The Nervous System

The human body is made up of not one, but three nervous systems. Even though they are anatomically classified as three separate nervous systems, in reality they are inter-dependent and interrelated. In order for the body to function properly as a whole, all three nervous systems must be functioning properly, unobstructed and in harmony. At any given moment, millions of bits of "information" from sight, sound, touch, taste and smell enter your nervous system, and must be analyzed instantly to determine your body's appropriate response. Most of the information is discarded as "unimportant" at the moment. While all this is going, on, all the body's many organ and system functions must be tirelessly monitored, directed and unified. This is all amazingly accomplished by the dynamics of the body's three nervous systems. The following is a description of each of these nervous systems.
  1. The Central Nervous System (CNS) is composed of the brain and spinal cord. Impulses originating in the brain are sent to various parts of the body via the spinal cord. The brain is protected and encased by the bones of the skull, while the spinal cord is protected and encased by the 24 individual and movable bones of the spine called the vertebrae. The spinal cord is a direct downward continuation of the brain step that starts at the upper border of the uppermost vertebra (called the atlas), and then ends at the lower border of the first lumbar vertebra (called the conus medullaris).
  2. The Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) is basically an extension of the Central Nervous System described above. The Peripheral Nervous System connects the Central Nervous System with all the tissues of the body. Thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves exit the spine and form a very complex network of nerves reaching out to every part of the body. Messages or signals are thus relayed from the tissues of the body back to the brain and vice versa. Chiropractic's unique clinical concern is the unobstructed transmission of these nerve signals as they travel back and forth from the brain to the tissues of the body.
  3. Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), also known as the "involuntary nervous system," controls activities of the body of which an individual is not consciously aware. The Autonomic Nervous System includes all the nerve cells, or neurons, located outside the spinal cord and the brain stem. The ANS is itself divided into two separate entities known as the Sympathetic and the Parasympathetic divisions. The Sympathetic division sends impulses that usually speed up or enhance body activity, whereas the Parasympathetic generally slows down or ceases various automatic body activities. These two systems combined, are what regulate the majority of the body's involuntary functions. Examples of involuntary control are the heart rate, respiration, blood circulation and digestion.
The doctor of chiropractic works with all three nervous systems to bring about a positive change in the body. Spinal misalignments can cause pressure and/or irritation of the nerves in the spine which can adversely affect directly or indirectly any and all three nervous systems. This is a condition doctors of chiropractic refer to as the "Vertebral Subluxation Complex." A program of properly administered chiropractic adjustments can eliminate or reduce the Vertebral Subluxation Complex, thus restoring normal nerve function and creating a healthier nervous system and body.


Spinal Nerve Distribution

Upper Neck, Upper Cervical Spine (C1 - C2)
  • C1 - Brain, Nasal and Palette Glands, Lungs, Heart, Spleen, Kidney, Stomach, Liver, Large Intestines
  • C2 - Eye, Sinuses, Brain, Nasal and Palette Glands
Mid/Lower Neck, Cervical Spine (C3 – C7)
  • C3 - Eye, Sinuses, Nasal and Palette Glands,
  • C4 - Eye, Sinuses, Nasal and Palette Glands, Sublingual Glands, Submaxilary Glands
  • C5 - Parotid Gland, Sublingual Glands, Submaxilary Glands
  • C6 - Parotid Gland, Thyroid
  • C7 - Thyroid, Lungs
Mid Back, Thoracic Spine (T1 - T12)
  • T1 - Lungs, Heart, Parotid Gland, Carotid Artery, Pulmonary Artery
  • T2 - Lungs, Heart, Parotid Gland, Carotid Artery
  • T3 - Lungs, Heart, Stomach, Pulmonary Artery, Carotid Artery
  • T4 - Liver
  • T5 - Stomach
  • T6 - Pancreas
  • T7 - Spleen
  • T8 - Liver
  • T9 - Adrenal
  • T10 - Small Intestines
  • T11 - Kidney
  • T12 - Kidney
Lower Back, Lumbar Spine (L1 - L5)
  • L1 - Large Intestines
  • L2 - Large Intestines
  • L3 - Large Intestines, Spleen, Bladder
  • L4 - Large Intestines, Bladder
  • L5 - Large Intestines, Spleen, Bladder
Basebone or Tailbone, Sacrum and Coccyx
  • SACR - Large Intestines, Spleen, Bladder

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©2018 Dr. Karen Ibarguen BA, DC, ND, CCCN | All Rights Reserved