What Neurosurgeons know about Spines and Genetic Expression

Epigenetics and Expression

When it comes to genes – most of us are under the belief, the philosophical premise, that our genetics are some static, immutable constant.  “They don’t change.” “What you get is what you get, and you’re susceptible no matter what you do. ” “Sorry Charlie, that’s just the way it goes!”  These are often comments remarked and spoken by some of my colleages, usually modern or elder medical doctors stuck in their ways.  Typically the same ones that are stuck on mechanisms and matter.  That there are no influences but that which we can see and touch, the tangible.  If you investigate the ever advancing world of medical research, however, you’ll find the opposite.  We’re not just talking quantum physics here, but that ever expansive field seeks to promote the truth behind how health really works.  Simply put, we’re not machines.  Our bodies do heal when they start to break down, otherwise, you’d never heal a cut, and food that you eat would not become pure flesh, the tissue that makes up your entire body. We know environment plays critical role. How much?

Well, that remains the debate.  What we’re going to explore here is just how much the spine influences your neurology.  From there we can seek to understand how your spine is the gateway to life and interactions with the world around you. Why do you “see” what you ‘see’, while a bat uses echo location in the ‘same environment’ yet operates and understands it completely differently.   Or a spider with eight eyes sees nature more like a kaleidoscope, than we humans ‘see’ with our ‘eyes’. And our eyes are a direct extension of our brains, believe it or not.  They’re extremely exposed too.  Let’s dive into the goodies.

Nerve System & Brain Control

Brain influences every aspect of life.  When your brain perceives a sensation, it has to pick it up from some part of your body.  It’s not just an entirely above down approach.  Your brain does have to sense incoming information, interpret it as safe, harmful or otherwise.  Then it has to “tell you”.  If the information coming in is not properly received, it can’t be properly transmitted.  Case in point, diabetic neuropathy.  If you have this condition, you know full well that you can put your hand on a stove, and if you’re not looking, you could burn and melt your flesh.  Why? When your body is in that state of dis-ease, the nerves are not working properly.  Either they have fully ‘died off’, or partial aspects of the nerves do not work appropriately.  Either way, you don’t sense the heat and the pain.  In that case, your brain doesn’t know your hand is being harmed, and therefore the reflexive neurological wiring that is supposed to reflexively pull your hand away is never initiated.  Arguably, that’s “garbage information” in, and therefore the response is “garbage out”.  No proper communication has been made between the brain and your body.  That’s a recipe for disaster.  This happens in your spine too, and is no different in the grand scheme of things.

Incoming information from your spine is constantly being monitored. Every micro movement you perform sends information back to your brain.  Your brain is a twenty four hour monitor to keep you health.  If you lean to the right, and stay there, after a few moments, you’ll start to feel the pressure.  If your spine is already damaged, injured or weakened, you may feel pain just bending to the side.  That’s not good, or healthy.   If that’s your low back, then any time your body needs to use those nerves that go to your low back, it can’t rely on them for good information.  Let’s say those nerves are also going to your large intestine, or your reproductive organs.  You may not feel pain, but the organs aren’t getting good information either, and they will stop ‘hearing’ the brain.  So when it comes time to create new tissue lining in your intestines, or cause your bladder or bowels to evacuate, well, “no body’s home!”.  Your brain may attempt to send a signal to go to the bathroom because it picked up information from your kidneys and stomach that they were full.  However, when it comes time to evacuate, the message is never sent.  Now you have constipation.  In order to get proper signals back to that area of your spine, you need to make sure that lower vertebral segment moves properly so those nerve receptors come “back online” and are able to start working again.

Telemore Length & Longevity

So how does keeping your spine healthy, ie. chiropractic adjustments, have to do with aging and genetic expression?  Easy.  If you can’t interpret your environment, you can’t turn those genes on or off normally.  Medical studies on chiropractic adjustments, spinal manipulations, and the spine show clearly that as you are well adjusted, and consistent with care over the long term, you improve your signals from your nerve system.  What else improves? Health related quality of life outcomes.

Health related quality of life and long term outcomes are dependent on consistent chiropractic care, Spinal Hygiene. More importantly, an abundance of literature shows how decreasing stressor responses and central nerve system thresholds, aids in decreasing sympathetic response by your body.  See our other articles if you want the details of that.  The less stress, the less cortisol, the slower you age.  Even more promising research completed and published early 2019 on telomere length shows that corrective spinal biomechanics (a specialized type of chiropractic practiced by only a few Doctors in the united states, and our institute specifically) may influence telomere length. Talk about amazing.  What you’re starting to see, as our medical objective measures of genetic expression improve, like heart rate variability, perhaps the most fundamental gold standard on the nerve systems overall health, is starting to show promising links to genetic expression.  If you can ‘hear’ your environment better, you can ‘respond’ better.  True health is exactly that, expressing your body’s capabilities and living your life maxed out.