Balancing Techniques - part 1

Nutrition

Food is a vital aspect of our life. With new developments taking place from time to time and acquiring center stage, our food will continue to be the main topic - like what we should avoid eating, which foods should not be consumed in excess and what is not enough. Most of us know what we ought to be eating, but we do not put this into practice most of the time.

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In fact, the functioning of our body and its systems largely depends on the foods we consume. If we eat and drink healthy foods in the right amounts, our body will function optimally. On the other hand, harmful or unsafe foods results in malfunctioning of the systems. This eventually leads to diseases and health problems.

For instance, those of you own cars cannot fill up your vehicle's petrol tank with cooking oil and still expect it to function properly. We ought to give a similar thought while eating and drinking. We consume foods with a view to build our body, repair its wear and tear and also to generate heat and energy. Therefore, it is important to choose our food with care. In today's fast-paced life, we cannot expect to survive healthily by eating a sandwich for lunch before rushing to a meeting or having some chips or foods that are micro processed. Even carrying on a crash diet is not going to help. All these things will send distress signals to all our systems.

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Kinesiology, the science of studying human movements, is one treatment mode that offers excellent nutritional support for all the muscles, guiding each one of them on how they should react to fulfill the requirements of an individual. The nutritional requirements of every individual are different and may change continuously. Kinesiology involves muscle testing that enables the flexibility to fulfill the varying requirements of an individual. If a particular muscle 'unlocks' during muscle testing and the therapist wishes to detect if specific nutriments will aid in strengthening the body, he/ she will tell the client or subject to keep the food, supplement or liquid in their mouth during the period when their muscle is being tested again. Provided the muscle "locks' (stay in a particular position) and remains firm, it is an indication that the body requires nutrition. In fact, when the food mixes with saliva inside the mouth, there is almost an instant reaction.

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Therapists practicing kinesiology are of the view that a reflex action occurs when the food, liquid or supplement mixes with saliva. This reflex action, known as 'neuro-lingual' (or the brain-tongue) facilitates the absorption of ingested food via the tongue and subsequently, this information is transmitted to the brain with a view to facilitate it to retrieve the consequences that the food will have on the entire body, in general. It is quite easy to relate the connection between the food we consume and the brain, because we are aware that simply thinking about any food that we crave makes our mouth water. However, in case our body does not have any requirement for additional nutrition, no change will be noticed in the response of muscle that is being tested. Once the therapist has checked this aspect of our health's harmony, he/ she will try to find out if the body requires any other correction to restore its original balance. It is important to note that instead of just placing the food inside the mouth, it is always more useful when we place the food in the energy field of our body. Generally, after it is consumed, the food is held against the cheek or in the navel's region.

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Reflex points

Kinesiology uses reflex points for correcting the imbalances of the body by means of neuro-lymphatic massage and neuro-vascular holding points, which are discussed in detail below. A reflex reaction occurs when a body part that is being treated has an effect on another part of the body with no perceptible relation. It can be compared to lighting a bulb. When you put on the switch of a light, it lights up a bulb, which is at a distance from the switch. However, you know that the bulb and the switch are connected through wires that are concealed somewhere. Similarly, touching the body at one place can have an effect on another part of the body, which may appear to be unrelated.

Most of us are aware that all our body parts are connected with each other by various means, including the blood vessels, nerves and meridians. In fact, in this manner you are able to treat one part of the body by touching or rubbing another part, which are apparently not connected. In this way, you are able to alleviate certain types of headaches by rubbing a particular point on the outside of your thigh!

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Neuro-Lymphatic Massage

Dr. Frank Chapman, DO, who first described the reflex points, stated that when specific points on our body are stimulated, it augments lymphatic drainage in a particular organ. Way back in 1930, he also presented an outline of these reflex points. Generally, these reflex points are located in the gaps between the rib bones on the front as well as the rear side of the body. Some of them can also be found on the arms, legs and the trunk. These reflex points are very different from the glands, nodes or the lymphatic vessels. In fact, the neuro-lymphatic reflexes are basically specific points on our body that have the aptitude to bring about changes in the lymphatic circulation.

The aptitude of our body to combat infections as well as obliterate the assailants mostly depends on the lymphatic system, which is considered to be the defensive armed force of our body. In fact, the lymphatic system works together with the circulatory system and serves in the form of a filter as well as a drainage system inside the body, thereby facilitating the blood to take care of the by-products released due to the metabolic processes in the cells.

Very different from the blood circulatory system, wherein the heart forces blood to flow to the different parts of the body under pressure, lymphatic movement is induced by contraction of muscles, which helps the lymph to flow through the lymphatic vessels as well as the lymph nodes. When our body is combating infections, the lymph nodes may often be enlarged and inflamed, resulting in swollen glands. The body areas that are affected most frequently are those that are in the region of the neck, groin and the armpits. Taking a diet that is very rich in fat may also put extra burden on the immune system. As a result, the lymph functions very sluggishly and becomes extremely thick affecting its free movement. The lymphatic system is comprised of lymphatic vessels, lymphatic ducts and lymphatic nodes (also called glands).

