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  • Writer's pictureIan Shepstone

The Future of Chiropractic: Technology and Your Nervous System

Sure, chiropractic is about the spine, but it’s even more about the nervous system. The only reason our body is able to grow, overcome stress, and heal is because of this brain body connection. Signals from our brain coordinate every single muscle, organ, and tissue in the body. When this signal gets interrupted, much like a poor cellphone signal, the message does not translate properly. A chiropractor’s job is to locate and correct this interference so your body can be as healthy as humanly possible.

How do we find this stress? How is stress measured so we can understand the depth and impact it is having on you or your child’s life? In this post we are going to discuss the importance of the INSiGHT technology, what it measures, and how we use it to provide individualized care for every person that comes through our doors.

Each of our three pieces of technology measures a different aspect of the nervous system. We use the information gathered not only to locate and quantify stress on your body, but then create a plan of action tailored to what your nervous system needs. The objective findings allow us to track progress under care, as well as predict how much care and for how long it will take to remove this stress.

Our first day in the office together is all about getting to know you. We take a thorough history and find out what your true health goals are. Following this, we do our 3 INSiGHT scans. They are all perfectly safe for all ages, and pregnant moms.

The BIG 3: HRV, s-EMG, and Thermal

Heart Rate Variability

❤️ We use HRV to look at the balance between the fight-or-flight (sympathetic), and rest-and-digest (parasympathetic) sides of our nervous system. In the most literal sense, it analyzes the time between heartbeats. This information is used to calculate stress on the autonomic nervous system which controls all the things we don’t have to think about (heart, lungs, gut, etc.).

Heart Rate Variability is considered one of the best measures of nervous system health as it measures our bodies ability to adapt to stress.

Chronic stressors (thoughts, traumas, toxins) in our environment create a shift in nervous system function, draining our reserve and ability to adapt which can make us more susceptible to symptoms and sickness.

The graph above shows Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) activity and the balance between sympathetic(fight-or-flight) and parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) branches.

Well-adjusted patients typically plot with balance in the Green Zone, and have greater adaptability.

Surface EMG (Electromyogram)

💪 We measure muscle tension to locate stress and see how efficiently your body is using energy.

Surface Electromyography is excellent for measuring postural and neuromuscular efficiency/ exhaustion.

Spinal nerve and muscle stress caused by subluxation can lead to excessive energy expenditure.

When our nervous system is compromised by stress in the environment, our bodies natural response is to protect; are muscles fire and contract, and joints lose mobility. Our posture becomes flexed, tilted, and rigid, causing our spinal system to be pulled out of balance.

The pattern graph above shows us how much energy is spent while at rest.


🌡 We measure temperature to map out where subluxation is occurring.

Problems in balancing temperature (blood flow) evenly along the spine reveals areas of nervous system stress. With this test, we can pinpoint the specific levels of your spine and nerves that may not be functioning properly. Changes in temperature can indicate acute and chronic problems.

A thermal balance graph above shows where spinal nerve levels are reaching outside of normal range in their ability to regulate blood vessels.

Neurologically based chiropractic care is the future. We need to be able to visualize and track changes in the activity of our nervous system so that we as doctors can make the best recommendations for you and your family’s health. That is why we place so much value on our INSiGHT scanning technology, and use it with every single patient.

Your nervous system gives you life. So let’s take care of it, like it takes care of us.

-Dr. Ian Shepstone, DC CACCP

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