The human body is made up of not one, but
three nerve systems. Although, by category, these three nerve systems are separate,
actually they are interdependent and interrelated. In order for the body to function
properly, it takes all three nerve systems functioning properly, unobstructed and in
At any given moment, millions of bits of "information"
from the sight and hearing enter your nerve system and must be analyzed to determine an
appropriate response. About 99.9 per cent is discarded as "unimportant" at the
moment. While all this is going on, all of the other senses are active, too, bombarding
the nerve system and demanding a response. At the same time the body's many organs and
functions must be tirelessly monitored, directed and unified. This is all accomplished by
the integration of the body's three nerve systems. The following is a description of
||The Central Nerve
System (CNS) [yellow] 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
The spinal cord is a direct downward continuation
of the brain stem that starts at the upper border of the uppermost vertebra (called the
atlas), and ends at the lower border of the first lumbar vertebrae.
The Peripheral Nerve System (PNS)
[blue, green, red, orange] is basically an extension of the Central Nerve System
described above. The Peripheral Nerve System connects the Central Nerve 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.
The Autonomic Nerve System (ANS) [not
shown], also known as the "involuntary" nerve system controls activities of
the body unconsciously. The Autonomic Nerve System includes all the nerve cells, or
neurons, located outside the spinal cord and the brain stem.
The ANS itself is divided into two separate entities: the
Sympathetic and the Parasympathetic
divisions. The Sympathetic division sends impulses that speed up or enhance (as in
running) whereas the parasympathetic slows down (digestion). These two systems combined
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 nerve
systems to bring about a positive change in the body. Spinal malfunction can cause
irritation in the spine adversely affecting any or all three nerve systems, a condition
chiropractors refer to as the Vertebral Subluxation. A properly administered chiropractic
adjustment can eliminate or reduce the Vertebral Subluxation Complex, thus restoring
normal nerve flow and creating a healthier nerve system.