Can we all agree that more blood flow to the brain is a good thing? I’m sure anyone experiencing a blood choke in ju-jitsu would agree-it’s NOT the best feeling in the world.
Increased blood flow to the brain means more nutrients, more oxygen and more removal of waste products. These are all ideal situations and lead to increased brain health. The converse is equally as bad.
We already know of several things that increase blood flow to the brain, such as exercise and whole body vibration. In addition to increasing blod flow, increasing the availability of nutrients that improve the production of ATP in the mitochondria such as choline, CoQ10, Vitamin E (as mixed tocopherols–NOT straight alpha tocoperol) and alpha-lipoic acid will also result in very positive improvements in brain function and will likely lead to reductions in the risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, hearing loss, migraines and seizures.
So what’s missing from this list?
Based on this particular study, chiropractic treatment.
Researchers looked at the effect of chronic neck and upper back pain on the blood flow in the brain (cerebral perfusion). They found that these patients with pain had less blood flow into their brains when compared to those who did not have chronic pain. In the worst case, those with the most severe pain had 45% less blood flow to the parietal and frontal regions of the brain. The parietal region functions heavily in evaluation the spatial relationships within our bodies and environment, while the frontal lobe is involved in higher mental functions like personality and decision making.
Given how important these regions of the brain are, I’m thinking that 45% sounds like way too much of a loss. Now this does not mean that you run up to your favorite dolt and poke them in the upper trapezius muscle and ask if it hurts, but certainly entertains the additional value of chiropractic care to address pain in these regions.
If the combination of soft tissue treatment, at home stretches / yoga and chiropractic adjusting can help to increase movement in this region and reduce pain, it would make sense that blood flow to the brain would improve. This would make chiropractic care an integral component of the treatment of the above mentioned conditions like seizures, migraines and dementia. But that’s my biased opinion…