Spine In Line/Feel Fine was a joke line in chiropractic school. But there is truth in the comment; it is the basic premise of chiropractic.
Just as your car has an ideal alignment, so does your body. The central nervous system is composed of the brain and the spinal cord. The vertebral column and cranium (a.k.a. skull) is the avenue through which information leaves and is received by the central nervous system. This is why chiropractors adjust the spine and cranium. By improving alignment of these articulations, we can optimize function, comfort and health.
Many things influence how your body is aligned. Posture is important. In my yoga class, each class we review ideal alignment in “Mountain” Pose (a.k.a Tadasana). Optimal alignment begins with the feet. Weight should be evenly balanced between right and left, front and back. Knees should be slightly bent, not locked. Pelvis should be tucked under (imagine having a heavy dragon tail) and centered over knees and feet. The trunk should be lengthened, shoulders should be relaxed and centered over the pelvis, knees and feet. Finally the head should be balanced on top with chin parallel to the floor. Maintaining proper alignment in posture allows the body to move in the ways it was designed. This also is the most efficient therefore conserving energy.
Poor ergonomics also affect alignment. Be aware of your workspace. Information on proper set up for work space is readily available (you can contact me if you want). Remember to bend and lift properly: knees bent and weight held close to body, twist with the whole body turning, not just your upper half.
Sometimes, despite how well you behave, you may have a slip or and injury. It is important to get this resolved as quickly as possible. Injuries are easier to treat early on before their pattern gets established and becomes detrimental.
Even without injury the body can become misaligned. This is why chiropractors often suggest regular visits. It is the same as the dentist who does not wait until you have gum erosion or a cavity to suggest a visit.
So be well, think alignment and take optimal care of yourself. .
Mary H. Kintner, D.C., R.N., is a chiropractor and nutritional consultant practicing in Jericho. Call her office at 899-5400.