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The Emotional Connection

There are 5 Life Essentials that when combined create optimum health. These five essentials include a Functioning Nervous System, Movement, Physical Fitness, Nutrition, and Emotional Stability. What I would like to focus on is Emotional Stability, and how emotional instability affects more than just our brain.

From an article entitled, The Emotional Connection

Science is beginning to discover the physical and chemical connections between emotional state and physical condition. There have now been dozens of chemicals isolated which are known as Neuropeptides. These are small protein chemicals that act in the Nervous System as transmitters of information. But we are not just talking about knowledge, we are talking about feelings. Depending on what ‘soup’ of these tiny hormones is running around inside of you right now pretty much reflects what you are feeling emotionally.

Most of us would guess that these neuropeptides (things like endorphins, adrenaline, serotonin, dopamine, opiates, to name a few) ‘live’ in our brain. Our culture has restricted the concept of emotions to never venture south of the skull. Now here’s the really fascinating thing. Heaps of these chemicals actually live in your spinal cord, and some even can be found around the tiny cells all over and inside your body. What this effectively means is that when you ‘feel’ an emotion, your entire body is feeling it.

In terms of chiropractic, the spinal cord is the switchboard for the transmission of these chemicals and hence, the communication-centre of emotion and feeling.

This has three important implications:

1)     Your emotions can play havoc with what is happening in your spine. Next time your back goes out and you can’t think of a single thing you did “physically” that could have caused you to tie up in knots: Think about what has been happening emotionally in your life and therein may lay your cause. It’s possible that you may be worrying to much about things at the time. It could be a moment in your life when you’re bothered by work-related problems, overdue credit card payments, a bad relationship – anything that can cause emotional stress.

2)     Your spine can play havoc with your emotions: Over the years we have seen lots of people suffering with what are loosely termed, “chronic pain syndromes.” Some of these people initially suffered a physical injury. Before that point/period of time they were emotionally “well-adjusted.” Now they are depressed or emotionally volatile, plus suffering with any number of other “mental” problems. They are shunted from doctor to doctor and put on antidepressants (and stronger pills), and told that their pain and depression is “all in their mind.” Their physical malfunction has damaged their “brain reward cascade” and is limiting their ability to have any normal emotional “chemical reactions.” Until their therapy includes the spine, they will not see long-term improvements. On a less dramatic level, if your spine is “out of whack,” there is a chance your emotions will be “out of whack” too. If you’re grumpy, ask yourself how long has it been since you had an adjustment before analyzing what you’re worrying about.

3)     Occasionally when we start to adjust your spine, you may experience some changes in your emotions. Usually positive ones, but sometimes as you start to peel back through layers of tension in your spine and spinal cord, these levels of tension can trip off memories and emotions attached to the point in time when you first arrived at that level of tension. If you are feeling like your mind is in a state of upheaval, let your chiropractor know, as this may be due to these “memories” being rekindled. (Sometimes this may mean past unresolved issues may need some additional support.)

Bottom line: If your spine is getting tight – your “nerves” will be getting tense. If your emotions are getting strung out – your spine will be winding up. When we release your spine – your emotions will relax. When you unwind your mind, your spine will release.


-Quoted from Dr. Hodgson, c. 2008

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