Sweeping through models of chiropractic care, functional neurology is transitioning away from the limited concept of vertebral fixations to embracing the concept of neural tone, championed by the very originator of chiropractic – D.D. Palmer. Indeed, the updated definition of subluxation put forth by the Council for Chiropractic Practice in 2013 plainly states that subluxation is “a neurological imbalance or distortion in the body associated with adverse physiological responses and/or structural changes which may become persistent or progressive.” Following this line of reasoning, functional neurology opens the discussion to a range of causes of the neurological imbalances, including (i) inflammation, (ii) nutritional problems, (iii) hormonal imbalances, (iv) emotional stress, and (v) structural derangements that dominated earlier models of chiropractic interventions.
The positive aspect of functional neurology is its reorganization of nerve cells, making possible the restoration or bypass of connections that have become disrupted or damaged. A perfect example would be performing exercises to recover from [a] stroke. The negative aspect of functional neurology, however, is that if a neuronal pathway is not fired, synaptic connections may become inactive with the loss or inactivation of neurotransmitters and receptors, as exemplified by the risk of cognitive decline in the elderly and the undertaking of exercise to counteract that effect. Both of these transformations of nervous system activity have become known as neuroplasticity, not limited to neural injury or recovery but also including the remodeling of dendrites, synapse turnover, long-term potentiation, and neurogenesis. One striking example out of many demonstrating the phenomenon of neuroplasticity was offered by an observational study of London cab drivers, in which there was a redistribution of gray matter in their brains as they became familiar with the city’s layout.
I began incorporating functional neurology into my practice in 2009, short after receiving my diplomate in nutrition. I had completed most of my 300 hours of required postgraduate studies at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. They were so impressed with one of the presenters, Dr. Walter Schmitt, that they invited him to present his entire 180 hour course on functional neurology. I was duly impressed and spent the next year taking classes and applying that knowledge to my practice.
Functional neurology allows me to identify potential pathways of inflammation, in order of significance; immune system imbalance, both hyper and hypo; metabolic errors; hormonal imbalance; and digestive disturbances along with the structural issues addressed by traditional chiropractic care.
If not for functional neurology and nutrition, I would have retired from chiropractic long ago. More from boredom and the limitations of practice than anything else. Although I started using nutrition almost forty years ago, functional neurology gave me the ability to treat a wide range of conditions with good success, often when traditional medicine failed.
Source: September 11, 2018 Wholistic Matters