If you want to live well, heal your spine. Your spinal health reflects both your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual harmony and reality. I call the spine a communication highway. In truth, it can either be a highway to heaven or a highway to hell.
When communication is unwanted / rejected because the sensations and impulses reveal fear, memories and difficult emotions, the brain and spine adapt to protect the person from overwhelm. This is common in PTSD which you can read about here. Initially this is helpful as it supports immediate survival, but if the shock is never processed and the dynamic is sustained for many years, eventually these visceral and emotional sensations and messages (that are waiting to be transformed into self insight) become muffled and muted.
The less that’s processed (the more that’s suppressed and somatically buried) the lower the spinal density. The lower the spinal density the harder it is for messages to be transmitted and for the limbic system to process fear. Have a look at the picture below.
Dendritic spines are tiny little mushroom like protrusions from cell neurons that transmit electrical signals to the cell body. When they cluster in rich networks it’s known as high spine density. From left to right you can see density decreasing.
Image: Dendritic Spine
How does this feel?
Initially some of the symptoms are impaired interoception / somatic sensation, visceral discomfort, fragility and system that is easily stressed. It may also lead to inability to gain muscle. Over time the whole skeletal system feels light, unanchored and floating. There is a visible fragility in the structure of a person.
Their body will feel incredibly heavy, sluggish, the brain will be cloudy, there will be a deep and pervasive body disconnection and a constant state of inner fear that prevents deeper emotional presence with self.
In severe cases sensation will feel threatening. Tapping on the door of inner emotion or the heart will feel devastating and memories will be fragmented and incoherent.
Meaning making is based on avoidance of embodied truth and generates further stress in the system and increases the incongruence between body-mind-spirit.
Spinal work can help you to heal
When the spine is imbalanced the whole body will respond and adapt in order to compensate and maintain proper functioning.
Healing the spine is much more than structural work, it actually affects the whole neuroendocrine system and the biochemical balance of the body. In turn, this affects how we feel, process emotions and how we behave and the choices we make. Spinal work is identity work.
The latest research from 2020 shows that supporting the spine to re-align which is alot of the work I do with my clients around the world (no hands required) has a knock on effect on the brain's neurotransmitters and neurometabolic function and neuroplasticity. These aspects essentially governs how our body creates itself and communicates within itself. This is why I say spinal work is existential.
Some examples of neurometabolic disorders include movement disorders, epilepsy (read my post here on treating epilepsy) or peripheral neuropathy. These are cases where the body is already highly imbalanced. There may or not be spinal issues present. In other cases, spinal work can support the central nervous system recovery from old layers of injury to the body, trauma healing and pain.
Here's an example of spinal work in action at a physical and structural but also an emotional level, achieved after just one session with my client (no physical hands on work was conducted)
"I was born with Spinabifida. My disability has deteriorated significantly affecting my mental and physical wellbeing. I have two replacement knees and osteoarthritis in my hips. I've felt like a prisoner trapped in my own body. The last couple of years especially, have been overwhelming and exhausting.
My first session with Safa was unbelievable. It was transformational. Without touching my body she realigned my spine. She removed all blocks and debris that needed shifting in other parts of my body.
After our first session I could walk with so much more ease and there was no pain in my body! My body and spine feels so realigned. The difference is phenomenal.
I'm feeling so alive today. My husband was so happy to see the change in me. I can't wait for the second session."
🧠 If you're interested in the brain read and share