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  • Dr. Alex Lundbohm

The heart doesn't pump blood?!

That's correct, the heart does not pump blood. Let me first use an analogy to help explain what I mean. The heart doesn't pump blood just like a pen doesn't write. Have you ever read a book, article or paper where the author was "pen"? No! That's because pens don't write, people write. A pen is just a tool used by a writer to put words to paper.

The heart is a tool used by our brain to move blood throughout the body. Our brain is the master control system for the entire body and it monitors the body by sending and receiving messages from every cell in our body via the nerves (nervous system). Our brain controls our heart, it tells it when to do what, for how long and how often.

For example, when a person exercises, their muscles use oxygen at a faster rate. This sets of a chain of events. The nerves in the muscles pick up the message that oxygen is being used rapidly and send that message along the nerve, back to the spinal cord, up the spinal cord and into the brain for processing. The brain processes that message to read "we need more oxygen in the muscles." The brain then reacts by sending a new message down the spinal cord, out the spinal nerve, down the nerve distribution to the heart to tell the heart to beat faster so oxygen rich blood can be quickly delivered into our muscles.*

The heart has 2 major nerve supplies; the vagus nerve and T1-T4 spinal nerves. The vagus nerve comes out a small hole in the bottom of the skull and through the chest cavity to the heart. T1-T4 spinal nerves come off the spinal cord and exit the spine at the vertebrae (bones of the spine) T1-T4. T1-T4 vertebrae are located right between the top of the shoulders. Ever have tension there??????

Today, a major cause for tension in the neck and upper back is forward head posture. This is because most people are looking down at a computer, tablet, or phone. What's your neck posture right now as you are reading this? If your ears aren't in line with your shoulders then you have forward head posture.

Every inch of forward head posture can increase the weight of the head on the spine by up to ten pounds. Imagine holding an 8 pound bowling ball tight to your chest. It feels about like 8 pounds. Now start to extend your arms, the bowling ball becomes much heavier and puts more tension in your arms, shoulders and back as well as you will tire faster.

"Forward head posture leads to long term muscle strain, disc herniations, arthritis and pinched nerves."

- Mayo Clinic

What Mayo Clinic failed to mention is that the first dysfunction of forward head posture is a subluxation of the vertebral spine. The definition of a vertebral subluxation is a misalignment of a vertebra in relation to the vertebra directly above and/or below it causing interference on a nerve not allowing the nervous system to function properly.

"The weight of a dime on a spinal nerve can reduce nerve transmission by as much as 60%"

- Dr. Chang Ha Suh, PHD

Now that we have established that our heart is controlled by our brain through the nervous system and that poor posture can cause subluxation of the vertebra that protect the nerves that go o our heart which can lead to poor nerve communication between our brain and our heart, how do we fix it?

A chiropractic adjustment is the ONLY treatment that can remove vertebral subluxation to possibly restore proper nervous system communication in the body.

So, how does one know if they have a vertebral subluxation?

The only way to know for sure is to be check by your chiropractor. Subluxations do not always present with symptoms, therefor it is paramount for your health to be regularly check by a Doctor of Chiropractic for vertebral subluxation.

Note: Forward head posture is not the only cause of vertebral subluxation and T1-T4 are not the only vertebrae that can become subluxated. Any of the 24 vertebrae of the spine have potential to become subluxated causing interference on the spinal nerve near it which will affect the distribution of that nerve where ever it goes. Remember, our entire body is controlled by our nervous system.

*Many other physiological processes are also happening during this time, e.g. breathing harder and deeper so the lungs can provide more oxygen to the blood (which is also being controlled by the brain).

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