Our body also contains additional lymphatic tissues, which include the appendix, adenoids, tonsils, thymus gland, Peyer's patches, which are present in the small intestine, and the spleen. The amount of lymph present in our body is almost double that of the blood. The lymphatic system is responsible for producing antibodies as well as the lymphocytes (also known as white blood cells).

As a general rule, when the neuro-lymphatic reflex points are stimulated, it facilitates the body to activate the mechanisms that promote lymph circulation. Therefore, when you picture a switch that turns on or turns off the lymph circulation, it is easier to comprehend the reason behind the quicker response of the muscles when these points are stimulated. It is important to note that the flow of lymph is not responsible for the changes or restoration of the body's balance. On the contrary, when the communication systems are 'unblocked' it triggers an entire succession of impulse to enable our body to act in response. The lymphatic points may be present unaccompanied or in groups on the muscles. Nevertheless, they may also be found spread all over a complete muscle. Often, these reflex points are sensitive - the points present in the front portion of the body are tender compared to those found at the back of the body. Therapists stimulate these reflex points by firmly messaging the areas where they are present. The pressure applied during washing your hair and the force applied on these points is comparable.

Neuro-vascular Holding Points

Way back in the 1930s, a noted chiropractor named Dr. Terrance Bennett ascertained locations or points, mostly on the head that appeared to have an influence on blood circulation to particular organs and body structures. Using a fluoroscope (a mobile X-ray machine), and a radio-opaque dye, Dr. Bennett also observed the internal results of holding the points. All these lead to a vital input to healthcare as well as his premature death due to radiation poisoning. The points discovered by Dr. Bennett later came to be known as the neuro-vascular holding points or neuro-vascular reflexes.

Dr. George Goodheart Jr., who founded applied kinesiology, discovered that particular muscles responded to just one reflex, while majority of the neuro-vascular reflexes had an effect on several muscles. During the course of his research, Dr. Goodheart discovered that it was possible to enhance the response of the muscles by holding the neuro-vascular reflex points. He even found out that he might as well assess the response of the muscles by means of muscle testing.

The vascular (also known as circulatory) system denotes the bloodstream, which comprises the arteries that transport oxygen-laden blood from the heart to the different parts of the bodies, including the tissues, and the veins that transport the de-oxygenated blood to the heart. In addition, the bloodstream also transports several vital nutrients as well as water to the cells and tissues, while distributing enzymes and hormones to the different organs. It also transports the waste materials removed from the organs to the body parts from where they are excreted. At any given point of time, blood will gush to the area witnessing some activity.

As a result, when you exercise, blood flow to the muscles will increase and when your body is engaged in digesting the ingested foods, blood flow will be more to the organs that are active in the digestive process. We generally lose control whenever we are under enormous pressure or are in a state of shock. In such situations, we tend to forget everything and are unable to think straight. In addition, we also have a tendency to run into things and hit them blindly. Moreover, though we may get cuts and bruises, we do not seem to feel them. In such conditions, even our vision becomes indistinct. In fact, all these happen because blood from the thinking area of the brain is drained out when we are under extreme pressure or in a shock. Nevertheless, our nervous system can be alerted to focus on the dilemma as well as the emphasis on the blood circulation throughout the body can be restored by touch. When we talk about touch we mean holding the neuro-vascular reflex points, which can restore our normal behaviour as well as blood circulation. This can be achieved by promoting the blood circulation to particular muscles, specific areas in the brain, the different organs and glands.

In fact, it is possible to activate the neuro-vascular points by touching them very lightly. Therapists make use of  their finger pads to contact these points, stretch the skin a little and hold the points in position. The pressure applied to these neuro-vascular points with the pads of the fingers is exactly what one would apply to touch their eyelid with his/ her fingertips. Therapists or chiropractors continue to hold these points till they feel a pulse having a stable or balanced beat. In kinesiology, this is known as a 'capillary pulse', very akin to the pulses described by acupuncture therapists. In the instance of bilateral holding points, it is important to feel the pulse beats on both the sides and, subsequently synchronize them. The duration for which these points are held by the chiropractors may vary from anything between 20 seconds to about 10 minutes. In fact, there are no fixed rules in this regard. It is important to bear in mind that every person is an individual and the time taken for every person to respond will not be the same.

When the chiropractors hold the neuro-vascular reflex points present on the forehead, which are related to emotional stress and the pectoralis major clavicular muscle, it will work to promote blood circulation to the brain's front part. In addition, it will also turn on the region of the brain which is used by us while making decisions. This, in turn, helps in restoring the body's control.

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