Cat 2: The patient is more stable and we focus more on structural issues. e.g.. a long standing pelvic rotation co committing with spinal misalignments and fixations. Treatment now turns to restoring proper biomechanics (the way the patient moves and holds themselves) to the spine and extremities. We remove restrictions (subluxations) in the spine where needed using gentle mobilization along with blocks placed at specific angles to promote proper movement. We also adjust (very specific mobilization) the spine and give exercises to help restore proper movement patterns which lay down new neural pathways or movement habits.
Adjusting the spine and extremities removes the fixations and restores normal movement to the joint. The joint becomes healthier and something called proprioception or 'positional sense' to the central nervous system is restored. The joints which don’t have proper or full movement, cannot send appropriate signals to the central nervous system on its position in space. When this occurs, the nervous system intern cannot give the appropriate output to the muscles and tendons for stabilization and movement. Restoring this balance in the nervous system has a profound affect not only on the involved joint, but globally as each aberrant motion pattern caused by subluxation not only causes compensations elsewhere in the spine or skeletal system, but also affects the flow of energy through the whole body via the nervous system. Everything in the body is regulated through the nervous system from the glands of the endocrine system, to the mobility of the gut and even the immune system. The whole body is regulated by the nerves that exit the spine and cranium.
Cat 1: This is an involved category and merits a blog all on its own. In this category, the focus addresses the balance between the autonomic and central nervous systems. The autonomic nervous system consists of 2 parts: the sympathetic nervous system and parasympathetic nervous system. It regulates smooth muscle like the gut, blood vessels, cardiac muscle (heart) and glands. An imbalance here, has profound effects on health.
Cat 1 also involves the manipulation of the viscera in a technique called CMRT (Chiropractic Manual Reflex Technique), which is used to stimulate organs and restore motility and nerve flow to them to bring about homeostasis. (Balance within its internal environment)
In Cat 1 and Cat 2 we still look at the spine, but we also do cranial adjusting which focuses on restoring movement of the cranial bones and to restores proper flow of the Cerebrospinal fluid. (CSF)
When we breath, the skull and the meninges (Membranes which house the spinal cord, brain and cerebrospinal fluid) move with the sacrum (tail bone) creating a pump mechanism which helps circulate CSF (Cerebrospinal Fluid) around our spinal cord and brain. When our pelvis, spine and cranium have aberrant movement patterns, this mechanism is affected, and the flow of the CSF becomes hampered. Proper cranial movement is also imperative in proper hormone function as the glands in the brain like the pituitary and pineal glands rely on movement of the meninges and cranium to release the appropriate hormones to the body.
People with shallow breath also affect this system's ability to function at its optimum. Stress is a big player here. Notice how those who are stressed breath shallow and rapidly. Restoring proper breath cycle is also important in restoring proper cranial and sacral movement. Yoga is great, especially along with pranayama yoga (breath control), as it reduces stress.