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Functional Chiropractic Neurology and “New-Age” Healing: A Different Perspective on the Vitality of Clinical Nutrition

aka “The Memetic Evolution of Functional Nutrition.”

Dr. Royal Lee theorized that whole food supplementation harness[es] nutrients as they are found in nature, and as such include naturally-occurring enzymes, co-factors and catalysts required for proper metabolism. In a society dominated by processed foods stripped of their innate genetic nutrients, it is reasonable to conclude that many modern diseases predicated upon insulin resistance, gliadin sensitivity and GI acidity may be avoided by creating complete nutritional sufficiency, not just by replacing individual nutrients suspected to be missing. It is therefore vital for health care practitioners to teach their patients to differentiate between artificial, calorically-dense foods, which trick the brain into releasing pleasure chemicals and nutritious foods that include the proper nutrients to foster metabolic integrity and create nutritional sufficiency.

For manual care specialists such as chiropractors, enforcing nutritional standards in patient care is not only recommended, but critical. Research has shown that anti-inflammatory diets predicated on raw, whole foods stimulate natural metabolic pathways synergistically. This relationship helps to detoxify, alkalize and maintain the body’s ability to mount appropriate immune responses, but most importantly, helps the body to accept and mediate sensory stimuli. This is especially important to chiropractors who use joint manipulation to stimulate their patients’s central nervous systems (CNS). The CNS requires both proper nutrition and sensory stimulation to foster healthy growth, but the brain, the pinnacle of the CNS cannot metabolically tolerate high-input sensory stimuli from manipulations if it lacks the ability to absorb, integrate and metabolize exogenous vitamins, minerals and neurotransmitters.

Chiropractors are among the most qualified healthcare specialists to tout the benefits of balanced nutrition to society because they understand the holistic nature of human homeostasis: constant, whole-body, neurological adaptive momentum towards survival. In fact we are hardwired for it. Take, for example, the innate human response to touching a hot stove burner. Recent scholarship suggests that chiropractic adjustments, in fact, create “neuroplasticity” by altering what is termed the “central integrative state” (CIS) of nervous structures. This means that spinal manipulation changes the brain by restoring the input it should receive from a healthy spine by gravity and motion that may be knocked out by a lack of genetic expression vis-a-vis appropriate movement. However, the CIS of any given structure is also inextricably tied to membrane permeability, gas exchange efficiency and rate of ATP production, which is in turn tied to the bioavailability of exogenously-supplied nutrients and co-factors. Consider, for example, the electron transport chain, which mediates the majority of ATP production in the body. Without adequate mitochondrial Niacin, Folate, Co-enzyme Q, a variety of other minor proteins, cytochromes and an appropriate concentration of protons (i.e. appropriate pH), the electron transport chain can break down resulting in lower ATP production and, notably, a resultant down-regulation in neuronal sensitivity to stimulus, otherwise known as “transneural degeneration” (TND). In particularly neurologically unhealthy individuals, chiropractic manipulations are theorized by some researchers to produce less-than-desirable results because neuronal mitochondria cannot produce the protein and energy necessary for appropriate conduction, synaptogenesis and plasticity, and while an acute breakdown in oxidative phosphorylation may require an equally acute CoQ10 nutraceutical intervention, long term sufficiency necessitates balanced natural sources of carbohydrates, B vitamins, essential fatty acids and amino acids to fuel glycolysis.

Teaching patients to embrace whole-food diets, on which our genome is founded and has evolved around for over 10,000 years must take precedent as citizens embrace progressively unhealthy lifestyles founded upon trans-fatty acids, inflammatory meats, fruit and vegetable deficiencies and a lack of exercise. Whole food supplementation represents a still relatively untapped resource on the forefront of “New-Age” healing, where reactive pharmaceutical intervention takes a backseat to a radical preventative health concept. Proper nutrition is therefore not just an ancillary therapeutic possibility, but an essential precursor to innate homeostatic expression.

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