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The Physical Senses
Health is achieved by maintaining homeostasis over time. Homeostasis is defined as “the maintenance of relatively stable internal physiological conditions (as body temperature or the pH of blood) in higher animals under fluctuating environmental conditions.” As the world around us changes, our body must adapt to make sure all of the body’s functions remain stable.
Interaction with the environment is perceived through our physical senses. We taste, touch hear, see, and smell the world around us. This helps our brain paint a picture of the outside world. These common 5 senses are essential for perception of the outside world. However, we have more senses which help us monitor our own body’s function from within. The human body has 10 primary senses which allow us to monitor both the outside world and the body’s inner function.
Olfaction – The act or process of smelling
Gustation – The act or sense of tasting
Vision – The ability to see
Mechanoreception – the sense of touch
Audition – the sense of hearing
Baroreception – The ability to sense pressure changes outside and inside the body
Chemoreception – the ability to sense chemical and hormonal changes in the body
Thermoreception – the sense of temperature changes
Nociception – The sense of pain
Proprioception – our sense of posture and body position
The brain constantly monitors all of these senses and puts all of them together in order to maintain homeostasis. The brain constantly integrates all of these senses together to fully understand the body’s needs in order to fully and appropriately adapt to the changes in the environment.
Once the brain has a clear picture of the function of the body, the brain will figure out how to fine tune all of the body’s functions to secure maximum stability. The brain will change blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, muscles tension, hormone levels, immune responses and more.
For example, if you tripped, your sense of proprioception (body position) would inform the brain that you are off balance. The brain will then rapidly change your posture and leg muscles to move your feet under you to prevent you from falling. In another example, when you exercise you need more oxygen delivered to your muscles. The brain is informed that more oxygen is needed, and your brain will increase your breathing rate, heart rate and blood pressure to increase oxygen delivery.
All of these changes which are controlled and coordinated by the brain are forms of adaptation to meet the needs of the body to maintain health.
Interference in the nerve signals from our senses can alter the way the brain interprets this information. This interference can intensify or diminish these signals, changing the brain’s interpretation of the body’s current status or the environment around us. This is a form of sensory processing dysfunction. Changing in the signals to the brain make it challenging for the brain to respond appropriately.
Examples of this include fibromyalgia (amplification of pain), numbness (diminished nociception or mechanoreception), light sensitivity, hearing loss or hypersensitivity to sound, and more. These are all increases or decreases in your physical senses and can lead to changes in the health of the brain and the body. One of the more common ways this interference can occur is a misalignment of the craniocervical junction (the joints between the skull and the top of the spine).
Normalizing the Senses
Upper cervical doctors are trained to examine and interpret nerve interference in the craniocervical junction. Upper cervical care is focused on restoring these nerve signals to normal, allowing the brain to properly adapt to the changes within your body and in the environment. As your brain continues to improve this function, your health improves and your senses begin returning to normal.
Seek the Experts
Upper cervical chiropractors have a unique focus on correcting misalignments of the craniocervical junction that can lead to brain and body dysfunction. Their post-graduate training prepares them to identify subtle misalignments in this area and correct it using a variety of gentle and precise corrective techniques. Designed to be a long-term solution, the goal of these doctors is to correct and stabilize the upper cervical spine to restore the integrity of the nervous system. If you have concerns about you or your family’s health care, seek your local upper cervical chiropractor.