects to the spine. Each touch works to clear up interference throughout your nervous system. With the pathways clearer, your body and brain can communicate more effectively with each other which promotes healing.
How it works
Your spinal cord is your body’s communication hub. It is where the body passes messages between the body and brain. Physical trauma, mental stress, and environmental toxins can throw your whole system into an overwhelmed state of tension. The tension produces neural traffic jams that disrupt communications and inhibits healing.
Because your spinal cord is your body’s communication hub, it is also your body’s tension hub. So your spinal cord is the place to look for opportunities to dissipate these neural traffic jams.
Research suggests that it doesn’t take much to dissipate those traffic jams, just a slight touch to the precise spots, called spinal gateways, where the nerves underneath the skin and connected to the spinal cord need a reminder to connect with the brain. This touch is called entrainment, because its purpose is to clear the way for your body to train itself to respond to tension in healthier ways.
Principles behind Network Chiropractic
You’re not an inanimate object that needs to be repaired widget-by-widget. Connective tissue, ligaments, discs, and segments of spine are loaded with receptors that have to report back to your brain how much tension each of them is experiencing. The brain then needs to figure out how to respond about what-goes-where with everything coordinating with everything else.
When your body holds on to tension, it causes your body’s communication network to become overwhelmed, sidetracked, or derailed. When the interference is cleared, your brain can pay better attention to the whole system, not just the one part that is yelling the loudest.
The body-mind connection
Athletes, musicians, and yoga practitioners devote themselves to developing a keen awareness of what is going on in their bodies, of how their bodies react to stress and trauma, of what works and doesn’t work, of what strengthens them and what weakens them. They know that the body and mind work together as a team.
The more mentally tuned-in you are to your physical feelings and senses, the greater your capacity to tap into your body’s healing resources. One of the aims of Network Chiropractic is to strengthen your ability to pay attention.
Whenever there’s a change in your environment, your nerves send signals to your spinal cord and brain, and they coordinate the appropriate response with the rest of the body. Three subsystems all need to work in harmony:
- Passive subsystem: Vertebrae, ligaments, and spinal discs
- Active subsystem: Spinal muscles and tendons
- Neural control subsystem: Spinal cord, nerve roots, and peripheral nerves
Network Chiropractic strengthens the ability of the nerves and the spinal cord to develop clearer and more rapid communications with each other, so the body can respond and adapt to it changing environment.
The gut-brain connection
Also known as the ’emotional brain’, the limbic system is located in your forebrain and is important in the formation of memories and in controlling emotions, decisions, motivation, and learning. It includes the amygdala and hippocampus, the most primitive part of the brain, where the body’s fight or flight reaction originates.
Whenever you make an intuitive decision or have a gut reaction, that’s your limbic system at work. When depression, anxiety, annoyance, or emergencies stress upset your stomach, that’s a signal of a breakdown in gut/brain crosstalk.
One of the aims of Network Chiropractic is to strengthen your awareness of your emotions and their impact on your body. The more tuned-in you are to your emotional responses, the greater your capacity to tap into your body’s healing resources.
That you feel well, inside and out, is our goal. Wellness is not a physical or emotional condition, but how you feel in your body, in your situation, in your relationships, in your heart, in your head. It is your sense of self and what you believe about what it means to be healthy.
Network Chiropractic works to help you become fully aware of your body and the ways everything works together for complete, integrated well-being.
Vertebral subluxation is what most people think of when they refer to a spine being misaligned. It’s a structural shift caused by spinal tension. It can be caused by physical trauma, such rear-end car collisions (whiplash), bad office chairs, or pregnancy. It can be a stiff neck or sore back caused by emotional, mental, or chemical stress.
Unlike conventional chiropractic techniques, Network Chiropractic approaches vertebral subluxation as a symptom of body-mind disconnection, not as its cause. When the communications between the brain and nervous systems are strengthened, the tension causing the subluxation releases and the spine realigns itself.
The spinal gateways are the access points on the spine that Dr. Wilke uses to cue the brain and nervous system to connect with each other.
These access points are not the tense spots where communication has gone haywire. The haywire spots are where the neurotransmitters are too busy being distressed to respond to requests from the outside world with anything other than more distress, which would just result in more tension.
Instead, the spinal gateway is what we call the “peaceful” areas along the spinal cord, the places where nerves will be receptive to contact. The spinal gateway serves as a nexus or hub for interaction among the subsystems that need to work in harmony to establish and maintain spinal and neural stability and integrity. Precise and gentle touch contacts at these spinal gateways assist the brain to connect more effectively with the spine and body.
Research behind Network Chiropractic
In a retrospective study conducted at University of California Irvine’s School of Medicine of almost 3,000 people, Network Chiropractic was found to have a direct effect on client self-reported wellness twice of that expected from healthy lifestyle practices (exercise, risk avoidance, optimal food choices). The study concluded that effects of Network Chiropractic are cumulative and global, affecting all areas of life; a strong connection exists between Network Care and self-reported positive changes in overall health and well-being.
Network Chiropractic was also found to have a major indirect effect on wellness by promoting healthy lifestyle choices.
- Senzon S, Epstein D, Lemberger D. (2017). A Historical Perspective on Network Spinal Analysis Care: A Unique Insight into the Spine’s Role in Health and Wellbeing. Chiropractic Journal of Australia. 2017 Dec 1;45(4).
“A review of the history of Network Spinal Analysis care, developed by Donald Epstein, reveals a novel understanding of the role of the spine and spinal cord in healthcare. Epstein’s unique contributions to functional assessment and applications of the spine and nervous system are explored, as well as broader health related quality of life dimensions. The integration of spinal and neural integrity, with evidence-based functional healthcare, is suggested as a vehicle towards Reorganizational Healing and improved health outcomes.”
- Senzon S, Epstein D, Lemberger D. (2016). The Network Spinal Wave as a Central Pattern Generator, J Altern Complement Med. 2016 Jul 1; 22(7): 544–556. doi: 10.1089/acm.2016.0025