Imagine you just sat down to your dream meal. Gordon Ramsey seared it himself. You take the first bite and it is better than you imagined. Your taste buds are singing and you swallow down another bite. At that point, the food you swallowed begins a complex journey. It has to be broken down, and the nutrients absorbed.
Not just the big ones we think of like protein, fat, and carbohydrates, but all of the minerals and vitamins as well. All of this is happening while you are still stuffing your face with the incredible meal you have always wanted.
This process is the work of the autonomic (automatic) nervous system (ANS), which is all of the millions of functions our bodies perform without us giving it a thought. It is incredibly complex in action, but fairly simple in theory. It is all about communication between your body and your brain.
The body is constantly at work, and the lines of communication have to stay open. Those lines are what we know as nerves. If you get deep in this, there is cell signaling and other minor forms of communication, but for the most part it is the work of the nervous system to coordinate and transmit all the information our bodies need.
The brain needs to know what is going on with the body, and the body needs instructions from the brain. If that communication gets disrupted or disturbed we run into a problem. If the ANS is malfunctioning, systems begin to break down.
In the case of our dream meal, we are talking about the digestive system. When we talk about digestion, a nerve called the Vagus nerve, (which is part of the ANS) is the star of the show. The Vagus nerve tells the digestive system to speed up, slow down, turn on and turn off.
If the Vagus sends too much input to slow down the intestines, constipation is on the way. But if it sends too little input, the intestines speed up too fast, and then you end up getting diarrhea. The right balance is the key to allow the small intestine to absorb nutrients, and then distribute them to the proper place. The right balance is the key to allow the small intestine to absorb nutrients, and then distribute them to the proper place. This is where we also have to have communication. The digestive system needs to know what part of the body needs which nutrients to work properly. It is hard to stock the shelves if you don’t have a proper inventory count.
One of the most common ways the ANS is disrupted is an upper cervical misalignment. If one of the top two bones in the neck twist and get locked out of normal movement, due to a car accident, a slip or fall, sports injury, or even a difficult birth, then the brainstem and spinal cord can be affected. A lack of proper blood flow or even mild mechanical pressure can occur. This can interrupt the flow of communication and cause the ANS to send bad information. Suddenly the vagus nerve is now mis-communicating, and digestion gets out of balance.
Unfortunately you have now wildly over paid for Gordon’s food, and the rest of your night may turn out to be very uncomfortable.
If you struggle to eat and digest properly or have chronic constipation, diarrhea, or a combination of them, take the time to have your upper neck evaluated to see if a simple correction to this area can help alleviate your issues.
Dr. Lee Angle
“I enjoy the fact that I can help others feel better or be at their best thru upper cervical care.” — Dr. Lee Angle
Dr. Lee Angle is originally from southern West Virginia. After having his life changed through Upper Cervical Care he chose to pursue it as a career. He is an alumnus of Virginia Tech, and later completed his Chiropractic education at Sherman College of Chiropractic in Spartanburg, SC . He has been practicing Upper Cervical Chiropractic for over nine years. Dr. Angle previously worked as a certified personal trainer. This background allows him to educate his patients on proper movement and exercises to speed their recovery and enhance their Upper Cervical Care. In his free time, Dr. Angle likes to exercise and spend time with his loving family.
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