Health of the Future
Can chiropractic be influential in the future of health?
I believe that science, yes I said the science (not just research), helps us explain why specific outcomes can be influenced by chiropractic.
In the science of healthcare interventions, “biological plausibility” is useful in determining the value and expectations of specific practices.
Biological plausibility is a method of reasoning that can establish a cause-and-effect relationship between a biological factor and a particular disease or adverse event.
For instance, according to the March 3, 1994 issue of New England Journal of Medicine, an increased amount of glutamate in the brain is the primary cause of neuro-degeneration because glutamate destroys neurons. In order to pump glutamate into the astrocyte cells for it to be removed from the body, there must be adequate ATP pumps and ATP. Therefore, increased amounts of ATP will stop or reduce neuro-degeneration. The Nov-Dec 2011 Journal of Alternative and Therapeutic Medicine study proves a link between the Chiropractic adjustment and an inhibition of the sympathetic nervous system (the study showed a decrease in muscle tone, salivary amylase, and increased brain glucose utilization through a PET scan following an adjustment). Inhibiting, or reducing, the tone of the sympathetic nervous system has been shown through science to increase the diameter of the blood vessel, increase blood flow to visceral organs, and increase ATP.
On the other hand, telomeres are on the end caps of all DNA and the greatest biomarker for aging. They are an indicator of length and quality of life. Some of today’s greatest science shows that the more rapidly a telomere shortens, the faster the aging process occurs.The 2009 Nobel Prize winner, Elizabeth Blackburn, explained through her work that one of the greater reasons for telomere shortening is due to an increased amount of catecholamines (stress hormones). In her book, “The Immortality Edge” Blackburn not only measures aging biomarkers, but also the levels of three chronic stress hormones: cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. The levels of these hormones went up lockstep with the rate of telomere shortening, a decline in telomerase activity, and an increase in oxidation.
The 2011 Ogura study (Journal of Alternative and Therapeutic Medicine) proved a relationship with a Chiropractic adjustment and the inhibition of the sympathetic nervous system. Science has shown that inhibiting the sympathetic nervous system is accompanied with a decrease in stress hormones. According to this science and research, Chiropractic adjustments may positively influence (reduce shortening) telomeres.
In all, the future of health and the science behind it is exciting as it further validates the power of chiropractic and the care we deliver in our office each day.